Saturday, January 29, 2011

February Dreams/January Review

So, what is this picture about? We associate stars with dreams and goals. Not quite sure why, but its a pretty pic huh?!

Anyway, with the start of the year behind me and returning to Sydney to start the year off properly I have to say I didn't do as well with my January Dreams and new habits as I would have liked.

I wrote in my January Dreams post about a few things that that I wanted to implement for 2011 that would enhance my year. I've been on and off with them during this month... What I wanted to do was:
  • Take a photo every day of the year
  • Have a one sentence journal for 365 days of the year that I have on my computer desk top
  • Write my morning pages in my diary
  • Do my monthly dreams and review
  • Write a week in review
I've been pretty good with the last two, however the first three are happening in fits and bursts. But that is also better than nothing!

My dreams for January were:
1. Find a personal trainer that is aligned, motivational and educational; POSTPONED
2. Enjoy a girly weekend away for Chloe’s birthday - DONE but we had an amazing couple's weekend away instead, it was magical
3. Cut down on cigarettes - IN PROGESS - some days are better than others.
4. Get my goals for 2011 written down and action plans created - SEMI-DONE I've done it for the main ones regarding my health
5. Create a vision board for 2011 - NOT DONE yet...
6. Streamline my office systems – files and desk space - NOT DONE yet...
7. Confirm routines and put in organiser - DONE
8. Implement routine - DONE but I need to maintain!
9. Enjoy rest of holiday with family in Switzerland - DONE and awesome it was
10. Start putting together the new family tradition of individual’s questions and photos for the year - IN PROGRESS - so I've started, but not furthered it yet
11. Include vision pictures in organiser - DONE - but for January only. I've ripped out the picture for February, but not stuck it in yet
12. Enjoy flying premium economy London to Sydney - DONE - how can I go back to economy?!
13. Decide of personal insurances and start implementing financial plan
14. Create a workable budget for 2011

So my dreams for next month:
  1. Attend my first Toastmaster's meeting
  2. Organise the first Steering Committee meeting for 2011
  3. Start my one month trial on Raw Food (more on this to come!)
  4. Celebrate an authentic Valentine's Day
  5. Attend Dale Beaumont Seminar
  6. Maintain daily routine for 5 straight days
  7. Get on top of my finances - receipts, bills, budget
  8. Sort through paperwork in office
  9. Tackle the upstairs bookshelf - clean out the old magazines and work books
  10. Dream with The Man about our shared future and put down some tangible joint goals
Well that's it for the moment.

Make it as you wish SSSs!
Arienne xo

Photo Credit

Friday, January 28, 2011

Wonderful Nature

Do you ever just stop yourself and look around you? See the bugs dancing around, the weeds growing wild, the waves breaking roughly, the way the sun shines through the trees just so? The breeze on your skin, the birds chasing each other, the way ants follow each other all in a row?

No? Go out and get some nature today!

Come to think about it, when was the last time you felt the grass between your toes?

Make it as you wish SSSs!

I miss Switzerland and my Family

Photo by me. From the Chalet's Balcony at an ungodly hour of the morning

Well, sometimes coming back to reality is a little hard. I had such a great time over the Christmas and New Year break with the family and being able to be productive at my own pace, that coming back to the speed of real life has been a little hard.

I've had a great time seeing The Man and reconnecting with friends, but as I received an email from my sister and pulled some clothes out of the suitcase and smelled the Chalet, I wished I was back there... It made me 'homesick' and I'd have given almost everything to transport myself across the world again.

It also sometimes hits me how much I miss my family. I've lived in a different city to all my family members for close to 8 years. And the way my family is set up, I've lived apart from at least one of my immediate family members for most of my life. And this Christmas, all of us, Mum, Dad, Step-Dad (friendly even after divorce many years ago) and my two sisters were together. It was truly great and I guess I just miss them.

But I guess that's what makes these times special. Family-filled, carefree holidays and a slower pace. It makes you appreciate and make the most of those times when you have them. It also makes you look at what you're doing in your normal everyday and see what you can bring into to make it more like those relaxed sessions.

Right now, sitting down and giving myself the time to write this has slowed me down a little. And it's coming back to me, how okay I am to be right here on my couch in Sydney and that they're all really just a Skype away.

Make it as you wish SSSs
Arienne xo

Monday, January 24, 2011

Things happening in the Universe: Synchronicity

We often hear the theories and the cliches floating around and even rolling off our own tongues. You've heard them: 'Things happen for a reason.", "Put it out there.", "Something good will come out of this.", or variations of these phrases.

I'm still working out what my personal experience with this is, though I do believe there is something to it. There is magic happening out there. From big things to small things.

One thing that showed me this was what came together last week. If you've been following this blog, you'll know I spent early January dreaming and planning my year, including my 101 list.

I included a few things on the list that had to do with public speaking - speaking to an important audience, receiving a standing ovation and joining Toastmasters. Now, I do realise some of these may be far off, but they are on my radar. I also appreciate that while I enjoy public speaking and have done some pretty good presentations (on a small scale...well, they were presenting assignments at university...) it is a craft/skill I would like to hone to become even better.

So, on Monday last week I wrote an email to the closest Toastmasters chapter asking when their next meeting was. I got a nice reply the following day and have booked it in my diary for the 9th February.

Tick. First step towards honing my presentation skills (for that important audience and standing ovation) and towards checking off one of the smaller things on my 101 list, done.

