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Stuff Ya Face: It’s Pancake Tuesday

It’s Stuff Ya Face with Pancakes Day! Or as some would say, “Shrove Tuesday”…. But what the nutella does that even mean?… Well, it was originally a day to head to the nearest confessional and clear out all those little {or big…. – you badass you!} lies that might have hurt others (or ourselves). For some, this is still the case as they enter 40 Days of Lent (the period up until Easter). But for lots of people, it’s simply a time to start thinking about how we can be more compassionate and selfless human beings. Perhaps also what areas of our lives we want to do better in. For me: I want to do better at eating less pancakes.   But how can I…

Everything a first-time mum-to-be needs to know….

There’s a reason we don’t often do Pregnancy & Baby Expos with our maternity collection by sorella organics. They are quite simply too overwhelming, too busy, too noisy, and (in my opinion) consist of just an unbearable amount of information for any one person to take in. With so many brands, in one HUGE venue, it must be so hard to make choices and decisions of what’s best for mum and her family? In fact, I wonder if some mums come out MORE confused than she was when she went in?!! There’s only one Pregnancy Event we are currently a part of, and the reason is simple – it’s a small, beautiful, stress-free event – full of great information and advice so first-time mums don’t have to spend their entire pregnancy…

If you can’t cope with my unhelpful-help, perhaps buy a headscarf?

You’ve read them too right? Those blog posts/articles/rants that do the rounds from someone on their high horse with their List of Things You Should Not Say To Them When They are in X Situation? I hate those lists.  25 things not to say to a woman who is struggling to fall pregnant 174 things not to say to a woman over 30 going through a break up 4062798 things not to say to someone with depression I really really hate those lists. If we all get around stifled with fear for saying the wrong thing, that means nothing will be said at all. And if nothing is said it all, surely we’d end up wondering why the bloody-hell no one cares? I get it. Sometimes when you are…

Hashtag Fever #YesAllWomen

You have probably seen the hashtag #YesAllWomen pop up in one or all of your social media feeds recently? Perhaps you have even participated? A quick take for those that haven’t – The hashtag stemmed from the murders in Santa Barbara earlier this week by a 22 year old man, allegedly with mental health issues, and openly motivated by sexual hatred. 6 people died and 13 were injured. In a self-recorded video prior to the killings he communicated why his plan was necessary. His day of retribution was to blame women for the failures in his own life. It has been reported as an act of violent hate fuelled by mental instability. Apart from providing a forum for people to share their sadness and confusion over the incident, the…

3 very obvious but helpful tips for that elusive little bugger: sleep

I recently had one of those nights where I was totally screwed-up-scratch-your-eyes-out exhausted – but for the life of me I just couldn’t sleep. And we all know that lack of sleep is the evil-cousin of psychotic behaviour for the rest of the next day (or sometimes few days). I have enough crazy-old-lady-hormones to mange let alone being a lunatic from no zzzzz’s added to the mix. Although the other night was hopefully a one-off event, I’ve actually had bouts of insomnia on and off for about 12 months now (due in part to this: The Day I got into the shower and looked down – and realised I had a big problem). And whenever I did manage to get some sleep, I’d be greeted with some pretty…

A lifetime supply of pjs? Who would say no to that!

Anna & Alisha

You may have noticed I’ve been MIA from the sorella-hood since Christmas. Sorry. And thank you to those people who lovingly asked “Where have you been?! When’s your next post?!” Delightful to know you enjoy catching up with us each week in our random silliness! My hiatus from writing probably stemmed from the start of summer (sun, beach, cocktails). I think I must have embraced the week off at Chrissy a little more than I realised. Time to take a little breath. Some stillness. A few stunning sunrises… Resting was fabulous. {If you are a regular in the ‘hood you’ll know I managed to get a little burnt out last year… a follow up post on how I managed getting myself out of that mess is to…

