Friday, December 23, 2011

Breathe through the Christmas craziness!

Sending you all some happy cheer and to remind you to stop and breathe during this busy time! Enjoy the lead up to Christmas and remember why you are running around like a madwoman (or if you are super organised and gliding through this time let me know how you are doing it!!)

Happy 23rd of December :)

Make it as you wish SSSs!
Arienne xo

Monday, December 19, 2011

On My Bookshelf: Getting Things Done

Title: Getting Things Done
Author: David Allen
Genre: Non-Fiction - Productivity and Organisation

This book took the productivity world by storm. I adore the idea of being organised, having a great workflow and everything having its place. While the system may be a little complex the ideas area great. I would pick and choose what works for you. I use many of his techniques in my organisation of diary and life.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Week in Review 10 - 16 Dec: Inspired moves forwards

A bit behind the times but just got iPhone 4! Now to figure everything out
Went to Rozelle markets and indulged in a Gozleme - yummy!
Local street party Christmas - with Santa arriving on a Harley
Post street party dinner and movie with friends
Picnic in the park with friends and my second set of parents visiting from Bangkok until the rain showed up!
Dinner with work colleague
Cross-stitched every night before bed :)
Meeting to discuss upcoming book with co-author - super excited!!!
Lil' sis Tatiane arrived -woot woot
Went to Toastmasters Christmas party and meeting and may have an exciting speaking opportunity out of it!
Dinner with newly engaged friends in Darling Harbour
Last day of work doing admin and super excited to be doing my own thing again.
Discussion with admin work colleague with another potential speaking/workshop delivery opportunity!
Admin department christmas lunch and then organisation's christmas party - I'm such a ring-in ;)
Bought and received new microphone for better quality podcast and interview recordings!

What did your week look like?

Make it as you wish SSSs!
Arienne xo

Introducing a new family tradition

Some people love traditions, some hate them! Unfortunately my transient family doesn't have very many. It's probably because mum and dad have such different backgrounds and they met while each were living away from their homes. Plus we moved countries a lot due to dad's job.

Traditions create memories and events to look forward to. It is a common bond for each member of the family to participate in.

You may have a tradition that happens weekly (dinners together, weekend brunches or breakfast in bed on Sunday mornings) or perhaps yearly (holidays together, ways you celebrate events like birthdays...).

Traditions can have their benefits. Are there some traditions you dread? If so, replace them with something more relevant and fun. I believe traditions should add something that we value to life. Whether it is family bonding time, keeping some comforting consistency, or the creation of something memorable, think about having some traditions that will be worth the effort!

We've decided to start a new family tradition. It is something that we will be creating together and something we can look back on in a few years time. We're making a Family Interview Book! Okay, maybe I need to think of a better name for it...

My little sister and I have come up with a list of questions that each member of our family will fill out on Christmas day. They are not the most in depth queries but we wanted them to be easy and fun to fill out! We'll then stick the answers into an ongoing book that we can add to and refer to as the years go by.

We're also planning to take a pic of each person to accompany the questions so we can see (and laugh at) the changes we go through from year to year.

You might be wondering what the questions are that we've come up with (you are, aren't you?!). Well here they are:

Where, and with who, are you spending Christmas this year?
Where have you been/visited this year?
Where, and with who, do you live now?
Where do you work/what do you do at the moment?
Name a highlight of the year
What did you do for your birthday this year?
Who are you dating at the moment? Or who would you like to be dating?
Professional/Fun crush of the year?
Best/Good/Great Friend this year?
What song is in your head right now?/ Favourite song of the year?
What was the most annoying song this year?
The best movie/book viewed this year?
The worst movie/book viewed this year?
Best meal/ restaurant of the year?
Favourite drink of the year?
Favourite dessert of the year?
What’s you latest techno gadget?
What is your latest obsession/favourite things?
Your current health status is…
What is one plan for the new year?
What are you looking forward to next year?
Something else you want to add?

I'm not sure if the tradition of wearing the awesome shirts in the picture above will continue...But maybe it will!!

What traditions do you incorporate into your life? Are there new ones you can come up with?

Make it as you wish SSSs!
Arienne xo

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Nothing Days

There are some days where you don't get anything 'important' done, yet they are such nourishingly necessary ones.

