Mel’s Famous Goji Berry Bliss Balls

The universe has been delightful again and has smashed me into contact with the absolutely gorgeous Mel from Raw Energy and Wellness. As Mel will tell you below, she is a Remedial Massage Therapist and Personal Trainer and has just moved to the my glorious end of Australia (the West). She also just happens to be a fellow IIN colleague and I am telling you now, she is going to do big things with her Health Coach qualification! I’ll hand the microphone over to Mel now to introduce herself and then share her protein-packed bliss balls… 

melAfter leaving School 15 years ago my first stop was cooking school. I wasn’t really sure what in the world I wanted to do but I knew I loved to cook for people so decided my new aspiration was to become a chef. After being told, quite politely, by my teacher at that time that I talked to much to be stuck in a kitchen everyday, I went on a career hunting adventure over many years. I tried soooo many things…Horticulture, waitressing, landscaping, accounting, started a business degree, interior design, sports management and finally found my calling when I qualified as a Personal Trainer and opened my first boutique gym 6 years ago.

Although I did love what i was doing I always had a deeper desire to further help people, so completed a number of extra nutrition and coaching certificates and enrolled myself to become a Remedial Therapist. I thought this would help me on the road to “fixing” people.

However, as before, I still felt that burning desire that there was something else out there for me to learn in order to motivate and inspire people to become the best version on themselves they could possibly be. This is when I stumbled across the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, this is what I claim to be my “light bulb moment”. It made so much sense to tie in all of my knowledge and experience into this one qualification: a HEALTH COACH.

Since enrolling 3 months ago I haven’t been able to contain my excitement and so many doors have started swinging open. I am so grateful for the new path my life is taking and would you believe that after 15 whole years my passion for cooking has returned. Although this time around, after everything I’ve learnt over the years, the ingredients I am experimenting and creating with are far more pure and nourishing. I absolutely love shopping and hunting for yummy, quality ingredients. Then when I get home, have so much fun getting lost in the middle of a kitchen full of nuts, seeds and superfoods. And the best part, I get to talk just as much as I like!

To celebrate the rediscovery of my passion I would love to share my famous Gogi Berry Bliss Ball recipe with you. Goji Berries contain all essential amino acids and also have the highest concentration of protein of any fruit. They are loaded with vitamin C, contain more carotenoids than any other food, have twenty-one trace minerals, and are high in fiber. Boasting 15 times the amount of iron found in spinach, as well as calcium, zinc, selenium and many other important trace minerals, there is no doubt that the humble yogi berry is a nutritional powerhouse.

Enjoy beautiful people!

Mel’s Famous Goji Berry Bliss Balls

Vegan – Raw

Makes 16 balls

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Ingredients

  • 15 dates 
  • 1/4 cup flaxseeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds 
  • 1/4 cup pepitas 
  • 1/4 cup goji berries 
  • 1 cup almonds 
  • 1/2 cup walnuts 
  • 1 tbs cinnamon 
  • 3/4 cup oats 
  • 1/2 cup coconut 
  • 1/2 cup almond milk 
  • 4 scoops vanilla protein 

Method

  1. Add all ingredients except milk to a food processor mix until you are left with a fine texture
  2. Transfer to a large bowl, add milk and stir 
  3. Roll into small balls using extra coconut for rolling in

How good do they look? If you want more recipes like that follow Mel here;

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What is your favorite healthy snack? Would love to hear your go-to food in the comments!

Wellness Women We Love: Claire Baker – This is Lifeblood

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Claire and I are the classic tale of modern day love. You know… Girl Instagrams food, other girl Instagrams place, girls laugh at photo similarities, girls meet at cafe to Instagram together, girls fall in mad friendship-love. And they lived happily ever after making flower crowns and going on road trips all the way.

But seriously, for me, it was adore at first sight! Claire has the most amazing way of making you feel completely comfortable from the second you meet her. And this knack clearly translates to her writing and has surely been key to her blogs massive popularity! With the perfect balance of vulnerability and strength, she delves deep into her own ego and thus challenges you to examine your own. She is a champion for following your dreams, living authentically, travelling lots, eating amazing nourishing food (the girl can cook a curry!) and just to let life flow.

