Sunday, 26 April 2015

INSPIRING MY EVERYDAY | Meet Tanyalee.

Hello!! Welcome to another INSPIRING MY EVERYDAY interview. You can read the others here.

Meet my most amazing friend Tanyalee. 



Tanyalee is the author of The Drawing Board where she shares her beautiful project life pages, art journalling, gardening and recipes. Tanyalee did a guest post about a year ago here.

We live in different states but we 'talk' everyday and our husbands wonder how we haven't run out of things to talk about yet. 

Tanyalee inspires me with her motivation and commitment to getting the everyday things done. She works full-time and is a dedicated mother of 3 children, so on weekends she is an absolute machine when it comes to getting through the housework, meal planning and preparation, driving children to work/sports, and she still makes time to craft and blog, AND get a decent night's sleep. Amazing. 

Tanyalee is great at reminding me to stay true to myself when I have moments of self doubt. I love this girl to bits. Always there to motivate and inspire me to get things done (ie. get off couch!) and there to listen and offer supportive words of advice and reassurance when I need it most.

So let's meet Tanyalee! 

In a few sentences, tell us a little about yourself.

I am a mum to three big kids, a wife to my childhood sweetheart, a full time graphic designer and a part time crafter/art journaller. I love growing veggies to feed my family, I love raising my fur babies (cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and chickens) and I love spending my spare time just pottering around my house. I LOVE being at home more than anything else - as long as my family is nearby of course.

What is your favourite childhood memory that makes you smile?

To be honest, my childhood was a bit of an up and down experience - especially my teenage years so I don't have many happy memories of those - so choosing my favourite childhood memory is a bit of a struggle. I do remember two trips to Whyalla, South Australia quite fondly though - they were both to be part of the wedding party for two of my Aunties. 

One was when I was 11 or 12 and it was such a fun time, getting dressed up and walking down the aisle (or through the gardens as the case was) to be part of my Aunty's special day. 

The second was when I was 14 or 15 and again, I was so proud to be standing up for my Aunty in her Big Fat Greek Wedding. It was truly an experience I will remember forever and makes me smile for sure.


You are a Graphic Designer by day, and an amazing art journaling artist by night. If money was no object, what would your dream job be like?

Hmmmm, I actually really love what I do every day. I love being able to communicate messages using imagery and design styles. I love making pretty things. I call myself a pretty picture person at work - it is kind of the only way people actually understand what I do. So if money was no object I think I would actually still be making pretty pictures. Maybe not with as many defined rules though. Maybe I would branch out and experiment further with my art, take more photos, play with paint, and learn even more skills to make pretty things on my computer. Design is my life - but you know what - it was only by reflecting on this question that I have realised just how much it means to me. I can't picture myself doing anything else.


Describe one of your happy places. 

My happy place - at first I thought this was a tough question - I thought that the answer would need to be somewhere with amazing scenery or somewhere expensive and lush, but to be honest the place that I am happiest is wherever my family is. Wherever my kids and husband are I will be happy. In my home - be it a small brick box in the suburbs or a stone cottage in the country. Home is my happy place, surrounded by those near and dear to me.


Who inspires you and why?

I am inspired by a lot of people - crafters, bloggers, friends, family - but the one person who I will never lose respect for is my Mother-in-Law. 

She is the most dedicated, caring, self-less person I have ever met. She has raised four amazing men, she has been there to help us with our kids when things were tough, and in more recent times has cared for her husband through a terrible, debilitating illness. 

She always puts her families needs ahead of her own, even when doing so puts her own body under enourmous strain. She inspires me to be a better person, to care more, and to help people more.

What is one of your all-time favourite quotes and why?

"Do not worry until you really have something to worry about." 

This has become my self-appointed mantra in the last 10 years. I have suffered from debilitating anxiety for the past 10 years or so and this little reminder has been my saviour on quite a few occassions. It isn't anything ground breaking, but it is enough to help me break free of the crazy and get on with things. I mean really, what is the point of working myself into a frenzy if there actually isn't anything to worry about. Easy to say - not so easy to do!