I'm sure you know them. The ones where you just indulge in whatever you fancy. Lie in bed all day? Yes! Read a book? Take a nap? Play a game? All of the above? Yes please!

Today was one of those days for me. I did some cross-stitch, had a sleep, played a game on my iPad, snacked on easy food, fiddled with my new phone, surfed the net and played with the dog.

At one stage I had a little bit of guilt creep up on me - that I should be doing something more productive with my day - but I let that come and then go. I've been working at the admin office, feeling inspired, getting things organised, catching up with friends, I needed to have some 'me' time to just do whatever I felt like. And it didn't need to have a result or an outcome.

Maybe tomorrow I will get back to moving forward with the other important things, but today was about a bit of self care for me.

When was the last time you carved out some time for yourself without an outcome required or guilt prodding you to do something?

Make it as you wish SSSs!
Arienne xo

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Weeks in Review 26 Nov - 9 Dec: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

Yes, you get two weeks for the price of one blog post today! Aren't you lucky. I got a bit carried away with living life last week and missed writing my weekly review...

Caught up with Theta friend and we 'worked' on each other - it was great :)
Went to the wonderful dog park where the little Zander can go swimming a few times
Continued admin work...I turned down some further weeks as the family are coming for christmas
Celebrated The Man's Name Day by taking him out for a few drinks
Visited with The Man's pseudo grandparents and introduced them to Zander
Went for the first time to Sydney Markets - what an experience! Food and trolleys and shouting and chaos and bargains.
Coffee with girlfriend up for the weekend from Melbourne
Dog park christmas party - Delicious Pimms and hungry dogs
Helped girlfriend put together a rough draft of a speech she's giving at a mutual friend's engagement party in January
10thousandgirl Christmas party gathering
Yoga class with fabulous friend - always inspiring
Movie date with The Man - Immortals...Not worth a watch unless you enjoy watching blood splatter in 3D - gross!!
Went to see Mary Poppins with my Dad. It is one of our traditions - going to see musicals together. And we had front row seats - Special :)
Wonderful fish & chips dinner with Miss C down by the water. With the little Zander in tow. It was heaven (but I forgot to take photos to share it!!)

What mischief and magic did you get up to over the fortnight?

Make it as you wish SSSs.
Arienne xo

Saturday, December 10, 2011

December Dreams/November Review

1. Write review/reflection of the year piece for 10thousandgirl (and then do it myself!). I'm really excited to share this with you guys.
2. Celebrate a wonderful family christmas in Sydney (unfortunately minus the sister dearest in London)
3. Celebrate New Years Eve in Style with a delicious wine tasting extravaganza
4. Complete template of family tradition
5. Do first family recipe
6. Create book outline for 10thousandgirl
7. Create book outline for SSS book (ooooh)
8. Enjoy christmas celebrations (several lunches, picnics and work parties)
9. See Mary Poppins at the Capitol Theatre
10. Look at a product that has been sitting on my bookshelf for a while
11. Organise an easy to use Project information flow (i'm sick of all my bits of scrap paper and different notebooks)
12. Volunteer and record a chapter for Librivox - free audiobooks!
13. Carry over from November - SSS email address, garden work,
14. Carry over from November

