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  • Do you desire a life where you know and live your inner purpose? That instead of floating through life you know exactly what your true desires are and living to your fullest potential? Do you feel like what you are longing for is just hidden under the surface and once you discover it there will be no holding you back?

    Live your desired life thumbnailDownload the Live Your Desired Life workbook and learn the 4 easy steps on how I started to live the life I always dreamed of.

Living in Porto, Lifestyle design, Lesley StefanskiThunderstorms in Porto-02Thunderstorms in Porto-05Thunderstorms in Porto-07
The thundershowers stayed for what felt like ages, but it was exactly what our little family needed. We bundled closely together, lingering for hours in soft white sheets, pausing every couple of hours for family naps, and then walks out in the rain at least once a day. We slow everything down. Our breakfast routine is no longer cereal in a bowl but toasted bread, sautéed spinach, boiled egg, and of course more tea. She sits in her white highchair enjoying breakfast right along with us…talking in the way that she does and exclaiming in glee whenever she eats something she enjoys. I find that there is so much enjoyment in preparing delicious meals in the kitchen and then having my family together to enjoy them. It is unbelievably rewarding and satisfying.

We explore the city and every day we come home with a list of places we want to see again or shops I want to delve into even further. On one excursion with just myself and Isla I stop into an antique store and find myself bringing a beautiful silk scarf to the counter to bring home. I am invited to a gathering later that week, Isla included and I find we are in the most friendly city ever. We find a café that serves beautiful lattes in white cups while we are seated in plush blue chairs and the concrete walls are covered in artwork.

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Our flat is situated perfectly within the city, anything and everything is at our fingertips. When the rains cease for awhile I throw the windows open and breathe in the fresh air and find so much delight in the view. A manicured garden, cobblestone streets, ancient buildings, a gazebo where lovers stop to kiss or bands play sweet melodies. In this moment I know it is important for us to have a view and the ability to open our windows, wherever we live.

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Live your desired life thumbnailDownload the Live Your Desired Life workbook and learn the 4 easy steps on how I started to live the life I always dreamed of that you can start implementing immediately.

live what you love, lifestyle design, life coaching, life motto
There is a black picture frame that sits on my friend’s counter that holds a black and white typography image. This picture frame holds the motto for the way they do life and I have since adopted it as mine.

LIVE WHAT YOU LOVE

It holds way more meaning to me than the typical motto you see around Etsy and Instagram of “Do what you love”. Because let’s be honest, there are some cases where you cannot do what you love.

I love being curled under a blanket and reading copious amounts of books.
I love meeting friends for coffee.
I love travelling and camping and taking skiing holidays in the mountains.
I love spending endless amounts of time with Mister and Isla.

But sometimes, doing what you love will not make you a living.

However, you can always live what you love.

No matter what your vocation is, you can always live what you love. When you check out of work you can live what you love. When you close your laptop for the day, night, week, you can go out and live what you love.

For me, that means I can spend countless hours under a blanket reading, or meeting friends for coffee, travelling, camping, going for ski holidays. It means I spend as much time as possible with Mister and Isla.

If you feel like you cannot “Do what you love” as in switching your career just yet, that is okay. There is nothing stopping you from living what you love instead.

Go and design the lifestyle you love.

Live your desired life thumbnailDownload the Live Your Desired Life workbook and learn the 4 easy steps on how I started to live the life I always dreamed of that you can start implementing immediately.

  • November 19, 2014 - 8:47 AM

    Jenny - Thank you for this post. It reminded me so much of this quote “create a life that you love to much that you don’t need a vacation from it” :-)ReplyCancel

Porto Portugal
We settle into our new home as quickly as possible, and soon realize we left the comforts of England behind us and are faced with the much familiar feelings of living in a place where we know no one nor the city we live in. Google translate quickly becomes our go-to website and we wander up and down streets looking for grocers and pharmacies thinking it would be easy to spot. How quickly we feel like we are transported back to Holland and our time in Den Bosch.

This city, however, is beautiful. Endless cobblestone streets beautifully laid out with thought and care. Everywhere I turn my artistic eye is inspired and I find myself reaching for the camera more than I have in months. The food is gorgeous and delicious and the locals unbelievably friendly.

By the second day our belongings are put into their respective closets, the suitcases stored away for the next 30 days, and again the piano music is playing while a kettle boils hot water for tea. The weather is gorgeous and we set out to explore as much as possible walking along unfamiliar streets but somehow always knowing which direction is home.

