Thursday, April 6, 2017

Creating a Low Tox Home



There's a lot of info out there about the types of chemicals used in our cleaning products, skincare products, makeup etc these days. It can all get a bit overwhelming. However, it's actually fairly simple to use natural methods / products and start slowly switching out those chemicals bit by bit. Today I'm focusing on the home, but I will create a separate post for skincare and makeup. 


Bathroom & Kitchen

For most of our cleaning in both the kitchen and bathroom we actually don't use sprays or anything at all. We use these microfibre gloves which only require water. By scrubbing away dirt and grime better than any chemical could, using these gloves has actually been tested to be cleaner than using chemicals. Hara have their lab tests on their website if you want to check them out. You seriously get a professional clean in half the time. I swear by these gloves! They last for ages too so you're saving money on constantly buying cleaning products.



For other areas that we don't use the gloves I like to use essential oils to make up my own remedies or I buy natural products from stores like Nourished Life or Shop Naturally. Here are some recipes for you to try out if you're after DIY:


TOILET CLEANER
Sprinkle baking soda into bowl
Dash of vinegar around rim
2 drops lemon or tea tree essential oil
Use toilet brush to scrub rim & bowl. Flush.

FLOOR CLEANER
2-3 litres of hot water
Squirt of Dr Bronners Sal Suds
1⁄4 cup white vinegar
10 drops essential oil of choice


FOAMING HAND SOAP
1 tbsp Fractionated Coconut oil or other liquid oil (almond oil, sunflower oil, jojoba oil)
10 drops essential oil
Cooled boiled water to top up
Use an empty foaming hand soap bottle. Add all ingredients except water. Add water slowly to top up to avoid over foaming.


Living

Again, for most of our cleaning we use microfibre gloves and cloths so we have no need for any other products. Instead of air fresheners we use a diffuser with certified pure therapeutic grade Essential Oils. That way we're not breathing in chemicals plus we get added benefits from different essential oils.



Here's some DIY recipes:


CARPET DEODORISER
2 cups baking soda
15 drops Lavender essential oil (sometimes I like to swap this for Geranium)
15 drops Rosemary or Tea Tree essential oil
Combine all ingredients in a mason jar, cap, and shake well. Replace cap with baking paper, secure, and poke holes in paper. Apply liberally to carpets. Leave for 1-2 hours. Vacuum up thoroughly.


FURNITURE FABRIC SPRITZ
1/4 cup baking soda
5 - 10 drops your favourite essential oil
Water
Spray Bottle
Add baking soda to spray bottle followed by your essential oils, top with water and shake well to dissolve baking soda. Spray on upholstery to freshen up fabrics.


Laundry

There are plenty of natural washing powders out there. We love Hara Australia's Saponella washing powder. It's manufactured from naturally occurring soapstone which is ground to a powder and combined with an extract from the saponella plant. So gentle for the skin. A similar product are organic soapberries.

I like to add some tea tree and or lavender essential oil drops to the load if anyone's been sick in the house. Especially sheets and towels. Some lemon essential oil can freshen up a load if you've forgotten about it and need to re-wash. 



I'd love to hear any home cleaning DIY's you've been loving. Please share! The best way to start on your path to a low tox home is to do it one step at a time. Just start replacing things slowly. You don't have to do it all at once. Here's a great guide that Beauty Counter have made called "The Never List" of questionable and/or harmful chemicals that you should avoid when buying products.

Must watch!! The Human Experiment. I watched it on Netflix, not sure what other TV networks it's available on. It will give you an insight into just how many chemicals we're exposed to on a daily basis that we really shouldn't be, via our food, products we use around the home, and on our bodies. Some of which are already found in the umbilical cord blood of newborn babies! 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Interview: Grace Niu from Feng Shui Serenity


As a mum, and entrepreneur, who has an interest in all things soulful, soul-aligned, and living a high-vibe life, I've decided to start an interview series where I chat with other inspiring soul-preneurs about their businesses, lives, and what lights them up. 

First up is the beautiful Grace Niu from Feng Shui Serenity. Grace is a destiny coach and qualified Feng Shui consultant. She uses destiny profiling, and personalised Feng Shui, together with a mentoring program to help navigate us through life's obstacles and challenges, from relationships and health concerns to career and wealth creation. So let's dive in and learn more about Grace and Feng Shui Serenity...


When was Feng Shui Serenity born and how did it come about?


