Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016!

I accomplished in 2015

    As a child I hated waking up early, my dad would try a number of remedies to get me up including a spray bottle filled with refrigerated water to the face. Thanks dad! In 2013, I returned to Australia from South America, and was determined to become a morning person I set my alarm for the same time each morning, regardless of the day and what I did the night before, to go for a walk and have time to sit and enjoy, instead of scoffing (we all do/have done it) breakfast before work.
    The lifestyle in Barcelona demanded late nights and even later starts, so routine was shooed out the window.
    This year, being back in Australia, I was determined to reset my body clock. Hello washing on, brekki date with Karl and a cheeky workout completed before the workday commences. If you haven’t done this – try it! The early bird gets the worm – GET THAT WORM!


    I started this with a friend who wanted moral support. Bloody hard work for the first 3 weeks, but game changer! My skin has never looked so good, and my energy levels have never been so consistent. 3pm chocolate cravings you’re outta here for good!


    I’ve never had digestion explained in such simple terms as Dr Libby (more info here) and the comparison of energy sourced and available from processed foods vs whole homemade foods. Knowing the lack of capability our bodies have to break down preservatives I am far more likely, now, to make a homemade hummus or pasta than buy it ready made. Eat fresh and colourful!


    Never liked it, nor understood the craze. Now, I do because it was served wilted with bacon (yes, I said that in the same breath as whole foods because – all things in moderation kids). That’s all.


    A big thing for me this year was to grow in confidence in work. To be able to do that, meant actually get better what I do and shake my natural instinct of being ADHOC and take a few minutes to plan and be structured. Hell, there’s a ways to go but the scaffolding and awareness is there.


I aim to better in 2016

    Not really much to add here but consistency is paramount and I want to be better at that and keep those, pearly whites and, gums healthy. Although I’m yet to choose a skin care product as yet (great timing) but I’ll do some research and fill you in, on the product chosen, and why.


  1. COMPLETE ONE CROSS WORD MONTHLY – starting small and realistic (dictionary’s and Google allowed for the first few)
    Boosting the ol’ vocab and keep the brain young.


    I have never met someone who hated receiving good vibes, so I want to be a good vibe advocate by sending a friend, or stranger; a positive note, funny postcard or memory each month in 2016.


    Water is good. We need lots. Nuff said.

Water splashing into glass

    I’m shit at present giving at the best of times, although I have no issues with buying myself presents! Damn it. So, I’m going to give a good crack on redirecting the passion for selfish spending (time included).



JOY is back…

From Cadbury to Jude Law everyone wants JOY. It’s today’s advertising ‘buzzword’. It ‘drives us further’, we undercover it, ‘it satisfies’. Sex is out and JOY is in.  The search for JOY is on.  But what is JOY? Why does everyone want it? And how do we get, feel, and keep it.

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 A name like JOY, almost demands a responsibly to be JOYful, (not such a great name when I’m really not in the mood). Let me preface this post by saying, I am far from the most joyous person on the planet and have off days just like every other human being but from a young age I’ve had people say to me,”‘you are your namesake”. I always thought, “oh yeh, I guess I’m a happy person” but haven’t really given it much thought. Today, I did.

Given this involuntary responsibility thrown my way (Thanks Mum and Dad) I thought I’d research why JOY at the core of so many campaigns at the moment. Why now, are people desiring this more than before? How do we find fundamental JOY within our own lives? Hopefully, through all of this I can recognise if I really am my namesake and how I can help others find their own JOY – without drinking a whole bottle of Johnnie Walker (although if Jude says so…).

A few definitions to kick this off; JOY is defined as ‘a feeling of great pleasure‘ – alluding to happiness in it’s deepest form, an emotion that appears to exude distinguishable energy.  ENERGY being the ‘strength and vitality required for sustained physical or mental activity’.

Yesterday I went to Business Chicks ‘9toThrive‘,  listening to, and learning from some incredibly inspiring women, Dr Libby Weaver – a stand out, defining energy as ultimate measure for wellbeing.  Her book ‘Exhausted to Energised’ simplifies the complex cycle our, some 50 trillion, cells go through, a stupid amount of times, per second to generate energy.

Put simply; we feel energised by giving our body what it needs to go through that process; the key aspect is providing   nutrient dense food for vitamins and minerals to extract energy from carbohydrates, fats and protein (and alcohol shhh).  If our body lacks this – energy isn’t able to be generated; we feel tired, we’ve got a shorter fuse and simply go about our day with no spark.
On the other hand, the better we eat, more we move = more energy, the better we feel and the happier we are.
Hard to do, but there are small changes to our mindset that can make us kick arse everyday.

Dr Libby writes ‘JOY gives us an irreplaceable energy‘, and found that when people were dying (slightly morbid but it will happen) they said they would miss ‘the little things, in the ordinary’.


