Friday, August 25, 2017

LIFE OF LESS
























"THE THINGS THAT ONCE ADDED VALUE TO OUR LIVES WONT ALWAYS ADD VALUE, SO WE MUST BE WILLING TO LET GO." The Minimalists. 

There is something gloriously exciting about life's simplest pleasures. Less.
Its uncomplicated & refreshing. Reviving.

This past year has been about simplifying, (even more if you can believe it!) decluttering & letting go. All of these have been reflective in our physical world & poccessions as well as within our soul & relationships.

Samuel and I have lived by the "less is best" motto for some time now. 
And watching "Minimalism" on Netflix last year, confirmed it! 
(If you haven't watched it, do yourself a favour, stop reading & watch it now!) 
This year, our life has been about defining, finding & holding onto our "favourites" and then learning how to let go of the rest. The things, the people, the jobs, the dreams ... it applies to everything!
We used to apologise for our "lack" now we embrace it & find our thrive within it! 

I felt strongly about doing the minimalist challenge for August. You get rid of 1 item on day one, 2 on day two, 3 on day three and so on ... 
Yes, that equals out to 496 items in one month! It's amazing how much you have sitting around waiting to be thrown out, given away, recycled or reused when you are actively looking for them! 

I have found great joy in selling my excess clothes for a minuscule amount on my local area "Buy Sell Swap" Facebook page. If you aren't on one, find one! I have met beautiful women who are excited to make something old (to me) new again to them! I love it! It actually makes me giddy to watch their happiness about something I had long forgotten about. 
I now live by this little quote I came up with recently ... "Better to be worn & ruined than sitting pretty in my closet."

And we haven't stopped at clothing. Our kitchen only hold items we actually use frequently. Each time Zeke is given a new toy we find another one to pass on. He really only needs what we expose him to. If it's a lot, he will expect & want a lot but if it's a little, its the few favourites he will treasure & love. 

By making room for less we are making room for more. Less work, more time. Less stuff, more space. Less stress, more joy. Less obligations, more freedom. Less people, more relationships. Less, more. 

Quality over quantity... 
Reduce, reuse, recycle... 

What we need is not a bigger to do list, or more material processions, what we need is connection. Real life, real friends, real moments. Clutter free. 

I challenge you, start looking at your world see how you can create space both physically, spiritually & mentally. Most of us live with wayyyyy more than we realise & far more than we actually need.
You'll be amazed at how satisfying having less feels. Every item has its place, its purpose, its in no need to compete or compare ... kinda just like us, if only we stop long enough to simply see. 

How do you do less?

S. xx

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

TRANSITIONS OF FRIENDSHIP



















































“Friendships come for a reason, a season or a lifetime and all have their place.” 

This was a highlighted statement in an article on friendships I recently read by Carrie Bickmore.
I didn’t want to believe this to be true. I know people come into your life for a reason and a season but I wanted to so desperately believe that friends are different and want to stick around. 

Almost to the day, a year ago, we left our home in Calgary, Canada, where we lived for a little under five years. Our son Ezekiel was born there. 
Enter: Major Life Transitions! (Plural!)
We are no strangers to transition and every one of them has its own flavour, triumphs and struggles. And this one has been the toughest yet!
A dear friend recently asked me,
“What is the biggest thing you have learnt in your current season of transition?”
There are so many things! I am still transitioning and so am still learning.
Days later, in the quiet of the evening as I continued to ponder over her question, it was this thought popped into my head;

“Everyone does relationships differently.”

Now, I know this is a very obvious thought but let me share mine with you.
Samuel and I LOVE people. We love random connections, we love conversations with strangers, we love to gather together and of course we love deep connections.
When we say to others “Wherever we are in the world, you are always welcome in our home.” We mean it with all our heart.

All our relationships are definitely not been based on geographical closeness. Yes, I am very aware that being able to connect face to face, coffee or wine in hand, helps but it does not and should not be the only people you share life with. We can all choose to have close friends near or far, it all depends on how much you are willing to give to make it work.
I know well that some people are worth fighting time zones for! 