Feng Shui Serenity greeted the world whole-hearted in March 2016.

I felt it was buried deeply in my psyche for as long as I had lived but I just didn’t know. Looking back, I would have to say that “My Destiny has led me to it! And it is definitely written in my chart!” I wish I knew how to read my own Destiny chart back then. It would not have been so agonising and I would have done it in a heartbeat.

Coming from a Chinese background, Feng Shui has always been part of our culture and within the family. I didn’t take it up seriously until we bought our first home in 2006 when both me and my husband started to experience some health issues. I have also intuitively felt that the energy within the house was somehow draining and exhausting. In the quest of searching for answers, I enrolled at the Australian College of Environmental Studies and since completed on the subjects on Feng Shui, Chinese Astrology, Space Clearing as well as Geobiology and how to create a healthy home.

I now understand that the Feng Shui of your home needs to match with your Destiny chart so the energy are harmonious to ensure your most intimate environment - your home can support and nurture you in all endeavours in life. Otherwise, it can create all sorts of challenges in life. Needless to say, we have since sold and moved out of that house and found a beautiful home that perfectly matches our energy blueprint. It is incredible how big the difference it makes us feel on a daily basis.

Before I knew, I started helping relatives and friends finding their perfect houses too. It had never crossed my mind at the time that I would be doing this FULL TIME in 12 months time!

Meanwhile, my glamorous corporate job of 15-years as a brand strategist in a global media agency started to show cracks. I was driven but uninspired, I was busy but unfulfilled. Simmering beneath the surface, I had the unshakeable feeling that I was meant to do something else. But I didn’t know what and how.

How funny sometimes those dots aren’t connecting until the exact time arrives. And thank god, it did, eventually!

I quit my job in June 2015 and never looked back. Instead of scrambling ideas to start up, I decided to do nothing but “be” for a while. The more I spend time in nature, the more I understand the meaning of ‘the path of least resistance’... As I was held by mother earth and its ancient wisdom, I started to hear the whispers that had always been there...

In March 2016, Feng Shui Serenity was born. It was created to provide a unique perspective using Eastern wisdom to heal the Western mind. By discovering my clients cosmic blueprint at birth and applying the technique of Feng Shui, I help them to realise how powerful they already are and how they can answer their deepest calls as courageously as they can.

12 months later, as my office now ranges from my dining table ...to the nearest park or beach...and visits to homes and offices across Sydney and in the country...I’m grateful that Feng Shui Serenity is slowly but surely magnetising many like-minded souls from different corners of the world...


What did your career path look like before Feng Shui Serenity?


It would have been pretty safe and predictable, which for a Metal person (me!) is not the worst part because we do like orders, disciplines and tend to be perfectionists. I have, of course, planned out my whole career path - I was the Media Planning Director back then and the next step would be Head of Media, with a regular monthly pay check.

However, should I have stayed, I would have lost the opportunity to be truly awakened, to discover my cosmic blueprint, purpose and my authentic voice. In this journey, each day is exhilarating and liberating. So I’d say it’s a pretty damn good trade-off. :-)



Can you tell us a bit more about how Feng Shui works and what Destiny Profiling is all about?  


“The Four Pillars of Destiny is a fascinating and unique system that is based on the philosophy called The Five Elements Theory, which we consider it the order of the universe. It is the most sophisticated and reliable system to date and has withstood the test of time throughout thousands of years of Chinese history.

Each person’s chart is unique and reveals a story about his or her destiny based on their DOB as well as the birth time. The Destiny chart is literally your essence at birth, it is your cosmic blueprint. By analysing the energy flow as well as the interaction between the Five Elements within the chart, we are able to decode valuable information such as who we fundamentally are, what we are here to do, what element(s) support us and how we can get heavenly support and achieve a joyful life effortlessly. 


Why are you so passionate about helping people discover their destiny chart and step into a light- filled life?


As I was standing at the cross road in 2015, contemplating quitting my job and started on my own, the most valuable piece of advice was derived from my Destiny chart. It has changed my life. My Destiny chart revealed that as of 2014, the energy in my luck pillars was shifting (god, didn’t I feel it!!) The theme of my upcoming decade would be very different from the last 2-decade I’ve experienced. It is changing from ‘Direct Wealth’ (pay cheque, salary) to ‘Indirect wealth’. This indicates that the way I’m creating my wealth will be very different. Instead of have a salary, it will be coming from an unconventional source. (Can Feng Shui & Destiny Profiling be any more unconventional?!) The energy will be supportive for me to gain power and status during this phase because my favourable elements are present during this time. Based on my Self element Metal, I will have the advantage of doing any diagnostic work because Metal people have the ability to see and exact the essence and get to the core of the issue. The archetype of a Metal person is the Alchemist. I knew then, I was born to do this!

