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An Interview With.. A Fierce Frosting!

23 Jul

Operation Beautiful (www.operationbeautiful.com) is a fantastic source of hope and inspiration with an amazing message. I recently had the chance to interview Caitlin of Operation Beautiful. Here’s what happened..

1. What is Operation Beautiful, for those of us who aren’t familiar with the concept? 
Operation Beautiful is simple:  people post affirming notes in public places, take a picture, and e-mail it to me.  I post it on the site for others to read and enjoy.  The mission of Operation Beautiful is to post anonymous notes in public places for other women to find. The point is that WE ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL. You are enough… just the way you are!
 
2. How did Operation Beautiful start?
I was going through a stressful time in my life – I was working full-time, running my personal blog (Healthy Tipping Point), training for a marathon, and going to night classes at the local community college. I often found myself feeling depressed and miserable. I fought negative self-talk daily, a habit that I thought I had rid myself of when I trained myself not to engage in “Fat Talk” about my body. One day in June 2009 was particularly bad, so I decided to write “You are beautiful” on a piece of notebook paper and stick it on the mirror in the college bathroom. I felt happier and lighter as I wondered who would find my note and what they would feel while they read the positive affirmation. I posted a photograph of the note on my blog, and my readers began to write their own notes and e-mail them to me. Later that week, Operation Beautiful was born, and the site has been fighting negative self-talk in all of its nasty forms ever since
 
3. What is the ultimate goal of Operation Beautiful?
The goal is to raise awareness about Fat Talk and negative self-talk and teach people how to replace those destructive habits with more positive ones.
 
4. How can fierce frosting’s get involved with Operation Beautiful? 
Post a note, take a picture, and e-mail it to Caitlin at seebriderun@gmail.com.  Each note gets put on the site for thousands of others to read and enjoy!
 
5. What’s the best thing about running Operation Beautiful? 
The best thing is waking up each day and seeing wonderful notes and stories in my email inbox!  It makes me so happy to see so much positivity in the world.
 
6. How has Operation Beautiful influenced your life?

Running the site has made me a more sympathetic and understanding person.  People go through so much in life and it’s so important to take the time to understand why they are the way they are.
 
7. What is next for Operation Beautiful? 
The Operation Beautiful book will be released on August 3.  The book includes 125 of the most amazing, inspiring, and motivational notes I’ve received. The book also includes tips from real women and professionals on how to live a healthier, more balanced life. I really believe this book is a great gift for a friend, sister, mother, or even yourself!  It’s available for pre-sale on Amazon, Barnes and Noble,Borders, and Indie Bound.
 
8. How responsible do you think mainstream media are for society’s perception of beauty? 
I think the media has a huge impact on us, especially in creation of the false “Thin Ideal.”  99% of images in magazines are photoshopped.  How can little girls or teenagers begin to understand that this is not real or attainable?  It breaks my heart. 
 
9. What message would you to fierce frosting’s reading this?  
Change the way you see, not the way you look!
 
10. What’s the best thing to come out of Operation Beautiful? 
My favorite Operation Beautiful story was sent in by a teenager who was in treatment for anorexia. Her disease was very serious, and the doctors were concerned it might kill her. Her therapist had convinced her to eat solid food for lunch instead of a diet shake – something she had not done for months – and the girl snuck to the bathroom to throw up. As she closed the door of the stall, she noticed a little note that read, “You are good enough the way you are!” with the website address on the bottom. She wrote me to say that the little note literally saved her life – it was a tremendous turning point for her, and she was now out of the hospital and regaining weight. She felt the note was a message meant just from her from God. I’ll never forget reading that email!

What did you think of the interview, frostings? Let me know!

Lots of love..
Kat xo.

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Creating The Perfect Routine

19 Jul

Routine is such a big part of our daily lives. It can affect our lives a great deal and establishing a wonderful daily routine can really enhance our lives.

So, how do you go about crafting the perfect daily routine?

Firstly, you must figure out what works for you.
Are you more productive in the mornings or afternoons? Do you have daily commitments to work around? Make a list of what you do day to day and how you can shake up your routine to work for you.
For example, I know I’m more productive and alert and inspired in the mornings, so I use this time to write and get work done. In the afternoons, however, I’m a little less alert and inspired, so I use this time to do more mundane tasks such as responding to e-mails, carrying out chores etc.