I am not sure what forces of the universe spun us into each others orbits but I am extremely grateful to them as my life is better for having her in it. I’m sure after getting to know her you will feel the same!

Meet Claire – the coolest dude around!

Thank you for walking onto this virtual stage! Now if you were walking onstage in real life what tune would you have playing as your theme song?

Ooohh I’m going to have to be corny and say The Beatles ‘All You Need is Love’ and I’m skipping on stage with daisies in my hair, the sun is shining and life is good. Love is all you need baby!

What motivated you to take the first step on your wellness journey?

Being diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis at 17 certainly threw me into the deep end of raw juices, whole foods and the wellness world. Seeing my body heal through natural, holistic therapies changed my life forever. I’m so grateful I had that experience of being so unwell as I value, appreciate and prioritise my health today on a whole new level.

What do you do every morning to set up your day for success?

If I’m honest with you, I don’t always meditate in the mornings. I don’t always exercise, drink warm lemon water or oil pull (although I do most days) but I ALWAYS create a mental gratitude list by thinking of 5 things I am grateful for every single morning before I get out of bed. Being grateful for what we do have shifts our perceptions, attracts more of the good stuff and ensures we don’t start the day with stinky negative thoughts.

There are so many nutritional untruths floating around out there. What is your favourite myth to debunk?

That milk is the best source of calcium. Noo!! Where do you think the cows get their calcium from? Greens people, greens!

How do you handle your dietary non-negotiables when you are invited over or out for dinner?

I’m pretty flexible to be honest. I admire people who won’t eat anything that isn’t organic or prepared in a certain way but unless my friends are serving deep fried mars bars smothered in cheese-in-a-can, I’ll pretty much eat anything. When I’m out for dinner, I stick to lean meats, seafoods, salads and veggies and pass on anything too gluten-y.

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If you had to cook one meal to impress a tough crowd of unhealthy eaters, what would it be?

It’d have to be a slow-cooked (organic, grass fed) lamb roast with warm spinach, pumpkin, beetroot and parsnip salad. Particuarly in the cooler weather right now! In Summer I’d probably whip up a coconut-crusted salmon fillet on a bed of mango, celery and cucumber salsa. I’d finish both meals off with this slice.

Do you have any natural products/alternative therapies that you cannot live without?

Apple cider vinegar for the win! Raw, organic, unpasteurized of course. This stuff does wonders for my digestive system, either diluted in warm water in the mornings or a cap or two before meals. You can also use it as a yummy salad dressing, a toner for your skin, hair rinse or even as deodorant.

How do you ‘zen-ify’ your home?

Candles, open windows, fresh air, natural light and crystals. And regular de-cluttering.

What is your favourite imperfection about yourself and why?

My sweet tooth! Because I freaking love making raw chocolate treats, chia puddings, bliss balls and slices like this one.

What is one question that everyone should ask themselves?

What do I LOVE to do?

What is the most important decision you make to ensure you are a conscious consumer?

It totally depends on what I am consuming. However, I really try to refrain from accumulating ‘stuff’ and I think it is ultra important to shop locally and avoid the big chain supermarkets as much as humanly possible.

Pretend this is your mountain… what message do you shout to the world?

Beautiful people, life is there to be enjoyed, not endured! So clear the crap, uncover your inner strengths, pursue your passions, do whatever the hell makes you happy, be weird, be grateful, love yourself and never stop giving back.

Don’t you just want to nip her? If you want more of Claire find her here

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAClaire Baker is a life-loving holistic health coach with a permanent travel bug and zeal for true happiness and healing. Addicted to living authentically with gutsy passion and purpose and helping others to do the same, she digs peppermint tea, medjool dates, a good belly laugh and wearing yoga pants all day.

Come say hi at This is Lifeblood, her online space to share her passions for all things nourishing, spiritual and creative and subscribe to her free weekly love letters.

You can also find her on hanging out on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

This is Lifeblood blog here.

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What do you find most inspiring about this girl? Share it in comments below!

