Saturday, 31 October 2015

little habits to be happy

Easy habits make life nice

                            Image result for witty women about habits

Get up a bit earlier, shower & quickly make yourself look nice: you will feel better. Elizabeth Hurley says it takes her 4 -5 minutes for skin care & makeup. I always got up before my eldest kids to do this because there was never time after.

Lay out your clean clothes the night before.

Throw out/give away any clothes/shoes/accessories that you actually don't like.

Wear what makes you feel good.

Stay current with your will feel younger & happier.

Dress for your actual life. Not for your pretend life.

Make sure you (& your children if you have kids) have lunch ready for tomorrow if you're out & about, or at work. Even a cheese, marmite & lettuce sandwich, a piece of fruit, a yogurt, water & maybe a muesli bar are better than grabbing food on the run. We frequently make bad choices when we are stressed. I bought a little padded container bag for $2 at a garage sale that you can put a freezer pad in to take with me when I have to be away from home.

  • Write out which foods that you don't like. Don't bother even buying them. 
  • Now make a list of 5 -6 basic foods that you are happy to base your daily diet on. This is a tip from nutritionist Monica Grenfell. 
  • Mine, so far....& this is always up for change if needed, are: porridge, Lewis Rd full cream organic milk for coffee, & cheaper trim milk for the rest, Gopal's yogurt because it's natural, tins of fish, free range eggs, spinach, potatoes, lettuce, carrots. These are the basics I have always available.

Have a rough food plan & stick to it.

Be regular with:

  • your diet
  • what & when you eat
  • bedtime
  • getting up in the morning time, because that makes our body happy, which in turn makes us happier.

Have little routines in your life that work at these times:

  • getting up
  • when you walk in the door after work
  • dinner routine
  • before bed routine.  
When my youngest was at school & I was working, tossing on a load of washing when I got up each morning & then hanging it to dry, whether outside or on a drying rack, were always part of my routine.

Make your home nice to live in. Have a daily routine of:

  • dishes
  • loo wiping
  • bed making
  • window opening
  • have 15 minutes of extra cleaning daily, where possible. This is a tip from, & is totally doable without being a stressor.

Aim for a daily walk in the sunshine. Makes us happier.

Have a couple of daily affirmations that work.

Eliminate people from your life who make you just not feel good. Do it quietly, sneakily....but do it. Do it for you.

Sometimes it is actually easier to do practical things for being happier, than by trying to force it by "positive thinking". When life has some routine, when we are less stressed....we are more naturally positive. And then, it is so much easier to sort out why & what we are not feeling positive.

My "get it done" tricks

  • When you need to do something & don't actually want to...quickly "see" it as being done. This really works. You will find yourself doing it!
  • Another trick is to clench a fist hard for a wee's like getting some determination muscle.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

making our home life nice

                             Image result for shabby chic flowers

I always notice special things about people's homes

Wherever I go, I take notice of what people do in their lives, how they do it, & the effects of what they do. I've noticed, for some time, little things that different people do to make their home life nice.
And it has inspired me to want to have some little habits that make my life nice, too.

I stayed with my sister recently & saw her open all her doors & windows wide, & light some sticks of incense at the same time, as soon as she got up. I usually would only do 1 of these, but I liked the effect that doing the 2 together, gave. So that's 1 of the nice-life secrets that I've "borrowed". My sister is very artistic, with bits & pieces everywhere that she has made, like bejeweled masks & painted glassware & mirrors. And unusual furniture that she has collected. I do know that I will never do the arty stuff. Never. But I came back from my trip with some little antique bits of crockery, which I love, to actually use, & some second hand furniture, of the vintage that I love. I can't wait to polish the furniture, as I also love the smell of polished wood. To me, that's a nice-home smell.

When my eldest children were young, I made some craft bits & pieces for our barren home to make it nice. I made xmas tree hangings too & every year the xmas tree box was pulled out & our humble decorations were happily put up...this was special to the kids & me. With my youngest, we always had crystals & chakra wall hangings.

I go to a friend's meditation group a couple of times a month, & am constantly fascinated to see what new crystal spread she has laid out on her lounge floor, usually to do with the phase of the moon...but sometimes it's a spread about other things. It is totally charming, with the soft unusual lighting & quite unique wall hangings which she has. I have started, when I remember, to light a candle at nights, & light incense, instead of having harsh electric lights going, inspired by my friend, Carolyn.

