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Change is a good thing..

Do you notice a few little changes over here? My boys pimped my page.. and I think it is amazeballs.. well you would hope so as it looks just like the site :)

I really am...

I gotta few this week which is weird for me but I am feeling more positive this week..

 I am grateful I am not a single parent. I have no family with free time to help out here and my husband is working crazy hours so the past month has been a very solo parent gig.. I have been having a few self pity days weeks but this week I had a think about the people that don't EVER have an extra set of hands. My hat is off to you, seriously.. single parents are legends

I am grateful my kids loved the gym more than me this week.. On Thursdays I ask " Do you want to go to the gym?" and if they answer "yes", we do and if "no", we don't.. well they never say "no". I am grateful they don't as I go to the best Spin Class those days... Tani smashes you physically but recharges you mentally... little pocket rocket with dreams as big as the ocean.. love it!!

I am grateful I have Em. She is lots younger than me but the more we chat the more we have the same visions and shared dreams/expectations. She helps me here and here but more than that she just makes me smile and I am oh so grateful for that..

And the winner is...

The winner of 3 prints from the divine Lona De Anna is

Congratulations Pia. Soz to all that entered but guess what.. we have started our next giveaway....

Fighting Fit

It is funny that after saying Fridays would be me helping you with fitness I have actually had a week off training as I just felt too tired.. BUT in doing so I have adapted how much food I am eating and tried to take the time to structure how I can better fit fitness into my ever increasing schedule..

Its important that you take things slowly, that you build up your fitness and don't set your goals too high.. It would be great for all of us to just commit to 5 days a week training and stick at it but what is the point of setting that goal if week two you have already failed.. bit disheartening really so start with two days a week and grow from there...

So join with me this week and let get out there twice more this week than I did last... I will do two runs and post both on Facebook as proof and I would love for you to let me know what you get up to whether its just a decent walk or that you added an extra 10 mins to your normal schedule.. It all counts so don't go thinking it doesn't..

Did you enter our giveaway on the site yet? Now that is truly free.. no work involved there ;)

Mega Moderns...

I couldn't think of anything more idyllic than buggering off to Bali right about now and this location has seriously got me day dreaming....

You got any secret locations you can share for me to file away? xx

Summat from Nowt #2

I am 100% doing this one.. I scour eBay looking for these and nowadays you just don't get bargains on eBay so why not make your own...

I love Kristine.. I love here Hive and quite frankly if she had a store I would be begging her to come and sell with us for sure..

Want your own? Ikea you go and then to her blog for all the rest :)

Q&A with our Giveaway

Why did you choose your business name?

Lona de Anna translated in Portuguese means " Anna's canvas"
Apart from Portuguese being my background..I wanted to create a name that was unique and that would always reflect my creative method.
For me...this is the platform where creativity begins., be it in an artistic sense, or  with Interior styling ,starting with a blank canvas is a great way to clear your mind or an actual space and then add your own flavour to it bit by bit, creating something that in the end you feel unbelievably proud of.

What have you most enjoyed in your career so far?

The friends and connections I have made since creating Lona de Anna...most definitely!!

They have been such a great source of support and encouragement and inspiration through my whole journey so far..and not just in a creative sense. We have shared our ups and downs in life through the blogsphere and it has been those times above all others that I have felt truly blessed to have crossed paths with such amazing people in my life.

Have you had any major highlights, personal or business in the last few years?

Oh for sure...obviously the birth of my two boys Jacq and Noah were major highlights in my life, I cannot imagine life without them, they make me want to be a better better...I know that sounds cliche..but its true.

Lona de Anna evolved after having given birth to my first little boy Jacq, being on maternity leave it gave me time to reassess where I was and where I wanted to go career wise.

 I was absolutely dreading returning back to the corporate world and the recruitment industry. I was hungry for creative inspiration and found myself blowing the dust off old Interior design magazines and being  filled with so much inspiration I could burst, and so during this time I decided to study Interior Design.

 From this the Lona de Anna blog was created  as an insipriational journal I could look back on.