 

 

 

Wellness Women We Love: Alison Morgan – The Relauncher

I think wellness geeks Australia-wide breathed a collective sigh when The Relauncher opened it’s online doors. And the insanely passionate woman that was throwing those doors open with all her gusto was Alison Morgan. Combining her obsession with health and wellness, her business nous, a history in marketing and a passion to inspire, Alison is truly living her best life. And her mission is to inspire and guide you to live yours. In her own words;

Relauncher is a one-stop-solution for all things happy, healthy and beautiful. A place to come to relaunch yourself.  

Just gorgeous. So with no futher ado… I give you Alison!

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Thank you for walking onto this virtual stage! Now if you were walking onstage in real life what tune would you have playing as your theme song?

Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke.  I love a good beat to walk to.

What motivated you to take the first step on your wellness journey?

My business, Relauncher, wasn’t initially so health & wellness focused ~ it was through the journey of creating the business that I found my true passions.

I love feeling healthy and totally aware of how my body is feeling.  The results of living consciously is so rewarding on many levels.

What do you do every morning to set up your day for success?

1I’m getting up earlier and earlier to fit my day in.  I try to wait until 5 most mornings (although I struggle with this sometimes and end up getting up!).

I start off with meditation, then get as much work done before the family rises and the chaotic morning kicks off until school time.

How do you handle your dietary non-negotiables when you are invited over or out for dinner?

It depends on the situation.  If we are out for dinner, it’s not too hard to choose the best option on the menu.

When out at friends places, I just go with the flow and eat what I’m served ~ although most of the time I won’t do dessert.  I was such a chocolate girl in the past that if I get the taste for it too often, I’m sure I’d be craving it again pretty quickly!

If you had to cook one meal to impress a tough crowd of unhealthy eaters, what would it be?

It would have to be FULL of flavour, so they can see how tasty eating healthy could be.

Entrée Kale Chips, Buckwheat Crisp Bread, Hummus and crisp veggie sticks

Main Wild salmon seasoned with lemon & herbs, served with one of my famous salads with roasted vegetables, hemp seeds & nuts, topped with a tasty dressing served.

Dessert  Raw jaffa tart and a side serving of bliss balls.  Oh, and homemade fragrant chai tea.

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Do you have any natural products/alternative therapies that you cannot live without?

These day’s I only use natural products.  Once you’ve been using them, you realize how harsh the chemicals are.

My top 3 natural products I couldn’t live without are these soap nuts,  this natural dishwashing detergent , and this lemon myrtle toothpaste which tastes amazing   (there are so many more… I could keep going!)

How do you ‘zen-ify’ your home?

Opening the curtains and letting in fresh air – even on a cold day I need fresh air through the house!

I have lots of plants – in fact I need to get some more indoor plants.

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What is your favourite imperfection about yourself and why?

Getting up early.  It’s a double-edged sword.  If only I could sleep in on the weekends….

What is one question that everyone should ask themselves?

How healthy do I feel?  And really ponder on it, answering truthfully to yourself. Most people have no idea how good their bodies are designed to feel!

Pretend this is your mountain… what message do you shout to the world?

Create a life you love, and be grateful every step of the way.

How fab is she?! do you want more? Here she is…

The Relauncher Website 

Facebook 

Twitter 

Instagram 

And for any Perth Wellness lovers… how exciting is this?

Perth flier

Wellness Soulpreneurs and Flower Crowns

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Saturday was toe-tappingly, heart-warmingly, soul-squeezingly awesome.

It was the launch of the Perth Wellness Soulpreneurs meet-ups. Basically, a whole bunch of really inspiring women who are all working and blogging about wellness in Perth decided to get their butts together and watch the magic happen. And happen it did.

This get-together was organised by the effervescent Jacqueline who (along with Annette from Wellness WA) is going to be launching a Perth-based cold-press juice delivery company Pure Glow Cleanse –Hallelujah!

