An open love letter to my future daughter …

An open love letter to my future daughter – when I sit to write on certain subjects, I just start typing, and for this particular post, this is what spilled out – if it so resonates with you and your own daughters / nieces / cousins / little ladies in your life, then this is for her too…

Dear future daughter,

Where do I begin? I am writing this to you before you’re even born because as much as I am hopeful for your bright and beautiful future I need you to know these things before you’re earth side with me (and you’re amazing dad).

Right now it’s 2017, a pretty crazy time in terms of natural disasters, let’s just say senseless world leaders and threats of nuclear war (but baby girl, don’t you worry about any of that as this world is always going to be safe for you to come in to, I know I don’t even need to tell you that however).

There is something else going on in the world though that I need to rule out of your life before it’s even a thought in that divine intelligent mind of yours – and that is this obsession with social media and self.

This mama always wants you to know that you are not your looks or your body or your likes or your ‘following’.

By the time you’re earth side with your (hilarious and handsome) daddy & I, I can’t promise you what the state of our planet will be in or how much ‘worse’ this obsession to be “liked” and “followed” will be. But know right to your core, that you should never become more concerned with likes on a photo than you are concerned with who you are as a person and how much kindness you bestow to every single person you meet.

It doesn’t matter how many “followers” you have online, what matters is you had the courage to follow your heart every single day and you remained true to who you were.

And my darling heart please, PLEASE don’t you ever think it’s your boobs or your bum or your body you have to put all over your social media to gain attention. No. It’s your brains and your intellect and your compassion you show to humanity in every single moment.

Know that you deserve to be in any room and deserve to hold any company, be it crouched on the floor feeding the homeless, or introducing yourself to the Prime Minister of Australia (your mummy did that so I know you will too). But here is what I want you to know most, is that both of those people deserve the same level of respect and attention and care from you. You need to Love and respect and revere those that have nothing the same as those that (seemingly) have everything.

My commitment to you is reminding you that your worth is not measured by your bra size, or botox or the fact you are an “influencer” online – your worth is measured in the size of your heart, the depth of your love and the reach of your sincere care for just doing your best for yourself and this planet.

My sincerest wish is that you know what real friendship, love and adventure is long before you worry about how popular or liked you are.

My goal for you is that you hear words like how intelligent and extraordinary a spirit you have long before you’re told how ‘beautiful’ you are (although my sweet girl, you are the most beautiful girl on the planet. Fact).

I want you to learn the word phenomenal and contribution before you learn the word ‘pretty’ and ‘gorgeous’ or ‘snapchat’.

The day mummy took this photo to go with this post I had been online and watched back some videos I had taken of myself that morning .. It was 6am, I had been on my run, so looked tired, pale, had greasy hair, no make up on and … well I suppose the word here is … real.

And the thought crossed my mind – “wow Anna, you were brave putting that up!!” And in that moment right there I caught myself, and realised that was the craziest thought in the WORLD to have, and knew this letter had to be written to you angel.

Never do I ever want you to think ‘brave’ is showing up online OR most specifically OFFLINE aka in the real world exactly as who you are. No make up. Greasy hair (because guess what hunny, your hair is going to get greasy), pimples sometimes (because well, hormones babe) and being allowed to just be deeply authentically you.

The real you always deserves to be shown and never deserves to be second guessed.

Life isn’t perfect and you don’t’ have to show up in it perfectly ever.

You just have to be real and do your best.

I won’t ask much from you little one and I promise to always ALWAYS let you dance to the beat of your own drum, but one thing Mummy will insist on is just staying true to who you are, being Compassionate and having courage to be who you were born to be – before the world (or social media) tells you who to be; You’re a super woman not determined by her body or looks but your brains and capacity to love.

No matter who you do become though or what path you take, just know your Dad & I are going to love you madly and unconditionally and always, ALWAYS have your back.

I want you to always know that you are stronger than you’ll ever truly realise, more powerful than you could imagine and being happy hunny, is far more important than being pretty (so ditch feeling like you’ve got to put on the make up if it means you’ll miss the start of a sunrise or sunset)…

And last but not least, I promise mummy will try her BEST to live in to the example I have set out above.

Love you with all my heart and can’t wait to meet you one day (in this lifetime or the next).

Mummy xxx

It’s not always going to be perfect, and neither are you

I want you to know that I get life isn’t always going to be in flow and peachy. It just isn’t. I have to always even remind myself that to experience joy, I have to still experience the sadness and to be in the light I can only know that from standing in the shadows.

The key I have found though is NO MATTER WHAT to keep putting one foot in front of the other. To move forward even when you’re unsure or hurting or feeling like giving up.

Feeling like sh*t so sleeping in, won’t make you feel better. Getting up to move your body will.
Feeling sad about any certain situation so burying yourself in a series of tv binge watching won’t make you feel better. Getting outside & going for a walk and creating an action plan will.
Feeling lost and unsure so downing a bottle of wine won’t make you feel better. Calling your most trusted friend and having a good chat to clear your energy will.

I have ALL of those feelings, not regularly sure, but I do experience them, and don’t ever think even people who seemingly have their sh*t together don’t have the same crappy feelings like the next human.

What helps me though is one.foot.in.front.of.the.other. Getting up even when I feel like sleeping in. Moving my body even when I have every excuse to not. Calling a friend or speaking to Morgs to clear away some confused energy. Going for a walk and being out in nature when I am disappointed or hurt. Writing on the beach when I need to work through a change or transition.

THIS is what poured out this morning when I sat to write so I know many of you needed this little love bomb in your life. Just remember above all else though, the pain or hurt or confusion or frustration will always pass when you get in to action for yourself and just put that next best foot forward.

And as always, I will be over here cheering you on every single step of the way

Change your language, change your world

Since I was a little girl, my mum has always instilled in me the knowledge that I “speak things in to being” – if us kids ever said anything negative about ourselves (or others) mum would literally make us “take back our words” and replace them with something positive.

I remember when I then got my first full time job in an Accounting firm as a junior administrator, and was responsible for answering and transferring calls. There was an exceedingly wealthy and successful business man who would always call to speak to his accountant and the first time I was ‘lucky’ enough to answer the phone the conversation went a little like this;

Me: “You’ve called Acute and you’re speaking with Anna how can I help you”.

Him: “Hello Anna, it’s <man> here, how are you today?”

Me: “I’m not bad thank you for asking, how are you?”

Him: “So you’re terrible then are you?”

Me: “no no, you might have missed heard me I said not bad”

Him: “no I heard you perfectly fine you just have horrendous language around trying to tell me you’re well. Next time Anna someone asks you how you are, instead of saying two negative words, ‘not’ and ‘bad’ why don’t you try saying ‘well’.

Me: “I absolutely will, and transferring you through to <name> now.

I remember actually being quite shaken after that call – interestingly, because he wasn’t trying to be mean but to a young impressionable (albeit wild) 18 year kid being schooled on language was so far out of my usual and I knew forever more “not bad” would be stricken from my vocabulary. In fact, working my way up in that company to then Receptionist and Office Manager I would train the new junior administrators on that exact language and what not to say.

Language has always therefore been so huge for me, and as I’ve gotten older and read more books, it’s gotten even MORE important to me.

Then, as I’ve written about countless times before, I picked up my first personal development book, Awaken the giant within by Tony Robbins and there was a whole chapter on language and speaking to the power of our words and how they truly shape our whole reality.

It was like a slap across the face in the BEST of ways again.

I then went from formalities of saying things like “well” and “fine thank you” when people asked how I was, to saying words like “I’m exceptional” or “I’m amazing thank you!” or my favourite “I’m extraordinary thanks for asking how about you” …

I learned that even in the moments that maybe I wasn’t those things (I get you can’t be lickity schmick all the damn time of course) but saying “shit house” or “not bad” or “yeah ok” was FAR worse and going to attract much of the same bad, ok or shit house feelings and things in to my life. Where as exceptional, amazing and extraordinary – well, guess what I then get to attract more of in to my life. Bingo.