I confess. I find it hard to get completely nude.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you walk into the ground floors of major department stores, don’t you think? Dazzling lights. Floor to ceiling images of photoshopped glamazons with ethereal skin staring with judgement at your dull epidermis. Their faces represent the health I crave. I want that frigging glow dammit. So you find yourself pulled into the beauty vortex, the assistant with her hands inappropriately all over your face.  Your phobia of abused personal space is pushed to its limits. She’s talking AT you as if you are some sort of recluse given your lack of knowledge on the importance of niacinamide and hyaluronic acid. And you leave, feeling slightly inadequate and definitely overwhelmed, but somewhat hopeful armed with a stash of samples containing…

It’s a good day for getting mental

Sunrise

We often think of our improving health solely with a ‘physical’ approach, that is, doing anything that requires perspiration, grunting, and lycra.  And while this is of course a very important approach for achieving optimal health, it’s easy to forget that our mind also needs love, care and strengthening. How true is it that our minds – as important as they are – get the left over scraps when it comes to TLC?  I had an alert on my phone for 18 months that would go off every day at midday saying “Anna! Stop! Meditate!’. I was asking myself to commit to just 5 minutes away from whatever was consuming me at that time and give my mind some dedicated ‘exercise’. Just 5 minutes. How…

Bookie Wookie

A little weekend trip to country Victoria recently found me at a small independent bookstore. I know – a real-life bookstore. Prehistoric. And this place had all the trimmings of an old-school bookstore that real bookworms love – a quiet, private, all-consuming space of fresh pages ripe for the picking, moderately supervised by a softly spoken bookie who is more enthused about which best-selling author has just released their next piece than actually taking your money. I totally get the love of a bookstore. But I am not a bookie. I have tried. Often after a really good juicy novel that’s taken me away to another time and place I get so excited to find something else to devour. I love the sense of achievement…

The day I got into the shower and looked down – and realised I had a big problem.

It’s one of those things we usually do quite mindlessly. Without effort. Without ceremony.  Yet on this occasion, stepping into the shower pieced together a chain of events and associative symptoms that has led me to where I am now – sitting here sharing this, a little burnt at the edges. One night last week, I took my regular evening shower. I stepped in and took the relief of the hot water streaming over me.  I was finding showers particularly comforting lately. Like a big warm hug they not only cleansed me of my day, they made me feel a little loved. A little worthwhile of the precious thing that is my council water. But on this occasion, something felt weird. Something wasn’t right… I…

Improving Australian children’s health – 1 step at a time!

If you’ve been a follower of sorella & me for a while, you will already know we value the work of the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute. The Murdoch Childrens Research Institute works towards “finding preventions and treatments for hundreds of common and rare childhood illnesses, so that kids everywhere can have a healthy future”. Such critical work requires community support and donations. So we want to make sure you know all about their latest fundraiser: Step-a-thon!

30 by 30. It’s time to start living.

Super excited to have our little sister Zara guest post today for the sorella-hood. Thanks so much for sharing and giving us a kick up the behind Za!  Who knew little sisters could be so clever! One year ago I was at a very real and very painful low point in my life. A long term relationship that I thought was going to be … ‘it’ … came to a very sudden and painful end. My life turned a complete 180 and I had to try to find myself amongst the heartbreak, tears, depression, gin and tonics (and Maggie Beer Ice Cream). I woke up one morning recently with an overwhelming realisation that I was pushing 30. A year ago I would have hid in…

Think. Eat. Save.

It’s World Environment Day! Celebrated every year on June 5th, World Environment Day is a campaign run under the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) aiming to raise awareness and bring about positive environmental action. This year, the campaign’s theme is Think. Eat. Save – which encourages us to be more aware of our food choices, and the carbon footprint we are creating through such choices and waste. The UNEP provides a couple of great ideas to easily get started: “Purposefully select foods that have less of an environmental impact, such as organic foods that do not use chemicals in the production process. Choosing to buy locally can also mean that foods are not flown halfway across the world and therefore limit emissions.”    We all…

Get your velvet on – beetroot style!

