Lemon & Coconut Slice Recipe.

Well this is different! A recipe on the blog you might be thinking?! Well I was invited to a girlfriends place over the weekend for a catch up so I decided to make some of these divine little treats to share with the girls, and everyone loved them! After posting them on my snap chat I had a few people ask me for the recipe, so I thought why not pop it up on my blog for anyone wanting to whip up these tasty sweets!

These are super easy to make, no baking required and did I mention they are super delicious?!

You will need:

  • 1/2 a cup of sweetened condensed milk.
  • 125g butter.
  • 250g milk arrowroot biscuits.
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind.
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut.

Icing

  • 1 3/4 cups of icing sugar.
  • 3 tablespoons of lemon juice.
  • 15g butter.
  • 2 tablespoons desiccated coconut.

Method:

1. Place condensed milk and butter in a saucepan. Stir over gentle heat until the butter has melted. Be sure not to boil or burn!

2. Crush biscuits very finely. (I put a handful of biscuits at a time in a zip lock bag and used a rolling pin to crush them) Add lemon rind and coconut in a mixing bowl and pour in the crushed biscuits.

3. Add warm milk and butter mixture to the biscuit mixture. Mix well with a wooden spoon.

4. Press mixture into a lamington or slice tin. I found lining the tin with baking paper made it easy to remove the slice later on. Refrigerate for 1hr.

5. Icing: Combine the icing sugar, lemon juice and butter in a bowl. Mix well until smooth. Spread over the chilled biscuit base and sprinkle with coconut. Refrigerate until icing is set and then it’s ready to slice and serve.

There you have it! An easy, quick and yummy desert that anyone can whip up! If you wanted to make it a little healthier or vegan you could just swap a few of the ingredients around.

To dress it up you could sprinkle dried rose petals or lavender over the top or some candied lemon rind.

Enjoy!

X Jes

My biggest challenge to date.

Anyone who says they love being pregnant must be a freak of nature, because my relationship with my pregnancy has been far from wonderful. Apart from the magical experience leading up to finding out I was pregnant from my previous blog, everything after that has been a real struggle.

In many ways, struggling with pregnancy is a taboo topic. Because the pain of infertility is so real and raw, it seems wildly insensitive to suggest that pregnancy is anything but a blessing. Not to mention carrying a baby feels like your first official job as a mum, and if you’re already not coping with the pregnancy, then you surely are going to fail when the baby comes earth side, right?!

Now don’t get me wrong, of course I’m extremely thankful to be having a child with my Husband, and we are definitely excited, but this whole pregnancy experience has to be my biggest challenge to date. I don’t want to come across as whiney and sooky, but writing out my feelings in my blog helps to clear my head… and maybe find other expecting mums who feel the same as I do.

First off, morning sickness needs to change it’s name to ‘all day and all night sickness’. From 4 weeks pregnant I experienced constant nausea, and for someone who HATES being sick and literally fears throwing up, this was quite the challenge for me. It was mentally and physically exhausting.

Going to work involved carrying a spew bucket around, and napping on my lunch break. Luckily for me I have a very understanding employer who lets me come and go as I need, especially on those days where I just can’t move out of bed.

My sickness also affected my social life. Leaving the house was incredibly difficult for me, and going to a cafe or restaurant was just pure torture with all the smells of food making me want to hurl. I even had to put a holt on my beloved weekly yoga classes, which in turn made me feel even worse.

Along with the all day sickness comes severe exhaustion, which see’s me in bed majority of the time. And I should also mention the restless legs, aching breasts, pounding headaches, dizziness, stomach cramps and twinges and don’t get me started on the weird and wacky dreams. Then there’s the stuff no one warns you about like your nipples changing size and colour, wierd bodily fluids, itchiness…everywhere, gassiness (my husband can attest to this), heartburn, and how about your brain just deciding to switch off, which leaves you doing some pretty stupid stuff like pouring your cereal onto a plate rather than in a bowl, or wondering why the front door won’t unlock with your car key.

Sleep?! What is sleep?! I don’t know why, but during the night I literally have to get up to pee atleast 4-5 times… Crazy! I suppose it’s a way of my body getting used to having broken sleep for when baby arrives. Mix that with weird dreams and restlessness, and you get a walking zombie during the AM.

