Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Life Storms! What To Do In Hard Times

Wow Christmas is upon us! I love Christmas but I think we all do. It's that chance to add sparkle, love, and fun to the year that was and the opportunity to spoil and simply be with the ones we love most. Yet, in all the tinsel, life still happens and for some it's not that grand, in fact it is downright painful.

Hard times = yuk!! How else do we put it. We all face challenges and I do love that saying "not to judge others because everyone is facing their own challenge".
Life sure does throw the curve ball usually unexpected, tragically, or unbelievably and it must be faced, you have no choice.

I know first hand what it is like to be facing a massive challenge as I stare down the barrel of another Christmas as a single mum. I sure never knew that this would be apart of my journey and this challenge I walk has sure been painful - there have been lots of tears.

I have learnt several things that, amidst what I call the DARK, have brought rays of light into my world as I face my challenges and as I fight despair and feeling horrible at times.

1) Nature
Get out into the environment.
Nature is so powerful and teaches us strength, beauty, resilience, growth as well as giving us peace, stillness, joy and reminding us that life goes on in beauty.
I get out everyday and enjoy the elements, forces and natural wonders all around me. It awakens my soul and lifts my eyes out of my pain to see my value and the possibilities of my future. Taking a walk and feeling the day upon my cheeks is invaluable.

2) Respect
It is so very important to respect yourself when going through challenges and in fact it's a must for every day no matter what.
Respecting yourself is key to moving through the situation in elegance, and dignity.
I apply it to everything even when I feel ugly, a failure, fearful, messed up and really don't want to put my makeup on or even get out of bed.
For myself, the best way I can bring respect to my being is through the following practical ways:

- Speech: The words I say about myself and others especially in front of my children are important. It's not letting my inner voice that so easily wants to criticize me and pull me down get away with it. It's controlling my verbal voice to the world and choosing to remain true to my values and not letting loose in misguided or hurtful ways - keep in mind that inner pain always wants to verbalising itself.
It's not that I don't get emotional, feel angry or upset and this is perfectly ok and even needed to be felt, but I just don't let it get away from me in an attack on those around me or to disrespect myself and others in outbursts.
Talking to a trusted friend who knows the situation or a qualified councillor is great to work through pain and also getting out into nature really helps that escaping pain be released.

- Food: What and how I eat is very important. I make sure that I am feeding my physical body correctly and in self -worth. When you aim to put on your plate "edible respect" in the type of food, portion size and focus on eating to enjoy and not to stuff it down you are respecting your being. The effects of this are not to be underestimated.
Health plays a big part in our emotional well-being and when we eat to respect ourselves it brings a resilience in our health and in how we treat our physical body that helps manage our emotions and emotional expenditure. Yes, you can still have your chocolate because respect shapes your diet choices and amounts and the focus is gone from having that perfect, impossible, restrictive diet to get thin!!!

- Style: Presenting myself with pride and effort is rewarding and is power to get you through the day. I get up, I get dressed and I put my make-up on to suit the day.
This brings motivation, inspiration and is a great way to connect with one's self to keep discovering yourself as a person with your own individuality and value. This act of wearing what you love in respect and presenting yourself in beauty or style has a ripple effect for your day and to those around you. It makes it easier to step out into the world and do what you must.

3) Ambiance
Creating a home, office space (where possible) and surroundings of ambiance that reflect you is a balm for your soul. You get to have and do what you love. Space to just be and be in  with the things you love brings calm, security and opens the door to dream. It's a place to come home to and be as you are, safe and having a retreat. Music, candles, books, colour, open windows, furnishings you love, photos, inspirational sayings...
Ambiance for me is also letting gratitude and thanks fill my space. I practice being grateful and feeling blessed with what I have and this creates a beautiful tone for my home.

4) Others
Humans are made for humans. Connection.
Two aspects I make sure to always have in my life are:

- Surrounding myself with friends and family: We need each other. We need to share life, laughter, moments and be a witness to each other. We support each other, love with each other, cry with each other and walk the paths of life.
Be the initiator, inviter. Don't sweat that you may have to always step out and organise that dinner or outing  - life is too short "just do it".
Don't isolate yourself, which is so easy to do when going through hard times, as this pulls you down into despair and aloneness. I struggle with this at times because it seems easier but in fact it makes things harder long term. Get with those who know you and bring joy.

- Give: Nothing on earth is more powerful then the spirit of love to help another.
Giving to another is so wonderful especially to those who can give nothing back to you. This helps you to not be self consumed but able to still see others.
Make giving apart of your life. i.e. sponsor a child, give to a mission or cause financially, give time to help a charity, blog to bring inspiration, visit or take time to chat with a neighbour, or help a single mum out with a gift of dinner... so many, many ways to give to others.

