Monday, 30 December 2013

peace, love, happiness





Happy Festive Season

I love the days between Christmas and New Years -

The stress of family drama is gone, but the leftovers remain!

There is nothing better than ham on toast for days.

I am excited for all things 2014, but for now, it's all about the cupcakes and custard.


xx

Thursday, 19 December 2013

girl on fire




I'm so proud of this moment
And all it took to arrive here
I'm proud of every lesson, every step
Every moment of weakness, pushing me to find more strength

Proud of every time that I was scared
And learned to become more brave
I'm proud of all the ways I've come closer
To my truth and closer to trusting myself

I believe that we are all flames
We have a light so brilliant inside of us
An inextinguishable source that once accessed 
Can set the world alight

I believe that there are no limits
Even during the time we feel most limited
There is NOONE that can hold us back
Even when surrounded by the worst nay-sayers
I've personally learned this over the past 2 years

So tonight let us be ourselves
Unobstructed
Unconfined
Free and fly in everyway!

Tonight let's make a promise to each other
To never dim, shrink or cave for anyone
Let's turn off the world and listen to our hearts
Beleiving exactly where we are is where we are meant to be

And even though we have so much more
of the journey to go through
Let's be proud of where we have come from!

I am proud of you
I send love to you
I'm so glad we are all here together
Let's shine on and set the world on FIRE!!!


- Alicia Keys
[Set the World on Fire Tour Program]





In concert - AMAZING

xx

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

stillness of the mind

photo by me

"The full moon is a time of positive opportunity if you use it correctly.  It can increase your positive energy or conversely, it can wreak havoc on your emotions."

~

Last night I harnessed the energy from the December Full Moon and participated in a Guided Meditation Session.

Those are three words I never imagined myself discussing, much less being a part of.

But I went in with no judgement 
(fear? yes; uncertainty? yes; judgement no)

My initial reaction to "we're going to practice meditation" was "But how?!"

The concept of calming my elephant mind seemed IMPOSSIBLE.

Yet within a calm atmosphere aided by soothing music and gentle instruction/guidance I was able to fall into a state between constant mind chatter and sleep.

Call me a hippy if you will, but this stuff works. 

 And I truly enjoyed the experience.

here

A meditative space is an amazing space to be in.

The guided meditation bought up some very powerful emotions for me, and gave me the chance to really envisage all that I want in 2014.

It also taught me that anything is possible. You just have to believe it.
But before you can believe it, you have to imagine it.

And how can we imagine if we don't give our minds the time or opportunity to open up to new ideas?


How often do we set aside an hour, or even 10 minutes to just sit and be still. 

I live my life manically, with impossible goals and no clear path to achieve them and it's exhausting.

To stop and take the time to sit with myself was an incredible luxury.

And I realised that that in itself is ridiculous.

Time for ourselves should be scheduled and honoured like any other commitment.

We commit to giving time to work/friends/family, especially at this time of the year. And we neglect ourselves.



"The healing powers of meditation are legendary and the benefits of full moon meditation are no exception."

Project Meditation



xx

Monday, 16 December 2013

intruder alert

I find it ironic that at a time when I am working on building a strong emotional, spiritual and physical foundation for my future, someone from my past pops up out of nowhere.

It's particularly amusing since one of my recent posts exposed The Drama Llama, so now more than ever, I am aware of the affect dramatisation can have on a situation.


The way to take the drama out of a story is to speak only of the facts - 

My marriage ended over 2.5 years ago;
Today I received a text from my ex;
I haven't heard from him in over a year;
My car needs a service; 
My car service people really need to update their records.

If this were any other situation, or person involved, I would make inappropriate comments about "car servicing"...

But in this case, I am mostly confused. 

Why would he think that 
a. I didn't already know that; and 
b. I needed him to remind me, especially when he was never very good at those kinds of things when we were married?!

Anyway.. over-analysing aside, this was a good time for me to remind myself that 
It. Doesn't. Matter.