I have dear friends all over the world. Some I have even met through social media!
There are some people you connect with more closely than others, some you gather around more often, and others you text with frequently.  

This season has been tough and unlike any I have encountered before. 
I have never had to grieve relationships shifting, changing or completely ending like I have within the past eighteen months. Maybe its me? Maybe it’s the stage of life? Maybe it’s my age? Maybe its not me? These are the questions I am asking myself daily.
I don’t even know how to, and yet I am finding myself in a place of having to let friends go. To watch our relationships shift, close and afar.
Even as I type this, the tears are rolling down my face. My heart is broken.
People, who became friends, are just becoming people again …

One of my sisters often accuses me of “having too many feels” Maybe she’s right. Maybe all this time I have simply been naïve in my thoughts of being connected ...

Our world is telling us to live busy lives, so busy doing the things, we negate time for true, deep intimate connection.
Are we brave enough to make an effort to reach out to others, to connect, to inconvenience our lives for the sake of others? How well do we really know each other?

When was the last time you reached out to someone with the pure motive of wanting to know how they truly are?

How willing are we to ask the question “How’s your heart?” Look into someone’s eyes and wait for a truthful answer?

How do you friend? 



S. xx

Friday, March 17, 2017

READS // A COOL CHANGE






READS

Its raining outside and the feel of Fall/Autumn is in the air … I just stepped outside to check the mail and that childlike excitement of receiving a parcel hit me as I glanced down at the bookdepositry.com package at my feet. Yay! My new book had already arrived!

I have always loved to read. A favourite childhood memory for me was receiving a book in my Christmas stocking and settling down to get stuck into it after all the festivities of presenting and feasting were complete.
Sadly somewhere along the way, life got "too busy" and I stopped reading, except for an occasional glance at a magazine, which I would then promptly scold myself because stopping, resting and reading was something that I had begun to view as “lazy …” 
The desire to cozy up with a glass of wine & a good book were never far from my mind, but at the time, that to me was a luxury for those whose “to-do” lists weren’t as long or as important as mine …

Fast forward a gazillon years (or so it feels) to December last year, where one day, on my journey of chasing slow, hustling-less & embracing still, I randomly set myself the goal of reading a new book each month. I did it! I started and finished a book!
I received two books for Christmas and so 2017 was off to a great start.
I started “Present Over Perfect” in January but it was so good, I took 2 months to read it. I re-read nearly every page, and underlined almost, everything! (Yep, I am that person, I read a book with a pen, can’t help it, always needing to be ready to document the gold!)

I am enjoying this rainy weather, (I no longer complain about the weather, I only embrace what it brings!) I am (slowly) accepting the days on end that I cannot get far due to the lack of a car and I am loving the quiet moments of my days where I can cozy up for a chapter or two of blissful guilt-free reading accompanied by a pot of coffee or a glass of wine.
Maybe I’ll reach my goal of one book a month, maybe I won’t, but that’s ok, I am simply happy that I am reading again.

What are your current reads? Any good novels I should read? I realise thats whats lacking from my list! Here is what’s currently on my list. Some I have already read, some I am re-reading, while others I am anticipating diving into for the first time!

S. xx




Tuesday, February 7, 2017

RESET




































Reset. Refocus. Refresh.

Today as I journaled, this is what scribbled out ... This is me, today, real, raw & on a journey ...

For those who have followed my blog for a while know that I have been on a journey to reset my “busy” button. I have spent most of my 33 years doing busy. Not being busy, doing busy.

A few years ago I had finally come to a point where I was so tired of the word busy that I knew it was time to do something about it.
Now, since then, I have learnt to slow down, to say no, to stop striving for perfection and I have learnt to no longer let what others think drive me. In short, I am no longer the people-pleasing perfectionist I spent a long time being. I’ve made it, right? Ha!
Along this journey I have realized there are different levels and layers of change and challenge that I will still face.
While I have made many choices that have slowed down my active life, I am still on the journey of de-cluttering my mind. To slow down when I read something, when I am engaging in conversations & when my head is bursting with new dreams and ideas.
This is a tough one for me. If I come up with a new concept or idea, I want to run with it. I am learning to sit, wait, pray, be still and wait again. I am in no way promoting laziness but active stillness. Patience. 

