healthy living

My Summer Essentials

I LOVE SUMMER. Being a born and bred Sydney gal, my entire life revolves around gorgeous, warm weather. My mood and spirit is deeply affected by sunshine and the climate. I love the ocean, going for summer strolls and just being outdoors in general. As uplifting and energising as summer is, it’s not always “sunshine and rainbows.” The cliched adage “nights get longer, hair gets lighter, water gets warmer, skin gets darker, life gets better” may very well be true, however, let us not forget that skin gets drier, hair gets harder and sunburn quite frankly, hurts like a bitch.

Below are my must-have summer essentials which help me maximise the best summer has to offer and eliminate the negatives that come with it.

R E M O V E

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Do not look past exfoliating. Exfoliation is the number one thing you can do for glowing skin and should be a staple in your skincare regime. I personally love Li’tya Lemon Myrtle & Desert Salt Body Polish and Goldfaden MD Doctor’s Scrub. If you’re going to be outdoors, be sure to apply sunscreen after exfoliating as your skin will be more sensitive and more exposed to the sun.

H Y D R A T E

I am someone who dries up like a shrivelled prune in summer. My skin, hair, hands and nails tend to get really dry and hard from the summer conditions. So I literally could not survive without the products that keep me moisturised and hydrated.

Skin

Hair

My hair does not get very oily or greasy at all. In Summer, if I don’t look after it properly, it literally feels like straw. I use a myriad of conditioners and leave in treatments to help me combat this dryness, but my “go-to’s” are definitely Saryna Key Hair Therapy - Shea Butter ( UH-mazing!), Ultra Organics Intense Chamomile Conditioner, Eleven Australia Miracle Hair Treatment and Moogoo Protein Shot Leave in Conditioner.

Hands

Dry weather = Dry Nails. It’s the worst. I love using Revitanail to make sure my nails are in tip-top condition

I love the brand Crabtree and Evelyn’s hand creams. My faves are the Gardeners Hand Recovery and La Source Hand Therapy Collection.

G L O W

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I know that you cannot purchase this next item in Australia, but I would be lying if I left it off this essential’s list. It has no name or brand but it is quite literally the most amazing product I have ever used on my face. I came across it during my travels to Morocco in a random store in a market in Fez. The maker, an elderly lady, sit and beats the kernels found inside the Argan nuts (tideously) until they expel argan oil. This oil is then mixed with Moroccan Clay and made into little clay bars.

I kid you not, nothing makes my skin feel more like a baby’s bum or makes me glow as much as this mask.

P r o t e c t

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When I was younger I used to douse myself in oil and sunbake until I was burnt and crispy. Looking back, it makes me feel completely sick to my stomach that I was so naive and ignorant of how dangerous the sun really is. Now, I don’t lie in the sun without a hat, completely covered in sun screen or under an umbrella.

My go-to sunscreen is Natural Instinct. Of course there are tons of sun screens on the market but this one is my go to for many reasons. It’s natural, completely organic and has no toxins. It’s like zinc, so it repels and doesn’t sink into your skin but the thing I love most about this product is that it has a clear sheen finish, it doesn’t look like a thick white paste and has a different texture to how zinc normally is.

B R O N Z E

Just because I don’t lie in the sun anymore doesn’t mean that I don’t love looking bronzed and golden! I am all about that fake-tan life (the more the better in my opinion!) Below are the ones that I am obsessed with!

BYRON BAY TAN

ECO BY SONYA DRIVER

CARAMEL! MINE TAN

What summer essentials are you all over this summer season? Comment below so I too can give them a go!

You need to make this scrumptious chicken tagine!

If you follow me on Instagram you will know that I love entertaining and cooking up a storm in kitchen. I often get asked for the recipes of the dishes that I record myself cooking on my instagram stories. WARNING - I am by no means a professional chef although I like to think I am ;)

So I have decided to share some examples of me doing my thang in the kitchen. WARNING #2 - I am also not a professional videographer so I have decided to share with you the raw, unedited, messy truth of how it all goes down. I hope this provides some inspiration for you to get creative in the kitchen. Sometimes you just need to have a little fun and get a little messy!

Check out my awesome chicken tagine recipe below:

10 steps for a Healthier Home

1. The science of Natural Light

Natural sunlight causes our brain to release a hormone called Serotonin – this being the happy hormone and feel good neurotransmitter – so this means that without sunlight in our homes we are in fact exposing ourselves to the risk of depression, anxiety and an array of other yucky symptoms. Open the blinds and let some natural light and fresh air flow through your home every day!