I don't have to reply. I don't have to think about it. I don't have to engage.

And with a HUGE breath, I am empowered.

My past has no place in my future.

It is my story, but it doesn't define me.


xx

Sunday, 15 December 2013

my new bestie

Lazy Sunday mornings..

A cup of tea, a glossy mag  - There's nothing better.

This morning was all about Jennifer Lawrence. 



I heart her.

She's hilarious.

And she likes food.

And I think we could be BFF's...












xx

Thursday, 12 December 2013

introducing the drama llama effect

Hello, my name is Andie and I am a recovering Drama Queen.

*Hello Andie*


I have been living a drama-filled life. And until recently, I realised that I am so accustomed to this state of being that I felt a sense of discomfort if life seemed to be flowing 'too easily'.

But here's the thing - some of the drama in my life was created within ME.

I would make up scenarios in my head of all that could go wrong;

Get tangled in a web of other people's troubles;

And exaggerate stories to engage everyone with my woeful situation.

Hey, this is a circle of trust, isn't it?! Don't judge!

Plus I'm a blogger.. who would read if my writing wasn't atleast a little entertaining?!

I don't think it's time for me to go to rehab just yet. But it was recently bought to my attention that if I want to accept peace, love and happiness into my life, I had to hang up my DQ cape.

 With this new conscious effort, I have realised that a lot of the drama in our lives takes place in our own heads, and it’s usually because we’re too deeply immersed in a difficult situation to recognize it isn’t as dire as it seems.

Drama is only possible if we engage with it.

And this, right here, is the single realisation that has me entering this Holiday Season with a feeling of peace and tranquility.

“Peace of mind is not the absence of conflict from life, but the ability to cope with it.” 
~Unknown

So my tip, if you too are a recovering Drama Queen who engages with other people's stories - 

Be an observer. Not everything needs a reaction


And trust me - the change you will feel is incredible.

xx

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

head vs heart

Have you ever done a personality test?

You know the type - A questionnaire or other standardized instrument designed to reveal aspects of an individual's character or psychological makeup.

Often used in the recruitment process, or during a 'Team Building Day' at work.

According the Meyers-Briggs, I am an INTJ.


One of the rarest of the sixteen personality types.

For the most part, I agree.

 INTJs are known as the "Systems Builders" of the types, perhaps in part because they possess the unusual trait of combining imagination and reliability. Whatever system an INTJ happens to be working on is for them the equivalent of a moral cause to an INFJ; both perfectionism and disregard for authority come into play. Personal relationships, particularly romantic ones, can be the INTJ's Achilles heel ... This happens in part because many INTJs do not readily grasp the social rituals ... Perhaps the most fundamental problem, however, is that INTJs really want people to make sense.
—Marina Margaret Heiss[12]

INTJs are analytical. Like INTPs, they are most comfortable working alone and tend to be less sociable than other types. Nevertheless, INTJs are prepared to lead if no one else seems up to the task, or if they see a major weakness in the current leadership. They tend to be pragmaticlogical, and creative. They have a low tolerance for spin or rampantemotionalism. They are not generally susceptible to catchphrases and do not readily accept authority based on tradition, rank, or title.

INTJs are strong individualists who seek new angles or novel ways of looking at things. They enjoy coming to new understandings. They tend to be insightful and mentally quick; however, this mental quickness may not always be outwardly apparent to others since they keep a great deal to themselves. They are very determined people who trust their vision of the possibilities, regardless of what others think. They may even be considered the most independent of all of the sixteen personality types. INTJs are at their best in quietly and firmly developing their ideas, theories, and principles.
—Sandra Krebs Hirsch[13]


I have always questioned Personality Testing, because I claim to have multiple personalities based on my mood - am I mad, playful, or focused when I am taking this test? 
Because I believe my state of mind will play a major part in determining my 'type'.

Specialists in the Personality Type field claim your core values will come through in a test, regardless of your mood.

Well.. it did say I like to 'disregard authority'!!

