Friday, September 30, 2011

The Ten

I saw this over at The Flowerchild Dwelling and though it would be fun to join in. I'd love to see your ten facts too!

1. I'm currently addicted to pistachios nuts. I'm not even joking. I'm eating about 1/2 bag a day. Someone stop me!

2. I can't stand lipstick or lipgloss at all. I've tried many times but I just can't do it. It always feels like its suffocating my lips. I'll stick to my lipbalms thank you.

3. I have no idea what is happening in Hollywood right now. I stopped buying those kinds of magazines and reading those kinds of websites back in 2007. And I feel happier for it.

4. I've recently rediscovered 70's rock and my favourite bands now include Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix & The Beatles. Peace.

5. I went in a talent show when I was seven years old. I played the lead singer role because I had brown hair and my two friends played the back up singers because they had blonde hair. Makes sense right?

6. Once upon a time I got in trouble for speeding and had to take an aggressive driving course. Oops!

7. I love to dance in my lounge room. Its great for relieving stress, and even Daniel joins in sometimes. {It's more fun in pairs}

8. Modern Family makes me want to have kids every time I watch it. 

9. I'm the eldest of two daughters. {And the probably the wisest too :P jk!}

10. Everything is better with bacon. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Photo Love: Maui

Aloha! I missed Photo Love last week so I'm serving up an a little extra this week of some of my favourite pictures that I took on our trip. We had such a great time and I can't wait to get back to one of the other Hawaiian islands. Mahalo!

Location: All around the island of Maui, Hawaii

stunning beaches


formed by lava hitting the ocean

the blowhole

a drive through the jungle

warning do not swim




view of central and west maui

our hotel

gorgeous frangipani tree

the three stooges

prettiest flower i've ever seen


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: Number One

Today I bring you the first of many Wedding Wednesday posts. I found this idea over at Steph Anne's beautiful blog Luxe Chandelier and have been following along since the beginning. I was resisting the urge to participate in this meme and couldn't hold off no longer. So lets get started!

1. how it all began;

One day, out of nowhere, Leila had this idea to go back to high school. Sure it had already been two years since she left but she didn't want to be a no-one. She wanted more than anything to be a someone. So she left her duplex and walked all the way to the high school and picked up an application form. She filled it out and she waited for the new school year to start.

{in year 12}

Leila was so incredibly nervous to be starting back high school. Especially after having been away for two year. She met some people relatively quickly and the nerves went away and she was having fun.

It was around June of 2001 that Leila met Daniel. She cannot remember the first time that she laid eyes on him or what the first words were that she spoke to him. She met Daniel through her friends, as he was also a member of the group that she was now apart of.

It wasn't until Daniel's 16th birthday that Leila entertained the possibility that something could perhaps come from this. Leila sent her sister Emily, in search of a very immature birthday card. Emily had success. A barbie card, written inside she wrote, "I'm sorry there was no action men in tutu's." Leila put $20 in the card.

The party came and went. It wasn't until about a week or two later that Leila started to develop a relationship with Daniel. Leila needed some advice about something, she needed someone that she could trust, but she didn't want to talk to her girlfriends about it. So she went to Daniel. 

Leila remembers the hug that Daniel gave her. Sitting on the wall at QPT gardens. It was akward and clumsy but so comforting. Not long after that they started chatting online. Mostly about frivilous immature high school matters, you know how teenagers are.

{year 12 ball}

Leila, Daniel and another friend were chatting. They decided that they should all head into town the next day and see a movie together. Awesome idea. Until the friend bailed on Leila and left her going alone. Leila was a nervous girl and couldn't bare the idea of meeting a guy on her own so she dragged brought Emily along....

Leila was practically hyperventilating at the thought of being all alone with a boy.
"Emily you're coming with me okay?!", Leila said not like Emily had any choice in the matter.
"I can't believe she bailed on me, now!!", Leila cursed under her breath. She wondered how awkward it would be. She could always cancel, but something stopped her from doing that and for Leila that was highly unusual.

Leila doesn't remember where they met or what movie they saw. To this date neither Daniel or Leila can remember what was playing at the cinema. All Leila can remember is the walk along the beach after the movie.

Daniel & Leila were sitting on the rocks watching the waves come in and hit the shore. Emily was nearby making sand angels and talking to herself. Perhaps she was talking to Daniel & Leila but they couldn't really hear her and they weren't really listening anyway.

They continued their walk up the beach until Daniel had to leave.
About a week later, on August 27th 2001, Leila said yes.

And the Liebster goes to.....

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Way back at the beginning of September I received word from the very lovely Melanie from Inward Facing Girl that she had awarded me with a Liebster Award. What is a Liebster you may ask? Its okay I had no idea either but thankfully Melanie had a great explanation on her blog;
Liebsters are awarded to bloggers who have fewer than 300 followers. In a pay it forward kind of style, it's suggested that once you receive it you pass it on to three blogs that qualify that you enjoy reading. The point of the Liebster is not to grow your readership, but to build community and introduce your readers to other blogs that they might also enjoy.
So without further ado I present the Liebsters to.....(drum roll please).....