Next. Wednesday, I receive an email from a government department saying they are arranging an event to celebrate International Women's Day in March. Basically, would my boss be interested in speaking about herself and 10thousandgirl? Basically, well, yes she would. And, am I the Arienne from the recent 10thousandgirl blog post? Yes, that is I, did you read it? Yes, the government representative said, I have, it was very interesting and perhaps you would be interested in sharing your story too? (thoughts going on in my head: what???? me??? WTF?? When is that Toastmaster's meeting again???? Woohoo!!! Argh!!! Scary!! Yippee!! are they sure?? me??)

So, in the end, together with my awesome boss, I will be speaking for about 10-15 minutes to about 60 people in March. It's probably not a forum for a standing ovation, or a massive audience but it's a start! Woop woop :)

Have an idea, but actively work towards it. Commit to the goal and take action. Then things will happen and fall into place.

Make it as you wish SSSs!
Arienne xo

Photo Credit

Arienne Loves...The Australian Open

The bodies, the grunts, the fluro outfits, the sweat. Love. It.

On a more serious note, tennis is one of those sports I can actually watch a full match of. I don't know why, I can't really even play tennis, but I find watching a yellow ball go back and forth on the screen strangely mesmorising.

It might have started off when I was about 7 years old and we were living in Hamburg, Germany. We lived in the hotel dad was managing and there were some tennis players staying with us for the Hamburg Open, Andre Agassi included. He probably looked something like this at the time (nice pink!):

He unfortunately lost his match and came back to the hotel and gave my Dad his (still sweaty) tennis bag with used racquet, shoes and shirts as a souvenir for his Daughters (lucky us!). Supposedly some of the bellboys asked Dad if they could have them, but luckily for us Dad said no. So my sister and I were the proud recipients of these wonderfully precious (and probably a little stinky - I can't remember) items from 'somebody famous', as I really didn't know who he was at the time (and I have no idea where those items are now!).

So maybe that experience rubbed off on me and my interest in tennis grew.

I think that I really admire the mental strength and physical stamina the players. Watching matches that go on and on and on for hours really awes me. Maybe it's because I've always wanted to be really good at one thing. Like you know those people who are amazing singers or horseriders or artists.

I never had that one thing that I excelled at above everyone else around me. That I could focus my attention on and become even better at. I remember my mum calling me a 'Jack of all trades and a master of none', meaning that I could do almost anything pretty well, which I guess can be pretty cool in itself, but I don't think it's as cool as being fabulous at one thing and pretty good at everything else!

The skills they show with their amazing shots and the balls they run their hearts out to get. The obvious hours they've put into honing their craft. The focus and determination. The ability to come back after being one point away from being beaten. I thank the players for the fights they play and the show they put on.

Perhaps my amazing shots and the things I will run my heart out to get is helping women to live their own rewarding and lavish lives. Something I am willing to put hours into with focus and determination and to bounce back from disappointments and lessons...

Make it as you wish SSSs!

Week in Review 15-24 January 2011: Friends and Fitness

Old Bar Beach - Photo by me!

For you detail noticers, yes, my week in review has extended to more than 7 days, but I was too busy living to blog on Friday, and I had a really nice weekend, and who says I need to have rules!

And I think it's nice to give the week a bit of a name, rather than just a relatively anonymous date, so Week in Review 15-24 January 2011: Friends and Fitness it is!

  • Started back at work with 10thousandgirl. Was a little hard to be locked to a desk, so I worked on the couch too.
  • Signed up for an ongoing Power Vinyasa Yoga membership
  • Went to Yoga x2
  • Went Swimming
  • Rejoined Sparkpeople, for things health and motivation related and printed a meal plan
  • Shopped and prepared food for meal plan - did it for 4.5 days (then went nuts at BFF's C's birthday dinner and our weekend away)
  • Lost 1.5 kg thanks to the above!
  • Packed for the weekend away using my awesome brown leather medicine bag mum gave me for christmas (and that I lovingly and awkwardly hand carried back from Europe)
  • Had a wax at the beautician, my normal girl wasn't available. I never complain, and I called the beautician to let them know that it was shoddy work! It was hard to say something negative, but I thought that it was a clear case of letting them know so they can make the experience better for others.
  • Lovely evening out for BFF C's birthday dinner.
  • Drove up to Taree for our lovely weekend away. Stayed in a wonderful cottage. Magical down time playing games, relaxing in the sun, eating fresh food, drinking delicious cocktails. Visited Black Head Beach, a lovely meal in Forster
Make it as you wish SSSs!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Picnic Perfection

Summer in Australia may not be the absolute perfect time for a picnic unless you can find a shady spot near water! But there are some gorgeous seasonal fruits that can be savoured and why not in the outdoors? A beautiful sunny day, great company, delicious food and drink - when really is not the right time for a picnic? Any why not make it a sumptuous, luxurious, creative outing?

Location, location, location...It's everything for a picnic. Do you want to picnic in fields, on a beach, on a cliff top with a view, in a park, by a stream, in your garden? Wherever you choose, make sure it's a safe and shady location. Look for somewhere local, or adventure off and discover a brand new place on a whim.

Well, its not really a picnic without food is it? Perhaps you could theme your food (English high tea, african safari, parisienne bistro anyone?) or just go with what is fresh, easy and filling.