Anyway, in essence, my personality testing would have me believe that I am 100% ruled by my head. 
Not my heart.


here

So imagine my challenge, when having recently engaged a Life Coach, I was told to listen to my Truth.

Huh?!

How does my Truth fit in here?!

Simply put - my Truth and my heart are connected.

Our head is analytical; logical.

But it's also where fear resides. Our heads have an uncanny ability to convince us that anything outside our 'comfort zone' is a bad idea.

Which is when we must engage our Heart and our Truth.

I am learning that this is not always easy, after being controlled by my Head for so long.

Our Truth can determine how valid our fears are.

This is where our intuition comes into play.

With this new awareness in my toolkit I have been reading more and more about mindfulness, which is a concept I was first introduced to back in May.

The truth is, a simple understanding of mindfulness does not make for a peaceful mind.

It is a practice. And it's damn hard to begin with!

I am discovering that just because we can justify a decision with our Head, that does not automatically make it the right decision.

Think about it.


xx

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

back to baking

I don't remember the last time I went to the kitchen to make something fun.

The last few weeks have been a blur of take away and raw foods, so actual cooking has not happened for longer than I care to admit. And don't even question me on the last time I baked.

Last night, inspired by the latest Donna Hay magazine, I decided to turn on the oven and end the food drought.

Ta-Dah!!

 turkey and cranberry sausage rolls >> STARTS WITH CUPCAKES
Turkey & Cranberry Sausage Rolls
A delicious snack, meal or if you're weird like me, breakfast.

Off the top of my head, the recipe looked something like this - 

500g Turkey Mince
2 pieces puff pastry, cut in halves to create 4 pieces (good math Andie..)
1/4 cup cranberry sauce
2 Tbsp sage
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 egg
Sesame seeds, for sprinkling

The recipe also called for prosciutto, but my Coles didn't have any in stock.

In summary - 
Lightly brown the onion & garlic in a pan, then allow to cool
In a bowl, mix turkey, cranberry sauce, Dijon, sage
Stir in onion/garlic mix
Roll mince mix into pastry, cut into bite size pieces, brush with beaten egg, sprinkle sesame seeds, put in oven.

They are good.

Even better served with cranberry sauce.

Next time, I'm going to add real cranberries to the mix. 
And maybe some Camembert cheese....


If I was the Entertaining type, these would be an absolute crowd pleaser at a party.

Or you can just eat them for breakfast, like me!

xx

Monday, 2 December 2013

perfection

Several  months ago I read an article HERE which told me I was suffering from PERFECTIONISM.

It's a label I am familiar with.. But this particular article suggested this trait might inhibit my ability to progress in life.

It's somewhat ironic, because in a professional sense, perfectionism is applauded. 
Attention to Detail - Check
Ability to adhere to deadlines - Check

But on a personal level, it can be debilitating.

According to the article, I "stay stuck because you keep telling yourself that you have to wait until things are perfect before you move forward."

Hmm... a heavy concept.

But likely true.

So what's this perfectionist girl to do?!

Apparently, I need to "identify the area(s) in my life where I stay stuck because I keep telling myself that you have to wait until things are perfect before you move forward."

The concept of perfectionism, is just one of many traits which I have come to believe define me. 


Without perfectionism - Who am I?!

But recently, I have come to question - Why am I letting something which has the ability to paralyse me play such an integral role in my life?

I can be 'me' anyway I choose.

And I am so much more than this one trait.

Which is why this poster has struck such a chord with me - 

I think I need it.


Available HERE


xx

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

should = shit

I log into Blogger regularly.

Occasionally I post something new, or play around with a draft post that isn't quite working for me yet. But mostly, I log in, look at my drafts, decide that I have nothing new to say and log back out.

The thing is, I am often paralyzed by what I should post rather than what I want to post.

I never started this blog so that it could become my very own Dear Diary on the internet.

And, I honestly don't want to take it down that path.

But I started this blog for me. So the posts are allowed to be about what I want, rather than what you want. They're my rules.

