Monday, December 28, 2015

Success

Success, such a small word that holds so much weight, looks different to each person and can so often feel completely unattainable.
 
If you're anything like me you probably criticize your life decisions and absorb others opinions to decide if you have indeed succeeded in life or not, but in truth, everyone else's opinion is null and void. The only person who's opinion should matter to you, is your own.
While I was running my business some of the biggest naysayers or "haters" were those closest to me.
 
"Oh Lex, why don't you go get a real job, and make some real money".
"She's such a bludger, she's just doing it to get out of a working for a living".
"It'll never go anywhere, why can't she get her head out of the clouds".
 
And yet here I am, now with said real job, now making decent money, with a new car and financial stability and I've never felt less successful in my life. To me, being successful is more than having spare money in my bank to blow on disposable crap I don't actually need. To me, success is a feeling you get when you give your all to something you're passionate about. Success is going to bed exhausted because you worked your heart and soul into something you genuinely believe in. Success is being able to say "I did this" and knowing what you've done is more than just gone to work and made money for someone else, but this is just my definition of success, as I said, it looks different to everyone.
 
This is by no means an attack on my job, in fact I love my job, but it just doesn't fill me the way my old business did.
When we open the doors in the morning, I'm ready for the day, but I don't feel the rush as I once did when I stepped on stage to open a show.
When my first customer walks in, I don't get the chills I used to get when I'd see someone point and smile in the crowd to one of my pieces.
When all hell is breaking loose on the sales floor it doesn't pump me full of adrenaline the way the frenzy of back stage used to, and when I sell a piece of clothing on the sales floor, it doesn't overwhelm me with joy like it did when I sold a piece of my own label.
 
I have no regrets about taking time away from my label, but I do regret not blocking out the negativity of others while I was working on the label. I achieved so much off my own back and shrugging off all I did as a failure is an insult to the countless hours, heart, soul, tears and love I put into it. It's irrelevant what others said about me because I was in love with my life, hard as it was, I lived and breathed my passion and that was and always will be a success.
 
We all need to learn to block out those who criticize without constructive feedback, those who poo poo creative ideas without seeking innovation, and those who judge you without getting to know you. Listening to those people breeds failure. But your success can be built from failures, those times that someone tells you; you're a dreamer, you're crazy, you're clueless, learn from those people and prove them wrong.
Just because your success looks different to theirs, doesn't mean it's not a success to you.
 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Since March

It's been such a long time since I've put words to web, yet it feels just like home as I sit in my oversized man tee and type this out. So much has happened since my last post in March, when I thought I wanted to write food reviews around Brisbane (clearly by the absence of posts, this didn't last long). I'm still a massive food lover and purveyor of the new and exciting food spots around Brisbane and beyond, but I just wasn't in love with it, so my passion faded quickly despite my belly staying full.
In fact passion is why I find myself here, despite the fact that I haven't blogged in such a long time, my love for writing actually hasn't faded. I've stayed true to literature, I just haven't stayed true to the blogosphere.
This year has been such a massive one of growth and personal development, of working out who I am, where I fit in this crazy world and what I want to do to change it. I've experienced some pretty serious hard truths, I've stood up for myself and walked away from things not meant for me. I've travelled to the other side of the globe to see what the world has to offer and I've hit the reset button on projects and goals that I expected to have achieved by now. I've learnt that I'm an incredibly harsh critic of myself and that it is possible to be both exhausted and bored at the same time. I've felt tremendous loss, and dizzying excitement, I've felt happiness that made me cry and anger so furious I could barely breathe, but through all of this I've learnt new things. New ways to adapt to life and new lessons that will help to guide me to better decisions as I grow. I've experienced awe at the world around us, at the achievements of man and been humbled by the greatness of others. I've experienced gratefulness in bounds as this year I was able to see and achieve things I never could have dreamed and I will most certainly remember 2015 as a year of wonder. I've found solace in unexpected places and found endless love in the hearts of my family and friends. I've found I still have a passion for creativity and I've found that no matter how busy I get, my love of writing, sketching and designing are enduring.
My passion has never faded for the written word and this year I've rekindled my love of books, I've delved into literature like never before, and appreciated both the hard and the easy reads. I've learnt to read a few books at a time, and I'm currently reading three different books, each to suit a different mood. I've kept a note book and whilst over seas wrote several passages about the world around me when I felt inspired.
I've found my love of design return to me, with no pressure of ensuring my work sells and is commercially viable I've been free to simply design for myself creating pieces with real love, care and attention to detail.
I've found time for myself, I've enjoyed the peace that comes from being alone with no agenda and I've finally learnt to enjoy things in the moment. Mindfulness is an art form, and one that needs to be practised often.
I'm still most certainly a planner but I'm learning to try to not block myself into goals, to understand that life has a natural flow and sometimes it's best to just trust it and let it lead you. If you work hard at whatever you do, you will find success even if it looks different to what you imagined.
This post has been extremely self indulgent and I've used the word "I" a lot, but something else I've learnt this year, is that it's your life, you are one of 7.3 billion people, so let your life be about you and not about everyone around you.
We need more self love in this world and less self loathing and it's up to you, to love you.
May you have a wonderful weekend, a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
xx