Secondly, create some goals.
Knowing what you want to achieve and by when can really clear your mind, and only then can you take steps to implementing these things.
For example, want to be an established author? Think about the steps you can take each day to accomplish this goal. It might mean researching your novel or setting yourself a quota of words to achieve each day.

Thirdly, figure out what you want your routine to be like.
Now you’ve figured out what works for you and created some goals, take some time to think about what you want your routine to be like.
For example, my routine consists of:
+ Awake – 7am + Have breakfast & make myself look presentable + Work; 8am – 12pm (writing, working on my novel, other publication posts) + Lunch + Work; 1pm – 4pm (respond to e-mails & comments, work for my internship, work on my upcoming e-book, household chores) + Evening spent reading and cooking + Bed; 9pm.

So.. how’s your routine looking? What would you like to change? What steps do you need to take to make the necessary changes? Take some time and think about it!

Lots of love..
Kat xo.

An Interview With.. A Fierce Frosting!

9 Jul

Welcome to a new feature! Each week, I’ll be providing you with an interview with a fabulous fierce frosting! Our first interview is with the wonderful Sarah Von of www.yesandyes.org . In case you’ve been living under a rock, Sarah is a blogger, travel extraordinaire and all round fabulous fierce frosting!

So, I grilled her all about her marvellous travel antics!

Here’s what happened..

1. How many places have you visited and where was your favourite?

I’ve been to twenty countries: Germany, France, Brazil, Taiwan, The Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Greece, Italy, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, Bolivia, Peru.
 
I think Greece was my favorite.  I was there for a month volunteering with a wildlife rehabilitation organization.  (http://aegean-wildlife.parosweb.com/) I’d wake up the sounds peacocks and donkeys, clean cages for a few hours and then spend the rest of the day driving a scooter around the island to different beaches.  It was the rare travel experience that has lived up to my expectations.

 
2. What advice would you give to anyone out there with a serious case of wanderlust?

Start saving money and make it happen!  Your dream trip isn’t going to fall into your lap; making long term travel happen takes dedication and self-control, but you can absolutely do it.  If you’re currently paying off a lot of debt or tied down by a mortgage or kids, you can still do some lovely weekends away or visit places in your own country that you haven’t seen before.

 
3. What’s at the top of your wish list in regards to places to visit?

Top five:
India (I’m going there in October!)
Mongolia
Russia
Sweden
Iceland
 
I’d love for my next big trip (I mean the one after my 2010-11 trip) to include the Transiberian Railroad!

 
4. What’s been the best and worst experiences you’ve had whilst travelling?

Worst: My then-boyfriend and I went to Carnivale in Bolivia in 2009.  It was a really, really fantastic experience.  However.  As is the case in many developing countries in which there is a huge financial disparity between travelers and locals, crime can be a problem – especially during a huge festival.  Sam put two cans of beer in the front pocket of his coat and as we were squeezing our way through a crowd, someone slashed the front of his coat, thinking that the beer was a wallet (?!).

We weren’t particularly upset that the jacket was ruined, more that had someone pushed him at that wrong moment, Sam would have had a punctured lung – all in the name of beer.

Best:  Too many to count!  The sunset over Santori, Greece.  Holding baby sea turtles in Fiji.  Climbing glaciers in New Zealand.  Dancing in a Carnivale parade in Bolivia.  Watching a lunar eclipse on an Australian beach on my birthday.  Running through the streets in Brazil when they won their fifth World Cup championship.  Dancing at The Love Parade in Berlin.  Watching a free Sting concert outside the Duomo in Milan.

 
5. What do you think you’ve learnt by travelling?

As deeply cheesy as this sounds, traveling has absolutely cemented my faith in the human spirit.  In all my travels, I have never been mugged, groped or seriously hassled.  I’ve made a gajillion new friends and been helped so, so, so many times by complete strangers.  People have gone out of their way point me in the right direction, translate for me, warn me against questionable neighborhoods, helped me carry things and even opened their homes to me.  And not because I’m anybody special!  I really believe that when you expect the best from people, they’ll usually deliver.