I want to reveal these information to help people do the same so they can take destiny into their own hands and change it for the better. Especially when they are at a crossroad, fearing the unknown. This information will shed so much light onto their path, it is like your birth right, you just need to claim it. Why wouldn’t you want the universe to have your back? 


If anyone would like to know more about the Five Elements or the Four Pillars of Destiny, they can download the FREE eBook called “Eelmantary Vibrations - An Introduction of the Five Elements” here.

I always diagnose a person’s Destiny chart before I dive into any assessment on the Feng Shui of their home to ensure the recommendations are tailor-made rather than one size fits all. In summary, Feng Shui is about harmonising the environment you live in with your personal blue print. It is so much more than re-arranging furniture, it is about a deeper understanding of the energy flow and how we can harness it to work to our advantage. I’m giving a 1-day workshop at the North Sydney Community Centre talking about some basic concepts and guidelines of Feng Shui. I will also be sharing 2017 annual energy tips that you can apply straight away within your home. More information on the event here.



What is the biggest challenge you've faced along the way in building your business?


Technical side of things are definitely the hardest part of running your own business. Such as learning how to be hands-on maintaining the website as well as building a landing page from scratch. Keeping up with all the social media constant algorithm changes is another challenge.


What is your proudest career achievement?


When I started to receive Destiny Profiling requests from Norway, Singapore, London and America.

I also love to visit my clients in country NSW. The time alone on the road is the most meditative time for me. I usually intuitively sense the key Feng Shui issue or found the solution before I step into my client’s house.


Favourite thing about living in Sydney, Australia?


The ever-changing harbour view and easy access to all cuisines around the world, including the authentic Northern Chinese food.

(I was born in the Year of the Pig, so yes, we love luxuries as well as good food. :-)


Who inspires you?


People who are more grounded, real, less commercialised and less in your face, who I can relate to everyday. I draw inspirations from each one of them on daily basis.

Belinda Davidson 
Susanna Conway 
Deepak Chopra 
Lee Harris
Eckart Tolle 
Rebecca Campbell


What are you reading right now?


Eastern Body, Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra system as a Path to the Self - by Anodea Judith


Visit Grace's website, Feng Shui Serenity to learn more about her, her business, and the wonderful services she offers. Thank you for sharing your time, energy, and thoughts with us Grace xx



Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Awakening


Does anyone else feel exactly like this?!! When I read this I thought "YES! This is it! This is exactly how I feel right now." After a year and a half of daily chakra cleansing and healing my energy field, dedicating myself to meditation, mindfulness practices, and re-reading Eckhart Tolle, this is how I've come to feel. I thought perhaps I was still stuck in thick and muck of working through some really deep blockages, which I quite possibly am, but this quote above from Eckhart really resonates with exactly how I've been feeling for a little while now. 

The process has been a gentle one. I don't mean there haven't been rough periods, because there certainly have been, and I know there'll be plenty more to come because, well, facing our shadow is the only way to let more light in. To clear away the cobwebs and the fog and come out the other side lighter and more joyful. There will always be ebbs and flows because that's how we learn and grow. What I mean by being gentle is that I didn't wake up one day and say "wow, I'm suddenly going to cut this and that person out of my life and I'm going to stop doing all these things, take up these things, and stop reacting like this, and start thinking this..." etc. It's more that now certain things will happen and I can see that I no longer feel the same as I did say a year ago, or I no longer react the way I would have even 6 months ago. 