The Mirror of Erised - When you look into it you are to see all that your heart desires, and it is said to make men go mad. Stop desiring everything in the world and create what you want for yourself. Chances are, when you look at your life from the outside, you're probably doing better than you think.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Artie and Mai - 340 Sandgate Road, Albion

 
As is our monthly tradition, my gal pals and I grouped together for a brunching last Sunday and we decided to try out Artie and Mai in Albion. The bustling spot boasts an incredibly diverse breakfast menu with your classic bacon and egg dishes covered, as well as a few outside of the box options, think fruity breakfast panna cottas and candied bacon ice-cream. With the smell of freshly ground Bellaroma coffee brewing, and an atmosphere buzzing with friendly foodies it's understandable why this place was filled to the brim early Sunday morning. The rustic venue also caters to private dining areas for groups and is fully licensed with an evening menu that serves up fresh produce and classic flavours in a share all sort of way. Whether you're hunting for a relaxed date night venue or a hearty weekend breakfast, the crew at Artie and Mai have your culinary desires catered for.
 
Avocado and fetta with rocket on sourdough and added bacon.
Banana French toast with tomato jam and candid bacon ice-cream.
Poached eggs with avocado, haloumi, rocket and roasted tomatoes.
Peaches, prosciutto and bocconcini rocket salad.
  For their full menu and opening hours check out their website
xx 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Provenance Review

Brisbane is quickly becoming the new place to eat, with new bars and restaurants popping up on a weekly basis. I love the variety we now have, even out in the suburbs! Now usually Chermside Westfield isn't the sort of place I'd pick for a swanky lunch date but after noticing a new place opening in the restaurant quarters along the main road I decided to give it a go!
 
Provenance has taken the old Gilhooleys and created a whole new level of Westfield dining. Following in the footsteps of Garden City and Indooroopilly, suburban shopping centre dining is starting to turn up the heat. The layout is the same as the old pub, however the new d├ęcor, friendly staff and tasty menu makes it hardly recognisable.  




Mum and I decided on a few light lunch items, however I am keen to go back and try more given the huge range of their menu! We had the freshly baked prawn and rocket pizza and the Queensland calamari, both super fresh and full of flavour. Each day they offer something new to entice the crowds along, Wednesday's being a vino and pasta combo for $20, which, had I have been hungrier would have gone down a treat! They even offer options that are gluten, vegan and paleo friendly, and are open everyday for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
 
 

A big well done to the team who put this place together and I really hope they stick around, if you haven't checked Provenance out yet go and have a tasty bite to eat and a sneaky wine or beer as they have a huge selection available, or if breakfast is your thing (I'm considering doing this tomorrow) give their almond milk smoothies and zucchini fritters a try!

Provenance is in Westfield Chermside Cnr Hamilton and Gympie Road, Brisbane (for those familiar with Chermside, it's the movie end, outside where Grilld and Groove Train are).
Enjoy!
 
 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Downey Park Food Trucks


A fine Sunday afternoon after a very wet week calls for a stroll around a park and some tasty treats, so yesterday my hungry gal pals and I checked out the Downey Park Food Trucks for the first time.
 
 
Six trucks with an assortment of fine foods gathered in the car park to give the North Side of Brisbane a hearty afternoon of foodie goodness. We attempted to eat our way through as many of the food options as possible and I have to say a BIG thank you to the hard working food truckers that came out to feed the hungry mob that congregated from 4pm-7pm!
We started off with an oven baked pizza from Fire n Dough, opting for the sweet potato pizza; a wood fired thin crust dough accompanied caramelised sweet potato and fresh rosemary, in other words, a carby world of heaven!
 
