Monthly Archives: March 2015

Pearl Grace Life, love.

Love

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Love

Pearl Grace Life. LoveI love this. I saw this video and simply had to share it with you guys.

Not only did it make me smile from start to finish but it really touched me. I felt happy for the rest of the day.

It’s about love. It’s about universal, unbiased, whole-hearted and true love. It’s beautiful.

I know we live in a world where many of us are trapped by dogma – either our own or by the opinions of those around us – but at the end of the day the one thing that we can all relate to, understand and feel an affiliation with, is love.

I know it’s a cliché to say this but love is incredibly powerful.

I believe that in conjunction with education (self-education in particular), love is our strongest and kindest weapon in the fight against injustice, war, famine, disease, poverty, discrimination and the rest.

In our ability and willingness to love each other without judgement we open ourselves up to feeling and expressing compassion and empathy. As a result we are often left with a desire to connect, help and support each other.

I hope the video makes you feel happy today. I hope it makes you smile. I hope it makes you love harder, stronger and more deeply.

If there has ever been a ‘block’ in your heart to love everyone equally then I hope this video prompts a heart shift, even if it’s only small.

I believe that we are all born with love in our hearts. It’s ours from day one and in that moment it’s pure, unaffected and unspoiled. It’s the one thing that every baby has in common.

And I believe that the same innocent spot that we had in our hearts as wee little ones is still there today.

I love videos like this because they remind me to tap into that special non-judgmental place. To welcome diversity and to invite into my heart a sense of oneness. I think Bob said it best…

As the video above shows love doesn’t discriminate it only connects, heals, strengthens and blossoms. It blossoms into something even more wonderful… and that is more love, more abundance, more joy, more meaning, more peace.

Here’s to your abundance. All my love,
Nat x

How did this video make you feel? Please share in the comments below. 

Title image courtesy of www.kinwomen.com and content image courtesy of addictedtoradio.com

Pearl Grace Life recipe: Fruit bowl

Fruit bowl

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Fruit bowl with coconut yoghurt, seeds and berry compote

Pearl Grace Life recipe: fruit bowlThis is my absolute favourite way to start the day. (Well, straight after my hot water with honey and lemon).

My fruit bowl with coconut yoghurt, seeds and berry compote is brimming with vitamins, minerals and bags of goodness. And it’s pretty darn yummy too!

In fact it’s a bowl of everything you need to ensure you start your day off in the right way.

It’s super quick – literally only requires the act of  pouring and devouring – so it’s a fabulous choice if you’re short on time.

I’ve stated a handful of everything but you can add as much or as little as you wish.

Ingredients:
1 handful of blueberries
1 handful of raspberries
1 handful of grapes (green, red or black. I eat mostly black for their amazing health benefits)
1 handful of pumpkin seeds
1 handful of sunflower seeds
3 tbsp of coconut milk yoghurt (this is the one I eat)
2 tbsp of Nat’s berry compote (optional) Look out for the post on how to make this coming soon)

Method:
Ok, seriously, this couldn’t get any easier…

1. Throw all the fruit in your favourite cereal bowl.
2. Pour on the coconut milk yogurt.
3. Scatter over the pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
4. Drizzle on the berry compote.
5. Mix together gently and enjoy every mouthful.

Switch it up!

One of the great things about fruit bowls is that you can include whatever fruits you like. I know I’m stating the obvious but it’s true. Bananas and apples work well too and offer their own additional health benefits.

Or you could top your bowl off with some dried cranberries and raisins or include cubed pieces of melon and pineapple. They all taste delicious and work really well.

And of course if you wanted to use fresh natural yoghurt or Greek style yoghurt instead of coconut milk yoghurt then that would work perfectly fine too.

Another idea that you might want to try is adding oats or flakes of almonds. And a handful of your favourite cereal for extra crunch can be equally satisfying too. Drew loves to add a handful of this to his bowl and it tastes especially scrumptious.

Experiment and have fun.

My only suggestion would be to make it as colourful and as texture-filled as possible. Make it a real breakfast treat.

Where possible use organic and locally grown produce and wash the fruit thoroughly.

Title and content images courtesy of Nat Millie.