Photo courtesy of Vegan Sparkles

Photo courtesy of Vegan Sparkles

Our morning started with a private class of Vinyasa Yoga which was taught by two very passionate and nurturing Yogini’s Donna and Kate from The Yoga Vine. There were plenty of bend-backs, downward dogs and Donna-asana’s to be had. I felt SO invigorated and I was not the only one to comment afterwards that it had inspired me to get back to the mat. Kate then gently guided us into an extended meditation. It was so lovely (and dare I say a little poignant?) to practice being still in the middle of the bustling city.

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After we had namaste’d it out, Fiona Ferreira from Left of Centre Therapies took the stage. The softly spoken Reiki Healer explained her work and love of crystals with the most touching of speeches followed by a quick Q+A. One thing that really resonated with me was when Fiona explained that we are all born with an empty back pack and through our lives we fill it with all of our good and bad experiences. Healing is taking the bad baggage out. Just lovely.

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By that stage the Cocobella coconut water could not keep us satiated and the pack made our way to The Green House for food, tea and chats. I had food envy over every single person’s plate – even my own! Can that even happen? I say ‘Yay’. Special mention has to be made to the Baharat Cauliflower which will feature heavily in my dreams for the next millennia.

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Then – my favourite part of the day. Actually… favourite bit out of most days ever. We moved to a tiny patch of grass that was surrounded by busy shopping malls and towered over by cold skyscrapers. The super-gorgeous Jacinta from Cintism then led us in a flower crown tutorial. The (by now) 7 of us were like kids. From fits of giggles to excited squee’s and then looooong concentrated silences we all made the most stunning floral headpieces – each piece speaking volumes about the makers personality. I have two hen-nights to organise and I am so excited to have found Jacinta’s workshops for them; flower crowns trump cheesy devil horns a million times over!

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One thing I did notice though was how many people didn’t. Seven girls in the middle of the city with about 15 big bunches of flowers laughing and making crowns and most people had their noses down and were rushing through life. I’m not saying that everyone should have been showering us with attention buuut… flowers are damn pretty and a lot of people didn’t seem to notice. And I can guarantee that a year ago if I had walked past on my way to work or an appointment I wouldn’t have noticed either. It inspired me to make a renewed commitment to being present. Instead of constantly focusing on the destination – whether that is an upcoming event, a personal goal or just an actual physical location – I am going to stop and enjoy the goddamn footpath. Enjoy the process, marvel at what’s happening around you, acknowledge when you stub your toe but try not to swear too much and keep moving forward as slowly or fast as you like.

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An amazing day in every way – I am so excited for next month’s gathering. Here are some happy snaps from the day…

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Want to get to know the inspiring women I shared my day with? Of course you do!

Anna – Lifes Shiny Pretty Things

Annette – Wellness WA // Pure Glow Cleanse

Bex – Vegan Sparkles

Claire – This is Lifeblood

Elizabeth – Life with Elizabeth Rose

Fiona  – Left of Centre Therapies

Jacinta – Cintism

Jacqueline – Pure Glow Cleanse

Jia Ne – Jia Ne Teo

Karen – Conscious Cravings

Kavesha – Wellness WA Contributor

Vanessa – learn.grow.heal

What A Wolfe Taught Me (Best Weekend Ever)

I had a life changing weekend. One of those weekends that had me twitching with energy; had my  hand struggling to keep up with my mind; had me laughing hysterically one second then wiping tears away the next. You see, David Wolfe came to town and me and two of my soul sisters (Claire from This is Lifeblood and Emmy from Greens and Growth) made a pilgrimage to Samudra to hear what he had to say. We were not disappointed.

For those of you that are not familiar with David he is commonly referred to as the Rock Star of Superfoods. He spends his life travelling the world educating people about nutrition; particularly raw foods, mushrooms and superfoods.  He is a ball of energy with a mind that is gobsmackingly full of knowledge. His thirst for longevity is only dwarfed by his hunger for cacao. He has wild hair and wears poncho’s made of peat reeds. He is best friends with Woody Harrelson. He talks fast but pauses long.  His written goal is to achieve immortality.

Needless to say he is one of a kind and one of the most captivating and hilarious speakers I have ever seen.

