Monthly Archives: February 2016

Pearl Grace Life, check out blog

Check out

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Is it time to check out of life’s inessentials?

Pearl Grace Life, check outOK, I’ve got a question for you guys…

Is it time to check out of life’s inessentials?

Over the past few weeks I’ve spent a lot of time unsubscribing from email newsletters, turning off my notifications and opting out of group chats.

Basically anything that I felt was no longer serving me or that I felt I wasn’t learning or growing from, I decided to call departure time on. I checked out.

Why?

Well, because when you choose to check out of the things that are no longer benefiting you in a productive way you free yourself up to focus on more exciting and enriching things.

Obviously, you still have the same 24-hours in the day but you can now use these precious moments more wisely doing the things that increase happiness and improve the quality of your life.

When we choose to check out of the inessential things that often clutter up our lives we can check-in with your friends and family on a deeper level.

We can also use our time to check-in with ourselves and on our own life’s purpose; what drives us, turns us on, motivates and supports the acquisition of our dreams.

I found the process of checking out of a few group chats the other day very liberating.

I know I sound a little dramatic but here’s what happened.

After I checked out, I realised that I had no reason to check the WhatsApp group to see if anyone had posted anything.

I had fewer reasons to carry my phone in the back pocket of my jeans while I hoovered the house.

There was no need to take my phone with me when we went out for a Sunday family walk or heaven forbid take it with me to the little girls room. (I mean, what on earth is so important that you need to read your phone whilst sitting on the bog!)

Here’s the thing, before I decided to leave these social groups, I thought about how much Ipearl grace life check out was contributing to them and how much I was getting out of them. I suggest you carry out a mini survey of your own.

If after closer evaluation you realise, like me, that you are no longer giving or getting as much as you once did then the decision is made.

Now, I hasten to add that my love for the peeps in the group chats remained unchanged but my need to be part of the online group was no longer a necessity in my life – at least not right now.

So, you might be curious about what I decided to check out from…

  • emails from people/companies that I never read
  • newsletters that I subscribed to but no longer have an interest in
  • Facebook, twitter, pinterest and other social media news and updates that I don’t need to know about
  • text messaging and email notifications that distract me from what I’m doing at the time. I switched them all off.
  • Flashes, vibrations, beeps, dings and all other noises that my phone can make that interrupt me throughout the day. I turned them all off.

I know they seem like obvious things but it will amaze you to see how much energy – mental, emotional and psychical – you use up in reacting, responding or replying to all the inessential things that show up throughout your day.

So, here’s what I decided to do. I decided to trade texting for talking.

I opted to make a conscious effort to phone my friends more and have a good old fashioned chat.

Do remember the good ol’ days when we used to call each other and hear the other person’s voice?! 

pearl grace life check outIf they’re overseas friends then I’ll FaceTime them.

I’ll spend quality time checking-in on that relationship and make my friend a priority, because they are.

It’s worth stating that this check out process has been very cleansing.

I realised that some of my friendships are really important to me and those are the ones that I am passionate about and committed to honouring and investing in.

But here’s the kicker, I realised that some friendships are not. That might sound a little harsh but it’s true.

There might be relationships in your life that you need to break away from.

Perhaps it’s time to check out of it so you can experience something or someone new.

Since starting my check out program I have seen a massive shift to the positive with respect to both my work flow and productivity as well as the quality of social time I’m spending with friends and family.

So, here’s what you can look forward to after you check out…

  • You’ll get more done. You’ll be more productive and focused.
  • You’ll engage more with the people around you.
  • You’ll begin to appreciate the gift of living in the present a lot more.
  • You’ll have more time to internalise your own thoughts and emotions and think about YOU; what you’re doing or plan to do.
  • You will ultimately free yourself up to enjoy the real joys of life. And appreciate the richness of your life.

And that’s what I want for you – A life of true abundance; more love, more joy and a true sense of meaning and purpose.

After all isn’t that what life is all about ? – the real connections we create throughout our lives.

