Less is often best #5TTT

Hi all,

I have often talked about the less is more approach. How backing down can actually be a good thing. How we no longer need to define our worth in life by how busy we are.

But what I see more and more often is stress becoming a major player in our life and how we live it. And we wear it like a badge of honour.

Stressor upon stressor upon stressor.

And the scary thing is folk out there believe this leads to becoming stronger and stronger as a person.

Yes stress can lead to strength (take for example certain situations during exercise) but push it too far and it leads to fatigue – burnout – shut down – injury/ sickness. I’ve seen it, you’ve seen it but we have to protect ourselves so that we cannot allow it to happen to us (or if it has, lessen the impact).

Below are 5 areas of our lives where, if we aren’t careful, the more more more approach will ultimately lead to our bodies and minds burning out. 5 top tips on where less is often best.less best - chase the red grape

At work

Taking on more or doing more equals a promotion, right? Push push push, go go go is evidence of hard work, right? Not always. Trying too hard and struggling will always lead to bad work done by a fragile and exhausted employee. Want to do a good job? Be healthy and energised (both mentally and physically) to do it! Being a workaholic once upon a time was seen as a good thing… nowadays, not so much, not for you or the employer. Do your job, do it well, but not at the sacrifice of your health.

At home

What is your role at home and within your family? Do you always take on others problems and responsibilities? Do you like how much others ‘need’ you? Your family and your home life should be your sanctuary. It should be the place you can be yourself, surrounded by those who love you and want the best for you. Remember there is only so much time in the day – you need to make time for you. Protect and care but make sure you are also doing that for yourself also.

Training/ at the gym

Your body gains its strength at rest. So when do you plan to rest? When do you factor in time to restore? Fitness is one thing. Being faster, stronger and having workout times to brag about are great. But do you want health along with your fitness? Give your body time to do what it needs to do. Work it, nourish it, rest it.


More dieting? More challenges? More punishments? Your body can’t take it. Yes changes to your diet will initially evoke a response (remember the guy who lost weight only eating MacDonald’s for 2 weeks?) but this will creep back with a vengeance when your metabolism cannot cope anymore with this stressor. Find a balance. Find a way of eating that is right for you. Treat your body like you love it, not hate it. Stop punishing yourself.

Hobbies/ interests/ going out

You have to be an interesting person. Well, that’s what we are told in this day and age. That’s why kids are sent to every after school club going, they simply have to develop a varied skill set with lots of interests and lots of friends… You can see how crazy that is can’t you? You can see how kids will eventually burn out, get tired, bored and want to (need to) stop. So why do we do that to ourselves as adults? Why do we say yes to every invitation going? Why must we always be involved?

Say no once in a while. Miss out. Take a pass. Have a schedule where barely having plans is a good thing.

Less is often best.

Are you a more more more type of person?

Can you see where your life could do with a little less activity?

General thoughts?5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape

The mental challenges of moving home #5TTT

Hi all,

This weekend I am moving apartments. Phew.

It’s such a demanding time, stressful and everything just seems like it’s never going to come together.

We all know how physically demanding moving can be. Packing, lifting, sorting, up and down stairs, cleaning, lack of sleep etc. But have you ever thought about the mental challenges of moving home?

For this weeks 5 top tips I want to share 5 ways in which moving can affect your mental game. Take care and don’t let it stress you out. (I am telling myself this right now!).moving home - chase the red grape

Letting go of a safe space

Your home is your sanctuary. It’s where you feel safe and calm. Moving, no matter what the circumstances, means that you have to break free from this space – it’s why most of us take so long to make the big leap of moving in the first place. Embrace what this space has given you – a home, cosiness, memories and let go. Holding on makes it very difficult for your new home to provide this sense of comfort.

Reviewing your belongings

Moving means packing. Packing means arranging and sorting, viewing and making decisions on all the belongings you have of old and new. Do I need this? Do I want this? What memory does this evoke? So many questions for what is already a stressful time. My go to question is ‘would someone else get more use out of this?’ – donating always makes me feel good. For more sentimental belongings I ask myself ‘would future Jen potentially regret letting go of this?’ If the answer is yes or there is a doubt I keep it.