So from a major personal highlight in my life during that time being the birth of my son, came the birth of what would be a professional highlight in my life...the creation of Lona de Anna.

Although to me it has been the minor highlights..that are the major highlights...if that makes sense.

Every time I sell a piece of artwork...that is a major highlight for me...I still get excited and smile from ear to ear.

Every time I receive a compliment regarding my work, that is a highlight for me.
The fact that a person has taken the time to send me a personal message letting me know how much they love my work...that kind of stuff  to me is invaluable.

What inspires or motivates you?

The every day and the simple things in life I find beautiful are what I get inspiration from.
 Hanging out with my little family and discovering new things together.
 People, places, nature, and the obvious being magazines, books, blogs , other creative artists.
But what inspires me and motivates me most  and with such great force is staying in the creative zone...this means  constantly tapping into the creative world and whats out there, being constantly inspired by creative people.
Listening to others success stories, their struggles and how they found success and personal happiness and were able to do what they love...and love what they do, THAT truly inspires me.

..and lastly tell me one things about yourself that you love but has nothing to do with business.

Gardening..although I don't get the chance to do it enough,  I love to garden and what the colours evolve as the seasons change and ever since we have moved to the mountains I have fallen in love with it even more, we have a well established cottage garden in our backyard, along with amazing huge Canadian maple leaf trees and pine trees...just breathtaking.
I get super excited when I see a little bud suddenly bloom, that I just have to take a happy snap.
I find it very therapeutic and a great way to clear my head and connect with nature, and its a good excuse to put on my favourite pair of gum boots ...and get down and dirty to speak ; )

The light at the end...

This week I am grateful for other peoples honesty.. I met up with a couple of our sellers that I find really inspiring and that have been running their own business for a little longer than me.

I have always been self employed but I have never been a boss, never had people to look after, never had partners and actually never had many overheads so running the website has been a HUGE change and whilst we have hit every target and exceeded expectations in each and every way there are still days that I cry.

I sit at my computer and sob. I have a huge work load and I am a Mum who is only human. I am doing an amazing job (yes I can say that and yes I do believe it) and my tears are tears of fear, tears of tiredness and the tears of an over achiever that only has herself to blame.

So why am I grateful? I am grateful those girls told me they did the same, that they told me it was normal and they KNEW I would laugh at it all in a years time.

I took a picture of my tears. I feel vulnerable to post it but its true and its honest and I can't wait to look back in a years time and laugh at my sad old face and be grateful again that I have moved on..

Do you ever admit life is not all peachy? Its not easy but it is well worth it..

And the winner is

The winner of the Earthtribe Giveaway is

Our next giveaway just launched so go check it out ;)

Fit 'n' Fabulous

So Fridays are my Fitness Day on the blog...

Last week was simple. I told you to go and just do something that got you sweaty for more than 30 minutes.. so did you?

This week I will give you a mini circuit (mini is for a gym but I will adapt it after for outdoors) and if you can do it twice in one week and also get sweaty for 30 mins outside of that you are going serious great guns..

6 x 60 sec efforts on Bike 1 on ,1 off  

Shoulder Press s/s Lateral Raises 2 x 15 (s/s means superset, so you go straight from the 1st exercise to the 2nd)
Tricep Dips 2 x 15
Push Ups 2 x 15

2 x 1min Bridge

That is a cardio, tummy and arm circuit.. if you are not starting from nothing do two circuits..

Half of that read as gobeldygook?.. that's cool.. let me explain..

6 x 60 sec efforts (that can be done anywhere at any pace. If you are walking then its 60 secs at pace- the off, 60 secs at looney power walk pace - the on. If you are running I want the 60 sec efforts to be close to a sprint- the on, 60 secs to be a recovery jog- the off. If you need to stay at home you can skip or jog on the spot, go up and down stairs...)

