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Archive of ‘Things I love’ category

On the Other Side of Forty… I rediscover my style

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“Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn”
― Orson Welles

If you are anything like me, you totally love the idea of having a distinct sense of your own style, but somewhere along the line you have lost sight of it…

I used to love quirky fashion when I was younger, and really enjoyed putting some interesting and individual looks together.  After those heady days of wearing pork pie hats, giant crucifix earrings, gold velvet hot pants and silver bomber jackets (reason 456 that I am thankful social media didn’t exist back then!) I sensibly retreated to a fairly safe corporate wardrobe for most of my 20’s, before switching to mum attire for my 30’s (i.e. what ever still fitted and didn’t have food stains all over it!)

On the other side of forty, I have longed to rediscover my style (although definitely not the hot pants!) but seem to have gotten stuck as to what suits me, looks stylish and fashionable, but not too young or too old on me, and hides the bits that I don’t love (all within a budget of course!)

I clearly needed help, so I turned to the lovely Anne from Style Joy to steer me in the right direction..

What are the key pieces you would recommend that every woman has in her wardrobe?

Classic pieces that can be worn in many different ways such as perfectly fitting jeans, killer black pants, shirts (white / black / denim), a tailored black jacket or cardi depending on your everyday needs, basic (underneath tops / tshirts), a stylish pair of ankle boots….then accessories to change up the look with different earrings, necklaces , scarves, hats, etc.

What are the benefits of having a personal shopping experience?

My clients love the idea of all the looking and hard work done for them. For me its not hard work to research and have great knowledge of what is available in each shop, so when a client comes to me with a brief and budget, I know before the shop where to go and what pieces will be suitable for them. This saves them time and gives them more confidence to try things they wouldn’t usually try on their own – no more wandering around aimlessly in a shopping centre all day getting frustrated and coming home with nothing OR the wrong thing.

A personal shopping experience gives women a new found appreciation for their style and how looking good makes them feel good. I always notice this sparkle in my client’s eyes once we are about 45 minutes into the shop and have started finding pieces that look great on them – I see a new found confidence and excitement in how they see themselves.

Where should you start if you have no clue what your style is anymore?

Start with Pinterest, Instagram or magazines, and look at which fashion pics you admire…there is absolutely no reason you cannot recreate the looks and style you like to suit your body shape, budget and lifestyle.

Are there any fashion trends you should avoid as you get older?

Anything that doesn’t feel comfortable should not be worn….and that goes for all ages.


5 Quick Questions for Anne from Style Joy

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1. My favourite go to outfit is…Jeans, a statement top, amazing shoes and my hair up in a bun.

2. My favourite place to shop is…David Jones, as it has so much great variety, but Zimmerman is my favourite brand.

3. My favourite accessory is…my mum’s vintage snake skin clutch, and my antique diamond ring my husband bought me after we had our second child!

4. My most embarrassing fashion moment…overdoing an outfit with too many accessories….I certainly learnt that less is always more!

5. The best part of my job is…seeing the satisfaction and joy my clients get when they have found those perfect pieces that make them look and feel amazing! After every shop with a client I can’t wipe the smile off my face because I love that I have helped make them feel so good about themselves. 🙂

If you live in Melbourne, and like the sound of Anne helping you rediscover your style (it’s totally worth it!) simply mention ‘The Other Side of Forty’ to receive 15% off any personal shopping service until October 2015.  See http://www.stylejoy.com.au for more info and to contact Anne, I know she’d love to hear from you! You can also follow her on Instagram @STYLE_JOY

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What are thoughts on style as you get older, do you have a good sense of your own style or is this an area you need a little help in? Let me know in the comments below..

Fabulous Women on the Other Side of Forty: Julie Parker

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Julie Parker is one of Australia’s foremost life and business coaches and trainers with more than a decade’s experience inspiring hundreds of clients and thousands of people to create beautiful lives and businesses. The CEO and Founder of The Beautiful You Coaching Academy, Julie passionately trains and supports heart centered and gifted people to bring their talents and love of giving into the world as life coaches.

 

HOW HAS LIFE CHANGED FOR YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE OF FORTY?