Every day I see people madly going about pursuing their "passion" and that's wonderful if it truly is what lights them up and what their soul purpose is. I say, high five to you!! But for me, I keep seeing all these courses on discovering your soul purpose, your true calling etc etc and these courses don't seem to have any deep dedication to spiritual practices and I think, how are they going to help me? I can already list off all the things I'm deeply passionate about right now and that light me up, but none of my chosen paths have ever been right for me. The door has always closed. So now I can see that the reason I've been feeling lately like I was drifting along in a sort of limbo, or as Eckhart says above, "a no-man's land between two worlds" is because I've come so far and have released so much of what was never really me, yet I still have much work to do. My "inner and outer purpose have not merged" yet. So today I feel a ripple of excitement. That bubbly sensation that much adventure awaits and I would say that I can't wait for the integration of my inner and outer purpose, but then that wouldn't be very present of me, would it? ;-)

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

With Love this Valentine's xoxo


Do you love Valentine's or hate it? My hubby and I don't celebrate it because we're too busy celebrating our birthdays. He was born on Valentine's and me the day before. So technically we're still celebrating on V-Day, it's just that the sentiment is all about our birthdays. We have some dear Aquarian friends who we often celebrate with. So this year, it's a decadent long lunch out with our Aquarian-couple pals and the kiddies will all be with the grandparents. 

You've heard it before, love makes the world go round. So whether you love V-Day or not, here are some simple gifts to show your love to that someone spesh. You could always plan it for a surprise day rather than Valentine's if it's not your thing....? 


Top 3 (left to right)

Bottom 3 (left to right)
1. Oliki Crystal Necklaces  /  2. Goodness Me Box (Sweet Treats Feb Box Edition) /  3. Loving Earth Chocolate


Remember the self-love this Valentines though, please Mamas! It's so easy to neglect the self-care when we're busy running around after our wildlings. Even if you can only take a few moments for yourself, why not run a quick bath and fill it with epsom salts and hop in for a soak after lathering your body in coconut oil & lavender. A short meditation whilst in the tub is a bonus! Or how about buying yourself some flowers or a decadent treat. Go for a walk somewhere beautiful. Write a gratitude list. Go to a yoga class or just do a quick one at home - there are plenty you can find on youtube. (Yoga with Adriene is my favourite). My favourite tip of all; give your heart chakra some attention. Focus on your heart region as much as you can throughout the day. If you can, imagine breathing a beautiful green light down into your heart. 

Much Love & Light Mamas 
Clare xx 



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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Win a Glamping Getaway at Paperbark Camp with Nourished Life!


I have aaaaalways wanted to stay at the exclusive Paperbark Camp in beautiful Jervis Bay. This month Nourished Life has teamed up with Paperbark Camp to give you and your Valentine a chance to WIN a 2-night weekend escape in a deluxe safari tent, worth $1320. Includes flights! 

To win this ultimate glamping experience, simply make sure you're a Nourished Life club member (it's FREE and enables you to earn points to redeem on future purchases), place an order of $50+, and add the comment "GLAMPING" to the order.


Competition commences January 31st 11.00am and ends February 28th 11.59pm 2017

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Organic All the Way as a New Year’s Resolution


New year is here and so we are enthusiastic about turning a fresh page in our lives. We decide to turn things around this time and so we make tons of resolutions: from being kinder and more present when it comes to our loved ones to taking better care of ourselves by losing weight, drinking less, eating more mindfully, and in general - committing to a healthier lifestyle.


But what about your skincare? Many people forget to detox their beauty routines as they are completely used to conventional products on the market. These formulas might ensure instant results but are packed with harmful chemicals. Checking the product’s label should be one of your new year’s resolutions as well as developing a more holistic approach to beauty and health.



Beware of harmful chemicals 
When people decide to start the detox process, they usually focus on cleaning their diets. But what about the ingredients your body consumes from the outside? Your skin is your largest organ and it soaks everything in. This is why you should take precautionary measures when choosing your products: from body lotions and shower gels to moisturisers and face creams - you need to check the label. 

Avoid parabens (they are linked to breast cancer), artificial fragrances and synthetic colours (might be cancerous, cause allergies, skin irritation, or even lung problems), and especially Sodium lauryl sulphates (might cause respiratory and kidney dysfunction).



Look for ingredients your skin needs 
As we grow older, the fibres of collagen get weaker and so you need to incorporate ingredients that will defer the aging process. From early twenties, you need to start using products with retinol. This magical ingredient can be found in all natural formulas (e.g. carrots and honey) and it provides you with radiant skin. Check out toxin-free formulas such as the organic products by dr Hauschka: they are committed to manufacturing 100% organic products right from the very start - while harvesting the ingredients in their own non-chemical gardens.


Try products that provide you with optimal care: for example, vanilla and honey face mask will make your skin deeply hydrated and you can even leave it overnight. Late twenties are the time when you should really focus on formulas with vitamin C and high-quality exfoliators. In thirties (and years to come), you should focus on formulas packed with antioxidants and vitamin E, such as camellia oil or pomegranate. Coffee beans help your skin revitalise.



