How to throw a dreamy Summer Solstice party.

In case you didn’t realize it, the Summer solstice is fast approaching… Friday 21st December. It not only marks the first official day of Summer but it’s also the longest day of the year here in the Southern hemisphere. 

The word “Solstice”originates from two Latin words: “sol”, which means “sun” and “sister”, translating to “to stand”. So it’s basically a given to get your best girlfriends together and throw a party to celebrate the change in seasons ans officially welcome Summer.

The Summer solstice is all about celebrating nature, the longest day of the year, and honouring the sun. The more natural feel to your gathering spot, the better. I think having your party at the beach or in the forest would be the perfect setting.

When it comes to a dress code, you could suggest all-white attire, as it’s worn in some traditional celebrations and represents purity (The Solstice is believed to be a time of spiritual renewal).

As an ode to the sun, light up your space. Start by hanging fairy lights to set the mood and scatter mini tea lights around your space. Add foliage & vases of fresh flowers, and garlands of greenery is the perfect way to decorate. The day/night should be more go with the flow, so set a boho atmosphere by scattering throw pillows and blankets as comfy outdoor seating.

One popular tradition is that people pick flowers and craft wreaths to hang on their wall or wear on their head. You can honour Mother Nature by setting out fresh flowers and greenery that guests can weave into flower crowns or mini wreaths. I personally like this idea as it also means everyone can wear their flower crown at the party and will take home a little something to remember the event.

Now a party isn’t a party without food and drinks right?! I think bowls of fresh Summer salads, fruit platters and delicious cakes dressed up with edible flowers. Grazing boards are such a popular way to feed your guests, so why not get creative with some cheese, crackers, bread, dried fruits and nuts. Whip up sparkling and fruity drinks like a tequila sunrise or Mojito. 

I love the idea of adding a mystical tradition to your party. While the sun is still in view, lead your guests through a renewal ritual. The is believed to be a time of spiritual renewal so why not use this magical time to wash away unwanted negative energies with a sage wand and set intentions for your year ahead. You and your guests can take turns to sage each other. It is really such a beautiful gift to be smudged by someone else. Visit www.wolf-and-she.myshopify.com to get your smudge wand.

A bonfire makes the perfect end to a party where everyone can lounge around and relax. If you don’t have access to a fire pit or are somewhere with fire restrictions, sparklers work just as well. They are a fun way to close the party, plus they look super amazing in photos. 

So now you have all the tools you need to host your own Summer Solstice party! Get those invites out ASAP as you’ve got 1 week to get things sorted!

Happy party planning and sun worshipping.

X Jes

 

Budgeting with a baby

Before Lara came along I was never really one to budget, neither was my husband, so I guess we were a bad influence on each other when it came to money matters.

We were both living out of home at 18 years old, renting with friends. When Aaron and I met back in 2006, we moved in together a year after we started dating. We still rent the same place we first moved in to which is pretty special I think, and I guess pretty lucky to be able to rent the same house for 10 years and counting.

Let’s be real, renting is dead money! And it’s so hard to save for a house while you’re paying someone else’s home loan. Unfortunately we don’t have the privilege of moving in with parents to help save for a house deposit, so it looks like we will be stuck in the renters trap for a few more years yet!

Before Lara we basically lived pay cheque to pay cheque! We had new cars, we went away all the time, we travelled overseas, went out to dinner at expensive wineries every weekend, and basically just lived life not really caring about the future, and just lived in the moment, splurging on anything and everything we wanted.

Realizing how much money I used to spend on hair, beauty and clothes blows my mind now! I used to get my nails done every two weeks, spray tans, facials, hair colour every 6 weeks, extensions, eyelash extensions, shopping sprees every week… the list goes on! Buying pointless, unnecessary shit that I thought would make me happy.

When we got married last year we did the first grown up thing and opened a joint bank account and got private health insurance. When I fell pregnant a month later we knew things had to change because not only was a baby on the way, we knew that I would be finishing up at work soon enough, which meant we would only have one income. The company I worked for were closing up around the same time Lara was due to be born, so once I finished work there was no job to go back to.

We started off with our mobile phone plans. We switched them both to the same network and cut down the plan and immediately saved $100 a month! How crazy! We then got onto all the amenities and researched cheaper providers, and we did the same with our car insurance. It took us both by surprise at how much money we could save just by doing a bit of research for cheaper providers, but still get the same quality service and cover. We should have done this years ago!