Shoulder Press. Hold a weight (dumbell, tin can, books) in each hand at shoulder level, palms facing forwards. Extend them up to close above your head with arms nearly fully extended, return and start again x 15

Lateral Raises. Same weights, arms bent at 90 degrees, elbows by side, raise your elbows up to shoulder level keeping them in line with the side of your body (lateral plane), travel back the same way x 15

Tricep Dips. Find a chair, bench, bed and sit on it, put your hand by your hips then take your bum of and forwards a tad. From there drop your bum towards to the floor u til your elbows are nearly level with your shoulders behind you, SLOWLY push back up to original position x 15

Push Ups. Kneel on the floor on all fours, walk your hands out a little further away from your knees then slowly bend  your elbows and take your chest towards the floor. Try and keep your back, hips and shoulders all in a straight line (so no bum in the air) and when you go down don't let your shoulders drop lower than your elbows or it will be hard to get back up ;) x 15

Bridge. Same position body wise as your push ups but you put your elbows on the floor under your shoulders, hands straight out the front.. hold that position for 30secs to a minute.. DO NOT let your bum drop below your hip line.. it will hurt your back.. spend the whole time imagining you are zipping up a tight pair of jeans and are pulling your tummy button in..

Now for our Q&A from readers... I had the question.. Can you please give us some information about exercising and breastfeeding? 

A breastfeeding mothers needs about 2,000 kJ (445 kCal) per day more than normal. Exercise is fine and a good idea but if you can go an exercise straight after a feed then that will be best as otherwise you may end up with lactic acid in the milk for the next feed.. it won't hurt bub but they may not love it!!

Don't go from nothing to running 10k's but build up gradually so your milk supply, bubs requirements and your bodies natural recovery from exertion can all build steadily..

Ok that is me done for a week or so.. any questions just come back here and ask.. any requests do the same and I will be back to answer/supply the goods then x

Once Upon a Time..

Before I started creating DTLL I actually looked into opening up a Willy Wonka/Old English Sweet Shop.. The only reason I didn't was rent in my area and the fact that my visionary shop fit out would have had me needing to charge kids $5 a Jelly Bean!

I spotted this deliciousness on Pinterest the other day and went back down memory lane with just a hint of jealousy..

AND check out the Ice Cream Flavours!!..

Which would be your pick?

Dream House..

Who doesn't love Pinterest? These are all from my Dream House Board on my Pinterest Page

Whats your dream house? Are you on Pinterest? love to take a look at your pages too if you pop them in a comment xx

Q&A with our Giveaway

Why did you choose your business name?

Earthtribe  is a little business that works with a passion for handmade gifts made ethically and sustainably. Most of our artisans work in little community groups and we wanted our business name to reflect both it’s natural and it’s collaborative aspect. All our products are made using natural, sustainable materials, hence ‘earth’. I am a gypsy at heart and the word ‘tribe’ speaks to me of freedom of expression and movement, adventure and living in the moment! Together they communicate the ethos behind what we do…..

What have you most enjoyed in your career so far?

I have enjoyed watching this little idea of a business take shape and grow… it has taken lots of little baby steps, endless cups of tea, long nights contemplating new ideas, travel to some exotic parts of the world, collaboration with vastly talented people and the opportunities to showcase crafts that are centuries old. I cannot think of any one individual thing but the collaboration of hands and minds over the last couple of years have been fun and fulfilling. As a mum to two young kids, I have loved the opportunity to work from home, to be an active part of their lives and managed to keep close ties with India through the process. 

 What inspires or motivates you?

I grew up in India so the affinity to color and texture has always been natural. I love the fusion of eastern and western style and the brands that successfully marry the two. Social entrepreneurs inspire me to look at business and it’s capacity to change lives. We can be vehicles for change in so many little ways …

..and lastly tell me one things about yourself that you love but has nothing to do with business.

I love tea… (the spiced, cardamom kind), eclectic interiors, vintage scalloped mirrors, Indian textiles, Uzbegi Suzanis, wingback chairs ( on my wish list !) and summer evenings spent with good friends over good food!  

Summat from Nowt... #1

I come across so many gorgeous ideas when I am pottering around sourcing beautiful things for Down that Little Lane that I have decided to start sharing them...

