Where I'm At with Naomi Arnold from Project Healthy Happy Me

I’m excited to be featuring Naomi Arnold on the blog today, in the latest instalment of the Where I’m At interview series.

Naomi is a business and life coach with a background in psychology and counselling. She quit her job at the Australian Government and moved interstate, becoming a full time coach over a year ago. The tragic news of her father’s terminal brain cancer was a major catalyst for the decision. Naomi now lives in Queensland, Australia with her husband and young son, has a successful business and has been featured in Cleo magazine, Inspired Coach magazine and The Huffington Post.

I hope you enjoy her interview (and the bonuses!) as much as I did – again teaching us the lesson we need to learn again and again – to take it easy on ourselves and enjoy life.

What is your usual wake up time?

A cute little two year old boy named Daniel usually jumps on my bed around 6am in the morning.

What is your morning ritual?

My morning ritual shifts and changes a lot depending on the context of my life.

These days, on a ‘good’ day, I meditate and journal upon waking, and then take my little one for a walk along the track to see the horses, before returning for breakfast with my family.

On a ‘naughty’ day, I reach over and grab my phone to read the influx of emails and social media notifications I’ve received overnight. Shhh…. Don’t tell anyone. ;-)

Tell us about your commute.

I’m very blessed to be working from home and not have to commute.

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

I’m a planner. On a Sunday, I take time out to plan what I need to do for the week ahead, including what I will do on each day.

This means when I start work each day, I don’t need to think about what needs to be done – I just do it!

However, I also give myself permission to throw those plans out the window if need be. They provide a guide for me, but they need to be flexible and adaptable.

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

My ideal lunch break is spent sitting outside with my family, soaking up the sun, laughing and re-energising after a focused morning of work.

Stomping around the yard, roaring, and pretending to be a dinosaur with my toddler is an optional bonus.

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

I used to have a strict, non-negotiable workout and gym schedule, to the point where it became an unhealthy obsession. Nowadays, I’m much more relaxed about working out.

I try to move my body every day – whether it be through walking, running, yoga, some resistance training, or just bursts of activity using my Move That Body playing cards.

(Ed: Bonus – here are Naomi’s Move That Body playing cards for your daily use)

I write ‘movement’ on my to do list each day to ensure it’s something I do alongside my other tasks – even if it is a quick stretch, jiggle at my standing desk, or burst of lunges, push ups and squats in my room!

How do you like to end your day?

I like to end my day with a big cup of peppermint tea and a great book (currently Rosie Batty’s A Mother’s Story), before taking one last peek on my snoozing toddler, and climbing into bed for a final meditation before sleep.

What time do you doze off?

I try to be in bed with lights out by 10.30pm at the latest – I know that when I start to let this slide too many nights in a row my energy and irritability levels during the days to come are not desirable!

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

I recently discovered a love for painting and colouring and began to make time for doing something creative each day.

I let this practice drop when my family and I got addicted to a television series (damn you, Heartland!) and have been meaning to pick it back up again.

Now that I’ve said it here, I WILL!

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

Please make a conscious effort to be gentle and kind to yourself.

Next time you’re beating yourself up or feeling stressed or anxious, ask yourself – What can I do right now to show myself more love and kindness? What would I do if I were to treat myself like my best friend? What is one thing that I can do to move forward in a loving way?

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

(Ed: Even better than one recipe, here’s Naomi’s recipe pamphlet from her Freebies Library. I’m looking forward to trying the healthy apple crumble…)

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Thanks again Naomi! Follow her below (and download her Freebies Library too!):

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Where I'm At with Ashten from Just Go Left

Welcome to the first 'Where I'm At' interview of 2016!

Today's interviewee, Ashten, writes a super inspiring blog over at Just Go Left. She posts about the ups and downs of real life, accepting adulthood (one of my fave posts!) and many other useful posts about health and lifestyle. She's also the social media queen for the intuitive eating program I follow, Finally Free.  

I hope you enjoy her interview as much as I did - it's an honest one about the balance we try and find in our everyday lives. 

What is your usual wake up time?

On a weekday, I’m usually awake by 5 a.m., so I can go to the gym. And yes, I’m one of those crazy people who work out in the morning but in my defense, this is the only way I can fit it in.

On weekends, I don’t set an alarm nor do I have a set wake-up time. I like to wake up slowly and enjoy my mornings, since I’m so rushed during the week.

How do you like to start your day?

I like to start my mornings slowly, but during the week I don’t have that luxury.