We wanted to save as much money as possible while I was still working, but we both had quite a bit of credit card debt and thought it would be best to pay them off and clear all debt before Lara came.

We ended up having to pay around $5,000 for Lara to be born in a private hospital which didn’t help the little savings we had. If I could go back and change it, I’d still have Lara at the Bays Hospital because it was the best experience and care anyone could ask for! We will be having all our babies at the Bays, so I guess we better start saving!

We stopped eating out so much, and became quite mindful of our spending habits. One of the biggest money savers we found was our grocery shopping bill. We never did a big weekly shop EVER! We would just pop into the shops every night on the way home from work and buy ingredients for dinner which was such a trap because you’d end up spending $40-$60 a night!Now we plan out the meals for the week and write a shopping list. It’s actually a bit of fun trying to keep the bill under $100 every week, the lower the better and more exciting! Did I really just say that? Ha! Obviously the weeks where we need to buy formula, nappies and wipes, the bill goes up by $70 but that’s expected.

Before I fell pregnant with Lara we had a big clean out at home and threw out clothes, homewards and just stuff! It was a huge declutter, and the thought of clearing out the clutter and creating more space was so refreshing! I read a lot of books about minimalism and slow living and it really changed my mindset about the accumulation of ‘things’. Everything I buy now is thought out. “Is it necessary? What is it’s purpose? Do we actually need this?” I hate clutter, and everything in our home is there because it has a purpose. It’s quality over quantity, and that’s the mindset I have especially for Lara’s belongings. She has a small amount of toys, but they are quality toys.

Life is definitely very different to how we were living before Lara came, but that’s the sacrifice you make when you decide to have a baby. I no longer go to the day spa for pampering, and I get my hair colored maybe once every 6 months. I did find it very hard in the beginning not being able to just buy what I wanted when I wanted, but it really does make you think about what you’re spending your money on. I know from Aaron’s perspective he feels a lot of pressure to be the sole income earner, and it makes me more aware of my spending habits. Each pay day I withdraw myself $50 cash for the week and that’s for me to spend as I wish. It’s my coffee date with friends, tickets to the maze or aquarium, or a little something for Lara or myself. Or I can save it up for something big. It’s money I can spend without feeling guilty that I’m just spending all Aaron’s hard earned wage and any big purchases we always discuss before doing so.

Having the cash in my purse really makes me question what I spend it on. When you just use your card, you just constantly ‘tap’ purchases and you don’t realize how much you’re actually spending. There’s something about having the physical cash in your purse that you can see that makes you stop and think if you really need or want a coffee.

People keep asking when I’m going to go back to work, and truth is I probably won’t be on the job hunt any time soon. We want to have more babies and we want to have them within the next 4 years (before I’m 35) so there’s no real point in starting a new job and then having to leave again, plus I don’t want to put Lara in day care. I also just don’t want to work for anyone. I know that probably sounds a little selfish but I’m just being honest. I don’t feel called and I have no desire to be in a 9-5 mediocre job. If I’m going to work I want to do purposeful work, something I absolutely love…

I recently just started up my own online business which was a little scary to get started as we had to outlay some money to get things up and running. Starting your own business is risky because you don’t know if it’s going to work or not, You just have to jump in and see what the universe has to offer in return. This project is a great creative outlet for me which does wonders for my mental health. I get so much enjoyment from creating things with my hands, and it makes me excited to put myself out into the world and have people purchase my creations. It’s even better that I can do all this while being at home with Lara! I’m hoping that this little business can keep me busy and hopefully help us toward our savings goal.

Life doesn’t have to boring when you’re on a budget. There’s actually a lot of things you can do that don’t cost anything! Entertaining babies/kids isn’t hard and doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. We spend our days going for walks, the park, beach, gardens, & foraging. We have picnics with our friends, and go for hikes to magical places. There’s free story and activity time at the library, local play group for $2, and music, messy play and so much more that has very little costs involved. When we’re having home days we play in the back yard, and make our own sensory games and messy play. We still go out for breakfast and lunch etc but it’s once a week- once a fortnight if anything. You don’t need to have money to have fun!