I'm sure there is plenty more, but that will do for now - will give myself permission to add here if required.
1. Start creating a herb and flower garden on the terrace and put my not-so-green-thumb to the test. Sort of, I got given a beautiful plant by my Aunty and she planted a money tree off cut. So it has started. Much more to do!
2. Start the family cookbook I've been talking about for the last 11 months. Take pictures and collect recipes of what my family cooks. Dad and I have planned a schedule and started a list of recipes to start on.
3. Talk to Dad about his memoirs and see how I can officially help. We've discussed it quite a few times and he has started putting together the stories of his interesting life. Rescheduled for December
4. Get into the habit of writing 500 words a day - regardless if it is for the blog, my journal, a plan - whatever it is just write everyday. This was inspired by Chris Guillebeau's book The Art of Non Conformity (read it if you want to break out of the status quo). It hasn't quite been 500 words a day, but I've written something daily. There is definitely room for improvment.
5. Start drawing/visual journaling regularly (another habit re-inspired by an awesome book called The Creative License Giving Yourself Permission To Be The Artist You Really Are by Danny Gregory - I have a creative crush on him). Done
6. Create and implement new routine for my new Life. Done, though it is being challenged since I've started a temporary office job.
7. Start juicing again! After the extremely positive experience of Raw Food and the unhealthy holiday in London (and the kilos it put on!), it is time to get back in to healthy eating. Done and yum!
8. Spend quality time with my Aunty Ursula who is visiting from Germany. Done. She left Sydney last week to head back to Hamburg via Perth. The humans and animals miss her terribly! Come back soon :)
9. Run 10thousandgirl Geelong workshop. Done - was a fab group of girls. Geelong was interesting.  I got to see the house we lived in in 1988...Memories...
10. Enjoy T Harv Eker's Millionaire Mindset seminar here in Sydney. Done. Enjoyed some parts, really questioned others...
11. Look at mortgage options with mortgage broker. Rescheduled for December
12. Chair final Steering Committee meeting where we are 'guinea pigging' the final 10thousandgirl Personal Finance Program module. Done! Was sad that the formal meetings have ended. We've gotten so much out of the program, but the friendships are especially important.
13. Create picture wall at home. I've printed the pics and have most of the frames. I just need to put the pics in the frames and hang them.  Done! I am so proud of it. See my photo wall here.
14. Explore new income streams - I still have that mortgage to pay and I have to buy dog food! Tentatively explored some. More ideas coming. Currently temping for two weeks in an admin role.
15. Create my SSS formal email address. Attempted. I thought I was successful in creating it. Then realised I failed. Time to ask the IT experts (The Man - handy!)
16. Start formal SSS plans! This one I didn't get too far on and I'm not proud of it. But I forgive myself...

Monday, November 28, 2011

On My Bookshelf: Daddy Long Legs

Title: Daddy Long Legs
Author: Jean Webster
Genre: Fiction

This was my favourite book as a young girl. I reread it a couple of years ago and still loved it. It is about a young woman who is an orphan and has a mysterious benefactor. The book covers a lot of humourous correspondence between her and this gentleman. It is full of hope and fun and growing up. I can't believe it was written in 1912 and I've just discovered there was a sequel and movies made! It is available as a free book now as it is out of copyright. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Week in Review 19 - 25 Nov: Working Lessons Hmmm

Well my dears, I have (temporarily) returned to the world of the office. To earn some extra funds towards the end of the year I've taken on a casual admin job. I've been there since Wednesday and it was only supposed to be for a week and a half. They've asked if I can extend to mid December and I have accepted.
This process has already taught me a few things. The main one being that I have already shifted my mindset from that of an employee to that of an Entrepreneur. It has been quite difficult to not be in control of my time and organising my own priorities. But I know this is only a short term thing so I have taken a deep breath.

The people are lovely and I am being very efficient in my tasks. So I feel productive and that I am contributing to the end result. It has also been nice to receive praise on the job I am doing (that is something that doesn't happen so often when you work for yourself!). So while I'm there I am doing what I can for them, in the best way I know how. 

But I have to admit I'm looking forward to being my own boss again!

Here is my week in review:

Went to World Toilet Day party where we had a fun time and $914 was raised towards sanitation in developing countries. Unfortunately we didn't stay long enough to pay the $1 to use the toilet...
Completed T Harv Eker's Millionaire Mind Intensive course
Installed Zander's new doggie door
Miss C came over for an impromptu catch up
Received email from Mum that she fell over while visiting Macchu Picchu and has a fracture in her leg (she's ok!)
Wrote insurance post for 10thousandgirl
Started a casual temp work position in an office (gasp!)
Accepted extension of said position...
Took minutes for a meeting...Not my strongest skill
Had a date night with The Man
Cancelled a Vodaphone mobile broadband account I wasn't using
Minimised my iPad data account to only what I use
Browsed a bookshop to gauage ideas
Committed publically to writing two books (more to come)
Attended fun Christmas party at a Greek restaurant (smashing plates and all!)
Celebrated my Aunt's last night in Sydney with an Indian feast

How about you? What did you attempt, complete, attend to this week?

