Greenwich Lane gets crafty

A while back I shared a bit of an artsy idea and a way to capture my foodie experiences and memories with Lex. The story starts back when we visited NY in January 2016. Every time we sat down to eat we would get a postcard or business card with the bill. Initially I thought they were cool postcards but never actually took one home. About a week in to the trip I decided to start collecting the postcards and business cards as a little way to remember the experiences. On the back of them I would write what we ate at the restaurant. When I got home to Sydney I realised I wanted more! So everytime Lex and I went out to eat I would grab a cheeky business card from the front desk. It’s been over a year of collecting, and I finally got to the point where I had gathered enough cards to stick them all on a cardboard base and frame them! It hangs in my kitchen now and is such a fun way to get conversation rolling. We might have guests over who ask us about them and Lex and I will chat away and point to our favourite places. It’s also been a great way for us to reminisce about our holidays as sometimes when Lex and I are cooking we will look at the art and start talking about the food. From food we tend to then start talking about the whole day, “remember how after we ate we walked to Chelsea piers and had a game of bowling?’. It has been such a fun thing to create and is one of my favourite things in my home.

I hope I can inspire you to keep your memories safe in whatever way you like!

Lis x

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My finished artwork!
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My favourite postcard from ‘Jack’s Wife Freda’ in NYC

House hunting in Sydney – mission impossible

Our lease expires in May and I thought that it might be a good opportunity to finally take the plunge and buy a place. I don’t know about where you are, but the housing market in Sydney is absolutely ridiculous and it’s getting worse, if that is even possible. Unfortunately most first-home buyers are priced out of the super competitive market. I am looking at one bedroom places (that’s pretty much all I can afford in Sydney!), and even those are going crazy at auction. Every open home I go to has so many people there and I find myself eyeing them off, are they going to steal my dream property I think to myself as I look them up and down. Truth be told, I’m dealing with that problem that only Kirstie and Phil from Location, Location, Location can help me with – location or space? I’m torn between moving to my dream area, Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, and having a nice apartment with a balcony or courtyard for my future, imaginary chocolate labrador pup who I’ll either name Maxxie or Eleanor (also keen for Esther).

So I’ll keep looking for our dream home, and until then I sign this post off as a frustrated, first-home buyer who won’t give up on the property dream!

Lis x

Love can change the world in a moment, but what do I know?

As a History teacher I sometimes have the difficult job of teaching my students about the current state of the world as part of our Modern History course. I see their expressions change and their faces drop when they make that switch from ignorant to informed and I hate the thought of them having to worry or be concerned about what may come in the future. It’s a difficult job because I feel in part that learning about the current state of our world makes them grow up a little and takes away some of their innocence – it’s almost as though I’m that awful kid at school who tells you Santa isn’t real. Although it’s difficult, it’s a necessary job. With the recent attack in Paris flashing on my news tonight, I thought these lyrics by Ed Sheeran were particularly important.

Lis x

Ain’t got a soapbox I can stand upon
But God gave me a stage, a guitar and a song
My daddy told me, “son, don’t you get involved in
Politics, religions or other people’s quotes”
I’ll paint the picture, let me set the scene
I know when I have children they will know what it means
And I pass on these things my family’s given to me
Just love and understanding, positivity
We could change this whole world with a piano
Add a bass, some guitar, grab a beat and away we go
I’m just a boy with a one-man show
No university, no degree, but lord knows
Everybody’s talking ’bout exponential growth
And the stock market crashing in their portfolios
While I’ll be sitting here with a song that I wrote
Sing, love could change the world in a moment
But what do I know?
Love can change the world in a moment
But what do I know?

How you can spread a little positivity each day

Positivity. Not an overly long word. Not a difficult word to pronounce. In fact, if you sound it out it makes it even easier to pronounce. So why, in my day to day working life, is positivity so hard to come by? I’m not sure about you, but some days I will walk in to work and offer a smile and a ‘good morning’ to my colleagues passing by and I will get not much more than a glare or a mumbled ‘hi’. I know that life can get hectic and we can’t always be chirpy, however I’ve really started to enjoy the small things in life and I’ve learn’t that a little positivity goes a long way. Here are some simple ways you can help spread positivity – not only could it mean something to someone else, but it also generates good energy which ultimately can increase your happiness.