5) Spirit
A controversial topic and you may disagree but one that is based on truth, my truth, because I have seen it work time and time again in my life.
We are spiritual beings as much as we are physical and emotional (soul).
Meditate, pause, pray, dream, be inspired. This is the light you can shine on the dark path to keep moving forward. Amazing light and love will shine back to you from the God of the universe for we are not walking life alone.
You were created to connect in spirit with something bigger then yourself and the force that weaves this planet and human connection together in love. God is this love and wants your life to be immersed in it so you can face anything.
Stop and pause on this and release your spirit to connect with this Love who wants the best for you and to walk with you in every aspect and area of your life. It just takes a whisper of  "Love be in my life" and to take time everyday to pause and connect your spirit with God's spirit. You'll know it's real when you do it, it's the only way to know.

What do you do to get through the tough times?

Friday, 28 November 2014

Weekend Cheer and Ideas

What are you up to this weekend? We are off to the ballet to watch a special Christmas story and (excited scream) we are putting up Christmas decorations. Come and join us, you can see our fun over on Instagram here.

In the meantime:

Share with me your own Christmas decoration via instagram or facebook. Tag your photo #looksalotlikeabeautifulchristmas and I'll come and have a peek at Christmas your way.

Read some of my favourite Christmas fun via my link magazine and add your own link to your blog post or Chrissy idea you've found. You can do that all here, just click and your away. We are spreading Christmas fun, that's for sure.

Fancy some cooking? Brownies are always the answer right? For my super, yummy brownie recipe click here.

Style it up with stripes this weekend for a fun, casual vibe. Click here to read up how to wear stripes.

Have a beautiful weekend beautiful babes. xx

Monday, 24 November 2014

How To Do A Lipstick Photo A Day Challange

So it's no secret that I am a big fan of lipstick.

I love nothing more then changing my look by changing my lipstick and I just think, no I actually know, that lipstick can give a women a wonderful, confidence boost for any type of day or event she is about to have. Lipstick is powerful!

So a week or so ago I decided to do my own lipstick challenge via instagram which I am sure, if you follow me there, by the end you were inspired to get in and wear your own favourite lipsticks. Either that or your just thought that I had a case of the selfie love!!!

I do think every women needs to do a  7 day lipstick challenge to get some babe power and lipstick grrrrrrr going on. You may be amazed at the confidence and beauty you feel. Something so simple... So inspire yourself, me and your friends by your lip shade.

Here is the list if you want to copy mine or you can simply make up your own seven days of fun.

Let us spread the lipstick power for no other reason then for ourselves.

Day 1. Pretty Pinks
Day 2. Nude
Day 3. Gloss or Matte
Day 4. Orange
Day 5. Diva Red
Day 6. Hot Pink/Purple
Day 7. Your fave - I went for a berry red.

Tag your lipstick week of power @ohsobeautifullipstick and let me know @_allthatisbeautiful_ via instagram or upload to my facebook page here.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

All About Snail Mail Chats

In the last few weeks I have signed up to be apart of snail mail.

It is delightful. Gorgeous chats, cute knick-knacks, pretty paper and lovely surprises delivered in an envelop with a stamp. I am hooked.

It seems, with all this technology and social media that our ability to post a letter has slowly dissolved. Outside of online shopping deliveries and those bills, good ole' fashion letter sending has become obsolete (because it was sooooo long ago, right?). Not so, snail mail is alive and thriving.

Really it is all about having a pen pal and exchanging cute chats about yourself while asking the other about there life.
It is about sharing snippets of yourself with others and them back.

I am delighted  to receive a cute letter in the mail and you never know when one is coming. With a cute little theme it simply brightens my day and is a wonderful way to connect with others especially those from another city or walk of life.

Have you wanted to join?

To join it's very easy, you can simply ask a friend from another place, or find a beautiful babe through instagram under #snailmail

Are you game?

Kim Kardashian Can Go And Break The Internet But It Is Not Real Beauty

All week there has been pictures popping up in my social news feeds of Kim Kardashian and her nude pictures revealing herself to the world.

Whether you want to see these pictures or not you will because they are everywhere, if you haven't already.

I know that everyone is having a say and this plays into the hands of the media frenzy but I feel I must speak with my thoughts for the sake of the women and girls in my life.

These nude and very provocative photos have be hailed beautiful, that Kim has liberated us mothers proving that being a mum can still be "sexy".

"These photos are just a bit of fun...
It's art, bodies were made to be celebrated, she is only being true to herself, hey if you've got it why not flaunt it. 
That is what that magazine does - pushes boundaries.
She is a celebrity after all and this is what they do... 
Wow she sent the Internet into a frenzy, check her out, this is success."

...This stunt is sad.