Next up we ordered some tiny soft tacos from Oi Taco, we went for a mix of both the roasted chicken and the black beans, both with fresh tomato salsa and cheese, tiny but tasty!
 
Lastly on the main meal menu we checked out How We Roll, I'm afraid to say these guys just weren't on their game last night and after a half an hour wait, these little rolls just didn't fill the gaping holes in our hungry tummies. Perhaps they were just short staffed and I hope they have a better go next time, as their menu looked delicious!
 
After watching the sun set over the bustling car park we decided to top off our dinners with a sweet treat from Chip Tease, we ordered the signature dessert; hot sweet potato fries coated in cinnamon sugar, drizzled with Nutella and topped off with whipped cream, anyone else need a bucket for their watering mouths? Whoever came up with this is a genius! These guys definitely came out on top of the food truck list for us, great friendly staff, tasty food delivered pronto and a cute rockabilly theme to delight the senses and dazzle the trivia loving mind.
 
 
Unfortunately our bellies didn't have room for the Sushi, King of Wings or Cronut vans but they looked to be serving up some delicious options also.
 
 
Want to check out the Food Trucks for yourself? Follow @downeyparkfoodtrucks on Instagram or hit up the Facebook for details on the next Food Truck night!
 

Monday, January 12, 2015

What I would say to a younger me

Last night I wrote about the importance of having me time, in essence, time to just enjoy being in the present moment, without pressure or worry of the future or of the past. Tonight however I can't help but reflect on my past. I would never feel compelled to change anything in my past, besides the fact that the past is irreversible, I know that everything I've done and said in my past has led me to be the person I am today, and I'm quite alright with that.
 
 
As a kid I went through some tricky stages growing up, my family dynamic, my upbringing, my personality and the way I looked all affected me as I grew up and worked out who I actually was, it wasn't always an easy ride and if I could go back in time, I'd simply want to offer a should to cry on and a few encouraging words along the way.
If I could travel back and visit myself in different stages, this is how it would go.
 
11 Year Old Lexi
"Get the braces as soon as possible, they won't be on for long but they will change everything for you, also ignore what you hear the girls in the bathroom say, worse things will be said about you in the future, but they won't mean a thing either."
 
12 Year Old Lexi (Grade 8)
"Don't feel like you have to trade your brain for beauty or popularity, this is high school and what goes on here will make very little impact on your life post graduation, also, spend more time with the ginger girl and the quiet blonde, they are two of the best people you'll ever know."
 
 
13 Year Old Lexi (Grade 9)
"The pink eye shadow is a bad choice, and the company you are keeping is too, flick both as soon as possible! You'll experience some pretty intense girl shit in this time, hanging out with the boys is a good choice but just keep your cards close to your chest and work hard in your classes."
 
14 Year Old Lexi (Grade 10)
"You're not going to die alone, so one silly girl found a guy that likes her, you're 14 for crying out loud! You do not need to compare your life to others, you just have to be ok with the decisions YOU make!"
 
15 Year Old Lexi (Grade 11)
"You're starting to come in to your own now, this is good, I know it's scary but you're going to start to flourish, just stay true to yourself and talk to your mother! She's not the enemy, she's just trying to be your friend. Also, year 11 camp is fantastic, your dress for the Glad Bag Formal is killer!"
 
 
 
16 Year Old Lexi (Grade 12)
"He turns out to be a douche anyway, enjoy this time with your friends and stop fighting with your parents, they are actually amazing."
 
 
 
17 Year Old Lexi (First Year Out of School)
"Yes Landscape Architecture is a bad choice, yes it is ok to quit Uni and work for a year, no, that stupid boy you are dating is not you future husband, he's actually a giant rat and you should escape while you can."
 
(Toward the end of that year)
"Yes, well I told you so, I know it hurts, but I promise, if you go home and make up with your parents everything will be ok. Don't take his actions as a reflection on you, you are worth far more than he could ever dream of giving you and you will move past this. Self destruction is not a good idea."
 