Creating a space I love, picking or buying flowers, taking a moment to feel the wind on my face, waking up with the sun, presenting food beautifully on a plate and eating that food with great friends- those things give me mental and physical energy that sustains and spurs me on. I started this blog four years ago, originally titled ‘The Little Things’ – trying to see the upside and learn from all things- no matter how shitty the circumstance, at times, it’s bloody hard work but the ultimate goal.

We are craving JOY because we’re consuming foods that physiologically cannot be broken down by our bodies to give us the nutrients to drive the energy process, so have no energy, living such a fast paced life our heart is about to beat out of our chest and walk around with our heads down (sometimes smashing into people, or street poles -we’ve all been there) scrolling the screen for seeking energy externally and ultimately denying ourselves long lasting pleasure. Energy and JOY comes from the smallest choices we make – each and everyday.

Are you happy? Are you full of energy? Are you JOYFUL? And, if you answer no to any of those questions, my challenge to you is cut the bullshit and sub-in one thing everyday that makes you truly feel good (examples; waking up early to give you time to sit and enjoy your breakfast,  see the sunrise, eat one less slice of cake, go to bed early, turn a negative into a positive). Check in with your body and your surroundings.. ‘feel the great sense of pleasure?’ that is JOY- spread it.

Only if a picture could actually SAY a thousand words. 

Today started with the traditional long black (sorry Americano) accompanying my oats, yogurt and fruit- sustenance clearly prepping my brain for some serious exposure and learning. Trotting out of the my West Kensington flat armed with my Canon EOS100 in my reclaimed ‘thriller’ cut off jacket and ripped jeans I was ready to hit Victoria and Albert museum a world art collection of all mediums spanning over two thousand years for a day of learning.


My first point of call – furniture. The furniture room (for all you furniture enthusiasts – a must see whilst you’re in London, details here) at the V&A is lined with historical pieces in chronological order. Demanding attention, like it was renowned in its prime of the mid 16th Century was the Master Chair.  Certainly not my taste with dragonheads extended on the armrest, yet, I fervently wished this chair had a voice to tell me stories of its time. FYI I love a story, to me this is the most fascinating aspect of style. Most of my personal pieces are op shop buys or refurbed from lawn sales because they’re cheaper and a challenge (I still have a few unfinished projects at mum and dad’s, sorry guys) but more so; hold history, a story, another home and go down as the best secret keepers of all.



I was stopped next by William Vile’s 1762, Commode originally designed for storage of clothing and linen, grew into a status symbol and would have been pieced together with a mirror above. The gold detailing and bright fuchsia combo reminded me of my primary school days and a doona cover I used to have.



All this history was hurting my poor brain so it was skim latte and muffin time in the midday sun of the museum courtyard – delicious.



On a sugar and caffeine high, and slightly lost (because this place is massive!) I decided to stumble into the Asian history. Life; so colourful, loud and busy these paintings invited you in as a bystander involved in the processing parade and played a subconscious soundtrack of chimes and bustle.




As I explored and exposed my eyes, I was struck by the similarities in the use of dragons, shapes and colours from upstairs (I think it was upstairs, hard to tell where I actually was before – FYI never get me to navigate you anywhere).  The; Master Chair’s use of dragons and the shape of the backrest mimicking the that of turbans and jewellery worn by emperors, Commode – bold fuchsia and gold detailing similar to the vibrancy of the traditional dress and artwork from this part of the world.

So was there any link between the two? I gave a little fist pump after I read further into the British colonization of Asia. So here’s something to impress your friends at your next dinner party; from 1550 – 1900 invaders came from all over the globe to conquer the lucrative Asian spice trade, specifically what is now known as India, Bangladesh and Pakistan – this exposure to new elements, working tools and materials saw impressionism of Asia burst into the homes of British elitist towards the later stages of the 1600-1700’s – hence the dragons and gold (well that’s my interpretation anyway). Tada! Look at that we’ve all learnt something today and I’ve certainly got a few places added to my next overseas holiday.

Happy hump day!


Inside JS – early twenties…

This week I turned 25! I can’t lie 24 was the best year to date but the years before that were not so easy and twenty-three possibly the hardest. Your early twenties are about discovery the good, bad and ugly -but mostly the FABULOUS! These are the lessons I learnt whilst in my ‘early twenties’ and I wanted to share.

Enjoy xx



1. Travel

Not everyone has the personality to travel alone, but it teaches you invaluable lessons about yourself and others. Be smart about it but don’t be structured – go with flow.

a) You can be anyone you want to be BUT beware this is confronting. It asks the question; who do I want to be, then, who am I (dangerous stuff huh?!) which then triggers a process of deep thinking about your values, beliefs and priorities. Through this process reflect on your family values, friendships, past experiences; good and bad, and take the (excuse the cliche) journey to define who you are in this world.

b) I’m not going to lie there are times when you’ll be bored out of your brain, lonely, wishing you had never gone solo, BUT (fear not!) you have YOU!?  Learn the value of your own company and not be dependent on others for approval or worth. LOVE your own company because you’re awesome

2. Live away from home

Learning the value of ‘keeping house’ is crucial. budgeting, cleaning, cooking. You grow to respect the job of your parents when you’ve had a tough day at uni (all of two contact hours) and have to come home to cook your own dinner (for one not six) and then do all the dishes.

