Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Monday, 26 March 2012

Now we are one...

Tomorrow marks one year since BasilBe, this little blog-ette, came into the world.  Really it has been more to me than just a blog - it has (as twee as this might sound) been at my side as I've figured a few things out about myself.

See, when I started opening my heart here, I was pretty lost.  (That whole sorry tale is here).  No, actually I was clear on what I didn't want, but I wasn't quite sure what to do about the things I did want, love and dream of.  In opening up a blank post most days and writing what was bubbling under the surface, maybe even bursting to get out, I began to make sense of my passions and desires, the things that make me light up inside ... and I started to dream of a time when my life would be full of these things.  And then I couldn't ignore it....

What was a vague inclination to do something to help people (how vague!), steadily became startling clarity on how I might just do that.  First and foremost for me it's my family - this I knew all along.  The bit I didn't know was how to pull together my little melting-pot of skills and experience together into something purposeful!  (You can see what I've done about this here).  And the next step is actually in putting myself out there - watch this space....

So, to my cherished little space, happy birthday .... and a HUGE thank you to those of you have shared this precious time with me

Emma x

Image: One

Monday, 19 March 2012

Letting you in on a moment that took my breath away.... ssshh!

Do you ever have those little moments that unexpectedly take your breath away?  They're a rarity for me - as hard as I try, I find it difficult not to mentally fast-forward to what's next.  (Must try harder!)  But one of those moments snook up on me over the weekend, caught me off guard and I was a gonner....

The back-story is Hubs and I have just marked our 6-month wedding anniversary.  It has gone by in a blink.  I can still hear the pianist playing as our chatty little gathering took their seats for dinner.  I can still smell my bouquet and the umpteen layers of nail polish my sister had lovingly applied to my toes.  I can still feel the swell of emotion, the peaceful happiness, I felt during the church service.  If I close my eyes I'm there.  But, really we're six months on.  Six months of sharing the real times, good and bad (the bad being when I lose it on discovering yet another one of Jack's infamous piles of stuff 'tidied'!).  So much has changed and nothing has changed at all.

And there we were, six months to the day and the day itself couldn't have been less romantic.  A day at work followed by an impromptu trip to the hospital (all ok).  But then....

I was going about my usual busy-ness at home and was taken by the hand, led into the living room and Crazy Love, our song, began to play.  Our first dance re-created.  But something felt different, physically different.  Noticeably between us was my baby bump, safely nestled between us as we swayed to the melodic Buble ... and man down! In a split-second I felt ridiculously lucky, reminiscent and full-up with love for this man and our baby.

Trust me, I didn't share this with Jack - he's still blissfully unaware of this impact his romantic little gesture had.  Don't ask me why but for an old romantic I'm not good at the mushy stuff.  So, as soon as the moment washed over me, I was back.  And onto the next .....

Saturday, 17 March 2012

{Weekend digest} Links to linger over

One: Look out for the Red Ball Project in a town near you ...
TwoA Champagne Train?  Now that's my idea of public transport!
Three: Simple elegance as Chanel does best.
Four: Words worth repeating via the lovely Anamu, a truly charming lady I met here.
Five: I fancy me some baking time and these Easter-inspired cupcakes might be just the ticket.

Have a great weekend x

Image via Anamu

Monday, 12 March 2012

Inspiration with... Claire Mischevani

A mere five days before I got married, my sister and I went to the British Bridal Exhibition and we both fell in love!  Beautiful, hand-sewn, embellished belts caught our eye, swiftly followed by the truly elegant bridal designs of Claire Mischevani.  In a word, breath-taking.  But the real clincher for us was meeting Claire herself - clearly talented, as well as one of the warmest and most inspirational entrepreneurs either of us had come across.  We were both touched and inspired by her story and so wanted to share it with you....  And for the bride-to-be, a visit to the gallery at ClaireMischevani.com is highly recommended!