18 Year Old Lexi
"Uni is great, clubbing is fun, but maybe ease up on the boozing. Yes I know, you were one of the last ones to get to go, but sleep is actually fantastic too! Also, stop going to Uni drunk, your grades should be better than this."
 
19 Year Old Lexi
"Loss is hard but you'll learn that it's a part of life, you need to make sure you are around for your family because they'll need you in this time. You are on track now with your studies and seem to be enjoying your classes keep it up, only one year after this and you'll have a degree!"
 
20 Year Old Lexi
"Congrats! You're a graduate, you've put in so much hard work you really should be proud, what a long way you've come!
I know it was a lot of work but just wait till you start working in the real world! 
Yes sorry about that guy, and no this ones not any better, much worse but you'll learn a lot from this."
 
21 Year Old Lexi
"The world seems to be your oyster but you can't help but fill it with drama hmmm? Only a few more years and you'll grow out of it. I'm proud of you for starting your own business, hold on kid, it's going to be one hell of a ride!"
 
 
22 Year Old Lexi
"Oh you're feeling 22? Good, good! This is going to be an interesting year, you'll do a lot, you'll travel, you'll laugh and cry and question what you're doing. You'll wonder if you should pack it in and you'll start dreaming of plans to move to Sydney and start over, eventually you'll work out that isn't the answer and you'll come around. You'll have some crappy health stuff and it'll last for a few years on and off, but don't let it mess with you too much. This is a pretty intense year in terms of your work and your personal life fighting for supremacy and you'll question your self worth much more than you should. I'm afraid to say it gets worse before it gets better, but it does get better."
 
 
23 Year Old Lexi
This one hurts, I'm sorry for what is coming, but eventually when the scars heal you'll be happier that it's over. Take comfort in your friends, your family and the kindness of strangers. This will be a year that you will finally be strong enough to walk away from something that was never meant for you. Grow and learn, evolve yourself into the person you want to be, not just someone's something. Work hard on the business as this is the year that really tests you. At times you'll feel as though you've achieved nothing at all and at times you'll be astonished with all you have created. Embrace this year of change, of pain and of growth. You are strong enough. 
 
 
24 Year Old Lexi
This is it, the year you learn to let go, this is the year you give yourself a creative brake and allow yourself to live a simpler life. You'll start paying off your debts and seeing what life is like when you're not constantly stressed about the future. You'll know where your next pay cheque is coming from and you'll know when your bills will be coming out. This is a year of huge personal growth and you'll change and mature into a new version of yourself, more sure of what you want and need in life and out of the people around you. This means you'll have to get rid of a few along the way, letting go of people who don't care for you will be hard and you'll question your self worth, but don't worry, because the people who really  matter stick around and you end up with some pretty great new additions too.
 
 
Now I'm here, 25, wow.
Life has taught me that you can't always have it your way, there will be give and take and you will be pushed to your ultimate braking point. You will always overcome any diversity you're faced with, and with each year you'll set yourself new goals and strive toward them.
Just don't forget what I told you yesterday, look back at the past to remember the lessons you've learnt and look forward to see new goals you want to achieve, but always live in the present moment, because you're here.
xx 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Importance of Me Time

In today's crazy world where we are constantly bombarded with advertising, constantly connected to social media and constantly plugged into this fast paced world of ours, sometimes you just need a little alone time.
Me time.
Time to collate your thoughts without any pressure from outside sources.
No one asking you to work to a deadline, no one asking when you'll be ready to go, no one questioning your past actions and no pressure to be somewhere at an exact moment in time.
Me time is crucial to our survival and is different to all individuals.
For me, I love to go for a run, I plug in my Ipod and I just go, I don't think of anything in particular I just let all my thoughts wash over me. I find it a great way to solve any problems that I might have been thinking about and I use my me time as a way of recharging my personal batteries.
Some people take naps (I'm also a fan of the nap), some read books, some do their washing, whatever it is that works for you, just make sure you take the time to do it.
Our minds are beautiful, intricate and delicate beings and just as we take care of our bodies, we should take care of our minds and emotions too.

 
Watch a movie, draw, play sport, take yourself to the beach, what ever works for you, just make sure you take some time out to stop worrying about all the mistakes you've made in the past, don't stress over what will come from the week approaching, just allow yourself to revel in the moment and enjoy who you are at that very time in your life.
No day will be repeated and every day is a gift, so cherish it.
You are here.
Enjoy it.
xx