My week, with Instagram

As I reflect back over a wonderful week that was captured through the lens of my camera I can’t stop thinking about the fact that Mr M & I are now only 20 sleeps away from our trip of a lifetime. If I was to be completely honest with you though, we’re not actually even counting days until we leave, we’re more going by how many sleeps until we finish work – which is 16 for those wanting to know – which I’m sure is no one. To give you an idea of how fast time is going however, for us anyway, it feels like only mere days ago I was counting down with 50 sleeps left to go. That was a whole month ago – and it honestly feels like last week. Now here we are, with 20 sleeps ahead of us, big dreams in our heads and hearts and a tonne of excitement all around us. Trying to listen to my own advice though, I truly am relishing in all of my moments leading up to the departure date and am soaking in as much of life in the here and now as ever even if it means taking 10 minutes out to catch up on some reading, or sitting outside with my morning coffee & enjoying the fresh air. I am living my life more Joi De Vivre than ever and here are just some of the reasons why … 

1. A delicious breakfast with 2 of my best girlfriends on a gorgeous Saturday morning.
2. Snap of Photo a Day July – Best part of my day? Coming home to Mr M every night.
3. Soaking up the sun with loved ones with new sunnies & a new necklace
4. Drinking on a surprisingly warm sunny Winter’s day with all of my family
5. Chocolate + Coffee + my problem solving questions make any problem easily fixed.
6. Some of my new purchases not yet packed away sitting on my wardrobe floor.
7. My new morning ritual – drinking a big green healthy smoothie (more on that next week).
8. Some of the most delicious coffee ever shared with my nearest and dearest.

You can follow me on Instagram at lifesshinyprettythings

Our beautiful earth

Do you ever just stop? To smell the roses, to take a deep breathe of clean air, to say thank you to mother earth for all that she does and all that she is? Me either, which in no way am I proud to say. I know first hand however, just how easy it is to forget how lucky we are to be living and breathing on this big beautiful earth. It’s no wonder either – whilst not only trying to pursue our own happiness, we can be hit with daily obstacles, struggles and distractions which consume our lives, all of our minutes in all of our days. But whilst we’re battling our own struggles and celebrating our triumphs, mother earth is out there, in all her beautiful glory, day in day out – for us. Living and breathing, providing us with scenery that no movie could ever compete with, oceans that no pools will ever compare to, and moments such as sunrises and sunsets that no money can ever buy. So as you are rushing through your busy day today, stressing about that deadline you might not meet, getting frustrated over the plans that might fall through and flicking through websites without really stopping to absorb, take a second to be grateful for this extraordinary world we live in that provides us with all we really need to live – air, water and time…. to love and live.

I found all of these beautiful photographs from this website … there are so so many more, so if you’d like to soak up some more beauty then pop on over there.

Delilah turns 1

“Only an Aunt… can give hugs like a mother, can keep secrets like a sister, and share love like a friend.” – unknown

A year ago almost to the date, my sister gave our family the greatest gift known to the world, a niece (& granddaughter for mum) Delilah. I never knew of the love you could have for a child that isn’t your own until Delilah came along, it is overpowering and all consuming. Mr M laughs all the time at my mum & I’s alleged bias opinions when we swear she really is the cutest most genius child that ever walked the earth. We celebrated on the weekend gone by her big 1st birthday with family and loved ones. My sister dressed her in the most darling little outfit and there was lot’s of squeals of delight from Delilah as she got tonnes of kisses, cuddles, presents and attention. I was excited to host the party at Mr M & I’s house and with the help of Mum & Beth whipping up a cooking feast the night before, the party went off without a hitch. So Delilah, as you turn 1 and continue to grow and learn and we all watch in wonder and awe, I promise you the following. To always hug & love you like a mother, keep secrets like your sister and share love like your friend. I love you more than anything, and can’t wait to watch you grown from a baby to a beautiful woman. Love Aunty Anna.

My week, with Instagram

I think it’s always important to remember to be thankful for the little things that happen in life. I can sometimes get so caught up in daily going on’s or big issues at work to forget that life isn’t just made up of big obvious moments, but filled with all the little moments that actually make your day too. We’re a mere 34 days away from Europe now (I actually don’t feel like it’s real anymore it’s so close) and I’m trying to be aware of living days normally leading up to that not just putting all my focus on the departure date and subsequent adventures.  So here is my list of things I am grateful for that make my life so full and rich…