3. Spend time with your parents

As you get older (you’re not old, but) you realize that your parents are pretty cool people and they can even be your friend. They have been where you are now, they have made mistakes and have stories to share. Learn from them, listen to them, laugh with them.. (I laughed at mine most of the time because they’re hilarious) and respect the sacrifices they have made for you.

4. Look after your skin

There is nothing healthy about a tan! Especially not when you’ve got leather skin at 40 wishing you just put that additional layer of sunscreen on. Have a daily skin care regime, this creates structure in at least one area of your life and nothing feels better than going to bed with a freshly cleansed face (it’s the small things, right?! Plus I’ve started noticing claw feet eyes in most of my photos so anti-ageing cream it is from now on!)

5. Invest in others and experiences

Invest your time in the people and activities that challenge and encourage you to think beyond your world. Embrace new cultures, world views, LIFE and don’t let money or a secure job deter you from living a little.

6.Have phone free days

We are connected ALL the time. Leave you phone at home sometimes and it is then you’ll be enlightened by your surroundings and notice the ‘new’ cafe on your street because you’re not stalking the girl, that liked your current crush’s photos, whilst walking to the train.

7.When you’re with people BE present

There is nothing that bugs me more than when I’m out for coffee with someone, they get a text message or phone call and reply or answer whilst mid conversation. Heads up people – IT”S RUDE! and should never be accepted unless you’ve given pre-warning that coffee may be interrupted.. If you’re a person constantly distracted by your phone, perhaps when you’re going out adhere to number 6 and realise the world will not fall apart if you don’t answer or reply straight away.

8.Bring out the hippie and put away the lens

NEWS FLASH – You live in a crazy beautiful world, take the time to sit, breath in and out and listen to yourself breathe, look at the trees, feel the breeze, listen to the ocean and realise how incredible this earth really is. And for that moment, capture it in your MIND. That moment is your’s – no one else’s. Treasure it. (…and hippie scpeel complete)

9.Embrace the single life

Your early 20’s are about discovery, traveling, meeting new people, culling old ones, and learning about who you are – once you’ve learnt who you are as an individual, go nuts!

10. Be yourself 100% of the time

Don’t waste time trying to be someone else, or feeling like you can’t completely be who you are (if you are that person, adhere to number 1. No body likes a fake and life is too short to hide who you are, be honest to yourself, love yourself and people will love you.

There are so many more; learn another language, don’t get caught up in ‘txt’ talk (use proper grammar (you’re – your, there- they’re), have makeup free days,  learn to cook, the list goes on! The most important thing is to get away from the screen and the norm ; everyday seek, everyday discover, everyday learn!

JoySusanna Revamped

Cafés are just the perfect place for motivation! I sip my latte and flick through my favourite decor mags in the name of research, and I realize the decision to go to Barcelona is one perfectly timed. The current trends of embellished wall paper, brass accessories and deep green scales are ever so reflective of the grand Spanish style dating back centuries. Elle Décor’s article ‘Elle Goes to Barcelona’ in their latest issue was sealed assurance that the impulsive, one way ticket purchase will be absolutely worth it.


                                                                                                                                                          Photo: Elle Decor

I board for Europe on the 5th January to seek, discover and learn styling prowess. Starting today will be my pin-board for clippings from designers, blogs, magazines and your recommendations to build the JoySusanna Styling Map of Barcelona and then will become my diary to share these experiences to inspire you from World’s Style Capital.

Come with me to See, Wish, Believe, be Inspired & Enjoy


An Ode to Mothers


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As Mother’s Day approaches each year, I think about how incredibly lucky I am to have such a close relationship with my mum. Only last night we were sitting in my room, and after chatting for a while she stands up and marvels at my shoe collection – and says ‘dear me, i could never wear these shoes, i’d kill myself!’ she moves towards the shelf.  She choses pair of stiletto heels I recently wore for a friends wedding, tightens the buckle and giggling, stumbles and clasps my arm for support. Such an hysterically special moment. I roll my eyes at mum’s antics and recall the times as a child I stumbled around in ‘grown ups’ shoes.


Some tips to make the table a little special;  recycle all of those jam jars mum has spent tireless hours cleaning and cover them in a little antique lace, twining and a button for a splash of colour, light a tea candle and drop it in. Whip out to mum’s little patch and take some clippings of her favourite flowers, pop them in a newly jujsh-ed wine bottles and vuala! table set and a happy and relaxed mum. Enjoy.

Happy Mothers Day



Shelf: Hard Rubbish Revanished by JoySusanna