Monday, 30 September 2013

Stewarding creativity on purpose.

Are you creative? When creativity is mentioned, often the images that come to mind are obvious activities such as painting, playing music, or dancing. While these things are creative, they don't define creativity. Creativity defined is simply the use of your imagination or having original ideas. It is the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods and interpretations. I love this. So, let me ask you again, are you creative? :)
Did you know that you have something to create that no one else can? 
And it releases a piece of heaven that no one else can release.
So what are you waiting for? It's time to stir it up.
Our heavenly Dad is the author of creativity! And He has given us the capacity to dream and imagine... and create. So what are we doing to steward this gift of creativity we've been given? If you love to write, are you writing creatively? If you love to work in business, are you working in business creatively? If you love to encourage, are you encouraging people creatively? If you love to style and decorate, are you styling and decorating creatively? 
OK... now don't be overwhelmed, you only have to start with a little seed. :)  Often when we refer to "sowing a seed" for our dreams, we talk about finances. Of course this is powerful, but in addition to our finances, another thing that is precious to us is our time. As we take our gift, and faithfully set aside time to stir it up, God sees this and it totally blesses His heart. :) Then He adds His supernatural favour to it and... hello miraculous creativity!
I feel like I have so many creative dreams in my heart, so about a year ago, I started setting aside every Thursday to stir up my creativity on purpose. So now "Creative Thursday" has become a highlight of my week, and God has literally blown my mind. So now I have come to realise...
So. Today's mission (should you choose to accept it) is easy. Make a creative appointment. Just like you make a doctors appointment or plan to catch up with a friend for lunch, make time for your "creative appointment" and plan your week around it. And guess what, when you do this... you just never know what might happen...
So go on, get out your phone, your diary, your wall calendar or whatever, and book in a time. Start with 20 minutes. And even if you don't know what you're going to do in this time, as you set aside time to stir up the creativity on purpose, trust me, God WILL do something amazing!!
So friends... in answer to my question, you are creative. So get ready, because as you steward your creativity on purpose... anything can (and will) happen!

Have a great Monday friends :)

love nat x

Images - 1 234, 5678910

Friday, 27 September 2013

Friday Fashionista :: { The Countdown To Summer }

Hi friends Friday is here yippee! :) What are you guys looking forward to this weekend? It's been a big week, so I am excited about chilling out and spending some quality time with friends. Anyone having a Grand Final BBQ? Who's everyone barracking for? Go Hawks I say!! So today's blog is inspired by this week's crazy weather... beginning with 'warm and sunny' and then losing the plot and turning into winter. Is anyone else like me... dessssssperate for to summer to come?!?! Haha... well I had some good feedback from last week's Bit of Boho, so I thought I would use summer as my muse again. :) And just look at this gorgeous dress above... looks like she's holidaying in Europe somewhere fabulous. Ah, take me there now :) xx
Boho casual.. love the lace cape with ripped cutoffs. 
And leopard and gold accessories. Gorgeous!
I actually have a dress similiar to this... now I just need to get that hat... ;)
For the boys... just chillin in the sun.
I love this dress. Navy and pale pink... so stunning.
Yes please.
Cute laid back summery vibe... If you don't own one of these panama hats, 
you need to go and buy one right now. They are seriously the best.
The epitome of the Australian summer.
Miss Olivia out and about with her pup...
And what a perfect way to end this week's blog... hello fabulous scarf! Love these colours. So what are you up to this weekend? I am heading to the Dandenongs this afternoon with my folks to celebrate and honour My Grandpa (his birthday would have been today :) ) so that will be really beautiful. Then tonight my niece Emily is coming for a sleepover... fun! Then Grand Final Day will be spent hanging with friends. I can just picture it; the girls, no doubt, flicking through magazines and chatting about fashion and food while the boys get right into the game. Ah it's all fun! Anyway, happy Friday and have a beautiful, restful and joyful weekend!

Much love,

nat x

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

He who promised IS faithful.

I was thinking of this blog entry yesterday actually and thought I would share it again. I just love this picture. Only a glimmer of sunlight. Just a twinkle of hope. Only a tiny piece of light promising more to come.. but when you look at this, you know. You know the full promise of the entire day is wrapped up in that one little speck of sunlight.
And  then.. more comes. And so it is with us, as we fix our eyes on the Hope that is before us, we begin to see the evidence of things happening before our very eyes.. and then finally, the promise appears. :)
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, 
for He who promised is faithful!

I'm standing and believing with you for everything you are hoping for. :) 
Good things are coming!!!! Have a happy Wednesday!

nat x

Images - 123

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Miracles can happen.