Pearl Grace Life You are good enough

You are good enough

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You are good enough

Pearl Grace Life You are good enoughIf you’ve ever questioned whether you are good enough then today’s post is for you.

If you’ve ever thought, I’m not worthy of_____________(fill in the blank) then don’t beat yourself up. Just know that you are worthy and you’re not alone.

The truth is many of us tell ourselves that we’re not deserving of love, success, happiness, money, friendship, peace, and the rest.

But as I talk about in the post Story time these are the stories we tell ourselves because in many instances we are afraid of what will happen if we reach out and actually attain that promotion, that relationship, that new skill that can transform the quality and trajectory of our lives, that physique we’ve always wanted and the career we’ve only ever dreamed about.

It’s therefore easier for us to remain in a place that is comfortable instead of challenging ourselves to achieve what is scary and uncertain.

Even if we’re not entirely happy with our current situation many of us will stay in the same place because it is what we’ve always known; it’s comfortable and it’s familiar. (For more on this check out the post Story time HERE).

But today, I’m asking you to doubt yourself, to question yourself and to feel slightly insecure.

I’m asking you to tap into the thing that makes you feel vulnerable.

Wait a sec, I know what you’re thinking, What, the frick! I came to your blog to feel happy and inspired, man, what the hell is this shizzle?

Well, here’s the thing, realising that you’re human, imperfect, and vulnerable is an important exercise on the path to really finding, or as the case may be increasing your level of joy and happiness.

It’s OK to have moments of self doubt. In fact they’re gonna happen whether you want them to or not. But when they do you should acknowledge how you feel in that moment- and own it.

Say to yourself, “Mmm. ok, I’m not feeling happy about myself right now… I’m feeling a little self-conscious, uncomfortable, ashamed, embarrassed, (whatever.)” Then say, “Ok. let me sit with these feelings for a sec.”

Don’t brush your emotions to one side or under the metaphorical rug. Don’t deny those feelings exist. Accept them because they are a part of you.

You can’t go through life loving and celebrating only the great parts of your character but shunning the parts that you don’t like. No can do, baby.

As the video explains, vulnerability is a powerful tool.

When we open ourselves up to being vulnerable  we also open ourselves up to receiving joy, love, happiness and more meaningful and deeper connections with the people around us.

We all have light and dark sides to our personality – they are what completes us. Being truly happy is about being honest with yourself about who you really are.

It may sound harsh to say this but you’re not perfect and neither am I. Yet despite this glorious fact we are still good enough.

You are good enough to be, do and achieve everything your heart conjures up and whatever your mind plots to achieve.

You are worthy of all the happiness in the world NOT because you are perfect and do all the right things – but just because you are NOT perfect but deserve them anyway.

And if you are passionate, ambitious, dedicated, kind, compassionate, generous and a student of life then you are well on your way to actualising whatever your mind can conceive. The world truly is your oyster.

Let me share this with you…

When I first became a mum, I was scared. Scratch that, I was PETRIFIED!!

I was terrified because I didn’t know what the heck I was doing. And when I finally thought I had it sussed Ealy would go through a new phase that left me stumped again.

I was constantly wondering if my mum would be proud of me and if she would support the decisions I was making as a parent. (Confession: this is still a hard one for me to get over – it’s a work in progress.)

I was scared that I didn’t have all the answers, that I was really bad at geography and still counted on my fingers.

Being Ealy’s mum was – and still is – one of the biggest and scariest challenges I’ve ever had to face.

But it was made all the harder because I wanted to be the “perfect mummy” or at least I wanted to be as close to perfect as possible.

Now, logic and life had taught me that “perfection” didn’t exist but nonetheless I still struggled with this feeling that I wasn’t good enough.

Then over time, I found myself again. My old self. My pre-mum self. That person that was up for a laugh, ridiculous fun and who danced around the house like a lunatic.

She began to reappear and man, was I happy to see her again.

I realised in that moment that the best mummy- not the perfect mummy – but the best mummy Ealy could ever have was me.

With all my quirks, flaws, imperfections and rough edges, I was still the best mummy he could ask for because all he needed from me was love… and that was something I had in abundance and I never doubted my ability to shower him with it.

So, I think being happy is a state of mind and heart. Understanding that you are worthy of everything you have in life right now – the good and the not so good – is important if you want to find inner peace and joy.

