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As an online store owner, I spend a lot of my time on the internet – whether it’s doing research, reading up about potential ranges, writing blog posts or interacting on social media (yes, that’s me writing our Instagram & Facebook posts – come and say hello!). So, on my cyber travels, I regularly stumble across online gems - from healthy eating blogs to quirky online stores.
Recently I had the very-overdue idea of sharing these internet gems on the Eve Organics blog. After all, what’s the point in garnering all of this online insight if I don’t share it..? And so, ‘Cyber Crushing’ was born.
This week, I’m sharing with you the latest Etsy stores I’m crushing on. I hope you love them as much as I do!
Based in Brooklyn, New York but shipping worldwide, Collected Edition offer one-of-a-kind, botanical inspired jewellery pieces made from brass, bronze, silver and gold – like this elegant little succulent ring.
Like the name suggests, Sydney-based Om Nom Cheesemaking make kits for making cheese at home – from mozzarella to middle-Eastern haloumi (one of my favourite cheeses!). The kits come with everything you need to make the cheese of your choice – and it all arrives in a cute little box ready to go. Great as gifts!
If you’re a sucker for cute animal puns like I am, you’ll love Sunny Dove Studio! This LA-based printing shop makes the sweetest cards – as well as mugs, totes and phone cases.
Sydney-based Carmen Hui draws detailed pencil drawings in soft hues, and turns them into prints, invitations and greeting cards. Her animal & floral drawings are beautiful – but my favourites are her Nutella & Vegemite-themed prints!
I LOVE to bake, but I’m often short on time or fancying a sweet treat at the last minute – so any recipe that’s quick and with a simple ingredients list is right up my alley. I adapted this one from the Taste website, but I cut back on the refined sugar and added some protein & omega-3s from flax seeds. I hope you enjoy it!
2 cups of self raising flour (wholemeal if you have it)
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 heaped Tbsp flax seed meal
1 large banana, mashed
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsps milk (more if needed)
1/3 cup greek yoghurt
Large handful of fresh or frozen blueberries (if they’re frozen, let them thaw for 30 minutes or pop them in the microwave for 10 seconds, so they’re not cold when you put the muffins in the oven).
1 Tbsp each of oats, sunflower seeds & brown sugar (for topping individual muffins).
Combine dry ingredients, then add wet ingredients, stirring as you go to combine. Finally, add fruit.
Spoon a (very) heaped Tablespoon into muffin tins (should make around 6-8 muffins). Top each muffin with a sprinkle of oats, sunflower seeds & brown sugar.
Bake at 180C for 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Vapour Mesmerize Eyeshadow in 'Sugar' (in inner corners)
Vapour Mesmerize Eyeshadow in 'Nightfall' (on the lid)
Vapour Mesmerize Eyeshadow in 'Firefly' (lower lashline)
Vapour Mesmerize Eyeliner in 'Truffle' (on upper lashline)
Vapour Aura Multi-use in 'Virtue' (dotted very lightly on cheekbones)
Vapour Siren Lipstick in 'Madam' (with clear balm applied on top).
When it comes to skin care, how do you know what’s best? A one-brand routine, or a skincare ritual that encompasses different products from different brands? Many brands will recommend selecting your skin care from a sole brand, and although there might be some sound points behind that advice, it mostly sounds like a brand trying to sell you more products. So, to help you decipher all the do’s and don’ts, advice and recommendations, here are some things to think about when choosing your skin care, and my personal thoughts on the matter.
Passionate about health and beauty, I began the Liberty-Green blog to prove that green CAN be glam. My aim is to educate women on the safer, healthier alternatives to the mainstream – that work. You needn’t sacrifice your health for beauty, and you don’t have to sacrifice performance for health.
Organic beauty has come a long way in the last few years, and I know from personal experience how overwhelming making “the switch” can be. Along with product reviews and brand spotlights, I share useful tools and handy resources that help make the switch to organic that much easier. Your skin will thank you.
I also have a handcrafted Flower Crown & Accessories label by the same name, so when I’m not writing on organic beauty and skincare, you’ll most likely find me in the studio up to my elbows in flowery goodness.
Inspiration boards are more than just pretty 'fluff’ – they can be excellent tools for improving organisation, collecting ideas and of course, providing inspiration. How we feel – whether it’s positive or negative, excited or bored, inspired or completely unmotivated – depends on a number of factors; but our physical environment is one of them.
When you think about it (and I know we all try not to think about it too much!); we spend almost 50% of our waking hours at work every week – so the experience we have day-in, day-out in the workplace has a huge potential to affect our emotional experience. Are you spending your days in a drab, grey office cubicle which has nothing of ‘you’ in it? How does it feel walking into work every day? My guess is, not all that great. So improve it! And YES, the things you look at while you’re working can have a huge effect on how you feel – different words and images trigger different synaptic responses in our brains; so the things we see around us are incredibly impactful.