Make it as you wish SSSs,
Arienne xo

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

10thousandgirl Post: A young woman's journey through insurance

Life Insurance Young Women 10thousandgirl

Hi All, here is another post I've written for the 10thousandgirl Campaign. Enjoy!

I am on my insurance journey. Not quite the same as an ‘Eat Pray Love’ sojourn but enlightening nonetheless. It is something I never really paid much attention to besides the compulsory insurances that come along with having a car or traveling to far off places but I feel now is the time to find out more about what I don’t even know.

Insurance is a topic that can get lost in our priorities due its daunting and seemingly boring nature. Normally an upbeat and optimistic individual, I’m learning that I need to be proactively responsible for my life and my interests (and the interest of those close to me) and look at the potential risks that can happen in unforeseen circumstance. Have you thought about the consequences to your future and your significant ones if something (not so nice) happened to you?

Insurance is an empowering thing to have. You are proactively looking after yourself, your family and your interests in the midst of uncertain futures. We can do as much as we can to build bright prospects and put action plans in place but sometimes life happens and we need to have a safety net in place. Insurance is like having those extra rolls of toilet paper you didn’t need at the time but have now come in handy in an emergency – it makes an uncomfortable situation more manageable.

We are working towards everything working out fine, but protecting ourselves as much as possible against events that are probably out of our control is a responsible thing to do. Mitigate your risk. You don’t plan to have an accident that puts your back out for 6 months. You don’t plan for an illness that may come in and knock the energy out of you.  If something happened to you would your partner, children and family be able to cope financially with debts or other obligations you have? Hopefully these things never happen. But if they do, having the right insurances in place can be life changing and give a better quality of life for you and those impacted.

There are two broad areas of insurance that you should consider: General and Life.

General insurances are the ones you are probably most familiar with and have had or used to some extent. They include car, health, home & contents and travel insurance.

Life insurances on the other hand you may be less familiar with.  They have to do with policies that come into effect with death, illness, disability or temporary injury. Someone once told me that as young people, our biggest asset is our potential to earn money over our lifetime. As this is the case with most of us, shouldn’t we do something to protect that potential? That’s where different types of life insurance come into play:

  • Life Cover (also known as life insurance or death cover): pays a set amount of money to the policy’s beneficiaries when the insured person dies.
  • Total and permanent disability (TPD) insurance: covers the cost of rehabilitation, debt repayments and the future cost of living if you are totally and permanently disabled.
  • Trauma Insurance (also known as critical illness or recovery cover: provides cover if you’re diagnosed with a specified illness or injury that will make a significant impact on a person’s life (such as cancer or a stroke).
  • Income Protection: replaces income lost through your inability to work due to injury or sickness.
Everyone’s needs are different and you need to determine what is right for you. None of these may be applicable at your stage in life. Maybe it would be wise to have them all. Do your research, talk to others and seek advice from a financial planner if you need help.

One of the reasons I’ve started looking at these things is that I share a mortgage with my sister. If something happened to me that I couldn’t pay my half, I wouldn’t like to put her in the position of being responsible for the full amount. If you have financial obligations or debts it would be wise to investigate your insurance options.

Another instance would be if you have dependents. If you have children or others that are dependent on your income for their needs (housing, care, food, education etc) would they be looked after if you weren’t able to provide for them?

With all insurances, you need to take the time to analyse what your needs are, understand the types of insurance available and if they are applicable to you and compare different policies. If you find your situation complicated or you are not sure what you really need, it may be a good time to visit a financial planner or talk to some expert about your circumstances.

Do some research and find out a bit more. Start with sites such as or for overviews, tips and comparisons.

Insurance tips (with help from )
  • Shop around. Get quotes from different insurers and compare what they offer. Don't be afraid to ask lots of questions.
  • Choose carefully. Write a list of the things you need (i.e. what you want covered) and pick the policy that meets your needs.
  • Renew your insurance. Do this when your old policy expires or as your circumstances change.
  • Work out how much you need. Do this when you start or renew your policy, so that you don't find yourself significantly underinsured. Insurance company websites have tools to help you work this out.
  • Check exclusions. Always ask what is and isn't covered by your policy. Learn these lessons from what other people have experienced (Queensland floods…)
  • Check the costs. You will pay a regular fee, known as a 'premium', for your cover. And when you make a claim your payout will be reduced by an amount, known as the 'excess'. Don't sign on the dotted line until you know all the costs.
  • Be honest with your insurer. Tell it like it is because your 'duty of disclosure' means you must tell the truth when you apply. If you leave details out, any future claim may be denied.
Where to go to get insurance?
You can buy insurance directly from an insurance company, through an insurance broker, through your superfund or a financial planner. There are pros and cons of buying insurance through your Superannuation fund and you may already have some form of insurance through them. See more about this here.