I have practiced bettering my language consciously now for 8 years, and I STILL every single day beam ear to ear when someone (without fail) replies back to my “I’m amazing thanks for asking” or “ I am phenomenal” with “oh gosh that is just the best I have not heard a response like that in years (or ever). So even on the days I maybe don’t feel thatttt phenomenal but I say it, I immediately DO feel phenomenal because a) I am manifesting those emotions and feelings in to my life, and b) I immediately do feel phenomenal because of the response it illicits back from those I am connecting with, and what a gift that is.

Then something profound and cool happened just yesterday; whilst reading my current book, ‘You are a bad ass at making money’ by Jen Sincero, I was yet again reminded of how much BETTER even I can do. This particular chapter was on watching your language around money as obviously the Universal Intelligence (God, the universe, aliens, unicorns, allah – whatever your jam is) is ALWAYS listening and providing you more of what you want.

Now, you’ve just heard I have been consciously working on this ‘stuff’, on my language and ensuring I choose my words carefully every single day for 8 years now so you’d think I would have been pretty across this idea but I was slapped in the face AGAIN (best slaps ever though right) and woken up to the fact that in actual fact, when it comes to MONEY my language isn’t where it should be.

In the book, Jen listed out the following. She said we need to be aware of when we (and those around us – because you’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with don’t forget that) say the following;

I want (because it means you lack).

I wish (because its saying you’re not in control which is disempowering).

I need (saying you don’t already have it = lack again).

I can’t (well, that one is obvious!).

I’m trying (and trying isn’t ‘I’m committed now is it).  

I hope (showing you lack faith, as it might not happen).

I should (sooo maybe you will or maybe you won’t).

I don’t know (spoken as truth, slams doors shut on finding the truth).

Brilliantly though, Jen then went on to also list MAGNIFICENT replacements though .. so instead of the above the book offered up to try saying instead….

I have  

I create

I’m grateful for

I enjoy

I can

I choose

I LOVE

Put super simply and cleanly because everybody loves it laid out as obviously as possible we need to follow the table below …

INSTEAD OF SAYING THIS …. SAY THIS INSTEAD ….
I want I have
I wish I create
I need I’m grateful for
I can’t I enjoy
I’m trying I can
I hope I will
I should I choose
I don’t know I’m trying to work that out

So instead of saying;

I can’t achieve that as I honestly don’t know how I’ll ever get there…

We can say instead;

I enjoy that I am learning every day on how I AM going to achieve xyz as I know I will get there.

Instead of saying;

I want < insert business or personal goal here > ..

We can say instead;

I have all that I need to achieve < insert business or personal goal here > and am so grateful that abundance is all around me.

Whether you believe it or not the truth is, we truly are manifesting and bringing about our reality every single moment of every single day with every thought we think and word we speak, and I know that I know that I know, even these small little changes at the start of my sentences can and will drastically change the course of all of our lives.

We have the decision every single day to choose, choose what we are thinking, choose what we are saying and therefore choose what we are manifesting and creating, and I as of this day, I am committing forevermore to getting to that level of specificity with my language, and if you’re so called to as well, I think it’ll all just help in consciously moving this planet forward to LOVE that little (a lot) more.

Hi I’m Anna and I just want to clear a few things up when it comes to what I do.

All day everyday I am grateful and genuinely adore answering women’s questions in my inbox about what I do, the profession I am in and sometimes the misconceptions they have about both. So I thought I’d bring some of my answers out of the ‘shadows’ and in to the ‘light’ in case YOU have always wanted to ask these questions also but never had the courage … Here we go….

And if you fist pump or go “huh that is literally what I have wanted to ask” then it’s time you & I had a chat gorgeous … so dive in to my inbox and let me know which question! xo

I’VE ALWAYS WANTED INFO BUT I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT TO ASK..

Awesome, you’re one of many women who feel that way don’t stress! Just reach out and say hello, that’s a great start, and I can always ask you some questions from there and will know what info to guide you to.

I DON’T WANT TO WASTE YOUR TIME IN CASE I END UP SAYING NO THOUGH, AS YOU SEEM REALLY BUSY…

Biggest misconception. This is what I do. Full Time. And I am more than happy to chat to anyone sincerely interested in learning more, even if you say no that’s completely ok, you need to be happy and ready to give this a go and how will you ever know that if you don’t at least reach out.

I WANT TO TRY THE PRODUCTS BUT DON’T WANT TO DO THE BUSINESS…

And that is totally totally cool as there is 0 pressure (I mean that) to do the business, never has been, never will be (certainly not in our team anyway). This is about your health first and foremost and THAT is my main focus coaching you over the first month & beyond. And besides, you have to LOVE these products before you even look at doing the biz.

OK BUT THEN WHAT IF I DO WANT TO SHARE WITH SOME PEOPLE DOWN THE TRACK?

That’s perfectly fine too, and that’s when I can help you share those rad health results you’ve just experienced in an authentic and organic way.

I HEARD I AM LOCKED IN AND HAVE TO ORDER EVERY MONTH?

One of the most common myths in Isa & I am exceedingly pleased to dispel it. You aren’t locked in to ANYTHING. Ever. That “auto” shipment you might have heard of, is controlled by YOU and you can turn that off or not even start with that if you don’t want.

AND WHAT IF I JUST DON’T LIKE IT IN THE END?

That’s ok too – sometimes people don’t but you wanna know the raddest thing about our company? They have a 30 day money back guarantee, so you can try all the products you get and on day 30 with empty tubs if you still decide it’s not for you (which I would never be upset over) you just send the tubs back and get a FULL refund. So it really is quite literally, risk free.

And lastly…

I ACTUALLY REALLY WANT TO DO WHAT YOU’VE DONE .. BUT I AM SCARED OF WHAT PEOPLE WILL SAY / THINK…

Beautiful. I so hear you. Louder than you can imagine. But the problem with not doing something that could change your life because you’re scared of what people will think is going to hold you back in EVERY area of your life (not just this). Just remember, people’s opinions aren’t going to pay your bills (try it, next phone bill send it to the friend that is negative about people trying to make a go of their life and see if that opinion will pay that bill  ) .. The advice I have though is just try it, quietly at first if you have to, get the results I KNOW you will get, and then go from there. But just know if that friend doesn’t support your decisions that you’re making to improve your health and lifestyle then it’s time to re think who you’ve allowed in your life. The other thing is, you will gain a hundred new friends who WILL support you & have your back with our extraordinary team of humans all there to cheer you on. So just know, NOT doing it because of that is going to get you nowhere but feeling the fear and doing it anyway – is going to get you EVERYWHERE.

I would SO love to work with you beautiful or just help answer any of the above questions if you’ve got them, you need only reach out on either our Facebook (found here) or on email at info@annaandmorgan.com

My second favourite F word

Freedom.

Hmmm. A 7 letter word that can mean SO MANY DIFFERENT things to so many people.

And you know what? I get some people even cringe when they hear that word these days because it’s almost so overused. And granted, us network marketers are a little to blame for that.

Here is the thing though, just because you haven’t aligned with other people’s version of what freedom is to them, doesn’t mean that you should switch off from the word. You also absolutely shouldn’t think that a version of Freedom isn’t available to you, because it is.

I live a pretty public life (happily). You will regularly (if you follow me over on Instagram) see me share our day-to-day lives, working from home (or cafes, or from wherever and whenever), being at the gym, us travelling the world, and the general musings of what happens in our life.

That, all of that – just the very basics of how I live, day-to-day, getting to choose where I work from, who I work with, when I work, and then getting to travel the world – is my idea of freedom.

And although that is MY version of Freedom, it doesn’t have to be yours.

(Full disclosure: I have been told by many mums in my team working from the beach doesn’t interest them at ALL. Point is, I get it.)

What I DO want to encourage you today to do however is know what Freedom DOES mean to you.

Is it your exact current reality? How beautiful – how can you then help more people find their own version of that though.