What has been the most challenging thing in your life and what positive lessons have come from it?

The most challenging thing in my life is also one of the hardest things for me to talk about. I was sexually harassed/assaulted when I was 15 years old by my employer. It was an awful, awful thing for a teenager to deal with and it has had many, many repercussions for me as the years have gone by. And while this was a horrible experience that I wouldn't wish upon any teenaged girl (or boy for that matter) it has also taught (and continues to teach) me some great lessons.
  • I am stronger than I think I am.
  • It's definitely OK to ask for help and to talk about the bad stuff in our lives - especially with our kids
  • And sometimes we have to face our demons head on to be able to move on in life.

It has been said that children are our greatest teachers. What has motherhood taught you?

Motherhood is such a wonderful thing. I can't imagine my life without my kids. Sure I started early, and kind of bluffed my way through things, but I wouldn't have it any other way. My kids are my world, followed very closely by my husband and my animals (in no particular order - haha).

Being a Mum has taught me that happiness is about more than material things - it is about creating happy experiences and memories for my kids by just spending time together. It isn't always about getting the biggest, most extravagant gift for birthdays or Christmas, it is about spending time together and enjoying each others company.

Being a Mum has taught me patience. So much patience. Toddlers are trying little creatures and without patience we would never raise healthy adults.

Being a Mum has taught me to accept everyone for who they are. Each child is different and we cannot create expectations for them based on past experiences or even their siblings.

Being a Mum has taught me that I am worthy of love, and that I can love freely.


Can you share one of your proudest moments?

One of my proudest moments in life would have to be the delivery of my first baby - and picking just one of my kids births is really hard because they are all such amazing creatures, but my first baby was a surprise - a very happy surprise. I was young, had no idea what I was getting myself into, and I was alone - apart from my boyfriend (now husband) of course - but I had no family nearby and I felt very alone. I could always call on my Mum and Mum-in-Law for advice, but it isn't quite the same thing as having them on the other side of town, or just around the corner.

I remember being handed the phone not long after Nik was born and ringing Mum and saying 'I did it Mum, I made a baby and he is beautiful'. I was just so proud of myself, and I don't think I have ever felt that proud in my life. Well except for maybe when they reach their own cool milestones like starting school, and high school and university (yep my boy is a uni student and I am very proud of that), and watching them perform at dance concerts and eisteddfods, or school assemblies, or watching them play sport or get their drivers licence. So many cool moments - just being a parent makes me proud almost every single day.

Tanyalee's eldest son (now a teen) with much loved and greatly missed AstroBoy.

Lastly, what would your friends describe as three qualities they love most about you?

These kinds of questions are always hard - what do people love most about me? I would like to think it is because I am loyal, and I care about them, and that I am honest.

If you are good to me, then I will do everything to fight for you - I will defend your honour, I will talk you up, I will keep your secrets, and I will be there whenever you need me.

I care about those close to me very deeply. If you are sad or frightened or struggling, I will be there to support you. If you are happy, I will be happy. If you are sick I will try to help you.

I like to think I am an honest person. I definitely won't lie - honesty is a very important quality to me - it is the basis of building trust. Therefore I am always honest with my friends and family and I hope that means as much to them as it means to me.

Thank you Tanyalee for your time, and for your openness and honesty with your answers. 

You can find Tanyalee here: 
Blog: www.thedrawingboardau.com
Facebook: thedrawingboardau
Instagram: @drawingboardau


I hope you have enjoyed getting to know these lovely individuals. I have one more to share with you soon! 

Saturday, 18 April 2015

INSPIRING MY EVERYDAY | Meet Kellie.

Hello and welcome to another guest in my INSPIRING MY EVERYDAY series! My intention from the beginning was to not feature only crafters, even though there are many crafters/bloggers who's work I admire. 

I wanted to introduce you to some people who inspire me in my everyday life. You can check out the other guests here.

