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Sew Is Life

Sew is Life is written by E. It is a little space of blogging bliss inspired by art, design, craft, fashion, beauty and wellness. Based in Perth, Western Australia. Read about the daily ramblings of me being a mother of three and wife to an amazing creative man. The second me makes fresh skincare at SELF Organics. These are my stories sewn together with love.

 

 
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Posts tagged "wellbeing"

By now, you probably would have guessed that I have returned to my office job, the one I left three years ago when I went on maternity leave. Yes, I am now the ultimate slashie - worker/Mum/business owner/blogger. I could be mistaken for one of those serial project starters…which can also be related to my sewing adventures, because my my I’m always enticed by the excitement of a new project but then leave it for another time. 

And yes, time…how I wish I had more of that! Since returning to my job, even though for 2 days a week, I’m starting to feel it. The ultimate tiredness, the brain is having to absorb so much more and the moodiness. I’m just not my perky, positive self…and I need to find a way to get back to that old me stat.

Not sure whether it has anything to do with the terrible Mother’s guilt trip I get when I walked out on those days, saying ‘bye-bye babies!’. That little annoying voice inside my head tells me 'Why are you doing this?', 'They need you', 'They are not going to grow up to be decent people because you weren't there to look after them..'. I tell myself it is a sacrifice to spend time away from them, yet I know inside I too have to look after myself and accept this time away is for me to reconnect with the other side of mySELF.

Day one at the office, standing the foyer of the building…I had to take a couple of deep breaths, there was a huge lump in my throat and I was just about ready to walk right out of there. Dramatic? Maybe a little… But I hadn’t prepared my psyche for this, I build myself up to think 'Yes, you are a superwoman, you have to balls (not literally!) to do this, you are a warrior and you are earning a wage to feed these babies'. Then of course, seeing my dear old friends at work… I just crumbled into a heap. I broke down, I was tired, I was stressed and I needed a time out. No one is capable of being a robot. 

At the same time, I missed them…I missed my friends at work. I forgot how it was like to joke around with adults. To have a laugh until I cried.  Now it is week 4 since I have been back, and I am doing ok. Not 100% but getting there, I have had a lot of support of my wonderful mother-in-law, Hubz, my parents, my boss and my colleagues. 

So I am pretty lucky to be surrounded by people who understand or at least try to understand what it is like to be a crazy-in-love-with-her-babies Mumma. I’m sure a lot of Mums can relate to this situation.

How did you cope with your return to work? Was it everything you hoped it would be?

Stay true to your feelings! And don’t be afraid to express yourself. 

E x

*This blog entry has been shortlisted in this year’s Beauty Heaven BlogStar Awards under the ‘Mummy Blogger’ category, it would mean so much to me if you could cast your vote for ‘Sewislife’ this way! Thanks so much!

Writing this review has got my muscles tingling and dreaming of when my next massage and facial will be! I could very well become a spa addict, and there are some people out there who just hang out at spas. The reason why they are so addictive, is probably because of the amazing feeling you get once you walk in and out of one.

I specially booked this spa appointment at Endota Spa, Hay St, Perth for a pre-birthday treat and also because my body was lacking its lustre. Every day I would wake up with a sore neck, shoulders, back and getting up from bed was something I didn’t like to do. I was a pretty lucky girl, to have hubz look after the kids whilst I escaped for a couple of hours. The place is located up a flight of stairs, so this may be difficult for those who are disabled or have trouble with stairs.

This was my first time going for a full body massage and I was a little shy as to how this would work. Thankfully, the ladies at Endota were really lovely, made the experience so enjoyable and comfortable. Lucky there was a towel covering all the nudie-rudie bits, and of course my undies stayed on! This was the most exposed I have come to anyone besides hubby…

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Since I was new to the salon, I was given a short questionaire to fill out accompanied with a cup of chamomile tea. This questionaire was such a great way of communicating all my body and skin concerns without being shy. I feel more confident writing my thoughts down than verbalising it. Plus there was a section saying ‘Would you like more talking, normal talking or as little as possible?’, that was awesome because I didn’t feel like talking at all…I just wanted to concentrate on my relaxation because in the past I have found it extremely difficult to zone out.

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The atmosphere of dimmed lights, candles, aromatherapy and fluffy towels were conducive of my senses giving into the experience. The massage was slightly painful and hard, but it made all the tension built up inside disappear. It is really a personal thing because a caring therapist will check the pressure with you before going ahead with the massage.