It's Days Like These - Written by my good friend Mez, she writes about her life specifically now that she picked up her whole life in Australia and made the move to Los Angeles, California. She always makes me smile with her down to earth character and honesty. 

This, That and Everything Else - Liz is the brains behind this little beauty. She lives in one of the most beautiful places (in Australia) and takes some pretty striking photos. You should check her blog out.

Life In Cat's Pyjamas - I love reading Cat's blog! She has been on such an incredible and heart-breaking journey to become a parent. She is due to give birth any day now with her first child! Head over and read her story.

I hope you enjoy these Aussie blogs as much as I do!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pulling the trigger

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Aloha! Today's guest post comes to you from the very lovely Patty Kikos. This is such an insightful piece. Thank you for sharing! ~ Leila


We all have them. Whether they stem from a new relationship, a certain food, a distinct smell, a conversation, or even a TV program, they exist to show us that we may still have some healing to do in our lives.

Our emotional wellbeing plays a huge role in determining the state of our mental health, the decisions we make about our lives, the food we crave, the relationships we manifest, what we choose to study, where / if we choose to work, who we surround ourselves with and whether we surrender to our addictions.

A friend recently talked about the clarity he had about his childhood through the connections he’d established with his former girlfriends.  His reluctance to commit to a woman and then the subsequent resistance to be part of a normal relationship stemmed from the fact that there was in fact nothing ‘normal’ about his upbringing.

The patterns that had developed in his life were based on abuse, fear and physical violence. Despite his resolve to heal, his dedication to therapy and his commitment to his wellbeing, he realised that part of the ongoing healing lies in being able to cope with life’s inevitable triggers.

One of my first yoga teachers often says, the highest form of yoga is being in a relationship. Learning to communicate effectively, mastering the art of compromise and embracing the different stages of love that a relationship has, is all part of being with someone.

The dynamics that exist in our more complex relationships are what provide the material for our greatest life lessons and subsequent healing. In my kinesiology practice, I’ve noticed that it’s these very triggers that throw our world into chaos and often make us feel as though we’re stuck in life.

It’s the desire to move past this sensation of being in a rut that opens the door for us to heal and re create positive life patterns. The power of kinesiology lies in being able to determine the original time for this sensation, which gives us a clue as to why we might be predisposed to repeating this pattern.

Ask any woman trying to fall pregnant what its like to receive news that another one of your friends is expectant.  It’s tough to try and be happy when in reality, you’re fighting your own disappointment. It’s similar when your friends are married and you wind up flying solo as the odd number on a couple’s only table. I suppose the only thing worse would be getting lumped at the kiddy’s table..

A few years back, I laughed hysterically when I watched a movie called ‘The Break Up’ with Vince Vaughan and Jennifer Aniston and was bewildered when one of my friends didn’t find it funny. “That’s because it wasn’t your horrible life being acted out on the big screen”, she’d countered at the time. I suppose had I watched Bridget Jones after my own life experience that had been eerily similar at the time, I may have reacted the same way…

What are your triggers?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Technology bridges the gap for expats

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{photo credit unsure, if you know link me!}

While I'm jet-setting across to Maui (I'm literally on the plane as this goes live), I bring you this sponsored post from Rent Smart about how technology helps to bridge the gap living as an expat. The challenges that expats face is something very close to my heart. And something I deal with everyday. ~ Leila


Wind the clock back 30 years and the expat experience was significantly different (and harder!) than it is today. Traditional snail mail and expensive phone calls were often the only communication ties that expats had with family and friends back home. The distance – physical and social – made it more difficult to live away from home.

In an age when we can bring up Maps on our iPhone when we’re lost or share photos or information instantaneously on social networking sites, a question I often consider is “What would we do without the internet!?” The internet renders distance and space immaterial. We can communicate, interact, and do business in real time even when there are oceans between us. For expats, the beauty of technological development is that it has bridged the gap between home and away.

Instantaneous communication via e-mail, Skype and VOIP and social networking sites are just a few such developments – not to mention the 3G wireless networks and portable devices such as smartphones that mean we can call or e-mail family and friends back home on-the-go. Expats of yesteryear would have found it considerably more difficult to talk and keep in touch with loved ones back home. There was a feeling of greater distance and detachment when living abroad (I dare say homesickness was more common!)

There are also a number of developments and innovations in technology that has made it more convenient to live abroad by bringing the comforts of home to your new international address. Take the iPad, for example, which allow expats to easily download and read magazines or newspapers from their home country, in their home language.  The advancements in online shopping and growth in online retailers makes it infinitely easier to have food products, clothing and other home comforts delivered right to your door. Webcameras and video calling means you can physically see friends and families back home.

But perhaps the best thing about technology bridging the gap for expats is that it allows expats to totally commit to the expat experience. There’s security in the knowledge that they will have constant access to friends, family, information and products back home. This allows the focus to fall on seeking out new experiences and jumping head first into exploring new places and cultures - as well as fostering new friendships and relationships.