  • Visiting my sister & almost 1 year old niece and being greeted with a high pitch squeal of delight from Delilah and a big sloppy kiss & cuddle.
  • Going to sleep every night and waking up to next to Mr M every day and knowing just how lucky we are to have one another.
  • Drinking my morning coffee every day whilst getting ready for a job I love.
  • Being able to run and walk every day as a healthy person.
  • For being up early enough to watch a sunrise before work everyday.
  • Having a big girls night in with cocktails & so many laughs.
  • For still getting excited when I pull in to the driveway & seeing Mr M’s car knowing his inside.
  • Being surrounded in my life by loving and amazing people.
  • And simply – for being alive, for seeking out joie de vivre moments in everything I do.
What are you most grateful for in your life – those little everyday things that sometimes get forgotten. I’d love to hear them.
1. Watching a particularly beautiful sunrise on one of my morning runs this week.
2. A photo montage of Mr M & I took a photo of to send to Mr M as his currently away working.
3. Writing a handwritten letter to one of my best friends who is on a big amazing trip.
4. Drinking a delicious cocktail that was consumed on a very fun girls night in.
5. Being surprised with a love heart in my coffee when trying a new local bar/restaurant in our area.
6. Watching the sunrise .. again (my favourite part of the day!)
You can follow me on Instagram at lifesshinyprettythings

Media Spotlight; In the press

It was an amazing and exciting week for Lifes Shiny Pretty Things as the blog & I featured in a newspaper – a special edition Perth Now newspaper. The editor of Perth Now had found my blog & contacted me to do a story involving myself and 2 other Perth bloggers – who I was incredibly humbled to be alongside. When I started my blog a year ago I never thought of how far reaching it would ever get. It was here just for me and for any stranger who happened to stumble across it. I wanted to explain ‘the girl behind the dating website’ – the business I started at 22 – Possibly Maybe. To explain who I was meant showing that I do care about others achieving goals and finding love, sharing journeys and lessons that I go through, explaining that I really do love .. love with all its ups and downs and that I love writing and helping people be who they want to be with dreaming and loving along the way. That’s where Lifes shiny pretty things & I are at today and I’m excited for ‘our’ future. As long as people enjoy reading I’m happy to keep writing so thank you for readers who stop by each day and an extra thank you to those who leave thoughtful comments to let me know you have stopped by. It is all very humbling. 
The extract from the article in Perth Now ..
written by Anthony DeCeglie

“Another 24-year-old, Anna Ogilvie, is also creating a buzz online. Ms Ogilvie started lifesshinyprettythings this time last year. Essentially, the blog is her personal diary opened up to the world. She muses about love, recent holidays, what she’s eating for dinner and her personal goals. “Every day you’re getting comments from readers telling you how your blog is affecting them,” she said. “It’s really inspiring.” Ms Ogilvie tries to upload something new every day. She uses social media such as Twitter and Facebook to let her fan base know when she has written something fresh.  Nothing is of -limits or too personal, unless she thinks it could upset her family or friends – or her boyfriend. She recently blogged about a painful jaw reconstruction (with detailed photos). It was a moving piece about corrective surgery that she had wanted since she was a child. “I had lived my whole life with quite a bad under bite…though it didn’t dictate who I was, it was a major source of insecurity and general unhappiness when it came to who I saw when I looked in the mirror,” she wrote. “The process was long, and the surgery that resulted is major (they break your top and bottom jaw and realign them with bolts) but the final result is me today and the happiness and closure I feel from it all. “I’ve always been positive, but the best way I can put it is it made my outsides match my insides. I have ashamedly shied away from talking about it publicly in the past as after my surgery and subsequent changes physically and emotionally I had some negative reactions from ‘friends’. “Yes it made me look different, but it’s who I was meant to be, and, yes,  I have more confidence, but this is the life I was born to lead.” Ms Ogilvie has been online most of her life. She even founded a local dating website for Perth’s young people called Possibly Maybe. But, when she started blogging she found herself the victim of online bullying for the first time. “It was really quite confronting,” she said.  “I think a lot of people find it pretentious when you write about yourself and your life, especially when they think you’re being up yourself because you dare think that someone cares about the small things that make your day, like a cupcake recipe. “But, I think those people simply don’t get it. “Blogging is about sharing what you like and what you’re passionate about with the world. You’re not asking people to read it, or forcing them to. It’s just simply there and if someone likes it then that’s a nice bonus.” Ms Ogilvie said her blog receives about 200 views each day.”

Fur jacket – Erin Louise (My favourite designer)
Red Jeans – Cotton On
T-shirt – Sports Girl

My week, with instagram

I always think I have hit some kind of magical jackpot when I find beautiful words and quotes that I can apply to my everyday life so when I stumbled upon the following quote from H Jackson Brown Jr I knew it was something that had to be shared. The advice is beautiful and so easily applied if you have conviction to want to live it so this is my weeks’ words accompanying my photos from Instagram. P.s I actually adore seeing other posts on blogs with a round up of Instagram pics – I think its such a great way to get a sneak peek in to how others view life. P.p.s You can follow me on Instagram at annabelle3