I chose the ‘Endotarama’ package which included a 1 hour massage, a 30 minute facial plus a billabong foot bath. All together, the spa session went for approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes. The whole session went by too quickly!! I had only begun to shut the thoughts up in my head, and by that time it was all over! 

The complimentary mints were a nice touch and so was the freebie calendar! This has been sitting on my desk ever since so can check out the monthly specials.

The decor is very minimalist, with clean lines, tones of brown, white and greys. A very organic feeling to the room which is great because their products also include organic ingredients.

I really enjoyed this spa, I tried many but I would definitely recommend Endota Spa. They also stock Dermalogica skincare, and they so happened to be having a 20% off sale. I bought the UltraCalming Super Sensitive Shield SPF 30 because I needed to stock up on a daily moisturiser. I shall review this for you guys and share it on the blog soon.

Have you been to spa? Would you try out Endota Spa after hearing this review? Would love to hear about your experiences.

E x

You may also be interested in the following posts:

Natural Skincare Launch - Aesthetic Beauty Skincare 

La Prarie Advanced Marine Biology Collection and my first La Prarie facial

It’s a shame that this day and age so many young girls are flaunting their beautiful bodies over the internet. And this is the same for boys too. I realise that us, as parents have a crucial role to play when it comes to teaching our children that ‘beauty’ isn’t everything. Beauty isn’t just one type of ‘nose’, ‘shape’ or ‘colour’.

From a young age I had many body hang-ups that I would find annoying and really focus my energy on that particular ‘flaw’. It was such a time consuming, depressing moment where I became very shy and recluse from the rest of the girls at school. To me, they all had the perfect skin, hair and body and I was just plain. Even entering into university and a few years in I was very self conscious and even the slightest comment on my ‘appearance’ would send me into nervous wreck. Even if it was a ‘good’ comment I would never believe it.

Now that I am saying farewell to my twenties, I wondered why I spent ALL that time worrying about what others thought of me. Do they really care how fat my thighs are? No… they couldn’t care less. So it’s funny to think that only this year, where I turn 29 I am wearing the shorts. And these aren’t short shorts, they are just ordinary shorts that come half way down my thighs. In the past I have never bought such shorts because I couldn’t imagine myself revealing too much skin or cellulite to the world. They have always been shorts that sit just at the knee or above the knee. I wish I could turn back time and tell 19 year old me that it’s ok to wear short shorts…

Life is too short to be thinking about these things. And I’m afraid if my body hangups continue they will unconsciously transfer to my daughters. I don’t want this to happen. I want them to know their minds are beautiful, a good heart, soul and having good manners is beautiful too! Standing up for your rights and for others who need help…those are beautiful. Beauty is not just in the way we look or what we wear.

Ladies be proud of your bodies and embrace your individuality. I found looking after my health through eating well and exercising changed the way I look at myself, because I was in control and saw the results. I’m definitely no hard-body…but I am in a happy zen-like place where I can pull out that singlet top I like and feel good (bare arms and all!).

Do you feel this way about the outfits you wear? How do you deal with  body-hangups? 

E x

Why can’t you clean my house, do the laundry and cook my meals? WHY???!!

You know you are too busy when…

  • You are using washed dishes out of the dishwasher
  • You find your fresh produce you bought two days ago not looking so fresh
  • When your room looks like a bomb site
  • You come home to find a almost full cup of coffee that you made for breakfast sitting on the kitchen table
  • You forget what day it is
  • There are dust bunnies living in the corners of the house
  • You can’t remember when was the last hanky panky session
  • The outside of your house is resembling more forest than garden
  • You can’t remember when was the last time you cooked and ate a meal at home
  • You are calling your son your brother’s name
  • Your clothes are separated into different levels of cleanliness
  • And your day is constantly interrupted by alarms, notifications, calls and beeps from the phone

Sadly this is my life at the moment. Sorry I haven’t been updating the blog as much lately, I thought I’d just let you know I am still living, breathing, healthy and happy hehe. 

Even though I am feeling a little worse for wear, I love that I am branching out and doing my own thing. It’s a lot of work but I’m looking at the bigger picture for what will happen in the end. Even though I do wish I had more free time again to enjoy the simple pleasures such as baking and sewing, I appreciate those hobbies even more when I have do find a rare moment to sit down and relax. It boggles me how these measly 24 hours a day have suddenly become extremely precious to me! When I took them for granted before..