Did you see Alisha’s post on the sorella & me facebook page yesterday in all its sugary goodness? Right at 3pm – in all our dropped blood-sugar states – she thought she’d share a photo of a delicious cupcake. What a bi-atch. In my opinion, not only was it rude because it was at a time when a cup cake would have gone down quite nicely (I am cranky when I am hungry), but also rude because there are many of us who are trying really really hard to reduce sugar in our diets – and succeeding or not, we don’t need a reminder of what we are missing out on! So I searched high and low for an option that would tick the sugar free…

Getting back to basics

I did start planning a holiday in a resort.  The weather was forecast pretty terrible and although I enjoyed the idea of a resort pool, day spa and room service, I did secretly like the idea of a holiday that was ‘about the kids’.  In a tent, behind sand dunes allowing them to run and play and be freeeeeeeeee. So the recent school holidays we packed up ALOT of ‘stuff’ and went camping.  I grew up doing a lot of camping with my family.  I thought camping was what all families did on holidays!  We hadn’t been on a camping trip for a while though.  Things have been pretty busy and getting away was a luxury we just couldn’t seem to fit in. It’s amazing…

Moving forward following miscarriage

Today on the blog, a very courageous woman shares her deepest sadness. We thank Alli from Alli & Genine for allowing us to share her story with the sorella-hood and also thank her for her being so brave in this mostly taboo subject of miscarriage. We hope her experience provides comfort to those women in the sorella-hood community who have suffered a miscarriage and also provide a little insight for those of you who know a beautiful woman who has endured a similar loss. We send positive energy to Alli, and to you all with the hope that by sharing her heart-felt words with you today, strength is found in moving forward, and as Alli herself expressed – “I want other women out there to feel…

To dummy or not to dummy? When do WE say good-bye to the comforter?!

Early when I was in the ‘newborn haze’ I posted on Facebook “to dummy or not to dummy?”, to get advice from friends about whether I should give my baby one.  The response was mixed.  I decided to give him one. Would I give him a dummy again? Yes. My daughter didn’t have one (which is why I went searching for opinion), but the dummy was the only thing that gave me a break from breastfeeding my very thirsty son and allowing my body the time it needed to produce more milk.  It was a lifesaver in the car and he was a great sleeper with our strict rule that dummy was only for sleep time, so in the cot and in the car etc.  …

Daddy’s got the blues

This week is Post Natal Depression Awareness Week. With 1800 Australians being diagnosed every week, it’s no surprise that Australian organisation’s such as PANDA (Post and Ante Natal Depression Association) have dedicated a week-long campaign to raise awareness in the community of this debilitating condition. But what I am taking from this week is something unexpected. PANDA suggests that 1 in 7 women and 1 in 14 men are diagnosed with post-natal depression (PND) annually. Yes I said 1 in 14 men. In fact, it is suggested that this figure could be actually be a lot higher because while men have a similar predisposition for developing PND as women, they are less likely to come forward for diagnosis and support. In basic terms, this means…

It’s a very pink day today. And it’s fabulous!

Today is ‘Pink Day’ at my “other job” when not working on sorella & me…as secondary school teacher! Seeing 14-year-old boys with balloons for breasts and wearing pink bras, I’ll admit, makes me feel a little uneasy (!)… But their dress-ups and spirit is heart-warming and for a great cause – we are fundraising for Breast Cancer research as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And today, I remember my beautiful Aunty who lost her young life to Breast Cancer.

