#lemonlyf

Image via We Heart It.

Image via We Heart It.

‘When life throws lemons at you, make lemonade’ that old chestnut hey?

But who ever signed up for lemonade making? I mean, unless you’re an old-school Grandma who has a better recipe for lemonade than Schweppes, I think you should leave bubble-making to the experts.

But I guess that’s it isn’t it. You may not have signed up for lemonade making, or ‘that’ outcome, ‘that’ answer, ‘that’ response, or ‘that’ moment – it just happened. And here you are, with two bags full of lemons and a lack of thirst. Now what?

Unfortunately, nobody ever makes a plan for things to go badly, and I suppose that’s the magic of life. We never truly know what is up, down, or due to happen in any given second.

All we can be sure of, is this lemonade philosophy: that given even the sourest ingredient imaginable, something good, refreshing and sweet CAN emerge.

At the very least, plan for that and find a recipe for making a comeback, if Mariah Carey can do it, so can you!

Love, S.

 

Happy Little Vegemites: Secrets of the Grin.

Happy.

Happy.

There’s nothing like some down time to make you contemplate the things you really love, and on a recent bus ride from Ollantaytambo to Cusco, Peru – which was just that little bit too long – I had just that sort of ‘me’ time.

Prepared for a three-hour journey through the Peruvian countryside, I prayed to my iPod to prepare the best, chilled playlist, turned up my earphones, lifted my legs onto the back of the seat in front of me (smelly feet alert!), and spaced out to the view from my window seat.

There’s something special about some old school tunes that really make me smile from the eardrums out, and as I bumped along to the beat – and potholes – I started thinking about the other, teeny tiny little details, which really make me happy.

I’m not talking big-ticket items like “winning the lottery”, “falling in love” or “landing a dream job”, because these are pretty far and few between. If I thought these big things were the only way to be a happy-go-lucky person, then happiness would always seem another Power Ball ticket, lover and promotion away.

So why not focus on the little things.

It sounds cliché I know, but think about these merry makers. Think of how simple yet totally rewarding they are (hopefully you can relate):

  • When Coconut water is on sale for no particular reason.
  • When a waiter brings a big, cold, jug of water to your table without being asked.
  • Big coffee mugs.
  • Hearing children speak in another language.
  • Perfectly made cordial.
  • Waking up to a sunny day.
  • Sand between your toes.
  • Smelling good.
  • Fresh bed sheets.
  • Hotel bathrobes.
  • Hot showers.
  • Telling a bad joke that gets laughs anyway.
  • Perfectly ripened avocadoes.
  • Finishing a book.

These are just a few of my favorite things, and with them, I am the happiest little vegemite in the world.

Sure, the big things are important too, but at least I can experience the bliss from any of the above daily, of my own accord, without relying on some outside source to bestow upon me a $2m prize pool, attention, or a new job.

So what little things ‘float your boat’?

Find a pretty place to sit, grab a pen and paper, and brainstorm the heck out of everything that reveals the cute dimples in your cheeks!

Conjure, remember, reminisce and revive every thing you love, every incy-wincy-teeny-weeny detail, use them and abuse them everyday.

I’d love to hear what you come up with!

Love S.

Fallin’ for the Falls: Iguassu.

On planet Earth, there’s a sweet spot. Let me talk you through it.

You see, personally, I only need to head to the supermarket and attempt to reach the dried figs on the top shelf to get a perspective on how small I am compared to the world, but there are some places out there, which truly make you feel like an ant.

A teeny tiny little thing that could be washed away in a second. Somehow, experiencing this ant-like state is miraculously liberating: it’s like you are forced to just sit, look and admire with a loving envy at how grand other things are.

Other things like great waterfalls, or more specifically, the Iguassu Falls. A few days ago I truly grasped the said ant-life whilst in Brazil, and this is my story.

I was in Caipirinha Heaven.

Pronounced: kye-pah-reen-ya

It’s a cocktail, it’s strong, and Brazil is literally crawling with them.

Drinking these bad boys is basically a National Standard around this part of the world, so if you choose to visit, you better be Caipirinha-ready for a Caipirinha-good time!

