Creating my happy life on the other side of fear.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Let's go on an adventure + Let's grow together {Link-up #13}

Lately, a few people have been on edge. Is it work? Is it the rain? Maybe the next vacation is still too far away? Whatever the reason, the best cure for the midweek blues is a trip. And if we can't go for real, we'll go on an imaginary trip into the desert, ok? Let's go!

roadtrip
Roadtrip!!! (source)

The perfect comfy, yet stylish outfit to spend hours in the car, belting out Katy Perry songs and having the wind whip through your hair is a floaty, white dress:
Boho dress
Serene on the Scene Dress

Paired with these adorable flats:
Cute shoes
Just What I Had Inn Mind Flats

Or how about a colourful, gypsy-inspired skirt?
Boho skirt
Resort Reviewer Skirt

This cute crop top is the perfect match:
crop top
On Crop of the World Top


As is this fun bracelet:
Adventure bracelet
Luxe and Wanderlust Bracelet

We have made it!
source

It's absolutely beautiful. 
desert
source
 
Let's have a picnic!
Desert wedding
source
Desert table decor
source
Desert inspiration
source

That was fun! 
Where will you travel on your imaginary road trip?

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase anything after clicking on the links, I will make a small profit. Thanks!





Farm Girl






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Let me explain...

... my Instagram feed to you. What up with all these pictures of me exercising? Why the sudden need to share this part of my life with you? I'm glad you asked. 


When I first joined Instagram three years ago, I had no clue. It had just come out for Android phones, and I slowly dipped my toe into the IG ocean by posting the occasional random photo of the dogs, chicks or some flower that caught my fancy. I didn't use hashtags (because I didn't know what they were), and I also didn't tell a story - my Instagram activity was limited to going overboard with filters and posting badly lit and grainy photos. 

Then I learnt that the successful and "big" accounts have a theme, whatever it may be: landscapes, artistically arranged still lives, travel, fashion, food - they would stick mostly to a category. 
While I found it impossible to do that, I did have recurring themes: dogs, nature, some outfit photos, a selfie here and there, and pictures from the farm.

But then, something happened a month ago: I joined a yoga challenge. Despite them being around for quite some time (years?), until then I had been unaware of the power of the Instagram challenge. A series of fortunate events led me to that particular yoga challenge, and man, am I ever glad it did! In case you are as blissfully ignorant as me, let me explain what an IG yoga challenge is: The hosts - in this case Kino and Kerri - do a specific pose each day and you do your best to do it, too. You take a picture or video of it, post it with all the appropriate hashtags, and that's it for the day. 

Except, it isn't. Enter the magic and positive power of the incredible IG community.
I was completely unprepared for the enthusiastic encouragement that comes with being part of a yoga challenge. The support is amazing! There is no competitiveness, it's all about empowering and motivating each other on the particular journey we are on.
You are much more motivated to work out every day, since being part of a challenge makes you more accountable than if you were to do it simply for yourself. Plus, seeing the progress of your fellow yogis is so inspiring: normal people with full-time jobs, kids, a full schedule and bad days decided to make this a priority, and check in several times a week (or even daily) to practice. I absolutely love it. 

For the first time in my life my body is craving exercise. Before, whenever runners would tell me about the runner's high or how much they love running, I was sceptical. Envious, yet sceptical. I wished there would be something like this for me, but couldn't imagine there was. 
Even when I did yoga a couple of years ago, it wasn't the same. I enjoyed it tremendously, yet still had to talk myself into going to the studio or doing the same video yet again, and would skip it more often than not.   
           
I have tried to analyze why it feels so different now, and what I came up with is this: My goal is completely different this time around. Instead of doing it mostly for getting a skinny body, I'm doing it because I can sense that it has the power to transform body, mind and spirit. Don't get me wrong, I think yogis have beautiful bodies, and I won't mind one bit to get one myself in the process. But it is more of a pleasant side effect and not the main goal. 
I want to be a kinder, more forgiving person, and yoga is the path towards it. It also teaches you to really listen to your body, which is something most of us don't do enough. 

And then there is this incredible 96-year old lady:    
Isn't that what most of us dream of, being so fit and healthy? She is amazing! 


Also, check her out:
It seems utterly impossible that I might be able to do this myself one day. But you know what? Nothing is impossible if we put our mind to it, and I will work towards this!

Have you ever done an Instagram challenge before? Which exercise do you love?







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Sunday, 29 March 2015

Have you heard of Photojojo?