When my alarm goes off at 5 a.m., I get dressed in the work-out clothes I laid out the night before, brush my teeth, grab the work-out bag I packed the night before and go downstairs. There, I grab the lunch I packed the night before and the coffee I set to brew at 5 a.m., make a quick breakfast and head out the door to the gym. 

I’m usually there from 5:45 a.m.-7:45 a.m. (this factors in time to shower and get dressed) and then I head to the office.

Did reading that make you absolutely exhausted?!

Don’t worry, my weekends are SO MUCH more relaxing.

I wake up slowly, have coffee and take my dog Gatsby to the dog park before coming home to work on my blog and spend quality time with my boyfriend Kyle. We take long walks with the dog, catch up on our DVR and do A LOT of relaxing. Clearly weekends are a lot more fun.

Tell us about your commute.

Okay first of all? Commuting is THE WORST.

I know I’m not alone in my feelings towards it.

I work in Downtown Atlanta, and getting there can be an absolute nightmare when traffic is bad (and it’s always bad in Atlanta, in case you were wondering). My drive can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, if I’m leaving from my house. But, when I leave from the gym it takes me about 10 minutes…which is even more motivation for me to get to the gym in the morning!

PS: if you’re like me, I found this blog post extremely helpful in surviving the commuter life.

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

I like a little bit of both, but if I’m being honest my weekdays don’t allow for much spontaneity unless it’s a random dinner with a friend after work.

My weekends are a lot more spontaneous, once the “adult” things (like grocery shopping and laundry) are done.

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

My ideal lunch break would look like me going into my kitchen, making something healthy and satisfying and getting to enjoy it at my dining room table. Maybe taking Gatsby outside for a short walk afterwards, before starting work again.

In reality, my lunch break is usually spent at my desk. But, to combat any “overwhelm” this might create, I try to have relaxing music on and soft lighting. I also try to bring food I can enjoy so it feels like a treat during a long day.

You’ve mentioned your morning gym routine so I’m guessing you have a pretty great workout schedule?

I try to get to the gym every morning during the week, and take long walks with Gatsby on the weekends.

I do not do the same workout at the gym every day, nor do I put pressure on myself to work out harder or better than anyone else. I do what feels good and what I enjoy.

How do you like to end your day?

I like to set myself up for success for the next day. This looks like packing a lunch/my gym bag and laying out my gym clothes for the next day.

When that’s done, it’s all about self-care. I take a bath, lie in bed with Gatsby (sometimes Kyle if he’s not working late), read or watch Netflix.

Weekends we like to watch Netflix and have Moscow Mules (our favourite cocktail)

What time do you doze off?

This is kind of embarrassing but I’m usually asleep by 9-9:30 p.m. That 5 a.m. alarm comes really early and I need at least 8 hours of sleep. (This is 30...)

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

Quiet time. I would love to integrate that into my daily routine but I honestly just don’t have time. Bad excuse, I know. Maybe I need to make more time.

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

Try to do one thing every day that’s just for YOU. Doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it makes you feel good. If you can’t show up for yourself, you’re no good for anyone else.

Can you give my readers your quick go-to recipe?

This breakfast recipe has saved me SO many times. Bonus? It’s totally healthy AND easy!

Blog Instagram | Twitter | Facebook Pinterest | Bloglovin'

Where I'm At with Susan Williams-Goebber

If you've been reading my blog for a while, I'm sure you've gathered I crave organisation by all the time management posts I write.

This month I'm interviewing Susan Williams-Goebber, who specialises in helping women schedule their lives - whether it be work, play or sleep, she's got tips for every area of your life. Susan is a teacher and she also blogs and offers group and 1:1 coaching to help women avoid overwhelm. I hope you enjoy this insight into how she plans her days - I personally love her focus on self-care and rest. 

What is your usual wake up time?

Weekdays I get woken up at 5:30am, but I don’t get out of bed till about 6:30–7:00am.

On the weekends I don’t have an alarm so I wake up when my body says so, which is normally around 7–8am.

How do you like to start your day?

I love to start my day in bed with a cup of coffee or two. Oh and a glass of water with lemon that I didn't drink that night. 

I write in my journal to get everything out of my head, which is the first conversation that I have.

It is so important for me to know what’s going on in my head and get all the worries that I don’t want to share down on paper. I feel much better after writing.

While in bed I go through my emails, look on Facebook, answer any questions or comment on posts.

Then I watch webinars that have happened while I have been asleep. If there aren’t any available I watch Periscope or YouTube. I have now added guided meditation to my morning routine.  