Overwhelm of cost

For some of us, like me, moving becomes a source of anxiety because of the financial cost. Never mind the general cost of paying different rents, deposits, transferring letting agencies and the like, it’s the hidden/ forgetful costs that pile up for me. Transferring utilities and internet, van hire, cost of packing materials, mail redirection, even down to the endless coffees and take out meals that are inevitable over moving days. Big deep breath. For most of us, this is not a frequent occurrence. Sure your savings are going to take a hit, but make the best choices, source out the best deals and be happy in the notion that although inevitable, you did the best you could money wise.

Creating a new home

You’re in a blank space. Your whole world surrounds you in boxes and bags. What do you do now? How do you create that safe space? Oh, did you notice that when we first took a look around? I don’t know if I like that. Why didn’t I notice that? Sound familiar?

Another big breath. Safe, cosy, calm spaces come over time. They come when you find a home for all your little nick naks. Don’t rush it, let it develop.

Big changes and how they affect the rest of your world

Moving home is a big deal, whether it be moving down the road, to another city or to the other side of the world. When one big change happens you start to look at other aspects of your life in a different way. One big change spurs another. We become more confident, more pensive, more ambitious. Now whether or not other changes come to fruition or these thoughts just come and go, that’s up to you. But if you can move house, what else can you do if you want to?

And for me, all that is left is to move!

Due to this I will be taking some time off and will be back to let you know how we got on with a Friday Favourites on the 15th! Keep up to date with the move etc over on Instagram – yep I will be that person who insta-stories rather than packing!

And don’t forget to check out this weeks podcast which is released tomorrow (Wed 6th). The topic is body image and it’s one heck of a podcast episode. We both speak open and honestly about our experience and it’s definitely worth a listen if you want to feel great about who you are and how you can control how you view yourself. Or subscribe over on iTunes or Stitcher and you definitely won’t miss it!

When was the last time you moved home?

Do you find it easy to create a new safe space?

Have you ever made a change in another area of your life after moving home?5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape

After two years living abroad… #5TTT

Hi all,

Can you believe that it is two years to the day that David and I moved from Scotland to Perth Australia?

In some ways it feels like only yesterday but in others it feels like we have been here forever.

I remember writing the post to tell you all the good news. I remember confiding in you how excited and nervous I was at the same time. I remember the flight, our first Christmas here, my first birthday here and our first trip over east and down south. Lots of firsts, seconds and now normalities.

For this weeks five top tips, I thought I would share with you five things that have stood out the most to me after living abroad for two years – lessons, tips, advice etc. It’s a massive change to move to the other side of the world… and continues to be so, more than you may expect.abroad - chase the red grape

It never gets easier being away from your homeland

You may be able to deal with it better… but it never gets any easier. Being away from friends and family is very hard and not for the fainthearted. You miss birthdays, weddings, births and other major events that you previously would never have dreamed of missing. You figure out how to ‘cope’ rather than it being ok. Visits are very extra special though.

But home is also where you hang your hat

I have also realised that home can be whatever and wherever you want it to be. For me, home will always be where David and my favourite blanket is – as long as I am snuggled up with the two of them I am happy. What feels like home doesn’t always have to be the same as before or what you have always known. Change can feel like home too if you let it, embrace it and allow yourself to feel the warmth of your new surroundings.

You pick up the lingo

Yes no matter how much you try, you will pick up the lingo of where you live. I was happy simply understanding words and phrases for a while but now they are fully a part of my everyday language. You just can’t stop it! Culture is another aspect that you easily pick up and one I have been more accepting of. Christmas at the beach, weekend winery tours, watching the footie, walking around in your bare feet. Oh with the exception of one, avo toast. Why would you pay someone good money for a mashed avocado on toast when you could make 8 of them at home for the same cost? #thrifty.

You start to notice more, not less of the differences

So what has been the biggest impact between years one and two for me? Noticing more of the differences. The way people act and communicate. The politics and laws. Healthcare and food. They are starting to stand out more, rather than become the norm. Sometimes not always for the better.

You still need to seek adventure

When you move abroad you have this image of it being life’s adventure! For a while it is… and then it isn’t. When you feel settled and at ease it’s great but it also means that adventure spark slowly fades. Both David and I still need to seek our adventures, it is after all what we love to do! Whether that be at the weekend, trips away or bigger travel, we always want to have adventure on the agenda. As with anything in life, if you want it, go get it!