 
6. Have you always had a bad case of the travelling bug?

Kind of.  My parents are public school teachers so they had summers off.  Before my sister and I started working in the summer, we traveled for several weeks each June or July for ten years.  Nothing fancy, it was always camping and roadtrips, but we got to see a lot of America.  My parents also did a decent amount of international traveling before they had kids, so they have always encouraged the same mentality in my sister and I.

 
7. What would be your top five songs on your travelling playlist?

Most of my favorite travel songs don’t have much to do with travel themselves, they just trigger very specific travel memories for me.
Manu Chao – Minha Galera (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ouw_ZaGWBpU)
Sufjan Stevens – Cashmir Pulaski Day (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGEMx3TKxNc)
Liam Finn – Energy Spent (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ykm7hb48o4g)
Yann Tierson – J’y Suis Jamais Alle http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okJpAybjpQs
Caesars – Jerk it out (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=an6A-Wu6-B4)

 
8. Any tips on how to look fabulous when you’ve been living out of a backpack for months?

1) Create a capsule wardrobe!  You should be able to mix and match everything and wear it in layers.  It’s a good idea buy your basics in the same neutrals (grey, black or khaki) and then buy a few pieces and accessories in the same accent colors.
2) Buy all you toiletries in solid form.  Shampoo bar, lotion bar (Lush makes good ones), blush stick, chapstick, cream eyeshadow.  They’ll last longer, they’re lighter, they won’t spill all over your bag and you don’t have to worry about the 3 ounce rule.
3) Get a sarong.  Or two!  And not those tie-dyed ones with the turtles on them.  You can get them in sophisticated prints and you can use them for a scarf/skirt/shawl/dress/swimsuit cover up/sheet/towel/impromptu bag or water filter.  And they dry really quickly!

 
9. What are your top three packing essentials?

1) Packing cubes (http://www.buy.com/prod/ebags-luggage-packing-cubes-3pc-set/q/loc/16234/203422650.html) They will save you so much time and effort!  And everyone in your hostel dorm room will appreciate that you’re not spending ten minutes noisily rustling through your backpack at 5 am.
2) Sarong (see above)
3) Chaco flip flops (http://www.ems.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3909497) They last forever, they give you tons of arch support, you can hike in them (I have!) and they don’t scream “I’m a very serious tourist with my multi-strapped, multi-colored athletic sandals!” like a lot of other footwear out there.

 
10. Would you recommend travelling to other fierce frostings?

Of course!  Traveling has made me the person that I am today.
But I think it should also be said that traveling isn’t for everyone and there are a million other ways to “find yourself” and to experience the world.  Volunteer.  Move to a city where you don’t know anyone.  Take a writing class and try to get your memoir published.  Date someone that you’d normally write off.  Make friends with someone of a radically different age/ethnic/religious/ideological group.  Live in a neighborhood where you’re the minority.  There are lots of ways to contribute to the world and to make your mark on it – traveling just happens to mine.

Let me know what you thought of the interview in the comments!

Lots of love..
Kat xo.

Curious Tuesday

6 Jul

1. What was your first kiss experience?
It was with my first crush, it was over in seconds and I didn’t like it to be honest.

2. If you could work for — & learn from — anyone, who would it be & why?
Anna Wintour, Michael Jackson, JK Rowling, because they all inspire me endlessly.

3. Have you ever taken a Myers-Briggs test? What was your result? Do you think it was accurate?
Yes! I’m a INFJ and it is super accurate!

4. What is your favourite thing about your best friend?
I don’t have a best friend — I have a handful of really close friends who I love dearly. L is my oldest and closest friend, we finish each others sentences and I can always trust and rely on her. A is super understanding and we can talk for hours. P is the person I’m the most comfortable around, I can say or do anything without wondering what she might think. I has always been there for me and we have tonnes of inside jokes. I am super blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful people.

5. What makes you happiest?
Spending time with friends and family. My job, I love it. Delicious food. Seeing my dog super happy. Sunny days. Making exciting plans!

Lots of love..
Kat xo.

Advice: Living Life On Your Terms

5 Jul

I recently had a discussion with a friend about living life on your own terms. So often we are defined by other peoples influences and opinions, it can be difficult to see what it is that we really want.
So,  here are my tips on living a life fuelled by your decisions and by what you really want.