Tell us a little about you/your enterprise/your mission...
I am Claire Mischevani, a British Fashion Designer who has been designing for 10 years. I have my head office in Shrewsbury, Shropshire and a showroom a few minutes from Sloane Square in London.  I design bespoke garments for private clients, including celebrities and I have stockists for both my wedding dress and fashion collections.
What is your vision of your best life? 
Just to get the perfect work/life balance, as it can be difficult when running a thriving business.  I am so happy that the business has grown so much, but I wish that I could spend more time with my family and friends.
Can you tell us about some of the challenges/obstacles/fears you've faced and how you've tackled them?  
In the beginning I was faced with all sorts of obstacles, mainly stemming from lack of experience. I also found it difficult to find skilled workers, which is key to a business such as mine. I have always learnt valuable lessons from facing challenges directly and not shying away from them, it makes you a stronger business woman. You just have to learn from your mistakes.
Have you ever thought you had everything planned, only for life to show you an alternative?  
Yes, this happens all the time, but I believe that things happen for a reason and you just have to deal with what life throws at you in the most positive way possible. I have always found that if ever I go against my instincts/gut reaction then things tend to go wrong!
Has there been a 'defining moment' that has changed your life/your view of life?  What has been the nudge in the right direction for you?  
My nudge was when I was working as a lawyer and not enjoying it.  My Grandmother passed away and it just made me realise that life was too short to be unhappy at work, so a couple of days later I handed in my notice and left.  I have never spent a minute regretting my decision and that was 10 years ago and I still absolutely stand my decision to leave my job and felt it was the best decision I could ever have made!
If you were to look back and offer advice to yourself, what 3 pearls of wisdom would you share? 
1. Always go with your instinct.  2. Take advice from people who have been in your line of business. 3. If things go wrong, do not give up.  Dust yourself off and do it better next time.

What book, piece of music, blog, quote or person inspires you the most? 
I take inspiration from so many different forms of media including films and magazines, that I could not name one in particular - I find new inspirations every day.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Sunday digest: Links to linger over

One: Wanting to add some of these mouth-watering colours to my wardrobe....
Two: Love the photography on this foodie blog, Spoon Fork Bacon.  The recipes look pretty delish too!
Three: Ok, so I'm not drinking at the moment, but a girl can still dream of margaritas in the sunshine....
Four: A baby concierge service???  Oh, how the other half live!!
Five: Words to live by

p.s. Has anyone else noticed this is pretty food-orientated!!??  Apologies from one hungry mummy-to-be!

Image: One 

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

The most valuable 30 minutes you'll spend today

Who is Kony?  Please watch this video and be horrified at the man behind the name.  The beautifully-cut video will explain all and, hopefully, inspire you too into action.  You can sign the pledge here

Image: One

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

With a spring in your step...

I don't want to speak too soon but .... isn't it starting to feel like spring has sprung?! Ok ok, it's not quite time to pack away the winter coat just yet but the sunshine-y day and light evening has me tasting the sweet anticipation of spring.  I love this time of year - the new intentions, brighter colours, sociable evenings and all-round feel-good factor.  Rain, rain, go-away....

Image: One

Monday, 5 March 2012

Do your goals and BIG dreams scare you??

Dream BIG!  Dream big, SCARY goals....  Close your eyes and picture that goal that's been side-lined for too long - how much does it scare you?  A lot?  Good, now we're getting somewhere.

Don't you find that old comfort zone familiar but just more than a little.... how can I put it?.... beige??  Yes edging out of it is scary but basked in technicolour.  So, what are you doing about it??

I'm trying to practise what I'm preaching and I know it's tough.  On a recent workshop I shared a few of my big, scary goals with someone and just the simplest act of saying them out loud spurred me into action (and her encouraging emails to check how I'm doing are the momentum!!).  So I want to be that catalyst for you.

Dream BIG
Say your dream out loud to someone
Do a little something every day to step away from the beige and into the sparkle!

Image: One

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Full disclosure: more truths about my disappearance...

As well as nurturing a growing tummy, I've also been exercising the old grey matter over the past 6 weeks and I'm now fully certified as an NLP practitioner and Creating Your Future coach.  You want that in plain English?  I'm now fully-qualified and have the skills to achieve that goal I talked about here and here - I can help people to "discover their unique sparkle and live their best life".

And so now what?  It's time to take a leap and put it into practice.  I'm busy planning and designing my own personal take on what I've learned and how I can use it to help people to live their potential.  For now, all I'll share is it's pretty personal to me - I shared with you all my low point and I'm using it as my inspiration.  Watch this space...

Image: pinterest

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Straight from the heart

The very reason I started this blog in the first place was so that I had a space of my own, a reflective little hub, a creative outlet to share my own, personal pursuit to find my unique sparkle and live my best life.  It began as something that I enjoyed from the very heart of me, not another item on my weighty to-do list, and so I made myself a promise - if ever I didn't feel the desire to come to this spot and share, if ever it felt like a chore, I simply wouldn't blog.  And so I've not even logged-on to my baby BasilBe since the New Year - well, the 16th January to be precise about it.  As fate would have it, as soon as I'd shared my goals and aspirations for the year, my usual go-get-'em was sapped!