I can't help but feel disappointed by Kim and disappointed for women everywhere.

I am disappointed that her celebrity status is used for one of promoting the objectification of her body to entice.
There is nothing beautiful about this but rather it just shows a women who is using her outward beauty in a way to promote "womenhood" in the very opposite way of what I would want for my own two girls and the women I know. This type of beauty is ugly beauty.

For me a women's greatest gift is her beauty because a women's beauty is powerful.
When a women understands her beauty she understands that it starts on the inside, what we call inner beauty. You've heard it said "it's not about the outward beauty but it's all about "inner beauty".

I believe it is about both.

Outward beauty comes from inward beauty and our outward beauty should be used to draw out and show our inward beauty. (Yes you may need to read this line twice, but pause and think on this.)

So what is inner beauty?

For me it is the knowledge and understanding that as a female you know your beauty is a gift created from having respect for yourself and knowing your value. You understand that your beauty will affect others.
This effect can be for greatness or it can play into the hands of a world that seemingly only wants to celebrate the objectification of a women's body, using it for self gratification, disrespect, even in jest  - for the sake of art!

When a women allows herself dignity and does not compromise to a standard of brazen revealing sexuality allowing her objectification by the world because of her assets, supposedly her only draw card, she has then tapped into true power and her true outward beauty, yes outward beauty.

When she steps out in the confidence of knowing her inner beauty she is powerful - very powerful.

This power draws others to her in quiet and gentle humility. Her self respect, honour, elegance, substance of character and even her classy, mysterious wonder is a magnet to the world - it is breathtaking and nothing on earth matches this.

This power makes her a  beautiful "stand out".

Her ventures, ambitions and passions get noticed and they ignite those around her creating a chain effect for others to want to know her, support her and respect her. Suddenly the value she brings to those close and even to the greater world is important to the point where it could change the world for someone or everyone. This is true beauty, inward and outward.

Outward beauty is the reflection of her inner beauty and this is her strength that shapes her world.
We can all think of a women who we have noticed at one time or another who is this beautiful.
Age, size, height, looks, race, culture, fame or non fame are irrelevant. It is every women who believes in her self, her value and the value that she brings.

This is the very opposite to the flaunting, brazen self-confidence for the "whatever sake" reason that Kim's photos represent to me.
These photos only promote that a women's value and strength comes in the form of being entertainment for others, objectification and gratification - this is weak, disrespectful, shows no value for ones inner beauty and nothing of substance is gained.

As a mother, I have a dream for my girls, that they get the chance to grow to be women who know the value they are and the value they can bring. I want them to be recognized as women who are full of worthy substance, strength, self respect, no compromise, elegance and that their outward beauty reflects there inward beauty as their greatest strength.

I want this for Kim too, for any women of influence and for you and me as women everywhere.

I know you can argue with me all the arguments why what Kim has done is not harming anyone really??? Or why some of us are taking it way too seriously but truth be told what is left from these photos?
For me it is the message that in this media world outward beauty still comes at any cost to a women's value no matter how beautiful her body is. Objectified success is still what we should all aspire too.
Yes this little silly stunt not to be taken too seriously sends a message of powerful weight that is dangerous for all.

I do fear that I and my girls will continually be up against this horrible message, the saddest part of all being that it is often perpetuated by female celebrities like Kim and one that does filters down to a 9 year old girl in Australia wondering and learning what beauty must be...

To Kim I would say: "Honey you can do better so show beauty that brings inward beauty of strength showing self -respect, value and the worthwhile. Great outward beauty brings greater responsibility to bring inner beauty". 

To my own girls I would say: "Don't believe the lie that your only value is the outward beauty you dare to reveal, you were born beautiful to give real value from your true inward beauty."

Just some thoughts. xx

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Beautiful Food: The Best And Easiest Sponge Cake Ever

Have you ever baked something new and the words "oh my" escape your lips at the end product? Well, that is exactly what happened to me this week.

It all started when I spied my friend Tash from over at Little Bit Of Thyme and her instagram picture of this amazing cake she was eating. I kid you not, that cake was calling me... so into the kitchen I went armed with Tash's Best Ever Sponge Cake Recipe - you can find it here.

The results speak for themselves.  

Moist, fluffy, light and delicious. I had to have two piece straight off the get go and then another. With coffee butter cream and a cup of tea or coffee it was the perfect treat.

I had never made a sponge cake before and have felt a little intimidated over the years at attempting one but Tash's recipe was really easy to follow and really easy to do. Now this cake is on my Oh So Beautiful Treats menue.

The best bit is that Tash shared with me that this particular cake has been handed down through her family making it an extra special recipe and one that I am grateful to experience.

Do you have a special family recipe that has been passed down to you?