My hormones are definitely all over the place, my poor husband! I cry at the drop of a hat, or if I have to eat broccoli… Yes, I sobbed like a two year old because I didn’t want to eat broccoli for dinner, when all I wanted was a pizza! I feel myself getting fired up over little things, or just overthinking and being irrational. I’m usually such a quiet and calm person, but I feel like there’s a bomb ticking inside of me and anything will set it off… ANYTHING!

I’m now 16 weeks pregnant, and I can see my body is changing so much. I find I stare at myself in the mirror naked after I shower, just studying how my body looks so different. My veins are bulging from carrying so much extra blood, my hips feel wider and the ‘bump’ that just sticks right out makes me feel like an alien. I just feel swollen and lumpy and I’m not even half way yet… I’m only going to get bigger! I never had the perfect supermodel body prior to getting pregnant, but I have always been quite lean and trim, so It’s hard to get used to seeing my body look different, especially when your favourite jeans dont go up past your thighs now! My usual clothes don’t fit me very well anymore, but I’m still too ‘small’ for Maternity clothes, so getting dressed is becoming a challenge these days. My skin feels dry and blotchy even though I smother myself in oils and moisturizer and the hormones are doing a great job on the pimples popping up all over my face! It’s really hard to feel good about yourself when all of a sudden you feel frumpy and spotty.

Another challenge of pregnancy is the ocean of unknowns. Everytime I have an ultrasound or scan I hold my breath, praying there will still be a heartbeat. I always get so anxious the days leading up to it. We are completely powerless! We can’t control the changes in our body, the sex of the baby, the health of our child, the time he or she will choose to arrive, the details of labor and delivery. It’s terrifying!

We announced our pregnancy to all our friends and family just a week ago, and already I wish I had waited a bit longer. I thought I was ready for the world to know, but I’m not. I know everyone is excited and they all mean well, but I literally cannot deal with all the baby talk, horrible birth stories people feel they need to share, and being asked a thousand questions like if I’m going to breastfeed, or what pram we’re buying. It’s all just too overwhelming and I don’t even have the answers to their questions yet!

My husband and I thought we would go have a look in Baby Bunting a couple of weeks ago (a baby one-stop-shop) to have a look at potentially buying a cot… WOW! I had never felt so out of my comfort zone! We were in and out of the store within 5 minutes, there was just SO much stuff, crying babies and children… I had to get out! We haven’t bought anything for the baby yet, nor even made a start on the nursery. There’s just so much to think about, so much money to be spent, where do you even start?!

I’ve seen many friends and family members go through pregnancy over the years, and they all made it look so wonderfully easy, and exciting! I never recalled hearing about their struggles, or never saw them looking drab, They all looked so good pregnant and happy, but yet I’m still waiting for my pregnancy ‘glow’ to arrive. When does the glow arrive? I want my glow!

Every person is different, so every pregnancy will be different, I understand that. I just never thought I would struggle as much as I am. I keep reassuring myself that it’s ok to not have it all together, I’m allowed to be scared, and I don’t have to have all the baby equipment in the house yet. I’m just taking each day as it comes with whatever challenges, thoughts or feelings that arise, after all this is a brand new experience and as much as it is hard, I want to try and enjoy it, look back on this and be proud of myself.

I’ve learnt that you have to take baby steps, trust that your body knows what it’s doing, and even though I feel overwhelmed, I can still do this! I’ve come this far already, and I’ve overcome my fear of blood tests, I’ve made it past the difficult first trimester, and my baby girl is as healthy as can be, that is all an accomplishment in itself.

I’d love any advice, or to hear if you’ve been on a similar path to me. xx

The Universe will always give you what you need.

I can not preach this any more than I do already. The Universe works in mysterious ways, and whether or not you are spiritually awakened to see her magic before your very own eyes, trust me when I say the Universe always has your back!

I have so many stories that I could share about the many different ways the Universe has worked her magic into my life, but there’s one story I really want to share with you today and that’s my pregnancy. Yes, you read it right, I’m pregnant!

In April 2017, I had just returned from an overseas adventure and went to see a clairvoyant to help clarify a few things going on in my life. Everything that came up in my reading has now come true. During my reading she picked up on my secret elopement marriage that was taking place in October, and also told me of two spirits hovering above me. The two spirits are my unborn children she advised. She told me all about their personalities, and what kind of people they will be. She mentioned that once my husband and I were ready to start a family that it would happen very quickly and easily because the spirits of my children are ready and waiting.