Would you like to live abroad? If so where would you go?

Are you good with picking up other cultures when you travel?

When was the first time you really felt away from home?5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape

Week in Review!

Hi all,

Well the count down is on! One week today I will be back in Scotland – and I can’t wait!

Just over 3 weeks of holidays with family, friends and all the goodies of home that I have missed. I am so excited and so ready for a break away too.

To celebrate my pre holiday week excitement, I thought I would do a much loved ‘Week In Review’, linking up with the lovely Meg over @CleanEatsFastFeets. Checking in and highlighting all the wonderful achievements from last week, big and small.week in review - chase the red grape

So let’s get to it! Here are all my ‘great job Jen’ high five moments from the week just gone!

Catching up with friendsfriends - chase the red grapeOur friends have arrived from the UK and are with us through to the weekend. It was lovely catching up and hearing all the ins and outs of their lives. As it always is with good friends, even though you haven’t seen each other for 2 years, you just pick up where you left off, as if no time had passed.

Breaking my routines

Having guests means that your daily routines go out the window. For someone who works from home, alone and thrives from routine this is definitely a bit jerking and scary but I’m doing so much better than I imagined I would. Very proud actually!


Yup this is where I will put in (and rightly so) that I did the usual weekly shops, meal planning and food prep, washing, ironing and banking. Not to mention the ‘pre guest’ apartment clean which is always a bit more thorough than normal!

We also did a lot of holiday adulting like transferring over money, working out hire cars and mobile data while we are away. Gotta be done!

Tour Guide street art - chase the red grapeThis weekend David and I played tour guide for our friends and took them to Fremantle and the Swan Valley. We took them to our favourite places but also managed to try a few new things.vineyard - chase the red grape

The Swan Valley yesterday in particular was beautiful. So peaceful.

Self Care

I made appointments and partook in a lot of self care. Major pat on the back for me there. I made and had a sports massage, have booked to have my hair cut on Thursday and need to make an appointment for getting my nails done on Saturday.

Finalising and scheduling 5 top tip posts and podcast episodesChase the Red GrapeWeekly 5 top tip on a Tuesday posts and podcast episodes will still be coming to you while we are away! I have written, recorded and scheduled all the posts and podcasts and they are ready and waiting to rock. I am so excited to share these with you. Make sure you keep checking in!


Still training 4 times per week but am looking forward to this 3 week break coming up. Both mind and body need it!

And last but not least… finished the latest series of Kimmy Schmidt. Think it might have been the best so far… but that might have been because Titus is featured more!

Happy Monday folks!

Tell me something you did last week?

Are you going on holiday/vacation sometime soon?

When was the last time you made an appointment for some self care?

An Update…

Hi all,

Wow, where do I start. Well first off I am sorry for going MIA these past few days, well almost a week! Things have been a bit… well… not so good.

I hate being negative and I hate complaining and going on about ‘all the bad things’ but I think this post might have to be a release/ rant for me just to get everything out!


First off I got poorly last week and I’m still not feeling great. The glands in my neck are swollen and my eyes feel all puffy. Not a happy Jen.

We left our temporary accommodation on Saturday to move into the place we thought we would be calling home for the next year. But when we arrived it was not what we expected. I’m not going to go into to much detail but all I will say is we spent the weekend solidly cleaning, and its only the tip of the iceberg. We are desperate to leave but don’t know if we can. Both of us have cried a lot, we feel really let down and we feel so lost. All of this being thousands of miles away from home.

I don’t think I have ever felt so stressed before. Whenever you feel unwell, anxious, upset or lonely you normally can gain some sort of comfort from being at home in a safe space. I feel like I am missing that right now. The only thing that keeps me going is knowing I have David here with me. I have even been spending the past two days in the park just to avoid being alone in the house.

Right now we are in limbo and don’t know what is going on. We are surrounded by our boxes living out of our suitcases. I hate not knowing what is going on and others being in control of my happiness.


So for now, we are just doing what we can and trying to keep each other smiling. It’s all we can do.

On the plus side, the past few days it has been beautiful weather in Perth. So although I have been taking solace in the central park here – there is really no other place I would rather be. I just wish you could all join me – bring a picnic!

Have you ever had rental troubles?

What helps you when you are stressed?

What would you bring to our picnic?