Now before I go, I’ve got a treat for you.

To say THANK YOU for subscribing, supporting this blog and for being part of this amazing online family, I want to give you my FREE 5-Step Guide to ‘checking out’ with ease.

You will discover easy-to-apply habits that make checking out a breeze. It will arrive in your Inbox in the next couple of days so keep your eyes peeled for that.

If you’re not subscribed to our mailing list, then what have you got to lose!? Subscribe Today – its FREE but the tips are PRICELESS.

‘Til next time folks,

All my love,
Nat x

 

Title image courtesy of islamzpeace.wordpress.com and content images courtesy of www.picturequotes.comwww.thediydaily.com and homeandfarmsense.com who own the copyrights respectfully.

pearl grace life tomato and goats cheese tart

Tomato and Goats Cheese Tart

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Tomato and Goats Cheese Tart

pearl grace life tomato and goats cheese tart

If you’re looking for a dish to impress but actually is super easy to prepare then my tomato and goats cheese tart will be right up your street.

I always make sure I have a roll of puff pastry in the deep freeze that I can pull out the night before and all the other ingredients are easy to grab from your local supermarket or green grocers.

Ingredients:

320g Puff pastry sheet (this is the one I use)
125g Spreadable goats cheese
425g Ripe vine tomatoes
1 tsp Dried mixed herbs
Crush of salt and black pepper (if desired)
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
A drizzle of olive oil

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven 180 degrees.
  2. Thinly slice the tomatoes and leave to one side.
  3. Pour the goats cheese into a bowl and stir to soften slightly. Add the dried herbs and stir some more.
  4. Grab a flat baking tray and roll the pastry out onto the tray. Using a sharp knife lightly trace a 1cm width border around the edge of the pastry. (This will create a puffy edge after cooking)
  5. Pour the goats cheese onto the pastry and using the back of a spoon gently spread the cheese to the edge of the knifed border, creating a thin layer of cheese.
  6. Then assemble the slices of the tomatoes on top of the goats cheese. Add some salt and black pepper, fresh thyme and a drizzle of olive oil.
  7. Pop in the oven for 40-45 mins.
  8. Enjoy either hot or cold with a side salad and some new potatoes – dee-lish

pearl grace life tomato and goats cheese tartSwitch it up!

You could modify the toppings to include a variety of roasted vegetables like courgettes and sweet peppers.

A while ago I made it with some thin slices of peppered salami nestled between the tomatoes, and it was delicious. The edges of the meat got ever-so-slightly charred and crispy, which was very nice.

If goats cheese ain’t your thing then you could always use Philadelphia spread instead and achieve equally tasty results.

I hope you like it.

Lov Nat x

Choose to use organic and local produce when possible :)

Pearl Grace Life: Give what you want

Give what you want

Give what you want

Pearl Grace Life: Give what you wantI’ve got a question for you.

What’s the one thing you want most? And no, I’m talking about the latest Ferrari or pair of Louboutin heels.

As nice as they both sound, gifts of the material variety are not what I’m talking about today.

I’m asking you to consider what one thing you crave the most in your life right now.

Do you want more confidence? More courage? More love? More companionship? 

Do you desire more success? More meaning? More peace? More passion?

Go on, dig deep and ask yourself what you really want right now?

At the time of writing this post, I want more patience.

It feels as though my little boy has hit the quote-unquote “terrible-twos” a year and half late.

He is driving us absolutely crazy and right now what I want, and desperately need for my own sanity, is more patience.

Now, all my habitual yoga and meditative practices seem fine when I’m lying on my mat in the calm and peaceful dawn of twilight while the rest of the house is asleep.

But when the creek of Ealy’s bedroom door breaks the silence of my meditative state I know that soon enough all hell will break lose for then next 12 hours.

So, I’ve been thinking, how can I get better at dealing with my ‘incredibly-adorable-but-makes-me-want-to-pull-my-hair-out’ son?

And then I remembered something that I heard a couple of years ago from author and personal development, Darren Hardy, in his book The Compound Effect.