About 2 months ago, I started seeing a new Naturopath. 
I like the concept of taking care of ourselves before we require a doctor. 
Doctors have to fix a problem that already exists - 
You have an illness? Take some antibiotics.
In my experience, doctors don't like the explore for an underlying cause of the illness, they merely treat the symptoms presented at the time of consult.

Regardless of my opinion on the medical industry, my Naturopath - who is also a kinesiologist and counsellor - works with me on establishing the cause of my symptoms.

On my very first visit I dubbed him my Magical Unicorn.


On my latest visit, the subject of my birthday was an easy topic of conversation, until I mentioned all of the things my life should include by now.

You know - the husband, the picket fence, dog, 2.5 kids....

And he gave me a pen and paper and told me write down the following mantra

Should = Shit

We discussed a world in which the word should is banished, and is instead is replaced by could.

Could has so much more freedom than Should.

It implies a choice. Options.

And with that wisdom, I realise he is 100% right.

In blogging and in life, there is no place for should.

I have the freedom to live as I please. Just as I have the freedom to blog about any topic that takes my fancy.

Because it's my blog. And it's my life. And I can do anything I want.


xx


Wednesday, 20 November 2013

my day of cake*

*Please be assured that the cakes in the below photos were not all consumed in one day.


Here it is - 
The Birthday Wrap Up

I had no plans for Birthday Week or Birthday Day, and in the end, that turned out to be a good thing, as my Dad frightened us all with a health scare.

He's OK.

*sigh*

Thankfully cake is good for celebrating and eating in stressful situations.

And lucky I like cake because it was a key feature in this years festivities.





 

So now, the Birthday celebrations are over for another year.

And I am in a cake-coma.


xx



Tuesday, 12 November 2013

HOLY COW

Bet you haven't heard that saying since the 90's...

Here it is again for dramatic effect - 

Holy COW!

I know many people like to reflect on their life/dreams/goals at New Years.

But I like to look over my shoulder on the eve of my Birthday.



Only 4 sleeps to go and my head is spinning with thoughts and concerns about being another year older..

I will be twenty-eight. 

The past year has been anything but dull.. but did I get any wiser?!

I am certainly not where I thought I would be at this point in my life.

Am I learning from past mistakes?

What does the universe have in store for me?

How the hell did I get here?!


**Let's take a quick skip down memory lane** 


2010
3 years ago
On my twenty-fifth birthday, I ordered an amazing 3-tier cake and celebrated turning a Quarter of a Century.
I was married.
And I knew with a level of certainty that the years to come would include my husband and with some luck a baby or two.
My mum bought me a sewing machine, and to this day, I still haven't used it....

2 years ago
Two weeks before my birthday, I sold the house that was supposed to be my family home. It took me less than 3 years to turn it into a home that I loved; and over 7 months to sell it.
I packed Miss Emmy up to live with my mum and then I launched in a Share House; with 2 beautiful friends who introduced me to G&T's and Dirty Dancing.

1 year ago
I had just moved again.
Taking a leap of faith and launching into the world solo. Well.. Almost. Miss Emmy was with me and together we were invincible!
I had bought a new place to start a new life and my beautiful sister visited from interstate to celebrate with me.

2013
now
I have moved AGAIN!
I once believed that I was supposed to settle down and build a home in the one place.
Now everything I thought I once knew for certain was an illusion, and now I am trying to navigate a world with a brand new outlook. It's confusing. And scary. But also exciting and new.

I don't know if I am necessarily wiser. But I am definitely more open-minded.

Now facing the year ahead with my sister and puppy by my side, I feel like anything is possible.

And that in itself is the perfect Birthday gift.



xx

Thursday, 7 November 2013

buddha knows best





to keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear. 

–buddha



Friday, 1 November 2013

birthday month has arrived

I like to celebrate birthdays.

From small occasions that include nothing more than a nice dinner; to huge affairs involving balloons and cocktails. Not to mention cake.

There shall always be cake.

