A SPARKLE on darling Christmas + What’s to Come

I’ve been so excited (ok I’ve been absolutely bursting) to start putting together some Christmas content for SPARKLE on darling that I couldn’t help myself but to write a post dedicated to my first Christmas as a blogger and what’s to come over the next few weeks for my sparkling readers during this festive period.

Welcome the very first post of ‘A SPARKLE on darling Christmas’ series.

Firstly, I made it! As a new blogger the first few months can be pretty intense, emotionally and physically. During this period I have also been through what has been the busiest time of my working career in my corporate job along with getting a promotion at the same time, I have also been at one of my lowest physical points when my body decided to stop and I ended up unwell and not myself for over a month, from which I am still on the mend from, but even so I didn’t give up on this passion project of mine amongst all of this even if it meant writing content in bed, I made it happen.

SPARKLE on darling was launched in July this year so I am nearly at my 6 month milestone, therefore I’m going to start to celebrate early and what better time to do so then at Christmas, my favourite time of the year. I’ve been consciously collecting some beautiful little things to make my posts festive and of course, sparkly. From SPARKLE on darling themed decorations to glitter and backdrops. I cannot wait to share all of this with you, some behind the scenes and so much more.

Shall we get into what’s to come for this sparkly Christmas I keep talking about? Read on and I hope you become as excited as I am..

On the blog

Gift ideas..

There will be a dedicated blog post featuring some of my personal favourite gift ideas for her (or him). Think everything from everyday wellbeing, wholesome eating to simple living.

Staying sparkly..

There will be a Christmas ‘tips + tricks’ blog post all about staying sparkly throughout this busy time and how to take time out for you. It’s great to be the organiser and host behind it all but you deserve to enjoy this special time as well as much as your loved ones.

Recipes..

There will be my first ever recipe on the blog up and live for you to try out over the Christmas period. Christmas bliss balls (or chocolate I haven’t decided yet) here we come! Mixing bowls at the ready. I’m going to make it as friendly as possible for those with dietary requirements and for those who (like me for most of this year) don’t have a food processor or the like to bring it together. My recipes on SPARKLE on darling will always be achievable and easy to make for anyone wanting a healthier (super yummy) alternative.

Instagram @sparkleondarling

Competitions..

I will be running some little competitions over on the SPARKLE on darling community Instagram @sparkleondarling. So make sure to head on over and follow there so you don’t miss out on some sparkly gifts for you or your loved ones.

Updates..

For any new blog posts I publish I also post on Instagram once it has gone live, so I would love your support there too. Every follow here or on the community Instagram @sparkleondarling makes me, a real person behind the screen, do a little happy dance because it means that SPARKLE on darling is growing a community and I want you to be a part of that with me too.

Last but not least, a big heartfelt THANK YOU to all my readers and followers out there who have supported me so far this year and continue to read my content regularly, it means the absolute world to me to have you here sharing this journey with me.

Are you ready for your sparkliest Christmas yet? I know I am. Make sure to subscribe to SPARKLE on darling back on the home page to ensure you don’t miss the next post from the ‘A SPARKLE on darling Christmas’ series.

All my love,

Don’t Let Anyone (or Anything) Dull Your SPARKLE

You may have read or heard this quote before, ‘Don’t let anyone dull your SPARKLE’, for me though this isn’t just a quote, but a mantra I now live by.

When I first started my journey to become the best version of me I lost a lot.. I lost friends, I lost confidence, I became riddled with self doubt, I was ridiculed for choosing a healthier way of life, I copped slack for wearing activewear all the time, I was laughed at for drinking green smoothies, I was put down for chasing my dream of being the best version of me I could be. It’s a funny thing that when you follow the crowd, that that leads to acceptance amongst society, I mean, what is acceptance anyway if you don’t accept yourself? When I chose to begin to change my path, to stop partying every single weekend, to stop surrounding myself with toxic people, to say no more often, to say yes to what made ‘me’ feel good, to do what made my heart and soul SPARKLE, everything changed. This is when I truly started to become the best version of me, I finally started to become the person I was always meant to be.