He said, “Whatever I want more of in life, I’ve found the best way to get it is to focus on giving it to others… The ripple effect of helping others and giving generously of your time and energy is that you become the biggest beneficiary of your personal philanthropy”. 

And all of a sudden, right then and there, I decided a shift in my behaviour was necessary.

If I wanted to have more patience throughout the day then I needed to focus my attention and energy on demonstrating it to others.

That meant, not getting in a strop at the Post Office because the clerk was taking longer than I would’ve liked with another customer.

That meant not looking at my watch when Drew started to tell me about his day.

That meant not yelling at Riley for stopping “too much” to smell the grass and play with other dogs while on the morning walk.

Pearl Grace Life: Give what you wantNo. Right then and there, I decided that in order for me to invite patience in to my life I had to demonstrate a patient attitude to everyone with whom I came into contact with.

By doing this, I found that it naturally filtered through into my interactions with the Little Master of the house.

Now, I’m not saying that it works every time – heck, I’m still dealing with an unpredictable 3-year old – but for the most part it really helps.

As we embark on the start of a new week and as we approach Valentine’s Day, I want to pass this philosophy over to you.

Ask yourself, what do I want more of? And then ask yourself, who can I give more of that same thing to?

If you lack confidence, think about who you can give more confidence to. If you want more success in your life, think of the people you can inspire and help to attain success in their own lives.

And yes, as Valentine’s Day creeps closer and closer, this question is very befitting; If you want more love, who can you give more love to?

And I’m talking about all forms of love; from intimate love to platonic love, from the love you show to your children to the love you show to a stranger.

I believe that when you give more love you open yourself up to receiving more of the same. And that same rule applies to everything else that you choose to share/give to others.

Now, before I go, I want to leave you with this final thought. Don’t forget to include yourself in the list of worthy recipients.

Show more love to yourself this week. Show yourself more kindness, more tenderness, more patience and more respect.

When you screw up – as we all do from time to time – say nice things to yourself, don’t beat yourself up. Tell yourself, you live to fight another day and will do better next time.

So, my darlings, go now, and give it a try. Then come back and tell me how it impacted your life.

Go give what you want.

Love Nat x

Discover more about Darren Hardy HERE.

Title image courtesy of www.breckcreate.org and content images from www.pinterest.com and quotesgram.com

Oh and in case you were wondering why I’ve chosen a Dirty Dancing pic for the title image. It’s because it’s full of many of the themes we’ve talked about here; love, courage, passion, self-esteem, bravery and the rest. Plus it’s hot ‘n’ steamy – ideal V-Day viewing x  

Pearl Grace Life

Decision Detox

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Do you need to go on a decision detox?

Pearl Grace LifeAlright guys, this week’s post is a juicy one so let’s jump right in.

Now, as you know I absolutely love finding out new things that get me totally fired up and last year I watched two documentaries that totally blew me away.

They were That Sugar Film (trailer below) and Fed Up.

Oh, and psst.. just a little warning. Before you hop on over to iTunes and hit download be sure to keep your lap and sofa free from the following: toffee syrup coated popcorn, cheesy pizzas and chocolate bars. (Don’t say I didn’t warn you).

Pearl Grace Life Decision Detox
Click to view trailer

Well, after watching both films, Drew and I were buzzed about cutting out all kinds of foods from our diet.

Although both documentaries inspired us to eliminate processed foods and refined sugars as much as possible.

The truth was I was already on somewhat of a health kick as I had stopped eating meat, gluten and dairy earlier in the year for lent.

Now, fret not, I’m not about to harp on about the benefits of eating whole organic foods because you already know this and plus it’s not my style.

But truth be told, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to having more energy, more patience, less brain fog and no bloating.

But that wasn’t all. I was mostly excited about how easier my day-to-day decisions regarding food had become.

Reducing what I put into my mouth simplified my choices. This made the decisions I was making around food less stressful and time-consuming.

Let me just jump off and share something that I learnt the other day.

