5 words that guide your life #5TTT

Hi all,

Over the past year or so I have really been drawn to reading and researching about who we are as individuals. How do we work? What makes us tick?

Not only has it lead to a greater understanding of how other people work but it has also allowed me to dive into who I am as a person. Sometimes it’s in the form of a collective, like my tendency (as per Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies) but often it has me exploring the minutia of my core. What’s in my gut driving me each day, helping me make the choices I do?

Recently, I asked myself the question ‘what are 5 words that guide your life’?

By guide, I mean words that take you by the hand and help you make the choices you do, because they describe who you are. Initially I came out with 5 words that I thought I ‘should’ write. Those things that describe who I feel we should be. But then I looked deep into my core. Those answers were very different.

For this weeks 5 top tips I bring you the 5 words that guide my life. Most importantly though, I want you to think about what 5 words guide your life. What words have deep roots in your core, shaping you in and out each day?chase the red grape

Kindness

I know from a young age I was brought up to value the importance of kindness. Kindness to others in particular but more recently I have truly appreciated the importance of being kind to myself. My thoughts, feelings and emotions find it easy to pull me apart, to pick upon a perceived flaw and attack it. I know kindness is in my core because I couldn’t fathom doing this to anyone else. I just need to work on applying it to myself.

Hygge

You all know my pull towards the concept of hygge (check out my post on hygge for more information). I thrive when I am content, happy, cosy, in my own wee nook… however you want to describe hygge. I know that feeling, I adore that feeling, I crave that feeling. It just makes so much sense to me. I feel it’s importance in my life and I strive to have access to it always.

Generous

Similar to kindness for sure but for me being generous is the art of giving… and allowing yourself to feel good about how that makes you feel. We all have so much to give whether that be money, time, gifts, donations of clothing or even lending an ear to a friend. Being generous makes me feel good and the more I give the more I want to keep on giving. I feel drawn towards helping others and it’s no surprise to me that I grew up wanting to become a teacher.

Faith

Faith can mean so many things to different people. For me, I don’t speak of faith in terms of religion, more that sense of knowing, knowing that things will be ok. I have faith that I will do in life the work I am meant to do. I have faith that David and I will live in the place we were meant to live. I do not meant to say that I have no aims or goals and that hard work doesn’t create what I want. My faith is not in fate. My faith is in myself and the world that guides me.

Realistic

This last word for some could be seen as a negative but for me couldn’t be further from the truth. I am a very realistic person. Sometimes that makes me a glass is half full person, sometimes that makes me a glass is half empty person. However I take comfort in knowing the realistic outcomes or potentials in any situation, even if that means being classed as negative. But if it makes me happy and is who I am then I am going to embrace it!

Now, what about you?

What words guide you in life?

What do you think those words say about you?

Is there anything you wish you could be but aren’t?5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape

Friday Favourites + Episode 47 of the Chase the Red Grape Podcast

Hi all,

Isn’t it sometimes just the little things in life?

I swear the older I get the more I believe this to be true. Take for example the area that we have moved to. We get two local newspapers delivered for free each week to our door. I’m sure most of it could be local gossip but I love it. It makes me feel like part of a community. I also love that we have roses growing outside right now and a resident wood pigeon who always looks rather elegant.

I love when I can put the washing outside to dry. I love it when we get a really early night. I love it when a film is on the TV (with ad breaks for getting snacks and the like) rather than watching on Netflix. I love it when the chicken we buy each week goes on sale.

Sometimes I just love that I can get so much joy from the little things in life.Friday - chase the red grape

And on that note, lets check out my Friday Favourites!

Favourite… Moment – Beauvine Food and Drink Festivalchase the red grape

We had a blast last Saturday at the festival and met many local distillers, wineries and breweries that we didn’t even know existed.

Favourite… Feeling – Streets of Perth Urban Art Talk

As many of you may know, David is a keen street art photographer and when we saw there was going to be a talk at our local library on urban art we grabbed (free) tickets straight away! Not only that, it was going to be presented by ‘Streets of Perth’ an Instagram couple whose passion project has them documenting street art all over Perth. It was fab to finally meet the guys behind it plus learn a little more about the art in Perth.