I’m not a good morning person that is why I need such a long time in bed. I don’t talk to anyone and hubby has learned not to talk or ask questions 'til I’m out of bed, washed and dressed. It sounds bad I know, but I know me and it is easier on both of us. The good thing is that hubby is a farmer so he gets up before me and he’s out of the house.

Tell us about your commute. 

I drive to school at different times throughout the week. When I’m in my car I love to listen to books on my Kindle. Or let my mind wander.

I also like to go through my lesson in my mind and visualise how well-behaved the children will be and how much fun we are all going to have. I will also pick a song and start to sing it to get in the mood.

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

I love to plan my week. I really need to know what’s going on and religiously write it in my planner. I believe I’m not good at being spontaneous and need to plan ahead. I feel safe when I plan.

After planning I know how much free time I have, so that when things come up out of the blue I can say yes or no. So really you could call it a ‘controlled spontaneity’.

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

Oh I love my lunch breaks. I hate the cooking part so I am always grateful when hubby cooks. I then go and lie down every day at the same time (1:30pm) and sleep for about 15 minutes.

I then go through the same routine as my mornings, mad moodiness and all. I then take phone calls again at 2:30pm. 

My ideal lunch break would be to have a cook who has a healthy lunch waiting for me when I come home from school. I’d eat in peace, then go lay down.

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

I love my yoga Wednesdays. My week doesn’t feel right if I miss it. And that’s it! I take my two dogs for a walk each day and that’s my workout. 

I used to do so much more, and will add more to my life soon. I know that’s what everyone says but I know me and I know why I don’t do more. I’m working on changing that.

How do you like to end your day?

I like to end my day reading my emails, looking on Pinterest, watching webinars. When that’s done I will sometimes fall asleep watching something on Amazon Prime, my computer or my Kindle Fire.

What time do you doze off?

Whenever my body says so. It’s different every day. It can be as early as 8pm or at 2am. I don’t worry about it anymore.

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

I want to read more in the evenings, not just emails, but books. 

I just have the feeling that I am missing something and need to have a look on social media to be present. I know this is stupid and I need to change my mindset on that.

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

I believe that we as women ought to put ourselves at the top of our to-do list. Be more selfish – we are entitled to free time and putting ourselves first.

We would be teaching our children not to sacrifice themselves for others, and our daughters will learn not to burn themselves out as future mothers. Have a set hour just as alone time and fight for it, it’s worth it.

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

My quick go to recipe after a busy day has nothing to do with food. It’s just a cup of something warm and time to breathe. Clear your head and write your thoughts down on paper. Easy!

You can find Susan at the links below - go show her some love! 

Website | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Instagram

 

Where I'm At with Shannon Ables from The Simply Luxurious Life

I am thrilled to be featuring Shannon Ables from The Simply Luxurious Life blog and The Simple Sophisticate podcast on Where The Light Plays today.

I've been following Shannon's blog since early 2012 and have felt like I've 'gotten to know her' even better this year through her podcast.

The Simply Luxurious Life really does cover all areas of life in a luxurious, yet attainable way - home, style, food, ways of being, the French lifestyle - to name a few. Shannon is a high school English teacher in Oregon, has had great success with her online career and even brought out a book, Choosing The Simply Luxurious Life: A Modern Woman's Guide in 2014.

Enjoy this peek into her daily routine, and I hope you'll enjoy following her online as much as I do.

What is your usual wake up time?

5am.

What is your morning ritual?

Because I find I am most awake, fresh and creative in the mornings, I don’t want to waste a moment in the morning sleeping in, so once I am awake, I am up and going.

I will wake up an extra hour early so that I can ease myself into the day and indulge in simple luxuries.

My breakfast is the same, but I crave it each day: steel oats with raisins, honey and roasted sliced almonds, one egg over-easy and hot water with lemon.

My dogs Oscar and Norman are at my feet all morning (which makes it even harder to walk out the door to my teaching job during the school year), so I bring a treat for each of them to the table, where I enjoy my breakfast while reading the local morning newspaper.

I always have Morning Joe on in the morning as well to stay abreast of the breaking national and international news as well.

bend-shannon-ables-where-light-plays.jpg

Tell us about your commute.

I feel fortunate to say I live less than a mile from my school, and when I’m not teaching, my commute is to my home office to blog, plan and tape my podcast.

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

Planning is something I sincerely enjoy doing. I will plan my day, my week, the month, set yearly goals and 5–10 year goals for fun even if it wasn’t required.

I find it exhilarating to plan, check in and celebrate when I complete what I have set out to do.

The gift that planning gives me is that when I finish what I need to do, I can relax and just let my mind wander. I am always amazed at where it travels and what it comes up with when I give it this freedom.