Let me introduce you to a favourite online store of mine: Photojojo. Readers, meet Photojojo; Photojojo, meet Fabulous Readers. 
Now that you have met, let me tell you a little bit about each other; I'll start with Fabulous Readers.
Fabulous Readers are highly intelligent, attractive, and sophisticated people. They are kind, caring, compassionate, and know quality when they see it. They are the best readers in the world!
(Thanks for being here! *wipes tear out of the corner of her eye*

*Deep breath*
Phew, got a bit emotional for a second, sorry about that. Okay, now let me tell you a little bit about Photojojo:
They are funny, tell bad jokes like it's their business ("How does Old MacDonald take photos when it's dark on the farm?" "He turns up the E-I-E-I-S-O"), are personable and have awesome products. 

Case in point: The Gorillapod Mobile

Gorillapod from Photojojo
Gorillapod Mobile, US$15.00

Cellphone tripod
In action

Gorillapod in action
That's how tiny it is!

Bear approves of tripod
Bear inspected and approved.


I ordered it in the hopes of upping my yoga-documenting game. Until now I had to lean my phone against whatever was handy: stacks of books, trees, coffee cups, random objects lying around. More than once my poor phone fell down, and it deserves so much better. This cute little tripod is a wizard: With its bendy legs it stands up on pretty much any surface, clings on to fences like a monkey, and keeps a firm grip on my dear phone. I love it!

But not only do I like their products, I love their unique customer approach. Here is the email they sent me upon ordering:


Also, not only did they deliver in a timely fashion, they also included a little something extra:

Stow-away-asaurus from Photojojo
 The elusive Stow-away-asaurus

Bear and dinosaur, besties
Bear's new bestie

It's such a small gesture, but I loved it. Go on, take a look at their stuff! If you are into photography, you will dig what they have in store. 

Several months ago I also ordered The Spring Break Camera Strap:

Camera strap from Photojojo


Colourful, functional and inexpensive? It was a no-brainer. 

Happy Sunday!!





I am not being compensated for writing this post; I simply wanted to share a great company with you. 


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Friday, 27 March 2015

Style: Shake It Off



Before you start reading, do yourself a favour and click on the video above to have the appropriate tunes for this post. 'Kay, thanks. Aren't WOTE amazing? They are funny, talented, and make you feel awesome.

We have a choice how we want to see the world. Do we choose to focus on the negative, all the sad and terrible stories that are on the news every day? While I'm rarely tempted to go down that rabbit hole, once in a while a story will grab me and touch me deep inside. That plane crash in the Alps two days ago was one of them: The fact that it was a suicide committed by the young co-pilot, which turned into a terrible mass murder by taking down 150 people with him shook me. So sad, so shocking, so disturbing.
We watched it on the news, then I read about it on the internet, and then I was in a real funk about it.
But what good does it do to wallow in misery? Especially a misery you can't do anything about?

Cue Taylor Swift/Walk Off The Earth. What I needed to do was exactly that: to "shake it off". Or to quote Elizabeth Taylor: "Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together." Instead of pouring myself a drink I danced, which is an even better option in my opinion! It totally did the trick.
Taylors for the win! 


Sparkle dress: Luulla; jean jacket: American Eagle; red shoes: ancient (similar);
necklace: no longer available, but tons of great options here; sunnies: cheapies from Hawaii (similar



Linking up with Fashion Should Be FunRachel the HatA Labour of Life and Sydney Fashion Hunter


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Thursday, 26 March 2015

Unprepared


You are prepared for many things when you marry a man 25 years your senior: 
The many variations of the gold-digger/cradle robber jokes. 
Obsessively doing the math in your head: "When I'm 25 he is 50; when I'm 35 he is 60; when I'm 50 he is 75..." - for the rest of your life. 
You wonder if you will ever celebrate your 25th wedding anniversary (50/75 years old)? Yup, there's a good chance. 
What about your 50th wedding anniversary (75/100 years old)? Not impossible, but unlikely. 
You wonder about illness, dementia, Alzheimer's.
You talk regularly about retirement options when most people your age can't even fathom the idea of a pension.
You don't flinch when your other half gets a senior's discount at certain restaurants. 


But one thing you are utterly unprepared for is this: Your husband's friends getting sick and dying. 
In the course of ten days, we have received three phone calls that all started with the ominous words: "I have to tell you something..."
The first call: Richard's cousin: dead at the age of 66, from pancreatic cancer.
The second call: Richard's old friend from Germany: a stroke at the age of 59, currently in the ICU.
The third call: Richard's best friend in Germany: a stroke at the age of 68, currently in the ICU.

