27 Lessons

Photo by Kelly Adams Photography

In 3 days I’m turning 27, the big TWO SEVEN.. 3 years out from 30 (or nearly 30 as my mum recently said to me – thanks mum). Time flies when you are growing, learning, making mistakes, finding yourself, your path and your purpose, and boy have I been there, done that, and a whole lot more.

There is though a lot that I wanted to have done or become by 27, but I don’t regret anything that I have done in my life, nor do I hold anyone or anything accountable for what has happened to me throughout my journey. I truly believe that I am exactly where I am meant to be right now in this very moment, even if it’s not where I envisioned myself at 27, I am still so full of gratitude for the life I am blessed to live today.

To celebrate becoming a 27 year old I wanted to share with you 27 lessons that I have learnt a long the way..

  1. Life truly is a gift.
  2. The journey is always worth it.
  3. Money is simply a part of life not a pursuit.
  4. Try not to take life so seriously all of the time.
  5. You define your own happiness.
  6. You will make big mistakes before you make big successes.
  7. Learn to love yourself first.
  8. Feeling everything so deeply is not a curse.
  9. There won’t always be an answer for everything.
  10. Asking for help is something worth practicing.
  11. Life may not always go to plan.
  12. Take notice who is actually there for you when you need it the most.
  13. You can always start again.
  14. Don’t worry so much about the future that you aren’t enjoying the present.
  15. Make time to do what makes you feel good.
  16. Put your energy into what you are doing not others.
  17. Rid yourself of unrealistic expectations especially of others.
  18. Those who hurt you are there to teach you.
  19. You can always trust yourself.
  20. Risks are sometimes worth taking.
  21. Choose love over fear.
  22. Don’t be so hard on yourself.
  23. You can achieve great things on your own.
  24. Your passion can be your purpose.
  25. Working hard is the solution to your dreams.
  26. You are and always have been enough.
  27. Incredible things happen when you follow your heart.

I hope you enjoyed this short and sweet pre-Birthday celebration post as much as I did writing it. Reflection is a beautiful thing. Here’s to another 27 lessons and so, so many more to come. Dear life, you wild SPARKLY thing.. BRING IT ON.

All my love,

The Beginning of My Low Tox Journey + Nourished Life Delivery

I have spoken a little bit about going low tox over on my personal Instagram (@chloeawilson) and here. Through listening to some podcasts around the topic (I’ll share these in another blog post) and doing my research I began to realise how harmful the everyday products we use are for our bodies, and the disruption they have from the inside out, from our hormones to our skin to name some.

One night I went into the bathroom and went through what I was using, I practically through everything out after reading the labels and then hopped onto Nourished Life, a website dedicated to low tox products, and made my first order to start making those life changing low tox swaps with my everyday products. It’s been a process since then and still is as to do it all at once is a big change, but every time I shop I try and make the better choices now and I feel like my body has never been happier.

I thought I would share with you my first Nourished Life delivery and the beauty products I chose to begin my low tox journey..

In the name of keeping it raw and real, this is the ‘before I placed everything beautifully for the unboxed photo’ photo.

My first order of low tox products from Nourished Life.

Dr Bronner’s Hand Sanitising Spray 59ml

This hand sanitiser is by far one of my favourite products ever. Not only is it obviously sanitising, it is also beautifully calming. Sometimes I even just spray it around like a mist and I have even used it to clean my glasses. I don’t think I could ever go back to using those highly potent and toxic hand sanitisers ever again after discovering this product. If you are like me and find the standard gel like hand sanitisers over powering and skin drying (there’s a toxic reason in the ingredients that they are like that and it isn’t good for your skin!), then this is a must try.

(https://www.nourishedlife.com.au/natural-soap-body-wash/49162/dr-bronners-hand-sanitising-spray.html)

Dr Bronner’s Organic Hand & Body Lotion – Lavender Coconut 237ml

I use this moisturiser daily, primarily on my legs. I have sensitive skin so finding a body moisturiser that makes my skin happy is really important to me. It’s not oily, dries quickly for those rushed mornings and leaves my skin feeling soft all day, and of course it smells amazing (I have a deep love for anything lavender).

(https://www.nourishedlife.com.au/body-moisturiser/142607/dr-bronners-organic-hand-body-lotion.html)

Inika Certified Organic Foundation Trial Pack – ‘Light’

This trial pack was so much fun to try out. I haven’t yet purchased the full size products yet due to the fact that I pretty much never wear makeup anymore (I will go into this deeper in another blog post) unless it’s for an event or special reason, not even to work, but I loved all of it, especially the ‘Grace’ mineral powder. It gave a natural flawless finish, perfect for everyday wear. I do though intend on restarting my makeup kit with entirely Inika eventually. I recently bought the Inika mascara from my hair salon which I am really excited to try out.