I remember when I first started my Instagram account @chloeawilson, I started by posting about all of the above and from there I started to organically grow a beautiful little community who got behind me and what I loved, they got behind ‘me’, the me who I thought the world didn’t like because of the bullying I received that came with my new path. I learnt from my community that no matter how hard it gets you have to stick to what you believe in, you have to keep at it and not give up, ever, that there will always be someone who believes in you, it just won’t be everyone, and that’s ok. If you really want to become the best version of you that you can be and live a life that ‘you’ are proud of, you have to let go of what others think of you, this is your journey not theirs.

You know, not once in my life have I ever felt the need to put others down for doing something that doesn’t directly affect me whether I agreed with it or not, so it was very hard for me to overcome the demons that kept pushing me down and that kept making it harder for me to get back up each and every time. I can honestly say that I spent countless nights in tears crying myself to sleep asking why people were so cruel to me, what did I ever do to them to deserve this when what I do doesn’t affect them. I eventually learnt that you can’t change what others think of you, that what others think of you and what you do has nothing to do with you, it is more a reflection of what they lack within themselves and what they are unhappy about within their own journey. I started to believe in myself even more, I let go of the non-believers and the (need I say) haters and left them so far behind that now I honestly can’t even remember who they are anymore, because they didn’t come with me on my new journey, they weren’t meant to be a part of this path I’m on now.

If I had let them win, those who tried so very hard to dull my SPARKLE every time I shined I wouldn’t be where I am now. I wouldn’t have grown my beautiful little community over on Instagram (@chloeawilson) and my passion project here, SPARKLE on darling. It hurts my heart to even say that if I had let them win that this blog may not even exist. So thank you to those who tried, without you I wouldn’t SPARKLE with confidence like I do now. One thing to remember when pursuing something different in amongst a society that tries to make everyone all the same, is that no matter what happens, don’t be like ‘them’, the people who try to dull you, don’t be anything like them. Let them try, let them tip out all of your glitter on the ground, but don’t be like them and bring them down, do though be better, kneel down, give thanks to your own journey and pick up that damn glitter and continue to throw it all around.

You may be wondering after all of the above how I first came across this mantra I now live by, well, once again from my community (who knew social media could be so powerful). Over the years I have had so many of my beautiful followers personally tell me that I SPARKLE, I SPARKLE and SHINE no matter what life seems to throw at me, and I guess from there it stuck with me, it came from people who believed and still believe in me, it became powerful, it’s what I’m known for and it’s part of who I am now. And from being known as the soul who sparkles, my ‘SPARKLE Jar’ was born (dedicated blog post to come about this little jar), and soon after this blog, SPARKLE on darling, because I believe that everybody deserves to SPARKLE, I believe that everybody owes themselves to show the world who they really are.

My original vision for SPARKLE on darling was and still is for it to be a place where one can go to be inspired to be their best selves, to chase your dreams and to learn to not let anyone or anything dull your SPARKLE, because the world needs your SPARKLE. Don’t get me wrong though even after I say all of this sometimes it’s still hard to keep the demons at bay because they continue to show up throughout the journey, but each time they do I remember what I’ve been through and how far I’ve come.

So Darling soul, don’t let anyone (or anything) dull your SPARKLE, and if they try, get back up, throw some of your glitter around and promise me that you will never give up (because darling let me tell you – glitter is really hard to get off).

All my love,

The Finders Keepers 2017 + What I Found and Kept

The Finders Keepers is an Australian art and design market by creatives, made for lovers of unique handmade treasures and beautiful things. I love supporting small businesses and independent artists, makers and designers, and so I have always wanted to attend this event, this year I made it happen.

This years event is held over 3 days, holding their first Friday night market. On Saturday, 11 November 2017 with my beautiful friend I visited the Brisbane market at the Brisbane Showgrounds. With a two dollar entry and lots of parking, it was such a relaxing Saturday morning heading into the city for a cheeky browse of these vibrant markets. There was also a line up of foodie trucks and stalls on the way in if you fancied a bite to eat throughout your stroll, and a coffee of course.

The crowd on the day was beyond amazing to see, my heart melted for the creatives standing behind their stalls, smiling and so, so proud of their creations. Not to mention they were all so friendly and were bursting to talk about what they were selling and the story behind it. I absolutely love seeing people get behind businesses that just ooze heart and soul. The Finders Keepers is not only a great place to meet the faces behind the product, but also the perfect event to get some Christmas shopping done, or if you are anything like me, treat yo’ self, because darling you deserve it.