Are bad things really coming in threes? It sure seems like it. And it was a shock to my poor husband's system. You see, the thing is that we stop aging in our mind. Most people have a 'real' age and a 'feel' age - as in, Rich may be 60 years old, but he feels like he is 40 (if that). He occasionally mentions to me how bizarre being 60 is to him; it sounds too old, and nothing like him.   

While we are all vaguely aware about our lives having an expiration date, we rarely think about it when we are young. Which is a good thing, because obsessing about it will ruin your day.
But once your friends start dropping like flies, you are forced to confront your own mortality. And that recent triple-whammy has driven home the point: Life is damn short.

I wish I had any profound life lessons to offer to you, but I don't. The usual clich├ęs flitted through my mind: "Life is short" (duh), "Follow your dreams", "Don't sweat the small stuff", etc. And while I wholeheartedly believe in all of these phrases, they didn't seem enough today. Too vague, too cookie-cutter, with no real meaning attached to them.

So I did this: Reminded myself of some facts I find important for my own life:

Don't be afraid to make mistakes. We are born to make them. Stroke #2 (from above) was so afraid to choose the wrong woman and get hurt, he stayed single for the last 30+ years, living alone.  He never got married, never had children, hasn't travelled in years. Don't.be.afraid. 

Fall in love wildly and frequently. Try out new things, find your passions. I fell in love with blogging two years ago, and we are still going strong; my latest love affair is yoga, which is shaping up to be a life-long lover as well. Find out what makes you excited to leap out of bed in the morning, what makes you grin from ear to ear, what makes you feel like super woman!

Stop worrying about numbers already. Likes, followers, the scale, age - stop caring about the frigging numbers! They don't reflect your worth or your value. Judge your life by different values: how you feel, how you make others feel, genuine connections, energy, love.

Forget perfection. Do what gives you joy, even if you do it badly.

Spend more time with the people that matter the most to you. Hang out with those dearest to you, and let them know what they mean to you.

Eat the damn cake. Because, cake.

Be kind. Never forget that.

This list is hopelessly incomplete, but it's a start.
So go out kids, have fun, no regrets, experience as much as you can. Stop caring what other people might think about you, do what makes you laugh out loud, makes your heart swell with joy and your sweet self so excited you can't contain yourself.

What is on your life list?




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Tuesday, 24 March 2015

It's not easy being a chick + Let's grow together {Link-up #12}

Alternative title: 5 6 things I wish my husband wouldn't know about me.


Personal grooming for women is serious business. I consider myself pretty low-maintenance: no make-up on most days, hair in a ponytail or messy bun, nail polish only once in a while when the mood strikes me.
And yet, there are a myriad of embarrassing rituals I have choose to go through on a regular basis to keep up with the current standards of beauty.  
It's been a while since I have embarrassed myself on the internet, and I thought it's time. Let's dive right in to some cringe-worthy truths about being a girl (or being me), shall we?

1. I shave my toes.
Is there a reason why girls have to have hair on their toes? I thought long and hard about this, and for the life of me I couldn't think of one. It's not enough to keep the feet warm, so that can't be it. Some evolutionary remnants from our ancestors perhaps, but it begs the question: The hair is almost gone, why couldn't all of it disappear? If these few last remnants simply exist to mock us, it's working, because it's annoying as hell. Boys, did you know that you can get your toes waxed? True story.

2. Sometimes, my belly button is acting up.
Belly button hygiene is a greatly neglected part of my daily bathroom routine. Here is a question for you: What do you use to keep your navel clean? Q-tip? Washcloth? Or do you simply let water and soap run over it and call it a day? If that's your approach then you have probably noticed that it is only partly successful. It will be fine for months, until the day when you suddenly notice that it is a wee bit red - and smells strange. Whenever this happens I attack it with alcohol, and that works perfectly. However, any tips on a regular belly button cleaning routine are greatly appreciated!

3. My leg hair grows so freakishly fast, I used to lie when my husband asked me if I had shaved today ("No, it was 2 days ago" - when I had shaved just that morning). Now I simply shrug and tell him that he is lucky to have such a healthy wife - surely any sort of growth is a good thing?

