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Mama Journeys with Naomi of Billy Button Photography

We are back with our next glimpse into the life of another Mama friend of Nourish and Nest. Thank you for the feedback on the 'Mama Journeys' interviews so far (catch up here if you haven't read them). We all have so much to glean from one another and I so appreciate the honesty of each of the women contributing to this series.

Today I would like to introduce you to Naomi Mackie. You may already know Naomi from her Instagram (@boys_run_free) where she shares glimpses of her life on an old dairy farm (not too far from Nourish and Nest HQ!) with her husband and four sons or from her photography business Billy Button Photography

Naomi has such a sense of adventure and freedom in both herself and her parenting that has long inspired me, I'm excited to share this interview with her. 

 

 

Are there any ways that you have noticed motherhood has changed you?

Motherhood has changed me so much and still is every single day. Being a mother has helped me to become more patient and resilient to any situation that comes before me.

 

What were the most difficult transitions for you when becoming a mother?

Baby number 1 and 4 – baby number one because I had no idea on what I was doing, and baby number 4 because life is now so busy it’s hard to find time to stop.


How do you practise self-care?

Taking a shower or having a cup of coffee.

 

What is one of your favourite small rituals?

Early morning coffee is my most favourite start to my day and trying to sit down through the whole cup together with hubby.


Do you have any family rituals?

Our family rituals are always eating meals together, this is a wonderful way to chat about life and read the bible together.


What do you find your greatest challenge in motherhood?

Finding time to balance spending time with each of the children individually as well as personal time with my husband.

 

Is there anything that helps you connect with yourself as a woman (beyond your role as a mother).

Lately trying to wear more dresses, rather than daggy mum pants, as this makes me feel more feminine

 

What piece of motherhood wisdom has served you well?

Let the children play to their hearts content, let them climb, let them stumble, allow them to explore their world around them without too many no’s.

 

Naomi and her family are embarking on an exciting adventure next year.. check her out on Instagram if you'd like to follow along.

 

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Embracing Winter

When we choose to align ourselves with the seasons, we learn to seek and embrace all that is good about each particular time of year.

Sinking into the season at hand allows us to welcome the particular pleasures that only this season provides. When we're focused on escaping or evading the season, we miss out on the small joys.

How do we align ourselves with the current season? I believe it begins with presence. Before we can find and create everyday beauty, we need to be present with the everyday in the first place. As fabulous as a mid-Winter tropical holiday can be, it's not always an option and even if it is, it only provides a temporary fix. We can choose to be present in the season at hand (which is currently Winter here), to not try to escape it but to instead immerse ourselves in it and find the treasures that it has for us.

If however, we focus on all that we don't like about a season (something many of us are more inclined to do during Winter), we miss the beauty and opportunity that await us.

So, let's embrace Winter. If you find yourself at home more than other times of year, why not learn a new craft or skill or immerse yourself in books that make you want to go to bed early? Cook with seasonal produce, make some mulled wine for the end of a cold day or have a picnic with friends complete with a thermos of something hot.

Winter can traditionally be a time for introspection, for inner work. Take the time to think, to journal, to come out of the darkest season of the year with a little more strength and grace than you had when it began.

And as so often happens.. what we learn from nature, serves us in the course of our lives. What we learn from embracing the different seasons of the year teaches us a lot about living well through the different seasons of our life.

Some seasons of life are easier to love, just like the seasons of the year. But that doesn't mean there aren't joys, wisdom and beauty to be found in each of them.

 

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Mama Journeys... with Laksmi of Copper and Cross

Welcome to our second instalment of the ‘Mama Journeys’ series, a homage to the wisdom that women can glean from one another’s journeys and a celebration of our ‘Little Nourish and Nest’ range.

We hope this series inspires Mamas to honour their unique motherhood paths and remember the importance of finding realistic, soul-filling ways to nourish themselves along the way.

If you don’t already know her, allow us to introduce Laksmi of Copper and Cross.

 

Laksmi is the creator of luxury handcrafted homewares, made in Byron Bay. The aesthetic of Copper and Cross focuses on textures, tradition, culture and quality. Planter baskets, chunga rounds, crosses, wall baskets and much more. Go and see for yourself and you’ll see what all the fuss is about!

 After discovering La’s swoon-worthy, handcrafted homewares range through Instagram, I ended up visiting her beautiful home in the Byron hinterland a few years ago to buy one of her pieces. I was taken straight away with her warmth, authenticity and lack of pretension. We shared tea while our kids picked fresh mulberries and chatted the realities of small business, motherhood and staying true to our own business paths.

It is a complete treat to have La on the blog, sharing a glimpse into her own journey as a creative business owner and mother to her son Illy. I particularly love her family rituals. 

Enjoy!

 

Are there any ways that you have noticed motherhood has changed you?