I was basically Jane from Tarzan.

I swear I saw Tarzan a few times, that’s all I’m saying.

But seriously, there are rainbow coloured butterflies flitting around, flirty Macaws who say ‘Adios’ and cheeky little monkeys who literally convince you to pick them up, put them in your pocket, save them for a rainy day and become best friends.

But to really fire up your jungle experience, you should definitely dress like Bindi Irwin, pick a bite-size banana fresh from the bunch on the side of the pathway, carry a walky-talky and climb a Palm Tree to drink your Coconut Water fresh from the source!

Okay maybe don’t try that last one at home, Palm Trees can be really high. But you get the gist: the Jungles are legit!

I abused Watermelon Juice on tap.

Yes, you read right: on tap.

I love you, Breakfast Juice Bar!

I saw ‘those’ Falls.

This isn’t a class on the many ‘Wonders of the World’ so I wont go overboard in explaining just how amazing the Iguassu Falls are, but just so you know, they are kind of a big deal.

A Go-Pro and genuine desire to get completely drenched are necessary.

IMG_2085

Iguassu Falls.

IMG_2087

Still Falling.

IMG_2095

Survivor.

IMG_2122

Toucan Pride.

Hi Banana.

Hi Banana.

Banana not so ripe.

If you too, have ever felt like a cast member from ‘A Bug’s Life’, share your story, we are all friends here.

Love Sheona. xo

FOMO: A deconstruction.

Image by @valentina_muntoni via Instagram

Image by @valentina_muntoni via Instagram.

Being available at the drop of a hat is something that I genuinely pride myself on, and I’d like to think that being “down” for anything is a trait that most people would aspire to.

Because in my books, it’s totally okay to text someone at 3pm requesting chai latte accompaniment in half an hour; and my own replies to invitational texts read something like this: “So. There. It’s. Insane.”

Basically, I’ve deduced this erratic tendency of always being available, to nothing other than FOMO.

I’ve heard acceptance is the first step of any form of recovery, so here it is:

I, Sheona Bello, solemnly admit that I am a full-time, hardcore sufferer of FOMO – more extensively known as the “Fear Of Missing Out”.

But to be honest, I never want to lose this ‘fear’. Here’s why.

On the one hand, it could be argued that such a condition leaves one forever in anticipation of the “next big thing” and never truly enjoying the present. But I prefer the contrary, FOMO is the best thing ever!

Think about it: if you have FOMO, it means that you have identified something you want to experience, and in an effort to reduce FOMO, you go ahead and do it! It’s a simple equation, really:

FOMO averted = experience attained = happy days!

And seriously, who doesn’t want happy days, for dayyyssss? It’s not a trick question, we all do! 

Now I am fully anticipating you, my beloved reader, to at this point deduce what I’ve written as a ludicrous indication of naïveté, idealism and outrageous optimism, but please stick with me here.

I mean sure, it may be some form of psychological conditioning, too many olives when I was a toddler or maybe even a recent overdose on coconut water which has conceived these ideas, but I definitely say all this from experience.

Because, once again I am humbly reminded that plans are made to be changed, and there are greater things available than I could have ever imagined myself – only if you are willing to avoid your FOMO, and embrace them!

As such, it is with huge excitement that I write this post, less than 24 hours before boarding a flight to Shanghai – a place I didn’t plan on seeing for another 5 years, and a trip I am not nearly prepared for given the 48 hour proximity of a separate, 2 month trip through South America.

But the opportunity was there, I have FOMO, I wanted to relieve my FOMO, so I POUNCED. 

Don’t blame me, blame it on the boogie.

拜拜啦

Sheona xo.

 

 

The Gyros Complex.

Santorini creepin'

Santorini creepin’

There was plate smashing, ‘Opa’ chanting, day parties and night crawls. Digestive Sambuca gulps, seafood and moussaka. There were sapphirical waters and dramatic cliffs. Red beaches and black coasts, 20 bed dorms and dual level private condos.There was delectable Greek yoghurt and even more delightful, Grecian weddings atop The Santorini caldera. There were stunning dinner views amidst the Colgate white buildings, and even better gyros picnics against a majestic sunset.