Once October rolled around and my now husband and I got married, I began to focus my thoughts and intentions on starting a family. I would pray, I started preparing my body with the right nutrition and vitamins and even began to create ‘space’ in my life by decluttering and removing things that no longer served me.

November arrived, and one evening I found myself sitting in a Yin Yoga class. During the last pose called Savasana, which is where you lay flat on your back with your eyes closed. This pose is basically like a form of meditation, where you tap into your unconcious thoughts in a semi-meditative state. The pose is held for around five minutes, so not enough time to fall asleep, but enough time to surrender and let your body sink into the ground. During savasana that evening, I had the most vivid dream. A dream that felt so real that tears fell from eyes. This dream just came to me, I didn’t think about it or plan on going there… It just happened!

In my dream, as I was laying on the floor, thick green leafy vines began to wrap themselves around my legs and arms, rooting me to the ground where I felt safe and held. From my stomach a stem started to form, and grew tall reaching for the sky. A huge, magnificent flower bloomed from the stem, and sitting inside the flower was the most beautiful, happy baby I had ever seen in my life. I had never felt so much love or emotion, it was so intense. Looking at this child brang tears to my closed eyes, I was inlove. The petals of the flower began to slowly close over and wrapped up the baby so delicately and safely. The stem then decended straight down into my stomach and the vines began to unravel themselves. In that moment, Savasana was over and it was end of class.

I knew it was a message for me, because I could feel it deep in my soul.

The days following my yoga class I had numerology signs showing up everywhere. 1111, 222 and 444, all indicating my prayers have been heard and everything is in place, that I’m on the right path, and the angels are by my side.

Two weeks later I found out I was pregnant.

I know there would be people who would read this and think I’m delusional or just don’t believe in anything spiritual. But for me, this has been the most magical and incredible thing I’ve ever experienced and my faith has only grown stronger. Being spiritually awakened means you are more intune with your life, soul, spirit and the universe which allows you to see and understand the wonderful plan that’s in place for you.

The universe has a plan for everyone, it’s just up to you whether you choose to tap into that energy, let go of control, surrender and just be guided. Nothing will change if you’re gripping on so tight and want to be in control of every situation, it’s not how it works.

All in all, My husband and I are very excited to meet our daughter in August this year.

I’d love to hear your story or experience of the universe delivering abundance in your life. Leave your comments below.

XX Jes

How yoga saved my life.

Since my late teens I have always been a bit of a yoga enthusiast. I used to dabble in a class here and there, but always struggled to surrender to the poses and switch my brain off for the hour class. I liked yoga, but I never really ‘got it’ and I always felt like I was missing something compared to the other students in the class.

I often struggled with being alone, sitting with feelings and sensations and found it challenging to face myself and the rawness of what I was doing and who I was in that moment.

When my life redirected it’s course 12 months ago, (You can read about this in my first blog post) I shifted into a dark place of feeling lost, anxious, alone and basically just flat line neutral. My doctor advised me to focus on Yoga as she felt it would help me, so I did. It wasn’t until I found myself sitting in a Yin Yoga class a week later that I began to see my yoga practice from a new perspective. All of a sudden I ‘got it’, I felt connected and like I finally understood what was happening. I knew from that moment I had to make Yoga a priority in my life if I wanted to heal myself.

For me there is no question that yoga saved my life. That yoga found me when I couldn’t pretend to save myself any longer. Yoga lets you know it’s not your fault; yoga lets you know that even when you feel alone you are feeling, and that is a start.

Yoga brings you into a deep sense of relaxation physically and that creates more space for you mentally and spiritually. It helped me to realise my body isn’t just what people can see but how I can use it.

My frequent Yin Yoga classes helped me see that the only life over which I have direct control is my own. The person I spend the most time with is myself. I should be kind to myself and love myself in order to be able to love other people to the best of my ability.

Yin Yoga is one of my favourite styles of yoga. Yin Yoga postures are more passive postures, mainly on the floor. It is unique in that you are asked to relax in the posture, and soften the muscle. While yang-like yoga practices are more superficial, Yin offers a much deeper access to the body. Postures are usually held for three to five minutes, even 20 minutes at a time. The time spent in these postures is much like time spent in meditation.

The slow and delicate poses help create more space, it releases tension in a particular area of the body, and it makes you feel as if you are letting go. In life, sometimes we are unable to love or give to our fullest because we hold on to something that no longer serves us or brings us happiness. When you feel confident in how you spend your time and how you treat yourself, your relationships with other people will fall into place, too.