Instagram @oliveonblonde

Instagram @oliveonblonde

The day started with a 3 hour workshop to create the ultimate healing elixir. I used to think my smoothies were fancy with my bee pollen and my maca – but no! Davids had exotic berries, medicinal mushrooms, ancient black algae’s and it all culminated in the 2001: A Space Odyseey music and then the chicken dance. I tried to put a video up but alas, will just have to post it on my Facebook page instead.

Me and my darling Emmy... a little bit excited!

Me and my darling Emmy… a little bit excited!

We then moved through to a lecture (where my mind was blown) which was followed by a Raw Cacao Dance Party; a rave with a cacao ceremony, no alcohol (just superfood cocktails), chanting and dancing until a very reasonable 12am. My blog-babes and I could not stop laughing at how different our Saturday nights had become!

For those curious THIS is what a Raw Cacao Dance Party looks like…

The Cacao Ceremony... chanting included

The Cacao Ceremony… chanting included

Pregnant belly dancers... fibre optic hula-hoops... tunic wearing men... you name it they had it.

Pregnant belly dancers… fibre optic hula-hoops… tunic wearing men… you name it they had it.

My darling Claire shaking her tail feather!

My darling Claire shaking her tail feather!

As I took literally 19 pages of notes I could not tell you everything that needs to be told.

So I have summarised the most poignant things I learnt from his amazing mind. 

Walk with me…

LITTLE BIT EXCITED.

LITTLE BIT EXCITED.

Ask, Look, Find

He told the most hilarious story about being stuck on a long flight with a hankering for organic orange juice. He decided he would search the plane just in case. As he walked past the attendants booth he saw through a gap in the curtain an orange juice sitting on the counter. He poked his head in and asked; “That wouldn’t happen to be organic orange juice would it?”. The flight attendant – apparently a raw food enthusiast – said “David Wolfe! Dude… check THIS out!” before slamming a 2 litre jug of organic kale juice on the counter!

If he had been sitting next to me and suggested that he was going to go looking for something as obscure as fresh organic juice I would have told him not to bother. Dont be silly. Wrong.

Be silly! Have a curious mind. Throw out preconceptions. Ignore boundaries.

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.

Alcohol is a wolf in sheep’s clothing

David was unequivocal about this… actually he was kind of outraged. He spoke about the ridiculousness that alcohol drinkers look down on other drug takers and that society considers it in a different class. Alcohol is a drug like no other, and a very dangerous one at that.

But he understood that it is part of a lot of people’s lives and suggested that if you choose to drink that you at least add superfoods to it; add some goji berries to your wine, some chaga mushrooms in your vodka or hops extract in your beer. “At least get your medicine while you drink!”

Ultimately though he feels his superfood drinks are an upgraded technology as you get the high with no hangover. I have to admit after the Raw Cacao Dance Party… he may be onto something.

Leaders are readers.

Word.

Medicinal mushrooms are a non-negotiable

“Mushrooms are an ally to life. All life.” Basically, mushrooms are the most powerful healing foods and can be consumed by anyone… even a newborn. Next week I will go into depth about these mushrooms (reishi, chaga, shiitake, cordyceps etc) and how to incorporate them into your diet.

Turn. Off. The. TV.

A while ago I wrote this post about getting rid of the TV. Slowly however it has crept back into my life. I wholeheartedly blame Offspring (or more to the point… Patrick Reid). And even though I swore I would only watch the idiot box for that glorious hour on a Wednesday evening… sneakily it has snuck back in. So when he said;

“The news does not serve you. It is trying to create your reality. That is a reality of death, violence, crappy politicians. It convinces you of your reality. Where are the reporters now? I don’t see any here in this room where we are all having a great time! That’s because it doesn’t sell”

Roger, roger Universe. Message received.

Always keep moving

If you get too comfortable with life… you check out.

If you ride too close to the edge of life… you check out.

Move every day. Don’t move it – you lose it.

If it doesn’t make you feel good you need to get rid of it

Thoughts, relationships, food, whatever… it if doesn’t feel good get it the hell away from you.

Marshmallows are REAL man!

