Archive for the ‘Your Life in Balance’ Category

Being kind to yourself at Christmas + a giveaway

How are you looking after yourself this Christmas? Tell us and you could win a luxurious pamper pack from Handmaiden Natural Skincare…

Isn’t it curious how such a special, wonder-filled time of year can also prove to be a source of much stress and anxiety for many of us? At a time when we should be feeling relaxed, in control and ready to see the year out on a high, so often we just feel… FRAZZLED! Am I right?

I recently received a not-so-subtle reminder to ‘slow down’ after coming down with a nasty cold that knocked me off my feet for a good week. It got me thinking about how we can approach the lead up to Christmas in a way that is kinder to ourselves and our body…

4 simple tips for navigating a ‘kinder’ Christmas this year:

  • Challenge your expectations. You can’t do ALL the things on your pinterest page (believe me, i’ve tried!) and you can’t be everything to everyone. Work out what’s really important to you, whittle down that list and focus your energy on less, rather than scattering it in every direction.
  • Commit to enjoying the moment. This is meant to be a time of celebration and joy so be sure to really enjoy the good things about it – the social gatherings, the time with family, your own special traditions. This is not the time to be worrying about nutrients and calories, but it is the time to be savouring every last drop of that glass of champagne as well as the people you are sharing it with. Lose the guilt and embrace the experience.
  • Don’t let all your good habits slip, ESPECIALLY EXERCISE. Make sure you continue with some of your daily habits that support and nurture your body and provide you with something of an anchor in your day. Exercise is the big one here and we’re not talking about balancing out food indulgences but about reducing stress levels and keeping your mind fresh, energised and centred. A gentle daily walk (or whatever your exercise jam may be) is a complete must at this time of year and can make a big difference to everything from how you interact with others to how you sleep at night.
  • Schedule in time for you. This may very well include the point above about exercise, but could also mean a pampering session, stretch, meditation, foot massage, just sitting doing nothing for a few minutes, time with a good book… anything that fills you up and provides a refreshed mindset to keep going with a happy heart (particularly important for the introverts among us!)

How are YOU going to be kinder to your body and mind this Christmas?

Our friend Nicolien from Handmaiden Natural Skincare is one of those down-to-earth women who tends to exude a natural glow and an innate ability to handle life’s ups and downs with grace and self-assurance. Whatever it is, we think she should bottle it! I can highly recommend the Handmaiden range of face and body treats and lucky for us, she has ever so kindly agreed to give away a little pamper pack of her gorgeous natural body care products exclusively to Équilibre!

The pack includes:

  • 100ml Pink Salt Body Scrub
  • 250ml Ylang-Ylang & Grapefruit Luxurious Body Cream
  • 50g Lavender Foot Soak

…all lovingly handmade by Nicolien using pure, natural, glow-enhancing ingredients (i’m hoping to entice Nicci back on to the blog in the New Year to share some of her body wisdom and philosophy around the ingredients she uses – she’s also a fabulous cook, to boot!)

What you need to do:

Simply leave a comment on this blog post about how you are being (or planning to be) kinder to yourself this Christmas, by midnight Wednesday 23rd December 2015, and we’ll draw and announce the winner on Christmas Eve (with the prize to be delivered after Christmas).

PLEASE NOTE: giveaway only open to residents of Western Australia

You can earn extra chances to win by liking the Handmaiden Facebook and Instagram pages (and of course, our Équilibre Facebook and Instagram!)

I’m sure we all look forward to reading and sharing your tips and to enjoying a more peaceful, centred and sane Christmas with our precious families and friends.

Now i’m off for a heavenly lavender scented foot-soak while planning my Christmas lunch contributions!


Balance, moderation and why you need to embrace equilibrium instead

“The best we can do…is to practise equilibrium internally – no matter what insanity is transpiring out there.”

Elizabeth Gilbert from Eat, Pray, Love

Maintaining a sense of balance in all areas of our life is something we should strive for. Saying that, I would suggest that the word itself has become overused and has lost its appeal… do you agree? To me, it’s a word that often places a too-heavy burden on our already overloaded shoulders. ‘Work-life balance’. ‘Getting the balance just right’. Juggling all of our balls in the air without dropping one can sometimes seem like an impossible task. Read the rest of this entry »

{Real} Life in Balance: The Designer

One of the lovely things about reaching out and attempting to create a network of other like-minded local businesses is the surprising connections you make along the way, especially when you discover they only live around the corner from you! Such as it was with Amy Palmer-Millin from Kookery, who i’m pleased to introduce you to for our Real Life in Balance interview today.