(https://www.nourishedlife.com.au/foundation/125414/inika-certified-organic-foundation-trial-pack.html)

Inika Micellar Cleansing Rosewater 100ml

Cleansing is something I’ve always struggled with as so many products in the past have made a total mess of my sensitive skin, yes, even the apparently devoted ‘sensitive’ products on the market. This cleanser though is absolutely divine, it takes makeup off effortlessly, doesn’t dry out my skin and leaves it glowing. I even use it when I don’t wear makeup just to freshen up. I absolutely adore this product and will most definitely be keeping it in my routine on a regular.

(https://www.nourishedlife.com.au/natural-facial-cleanser/706553/inika-micellar-cleansing-rosewater.html)

Vanessa Megan White Tea Antioxidant Day Cream – Sample Sachet

I only purchased the sample sachet as once again with my skin I’m very weary about what I use especially when it comes to moisturisers. For the few times I used this though I loved it and would like to try it again for a longer period.

(https://www.nourishedlife.com.au/skincare-moisturiser/29749/vanessa-megan-white-tea-antioxidant-day.html)

Vanessa Megan Marine Collagen Anti-Ageing Night Cream – Sample Satchet

Again I only purchased the sample sachet, but this was seriously amazing. I’ve never used anything with collagen in it before, but I feel like I could sense the amazing things it was doing to my skin as soon as I applied it. I would definitely like to try it again like the day cream for a longer period.

(https://www.nourishedlife.com.au/skincare-moisturiser/29739/vanessa-megan-marine-collagen-anti-ageing.html)

Vanessa Megan Darling Natural Perfume 15ml

I am not a spray deodorant person and never have been, but perfume is something I enjoy wearing daily so swapping this out for a low tox version was a must try. This perfume was everything I thought it would be, subtle, but floral and sweet. I am in dire need of another bottle, I loved it so much that I actually miss it.

(https://www.nourishedlife.com.au/perfume/32108/vanessa-megan-darling-natural-perfume.html)

Vanessa Megan Vanilla Pod Roll On Deodorant 50ml

I’ve been using this daily ever since I purchased it and I love it. Although depending on your personal body, natural deodorant may not have the desired affect, so I recommend trying out different ones until you find one that works with your body. Swapping to natural deodorant is indeed a journey in itself. I intend on trying out others, but my skin and I have loved this since I began using it.

(https://www.nourishedlife.com.au/natural-deodorant/16352/vanessa-megan-vanilla-pod-roll-on.html)

Weleda Pomegranate Regenerating Hand Cream – Sample Sachet

I purchased a sample sachet of this as I already had moisturisers that I love and use daily, but it was fun to try out. I’ve always wanted to try out Weleda products and this did not disappoint. Although if I were to get another I probably would get one that’s a little less fragrant as I’m a lover of the subtle scents.

(https://www.nourishedlife.com.au/body-moisturiser/116618/weleda-pomegranate-regenerating-hand-cream.html)

If you would like to find more about low tox products or connect with Nourished Life you can at:

Instagram @nourishedlife

Website https://www.nourishedlife.com.au/

Have you tried any of these products or have started your own low tox journey? Let me know in the comments below what you think. Make sure to subscribe to SPARKLE on darling back on the home page to ensure you don’t miss the next post about my low tox journey.

If you have any questions or would like to contact + collaborate with me, you can reach me personally at sparkleondarling@outlook.com.au.

All my love,

Photo Shoot for SPARKLE on darling + Behind the Scenes

When I first started working on my blog, a lot of the choices I made came down to what I could do myself and what I needed to outsource for. I have over time read and followed a lot of blogs so I knew that if I were to invest in one thing for my blog it would be the photography, so I went and did my research, found an incredible photographer to help me create my vision and the journey of the SPARKLE on darling photo shoot started from there.. and what a journey this was. Who knew that having to organise and get everything to come together for a photo shoot would be such a big job. Ready to see what it was like for me behind the scenes? I can’t wait to share all of this with you..

The Raw + The Real

Firstly I want to get raw and real with you. Organising this photo shoot was a lot of work, it took a lot of my personal down time and energy. You would think that you just contact a photographer and show up, right? Not in my case. For me my creative brain was going a hundred miles an hour as soon as I decided this was what I wanted to do, and at the same time I wanted to keep it as organic as possible, so blending the two well, let’s just say it all worked out in the end, but I was nearly in tears after the shoot because of how happy I was that it all finally came together.

Working on SPARKLE on darling was also during an extremely busy time in my working life, by busy I mean I had just been promoted and we were busier than ever. My body during this eventually came to a point where it started to shut down, it was telling me to slow down, and in fact probably to stop. I ended up with a severe tension headache running through my entire upper body for about a month, and would you know from looking at my photos that on the day of the photo shoot I was so unwell? No thankfully because of my incredible photographer who made the experience so much fun, that the pain I was in within my body became secondary and my sole job of being a model that day was most definitely a priority, that day my smile was in full motion.