No amazing revelation here… I just found this totally gorgeous! The original marshmallow (free of artificial sweeteners and colours) are actually found in every ecosystem. Note to self next time I am camping and want to play chubby bunnies!!! The mallow (a root) is pulled up and boiled until it is soft and spongy. It is then dipped in honey and consumed as a sweet!

In the words of David himself… that’s the bomb dot com!

Pessimism and skepticism can destroy the world’s most beautiful moment.

Enough said.

Earthing is vital to health

Get your shoes off… let you feet directly touch the earth. This sounds very hippie indeed but by connecting your body to the Earths subtle electrical field you allow it to naturally discharge stress, pain and inflammation. Sarah Wilson wrote a fab article on it here if you want to learn more. I have always been very resistant to wearing shoes – earning the nickname of The Hobbit among family – and I never had a good reason. I am thinking maybe I instinctively knew it was the right thing for my body. Well… that’s how I am going to argue it now anyway.

Salt water is the most powerful cleanser

Your body will also crave hot salt water when it needs it. Feeling sick? You crave broth aka hot salty water. Sore muscles? Soak in a bath full of hot salty water. Cleanse a wound? With hot salty water. You get the picture. Listen to your body, it knows what to do.

Today is the best day ever.

Every day is! Wake up and say that to yourself every day. Make it the first thing you say to whoever shares your bed, home or life. The future is rushing at us – lets enjoy every second.

With a whole bunch of gorgeous women from the blogosphere and IIN family.

With a whole bunch of gorgeous women from the blogosphere and IIN family.

Have you seen someone speak who completely shifted your paradigm? Or has that come through a book? Would love to hear in the comments!

Pics from Less Is More Festival 2013

Back in February I was a presenter at what is fast becoming a stalwart of the Perth Sustainable Calendar: the Less Is More Festival. I ended last years (see the round-up here) and had no idea that a year later I would be asked to give a talk at the next one – to say I was flattered is an understatement. My topic of choice was indeed topical given the recent events of my life; Eco Babies! The presentation was an hour long and was chock-a-clock full of information and links so instead of creating one gigantic blog article I am going to post them over the next few weeks… I spoke about a whole range of things from nappies, to designing your nursery, homemade baby products and toys.

For now though I will just share some snapshots of the day. It was really amazing… such a fun variety of workshops and activities all focused around the idea that less can be more. Less waste, more fun. Less shallow, more fulfilling. Less materialistic, more creative. The way it should be.

The gorgeous setting - The Grove library in Peppermint Grove.

The gorgeous setting – The Grove library in Peppermint Grove.

Right this way.

Right this way.

Beautifully apt quote to have in front of the library.

Beautifully apt quote to have in front of the library.

What a fun schedule of workshops!

What a fun schedule of workshops!

Me with my tables of goodies!

Me with my tables of goodies!

Talking about the moment I lost my head and bought some useless baby merch... a shower cap. What all babies need right?

Talking about the moment I lost my head and bought some useless baby merch… a shower cap. What all babies need right?

Talking with some of the people afterwards... showing my DIY products.

Talking with some of the people afterwards… showing my DIY products.

A mending station was set up, where people could mend and sew to their hearts content!

A mending station was set up, where people could mend and sew to their hearts content!

Great old sewing machine

Great old sewing machine

We need to replace Spending with Mending!

We need to replace Spending with Mending!

Funky old upcycled jeans

Funky old upcycled jeans

There was also a movie lounge screening eco documentaries. Love these denim jean bean bags!

There was also a movie lounge screening eco documentaries. Love these denim jean bean bags!

REALLY cool junk mail art by local artist Rob

REALLY cool junk mail art by local artist Rob

More cool art and sculptures!

More cool art and sculptures!

The busy foyer.

The busy foyer.

Info about Living Smart

Info about Living Smart

The main mode of transport for the day. Love that even the bike has been yarn bombed!

The main mode of transport for the day. Love that even the bike has been yarn bombed!

And ended the day with a big ol' love heart leaf. Doesn't get better than that! :)

And ended the day with a big ol’ love heart leaf. Doesn’t get better than that! :)