Yoga has taught me to live in the most in-touch, real way possible. Yoga has taught me how to breathe again, feel again, and somehow it has helped me loosen the grips on life and trust the universe a little more. This conscious lifestyle awakened me to what’s really important and what my purpose in this life is.

I go to Yoga classes twice a week, and I practice at home almost every other day. It’s easy to get caught up in day to day life commitments, but by making the effort to go to my classes or roll my yoga mat out when I get home from work, I feel proud and grateful to myself for giving my mind and body the gift of slowing down, rebalancing and grounding itself.

Sometimes I even dedicate my practice to others who may be needing it, like if a friend or someone I know is in a difficult place or unwell, I will dedicate my thoughts, my breath and healing to them.

Yoga for me is kind of on the same page as prayer, I use this time to focus on what’s going on in my life in that particular time, really let go of my grip and surrender. I experience gratitude when I do yoga, and feel overwhelmingly connected to myself and the universe.

It still blows my mind how powerful our mind is during a semi-meditative state.

If you’ve never gone to a yoga class but are interested to start, I would definitely recommend starting with a Yin Yoga class. You don’t need to have experience, you don’t need to be flexible, or to be or look a certain way. There is no judgement, and you just go at your own pace, doing what feels right for your body.

The divine in me bows to the divine in you – Namaste.

I’d love to know if you’ve tried Yin Yoga, or how yoga has helped you!

Xx Jes

Please, Stop asking if I’m pregnant.

This entry is a little off topic to my general posts, but I really feel like I have to put this out there! I think the New Moon in Scorpio is still affecting me with just saying things how it is.

My husband and I got married 8 weeks ago now, and you’d be surprised by the comments I have received in that time about pregnancy and babies.

(Photo: My Husband and I on our wedding day)

“You only got married because you’re pregnant, aren’t you?” Or “You don’t need to say anything, I know you’re pregnant”

*face palm*

I’m sorry to disappoint you all, but you’ve got it all wrong!

Is this just a given these days? You’re expected to have a child immediately after you’re married? Or the reason behind getting married is because you’re already pregnant? I’m not sure If they’re being rude or they’re just too excited for us to have a baby.

A couple’s choice to have a child is a very personal and private thing. You don’t know if we can’t conceive, been having difficulties for years or maybe we just don’t want to have children right now? Whatever our situation, it makes me feel so uncomfortable when I’m asked, and I’m sure there are many other woman who feel the same as I do.

Literally this week alone I’ve had the question put on me by family members and messages from friends on Facebook Congratulating me on my pregnancy because they can tell I’m pregnant from my photos I’ve posted!

Um what?!

I’m sorry if you think you’re seeing a baby bump there, but sometimes girls just get bloated or more times than likely my eyes are bigger than my stomach and I’ve just eaten way too much!

I constantly feel like everyone is looking at my stomach for that baby bump, watching my every move to see if I’m having a wine with my dinner or passing on the deli meats & soft cheeses.

Then there’s the age thing… I’ll be 30 in 5 months and how could I possibly forget that my fertility clock is ticking because I’m reminded ALL the time by family, friends and even strangers!

And don’t get me started on the pressure of grandchildren…

My Niece and I.

(Photo: My Niece and I)

Please keep in mind your seemingly innocent question might cause someone grief, pain, stress or frustration. Sure, for some people those questions may not cause any fraught feelings — but I can tell you, from my own experiences and hearing about many friends’ experiences — it more than likely does.

I think people just need to take a step back, mind their own business and not have expectations or assumptions of when a couple are conceiving. When the time is right, it will be announced. If you’re eager to know, then you’ll just have to wait patiently.

I promise, if or when we are we’ll tell you—when we’re ready.

Xx Jes

Cleaning out my closet – In more ways than one.

With the New Moon in Scorpio starting last week, I think I have succumbed to its influence. I’m feeling strong at the moment, saying what’s on my mind, standing up for myself, and just brutally emptying the contents of my life that no longer serve me.

“Scorpio is intimate with the natural cycles of death, rebirth and transformation. Scorpio is our ally to destroy, eliminate, & let go in order to heal the past, recreate, begin anew with passion. Scorpio’s cycle is here to develop our resilience. Completions and endings are all around us right now. Some will be painful & disturbing. What Scorpio illuminates is our power to respond”.