  1. Ask someone about their day/week/month and actually listen to their answer – often I find a “How you been?” kind of question a little bit tokenistic, but recently I’ve been asking people how they are and actually caring about their answer. This is a good time to share in people’s happiness and success, or alternatively offer some support in the not-so-good times. The sharing in success part is crucial – I’ve started to move away from people and old friends who find it hard to be genuinely happy for others, and I’ve noticed that I’m happier because of it. Life isn’t all about you, and taking some time to celebrate and enjoy other people’s achievements has really made me feel good.
  2. Happiness board – I started a happiness board a little while back. I stuck pictures on it that give me inspiration (that house I Googled in Paddington, that Museum I really want to work at), and also pictures that are nostalgic (St. James’ Park in London, my bike that I named Vada). Seeing these inspirations and nostalgic memories each day whilst I get ready for work remind me of where I want to be in life and how far I’ve come. They give me that little boost and remind me that I can start this day fresh. I also have a little whiteboard on my happiness board where I write down three things each day that I am grateful for. I can’t use the same thing twice. This makes me realise that even in times of sadness or uneasiness, that I still have so much to appreciate.
  3. Compliment someone – this isn’t always easy I know, but complimenting others is a positive way to interact with them. You can start out superficial, “Omg I LOVE your skirt”, but slowly start to build up more genuine compliments, such as “you have raised beautiful kids” (or whatever compliment applies!). Compliments go a long way and people tend to remember them when they are meaningful. I like to tell lex one thing I like about him whilst we are having dinner. This one thing needs to be different each night – some nights it can be silly and other nights it can be serious. This one is great for relationships too as it reminds you what you love about your partner and vice versa.
  4. Disengage with negative behaviour (aka gossip) – I wrote a post a while back about refraining from gossiping and bitching about people. I was stuck in a friendship group that always focused on bad-mouthing others (hair, work, clothes, weight – anything!). It made be sink in to a bit of a pit and I had to eventually leave that group of friends because I just didn’t want to be that kind of person. Gossiping is not only hurtful to others but it slowly and surely influences the way you see the world – you start to look for the negatives and you don’t embrace happiness and successes of other people. I’ve since found some beautiful friends and am much happier talking about superficial things over lunch – fashion, beauty, dogs! Our motto is that we’d rather talk about superficial things that make us laugh, than speak about other people for the sake of our enjoyment. Since making the switch I’ve noticed how much more approachable I seem to be to others – people at work approach me to have a chat and see me as someone that can be friends with. It’s a great feeling.

Let me know how your mission of spreading positivity goes.

Lis x

What my favourite TV show taught me about life…

Growing up I remember having a strict bed time on school nights. Mum used to usher me off to bed and close my bedroom door. She would say to me that she was doing her ironing and that I needed a good nights sleep to focus on school the following day. But Mum was hiding something from me, and it wouldn’t be until I was much older that I realised exactly what it was…

Enter the end of my high school days and the start of University, a young woman now, and feeling ready to take on the world. Now I would be finally be let in to Mums secret – Sex and the City!!

For me, Sex and the City was eye-opening in so many ways. Most importantly it taught me the value of friendships and that it was okay to not have a clear path in mind for the rest of my life – this was particularly useful as I was a Uni student who swapped degrees and really struggled to narrow down my focus. I became completely hooked on the lives of these four New York women and have watched every episode multiple times, including the commentary versions! In fact, when I first went to NYC with my Mum and Dad we went on the Sex and the City tour (don’t worry we didn’t force my Dad to come along, he decided to walk around town instead!). Mum and I snagged the front seat of the bus and got to spot all the sites used to film the series – such a cool experience! I even dressed up a little Charlotte-like for the day – think a big white and blue spotted dress, a headband, and heels.

So why am I even talking about Sex and the City? Well two reasons really. The first is that as I’ve gotten older I’ve realised that this TV show has taught me a lot about people and the kinds of qualities and characteristics I look to have and look to be around. And secondly, school holidays always brings out the lazy side of me and I decided I needed a Sex and the City fix. Unfortunately I left my box set at Mum and Dad’s place, so I settled with the next best thing, Sex and the City: The Movie and Sex and the City: 2. As soon as those opening credits started playing I was immediately taken back to Carrie’s world and wanted all things Bradshaw. Although I loved the fashion, the glamour, and the wit of the series, what I most loved was the fact that each of the four women were relatable. I used to always do those online quizzes “Which Sex and the City character are you?”, but I actually think that the women are each designed to represent a little part of the everyday woman.