But the quintessential Greek experience – or the Gyros Complex, as we have coined it – was not complete without  Herculean party efforts to match the mythology that surrounds these Cycladic lands.

We danced bar top in Mykonos, established a beach party in ‘quiet’ Paros, took over the most famous public viewing spot for our picnic in Santorini and walked home in the daylight of an Ios Tuesday morning. All this couldn’t have been better if not suffixed with the company of a Busabout group which, within a little over a week has become part of an extended family with idealistic, and beautiful Greek roots.

We came, and we definitely conquered.

As I write this, we are mid ferry on our way back to Athens, where it all began. Our Greek Island life is over and everyone is catching up on the sleep they have neglected in spite of the legendary Ios party scene.

When we dock, all 43 of us will shoot off like fireworks in our own directions, but the memories we have made, shared (and forgotten) over the past 10 days will unit us forever.

I’ll always remember how I met you in the Summer.

Self-explanatory, that'll do donkey.

Self-explanatory, that’ll do donkey.

Mykonos mills.

Mykonos mills.

Paros strolls.

Paros strolls.

Once you go black..

Once you go black..

Magical Santorini.

Magical Santorini.

Wisdom.

Wisdom.

Fun Pub.

Fun Pub.

Paraga Beach, Mykonos.

Paraga Beach, Mykonos.

En route Paradise Beach, Mykonos.

En route Paradise Beach, Mykonos.

Viva Punda, Paros.

Viva Punda, Paros.

Skandinavian Bar, Mykonos.

Skandinavian Bar, Mykonos.

How liquid breakfast pulled me through a mini-crisis.

Image by James Lee Parry for Oyster Magazine.

Image by James Lee Parry for Oyster Magazine.

I recently had an epiphany on Up&Go’s claim of possessing the ‘goodness’ of 2 Weetbix and Milk.

It’s an inventive marketing ploy, to embed ‘goodness’ into something as simple as 3 breakfast ingredients, but the events of a certain yesterday have taught me that such combinations really are, inherently god sent.

I’ll break it down for you.

The events which took place less than 24 hours ago, saw me:

  • Experience one of my worst fears: getting a flat tyre, driving high speed on the freeway,
  • At the most inconvenient of times: on the way to an end of semester exam worth 70% of my overall mark,
  • In undesirable circumstances: 120km northwesterly winds, torrential rain and a deep dark sky.

Needless to say, my insurance finally came in handy after an almost perfect 3-year term on my P-Plates. I mean, I was running a stellar track record, and was was pretty proud of having acquired nothing more than a cheeky bump into the back of an old commodore, in my attempts to escape the Safeway car park up to this point.

But this was a whole new playing field, one requiring me to jump on board a tow truck, and effectively miss the essential 10 minute duration of exam reading time (not to mention the ENTIRE exam).

It was horrible, literally the worst possible thing that could have happened, but I have surprised myself in thinking that it was the BEST sequence of events to occur on that very, Melbourne day.

Firstly, I didn’t swerve off the road and cause a major collision, disrupting the homecoming traffic on a major freeway.

Secondly, I didn’t have to suffer a wrongly, prolonged exam duration – the lecturer accidentally prescribed the 3 hour exam as 4 hours on this exam day. Ew.

Thirdly, I came out alive without so much as a broken nail. AMEN!

My RACV ‘knight in shining armour’ says if I’d driven any further, the rubber part of my tyre would have completely stripped off, leaving me rolling fast paced on the metal part of my wheel – a prospect which could have been extremely catastrophic given the weather and road conditions.

This deserves another AMEN, because to be honest, I am in no position to accept any liability – I have a flight to all things Rome: Meatballs, Nonnas, Vespa rides and Italian stallions, in 48 hours time.

So essentially, I am one grateful cookie that these whole shenanigans played out they way they did. I am alive, I am safe and I finally got a chance to make use of those endless insurance fees.

Sure it doesn’t have the protein, energy and fibre of 2 Weetbix and Milk like my favourite, Chocolate Up&Go carton, but it’s pretty damn full of goodness.

Yay for being alive!