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

As a self-proclaimed introvert, I need my alone time, so during the school year I enjoy most days having lunch to myself. Sometimes I will join other colleagues, but because lunch is so quick and we have to be on in fewer than 40 minutes, I need time to recharge.

When I am blogging, I spend my lunch either at a cafe or in the kitchen creating something from scratch, then I’ll sit down and relax until I am ready to get busy again.

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

Working out is not only something I know I need to do for my health, it is something I thoroughly enjoy; however, I am not someone who tortures themselves.

My dogs become jumping beans when they see me put on my workout clothes and grab their leash. So seeing their enthusiasm makes it easy to go for an hour-long hike 5–6 days a week.

Bend has endless trails right outside my door, so I feel as though I am in the wilderness in minutes, and can fortunately return home in minutes when the hike is complete.

I also sign up for one Pilates class at a local studio, as well as two twenty minute strength sessions at home, each week.

How do you like to end your day?

Something I have shared with my blog readers for years is my evening ritual.

I need time to unwind and usually give myself at least an hour no matter how late the work day has lasted.

So long as I haven’t indulged in dessert, I will pair my evening black lavender tea with a dark chocolate peanut butter truffle from my favourite chocolatier Arrowhead Chocolates. Since I have recently moved to a different town, I place my order every two months to be sure I always have these decadent, rewarding treats at the ready.

What time do you doze off?

I am an early bird because I enjoy my mornings so much, so it is not unusual for me to be in bed by 8:30 and asleep by nine.

DVR is my favourite everyday invention as I typically will watch my favourite shows the next evening at an hour that works with my schedule.

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

Find the courage to say “No”. The best gift I gave myself was recognising what I had to do, what I wanted to do and then letting go of all the rest without guilt.

We only get 24 hours in the day and each day builds upon the day before. Where do you want to take your life? Once you know the answer to that question, saying “No” becomes much easier.

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

Absolutely! Part of my evening ritual upon returning home from work and having finished the walk with the dogs is stepping into the kitchen. It is such a therapeutic activity.

A typical evening will include some sort of vegetable dish and a protein. Sometimes I also have a slice of a baguette with cheese or dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

A simple, yet delicious vegetable side dish is a recipe from Julia Child. Her green beans: Boil the beans for 10 minutes in salted water until they become al dente. With a Japanese strainer, remove them from the water and place them in a hot skillet. Let the water steam off of them for about 30 seconds and then add 1-2 tablespoons of good unsalted butter. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, make sure the melted butter coats the beans (about 1 minute). Then add fresh lemon juice and leave the slice of lemon in the pan.

Voilà! You are done. The beans should be shiny and full of flavour, just waiting to be enjoyed.

Pair with Sole Meunière (click here for the recipe) and a glass of rosé. Bon appétit!

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Thank you so much for being interviewed Shannon - you've inspired me to plan my days even more carefully and of course try your recipe (rosé and all!)

You can find Shannon at the links below and also click the video to gain more insight into the simply luxurious way of living.

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.

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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/

 

Where I'm At with Rachel Gadiel from Nourish

rachel_gadiel_nourish.jpg

 

Welcome to the next interview in the series, 'Where I'm At'. It's a voyeuristic, yet helpful look into the lives of women who are finding where the light plays within them.

Their daily rituals, ways of managing stress and advice to you, the readers, are captured in these interviews.

This month we’re talking to Rachel Gadiel from the blog, Nourish. Rachel is a gorgeous coach and blogger, who lives in the Northern Beaches of Sydney. She focuses on many of our favourite topics around here – simplicity, productivity and of course, nourishing ourselves. Rachel also coaches other creative bloggers and business owners on intentional ways to grow their passions.

When I reached out to Rachel, I had the loveliest response from her, so admire her even more than when I was reading from afar! Enjoy the interview and head to her blog and social media (her Instagram is one of my faves) to show her some love. 

 

What is your usual wake up time?

During the week I generally wake up at around 7am. Weekends are definitely an indulgent, slower start at around 8 and sometimes 9am!

How do you like to start your day?

On weekdays my morning routine is super simple as I’m on a mission to get out the door to work. It starts with a glass of warm water and lemon juice and a healthy breakfast, followed by a cup of coffee. I always make sure I begin each day with positive affirmations and a chapter out of a personal development book I’m reading.

A positive mindset is everything – become the master of your thoughts and believe you can achieve anything, and you will!

Tell us about your commute.