While our dream to purchase a farm house over looking the hills is now further away than ever, and the luxury lifestyle is now no longer… Having Lara in our lives is all worth it. I don’t care if I don’t have the newest clothes, expensive makeup, or fine dining, I couldn’t care less for material items anymore. As long as Lara is clean, healthy, there’s food on the table and a roof over our head, then I’m happy! You don’t need alot to have a happy life. And with having less than I ever had before, I’m actually the happiest I’ve ever been in my whole life.

Your priorities definitely change once you have babies, and it’s a good thing!

A mama’s mindset

Since becoming a mama to my beautiful daughter Lara, I’ve had so many other mamas and mamas-to-be asking for advice on how to mentally transition into mamahood, and doing so with a positive mindset.

I’m sorry to disappoint, but I don’t have the perfect answer. I can however tell you about my own experiences and how I have managed to keep my slow living lifestyle with a baby.

2 years ago I started a journey of mindfulness. I wanted to experience life deeply and be as present as I could. This meant slowing life right down and intentionally doing things rather than just mindlessly rushing from one thing to the next.

I particularly delved into this lifestyle when I became pregnant because I learned that by keeping myself calm, relaxed and quiet during my pregnancy was good for my stress levels, good for baby’s stress levels and it would ultimately result in having a calm and content baby. Now who wouldn’t want that?!

Over the years of living this lifestyle, it has really helped me transition into mamahood with understanding and patience which are two important things to have when you are a new mama.

I’m not going to sugar coat anything here, and I’m being completely honest when I say that the first month was the hardest for me. It’s not that parenting is hard, it’s just that life is different to how it used to be. And it’s an instant change that you can’t really prepare for until you’re living it! You’re now responsible for someone, and that someone is completely dependent on you. That in itself can be pretty overwhelming.

I questioned everything I did in those first few weeks, and all I wanted was for someone to tell me the right way to do things. Patience and understanding really helped me from loosing my mind. If Lara was upset, I would make sure I stayed calm and relaxed, and I found that Lara would pick up on my energy and she would relax too.

I remember when the midwife came to our home during week one for a check up and she was going through some programs and she passed me a brochure about shaking your baby. Now we all know that shaking your baby can cause permanent injury and even death and that you should never do it. But I can honestly understand how it can happen. There are some frustrating times of being a mama, and sometimes it’s not just the baby that makes you feel this way. It can be too much pressure from your partner for you to do more around the house while they are at work, feeling lonesome and isolated when the new born bubble disappears and friends and family drop off the radar, or just the fact that your hormones are all over the place and you feel like an emotional wreck! There are so many reasons to not feel good mentally, but if we just slow down and take each moment as it comes with calmness and mindfulness it not only makes life with a baby a little less stressful but it makes life in general more clear.

I really try to be present as much as possible when Lara is awake. I take her for walks and show her things up close and talk to her about life. We explore nature and I get her to feel the different textures of plants, flowers and trees. We go on bush walks, sit at the beach or just lay in the forrest watching the tall trees sway in the breeze. Being out in nature calms us both, and it makes me feel so good to receive earth medicine.

When she tests my patience, I sit her up on my knees and look into her eyes and I tell her how I’m feeling. It somehow makes me feel better to vent out my frustration by talking to her, rather than just getting myself all worked up. In that moment you kinda stop and breathe, and get that sense of calmness back which helps get through the situation at hand.

Children are only children for a very short period, and they learn the most from birth to age 5! I really want to be as present and feel so deeply in these precious times so I can give Lara the best upbringing possible. I resigned from my job 2 weeks before I gave birth, and I’m in no rush to get back into the workforce anytime soon. I love spending my days quietly and slowly living life with Lara by my side, nurturing her and loving her with my full and complete attention.

To end this post il leave this quote. One that I read and will keep with me. An insight into a mama’s life who wishes she didn’t mindlessly rush through life. A reminder to treasure every moment.

X Jes

Our Elopement Wedding.

Today marks 1 year since I got to marry my wonderful husband, so I thought I’d reflect back on that special day and tell you all about our elopement.

Aaron and I chose to elope for many reasons such as us both having such disfunctional families, the fact that we had been together for 10 years and didn’t feel the need for a big fancy wedding, not to mention the costs of having a big wedding, and the main fact of just doing what we wanted to do without the unwanted input of family and friends. Weddings can get out of control, and you end up doing things to please others. We found by doing things ourselves, quietly and privately, it meant so much more.

