INSPIRATIONAL PARENT: ABBY SOARES

Thrilled to have the passionate and talented Abby Soares of Nourish Health as an inspirational parent, wow this mum is mind blowing with her amazing dedication to great food and excellent health.
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Many moons ago I worked as a childrens nurse in Aucklands Starship Childrens Hospital.  I had the pleasure of meeting Abby through a mutual friend at the local gym. Since then Abby has created a wonderful Holistic Health Centre, where they support their clients with nutritional and lifestyle changes to reclaim their health and happiness, sounds like the kind of place I would LOVE to be.  Abby specialises in childrens and womens health and has a really awesome sound knowledge of gut health, immunity, fatigue, weight loss and pregnancy care.  I love following her on facebook and seeing what creations she has made (always super colourful) and who she has been collaborating with (remember inspirational parent Anita from The Kefir Company?!!)
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I have watched Abby build her amazing business to truely help families thrive.  Her passion for real food and reversing sickness is astounding, I love how she made the changes initially for her own family and went on to help those around her.
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So come, read all about it…..
HOW OLD IS YOUR CHILD?
I have three amazing boys who are 10, 8 and 6 years.  I love being a Mama, its absolutely the best job ever.  Being connected to them feeds my soul and makes me my happiest self (apart from the fights!!!)
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WHAT IS YOUR FOOD PHILOSOPHY FOR YOUR CHILD
We aim to eat whole foods from nature for 90-95% of our meals.   We eat mostly organic and try to stick to the foods that are in season wherever possible.  I truly feel that nature always gets it right  when it comes to food and human intervention with food processing is so damaging to our beautiful bodies.
I believe that the gut is the foundation of our health so that is a major focus in our family.  We eat lots of soups and broths made from organic bones and meat in winter.  to keep our gut healthy.  We eat foods filled with good bacteria such as coconut kefir and sauerkraut to constantly repopulate the good bacteria in our digestive system.  We eat huge amounts of greens and veggies to feed the good bacteria and clean our bodies of toxins.  We eat eggs and meat from organic animals to build and strengthen  our bodies and small amounts of activated nuts/seeds and non glutenous grains.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO FEED YOUR CHILDREN THE WAY YOU DO?
 We has been on a massive journey recovering my eldest from Dyspraxia and allergies and my middle son from chronic sinus infections.  Their health and happiness is so important to me, if it means working a bit harder in the kitchen to nourish them to optimal health then I’m happy to do it.   All three boys are so healthy now, they’re gorgeous boys who very rarely get sick and have so much energy (too much sometimes!)
If they’re happy and healthy then I know I’ve done my best by them.
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TIPS FOR TRAVELLING FAMILIES
Travelling locally I always pack the boys lunch boxes full of veggies, fruit, meat, raw baking etc.  I take extra snacks as well such as smoothies, fruit and nuts.  I usually have some emergency packet food such as bars that are made with nuts and dried fruit.  I usually google whole food cafes so that if we need to eat out that we can make good choices away from home.
Travelling overseas I do the same…take our lunch boxes and a mini blender with us.  Do a big shop at a local organic or whole food store when we arrive so there is plenty for everyone to eat.  I make lunch boxes every day and take them with us so we don’t get caught short.  We search for whole food cafe’s to grab a smoothie and some raw baking!  Being prepared and organised is the key to staying on track.
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3 TOP SNACKS
– fruit
– veggies
– boiled eggs or cold meat
simple food is the way to go!
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HOW DO I LOOK AFTER MYSELF AS WELL AS MY KIDS
I play heaps of sport.  I love horse riding, it makes me feel so happy to my core, just the smell of my gorgeous horse is enough to make me melt with happiness.  I surf when ever I can which isn’t nearly enough! Being in the ocean is the ultimate way to get away from all your worries, connect with nature, get some sun and exercise. I also play netball once a week with an awesome team of girls, I love it and play touch rugby in summer.
I eat really well, the same as the kids really.  I eat heaps of greens and veggies and good quality meats.   Greens are so amazing for energy so I have lots of smoothies and veggie juice, it keeps me happy and gives me enough energy to keep up with my sports mad tribe.
I have such lovely friends, a super caring and supportive husband and family so I have really good support.  Having that lovely network to share your problems, hopes and dreams with is so important.
WHAT BRINGS BALANCE TO YOUR FAMILY
Time in nature.  Being out of the house and at the beach, on the ocean or in the bush makes everyone feel happy and calm.  We try to re wild ourselves as often as possible.
Also being with our wider family, having all the kids together playing and happy, this connectedness is so important to our life balance.
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WHAT IS YOUR FAVOOURITE ACTIVITY TO DO AS A FAMILY
We all love the beach and love surfing.  I love doing day trips up North, spending the whole day at the beach.  All surfing and swimming and playing  beach cricket or touch.  I think I’m definitely made to be a Mum of boys!
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Recipe