I want to share some tips to avoid the feeling of being overwhelmed or an onset of an anxiety attack, they are just some helpful ideas to get you through the crazy season:

  • Let one or two things go. Sometimes you can’t always have a clean house or a tended garden. During these times it is great to ask others for help
  • Find at least 15 minutes in your day for some quiet meditation and deep breathing (turn off that phone!). Even if it first thing in the morning when you wake up.
  • Try not to give into those sugar cravings or alcohol, it doesn’t help reduce stress in the long term. Eat as healthy as much as you can e.g. buy roasted almonds and have them as a snack. Or keep fruit and vegetable sticks in the fridge to pick at when your hungry.
  • Speak to someone who will listen and who will not bombard you with more things to think about.
  • Take a walk around the block for 20-30 mins to clear your mind. Don’t think of tasks, but think of how you will reward yourself.
  • Make a short list, you can only jot down 5 things that you can achieve in that day. Otherwise the list becomes too big!! You want to tick these off quickly so you feel you have accomplished something.
  • Have a little reward at the end of the day, e.g. watch an episode of your favourite tv series, listen to music quietly, indulge in a manicure or foot scrub.

Take care and be well, look after yourself and survive the end of year madness with a smile! Anyway it really all depends on your perspective, you can change the way you think, instead of referring to it as ‘madness’ I could called it a ‘flurry of wonderful events’ :)

Do you feel overwhelmed sometimes? How do you get past this feeling?

May you enjoy the rest of your week!

E x

I write this post at 9:30pm at night, as the kids have just been put to bed. This is also the time when I indulge in a little chocolate session and a cuppa. It is my daily ritual…it is one of the things I must do before I retire for the night other wise I’m out of rhythm for the next day. Being a regular chocolate eater, I admit to having an addiction because of its calming effects that give me a good night’s sleep!

Though, I have been looking to cut down the sugar intake in my diet lately and trying to make the rest of the family do the same. We love our treats, such as- chocolate, lollies, cakes and other sweets. But with all this news about sugar being a labelled as a ‘poison’ is scaring the bejeezus out of me! I don’t want see myself having a heart attack, or cancer or growing old fast, because it sounds to me like sugar is the root of all these evils. I am going to do what ever it takes for me and my family to live a longer and healthier lifestyle!

I was so glad when Well Naturally sent me a couple of chocolate bars to try. It meant I didn’t have to give up my favourite vice after all. The bars are labelled ‘No Added Sugar Milk Chocolate’, it comes in two flavours - creamy milk and fruit & nut. 

The chocolate bar is wrapped in colourful foil packaging and my first immediate reaction was 'this belongs in a health food store'. It must be the beige colouring and ‘Stevia’ stamp that gave it away. As a regular chocolate eater, I wouldn’t be drawn to the package because it may be seen as ‘too healthy for me’.

However, the first taste of the chocolate bar changed my thoughts, it was deliciously creamy and smooth! I had completely forgotten about my first impressions of a ‘healthy chocolate’ being bland and resembling cardboard.

I noticed there was no sugar hit but the lovely taste of chocolate. The Well Naturally ‘No Added Sugar Milk Chocolate’ bar is replaced with Stevia a natural, plant-based sweetener that has no calories. It has 80% less sugar than those other regular milk chocolate bars that you buy at the supermarket. The velvety-ness of the chocolate was such decadence! That won me over!

They come in 45g bars and is divided into 6 portions or pips (as described on the back) which helps those overindulgent times, you can just snap two off and leave the rest for later. My 5 year old loves it, she doesn’t notice the difference and keeps coming back for more of the creamy milk. However, I have yet to train the 2 year old as he is too familiar with sweetness and chocolate going hand-in-hand.

Well Naturally ‘No Added Sugar Milk Chocolate’ bars can be bought online at Vitality Brands.com or at your local pharmacy. 

This is another small step to help me achieve my ‘summer body challenge’ (you  can follow my updates on Twitter)! And this slight change in the diet doesn’t seem like I’m giving up anything at all. It is great that I can still have my nightly treat without added ‘guilt’ :)

Have you tried healthy chocolates before? What did you think of them?

E x

*This product was supplied to me for review. This review has been written in accordance to Sewislife’s disclosure policy.

