Sticker on post

On a recent Saturday morning in East London a group of enthusiastic bloggers and creatives eagerly met (most for the first time) to take part in The Photo Hunt – a photography/social media scavenger hunt initiative organised by Che, Lulu and Bobbi. Their aim – to provide an interactive event for bloggers, photographers and creatives to engage and connect in a fun and inspiring environment.

Earlier in the week we had been pre-assigned to our teams and introduced by email. Great for those feeling a bit nervous about going to an event on their own and it meant we could be familiar with (aka stalk) each others blogs before meeting on the day.

The Pink Cupcakes

Team names were drawn at random and our teammate trio of Jessi, Sarah and myself became femininely named Pink Cupcakes.

Being briefed

Team off

Mobile phone

After being briefed, all the teams were off and the social media frenzy around Shoreditch and Brick Lane began. Instagrams, tweets and hashtags were loaded en masse as teams competed for sponsored spot prizes and winner bragging rights.

The Photo Hunt Challenges

Graffitti

The Photo Hunt Hiding

Teams had two and a half hours to complete 50 tasks of different point values which included Shoreditch graffiti, a team pyramid, headstands, squishing into a phone box and a running race with a stranger.

There was no time to be shy while asking strangers for photos and to be included in our photo challenges. The toughest – getting a stranger to run a race with me! Perhaps they were afraid of being beaten by a girl…?

Group Photo

Back at our starting point – BOXPARK (a cool, innovative pop-up mall in Shoreditch), event sponsors Milk Tea & Pearl, FalafeLicious and Chobani kindly re-fueled the photo hunters while scores were tallied and prizes given. Much needed and most welcomed after all the running around while photo hunting.

Lulu Che Bobbi

A big thank you to Lulu, Che, and Bobbi for doing such a fantastic job organising The Photo Hunt and bringing like minded creatives together. Look forward to joining you at the next event.

Want to join in the fun? Get along to The Photo Hunt in London on March 1, 2014. Not only will you get to meet and network with other bloggers offline, you will have a lot of laughs. Hope to see you there.

Photo credits: The Photo Hunt (2,9) Berry Diaries (1,4), Today, I’m Bobbi. (3,5,10), Midnight Rambler (7), Two Feet, One World (8)

Join the hunt,

If you change nothing Nothing will change

Do you make excuses when it comes to exercising?

Don’t be shy. Guiltily I have to raise my hand and confess I am one of those people.

I want to love exercise and I admire those who do – I follow a lot of health and fitness pages that constantly provide inspiration. Over the years I have had periods of being committed to the gym – I enjoy doing weights, but have never really achieved significant changes. I didn’t understand how important the right weight, reps and nutrition were when strength training to create the desired result.

For some time I have wanted to make changes and improve my fitness to see what my body is capable of. Not just to be healthier, but to also be stronger and build a lean physique.

I kept hoping this would all just miraculously happen without having to do any of the work, but we all know that isn’t how anything in life gets achieved. To get results, action and commitment is required.

Emily Skye

One of my most admired health and fitness ambassadors is Australian born Emily Skye. She has transformed herself for the positive in her words “from skinny, insecure and depressed to fit, happy and confident.”

Emily is not only gorgeous on the inside and out, but she also radiates health and confidence. She is a positive role model who encourages others to be their best through her health and fitness motivation.

The Plan

Emily Skye 30 Day ShredIn August I purchased Emily’s new 30 Day Shred fitness programme. I had great intentions of starting, but let life my excuses get in the way.

“I’m too tired.”

“I don’t have enough time.”

“I have a weekend away and other commitments this month.”

Sound familiar?

Well, today my excuses for not exercising stop. For the next 30 days I am pushing myself out of my comfort zone and dedicating myself to following Emily Skye’s programme to kick start my healthier lifestyle.

In the plan Emily provides advice, meal plans, recipes, cooking tips, shopping lists, workouts, stretches and videos of each exercise for correct technique. There is also a daily video for added inspiration and support.

Looking forward to seeing what results I can achieve.

