LET HER DREAM

It’s one of the best parts of being a mum. Dreaming about the future we are building for her. I am so in awe of the pure joy she finds in the magic of life. Teaching her about life and watching her learn so many new things every day. Seeing the wonder on her face when she discovers something new, it can be something so simple to you and me but is so extraordinary in her eyes.

I want her to develop a wild imagination. Play dress-ups, have imaginary friends, talk to animals, dance and twirl and grace us with performances. I want her to be creative. To be busy. To colour and paint and sing and laugh and dance. I want her to see beauty in everything around her. The flowers, the birds, the trees, the ocean. Our embrace and our countless butterfly kisses. I want her to see the love we have for her. That her family has for her. I never want her to wonder if she is loved. I don’t want her to ever go a day without being told she is loved.

In this crazy, messed up world I want her to feel safe and peaceful and happy. I want her to dream big and I don’t ever want her to feel like those dreams won’t come true.

I want her to have the best life. I can help her grow, expand her mind, nurture her and love her, but ultimately, one day she will need to build that life for herself and I want to make sure that I send her out into the world knowing that it’s okay to dream.

Dream BIG Little One ...

Love, The Wanderlust Collective x

THE RULE OF FIVES

A few months ago I stumbled over an article that changed everything. I have never been a saver, I have never saved anything. I like to spend money, money, spend money, money, monnnney BUT I always wanted to be good with money and build a nest egg for our little family. 

Don’t get me wrong, I pay our bills, I budget and I make it work BUT I do like to drop the odd bit of dosh here and there – the left over bits that I should probably be saving ... you know, those bits.

Anyway, to the point – this is SO SIMPLE I almost can’t believe it. It’s called ‘The Rule of Fives’ and you guys it is so darn easy ... NEVER SPEND A $5 NOTE AGAIN ... yes, you read that right! Marie Campagna Franklin is the bloody legend and total lifesaver behind the Rule of Fives.

Over the last few months I have saved somewhere in the range of a thousand dollars! NO JOKE. I had no idea I spent so many $5 notes before! I pop all of my notes in a little money tin (you know those ones you can’t open without a can opener, because let’s be honest – I know myself … I need those kinds of restraints) and I happily think about how much money I am saving and how easy it is to do. I’m proud as punch that I’ve built us a little nest egg to fall back on – saving money feels good!

Here are Marie's top tips:

  1. Go old school. Use money instead of plastic.
  2. Use cash for everything. Your morning coffee, lunch, petrol etc etc.
  3. Stick to the rules! Seriously, sticking to it is what makes it so successful. Get used to the idea that $5 notes DON’T EXIST anymore.
  4. Stick with it for life.
  5. Be firm. As Marie would say … "....Firm. No negotiation. Nada. No."

I can’t tell you how rewarding this has been – Marie is literally a financial lifesaver and if this post helps even one of you succeed like we have then I will be totally chuffed!

Yours in fives (yep totally ripped that line from old mate Maz),

The Wanderlust Collective x

HOW I'VE SIMPLIFIED

The past few years have been harder than most. There have been a lot of changes, some good (our little ray of sunshine Augie of course) and some bad. I really felt like my time was being chewed up by so many things that I really got no enjoyment out of and it was exhausting (still is). That’s how this journey really began. I wanted to cut back on our/my commitments and the stuff we had accumulated over the years and give myself the time to find joy in our life again. Decluttering has been a therapeutic process, it has made us re-evaluate life and things that are most important to us.

As I’ve said before, I am by no means living a simple life YET … but this is the journey in all of its mundane glory! 

Buh-bye Magazines

People that know me will probably find this totally shocking. I know, I can’t really believe I’m saying it either you guys … I used to obsessively read magazines and you could rely on me to know the latest goss/style/trend/newest beauty prodz and the list goes on … but I started to slowly realise that they didn’t contribute anything positive to my life – I didn’t feel the same joy when I leafed through a fresh glossy, sometimes they even sat there unread for days before I even bothered to pick them up and hurriedly flip through. On top of that they cost me a ton of money, would pile up and clutter my desk and honestly, made me feel shit about myself, my lack of ‘things’ and even my home. So I said so long suckers and haven’t looked back!