Organic coconut mylk chocolate box with 5 flavours from @loving_earth! So excited to dig into these nom noms #organic #healthy #chocolate #raw #coconutoil #september2012 #wellbeing (Taken with Instagram)

You may have noticed the sudden influx of healthy food images taken by my Instagram and shared on my Tumblr. I have decided to go crazy with my diet and start eating as many raw foods as possible. That means more green smoothies, salads and fruits. This is one part of my master plan to get my body and mind ready for the crazy Summer season. If I can train my body and mind to be strong now, taking on the Christmas/New Year temptations will be a cinch! 

Photos are a great motivational tool to help you to stay on track to stick to your health goals!

So the first part of the master ‘Summer Body’ Challenge is to eat healthy and exercise, but how about having healthy, glowing skin? Exercise and diet play a big part in achieving that overall natural illumination. But what else could you do?

1. Dry brush your skin - Get a natural bristled brush with soft-medium bristles and gently brush the surface of your skin, stroking the brush towards the direction of  your heart. E.g. brush from your feet upwards to your thigh. Brush from your shoulders down to your hands. Dry brushing is a great way of improving the blood circulation and getting rid of dead skin cells. And hopefully it will reduce that ‘cottage cheese’ look to your thighs, cellulite be gone!!

2. Drink more water and herbal teas - Hydration is essential to maintaining moisturised skin, it helps to reduce the appearance of fatigue and to help smoothe out fine lines. Herbal teas are a great booster filled with antioxidants to help improve and clear the skin.

3. Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise! - Use a natural or organic skin cream to moisturise the skin after a shower. This is the best time for the skin to absorb all the goodness from the cream ,leaving your skin hydrated. 

Rasasara Moisturising Body Milk available from The Organic Beauty Shop

4. After waxing care - It is time to flaunt those sexy legs with a pretty dress or skirt and show off your arms with those sleeveless tops, displaying your cleanly shaven pits! But what about those unsightly ingrown hairs? Use a lotion to smooth out those bumps and blemishes to get flawless skin in all areas! 

La Clinica Ingrown Hair Lotion available from The Organic Beauty Shop

5. Stay out of the sun - The skin number one worst enemy would be UV rays. So make sure all your daily moisturisers have SPF protection. Wear a wide-brimmed hat or even use a parsol (umbrella) to avoid sun-damaged skin, where it can result in fine lines, sun spots, pigmentation, moles and worse…skin cancer.

6. Feed your skin with vitamins - Use topical creams that contains Vitamin C and E. Vitamin C is vital in the production of collagen, which helps your skin stay supple and taut. Vitamin E helps to protect the skin against free-radicals and it is a powerful antioxidant that can also help fight against UV rays.

La Mav Daily Vitamin-C Brightening Serum available from The Organic Beauty Shop

7. Use a fake-tan - If a ‘bronzed goddess’ look is more your style, use a fake-tan rather than basking in the sun. Make sure you exfoliate your skin with a scrub or dry brush before applying to get that even bronze.

Eco Tan Invisible Tan available from The Organic Beauty Shop

8. Sweat Baby Sweat - As I said before, exercise is key to having that beautiful skin. Sweating is one of the best ways to get rid of all those toxins from within the body and cleanse the pores! The more you sweat, the more shinier your complexion becomes because of the natural oils that help to nourish the skin are released. Just make sure you wash off that sweat…or instead of beautiful skin you will get pesky pimples!

Have you tried any of the tips above? What other ways do you take care of your skin?

Have a great week lovelies!!

E x

Time for a foodie post! I have been staying up most nights working on my Tessuti Awards submission, but I haven’t really achieved much sewing ground work. With an infant crying in the other room, the project is far from complete and I have less than 12 days!

My body is in sleep-deprivation mode and I have dark holes where my eyes used to be. There is no better time to start a health kick than NOW!! I am six weeks post partum and my body still has some squishy bits that need tightening. Though I am fitting into my jeans and my legs are looking more presentable (minus varicose veins and water retention). I’m looking forward to the Summer days ahead where I will most likely to be expected to participate in water activities of some sort which means I will have to put on a swimming cossie (swimming costume).

So I have jumped on the craze that is ‘green smoothies’. And surprisingly got my kids and hubz on it too. Green smoothies is such a cheats way to eat your greens and enjoy them. My toddler doesn’t know what hit him, he guzzles it all down and asks for my share too. Although it is a little hard to work on my 5 year old who takes one look at it, without even a taste, to say ‘Yuck!’. Just one glass is enough to fulfill half your daily intake of fruit and veg.

With their powers combined they are ‘super green smoothie juice team’…errr…it’s just amazing stuff :)

Here is my recipe for a simple green smoothie:

- a handful of baby spinach leaves

- 1 stalk of celery

- half a handful of blueberries (frozen is ok too)

- a teaspoon of wheatgerm

- a teaspoon of LSA (Linseed, Sunflower and Almond)

- 2 tablespoons light agave syrup

- 1 pear (diced up, to allow blender to chop easily)

- organic orange juice (just enough to cover the ingredients in the blender)

Put it all in a blender and blend till smooth.

This should make 2 and a half glasses of green smoothie. Drink it straight away!! I try to do this every second day, some chose to have a glass a day which is even better! Doesn’t matter when you have it, you can have it for brekky, lunch or dinner.

It may not look delicious in this photo, but trust me it is!! 

There are so many other combinations you can try - maybe add some kale, honey banana or strawberries. Or add some quinoa or spirulina for extra goodness! My Hubby said it tasted just as good as those smoothies you buy from the commercial stores! It is made fresh and not blended with ice, which dilutes the flavour and reduces the quality of the smoothie in terms of having all that healthy stuff in there.

So why not try out this recipe for yourself and your family and get your body into shape and energy levels peaking for the Summer season!!

Have you tried green smoothies before? Please share some recipes here in the comments section :)

Have a fun-filled weekend!

E x

I have been on a health trip lately, looking to add more good stuff into the ‘engine’ rather than bad stuff. Hey! I am eating for two here, but rather than eating for quantity, I’m eating quality ;) 

I recently join Breeze Organic Wholefoods Community, which is a group of Perth people who are enthusiastic about organic produce that come together to buy these ingredients in bulk and save $$$. You can find all types of nuts, spices, oils, sauces, pulses and so on.

You can find out more information on how to join here. It is run by the lovely Briana. You just place an order each fortnight and pay either in cash or via bank transfer. The more members they have, the more savings are passed onto the individuals. A further discount can be applied, if you volunteer to pack everyone’s food. 

My first order was a bottle of organic extra virgin coconut oil and organic coconut sugar. The oil smells divine, so GOOD to cook with and I use in my skin care products too. The organic coconut sugar such a treat, I find myself sneeking a teaspoon of it whenever I am in the kitchen. Just substitute it for your normal white sugar in your coffee or tea and it gives it a subtle toffee flavour. YUMMO!

As you can probably guess, I’m going loco for cocos…

Coco Loco

Do you substitute with any organic foods in your everyday meals?

Live Well :)

E x

2012 has definitely taken me in a different direction in my life. I never knew that I would be making my very own skin care and having a new passion to fulfil which is improving my overall wellbeing and my family’s. It was such a treat for me to take my Mum along to the one day workshop called ‘DIY Skincare’ at Endeavour College, in Perth. We started off our Mother’s Day celebrations a little early by attending together. It was an extra special day for me because I miss our mother & daughter moments where it would just be us two doing something fun. I guess ever since I became a Mum myself, I forgot I was also a daughter!

OOOooo so excited to be here!

Now a little bit about the college, Endeavour College of Natural Health was formerly known as Australian College of Natural Medicine. They provide short one to two day courses to full length high education qualifications on areas such as Naturopathy, Musculoskeletal Therapy, Nutritional Medicine, Massage Therapy and more. Wanting to feed my knowledge in the field of natural and organic skincare, I thought of giving the one day workshop a go. 

  

Making a mess! And ‘beauty’ in a bottle, our natural rose pink clay facial masque

Me presenting the final product, our rose pink clay facial masque

We basically got in there and caused a stir (Get it? Lame joke wasn’t it?)! Well we did stir up some yummy concoctions, it could have been mistaken for a cooking class…and made beautiful potions and lotions to take home with us. The smells in the laboratory were absolutely invigorating, I felt like such a cosmetic professional :) The power point presentation was lead by our trainer Karen Cashmore, but we were hardly in our seats - it was pretty hands on. And our noses were worked quite a bit too…sniffing all those lovely essential oils.

  

Poppy seed for our scrub and the essential oils range

Whipping up some gentle skin lotion

Some useful books to source recipes and information about how to make your own skincare

The cost of the course is $225, but you receive plenty of handouts. There is also a short video. And loads of information on where to buy supplies and packaging. You also get to keep your hand made goodies and go home and create your very own 'spa' experience. It is a full day class from 9-4:30pm, however we left early because it was a small group. Karen is a very friendly and warm teacher. She is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to natural skin care.

Have you made your own skin care from ingredients you found at home? Tell me how your experience went!


E x