What do we love about Amy? Well, for a start, she’s an extremely hard working, savvy designer and business person with Kookery, her unique, quirky and growing range of tea towels and kitchen prints. She also has a keen eye for a good café (and i’ve been known to try and work out her whereabouts from the type of coffee cups in her instagram and facebook feeds!) Having lived there for a time, she also loves the Melbourne coffee culture (healthy respect there from Pascal) and has also been known to show up at a Fitness for Foodies session or two (we’ll keep working on that one, Amy!)

I really appreciate Amy’s simple approach to healthy eating based on colour, which effectively means that she’s getting heaps of variety. Ditching the diet, taking the negativity out of food and putting the ‘rejoice’ back in, is such a freeing mentality to adopt and I really applaud her for taking that stand. As with most of us who juggle kids, work, businesses and a healthy lifestyle – seeking the balance between it all continues to be a work in progress, and probably always will be!

Thanks for taking the time to fill us in on what keeps you inspired Amy…

Read the rest of this entry »

{Real} Life in Balance: The Real Food Caterer

Those who know me well would be aware that I have often had day-dreams about creating my own little catering business (especially during the years I was ‘pretending’ to work at a corporate job!) So it was with a slight pang of envy that I first heard about Wendy Marinich and her gorgeous little business Me & Mabel – a picnic basket and gift box catering company, utilising food lovingly made from scratch with wholesome ingredients, and served with a vintage garden party feel (captured beautifully by our mutual photographer friend, Jessica Shaver.)

I’m also quite enamoured by Wendy’s ‘New Parent Meal Boxes’ where vouchers can be purchased for fresh, nutritious meals and baked goods to be delivered to the door within the first few weeks of returning home with a new baby. What an amazingly thoughtful gift that would make – and another of those, ‘why didn’t I think of that?’ moments!

I’m inspired by Wendy and her approach to food and life. It resonates very much with what we do at Équilibre. So much so, that we have asked Wendy to collaborate with us on an extra special project that we have been working on for some time, and will be revealing very soon. If you’re at all interested in bringing the joy back to eating and exercise, you’ll want to watch out for more details!

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions, Wendy. I really appreciate your honesty and insight. You are a true Équilibrian!… Read the rest of this entry »

{Real} Life in Balance: The Foodologist

I’m so delighted to bring you our next Real Life in Balance interview with Hannah van Didden, founder of mindful eating business A Foodly Affair and self proclaimed ‘foodologist’! I first read about Hannah in the last edition of Spice Magazine, where she shared her recipe for Kale Salad which I LOVE (and apparently was a hit with her now husband, too!)

Hannah has always had a keen interest in food and cooking (reaching the top 50 of Masterchef as well as a stint in the kitchen with Rochelle Adonis cakes & confections) but a serious illness 4 years ago saw her change her lifestyle to embrace raw and whole foods almost exclusively. ‘Let food be thy medicine’ is something that Hannah has experienced first hand and now helps others to heal their relationship with food and discover their own personal food philosophy.

Although we’re not about to take up a raw regime anytime soon, i’m a huge fan of Hannah’s approach. Essentially, she believes that it’s important to understand where your food comes from, how it’s sourced/processed/prepared and the impact it has on your body, mind and environment. I love that she takes in to consideration factors other than just the nutrition of a particular food, but also the way in which it is prepared and eaten as being essential for good health and vitality – I guess you could call it the ‘mindful’ aspect of food.

I took part in one of Hannah’s regular workshops this past weekend and it was a real delight! I’m now armed with lots of lovely recipes and inspiration for including a little more ‘raw’ (and delicious) into our eating regime.