Now you if you have the time and inclination you could create some wonderful home-made delicacies - want some ideas? Check out some picnic recipes

Otherwise, why not pick up some easy bits and pieces at the local supermarket or fresh food market?
  • Roast Chicken
  • Coleslaw
  • Fresh Bread or Rolls
  • Fresh fruit (blueberries, strawberries, watermelon, peaches, nectarines)
  • Lollies or something else for the sweet tooth
  • Make some jelly and put some fresh fruit chunks in it
Whichever tipple you decide, make sure you stay well hydrated and have plenty of water on hand.
  • Freeze some water bottles and use them as ice blocks for the cooler bag (and drink the water as it melts)
  • Champagne or wine
  • Or pre-make a refreshing summer cocktail and serve them in plastic cocktail glasses topped with an umbrella
  • Create fresh juices

Cooler Bag to keep your drinks and food cool
Picnic Blanket - bring some pillows and a chair or two for extra comfort
Picnic Basket (or just a few shopping bags) - be sure to put in enough plates, cups and cutlery
Corkscrew for wine - or make sure you get some twist top bottles
Moist Wipes to clean up your sticky fingers
Tissues/Napkins (or toilet paper ;)
Mosquito repellent

You may just want a lazy day picnic or you may want to be a little more active. It's all up to you. Here are some ideas of things you can do to enhance your outdoor excursion.
  • Camera to take gorgeous photos and capture memories. Take pics of the food, surroundings, each other, goofy poses...
  • Frisbee, cricket bat and ball, hackey sack
  • Notebook and coloured markers to write down goals and dreams together, plans and activities for the future
  • Portable iPod player (and iPod!) for some ambient tunes or sing along songs
Whatever you do enjoy it! You're in the great outdoor, take a deep breath and smell the roses (or dried brown grass).

Make it as you wish SSSs!

Photo Credit

Friday, January 14, 2011

Week in Review 8-14 January 2011

I already feel that by doing this week in review I'm going to realise even more how quickly the time is flying by! But I also think that by bringing my awareness there I'll be able to make more of the time available.

So, I arrived home in Sydney yesterday morning and I'm feeling very gung-ho about being home and bringing my plans and creativity from the holiday back with me.

So, my week in review, the last week of being on holiday in Switzerland! I managed to have a very productive time, basically doing a lot of internal work. And I managed to lose a day travelling back from Europe.
  • Lovely father bonding time. Watched more wintersports with Dad.
  • Worked more on blog
  • Became an IT nerd and fixed my step Dad's laptop...well, just tried really
  • Visited the Thermal Park near the chalet. Swam in amazing sulphur baths. Warm water outside in the freezing cold - very cool
  • Family drove to to the Airport in Geneva. Had a wonderful last lunch together.
  • A little bit of shopping at Heathrow - I love bookstores
  • Flew Premium Economy (very nice - great seats and service)
  • Reunited with the man. Went and had a lovely date night at a nearby Italian Restaurant
I'm officially starting back at work on Monday and looking forward to a weekend of creativity and getting myself settled back at home.

Make it as you wish SSSs!
Arienne xo

Sunday, January 9, 2011

2 dates a week or a fortnight

No, I'm not talking about the awkward "Do I like you and do you like me?" kind of date. I'm talking about taking yourself on a date. Yes, you. You deserve the love and attention don't you??

I think these are so important I've scheduled them in my diary. We often run around being so busy with our work and social lives, we forget ourselves so easily. We need to stop and give ourselves some time to nourish our souls and pay attention to what we need.

The two dates I'm proposing you is and Artist's Date and a Down Time Date. If you can work them in weekly to your schedule, fantastic, if you can only do it fortnightly, so be it. But don't take too long between dates.

Artist's Date
The Artist's Date is a 'solo expedition to explore some thing that interests you.' Julia Cameron who wrote The Artist's Way and suggests the Artist Date as an important tool, says it is for 'Opening yourself to insight, inspiration and guidance'. You can take 1 or 2 hours for it, half a day or even a whole day if you so choose.

It is sacred time for you only to do something or see something that inspires you and replenishes your creative and productive juices. There are so many possibilities and what you choose will depend on your unique interests. And it doesn't have to cost money. So many wonderful things are free.

Some suggestions are:
  • A long exploratory walk in an unfamiliar neighbourhood
  • Tour the local markets
  • Walk through an art gallery
  • Visit a book store or library
  • Watch an old movie
  • Listen to a favourite or brand new album
  • Go and watch the sunset
  • Visit a spiritual place
  • Cook a new recipe
  • Go for a long drive
  • Visit a second hand store
  • Go to a craft store
  • Look at paint swatches at a hardware store
The choices are endless, pick a different one to do each time. Going solo is important. Look at it as an adventure and fill your well!

Down Time Date
This is simply giving yourself the time to do whatever you want. Not what you should or could do, but what you want to do. The point of this date is not to have a concrete, productive outcome. This is something that will make you feel good and be full of enjoyment of the date. Give yourself two or more hours to immerse yourself in your Down Time Date, turn off your phone and let the other's at home know you're indulging in some much needed 'you' time.

Some ideas:
  • Take a bath with scented candles
  • Snuggle on the couch and read a juicy book
  • Do a jigsaw puzzle
  • Meander through your suburb
  • Work on a hobby
  • Try on outfits out of your wardrobe to find new combinations
  • Pamper yourself
  • Decorate
Whatever you do, honour yourself and enjoy it. Give yourself the gift of time.

Make it as you wish SSSs!
Arienne xo

Photo Credit

Giving Back

Giving back is a big thing for me - helping others, making a difference in this world. I now work for a non-profit that encourages young women to empower themselves while helping the globe (The 10thousandgirl Campaign). I love that - Let's help ourselves to learn more, improve ourselves, strive toward our potential while giving some of our excess resources to those who can change their lives with it.

I know I am very blessed. I have a safe home to live in, a family that love me, food on the table, clean water coming out of the tap, access to health care and education, and the freedom to choose what I want to do with my life. I read somewhere a few years ago, that if you have a computer and a bank account, you're in the top 1% (I think) of people in the world. Well, I've got those things and and an iPhone, iPod, credit card, camera, a white gold ring and designer make-up.