Making change,

Longtail boat Ko Phi Phi Thailand

So, I thought we could get to know each other a little more. As well as my About, I thought I would share some of my random quirks and facts that make up who I am with 35 things you didn’t know about me.

  1. I’m a secret adrenaline junkie – I love skydiving and roller coasters.
  2. I have bungy jumped three times including The Nevis in New Zealand (which is 134m).
  3. Photography is one of my hobbies. I love capturing and recording moments in time.
  4. I’m terrible at remembering names (nothing personal). It is on my list to devise a strategy of improving this.
  5. I have been to 36 countries… Working my way to 50, then 100…
  6. I love positive, inspirational quotes.
  7. My birthday is on the 6th April, which makes me an Aries.
  8. I have been known to eat breakfast for dinner – cereal, or bananas on toast.
  9. Looking at the sun makes me sneeze without fail.
  10. Drinking water upside down always cures my hiccups.
  11. When I was 15 I cut my hair to about an inch in length and bleached it blonde. NEVER again. I looked like a boy.
  12. I am competitive.
  13. I love baby animals. Actually, animals in general.
  14. I don’t have any tattoos.
  15. My guilty pleasure is watching reality TV shows, which has included The Hills, Project Runway, and America’s Next Top Model.
  16. When I was 16 I flew a plane.
  17. I’ve ridden a camel (and also eaten one – not the same one though).
  18. I can wiggle my ears and cross my eyes.
  19. I love Michael Jackson music.
  20. Receiving mail gets me excited. I used to have loads of pen pals growing up!
  21. I’m not good with directions, or reading maps. I have been told once (or twice) that my internal compass is broken.
  22. I love hugs.
  23. When I was younger I lost all four of my front teeth at the same time.
  24. My favourite desserts are banoffee pie and lemon meringue pie.
  25. I remember when the Internet started! Something to blow the grandkids away with one day.
  26. I have a cat – Oscar, who lives with my parents in New Zealand. Update – Sadly Oscar went to Cat Heaven at the grand age of 12 (human years) not long after this post.
  27. I love anywhere warm and tropical. Golden sand beaches, crystal clear water, palm trees and blue sky is my paradise.
  28. My favourite trip was traveling through South East Asia for three months.
  29. Spiders freak me out.
  30. Even as a ‘grown-up’, I still hate brussel sprouts.
  31. Scuba diving is a new hobby and I have my PADI open water certificate.
  32. I enjoy taking silly jumping photos.
  33. I don’t embarrass easily. I think this is due to not taking life too seriously and being able to laugh at myself.
  34. I like uneven numbers. My favourite numbers are 3 and 5 for no specific reason. Notice my list is 35 things?
  35. I have a silly sense of humour. Some of my favourite comedies are Old School and Napoleon Dynamite.

What are some of your quirks, or interesting facts? Share some in the comments below – I would love to know what makes you unique.

Celebrating our individuality,

Croatia Beach

Croatia had some high expectations to live up to. Before visiting, countless people had told me what an amazing place it was, but I still wasn’t prepared for how quickly I would fall in love with it.

Friendly locals, picture perfect views, clear turquoise water, charming cobbled towns and delicious, fresh food – I was in my utopia. With the Summer heat of July to top it off, Croatia easily entered my top five favourite countries and is somewhere I would return in a heartbeat.

Rental Car Zagreb

After flying into Zagreb, we packed our rental car to the brim and set off to Rakovica – our small village base to explore the nearby Plitvice Lakes National Park.

Plitvice Lakes

Plitvice Lower Lakes

We spent a day walking around Plitvice Lakes and I have never seen so many shades of green, blue and turquoise in one place. Each lake is a different colour and changes constantly throughout the year. The natural beauty of the lakes, waterfalls, greenery and colours makes it a pretty special destination.

Croatia Merchandise

The following day it was back into the rental car with a quick stopover in Split before catching a ferry to Vis – Croatia’s most distant island. Split port was buzzing with tourists, merchandise stalls for those essential last minute purchases and tour boats ready to set sail for the coming week.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As we pulled into the harbour of Vis Town I was excited by the approaching view – this was the Croatia I had been anticipating. Tiered terracotta roofs, old stone buildings and yachts lining the waterfront.