The journey continues for a courageous friend of the sorella-hood: Living with the BRACA1 Gene (Part 2)

October is Australia’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month – a time to show support for women, men, and their families who are affected by breast cancer, as well as raise awareness to aid in the early detection and prevention of this disease. Breast Cancer is the most common cancer in Australian women, with one in 9 Australian women diagnosed before the age of 85 (see more info & stats at www.nbf.org.au). It’s for this reason that ‘Pink Month’ is so crucial for fundraising efforts in driving ongoing research to understand this cancer better, and improve prevention and treatment options. And most importantly, to hopefully find a cure. Last week we re blogged our dear friend Elise’ post on part 1 of her journey to prevent developing…

Elise shares her story for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

It’s October! And it’s certainly very hard to ignore the amount of wonderful pink pink pink splattered everywhere at the moment meaning it’s also Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This is a very important time for alisha & I because, like so many people, we have had some friends and family close to us lose their battle with breast cancer. However thankfully survival rates have improved more recently and this has a lot to do with the tireless efforts of many to raise funds for research which in turn leads to improved detection and treatment options. Back in February of this year, we shared our dear friend Elise’s story with you. Elise was faced with a very difficult choice when she found out she had the BRACA1…

Guilt and sugar free sweet stuff

There seems to be heaps in the media lately about the benefits of quitting sugar, and while I think we all get why reducing your sugar intake is a good thing, there is a lot of new evidence that suggests we should be quitting all together. This isn’t a new concept to me.  I’ve been trying to break up with sugar for the past 4 years – but we keep making up – it needs me and I need it. Like a true addict I can’t be without ‘my drug’.  It’s why I have a soft spot for smokers – I ‘get’ how it feels to try and give up something you love that you know is bad for you….(Note to smokers: don’t smoke, it’s…

How to get back into exercise after pregnancy

Did you get into the fun of the Olympics? I have LOVED all the photos posted on social media this past month by friends of their children dressed up like their favourite athletes – some with goggles and their bathing suit, some with their BMX, some with their netball uniforms. So cute! And I will admit to also getting caught up in the spirit of the games and feeling quite spurred on to get back into some more formal sport (although I do think my netball days are over – my engagement ring can barely fit over my broken knuckle)…. So my plan is to get back into a running program as well as yoga – 2 things I have always loved but have somehow…

A feeling in my loins…

As many of you know, I am currently at the very start of planning my wedding. I am completely overwhelmed, terrified, nauseated, and literally sleepless with all the options, costs and ways it could all go very very wrong. To make matters worse, while I am shortlisting venues and finalising budgets, I have had every bride there has even been tell me “Oh it’s all so fabulous! I wish I was planning my wedding day again! It’s the BEST!” Which does nothing except make me feel like I am missing something. Didn’t anyone else feel the pain of wedding-planning-crazy-land? Interestingly, as I grapple with the “is it all really worth it – why can’t I just elope” question, it seems one mother in the sorella-hood…

The sorella-hood’s top 10 essential items to pack in your hospital bag – for MUMS!

It’s fair to say an expectant Mary Poppins would be well prepared for her pending hospital visit, but what about the rest of us that aren’t lucky enough to have bottomless luggage? There are many ‘What to pack for your hospital bag’ lists out there, so the difference with the sorella & me list? Well, it is compiled by our sorella-hood readers – AND their suggestions focus on Mum’s needs only! (A big thank you to all those who contributed!) So here we go – the Top 10 essential items to pack in your hospital bag – for MUMS! 1. Comfy Sleepwear (that doubles as day-wear!)  You have to be comfortable, but you don’t want to be in clothes that will have you diving under…

The Battle of the Boob

It’s the final day of World Breastfeeding Week (1-7th August) – a really important world-wide awareness campaign on all aspects of breastfeeding. Although I’m yet to experience the lows and highs of breastfeeding (the lowest I’m guessing being the actual lowest point the breast can get post-breastfeeding); I have had many friends go through this incredibly anatomically intricate, yet completely natural process to have a little insight into it. Plus given Alisha and I design maternity clothes to make breastfeeding comfortable and easier for a living, it’s pretty important I know what I am talking about!! My breastfeeding summary: breastfeeding can be exhausting, difficult, sometimes impossible, and often just a big pain in the bust. It can be a stressful battle of the boob. It…

