In the name of Time.

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Image by VSCO via Pinterest.

Do you believe in coincidences?

I totally do. The five year old Disney-addict in me calls it ‘stars aligning’. Even perfect timing, or ‘meant to be’ style stuff.

I think for majority of us, the whole concept of ‘timing’ is only realized when things don’t happen the way we want them to.

You fail that test, miss out on GA floor tickets to a gig, miss a train, order after there’s no more avo left to adorn your sourdough multi-grain with poached egg and feta… the list goes on.

‘Timing’ is so prevalent here and sometimes it hurts a lot, to not get the things you want, in the dreamy way you want them, and with the immediacy in which you deserve.

There’s an inverse to this though, and on the most recent Saturday night it hit me pretty hard – in the best way. A truly unique, unlikely turn of events led to a beautiful ‘right time, right place’ kinda experience. And I realized that every mini decision I’d made in the lead up to it, had magically resulted in such a delicious outcome.

Fundamentally, it was all in the name of ridiculously, perfect timing.

Getting caught up in our daily grind, it’s so easy to forget the little things that make other moments perfect. From getting on the right carriage on the train to score a seat and read your book, to walking a different street and finding the best new coffee spot, to meeting someone new in the most unlikely of places, to bumping into a friend half way across the world.

The list is eternal, and appreciating those small moments can make even the rainiest day, absolute bliss.

Digging deeper though, it’s clear most things are resultant of an earlier decision.

Good or bad, there’s inevitably a consequence for everything. How bizarre to think and know, that any decision or action you make will have an effect on the future. The butterfly effect. (Side note: great movie if you haven’t seen it yet!)

I’m fascinated by consequences. Yet when I consider that the whole timing thing is actually a thing, the whole ‘everything happens for a reason’ is a pretty wicked mindset to adopt. How good!?

So for once, let’s let go of being such control freaks and let timing do her thang.

How comforting to recognize when the stars align, see when they don’t and know that a clearer night is just a road trip away.

(That was a metaphor – wew!)

*On that note, my friends and I are currently on a road trip binge. Any and all ideas on good spots for ridiculous sunsets and waterfalls would be greatly appreciated. I trust timing of me posting this and you reading it, will provide me with the wicked adventures I need.

After all, it’s about the timing yeah?

sb.

 

 

 

 

Step Back: An Ode to the Small Things.

Image via Miss Moss

Image via Miss Moss

Now I don’t usually listen to morning radio. Firstly because I refuse to deal with the reality of the current traffic status, and secondly, as much as I love Taylor Swift, she’s definitely going “out of style” at the rate of three songs per half hour.

But one specific, chilly morning the good old talk show hosts on the FM spectrum taught me something that changed my world with one question: they asked the entire, invisible cohort of listeners what was their ‘NOW’.

Like what was happening right now – urging people to share their current journey, goal, project, opening, closing, launch or completion of something…anything.

It was an enlightened morning commute because it really got me thinking how totally stuck in our mini worlds we can be, and how neglectful we are, of the cheeky achievements we make on a daily basis.

This ‘small thing’ goodness is a theme I’ve been toying with on Incogo.com (Check out my journeys here!) and ties in pretty perfectly with the whole foundational perspective of the positive, mindset fraternity: be present.

Sure, recognise you’re playing a big game with big boys, but don’t forget to actually stop and give yourself a gold star for the small goals reached.

Realistically, these things you pie off as unimportant could be major achievements in the eyes of someone else, and you’re doing yourself a disservice by regarding it as anything less. ‘Treat yo-self’.

Believe me I’m guilty of disregard constantly. It’s only when I’m chatting to a long lost friend about recent movements that I actually reflect on the last week in my diary and head, and realize that hey, finishing that essay was the best feeling ever, perfecting quinoa was a huge deal and I didn’t go on Facebook for a whole two hours straight yesterday! These are just basic examples, but going a little deeper, there is so much opportunity for us to turn up the pride.

Think of planning events, working in a team, writing your first blog post, helping someone spell ‘professional’ (seriously, is it one or two ‘f’s?), winning a competition, eating clean for the whole week, getting up earlier, having one less coffee a day, not swearing as much, remembering to feed the dog, telling Mum you appreciate the Roast she made last night or making someone laugh.

It’s all so damn good! Can you remember that please?

These are the little things, but they are all we’ve got. Let’s love them a little.

That may or may not have been a pun, but you get the picture.

Stop being so damn egotistical and thinking you need to do something major, get 367 likes on your Instagram post, win a medal, or be recognized a guest on Jimmy Fallon to feel accomplished.