We didn’t tell many people that we were getting married, except a couple close friends who helped us with some of the wedding details. It was hard to keep it a secret, especially because we had decided to elope over a year before we did.

The venue

Our wedding took place on our 10 year anniversary. We got married at the Old Treasury Building in Melbourne. It was quiet, and pretty quick, but it didn’t mean any less just because we chose to get married at a registry office. We got to choose our vowels, and could personalise the ceremony any way we wanted to. We were married by a lovely female celebrant in the presence of our best friends. It was so nice to just be focused on Aaron and him on me without the eyes of guests watching your every move.

After the official ceremony had ended, we made our way to a beautiful estate called Montsalvat in Eltham to have our wedding photos done and a celebratory lunch. I came across the estate years ago and just fell in love with the old buildings and gardens, it really made the most perfect spot to capture our love and happiness.

The Dress

I had no real idea of the kind of dress I wanted, I just wanted something that suited me and my personality. I have a very talented friend who is a dress maker that I have worked with for many years during my pageantry days. I knew she would be the best person to help me with my dress as she knew my style and personality, and my oh my did she deliver. I love that my dress and vale were hand made and so unique, and more so that my friend Arlene was the one who made the magic happen.

The Ring

Aaron and I went shopping for my ring at the usual jewellery chain stores in the shopping centres. After looking and trying on hundreds of rings, I just couldn’t find anything I liked. Everything just looked the same, and I didn’t want something that everyone else had.

One weekend we went antique store hopping which we both just love doing, and I found myself in the jewellery section of the packing house in Tyabb. This beautiful aquamarine stone caught my eye, and I asked to try it on. I instantly fell in love with this ring and it fit my ring finger perfectly! The counter keeper said that the ring only came in that morning, it felt like fate had aligned me with this ring, and I just knew it was the one, and so it came home with us. I never looked at it or wore it until Aaron placed it on my finger the day we said “I do”.

The Photographer

Our photographer was a good friend of mine who I actually went to high school with. Paige has a way with the camera, and her work is exceptional. Aaron and I knew that she was the perfect person to capture our day and that we would feel completely comfortable around her.

The Honeymoon

Our honeymoon destination was Port Douglas in Tropical North Queensland. We stayed in a hotel in Melbourne on our wedding night, then flew out to Cairns first thing the next morning. We had the best 7 days up there, eating out everyday, relaxing on the beach, and exploring around the area. We had our first holiday together in Port Douglas as girlfriend and boyfriend about 7 years ago, so it was nice to go back and relive it all. Port Douglas will always hold a special place in our hearts.

And that’s our Wedding and honeymoon in a nutshell. We loved our wedding and would do it the same way if we had to do it again. It worked for us, it was quiet, and simple but full of love and it was one of the best moments of our lives.

X Jes

The finer details

Hair and make-up: I did myself.

Flowers: Peninsula Wild Flower. http://www.peninsulawildflower.com.au

Photographer: Paige Lee Photography. http://www.paigeleephotography.com.au

Venue: Montsalvat. http://www.montsalvat.com.au

Ring store: Tyabb Packing House. http://www.tyabbpackinghouseantiques.com.au

Dress: Arlene D’Monte Designs. (No longer dress making)

Calm birth, Calm baby.

My Lara is now 2 months old, and there’s one thing I’ve particularly become aware of in the last few weeks…  that she is a very calm and content baby.

We shouldn’t compare our children to others, but I not only have noticed her calming attitude, but many others have too! As I reminisce back to the birth, and all my intentions and self care while pregnant, it really makes sense as to why I have such a placid baby now.

From the moment Lara was born and placed onto my chest, she was quiet and calm, she didn’t even cry! The next 5 days we spent in hospital all I ever heard in the maternity ward was the constant screaming of babies, day and night; but not my Lara. The midwives frequently commented on how content Lara was, and only made a peep when she was hungry.

Over the last few weeks we’ve been to maternal health and pediatric appointments, mothers group, and community programs where we’ve been among other babies around Lara’s age. While they were quick to cry and become unsettled quickly, my Lara just lay there quietly with comments from other parents saying ‘Why can’t you be more like Lara’ to their own children.

While it’s only been 8 weeks since Lara was born, it has been very interesting watching her delicate personality come to life. She has been a very calm baby so far, apart from being a little unsettled from her 6 week immunizations and her developmental leaps. So far so good!