One of my favourite items on DTLL  for the kitchen is these but for the bedroom I love  a little something to out trinkets in like this. Now my hallway also needs something a little deeper for keys etc and I  came across this tutorial for these glazed mini bowls and had to share.... Go take a look

Do you do much DIY? Whats the best thing you have made? I love to dabble..

And the winner is..

The winner of our Incy Egg Chair Giveway  on the website is

You lucky, lucky duck.. I may or may not be just a tad jealous *cue mumbles of grr, and other non writable words*..

No seriously, thank you for being part of the giveaway... we love all our customers and now it is time for our next fab giveaway..

Wanna get Fit on Fridays?

Ok so prompted by a chat between me and Em yesterday about fitness and how easy it is to fall off the wagon and never get back on I am going to try and get a few of you motivated to climb back on..

In my old life I was Personal Trainer.  I even did a year of being a Massage Therapist (until I realised I had double jointed thumbs and it bloody well hurt!!).

Anywho I still have a huge plethora of contacts in the fitness and health industry (naturopaths, PT's, coaches, therapists etc) and I want to help you get fitter whether it is weight loss, better shape, keep that ticker happy or just for the mental uplift that exercise brings..

Each week I will put a little session that you can do in the gym or outdoors even and if you have any questions about anything health and fitness related give me a shout and I will answer or find someone who can... need contacts? ask and I will see who I can find through my network also..

I will make the first week easy.. go out and do something for 30 minutes that means you get sweaty..... that is called exercising xx

I just like it..

all images from my Pinterest Page

Wild, wet and wonderful...

God not me... my run ya fool!!.

I went running. I got wet but it was wonderful.. those tracks are like you are in the wilderness, alone with my thoughts and ok just a little breathless.

* that hill.. it's what I have to come up to get home (that bit sucks a bit)

Have you changed?

Eden asked the question who are you? a few days back and I thought about it all weekend.... I am actually someone who didn't want to write this post but then decided I should because I need to write it down to make it real and to have myself accept change in a positive light.

I am the daughter of really strong parents both physically and mentally.

When I say strong mentally I really just mean stubborn and slightly pig headed (sorry Mum and Dad but you know we are.. all four of us- yes you too Miles) so ok that may not be seen as a plus in some circumstances but I know that it has served me well over the years in many scenarios and I make it a positive.

When I say physically I mean just that, we are all fit and healthy. Mum and Dad met at a skating arena.. speed skating (no not dating, skating). Mum was an elite hurdler. Dad was friggin' James Bond (top belt Karate, Downhill Skiing, Formula 3 Racing Driver, Bare Foot Ski Record Holder and in the later years lots of veteran tennis tournament titles). Me (I have done Ironman.. nuff said) and my Bro are both Personal Trainers and love to flog each other in training sessions when we get together..

So who am I? Tuff nut it would seem.. but you see the story goes on.. I am also a Mum of two and wife to an amazing man. With this I have new found vulnerabilities, fears and above all love.

I love my family more than I have ever loved anything, wanting the best for my family has had me think outside the box and create DTLL, it has had my husband and I take a huge risk in setting up a business that needs constant attention, it has given me the strength to just keep doing what I do because I know it is right even when it feels wrong... my family have given me willpower I never knew existed...

So who I am I? I am a stubborn, pig headed amazonian with willpower that can't be knocked because it is backed by my family..

I love the way that sounds, yes it sounds scary and emotionless and sure I could tell you how upset I get when I think someone doesn't like me or how when I am out running I feel like quiting but with everyone of those moments my willpower takes over and I pick myself up and move on..

My family I come from made me who I am and the family I made have just made me better... Have you changed?

I am off to link up with Eden and thank her for making me think about it.. 

Edenland's Fresh Horses Brigade

What colour do you dream in?

1. these candles come in sets so buy 3 and share the love
2. i have these in green but want them in every colour
4. nothing nicer than a warm neck in winter
6. cosy cuddles, yes please
7. stunning artwork to add some shimmer to your day

Give me a colour and theme and I'll do yours next week ;)

and now for the kids pick....

So we are getting closer and closer to our studio day.... and I am moving onto styling for the kids ad.. what's your favourite? you can tell me why too if you want, no pressure..