I’m lucky to live super close to work – it’s a 5 minute drive and 30 minute walk. I intentionally set the goal of walking to and from work 3 days a week which is a great way to fit in moving my body. To make this time productive I love listening to an uplifting podcast or a book on Audible. The other days I drive, and when I do it feels like a luxury!

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

As I’m working full time and hustling my coaching biz on the side, it is super important for me to be organised and keep on top of my daily to do list. I’m a firm believer that the secret of success lies in your daily routine and habits. Being super clear about your overall vision, combined with the daily discipline of your habits, will naturally mean you’re on the path to success.

Don’t get me wrong, I still think leaving room for spontaneity is important too, but it’s all about balance and getting your priorities in order.

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

I always grab my book and get out of the office to soak up the fresh air and sunshine – this gives me more energy and a positivity boost to power through the afternoon. I find reading always inspires me with ideas for blog posts and my coaching clients, so I always have a notebook handy to write down any nuggets of wisdom!

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

I aim to work out at least 3–4 times a week and try to move my body most days. I tend to do a mix of both resistance training and cardio. I like to mix things up by doing a boot camp once a week, pilates and I’m also a fan of the BBG by Kayla Itsines and love doing her workouts at home. Throw in the odd yoga class and run when time permits. 

How do you like to end your day?

End of the day is all about unplugging and cuddling up to my love on the couch, watching a TV show together. At the moment we’re watching season 3 of Orange is the New Black - such an awesome show!

What time do you doze off?

Bedtime for me is 11-11:30pm. 

And to finish off, here's Rachel's current manifesto:

Thanks for giving us a peek into your daily life Rachel. I’m sure you can see why she’s such a success,  with discipline and focus propelling her forward.

Go and give Rachel some love (and follows) at the links below:

Website: rachelgadiel.com

Instagram: http://instagram.com/rachelgadiel

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/hopscotchgrace/pins/

Bloglovin': https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/nourish-10306535

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thisisnourish

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rachelgadiel

Where I'm At: Interview Series - Molly from StyleCellar

Welcome to the next interview in the series, 'Where I'm At'. It's a voyeuristic, yet helpful look into the lives of women who are finding where the light plays within them.

Their daily rituals, ways of managing stress and advice to you, the readers, are captured in these interviews.

This month we’re talking to Molly Ziraldo, a Canadian living in Melbourne. Molly and I connected on the Stratejoy site and have become firm brunch buddies since then. Molly has an inventive blog called StyleCellar that combines two things we often want to know more about – wine and fashion. Molly has a fascinating story too – from being in Disney on Ice (!), to studying wine and working in the industry, to moving to Melbourne, she’s insightful and self-aware and I’m excited to interview her on the blog today.

What is your usual wake up time?

7–7:15am

What is your morning ritual?

First thing I do when I get up is try to drink as much water as possible. I head straight to the kitchen and have a big glass of water and a quick swig of apple cider vinegar, I still hate the taste! But it’s more convenient for me than making hot water with lemon and offers similar benefits.

After that I’ll brush my teeth, wash my face, do makeup etc. If I have time I try to do a few sun salutations, or just any stretches really. I find my body really needs some movement first thing in the morning. I’ve never been a morning person though, so getting to the gym just isn’t gonna happen.

I then sit for 5–10 min in a mixture of meditation/prayer and intention setting for the day. I’ve been doing Gabrielle Bernstein’s guided meditations for a few years now.

After that I quickly get dressed, grab my lunch and I’m out the door. I always get coffee and make breakfast once I get into work.

Tell us about your commute.

My commute is a 15 minute tram ride (and to be honest I could walk – but again, would rather get extra sleep!). While on the tram, I’m either listening to music or a podcast.

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

Definitely plan! If I don’t have a plan I can’t focus and I get nothing done. I like planning my next day before I leave the office the day before. I never thought I was a “planner” but I need structure.

I’m still a “go with the flow” type of person, so last minute changes don’t bother me but I need structure or some framework, or else my head just isn’t it.

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

I work in an open concept office and being quite introverted my lunch time is my “me time”. It’s taken a while for my colleagues to not be insulted when I turn down lunch invites (it’s also taken me a while to not feel guilty for doing so).

My ideal lunch is anything that gets me away from my desk. Being from Canada, I usually spend this time texting my girlfriends back home (thank god for Whatsapp!). I usually try to fit in a quick walk around the block too.

What kind of workout schedule do you adhere to?

I’ve learned it’s not about an hour of cardio or hitting the gym every day, but just ensuring I move in some way throughout the week.