Now, I don't think I should feel guilty about having nice things in my life. And you shouldn't either. A bit of luxury and convenience here and there is fine. But it's when it gets out of control and you have to have the latest Burkin bag or the newest technology gadget that comes out, and you start taking what you have for granted, that maybe it's time to look around and put things in perspective. But that's for you to decide.

There is a lot going on in the world that is sometimes hard to face. Starving children, suppressed women, cruelty to animals and flora and fauna species going out of existence to name but a few. Not many of us are able to give up everything and go on a physical crusade to make a difference, and I really admire those who can. But does that mean we can't do anything from where we are? I've put a few suggestions further down the page.

Why do we want to help others? On the selfish side, helping others makes you feel good. But on the giving side, your actions, even small ones, can make the world a better place. In my opinion, its better to do something than to do nothing at all, but that's me. You need to make up your own mind.

My boss showed me this amazing poem that made me really stop and think:
“It’s 3:23 in the morning
and I'm awake because
my great-great grandchildren
won’t let me sleep.

My great-great grandchildren
ask me in dreams
What did you do
while the planet
was plundered?

What did you do
when the Earth
was unraveling?

Surely you did something
when the seasons
started failing,

as the mammals, reptiles,
birds were all dying.

Did you
fill the streets
with protest when
democracy was stolen?

What did you do once you knew?

It’s 3:23 in the morning
and I'm awake because
my great-great grandchildren
won’t let me sleep.

What did you do once you knew?"

- Drew Dellinger
How can you give back?
Turn your compassion, thoughts and prayers towards others who need them.
Buy fair trade products - Fair Trade Australia
Sponsor a child or a village - to make yourself comfortable with knowing where the money goes, check out the charity's annual report.
Go on a Volunteer Holiday
Donate microloans through Opportunity International or Kiva
Volunteer your time at a local charity
Give Charity Gift Vouchers with Karma Currency
Here are some other ideas from an article I read:

the Cure Cancer Foundation’s Cure Kringle campaign (, which invites supporters to avoid buying novelty items and instead make a donation towards cancer research. It’s a pretty good idea – one that makes you feel good and one that could also potentially contribute to a cure for cancer.

But there are also plenty of other places to make donations, or buy charitable gifts ranging from mosquito nets for developing countries, to ducks, chickens, fish farms or the gift of sight. These include World Vision, Oxfam, TEAR Australia, Charity Gifts, Karma Currency and the Fred Hollows Foundation.

What will you do once you knew?

Make it as you wish SSSs!
Arienne xo

Photo Credit

Saturday, January 8, 2011

6 People I Really Can't Live Without

Tatiane on the Left and Liane on the Right

And I'm going past things like air and water... These are important people that I love, that inspire and make my heart sing. And okay, it's more than 6 people, but you get the point.
  1. My Sisters - they are hands down the best sisters in the world. We're attuned and in sync and always there for each other even though the three of us live in different parts of the world - currently Perth (Tatiane, aka Gooby), Switzerland (Liane, aka Nunny) and Sydney (me, aka Sissy). We annoy our parents when we're together because we laugh too much and talk at a million miles per hour and they can't keep up.
  2. My Parents - Love, support, guidance, food and occasionally money and a place to stay (after all that's what parents are for right?!). My parents blow my mind at times. They've each done so much and I am in awe of them sometimes. I also sometimes get frustrated, but that's normal...
  3. The Man - oh to love and be loved and all those little things that you do and say to each other beyond other people's hearing. The precious bond you share that no one else can experience. He makes my heart sing and melt and soar.
  4. My Besties - they are near and far, but worth so much. The laughter, support, tears, shenanigans, adventures, just being. Fabulous ladies.
  5. Charlie the Cat - 20 years old and still going strong. She makes me stop during my day and just be. She meows annoyingly sometimes at 6am for food, but I love her so. She has lifted my spirit so many times over the last 5 years we've been sharing a home in Sydney (I exported her from the family in Perth). Though she does tend to sleep a lot with her tongue hanging out. Cute!
6. The Inspirers - those around me that show me what is possible. That do things differently, that motivate me and guide me. Those that I know and mentors that I've only met through their blogs and programs from afar. You nurture my growth.I give thanks for having so many of these amazing people in my life

Who are the people you can't live without?

Make it as you wish SSSs!

My Handbag Organisation

I love sorting out my handbag. I can't promise that it is always so well organised, but the intention is there! I love the idea of a really organised life and having on hand whatever I need. So it is a little idealistic since my handbag is already too heavy for a healthy should to carry!

Plus I got some awesome handbags from my mum for Christmas (and yes, that is Handbags plural and I'm not testifying to their 'realness'). I hope I have enough space in my luggage to carry them all home! I received (pics to come!):
  • A stunning brown leather (huge) medicine bag
  • A matching brown leather shoulder bag that my laptop fits wonderfully in to
  • A cute classic black Chanel purse that is ideal for across the body evenings
  • A really cute Cath Kidston saddle bag
In an ideal world this is what I have with me:

  • iPhone
  • Wallet (ID, credit and debit cards, receipts, change, I learned the hard way to have people's phone numbers written down)
  • Keys
  • Water bottle
  • Diary/Organiser
  • Pen
  • Notebook
  • Laptop
  • Business Cards
  • Music and headphones (either my iPhone or my iPod)
  • Book (this is often on my iPhone too)
  • Camera (once again mostly on iPhone now)
BEAUTY/COMFORT - I put these in a little zippered bag (I've been using some cute bags from Pretty in Pink)
  • Small Hairbrush
  • Lip balm
  • Make up bits for touch ups only - eyeliner, blush, powder
  • Hand sanitiser (I love the smell of the Radox cucumber one)
  • Compact Mirror
  • Tampons
  • Panadol & pills
  • Hair tie and bobby pins
  • Tissues
  • Nail cutter/emery board
  • Moist towellettes
  • Deodorant
  • Small perfume
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Mints
  • Minituarise things for portability
  • Clean out your handbag and wallet regularly
  • Keep things to a minimum
  • Buy one of those handbag organisers for each handbag switching
  • Choose a handbag that suits your needs and personality
  • Have enough pockets for you to keep organised but not to lose everything in
What do you have in your handbag?