Is it being a stay at home mum that is the best baker & homemaker of all time? Perfect.

Is it actually owning a bricks and mortar business but that you get to CEO the pants off. That’s completely rad.

Is it being able to wake up when you want and earn passive income from investments you’ve managed to build up? Boomshakalaka. Fist bump.

Is it never having to worry about a bill again. Goosebumps, I feel you on that one.

Or maybe it’s travelling the world working from every infinity pool that you can find in all of your favourite countries (cocktail in hand of course). Can I come?

My point is,  my version of freedom, or other people’s versions of freedom might not resonate AT ALL with you and that’s ok. All I ever want is to inspire you to know what YOUR version of freedom is and start to move towards that, by living by example with my own.

My version of freedom is the life I get to lead every single day.

{ The view on my run this morning from Bondi to Bronte – and back }

It means that I get CHOICE, every single day, of where I want to be in the world. It’s how I move my body (but more specifically WHEN – 530am weights session? Awesome. 10am run? You bet. 1pm Pilates class? Why not. ). It’s working from wherever I want, with the hours that I want with NO BOSS (shout out to all my other soul sisters & brothers who have problems with authority). It’s earning an uncapped income that is tied to my EFFORT, not an income a corporation sets. It’s not stressing about bills, ever, because I found the power of residual income (that still blows my mind to tears every single day). And it’s knowing that when I become a mum, I still get to do all of the above with ease.

That’s freedom to me.

This morning, I woke up in a beautiful apartment in Bondi where I am staying for the week for a beautiful mix of business and pleasure. I woke up because my body was ready to wake up (I am an early riser by nature). I went running along the coast line, stopping when I got to a beach (Bronte) I sat at and just watched the waves for a good 30 minutes at. Why? Because I didn’t have to rush back to get ready for a j.o.b. I ran back towards the apartment when I felt ready for a coffee, and sat in a window in the sun people watching for another 30 minutes slowly finishing my coffee and organic breakfast smoothie. It’s now 11am and I am working from another gorgeous café by myself, writing this blog post, with the day ahead of me to do as I please.

Travel, and working from cafe’s and exercise may not be your jam AT ALL. Sleeping in and being home and having a boss may be your version of freedom (extreme opposites but you get my point).

{ Finding gorgeous cafe’s to work from no matter where in the world I am – is freedom and happiness to me }

I think the most important thing to ‘get’ from this though, is that it’s more important than ever to work out your own version of freedom. What does that FEEL like for you? What does that LOOK like for you?

And just know that you can have that. You really can.

Of course, MOST versions of freedom come down to need more time and more money, which I completely understand (as time and financial freedom IS my version of freedom) and getting to that stage takes work, of course, I know because we have done that and continue to work hard (on things we love) for that as well – but it’s WORTH IT.

I know as well that what Morgan and I do in network marketing isn’t for everybody, it IS however for a LOT of people and maybe you’re that person.

Maybe you’re sick and tired of working for the man or living pay cheque to pay cheque – or bigger than that, maybe you’re sick and tired of not living your version of Freedom. Or maybe you don’t even KNOW what Freedom would look and feel like for you as you’re so far from that (we get that too, we help lot’s of people who are at that stage as well).

But either way, getting to live our own life on our terms is only fun when we get to do with others who are doing the same.

And we’re ready to help you.

So if you are inspired, and would like to know if maybe, just MAYBE we can help you on your own version of Freedom, you can always get in touch with us over on our “vision” page. 

Either way – my own vow to you is to keep showing up to inspire daily, and just know, the day you ARE ready, our door is always open.

 

 

 

 

 

Featured Image: Instagram image by @chloe_bh

 

 

How to plan a perfect trip to Lisbon

Whenever I know Morgan and I are headed to a new city, I initially stay away from Trip Advisor (although it really is a phenomenal website) and I head straight to Pinterest. I am such a visual person you see, and you can tell me to go somewhere or talk about how magnificent it is – but I want to SEE what you’re talking about. So Pinterest to me is how I visualise and set up our trip or the main parts of it before we have even left.

Lisbon was no different. Before we had left I had ensured visually I knew what I wanted to go and marvel at myself and the kinds of beautiful pictures I wanted to pap to remember our trip by.

We ended up spending 4 full days in Lisbon and if I got to re write my whoel itinerary again I would still do the exact same. It was long enough to really get to spend quality time in the city that completely stole our heart without thinking for a moment we were ready to move on.

{ Walking the hill that the Santa Justa Lift takes in the gorgeous Bairro Alto area }

I was so very grateful for every single blog I read before we left from travellers that had gone before us (that I found via Pinterest photos) so I wanted to repay the favour and write my own piece on what we did and saw in our 4 days.

Here is the thing though – an itinerary that works incredibly for one couple or solo traveller might not work at all for another, so although I am going to share what we did, where we ate and the tours we did, the best time you will have is treading your own path and dancing to the own rhythm of your travel drum, remember that.

For those that just want a bit of inspiration so you really do feel like you saw and did a lot of what Lisbon had to offer, read on compadre read on.

If you are someone who doesn’t like reading and just loves or wants a good clear itinerary of what to do in a city so you can pick and choose (something that almost all blogs lack) then you’re in luck, as I am just going to plainly post out exactly what we did and where we went below. If you don’t mind devouring a good ole travel blog though I encourage you to read on as I go in to more detail in the continued part of the blog.


LISBON ITINERARY 1.0.1

DISTRICTS TO EXPLORE..

Alfama district

Chialdo district

Toured the Bairro Alto area

Drank coffee / ate Tapas in Mouraria

FOOD / RESTAURANTS TO EAT AT..

Eat custard tarts from Manteigaria Fabrica

Drink sangria from rooftop bar – Topo

Have lunch / drinks at Time Out Market

Drink Sangria + Japanese food at Silks (also a rooftop bar)

TOURS / ADVENTURES HAD ..

Walked the Praca do Comercio square

Walked the Tagus River

Toured Torre De Belemr

Watched sunset from Miradouro look out (highest look out in the city)

Food Tour in Lisbon (we did this one and HIGHLY recommend it)

Day trip to Sintra (Walked up the mountain, Castle of the Moors, National Palace of Pena. And ate at: Saudade, Tascantiga)

Now for those who want to read on, and indulge my new found passion of this city I would love to take you on a bit of a longer journey of what to do, see and eat!


So I feel a trip to this gorgeous city can be distinctly broken down in to 3 core areas, and when you do a little (or all) from column a, a little (or all) from column b and a little (or all) from column c – you have yourself the perfect Lisbon adventure mapped out ahead of you.

{ Stumbling across my favourite little area in Portugal; Mouraria – loved every corner and turn, especially art like this }

Those 3 areas are;

  1. Districts to explore
  2. Food / Restaurants to eat at
  3. Adventures / Tours to do

Lisbon isn’t a small city (like say Porto) and there are a lot of phenomenal places to explore. And here is the thing, when I say explore I MEAN explore. I don’t mean, get on a crammed tram, hope for a window seat and then half hang out of it with your camera to (hopefully) snap parts of the city as the tram whizzes by. I mean explore…by foot.

Morgan and I clocked up over 70km in 3 ½ days by foot and it truly was the best way to see the city.

One of the most famous things to do in Lisbon and what you’ll read on every other blog of ‘to do’ is to catch the Tram #28. It’s an institution of Lisbon and takes you on some beautiful routes. Thing is, Morgan and I didn’t step foot on it. What we DID do however was learn where the tracks were, and follow them on foot. That way we avoided the crowded trams (and the pick pocketers who wait for tourists to let their guide down) and instead got to see far more of the little sights you’d miss on an otherwise crowded and moving tram.

But back to the areas to explore.

Districts to explore

{ Walking around the beautiful and vast Praca do Comercio square that is on the border of Alfama & Bairro Alto }

The main ones we stuck to, went back to, fell madly in love with and know you will too were;

  • Alfama
  • Chialdo
  • Bairro Alto
  • Mouraria

If you have only a day or so, you can still hit them all easily. Even by foot. Alfama & Chialdo AND Bairro Alto are all next to each other in terms of areas and Mouraria isn’t too far away either.