2. Bring greenery in

Indoor plantation and nature is directly linked to mental and emotional development, reduced stress, and improved concentration. Pick some fresh flowers from the garden or even throw some kale into a vase if you are looking for an easy but beautiful quick-fix. 

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3. Make your bed

The morning rush often gets the better of us all. Whether we are scooting off to work or to drop the kids off at school or even to make it to our morning gym sesh on time, we often overlook the simple act of making our bed. The tone of your entire day is set in the first hour of being awake. The way you choose to spend this time will either set off a flow of events that will end up in an inspired, positive day ahead of you, or the contrary. Making your bed in the morning before you leave the house is imperative to increase productivity and motivation, harvesting hours of efficiency throughout your day.

4. Clean out your refrigerator door

We are all guilty of this crime. I have seen too many outdated children's timetables and take-aways menus stuck to the front of friends’ fridges to count.

Studies have shown that there is a direct link between the amount of clutter in one’s home and the number of items stuck to the front of the fridge door. Further to this, perform a fridge audit every 2 months. Are there opened and unused mustard jars, jams that have gone old etc? Get rid of everything you can in your fridge door to propel you into a field of inspired and positive orderliness!

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5. Invite friends over

A healthy home is a happy home. And true happiness is created in the company of friends and family. Spending quality time with your friends and family at your house will ensure your home is always kept to a high standard. When you know you are entertaining, you take pride in your space!

6. It's all about the smell

Essential Oils. Candles. Fresh flowers. Enough said. Excite the senses and watch how your overall mood changes.

7. Adopt the rule of 5 to keep your home tidy

I am by no means perfect. I am only human which means ofcourse there are times when there is a slew of Jesse’s toys decorating the living room and piles of clothes on my bedroom floor. But this is seriously the easiest hack! All you need to do is adopt a simple rule of five to have a healthy abode. Every time you get up from your desk or walk through your home, select five things to put away. Alternatively, each hour set aside five minutes for organisation. By the end of the day, you could have accumulated an entire hour of cleaning.

8. Don't overlook your front door

Your front door is an incredibly prominent feature of your home. Ensuring that this entry way is uninterrupted and opening freely has a profound effect on the energy that flows through your home via the front.

9. Sort out your paperwork

You may not realise it but those piles of old paperwork on your desk have a tremendous effect on your psyche and emotional wellbeing. Go through them, chuck out the papers you don't need and file the important ones away. You don't need to see them piling up every day. This will work wonders for your health!

10. Leave your phone and computer outside the bedroom

In today's day and age, this may seem like an impossible task. Just a "quick" scroll through your instagram feed before bed seems so normal. But sleeping with your phone next to your bed can lead to chronic sleep deprivation and poor sleep quality.

I cannot stress enough the importance of keeping your bedroom phone and computer free. Studies have proven that people who sleep with their phones outside of their bedroom enjoy a better quality of life and have seen improvements in their overall happiness and quality of life.

What do you do to keep your home healthy? I would love to hear!

 

The 411 on my favourite indoor plants

I have long been a sucker for bringing greenery into the home (waaaaay before it became super trendy and fashionable!) Bringing plants and nature inside has the incredible power to uplift mood, soul and spirit. I always make sure myself and the team at Studio Ezra incorporate greenery in the spaces we design to ensure we create the most healthy and experiential spaces. Obviously, we can't put just any plant anywhere and everywhere as it may not be able to live in the conditions of the space... So here is everything you need to know about my 5 go-to indoor plants.

Studio Ezra, Richmond Residence

Studio Ezra, Richmond Residence


Kentia Palms


I absolutely adore Kentia Palms! They do not need loads of sunlight so they are great for rooms that are on the darker side. They grow tall and not wide so they are also a great space saving option! Be careful not to overwater your kentia palm, watering it only when the uppermost soil layer is dry.

 

Olive Trees

Although olive trees are not necessrily indoor plants, I have always loved to bring them inside. This is totally possible however, they then need to be situated in areas that receive A LOT sunlight.. Such as in front of north facing windows. One of the main reasons why they are one of my faves is because they are soft and have an extremely calming quality about them. Oh and the colouring of their leaves is just stunning. 