Where can you source goodness today? Holla!

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Life Lessons from Biggie Smalls.

Notorious B.I.G.

Notorious B.I.G.

Minimalism. I could start and end this entire post with that one word. Now I know exam-time is the usual antithesis for uncovering many of life’s mysteries, I mean, let’s not be ashamed of mastering choux pastry all in the name of procrasti-baking. But honestly, on my hunt to find ways of distracting myself from memorising all of Spanish’s three past tenses, I am learning a whole lot more than the difference between singular and plural conjugations.

I am realising how badly I want to uncomplicate my life.

Call it a cull, call it a quarter life crisis, call it me being totally warped and mildly insane, or take it from me, and call it nothing but a change.

I can’t blame these epiphanies merely on pending exams, because I think a lot of my musing is borne from the fast approaching departure date of my latest, trip of a lifetime. It seems that in every lead up to this type of adventure, I really begin to question well, everything.

What am I going to learn?

Who am I going to meet?

What am I going to see?

Where am I going to be?

How am I going to feel?

What song will be the soundtrack to this journey?

Will I change? Will I be different?

Will home be different when I get back?

Do I even want anything to be different?

Am I even ready to do this, to bail all over again on comfort in order for something so totally foreign that I can’t really even pronounce it with my lips let alone my feelings?

I soon get pretty caught up in all these questions, trying to answer them with yet another three issues, which have become illuminated by the initial query.

But as I try to take it slow, attempt to calm myself and focus on the present – because that’s all we really have, I realize that again, I have supremely complicated everything.

And so this minimalist thing pops up once more. It could be a phase, or it could be a turning point: a pre-emptive change into the person I will be when I begin to legitimately grow-up. I’m not sure who she is, what she looks like, or if she will have ultimately experienced that growth spurt I am currently still waiting on, but right now, I know she wants simplicity.

As I look back now on the past 6 months  – which from my mum’s standards has seen me be ‘way too busy’ for my own good, and from my grandmother’s perspective, has inspired her to tell me to ‘slow down and take care of myself’ each time we converse over green teas – it seems that their wishes for me to tone it down a notch have officially rubbed off.

So beloved matriarchs, here it is. I’m toning it down.

I won’t take on 5 projects at once all because the opportunities exist, and I won’t say yes to being in three places at once simply because I drive a fast Jag with iPod connectivity to get me through the distance. I won’t sleep only 5 hours a night because there’s too much to do, and I won’t need to use an excel spreadsheet to organize my professional and social life. What I will do however is follow my heart over my head. If it excites, scares, intimidates and challenges me then YES! But I’m over wasting my time.

So in the name of Europe, South America and whichever other continent I decide to ambush in the next year, I’m ready to step up.

I am ready to focus, to work smarter not harder, to laugh louder, and smile wider than ever before. But there’s a catch. A little sentence that will lead me through it all, one offered by none other than Biggie himself:

“Stay far from timid. Only make moves when your heart’s in it and live the phrase: the sky’s the limit.”

If your heart is in ‘it’, it’s worth mentioning, and if it’s worth mentioning, capturing and writing down it’s important. Because honestly, what is important, is very important.

So bay-bee, what’s important to you? I’d love to know what gives you excited shivers. Get in touch!

Sheona xo.

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Chess Mate: 20 essential pals you need in your life.

Image by Hurry Up And Smile Already via Tumblr.

Image by Hurry Up And Smile Already via Tumblr.

I am a huge fan of having countless best mates, inexplicable memories with someone whose name I am not quite sure of, and exposing myself to random social circles. There’s something somewhat magical about once-off memory making which can make someone you actually, legit have only met once, into a life-long pal. I just had this thought while I was washing the weekend mess from my hair, and I thought I’d compose a non-musical compilation of the 20 friends, that EVERYONE must have. Standard shower musings right?

1. The Worst Replier: Lezbehonest, it takes the guilt away from being non-responsive back (you know, sometimes you just can’t be bothered).

2. The Hugger: This one is great for a hug, will pat your head when you’re tired, and hold you close when it’s really cold and you’re walking down Chapel Street after exhausting every indoor option for warmth at 4am.