For my birthday, I have always loved commandeering more than my fair share of celebrations. I like to make The Annual Festival of Andie a merry occasion for all involved.

Drinks with work colleagues; dinner with family; lunch with friends. Food is always a significant component of my plans.



But on this first day of November 2013 – for once time in my life, I don’t have plans.

I think it’s going to be a quiet occasion. Nothing like previous years.

But there shall be cake. 


xx

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

the ULTIMATE cake pan

I haven't baked a full-of-sugar-smothered-with-icing kinda cake in a long time.

Partly because I've had other things goin on;

And also because despite my daily chocolate consumption, I am trying to curb my sugar addiction.

One cake at a time.

BUT...

cakewich

THIS cake pan is the ULTIMATE cake pan in the history of cake pans!!!

Because LOOK at what you can bake with this ULTIMATE cake pan - - 

Fairy bread cake

A fairy bread cake!!

oh my goodness

I don't even have words to describe how amazing I think this is!


This is THE CAKE I want for my birthday this year.



So. Much. Excitement.


xx

stress is my middle name

This week, I am moving house for the seventh time in two years.



I've been a little out of sorts and everyone around me is telling me to be easy on myself because moving house is exhausting.

But there's a little voice in my head questioning if that is really a legitimate reason for my less-than-chirpy mood.

Insert My Friend Wiki  

...

Apparently, 'Moving House' gets 25 points on the Stress Scale. It doesn't say if you get to multiply that number by the number of moves though...

Test yourself.. How stressed is your life right now?

Life eventLife change units
Death of a spouse100
Divorce73
Marital separation65
Imprisonment63
Death of a close family member63
Personal injury or illness53
Marriage50
Dismissal from work47
Marital reconciliation45
Retirement45
Change in health of family member44
Pregnancy40
Sexual difficulties39
Gain a new family member39
Business readjustment39
Change in financial state38
Death of a close friend37
Change to different line of work36
Change in frequency of arguments35
Major mortgage32
Foreclosure of mortgage or loan30
Change in responsibilities at work29
Child leaving home29
Trouble with in-laws29
Outstanding personal achievement28
Spouse starts or stops work26
Begin or end school26
Change in living conditions25
Revision of personal habits24
Trouble with boss23
Change in working hours or conditions20
Change in residence20
Change in schools20
Change in recreation19
Change in church activities19
Change in social activities18
Minor mortgage or loan17
Change in sleeping habits16
Change in number of family reunions15
Change in eating habits15
Vacation13
Christmas12
Minor violation of law11
Score of 300+: At risk of illness.
Score of 150-299: Risk of illness is moderate (reduced by 30% from the above risk).
Score <150: Only have a slight risk of illness.

From my marital breakdown, to the death of my beautiful Nan, to moving interstate and changing my line of work - and all within two years...... Shall we throw in 'Selling a House' for good measure?!

........ My score smashed 300.

I don't know if I should feel proud for still standing; or drop to floor in fetal position and cry...!

This test has definitely put some things into perspective for me though.

By this weekend, the move will be over and I will focus on looking after myself a little better.

That's a promise.

xx

Friday, 18 October 2013

you are beautiful

If only we could all occasionally see ourselves through someone else's eyes...


xx

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

guilty as charged




I am the worst for saying "Is it Friday yet" atleast 7 times a week. 

And when I say 7, it's probably closer to 7 million.


I am guilty of putting conditions on situations - 

"Oh.. this would be amazing, if..."

or

"I love this, but..."


Or the ultimate -

"I will be happy when..."


I am thinner

I have a new car

My hair is longer

I have new clothes

I have enough money 

I get a new job

I spend more time with friends

I spend more time on 'me'

I go for walks before sunrise

I sleep in until midday



When, when, when


If, if, if


It's conditional; it's impossible.

And it's exhausting.


xx

Friday, 11 October 2013

here comes the sun

... and it's alright.






Can't stop humming this song today.


Happy Friday.

xx
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