21 Suggestions for Success

  1. Marry the right person. This one decision will determine 90% of your happiness or misery.
  2. Work at something you enjoy and that’s worthy of your time and talent.
  3. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
  4. Become the most positive and enthuasitc person you know.
  5. Be forgiving of yourself and others.
  6. Be generous.
  7. Have a grateful heart.
  8. Persistance. Persistance. Persistence.
  9. Discipline yourself to save money on even the most modest salary.
  10. Treat everyone you meet like you want to be treated.
  11. Commit yourself to constant improvement.
  12. Commit yourself to quality.
  13. Understand that happiness is not based on possessions, power, prestige, but on relationships with people you love and respect.
  14. Be loyal.
  15. Be honest.
  16. Be a self starter.
  17. Be decisive even if it means you’ll sometimes be wrong.
  18. Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for every area of your life.
  19. Be bold & couragoes. When you look back on your life, you’ll regreat the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did.
  20. Take good care of those you love.
  21. Don’t do anything that wouldn’t make your mum proud. 

Photo a day May – My life in snapshots

Joie de vivre 

Being alive & delicious in the moment.
Joie De Vivre is a French phrase often used in English to express a cheerful enjoyment of life; an exultation of spirit.It can be a joy of conversation, a joy of eating, a joy of anything one might do – Joi De Vivre may be seen as a joy of everything, a comprehensive joy, a philosophy of joy.
I love it. I just love that word. I had actually found the word on my latest ‘me’ trip to Bali and knew instantly that this phrase and I would have a long and happy life together. To be alive and delicious in the moment. How beautiful that is. We live in an amazing but incredibly fast paced world. A world that sometimes, if we blink, makes us miss moments. Precious moments. Exciting moments. Sadly enough, sometimes even surreal moments. Joie de vivre reminds us though that it doesn’t have to be like that. The beautiful thing about this life, our life, your life, is that you control it’s destiny and have every opportunity to live it to it’s fullest potential, I believe to do that can be as simple as being in all of your here and now moments. Putting it simply. Being present. That might mean turning up your favourite song when it comes on the radio. Watching the sunrise or sharing the sunset with a loved one after a long day. Catching up with a friend and listening about everything that is exciting in their life right now. Smiling when you see two strangers in love or simply just realising, that each and every day, all you have is the right now, this moment. If lived correctly, it would mean you’re not in the pursuit of happiness – you are happy. I took part  in the photo a day May challenge because a) I already had a healthy obsession fascination with instagram (you can follow me at annabelle3) but mainly because b) I loved the idea that for 30 days you got the seek out the beauty in your life and share it as you went along, I felt it encapsulated Joie De Vivre, encouraging you to live in the moment of your day if only for a fleeting moment as you snapped the photo. Below are a snapshot of my 30 photos from this challenge (which is a great view of my world through my eyes)- you can join in on Junes challenge (all the details are here), but be sure to let me know so I can follow your own Joie De Vivre through Instagram.

My life & work in politics

Last week, after careful thought and a lot of discussions with mentors, I made a huge career decision – I decided to leave my job and gracefully bow out of Australian politics. I have been working for a Federal Member of Parliament for the past 3 and a half years and have loved and adored every second of it. I had never meant to get in to politics, it found me, literally. My boss rang me at my old workplace after being given my name and asked if I’d like to start in his office. At the time I couldn’t have told you if we had a Prime Minister or a President – turns out we had a Prime Minister – and  I didn’t have the slightest clue about anything political. I learnt though, and fast, and over the past 3 and a half years have educated myself on the Australian political system and policies all the while doing it with my loud and crazy flair. I was incredibly lucky to have a boss who let me be my own person within the role and sometimes rather ‘tough industry’. I was the girl who would get dressed up in Parliament house and hand out chocolates on Valentines day and candy canes at Christmas, who would make all the politicians go through the ‘pits and the peaks’ of their week in the Chairman’s lounge after a crazy 70 hour week and who still got excited by all aspects of my work – the media (getting on TV with the last leadership spill in Australia) the events (like telling Allan Joyce, the CEO of Qantas that I wanted the mini chocolates back on the Canberra to Perth flights…& getting them) and even just bumping in to the Prime Minister in hallways (this happened on numerous occasions over the years). I had never meant to stay in it as long as I did, but as with all things in life, not everything always goes to plan and so what was meant to be a short term job, turned in to an incredibly rewarding and fun career. However, with a degree in HR and a burning desire to kick start the new chapter of my life when I return from Europe I thought now was as good a time as any to leave – as hard as it was – & embrace my new career with all that I’ve got. I have been given beyond amazing opportunities, made friends that I will have for life, been very proud of all of my achievements and learnt incredibly powerful lessons that I can carry in to my future working life. I was ‘just a girl’ who worked hard, absorbed all that I could and made sure I always played harder. I look back on every day with my boss and job with a huge smile on my face and fantastic memories in my heart. Today I share with you just some of the things I learnt along the way …. being ‘just that girl’ – in a very male dominated industry.