Sure those would be nice (and don’t for a second, stop setting the most outrageous goals!), but don’t forget that before the Jimmy action, is the recognition and gratification of mini achievements. If you’re not grateful for that, there’s no way you’ll be motivated to work even harder.

It always has, and always will be, just you. And if no one else cares, make sure at least you do.

Here’s to the small things.

Love, S.

The un-rave: Lessons I learnt from the ‘night-in’.

Image via We Heart It.

Image via We Heart It.

It happens to the best of us, whether it be a raging plan that never works out, a tribe of friends that have all conveniently decided to hermit-ize for the weekend, or an overworking job that leaves you feeling tired enough to willingly ‘bench’ this one out; it’s a sad truth, but ‘nights-in’ are an unavoidable reality.

For me, the symptoms of a ‘night-in’ are always the same: I pre-empt the night with a Nanna, rather than a Disco nap (the prefix succinctly defining post-nap activities, #nannalyf vs #discolyf). And this said Nanna nap, turns into a full-blown hibernation lasting almost 3 hours – it was supposed to be a NAP, c’mon Sheesh!

What this terribly timed slumber does for me is two things, two counterintuitive glorious things: It 1) rids me of being tired, and 2) Rids me of being tired just in time for it to be too late to make actual plans.

It’s in that moment of harsh realization that I really begin to ponder life.

I mean, a perfect, summer Friday ‘night-in’, is the perfect antidote for some deep and pensive thinking.

Everyone, well at least everyone except Mum and Dad are out, eating Huxtaburgers, drinking mojitos, mingling, dancing, making memories and loving it. Me? I’m scrolling through the TV programme praying for a roaring movie to be on and checking Facebook every 5 minutes to make sure I’m not missing out on anything too fantastic – I love when people don’t check in, I also love a lack of Instagram posts and no new Snapchat stories, STAY OFF THE PHONE PEOPLE, you are doing wonders for my ego.

After about half an hour of this self-mutilating surveillance of the world that exists everywhere but here, something changes. I’m totally lacking energy, totally detached from the fact that yeah, whilst it’s a ‘night-in’, it could be a great ‘night-in’ at that.

So I take it upon my self to reignite that TGIF splendor, even if it means I remain in my pyjamas for the entirety of it, because there is something about riding a Friday night solo, that is actually quite insightful. Here are the lessons I learnt from the nights I spent in.

Weekend-feel basics.

Sure they may not be heading out for a rager, but parents know how to tune those weekend feels even in the slightest way. While it’s not the most bikini-bod-friendly option, take-away of all sorts does wonders for the soul. No dishes, no meal prep, no worries. It’s the weekend, and that means chill time for all (except the Pizza Man, we need you!).

Windows are open, music is playing and the beers are on the house (literally). You don’t ever need to go too far to feel the weekend vibes.

I really needed this.

Weekdays are often so hectic we don’t notice the little things that need our attention, like:

How long was my room actually going to stay messy for?

That parking fine was almost over-due!

Wow, I totally forgot I left that rotting banana in my bag!

So my sister DID steal my skirt, AND leave it scrunched up on the floor, AND it has a stain on it. Note to self: Must. Kill. Her.

It’s quite bizarre the things you find, realize and do when you have the time to find, realize and do them.

You actually don’t mind Ben Stiller as an Actor.

But I guess, there’s something about ‘There’s something about Mary’ that can turn anyone’s frown upside down. I mean it COULD be worse, you COULD be Ted when he gets ‘stuck’ in the zipper. Poor guy.

When did staying in stop being cool anyway?

Slumber parties were literally the cause of my existence – until they weren’t. Remember the days when your sleeping bag was your best friend and pancakes were a Saturday essential?

Coloured popcorn and movie marathons with friends used to equal the BEST. NIGHT. EVER. I’m not sure when, how or why we decided that wearing short skirts in winter was a better idea than being cocooned in an arctic slumber bag that still smells like grade 6 camp #amirite.

I could do this again next Friday.

It’s the end of the week, FRIYAY! And after 5+ full days of waking up early and being a citizen who contributes to the world, it’s time for some ‘me-time’.

It’s an important trait to have: being okay with being alone. And it can totally be a hoot! Once you get passed the first half hour of wallowing in sadness, reaching for the block of chocolate you know you don’t want (but you’re not going out anyway, so you don’t need to wear a tight skirt, so it’s okay right?) you start reaching instead, for something nourishing, something good, and begin to find that it so easy to feel amazing and great and cool – without the additional extras of a dimly lit dance-floor, a good DJ, a group of friends, and pending bar tab.

Because for tonight, it’s just You + You.