Life for me post 40 has become even richer and more amazing than my previous two adult decades. I’m not sure if that was ever something I believed possible but it has been and in truth, I never had fears it wouldn’t be. I think turning 40 as a woman in the 21st century is a very different occurrence to what it was for our Mothers generation and most definitely the one prior to that. By 40 women were so often seen to have pretty much lived their best life by that stage, and were relegated to the old “It’s all downhill from here” thinking. Not any more!

Now it is a time in our lives where we can truly blossom and shine – even for the very first time. And I love that and how it seems to be happening to so many women.

YOU HAVE GONE FROM A SUCCESSFUL LIFE AND BUSINESS COACH TO THE CEO OF AN INTERNATIONALLY SUCCESSFUL LIFE COACHING ACADEMY IN THE PAST COUPLE OF YEARS. CAN YOU TELL ME A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THIS?

I have loved being a life and business coach for a decade and a half now, a long time before many people even knew what a life coach was or did. I fell in love with it and the results and feelings and self-actualisation my clients experienced with a little bit of guidance from me – and a lot of hard work and heart from them. It allowed me to create beautiful relationships with people that saw them take their life to a whole new level and it’s now my joy and I believe life’s work to teach and train others how to do the same.

I so love training people to become Life Coaches at the Beautiful You Coaching Academy – it’s work for me that is not even really work – it’s passion, soul, commitment, energy and pure love for people now doing what I used to do with others. The positive ripples of change that Beautiful You Life Coaches are now creating around the world truly amazes and inspires me. I feel so incredibly blessed to be a part of it and witness it too.

THERE ARE QUITE A FEW WOMEN IN THEIR FORTIES ENROLLED IN THE BYCA LIFE COACHING COURSE. WHY DO YOU THINK THIS IS?

There certainly are – and I love they are with us, just as much as I love seeing incredible young women in their twenties step up and want to make a life and business for themselves in the helping and personal development profession. Women in their forties have SO much to offer as coaches and I truly hope that by the time they enrol with us to become a life coach they know that. They are at a time in their life where all of their education, life experiences, (the great and the not so great), relationships and how they feel about themselves can be used in the most inspirational ways.

I also think that becoming a life coach is an amazing business path for women in their forties because it can really suit their lifestyle. They may have children, whether quite young or even teenagers, and working from home as a coach with a national and international clientele can be amazingly appealing to work with that. They can arrange to see clients around the needs of their family – and create a lot of abundance for themselves in doing so! It can also be an incredible second career for women in their forties whereby they may have tired or feel they have run their course in something they chose to do when quite young, and now having matured are looking to do something that is quintessentially ‘them’ where they get to be their own boss, earn the level of income they want and even get to travel the world while doing so.

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR WOMEN THINKING OF MAKING A BIG CHANGE IN SOME AREA OF THEIR LIFE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF FORTY?

Firstly – believe you are worth it and that it’s not to late. It’s never ever to late to live the way you truly want to live, or be who you really want to be. You have to fully own what is not working in your life, which is always an instigator for major change, and look at that with compassion and positivity for what you do want to create and make better. Creating change from a place of strength and belief that it is worth it, will see you invite in something amazing and wonderful for yourself.

Secondly – be smart and planned. Add up the sums, look at the pros and cons, get your besties on your side and dive into the change you are looking to create in a way that shows you mean business!

Thirdly – focus on how you want this change in your life to make you feel every day. What is it all about for you? Don’t just think about the result you want but how it is that you want that result – whether it be a new career, relationship, location – to make you feel and show up in the world as your best self? Do you want to feel more peaceful, grounded and soulful? Passionate, fired up and inspired? The end result you want may help you create those feelings but if you focus on them through the entire journey you will have them anyway. Win win!

WHAT ARE SOME SIMPLE THINGS THAT YOU DO FOR SELF CARE?

Get great sleep.
Laugh a lot.
Eat my greens.
Drink water.
Play.
Stretch.
Breathe.
Only hang out with truly superb people.

I AM BIG BELIEVER IN FINDING THE FUN AND JOY IN EVERYDAY LIFE. HOW DO YOU HAVE FUN?

I feel very blessed to have a truly wonderful relationship with my husband and we laugh all the time, often about the simplest of things. Something funny our much loved cats did, his footy team losing again (or he would cry), a kitchen failure of mine (relatively common but improving) and the look on his face every time he gets in the car with our learner driver daughter. The combination of sheer terror and pride makes me laugh every time.