With so much to look at and choose from (over 200 stalls!), I narrowed what I really loved down to three small pieces, but I did meet the faces behind some of my favourite brands of which I wore on the day because I’m a total fan girl like that (I’m looking at you beautiful souls behind Once was Lost), and picked up loads of business cards from some of the brands that really caught my eye. I will be holding onto these and checking them out again in the future. I will share them below so you can find them too.

Want to know what I found and kept at The Finders Keepers? Read on..

‘paper boat press’

My first purchase..

This little handmade ceramic ornament by paper boat press was too special to leave behind. I love Christmas and for obvious reasons I LOVE ‘SPARKLE’, so this was a must take home treasure for me. This piece will definitely be featured throughout my blog and Instagram photos over the Christmas season this year.

You can find paper boat press at..

Instagram @paperboatpress 

Website paperboatpress.com

‘INKLING’

My second purchase..

I’m not going to lie, this was a deliberate purchase as I had been looking for a super cute accessory to put on my black Prene Bag, and as soon as I saw this I fell in love. This piece I fell in love with even more when I learnt from the maker that she used up all of her scrap material from her other pieces to make them, oh and it was the last one so there really was no hesitation. I have now added it to my Prene Bag and I am absolutely smitten, it pops on the black.

Shoutout to the beautiful soul behind INKLING too for chatting with me and then allowing me to be a total blogger and take photos closely of your stall. I’m still a newbie to the blogging world, so I’m so thankful and grateful for your kindness when I asked if it was okay.

You can find INKLING at..

Instagram @inkling.shop

Website inklingshop.com.au

‘CIRKUS CHARM’

My third purchase..

I fell in love with these beautiful accessories when I first walked past the stall. We did an entire walk around of the event and then I went back and purchased the pieces I was still thinking about, and this was definitely one of them. Chic, sparkly and these colours will go with so much. I love putting on a statement piece along with my everyday jewellery, especially one of a kind. That’s the beauty in handmade, you are wearing something unique and I love that.

You can find CIRKUS CHARM at..

Instagram @cirkuscharm

Website  www.etsy.com/au/shop/CirkusCharm

On entry they also gave you your own keepsake ticket (super cute!) and a booklet holding all of the details of the event, including a list and a map with the layout of the stalls. You can’t get more organised than that. There is also a free ‘The Finders Keepers’ app, which I used to figure out the stalls I wanted to go to before the day. You can also favourite and mark the ones you have seen on there as well, super handy and of course if you want to go paperless.

The other stalls that really caught my eye and those that I took a business card from were The Candle Library, organics for lily, renee loves frances, doops designs, ingo, BONNIE HISLOP and core.

If you would like to keep up to date and visit the next The Finders Keepers market you can find them at..

Instagram @finders_keepers

Website www.thefinderskeepers.com

P.S. If you are in Sydney the last market for 2017 is on from the 8th to the 10th of December at The Cutaway, Barangaroo Reserve.

This was The Finders Keepers 10th Anniversary event, and if this is anything to go by I am literally bursting to attend 2018 already. I can’t wait to find and keep some more sparkly treasures.

All my love,

Q+A with Hollie Kempton (aka @powered_by_vegies)

Hollie is one of those people you meet who is an absolute burst of positive energy. She is a total pocket rocket when it comes to life, small but fierce you could say. We met a few years ago now and it was a total soul connection after vibing over our shared veggie based lifestyle (and our love for coffee!).

Hollie is a qualified Health + Nutrition Coach, blogger, recipe developer, avid fitness lover and a game changer. With the launch of her very own online health and nutrition coaching business and cookbooks you could say she is one #girlboss that is absolutely making it happen.

From waking up before the sun to train, making her own signature versions of healthy meals and treats and truly living her best life, Hollie is definitely one to keep on your radar and a must follow for daily inspiration.

Grab a cup of coffee or tea and read on to get inspired and feel a little warm inside..

What is on your bedside table at the moment?

At the moment I have 3 books on my bedside. The first is my Winter Wellness Cookbook because I have tabs all over it with ideas of how to make my next book even better. The second is the Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin because I love learning about psychology. Last but certainly not least is Finding Ultra by one of my favourite people Rich Roll.

