DIY

Free DIY Printable Poster // Keep Going, You've Got This

Emma Kate and I are ending this month's #bloglovefest movement with one final, moving message:

Keep going, you've got this.

I recently participated in an event at General Assembly where my friend and fellow blogger Christina Butcher, mentioned a phrase that sums up perfectly our journey as bloggers and business owners.  When asked about success she reminded the audience that this adventure is ‘a marathon not a sprint’ and I couldn't help but think the same goes for self-care.

It’s simply not enough to go for a walk, get a massage or take a yoga class and be done with iet. This ritual of self-care, this awareness about our health, needs to be a continued and ongoing conversation. It should become part of our daily routine rather than the rare exception to the rule. I feel confident moving forward that I’ve got this – will I always find the perfect balance? Of course not, but I’ve felt the repercussions of not taking care of myself and don’t want to go back in that direction. For me personally I know the areas that need help – from delegating tasks and asking for business help when needed, to allowing myself that time to go for a run and allow that stress to wash away. These habits I need to make a priority, to remind myself each day I’ve got this (both business wise and health wise).  In the beginning it may not be easy, it’s time to have  a tough love conversation with yourself about the excuses you’ve told or the stories you use to fall back on time and time again (I’m too busy, tired, etc) but in the end listen, always, to that voice whispering in the back of your head saying, keeping going, you've got this

Visiting Blog Society for the first time? Well a big hello to you - and here's hoping you have a kick-ass, self-care April! If you're interested in more fun content, free advice and a beautiful community of global creatives, then join our tribe here.

DIY Homemade Rose Body Scrub Recipe

Rose Body Scrub Recipe

By Cybele Masterman

Do you ever feel frustrated, because you really, really want to do something luxurious or spoil yourself, but can’t because of a lack of time or money? Argh!!! I remember feeling so frustrated when I started in magazines. It was hilarious, because I was surrounded by all this luxury, but I couldn’t afford any of it.

It can feel the same when starting a business or a blog, except you need to add the emotional roller-coaster factor. One day you’ve had your things shared on Apartment Therapy and everyone loves what you’re doing and the next, something flops or a narky comment comes in and a pick me up is desperately needed. But, you’re watching where the money goes and your time’s pretty limited too. Meanwhile, Betty is posting pictures of her stay at a five star retreat on Instagram…

It’s strange how we often think of luxury as being something expensive and this seems to apply to beauty products more than anything else, yet it’s not really true.

You wouldn’t be surprised if I told you a fresh asparagus spear has more nutrients and tastes better than a tinned one, but the same can be true of beauty products. The active ingredients in a lot of cosmetics can be depleted by the time we use them.

Sometimes fresh is best. Sometimes, we don’t even need to buy special ingredients. Sometimes, we can use things we were throwing out.

An invigorating coffee scrub to help bust cellulite’s arse, a papaya fruit enzyme mask to give our face a lift when we’re feeling a bit lifeless or watermelon rind hydration boost to give the skin the big drink it needs after we’ve been pushing too hard for too long. These are free or cheap as chips and work like a charm. One of my favourite home spa treats is a rose body scrub. It leaves my skin feeling silky smooth and gives me the oomph to tackle another day.

Rose Body Scrub
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, which is lucky because rose essential oil is nearly as expensive as gold. People pay for it, because of how good it is for the skin, but it’s pretty easy to get the benefits without paying the price simply by using dried rose petals.

The best petals to use are dried spray-free ones. We have a lovely lady down the road who has the most spectacular rose garden and I’ve just arranged to take the blooms when they start to wilt and I’ll gift her with some infused rose oil, later.

A salt
My favourite salt is Murray River salt. This pretty pink salt contains minerals from the ancient saltpans of inland Australia and has the added bonus of helping salinity issues. Epsom and Himalayan salts are also great, but any sea salt you have in the cupboard is fine, too.