Favourite… Purchase – Body Shop Japanese Matcha Tea Maskchase the red grape

Ok so not technically a purchase because I got this as a free sample but it was pretty awesome. My skin was in need of some TLC and this really did the trick. Lovely smell, easy to put on and left my face soft and smooth!

Favourite… Food/Drink – English Tea Shop Christmas Teaschase the red grape

I spotted these in the store last week and had to pick them up for Christmas. All organic and naturally flavoured they will be really yummy for Christmas… maybe made into iced tea though… December is usually HOT!

Updates – 5TTT + Episode 47 of the Chase the Red Grape Podcastchase the red grape

5 top tips this week was a bit of a blunt subject – Jen, you’re a loser. How an ultimatum I placed on myself came to turn around my view on me and my competitive streak.Chase the Red Grape

This weeks episode of the podcast looked at what is in our self care kit. David and I listed our go to’s for when we have a bad day, week or month and encourage you to do the same! Download now on iTunes, Stitcher or here on the website

Favourite… Book – The Four Tendencies – Gretchen RubinChase the Red Grape

I finally got a copy of The Four Tendencies from the library and it was just as good as I had hoped it would be. In fact I finished it in 2 days! Want to know you and the people around you better? Read this book. Honestly it has changed how I view myself and others so very much.

Weekend Plans – Saturday – We are going to take a walk around an area of town we have never really explored before and hunt out some street art. Sunday – Pancakes and newspapers, coffee walk, podcasting and chill.

Have a fab weekend folks!

What are some of the little things you enjoy in life?

Have you bought anything for Christmas so far?

Is there a lot of street art where you live?

Jen, you’re a loser #5TTT

Hi all,

This has been a post that I have wanted to write for a while now. It may sound really abrupt, hard on myself, actually it’s downright bullying (me on me).

I’m a loser.

In my core I’m a very competitive person. I want to win. I want to be the best. I want to come out on top. I take pride and value on working hard and winning. I thrive from it.

But to tell you the truth, I very rarely win. I did well in school and university, but was by no means the best and never got the top grades. I moved into a job where I strived a lot more than I should have just to feel the sense of doing more and being more… but it never led to more. I created this blog and I fell into an even bigger hole of feeling like I was constantly losing.

Then I started CrossFit.

I realised that I was never going to win at this sport. I was never going to come first in the class, I was never going to lift the heaviest or pull a skilled move out of the bag that others couldn’t. I can’t ever win at this one – my body just isn’t able. But I love the sport. Something had to change. I needed to quit or really look at how I view myself in terms of winning, losing and competing. Otherwise I was never going to be happy. And I ain’t no quitter.

So what has happened in the past four years since I placed that ultimatum upon myself? I’m still doing the sport, but I am a lot happier in how I view myself – both inside and outside of the gym. I worked out ways on how to change my mind set around feeling like a loser if I didn’t win. And today I want to share them all with you. No one should feel this way.chase the red grape

Defining what a winner is

This was the biggest question for me – what is the definition of a winner? Coming first/ on top every time? Really?

Winning is so much more than getting that gold star. Winning means learning lessons. Winning means trying something new. Winning means doing what you can when you can. Winning sometimes means having a shower and getting dressed when you feel like all you want to do is curl back into bed and hide from the world. We win every day, we just don’t always have to compete against others to do so.

Defining what a loser is.

Someone who didn’t win right? But as discussed above, you probably already have won at being you today. So where is the loss? I understand, maybe you went for a job and didn’t get it. You feel like a massive loser. But often we feel the loss for something we never had to begin with. Mourning for that is one thing. Tying your personal worth into the loss however is not. You may have lost but you are not a loser. They are two different things.

My best has to be enough.

As I mentioned above, winning is doing what you can and doing your best. I give my all to everything in life, I can’t help but do otherwise. My relationships, my writing, CrossFit… So how can I ask anymore of myself? Your best (and that can vary dependant on days and circumstance) is all you can and should ask of yourself. Sometimes that may mean you come out on top but when you don’t it simply means that another persons best was enough for the prize that day. Don’t ask any more of yourself when you know you can’t give it.

Winning doesn’t make me a good person.

Getting the role, winning the trophy, getting an A plus… these things are great. But it doesn’t make you a good person. Yes you may get the glory, but people don’t want to be around you because you win, they are around you because you are a good person. A good person is kind, generous, friendly, welcoming. You don’t define a good person as a winner. They win in life because they are good.