Whatever this influence is having on me, I think I like it! Here’s what’s been going on;

Last week, I was off work & in bed with a terrible migraine and I was looking over at my wardrobe and thought to myself ‘how much ‘stuff’ is squished in there?’. It wasn’t messy, but just alot of stuff! Shelves filled to the brim with handbags, scarves, hats and the floor taken up by 40+ pairs of shoes. Now for me to be thinking like this is weird, because for anyone who really knows me, will know how much of a shopaholic I am (or was). Once upon a time I would go shopping for a new outfit, bag, or accessory every week… why? Because I could! Plus I had parties & events on every weekend with my pageantry, so of course I had to have something new to wear! I had never thought of my wardrobe in this way before, it was like I was seeing things from a new perspective!

Anyway… the next day I put things into motion. I was on a cleaning frenzy. Unlike anything I’d done before, I ripped almost every item of clothing hanging in the wardrobe off its hanger and took it to my local op shop! I filled 7 large garbage bags full! And another couple bags for the bin! I’m talking clothing with tags still attached, expensive dresses, bags and show stopping heels I had worn once or twice. It didn’t even cross my mind to sell them, no second thoughts if I’d wear it ‘someday’, I just wanted it all gone!

Things got even more savage when I cleared out the dresser too and then proceeded to move the entire dresser to the garage to take to the tip! Yep, I was on a mission to clear things out! I’m not entirely sure if hubby was impressed or concerned by my actions that day…

After I completed my clean out rampage, I sat on the bed with a cuppa looking at what I had done. The lightness I felt was indescribable! I felt accomplished! There was so much space and the room just looked brighter and fresher! My mind felt clear! The items left hanging in my closet were all soft, feminine, floral pieces of similar style which I could see with ease, just a few pairs of sandles and boots in a perfect row, and dainty accessories stored in rattan baskets on the shelf. Everything was so neat. It was beautiful! No more slinky night club dresses, no more tacky sequin numbers… no more business attire.

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I had just created more space in my life to welcome new things. Not new things like more clothes and material objects, but new things such as life, love, creativity, and thinking space! All those ‘things’ that were just taking up room, making clutter, using up good energy. They were items of my past, and now they are gone and I feel free! It’s like I can finally see what kind of person I am now just by looking in my wardrobe.

Creating space is not necessarily about throwing things away or cleaning out your wardrobe. I’m talking about the internal space, the mental, emotional and spiritual space in our lives.

I’ve also been slowly going through the laundry cuboard, kitchen draws, throwing away things we don’t need, use or want. And my diet has also had a switch up, cutting out alcohol and most sugars. It’s like a full life detox!

Another example of my clean out this week is a recent incident with some friends. Word of mouth got around to me that a couple of my friends had been saying some not so nice stuff about me, and when I found out I instantly felt a rock in my throat… Hello anxiety! This feeling lingered with me for days… It wasn’t pleasant. I didn’t know what to do, except more yoga to try shift this yucky feeling. Do I confront them about it?, or do I just let it go and just keep my distance? Then I thought, if they were true friends, there would be no need for them to speak about me in the way that they did, real friends don’t do that. So brutel Jes decided it’s time to cut cords. My next move after that was Facebook… Yep I went there! Scrolling through my newsfeed, I began to cull ‘friends’. People that don’t align with my values, or my lifestyle, people who don’t really know me, I just got rid of, and boy it was liberating! I didn’t even feel guilty. This feeling of just not caring and wanting to eliminate took over, and I thank Scorpio for helping me do it. This process got me thinking about the friendships I have in my life, and I’ve decided to narrow my focus on the most important people. The friends I consider family, the ones that understand it takes two to make a friendship work – I’m focusing my attention on those friendships, rather than spreading myself so thinly to try and please everyone.

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While this moon cycle has been wonderful in helping me declutter the ‘stuff’ in my home, it has also been a blessing in helping me declutter my mind, body and soul. Clutter is not just stuff on the floor or in your wardrobe. It’s anything that gets between you and the life you want to be living.

Clutter isn’t necessarily ‘things’, clutter can be in your emotions and thoughts too. Our brains are working so hard trying to keep up with our busy lifestyles, friends and family, work life and multitask 1000 thoughts, that our body & soul gets exhausted, which then starts to affect our overall health and wellbeing. This is when things like anxiety & stress set in, and nobody wants that.

What I know for sure is that when you declutter, whether it’s your home, your head or your heart, it is amazing what will flow into that space. It will enrich you & your life.