The Photographer

When choosing a photographer I knew I wanted someone to help me brand myself as who I am personally, but also professionally. I wanted someone to help me bring my vision of my blog to life with my philosophy keeping with everyday wellbeing, wholesome eating and simple living. During my search I came across Kelly Adams Photography, her focus is on family and wedding photography, but after a search through her site I came across Creative Branding. After looking through her recent Creative Branding sessions I knew that this was everything I wanted. I sent off an email and we began working together from there.

Kelly was so helpful every step of the way, and also incredibly patient with me as I tried to pull everything together (literally down to the night before). We got there though in the end and Kelly helped more than helped me create everything I envisioned, she helped me create everything I could have ever hoped for. So grateful to have been able to work with someone so passionate, creative and full of SPARKLE.

Instagram @kellyadamsphoto

Website http://kellyadamsphotography.com.au/

The Location

Choosing a location was the hardest part for me. Some are blessed to have photographic homes, with beautiful lighting and clean white walls, this though is something I currently do not have, so a beautiful location for me was a must.

I went through a lot of options until I finally found (again thanks to my photographer Kelly) the stunning studio in Albion, Brisbane, Vieille Branche ‘a creative space in an industrial backstreet warehouse’ – Viellie Branche. The options before this space though included one that I got approved for, then knocked back only a couple of days out from my original shoot day, which was really hard as I was on a tight time frame to get everything to come together if I was going to launch in July. Thankfully though I was easily approved for the final (and best if I don’t say so myself) location after taking a chance and them being incredibly kind about all of my requests. Forever thankful to have the opportunity to work in such a divine creative space.

Instagram @vieillebranche

Website http://vieillebranche.com.au/

Clothes + Props

Choosing what I would wear and use in the photo shoot for me was probably the easiest part, because my vision from the very beginning for SPARKLE on darling was to be as relateble as possible, and always be true to who I am. I didn’t want to promote big labels or brands, I didn’t want to use fast fashion or wear something just to get attention, I wanted to focus on my mission.

A lot of the clothes and accessories were pieces I already owned, some I’d had for years. I ended up purchasing only a couple of new plainer pieces to keep the ‘no label’ feel under wraps, such as the t-shirts I wore and the knit. There were also a few pre-loved pieces in the mix that I had gotten from an op shop and from Gumtree (an online second hand website) to use for the shoot. These second hand pieces I don’t think I could have ever found in a fast fashion store, or even a boutique, the sparkle dress I have used to brand my blog being one of them (best pre-loved find ever).

Hair

I wasn’t able to book my hair with the hairdresser that I originally planned on going to for my photo shoot due to the date not being set in stone and having to change it in amongst the planning. There was this hairdresser though that I had always seen on my way to work, Bach Hair. The shop front is absolutely gorgeous, I could tell it had a lot of character and I had always wanted to try it out, so I booked my appointment.

I went for a natural wave after getting my hair cut short again the week before. The hair style lasted the entire shoot, was perfect for the initial photographs where I had the sparkle dress on and then loosened up even more perfectly for the more relaxed shots. I was so in love, it was exactly what I had envisioned. They also treated me with a beautiful long black coffee, a great way to start the day.

Instagram @bachhair

Website http://www.bachhair.com.au/

Makeup

Once again with the uncertainty of everything coming together I ended up going to Napoleon Perdis at Indooroopilly to get my makeup done. I was able to book it easily in advance and at the perfect time to also fit in with my hair appointment prior and photo shoot after. I’ve honestly never had so much fun getting my makeup done before, the make up artist that was looking after me was so raw, real and down to earth, we immediately clicked and I loved that.

It was so nice to just relax and enjoy the experience as this was the last thing I needed to do before all systems go that afternoon.

I also got back in products what I spent on my make up which was a total bonus to have the same products to touch up with during the shoot (although I kept forgetting of course!).

Website http://napoleonperdis.com/

Photo Shoot Day

Although I wasn’t totally myself because I wasn’t well on the day of the shoot, it was still the most magical day. I felt like Cinderella all day, from getting totally pampered to being photographed, this day was all about me and that for me was beyond amazing. I sometimes feel like I give so much of myself to others, leaving myself a little empty from time to time, so it was nice to enjoy something that was totally for me, about me and my dreams and passions.

Looking back on the photos now I feel like it looks like a bloggers fairytale. I still can’t believe that everything came together like I did, and because of these photos, SPARKLE on darling really is my dream online space. I cannot wait to do another photo shoot in the future, but for now, these make me so incredibly happy and full of self love.

Photo by Kelly Adams Photography

Thank you to everyone who helped me along the way to make it happen, to all of the businesses and most importantly Kelly, for everything you helped me with and did for me, I couldn’t have brought SPARKLE on darling to life without you. So thankful and so grateful..

All my love,