I think we all have a little Carrie in us – that tendency to fall head over heels with something, be it a person, a project, or even a pair of shoes. Carrie for me often came across as a little irrational but that was only because she truly felt her emotions. She was loyal to her friends and she knew exactly what she wanted to achieve and how. I also think all have a little Miranda in us – practical, level-headed and firm in knowing what we like. Miranda was probably my favourite out of the four girls (closely followed by Charlotte), and I admired her problem solving and the way she perceived both problems and opportunities. As for Ms. York, I definitely think we all have some Charlotte in us. Charlotte represents the part of us which likes to dream – dream of that perfect relationship, that perfect place, that perfect job. Although she’s a dreamer, she works hard to realise those dreams and she remains a beacon of positivity throughout the series. What I love most about Charlotte though, is her ability to appreciate and be grateful for what she has in life. That is a quality that I’m working on every day. And finally, I think (at least secretly), we all have a bit of Samantha in us too. Samantha is the independent side of us, that part within us that wants to do it our own way. She sets her own rules and is never phased by people’s opinions of her. I would personally love to be a little more like that, going about my business without that fear hanging over my head of what people will think and how they will react.

I’m so tempted so buy the box set again, after all I can’t take it away from my Mum, she did share it with me in the first place!

Lis x

The Great Barrier Reef

Although I have no evidence whatsoever to support this next statistic, I still present it with confidence. 99% of people who visit Port Douglas for the first time will visit The Great Barrier Reef. Lex and I were part of that statistic, in fact we visited it twice! The first time we went to the Low Isles on the Wavedancer and were so disappointed with the cattle-herding experience that we decided to book again a few days later. This time we decided to head out to the Outer Reef with a company called The Reef Sprinter. They promise to get you to the Outer Reef quickly but most importantly, in a small group of no more than 14 people. This is completely different to the Wavedancer where we were one of hundreds on board. You can imagine as soon as the boat arrives and the masses of people get off all the fishes will have gone!

The Reef Sprinter was amazing and we’re so glad we gave the Reef another shot. We were taken by the crew to an isolated spot in the Outer Reef and saw some amazing marine life. Our driver even stopped by the Low Isles in the Inner Reef for a little more snorkelling – here we saw a turtle. I never actually realised just how quick turtles are, blink and you’ll miss them. I tried swimming after it, but almost drowned haha. Snorkelling The Great Barrier Reef was a bucket list item and I absolutely LOVED it. Check out some photos below.

Lis x

Thailand Travel Diary – Pt.2

In my first travel diary for Thailand I promised an action-packed trip. Thailand certainly delivered that. Sure you can spend the whole time relaxing by the pool, sipping cocktails and getting massages (we definitely did a lot of that!), but there are also some great things to do in Thailand to keep you busy.

  1. Go karting – not a conventional holiday activity I will admit, but rates as one of our favourite! My Dad, Dan, Amy, Lex and I decided to go go-karting one afternoon. Mum decided to spend the afternoon by the pool (not really an ‘adventurous’ type!). Go karting is not that different to Australia, except that they are a lot more laid back with their safety (which made us go a little faster and turn those corners quickly), but also, the track we went to had amazing views of the Big Buddha statue high up in the mountains! I will say that I got lapped quite a few times, but as I repeatedly told everyone, I was the smart one, soaking up the view!.
  2. Kick-boxing – none of us were really keen on kick-boxing but my Dad really wanted to go so we surprised him with VIP tickets. As it turns out this was the BEST night of our trip and I seriously didn’t want to leave! We were in the front row, close enough to soak up the action and smell the sweat!. The van came to pick us up from our hotel and we drove to a remote shed and walked inside to find a boxing ring and seats with our names on them! You get given a black kick-boxing tank to wear and so we all put them on. As we were waiting for the fights to start a man came over to ask us if we wanted to bet on the winners of the 5 matches. When in Thailand I thought!  placed my bets and handed over my Thai money. Lex then went to bet and the guy told him he couldn’t bet on his chosen contenders and had to change his bet haha. During the matches I had a glance around to see where the guy with my money was and he was nowhere to be seen. “We’ve totally been stitched up here – typical tourist trap” I thought to myself. I’ve never been in to kick-boxing or fighting of any kind but I have to admit it was exhilarating and so much fun! One of the boxers was from America and Lex thinks he was there training for the UFC. You’ll be pleased to know that I won a few of my matches and the guy I betted from didn’t actually do a runner!!!! It was all just a bit of fun anyway.
  3. Tours – we did two tours whilst in Thailand. The first was a boat tour to Phi Phi island. I won’t mention too much about the boat ride because I’m feeling queasy just typing this (think: broken down boat in the middle of the ocean on a really rough and windy day!), but the snorkelling was fun! The boat also stopped at an island that has all the monkeys on it. They are intense! As soon as you get off the boat they approach you looking for food. In fact, one massive monkey came on to our boat and found some milk in a woman’s bag. He ripped open the milk and drank it quickly – he even had all the milk running down his face and body. The other tour we did was a mixed bag – we went to see the elephants and I fed them some bananas, we went to a jewellery store, the Big Budda and also a honey store! Totally random but so worthwhile.
  4. Market shopping – I was so intimidated by the bartering at the markets that I ended up getting Amy to do all my dirty work for me! The markets in Thailand have some really unique and lovely pieces. You really need to move away from the fake designer things and instead go for the handmade homewares that they have to offer. We found beautiful serving bowls and serving spoons, Mum was also on the hunt for a Pestle and Mortar. I can’t resist clothes and found some handmade dresses and pants in beautiful patterns and soft fabrics (and at a fraction of the cost of Australian clothes). I’ve worn them heaps and have found them to be great quality too which is important – I’ve never been big on fast, cheap fashion, instead I prefer quality pieces that are going to stand the test of time.
  5. Thai cooking class – Mum, Lex, Amy and I all went to a Thai cooking class. This was AMAZING. We were picked up from our hotel and taken to VJ’s kitchen. She taught us how to make a delicious green curry as well as a chicken and cashew nut dish, and of course a Pad Thai. I have never tasted such good food (and I cooked it!). VJ also gives you a copy of her recipes so you can make them at home. This cooking class has inspired me to do a cooking class in every country that I’m lucky enough to visit. It immerses you in to their culture and is an experience you’ll never forget.