You know You so well, You know what You love, what You feel like, what movie You want to watch, and which book You want to read – as well as everything else there is to know. Cultivate this relationship like you do with your best friend.

Because if there is one person you can truly rely on, someone who will follow you to every corner of the earth and never, ever leave you alone on any Fiday night. It’s you.

Here’s to the night-in!

Love, S.

 

 

 

 

Life: So wrong it’s right.

Image by @tezzab via We Heart It.

Image by @tezzab via We Heart It.

Like Killer Pythons and The Lion King, it seems that a broken arm, leg, finger or something, is an essential part of growing up.

Even I, the girl whose idea of a ‘daredevilish’ time is a round on the Ferris Wheel, have endured the torment of broken a bone – admittedly I was one year of age, and it wasn’t my fault.

But Mum has sweetly kept the miniature cast of my thunder thing toddler leg, proving that I’m a fully fledged survivor and the truth that falling down and getting hurt is part of life.

We stumble, often really hard, so hard that the pain is not just a temporary scratch able to be remedied by a cool Wiggles band-aid, but one whose ache lingers for at least 6 weeks, and leaves a great looking scar forever.

But I recently learned something interesting about this: a bone that is broken will heal to be stronger than it was before.

So it seems Yeezy was onto something when he said “Na-na-na that that don’t kill me, can only make me stronger”. Interesting.

It seems that no matter how much Milo smothered milk you drink and how much spinach you eat to keep your bones ‘strong and healthy’, the best thing you can do is to break them, and force their strengthening the hard way – obviously more painful but hey, if it gets the job done right?

Now I’m not suggesting you start attempting backflips and trapeze swinging as a method of toughening up – if you do, at least get a go pro and share the footage around – but I am asking that you see the value in being broken.

I know at the time, a broken bone, crushed heart, shattered dream and battered ego is a brutal sentence, but trust in Mr. Kanye West and rest easy in the knowledge that such tremors “makes us harder, better, faster, stronger”.

We learn far more from our mistakes than our successes, and a huge part of living in this day and age, is our responsibility to abuse the opportunities we are given. No doubt you’ll fall, oh honey, you’re going to crash and burn.

Your world will fall apart, and fall apart again. You’ll stop having fun with your ‘best friend’ and be forced to find a new one, you will stop enjoying your job, mangoes will go out of season and your favourite show will release its finale. Your dream job won’t want you, neither will Ryan Gosling, and you are going to make wrong decisions again and again.

It’s all part of it, and that’s okay. Just know that there is value in getting it wrong, and most of the time it’s so wrong it’s right.

So jump higher than you think you can, and don’t be too afraid of coming back down, because:

Work it harder.

Make it better.

Do it faster.

Makes us stronger.

More than ever.

Love, S.

 

The Presence Present.

Image by @sjanaelise via Instagram.

Image by @sjanaelise via Instagram.

It’s like, you know when you’ve set yourself up for a ‘Nanna Nap’, not any old nap, but a strictly-18-minutes-only-snooze. You set your alarm for the precise amount of time, and as you slowly allow yourself to drift into a heavenly slumber, you start thinking about everything you have to do as soon as the alarm goes off.

You start to panic wondering if you should just pack it in and ditch the nap altogether, but no, “I deserve and NEED this nap” you tell yourself. But before you commit, you look back at the clock once more, “Alrighty,15 minutes to go, I’ve got this!”

And then the little devil inside chirps up again:

“Hmm is it snack time yet?”

“Surely it’s snack time, hmm, I’m hungry.”

“What will I have for a snack?”

“I think we still have some Pad Thai left, tat will be yum.”

“Lol what am I thinking, I’m trying to be healthy. I saw some bananas, definitely a smoothie.”

“Smoothies, yum! Good idea Shee! I wonder what else I could put in this magical smoothie.”

“Ugh STOP thinking about your damn smoothie, NAP! You have like only 14 minutes left now.”

“Ok so let’s get this straight, as soon as the alarm goes off, I’m going to sort out this, call her, text him about that, clean this, wash that, the list goes on to the tune of “My head is a Jungle”.

“Ok, one last look at my phone for the time before I 100% promise to nap.”

“2 minutes left, What? Seriously? Noooo!!”

The above example is 100% accurate in my world, and following the whole one-sided dialogue, I am always malnourished of the miniscule 18 minute doze I so desperately needed, I often opt instead for a huge cup of coffee, with a side of guilt for

  1. Spending almost a quarter of an hour thinking about a damn smoothie I now don’t even want.
  2. Spending 18 minutes being completely useless, and most of all,
  3. Not having the nap I promised myself.

So I bargained a simple nap, a slice of solitude and relaxation for just a moment, but instead, I polluted every last second of it.