You aren’t perfect – you never will be – and thank the lucky stars for that.

You will only ever be the best YOU that you can be in that moment.

Sometimes you’ll soar and sometimes you’ll suck.

But in those sucky times you’re still as fabulous, as splendid, as marvellous and as wonderful as you could possibly hope to be.

Believing in your heart that you are worthy of all the great things that life has to offer regardless of your shortcomings is the way to live.

You are MORE than good enough. I know it.

All my love,
Nat x

“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.” – Brené Brown (Researcher & Storyteller)

Discover more about Brené Brown HERE Images courtesy of  http://brenebrown.com

Pearl Grace Vegetable Soup

Vegetable Soup

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Warm Root Vegetable Soup

One of the things that I love most about this dish – aside from the fact that its incredibly delicious of course – is how easy it is to make and how much it makes from just a few ingredients.

It can generously serve up to 6 people and because its so simple to whip up its a great treat after a family walk or on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

The only elbow grease you’ll have to expend is in the chopping. But chop away to a little bit of this and the time will fly! (Even with curlers in his hair this man is still my guilty pleasure!)

This warm root vegetable soup is packed with flavour and goodness – you’ll definitely be on track to reaching your 5-a-day quota!

Ingredients:
2 knobs of butter (I use Rachel’s Unsalted Organic)
2 celery sticks, finely chopped
3 parsnips (s) or 2 large ones, finely chopped
3 carrots, finely chopped
1 swede, finely chopped
1/2 a medium butternut squash, finely chopped
1 large sweet potato, finely chopped
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
1 1/2 litres of veg stock (I use Marigold Swiss Vegetable Bouillom Powder. 4 tsp per litre)

Method:
1. Heat up a large pot or a casserole pot on medium. Sweat the celery for a couple of mins

2. Toss in the carrots and cook for 5 mins stirring frequently to prevent sticking

3. Throw in the rest of the veg.

4. Add the thyme leaves. Stir for a couple mins to prevent sticking at the bottom.

5. Add half the stock. Increase the heat to bring to the boil. Reduce to simmer and cover with a lid.

6. Leave for 30 mins or until the vegetables are soft. Stir 2 or 3 times during this time.

7. Ladle in spoonfuls of the soup into a food processor/ blender. Add some of the remaining stock to create a smooth soup-like consistency. Repeat until all the veg has been whizzed.

8. Transfer soup back to the pot on a medium heat. Add any remaining stock to reach the consistency you desire. Add any additional seasoning to taste.

Dish up and enjoy with a crusty grainy slice of bread.

Tip!
Freeze any left overs. It lasts up to a month. And is a quick tasty meal option on a busy day. This dish is so versatile – you can literally throw in any left over bits of veg that you may have in your fridge to create your own variation. It can work as a starter or as a main course.

Where possible use organic and locally grown produce

Title image courtesy of Nat Millie.

Pearl Grace Life The Power of Words

Change your words Change your world

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Change your words Change your world

Pearl Grace Life Change the worldI saw this video and it reminded me of the power of words so I wanted to share it with you.

How we describe our situations and how we perceive the world around us is incredibly powerful and ultimately affects how we treat people and how they treat us.

For example, let me paint you this picture.

It’s a grey Monday morning and is raining cats and dogs outside my window. Ealy had a restless night and spent most of it tossing and turning in our bed and I woke up with a stiff neck.

That’s one way I could see it. Or I could say,

Last night was amazing because I got loads of hugs and kisses from my little man and this morning I woke up in a warm and comfy bed. I love the sound of rain against my window pane and I can’t wait to have an awesome week.

Both are true but the one I choose to express to the world and most importantly tell myself will either help or hinder me.

Which version would you subscribe to?

The thing is, how we choose to see the world is massively important and affects the quality of our lives.

If I’m all doom and gloom then I’ll probably find myself alone a lot of the time. After all who wants to hang around with a sourpuss?

Most of us like to be around people who make us feel good.  We like to be in the company of people who brighten up our day and people who lift us up when we’re down. We love people who support us and who see the best in us.

It’s all about the power of the words and this video beautifully exemplifies that changing our words can change our world”.

So, this week I challenge you to think about the words you use to describe your situation.