 

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Fiddle Leaf Trees

Fiddle leaf fig trees are always a winner. Their oversized, large leaves are relaxed but architectural and beautiful. They make a statement but still manage to remain soft in their look and feel. They add so much warmth to the home. Make sure these get indirect natural sunlight and loads of it, they are sensitive plants and can be affected quickly and easily if not receiving the right amount of light. You may beed to move them around your home to find their perfect niche!

 

Studio Ezra, Balwyn Residence

Studio Ezra, Balwyn Residence

Yuccas

Now here's on you have seen but probably never known its actual name. I am obsessed with Yuccas! They are exotic, gorgeous and have low water requirements. Very durable plants!

 

Euphorbia Ingens

These indoor cactii are amazing as they are dramatic succulents that will grow to 2m high if they have rom. They are hardy and don't need much watering. These give that luscious greenery required and the height we all want in an interior! Beware, may not be the most suitable with young children. Youch! 

What indoor plants do you have in your home? Let me know which plants you love in your home and why in the comments section below. Always love discovering some new, gorgeous foliage!

You NEED this killer Kikki.K stuff in your life!

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Those of you who follow me on Instagram already know that I love a good Insta story.. I mean who doesn't, right? So you might have already seen one of my uploads from the other day about a gorgeous delivery I received from Kikki K. I just know that there are loads of you out there who, much like me, have a secret obsession with cute stationary and organizing tools.  So I just HAD to write a blog about it because these products were seriously too divine and necessary not to.

As hard as I try to be organized, I am not. Running several businesses as well as being a full-time mom and wife means I live a crazy, hectic and full on life (which I love!) but it also means I need things set out for me. I find that if things are written out in front of me, they become easier to visualize and prioritize. Sometimes I have so much on my plate that I need to smash through that I don't even know where to begin. Which is why the planner pad I received is so good. It allows me to order tasks according to their level of importance and makes the things I need to accomplish tangible and clear.

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The next item that arrived was a Dream Journal and to say I am totally obsessed is an understatement. The opening lines "Don't be pushed by your problems, be led by your dreams" speak to me more than I could ever describe. I have always been a dreamer. Dreaming gets me through every day and year and in all honesty, I would not be where I am today if it was not for a lil' dreaming. The journal has sections for goals, short-term dreams, long term dreams and inspiring quotes. If you are a dreamer, I highly recommend this journal! And it is so pretty-in-pink too. Totally functional as well as nice to look at. Love love love it!

I also received a "Paper book for every day inspiration." This book contains inspiring DIY projects and craft goodness for paper lovers. It is packed with quotes, stickers and just awesome things in general. Sometimes all it takes is a few clever words strung together in an inspirational quote to get your ass into gear and make you realize that what you wish for is actually easily attainable with the right attitude.

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The last (and potentially the best) thing I received was a gorgeous, leather notebook. The reason I love this so much is because I cannot survive without a diary. I need to write down everything whether it is online, in a book or on a scrap piece of paper. This notebook was monogrammed with my initials. So obsessed with it all.

Thank you for the amazing goodies Kikki.K! And to my readers, be sure to check out their new range. Easy on the eye but so functional too for anyone on the go! What stationary and organizing tools can you guys not live without? Let me know in the comments below! I can't get enough of this stuff!

Insider peak: Look inside the Goodie Bags of Healthy Home, Healthy Plate

In last week's blog, you got to view the beautiful event of Healthy Home, Healthy Plate, hosted by Jessica Sepel and myself (If you missed out, you can click here to see exactly how this one-of-a-kind event went down.)

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For those of you who were lucky enough to catch what happened, you will know that guests were given amazing take-home gift bags. A lot of time, thought and effort was put into selecting the products that we feel passionately about, to include in these stunning giveaways.

I wanted to share this with all of you because these products deserve to be celebrated! Have a look at what the lucky ladies who attended the event got to walk away with (Cue uncontrollable envy and drooling!)

 

Jimmy Blacks black bean powder

Who doesn't love a good superfood? It seems everyone these days is going crazy for black beans. And we are too!

Jimmy Blacks organic black bean powder is gluten free, non GMO, vegan friendly, contains no added sugar, is organically sprouted, is rich in anti-oxidants and is a great source of fibre. Its wide range of benefits include:

• 31.9% of vegan friendly protein in every serve; essential for muscle development and repair.

• Complex carbohydrates to provide energy to a working body throughout the day

• A low GI of 30 ensures long and sustained fuel increasing concentration and brain function.