We have our whole lives to live and its up to us to decide at what pace we race.
Slow and steady is seemingly just not socially acceptable anymore. It has been replaced it with fast and frantic to appear to be succeeding & achieving.

How often do you stop and press pause? When was the last time you sat down and intentionally focused some time on choosing your priorities? What distracts you from truly living your best life, not just racing through the daily grind, bringing work home, writing one more email, doing one more “good” thing, just to fall in bed utterly exhausted and wake up to press repeat …

Rest is not for the weak, we become weak without it.

Our bodies break down as well as our minds when we resist rest. We have been created to live not just exist.

How do you do still?



S. xx

Monday, October 31, 2016

FLORAL WORKSHOPS


























I am so excited to announce that I have teamed up with some local businesses to bring you my floral workshops! Leading up to Christmas I will be hosting four different workshops at 
West End Espresso in Jannalli.

Each workshop has a maximum capacity of 8 people, so be sure to book in quick! All flowers and most materials are supplied for each workshop. The night also includes cheese, chocolate & wine!

For all enquiries & to book your spot please email :: sassiannestyling@gmail.com

Here are all the details for the upcoming workshops ::

“TEA TIME”
Friday 11 November | 7-9PM
West End Espresso
$60pp |
Come and create the cutest cup of tea you ever did see! I will teach you how to arrange pretty blooms into a teacup of your choice.
Please bring your own teacup, all other materials including flowers supplied.

“PETITE PARTY”
Friday 25 November | 7-9PM
West End Espresso
$60pp
Love to host dinner parties and want do something a little special for each guest? Come along and create a floral place setting. At this workshop you will create one place setting as well as taking home a bag of supplies for you to re-create them when you have your next dinner party planned. 
All flowers & materials supplied.

“TWISTED WREATHS”
Thursday 01 December | 7-9PM
West End Espresso
$70pp
It’s Christmas time! This workshop will see us create a number of small hanging wreaths. (Sorry, no huge front door wreaths!) There will be a number of different materials for you to use to create up to 3 unique decorative wreaths.
All flowers & materials supplied.

“AUSSIE BACKYARD CHRISTMAS”
Thursday 08 December | 7-9PM
West End Espresso
$80pp
We have some of the most beautiful flowers right here in our Australian backyards! So this workshop is inspired by them. We will be creating a stunning table centerpiece by using the flowers seen in most backyards, so it will be easy for you to recreate these arrangements again and again! 
All flowers & materials supplied.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

CITY DELIGHTS









































The 1st of October marked our 12 year wedding anniversary & so we celebrated!
We really are non-traditionalists when it comes to, well, pretty much anything! We don't have a favourite place we go back to year after year for our anniversary as our curiosity of something new always seems to win out! What's your preference?! Same same or different? 
This year, having only been back in the country for two months, there are countless new places (or at least new to us) locally & at a distance that we want to try.
So we settled on a quick trip into the city for a progressive meal at three different places, eager to be at the mercy of the servers suggestions & try their signature dishes!

First off was cocktails and appies at Lil'Darlin, located in Darlinghurst. As we settled in on our stools at a high table, it looked like we had crashed three different bachelorette parties! Our wonderful host Fletcher seemed relived to be able to escape to our table as often as he could & you know us, we love to connect!
Cocktails & duck are what this place is know for and they certainly did not disappoint.
With cocktail names as fun sounding as “Fairy Floss Martini and Hundreds & Thousands, it was hard to pick but as soon as my eyes saw “Cucumber Sour” I stopped reading. This gal loves her cucumber and gin! I’ll definitely be back to try a few more …
We could see from the menu that duck was a signature dish, so that’s what we had!
We devoured the duck spring rolls, the arancini balls & a peking duck filled pastry.
If we were staying for a full meal, we would have loved to try the Duck Pancakes and the Crispy Peking Duck Pizza!
We fare-welled & thanked Fletcher and left him to handle the growing number of women in the bar!