I’m chicken of chicken

The Nutrition Guru & The Chef

Sometimes I look at raw chicken and I think: You look weird. You look a bit too complex. You look like you should have your feathers on. You look cold & miserable. Clinically depressed even. I’m sorry, but I just can’t handle you (physically or mentally)… After 12 months of living & working in Vietnam, you would think I would be good a handling birds. It was a daily occurrence for the girls from the house opposite mine to be out on the footpath, squatting down with their machetes chopping their bird of choice – preparing it for any number of dishes for the day. Bird for breaky. Bird for lunch. Bird for dinner. But over-exposure in this way didn’t help how chicken I was…

Top tips to avoid the dreaded flu this winter?

I’ve got that feeling today – you know where you feel a bit blah (and not the bad attitude kind of blah that sometimes appears at the start of the week when you wish it was Friday). No, today it’s definitely more of a my-body-is-starting-to-fall-apart kind of physical blah. I have a sneaking suspicion I’m coming down with something nasty and I’m not happy about it. I have had a pretty good run of health after a few bad years of poor immunity with some basic changes to my diet. I’m therefore a little nervous I’m heading down the path equally a chapped red nose, being buried under a small forest worth of tissues, and a burning sore throat to boot. So it’s a simple…

Australian fashion is loaded with toxic chemicals – Organic & Natural fibres are the way to go, says Choice

It’s no surprise for us here at sorella & me to read a report this week by independent consumer watchdog Choice on the toxic chemicals found in Australian clothing and the damage they are doing to our health as well as our environment. In Choice’s report, Andreas Schimkus, a Senior Advisor from the Council of Textile and Fashion Industries of Australia (TCFA) states: “The most dangerous way for a toxin to enter the body is not through the digestive system, but through the skin“ Therefore, any garment in contact with the skin can easily transfer the toxic chemicals used in its manufacture and finishing through to the individual. Further, and perhaps even more alarming, Schimkus says: “Products that are made in China for the Australian…

Australian fashion is loaded with toxic chemicals – Organic & Natural fibres are the way to go, says Choice

It’s no surprise for us here at sorella & me to read a report this week by independent consumer watchdog Choice on the toxic chemicals found in Australian clothing and the damage they are doing to our health as well as our environment. In Choice’s report, Andreas Schimkus, a Senior Advisor from the Council of Textile and Fashion Industries of Australia (TCFA) states: “The most dangerous way for a toxin to enter the body is not through the digestive system, but through the skin“ Therefore, any garment in contact with the skin can easily transfer the toxic chemicals used in its manufacture and finishing through to the individual. Further, and perhaps even more alarming, Schimkus says: “Products that are made in China for the Australian…

Is date night overrated or essential?

Today I’m asking fellow sorellas if date night is overrated or essential? Should we really need to schedule in getting and/or staying connected? What happened to that spontaneous element in a relationship called romance? Does date night impede our instinct to be impulsive with our partners? [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aspBKFz2dBI&w=560&h=315] It’s fair to say date night it is a bit of an ‘Americanism’ which has very slowly crept on to our shores. I do like the thought of it and have girlfriends who tell me they have regular date nights with their partners which helps them stay connected.  But my hubbie and I (although we have entertained the idea) don’t participate in date night.

Celebrating World Environment Day – 10 easy everyday tips to get green and help our environment!

Sometimes it sounds all a bit too hard. Sometimes it feels like I can’t really have that much of an impact as one lowly individual. Sometimes I feel like such a big problem can only be fixed by big solutions. But the truth is – all the little things count. It really can be so simple to do a few small things in your everyday life to have a lasting impact on our environment.  And since today is World Environment Day, it’s the perfect day to acknowledge we can make a difference – so it’s a great day to get started!! We thought we would join in the celebrations of World Environment Day today by putting together a list of things that do make a…

The Lingerie Football League: Professional Sport or Professional Porn?