Make it as you wish SSSs!
Arienne xo

Photo Credit

Surrounding Myself with Things I Love

One of my resolutions in 2011 is to surround myself with things that inspire me and that I find beautiful and that are somehow practical...

I want to have beautiful artwork adorning my wall
I want to use inspiring pictures in my organiser
I want to surround myself with flowers
I want to have pretty things that capture my imagination on my desk
I want gorgeous tools that make me want to use them
I want gorgeous plates and cups (ideally in the german heart design)

I Love...Planning, Organising, Systems, Routines!

For many, many years I have loved systemising, routines, getting organised and been on a journey to finding the perfect daily organiser.

I have so many ideas and ways that I am still on the journey to implement and really see what works for me and what needs to be tweaked. I just read a post that Gala Darling wrote about routines and I thought I should finally post mine too!

There will probably be a series of posts about this, but I want to start somewhere. So I've decided to start on Routines because I've already created my Ideal Routine for 2011. The pics that accompany aren't the best as I took them with my iPhone, but I'll clarify and it should give you a good idea.

There are many different types of routines you can create, write down to having a Morning Routine (which I love - have a look at for cleaning and great morning and evening routines!).

The overview I've created is trying to be realistic and not over planning a million 'ideal' actions that I will never get around to doing every day/week/month year and end up feeling like a failure. Here is a snap of my routine that encompasses day, week, fortnight, month, quarterly, 6 months and yearly actions. It is still a work in progress.

1. Before you create your routine, its good to be clear on what your goals are as there are repetitive actions that can be incorporated into your routine.

2.I started with thinking about the actions and tasks that would help me achieve what I wanted to do and how I wanted to feel. Not all of them will go into the routine, some of them will be guiding principles. I wrote down the two lists below that would help me develop my routine.

Write more - Morning Pages/Journal and Blog
Complete tasks
Put things away
Capture moments with photos and thoughts in journal
Breathing Freely
Get more artistically creative
Slow down and be present with the person/situation in front of me
Focus and stop 'busy work' distractions
Do what I say I will

Get up early
Write my Morning Pages/Journal
Look at my goals
Review and plan with my diary/organiser then take action
Take a photo daily
5 minutes of decluttering/clearing
365 day, 1 sentance journal
Zero Inbox
Clear work desk at the end of the day
Gratitude and Breathing

3. Then think about things you have to do because you're a human being (cleaning, food shopping, dentist etc)

4. Grab a scrap piece of paper and write the headings down of different timelines that work of you (daily, weekly, etc). Then start writing down the different activities under the different headings. You can make it all organised and pretty later. A lot of the activities from my two lists above can be put into tasks of the different time frames.

Here you can see my Daily Activities (pretty much the list I wrote above) and Fortnightly.

Hair treatment
Date outing
Artist's Date
Cleaning Session
Creative time
Contact Dad

5. I also created an ideal work day breakdown that I put below the weekly schedule. I don't know why the pic won't go the right way up! But I've written:

6am-7.30 Exercise
7.30-8 Get Ready
8-9 Morning pages and breakfast
9-10 Emails and Zero Inbox
10-12 Project work and phone calls
12-12.30 Lunch
1-3 Project Work
3-4 Creative Work/Planning Work
4-4.30 Ad Hoc
4.30-5 Plan Next Day
5-5.30 Emails and Clear Desk

6. I put the things that i want to do weekly into a Monday - Sunday schedule with a general idea of when they can be done - refer to the 1st pic to get an idea of the scheduling.

Management meeting
GTD Planning
Blog Roll and Reading
Plan next week
Week in Review
Write blog
Date Night
Errands and Appointments
Plan Meals
Family Dinner Night
Face Mask

Finance summary
Monthly Dreams/review
Friends catc up
Pamper session

7. Then you make sure you diarise the different activities on a regular basis and refer to the routine regularly during the day to keep on track.

8. You can always revise and tweak on a regular basis to make sure your routine is working for you and you're not setting yourself up for failure with the tempting task of overscheduling!

9. The most important thing for us 'Planners' is to TAKE ACTION. Do it!

Make it as your wish SSSs!
Arienne xo

Week in Review 1-7 January 2011

Well, even though I'm on a lovely holiday in Switzerland, I'm still taking the time to work on a few things. After all it was the end of 2010 and the start of 2011 and what a time to take some action to plan and dream for the year ahead after reflecting on 2010.

I heard somewhere recently (from John DeMartini I think) that when you find the work you love your vocation and vacation become the same thing. I'm not quite there as I'm not making any money from this, but I'm doing what I love and I am on holiday! Perhaps one day in the future I'll be able to do this while getting an income...Dream dream dream!