It’s changed me immensely! Feeling more connected to the world. More relaxed to self questioning - like those “what should I be doing in life?!” questions just kinda go out the window! Mostly, far happier - with less time spent self-obsessing and more time spent caring for someone else. It’s also been the catalyst for other amazing things like starting my creative business, “Copper + Cross”. 

What were the most difficult transitions for you when becoming a mother?

I remember the huge shock those first few days of just realising how incapacitated I was to do things I had taken for granted before. Like shower, get myself a glass of water, call someone etc. I remember looking out at my verandah and just imagining myself sitting out there with a glass of wine and feeling this weird sense of loss. I also felt apprehensive when night time approached knowing this stretch of waking, cries and tiredness was coming for me. Sometime it felt a bit bleak. 

How do you practise self-care?

What’s that? Ha ha. No, but really. I’m trying to imagine what I do that someone would call that? I shower, is the first thing that comes to mind? But most people do that I guess … I honestly can’t think of anything. Sometimes I have a bath! That’s just like showering I guess. Gah. In my ideal fantasy life I would go get every therapy under the sun! Massage, Acupuncture, Kinesiology … Yep. One day. 

What is one of your favourite small rituals?

Making a cup of tea to sit down to work. I work from home so that is VERY exciting as it breaks up the day! 

Do you have any family rituals?

Nothing major. 
My son and I have weird little songs we sing together that we’ve made up or act out some routine we have come up with every few days. 
We have a bit of time in my bed every night before he goes to bed where we just lie next to each other and ask each other questions and cuddle. 
My partner and I try and play golf together every Thursday afternoon. 
We all usually sit down and watch Masterchef when we have dinner at home! But that doesn’t always happen (it took us 8 months to finish one season haha).

What do you find your greatest challenge in motherhood?

Hmmm. I hope this doesn’t sound too “whatever" but I honestly feel like I thrive through motherhood. It was challenging when I was sleep deprived the first year but actually being a mother is the best feeling in the world. The challenges I have faced are honestly more to do with I guess social aspects. It isn’t natural for me to make friends easily with other mothers, get involved in school activities etc. And there is a juggle that comes with living with your child and partner (when your partner is not the dad!), mostly in trying to manage everybody’s feelings. Oh and coming up with dinner every night! Blah, just let me eat some toast and lie in bed one night! I guess I do have challenges!

Is there anything that helps you connect with yourself as a woman (beyond your role as a mother).

Spending time with my beautiful partner. Having that amazing intimate, emotional, sexual connection with another adult. I’m not a very girly girl. I only very recently became the proud owner of some moisturiser. I don’t really adhere to things like “girls night” or gender specific activities. I like to surround myself with friendships that aren’t exclusive of other friends no matter the day or activity! In saying that, I play soccer every year on an all-women’s team and it’s such an awesome environment and SO fun! 

What piece of motherhood wisdom has served you well?

I’ve always just followed my instincts with raising Illy. We spend a lot of time exploring ideas and thoughts. I try not to impose any beliefs or norms on him and see how he feels about different topics he brings up with me. I answer his questions honestly and always have (within the scope of his understanding). We are really weird and quirky with each other and there’s a lot of mate-ship and extreme love and respect there. 

 

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Mama Journeys.. with Nicole from Little Willow Vintage



We're excited to launch a new blog series interviewing some fabulous friends of Nourish and Nest. Different women, staying true to their own paths, who also happen to be mothers. 

Nourish and Nest seeks to inspire small daily moments where we nourish our bodies and souls. Simple rituals of self-care that let us check in with ourselves, practice gratitude and find everyday beauty.

Since the launch of Little Nourish and Nest, I have wanted to hear from other mothers about how motherhood has shaped their journeys, the challenges, the rituals that benefit them and the simple ways they nurture themselves as women.

Our first interview is with Nicole Nicol from Little Willow Vintage.

If you've ever found yourself on Instagram looking for some children's room inspiration, chances are you've stumbled across Nicole's beautiful feed and much-loved brand.
Little Willow Vintage is a baby homewares brand inspired by its 'less is more' philosophy. Nicole hand-stitches the sweetest custom linen cushions and heirloom baby wraps, inspired by simpler times. Her range also includes beautiful linen bedding.


I love that her brand really honours slow design and ethical crafting of pieces that are to be treasured for years to come. 

I am lucky enough to know Nicole in 'real life' (she's a complete delight) and she immediately came to mind when I started putting together this series. 

What are the ways in which motherhood has changed you?

I’m so much more empathetic to other mothers and what they’re going through. I didn’t really spend any time around kids and was one of those parenting experts that have no kids..you know the ones!! They have all the best answers till they actually have them.

What were the most difficult transitions for you when becoming a mother?

Initially I felt quite anxious about having my first, especially as I was an older first time mum (geriatric mother they call it ! Seriously! )  I realise looking back that I found it difficult to accept I may not be able to control everything and was fearful about how my life might change.  