Me working on my own inspiration board!
So, how can you get started and make your work space brighter, more beautiful & most importantly, more ‘you’? Here are my tips on building your very own inspiration board.
If you don’t have a Pinterest account yet, I highly recommend starting right now! (You should also follow Eve Organics once you’re on there!) Pinterest is essentially a virtual version of a pin board – you can have several boards under different categories (e.g ‘beauty ideas’, ‘recipes’, ‘travel info’, ‘craft how-to’s’, etc.) You can make your Pinterest profile totally private if you like, so nobody can see your virtual pin boards or the things you pin on them. And every day, Pinterest will offer you a huge list of pins, based on your interests and the boards you follow. It’s a treasure trove of inspiring and beautiful images, as well as quotes, lists, printable planners, and everything else you can possibly think of.
Once you’ve pinned a few pins, you’ll start to see how a virtual board can help you to create your real one. Pinterest is just such a great search tool – you’ll find images you love, pretty prints, beautiful quotes & typography… and you can print out your favourites to pin on your real inspiration board. It’s a brilliant way to get started.
My inspiration board contains a whole host of postcards, pretty business cards, flyers and other paper goods that I saw, loved, and collected. Keep your eyes peeled for pretty things that inspire you – whether they be free cards floating around at cafes, beautiful floral business cards, or even cards in a newsagency – if you love it, buy it!
This is the third thing I have pinned on my inspiration board. These can include photos with loved ones, family & friends – or just travel photos you’ve taken that remind you of a happy time and place. If it makes you smile, pin it on there!
Once you have some artwork/printed things, some cards, quotes, and happy snaps on your board – it will start to look beautiful, and take on its own personality. And before you know it, it will start to change your mood for the better – especially if you remember to include a good dose of uplifting, motivational or calming quotes on there (whatever you feel you need during the work day!). To give you an example and help to get you started, here are a few snaps from mine:
If there are polished, organised people and unpolished, creative-clutter people; then I definitely fall into the latter group. I frequently leave the house without something in the morning, or lose my phone/keys/purse and have to go on a house-wide search, or get to bed late & then struggle to get up on time in the morning – and I’ve been like this in some way shape or form since I was a little girl. A nice, neat, consistent person, I am not.
BUT, I do work extremely hard, and I do get things done – in my own way. And when it comes to organising my day, I know what works for me and what doesn’t – just like most of us do. (Yes – you do know what works for you, if you really think about it!). For example; if you’ve tried keeping to a tight daily schedule and just can’t seem to keep it up – then that’s probably because it isn’t right for you. (It isn’t right for me either.)
Personally, I find daily ‘to-do’ lists much more helpful when it comes to time management. If I write down every Sunday (or at the beginning of every month, for regular scheduled things) what I need to do each day, in each week – then look at my daily list every morning when I come into the office, those things DO get done. I don’t go as far as to write down what time I’ll do each thing, or when I can take a coffee break (because I can’t operate with that much structure.) I just make sure that during each day, I cross off that day’s to-do list. Try that and see if it works for you – and if not, try another technique! There are so many. But remember – organisation does not look the same for everyone; and that’s okay. Keep trying different things until you find the system that works for you.
This sounds extremely cliché – and not very helpful if you don’t really know how to be more present and live in the moment. So here’s a trick I learnt recently.
I was watching an episode of Marie Forleo’s ‘MarieTV’ (if you’re a female business-owner – or even just a female – I can’t recommend her videos highly enough), and the topic of the episode was ‘How to Live in the Moment’.
In the episode, Marie is interviewing her fiancé, Josh Pais. Josh is an actor, director and founder of ‘Committed Impulse’, which is a series of workshops aimed at teaching actors and professionals to live more in the moment.
In the episode, Josh talks to Marie about this one technique he has for being more present, which he calls, ‘I’m Back’. How it works is this: every time he notices himself drifting off, worrying, ruminating or just thinking about anything besides what he’s doing in the current moment, he snaps his fingers & says, ‘I’m back’, then gets back to thinking about whatever he’s actually doing right then & there. (For example, if you’re in the shower and you start thinking about what happened that day, or what’s about to happen that day, or something you said to your colleague, or something you meant to do yesterday but didn’t – etc, etc, etc – then once you catch yourself drifting off like this, say, ‘I’m back!’, snap your fingers and get back to concentrating on how good the hot water feels, and which part of your body to wash next – which is all you need to be thinking about in that moment.)
After a while, you don’t have to physically say the words out loud or click your fingers – just notice whenever you catch yourself daydreaming, and say to yourself internally, ‘I’m back’. It’s such a simple, powerful thing – and it really does help you to be more self-aware about your thoughts, and to exercise more control over them. If living in the present moment is something you struggle with (and don’t we all?!), I highly recommend giving this technique a go.