That being said, it’s hard to find the time and I don’t have a set schedule. I try to do something at least 3 times a week. That “something” is usually yoga, dance class or a conditioning/strength workout. I tried the infamous Kayla Itsines workouts, so I usually use those. They’re only 28 min and are insanely tough!! So you definitely feel like you’re making the most of your time.

How do you like to end your day?

I’ve found that how I end my day is just as important as how I begin it. I like to start unwinding about 9:30–10pm. I tend to turn off as many lights as possible (phone included), light a candle, listen to classical music and sit again in stillness and just reflect on the day. I then read whatever it is I’m reading at the time.

What time do you doze off?

11:30pm (fingers crossed!)

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

Yoga. God, I wish I made time for yoga every day. Also, writing (journaling) or writing something thoughtful to a friend or family member back home. Not eating any refined sugar would also be nice but hey…we’re human.

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

Set boundaries. This is so hard but so necessary if you’re going to make time for you, and if you can’t …just breathe more!  This is something I always forget to do.

Other than that, maybe try to think of one thing you’re grateful for that happened that day before you head to bed.

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

I know a smoothie shouldn’t substitute as a meal – but if I don’t have time to cook this is 100% my go to (any time of day), and I take my smoothie (bowl) game seriously. I always make sure I’ve got protein, fat, fibre, carbs and greens present.

If those boxes are ticked, no reason that the bowl doesn’t have just as much nutrients as a meal.

Banana Mango Coconut Smoothie Bowl

1 frozen ripe banana

A few pieces of sliced frozen mango  (any frozen fruit can do)

One/two BIG handfuls of spinach (I find spinach is best for smoothies. Kale never blends as well – and I promise, you can’t taste it)

1/2 an avocado (if you don’t have any on hand, make sure you get some fat via coconut oil/cream or nuts)

Plant based protein powder (right now I’m using Sunwarrior vanilla flavour)  or hemp is also good. If you don’t have any – nuts are fine.

Water or coconut milk (I use coconut milk right out of the can instead of the packaged milks)

Once I pour it in a bowl I always top it with something – just to make it feel more special (i.e. nuts, chia seeds, goji berries, coconut, bee pollen, LSA, added fruit ­– whatever you might have).

-

Thanks Molly - it was great to get a peek behind the scenes of your life and blog. You can find Molly at:

Website: www.style-cellar.com

Twitter : @mollyziraldo

Instagram : mziraldo

Where I'm At: Interview Series - Bethan from Ply

Welcome to the next interview in the series, 'Where I'm At'. It's a voyeuristic, yet helpful look into the lives of women who are finding where the light plays within them.

Their daily rituals, ways of managing stress and advice to you, the readers, are captured in these interviews.

This month we have our very first UK guest and one of my ‘internet friends’, Bethan from Ply. Bethan and I connected through Jess Lively’s site over a year ago, and have been supporting each other through a number of life aspects, including our blogs. Bethan is an architect and ‘maker by nature’ (as she puts it). Her creativity radiates from her blog and after interviewing her, I’m even more certain we’re going to stay close – her views on life and her interests (hello Lisa Eldridge, Nick Hornby and Mexican food for brunch!) really align with mine. Enjoy!

 

What is your usual wake up time?

Around 7am in the week (a lot later at weekends!) I always mean to get up earlier but I’m not a morning person. I’m not a night owl either though, I have a sweet spot of around 3–8pm where I’m fully switched on!

What is your morning ritual?

The first thing I do is a really new element to my morning routine: bed yoga! I’ve only been doing it for a week, but I’m enjoying this new addition to my routine. I use the routine in this video by Rochelle Schieck.

Then I wander through to the kitchen and make myself a cup of hot water, sometimes with a slice of lemon if I remember. Then I settle on my sofa to meditate with the Headspace app (which I love) and after I might jot down some thoughts.

If I’ve got up early enough I read for a few minutes, but the risk of using Headspace is it puts my phone in my hand first thing in the morning, and so I tend to have lost that time to Facebook or Instagram by then. I haven’t quite worked out a system to allow me to have my meditation cake without the social media suck, so I’m currently relying on my own willpower, which frankly is hit and miss!

After, I’ll hit the shower, dress, pack my bag for the day and make myself breakfast, usually overnight oats, cold with fruit and yoghurt in the summer or hot with cacao and peanut butter in the winter.

Of course a lot of this goes out of the window on the weekend! Long lie ins with my beau, followed by brunch at home or out at a favourite cafe. Then see where the day takes us. A lot less structured but I like that it plays a counter point to the weekdays.

Tell us about your commute.