I’ve seen many parents struggle with restless babies/children who seem to constantly cry and be unsettled, and while I’m no expert or doctor, I truly believe that being calm during pregnancy and labour results in a calm and content baby. Let me explain more.

Right from conception, you and your baby are forming a relationship. Your baby is literally apart of you, he/she inhibits your hormones, calories and even picks up on your emotions in that they feel what you feel. After birth this continues, your baby absorbs your moods and nuances, no matter how subtle.

Scientific evidence shows that awake or asleep, babies are constantly tuned into their mothers every action, thought and feeling. From the moment of conception, the experiences in the womb shape the brain and lay the groundwork for personality, emotional temperament and the power of higher thought.

When you are calm, relaxed and content, it is most beneficial to your child whether they are in the uterus or earthside. Research has shown that the more a mother experiences stress during her pregnancy, and the more difficult the birth, the more a baby will cry and be irritable.

Marion Badenoch Rose from Aware Parenting tells us that babies cry for two main reasons. The first to indicate an immediate need – such as a need for closeness, food, a pain or to be made more comfortable (such as a nappy change, to be warmer/cooler or change position). The second reason for crying is the same as in adults – to express feelings and to heal from stress or trauma.

A baby whose mother is very calm during pregnancy, has an easy birth, who is held most of the time, is protected from over stimulation, and whose parents feel generally happy and loving will experience less stress. In comparison, a baby who has a mother who is stressed or scared whilst pregnant, has a difficult or traumatic birth experience, who is kept separate from mum or who frequently experiences stressful events such as loud noises, parents shouting, or busy shopping areas and lots of people, is likely to have more stress to heal from, and is likely to try and cry for long periods every day.

It is also interesting for you to know that babies/children can pick up on their mothers moodswings and hormone changes during PMS. You may find your little one becomes more crankier and more restless, with their sleep even being disrupted around the time you are due for your period. This is how intune your baby is with their mama.

During my pregnancy I studied hypnobirthing as I needed to eliminate my fears of childbirth. During my studies I not only learnt valuable knowledge to prepare myself to birth calmly, but also the necessary tools and resources to continue these mindful practices for beyond birth.

While pregnant one of the first things I did to eliminate stress was putting a pause on some friendships that were highly needy and draining.  I bravely sent txt messages explaining I just needed some time for myself and that I was trying to stay in a positive mindset. Your real friends will understand, and for those who don’t, well then you’re better off without them I say.

Other things I did to stay positive and calm throughout my pregnancy was weekly yoga classes, daily meditation, walks in nature, and just being really mindful of the things I was doing. Not rushing around, and just taking my time in organising things for the baby. The instinct to launch into activities and get things prepared for baby as quickly as possible may feel natural, but it is not usually the best way to operate. Thinking about what you want to do first, planning it and being methodical; that’s the mindful approach. It also makes the ‘doing’ more enjoyable, because you’re working to a plan and are aware of your progress rather than mindlessly rushing to complete a task.

I had such a positive birth experience, which was a result of my commitment to my hypnobirth studies and preparation. I birthed Lara naturally in a quiet and calm environment with dim lighting and the smell of my lavender essential oils. I remained quiet and generally calm throughout labour and was able to do so without any medication/drugs or intervention.

Whenever I feel myself getting stressed or if my mind is wondering while I’m trying to sleep, I use the tools and resources I learnt from my hypnobirthing course to help bring me into a relaxed state. A simple thing to do for when I can’t sleep or am nervous is I just do some big deep belly breaths, counting in for 4 and out for 6. Another way to relax is to scan over your body and ensure every muscle is soft and relaxed, even the muscles around your eyes. Make sure your jaw is relaxed so that your teeth part slightly. It is interesting for you to know that certain muscle groups talk to other muscle groups, so by working your way from the top of your head to the tip of your toes you’ll instantly feel calm and relaxed.

If calm birth/hypnobirthing speaks to your heart, I encourage you to keep learning about it. You have nothing to loose and so much to gain.

If it doesn’t, that’s ok! You do what is the most authentic way for you as a parent. Most of all enjoy your baby and all the gifts he or she brings to you!

X Jes

My birth preparations.

This week I’m 34 weeks pregnant, which means there’s about 6 weeks to go until I get to meet my baby.