My guest today does however fall into the category of both crafter and blogger. And although I love her Project Life layouts, she inspires me in other areas of my life too.

Meet my good friend Kellie. Kellie is a wife, and mother of 3 gorgeous girls. She is the author of Give a Girl a Blog, and owner of Aussie stamp company Kellie Stamps.  


One of the things I admire most about Kellie is the way she is dedicated to spending quality time with her girls. She has movie night with them at least once a week, if not more. Not to mention organising super fun crafting projects for her little two during school holidays as well. I really love that she does that. 

She told me something that has really stuck with me. Kellie said when her girls come to her, even if she is in the middle of something, she will stop and look them in the eye so they know they have her full attention. How simple is that for being present with the kids!? This is something I now do with my two boys. 

So let's meet Kellie!

What were you doing before Kellie Stamps and what inspired the beginnings of your business?

Before Kellie Stamps, how far back, haha.  Before my youngest two I was in administration for a works company. I absolutely loved my job, but I wanted to be a stay at home mum this time round. 

Just before I started Kellie Stamps, I had our youngest at home with me, middle girl in kindergarten and eldest in school.

I was inspired to start Kellie Stamps when I started to get into project life.  I really started to get into stamping and I was frustrated at what was available for Australian's with our way of spelling.  The fact we have Summer at Christmas and so on.  




Describe one of your happy places. (happy place is open to your own interpretation)

Home.  Honestly I can be a bit of a hermit.  But I feel safe, happy and myself in my home with my family.  If ever I'm away and I feel ill, getting home will instantly make me feel that little bit better.  



Who inspires you and why?

Oh this is a hard one, and the funny thing is, I ask it to people I interview as well.  I'm honestly inspired by so many crafters and bloggers.  But I'd have to say, my girls.  After watching them craft their hearts out the other day, I realised they these 3 girls, they inspire me way more than I've ever actually realised.  Kira inspires me with her strength and courage that I completely lacked at her age, being extremely shy.



You and your husband have a beautiful connection.  Can you describe what you love and admire about him?

Thank you Sue, that is so incredibly sweet of you to say.  How long do we have, haha?  

I love that he makes me laugh, daily.  I admire his complete honesty and loyalty.  I love his devotion to our girls.  But most of all I love that he can walk in after a busy and often hard day at work with a smile on his face, a kiss and cuddle for us all, even Pippa our dog, minus the kiss for her though, haha. I've often have to race her to him.  Last of all, the fact that the day we married he started calling me 'wifey'.



It has been said that children are our greatest teachers. What has motherhood taught you? 

Patience, and I'll be the first to admit there are days I'm still not very good at it. It's taught me to be more open. It taught me that I didn't realise you could love 3 people so darn much that you could burst.  

The one thing I do struggle with is letting go.  Kira is a teen and almost 16 and I'm having a lot of trouble letting her experience life, because I'm not letting her make her own mistakes, to learn from them. Something I'm working on and something we talk about.



Can you share one of your proudest moments?

One, well hmmmm. Giving birth is right up there, of course, something I share with Luke and I will always cherish.  

But a proudest moment for me personally would be the day I got my licence. I got it later in life and I was so nervous and had been practicing so much with my mother in law, so nervous as I fail tests easily because I crack under the pressure of tests. But I aced it, and I was so proud of  myself.



Lastly, what would your friends say are the three things they most love about you?

My humor.
Being there when they need me most.
Last of all I would hope would be my loyalty.

Is there anything coming up for Kellie Stamps that you would like to share?

Every month I've got 1-2 releases.  In the coming months there might even be a month of 3-5 sets being released in the one month!


Thank you Kellie for sharing a bit more about yourself today!

You can find Kellie on her blog here, her shop here, and her Instagram @giveagirlablog.

A few more guest to come so stay tuned!

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

INSPIRING MY EVERYDAY | Meet Casey-Lee

Welcome to the next instalment of interviews with some of the people in my life who inspire my everyday. See the first interview here.