I’m lucky to live only a few miles from work and I try to cycle as often as possible. It takes me about 20 minutes to get to work on the bike, I never have to worry about getting stuck in a traffic jam, and I’ve got a good chunk of exercise too! Combining a workout with my commute means I can devote more time to other things that I’d rather spend my time on.

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

I work in a conventional office environment so the day is pretty structured from that point of view: 9–5.30, with an hour for lunch.

I organise my time within that in blocks, as I find batching similar tasks is most effective for productivity. I tend to deal with a bunch of small tasks and email responses in the morning, as I can do these while I’m warming up. Then the bigger, more involved tasks I leave to the afternoon. I always have a list of the current tasks in priority order, so that defines the afternoon schedule.

The evenings I tend to be pretty spontaneous about, with a mix of time with friends, self-care, blogging and whatever project I have on at the moment spread over the week.

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

I’m a terrible one for not getting up from my desk at lunch! I usually take my full hour, but I tend to spend it reading blogs I follow or writing for my own. I know I’d feel much better if I left the screen for a while, but it doesn’t happen as much as it should.

If I have the car with me that day I usually run errands like food shopping or going to the dry cleaners. It keeps my weekends clear of chores so there’s more time for fun!

What kind of workout schedule do you adhere to?

Errr ... I’m pretty relaxed about workouts and there’s no schedule at all! Exercise is good for my body and my happiness, but I still feel there’s so many things I rather spend my time on that I try to keep it from encroaching on my free time too much, which is why I cycle to work. Having said that I love yoga, and try to hit a yoga class once or twice a week, but some weeks it doesn’t happen and that’s OK too.

How do you like to end your day?

I try to shut down all screens around 10pm, and then do a bit of a wind down routine before bed. I like to take some time to do a thorough oil cleanse in the evening. I apply the oil using facial massage techniques (this is the video from Lisa Eldridge I learnt that from) which has really helped improve the texture and health of my skin, plus it’s a nice way to wind down from the day.

Once I’m into bed I like to have half an hour with a good book to ease me into falling asleep. I just finished Funny Girl by Nick Hornby and loved it.

What time do you doze off?

I aim for 11pm, so usually around 11.30pm!

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

Going to bed early enough is where I fail. I usually get engrossed in what I’m doing and then end up getting to bed later than I’d like, which knocks on when I can’t get out of bed.

I know that getting up earlier would make such a difference to my day, to start it in a more relaxed way, and I’d be able to expand my morning routine to include more yoga and reading.

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

In the words of Gretchen Rubin, “Know thyself!” Find what works for you, and makes your day better, and don’t worry about what anybody else is doing.

In an interview with Danielle La Porte I heard recently, she said she only does 15–20 minutes on her elliptical trainer every day, because any more and she resents it. I loved that precision! Find that sweet spot where you want to do it every day without resenting it.

Finally, can you give my readers your quick go-to recipe after a busy day?

This is one of my favourite brunch dishes, but it works well as a mid-week dinner too! I vary it quite a lot based on what I have in the cupboard, but this is the usual recipe I use.

Heuvos Ranchos (or a version of!)

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • Oil (olive, coconut, whatever you like to use)
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 sweet pepper, sliced
  • Half a teaspoon of dried chilli flakes or paprika
  • Half a teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely sliced
  • Chorizo sausage, cut into half moon slices (optional)
  • 1 400g can of chopped tomatoes
  • A couple of handfuls of spinach (fresh or frozen, optional)
  • 4 eggs (I prefer free-range, organic and local)
  • To serve: tortilla wraps/pita/flatbread, grated cheddar or crumbled feta cheese, chopped herbs (parsley, coriander)

Method

Heat the oil over a medium heat in a large frying pan, one that has a lid (you’ll need it later, although a large plate also works).

Fry the onion for a few minutes until it begins to soften, then add the peppers, spices, garlic and chorizo (if using). Fry for another 5 minutes or so until the onions are translucent and the peppers are beginning to soften. Add the tomatoes and a little water to rinse out the can. Season with salt and pepper, reduce the heat slightly and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. This is the point to stir in the spinach, if you have it, until it wilts in the heat of the sauce.

With the back of a spoon, make four little wells in the sauce. Crack an egg into each well, season the tops with salt and pepper and put the lid on the pan. Cook with the lid on, roughly 3.5 minutes for runny eggs, 4.5 minutes for set. It’s best to keep an eye on the eggs and check them around the 3 minute mark. Cooking this way seems to turn them from un-set to solid really quickly! I’m usually a runny yolks girl, but in this dish I enjoy them either way.

Serve scattered with herbs and cheese to your taste, and bread on the side to mop up the sauce!