When I'm at someone's house, I get a tad envious of their gardens. I'm particularly useless at any form of gardening but have decided to change this as I too would love to have fresh herbs, edible flowers & some vegetables on hand. To me that's a type of real affluence....pop outside & get fresh, inexpensive, nutritious fast-food. Having flowers & produce, flower smells, bees & me this is also nice-home.

Nanna left nice memories of our home

My grandmother left me with an association of lovely smells in the home. She always had soap wrappers tucked between the towels & sheets, in the cupboards. I have also used empty incense packets, & in my drawers I have at times used empty perfume bottles. Nanna also had what we today would call rituals, but back in the day...they were just they way things were done. In the evenings, leaving the table after dinner, doing dishes, then retiring to the lounge. It stopped us doing non-stop eating, I can tell you. Having breakfast or lunch on the verandah in the weekends, when it was sunny. Having a bedtime ritual of putting your things away, bath then goodnight kisses, then sleep. These wee rituals impress upon our mind, emotions & body, that at a particular time, we eat, pause, sleep, get up...whatever. Our entire being loves routine...we thrive on routine. And good routines make our home lovely.

Time to redo wee abode

I have decided to ruthlessly go through my cupboards & biff anything that does not make my home nice......from kitchen utensils, to books, linen, & bits of furniture. Hang up some prints that I love, polish my statues, find some pot plants.....for the first time ever, I want a home that's uniquely nice to me, & as I live alone, I can do this.

We all can make our living situation nice, even if we are just renting a room...there is always something that means "special", for each of us, & if we have children, some things are special to them too. We can bring all this into our "home"....whatever the home is, we can make our living situation more meaningful. Sometimes we need to think this through, & try out different things. Because each of us is unique, what is special to us, whether it's big or small, these meaningful things are unique too.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015


                          Image result for vintage french magazine about womens habits

I was reading about a well known international author, Monica Grenfell, does to stay:

  • feeling good
  • looking good
  • being healthy & trim. 
She said that she had "baselines" in place to be able to stay that way.

So what are baselines? They are several things. First are "rules to live by". 

  • Things that we will do & won't do, either in daily life or certain situations. 
  • Simple rules that we can easily fit into our life: smart rules. 
  • A couple of her health baselines are: not to eat in the car, except when driving for hours on end; not eating whilst walking along the road. Eating regular meals at regular times. Not snacking. I mean, how easy is that?
Apply it to our diet

She also recommends having a sort of a baseline diet, meaning that: 

  • there are certain foods that she emphasises in her diet, usually on a daily basis
  • but she also enjoys eating foods that others have prepared, like going to a friends' for dinner, and having a healthy, regular diet in place, enables her to enjoy herself when she goes out
  • because we generally eat the same foods & meals, over & over, here our baseline can be that we have healthy food.
  • plus, we tend to over eat when there are too many choices available, & too many flavours in a meal, so let's Keep It Simple, Sweeties!

Some of my diet baselines

I had a think about all this & I decided I should be having, as much as possible:

  • a leafy green, like silverbeet or spinach for folic acid, daily, because I'm prone to anemia
  • I don't often eat meat but I can eat organic eggs
  • fish (great if you have any polynesian DNA, as I have)
  • yogurt for digestive health & calcium
  • oats & oatbran for porridge & fibre
I'm still working on this could change, but I do need a couple more baseline foods that I can incorporate daily. The idea is:

  • not to have too many choices 
  • then eat roughly the same types of food at roughly the same times each day. 
Our body will love it.

Exercise baselines

Then there is exercise. For decades I had a baseline yoga morning practice. But I have altered it now as it seemed not to be having the effects I was after. So, again, we need baselines for our health & exercise is one of the ways to do it. Here are some hints:

  • I read about a British actress, Linda Lusardi, now in her mid fifties, who has done, since she was 16, 50 sit-ups & 20 side stretches each morning & evening. She looks amazing. Again,how simple is that?
  • I had a friend with a killer body, achieved with 10 minutes of exercises as soon as her feet hit the floor each morning, that she found on an old video by Tony Little. She either used baked bean tins for weights, or used no weights. For her diet, & she was just as regular with this, she had oatbran & wheatgerm for soaked porridge/muesli with a juice, followed by a simple sandwich at lunch & whatever was happening for tea. These were her baselines. She looked amazing & felt it too. All so simple, all so effective.