Did you know that there’s such a thing as decision fatigue? Yup, that’s right.

According to some scientists we have only a finite amount of decision-making energy per day.

Think of it like a car engine. Every time you make a decision throughout the day, resist temptation and demonstrate discipline you are using up your decision-making gas.Pearl Grace Life Decision Detox

That’s why, by the end of the day – if you’re like me – you’re totally spent and can’t be arsed to make another fricking choice.

This is because you’ve been draining your tank throughout the day and by the evening you’re practically running-on empty.

This is also why we tend to make “less smart” decisions at the end of the day. You know the ones like, ordering take-away instead of cooking a meal, having a beer instead of making a juice, watching tv instead of exercising and I could go on and on.

So, in modifying my diet and stripping it back to mostly plant based foods, I began to experience physical and mental benefits.

I had far more mental energy because I had far less choices to make.

It sounds over the top to say this but it really did transform my life.

I think in our overly competitive, commercialist and consumer driven world we live in we are told that having more choice is a good thing and in some rare cases that might be true.

And for the most part I disagree. I stand by the old adage that less is more.

Pearl Grace Life Decision DetoxHere’s a great example to illustrate the point, have you ever opened your wardrobe, filled to the rafters with clothes, shoes and accessories and said, “I don’t have anything to wear”.

 Now, if you’re a Pearl Grace follower then you’ll know that I’m passionate about living as ethical a-life as I can.

That’s meant that over the past few years I’ve significantly reduced how much “stuff” I have and buy.

Only when something is falling part – quite literally – do I replace it. And even then, I spend a considerable amount of time deciding if I need a new one at all.

People say life is a game of chance but I think it’s a game of choice.

Our lives are the sum total of all the choices we make: Who we marry, where we live, what we eat, what we wear, what we say, what we read, what we listen to, the friendships we make, the people we admire, the values we live by, the person we choose to be, etc etc.

Our lives are the accumulation of all the choices/decisions we make.

So let us not be complacent about the seemingly small choices that we make because the truth is they are responsible for the big wins or losses we experience throughout our lives.

Even those little insignificant decisions like buying your coffee every morning instead of saving your pennies and making it at home might seem so irrelevant in the moment. But over the years that act alone could make all the difference between whether you can afford that dream house or not.

I know I sound a little dramatic but it’s true.

Choose wisely and you can experience some incredible things in your life. Choose poorly, and eh, well, maybe not so much.

So, here’s my challenge to you:

Where in your life can you limit your choices and make easier decisions?

It might be in the area of food, like me or it might me with your spending habits or with your exercise programme.

Whatever it is, pick an area and then I suggest you go on a 10-day decision-making detox. Go on give it a try. The outcome might surprise you and everyone else around you.

Now, I know some of you might be a little sceptical about this. Or perhaps you think that you’ve got a handle on your decision-making habits. So, here’s something for you guys. Treat it as a gentle reality check…

Here are the types of decision-making battles we face on a daily basis. Now, be sure to answer honestly….

  1. The alarm goes off… Do you wake up or hit snooze?
  2. In the morning…  Do you read, meditate, exercise, practice yoga or watch the news and read the paper?
  3. Before noon… Do you work on your writing and top priority or check your emails and hop on social media?
  4. And here’s the clincher if you do go on social media before you’ve even brushed your teeth (shame on you)… Then do you feel torn over whether you should go on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest? (Now, that’s a real dilemma. Urgh.)

You see, the choices we feel we have to make can feel so important in the moment when in reality their not.

By limiting the choices you make today you will have limitless freedom in your future tomorrows. @PearlGraceLife Heck, I like that, let’s make that our tweetable!

Alright, guys and girls, it’s over to you.

What aspect of your life could benefit from a decision-making detox? Where could you limit your choice and attain more physical, mental, emotional and spiritual freedom?

Please share your thoughts and intentions in the comments below.

Thanks for your continued love and support,

Love Nat x

 

Title image courtesy of  and content images by www.jantoo.com and deadline.com