The truth is I've been lacking the energy big-time.  And the focus.  It turns out I was a little overwhelmed with all that was going on at the beginning of the year.  You know, little things like house-hunting ..... and finding out that I'm going to be a mummy!  Yes, I can hand-on-heart say I was more than a little distracted.....

So I'm back and shouting it from the rooftops!  Now I look back, at 14 weeks pregnant with an ever-growing bump, and I can see that part of me was a little anxious about the whole thing too.  Not the being pregnant (though I've felt better!), but the responsibility upon my body to grow this little thing.  Anxious about sharing the news when everything has felt so fragile.  I've yearned to be a mum for as long as I can remember and I just wanted to keep this secret to ourselves and concentrate my energy on doing right by this precious little being.  I'm all kinds of emotions - deliriously happy (I had a little 'happy dance' as I was waiting for the kettle to boil this morning!!), daunted, hopeful .... it changes every day!

The simplest way I can put it into words is that it feels right, this, being a mummy feels like it's my best life.  So please forgive the absence .... I've been busy trying to hold down my dinner!

Image: I'll Know It When I See It via Etsy

Monday, 16 January 2012

My new look...

So, I've been hibernating for the past week or so.  I started the new year full of energy and enthusiasm and then .... I lost my mojo a little!  Here's the reason (*excuse): there is lots going on at the moment that has been keeping my grey matter super-busy - exciting times on the horizon that I'll soon share.

All in all, I've neglected this little space. But today, I'm back with a new look.  Call it a premature spring-clean if you will - BasilBe has had a little makeover, courtesy of the fabulous Danielle Moss.  What do you think?

Thursday, 12 January 2012

{Inspiration} My guest post on the fabulous 'Thing Finding Thursday' series @TanyaGeisler

It's a red letter day today.  As a successful clarity coach and founder of the ingenious Board of Your Life programme, Tanya Geisler has long-since been a role model of mine.  It turns out she is one of life's best to boot - even though we've only been in touch through email and Twitter, I'm in no doubt that she is one of the warmest, kind-hearted people I've had the pleasure of virtual-meeting.  And so today I want to share my excitement at Tanya very graciously allowing me to feature in her fab Thing Find Thursday series.  You can read the full post here...

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Goals: just a few more....

Well not goals as such -  here are the qualities in my life I want to create this year, all cut and pasted to my vision-board.  Ta-da! I shared some of my aspirations for BasilBe with you (here) and now here's part two, my intentions for the other areas of my life....

Nurturing: When life is running full-steam ahead, I often (guiltily) feel that, when it comes to time with friends and family, there is little fuel left in the tank.  What company I must be!  The irony is that it's the people I love that are the biggest priority in my life.  As a nurturer, this year I want to make sure I'm living this value - making sure that the time I spend with these peeps is jam-packed with energy, my full attention and little touches to show I care.  Project Quality Time is on!

Nurturing #2: Are you sensing a theme here?  We're on the lookout for a new home and, much to Jack's disdain, I'm definitely one to be ruled by my heart.  My ideal home is light, airy and welcoming.  Comfortable elegance.  The deal-breaker is it has to have plenty of space to entertain.  I love being the hostess!  

Elegance: My role models and heroines ooze elegance and it's one quality I'd love to bring into all areas of my life: home, work, wardrobe.  

Freedom: Maybe it's the Aries in me but I've been (accurately) described as "fiercely independent" in the past.  A tad extreme.  This year, I want to tone down my independent streak and, instead, try to create a sense of freedom - be it in channelling my creative energies into my plans for BasilBe (as I talk about here), keeping my free time just that - plan-free - and letting my heart take me where it will, or keeping my mind open to new possibilities this year.

Success: This is the year I'm going to spread my wings.  I'm a dreamer but often lacking the courage to go. for. it.  I'm pushing the doubts aside and channelling a little self-confidence.  I'm determined to make this year a success.  

Monday, 2 January 2012

From low point to dreaming big: 2012 intentions

Resolutions: been there, done that.  And failed.  Big time.  Setting such strict resolutions in new year's past has simply set me up for failure - I just don't have the willpower to avoid that off-limits piece of chocolate, to stick to that unrealistic exercise regime I set.  Ask me what my goal and intentions are, on the other hand, and you can be sure I'll be busily making plans, to-do lists and day-dreaming of the outcome.  Better still, make it visual and it becomes an even more appealing destination (I've talked of my vision boards here and here).