So the highlights from the last week have been:
  • Bringing in the new year with family and friends at my favourite place in the world, Chalet Edelweiss. We watched music flash backs, Dad set off fireworks and we sat around wearing funny hats - a la Dad (above)
  • Popped over to France for Lunch in Chatel. Yummy Steak Tartare (yes, its raw meat with a raw egg among other ingredients)!
  • Worked on my 101 List. Then thought I should also do an 'Already Done' list to appreciate what I've done, where i've seen, what I've experienced to date. I'll post it when I have 101 things on it (up to around 75 or so now).
  • Wrote and posted my January Dreams
  • Drafted the Newsletter for 10thousandgirl, including my personal blog post
  • Went to visit the neighbours at Chalet Jasmin for a drink and a catch up
  • Spoke to The Man on Skype
  • Spoke to Chloe on Skype
  • Finally put my photo up to accompany my bio for work. Its not my quote there - I've got to find a good one!
  • Got the little sister Gooby to dye my hair so I don't look so 'wise
  • Attended a Webinar - the first half was interesting, the second half a little salesy so I won't post who it was
  • Finally caught up on some paperwork which I'd been dragging my feet on - gosh it felt great to complete!
  • Created my Ideal Routine that I'll take a pic of and post about
  • Ate...a lot...It's hard when your Dad was a chef. We've all got cheese babies for stomachs...
  • Created "My Life in 2011" A4 summary page
  • Finished my review of 2010 and finished answering all the Reverb10 prompts. Eye-opening and one of the most powerful activities I've done.
Well, there is my first formal Week in Review!

Make it as you wish SSSs!

Week in Reviews

As part of my plan for 2011 to capture my progress in Life and towards goals and just to acknowledge what I've done, I'm going to do a week in review each...week! It may not always be exciting, but I think it's a great tool to capture actions and reflect on the week that was.

Make it as you wish SSSs!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Self Care

Embrace being a woman! The essence of femininity is in all of us girls. Some of us love it, some of us push it away. Some of us are naturally more girly than others and either way its fine. We don't need to be over the top girly girly who's world falls about when we break a nail. But I also think we should stop pushing away 'being a girl' and some of the negative connotations even us as 'girls' perpetuate (cry like a girl, she's being such a girl etc). It may not be all of us women, but we are more emotional, we do like to talk it out, we are more affectionate. We don't have to become more 'like men' to be successful in our personal or professional lives.

For me, part of embracing my femininity is pampering myself and doing things that make me feel good. I'm not talking about deep issues of body image or working on becoming an impossibly perfect physical specimen. I'm talking about hair, nails and pampering!

These things are the little actions that make me feel fabulous and therefore I walk with my head high, and yes, it does cost money and is not a necessity in the grand scheme of things, but the benefit these things give me totally outweigh their costs (and I make sure I keep the costs down - I personally don't feel comfortable getting a $300 haircut, though there is nothing wrong if people do!).

So the things I make sure are in my routine (and I sometimes use them as rewards for working towards a goal successfully) are:
  • Manicure and Pedicure - I really suck at doing my own nails, I get the paint all over my skin and I can't do the cuticle thing myself. So I go every month or two to a nail salon and get my fingers and toes done. I love the massage I get as well and I love the happy colours on my nails, often going for a salmon or bright red. Yay! I'm still trying to find what my favourite colour is - but I usually choose out of the OPI range.
  • Hair - I don't really do too much. I have a wonderful hairdresser in Chinatown that gives me a great $70 haircut that lasts up to 6 months. Just the process of the shampoo and head massage and walking out like I've just left a hair salon (which I have) is an amazing feeling. Then, because I'm lucky enough to be a brunette, I just get a home hair dye kit and get a friend to paint on my colour. Almost any colour will do (I hope I'm not giving any heart attacks to hairdressers!!)
  • Massage - I've not been too good an regularly scheduling these because I was feeling guilty about spending money on a massage. But I'm getting over that! I know I feel so much better when I've had one. So I will indulge...thai? swedish? We'll see!
  • Face Masks & Hair Treatments - I've put it in my routine to do a facemask at home every week together with a hair treatment. I've started wanting to make my own, because they are quite easy to do. I'd just want to see the results before I stick with making them myself. In the meantime I'm using a green face mask that smells divine from Maja. I do feel sorry for the Man when I come to bed with a green face!
  • Waxing - we all know how good the results are!
Enjoy some self care. Don't break the bank. Small actions big benefits. Enjoy.

Make it as you wish SSSs!
Photo Credit

A Blog I Stumbled Across

I stumbled across this blog the other day and have fallen in love with it and with Gala!

I am definitely not a fashionista, but she writes a lot more than about style and fashion and I adore it!

I love the self love, the pictures, the colours (I am a super big fan of pink lately), the lists the shoes, the personal development

Check it out: Photo is from her website

Start Here! SSSs Areas of Life

I'm constantly coming up with different ways to break our lives into areas so we can have a clear overview of what to pay attention to. It may not be all encompassing, but I think it captures most of the important parts of our lives. It may need to be rejigged for different people, but I've created 13 different areas.

I've then decided to break the different blog labels into these 13 different areas. At least for the moment. Who knows, I might rejig it once a better system is made clear to me!

The 13 areas in no real order are:
  1. Physical Health - diet, exercise, hydration, vitamins, checkups
  2. Emotional Health - stress, meditation, sleep, emotions, self confidence
  3. Self Care - beauty regimes, hair, makeup, style, fashion
  4. Relationships: Partner - love, dating
  5. Relationships: Family - parents, siblings, extended family, traditions
  6. Relationships: Friends - BFFs, socialising
  7. Finance - budgeting, savings, investments, spendings, net worth
  8. Professional - entrepreneur, path, career
  9. Giving - volunteering, donating
  10. Spiritual - gratitude, rituals, the universe/source/god
  11. Surroundings - home, car, clutter
  12. Interest & Activities - hobbies, travel, reading, crafting
  13. Personal Development - books, habits, courses, creating confidence
If I've left out an area or if you need any clarification let me know at savvysassyshe[at]gmail[dot]com.

Out of this, I've created a 1 A4 page that summarises what I want to do in each of these areas for 2011. I put a picture of myself on the page as well to envision myself doing it. Then I print it out and put it on the wall above my desk as well as in my organiser that I refer to all the time. Look at it everyday to ensure you're staying on track and that all your actions are bringing you somehow closer to them.