I honestly feel like I’ve just walked up another step this last week, moving up to where I want to be. I feel I have accomplished alot, mentally and physically and I feel super proud of myself knowing I’m finally doing things for me!

This journey to my mediocre, minimal, simple and slow life style has been an incredible experience so far. While I have only been learning and practicing this intentional living for about 6 months, I know that this is the right path for me. I can’t tell you how to live your life, there will be many people who can’t and won’t give up the materialistic things, the ‘likes’ and comments that feed their ego on social media or the desire for bigger and better. – Sacrifice sleep for productivity. Strive for excellence. Go big or go home mindset. While I don’t judge that kind of lifestyle, because I have lived and breathed it, I just know how much better life feels for me since I’ve changed my habits. To change your lifestyle to a slower and simpler one you must consciously make that decision, you have to want to do it, and for the reasons behind it. It’s a personal choice, and no one should judge you for wanting a quieter life.

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Feeling overwhelmed? Stressed? Feel like nothing is going right for you? Maybe it’s time to have a clean out… Home, mind, body & soul. After all it is a perfect time to do so under the service of the new moon. This phase will last until the next New Moon on December 18th, so surrender and let the universe guide you.

“This Scorpio New Moon comes with a commanding, uncompromising air of forcefulness, urging us to tap into our innate raw, alchemical power, asking us to take the lead that weighs us down and turn it into shimmering, glorious gold.

“The patterns, cycles, relationships and duties which have run their course are now ripe for reinvention, ready to be broken down into simple matter and recycled back into our physical, energetic, emotional environment; we owe it to ourselves to turn all of it into something that is honestly, genuinely aligned with our vibration and our direction.”

I’d love to know if you have felt influenced by this moon cycle, and what has come to you during this time. Please leave a comment, I read them all.

Xx Jes

A slow life is a better life.

If you read my first blog post, you’l know that over the last 6 months I have been practicing slow & intentional living. (Which i’ll be writting more about in future blog posts)

With the end of the year fast approaching, everyone starts booking up their diaries with work functions, Christmas parties, school concerts, family do’s and then the Christmas shopping… This time of year gets hectic and we start to lose our minds trying to juggle and multitask work, kids, appointments and all the chaos that comes along with Christmas.

I thought I’d share my thoughts with you to perhaps give you a little helping hand on how to handle the next few weeks by living slower and with simplicity. Yes! It is possible! I’m no expert, I’m still learning and i’m not trying to tell you how to live your life, but if my way of living can help or inspire you to live a better & more wholesome life, then let me be here for you.

While most of us work and will most likely be working harder and longer hours during the lead up to Christmas, we must remember to nurture our mind, body & soul and not burn ourselves out.

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When we think of slow we typically think that we are dumb or falling behind. Slow isn’t dumb, it’s purposeful! And slow won’t cause you to fall behind, it will allow you to catch up – with your friends, your family, your digestive system & life!

Slowing down can be a real challenge for some, but slowing down will save your life! A slow life restores peace & balance. Your work becomes more satisfying & relationships will come to mean more to you than your job. In a slow life you will focus on food. You will value its cultivation and preparation as much as you relish the meal. The quality of the “things” in your life will come to mean so much more than the quantity. There are so many reasons why a slow life is a better life, but i’ll delve deeper into that another time.

For now I’ve listed 5 things to help you slow down and to be a more thankful and gentle person leading up to Christmas.

  1. Have quiet, slow mornings.

Who doesn’t love a lazy Sunday morning in bed with a cuppa?… This luxury doesn’t have to be just for weekends! Make sure you are starting everyday like this! Wake up slowly, sip your coffee and look out the window for 15 minutes before you get up for the day.

I always wake earlier than my husband, so I crawl out of bed and go open all the curtains, and if it’s a warm day I’l open the up the windows too. I pop the kettle on, say good morning to our dogs and budgie and then potter back to bed to sip my coffee. (and sometimes one for hubby too if he’s awake) I love slow mornings because it gives your body and mind a chance to actually wake up. I always feel so grateful during this time too, looking out at my garden, and at the photos hanging on the bedroom wall, snuggled up to my husband, everything is so quiet and perfect in that moment. It sets the mood for my whole day!

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2. Move slower.

To slow down your life, you need to slow down your body. Practice slowing down your walk – stop power walking everywhere! And stop scoffing down your meals, take your time and actually savour each mouthful.