This is a pretty zingy scrub, which is great for stimulating the body, but if you have any grazes, rashes or cuts there can be the salt-in-wound stingy thing. You can either avoid the area or swap the salt for sugar.

On oils
I like to bump up the fragrance of the scrub with some rose geranium or palma rosa essential oil or an infused rose oil. You can buy rose oil, usually a 3% dilution is reasonably priced, or you can make your own infused rose oil, but it’s hard to give an exact quantity for this in the recipe below as the potency varies a lot, so be guided by your nose when adding it to the scrub.

Rose Body Scrub Recipe
Makes about 1 cup of body scrub

Ingredients:
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
¾ cup salt
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons dried rose petals, ground or cut up finely
30 drops rose geranium or palma rosa essential oil (or add infused rose oil, according to your preference)
0-2 tablespoons sunflower or grape seed oil, depending on the consistency you prefer

Instructions:
Warm up the coconut oil if you need to soften it.
Mix together all ingredients in a new or sterilised jar.
Label with date and ingredients.
Always test new products in a discrete spot in case of allergies.
Apply to damp skin in gentle circles all over the body - if possible, leave for a few minutes - thoroughly rinse off, dry and moisturise. Enjoy!

How do you like to spoil yourself?

Cybele (Bele) Masterman, a freelance interior, food and travel writer, who once upon a time trained as a beauty therapist, make up artist and aromatherapist. You can find her at Blah Blah Magazine.

Rose Body Scrub

Free DIY Printable Poster // Live Well

Welcome to week #2 of our April collective celebration of self-care. This week Emma Kate Co and I are focusing on living well...

I don’t tend to believe in coincidences. I believe that our experiences, the people that come into and out of our lives and the path we following are part of a bigger plan. When Emma and I first started to talk about our plans for what our April #bloglovefest theme was going to be, it amazed me the signs that began to spring up everywhere, again cementing in my mind the need to spread the message of self-care far and wide.

Everywhere I looked, articles began to pop up or conversations were steered in the direction of energy, self-love, the glorification of busyness, the unrealistic expectations we put on ourselves and others and the need to slow down in order to recharge and refuel.  The idea of living well is not about incorporating meditation into your daily ritual or only eating organic, it’s about creating your own definition of wellness. It’s living a life each day that matters and brings happiness to you and those around you. It’s about running that successful business but watching your energy supplies, having that extra glass of wine without guilt, watching a movie without stressing about doing the dishes, taking a walk to enjoy the sunshine. Live well, by your own definition, without guilt.

 We are only giving so many hours in a day and your energy is a precious commodity, one that as women we give freely and frequently. When it comes to focusing some of that energy on yourself, feelings of guilt, indulgence and selfishness begin to surface. Do you agree? We’re in this together and the pay off is less stress, anxiety, restfulness and the ability to give more of yourself. Get involved and share this week's 'Live Well' poster or these special images via social media using our #bloglovefest hashtag. Simply right click images below to save or click on the link below to download your 'Live Well' printable in our April #bloglovefest series:

DOWNLOAD Today LIVE WELL Poster

Live Well Instagram
Live Well Instagram

Visiting Blog Society for the first time? Well a big hello to you - and here's hoping you have a kick-ass, self-care April! If you're interested in more fun content, free advice and a beautiful community of global creatives, then join our tribe here.

Behind The Blog Scene // Kelly Lanza of Studio DIY

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I'm a big believe in the power of sharing advice and learning from others. In big, bad world of blogging the grass is always greener and it is SO easy to take a look at your fellow bloggers and attribute their success to a variety of things you don't have: time, money, skills, a full-time job, working from home, kids, no kids, a team of support, a studio, a stream of sponsors - the list goes on.

When it came to creating this 'Behind The Blog Scene' interview series last year it was to take all of the reasons above and pull back the curtain behind some of the world's most successful bloggers. What I've found time and time again is that these women (and men) have more in common with you than you think. Yes they may have started a bit earlier and therefore have a larger following but they work hard, encounter fear, doubt and messy offices - but power through with determination and love for blogging.