When should I review my insurance requirements?
You should do this once a year or when your circumstances change (ie marriage, having children, getting a mortgage).

So that is personal life insurance in a nutshell…Do take some time to investigate your options and requirements. Talk to your spouse, your family, your friends and/or a financial planner and see what you may need to have in place. It could make a big difference to you. I hope you never need to make a claim, but if you do, be thankful that you thought ahead.

Make great things happen. Live well. Live big. Live bold!

Arienne Gorlach is 10thousandgirl’s content manager. She has some insurance. She used a financial planner she thinks is quite cool. Arienne writes regularly on her own blog Savvy Sassy She.

Monday, November 21, 2011

On My Bookshelf: The Success Principles

Title: The Success Principles: How to get from where you are to where you want to be
Author: Jack Canfield

Genre: Non-fiction: Success

Jack Canfield is well known for co-creating the series of 'Chickensoup for the Soul' books. He is well worth a read in this book covering 64 Success Principles under the areas of The Fundamentals of Success, Transform Yourself for Success, Build Your Success Team, Create Successful Relationships, Success and Money and Success Starts Now

It is inspiring, motivating and shares some real, tangible activities, mindsets and techniques to become a bigger dreamer, action taker and successful in whatever way you want to be.

It is a gem that you can refer back to time and time again as well as worth a reread on a regular basis to pick up new nuggets of wisdom or to apply to a particular situation.

Week in Review: 12 - 18 Nov Workshops and Reconnections

Doggie Date with Zander's best friend Oscar the miniature Schnauzer :)
Ran my first solo workshop in Geelong 10thousandgirl Workshop
Had great coffee at Mr Hyde
Created photo wall
Caught up with friend from Theta healing course I did
Lunch with old Uni work friend
Saw author Susan Duncan speak about her life and work at Balmain Library
Caught up with lovely Melbourne couple and discovered the awesome Shady Pines Saloon in Darlinghurst
Booked tickets for Dad and I to Mary Poppins in Sydney
Accepted 1.5 weeks of casual admin work to line my pockets with
Did the first day (of 3) at T Harv Eker's Millionaire Mind Intensive - take what you need and leave the rest
Caught up with friends visiting from London and people we've not seen for ages!
Wrote post for 10thousandgirl about letter writing :)

How was your week SSSs?
Arienne xo 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The London Wrap - Part 1

Spending almost a month in London was A-MAY-ZING! I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to spend this extended amount of time in such an interesting place and to have happy sister time with my two little sissies Liane and Tatiane.

Here are a few of the highlights of the trip:

THE TUBE: What a fabulous way to get around! I love the easiness of the transport in London. Yes it can be crowded and people are rude and it is occasionally weirdly, tropically hot on some trains and you get this slightly gross warm wind tunnels in some of the stations, BUT, you can get anywhere so easily. And you only have to wait 3 minutes if you miss one. Transport Website

Turnham Green was our station as Liane lives in Chiswick.

BOROUGH MARKETS : A gourmet food market full of fresh and super appealing produce. We bought fresh fish, pickled garlic, huge artichokes, cheese and created a feast that evening. Borough Markets Website


PORTOBELLO MARKETS: Portobello markets is definitely one of the places to go if you're into your vintage threads. It is also home to that place from Notting Hill and has a delicious Hummingbird Bakery! Portobello Markets Website
 Tatski is a big fan of artist Banksy so was chuffed to spot an original!

BRICK LANE: Brick Lane is an area well known for its curries and drinking holes. Unfortunately while going there twice we just shopped, ate one of their famous salt beef bagels, visited Rough Trade Records, and the Renegade Craft Fair while soaking up the sights.