I’ve been pretty open and honest about my pregnancy struggles and fears surrounding the birth, so I wanted to share what I’ve been doing to help prepare myself for a calm, gentle and natural birth.

The best thing I ever came across was hypnobirthing. This has changed my entire perception about labour and birth. No, I wasn’t hypnotised with a swaying pendulum which I’m sure is the first thing that comes to mind.

Hypnobirthing was developed to reduce anxiety and fear surrounding labour and birth. Reducing fear, reduces tension and adrenaline which diminishes pain sensations. Consequently, this then allows mothers to birth their babies more confidently and comfortably.

Some benefits of hypnobirthing are;

  • Eliminates fear, tension and anxiety about the birthing process​.

  • Gives your body the preparation needed for a calm birth.

  • Greatly reduces or eliminates pain experienced during childbirth.

  • Shortens the first stage of labour​.

  • Greatly reduces or eliminates the need for painkillers during childbirth​.

  • Reduces surgical intervention​.

  • Reduces fatigue so you can remain alert and energised.

  • Faster postnatal recovery.

  • Returns birthing to the beautiful, peaceful experience nature intended.

  • Allows dads or birth companions to play an active role in the birth.

  • Creates a calm environment for your baby to be born into.

My husband and I attended a calm birth workshop which is exactly the same as hypnobirthing a couple of weeks ago, and I can highly recommend this workshop to any pregnant woman. Aaron and I are now equipped with knowledge of how the body works during labour and birth, I know how to breathe properly through contractions to ensure I stay in a calm and relaxed state of mind, I’ve gained confidence in my body’s ability to birth naturally and without medication and Aaron and I have a better understanding that this whole experience is about team work, and our bond has grown even stronger.

Hypnobirthing has helped me immensely prepare my mind for labour and birth, but there are also other things I’ve been doing to prepare.

Meditation

I meditate every day without fail, sometimes even twice or three times a day. The meditations I do are about visualizing my baby’s birth and how I would like my ‘perfect’ labour and birth to be, aswell as simple relaxation meditations. Practice makes permanant, and by practicing the ‘relaxtion response’ in the body every day, it begins to come into play very easily. I’m hoping by my first contraction, I can easily tap into a deep relaxed state of mind.

I use crystals alongside my meditations, sometimes using my smudge stick to help clear away negative energy, and essential oils to help keep me in a relaxed and calm state. I will be bringing my crystals and oils to the hospital when I’m in labour also.

Affirmations

I have positive birth affirmations stuck on almost every wall in my house and on my desk at work. I read these daily, and I also have a few special ones for labour and birth that will come to the hospital with me. Affirmations are not only for manifesting a specific goal. They’re meant to encourage a life filled with positivity and gratitude.

Raspberry leaf tea 

I have recently started taking raspberry tea leaf capsules, which assist the uterus in preparation for birth. Most women drink raspberry leaf tea, which has the same effect, however the capsules are stronger. Raspberry leaf is thought to help shorten labour, as it strengthens the uterine and pelvic muscles while also working as a relaxant at the same time, and therefore helps reduce the pain of contractions during labour.

Eating dates

I eat 6 dates everyday, which helps to shorten labour and aids in faster dilation. Researchers have found that dates have an oxytocin-like effect on the body, leading to increased sensitivity of the uterus. It also helps stimulate uterine contractions, and reduces postpartum hemorrhage the way oxytocin does. They also found that it contains many nutritional benefits for pregnant mamas. The recommended quantity to eat is 4 – 6 dates per day from 34 weeks of pregnancy.

Some of you probably think this is all a bit extreme, and that’s your opinion. But for me, labour and birth is a huge challenge mentally and I am working hard, dedicating time to practicing ways and help prepare my body. I mean, you wouldn’t enter a marathon without training for it would you? Same goes for labour. Why wouldn’t you want to atleast try and have an easier, painfree and relaxed birth?

The best advice I’ve received from other calm birth Mother’s is that it’s mind over matter and believing in your body. It’s about conditioning the mind to think positively about the birth and trusting that your body knows how to birth gently and naturally.

So I guess we will see what happens when it comes to BIRTH day, and how everything will unfold. I’m excited to fill you all in on my birth story, and to see if everything I’m working on and the birth that I dream of all happens for me. For now, I’m going to trust the process, and have faith everything will happen for me.