Kumara Brownie

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Kumara brownie’s are a massive favourite in our house, they are delicious but also really filling and healthy! Make a double batch as they keep really well in the freezer and are perfect for lunch boxes or afternoon snacks when friends pop over.
Ingredients
  • 1 medium sweet potato – 2-3 cups when grated
  • 2 organic eggs
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil
  • ⅓ cup honey (or maple syrup)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract/paste
  • ½ cup raw cacao powder, sifted (or cocoa if find cacao to rich)
  • 1 teaspoon aluminum free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2½ tablespoon coconut flour
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 185 °C (365 °F), make sure the oven is hot before you put in the brownies in.
  2. Combine grated sweet potato, eggs, vanilla, honey and coconut oil oil in a large mixing bowl and stir together until well incorporated. Then add cacao powder, baking powder and baking soda and stir. Finally add coconut flour. Avoid adding too much coconut flour as it will absorb too much moisture which will result in drier brownies.
  3. Once combined, pour the mixture into a baking tray lined with greased baking paper. I used a 9″/23cm square tin.
  4. Cook for 25-30 minutes. Remove the tin and cool for 5-10 minutes before carefully removing the brownie cake form the tin. Cut them into squares and dust with a little cacao powder or melt some dark chocolate in a bowl over boiling water and drizzle it over the top. Serve with raspberries or strawberries and maybe some fresh cream or coconut yoghurt to be extra decadent.

Enjoy

from

Abby

x x x

THANK YOU Abby for your love of nutrition, family health and taking care of you too!!!

Thinking Thyroid

Optimal thyroid function is what we all strive for to maintain excellent health. What does this mean exactly? It means uncovering what lies beneath the symptoms and blood results of thyroid dis-function and really getting to the heart of the issue, truly listening to what our bodies are telling us.

Digging a little deeper in to our thought patterns and the stories we tell ourselves, can explain some of the disease processes that leads to thyroid malfunction. Maintaining optimal thyroid function is very important for our overall health. The thyroid is in charge of our metabolism and it is known to hold the power to the body’s entire internal performance, acting as an accelerator. When there is dis-function we can identify nutritional deficiencies and biochemical imbalances, and readily solve these issues with nutrients, nourishment and tweaks to diets to eliminate particular foods known to hinder thyroid performance. Our psychological and emotional response to stimulus can also be identified to influence our thyroid function.

 

To begin with, our thyroid sits in our throat, right where our throat chakra is

. When we aren’t saying what we really want to, when we hold our tongue and do not speak up for ourselves, our throat chakra can become blocked. This puts immense pressure on our thyroid, slowing down and holding back its performance. Louise Hay

links the psychological effects with the disease process, commonly referring thyroid issues to feelings of humiliation, feeling repressed or put down.images-3.jpg

Louise also explains our thyroid is affected when our creativity is blocked, and encourages women especially to explore self-expression. A common feeling that comes up is ‘when is it my turn’. Shying away from what we want usually means ‘we do not feel we have the right to these things’, stopping us from speaking our truth and therefore blocking up our throat chakra.