Thanks so much for giving us an insight into your world Hannah – I think your fridge contents alone make it a good read! Read the rest of this entry »

{Real} Life in Balance: The Journalist

I hope you’ve been enjoying this little series of interviews with real life women about their unique approaches to food, cooking, exercise, body image and lifestyle in general. You can read my own responses to the questions here and all about my Swedish friend My, here. I have more amazing women who have agreed to contribute their thoughts and am excited to share their interviews and images over the coming weeks…

I’m also keen to ensure that I present some diverse points of view from women in different circumstances and phases of life. Which is why this week, i’m delighted to present Laura Tomlinson – a young newspaper reporter who is busy making the most of her 20’s by enjoying life and building a career – but at the same time, having to learn to juggle her lifestyle while her husband works away for much of the time.

Laura first came to my attention via Facebook when I noticed that she was hanging out in many of the same ‘foodie’ oriented businesses and places that I was attracted to. Her excellent taste was only confirmed when she decided to bring her lovely Mum along to our Équilibre Retreat at Foragers last month as a Mother’s Day surprise! It was such a pleasure to meet Laura and experience her passion for good food (and wine!) firsthand. It’s quite refreshing to see someone so young take such an interest in what she eats and how it’s prepared, and no doubt she’ll go on to have a great influence on her peers (and readers). I also like her nicely ‘balanced’ attitude, perhaps it’s because she doesn’t stress out about getting the balance perfect and instead focuses on what makes her happy!

She reminds me a little of me in my mid to late twenties (long before kids) particularly her cooking style and ability to spend the day coming up with just the thing to satisfy a craving for dinner that evening. And yes, i’ve been known to read a cookbook or two in bed and oh, the food pilgrimages! I will say that there was a definite pang of envy on my part, after reading some of Laura’s responses (or shall we just call it nostalgia?)

I love, love, love the quote in the image further down below about food not being meant to be stressful, just good for the soul. No, I could never be a chef either, Laura!

Thanks so very much for sharing with us…. Read the rest of this entry »

{Real} Life in Balance: Swedish Simplicity

I’d like to introduce you to the first of my guests on our Real Life in Balance series. Her name is My Tistrand and she’s one half of the lovely Swedish couple who brought the Dinner Twist concept to Perth.

You can read more about My and Chris’ exciting business and how much I love it here.

This is a lady who has not only created a brand new life for herself on the other side of the world, but has also taken on the chance to build a unique and meaningful family business (that just happens to feed her passion for cooking) at the same time as raising her young daughter (no easy task, believe me!) I have so much admiration for the way Chris and My have evolved their business, as well as the way they have warmly embraced the Perth lifestyle and quickly established themselves as a very welcome part of our community.

On meeting My, you sense her unmistakably pared back, Swedish style – there’s a certain simplicity in her approach to food, health and life in general that many of us can learn from. I was keen for her to answer my questions and share some gorgeous images of her life and loves… something she has kindly agreed to do!

Read the rest of this entry »

{Real} Life in Balance

This year i’m keen to explore the concept of BALANCE a little more in-depth, particularly how it relates to food, exercise and health in general, and how we can use it to bring back a little more sanity in an overcomplicated world.

I thought it might be an interesting exercise to interview a few local women I admire and feel have achieved some level of balance in their lives. Each manages it in a different way, using a unique approach and style of their own, often while juggling many different hats. I also happen to know that they are all passionate food lovers and keen cooks!

I’m curious to know more though. What inspires them? What do they love to cook? How do they stay fit and healthy? Do they really think balance is the key?… I’m looking to uncover some really open, honest and enlightening answers, and hope you will enjoy learning from them along with me. If you know someone you think deserves to be interviewed, let me know!

To get things started, I think it’s only fair that I go first! So, here are my responses to the questions i’m going to pose to my interviewees, plus a few snapshots from my everyday life…

Read the rest of this entry »

Pascal’s Daily Reminders for a New Year

Let me start by introducing myself, my name is Pascal and i’m the other half of Équilibre – the ‘exercise’ half! Read the rest of this entry »

Growing strawberries and finding inspiration

It’s been tough, I have to admit. On many levels, it’s been a difficult year. I wasn’t prepared for what having 2 young children to care for, plus a business to grow would mean, and I certainly wasn’t prepared for the level of sleep deprivation this gorgeous little guy brought with him. I’ve learned the hard way that lack of good sleep affects your ability to think clearly and rationally, let alone the negative impact it can have on your health and energy levels.

I could rule the world… if only I could just get a good night’s sleep!”

I now fully comprehend the frustration behind these words, spoken by a fellow mama. So heartbreakingly true!

Read the rest of this entry »