Kut_Vis Croatia

Stiniva Cove Vis Croatia

Even in peak season, Vis felt relaxed and wasn’t crowded. We spent our days watching sunrises, swimming, eating amazing food (I’m sure we ate our weight in Carpaccio), exploring the island on scooters and enjoying other beaches and sights including the blue cave by private boat.

We had an amazing few days on Vis and when the time came to leave and I watched the island disappear into the distance behind us I felt sad leaving my new found paradise. I left for Hvar with dreams of returning and building a holiday home on Vis. One day.

Hvar harbour

While I have a soft spot for Vis, Hvar is the slightly cooler older brother – a bit more vibrant, a bit livelier and likes to party. Hvar has something to offer every age, which is what makes it such a popular destination.

Bonj Les Bains Hvar Croatia

This was actually my view for a whole day while Relaxing At Bonj ‘Les Bains’ Beach Club.

After a few days of more swimming and eating our way around Hvar (notice a theme?), it was time to move on to Dubrovnik.

To see more of Croatia we hired another rental car and drove to Dubrovnik from Split (it also meant we got to briefly enter Bosnia, although they barely glimpsed at our passports and alas, no stamp either). I was amused that our rental car came with optional wi-fi. We really are becoming an instant, connected world.

Dubrovnik Old Town Rooftops

Dubrovnik old town

Dubrovnik’s old town is stunning and a walk along its surrounding walls is a must. It is the perfect way to see the old town and it’s sea of terracotta roof tops.

More to come on each of these beautiful destinations.

Cheers Hvar Croatia Bonj Les Bains

Cheers to Croatia!

A Life Less Beige

Beige to me is a metaphor for being comfortable. It’s safe. Less challenging.

It’s my comfort zone.

I realised awhile ago I wanted to improve some areas of my life. I wasn’t getting where I wanted to be and this was due to making excuses and not doing anything about it. I wasn’t challenging myself, or making the changes needed. A light bulb moment hit and A Life Less Beige was born. This is me saying ‘Yes!’ to life and not letting it pass me by.

Living less beige to me is living with purpose, self-love, balance, adding more colour and making the most of life. It’s about doing and adding value.

For me this takes shape in being happy and connecting with other positive, like-minded friends, being inspired daily, travel, being creative, having a healthy mind and body, regular exercise, being grateful, trying new things, learning and setting goals that challenge me. It is living a life I love and making my visions come true.

Nothing is impossible. Some things just take more work and determination.

Consciously living less beige is unique because it will mean something different to everyone. It celebrates individuality.

Growing up my Mum loved frequently enriching my life by providing me with lots of new experiences. This included things like hiking, camping and even staying in a Fijian village for a week with no running water, or power – end of the world for a teenage girl!

All of these experiences have shaped me into who I am today – the sense of adventure it created, the people I have met, the fun, even what I found hard and made me uncomfortable was building my character.

With each passing year I thought I must surely have enough character by now. I was wrong. Apparently you can never have too much.

Christmas presents started to include an ‘experience’ – a voucher for something I had never tried. My fate for the coming year sealed in an envelope sitting under our tree.

After a challenging weekend horse trekking one year, seeing that envelope under our tree the following year caused mixed emotions in the days leading up to Christmas.

Looking back, I am so grateful to my Mum for enriching my life and opening me up to so much. Yes, there were moments of discomfort, of frustration and moments wondering why I couldn’t just have a new stereo, or Game Boy like my friends. But I now realise that it isn’t the ‘things’ that are important in life. It’s the experiences.

Pushing my comfort zones (though still just as uncomfortable at times) is my normal. I learned that nothing is ever as bad as I what I build it up to be in my head.

Challenging myself and doing things that seem hard, or scare me make me feel alive. Achieving personal goals, both mental and physical makes me realise I am capable and have unlimited potential.

That once feared envelope is my favourite present each year. And the year that caused me the most worry ended up being a fabulous massage voucher.

Join me in living a life you love.

Be brave to make change,