And so for me fun and joy is really found in everyday life. It’s not so much about doing anything fun filled (although I and we all do that too) but rather finding joy in small moments. My Nana who is 94 this year has reminded me many times throughout her life that the biggest memories in life are often created from the smallest moments in time.

 


ZErpA82E27zEUAP1ZYxfmaYm4K-9fyg-zCC4yjdDP1EAs a graduate from Julie’s amazing life changing course, I am happy to say that I am a proud affiliate for the Beautiful You Coaching Academy. If you sign up by clicking through the unique link here or the image under Learn More About Becoming a Life Coach on my website, then I have a great offer for you.

Three FREE one hour coaching sessions on the topics of your choice. This could be around such areas as:

  • How to start a blog and design a website without spending a lot of money.
  • Getting started and getting noticed on Social Media
  • How to get the most out of your life coaching course (and how I secured my first paying client before the course had finished).
  • How to balance your busy life and honour your commitment to studying.

If you are interested in taking the step towards an amazing new career as a Life Coach, then please don’t hesitate to ask me any questions about the course at all via email at melissa@melissajeffcott.com, I would be more than happy to have a chat!

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On the other side of forty…I want more sleep

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 Hands up if you would like to get more sleep and wake up feeling refreshed and full of energy, ready to bounce into your day? If your hand is down, there could only be one of two reasons:

You are one of those annoyingly bouncy people who go to bed super early with your gym gear already laid out in preparation for your early morning run on the beach/Instagram brag (ok, you can take your green smoothie and leave for yoga now).

OR

Your hand is down because you have no energy to raise it, because you are so exhausted by the constant interrupted and/or lack of sleep that you experience being a parent/on the other side of forty/just being alive.

Now that those pesky perky ladies have left, I am here to tell you that I completely understand that life can be pretty exhausting, however there are a few basic things that you can do to help yourself enjoy a more well rested night, and hopefully feel better equipped to take on the busy demands of each new day.

Firstly, and this might come as a shock (not) to some of you, but no one in your family is actually going to notice that you are tired. Does your husband come home from work, notice you’re done in and immediately start preparing a delicious nutritious meal your whole family will eat, whilst offering to give you a foot rub after dinner (um, if he does, then can I please borrow him?) Will your kids take a look at you at 7.00pm and say “Gee mum, you look exhausted. Let me have a shower and quietly put myself to bed while you have a glass of wine and check your Facebook feed.” No, it is up to you and only you to make sure you are looking after yourself, and if you need some help to do that, then guess what? You have to ask for it! Women have been waiting since the dawn of time for their partner’s to read their minds, and unless you are married to a clairvoyant, I would say the chances of them always anticipating your needs are slim to none. So make sure that you actively (and nicely) ask for help to get your kid’s night time routine done with a minimum (or at the very least not a maximum) of fuss.

Once the little darlings are in bed and finally asleep (two very different things, I know!), chances are you are slumped in front of the TV, too exhausted to think of doing anything besides getting yourself a cup of tea and a choccie. Before you know it is late, and you are berating yourself for watching that episode of Sex and the City you have already seen 342 times. By the time you get to bed, have set your alarm (and have one last check of all forms of social media known to mankind) you are feeling a little frustrated, and resign yourself to another night of tossing and turning while mentally making to do lists in your head. But I doesn’t have to be that way, and I am here to give you the benefit of my wisdom (or at the very least a few handy tips).

Do not automatically go for the couch and the TV.

I have pretty much stopped watching TV in the past few months and my life is much better for it. There might be one or two shows that I actually like to watch each week, so I will consciously sit and watch those. But the days of mindlessly sitting flicking through the channels, and watching someone get bad tattoos on 7Mate because nothing else is on are long gone. Ask yourself if this program benefits me in some way, and if not then switch that idiot box off and go to bed (unless there is a movie with Ryan Gosling in it – you are always allowed to stay up late for the Gos!

Use a dump diary.

It doesn’t sound as pretty as a gratitude journal, and by all means write down what you are grateful for as well, if that works for you. However, it can be a great help to just dump all the ‘stuff’ that is in your brain in order to stop ruminating on it until the wee hours. This is for your eyes only, so get it all out of your head and onto some paper, no matter how petty or silly you might think it is. Then in the morning, you can transpose what’s important on to your daily to do list, and throw the rest of that brain dump in the trash (make sure it’s the recycling of course).