Remembering what your priorities in life are.

One massive question I asked myself at the beginning was, why do you do CrossFit Jen? The answer, for my health. Health is my priority. Four years ago I was weak, I had lost all muscle on my body, I was skin and bone. I wanted to be healthy again. I wanted to feel strong. I wanted to feel human again. That was my why. Did I do that? YES 100%. Am I still doing that? YES 100%

I’ll never see my name at the top of the leader board at my box. But I truly believe that I am finally at the top of my own leader board now. So call me a winner, call me a loser, who cares. I’m doing a great job at being me right now and that’s all that matters.

Do you ever feel like you are a loser?

Do you place a lot of merit on winning?

Have you ever had to place an ultimatum on yourself?5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape

Friday Favourites + Episode 46 of the Chase the Red Grape Podcast!

Hi all,

Today is a good day. The sun is shining, I’m sitting on my balcony while I write this and I can feel the warmth in the air.

As much as it always sucks coming back from holiday, it is always made infinitely better when a) the place you actually live is pretty awesome and b) summer is coming in!

Right now is the sweet spot, not too hot, not too cold and I know it will flip a switch at any time to ‘Oh my god this is so hot I never want to leave my air con’. So I intend to make the most of it!

As if I didn’t drink enough wine on my holiday, tomorrow we are off to the Beauvine Food and Drink Festival. We went last year and it was awesome. Collect your glass at the entrance and sample over 60 wineries, breweries and distilleries – all local business. Partner that with some entertainment, local food suppliers and stalls and you have a winning afternoon my friend.Friday - chase the red grape

So if you don’t already hate me enough right now, here are my Friday Favourites! And the past week has rocked!

Favourite… Moment – Sugarloaf Rockchase the red grape

I call our place we visit down south ‘Paradise’, because it truly is. David and I walked to Sugarloaf Rock and it was so beautiful. I know it’s going to sound kooky/corny/cheesy but I just felt so at ease and calm, like something had just waved over me. Kind of like a spiritual connection to myself, the nature around me and the view. It was breath-taking.

Favourite… Feeling – Holiday in Paradisechase the red grape

This really is an easy one. The entire time we were away we felt relaxed and calm. We got to know new people on a wine tour and visit new to us wineries. We explored new local producers and saw new sights along the Indian Ocean. I saw a snake, whales, dolphins, a blue wren and dozens of kookaburras and kangaroos (could do without the snake again though…). I spent time with David relaxing, talking, walking and collecting special moments.

Favourite… Purchase – Summer winechase the red grape

I only buy something if I really like it. Honestly, me parting with money is a mean feat. I knew we were going to get a few bottles of the above because it is the most amazing, small batch, cellar door only, summer wine. But what I didn’t expect was to pick up a few other bottles along the way. But I’m pretty happy to be stocked up, including picking up a special bottle to have on Christmas Day.

Favourite… Food/Drink – Rosemary infused G&Tchase the red grape

Ok yes more booze but this was really good. I don’t know if it was the company, atmosphere (the sun was setting) or this combo but this drink was amazing. I would never have thought to infuse my gin with rosemary but it worked so well and I actually loved the savoury nature about it. Obviously you have to be a big rosemary lover though!

Updates – 5TTT + Episode 46 of the Chase the Red Grape Podcast

This weeks 5 top tips focused on why you should start thinking about the holiday season NOW. I guarantee even those who have their blinkers on about Christmas etc right now will agree with my points!chase the red grape podcast

There was no podcast this week due to our holiday but the one last week focussed on coming together. We got political and talked openly about how we feel right now, and how we can all make a difference if there are things we want to change. Download now on iTunes, Stitcher or listen here on the website

Favourite… Moment of training – I’m going to switch this up…

Yes I train 4 times per week but this question always has me thinking too hard. Right now I think I have too many thoughts about different aspects of my training, so from next week onwards I will change this to an alternating favourite. It could be a podcast, recipe, piece of street art… just see what takes my fancy!

Weekend Plans – Saturday – Beauvine! Sunday – Pancakes and newspapers, coffee walk, podcasting and food prep!

Have a fab weekend folks!

Have you been to a food/ drink festival?