Lucky for us our next location was literally across the road & we already had our names on the wait list. So we toodled over and walked straight on in to the Buffalo Dining Club
This is somewhere I had recently been with my besties and I couldn’t wait to take Samuel back there … mostly because of the corn and incredible pasta dish!
We already knew what we wanted here and so with a quick glance at the menu and a chat with our server, the wine was ordered and not long after, so was the food.
Here we enjoyed a Caprino cheese, pecorino crusted eggplant and charred corn with chilli coriander to die for!
This was followed by more wine and a pasta dish that is served to you straight out of the cheese wheel … Cacio e Pepe, salt, pepper, olive oil and parsley in a pecorino cheese wheel is a must!

We had one last place to explore and that was Ms G’s, a short walk down the street … and a LONG wait when we got there! Because we only wanted dessert we decided to try our luck a finding a spot upstairs at the bar. We invited ourselves to join another couple on their table for four and ordered the “Tropical Passion” – Passionfuit custard, tropical fruits, chocolate coconut soil, pandan meringue & coconut sorbet. This finished our night off deliciously as we looked around at the bar scene we were in and laughed as we realized how old we really are …
The “Stoners Delight” also sounded scrumptious but we just didn’t have the room in our belly’s for that! Next time!

We walked back to the train with full belly’s and happy hearts as we reflected on the year that we have had. The highs, the lows, the laughter and above all love.

To celebrate does not have to be expensive, it simply has to be intentional.
Do you take time to celebrate? I sure hope you do!

S. xx


Thursday, September 1, 2016

Ruined for the Ordinary





This week marks the change of seasons here in Australia, from winter to spring, so are the seasons changing within our life and family.

There are days in life that are marked with divine moments. A dear friend of mine describes these as “time stamps” A term we have adopted and use often.
In the time we have been back in Australia, we have had a couple of these time stamps. Moments worth documenting and remembering … A coffee date with my mum turned into a sneaky look in a beautiful gift store, an off-handed comment of a great café caused us to do a quick coffee stop on the way home, where I instantly felt a sense of calm, so much so that I sent Samuel straight there, to which turned into a job for him in a matter of days … a divine time stamp.

So, as Samuel heads back to work this week after almost a year, I thought I would pay tribute to this time with a post on being ruined for the ordinary & choosing to live different.

One of the best decisions Samuel and I have ever made was to both take significant time off when our son Ezekiel was born.  
What started out as two months off for Samuel evolved into ten and a half months!
It may actually be the best decision we have ever made!

During my pregnancy I was self-employed and so it made more sense and financially a better decision for Samuel to take paternity leave.
We had always joked about how much Samuel wanted to be a stay-at-home dad, little did we realise we could actually CHOOSE to make it happen.
During this time we heard a lot of comments of “ Oh, how nice, what a luxury, I wish we could do that.” Believe me, it wasn’t a luxury, it was a choice, with a cost.
Now I realise this is not an option for a lot of people especially those living in countries that barely offer enough maternity leave, let alone paternity leave. 
Fact is, it was a decision and a choice that we made, together, as a couple, for our family. It has been one of the most incredible seasons of our life, but like each decision you make, it came with a cost. 
It cost us financially, we had to make many sacrifices. It caused us to look at our priorities, cut out a lot of excess “stuff” and simplify our lives even more. Oh! But it was worth it! 
Being able to spend all day everyday together watching our son grow and change before our very eyes does not come close to anything that money can buy. Intentionally choosing to slow life down + take one simple day at a time + savour  the moment by moments. 
Watching my husband bond with Ezekiel in those small precious everyday moments is something I will never forget or take for granted.

We have made life #threegether a priority despite the norms of society telling us it shouldn’t look like this. We choose daily to live different!

"Then I believe there comes a moment for each of us when we are to make the decision to either stick by these comforts and conform to to society's way of living, or to live more simply, in the unknown, embracing uncertainty." - Paige Maddison


S. xx