  • Always walk in to a room confidently with your head high, eye gaze strong and handshake stronger.
  • Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t, that you’re not smart enough, or that you’re not old enough – your limitations are only what you think they are. Anything is possible, never let anyone tell you otherwise.
  • Believe in your worth, if you respect yourself and work hard, others will believe in you to.
  • Learn how to network and do it well – it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.
  • Know your social graces – and use them.
  • Learn to listen, properly and to emphathise, genuinely. 
  • Be yourself – of every hour of every day. For me, that meant remaining loud, slightly crazy and sometimes inappropriate (for that industry anyway) but it meant I was being honest, and true to myself and it matters. It really does.
  • Work hard and play harder – remember that we are here working to live not living to work.
  • Be assertive, respectful and honest in all that you do and you’ll always come out on top.
  • Use your voice – speak up. Your voice is important just like anybody others, so are your ideas and opinions.
  • Don’t ever be unlimited by the fear of the unknown. Ever.
  • Have fun. With everything. Always.

This is a small snapshot of my life and advice from the past few years and I can’t wait to begin the next exciting chapter. Here is to learning and loving all that we do and always believing in who we are. 
Below are some of the pics I’ve snapped over the years including one of my fav’s with the ex Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon John Howard. If you’re wondering why I look quite different in the pics read the story I wrote here on my major corrective jaw surgery.
Anna xo
[ The Hon John Howard – Ex Prime Minister of Australia ]
[ The Hon Tony Abbott – the current Leader of the 
Opposition ]
[LEFT: The Hon Joe Hockey – Shadow Treasurer of Australia RIGHT: The Hon Colin Barnett – the current State Premier of Western Australia]
[ Getting to meet the new Guide Dogs for the Blind at Parliament House ]
[ RIGHT: At my desk after a marathon day in Parliament LEFT: The Hon Malcolm Turnbull – ex Leader of the Opposition, current Shadow Minister for Communications ] 
[ Visiting the war memorial in Canberra & being able to pay my respects to Australia’s fallen soldiers – one of the most humbling days of my life]

Raw food + Friends = Love

[All pictures seen here were taking by the gorgeous Belinda R – an amazingly talented photographer friend]

Being a lover of trying new things and adoring catch ups with dear friends, I was so excited to have plans this past weekend to try out a new little cafe in Fremantle that only serves raw and organic food – ‘The Raw Kitchen’. B & I arrived for lunch amongst a bustling Fremantle setting and sat excitedly trying to choose just what we wanted off the menu – such a hard task which is probably why we ended up with almost all the menu items on our table! From the food to the service to the chatter however it was all just superb. We sat and ate deliciously healthy goodness all the while polishing it off with Choc and Iced Coffee (all natural of course) drinks – did I mention we started with dessert first? You want to know the best part about it all though? I got to share this experience with such a gorgeous soul. It wasn’t the food or the drinks or the setting that set the day from amazing to extraordinary, it was the conversations shared. For over 3 hours, we sat and swapped stories – good and sad,  dished out advice, laughed and just enjoyed each others company. It made me realise just how important good, real, honest friends are in our lives and how lucky we are when we do happen to find them. It’s important to remember that good friends are those that want the best for you, the people that support you, that are there lifting your spirits and giving you truths that you may want to – or not want to – hear. Which reminded me. When we are lucky enough to find friends like that – we need to support them., to love them and cherish them. Vows in friendship can be just as important as vows in any relationship (marriage or not). I’m so lucky to have friends like B and others in my life and know that we’ll always have each other through the best bits and worst bits of life. So here’s to friendship – to beautiful friends, to the amazing times and memories we create with them and to sharing life with those we love.

My week, with Instagram

So I was a bit post light last week as I was in an incredibly intense period of decision making to do with my career – a decision that had been carefully thought out for the past 3 months. I can confirm that I made my decision and will be sharing the whole experience and reflection over the next week. I found though, throughout said intense period making decision, everything that should have pointed me in the right direction – did. Books came in the mail that I’d ordered weeks ago with the most un canny titles relative to my situation, opportunities were offered that came at just the right moments and articles were stumbled across with all the right advice. It was a very incredible experience and one I learnt a lot from. One of the articles I stumbled across was one I’d written for Possibly Maybe (not yet published) that talked about Steve Jobs and his advice on work and life – so with this weeks round up of Instagram photos and my rule of thumb with finding beauty in the small stuff and sharing my little life lessons here is this weeks lesson inspired by Steve Jobs.

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keeping looking until you find it. Don’t settle.” – Steve Jobs 

So my advice? Don’t Settle. In love, or in life. Pursue your dreams, search for great relationships and always do what you love, and love what you do.