And looking back, I’m a classic for polluting the good by not being totally there, for being less than present and not completely embracing whatever ‘it’ is.

It’s the ultimate sabotage, the purest form of self-betrayal and one, which is way too common today. In an effort to reduce this epidemic, i’ve come up with some simple solutions to some of life’s most pressing issues, hear me out:

You want an ice cream? Then go bloody get it, and grab a double scoop in a waffle cone while you’re at it. And annoy the ice-cream girl with asking for at least 5 samples. This is your time to shine, don’t hold back!

You want to go to the beach? I don’t care that you are in a mode of self-imprisonment due to a forthcoming exam tomorrow – tomorrow is going to come whether you got to the beach or not, so why not just go.

You want to move out? Do it! Sure Mum will be sad, but she’ll still be able to show you love in the form of sending 2000  “are you alive” texts a day. Plus you’ll be home every Tuesday for Spaghetti anyway.

Moral of the story: do what you want – only if you do it with a twist: BE THERE.

Actually show up mentally, physically and emotionally. 

Embrace your salted caramel gelato with every delicate lick, squeeze the sand between your toes with extra vigor and splash around in the ocean because you can. But most importantly, do not be afraid of making the decisions that seemed so huge and adulterated when you were young – because you are older now, and it is time.

So in the words of my favourite Real Housewife, Jackie Gillies:

Shine Shine Shine!

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.

Daughters of a European Summer.

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There’s a sort of mental and emotional hangover that rushes over you when arriving back home from an overseas trip, and I’m not sure if it’s normal or not, but I am 100% stuck in a European bubble – what’s scary is, I don’t think I ever want to leave it.

I’m ‘fresh off the boat’ as they say, from a 6 week stint through Europe, wheeling a suitcase which could double as my private room (yes, it’s THAT big, and I’m THAT small) through the world’s cutest cobbled alleyways, sipping the cheapest vino over-looking the most stunning sunsets and dancing on the bar-tops of every venue which wouldn’t escort us out for doing so.

I guess I am suffering the side-effects of a 2-month, daily scramble to pick up the remnants of my suit-caser life 5 minutes before EVERY late checkout, making sure that the essential: iPhone, Passport, Birkenstocks and three gal pals were in tow before departure. Or maybe it’s an epic “come-down” from endless bittersweet farewells to cities i’d re-fallen in love with, in exchange for the promise of a new tomorrow in an equally as fresh land complete with new mates and even newer moments to add to my expanding memory bank.

But, it’s now officially a week that my lungs have been privy to the Melbourne, if not Australian air, and I would be lying if I said that most mornings I don’t still flounder in my bed, confused and often delirious about which country I am in, and whether we have woken up too late and already missed our flight to Brussels.

I am constantly running into my sister’s room across the hall trying to decipher which of my friends are still not home from the crazy night before, only to find my Year 12 mini-me, fast asleep in her bed, awaiting a 7am alarm to welcome a day full of high-school torture.

Yep, I am definitely home; I just don’t know it yet and it’s ludicrously, the exact same feeling I had as we flew out on that chilly Melbourne night, 7 weeks ago. A pitch black sky we had been awaiting, for no less than 183 days, 17 hours and precisely, 22 minutes – I remember because I screen-shot the countdown when the travel agent confirmed our outbound flight.

After so long planning, throwing up ideas, making outlandish bucket-list entries and dares that I ‘shot-gun not’; the very hour had finally dawned, and even on the plane as we milked the mini vodkas just like we said we would (thanks Emirates), it still didn’t seem real.

Even now, as I look back at all the pictures we awkwardly asked strangers to take of us in front of the Colosseum, or as I comment on the “take me back to Europe” statuses of my new – now also returned – travel mates, or even listen to the songs which will forever compose the soundtrack to “that 2014 Eurotrip” – it’s still pretty fantastical and surreal.

So in an effort to relive every moment, non-sober epiphany, soul mate meeting and gorgeous view, I am belatedly beginning the memoirs of the summer that was (your Melbourne winter).

Better late than never, hey!

For now, “skies are blue”.

 

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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Why you shouldn’t date someone who does anything.

Image via We Heart It.

It seems that articles describing  “Why you should date a girl/guy who does this/that,” movement is taking over the world – or maybe just my news feed, but that’s essentially the same thing, right?. Without fail, the dawn of each … Continue reading

Why the best really is, yet to come.

Image by Caitlin Miers

It seems like every day, I’m like ‘Oh my god, its nearly Friday!’, and as soon as Christmas over, I swear it’s almost my late in the year birthday (which is August 5 btw), then it is New years again, … Continue reading