How do you practice self care?  

I think it's often hard for mothers to find time for self care, especially when the kids are young. Just even taking five minutes out on my balcony alone is sometimes hard to achieve but I try to do that each morning to have a cup of tea and breathe in positive affirmations for the day ahead.  I’ve recently blocked off half of one of my work days for a regular yoga class and walk before I go to the studio in the effort to schedule non-negotiable self care.
I also enjoy lighting a candle and making a pot of tea after everyone has gone to bed .. just to enjoy some quiet time.

What is one of your favourite small rituals? (a simple act that brings you joy) 

My favourite thing is to light a beautiful high quality scented candle, while working, reading or sewing. It smells delicious and I feel like its a bit of an everyday luxury. 

Do you have any family rituals?

Simple things like sitting down at the table to eat for dinner or breakfast is something I think is important. Even if it's a weet bix for dinner kind of night!

What do you find to be your greatest challenge in motherhood?

To keep things simple.. sometimes there is a push to be busy and over-schedule ourselves and our kids.  
We learn who we are in the quiet times and the space we make for ourselves. Sometimes we need to say no.. not because we are too busy but so we don’t become too busy.  
 
Is there anything that helps you connect with yourself as a woman? 

I think coming to motherhood at 37 I had a pretty established sense of myself and who I was.  I probably went through a few years feeling like how does this new role fit with who I am.. should I act or dress differently etc.  In the end I think that you need to remember the things you enjoy and connect with..and if you haven’t found that yet you must allow yourself some peace and time alone to find it.

What piece of motherhood wisdom (whether shared with you or learned) has served you well?

As the mother of kids just turned 4 and 9 who are increasingly independent, I think the saying ‘the days are long but the years are short’ is the most fitting of all.


Want to know more about Little Willow Vintage? Head to the website or Instagram 

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The Nourish and Nest Gift Guide

The Nourish and Nest Gift Guide

Gifting made simple

For the tea lover: the tea lovers gift pack

For the homebody: the enjoy small rituals gift pack

For the adventurer: a Turkish towel

For the little one: a wooden bowl & spoon set & baby Turkish towel

For the new mama: a Little Nourish and Nest gift pack

For the foodie: the linen apron gift pack 

For the person always on the go: a glass tea flask

For the entertainer: the linen lovers gift pack

For anybody else: an aromatic coconut & soy candle

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December 12, 2018 Add a comment 1 tags (show)

Calm + Bright - Day 6

 

Festive season self-care

As paradoxical as it sounds, it is when we are the busiest that it is the most important that we create time for some self-care.

Neglecting to look after ourselves during the festive season can lead to the kind of deep exhaustion that potentially manifests itself in pretty unpleasant ways (i.e. family gathering melt downs, ugly crying in the car at the supermarket carpark, telling your boss what you really think of them after too much champagne etc).

As much as you may enjoy a late night Netflix binge or a session of Instagram scrolling, these kinds of activities don't generally refuel our tank. Self-care looks like doing something that allows you to truly rest, relax and restore.

If you've hung around this space for a while now, you'll know that the ethos behind Nourish and Nest is all about enjoying small rituals, achievable moments of self-care, accessible to anyone.

Perhaps take a moment today to think of a few simple self-care rituals and then create a small pocket each day to mindfully and intentionally partake in one.

We're all individuals and what works for one may not for another, but here are some simple examples of self-care that work for me:

  • Taking a bath, even if I only have 10 minutes to spare. I love to add bergamot, ylang ylang and lavender oils and to use a Lemongrass Nourishing Body Bar.
  • Sitting in the sun and sipping a Refresh tea
  • Doing a few restorative yoga poses (legs up the wall is an instant calmer for me)
  • Giving myself a massage with olive or macadamia oil (and a few drops of the aforementioned essential oils), making sure to include my scalp, before jumping in the shower.

How can you care for yourself today?

Wishing you a peaceful, happy Christmas,

Tara x

 

 

 

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Calm + Bright - Day 5

festive: /ˈfɛstɪv/, adjective

cheerful and jovially celebratory

I am aware (and pretty mind-blown) that people from both the northern and southern hemispheres read this blog. People in their 20s and people in their 60s. Single people, people in families, people who work outside the home, people at home full time with kids and people of all different belief systems. I appreciate the feedback I receive (especially this week!) and the insights into your lives that you share. It makes me mindful of the great big mix of us out there (and challenges me to write here a bit more diligently next year).

It would be crazy to write here as though Christmas signifies the same to everyone. But whoever you are, chances are that unrealistic expectations and good intentions and the beauty and busy-ness of tradition and giving are weighing (possibly a little too heavily) on you this festive season.