On this, the second day of a new year, I thought I'd share my intentions for BasilBe.  This in itself is a goal of mine - being brave enough to share my ambitions and future plans for this, my creative space in the world, putting aside my fear of other people's opinion.  And, with a deep breath, I'll begin...  (Get comfortable, it's my longest post yet!)

The back story...
To set the scene, I'm going to re-wind two years.  I was 31 years old and, by this point, had been working hard for 8 years in the corporate world - I'd had successes, I'd progressed, I'd definitely had high points to celebrate, on paper my CV was looking good but I was running on empty.  It felt a struggle, it didn't excite me anymore, it didn't fit me - the real me.  I had had a stomach-full of being pushed to be more assertive, more single-mindedly ambitious.  I didn't want what was promised, I didn't want to become what I needed to be (or needed to pretend to be) to succeed in this environment.  And, without me realising, this toxic air started to choke me.  What started out as a feeling of being lost and frustrated, turned to despondency and, ultimately, took a toll on my health - physical and mental.  The low point, and ironically the turning point, was a 5am visit to A&E: as ridiculous as it may sound now in the cool light of day, I was having chest pains, struggling to breathe and I was sure I was dying.  Diagnosis: anxiety attacks.  

It was the smack around the face I needed to finally admit to myself something I'd known for a long time - this way of life didn't fit me.  Something needed to give.  It turned out, the thing that needed to give was trying to fit my life into a perception of what was expected, the expectation of what a "good girl" should be doing with her life, of how "sorted" I should be at this ripe old age.  My life had been on automatic pilot since I left university - using my degree by getting a "good job" and working my way up the corporate ladder.  My wake-up call had shown me that I wanted my life to stand for something different.  I'd learnt that I get a feeling of joy and a sense of reward by nurturing people; channelling my creative energy sets my heart on fire; having a sense of freedom to share the view from my lens on the world gives me enormous satisfaction.  This is the real me.

Fast forward a year and BasilBe was born.  I'd been in the shadows and come out the other side and I wanted to share my learnings with other people: life doesn't have to feel like a struggle, you don't have to take the path well-trodden; you don't have to become someone else to succeed.  You already are.  Sorry if I'm getting carried away - maybe Judy Garland's quote may put it more eloquently: "be a first rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else."  Through BasilBe, I set out to share inspiration of people living their best lives, stories, quotes and pictures that have inspired me and so, hopefully, could inspire someone else.

To the future....
So what's next?  My intention for BasilBe hasn't changed - it still is that space for me to share inspiration, to speak to that knowing in each of us that we deserve to live the life of our dreams, and to share my own journey on that mission!  What has changed is my dreams for what it can become....

Dream One: I want BasilBe to have a sense of community: Back in 2009, I felt completely lost, a failure and that everyone else was super-confident and free of the fears/doubts that tripped me up.  In being willing to share this personal experience with others, it seems I wasn't alone at all.  Aside from my amazing family and friends, it had all felt a little taboo and it would have been great to reach out to others, to read about other people's experiences and how they learned to live their best life.  I dream that BasilBe could become a positive community where like-minded individuals can share their own experiences and inspire, motivate and support each other.

Dream Two: I would love to use that "nurturing" part of me to help people get to the truth of their passion, their purpose, so that they can live at their fullest, happiest potential.  Apologies if this is all sounding a little hippy-dippy BUT I've felt the emptiness of ignoring the whispers that told me I had it wrong and it's not a good place to be - if I can help just one person avoid this 'low' and prompt them to find their own higher ground, I would be one happy girl!  I'd love to build on BasilBe as is to become a place with tips and tools to help people to discover their unique sparkle and live their best life.

Dream Three (aka "the biggie"): They say everyone has a book inside them and I've often felt the urge to get pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and get writing - the stickler has been I've not known what to write about.  My biggest discovery of 2011 was finding my voice, finding the thing that inspires me to keep posting on this blog, good days and bad.  I'm getting that tingle in my tummy that says I'm onto something that sits right with me.  I dream that 2012 is the year that the book inside of me is born.

And there you have it.  I'm bravely sharing my intentions and hoping I get a few more nudges in the right direction.

Wishing you a wonderful 2012 - the year of your best life.

Image: One


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