So what will be our baselines for exercise? A walk each morning? The gym 2x a week? Yoga class? If we choose what suits us, & make it that we just do it as part of our becomes like a baseline.

We can have baselines in other areas of our life too:

  • there can be certain things that you do at work first thing each morning so that your job flows better
  • you could have a lunchtime walk instead of going to a cafe & eat a sandwich after, at work
  • we can have specific things that we do in our home each morning & evening to keep on top of housework & make life nicer.
Make it all doable

The idea is never take on more "rules" at any one time, that you can deal with successfully. It's just too overwhelming otherwise & is a signpost for failure. So I am also looking at daily life for a couple more baselines for a better life.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Tony Robbins

                                Image result for magazine cover about tony robbins

Tony Robbins has coached & inspired millions of people to be the best "them" that they can be, to succeed in life....whatever that success is to a person! To take control of their own destiny. And, I think, to be unique.

So, how can we do some Tony-isms to our advantage? Here are some of his suggestions that we can use:

1) get into great physical shape. If we are not (& I am not! but I'm certainly working on it) because so much winning ...whatever that means to each of us, is mental & has to do with our attitude. It is so much easier to be sharp mentally & have a positive attitude when we are fit & healthy. We have more stamina to do whatever we need to do. We feel better about ourselves too.

2) have a good diet (that suits you) for the same reasons

3) there are behaviours & circumstances under which each of us "performs" best. What are yours? See if you can identify them & use them to your advantage.

4) in any situation, or something we are trying to achieve, whether it's habits, work, friend/family situation, job, finances: focus on something that you can do in the situation.

5) be practical & think things through, then

6) simplify things...that is do things in a simple & practical way to get them done, & to figure them out.

7) work towards positive results (remember that you can always change things if they don't work out - see my previous post)

8) what ever we are trying to do: build a system for it. (Then it's easier for things to be habits)

9) we each need our own personal fulfillment

10) be authentic, be who you want to be & in what you do.

11) be in charge of your own life, take charge of your own destiny, achieve your own goals. Of course  this is also circumstantial, sometimes in life we have to put others first, such as when a close friend or family is unwell, when we have a new baby, for example. We do need also to be realistic.

12) all of this changes the "story" that we have about ourselves

13) Tony has a morning ritual that takes about 20 minutes that he calls "priming himself" for the day ahead, including a physical & breathing routine to change his "state" & then he "primes" gratitude, & finishes by focusing on 3 goals that he wants to accomplish. We might not have the time to do all this, but there are ways: we can think of something that we are grateful for as soon as we open our eyes. If our situation supports it, we can do a few exercises, or go for a walk...we could do our gratitude/goal thing then!

14) so these are Tony Robbin tools...translated into as simple a style as I can, of tools for breakthroughs in our lives, or, even just having a better life.

The next step of course, is to incorporate some of these Tony-gems in our lives.

Friday, 9 October 2015


                   Related image

Recap on some suggestions for revealing & living one's own uniqueness:

1) if something appeals to you to enrich your life: try it

2) if it doesn't make you feel or look good or is impractical, change it

3) repeat steps 1 & 2 until you do find out what suits you

4) keep doing step 3

5) a 5% change in anything produces a 20% effect, so if it is a positive thing like drinking a bit more water or fruit...go for it & if it seems it a little bit (this is our 5%) to get a good effect

6) if step 5 doesn't work out, do step 2, then step 1

7) a few little daily 5% changes here and there, will give more than 1 x 20% increase, & this will give an accelerated overall effect. This alone will bring changes that make you look & feel good. Like revving everything up

8) keep a relaxed attitude.....tension creates stress

9) find some good affirmations that work for you

10) notice how the food that you eat effects you

12) notice what times you eat ...when you are habitually hungry, & sort out snacks/meals for these times

13) make yourself look nice each day

14) sort out a skincare routine that suits you & your budget

15) make sure that you are "current' and not stuck in the past

16) enjoy the unique journey

the chic files

sigh where has my chicness gone? lockdown clothes blues Most days of the lockdown, I have been making a point of not desce...