Bairro Alto is such a vibe’y gorgeous area but is best once the sun starts to go down, that is where you’re absolutely going to want to go for a drink in the evening and just get lost in the crowds and music.

My favourite little hidden gem though that I loved the most was Mouraria – no other blogs I had read had talked about it and we only found it as our guide on our food tour took us through this area. We walked past the entrance so many times, literally a small ally that you would never even notice if you weren’t paying attention, but it was my favourite little oasis in all of Lisbon. Tiny holes in the wall (we had some cherry wine in a little bar with a man who owned and worked in the bar for more than 30 years) and there was great history, art and cafes to keep you occupied for a good few hours.

FOOD / RESTAURANTS WE ATE AT..

The list condensed…

Ate custard tarts from Manteigaria Fabrica

Drank sangria from rooftop bar – Topo

Had lunch / drinks at Time Out Market

Drank Sangria + Japanese food at Silks (also a rooftop bar)

Watched Fado at Fado na Morgadinha

Before we had left, I had read on every blog site that Pasteis De Nata’s were the most famous dessert there and that I just had to try one. So our first morning there we got to do just that as our amazing air bnb host had left us one each as a welcome gift, and honestly we were immediately hooked. So take my advice (not that you need it – HA) get a Pasteis de nata in to you as soon as possible after landing. And then have as many as you feel like a day.

The most famous place or best place we had one from was in Bairro Alto at a place called Manteigaria Fabrica – they pump out over 7,000 of them a day! Morgan and I may or may not have had 3 each from this place but at €1 each how could we not!

My advice; get there when it opens and avoid all the ques!

{ Eating our weight in Pasteis De Nata’s at the famous Manteigaria Fabrica }

Morgan and I also LOVE a good rooftop bar / restaurant so we sniffed out the best ones whlst in Lisbon also – our picks and where we went for drinks and food were:

  • Topo

  • Silks

{ Taking in the delicious view with an even more delicious Aperol Spritz from the Topo Rooftop }

{The exact view we got to take in whilst devouring our delicious wine + Japanese food on the rooftop at Silks }

Topo was AMAZING for an afternoon drink, watching the mood and weather change in Lisbon from that high up, and then we taxi’d on to Silks to watch the actual sunset and have some dinner. We booked at Silks and you want to ask for outside as the views really were and are spectacular.

Another amazing ‘must go see’ place was the Time Out Market, we were recommended it by a tonne of locals whilst there and we are SO glad we did actually end up there.

Time Out Market was an initiative from the Government years ago to put all the best of the best of Lisbon in one place!! So although it attracts a lot of tourists, its where all the locals eat as well. You have stalls and stalls and stalls of food or wine to choose from and sit at a table share style getting to listen to the conversations and mayhem go on around you.

{ We absolutely adored eating and drinking our way around Time Out Market and you absolutely will too }

The last but absolutely not the least thing you really must do in Lisbon is see a Fado show. The best way it was described to me (and once I witnessed it I thought it was the perfect description) was Fado is about the music as Flamenco is about the dancing.

We asked our air bnb host for the recommendation as there are a LOT of Fado restaurants to choose from but we weren’t looking for tourist we were looking for traditional. And we got that in spades with the one recommended to us; Fado na Morgadinha. You’re not there for the best food of your life (be mindful of that) you’re there to see Fado performed so although we LOVED the food and felt like it was like your grandma’s cooking, the French couple next to us were rather dismayed. The food, wine, and Fado to us though was excellent.

Everywhere else in Lisbon, just stop when you find a view you love, a pumping hot spot full of locals (always the best clue) or when you find a gorgeous spot you must people watch from.

TOURS / ADVENTURES HAD ..

The list condensed…

Walked the Praca do Comercio square

Walked the Tagus River

Toured Torre De Belem (aka the Tower of Belem)

Watched sunset from Miradouro look out (highest look out in the city)

Food Tour in Lisbon (we did this one and HIGHLY recommend it)

Day trip to Sintra (Walked up the mountain, Castle of the Moors, National Palace of Pena. And ate at: Saudade, Tascantiga)

{ Taking in the beauty – away from the crowds – that is the Tower De Belem }

{ Stop #1 of the Food Tour & we already knew we were going to love it }

By far the absolute highlight of Lisbon for me was the Food Tour we did called “taste of Lisboa” (this is the one we did that I have already link twice, but honestly, it really was the highlight for both Morgan and I’s Lisbon trip). I even recommend even if you have 2 days in Lisbon, to do a food tour as we drank the best wine, ate the yummiest (and most traditional food) and saw quite a lot of Alfama and it’s surrounds by foot learning about the culture, people and sights along the way. P.s can I just say that nothing I ever promote or recommend – including this food tour is a paid promotion, i just will always sincerely recommend places and things I have loved.

The other thing we knew we had to / wanted to do (especially with quite a few days in Lisbon) was take a day trip out to Sintra, and I do think its worth it. It was about an hour on the train and a return ticket cost all of €4.30 return so it’d be rude not to.

Like the ‘tour by foot’ people we are, we walked a LOT in Sintra (aka up the big mountain to the Castle of the Moors and the National Palace of Pena) but if you’re a) not up for walking or b) want to see a lot more of Sintra, here is where I recommend you take a tuk tuk around.

We ate some of the areas famous cheese cake at Saudade café as soon as we got off the train (highly recommend you do the same) and choose Tascantiga for lunch which again, we absolutely recommend for some delicious and traditional Tapas.


And that’s it. We really did fall so madly and deeply in love with Lisbon and have vowed to come back. I totally see why it is becoming the hotspot for Europeans and if you have never had Lisbon or Portugal on your ‘to visit’ list, I absolutely assure you it’s worth the addition.

When it comes to all things travel though, always just follow what feels good, where your mood is taking you and remember to dance to your own rhythm at all times and you truly cannot go wrong.

Hopefully we will bump in to you somewhere around the globe, but for now….

The Adventures of Portugal

I feel like the trip to Portugal was 5 years in the making.

You see, when Morgs and I spent just under 5 months travelling Europe back in 2012, we had it on our list of places to visit but fate ended up keeping us from it. Whilst in Spain we got an email from the airline at the time letting us know the flight we had booked to Porto was cancelled, but they could put us on another flight to … somewhere North in Spain (so random, thanks for the consolation prize airline but no thanks). We tried to then re book other ways in to Portugal but it was really expensive or was a full day of travel (2 things us back packers weren’t keen on) so we ended up decided to just stay in Spain the extra few days and explored Madrid instead.

So whilst booking our month away this time, knowing 2 of the weeks would be spent in Europe, Portugal was quite literally at the very top of our list.

And oh me, oh my – it truly and wonderfully did exceed every single one of our big and beautiful expectations.

{ People watching our first morning in Lisbon. One of our favourite past times to do in Europe }

We had 7 days to explore whatever parts of Portugal we wanted and we actually spent quite a lot of time looking in to areas to know where we’d most like to go, and that’s how we ended up booking 4 nights in Lisbon and 3 nights in Porto – and if doing it again, I would do it the exact same.

We could have added in an extra town in – say, Lagos, but we actually wanted to ‘settle’ in the city, and I am so glad we decided to just do 2 cities in the 7 days as we really got to just see it at our own pace in our own way, the best way and the only way we know how to travel.

Landing in Lisbon the evening of our first night we didn’t get to see any of the city other than what we saw whizzing by us in the Uber to our apartment but we kept saying to each other from what we did see “ohhhh we are so going to like this city” and I almost think waking up the next day to explore it brand new was a bonus gift from the universe.

Whenever and wherever possible when we travel, Morgs & I will always opt for an Airbnb (we book the whole house / apartment however) over a hotel, and for a good few reasons.

  1. Hotel rooms feel stuffy and clinical to us. We want to be and feel like a local, with the hosts art on the walls and their books in their bookshelf, if I am in a brand new city around the globe I want to see and feel how they live, not be in a 4 walled hotel room with room service at the other end of the phone.
  2. We love having a kitchen to cook in if we need / want and washing machine to do our washing! You can’t beat those home’ly feels when you’re missing your own creature comforts.
  3. You get to stay in cooler areas than most Hotels are situated. Case in point, the air bnb we stayed at in Lisbon. When we looked at what area to stay in the Alfama area was one of the top areas to ‘visit’ and explore – so we knew that’s where we wanted to stay, problem was, there wasn’t many if any hotels in that area – they were all more in the popular tourist area of the central city. Finding our Airbnb rightttttt in the heart of Alfama is what made our stay feel all the more special. We were amongst the locals, drank our coffee with them in the morning, and got the history of the area from our host when we arrived.
  4. You have the hosts local knowledge to give you all the restaurants and places that not all tourists know of and aren’t on Trip Advisor. Of course you can get this at a hotel with the concierge as well but I have always found they still lead you to the main tourist places.

So there we were, in our groovy and home’ly Airbnb right in the heart of Alfama and the first morning, walking up the first of what felt like a thousand hills we’d walk, we sat and drank coffee with the locals as we soaked up the fact we were back in Europe, and were in a city we had wanted to visit for years.

Knowing we had 4 days – or 3 ½  full days allowed us to not feel rushed to go see everything as fast as possible and so day 1 we just said we would have no maps and walk, just see where the city took us and what adventures came from it, and as fate alwayssss has it, we actually ended up stumbling across almost all of the top things ‘ to do’ on that faithful trip advisor list, without meaning to of course.

One of the best things I think I did though for the consequent days was stay OFF trip advisor and use our hosts local knowledge  and Pinterest! But what do you MEANNN Pinterest I hear you ask.

Before I left I had been on Pinterest pinning pins for each city we were visiting, Portugal and Marrakech (& even London). I am, I think we all are, visual people, and I don’t want to just read about places, I want to SEE what they’re like and Pinterest is the best for that. I pinned stunning things and places to see and eat and each picture on pinterest generally is linked back to a site, and in travel pictures, they’re generally linked back to Travellers blogs, and Travellers blogs are what I want to read! They’ve walked and travelled the path I generally want to also.

So our whole Portugal trip just felt like a Pinterest vision board coming to life.

Here is the thing about that though – because of Pinterest and all of the beautiful pictures and all of the amazing advice I read off of those travel blogs sites (not just trip advisor) I wanted to honour the NEXT traveller to Portugal and write up my own ‘version of events’ – give a list to future travellers of where we went, what we saw and how we managed to see so much of beautiful Lisbon and Porto in 7 days.

So our journey dear reader ends here, and over the next 2 blog posts I am going to actually list out where we went and what we saw (and tours and places we did) in the humble hope that one day my own words and way we explored Portugal inspires another travellers adventures.

Tchau (goodbye) for now – and read on in the next 2 blog posts to cover off our full adventure.

Europe Part II here we go

So here we are. 38,000 feet up in the air, 14 hours of flying in to the 21 hours of flying we have to do to get to our first destination of Lisbon, Portugal, and I am found again in my happy place. I’m not sure about you, but I have always and feel I will always, find flying to be my absolute muse.

I come up with more content in a couple of hours flying than I do any time or any place else.

It’s funny though, because even when I know how much I love to write in the sky, and even though I have had thus far 14 hours to pull out my laptop and put finger to key stroke, I have resisted. Until now. So, it’s time you and I beautiful reader had a date.

I must say I have been more excited for this trip than I have for any other for a very long time. Most long-term readers know that back in 2012, Morgan and I spent just under 5 months travelling Europe & the U.K and I blogged about the whole experience in this very space you’re reading this post from now. We swam in the fairy pools in Scotland, drank Guinness in Ireland, danced on rooftops in Greece, I left part of my soul in Santorini in fact. We Sailed the coast of Croatia, ate our way around Italy, walked the Cinque Terra, got lost in Prague, historied ourselves out in Germany, played in snow in Switzerland, ate Nutella crepes in Paris – the list goes on, and on, and on. It truly was and always will remain the greatest trip of our lives. Why? Because it was the first taste either of us really got of travel and we came home 2 completely different people. Since then though we have never been back much to my desire to.

And sure, since then we have been on huge trips annually, and I have ticked so much more off my bucket list like honeymooning in Maldives, Swimming with whale sharks in Tulum, exploring all Japan had to offer, dancing our nights away in Mexico, having our breathe taken away by the Grand Canyon, eating $1 slice pizza in Times Square New York…nothing compares to me the FEELING that I get in Europe. It’s a sense of familiarity I will never quite be able to articulate, and above all else a feeling of like I am HOME.

You could drop me in an ally way in Venice or a plaza in Spain, a rocky beach in the south of France or next to a donkey in Santorini and that same feeling doesn’t go away.

So, knowing that as of right now, we are headed back to that place of familiarity and home, a place I haven’t returned to in 5 years (that feels even crazy to say) I am B.E.Y.O.N.D excited. MORE than excited.

This trip we will be gone a whole month. 30 days exactly. 2 weeks being in Europe. 2 weeks being in the U.K. With a divine mix of business and pleasure, but like I always say, when the lines of business and pleasure are so blurred you don’t in fact know one from the other you know you’re where you’re exactly meant to be and that is where we are right now.

{ If there is one thing I can nail, it’s packing. 1 month though + 3 major countries + 3 different cultures was admittedly a little hard }

Here is the thing though, and why I did pull my laptop out to write this initial piece. Feeling all the nostalgia in the world the day before we flew out, I made myself a cup of coffee and retreated to my office to read back over some of the blogs I wrote whilst we were travelling Europe back in 2012. I wanted to capture that feeling again and get re inspired to document this trip.

Because recently, and too regularly, I have been talking about how regretful I am for NOT having documented all the other phenomenal trips Morgs & I have been on since 2012 that I haven’t documented. You know, like exploring Japan or swimming with whale sharks or travelling for 6 weeks around the states + Mexico (yep we did that 2 years ago and I didn’t even share ANY of that on here – hashtag regretful).

Writing is what fills my whole soul. I honestly couldn’t care if another soul ever read another word that I wrote. It’s not about that for me. It’s the art of sitting in my own vulnerability and showing up with my story with my whole heart. I write by myself and FOR myself. The fact that people then like to pour their own cups of hot tea or coffee and devour my words humbles me so damn much – but really and fundamentally this space has always and will always be my online journal.

So NOT documenting the last trips over the years has been in fact a regret of mine – but far from living with regret (fuck.that) I made the commitment that this trip, NO MATTER WHAT, I would pull my laptop out as we went city to city and commit back to the sacred art of writing of our adventures as we travel this beautiful expansive globe.

And if anything, I hope to one day be able to simply read back all of Morgan and I’s adventures as bed time stories to our future children instilling in them the same adventurous spirit we have been lucky to cultivate.

So here I am. And here you are. And together, we both get to go on this journey together.

The next month will see us visit and devour as much as Lisbon as possible. I’ll see us do wine tours from the origin of Port in Porto. It’ll see us explore and navigate our way around the beautiful old city of Marrakech. It’ll see us camp out under the dessert stars in the divine Sahara dessert. It’ll see us then have no agenda in particular for 2 whole weeks as we go where we’re called to go around the U.K as our business and team grow there.

To say it’s the world’s greatest and biggest of gifts to mix business with pleasure will always be the biggest understatement but here we are living that life.

Some posts might be short and sweet and literal diary entries from me sharing a crazy day or phenomenal unexpected adventure had that day – others may be tips on how Morgs & I manage to navigate a happy marriage whilst travelling the world (take it from us living, sleeping, working, shitting, travelling together can be TOUGH), and other days – well other days who knows, but that is the magic of this space for me, it just allows me to show up how I need to for myself, when I need to.

I can’t wait to take you on this vicarious ride though and get ready for some fun, some truths, some ups and no doubt downs and everything in between.

They say travel truly is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer, and there isn’t a trip that goes by where I don’t fall more and more in love with that concept than ever.

16 week challenge of Radical Self love

2nd January 2017 I started my 5th (and absolutely not final) Isa Body Challenge.

What that means, is I started a challenge that would span over the next 16 weeks where I got to push myself physically and mentally to reach some new goals that I set – and set some new goals I did. You see, as I just mentioned, this was my 5th 16 week challenge that I did, and THIS time, I wanted it to be unlike any challenge I had done before, I wanted to get some results I hadn’t had before. That meant it was going to absolutely take some sacrifice of my sacred ‘balance lifestyle’ I live and breathe by and it would take me setting some new challenges for myself.

But what challenge could that be? I wondered.

Because YES I live and breathe balance (I mean if there was legit a poster child for balance it would in fact be me – hello eating a salad with a glass of champagne) but 365 days of the year I look after my health.

I eat clean. I exercise daily. I cleanse once a week. I use my Isa products daily and with heavy commitment. So what was I going to do this time to see the changes?

Morgs and I both knew the answer to that question, even though we weren’t sure we both wanted to admit it – the answer started with no and ended with booze. You heard it right, no booze.

I must immediately state here, that it IS a 16 week challenge but we did not go booze free for the whole 4 months, that was a little TOO extreme for us, what we did instead was commit to THREE of those months booze free. Still pretty (read; very) extreme if you ask us. A challenge we knew of course we could do (especiallyyyyyy with how many people were telling us we’d never be able to do it!) but we knew would be extremely challenging.

There was another huge decision I made headed in to this challenge. This time, there would be no attention given to weight or cm’s dropped (or bf % etc). THIS challenge was just all about falling more than ever in love with the process of health and fitness and no number at the beginning, middle or end was going to define my success.

So off we set, Jan 2nd rolled around, as did the 3rd, 4th, 16th, 27th and 30th of January .. training was on point, food was planned and eaten and isa was consumed with extreme commitment (like always). We felt good, we were seeing results (of course!) and were powering on with a month already down.

We welcomed February 1st slightly reluctantly as with the coming and passing of that date, we knew no more booze for us, the challenge begun and the task was set. Not a drop of alcohol was to pass either of our lips for the next 3 months.

And here is what you have to know about me.

Some may call it stubborn (aka mum, morgs, those that know me very closely) but I call it grit. I don’t ever have to make the same decision over and over again. With me, I just need to make the decision ONCE and then I do what I need to do to conspire to make it happen.

So although multiple friends were telling us there was NO WAY we would make or last the whole 3 months – I knew we would do it with ease. Would it be a challenge? Of course. But was there ever one question in my mind that I wouldn’t do it. Never.

Here is the other thing you need to know.

This wasn’t done as a bravado thing of ‘hooray wow for us we made 3 whole months without drinking” thing – if it was for that maybe I would have buckled (probably not though). It was done as a ‘I want to genuinely see what this can do for my body cutting out booze for 3 months”.

MANY a time a friend generally when they were boozed and I was asking to just sniff their drink (yes, not ashamedly that happened many a time) would say “ohhhh go onnn just have a sip I won’t tell anyone what does it matter” – but each and every time I replied no. Because again, it wasn’t about the badge at the end to say we’d made it to 3 months (what a lame badge haha), I just sincerely wanted to see if it’d make a big difference or a difference at all to our results.

And you want to know the god honest truth?

I just don’t know I saw the ROI. Return on investment.

But just wait, you have to hear me out.

You see, I LOVE to have a drink, and by drink I mean champagne (or a really good rose on occasion and even a solid red when the mood calls for it). LIFE, to me, is a celebration.

Drinks at the pub on a sunny afternoon you say? I’d love to. Go down south and have a red wine by an open fire? You had me at hello. Join you on the upstairs balcony at sunset with a cold glass of bubbles babe? Be up in 2 mins. Come for dinner at that new restaurant that has a fabulous champagne list? I’m already here.

Giving all of that up then for 3 months was a really big deal. Some people in our life who aren’t big (or good – HA) drinkers or are superrrrrrrrr strict with their diets lifestyle laughed at us that we thought it was such a big deal to give it up for that ‘long’. “3 months of no booze? I could do that in my sleep” they said. And they could have – because they’re no fun. Kidddingggg – because that’s just who they are, but it’s not Morgs and I, we LIKE to have a drink and we absolutely ENJOY said drink.

And maybe our expectations were just too high. Or maybe I am too accustomed to just always feeling good (I know that is a big factor I will get in to shortly), or always being happy with my body – because here is my exact succinct thoughts.

Did I look fantastic on April 24th, the official day 90 of no booze and the official day 120 of the 16 week challenge? You freaking bet. I looked sen-bloody-sational (and by the way isn’t it fantasticccc that a woman can actually sincerely say that about herself?). But have I looked just as fantastic in previous 16 week challenges where I haven’t given up the booze? You.freaking.bet.

I absolutely have to state here though was it the BEST or leanest I have ever looked in any of my challengers? The answer is yes we (Morgs & I) seem to think so, I definitely was waking up in that final 10 day count down where we REALLY go all out with being super good with food and water etc and literally saying aloud “far out” when I would see my mid section shrinking and toning still with a few days to go.

Waking up the day before my photo shoot I actually said to Morgs that for sure I can see the results of not drinking for the last 3 months as it really was (or at least felt / looked like) the leanest I had ever been.

So was it worth it though? Well of COURSE it was as the results INTERNALLY as well are untold.

But would I do it again however? For THAT long anyway?

Honestly?

Probably not.

You see, here is the one thing (if I had to just pick one) that I learned over the last 16 weeks, 12 of which were booze free.

I LOVE to look toned, have a rocking 6 pack (or my resemblance of it), be slim and healthy.

But I also love Champagne. And Chocolate. And hot chips. Anddddd Taco’s. And dinners out. And did I mention hot chips?

And I love both of those things as much as the other.

What I learned is that when I say I am the queen of balance, I am in fact the QUEEN of balance, and I can more than ever own the pants off that.

I have come to realise this about myself more than ever….

It’s not about how you look – it’s about how you want to LIVE.

And I want to live with a glass of cold champagne to toast a delicious sunset and laugh until my belly aches over hot chips and late dinners out with the best of friends. (not worry about has the menu got grilled fish or steamed vegetables or are there gluten free options – no.thanks).

Because to get as lean as I did whilst maintaining and building the muscle I did and having my ab’s come through more than ever – ladies don’t for ONE SECOND think that it doesn’t’ take sacrifice and hard freaking work.

The girl on the left (again, who still had a rocking bod don’t worry I honour that as my normal) is someone who still trains daily, has her isa every single day and doesn’t miss her weekly cleans days, BUT, I also have all of the other fun stuff in moderation – the Champagne, the chocolate, the hot chips and the taco’s (and…. ALL the other stuff).

The girl on the right, who has a rocking bod for sure just more lean and toned and tight and smaller – was someone who trained daily (still), had her isa (still, of course) but just was A LOT more strict with the other ‘fun stuff’, not to mention as we all know now, no booze for 3 whole months.

And again? Was it worth it? Of course, challengers for me and seeing just where else I can take my results are always worth it

The one thing I did learn from this challenge which in and of itself was life changing however was to FINALLY be able to actually HAVE control when I DO go out and I learned phenomenal self control (more than ever) on not feeling I need to choose the naughty things off the menu.

You see, being someone who IS extremely disciplined and behaved with food 95% of the time, and 100% with my Isa – when I am travelling or out and about its rare that I say no to the food that isn’t always a great option on a menu (when done in moderation though of course it’s fine). But being someone who has a freedom lifestyle and who travels the world all year round, those habits actually haven’t served me the last year or so. I can say that I although I FELT fantastic, I was slipping on to the side of living a little bit toooo balanced I would say.

So for 16 weeks, actually choosing the salad when being out and about and sucking back a soda water instead of a couple of glasses of champagne and a bowl of hot chips “because I can” – was honestly THE best thing I could have engrained as a new habit for me as now I know I can have the balance of course, but I DO need to keep that balance in check as well.

The biggest lesson and intention I had going in to and am proud I came out of the challenge with though is this.

I can’t tell you the weight amount lost, nor the BF% dropped or the lean muscle gained or maintained.

It wasn’t about any number because numbers don’t determine your worth and they absolutely are not the things to make you happy.

What I did focus on though was becoming a woman even more determined to fall unconditionally in love with herself – be it the left or right photo.

What I CAN tell you as well, is that I fell more in love with the JOURNEY of self respect, self care and self LOVE with my beautiful body of mine more than ever.

It’s not about a number on a scale. It’s not about measurements lost. It’s not about a trophy or applause. It’s about how much could I just love and honour my body – and use THESE results as my new foundation. No bouncing back with a little ‘toooo much’ balance #thereissuchathing and how much stronger can I get from here.

My fitness and health journey is at a point in time now where more than ever I want to show women the only goal you need to work healthily towards is loving and respecting your body, and the only competition you only ever need to look to is not the woman to your left or right – but the woman staring back at you in the mirror.

I woke up the day after this challenge and went back in to the gym, had my 2 shakes in the day (and granted, a couple of glasses of champagne) and as I sit here writing this today, I am on day 1 of a double cleanse… Your health and results truly are an EVERY DAY quest … not a sometimes or maybe or for an event or goal quest.

So am I proud of the results gained over the last 4 months? You freaking bet. But was I madly proud and in love with the woman before? More than I can say. I AM excited to make THESE results this time my new foundation to build upon though and to my superstar trainer Lochie Horner, THANK YOU for putting up with me for another 16 week challenge and training me weights + food wise to be the strongest (by far) and happiest I have ever been.

P.s ladies if you’ve gotten to the bottom of this blog – well done firstly, you have a bigger attention span than a goldfish which apparently is rare these days, but if you are someone who is just so ready to take serious control back of their health and want to do their own 16 week challenge under my support and coaching and love – then drop by our inbox and let’s have a chat – info@annaandmorgan.com (you literally have nothing to lose by just touching base).

 PHOTOSHOOT PHOTOGRAPHER + HAIR & MAKE UP:

Photographer: Belinda Rae (from Belinda Rae Photography aka best photographer in ze world)

Hair & Make Up: Hair by Olivia Martin & Make up by Caitlin Bongiovanni ( from Olive & Cait Hair & Make Up Perth aka the best Hair and MUA’s in Aus!!)

15 years of Contraception – My own Tale.

I remember it as clear as anything.

The day I got my period for the very first time.

I was in year 9 (so 14), and just before I left for school I went to the toilet and there it was. Spots of blood in my knickers. I screamed out for mum and mum came to tell me ‘it was here! It’s ok, it’s exciting’ and she came back with what I remember at the time felt and looked like a nappy. It was a pad of course, and I was told this was my new normal for 5-7 days a month.

I got to school and had Home Economics (sewing) first up and remember SO excitedly telling my girlfriends that I had (finally) gotten my period!!! I say finally because I felt like SUCH a late bloomer. All of my girlfriends had gotten their periods around 12 – 13 and I was the last one to get it.

I felt like such a WOMAN and was genuinely excited about it all.

And then, just.like.that I was put on the contraceptive pill. I think it was for a multitude of reasons, the main one I am sure was that ALL of my girlfriends were on it and I know I was saying to mum I HAD to be on it too, and to be honest, looking back, it was just the absolute ‘done’ thing ‘back in those days’, as a young girl, you got your period, you went on the pill.

And that was that.

Off I went on this new journey to woman hood – not really having any understanding WHY I was bleeding once a month just that if I got my period it meant I wasn’t pregnant, if I didn’t get it, it meant I was. Now, I am sure I did listen harder in health class and I DID pass the class with an A, its just periods weren’t something we cared about at 14 years of age).

That relationship with the pill and I went on for 5 years and I never really had any problems with it. Obviously as I got older and in to boys and partying I would skip the sugar pills every so often to ‘skip my period’ not thinking another thought about it.

I truly had absolutely ZERO relationship with my body and her cycles and to be fair, neither did anyone around me. We were young, on the pill and didn’t know any better.

To be fair here as well, I should mention that it probably WAS a good thing I was on the pill and I don’t regret for a second going on it so young. Being a young woman with minimal to no respect for myself or my body and the decisions that go along with it I am glad I had something looking out for me when I couldn’t make smart decisions for myself.

5 years went by on the pill without any hiccups or symptoms. I was regular with my period, I had no skin issues, I don’t feel like my moods were any different – than what a normal adolescent hormonal woman’s are.

Then at 19, Morgan and I (after already being in each others lives for 2 years prior) got in to a relationship. I became his and he became mine and the rules just changed a little bit. What I mean by that is sex was absolutely going to be more regular and on going and we BOTH didn’t trust the pill enough.

{ For your viewing pleasure. At 19 & 23 years old, 6 months in to our relationship }

So back to the Dr I went (Morgan in tow – I was like I may be the one who has to be responsible for the contraceptive but you can freaking be a part of it also!) with a whole load of information I had around different forms of contraception. I can’t say that at 19 I still had this body self love and self respect thing worked out (because I absoltuley didn’t – it was probably when I became the worst at looking after myself) but one thing I DID start to have was more of a thirst for knowledge around what I WAS going to put in my body.

And that was the first sign intuitively I got from my body. I KNOW that for a fact.

Here’s why – because I started to question Contraception.

At that stage, I had only been on the pill, and it had “only” been 5 years, but at 19, knowing as a woman I DID want babies eventually, AND being in a relationship with a man I already loved deeply, I just started to question and have concerns around long term effects of contraception on my body.

I had narrowed my search down to 2 alternative choices.

  1. The needle jab you could get that lasted a few years and stopped your periods.
  2. The Implanon.

Both seemingly seemed to be the most foolproof non baby makers for 2 regular sexually active and in love people and seemed to have the LEAST amount of symptoms or negative things to say about them (online anyway).

So imagine my surprise when my (amazing) female Dr told me ethically and morally she would never and could never give me the needle jab – she said in her professional opinion it shouldn’t even be an option for women and it absolutely has far too many side affects and even non explored potential issues.

I immediately took the needle jab off the table, but immediately had an uneasy feeling in my stomach – like what the actual fuck are us women doing to our bodies if a medical professional is saying they refuse to give me a form of contraception that was extremely readily available.

So my last option was the implanon, to which my Dr WAS a fan of and told me it has a 99.99% success rate if our goal was to be on a healthier form of contraception but I had to know it would have 1 of 4 ‘effects’ on my body and they were;

  1. Everything would in fact stay normal. I just couldn’t fall pregnant but my ‘fake’ period essentially would come every month, same time, same heaviness / lightness.
  2. My period would become a lot heavier – but for less days.
  3. My period would just become lighter.
  4. I would get no period.

She also said I had to at LEAST give it 3 whole months to settle. This bad boy lasts up to 3 years, so 3 months you have to give it to see IF your body sort of accepts it and after that if it’s not vibing for sure take it out – but not before.

I said ok, and in it went.

And for 3 months, 3.whole.months… I spotted. It was emotionally and physically draining AF. I didn’t feel too crazy mood wise and my skin didn’t break out like some women’s does, but the spotting was relentless. Which I KNEW wasn’t normal but I trusted my Dr and her words of “give it 3 months”.

Then on day 91 – so literally, LITERALLY 3 months and 1 day, I woke up and I wasn’t spotting any more. So I decided my body was ok with this form of contraception and in it stayed.

For the next 3 years, I stayed relatively normal with my periods, they just weren’t at all like clockwork like I was used to on the pill, but I was ok with that.

The 3 years seemed to pass by quickly and Morgs and I didn’t have so much as a tiny ‘scare’, so when the time came to get it out with its 3 year expiry, the decision was a simple one for me to just get one put straight back in. I was 22 and still ab-so-lut-ley not ready for babies and that is what contraception was to me.

Here is where things get contemplative and hindsight’ey … about a year in to my 2nd implanon, I developed adult acne. I was 23 and had NEVER ever battled any issues with my skin and BOOM overnight I literally had what was adult acne.  Because I had already been on the implanon for 4 years at this stage, 3 years with my first one and a year in to my 2nd, and because it in my eyes was just the ‘same’ as the pill which I’d been on for 5 years, NEVER ONCE did it cross my mind that this was the first extreme sign my body was giving me telling me something wasn’t quite right with it.

My adult acne story is honestly a WHOLE other story unto itself, but just know I tried absolutely everything to get rid of it (except roaccutane there was just something SO damn un settling about being told roaccutane could kill or deform an unborn child so “you couldn’t be pregnant if you went on it” that turned me off that drug for LIFE). And after YEARS of battling it and getting it settled, I did manage to have it calm down.

Then came the expiration of my 2nd implanon at the age of nearly 26 and yet again, Morgs & I still weren’t at all interested in trying and for 6 years we hadn’t even had a ‘scare’ so, in went my third implanon.

Which really leads us to where I am at today.

But here is a big dirty secret you have to know about me and something that I still can’t believe I ignored for so many years.

Are you ready?

For the last 6 years, so for the last 2 implanons…..

I haven’t had a period.

Not one. Not a symptom. Not a spotting of blood. Nothing.

And here is the worst part about all this – at age 23 is when I REALLY fell in to the practice and understanding of self love and started doing hardcore work on falling in love with who I am and all parts of me, and I KNEW better. I KNEW it wasn’t normal to NOT have a period – I intimately knew it. I talked to my girlfriends and best friends ALL the time about it. And yet I wasn’t called to do anything about it.

Until recently.

After years, and years, and years of self care and self love work, I literally couldn’t ignore what my body was trying to tell me for all these years. That I needed contraception and fake hormones GONE from my body.

About 7 months ago, Morgs & I had a big chat around ‘what next’ and ‘when’ (still years away guys – sorry haha) and I mentioned then I really had a calling to get my implanon out. I said since the very first time I got my period, I immediately went on synthetic hormones almost telling ‘her’ (my body) – you don’t know best, and I need something un natural to control my body, and I said it wasn’t ok in my eyes now that that had happened for 15 years. He agreed completely (of course he did he is a legit legend) and said let’s book the appointment to get it out.

Then the weirdest thing ever happened – I battled with my decision. I QUESTIONED my intuition, and ladies, please know, don’t ever, EVER do that.

And because my body and intuition knows best, it started trying to get my attention. I wasn’t listening to my own desire to come off contraception, so it needed to intervene. So it GAVE me my first period after 5 ½ years. Truth be told, having not had it in so long, we thought I was pregnant. My boobs doubled in size, I got cramps, I was tired, and I was a little nauseous. Admittedly all things that used to happen when I got my period ‘back in the day’. We pee’d on a stick (and by we I mean literally we, morgs stood at the door with Zeus in his arms and me and the stick in the toilet) – and it was negative.

I have to say as well – I KNEW it would be. Because again, my intuition said so and I WAS listening. Then a day after that, I got my first period after 5 ½ years – my body LITERALLY overrode the implanon.

It was her way of saying ‘babe, trust us, you aren’t listening to your own advice so please don’t be mad but we are over riding you’.

And I laughed and said to Morgs ok so THIS time I have to listen.

But guess what? I still didn’t.

This current implanon expired the end of this July anyway, so I kept telling myself, “well who cares, it’s only a few more months.”

And then ‘she’ did it again, she gave me another ‘pseudo’ period (4 months ago). And again, I was happy she did, I was even PROUD of my body for literally over riding the fake hormones I was so stupidly pumping in to it.

But still. I thought well, it’s getting so close to July should I just ride it out and remove it when I should.

Then the funniest thing of ALL happened – MORGAN started to get at me about it, asking me WHY hadn’t’ I booked the appointment yet and I really should as he knows it was a big and important decision for me and my body.

But still…. Do you see where I am going with this? 😉

THEN, my body did the ONE thing I can NEVER ignore and she freaking KNOWS it. She fucked with my skin. Big time. For years it had been flawless (with the odd break out of course, I am human) but overnight about 3 weeks ago, it felt like it developed adult acne overnight. I laughed and smiled and apologised to her, truly I did. I then got it. I surrendered. I couldn’t ignore her any more.

And it’s funny what happens when you finally surrender – and decide with certainty what you need to do, your body gives you MORE signs, because almost immediately I started to say to Morgan how I didn’t feel like myself. I was ok, and genuinely still positive etc, but I said how something wasn’t right. Like I was fighting something off, except it wasn’t a cold. I just didn’t feel ‘grounded’ physically is the best way I can describe it, and I knew in my deepest of cells, it was the final push and sign from my body telling me I NEEDED to get these fake hormones out of my body.

So yesterday, at 11:10am, my Dr removed my 3rd and final implanon, after 15 years of contraception, 9 of which has been with an implanon.

And I cried. I was an emotional ball of tears and snot (in the car after of course, I remained the polite snot free patient for my Dr) and I couldn’t stop shaking. Not cute shakes, I’m talking full body shaking.

If you’ve followed me by now you know me (heyyyyy friends and readers of years) and know I am totally open about some of my more woo woo beliefs, and this is absolutely one of them.

I honestly believe it was my immediate body reaction to it’s freedom – to 15 years of fake hormones flooding my body – and now it is free.

And I feel….. free.

I feel like for the first time in my womanhood journey, I am allowing my body to do what she’s’ meant to do, that is, to find her natural rhythm and rhyme.

I have claimed all of my body back. She’s 100% mine again, and I can’t tell you how happy that makes me.

I am excited to feel out this journey now, be super gentle on myself, kind to myself, and enter self-love practices like never before, and really just honour my body as she finds her own groove again, but does so 100% naturally and fake hormone free. First task at hand is entering a 2 day deep cleanse immediately. 

A new practice I have already implemented is saying 100 times a day (who knows how many to be honest but as many times in a day as I remember) …. “I approve of myself and love all of me” – just gently reminding my body how much I do love ALL of her and giving 100% approval back to ‘her’ to do her job magnificently.

I must say this as well. Entering this new space of no more synthetic hormones in my body is MY decision based on my own body and beliefs and readiness. I am 29 now and have spent MORE than half of my life telling my body it wasn’t good enough to be natural and work itself out by itself – but that is my belief system, it doesn’t have to be yours.

I am also not saying contraception is bad, not by any means, I am just saying it is no longer something I personally am for – but it could be something your body needs for medical reasons. So you need to do what you need to do for you and your body.

That’s the beauty of our bodies, they know what we each need, our job is to listen.

The other thing is, I don’t regret the last 15 years either. Regret is just something I never have as it’s an energy I don’t ever want to hold in my body, I am grateful I have gotten to 29 and in the health and position I am in from every decision I have made up until this point. Contraception and all – I cannot and will not ever regret it.

I am equal parts grateful now though I have made a new decision intuitively listening to my body and am excited to see where this leads me physically, emotionally and spiritually – you see I personally feel this was my intuition asking for 100% natural reign to step even more in to my role I am here to play on earth – and just to love and nuture my body in a way I never have.

So here we go essentially. You’re up to date now and as always, I am so damn grateful for my blog that 6 years on, still acts as my online diary where I feel I can always show up vulnerably and share the journey’s I am on.

I am committed to taking anyone who wants to come along for the ride on it as I use this space to keep sharing how it all goes for me and how my body goes with finding her re balance and harmonising groove.

But for now, I am off to have a bath, read a book and love on this beautiful body of mine as much as is humanly possible.