In 3 words describe YOU.

Determined, Happy, Passionate.

When did your journey begin, what was your turning point?

I suppose my real journey into what I believe is a much healthier and happier me can be broken down in two parts; finding a way of eating that is good for my health, the health of the planet and honours the lives of animals. I have been a whole food plant based eater now for two years which is basically just eating a vegan diet free of highly processed foods. My rule for foods that have been processed is.. was anything good taken away or anything bad added? The best example is raw cacao powder, it is processed to remove the saturated fat but none of the nutrients are removed in that process.

I have never felt better both physically and emotionally about where my food comes from and how much energy I have for life. I was inspired after watching the documentary Forks Over Knives and continued reading and studying ever since. Now I am a Health & Nutrition Coach, I have written 2 of my own cookbooks and share my journey on my website www.poweredbyvegies.com.au and my Instagram page @powered_by_vegies. They are a combination of my passion for getting people to love eating more vegies and being more physically active.

The second part of my journey was more of a mental transformation. I used to worry about how many calories where in each bite of food and how that might make me “get fat”. You probably think I’m going to say I started yoga or meditation.. nope not me. I was talked into training and competing in Powerlifting, this year I even got to compete at Nationals. I absolutely love the thrill of competing in squat, bench and deadlift. I get excited about training 5 days a week for 2 hour sessions, doing things I could never have dreamt possible. I now see my body as being so capable and it doesn’t matter how toned my arms are or if my thighs can still squeeze into tiny jeans. I want a body that can kick ass on the platform and deadlift almost 3 times my body weight.

I see these two parts of my life working in perfect synergy. I eat wholefoods to fuel my body to perform and recover at its best. I eat my vegies to have the energy to wake before 5am and bounce off to the gym. I respect my body to look after it and challenge it to get stronger and feel better.

Where do you find inspiration, and how do you turn this into motivation?

I find inspiration from so many people..
My trainer Courtney, an amazingly tough mother of 4 boys, who still makes time for her health and being a bad ass powerlifter.
My coach Simon, who gives all his clients so much care, attention, and sometimes a kick up the ass to be there best.
Rich Roll, an inspiring athlete and advocate for plant based nutrition and holistic health.
Dr Michael Greger, who runs a not for profit website that puts together research based videos on nutrition to cut out all the hype and media promotion.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone wanting to start their own journey towards their best self and life, what would it be?

Take one step at a time.. make a plan and do it for you!

Favourite quote/mantra you hold close to your heart?

‘Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.’ – Jim Rohn

Lastly, what is your WHY? Your focus every day to get up and go again, the thing that makes you jump out of bed in the morning and share your sparkle with The Universe?

I want people to be able to enjoy health and vitality so that they can appreciate their lives and find their purpose. I know that food and nutrition is the key to honouring and respecting your body enough to treat it well. My mission is to provide people with the tools, recipes, strategies and information to make simple changes that will improve all aspects of their health.

Thank you so much Hollie for allowing my readers to have the pleasure of ‘meeting’ your sparkly self. I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunity to have had you a part of this chapter with me.

Being the beautiful soul she is Hollie also has some exclusive special offers for SPARKLE on darling readers..

Offer #1 Powered by Vegies 6 Week Health + Nutrition Coaching Program

‘Feel sensational this SUMMER’

Special price of $50 (usually $80!)

  • All you have to do is email Hollie at poweredbyvegies@hotmail.com or direct message her on Instagram with the code ‘SPARKLE‘.

Offer #2 Powered by Vegies Cookbook

‘Winter Wellness Recipes’

Ebook special price of $5 (usually $9.95!)

Hard copy special price of $15 (usually $18.95!) including postage

  • All you have to do is email Hollie at poweredbyvegies@hotmail.com or direct message her on Instagram with the code ‘SPARKLE‘.

Want to get to know Hollie a little more (trust me when I say you do!). Find her on..

Instagram @powered_by_vegies

Business

Website www.poweredbyvegies.com.au

I hope you enjoyed this Featured Soul Q+A guest post as much as I did. Make sure to subscribe to SPARKLE on darling back on the home page to ensure you don’t miss the next one.

All my love,