Make your bedroom a warm and inviting space.

Now, I am not talking about candles and flowers and sexy lingerie (although please go for it if you want to). What I am talking about, is the basket of laundry on the floor full of clean clothes that sits there until someone comes scrounging for clean undies and tips them everywhere. Or the bathroom towels that are hanging on the floor. Or the piles of paperwork stacked on your chest of drawers. Even if you just move all this stuff out of the bedroom and into another room, having a clean and inviting space to sleep can help to settle the body and mind.

I know you don’t want to hear it, but I am going to tell you anyway. You need to break up with your phone/iDevice.

Your bedroom is not the place for this relationship. Trust me, I have been there, I have canoodled with Candy Crush, flirted with Facebook, and inspired myself with Instagram till the small hours, when in reality I should have been simply seducing sleep. “But my phone is my alarm”, I hear you say. Ha ha, I have told myself this too and I don’t believe you anymore than I believed myself: just buy yourself a cheap alarm clock, you know you can’t be trusted!

So there you have it, my advice for bringing more rest and less stress into your life. If you are able to make at least one or two changes, then I guarantee you are on the road to getting a better nights sleep. If you manage to score a foot rub as well, then I’d say life just got a whole lot better!

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This post was first published on The Working Mums Collective, a fantastic place for working mums to connect, share stories, celebrate successes and really support and empower each other no matter what journey they are on.

Life Lessons from Anne of Green Gables

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If you are a woman of a certain age that can remember a time growing up when reading was your main option for boredom busting on a rainy day, then firstly congratulations- you are my type of person! Secondly, it is quite likely that as a 10 or 11 year old girl (there was no such thing as a tween back then) you read Anne of Green Gables. If you were more into Nancy Drew than L.M. Montgomery, and have never read about Anne with an ‘e’ Shirley, then you missed out on a delightful series of books about a spirited and imaginative young orphan who sees the good in every situation, and warms the hearts of everyone she meets.

Now, if you were to classify fans of Anne of Green Gables into levels of devotion- I would probably be up there with the more hard core fans.  As a girl, I avidly read all eight books in the series many times over, and still own my original beautifully illustrated hardcover books to this very day (hmm, they might be worth something on eBay- I must check that out*)   Actually, after a quick Google search I found many fan groups in existence such as OAOGGLS- Online Anne Of Green Gables Lovers Society (how’s that for a catchy acronym) so maybe I am not that hard core after all!  But, I do love my books, and have many happy memories of spending my childhood days with Anne, Matthew, Marilla, and of course Gilbert Blythe: my original boy crush (with sincere apologies to Ryan Gosling!)

Recently, I decided to re-read AOGG (I decided to use a snazzy acronym as well, because basically I am a lazy typer). Not surprisingly, I still love it. Re-reading a treasured book is like snuggling into a favourite dressing gown- warm, cozy and predictable.  In fact, just looking at these books takes me to a safe and happy place in my heart.  But this time around, I was struck by the fantastic life lessons that are contained within this story. Anne has had a pretty hard and miserable life in her 11 short years, before arriving at Green Gables, yet she truly does seem to see the best in everybody who comes across her path.  But she is no meek pushover either, quite willing to stand up for herself and her loved ones against the bullies of the world.

I have made a list of some of my favourite AOGG quotes below, why don’t you have a read (keep in mind that this  book was first published in 1908) and see how they relate to you in this fast paced modern world that we live in.

  • Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?
  • Life is worth living as long as there’s a laugh in it
  • True friends are always together in spirit
  • Kindred spirits are not as scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world
  • It’s not what the world holds for you, it’s what you bring to it.
  • I don’t want sunbursts and marble halls, I just want you.
  • Dear old world, you are lovely, and I am glad to be alive in you.
  • And you know one can dream so much better in a room where there are pretty things.
  • But the best of it all was coming home

Pretty awesome, hey? It is near impossible for me to pick an absolute favourite Anne quote, but I think the following one comes pretty close, now that I am on the other side of forty with a family of my own.

  • I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens, but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.

Nothing much else to say is there- Anne Shirley says it perfectly.

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*Sell my Anne books- have you read this post at all? Never in a million years!

Are you an Anne of Green Gables fan? If so, what do her books mean to you? Or do you have another book that takes you back to that warm safe space in your heart?

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