Have you been anywhere where you felt that spiritual connection?

Rosemary – are you a lover?

Is it too early to start thinking about the holidays? #5TTT

Hi all,

‘Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Jack Frost nipping at your nose’. Well, not in Australia but you catch my drift! The holiday season is coming!

Maybe you are like me. Maybe you are already thinking about the holiday season – from both the excitement and organisational point of view.

Or maybe you aren’t like me. Maybe the thought of the holidays isn’t even on your radar… and seeing the decorations etc hitting the shelves of the stores doesn’t really put you up nor down.

Either way, today I want to bring you 5 reasons why right now is the perfect time to start thinking about the holidays. Trust me, if you want a stress free season, start thinking about the holidays now.

Family plans and commitments

This is the biggest one right here. Who is hosting Christmas/ New Year/ Thanksgiving? Do you want to join your family or have a simple celebration in your own home?

After a couple of years of marriage, David and I decided we wanted to do Christmas alone. We talked to our parents far in advance, letting them know what we wanted to do and suggested having a mini Christmas with them both earlier on in December. As much as they wanted us with them, both sets were happy and we managed to arrange mini visits. These mini visits actually turned into new traditions on their own. But my main reason for mentioning this was that this was a big shake up in our family celebrations. However, it had less of an impact as we made it known in advance and set up new plans to always make sure we had time together in the season. Know your plans and commitments. Get them in the diary ASAP!

Want to host a party? Book a date now!

Email already gone around about your office Christmas party? Not only is it because they need to book the venue in advance but, more importantly, they need to lock in the date with you! Weekends in December are precious, so if you want to host a party, lock in a date now and let everyone you want to invite know.

Present buying

You can easily work out two things right now. Who are you buying gifts for this year and how much do you want to spend. Even if that is all you do right now it will save time and money later. You probably only have two more pay checks left before the big day, maybe time to put some money aside? And if you want to go one step further, start looking for these gifts in the shops. Or at least brainstorming some ideas.

Expectations

What are you, your family and your friends expectations of the season? Are you expected to attend your spouses Christmas party? Do you and your friends want to meet up in between Christmas and New Year? Are you gifting with a spending limit? Do you actually want to go out for Christmas lunch this year? Have a chat with your family and friends and see what they are thinking. Usually a chat about this now leads to some revelations! But also it often means that the conversation can be had with less stress and emotion involved as the holidays aren’t imminent.

Needs vs wants

What is a need vs a want during the holiday season this year? This can be from the big to the small and often gives clarity to priority planning. Here are some of my examples. Need a turkey – Want to see the new Star Wars on Christmas Eve. Need a skype call with my parents on Christmas Day – Want to visit a Christmas market. Try sitting down with your partner/spouse/kids and listing three needs and wants each. Then make sure the needs are met and plans put in place and the wants are on another list for the second stage of priorities.

Keep the holiday season this year for simply having fun! Make all your plans and have all your discussions now so you can be mentally and physically ready for anything the season may throw at you!

Have you thought about the holidays yet?

Do you like to host?

What is a major holiday stumbling block for you/ your family?5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape

It’s easy being green! #5TTT

Hi all,

The environment is a topic that is more prominent than ever. We see what’s happening with regards climate change and it just adds to the level of fear that surrounds our lives. We look to those in power, people of authority and ask them (but lets face it we should demand them) to make changes to help protect our world.

But being green doesn’t begin and end with the policy makers. It starts with us at home and our everyday lives. The things that make us smile. The occurrences of everyday life.

I get it though. You recycle, you bring reusable bags to the store, you click the eco cycle on your washing machine etc… what else can we do?

Well for this weeks 5 top tips I bring to you 5 new and interesting ways it’s easy being green. Many of which you probably didn’t even realise helped the environment!chase the red grape

Vintage

I saw a group of teen girls walking down the street the other day. I swear they could have been me and my friends when were in the late nineties. It literally stopped me in my tracks! But fashions come round and round… how many ‘vintage’ pieces do you now have? You can also check out local vintage stores, charity/ thrift shops for so many good quality pieces of clothing at such good prices. I once saw a store devoted to vintage denim. Who wouldn’t want already worn in levis?!

