Best of Where The Light Plays 2015

Happy new year dear readers! I hope you’ve had a great start to 2015.

I have to say a huge thank you for all your support in 2015 and for checking in each week to hear what I’m up to on my corner of the internet.

If you’re a regular, you may enjoy revisiting some of the most popular posts from the past year, and if you’re new here (welcome!), enjoy your first peek into Where The Light Plays.

Where I’m At interviews

I’m so glad you are enjoying these interviews as much as I enjoy doing them. I think it’s great to learn from other women's routines and benefit from their wisdom.

A huge theme I see over and over again in these interviews is the need for women to be easier on themselves and know that they’re already doing a great job - clearly a big theme here on Where The Light Plays.

A few of the top Where I’m At interviews in 2015 were:

Shannon Ables from The Simply Luxurious Life

Vlogger Elle Lindquist

Rachel Gadiel from (the new!) Dream Create Do

And to read through all the interviews, grab a cup of tea and click here.

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up posts

Considering how huge this book was in internet land in 2015, it’s no surprise you’ve enjoyed reading my personal journey through the KonMari method.

I overhauled my closet and my bookshelves and next year I’m hoping to tackle a couple of new daunting tasks - the kitchen and spare room (aka dumping ground).

Enjoy the posts here:

The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up (or How I Broke Up With 50% Of My Clothes)

The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up: Book Edition

The Day I Officially Broke Up With Dieting

This was probably the most personal post I shared all year, so it’s pretty humbling to see it was so popular with you ladies.

Intuitive eating has been a huge mindset shift for me in 2015 and I’m so glad I’m not entering 2016 with the usual body shaming plan to lose weight and restrict my eating.

Yes I want to feel healthy but I can do that in a much saner way now.

If you’re struggling with your body, I highly recommend signing up for Finally Free (coaches Paige and Simi are above), the program that truly helped me ditch diets.

The Day I Officially Broke Up With Dieting

Finally Free program

My Morning Routine

Another popular post last year was the view into my daily morning routine.

I love when other bloggers post their routines so I’m glad you feel the same!

I’m planning on tweaking a few things in my mornings in 2016 so once I’ve adjusted my habits I’ll be sure to do an update on the blog.

Time Management Series: My Morning Routine

What were your favourite Where The Light Plays posts this year?

What would you like to see more of in 2016?

Let me know in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

 

Where I'm At with vlogger Elle Lindquist

I’m very excited to be interviewing Elle Lindquist from Canada this month for Where I’m At. I discovered Elle through the Tone It Up online community a couple of years back. She was often posting inspiring content on social media and YouTube.

Elle now vlogs 3 times a week with her husband Dan and son Forde and there’s an extra video each week at the moment, as she’s pregnant with her second child – congrats Elle!

Elle's YouTube videos are often about fitness, health, organisation and other areas of self-improvement, or capture her daily life. I hope you enjoy the interview and go check out her YouTube videos. Enjoy!

What is your usual wake up time?

7am sharp!

What is your morning ritual?

I always start my day with a hot herbal tea to go. I steep the tea and then take my golden retriever Ellen for a 1.5 mile walk.

It’s a great way to peacefully and gradually greet the day, I get a lot of good thinking done, and it’s a peaceful source of “me time” which is hard to come by as a mum!

Tell us about your commute (if you have one...)

I work from home as a YouTuber so I don’t have a commute, but I always use my son’s afternoon naps to film/edit videos.

Do you like to plan your day ahead or allow some spontaneity?

I can’t function without scheduling…well ok I can but my day functions much smoother when I follow a schedule.

I like to plan out my week on Sundays so I feel prepared and excited about the week ahead. There are always changes to the schedule, but I find having a blueprint greatly reduces stress and feelings of being overwhelmed.

If I don’t write appointments or meetings in my agenda I only have a 5% chance I’ll remember! Haha.

How do you spend your ideal lunch break to recharge for the afternoon?

I take my lunch break at noon sharp.

I put on some light jazz, sit down at the table and just spend quality time with my son. It’s my time to sit down with my son, take a housework break, or play break and I find it sets the tone for what follows.

Right after lunch my son goes down for a nap which is when I put my YouTuber hat on and edit and upload videos, answer work emails and take conference calls.

What kind of workout schedule do you try to adhere to?

I work out 5–6 days a week on average.

I work out first thing in the morning or else it won’t get done.

The only other window of opportunity I’d have would be after my son’s nap at 3:30 and to be honest by that time I’m pretty done with productivity so a workout wouldn’t happen!

After I’ve taken Ellen for her walk, my husband leaves for work and Forde wakes up so we have breakfast together and then I head straight to the gym! My gym has a fabulous day care as well so Forde loves that time in his day too (plus as a single child it’s often the only interaction he gets with other kids throughout the week).

How do you like to end your day?

My son goes to bed at 8pm and I take my night time routine very seriously, haha!

I like to wind down with a cup of tea alongside either a TV show, Netflix or a book depending on the mood. By 9pm I like to run myself a hot bubble bath with a side of ice cold water to drink whilst in the tub.

This is often when my husband and I will catch up on our day. He’ll pull a chair up beside the bath and we connect. We like to call it a “meeting in my office.” I’ll often say “Dan, meeting in my office in 10?” and he knows what it means!

What time do you doze off?

Ideally by 9:30–9:45 but lately it’s been more like 10:30.

Truth be told inside me is the soul of a 90 year old woman. I like herbal tea, knitting and early nights and I’m PROUD OF IT!

What do you aspire to every day but rarely actually do? (you can tell me, we all have them!)

Shower…ugh….the struggle is real. Seriously, I don’t shower in the morning because I hit the gym first thing, but as a germaphobe I can’t bring myself to use their shower.

So that leaves me with the choice of either having a shower when I get home with a toddler throwing toys at me and crying because he’s bored in the bathroom, or try to sneak it in during his afternoon nap which doesn’t always happen between housework and YouTube.

Don’t think I’m gross…I still bathe at the end of the day!!

Any advice for women trying to find ease in their every day?

I would say carve out “you time!”

As women, we’re always giving ourselves to our partners, friends, work, children etc. and as a result we can be stretched quite thinly.

I had a friend tell me decades ago, “Elle there’s a reason they tell you to put the oxygen mask on yourself before assisting others in a plane crash…if you don’t have enough, everyone else suffers too.” It’s really stuck with me.

I have a very hard time saying no to things/people especially when I technically am available but know that I’m burnt out/stretched thin and just need some down time.

The best advice I can give to you (and myself) is to be a warrior for yourself and give yourself the down time you require…and don’t apologise for it!

Even if it’s just an hour to yourself at the beginning or end of the day, find time where you’re responsible for no one but yourself and where you can just rest and recharge.

Can you give my readers your quick go-to recipe after a busy day?

My best healthy lazy girl’s meal

  • Mixed green salad (from the bag….I said this was lazy girl’s version)
  • Grill or fry up some onion and red pepper
  • Add some pre-baked chicken slices (I bake 2 breasts on Sundays to use throughout the week)
  • Toss with some apple cider vinegar dressing (apple cider vinegar [1 part], EVOO [2 parts], Dijon mustard [1 part])

Honestly takes 5 minutes, is healthy and tastes like you put a lot of time and effort in! Sometimes I’ll also pre-grill peppers and onion for the week ahead of time if I’m feeling super lazy, but I prefer doing those fresh because the warmth adds decadence to the meal.

-

Thanks Elle, it was great to gain some insight into your days as a YouTuber and mum. You can find Elle at:

YouTube - www.YouTube.com/TheLindquists

Twitter - @ellelindquist

Instagram - @elle.lindquist

Where I'm At with Paige from Healthy Hits the Spot

Squeal! I am super excited to feature Paige Schmidt from Healthy Hits the Spot on the blog today. I looked back and I've now been reading Paige's blog for almost 3 years.

She is famous for posting her 'daily eats', but even more importantly for her views on intuitive eating and breaking up with diets.

Paige has been a huge influence on helping me move to intuitive eating and I can't wait for you all to read her interview.

I'd also urge you to follow her blog and social media if you are in need of a positive influence in your 'web life'.

What is your usual wake up time?

Since I work from home, my schedule is pretty flexible in the early morning and late evenings. I mostly plan those times according to my husband’s current work schedule so that we get the most time together. Currently, we’ll wake up anytime between 6:00 AM and 7:30 AM. 

How do you like to start your day?

During the week, our day starts with coffee, making the bed (hubby does this), cooking breakfast (I do this), cleaning up (both do this), praying together before he heads to work, and then I sit down and work on my blog.

Once I’m done blogging, I’ll usually jump in the shower and get ready for the day, and start work early on. I love answering emails from my clients in the morning and early afternoon.

There are also seasons in my life where I’m really great at incorporating morning quiet time, which I love… This includes reading a devotional, a little bit of my bible, and journaling. With our current schedule, I haven’t quite figured out how to get that quiet time plugged in, but I do love that time when I have it… For now, my quiet time has been praying with my husband before he leaves for the day. 

Do you like to plan your day ahead or allow some spontaneity?

I love a little bit of both. My personality definitely leans more toward the planning side. When things are planned, I feel like I can look forward to them for a longer period of time, which brings me a lot of joy. 

To create balance for myself (I talk about this in my eBook [http://www.healthyhitsthespot.com/shop/]), I typically plan more of the work week and leave room for spontaneity on the weekends.

How do you spend your ideal lunch break to recharge for the afternoon?

When it’s time for lunch, I shut down the screen on my computer, head to the kitchen, and enjoy a quiet lunch.

I leave my phone behind, and sit at the table so I can enjoy some peace, quiet, and a few non-work moments as a recharge. I’ll often step outside for a few minutes too, just to get some fresh air. 

Right before I head back to my office, I’ll usually make a hot cup of peppermint tea to sip on as I ease back into working. This feels refreshing and helps me to “recharge.”

What kind of workout schedule do you try to adhere to?

I don’t have one. I aim to move my body in some form each day, and I’ll ask myself each day what would feel good and what I would enjoy. Some days this might look like a walk, others it might look like a run outside, or a trip to the gym to hop on the elliptical and lift weights.

As a woman, I try my best to honour that my body has different needs day to day. 

How do you like to end your day?

During the week, if my husband is home at a decent time (5:00 PM), we’ll usually have dinner together, walk around downtown, and watch Netflix shows together. Some nights we’ll walk to the nearest RedBox and pick out a movie. 

If my husband is working a long day (home around 10:00 PM) I have the evening to myself. In this case, I’ll eat dinner whenever I get hungry, I usually find myself taking a long hot bath, I’ll likely spend a little time at the gym, and I’ll end my night with reading in bed. I don’t enjoy TV or shows much when I’m alone.

What time do you doze off?

I go to bed anywhere between 8:30 and 10:30 depending on what time I’m waking up the next day. During certain seasons I have to wake up at 4:30, and in those seasons we’ll go to bed at 8:30. Right now, as I’m waking up between 6:00 and 7:30 I usually fall asleep around 10:00 or 10:30.

What do you aspire to every day but never / rarely actually do? (you can tell me, we all have them!)

Hmm… Good question! If I had to choose, I would say quiet time.

However, I really don’t love setting goals over and over and not reaching them, so I often like to get realistic with myself.

If I haven’t been doing it, and I’m fighting it day in and day out, I usually cut myself some slack and just take it out of my routine completely until I realise that I miss it and would like to bring it back. 

I’m a fan of following through with what I’ve told myself I’ll do because I really believe it’s important to create trust with ourselves.

That being said, if I occasionally plan to exercise, or something along these lines, and change my mind later on, I do my best to make this a conscious choice. So, instead of saying “I have no time or control over my schedule, I just can’t go.” I’ll say something like “Realistically, things come up, and for today, going to the movies with my husband (for example) feels more rewarding than sticking to my goal of exercising this evening. So, I’m making a choice to enjoy the movies and quality time instead.”

Any advice for women trying to find ease in their every day?

Remain calm. Don’t be hard on yourself. Take good care of yourself.

When we feel taken care of (by our own selves) we’ll feel happier, more in line with who we were created to be, and we’ll feel more valued.

Can you give my readers your go to recipe for after a busy day?

Above all else know that you don’t have to have endless time to be healthy. Feeling good and healthy in your body is not as hard as some people make it out to be.

Here’s a post I wrote on eating your favourite foods and feeling healthy too! http://www.healthyhitsthespot.com/2014/05/07/you-can-eat-your-favorite-foods-be-healthy-too/. (Ed: So many delicious recipes here!)

Thanks Paige! What really hit home for me with this interview is changing your goals according to what is working for you, and not being hard on yourself if you consciously choose to do something else. 

You can read Paige's blog and follow her over at:

Website - http://www.healthyhitsthespot.com

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Healthy-Hits-the-Spot/109111482522205

Twitter - http://twitter.com/HealthyHitsspot

Instagram - http://instagram.com/healthyhitsthespot

Pinterest - https://www.pinterest.com/paigeyyybee/

 

Light Links: June

Happy end of June, dear readers. How was your month?

We started the month with our annual winery jaunt to Rutherglen and ended June with a bonfire at a friend's farm in Trentham. I know it's cliche but it really does rejuvenate me to get out of town and do something different on a weekend. Try and schedule some time out of your regular town when you can.

It wasn't all picture perfect winter getaways though - I had a cold that hung around for quite a while. After feeling virtuous for taking a day off in an attempt to halt the cold in its tracks, it ended up hanging around for longer than I'd hoped. It's a great reminder to stop and truly relax when your body tells you to. If you could see my wintery outfit and ugg boots right now, you'd know I'm embracing this idea.

Enjoy my favourite links from this month. 

The pressure to look good when every day is now school photo day...

Do you guys know about my obsession with watching cooking shows? Barefoot Contessa used to be my Saturday morning jam. Check out some life lessons from Ina Garten.

I am not a messy person, but have feelings of both jealousy and appreciation for those around me that are. Here's 3 lessons we can learn from the messy

How many times a day do you apologise? Things you need to stop saying sorry for

A dear friend of mine told me about a breathing technique she's been trying to help her fall asleep. The next day I spotted this article that claims to help you fall asleep in under one minute. I'm yet to try it out, but let me know your results in the comments below. 

This spookily sums up my impression of Sweden on my short trip there a few years back. I love so many of these lessons, but definitely need the one about not letting the weather stop you as we head into the Melbourne winter.