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A Companion to Loneliness

Loneliness is something we all feel at some point in our lives. Of course we all employ many techniques to drown it out; from jam packed social calendars, television marathons and social media updates to over drinking, eating or exercising. It is easy to get trapped in cycles of self-criticism and fruitless goals of perfectionism to drown out the pangs of loneliness. If only we were different: more pretty or handsome, smarter, successful, popular, wealthy or lucky then we would feel less lonely. But the truth is that loneliness comes with the territory, that is, it is part of the human condition.

While I may be able to speak candidly about the topic, I am far from exempt from the aversion commonly felt towards loneliness. Born as one of triplets, being alone was a foreign experience for me for a long time. I shared my mother’s womb with my two sisters, shared a room with either one of them my entire childhood and positioned myself in life to be around people I felt content with. Consequently I have never managed well alone. That is not to say that I can’t do things independently and alone, it is just that I feel my most comfortable and safe with someone I know in contactable proximity. For me being alone and lonely are closely intertwined but they are in fact different experiences. It is very possible to be alone and not lonely and to also be in company and feel lonely. Continue reading A Companion to Loneliness

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Anxiety, Sausage Dogs and an Interview with Little Wuppy®

On a wintery day in Perth I am planning the next steps and dreams of Sunflower and Ivy, including some steps into the world of children’s gifts and emotional resilience. It’s been a long term plan of mine to steer a little part of the Sunflower and Ivy store into the world of children, after all it’s my area of expertise and passion when it comes to my art therapy practice. It seems fitting then that today, as I am mapping out these plans, I am

also publishing an interview with the lovely Linda from little wuppy®. Linda has created the perfect little plush friend for children feeling vulnerable, worried or struggling with anxiety. But I’ll let her tell you more about it.

Continue reading Anxiety, Sausage Dogs and an Interview with Little Wuppy®

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Self Care Is Not a Trend

It seems that self care is a catch phrase in current popular culture and a rather ambiguous term. Lumped along with a whole variety of nouns such as clean eating, low-toxic and mindful it can seem a bit trendy and woo-woo for the average Joe. But self care isn’t all green smoothies and yoga (although I love yoga) it’s relevant to everyone and it’s got a burgeoning place in our society. Let’s look a little more at self care and then I will tell you why.

Continue reading Self Care Is Not a Trend

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That Thing Called Vulnerability

I have been thinking a lot about vulnerability lately. It’s been making rather frequent appearances in my life in both personal circumstances and my business endeavors. If you’re a small business owner, you’ll be surprised at my naivety- that I didn’t expect to feel vulnerable creating Sunflower and Ivy.  I know-Crazy! But it is this unexpected experience of vulnerability, amongst others, that has led me to write this blog post and to hold a magnifying glass to vulnerability itself. Continue reading That Thing Called Vulnerability

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Happiness a Quick 5

So here I am, finding myself writing a quick 5 on happiness. I better start by saying the title is kind of a fib. Happiness is after all complex and at times elusive. I am certainly not going to pretend to be an expert and i would be wary of anyone who says that are. Except maybe the Dalai Lama, you can probably trust his words of wisdom.  While happiness is a journey of your own making, i do have a few tips on ways to gain a bit of the good stuff in the interim at least.

Happiness in part relies on it’s nemesis, sadness. Yep, you know the whole you wouldn’t know happiness without sadness spiel. Our darker moments are usually places of learning or at least useful comparative tools at a later date. So before I continue, I just wanted to be clear that I am not advocating for anyone to strive towards being a little beam of sunshine everyday. This is about easy ways to pick up a bit of sparkle when the dark or monotonous days are weighing too heavily. Some day’s you just have to take what you can. Continue reading Happiness a Quick 5

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A Guide to Gift Giving

Gift shopping- the words are enough to break some people into a cold sweat. After all the pressure is on to get it right. You care about someone (or your colleagues have expectations for you not to buy the boss something foolish) and with a world full of options, endless shop fronts, websites, sales and products at your fingertips choice is hardly a problem. But let’s be honest, you’re feeling slightly bewildered. Sure you could always go the glitzy route with a scented candle or a piece of jewellery, or you could always spend big and get the latest version of a technological device. And if things get dire, there is always a gift voucher (if you think a gift voucher is the perfect gift, you really need to keep reading this article). While sometimes it’s okay to opt for an easy gift, if it’s someone you really care about, these gift often don’t cut it when expressing your affection. I have put together some top tips for gift giving, including a guide to making your own stellar gift- box and what to do when money is a problem.

Continue reading A Guide to Gift Giving

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How to Survive a Hospital Stay

It seems fitting that we write about Hospital Stays early in our blog journey as hospitals played a significant role in the creation of Sunflower and Ivy. In a way it was hospitals that inspired our main product- nurture boxes. Besides buying someone a thoughtful gift or many via a gift box, there are a few additional things you can do to make those days you or someone else is in hospital slightly more bearable.

To be blunt hospital’s aren’t nice places, sure good things can happen there; life saving treatments and our favourite; the birth of babies. There are some amazing nurses and doctors; people who dedicate their whole lives to caring for people and fostering better health outcomes. But it is hard to disguise the many discomforts. Hospitals smell like disinfectant, anxiety and pain. You wake and sleep in unfamiliar surrounds, amongst bleeping machinery, snoring strangers and medication rounds. Continue reading How to Survive a Hospital Stay

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Dreaming of Sunflower and Ivy

All small businesses have a back story and all are grown from dreams, this is mine.

Sunflower and Ivy was dreamt up on a daily commute through the leafy, port-side and somewhat eclectic streets of downtown Fremantle in Western Australia. Occasionally I think about what I would have looked like, all those months ago, when all my ideas were budding in my head on those daily walks to work. Most likely my appearance gave little away as I stomped carelessly down the street, in mismatched office clothes and running shoes. It’s amazing really the worlds of magic that can be living in someone’s head and invisible to the outside world. To be truthful, I can’t really remember the day that Sunflower and Ivy became more than a fantasy. I guess like all tipping points of creation it was born from an accumulation of experiences, emotions, insights and restlessness. Continue reading Dreaming of Sunflower and Ivy