Things I love

  • It’s time to spring into Spring!

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    Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’ ~ Robin Williams

    Now before anyone feels the need to point it out, I know that we are still somewhat in the grip of Winter in Australia (more so for those of us stuck down at the bottom of this great vast land). BUT…I need something to look forward to, it has been a long cold season (and yes I know I had a holiday to Greece not that long ago, but that was in May, which is technically Autumn, therefore doesn’t count in my longing for Winter to end!)

    So yes, I am getting in early, I can’t wait any longer: my body is itching to feel some warmth on my pale dry skin. I must start making some plans to embrace the change of seasons and say good bye once and for all to the dreaded Winter slump.

    So, here are five ways that I intend on springing into Spring over the next few weeks:

    Time to Declutter like a boss

    Spring is a time to breathe in the new and sweep out the old. I am making plans to clear away  piles of papers, magazines, and books that have accumulated over the indoor months. Old toys that the kids have grown out of are getting tossed or given away with no sentiment attached. Bags of clothes that have been sitting patiently waiting to go the to the Op shop are finally on their way.

    This is such a satisfying thing to do that it even makes me feel inclined to…

    Clean that house baby

    Yes, once the clutter is cleared, there is incentive to scrub and clean and make things shiny and new (this urge to clean doesn’t happen often in my world, so I have to make the most of it when it does!) I am cleaning out the fridge, sucking dust bunnies from under the bed, and making my windows sparkle (ok, I may have outsourced that last one, but hey it still counts!) I know I feel better once these jobs are ticked off the to do list and I can forget about them for another few months and concentrate on the important things in life, like watching The Bachelor and…

     Sprucing my Winter bod

    Now this may be too much information for some of you, but I tend to let myself go in Winter. My motto is if I can cover it, then I don’t need to tend to it (this may also subconsciously be why I bought a fedora this Winter: my grey hair is getting a little out of control!). I quite enjoy this phase of the year (and my husband doesn’t seem to mind either way) however, I also really enjoy amping up the self care and making the appointments to ready my skin for some sunshine once again. So visits to the hairdresser, beautician, and toenail polish lady (sorry, I’m not sure if you have a technical name) are all in order in the next couple of weeks.

    Which then leaves me feeling good and ready to…

    Make some fun plans

    I love to entertain, and pride myself about having one of those houses that people can drop in for a drink and a casual dinner with very little notice. But not in Winter!  Like a bear in hibernation, it takes some serious cajoling to get me to leave my couch in front of the fire on a cold Winter’s night and I don’t tend to invite people over either. But my thoughts are turning to a desire for more connection with my friends and family, and I know that the approaching start of Spring has a lot to do with that.

    So I am making some fun plans, which also includes…

    Stepping out of my comfort zone and trying something new

    Life is for living, and let’s face it you never feel more alive than when you do something fun and exciting for the first time. This weekend I am leaving my family behind and heading off to Sydney for an event. I haven’t been to Sydney for 10 years, and I have one whole day by myself with absolutely nothing planned and I am really looking forward to seeing what this day brings. Maybe I will climb to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and attempt to break a Guinness world record (that suggestion is for my fellow Bachelor watchers!) Whatever I decide, I will get out of my comfort zone and enjoy my own company, because I am ready to spring into Spring and love my life!

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    To help you feel your best and be ready to embrace the change of seasons feeling fabulous, I am offering a special deal on my 90 minute clarity coaching session for the Springtastic price of $150 (usually $175). This great offer will be available until the end of AUGUST (when all my prices will be going up), so check out my Work With Me page HERE or shoot me an email at melissa@melissajeffcott.com. I look forward to hearing from you!

    How do ready yourself for the change of seasons? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!

  • 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.