Repeating affirmations is suggested as a way to help steer thoughts to a more positive way of thinking. The biochemistry of our cells is directly altered when we have a distorted thought pattern, therefore using affirmations and tuning in to what we really feel can positively impact our thyroid function. Using affirmations like “I move beyond old limitations, and now allow myself to express freely and creatively”, work by firing up neural pathways and shifting the energy blockers around your thyroid, to a more positive, abundant environment. A heavenly environment, which supports and nourishes the thyroid.

Finding the gold that shines within, and being true to you is what is going to have a positive effect on thyroid function. Saying goodbye to thought patterns that are harmful to the thyroids biochemistry would in turn tune you in to your greatness. Supporting your thyroid with delicious food, positive affirmations and spoonfuls of self care will tune in to your greatness and begin to express who you really were born to be.

Survival of The Fittest: Silly Season Tactics

So today I set out in my car to do a few chores, and whoa and behold, so did the rest of Sydney.  It’s the first day of December, Summer is officially here, and so are the Christmas Crazies.  TRAFFIC everywhere, no car spaces, people people people rushing about.  I have a feeling its about to get worse.

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So how can we all hold it together, and come from a place of calm and happiness instead of stressing and rushing.

Simple little ‘pauses’ as my good friend Dr Libby likes to encourage and talk about.  On a recent visit to her latest talk, she reminded us to take small pauses through out the day, to slow down our nervous system and drown out the stress.  During the pause think of something you are grateful for, as we can never be stressed and grateful at the same time.  Take a couple of nice deep belly breaths, and continue on with your day.  It’s a few seconds to stop and pause, and calm yourself down.

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Become mindful of what you are fuelling yourself with, but don’t feel guilty if you grab something that doesnt nourish you.  Its a few weeks of mayhem, give yourself a break!  Schools over, kids are demanding and whining, so if it suits, get prepared.  Have some little bags of nuts prepared, some bananas to easily grab, a water bottle.  Amp up a morning smoothie with some green leafy veggies, add extra veggies to your plate at dinner. Small effort with help keep your nutrient intake up.

Hero-Bottle.pngIt’s ok to say no to that drink, it’s also ok to say yes!  Again be mindful, have water between each glass of wine.  Remember that alcohol adds a load to your liver and stress to your nervous system, so long term it may cause a bit of havoc.  Can you implement other ways to calm down at the end of a busy day? Can you replace one night of drinking with a yummy substitute like Kombucha (check out Kombucha Zest awesome flavours, your gut will love you for it too!)

Go easy on yourself! Be kind to yourself, you can only do what you can do.  Be thankful you get the chance to run around and prepare for the festive season.  Be thankful there is a family to spoil.

child pose.jpgPerhaps try to get to a yoga class to, have a little ‘you time’, even a 5 second step outside to sigh!  I understand the pressures of being a busy, working mum with to do lists a mile long!  I also struggle to find time for myself…i’m getting a bit better at it!

Some nourishment for you to consider throughout the next month

  • Supplement support, especially B vitamins and Vitamin C
  • Amp up your greens
  • Some kind of exercise, yoga, pilates, a quick walk around the block
  • Family time, spend some quality time together
  • Thankfulness & Gratitude for what you do have
  • Include some fermented foods for gut support, sauerkraut, kombucha
  • Have a laugh. watch Bad Moms (EVERYTIME giggles!)

Have a super Merry Festive Season

inspirational parent: Tui Fleming

Social media is an interesting place.  I spend way too much time there, which my husband totally hates, but sometimes it proves fruitful, and luckily for me, a few weeks ago it was.

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Tui Fleming

Tui is an Auckland mother of 2 girls.  Tui and I actually go way back, to high school years, it was great to reconnect to her through Facebook, as one evening a mutual friend posted about Tui’s book.

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Dear Mummy, You’re Important Too

The book title caught my eye, and I dug a little deeper (ok I totally stalked) and found a like-hearted soul in Tui, and instantly reached out to collaborate.