CAMDEN MARKETS: These are huge! And hectic but fun if you can get through the crowds. Great souvenirs, clothes and lots of novelty experiences - we had liquid nitrogen ice cream from Chin Chin while sitting on their swings - Yum! Market Website

PRIMROSE HILL: We had a great walk back from Camden to Maida Vale through places like Primrose Hill - a great vantage point to view London from.

ABBEY ROAD: We also briefly passed over the zebra crossing made famous by the Beatles. We didn't stay too long as there was a huge crowd trying to get the perfect shot individually while I felt sorry for the cars trying to get through the area!

Part two will be up soon - we did a lot in Ol' Blighty!

Monday, November 14, 2011

My Picture Wall

It had been in my mind and in the works for months. I was just waiting for the time and inspiration to hit. Well that motivation came out of the blue on a Sunday evening!

I have some very neglected, boring walls at home. Ones that I have felt guilty about leaving empty.

Part of it was that I couldn't decide what to commit to hanging there - so I made the choice of not making a choice.

The other part was that I felt I didn't have the time to spend on beautifying my surroundings (though I know it is something that gives me pleasure). Other things tugging at me were more important - and so that wall remained empty for years...

After a while I decided to change my perspective. I thought that doing something on this blank wall was better than doing nothing. Every time I was looking in that direction (which is often because it is right next to my work desk and the kitchen/dining area) that guilt effected me - this decision to not do anything was actually costing me a lot of energy.

So I decided to create a picture wall. I put some time aside to choose photos to put up. I changed them all to black and white. I went to get them printed out. I started a collection of different frames.

And then they sat in the cupboard...

Why was I resisting?

Then I noticed a pattern. I often don't do some of these smaller household tasks because I feel I will make the wrong decision so I ultimately don't do anything (and maybe this pattern was even invading other aspects of my life...?). I reflected on this and made an empowering choice. I didn't need to commit to one thing forever. I could always change it if it wasn't 'right' or didn't turn out especially good. I just needed to do something!

And so I have! And I am so happy :)

This was the boring, energy draining wall before

 I started to put the pics in frames.

I came up with a rough layout on the table.

 Then started hanging them with those removable hooks

 This is the less boring wall!

 Ignore the mess around it!

So now this wall gives me pleasure. It makes the room feel more 'homely'. It is energising. I can see pics of my loved ones. It looks pretty! And I know that my creativity built it.

What are you putting off that is a subtle but constant energy drain? Make a decision, take some action and plug that leak! You will feel better for it.

Make it as you wish SSSs!
Arienne xo


On My Bookshelf: Hip Tranquil Chick

Title: Hip Tranquil Chick
Author: Kimberly Wilson

Genre: Non-Fiction

Another one of my favourites! Kimberly Wilson is one of my top mentors from afar. She speaks about life and yoga in a really fun and approachable way. Her blog is one that I refer to on almost a daily basis.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Week in Review: 5 - 11 Nov Sydney Sights and Delights

The Sissies in Bath
Had a doggie date and Zander met his new girlfriend
Girlie and family catch up at the dog-friendly London pub in Balmain
Went over to fab friends new place
Had final formal Steering Committee meeting - great last module in the Personal Finance Program previewed!
3x hot yoga - feel great
Went into the 10thousandgirl premises and was an office girl again for a day
Friend bonding time over coffee
Renewed the SSS domain (website to come in a few months!)
Sipped cups of tea from my London souvenir teapot
Phone reconnects
Had a fresh vegie and fruit juice everyday
Caught up with Sisters on the Phone after our London extravaganza
What did your week look like?

Make it as you wish SSSs!
Arienne xo

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Arienne Loves...TiLT #8

What am I grateful for today?
<3 Kisses <3 Hot yoga <3 the phone to catch up with friends <3 Doggie dates <3 Crafty People <3 We Heart It (where I source a lot of my images from <3 Scented candles (currently burning Coconut Lime from Ma Butter) <3 Mind over matter <3 My puppy <3 Skype <3 A clean courtyard <3 Gala Darling <3 Coloured pens <3 My organiser <3 '21 days to change a habit' pad from Kikki-K <3 Parking spaces <3 Kisses <3

What are you grateful for SSSs?

Make it as you wish!
Arienne xo 
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