I am grateful to have these amazing individuals in my life who are always encouraging and inspiring me to be the best version of me.

Meet Casey-Lee. My acupuncturist, naturopath, nutritionist, life coach, friend, inspiration and conscience. 




Casey-Lee is awesome. She is beautiful inside and out.  With Casey-Lee’s guidance, my health recovery is miraculous and a little surreal to be honest.

Casey-Lee inspires me with her kind heart, her gentleness in life, and her commitment to honouring herself and her wellbeing. 

So let’s find out a little bit more about this amazing woman.

1. Tell us a little about yourself in a few sentences.
I am an everyday woman living a simple life. I am also a natural health practitioner (Naturopath and Nutritionist) with a passion to inspire others to live their best self. My life is as busy as it has ever been with the launch of my new business and a baby on the way and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love life and love all things healthy.
2.     What is your favourite childhood memory that makes you smile?
Many of my favourite childhood memories seem to be in the kitchen! One of my favourites is helping my Gran bake fun treats, especially her ‘rock cakes.’ Looking back they really did taste like rocks but it didn’t matter because their was so much love in making them!


3.     What did you do before you trained to be a health practitioner, and what attracted you to this career?
I have always had an interest in health and was brought up with it being part of our family’s life but before I trained as a health practitioner I explored nursing, event management and fitness.
4.     You have recently launched Live Love Nourish. Can you tell us a little about it, and the driving force in creating Live Love Nourish?
Live Love Nourish is a health and wellness website that specialises in nutritionally designed recipes and programs. As our philosophy shares, LLN inspires you to “live the real you, love truly and deeply and nourish from the inside out.” 
The concept behind the business is that to live a truly healthy and fulfilling life is to live your real, whole and genuine self; to love yourself truly and love others deeply and to nourish all of you from the inside out.
LLN particularly specialises in recipes that are free from processed ingredients with a focus on recipes that are gluten free, dairy free and sugar free.
I created Live Love Nourish as I wanted to share my passion for truly looking after your body with a wider community. Being online gives me a platform to essentially ‘share the love’ and offer inspiration to others that I hope supports them in living life to its fullest potential; filled with joy, harmony and health.

5.     Who is someone who inspires you and why?
Of course who else but mum! She is balanced, keeps me grounded and her love is endless. She lives true to herself, loves unconditionally and is the most genuine person I know. These qualities in mum inspire me to stay true to myself always.
6.     I know that you eat very well. Do you ever go crazy and have something that you know you shouldnt eat, and what food would that be?
I love this question! To be honest, I tend to not eat foods that don’t leave me feeling good in my body as I’ve learnt its not worth it to feel my vitality being compromised. That said, I do love to go crazy with all things avocado! And I sure have gone nuts on nuts ;)


7.     What has been the most challenging thing in your life and what positive lessons have come from it?
One of the most challenging things in my life would definitely have to be the creation the Live Love Nourish website. When I first started the site I had a vision of what I wanted to do but had no idea how or what I needed to make it happen.  Every step was a challenge and a constant learning along the way. Whilst it was challenging it has also been incredibly empowering and rewarding. 

Some of the greatest lessons that have come from it have been to trust, patience, to stay true to yourself and to never letting anything stop you from achieving your goals.
8.     On my own healing journey, the turning point was when I realised the key was in self love and self honour. What was the catalyst that lead you to bring more self love into your life?
It is music to my ears to hear you speak the words self-love and self-honour Sue!
It didn’t take me long to realise that you can only do so much at the expense of the body before self-love has to be the basis of all that you do. When self-love and self-honour become your foundations, trust me, you can do so much more with much more energy!

9.     You do your own public relations, photography, food styling, recipe development and testing, blogging, and you are a respected health practitioner. Is there something else you would love to learn how to do?
Gee, thanks Sue, that’s very kind of you! I am constantly learning and love to learn so I will always be ready to learn whatever is needed as the chapters unfold.
I would love to learn how to translate ideas into reality instantly ;)
10.  You and your partner are expecting your first baby any day now. I am over the moon for you both! What are you most excited about, and what are you most nervous about being a mum? 
Thank you Sue! We are very excited to be expecting our first baby very soon. I am most excited to share all of life’s blessings with our little one and to watch her grow into her own unique self. I must say it is the ‘unknown’ of not knowing what to expect that can make me a little nervous but at the same time that is also exciting.