Get Outside, Go On Git!

Spending time outside makes me happy. Sometimes I forget that it’s that simple. I have tried to start a list of things we can do outside as a family. I love our family outings and love incorporating some kind of outdoor experience wherever I can. I’d love some suggestions if you have done anything fun around Brisbane lately! I’m currently on the hunt for a little country town that we can visit for the day - any suggestions?

Pumped the Brakes in the Beauty Department

I.LOVE. MAKEUP! I do, I love it! At one stage I was an aspiring makeup artist, that’s how much I loved it, but over time I’ve got my daily face down pat and I know that I won’t often stray from that. I use good quality products but I don’t use many of them. I recently purged my bathroom cupboard and makeup stash and got rid of an entire bag of cosmetics and beauty products! A WHOLE BAG GUYS! That’s just crazy, considering I use about 6-8 products TOTAL.

Throw that shit out!

Now that I’m well and truly on this path to simplifying I find that I don’t want to buy more. I want to get rid of more if anything! I look around and think about which area I can tackle next and how much stuff I can get rid of/donate! I still want to have nice things and would never take simplicity to the point of having nothing (I love a good home accessory and can’t always pass them up) let’s not get too crazy! I do find that the things I have already gotten rid of, I don’t miss and honestly probably couldn’t even list them if I tried so for me living with less has only been a positive experience. In time and with a lot more purging I am sure that simplicity will teach me to enjoy the things we  do have much, much more.

Self-Acceptance

For me, this is the biggest challenge. I honestly think that letting go of the idea of ‘perfection’ is where I hit a road block. I have struggled post-baby to get my body and exercise routine back and that has really affected me day in and day out. I feel like if I can accept who I am and how I look and just enjoy my life in the moment then this road to simplicity is going to be far easier! At the end of the day, I am healthy, I am happy (mostly) and I am loved – what else really matters?

If you’d like some inspiration below are a few blogs I have been loving:

Simply Fiercely

Down to Earth

Candypop.uk

Yours in clutter freeness,

The Wanderlust Collective x

 

THE SIMPLE LIFE

Following on from my last post Balance is a Unicorn this week I’m talking about simplifying.

I couldn’t tell you when it started, I don’t even know why it did but lately all I can think about is simplifying this little life of ours. I think having a child has played a big part in this sudden need for simplicity. Seeing the world through Augie’s eyes has allowed me to really open my own. The joy she gets from such simple things inspires me to find joy in those things too. But I think fundamentally, that desire for the simple life has always been inside me. I’ve always wanted to live a little off the grid, on a nice piece of land, being self-sufficient … to a point (think River Cottage and you’ve pretty much nailed my idea of living the dream).

A simple life has a different meaning for every person. For me, it's about purging out the unnecessary, keeping organised in all facets of life, living more, buying less and finding happiness in the simple things in life. I am a total novice when it comes to simplifying, so if the plans I’ve put in place for my family don’t work for you and yours please be sure to share some that do in the comments below!  

Live more freely by living with less. Say whaaaat? This is simply the idea of getting rid of what really isn't necessary in life in order not to feel overwhelmed. I certainly wouldn’t call myself a hoarder, but we somehow have a whole lot of ‘stuff’. And it’s really just that, stuff. It’s not special, it’s not priceless, it’s just unnecessary. So, step one for me is a MAHOOOOSIVE PURGE! This will obviously be a process, but decluttering and ensuring that we have no junk drawers/cupboards/garage (that last one particularly I know is the bane of my hubbie’s existence) is numero uno on the list!

Evaluate your time. What do you actually do with your time? I personally have no idea what I do with mine. It just seems to disappear into some mysterious black hole, along with my money (and that Karen Walker ring I somehow only just realised I lost years ago) … Step two is to make a list of how I spend my time, then evaluate it and redesign my day. What can I cut out, what do I want to spend more time doing (spending time with my family for one)! Time is precious and I want to spend more of it living my life instead of just wading through it.