Walk the walk

We all know that walking more is better for us and it’s better for the environment. But are you actually walking the walk? Look at your week, when could you fit in some extra walking or just leave the car at home? Could you walk the kids to school? Could you walk to get your lunch? How about combining a weekend date or coffee meet up with a walk?

Staycation

So many of us need a holiday right now. But jumping on a plane and dealing with airports is not a great idea when you can only fit in a short weekend getaway. Or, let’s face it, even if you have a week to spare who wants to go to an airport?! Why not try a staycation instead? You can visit local attractions and be a tourist in your own backyard if you want to come home to your own bed every night. Or travel a short distance in the car/ train/ bus to a neighbouring city/ state etc. and do something local but new to you. Most of us live near so many cool things we have never even visited. Where do folk flock to when they come to your neck of the woods? Looks like fun, right?!

Make do and mend

Ah, this quote always makes me smile. Partly because it appeared on a British World War Two poster in my History classroom, but also because it’s an awesome mantra to live by. And it has never been more relevant in my opinion! When you go clothes shopping, what do you really need? Another pair of jeans? Shoes that you don’t know if you will wear? What do you have at home that is perfectly fine? Have you even checked out your wardrobe/ closet recently to see what you have? I have a good sewing kit and have stitched up everything from training shoes to phone cases! Clothing is just an example but it can apply to everything from furniture (why not start a wee project?) to electronics if you can find someone who is handy with that type of thing.

Leftovers

To quote another British World War Two poster ‘Waste not. Want not’! Take a look each week at what food you throw away – cooked, uncooked, fruit, veg, things you didn’t eat off your plate and write them down. Instead of this food (that you paid for I must add!) going into your tummy, it goes to landfill… and you buy more. Why do you throw away this food? Do you need to buy less? Should you freeze what you know you wont eat? Could leftovers from meals be used to make another meal/ be used partly to make another meal? Look at what you have before you buy more.

And just a heads up, the next episode (46) of the Chase the Red Grape Podcast will be released tomorrow. David and I talk about coming together with all the madness that is going on in the world. Whether it be getting involved in your community or writing to your local representative, we can all make an impact on this world to help quash the sense of fear and helplessness. Be the person you want to be. Make an impact. Available on iTunes and Stitcher as of 11th October.

Do you find it easy being green?

What is your favourite way to be green?

What local attraction do you have near you that you have never been to?5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape

Friday Favourites + Episode 45 of the Chase the Red Grape Podcast

Hi all,

Oh I am so excited because next week we are off to ‘PARADISE’!

Yep we are heading down south to Dunsborogh (aka paradise) for some sea air, wineries, coffee, cheese and just one great big massive chill out.beach - chase the red grape

It’s been a long time coming, heck we needed a holiday as soon as we got back from the UK! But we are going to make this most of this break away in our favourite place, doing the things we love to do… aka eat and drink!

In particular I cannot wait to do another wine tour, the last one was a blast! As will the road trip down in general, you guys know I love a road trip! Will keep you all posted on Instagram though 🙂Friday - chase the red grape

But now it’s time for some Friday Favourites!

Favourite… Moment – Strawberry Pickingchase the red grape

We missed out last year and I was determined not to miss the season this year! What better way to spend an hour than picking (and eating!) loads of strawberries in the sun. So relaxing!

Favourite… Feeling – Drinking a chilled glass of Bee Meadchase the red grape

I have found my drink for the summer! I have been wanting to try mead again (having not had it in years) and this bee mead with manuka honey is amazing. We also tried the honey and ginger one and oh boy was that good too.

Favourite… Purchase – Diffuserchase the red grape

We have been looking around for a diffuser for a while and when we spotted this one on sale we knew we had to buy it! It’s perfect, small and fills the whole room with gorgeous essential oils. It also changes colour if we fancy. (It’s buy Oil Garden Aromatherapy)

Favourite… Food/Drink – Frittata and salad from the Swan Valley Caféchase the red grape

After picking strawberries in the valley we headed to our favourite little café. The frittata just jumped out at me that day and I’m so glad I did. Full of roasted veggies and served with 4, yes 4 different salads… so good! And it has inspired me to getting cooking frittatas again.

