Sunday, 30 October 2011

{Inspiration} A life of purpose

What's the difference between a job and a 'living'?  Is your 9-5 your purpose?  Or a regular income?  Browsing the lovely Unstitched blog this morning, I discovered this video by photographer Louie Schwartzberg.  Now this is a man with a purpose! 

He describes his love of photography and nature which has seen him enjoy a 35-year career immersed in time-lapse photography.  The video above is a culmination of his work - it is not just a showcase, it has a very clear message, a purpose.  The account from the young girl and the elderly man is really moving - tune it at 3 minutes 44 seconds to watch this.  It's definitely worth a few minutes of your time ....

Thursday, 27 October 2011

{Inspiration} @DKNY PR GIRL

If you're a Tweeter you're sure to have heard of one of its most prolific, tell-it-how-it-is and, until recently, enigmatic personalities: DKNY PR girl.  After two years of brand-building tweets, and with an army of 350,000+ followers, @dkny this week revealed her true identity.  

While the fashion and Twitter world seems to be all a-flutter at this revelation, it has been one of DKNY PR Girl's (or should I say Aliza's) most recent tumblr posts that has got my attention.  In it Aliza's talks of her pathway to today: of a Neurobiology and Physiology student that eventually made her name as SVP of Global Communications for Donna Karan. 

I devour stories of people finding their passion, be it a single-minded desire from childhood, an epiphany or a slow awakening, I want to hear how people discovered their 'thing'.  Often, though, it seems on reading these that it leads to a life-changing, 'throw in your cards' scenario that I find it difficult to relate to.  It's not that I'm lacking gumption, far from it - it's just that the rational, good girl in me suggests that life isn't always as rosy as that.  I'm a girl with responsibilities so this maverick behaviour is a little far-flung for me.

What I loved and admired about Aliza's story is the realism, the sheer hard work and determination, and the gutsiness she clealry has in (very bravely) deciding that the medical world wasn't for her ... and believing something in the fashion and magazine world was.  Without a clear direction, but with a boat-load of intuitive sense and a keen-ness, she (along with a side serving of luck) found her footing in the publishing and fashion world.  It's funny how Lady Luck intervenes at the right point though isn't it?!

I know DKNY PR Girl is heralded as a role model for wannabe PR girls but I'm not one of them (been there, done that) - for me, she's the poster girl for gutsiness, going after what you want and then working some elbow grease in making a success of it. 

In the spirit of Aliza, grab a large coffee, sit back and enjoy her story here.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

My talented family #3: The snap-happy duo

Here they are, the laugh-out-loud duo that is Andrew and Philip, my lovely brothers (with Dad sandwiched in-between).  In between being their giddy selves, you'll often see them with a camera pointing, snap-happy.  Even in this picture you can just about see Philip's beloved camera....

It might be just a hobby/obsession, however they seem to have an eye for it - they captured some wonderful moments from our wedding day in the pictures I share below.

You can check out more of Andrew's amazing photography at BoxBroadie.

 Joe: The super-talented pianist

A stunner of a shot of mum...

Lots of bubbly to go round... 

 Philip captured a moment between Andrew and his ridiculously-beautiful fiance, Rach

The reception room .... it felt so special

My nephew Alfie dips into mummy's make-up bag! 

A much-need drink post-official photographs! 

 With front-row seats, my brothers captured lots of moments from the hilarious speeches..

A stolen moment...

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

My talented family #2: Elegant wedding stationery

As a surprise, my sister created this beautiful wedding stationery for us.  It was like she'd read my mind...

The stationery suite included wedding invitation, evening reception invitation, RSVP card and 'little details' information.  She'd also managed to weave our initials discreetly into the design...

Here is the talented lady herself. 

We are so incredibly grateful that Laura interpreted our wedding theme and made a wonderful first and lasting impression with our guests. You can see a little more of her fledgling business here

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
- Marianne Williamson -

My talented family #1: An exquisite wedding cake

This week I'm sharing a few special moments from our wedding - particularly special as I'm showcasing the wonderful talents of some pretty fantastic people.

First up is our wedding cake made by my mum.  It's difficult to find the words.  It really was a breathtaking work of beauty and a true reflection of all the time, energy and love she threw into the mixing bowl.  Mum 'got' the look of the wedding from the off and came up with this wonderfully elegant design which included intricate, decoupage-like flowers on the top and bottom tiers, art deco-style trim and, of course, a little sparkle.  Oh, and those flowers on the top - they're not real flowers.  They're hand-crafted sugar icing roses.  So, to our super-talented mum we say thank you from the bottom of our full hearts.

 I love that she snook our sparkly initials into the design...

 Mum's intricate handiwork...

 Cutting the cake.  It felt like a crime!

People were wow-ed that these beautiful roses were handmade

And here she is, my mum.

"Hide not your talents.  They for use were made.  What's a sundial in the shade?"
- Benjamin Franklin -

Monday, 24 October 2011

{Monday musings} Minimum routine restrictions apply

It's definitely a case of "living for the weekend" since we've returned from the paradise that was our honeymoon. We've revelled in our friends' engagement celebration, laughed so much we had face-ache during a comedy mini-break in Glasgow and, this weekend gone, enjoyed easy-breezy, soak-in-the-moment times with family and friends. But the excitement of the weekend followed by a big old dose of the Monday Blues is too much of a rollercoaster for me to bear.... And I fully admit I've been a bit of a sulky madam today as a result!

Usually a girl with a plan, this free-wheeling post-wedding feels a little unnatural to me.  I need a goal, a focus, a something to look forward to, as well as a little down-time to take a break from our recent pace.

So, this week I'll be mostly:
... booking a little Christmas break in the country with our friends
... gearing up for the intriguingly-named 'More to Life' coaching weekend
... looking forward to a relaxed, plan-free weekend at home to just be.

I feel calmer already!

Image: One

Thursday, 20 October 2011

{Take action} Dance, dance, dance

We dance for laughter
we dance for tears
we dance for madness
we dance for fears
we dance for hopes
we dance for screams
we are the dancers
we create the dreams
- Albert Einstein -
Image: One

Monday, 17 October 2011

{Q&A} Where should I be spending my time?

Do you have those days/ weeks/ months (delete as applicable) where you just don't know where to start?  I certainly do ... and it seems I'm not alone.  A dear reader emailed a question after reading that I'd been spending a little time "charting my course": "If you have a goal-list as long as your arm, where do you decide where to start?"

As an avid goal-setter, I can relate to the feeling of being a little over-whelmed by everything I plan to accomplish.  I don't do things by halves! If you're feeling that same inertia this little tool might help - the Wheel of Life.  It's commonly used by life coaches and I like to use it when things just feel a little out of balance to get me back on track.  Have a look at an example here

The idea is you take a circle and divide it into segments to represent the various areas of your life: I divide it into
- My relationship (now marriage!)
- Friends and family
- My career
- Fun and hobbies
- Money
- Health and fitness
- Growth
- Giving something back

You then take a deep breath and give each segment an honest score out of ten for how satisfied you currently are in that area of your life.  It's fab at giving you a kick up the tush and highlighting areas you've been neglecting. When I did this after returning from our honeymoon I realised it was, ironically, my friends and family and my relationship that had been missing some TLC in recent months as I was focused on wedding prep.  And from here I was able to prioritise these over everything else.

Table for two?

Image: One

Sunday, 16 October 2011

{Take action} Oh na na, what's my name?

We did it.  I've now been a Mrs for a month exactly.  And it has been a month of excitement and adjustment - the ecstatic highs of the wedding day (more to follow on this), the blissful relaxation of our honeymoon in Bali and then ..... the bump back down to earth in returning home.

Aside from getting used to my new name, the strangest part is coming back to life exactly as it was BM (Before Marriage) - it feels as though the world should reflect the change we've seen and feel in our relationship. Things should be different, married. 

And so I've decided to ride this wave - perhaps my new identity can be the start of a new me. The best me I can be. I've taken some time out to contemplate this, mull it over with my new hubby and chart my future course. And it's looking and feeling extremely exciting.

As "Ol' Blue Eyes" crooned, "the best is yet to come". And I will have my gorgeous hubby at my side as it unfolds.

Image: One


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