Learn to say NO. I touched on this in my last post, but saying NO has definitely freed up my time. Saying NO to Clients has been the easy part, it’s saying NO to life that is the hard one. I am a people pleaser by nature, I don’t like declining invitations, it doesn’t make me feel good but this is absolutely one of the BIGGEST stresses in my life. With so little time as it is, giving so much of it to others is a real struggle for me. Learning how to balance the YES’S with the NO’s is definitely a learning process and one that I absolutely have not mastered yet!

Establish routines. I am a very routine based person (something I’ve struggled with since becoming a mama, you can read more about that here) so in theory this one should be easy for me to accomplish BUT having said that, routines tend to go out the door when you throw a child in the mix and so this step actually becomes a massive hurdle! It may sound easy enough to establish a routine, but it’s even easier to fall out of them. I have a fairly good morning routine in place, I wake before sunrise just to give myself some peace and quiet to get ready for my day, have breakfast in peace and watch some trashy TV. I know were not all morning people, so create your own routine, one that makes you happy. Anytime that works for you is a good time!

We also have a solid night time routine in place. At 5:30 pm we eat dinner and start our nightly bedtime routine with August. At 7 pm she is in bed and I get to work. It’s that part of the night that needs some more refining and it’s something I am working on - set work hours, but more about that another time!

Knowing when you have enough. This is a tricky one because I know hands down that we absolutely have enough. I struggle with this – having enough / having pretty things (But they’re saaaaa pretty)! The thing is, in our materialistic society we are always wanting more and more - I am a walking contradiction.

At the moment, for example, I am on the hunt for a new bag, not just any bag, an “investment” piece. Do I need this bag, NO; Do I want this bag, HECK YES! It’s a tough one and I could justify it a million ways (I probably will), but it is all part of the learning process … right? I will get rid of 5 other bags, to buy one new one but does that really even things out and fit in with my plan to simplify? Who knows, but for now … the bag is happening.

Meal Plan and Make Grocery Lists. This one is SO simple. Sit down on pay day and write out your Meal Plan. We have multiples and I recycle the same meals each month and throw in a bit of a statement meal here and there to jazz things up! Obviously we don’t always stick to this plan, but it really helps me keep things simple and organised when it comes to meal prep/time. It also means I have all the ingredients I need and there are no hectic 5 pm drive bye’s at Coles. We have been meal planning since little Miss arrived and it has made such a difference, with very little effort!

Budget. I cannot recommend this enough!  Years ago I really got into Extreme Cheapskates and it CHANGED.MY.LIFE you guys! Something just clicked for me and I think that’s when we really sat down and thought ‘what are we doing here …’ we we’re living pay cheque to pay cheque and it was miserable. We’re not made of money now, but we certainly work better with what we have and we have Extreme Cheapskates and our budget to thank for that! Sitting down and creating a Budget can be hard – I used a free template and just tweaked it to work for us as we went along. You can download my Budget Template here.

Minimise your screen time. I completely admit that my favourite past time is sitting/lying in front of the TV whilst scrolling on my phone … double up (be honest, I’m not the only one)! I’m not really paying all of my attention to either, I’m really just zoning out. I love this, it’s my ‘off’ time. I get to zone out and not think about anything … but is it really healthy? At the moment, media is definitely dominating my life and it has a profound impact on my attitude and outlook (helllllur, Instagram anyone!? It definitely makes me feel ‘less than’ in most areas of my life)!

So, I am going to switch off! Oh my goodness, did I really just say that!? I think that the only way to appreciate the full influence it has on my life is turn off. BUT baby steps … Tonight I plan on reading a book before bed, rather than binging on TV … I used to love reading, but can’t remember the last time I picked up a book, it’s time to go back to basics.

Simplifying isn’t an easy process. It’s a journey and it’s one that I’m really only just starting. Wish me luck!

What do you do to live simply? Tips please! 

 

Yours in simplicity,

The Wanderlust Collective x

BALANCE IS A UNICORN ...

I think Jenna Kutcher said it best … balance is a unicorn.