Updates – 5TTT + Episode 45 of the Chase the Red Grape PodcastBe a pineapple - chase the red grape

This weeks 5 top tips was inspired by my big yellow pineapple. The news this week has been sad, shocking and led to so much frustration – but my advice, be a pineapple. Did you know of it’s symbolic nature?chase the red grape

Episode 45 of the podcast looked at how we emotionally and physically respond to the changing climate. The world is changing faster than we are evolving… and it’s taking it’s toll on us too. Download now on iTunes and Stitcher or listen here on the website

Favourite… Moment of training – Scaling right

This week I focused on scaling right. What was the aim of the workout? How could I complete it whilst keeping intensity high? Where could I push myself but not to the extreme? And I am glad to say that it worked… which has inspired me to continue. Taking responsibility for my training… check!

Weekend Plans – Saturday – Weekly shop, clean the car, food prep and chill. Sunday – Pancakes and newspapers, off for the opening of a new store Growers Lane (has a Whole Foods kinda vibe but all local) and podcasting!

Have a fab weekend folks!

Where are you going on your next holiday?

Do you like to go fruit picking?

How does the weather right now take it’s toll on you? (If we have a cold day here I feel rough!)

Be a pineapple #5TTT

Hi all,

In all honesty, I didn’t know what to write today.

I was talking to David about it and I felt so frustrated. How could I be so positive and write about health and happiness when so much sadness is surrounding us? Watching the news about the situation in Puerto Rico pulled at my heart strings but when it goes beyond an act of God and becomes a man made tragedy… then I get angry, upset and scared.

(The solution lies in the hands of the policy makers… but that does not mean we are helpless. Make your voice heard… and spread kindness and faith in humanity with your actions).

Today, I want to help bring a smile, help us see we are not in a big bad world full of fear, even if events try and dictate otherwise.

Sitting in front of me right now is a big yellow pineapple. I adore pineapples. Their look, their taste but most importantly for me, their symbolism. Pineapples have been an important symbol in society for hundreds of years and appear all over the world from Asia to the Caribbean. With the events going on in the world right now I want to bring my great big yellow pineapple to you all. I want to place it in all of your homes and right on the doorstep of my own. I want to be a pineapple and promote what they symbolise… let’s check it out!Be a pineapple - chase the red grape

Welcome

The symbolism of pineapples were first noted when the European explorers headed over to the America’s and Caribbean and they noticed that if a pineapple was spotted at the entrance of a village it meant that all were welcome. They took this information back home with them and you can still spot pineapples carved into the entrances of buildings, columns and furniture to this day. Open your arms to the world and welcome it in. Be a part of your community, spread a smile and happiness to others, it’s infectious you know. Don’t be afraid to talk to someone new or say hello to a stranger.

Hospitality

The locals that the explorers came across went beyond a simple welcome, they took their guests and made them feel at home. They extended their kindness to strangers and put faith and trust in others. We cannot let these times stop us from caring for others, even if they are strangers.

Friendship

A welcome, a hospitable experience, friendship. We celebrate with our friends and families at special events and occasions (ever wondered why pineapples were often at your Christmas table, maybe even adorning your Christmas ham?), we allow these times to bring us joy and it radiates on our faces and in our actions. We will never be friends with everyone we meet, it’s impossible! But what we can do is act like good friends, kind friends, compassionate friends and ones that bring a cheer, as much as we can, to others…. beyond the Christmas table.

Good Fortune

In South East Asia the pineapple is a symbol of good fortune. Good fortune can imply that life is inevitable and that luck or serendipity is what brings us to our destination. However I like to think of it in terms of the fact that we cannot control everything, as much as we would like to. Sending out good fortune allows us to enjoy, embrace and truly identify our blessings in this world. In order to continue being happy throughout this crazy world we have to believe that good fortune will be bestowed upon us… and to continue wishing it upon others.

Tough on the outside but inside we are sweet…

Stay tough or we will crumble, right? That’s how we feel we have to be right now in order to survive. Ever vigilant, always prepared, safety measures in place and our ability to trust others safely behind our armour…

Our outer protection may be a product of the times and in many cases much needed. However we mustn’t forget our sweet interior… and the interior of others. Be a pineapple. Stand tall, wear your crown and be a symbol for kindness.

Did you know about the symbolism of pineapples?

Have you ever spotted one on a building?

Do you find it hard to be open to people in today’s world?5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape