My 7 year journey

Facebook threw up the photo on the left the other day and I had to take several moments to breathe in the journey I have been on. The photos are almost exactly 7 years apart and what a journey it has been.

7 years ago, at age 22, as ‘confident’ and ‘headed places’ as I was (I had a big group of friends around me and was already in politics working full time + in my final year at uni) I wasn’t sincerely happy.

I had a body that was getting abused with bad food, binge drinking and recreational drugs (ecstasy every other weekend), and a mind that was completely devoid of self worth and emotional strength.

And one day I woke up, and decided to change, just like that. It was a night I was on pills and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror – and LITERALLY didn’t recognise the woman staring back at me. Body, mind & spirit. So I changed. Morgan and I transformed our lives S.L.O.W.L.E.Y – changed our whole diet, I stopped saying yes to music festivals & parties I knew I’d be tempted to take drugs, and swapped out tv for books. In 2010 I had my major jaw reconstruction surgery (life changing surgery to fix my severe underbite). I dropped 17kgs – 6kg from the surgery, 11kg on my own, (Morgan dropped 23kg) and started to change literally from the inside (mind) out (body). 2 years in to that journey, I found nutritional cleansing yes – and have maintained my weight and results with those life changing products ever since, but that isn’t where this initial transformation ever came from.

This came from knowing who I was with conviction- and making drastic changes towards becoming that woman. It was knowing NO ONE defined my worth but me. It was being sick of thinking my power was external to me – when I had the keys all along.

There isn’t an excuse in the WORLD I will hear from someone, especially a woman (one day I will share my ENTIRE story) as to why you are so stuck in fear to change. Not one.

You are not what you weigh, how you have or haven’t looked, who you have slept with, you aren’t your dark past, or a fucked up childhood, you are not your mother or fathers or families expectations. You are not your scars or your feelings of unworthiness. YOU ARE NOT YOUR MISTAKES.

YOU are the one who gets to decide how your story will go.

YOU are the one who gets to feel, determine & KNOW your worth.

YOU are the one who gets to find your voice. No matter how long it’s been lost.

YOU are the one who gets to find the fire & the fight from within and share THAT journey.

No one, not your past, not your old stories, not men (or women) who have taken sexual rights from you, not any abuse, not a dark history, not A.N.Y.T.H.I.N.G or ANYONE gets to tell you who you are. Only you get to do that.

YOU are a walking piece of art crafted for THIS lifetime not here to waste one second letting others define you.

You are the author of your life. And you need to understand that you get to claim all of your power & potency back in any given moment and write how the rest of your story will go.

Because I assure you – if I can do it, then you CERTAINLY can. Your time is now, the year has never been more perfect and the calling is officially on your life.

G.O and be the woman you were always born to be, and I will always be here – cheering you on the loudest <3

p.s I have to shout out to the main man in my life Morgan too who was there for every tiny step OF this journey and has supported me in ways that I can’t even explain

Her + Him = Love

{ Santorini }
As you grow up, whether you listen or not, your mum will always be giving you pieces of advice to help you make your way through life. My mum gave me tonnes, things like .. no elbows on the table, always give & help others, to trust my gut..but it was this one piece of advice that I always remembered and held in high regard…
You don’t know someone until you live with them, and/or travel with them. 
Ohh how true it is. If you think you know your partner, (or friend even for that matter), live with them (or travel with them, or do both!) and you may be very surprised to find things out about them you never knew. 
Morgs & I have lived with each other over 4 years, so if you thought that was ample time to have learnt every little thing about each other, you would be correct. Except (!!), here we are 3 months in, living in each others pockets 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, realising that there were 2 or 3 things we never knew about each other that this trip has shown us…. So from each of our mouths, here are some things we’ve learnt about one another that we didn’t know before.
Things he learnt about her
– That she is a much better navigator than I ever gave her credit for (seriously, she has trekked us all around cities and home without missing a street) 
– That she needs to eat often, otherwise a slightly cranky Anna appears.
Things she learnt about him
– That his a nervous flyer. Ok so not nervous…but really doesn’t like turbulence  Up until this point I honestly thought he wasn’t afraid of anything…but Turbulence on an airplane is not his favourite thing.
– I never knew he could eat ice cream as fast as he can. Let’s just say, if it was an Olympic sport, my guy would bring Gold home for Australia every time.
Oh I KNOW…how insignificant! ha. Such teeny, tiny little things, BUT.. still things we couldn’t believe we didn’t know about each other before. I think what this has shown us both mainly though, is that we really do know almost every inch of each others quirks, the good the bad and the ugly but love each other even harder.
The biggest lesson we’ve learnt together on this trip however is how to fight fairly & to communicate, communicate, communicate and we have certainly grown to appreciate each other even more so than before we left.
Other than that we can’t stop laughing at how much we finish each others sentences, say the exact same thing at the exact same time and start a conversation mid sentence about something completely unrelated, and the other one knows exactly what we’re talking about. 
It’s been an amazing 3 months so far and we are both at a stage where we are reluctant for the next 6 weeks to end but excited to be home all at the same time but in the meantime, we’re still soaking up every second of this experience we’re loving being on. 
Spain has already exceeded all of our expectations and I’m not sure I want to leave – so we’ll be posting about our first tapas, sangria & paella experiences soon….Until then,

Love & Light,

Anna x
(+ Morgs input on what he learnt about me…I tried not to act shocked when I saw he put I’m good with directions…it’s only taken him 5 and a half years to admit it – WOOOHOOO!!)

{ Being silly in Barcelona }
{ Making wishes on the Charles Bridge in Prague }
{ Having an insane amount of fun on our captains ‘Sailor & Pirate party’ dinner on Sail Croatia }

Date night + High Tea in Edinburgh

Dear Edinburgh,
Even though we’re oceans away from our hometown and not missing it at all, we found ourselves  strangely drawn to home comforts that are so familiar to us on our 2nd night with you. For us, that meant home cooked meals & coffee dates and it took you to supply both experiences in the one day.Your incredible city gave us our first ‘uh huh/wow/this is really happening isn’t it’ moment and I just wanted to say thanks. There we were, sitting in your beautiful castle, drinking delicious coffee indulging with some decadent cakes at high tea, and we couldn’t wipe the stupid grins off our faces. We’re here. We’re loving it and we’re exceptionally grateful for all the wonderful moments you’ve supplied us with so far – including that ‘hey this is it we’re living the dream’ moment. That afternoon, as you opened up your sky’s and let it rain – boy did you let it rain – you forced us inside for an impromptu date night with ‘just us two’. We got to reflect on what has been and what was to come with our favourite home cooked meal and cider and it was nice. So nice. So thanks. Again. For a lovely day filled with our favourite ‘good stuff’ and unsuspecting ‘wow’ moments. Love Anna & Morgs 
[ The entree of high tea devoured in 0.2 seconds ]
[ Gorgeous high tea cafe within the castle confides of Edinburgh Castle ]
[ Home to the apartment for a home cooked meal .. I was on Salad duty ]
[ & Morgs was on Chicken duty ]

[ Dinner by candlelit a’la backpacking style ]

[ Dinner is served – floor picnic’ing, there is really no better way ]

Mr M my adventurer

As you read this Mr M & I will be high above the ocean – I don’t know which one, clearly I’m not 100% on my geography just yet – on our way to the UK, then on to Europe. I had thought it apt however, to begin our travel journey on this blog sharing some more about my fellow adventurer. Although he features so heavily on the blog and has since the beginning, Mr M is still a slight mystery. If I had to just explain him as a person you would hear words like handsome, hilarious and best guy ever – but that is one of two things – although true, it’s bias and doesn’t give you the idea behind exactly who he is. So here are some cold hard facts, some truths if you will so that over the coming 4 1/2 months if you’re new to the blog or a reader from the start, you get to know a little more about the main part of my life…
Mr M (aka Morgs).

  • He is not scared of anything – fact. Not even the dark – like me – I have never seen him in over 7 years be scared of anything. It’s his secret super hero power I think.
  • He hates tomatoes – raw tomatoes mind you, he can eat tomato sauce & bruschetta.
  • He loves dogs, and even though he acts like he doesn’t like cats he and my 5 year old cat Tarzan are the best of friends ever.
  • His favourite food his Italian, more specifically pizza – Italy won’t know what hit it when we get there.
  • He has fabulous taste in fashion and his opinion on how I look and what I should wear matters and is almost always listened to.
  • His an IT whizz – need something done or need to know something about anything electronic, he is your guy.
  • He has an uncanny knack for pulling out the most random facts at the most random times and would be your number 1 pick if you were to say go on ‘who wants to be a millionaire’ (phone a friend). 
  • He loves red wine and is my favourite person to share a bottle with.
  • He is the life of the party ..all the time and can out dance and out drink most. P.s and by dance, I mean thrash about like a crazy person including spin kicks, windmills and the one footed can can. 
  • His been stabbed – yep. Really. He was young, it was a friends party that got gate crashed and he was the unlucky one that was in the wrong place at the wrong time (war wounds I like to think).
  • His adorable – wait, that’s bias but it’s still fact.
  • He loves movies. Loves them, and is infamous for his vast movie collection. 
  • He is exceptionally honest, really honest. To the point where if you don’t want to know the truth, then don’t ask him as he’ll always give it to you straight, sometimes too straight.
  • He is hands down one of the funniest people I have ever met. He can make anyone laugh and this is one of my favourite qualities about him.
  • He loves spicy foods. 
So there you have it – hopefully some facts that help you know the guy behind the Mr M name a little better. He has promised he’ll contribute to the blog over the next 4 1/2 months so you may just get to see some of the honest and funny side I was talking about after all …

8 tips to keep the spark in your relationship

I will always take advice whenever I can get it from people I love, people who know a thing or two and people who have proved to do it right time and time again. If you look at beautiful old couples who are celebrating their 40th, 50th or even 60th year wedding anniversary’s they are always full of incredible advice. I’ve been given many a tip over the years from couples celebrating such remarkable milestones like always be sure to at least laugh together once a day and to make sure there are no bosses in the relationship – you’re both equal. I wonder though, what are the little things that ‘make’ a relationship sparkle. The everyday moments that keep the zest alive. I found this advice by Dr Goldsmith and loved it. These are all things Mr M & I do and I’m sure in 60 years time when we’re being asked our advice by the gran-kids on what made our love so strong (a girl can dream) a few of these tips will be on our lips. 
8 Tips to keep the Spark in your relationship

1. Make your morning time special by bringing your partner a cup of coffee while he or she is still in bed or even just getting ready for work.
2. Make the time at the end of the work-day when you first see one another extra special by giving each other a 10 second hug and kiss. You will both feel more deeply connected throughout the evening. Also remember to touch your partner affectionately throughout the day, not just when you want to be romantic.
3. Make time to make-time. Plan a romantic rendezvous during the week. You can get a room at a local hotel or plan to have the house all to yourselves. Just the anticipation of being together in this way will add spark to your romantic life.
4. Whenever you can, take the time to give your partner 100% of your attention when they want to talk to you. Put down the remote control or whatever you’re reading, face your partner and say “What would you like to talk about?” It will make your partner feel loved and important to you. (this is something Mr M & I are very big on, being present to each other not just ‘there’)
5. Take the time to tell your partner that they look wonderful, beautiful, sexy, handsome, or whatever words you use to let them know you think they are looking particularly gorgeous. We all have doubts about our looks and hearing that we are attractive to our partners is a very important part of creating a romantic relationship.
6. Before you leave in the morning tell your partner that you are looking forward to seeing them when you return. Never leave the house without acknowledging your partner or saying, “I love you.”
7. Next time you are shopping alone, get a couple of little “surprise gifts” for your partner. The next time he or she is feeling down, give them one of the gifts. This is a wonderful and uplifting act of love and it will be remembered for a very long time.
8. If your partner is having a rough day offer to take them out or make dinner for them. If they are the one usually doing the cooking this will be a welcome change and a sign of your appreciation. If they are experiencingstress at work, it will be a great way for them to unwind from a tough day.
Photo Source 1, 2

The 5 love languages explained

I believe in fairytale love – nay, I believe in heart stopping, gut wrenching love, love that is so beautiful it makes life well, make sense. I believe that life was meant to be shared and love is one of the biggest aspects of it – for all of us, no matter the age, race or sex. But really, plainly and simply I believe in love with all of my heart. It is with this attitude that I am constantly on the search for awe inspiring, breathtaking experiences with Mr M and why we both continually look for ways to love and support one another and grow and nurture this crazy little love we share. When we discovered this ‘thing’ called love languages we gave it a ‘crack’…that was 2 years ago and that ‘thing’ is now the foundation of our relationship. I am only sharing a snippet of the full article here, (it’s quite long) but you can read the full article over at Possibly Maybe (my other fun little business I run). Have a magical weekend & I will see you back here on Monday xx P.s I’d love to know what you think your love language is once you’ve read it! Mine is Acts of Service & Mr M’s is Touch.

The 5 love languages … 
A few years ago I was given a book by a dear friend as he knew I had started a dating website and thought it might have been of use to me. I had never heard of it before but as soon as he explained it to me – I was intrigued. It was called ‘The 5 love languages’ by Gary Chapman. In the book it explains that everybody has their own unique love language that falls in to 5 ‘languages’ which are – Words of affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving gifts, Acts of Service and Physical Touch.

The book in a nutshell explains that everybody feels loved through their love language being ‘spoken’ – or better put ‘acted out’. The best way I can explain this is to give you examples directly from the website:
Words of Affirmation
Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you.
Quality Time
In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there-with the TV off, fork and knife down, 
Receiving Gifts
Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for,
Acts of Service
The words he or she most want to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter.
Touch
This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face-they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love
This whole thing might sound crazy, or your typical ‘girl v guy’ kind of relationship, and if you want to call it that then fine, but at least realise that there could just be something to this.

I dare you to do the quiz and find out which is your love language. Do a little more research on it and see for yourself just how much sense it actually makes and how much more fulfilled in a relationship you’ll be once both your love languages are communicated.
Goodluck! I want you to get all that you need out of a relationship as more and hope this only takes your current or next relationships to new strengths.

Photo Source 1, 2

5 years

There is a very special person that always seems to feature often on my blog, a lot of the time without meaning to, but that’s just the thing you see, they are such a special and big feature in my life – I am talking about Mr M. I first introduced him properly with this post and over time have explained our love story and we have actually just celebrated our 5 year anniversary. He surprised me with a day trip over to Rottnest island and we spent the day eating, swimming, drinking, and riding bikes, it was so blissful and so much fun. A lot has happened to us over the 5 years both individually and as a couple but we make sure to grow together and independently and to support one another whilst of course, always laughing along the way. So here’s to love. Through good times or bad, our special someones swell our hearts and make the world spin that little bit faster.

Advice after 5 years of Dating

I read something incredibly profound yesterday … Life is only 4,000 weeks. Now, I don’t know about you, but I measure my time in weeks. I don’t think I ever mean too but if I am ever talking about how fast time is going it is generally accompanied by “I can’t believe how fast that week flew by”. Just 4,000 weeks. Depending on how you look at it is either a lot, or a little and of course your life could be more, or less. For me however, I read it and went that’s it?? Never have I been more motivated, more inspired and more excited by the fact that the future is mine and those 4,000 weeks of life I have been gifted need to be lived in the most remarkable way possible. This isn’t what inspired this weeks dating advice, but it made me realise after writing it that I am lucky to have found someone to live out the remaining 4,000 weeks with. So remember, if you’re unhappy in love or life, you only have 4,000 weeks – that’s it. Make yours count.

p.s If you want to read more articles that I write like attracting a king, being more approachable & Respect … then visit it here

5 years & counting
Love is a crazy thing isn’t it? It is also a fun, incredible, world defying thing whilst at the same time being a jealous, angry, confusing thing. I honestly know I have never experienced and doubt I ever will experience such a profound feeling as love. I think I am one of the lucky ones though as 5 years ago, I walked in to a party – sure I was drunk – and met someone who would become the one who fulfils all of the above. An amazing start to a love story? Hardly, but a heart stopping love? Absolutely. Although only 24 (his 28), I think a healthy 5 year relationship does give you some credentials when trying to give some relationship advice… and here is mine.
Argue but don’t say mean things – keep your fights short, relevant and clean. No point in saying things you don’t mean anyway and keeping tallys on who said what or didn’t do that.
Forgive quickly – they love you, you love them, your arguments are petty in comparison to the love you share so why waste even a second holding on to a grudge or anger when you’re only going to forgive them down the track anyway.
Support their dreams – this is the essence of someone, the thing that motivates them, excites them and ‘is’ them. To not support their dreams is to say you don’t believe in them and belief is at the core of every human being.
Respect them – pretty simple to understand this one but respect them not just as a boyfriend/girlfriend, respect them as the whole individual they are and all the roles they fill – friend, brother, sister, colleague, and so on. This is important to understanding them.
Fall in love without loosing yourself – be consumed by all means and adore spending time with them but keep your own hobbies, friends and interests too. You’re still an ‘I’ just as much as an ‘us’
Laugh together – you don’t need to have the same sense of humour to be able to laugh together. Do this daily. It makes for a fun relationship and one where you can laugh through the good and bad times (and we all know we go through both).
Talk less, listen more – you will both be surprised how much more gets communicated and how much more you open up after a long hard day instead of saying ‘I’m fine’.
Find each others love language and speak it – don’t know what I’m talking about? For shame. This is my relationship golden rule. There are 5 love languages – Words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, physical touch. Figure out which one each of you are, do your research … and start speaking in each others language.
Find your own rules & groove and go with it – everybody is different, which means every relationship is different. Find what works for you both and work on that not trying to emulate other people or relationships you think work.
So there you go. This is a snapshot of why I think after 5 years of a relationship I am falling more in love as each year goes on. Most importantly though, just love and have fun. We only have one life and it’s yours to live so make it count with the right person.

What are your rules in life?

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There has been only a few other times in my working career that I have been so happy to see Friday, and today is one of those days. It’s been a hectic week and I can’t wait for some relaxation and rest over the weekend. I am babysitting my 8 month old niece for the first time tomorrow which I am bursting out of my skin from excitement for. Mr M’s dad and mum have just picked up their new Great Dane puppy – Draygo – so we will be seeing a lot of him this weekend. Here is this weeks advice brought to you from me with love. P.s If you are new and want to know what compels me to write these articles then visit my other website I started to bring back some love, respect and chivalry in to dating.
Breaking the rules

Rules. 5 letters but no matter how many interpretations, it essentially, holds the same meaning for most, and when a rule is broken, especially one of your rules, in life or love .. problems develop. But what if it didn’t have to be like that? What if you didn’t have to get so upset or angry when you felt somebody broke your rules? Well I believe you don’t have to, and like with everything it just takes a different perspective.
Life is an incredibly complex experience, an experience that brings us so many overwhelming emotions. We have the ability to love, to hate, to cry, to laugh, to be angry, to let go. We are amazing beings – so why then, do we set ourselves up with our own rules to be let down so often.
You might not think you even have rules, but I assure you … you do. Your rules are your beliefs about what has to happen in order for you to feel good or happy about yourself or the experience.
Let me give you an example. Say you’re in a relationship, and in that relationship you believe (whether it is spoken or not) that for you to feel loved or know that your partner loves you they must do and say certain things, otherwise you don’t feel loved. The list could be a mile long. It might include things like the following; they must say I love you a few times a day, they must text or call a few times a day, they must always check with you first before they make big plans, they must think that you’re perfect as a partner. Now re read those rules. Do you feel they are realistic?
Honestly?
The above rules are set up for failure. At any point on any day, any number of these rules could be broken but at no point does it indicate that your partner loves you any less – it just means that your rules are unrealistic. To be fair, your partner will have their own set of rules which are more than likely just as long – but therein lies an even bigger problem, if you both have different sets of rules who’s are right or wrong? The answer is both your rules are right, they’re yours, but what can you do in this situation then? It’s simple. You either need to start communicating very clearly what your rules are to each other or, get better rules.
Imagine, just for a second if instead of having a long list of specific things that has to happen for you to feel loved, it was as simple as ‘when I do something nice for them and they appreciate it, when I wake up to them every morning and go to sleep next to them each night, when we laugh together’ .. Healthy relationships would have the above happen every.single.day, so how beautiful that you can feel loved just by changing the rules. That means that on any day at any time, you can feel loved because you and your partner shared a laugh together, because that morning you got to wake up next to the love of your life. And sure, maybe it is beyond frustrating when they leave their shoes laying around, or upsetting when you feel they don’t talk to you as much as you talk to them, but it’s not worth ever getting upset or angry over.
Change your rules to be more simplistic, make your rules broader, because feeling loved and happy is easy, it’s up to you how easy you want to make it.
Life is already complicated enough without us adding extra rules that are unrealistic and that  cause more pain than happiness. So let go. Change the rules, and see just how much more love and happiness you let in to your life.
I dare you.
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Love & Marriage

“I, Julia, take you, Andrew, for my lawful husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part.”
This past Saturday I bore witness to my gorgeous cousin Julia, marry the love of her life in what can only be described as the perfect day. They choose close family and friends to promise their forevers too and everyone in the church was moved as they said their I do’s. It was so intimate, so personal and you could literally feel the love between them as each word was spoken. She was the most stunning bride in a traditional white dress and you could see the excitement in her husband to be’s eyes that he was hers as she walked down the aisle for the first time. We topped the day off with the most fun reception held in a restaurant over looking the sea, and it honestly was just…perfect.
I take being a wedding guest exceptionally serious. It is a tremendous honour to be chosen to be the witness two people you love dearly promise vows to one another and be part of a support system in their lives. 

So here are some pictures from their very special, very amazing day.