I've posted this below - sorry the formatting is all squiff!!:

My Major Objective for 2011:

Master my Health

My Life Purpose:

To Build Confidence and Inspire In Others Positive Actions in Style

My Action Question:

In How Many Ways can I Continue to Build Confidence and Inspire Positive Action in Others?

My Master Skill:

Taking action and the Cycle of Completion

Physical Health

Exercise 5x week

Breathe Freely by March

Plan my meals 1x week

Massage 1x fortnight

Emotional Health

Write daily in my morning pages to work thru things

Stop and breathe regularly – 2x day

Self Care

Have a pamper session 1x month

Regular Hair, Nails, Beautician upkeep


Automate my systems

Implement my financial plan

Live & track a workable budget


Embrace activities out of my comfort zone and learn

Deal with things once

Be confident in my decisions and activities

Be a great manager


Give regular microloans

Give time, energy and attention to what/who is in front of me


Proactively give gratitude 2x day

Maintain open communication

Practice compassion

Interests and Activities

Artist’s Date 1x fortnight

Plan & save next European Adventure by September

Spend time in artistic creativity 1x fortnight

Adventure away 4x year


Declutter 5mins/day

Start collecting inspiring & beautiful things around

Stay organised

Clean car properly every quarter

Relationships – Partner

Have a date night 1x week

discuss thoughts and feelings 1x week

Really celebrate occasions

Relationships – Family

Have a Sissy Skype catchup 1x month

Call and email Dad 1x fortnight

Call mum 1x month
Have family dinner 1x week

Relationships – Friends

Plan interesting activities 4x year

Be in contact with distant friends 1x month via phone or email esp. for occasions

Personal Development

Read 1x book a month

Create happiness project



Complete tasks

Put things away

Track and Measure

365 day journal

Photo a day

Schedule in Organiser

Make it as you wish SSSs!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A journey of lessons and reflections

Here's a post I wrote for 10thousandgirl

Several people suggested I write about my experiences of working towards what I wanted - both to share my story with others and to take the opportunity to reflect and actually appreciate what has brought me here.

So often, we are working towards things, whether they be personal projects or work goals, that when we achieve them, we might do a quick ‘yay’, and then continue with the next to-do. We regularly don’t put it in perspective and take the time to appreciate and recognise the time, effort and occasional sacrifices we made to get there.

I was having a bad day and my great friend Chloe sat me down and actually made me recognise what I had achieved. Her belief in me made me look at why she felt that way and why I didn’t. She told me about what I had said to her when I first met her (basically that I had left my marketing job, was currently working in admin, but what I really wanted to do was work with young women), and then what she had seen me do over the last two years and to see where I was now and what I was doing. They were linked and there was action I had taken to bring me here. Taking the time made me reconsider and appreciate my position and actually see what I had done and the positive consequences that had resulted. I had to congratulate myself. More on this later.

4 years ago, people probably looked at me as having a great life, with almost everything I could ask for, at least on the surface – a partner, a job, a car, friends, loving family, enough money to get by without too many worries. But something was seriously wrong…

I did well at school, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I thought that a business degree with a marketing major would be able to give me a bit of a balance between creativity and a guided direction. It was okay…I really did learn a lot that was practical for the real world. Marketing is really just creative logic. Though, in hindsight, I think I would have preferred interior design!

I worked pretty much full time at my mother’s business while studying full time as well. I went on to become the marketing manager at mum’s growing business when I graduated as it was the natural next step. Unfortunately, the pressure of being looked at as being there only because of nepotism, and not actually because I knew the product and the business inside out and had a degree, was there, though whether it was my own projections or people’s actual feelings I’m not sure (another hindsight insight was that I was really pretty good at it!).

I was living a life that people thought I should live – not in a bad way – but I had many opportunities that would come up, especially with work and they would say ‘wow, you are so lucky to be in that position, take it and do it, it’s so amazing’ and I’d plaster a smile on my face and go ‘yes, it is isn’t it, I should do it’ so I did. I guess I was just sitting back and letting things happens rather than being part of the design of my future and consciously seeing what I wanted and going for it.

What I didn’t realise at the time was that the strange feelings inside of me were warning signs that I wasn’t living authentically with who I was. I was living what other people thought was good for me.

The wake up call happened out of the blue, actually while I was on an amazing trip with my sister and Dad. I got hit with crippling anxiety.

To cut a very long story short (and I’m trying to work on brevity actually becoming a strong point) it lasted a really, really, really long time. It was not okay with me and I worked really hard to reinvent myself because I had to. I did a myriad of healings and therapies, I’m not really sure what worked, but I’ve realised that it has so much to do with the mind and what and how you think. I’m still on the journey out, but I’m 95% better than I was and I believe I’m almost there!

I decided to explore a lot about myself and really did a lot of self-analysis and excavation. I made a lot of changes during that time. My relationship with my partner came to an end, I moved homes, I took up journal writing, I started dating, I partied a lot, I blossomed socially and made some great new friends. I was going on new adventures as I was healing and looking for a new path.

During that time I realised what my main passion was and still is - working with young women just like me who are looking at improving their lives – inspired females, resourced women, girls who enjoy some of the nice things in life but also want to give back. I didn’t know how or what to do, but I knew I wanted to work in that direction.

I decided to leave the marketing role at Mum’s work and take on something that could give me more time to work out what I really wanted to do. Something that I consciously decided to do, rather than just fell into. So, I decided that I could probably go in to an administrative role where I could work 9-5 and not take home any responsibility. I temped for a little while and ended up being offered a Senior Administrative role in a university which I accepted. Little did they know this senior admin person had no idea how to fix a printer or use the laminator. I am proud to say I am now and expert in both. I received less income, but it was worth it because it gave me the opportunity to do so much more that was priceless – time to spend on myself.