3. The Puzzler: Someone who is totally cool with staying in and doing a puzzle – to good tunes and good company, puzzling is actually a really enjoyable event!

4. The Friend with the Coolest Friends: You get excited when a house party invitation arrives in your Facebook notifications, because you just know that you are going to meet some of the raddest people ever. I’m not sure how some people just attract rad friends; rad times and are just bloody rad themselves. #rad

5. The old-Best Friend: Someone who saw you go through your mullet and flared jean stage and still agreed to associate you anyway. These guys are essential to gas-bagging the ‘past you’.

6. The Music Scout: Car trips are the best with type of friend, they always manage to have the best playlist ever, full of songs you love within the first 5 seconds. Not sure how they know about new artists before they are even ‘unearthed’, but they manage it. (Could it be alien insight?).

7. The Hippie: Someone who keeps you earthed and always makes you wish you were a) vegan, b) a yogi, c) living in Byron bay d) willing to devote your room to incense, or e) all of the above.

8. The Surfer: There’s nothing quite more attractive than a guy/girl who surfs. Maybe it’s the endlessly ‘beach hair’ hair, or the remembrance of Kate Bosworth in Blue Crush, but I dig it. Surfers are always so chilled, look incredible in surf clothes, and are just so down-to-earth. Enviable right!

9. The Motivational Speaker: We can’t all have Dr. Phil or Oprah on speed dial, but I really think everyone needs a friend like them. The kind of friend you can call when you’re stressing, feeling a little blue, or just really need motivation to start running again. It’s mind-boggling how these people are forever motivated, but it sure is nice to have a taste of the magic when you are with them!

10. The Photographer/Artist/Design Student: Decent instagram pics. That’s all.

11. The Ludicrous Snapchatter: You may not actually be mates, but the genius of their Snapchats makes them best mate worthy! You know the type.

12. The Husband/Wife Material: It’s nice to know there are some goodies out there #amirite.

13. The Friend who gets ALL your jokes: Personally, I am specifically referring to my delirious obsession with throwing in a movie quote here and there (specifically Mean Girls) – It’s nice when others appreciate this kind of gesture. “That’s just, like, the rules of feminism.”

14. The Masterchef: Dinner parties/lunchbox steals are a win when this person is around.

15. The Health Nut: When you really want to feel guilty abut your ‘cheat week’ or want to be reminded that healthy food can be bloody delish!

16. The Connected One: Need a list at a club? Give this pal a call as they are bound to have SOMEONE they know on the door a.k.a free entry, a.k.a drink cards, a.k.a gooooood times!

17. The Shopper: When you are poor/saving for Europe/saving for South America/at Uni and have no spare cash to splurge on a good outfit, it’s great to have a friend who doesn’t know the perils of being broke. They have the best clothes, and have always just gone shopping, again, for the third time, that week. And actually bought good stuff! Its essential here, that you a) fatten up, or b) slim down, or c) get taller – in my case – so you can actually take advantage of this GREAT type of friend.

18. The Breakfast Lover: I have never encountered anyone who would pass up a breakfast date. If you have, then we are probably not friends anyway so it doesn’t matter! Yay for breakfast.

19. The Secret Keeper: No judgment, no scrubs, just nods and agrees and totally is on your side, even if they shouldn’t be. These guys are needed for moral support.

20. The Joker: Laughing. Its gotta happen, and its gotta happen often. There is not better feeling than gaining an almost 6-pack after a non-gym sesh. These types of friends are great for both a hilarious gag, and the summer bod!

So here’s to my friends, your friends, our friends and your mum’s friends!

“I wish I could bake a cake filled with rainbows and smiles and everyone would eat and be happy.”

Hope I didn’t miss anyone, if you think of another essential type of pal, i’d love to know about it! Send love to hello@thesheonaexperiment.com, or use the form below!

xo

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#100happydays ago…

Image via Instagram @thesheonaexperiment.

100 days ago I committed myself to the longest relationship I have ever had in my life to a hashtag. My delirious suitor being, #100happydays.  100 days ago, it seemed like a logical thing to do, I mean, I had … Continue reading