Maybe you're prioritising, simplifying, staying true to your values and choosing kindness, compassion etc etc.. but can I remind you to also have a little fun? Or a whole lot of fun? To cheerfully and jovially celebrate!

Whether it is being grateful for the good things that went down this year (and however difficult a year it has been, there is always some good amongst it), celebrating your family, having fun with old friends, meeting new friends and obviously if Christmas is spiritually significant to you, celebrating the sacredness of what this time of year signifies. 

Have some fun! Kick off your shoes, do something a little out of the ordinary, organise some revelry. Drink champagne on a school night, get up on the dance floor, sing out loud, play like a kid, swim in the ocean.. whatever brings joy to you!

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Calm + Bright - Day 4

We’re midway through a week-long series on bringing more calm & joy into your festive season.

The honest truth is, I’m writing what I need to be reminded of myself.

In the midst of the marketing mayhem that seems to go hand in hand with Christmas, it feels right to have another voice amongst it all, gently encouraging us to slow down a little, breathe, prioritise, simplify and be present for the beauty amongst both the ordinary and the chaotic. 

If you haven’t read the previous three posts, I encourage you now to do so. Once you’ve stopped to clarify what really matters to you during this season, it makes it so much easier to prioritise, simplify and bring more mindfulness to your days. 

Today, can we talk a little about energy? 

The kind that we carry with us, the kind that we bring in to a room or a conversation with us. Chances are that you’ve experienced being with someone whose energy completely shifts the dynamic, whether positively or negatively, whenever they’re around. If that’s the case, I don’t need to tell you just how powerful the energy we bring into a situation is. 

I remember heading out last Christmas Eve. I probably had a child or three in tow. There was food to buy as well as a couple of presents I’d forgotten and a few errands to run too. Nourish and Nest can be quite the beast in the lead up to Christmas (which I am super grateful for!) so I was exhausted to boot. 

I remember thinking that I wasn’t going to get it all done and dreading the chaos that awaited me, already picturing stressed-out shoppers and crazy parking lots. I recalled past years of seeing road rage and rude people ramming you with their shopping trolleys and was already prepared to have a horrible experience. I was in a pretty negative headspace to say the least. 

I decided to do a little experiment. I told my girls that it was our job today to bring as much kindness as we could to everyone around us. To let people into line before us, to smile at everyone we saw, to wish people a Merry Christmas and even leave a few treats on people’s doorsteps without them knowing (my kids are always on board if you add an element of sneakiness). 

I knew some positivity couldn’t hurt but I remember being blown away but the resounding difference it made to our day. I became aware of everyone smiling back at us, I started noticing people doing small acts of kindness for one another and we seemed to get everything done without the crazy hustle. 

The energy that we bring into our days isn’t just a service to those we interact with, it profoundly affects our experience as well. 

Today I want to seek the good, bring joy and kindness and a little more patience. 

Wishing you the very best of days,

Tara 

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Calm + Bright - Day 3

"Wherever you are, be all there"
Jim Elliot

Before we can even begin to experience gratitude and find beauty in everyday moments, we need to be present in those very moments to begin with.

If you're anything like me, you can be physically present at times but mentally miles away. It robs us of the beauty of the moment and creates a sense of unrest.

This time of year can find us rushing from place to place and it is easy to be never really present, always thinking about all that needs to be done or where we need to be next.

Adding a little mindfulness and presence to your day can profoundly increase your contentment and calm, whatever the day might bring.

Here are a few simple ways to be more present today:

  • Stop for a moment before you hop out of your car to take a few deep breaths and choose to ‘arrive’ and be present.
  • Look into people’s eyes when they're talking or when you are talking to them.
  • Choose to stop several times throughout the day and take a few deep belly breaths. Maybe each time you stop at a traffic light, put the kettle on or use the photocopier at work? 
  • Become aware of all your senses – what can you see, feel, hear and smell in this moment?

 I hope that wherever today takes you, that you can be all there.

Tara x

 

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Calm + Bright - Day 2

 

Embracing Simplicity

Simplicity looks different to each of us and changes throughout the various seasons of our lives. 

But whatever our lives may currently look like, it is profound the difference it can make to our days when we begin to look at situations through the lens of simplicity.

And what better time to seek simplicity than during the busy festive season?

Embracing simplicity can be as easy as asking yourself throughout your day: 

'can I simplify this?'
or
'am I overcomplicating this?'

 

Of course, there is busy-ness that is realistically unavoidable during the festive season (and every season) but we can seek to not overcomplicate these things that do need to be done. 

Tradition can be a comforting and bolstering part of our festive season but we needn't be afraid to change things up a little if those traditions cause stress and pressure.

Whether it is having conversations with family or friends about alternatives to gifts or a kris kringle style set-up if present buying is spiralling out of control, simplifying gatherings by getting everyone to pitch in or just not trying to cram in an unrealistic amount of things into our days.

How can you embrace simplicity today?

 

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