4. When I'm stressed, I get an angry rash in a delicate spot (no, I won't tell you which delicate spot).
It's itchy and embarrassing. On the bright side, only three people know about it: My husband, my doctor, and myself - and now you. I've had it for years, and there is nothing to do about it apart from not getting stressed - which is the kind of pressure that stresses me out. It's a lose/lose situation.

5. The soles of my feet are made of dragon skin.
True story.
Okay okay, it's not a true story. But it very well could be! Pedicures are no luxury, they are a necessity for me. I get it from my mom: her, my sis and I are all blessed cursed with extra-tough skin on the soles of our feet. Which comes in handy when walking barefoot; hot sand, rocks or gravel are no biggie for us. I have never tried walking over hot coals, but are confident that it would be a breeze. Sadly, it's not a good look in sandals. With sandal season coming up, so will regular appointments at the nail salon  - oh, the sacrifices we women have to make! ;-)

Plus a bonus point, unrelated to grooming issues yet still something I'd have preferred if Rich would have never found out about me:
6. I eat at lightning speed.
The first time I let my guard down in front of Richard and ate like I usually do, he was so startled he dropped his fork. "Why do you eat so fast?", he asked me with astonishment. Well, it's simple, really: My primal instincts are well honed and kick in as soon as sustenance is within reach. I can't help it - it's nature versus nurture. The good news is, whenever we share a food platter, I get all the best pieces because he can't keep up. Score!

Ladies, now it's your turn: share your grooming/bodily function secrets!






Farm Girl


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Sunday, 22 March 2015

Surprise!


Last Friday was a grey, rainy day. I had the day off and we did our usual routine: I blogged in the morning while Rich made some phone calls; then we went outside, Rich feeding the animals and I mucking out the horse stalls and paddocks. We had lunch, and then ran some errands together. All normal, boring, everyday stuff. On the way home we stopped by the mailbox, where I found something unexpected: a package from ClearlyContacts. What the...? I hadn't ordered anything. My first thought was that it wasn't for me. The mail-lady must have put the package into the wrong slot - it happened before. However, my name was on it. Hmm, strange.

As soon as we arrived home I opened it, still convinced that someone had messed up.
What happened next I re-enacted (badly, I'm no actress) for you:

Clearly Contacts package
"What could be in here? I have no idea."
Clearly Contacts
"Let's see... looks like glasses. But I didn't order any!"
Handwritten card from Clearly Contacts
"Wait, there is a card. It's handwritten! Omg, it's a gift!! A thank-you from Clearly Contacts for wearing their glasses occasionally in my outfit posts."  
Clearly Contacts glasses
"That's amazing!"
Clearly Contacts glasses
 "Look at them!"
Love L742 Passion Fruit Fade glasses from Clearly Contacts
Love L742 Passion Fruit Fade glasses from Clearly Contacts
"I love them! Thanks so much, Clearly Contacts!

It was a complete and utter surprise to me and made my weekend. 
While I always list in outfit posts where I bought my clothes, shoes and accessories, I have never contacted anyone to let them know that or asked for a freebie. Everything I buy and wear I do because I like it. I have been a Clearly Contacts customer for many years, because I love their products and the impeccable service; plus as you may know, I'm a huge fan of online shopping because it's so darn convenient. 

My favourite part (apart from a fabulous pair of new glasses)? The handwritten card. What a sweet and special touch! 

Clearly Contacts, you rock! Thank you so much for this wonderful surprise!
  





*This is not a sponsored post. Clearly Contacts sent me these glasses with no condition attached to it whatsoever. All opinions are my own.*



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Friday, 20 March 2015

Day of happiness!

First day of spring

Spring is here! It's a beautiful thing. Google informed me that today is the International Day of Happiness, which prompted me to assemble a completely random list of things that are making me happy currently: 

This video of pets interrupting yoga (thanks for sharing, Mariah!). 
Pets interrupting yoga
source


This post by The Pioneer Woman - just look at that amazing photo:
Horses by The Pioneer Woman
Image by Ree Drummond

Mantra bands
Choose joy; live what you love; never give up.

Waiting for this fun gadget from Photojojo:
The Gorillapod for mobile phones! (source)

Going to see Insurgent tomorrow with my friend (yummy Theo James - do I need to say more?):
source

Spring fashion from ModCloth:
ModCloth spring fashion
source

This challenge on Instagram that is responsible for my renewed love affair with fitness and yoga:
Journey to handstand Instagram challenge
source
 

And, as always, these guys: 
Farmer and his dogs
My farmer and our dogs

What makes you happy?






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