Welcome to Monday ma' friends! It's a brand new week. Ah... isn't it the best feeling to start fresh? Like turning the page of a new chapter, or starting a fresh journal (ah how good does that feel?!) or one of my all time favs, getting a new diary for the year! Or what about buying all new stationary? Ah love it. So what is it about starting fresh that feels so good? Well, it gives us renewed hope. And it's with hope that we believe. :)
The other day I found a little note I had handwritten about six months ago, it was a "Miracle List" of some things I was believing for. As I held it in my hand my eyes almost couldn't believe what I was reading. I realised that four of these five items had come to pass (and they were not small things!) Overflowing with thankfulness for God's amazing provision, my hope was stirred as I proceeded to write a new "Miracle List", declaring all the things I am believing for now.
I wrote this list four days ago and stuck it on my wall. In just four days, already two things off the list of six have come to pass. Oh my goodness! God is so faithful and is SO excited to surprise us! Let me encourage you today, dare to believe for that crazy dream to come true! Whatever it is, from personal provision to family reconciliation, from a creative dream to a secret desire of your heart... it's important to God, and HE wants to bring it to pass. As a matter of fact, He has it all wrapped up and ready for you! 
So guys, my challenge for you today is to write a "Miracle List". List down six things you are believing for, and stir your faith. I promise you, as we expect surprises from our Heavenly Dad, these things are  going to happen! Are you ready?

love nat x

To leave a comment or share your testimony click here :)

(Images - 1234)

Friday, 20 September 2013

Friday Fashionista :: { Bit of Boho }

Hi friends.. happy happy Friday! I thought being Friday and all, I'd do a chilled out, casual style... so Boho, welcome to Friday Fashionista. :) Ah look at this Ralph Lauren bag above... seriously STOP it!
How cute is this white dress...
The Queen of Boho... Nicole Richie.
And again here...
Great view from the back of the van..
Love this summery look...'s pic of cute bracelets...
And Boho Glam Ralph Lauren does it again... 
Summer vibes... 
How fun was that :) The above image is from the beautiful Blair Eadie from So I'm all inspired to be all boho/beachy... now the weather just needs to catch up!! Anyway, have an amazing weekend of fun... I was chatting with a girlfriend yesterday about just having more fun with our lives, creating fun things to do and just not being so busy. So this weekend, let's all endeavour to plan something FUN. What are you going to do? My weekend is still open, which is such a nice feeling. So I will let you know! Have a wonderful weekend and keep dreaming... because those dreams are already part of God's plan! How exciting. Happy weekend guys. :)

love nat xx

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Inspired By :: { Vicki Archer of French Essence }

Hello friends! I'm excited to be launching a brand new blog series today called Inspired By :: where I'll be featuring the some fabulous writers, stylists, and bloggers to inspire you! Today, to launch the series, I am so excited to share my interview with Australian writer Vicki Archer. In 1999, on vacation in Provence, France, Vicki and her husband and their three children stumbled upon an old farm house, and fell in love. They purchased it, packed up their life in Sydney and moved to London, where Vicki spent the next few years commuting from London to St Remy de Provence to oversee the renovation. How amazing! And here is the result: the beautiful Mas de Berard. Pretty stunning isn't it! 
So it's my honour to introduce to you, the lovely Vicki Archer...
Vicki, every time I tell someone about the story of your life, their eyes light up with great excitement (as do mine as I am telling them!) It was 1999 when your life changed forever and this wonderful journey all began. Tell us about that magical time. 

It was magical but in some ways it was unbelievable too. When I look back today and reflect on what we did as a family, how we changed our lives so completely by moving from one side of the world to another… well the truth is I wonder how on earth it came to be. 
Simply put… we fell in love with an abandoned farmhouse outside the village of St Remy de Provence, at the foothills of the Alpilles mountains in southern France. This became an ongoing love affair that saw us renovate the farmhouse, establish an olive grove and create a garden.
It has been a journey, one that I am so happy to have taken. It has not been without heartache and difficulties, changing lives never is… but I wouldn’t have missed one second of it. Falling in love all those years ago has enriched my life immeasurably.
I feel like Mas de Bérard is very much a character in your books, particularly in My French Life. What a journey of transformation from an old fruit farm to one of the most stunning properties in Provence (in my opinion)! What do you love most about your home now?
I love that it is home and that it is filled with our stories. Every room has it’s own tale, every piece of furniture or decorative detail has been sourced by us… the farmhouse is our history and our future all rolled into one. 
Tell us about your garden and your beloved olive trees?