11.  Although you are taking a break from consultations whilst you focus on enjoying motherhood, what we can expect from Live Love Nourish in the future?
There is still so much more to come from Live Love Nourish and I can’t wait to share it with everyone!  On the cards next is our first e-book filled with delicious and healthy recipes.
Thanks so much Casey-Lee for sharing a little bit about yourself and LLN. Wishing you much love and best wishes for the safe arrival of your little one and I can't wait to meet her!


If you are at all curious about how you can be a healthier you, I encourage you to connect with Live Love Nourish. Lots of inspiration at: 
Website: www.livelovenourish.com.au
Facebook: livelovenourish
Instagram: @livelovenourishaus
Pinterest: LLNourish 
I hope you are enjoying this guest series. More to come!!

Monday, 13 April 2015

INSPIRING MY EVERYDAY | Meet my husband

Today I am kicking off a series of interviews with some of the people in my life who inspire my everyday. 

I'd love for you to get to know these amazing people who support and inspire me to be the best me I can be.


Meet my husband. I call him Sammy.


He is a good person. Like, he really really is. He has the kindest heart, makes me laugh, is one of the smartest people I know, and he is the most awesomest Dad.

Sammy is a gun at design, especially branding design, and he has taught me everything I know. I can also confirm he has the patience of a saint.

My pixel pushing husband inspires me with his creativity, knowledge and his support and encouragement for me to design and document our lives.


So here’s a little Q&A with the hubby (ps. he's a man of few words so answers are short and sweet). 

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself in a few sentences.

I am a dedicated father, husband, designer, and catcher of fish. 



2. What is one of your favourite memories from your childhood?

I don't have any particular memories that stand out above others. But I remember travelling and holidays fondly. I particularly remember camping in the Whitsundays when I was about 11, and driving long stints in the car while looking at the countryside and landscapes.

3. What do you love most about being a Dad?

There isn't one thing I can isolate. It is the whole package of being a dad. 



4. Your wife (me, lol) uses printed photos, papers, stamps and handwritten journalling to document your life as a family. On the other hand, your designs are digital or professionally printed. What are your thoughts on printed photos in albums versus printed photobooks?

I prefer something that is hand crafted rather than something that is mass printed. It has more personality and is more personal and meaningful.

5. Who is someone that inspires you and why?

It's my wife. Seeing her struggle so hard with her health everyday for nearly a decade, yet still push through everyday and not give up is the most inspiring thing I have ever seen in my life. 

6. If money was no object, describe what your life would be like for you and your family?

Chillin' with the kids and wifey, holidays at home and overseas, and plenty of fishing and boating.



7. You ran your own design business for 10 years. What was the most rewarding and most challenging part about having your own business?

The most rewarding was to see that I wasn't a statistic that folded in the first 1-3 years. It was also rewarding running my business at home during the boys' formative years, and being there for them. The most challenging was the day to day business related activities. But mostly it was not having a consistent cash flow.

8. What has been the most challenging life experience you have had and what have you learnt from it?

Seeing my wife struggle with her health and being unable to significantly help, and struggling with the effects of that on myself and our family. 

I learnt that despite how hopeless a situation may seem, things can change and get better.


9. Can you share one of your proudest moments? 

When I saw my eldest son almost completely solve a rubiks cube at age 10 in under a minute, with no help. At that point I knew my son was already smarter than me.

10. Lastly, what would you say are your three most admirable qualities?

Good dad, loyal and rational.


Thanks for that Sammy! Aww, feeling loved right now.

Although Sam is now working for a fab design agency, if you are interested, you can see some of his personal portfolio here.

Another guest coming soon so keep an eye out!