Tui has only this week launched her book: ‘Dear Mummy, You’re Important Too’.   Described on Dear Mummy’s website ‘Unlike other how-to parenting books, this book has mummies as it’s priority – at it’s heart. It understands you want to be the best mummy you can. It’s premise: that means being the best YOU you can be. This book offers musings, motivations and morsels to nourish a mummy’s soul’.

Tui has a lot of beautiful things to say about her family, thank you Tui for your honesty and your time to share with us your ‘musings’ (my new favourite word!).

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How old are your children?

I have two dynamite daughters: 4 ½ and 3 years old.

What is your food philosophy for your children?

There are so many things I ‘should’ say here. But shoulds are so often derived from other peoples’ expectations. The fact is, I don’t have a food philosophy for my children – well not one I’ve pre-considered anyway. I approached food differently with my first than I did my second daughter. It was circumstantial: with my first I had all the time in the world, it was just she and I at home together each day. So she received homemade solids and didn’t touch sugar until her first birthday. My second had many more ready-made baby pouches and I’m pretty sure she had her first marshmallow before she was one. If I had to define it, my philosophy would center around balance. Of course children need their fruit & veg; they need good quality protein. But I also think they should be allowed treats sometimes. 100s and 1000s sprinkles on fairy bread never hurt us growing up. Let children be children. Also, let them have a voice and listen to it. If they really hate something, so long as they’ve had a try, let it go. They’re little people. Respect them. Educate and encourage but don’t forcefly-d0ip7l5GB63bu10wSVXgt9VnwXnrNJwGCDPmJHg-846x400.jpg

Tui’s own French Onion Soup

What inspires you to feed your children the way you do?

I’m inspired to live a healthy, balanced life. A couple of years ago I tried going sugar-free. Then I lost my way. Last year I got more structured about it and signed up for the I Quit Sugar 8 week programme. I love baking, cooking and discovering new flavour combinations so I’m inspired by people like Sarah Wilson from I Quit Sugar and Eleanor Ozich from Petite Kitchen who continually fuel my mind with innovative new ways to feed myself and my children.

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Home  Made Muesli

What tips have you got for travelling families?

My travel-day secret is “eggy for brekkie”. It’s tested and true that when you fuel yourself with a good protein-rich breakfast then it’ll sustain you through the morning – on a travel day this could be a long transit until you get the chance to stop for your next good meal. When my girls eat “eggy for brekkie” they can go hours without needing (aka whingeing for!) more food. I also give them eggs on kindy mornings for the same reason – it gets them through a couple of hours of energetic play until morning tea.

What are your three top snacks?

Popcorn – cheap, quick to make, healthy

Yoghurt suckies – I buy The Collective brand as it has no added nasties

One of my healthy homemade treats like my Double Fruit Drops

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How do you look after yourself as well as your children?

I’ve just written a book about this! I believe that to be the best mummy you can be means being the best YOU you can be, and that means putting yourself first. This starts with your mindset and a base understanding of self – who you are, what you value, what lights you up: “Can you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be?” (brilliant quote from Danielle LaPorte)

Motherhood is a journey, and so is finding oneself again after becoming a mummy. My book ‘Dear Mummy, You’re Important Too’ offers musings, motivations and morsels for a mummy’s soul, to help you reclaim and restore yourself – because you (we!) are important too!

Available at www.dearmummy.co.nzCaH0GmeIoDawEXQAhsyyZIrTG7UVLofBrGNMZzh733c-1.jpg

What brings balance to your family?

A calm, balanced family life starts with a calm, happy mummy. Happiness comes from living your life your way. For me, it’s fulfilling my need for independence and achievement by working 2 days per week, and ensuring vitality with a gym and yoga session each week, which helps to sustain a solid foundation for our family to thrive on. Then together we balance the busyness of our lives with time away at the family bach, family walks, opening up our house to fresh air and enlivening it with music… and lest I forget, snuggles in the morning when the girls climb into bed with us.

What is your favourite activity to do together as a family?