+ Understand that when people are talking to you, they’re speaking from their belief system.
Their belief system is an entirely different one to yours, heck, if they decided they believed it was right to run around your street naked, you wouldn’t automatically do that too would you?! Acknowledge that they have their own belief system, but never compromise on yours and always be true to yourself.

+ Surround yourself with encouraging people.
The right people will always be supportive and encouraging towards your decisions. They will acknowledge that it is your life and will support you regardless of their personal beliefs. If they don’t act encouraging, maybe it’s time to think about whether you really want that person to be a part of your life.

+ Be honest about what it is you really want.
You want to be president of the United States? Awesome. Whatever it is you want to achieve, you must be honest with yourself about it because you’ll get nowhere if you second guess your dreams. Try writing a list or creating a vision board, anything to get you feeling inspired and excited about your passions.

+ Don’t allow fear of rejection or failure to get in the way of you taking action.
Okay, here’s the thing. That big dream you have? It won’t happen if you don’t take action. And you know what? It might not work, but it just might be the most awesome thing ever and far more superior than you could ever have thought possible. You won’t know until you try, frostings.

+ Figure out what it is that makes you jump for joy.
What is it that gets your heart racing and fills you with glee? What is it that you absolutely love to do? Think about it.

+ Make a promise to yourself to never settle for mediocraty.
You are better than that. You deserve fabulousness and you shouldn’t settle for anything less. Aim to be the better than the best, and only then will you succeed at whatever it is you want to do.

So, those are my tips frostings, what are yours? Answers in the comment section!

Lots of love..
Kat xo.

How To.. Conquer Writers Block

1 Jul

Writers block is the plague of every writers life. It often strikes at the most awkward of times, and conquering it can be tricky. So, here are my top tips on fighting off writers block.

1) Just write.
Yes, it’s a cliche but it works. Write about why you’re struggling to write. Write about what you had for lunch. Anything to get the juices flowing.

2) Set some goals.
Determine some deadlines and decide what you want to have written by when. Working against the clock can really encourage you to get writing.

3) Immerse yourself in inspiration.
Go do something different for an hour. Take a walk, get the heart pumping and the blood flowing. Watch your favourite film, read a chapter of a book that inspires you.

4) Research.
Do some research on whatever you’re writing about. You may find inspiration or you may find a point of view that you don’t agree with, and this in itself can inspire you to write.

5) Change your surroundings.
Normally write at home? Try the hustle and bustle of a coffee shop. Normally write in a busy environment? Try the library. Find another place to work. A change may be just what you need to be inspired.

So, those are my top tips on conquering writers block. What are your suggestions?

Lots of love..
Kat xo.

Summer Plans

29 Jun

Things To Do;
Blog every weekday. Take daily outfit photos. Create something in pottery class. Go camping outdoors. Write letters to those who inspire me. Learn to knit. Intern at the fabulous British Style Bloggers. Get a steady part time job. Enhance my writing portfolio. Volunteer. Complete Julnowrimo. Create photoshoots. Host a tea party. Join the gym. Go to the seaside. Start driving lessons. Compile and complete a to read list. Visit somewhere I’ve never been before. Get a manicure. Have a piece published in The T&A. Practise my spanish. Spend a day relaxing at a spa. Donate blood. Go out for sushi.

Books To Read;
The Secret – Rhonda Byrne. How To Be An Explorer Of The World – Keri Smith. Bird By Bird – Anne Lamott. Dear Me – Joseph Galliano. The Shock Doctrine – Naomi Klein. One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest – Ken Kesey. 1984 – George Orwell. Succulent Wild Women – Sark. Living Out Loud – Keri Smith. You Can Heal Your Life – Louise Hay. The Freelance Writers Handbook – Andrew Crofts. The Daring Female’s Guide To Ecstatic Living – Natasha Kogan.

Films To Watch;
An Education. Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Milk. 
Any suggestions of fabulous films lovelies?

Music To Download;
The Beatles. Bright Eyes. Ellie Goulding. Florence & The Machine. Iron & Wine. Jack Johnson. Jason Mraz. Laura Marling. Marina & The Diamonds. Sia. 

Other Exciting Plans;
Classes in pottery, creative writing & badminton. Regina Spektor concert. Blackpool with the family. Days out with the best friends.

That’s all for now frostings!
Thankyou to the wonderful www.sprinkle-diary.blogspot.com for the inspiration!

Lots of love..
Kat xo.