That evening the weather changes and we are greeted with thunderstorms and thundershowers that shake the home and beat against the windows so violently. We snuggle in close pulling on layers to keep us warm and pouring copious amounts of tea. I find myself at ease cooking up a storm for my small family in the modern kitchen.

It is slower, much slower than London, but so perfect for our season away.

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Guide to investing in your business, outsourcing, business coaching
Starting and maintaining a business is not easy. It is not for the faint of heart and it is not for ones who are looking to make some quick money. It is for those who are in it for the long haul, who are willing to put in long hours, sweat the small stuff along with crying a lot of tears in frustration. It is for those who are willing to constantly feel ‘turned on’ by business and typically unable to turn their brain off of how to generate more content or attract another client.

It is a long and tiring road, but one full of great satisfaction.

Due to the stress and toll running a business can have on you – emotionally, mentally, and physically – you need to know where to find the support to make sure you can run an efficient and profitable business.

I know it seems easier (and more economical) to do everything yourself, but in my experience it takes longer, you become more frustrated, and you end up doing yourself and your clients a disservice. I believe you are in business because of what you are passionate about, not to do the things you detest.

Take an honest look at yourself and assess your weaknesses and be proud of them!

Where in your business do you put tasks off until the deadline is staring you in the face?
Where in your business do you find anxiety or stress to get tasks done?
Where in your business do you find it takes up the most time and you hate the whole process?

List everything down that comes to mind. It is okay to write them down as weaknesses, it is actually better to know where your faults lie in business…because you’re going to outsource them next!

Next you are going to find your support to get those tasks off your plate. Now do not allow yourself to think you do not deserve help or that you need to do it on your own. You desire a profitable and successful business, and this will get you there. There are family, friends, and other business owners who love to do what you hate doing and it is time you allow them to flourish along with you.

Yes, this will require money.

It is an investment to your business AND your wellbeing.

Set yourself a budget, even if it is $20 for the month, hire the support to get you to where you want to be. If you need to, raise your prices the exact amount you need so that you can hire your support.

Believe me, it is worth it!

I recently hired myself a Virtual Assistant to help me with blogging and emails because there were certain aspects of the administrative side of business that stressed me out and caused a lot of anxiety. My virtual assistant thrives in those areas so I hired her to support me in my business, and in turn I am also supporting her business.

It is scary, to ask for help, but it is totally worth the investment.

What is one area you have been wanting to outsource but have been afraid that you could not afford it? Are you going to commit to investing in your business and wellbeing?

Live your desired life thumbnailDownload the Live Your Desired Life workbook and learn the 4 easy steps on how I started to live the life I always dreamed of that you can start implementing immediately.

Thoughts on motherhood
She tugs my sleeve for what feels like the 100th time in the past five minutes and I feel myself waning. I feel the patience I had intended to have for the day become droplets in my well instead of ever flowing. I breathe in a restorative breath, hoping that it will bring some clarity. Instead I find myself checking the time and begin to count down the minutes till I will sing her her lullaby and put her to bed for the night.

And then instantly my heart hurts, that would mean twelve hours without her.

How easily I have become attached to her, how quickly my heart wants to spend every moment with her. How is it possible that just a few years ago the thought of having a babe to call my own would cause me intense anxiety but now the thought of being away from her causes the same reaction? How has this has become me?!

A woman who never dreamed of being a mother, now flourishing and relishing in the role.

Being a mother is very different than I anticipated it to be. It is more glamorous and more antagonizing all at the same time. It has pulled me apart by every seam possible but has somehow managed to sow me back up into a greater version of myself than I could have ever imagined. My body now has marks and lines that only come through childbearing, but my heart has been etched with a love that can only come from loving so deep and so endlessly. These love marks began with Mister and she has made them so profound that just like the lines on my body they will be there for all eternity.

I am not a mother who has endless patience but I do have a love that somehow fills me up when I find myself completely depleted before the end of the day.

When that moment finally comes, the one I have been counting down to, she nuzzles herself into her favourite spot: her body in my arms and her head into the crook of my arm right against my breast. I sing her the lullaby we chose for her months ago and I rock her gently in the stillness of the night. Her eyes begin to flutter so I kiss her forehead and lay her in her bed and whisper “we made it my little love, and tomorrow we will make it again”.

Images: Chris Loh