For me it’s going to the beach. There are no walls, no technology, just fresh air, sun, sand and surf. My grandparents had a bach at Whangamata on the Coromandel in New Zealand, so I grew up spending every holiday of my childhood there. It’s my soul space and I feel so lucky to be able to share it with my own daughters now.

When I asked my husband this question, he answered ‘family walks because we all enjoy it, it gets us out of the house, it’s quality time together – and exercise’: the same reasons really, why I love the beach. I guess this shows even within a family, the members can have a different perspective of what’s the family favourite. It doesn’t really matter what you’re doing; it’s how it’s being done – with intention, together, and full engagementae04e624-cbe3-44e9-82a1-de1bffeca27c.jpg

Relaxing and having extra snuggles with her young daughter

Do you have a favourite inspirational quote that lights up your life?

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‘When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.’ – Wayne Dyer.

And one perhaps a little less philosophical, which I share here specifically for mums: ‘Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, “I’ll try again tomorrow.”’ – Mary Anne Rachmacher.

I share dozens of other inspirational quotes in my book, sourced from a wide range of thinkers, writers and doers, who have all inspired me on my journey. If you choose to read ‘Dear Mummy, You’re Important Too’ I hope their words will illuminate your path, as they have mine.

Tui this was divine.  indeed very nourishing, super refreshing and a wonderful reminder to mum’s out there that they are important too.  Untitled-1-846x400.jpg

Photographs thanks to Tui and her Dear Mummy website.

inspirational parent: kylie lesueur

I have been on a lot of travels in my time.  They all started when I was 22 and I went to the USA to work in a kids summer camp…it was the best thing I ever did!  I made a tonne of friends, whom I still cherish to this day 13 years later.  Amazing,  This beautiful mama is one of those friends.  We were joined at the hip throughout our summer, those were the days!IMG_3867

Kylie is now a wonderful mama to two little gorgeous babes, and although she says she is a stay at home mum, she really is a little entrepreneur with her groovy Indi + Hix company, making hair accessories and bibs trendy.IMG_3864

I love how Kylie has embraced health and wellness in their lives, and truly believes in nourishing herself so she can be the best for her family.  The best health, the best role model and the best example of taking care of herself.

How old is your child?

India-Rose is 2.3 years old and Hendrix is 6 months

 

What is your food philosophy for your child?

Our family philosophy is clean, fresh nourishing food. Plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains. We stick to 80/20 and everything in moderation.

What inspires you to feed your child the way you do?

Having a daughter was my initial inspiration. I want her to have a good association with food, health and body image (something I didn’t have growing up). Going back to basics on nutrition and fuelling our bodies with nutritious, colourful foods to make us feel and look good. I also took on my own mission for better health after becoming a mum. When Hendrix was born I was a mum to 2 under 2. Not feeling great wasn’t an option for me. More than ever I needed to eat clean nutritious food to ensure I had the daily energy and stamina to keep up.

What tips have you got for travelling families?

Lots of snacks to keep the little ones content

What are your 3 top snacks?

Bliss balls (Indi thinks they are a treat)

Wholemeal pita bread crackers (olive oil and Himalayan salt)

Coconut chips, seeds, nuts, dried fruit mix

 

How do you look after yourself as well as your child?

This one is a little tricky. I’m guilty of absorbing myself into mummy life and forgetting about myself. My new years resolution was to find more balance. I do yoga once a week; try to get to the gym. I love sewing. I find it relaxing and therapeutic

What brings balance to your family?

The simple things. Story time at night. Eating dinner as a family. A walk to the park together.

 

What is your favourite activity to do together as a family?

Camping. We have a caravan so try to get away as often as we can. Technology gets turned off and it’s all about reconnecting.

 

Do you have a favourite inspirational quote that lights up your life?

Be kind to unkind people. They need it the most.

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Be sure to check out Kylie on Instagram and FB too for her wonderful collection

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http://indihix.bigcartel.com/

wanderlust

Unplug from the ordinary.  Adventure awaits.