Eat your way to healthy skin 
While you might have switched to a healthier diet, you can make the most of it by eating certain foods to complement your external skincare. For an additional dose of vitamin C, turn to kiwi, broccoli, oranges, or sweet potatoes. These will support the production of collagen and rejuvenate your skin.


Selenium, vitamin E, and vitamin C will ensure your skin stays dewy: turn to fish, tomatoes, and eggs. Healthy fats (e.g. found in avocados) can help you battle free radicals. In order to keep your hormones in balance, eat more phytoestrogens: turn to whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and soya. Omega-3 fats have anti-inflammatory prospects and linseeds and walnuts make the greatest sources of it.



Make smarter choices and detox 
Your skin reveals your lifestyle habits: from the amount of sleep you get, to your nutrition. You have certainly noticed that one night of bad sleep leaves its mark on your skin: dark circles or puffy eyes can be a nightmare. However, if you commit to a holistic approach - your skin will reward you with a glowing look. Try increasing your water intake and embrace the benefits of green tea. Drinking enough fluids ensures all the toxins are flushed from your body.



Avoid sugary drinks (sodas or soft drinks) and stick with all-natural beverages that provide your body great hydration: it is the key to preventing dry and ashy-looking skin.

Going all organic means being more mindful about the internal and external care of your body. Remember these things the next time you go grocery shopping, or hunting for beauty products: committing to a healthier regime is definitely a new year’s resolution worth making.




Author BIO: 


Sophia Smith is Australian based fashion, beauty and lifestyle blogger. She is very passionate about yoga, organic skincare and healthy food choices. Sophia writes mostly in beauty related topics, mainly through blogs and articles. She is a style editor at High Style Life, but over the years she wrote pieces for many other beauty and lifestyle blogs and magazines. 

You can find out more about her writing following her on: Facebook Twitter Google +

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Have Baby Will Travel : Byron Bay


Recently we had a little family road trip up to gorgeous Byron Bay. My sister was having her hens (bachelorette) party up there so we decided to have a little family vacate at the same time. Why not, eh? 

Here are our top picks from our stay...


Eat




This family friendly corner store / cafe has a focus on local & organic produce and also serves up fab coffee. We enjoyed some tropical acai bowls and coffee while our wild thing ran around on the front lawn with everyone else's tiny tots and dogs. 

Passed this cute tropical wall on our way there & back too!






All about nourishing foods, you'll find an organic, ethical, plant based menu at Folk Byron Bay. I indulged in a coconut latte and some poached eggs & smashed avo on sourdough. Lots of furry friends for our little guy to play with again. 




Mmmmm, turmeric lattes, gluten free breakfast tacos, and an organic kombucha for the road. So glad we stopped in here before our big drive home. Pretty sure this was my favourite cafe meal of our entire trip.




We surprised my sister with a decadent lunch at Rae's with all of her best girls. The food was lovely and the service was great. Side note: no, I didn't bring hubby and bub with me. They spent this rainy day at the Circus Arts School whilst us ladies wined and dined away.











We popped in up here a couple of times during our stay. The girls that is, sans baby. Delicious cocktails and some scrumptious share plates of food. We dined on oysters, soft shell crab tacos, duck fat chips, and prawns. 


Where we would stop for coffee on the fly. Their macadamia nut milk lattes were addictive! Plus they serve my favourite coffee, All Press. Yeehaa!



Shop




Spell & the Gypsy is a must for all bohemian goddesses.




For all your Australian-made, eco-friendly, clothing basics.




This store is like you've stepped into heaven on earth. The most amazing custom-made furniture. homewares and art with some fashion on the side ;-)



See


Byron has a number of gorgeous beaches to choose from. We stayed right on Main Beach and took advantage of the kids playground there. It was especially nice to walk along the beach and then watch our little guy play as the sun began to set and musicians started to play.









Home of the biggest and most beautiful crystals in the world, Shambhala Gardens, and rainforest. Crystal Castle has an enchantment that seems to cast a spell over you the moment you step inside. I felt like Alice in a Zen Wonderland. Very kid-friendly with a playground that also includes a giant dragon and there was even a face painter when we were there. 




Australia's most easterly lighthouse. If you're lucky you may catch dolphins, turtles, or humpback whales on their annual migration from up here. The ocean views are breathtaking.



Hoping for a longer stay next time so we can explore much more.