I had a pinch me moment when I was interviewing Kelly from Studio DIY for today's post because I've been a long time fan of her blog.  Her charming posts make for a colourful start to my day and I've long admired her creativity and business sense.  She is a clever, funny blogger who has encountered tremendous success and I hope her story below pushes you to keep going with your own blog, inject some fun back into what you are doing and enjoy the ride... 

Describe your blog in 3 words…
Fun, Colorful, Ready-to-party (That's one word, right!?)
What is your blogging manifesto?
Don't just celebrate the holidays, celebrate the every day!
Top 3 blogging essentials?
DSLR, iPhone (Hey, Instagram... I'm lookin' at you!), Natural Light (And confetti.)
My biggest blogging moment/milestone was....
I could share a single moment, but what I actually have found to be the most exciting, validating and humbling thing is seeing more and more people actually make my DIYs... and share them with me! Seeing people throw Studio DIY crafting parties or make one of my projects with their kids, it makes my day. My week! My life! No amount of money or big features can match that.
My dream collaboration would be?
I'm lucky to say that some of my dream collaborations have already come to life! HOLY MOLY! But I do dream of having a party collection some day and bringing the Studio DIY par-tay to the masses!
Right now I'm listening to...
The sounds of downtown LA! Oh yes, my new studio is in a factory building in the middle of a conversion to creative studios. Between the factories and the bustling city streets... it makes for pretty entertaining background noise!
Best piece of advice to a newbie blogger?
Be prepared to work your butt off. Don't undervalue yourself, not for a second! Even if you're as shy as I am (Yep!), get out there and meet other bloggers. The friends I've developed through this business are some of the best, and it's great to have a group you can turn to when working with a new brand, figuring out how much to charge, stuck on an idea or when you just need someone else to understand why oh WHY you are obsessing over the placement of those pesky sprinkles. Know your brand and live it. Give it roots, but allow it room to grow and change, too. And put your party pants on because you're in for a wild ride!
If I wasn't blogging I'd be...
Dancing! I love to dance. In the grocery store... embarrassing my fiancé.
Behind the scenes of my blog looks like...
A tornado blew through a party store and dumped it on me. It's amazing what some cropping can do, sharing only the pretty stuff and not the pile of cake crumbs, paint covered tables (and dogs), and the dumpster you're actually shooting next to on the street. I started a hashtag called #cantcropthis to share some of what life looks like outside the frame. Blogging is a darn messy job behind the scenes, but the fact that the mess is generally sprinkled with confetti makes it just a bit more bearable!
In 2014 I'm most excited about...
Getting married!!!! I'll be marrying my main man of seven years (and my cherished photographer too!) in November and well it's gonna be a blast! A mariachi music and make-your-own tacos kind of blast. On the blog front, I'm excited to see Studio DIY continue to grow. I just hired my first employee and am getting settled in the studio, ready to take on this party world... one balloon at a time!

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All images via Studio DIY

Unleash Creative // Sydney

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From the first launch of Blog Society, a core part of our mission when hosting events has always been to not only to enrich and educate bloggers but to nourish the inner creative in all of us. Taking time to craft, play and create often gets pushed down the priority list but every time I've hosted an event based solely around DIY or craft, the reaction is nothing less than amazing. Everyone walks away relaxed, happy and the mood feels lighter than when they entered.

So take that feeling and multiply it by ten and that's the vibe that happened at our most recent Unleash Creative Sydney event. I was grateful to team up with Magdalena Franco (who founded Unleash Creative) and our four craft mentors: Kirbee Lawler of Kirbeeart, Rin of Papered Thoughts, Alex Falkiner of Alfalky and Madeleine of Made by Mosey.

There was confetti, a photo booth, copious amounts of sugar, snacks and splashes of colour - it was everything you'd expect from a crafternoon and I absolutely can't wait to do it again. If you missed this event, I hope you can join us next time...

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Images by Erika Rax