It was time for the Wanderlust Festival, a celebration of mindful living.

This year, Sydney hosted the festival on Cockatoo Island,  a world heritage site in Sydney Harbour.  After a picturesque, sunrise yoga class under the harbour bridge with  Balance.Life.Nutrition, Amanda and I set off on the short ferry ride from Circular Quay, amidst other keen yogi’s and festival goers.

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We were greeted onto the island by the friendly folk from the Wake Up Project, who gave us their nifty kindness cards and directed us up the hill to where the hub of the festival was.  We walked up enjoying a cup of chai from Egg of the Universe, and ooohing over the sprawl of tents housing those lucky enough to have sleep overs (next year we fully intend to do this!)

After picking up our wrist bands and collecting our awesome goodie bag (thank you Trilogy, Goodness Me Box and Women’s Health Magazine, we LOVED it, gratitude to Imogen at Passion PR!)  we sat down to check out what was what and what was where.  The buzz in front of us was amping up and soon we realised we had joined the Morning Gloryville Sydney-WAKE UP AND SHAKE!! Pretty ladies were grooving with glitter galore and flowers in their hair, the DJ was pumping out the tunes and the odd guy about was really getting jiggy with it.  Amanda & I jumped up and joined in the early morning rave, and found some ribbon to make us look the part.

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Morning Raving, thanks Ali Kaukus for the gorgeous photo

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Amanda and I join the fun

After that we sashayed into the Trilogy Shop, and won ourselves a few little prizes!  We would have loved to have signed up for the workshop to make your own moisturiser, but we had some serious yogi action to attend.

Into ‘The Nook’ we went, really unsure of what was about to happen in our Sing Hallelujah yoga class.  Amanda and I decided to step outside of our comfort zone and attend some classes that we wouldn’t usually go for…and a ‘guided improvisational journey into soulful self-expression’ sounded just the ticket.  The divine Suzanne Sterling was our teacher, a dedicated musician who has been teaching transformational workshops for over 20years.  Suzanne was inviting, warm and very down to earth, I fell in love instantly!  We were there to rock our true selves, to let our voice be heard and connect our soul to spirit.  I can pretty confidently say, this was achieved.  Amazing class, amazing humans present, amazing vibe, amazing amazing HALLELUJAH!

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Photos courtesay of the talented Ali Kaukus

Our next scheduled class was only half an hour away, our legs were shaking and our tummies were rumbling!  It was definitely food time!  Every good nutritionist loves a good feast, so we were on the hunt for something delicious.  We had a quick squiz around, and although there were some awesome treats on the go…it was once again to Egg of the Universe to pick up a couple of salads and some slow cooked lamb.  Truly delicious, our portions were rather small for 2 ravenous girls and we felt there wasnt much else to choose from (next time camping we can take our own food to satisfy our tummies).  We missed our next class…a choice we made (my legs were too wobbly, I don’t think my arms could have taken another downward facing dog!).  We enjoyed a wander through the mindful market stalls and checked out the action in d’Om (hair braiding, bead making, sign printing, and Lululemon galore…and in the middle a mass of rainbow ribbons framing the resident DJ).

It wasn’t long before our other duties called…Amanda to a wedding and me home to my family…and we set sail once again over Sydney Harbour home.   We thoroughly enjoyed the festival.  Time was precious, so we didn’t get to do many of the wonderful things on offer…more dance parties, ‘winederlust’, paddle yoga, massage, dubarray, and the Wanderlust Spectacular….but there is always next year to book a full weekend to explore more, camp, mingle, bend, sing, eat, pray, love….

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Thank you Goodness Me Box

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The amazing stalls, enjoying a chat with the gorgeous ladies from Synthesis Organics

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Morning Gloryville Shakeup

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So I’m not in this class, how much fun are they having! Photo by Eli Kaukus

Check out the schedule at Wanderlust Sydney 2015, lots of cool classes and speakers on offer…looking forward to 2016 and I will take my family so we can all enjoy the goodness and wanderment of the festival.