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,

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,

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,

Creating Body Positivity through Self Love

Photo by Kelly Adams Photography

It’s flaws me when I think that throughout our lives that out of all the things we are taught when we are at our most vulnerable, when we soak the most in, and when we are ‘finding ourselves’, self love isn’t one of them. Being positive about the person we see in the mirror is hard when the world is continuously shoving in our faces over-edited imagery and manipulative media stories about how we ‘should’ look and feel. The most important person to listen to is you, the person you see in the mirror every day, which is why I believe body positivity starts with self love.

Let’s talk about self love.. Self love is not a destination, it is like life, a journey. I don’t believe we ever get to a place of complete self love, no, I believe that we are all always going to be a work in progress, that the journey of self love is about loving the person that’s in progress, no matter the state of being. We must learn to love what we see, no matter how far away it is from what we want to see, because how can one ever be happy if one is always wanting to see something else in the first place.

To start to love the person you see in the mirror, you have to start to allow yourself to. Allow is a strong word when it comes to self love, it’s something so many of us seem to fight. I found peace within my body when I allowed myself to let go of the negativity about how I felt about myself and allowed the positive vibes to flow in. This was a choice, this took time and a lot of work from within.

When I would look in the mirror I practiced only saying good things. This may sound simple to some, but it wasn’t for me. It did though eventually begin to sink in from the impact it was having on myself and my life after practicing this form of self love and creating mantras for myself to repeat daily. We weren’t all made different only to look like someone else, you were born unique, you are beautiful and always have been no matter the stage of your journey.

The person in the mirror is suffering if every time you look at them you don’t like what you see. Why don’t they deserve to be loved today, not just when you’ve achieved your goals. Love is fuel, love is motivating, love is inspiring. Treat your body with the love it deserves and everything starts to change.

When I started to practice self love about my body; the pressure started to ease, I started to find peace and contentment when I allowed myself to feel beautiful no matter what I saw. I also took some physical actions towards working on my own body positivity as well. I got rid of any clothes that didn’t fit properly and kept what made me feel good and comfortable, I unfollowed accounts on social media that made me feel less than about my body and my choices, I consciously say thank you when someone gives me a compliment instead of making an excuse or putting myself down.

I understand that everyone’s journey is different and it’s easier said than done sometimes I know, trust me I know, for me though working on how I feel about my body and myself through self love first has been life changing. It has made room for so much good to come into my life, it has changed my outlook on my choices and helped me to let go of a lot of guilt weighing me down about the person I thought I should be and what I thought I should be doing when I looked in the mirror.

Food for thought.. So you have goals for the future, but who’s to say you aren’t already the best version of you? Allow yourself to love yourself now, I promise it will be worth it.

All my love,