A fairy-tale concept where non-stressed people enjoy life and work equally... a mythological thing that is heard of, yet never actually seen. It’s something very few of us ever get a real handle on, but each day I make it my mission to wrangle the monster that is work / life / mama balance!

Acceptance is key. This is a tough one for me. I am a natural born doer. Sitting still just doesn’t feel right so I have a bad habit of always taking on far too much. Accepting and realising that I can’t do it all has been my biggest struggle.

Nah to the ah to the no no no. I am proud to say that this year I have finally learnt to say NO. Up until now I have always said YES and honestly it never fared well for little old me, so I finally learnt my lesson and 'manned' up! It’s been one of the best things I have done for myself and my little Biz to date!

Make lists your b*tch!  I am a HUGE fan of lists! Not only are they a bloody great way to keep track of all of your tasks, but they help you instantly focus on what you need to do and when. I divide my to-do lists up into days, so anything I don’t get done gets carried over to the next day etc, etc. I don’t just use them for work either, I basically use them to organise my entire life and it’s so unbelievably gratifying to get out that pink highlighter and cross tasks out!  Sometimes I even write tasks I’ve already completed just so that I can cross them out … instant gratification! Does anyone else do this!? I am sure I can’t be the only one … right guys?

Do 'YOU'. From the day my little babe was born I made a conscious effort to ‘do me’. I knew from the second that little test flashed positive (and honestly before I ever even got pregnant) that giving up my precious ‘me time’ was what I would struggle with most. At the heart of it, I am a loner. I like doing things alone, going out alone and just being alone in general. I also like things to be a particular way and most of all I love routine (are you sensing I may have some OCD type personality traits here …) and we all know that babies are the enemy of routine. SO, I made it my priority to get out and get time to myself, but also with girlfriends, my mum and most importantly my hubby and that has honestly been my saving grace. I won’t lie, I have struggled as a Mum to deal with my new life, but making sure I do me is one of the best things I have done for myself and honestly for my little family too. It keeps me sane which works out well for them.

Time out. Make time each day to do nothing. This is a tough one. I try to make time each night before I go to bed to scroll through social media, reply to texts and vague out with some (usually trashy) tv with my hubby. I can’t function if I know I won’t get that little bit of time each night to just chill out. It makes all the difference.

And most importantly, realise that sometimes you need to listen to your body, ‘switch off’ and watch 6 episodes of Band of Brothers in a row … oh, wait … that’s just me.

What is your number one tip for achieving work / life balance?
 

If you're like me and are totally bonkers for to do lists, here is a little something to help organise your day / week / life! I like my lists clean, simple and with lots of room to WRITE!

Just click the image for your free To Do List, download and enjoy! 

Love, The Wanderlust Collective xx

BONJOUR! JE M'APPELLE THE WANDERLUST COLLECTIVE

thewanderlustcollective

In late 2013 I had somewhat of a
life changing experience.


Let’s be real , it was a 2 week trip to London and Paris, which probably doesn’t seem like that big of a deal to most. The life changing part for me was that I travelled alone. I had been with my hubby for 7 years at that stage so had kind of forgotten what that felt like. Relying only on myself for the first time in years and not having someone there to turn to gave me some much needed clarity. I came back feeling completely high on life, totally inspired and ready to throw myself into my (at that time) very small Freelance Business and make it work! 

Maybe it was the lattes in Paris, maybe it was being a little fish in a BIG city - all I know is that I will always be grateful for that experience because it’s where The Wanderlust Collective was born. Also, being able to say that my little Biz was born in Paris sounds kinda chic and makes me feel just a little bit fancy. It also may help explain how I came up with the name ‘The Wanderlust Collective’!

Wanderlust means more than the desire to travel and see the world, for us, it also symbolises the love of experiencing new things, meeting new people and creating something beautiful together.


Three years on and I am proud to say that this Biz of mine is well and truly kicking butt! Sure, there have been highs and lows and a bucket load of tears along the way but it is absolutely the best thing I ever did.

I’ll keep this first post short and sweet. Now you know how I got here and where it all began. 

Au revoir, The Wanderlust Collective x