--

I hope you all enjoyed Bethan’s interview as much as I did. Go and give her some love at the links below! 

You can find Bethan at:

Website – ply.squarespace.com

Facebook – www.facebook.com/plyinterior

Twitter – @plyinteriors

Instagram – @plyinteriors 

Where I'm At: Interview Series - Kristyn from Creative with Kristyn

Welcome to the next interview in the series, 'Where I'm At'. It's a voyeuristic, yet helpful look into the lives of women who are finding where the light plays within them.

kristyn-fedich-dog-yoga-tone-it-up.JPG

Their daily rituals, ways of managing stress and advice to you, the readers, are captured in these interviews.

In May, we have the lovely Kristyn Fedich from Creative With Kristyn. Kristyn is a teacher, author, blogger, Tone It Up lover and yogi who lives on the east coast of America.

One of the best things about these interviews is I get to reach out to inspiring women, who I know will help you ladies with your day to day lives.

Kristyn is super positive, full of great quotes, relaxing lifestyle ideas and hilarious recommendations for yoga-related fiction books (I am very tempted to unwind with the Downward Dog Mysteries series…). Kristyn was very pregnant when I interviewed her and she gave birth to a little girl just a few days ago. Congrats Kristyn! 

What is your usual wake up time?

My usual wake up time is 5:15am. Being on spring break and maternity leave has left lots more wiggle room for me, so now I’m trying to get more sleep and usually get out of bed around 6:15/6:30am.

What is your morning ritual?

Mornings are my favourite. I love starting my mornings with hot water with lemon. I do enjoy my coffee in the morning (right now I’m doing decaf with being pregnant), but starting out with hot water with lemon really makes my insides feel good! While I am waking up, I sip my water and get some reading in.

Afterwards, I also like to check in on my Stop, Breathe, Think meditation app (Ed: I recently started using this and it's my favourite meditation app thus far!) and see what the Spirit Junkie app message is for the day. I get a morning workout in as well!

Tell us about your commute.

My commute is super short. :) It’s only 25 minutes to work on back roads. I like to listen to Spotify playlists on the way to work or call my mum on her way to work too.

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

I do like to know what is going on that day (I’m very type A) but don’t mind spontaneity and adventure either. It’s the spice of life.

yoga-boat-lake-kristyn-fedich.jpg

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

Being a teacher, you don’t really go out for lunch or do anything different. You usually have lunch in the teachers’ room with other staff members. It’s nice to chat with them.

Being on spring break and maternity leave now, I like to enjoy my lunch outside on the deck when the weather is nice and just eat slowly and take in life before our new arrival comes!

What kind of workout schedule do you adhere to?

I am a huge yogi. I miss my heated vinyasa practice so much and cannot wait to get back into it after my pregnancy. I follow the Tone It Up lifestyle and plan, so I do get a morning workout in to rev up my system, and also an afternoon workout. My workouts aren’t as intense as they usually are, but once I am cleared to work out after baby arrives, it will be back to the grind! I love a good sweat!

dog-kristyn-yoga

How do you like to end your day?

I like to end the day with reading and tea. My husband and I like to relax on the couch with some TV programs we’ve recorded. I like to read in bed and that helps get me more tired if I’m not already there.

What time do you doze off?

Right now, I’m dozing off between 9/9:30pm. If I’m really wired, it may take until 10/10:30. I’m not going to sugar coat the fact that I like to get crawling into bed between 8:30 and 9 right now to read. I love sleeping and it is so important! I have to get my sleep in now while I can before our baby arrives. :)

kristyn-pregnant-tone-it-up-beach

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

Not gossip! I tell myself I won’t do it, and then inevitably it happens and I get sucked into a conversation that includes gossiping. I’m working on it. :)

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

Breathe. Just breathe. Breathe in the positive, exhale the negative. Breathe in peace and love, exhale fear and hate. Take time for yourself. It’s so important. A consistent yoga practice changed my life and view of the world. Breathe and try some yoga.

Finally, can you give my readers your quick go-to recipe after a busy day?

I love having a coffee shop treat after a busy day! It really brings a smile to my face (not as much so when I’m doing decaf, but still!).

This is my recipe for an iced mocha with almond milk…much cheaper than grabbing one at the local coffee place. Put that extra cash in a special “just for you” jar!

Thanks Kristyn, and good luck with the new baby!

You can find her at:

Website - www.creativewithkristyn.com

Pinterest - www.pinterest.com/kristynjoruns

Instagram - www.instagram.com/kristynjoruns

Twitter - www.twitter.com/kristynjoruns