The olive trees came first, before the garden. We planted those in 2000 and have watched them grow into healthy producers. The olive harvest is one of the high points in my year… a chance to reconnect with nature, to enjoy the camaraderie with our team who pick the fruit and to spend some time outdoors enjoying that very clear Provencal air. 
The garden is an ongoing labour of love and a work in progress. Every year I tell myself, that’s it… no more gardening… every year I come up with some new idea to enhance or extend the garden… I can’t help it… This year I have added more roses and peonies… and I am extending the iris border on our driveway… I think it’s an addiction, this beauty in Provence… and if you are a homemaker, like I am… it’s almost unavoidable.

I’m sure other readers would be like me in that we “picture you” in your home as you write your blogs! Can you share with us what a normal day (if there is such a thing!) might look like for you from morning to evening? 
I split my year between London and France so my days in France are very different to my days in London… In France I usually spend the morning discussing the farm with our manager planning what needs to be done with the olives or the fruit trees. I usually take photographs in the morning and work on the blog in the afternoon. This year I have been finishing off another renovation in St Remy de Provence, a village house that we have called Le Petit Bijou… so that has kept me very busy over the summer. It’s finished now and ready for guests.

You collaborated with your great friend and photographer Carla Coulson on both your books, My French Life and French Essence, have you two dreamed of anything else you’d love to do together?

Always… I adore working with Carla. She is a magnificent photographer and has the great gift of interpreting exactly what I want to say and show through the lens. We don’t have any plans right now… but that can easily change.
How long do you spend on your blog, French Essence, each day? Do you have a particular time you like to write it, and do you find it easier to have a daily routine?

My blog, French Essence, has become a serious full time job! I spend as many hours as I can on it… when I am in London I am working on it every day… but it is such a pleasure and a great way to connect with my readers.
I can’t imagine life before French Essence now…and that is another reason why I am so grateful to have found this French connection… it has allowed me to connect with like-minded Francophiles all over the world…

Paris plays a big part in your books and you visit often. What are the things you look forward to most on your trips to Paris?
I try and visit Paris three or four times a year. My favourite pastime in Paris is people watching… Actually sitting and observing the daily comings and goings of the Parisians… I like to be a witness to a city’s heartbeat… trying to understand what makes her tick and where the energy comes from… that is what a city is all about. I have learned everything I know about Paris from her sidewalk cafes.

Whether it’s a page in one of your beautifully penned books, or a simple anecdote in a daily blog entry, your writing style is unchanging: impeccable, filled with passion, and straight from the heart. Where does your passion come from?
My passion comes from the heart. I do believe that if you write honestly about what you feel then the rest will follow. I am an accidental writer… it happened to me, I didn’t pursue writing as a career choice… now it’s part of my daily life and something that I can’t imagine not doing. 
I think I was born with a passion for beauty… whether it is fashion, interiors… life in general… and as I get older to be surrounded by beauty becomes more and more important to me.

I know you love your family very much. :) How often are you all in the one place? When will you be together again next?
My husband and three children are the reason for everything… we are often together in London and we holiday as a family whenever we can.

What are the things that have captured your heart in Saint Rémy? With your kids all grown up now, how much of your time is spent there?

I am probably in St Rémy five months out of every year…  So many elements of Provencal life have captured my heart…. St Rémy is a beautiful village with a wonderful past, it can’t but help capture you… The lifestyle is alluring and I think that is one of Provence’s greatest attractions.

What are your top five “happy places”?
Home is my number one… whether it or France or London
Australia…catching up with friends and family
Travelling anywhere…
And the bath!

I am a big dreamer, and a believer in constantly awakening our hearts so we are always flourishing. What dreams do you still have that you would love to see come to pass?
The dreams that all mothers dream… happiness for their children… For me, I am so fortunate, I am already living my dream… and I don’t want to change a thing… 

Thank you so much Natalie for inviting me to share my story with your readers… it’s such a pleasure to answer your questions and share your passion for all things French.

Love, Vicki


Well I hope you enjoyed that spurt of inspiration everyone! Thank you so much Vicki for sharing your incredible story. :) If you don't have Vicki's books, you might just want to click below and snap them up asap. Have a wonderful day today stirring up those dreams, because remember... just like what we have seen above, absolutely anything can happen! 

Love Nat xx

All images, except noted, by Carla Coulson 
 Christmas images and Paris collage by Vicki Archer


To purchase Vicki Archer's books simply click here:
My French Life or French Essence

To purchase Carla Coulson's books click here: 

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