If you were hoping for a post full of sunshine and rainbows today – unfortunately you’re not going to get it. I have just picked my jaw up off the ground after watching one of the major morning TV shows promote the Lingerie Football League throughout the morning and to be honest, along with many women and men in the twitterverse, I’m not happy about it.

World Asthma Day 2012 – What it’s really like to feel ‘breathless’

Today is World Asthma Day. Having a child with Asthma can be extremely traumatic for any parent – it can be a deadly disease. Today’s post is from our sister Zara who has lived with Asthma her whole life.  Alisha & I remember many frantic late night trips to the hospital still in our pyjamas and so worried for our baby sister. Zara has offered to share her experience with you, which we hope sheds some light on the condition, as well as offer some helpful information for you to be able to recognize the symptoms of Asthma in you own child – because a massive 1 in 9 children have Asthma. It’s hard for me to describe what it’s like to have asthma. I…

How will my body change with pregnancy and birth?

Today Anna contemplates (and is terrified of) the changing body she is told to expect following pregnancy and childbirth. Like many women, I have spent a lot of my life begrudging my body.  At the ripe old age of 33, I still don’t know why we do it – it’s exhausting to say the least.  I seriously waste so much time with my head stuck in the back of my wardrobe trying to find something to wear when there is simply nothing to wear. It’s ridiculous. I could spend that time doing so many more fabulous things – like drinking French Martinis. Or getting massages. I remember being as young as 9 years old and comparing my features to my best friend. Why did her…

Breastfeeding: When it’s time to hang up your nursing bra

sorella & me maternity sleepwear - nursing cami for breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is always a topic that sparks debate with many differing opinions, ideas, do’s/don’ts, and should-haves.  There always seems to be research or recommendations we need to be across. Even just this week new research has suggested that introducing solids earlier can reduce a child’s risk of allergies. One thing we should agree on though is that none of us have the same boobs or the same child – and that’s where, with a little help and advice here and there from the experts or our brave ‘sisters’ that have gone before us, the mother should have the right (and the thinking space!) to make her own decision on what is right for her and her child. We will be coming back to the topic…

The one thing that unravels me in my job as Mum

Mums are supposed to be tough. Any time I saw my mum shed a tear it made me feel very unsettled (and as a woman I’ve since come to realise she must have shed a hell of a lot more than what she let me and my 3 sisters see). So I try to be the strong mum for my children, that my mum was to me – but there is one thing that just never fails to unravel me. The dreaded needle. I spent my childhood praying for a pill that would replace all needles, and I still don’t understand why someone hasn’t invented one.  A fainting spell in grade 6 while getting the rubella vaccination set me up for a lifetime of fear associated…

A Day with the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

For regular sorella & me fans, you will already know that we went to the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute annual Discovery Day on Sunday. It was a privilege to be part of the day, supporting such a great cause, while also meeting some lovely volunteers, staff, and families.  It was set amongst Dame Elisabeth Murdoch’s Cruden Farm – which was simply stunning.  It was the kind of Melbourne morning where the sky was pure blue and the grass all delicious and dewy. And, although Alisha & I danced our hearts out the night before at Lenny’ Kravitz’s concert, being up early taking in this beautiful scenery was such a joy. We couldn’t resist sharing with you:

Get your sun-shine on this winter!

As I put together today’s guest post I can see out my window to a grey, rainy Melbourne day. We seem to be in a weird state of nowhere land – not Summer, not Autumn, but a grey fuzzy bit in-between that isn’t at all inspiring. I think most people around the country are also feeling a bit of seasonal confusion – but I’m sure you aren’t here for a meteorology report, so I’ll get back on track. We have a great post for you today. Natalie Travaskis is not only a wonderful gal, she is also a whiz of a Naturopath (qualified with a Bachelor of Health Science in Naturopathy). For today’s guest post spot, she is sheds some light (pardon the pun) on…

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