X Jess

P.s For those interested in learning calm birth, here is the information of the workshop we did. I highly recommend this to any pregnant woman.

Web: http://lotuscalmbirth.com/

Email: lainey@lotuscalmbirth.com

Why creating a tranquil space is so important.

You know how you have that one little space in your home that you just adore… Or maybe you don’t? For me, my favourite space to be is in our bedroom or the main loungeroom. Both rooms are filled with plants, crystals, my favourite books, and candles. I love surrounding myself with life, nature and gorgeous plants, creating a beautiful detoxed home where it feels peaceful and calm.

Modern life is busy and places a lot of demands on our precious time which is why it’s more important than ever that we have a sanctuary in our homes. So where is your quiet space, your space for reflection and recharging?

I can quite happily just lay in bed and look around the bedroom and feel at ease, I love the colour tones, the selected photos that are placed around the room, the textures of the blankets and pillows, and that everything has a place. If I’m feeling stressed, anxious or upset, I get into bed under the layers of blankets, supported by a bundle of pillows and just lay there, and soon enough I’m feeling good again. In the evening I turn my salt lamps on, light some candles, and diffuse some essential oils, it creates such a warm and inviting space for rest and sleep.

My loungeroom is where ‘family’ time takes place, while the room has a tv and other technology outlets, it still is a place of calmness and serenity. I practice yoga and meditation in this room, and I love the natural sunlight that filters through the main window. There are plants, candles, different textures, photos and pictures, books and insense burners. I love sitting on our big comfy couch with a cuppa in this room, it feels light, safe and peaceful.

Where you live is your sacred space. Your sacred space tells the universe everything about what exactly you want to manifest in your life. Whether all you have is a room, an apartment, a house, whatever it is for you – how you look after it, how you feel in it, how you spend your time in it, how organised or clean it is, say’s everything.

This is the space where you are supposed to ground, re-energize, feel loved, & feel valued. If you don’t love, value, honor or cherish your space, if it doesnt represent the way in which you would like to be received in the world, start to put energy into your space and watch your world begin to change.

Everyone needs a space where they can feel nurtured. This is your space and even if it’s only 5 minutes of everyday that you get to spend in it, it should make you feel relaxed, at peace and revitalized when you leave. It’s important for your health to rest and recuperate, physically and mentally.

My tips for creating a tranquil space in your home.

Colour: For a calming color scheme, return to nature. Earthy neutrals are an excellent choice for a relaxing room. I really love neutral and gold tones.

Add Life: Adding some lush green plants purifies the air and helps transform even the most urban abode into a restful oasis. Plants have a calming effect through their soothing green colors and by providing oxygen. My favourite go-to indoor plants are the fiddle leaf and peace lilly.

Conquer Clutter: Clutter produces physical and unconscious chaos. Have a clean out of the items you no longer need or use in the home. Creating space in the home will create room for more love and joy in your life.

Nurture Nature: By incorporating natural elements into your space you feed the intrinsic yearnings deep within you that foster a sense of inner calm and peace. I love hanging dried flowers in my kitchen and having fresh produce out in view.

Welcome Windows: Open your windows each day and remember to take a deep breath. Fresh air is always a must!

Let in the light: There’s nothing as refreshing as natural light to make a home feel bright and airy – and close to nature. Keep window treatments to a minimum and let the light pour in at every opportunity.

Aroma for the senses: A homemade linen spray, soy or beeswax candles, and essential oils are all natural ways to enhance your room with fresh scents, which can not only be calming when it’s time to sleep, but also invigorating when it’s time to wake. I highly recommend Doterra essential oils.

Toys away: Don’t let your entire home become a playground with the kids toys. Toys and playtime should be in a designated room or area. Parents need their own space away from chaos and clutter, so ensure you have at least one room in the house that is toy free!

Whatever your style, everyone needs a haven in their home or garden. Somewhere to find your zen, your inner calm, and you’ll know when you’ve found it because you will instantly feel at peace.

I personally love the earthy tones and boho feel in my home, and you really don’t have to put yourself out of pocket to create a lovely style. Jute rugs, knitted throws, pillar candles and sea grass baskets are found in Kmart, Target and Big W for budget prices, and I always try foraging for fresh flowers in my garden or out in nature before spending money on them at the market.

Where is your tranquil space? And what do you love most about it?

X Jes