• Powerful micronutrients of molybdenum and folate to aid a healthy lifestyle. 

Website: http://www.jimmyblacks.com.au/

 

Hanako Therapies I AM...Bliss essence

Wow! I actually want to bath in this essence for eternity! I AM...Bliss assists you to let go of any frustrations and negativity, uplifting your moods and increasing clarity, instilling balance and peace. WHAT MORE COULD I ASK FOR IN AN OIL?! 

The oil contains Sandalwood (relaxing and uplifting it encourages “higher” consciousness and deeper meditation,) Sweet Orange (Also known as “the smiley oil” it is cheerful, uplifting and joyful, encouraging positive emotions,) Lemon, Geranium and Lavender to name a few.

Have a look at all their amazing flavours and products here at http://www.hanakotherapies.com/

 

Nuzest Clean Lean Pea Protein and protein shaker

Leading an active lifestyle is so important not only for physical health, but for mental health and wellbeing too. Hand in hand with working out goes protein and we are totally obsessed with this Nuzest Pea Protein. Not only is it gluten free, dairy free and non GMO but it tastes SO. DAMN. GOOD!

Website: http://nuzest.com.au/

 

Kasbah Moroccan Imports

No surprises here - we love everything Moroccan (DAH!!) Ofcourse the goodie bag had to include a discount voucher for one of our all-time faves, Kasbah Moroccan Imports, who offer a huge selection of unique Moroccan handcrafts, including ceramics, lanterns, furniture, mosaic tables, tea sets, gift ware and everything you’ll need for your home décor. Their pieces can really add that va va voom to your home and make it something truly special. 

Website: https://kasbahimports.com.au/

Address: 673 Nepean Hwy, Brighton East, VIC

 

MooGoo full cream moisturizer

MooGoo is as amazing to use as it is to say! MooGoo is an Australian company with an entire range of natural and gentle products that are made with effective ingredients and no gimmicks. We particularly love the full cream moisturiser, designed to moisturise easily irritated skin using natural ingredients. The base oil of the cream is Sweet Almond Oil, which is high in the types of fatty acids needed for troubled skin. Other ingredients include pasteurised honey (so safe for babies) and Coconut Oil. The pH is balanced to the skin through the use of Apple Cider Vinegar. It also smells delicious!!

Website: http://moogoo.com.au/

 

Mr Hubbard Cafe & Larder

Melbourne is overflowing with coffee shops and cafes. It seems like every day a new coffee shop has opened up on a different corner. But boy oh boy have I found an absolute GEM! Mr Hubbard Cafe & Larder, which can be found at 117 Wattletree Road, Malvern, never fails to plate up the most delicious, organic and healthy food. Some say the next best thing to eating the food is talking about it, and I could speak about just how delicious Mr. Hubbards catering was FOR HOURS. I am salivating right now just thinking about it. Definitely give @mrhubbardcafe a stalk on instagram!

 

Murchison-Hume products

Being a mother to my gorgeous baby boy, Jesse, has ensured that I am very particular when it comes to what products I choose to use in my home. Murchison-Hume products are:

  • Free from dyes (Linked to cancer, can be toxic to animals and slow to biodegrade) 
  • Free from Petrochemical solvents (Respiratory and skin irritants. Petroleum based)
  • Free from non-sustainable Palm Oil derived ingredients (Causes destruction of tropical rainforest)

They are also natural, marine safe & effective, non-irritant, biodegradable, do not contain harsh chemicals and are cruelty-free and the packaging is recyclable and re-usable.

I am really loving the bathroom cleaner, hand cream and all surface spray but they literally make every product imaginable! 

Website: http://murchison-hume.com.au/

 

IN BED discount voucher

Few things in life are sweeter than getting into a crisp, clean bed that is covered in gorgeous linen. IN BED are experts at producing not only the best bed linen, but table and clothing linen too. All their products are made from high quality, natural fibres & fabrics . The goodie bags contained 30%-off vouchers on their amazing linen range!

Website: https://inbedstore.com

FYI: I am not endorsed by any of these products and I do not gain any benefit/reward in return for promoting these products! I'm just sharing the love and showing you products that you too might also go ga-ga for!

What products do YOU absolutely adore? What essentials would you include in a goodie bag? Have you tried any of these products before? Share the love in the comments section below.

xxx

Georgia