Choose your words carefully and where possible attempt to find the positive and beauty in your experiences.

If you choose to see your circumstances as optimistic and hopeful then you open yourself up to receiving more of the same in your life.

By the way, I’m not talking about being fake. That won’t work.

I mean let’s be real, sometimes shitty things happen and it’s OK to be pissed off when they do. We’re human beings full of a wide spectrum of emotions and we are free to express them as we feel fit.

But perhaps in that moment you can find something in the situation that makes you laugh so you can brush it off and move on.

No more glass half empty excuses. Keep your glass topped up and add a fresh, squeeze of lemon juice or some sparkly cordial, throw in some crushed ice and a decorative swirl of lime peel. Sit back and enjoy, baby!

Remember miraculous and beautiful things happen to people who believe in miracles and see the beauty in what surrounds them.

So, how do you see the world?  Can you think of a time when things seemed bad but you were able to see the good in the situation? How did it affect you and those around you?

 

Title image courtesy of pastormarkmartin.com Content image courtesy of imgarcade.com

Pearl Grace Sugar Sweet

Sugar Sweet

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Sugar Sweet

Pearl Grace Life Show me yoursOk, this one’s for the girls, although fellas you’ll appreciate it too. In fact I’ll go as far as to say you will love it.

Before we dive right in, you’ll find a link to the audio post that inspired me to write today’s post at the end.

But for now here’s the general gist…

According to Darren Hardy – who by the way is an incredible guy, author, speaker and publisher of Success Magazine – what a man really wants isn’t what we ladies have always thought. You know, food, sex and refuge. Nope, that’s not what he wants.

Here’s Darren’s take:

He wants to be your hero. He wants to impress you. He wants your praise.
ALL we want… more than anything or from anyone… is to hear praise from our woman, to be impressive to her, to be HER hero.

He goes on to say,

Tell your man he is your hero. Be his biggest fan and cheerleader. Make him feel that he is impressive to you. Don’t let others praise and appreciate him more than you do. Continually praise, appreciate and pat him on the head and he will be your best friend and loyal companion forever.

Ok. Girls what do you make of that? 

You gotta listen to the whole thing to reap the full benefit of what he says but when I first heard this perspective I couldn’t stop laughing.

Not because I disagreed but because I felt like this guy had rumbled me and the jig was up!

I’ve been guilty of doing exactly what Darren talks about – holding back the praise because I didn’t think Drew needed it.

Let me be real for a sec. I know my man, and as much as I love him, I often hold back on showering him with sugar sweetness because I think he’s pretty good at stroking his own ego. (I mean that in the most loving of way of course).

But as Darren says so brilliantly, that’s beside the point and totally the wrong way to look at it.

If the only true thing your man is craving on a daily basis is your adulation, your praise and your eternal love then why not just give it to him?

I forwarded the message to Drew much to his delight and he was singing Darren Hardy’s praises for the rest of day! (It was very annoying.)

The truth is it takes nothing for me to tell Drew that I think he’s awesome, that he killed it on a brief (if he did) and that he looked amazing the other night he went out…  you know, girls, all the sugar sweet things that we love to hear our fellas say to us.

And guess what? It works both ways. If we give our men the reverence they so fervently desire then they’ll most likely do the same for us. Win-Win baby!

And to drill home the point further, I’ve been rinsing Maroon 5 on my iPhone this week; while out walking Riley, while strolling through the supermarket, whilst doing the laundry and cooking dinner and the lyrics to their song Sugar is not just wickedly awesome but it  reaffirms Darren’s thoughts on a man’s true needs. Making it a fabulous song for today’s post.

“Sugar, yes please, won’t you come and put it down on me. I’m right here, cos I need, a little love and sympathy. So baby show me good loving make it alright, I need a little sweetness in my life.” – Maroon 5, Sugar

And so for your viewing pleasure…

Hey, why not for the purpose of today, this week, this year, imagine your man singing these words to you…Mmm, Adam Levine… uh, I mean Mister Drew 😉

Sugar Sweet lovin’ baby

x

Discover more about Darren Hardy and listen to the full audio HERE (you’ll love it!)

Title image courtesy of www.huffingtonpost.com

Content image courtesy of bebrightblog.com