I’m not ignorant to the fact that all of this technology can be costly. But there are alternatives to having to buy the latest iPad or iPhone outright. Why not rent the technology you need? Renting allows you to spread the cost rather than paying upfront, and you get the technology you need now.  Low monthly rental costs are more manageable when spread over years. And, you can even update to new technology as it rolls out! Rent an iMac which has a built in webcam or perhaps an iPhone so you can always be connected – the possibilities are endless!

The evolution of technology is breathtaking, and it’s significantly changed the expat experience. Living abroad is an extremely rewarding experience – technology just makes it that little bit easier!

How has technology made your expat experience easier? And have you ever rented equipment?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Are We Equals?

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I came across this video from March 2011 that was commissioned for International Women's Day speaking on the equalities, or rather lack there of, between men & women. I found it great food for thought.

I'd love to hear your thoughts. Do you think that men & women are equal?


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Photo Love: Where The Pretty Dreams Are Made

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Location: A walk in the woods near my house

Read about my Photo Love project here.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Pushing Past the No

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{Taken most recently on our last trip up Rattlesnake Ledge}

It has been three months since I made my commitment to lead a healthier life. And I'm happy to report I have kept my promise. In the beginning my goal was small & simple: get outside more. Which I did. Daniel & I started walking regularly and on weekends we've been out hiking.

Then my goal progressed to something more: push myself past my no. When I first starting hiking I was really unfit and found the first couple really difficult. I almost gave up because of this. It was too hard I told myself. I panted and spluttered all the way up the mountain. By the time I reached half way, I was red faced and gasping for air. "This is stupid" I would think to myself wondering why on Earth anyone would enjoy this activity. Hiking!? Hmmpf!

But then you get to the top and you realize what you just accomplished. How far YOU just climbed.

{Being a dork - Almost at the top of Wallace Falls - my second hike}

And it is an incredible feeling, not to mention all those crazy endorphins running around inside. I was hooked. Mountain climber extraordinaire in the making!!

Daniel & I have now completed six hikes with one of those being a camping trip and we have plans for many more before we lose this beautiful weather and enter snowboarding season {which will be my first season of snowboarding}. I've lost 3.1kg (almost 7lbs), 5cm from my hips & 3cm from my waist - all in the last five weeks of hiking and very loosely watching what I eat. 

I think it is important to recognize your mental blocks and tackle them head on. It is only once you acknowledge what is holding you back can you really attempt to conquer it. You wouldn't try and build a house without a blueprint would you? I know that I can be my own worst enemy when pushing my limits so I knew I had to change my approach. Now I do what I have to do to get through it and tell myself I can think of all the reasons why not AFTER I've done it. Turns out you can't spew out the same negativity if you've already accomplished what you set out to achieve. And even if you "fail" the first time, that is okay too. Just means that you know what to expect for attempt #2, 3, 4 or even attempt #234. You only fail when you stop trying.

How do you push past your no?


Friday, September 9, 2011

In My Shower {September Edition}

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1. Burt's Bees Raspberry & Brazil Nut Shampoo. This smells AH-MAZING! It is a natural shampoo so it doesn't lather up like the un-natural ones but after one or two uses I was used to it. Lots of lather doesn't always mean a great clean. After rinsing out I can definitely tell my hair is clean as it has that squeaky feel to it. Better yet it is made up of 98.1% natural ingredients and contains no yucky sulfates, parabens, phthalates or petrochemicals and isn't tested on animals. My hair is shinier and has more moisture since I started using it. 

2. Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Wash & 3. Shower Poofee. My favourite body wash to date. It leaves my skin so soft and I only need to use the smallest amount, about a 5 or 10 cent piece size does the trick pretty well. I have sensitive skin and sensitivities to highly perfumed products so I love that this has a very light fragrance. It is also soap-free, dye-free & hypoallergenic. It has natural colloidal oatmeal in it which soothes skin and leaves a protective layer on your skin to prevent water loss. Genius!

4. Proactiv Renewing Cleanser. This is a heavy product and if you do have sensitive skin please use caution when using it. The first few times I used this it left my skin red and a little sore but I haven't had any problems since. This is great at removing dead skin and treating acne prone areas. Truth be told I probably should have stopped using this months ago but I just haven't gotten around to finding a new product. If you have acne or acne prone areas I definitely recommend.

5. Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask. After all the bleaching and just recently dying my hair back to my native brunette, my hair is a little on the frazzled side. I didn't want to fork out $40 for regular deep conditioning treatments while I'm not working so I picked up this tub of awesome. In the two weeks I've been using it {once a week treatments} I've noticed a huge difference. My hair is softer and has more body to it, which is quite a contrast from the limp dry mess it was a few weeks ago. I highly recommend this product.

6. Burt's Bees Raspberry & Brazil Nut Conditioner. This isn't as good as the shampoo but I still think it is a good product. I find it moisturizing but only if I use a large amount, which is my only complaint. If they could make it thicker that would be great. It is also a natural conditioner with 97.5% natural ingredients and smells amazing. 

So there you have it, all the goodies I use in the shower.
What are your favourite shower products this month?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Photo Love: Pioneer Square

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Location: Pioneer Square, Seattle Washington

Photo Love is a new weekly personal photo project I have started. Each week is something completely different, there is no constant theme except to take quality photographs.

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