Stay tuned for Thailand Travel Diary Pt. 3

Lis x

Working towards a healthier lifestyle

Over at Greenwich Lane HQ we’ve been working towards living a healthier lifestyle. Initially this started as limiting takeaway, not putting in that loaf of garlic bread with our pasta for dinner, and other little things along those lines. In January of this year I was feeling inspired by the start of a new year and what I ultimately saw as a fresh start and a chance to look after my body. I’m not overweight – in fact I’m one of those annoying people who eat a lot and rarely exercise but still manage to stay at the same weight. My new approach to my body was instead based on trying to make my body feel good again. I had been feeling sluggish, uninspired and tired all the time. I have suffered from low iron for as long as I can remember. I knew that if I wanted to be a happier and healthier version of myself then I need to do something about it. Queue the introduction of SuperGreen SuperFood Powder by Sally Obermeder and her sister Maha Koraiem. I’d been following them both on Instagram for a quite a while and was always inspired by their energy and smiles. They released their SuperGreen Powder and I decided that I was going to take my first step towards being healthier. I purchased two tubs and off I set, inspired and ready for the year ahead. The Powder is a blend of over 40 ingredients including apple, cucumber and  blueberry and is designed to detoxify and alkalise your body.

I must say, this SuperGreen SuperFood Powder has been life-changing. That is no overstatement. I honestly cannot believe how much of an impact it has had on my wellbeing and lifestyle. It’s hard for me to even explain how it has helped me. All I know is that my body has never felt this good. I feel light and healthy. My energy levels are up, my sugar intake is down, and my body just feels cleansed and revitalised. Every day I mix one teaspoon of the powder in to a cold glass of water. It is so refreshing and the flavour is great – lime! If I am feeling particularly tired after a day of work I will have a second glass in the afternoon on my balcony. It also takes away those afternoon sugar cravings which is a bonus. It’s weird that as soon as I get a bit lazy and stop taking it for a few days my body knows the difference, I just don’t feel as good anymore.

Swiish

The ladies have just released their SuperGreen Smoothies as well! These are pre-cut fruit + vegies that you just pop in your blender and add water to! I’ve been having one for lunch or when I come home from work.

Not only are these products delicious but they really have impacted the way my body feels, and in an extension of this, I have a greater awareness about what I am putting in to my body and what is going to nourish me. The Powder gives me a boost when life gets busy and is fast-paced. Also, Sally and Maha are two of the sweetest entrepreneurs around. They never hesitate to answer any questions on Instagram and look genuinely happy to see their product actually helping people. It’s great to know that the people behind the product are empowering, real, likeable and most importantly, nice.

Have a look at their website and see what I am going on about!:

http://www.swiish.com/

Lis x

(P.S. this is not a paid or sponsored post, it’s just a product that I really hope people can enjoy the same way that I have).

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