I’ve been seeing a lot of articles and commentary lately about how women de-value themselves without even realising they’re doing it.
For example, do you frequently use the words ‘just’, and ‘only’? (‘I’m just calling to check on my proposal….’ ‘I only need a minute of your time’). Imagine how much stronger and clearer you would sound if you lost those words entirely (‘I’m calling to check on my proposal’. ‘I need a minute of your time’). It doesn’t make the sentences sound any worse (after all, you’ll still say them politely) – it just means that they’re said with more conviction. You’re asking for what you want without apologising for it. (Why do we do that…?).
And it’s not just about words. I naturally tend to put a lot of emphasis on what other people think about my actions (I think a lot of women do this) – and as a result, when something didn’t come across the way I intended it (or even if I suspected there was a small chance it could be interpreted in the wrong way), I would follow up by explaining or justifying the things I’d said and done – to make sure I was being fully understood.
Unfortunately, all this does is make it seem like I’m not sure myself about my intentions. (Otherwise, why would I explain them?). It indicates a level of insecurity.
Instead, what I try to do is to trust that the people around me know me well enough to see my intentions. Do I really believe that people close to me would think negative things about me? No; of course not. I trust that the important people in my life know where I’m coming from, and that they can see the real me through my words and actions without me having to constantly monitor them.
So, next time you find yourself worrying about how something you said or did ‘came across’ – stop it. Forget about it immediately (maybe practice the ‘I’m back’ technique I just talked about!). Have confidence in who you are, in your full expression – that means through every moment, every mood and every situation - and have more faith that the people around you have this confidence in you also. It will change your relationships for the better!
I struggle sometimes with my energy levels. I seem to be one of those people who just naturally needs a lot of sleep - If I get much less than 8 & a half hours or so, I'm exhausted (literally!). I do think that everyone has a 'magic sleep number' - for some people it's 6 hours, for others it's 9 - and some of us are more able to function on a lack of sleep than others. But as important (and lovely) as sleep is, sometimes it's just not possible to get the amount we need every night - so I've intentionally left 'get more sleep!' out of this article. If that's just not possible for you right now, here are some other, alternative ways to increase your energy levels - quickly and naturally. Let me know how you go with them!
Refined carbohydrates include white bread, white pasta, and anything that’s made with lots of white sugar (including most store-bought cookies and cakes). Because they don’t contain much fibre to regulate blood sugar levels, refined carbohydrates (as opposed to wholemeal) tend to cause ‘spikes’ in blood sugar levels, rather than a long-term boost – so you feel great for 30 minutes or so, then you feel even worse than you did before.
Instead, eat plenty of whole foods, including vegetables, wholegrains & protein – and if you have to have sweet treats, make them yourself using wholemeal flour (or almond/coconut flour) and a low-GI sweetener like honey or agave.
The simple act of purposefully deepening your breathing can instantly increase your energy levels. It also relaxes the mind and the muscles in the body, reducing tension (and in turn, cutting down on the energy expenditure involved in keeping muscles tensed). To make it even more effective, incorporate aromatherapy into the exercise with an energy-boosting blend - try Tata Harper's Aromatic Energy Treatment.
Adaptogens help to regulate the adrenal system, which is crucial for maintaining optimum energy levels and easing stress. The adrenal glands are responsible for producing cortisol, the body’s stress hormone – and adaptogenic herbs help to buffer this effect, exerting a calming influence and increasing energy and wellbeing. Some popular (& widely available) adaptogens include ashwaghanda (which I use & love), ginseng & licorice root. While we’re on the subject of supplements, make sure you also include vitamin B in your diet. B vitamins help to maintain thyroid function & keep blood cells healthy, and low energy levels are often one of the first signs of vitamin B12 deficiency. You can find B vitamin complexes in tablet form, or in milk, cheese, yoghurt, eggs, salmon & trout, and beef. If you’re a vegan, look for meat-free products fortified with vitamin B12 (or take supplements).
Could increased energy levels be as simple as ‘tapping’ certain parts of your body? According to EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) practitioners – yes! The four energy points are:
Experts recommend tapping energetically around 10 times on each area for an instant energy boost.
A great deal of fatigue is caused by dehydration – and it’s so easy to fix! If you find it hard to get your 2 litres (8 glasses) a day, try adding something to make it more palatable – like fresh fruit or vegetables (strawberries, lemons & cucumber all add a fresh summer taste to plain water. Simply wash, chop & add – then keep refrigerated). Or, if you’re more into hot drinks, switch your coffee for decaffeinated tea, & get your fluid intake that way.
A real picture of me after 7.9 hours sleep.