I’l admit, I often find myself power walking and rushing myself through meals, more so at work, but I’m becoming more conscious of it and I really try to slow myself down. I especially practice slowing down in the supermarket – You know the place where mums are yelling at their kids to behave, couples arguing over what pasta sauce to buy & the impatient people huffing and puffing inline at the registers… I take my time with my basket and shopping list, and just float around the isles, humming along to the music playing overhead & collecting items I need. Just because everyone around you is moving quickly, doesn’t mean you have to as well. By slowing down your walk, you’ll feel calmer and happier. Give it a go when you’re at the grocery store next, and by the time you reach the check out and the cashier is asking how your day is, you’ll respond in a calm and more gentler way – try it! Then practice it everywhere you go!

With Christmas shopping about to begin, don’t let the chaos of people rushing around, or over worked and grumpy sales staff bring you down and get you stressed. Remember – slow down, be mindful, and enjoy your gift buying.

3. Appreciate the little things.

When was the last time you went for a walk and stopped to smell the beautiful flowers growing in the gardens, looked up at the moon or collected shells along the beach? If you want to slow down your life, you must appreciate the little things.

When my husband and I take our dogs walking, I’m always coming home with a collection of flowers and foliage that I’ve picked along the way. I then either take them to work to put in a vase on my desk to brighten my workspace or I keep them on my nightstand as a lovely sight to wake up to!

Taking in the little things (Which are actually the big things) gives you a greater sense of appreciation for life.

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4. Take a time out.

Everyone needs time for themselves, it’s vital in staying sane I believe! Whether it’s taking yourself out for a coffee and reading the paper or just pottering in your garden, you need to be on your own sometimes.

For me, having alone time gives me time to reflect and clear my head. My favourite things to do by myself are yoga, gardening, meditation, walks in nature, or even just laying on a blanket in the sun with book!

Make sure you schedule out atleast 30 minutes a day for yourself! Run a bath, or go for a walk, start small and see how much better you feel.

While I’m not a parent (yet!), I do understand finding alone time can be hard if you have young children, but you have to make it work! This has to be a priority in your life for your wellbeing. Having ‘you’ time isn’t selfish, infact by taking time for yourself you are able to recharge and fill yourself back up. By taking time to look after your own mental health, you can give back to your children and family more. Would you rather have no alone time and be drained with your cup half full, or take time for yourself and be a happier, more fulfilled mother/father/husband/wife/friend? I know what I choose!

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5. Switch off!

With technology so prominent in our lives today, it means we are always available and overstimulated. You know when someone gets annoyed at you because you haven’t replied to their txt right away or you didn’t ‘like’ their status on facebook they posted an hour ago… I personally hate it when people come at me complaining I haven’t messaged them, I don’t have my phone on me 24/7, and I don’t want to either!

I believe that smart phones and social media are like drugs… we’re addicted! Last month I was sitting at the airport waiting to board a flight, I looked around and quickly noticed every woman, man and child had some kind of phone or tablet in their hands, with their heads down… No one was talking to eachother & I found that really concerning! It really opened my eyes to how brainwashed we all are! From that moment I’ve consciously been aware of how much I actually use my phone! I make the effort to try and leave my phone in my bag while out with friends, and not bring my phone into the bedroom at night. By having my phone on my nightstand meant it was the first thing I reached for when I woke up, when I should really be turning to my husband first thing for a good morning kiss and cuddle, not the bloody phone!

You don’t need to post on social media every day, & you don’t need to respond to that txt right away, the world will not end! Don’t let technology distract you from living in the moment and living life. We too often get caught up in other people’s drama, and you don’t need to carry that weight on your shoulders. Limit your online time as much as possible & don’t become a slave to it!

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So with Christmas only a few more weeks away, try slowing down, do things with intention, and be mindful about your energy and the energy of the people around you. By nurturing ourselves, we create space for gratitude and love, and that’s what we all want to be feeling, especially at this time of year.

Don’t dread the parties, school plays, busy days at work and the shopping. Enjoy it all, be thankful you have festivities to go to and thankful you have a job that pays the bills! Be that beacon of light to spread joy to others!

When we live slow, we give back and become more strongly connected to the Earth, to our communities, to our friends and to ourselves. A slow life is one that seeks the right balance between spirituality, sensuality, introspection and community.

A slow life is a better life!

To be continued…

xx Jes