I planned to stay a year while I decided if I wanted to join an organisation or start my own business to do with working with young women. I did a lot of planning and dreaming, trialling and experimenting, reading and researching in my spare time. The job was a good gap filler and I created some amazing relationships, and learned both good and bad things about myself, but I also learned that my personality type took this role seriously and it wasn’t 9-5 for me. I was getting stressed about situations, working long hours and it wasn’t what I wanted to do. Something had to change again.

In late 2009, I connected with Anneli Knight and then Zoe Lamont through a friend. I got an email and asked a small but significant (to me) question to Anneli and through a series of events, it led me here. If I didn’t have the guts to ask the question (it was basically if she was interested in working together on a business idea I had), what would have happened? Sometimes you just need to reach out. One of my favourite lines is from a Coldplay song – ‘if you never try, you’ll never know’.

What Zoe, Anneli and I were discussing was so aligned. They were just starting 10thousandgirl out of Zoe’s initial project High Heels and a WIG. We were trying to find a way I could become involved and I ended up volunteering to be their Steering Committee Chair.

I loved the girls I was coming in contact with. To be honest, it was hard pouring so much energy into it while working full time at the University (and starting a new relationship, having a social life, working on a few more personal goals and spending time on what I had finally learned the hard way was important – myself), but I knew 10thousandgirl, the people involved and the concept was really resonating in me so it was worth it.

10 months later, Zoe offered me a role at 10thousandgirl and I jumped at the chance. The chance to become involved in this amazing community of like minds. The chance to be involved in working with young women who wanted to learn more. The chance to help be part of a ripple effect and empower individuals and communities. The plan to stay one year at the university turned into 18 months, a little longer than I originally planned, but that was ultimately fine.

This is nowhere near the end of the journey, I still have dreams and aspirations that I am working on and figuring out. But with the discovery of a passion and from a vague idea of what I wanted to do, with some proactive actions and jumping on opportunities that presented themselves, I’m Manager Girl at the 10thousandgirl Campaign, working with inspired young women. This is a massive milestone in my journey.

The way I’ve done things is probably not the ideal way. But it’s the way I had to do it. We are all individuals with different contexts surrounding us. These are my lessons learned. If this gives you an idea of one person’s experience – good. If it inspires you – great. If it’s just a story of a girl – fine. If it does nothing – no problem! These realisations probably aren’t the right ones for everyone – take what you want and leave the rest.

Lessons learned:

  • Do what you have to for yourself first. Live your own life. It doesn’t have to be selfish. After all you are the one that you answer to in those quiet moments. Make yourself happy with your decisions, that way you make the others around you happier in the long term.
  • Listen to the feelings you have. They are often signs that you are either on the right path or not.
  • Have at least an idea of the direction you wanted to go in. If you have a really clear outcome, write down all the details, you’ll probably get there quicker.
  • Ask the question. Send that email. Make that phone call. Even if it puts you out of your comfort zone. That action could lead you to a path that is so rewarding.
  • Take the time to appreciate what you have done to get you to where you are. Really reflect, give thanks and contemplate it so you can recognise and acknowledge that your actions brought you there. You weren’t just sitting back and waiting for things to happen like I was initially.
  • Have plans beyond the big ones in your short and medium term sights, because when you get there it will be amazing, but you still want to have a bigger purpose in life.
  • Listen to your friends. They often have better insights into our lives than we do.

Happy journeying!


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

January Dreams

A new year, a new start! I know we can reinvent ourselves any time we want, but new years seems like such a great new start!

I’m in Switzerland again and taking the opportunity of the relative peacefulness to reorganise myself. It’s been wonderful not having a real time limit on sorting myself out!

The pictures above are a bit of a snapshot of my time here – lovely friends and family and beautiful surroundings of a winter wonderland:
  • Friends and sisters in a Swiss Winter Wonderland
  • Winter Wonderland
  • The fireplace and christmas decorations at the chalet
  • Me in red with the polka dot milk jug I adore
I’ve done some wonderful things that I feel really good about so far:
  • I did a really comprehensive 2010 review with my top 20, doing the Reverb10 questions and a few more general questions.
  • I’ve been working on my 101 bucket list
  • Working on different goal areas of my life and focussing on health and relationships as my main two areas for 2011.
  • Looked at routines to ensure I’m keeping myself on track towards the important things in my life.

And I thought I would start with the Monthly dreams and review again. And there are a few ways that I want to capture my year and activities. Doing my 2010 review really made me see that I didn’t have an easy way to collect the important things of my year, so perhaps rather challengingly I’ve decided to have:
  • Take a photo every day of the year
  • Have a one sentence journal for 365 days of the year that I have on my computer desk top
  • Write my morning pages in my diary
  • Do my monthly dreams and review
  • Write a week in review

My dreams for January are:
1. Find a personal trainer that is aligned, motivational and educational;
2. Enjoy a girly weekend away for Chloe’s birthday
3. Cut down on cigarettes
4. Get my goals for 2011 written down and action plans created
5. Create a vision board for 2011
6. Streamline my office systems – files and desk space
7. Confirm routines and put in organiser
8. Implement routine
9. Enjoy rest of holiday with family in Switzerland
10. Start putting together the new family tradition of individual’s questions and photos for the year
11. Include vision pictures in organiser
12. Enjoy flying premium economy London to Sydney
13. Decide of personal insurances and start implementing financial plan
14. Create a workable budget for 2011

Happy January!
Make it as you wish
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