R U Ok? No, but really…?

As you may be aware, today is R U OK day.
A day to promote the act of simply asking someone you know if they are ok, to help with depression, anxiety, stress and suicide prevention.
It’s such a great initiative and a campaign that has been marketed and promoted really well over the last few years.
It’s a subject and issue close to my heart, for so many different personal reasons.

I have had friends commit suicide, family members suffer depression and severe anxiety and stress, and I myself have suffered on and off since being a teenager with depression and anxiety.

I’ve mentioned it on Facebook once or twice, when promoting R U Ok day in the past, but up until yesterday, I had never really spoken about my own struggle openly and really truthfully.
But yesterday, after a few particularly hard days on myself, and about a year and a halves worth of pretty full on anxiety and bouts of depression on and off and the last few months of some tough and stressful family life situations, I decided to finally say something to my husband.
The poor guy, he is going through a tough time himself as it is, our life, while generally happy and healthy, is pretty stressful right now.
But I knew it had come to breaking point in my mind, and I needed to let some of it out, and I knew he needed to understand the depths of my ‘feeling down’. Sometimes feeling down, really means feeling the furtherest down you can get. And I had.

I’d spent the last few weeks feeling awful, and telling myself I was the reason for our family being in the stressful situation we were in, and telling myself the worst things one can say to themselves. My thoughts had turned sour and rotten towards myself, and I caught myself a number of times thinking ‘they’d be so much better off without me’.
That train of thought would never continue into anything anymore sinister, I never got to thinking of ways to end my life. I would always catch myself by thinking that I couldn’t not have a life without my husband and daughter, and I could never put them and my family and close friends through that ordeal.
I always had just enough logic, self love and care for family to not let my brain go there.
But mostly I thought to myself that I wasn’t worth it. I would go to do some exercise like yoga or an ab workout and I would tell myself ‘don’t bother, your not worth it, what’s the point’.
Or I would have a great day making steps towards getting my little business up and running properly, then the next day I would think about how much more I had to do and instead of wanting to get started I would think ‘don’t bother, it’ll never work, you won’t succeed, you don’t have the skills, your hopeless.’
Or how I’ve taken months to type up my updated résumé to try and get some part time work because every time I would go to type it up that negative voice would say ‘no one will hire you, you are a fraud, you don’t have any skills, and you can’t give them good availability so why would anyone want a daggy Mum, your a has-been’.

It’s exhausting just reading it, isn’t it?
No wonder people with depression often feel tired and lethargic all the time.
Carrying around those negative thoughts is heavy.
And after a while, after you’ve told yourself these negative thoughts for long enough, your brain cells change and the negative thoughts are the quickest and easiest route to take. Your brain becomes conditioned to putting yourself down and it actively finds ways to affirm those negative thoughts.

At times I felt trapped, I knew I couldn’t leave my life, and I didn’t want to, but I knew I didn’t like myself and who I was and how I was thinking and acting.

So, with this being National Suicide Prevention Week and today being R U OK Day, and alot of talk about them both on social media, it gave me the context and platform to speak up.

Even while telling my husband just some of my thoughts and feelings, I was still thinking ‘how selfish, he doesn’t need this extra stress, and your just being dramatic and selfish’.
Yet I knew I had to push past that negative voice in my head and get some of it out.
I was like a pot of water that had been simmering away, the last few weeks I had begun boiling and yesterday I boiled over, and spilled my hot water.

After watching a segment on The Project on Tuesday night about suicide prevention where a young lady had used the Beyond Blue to really gauge what she was feeling and why she was feeling a certain way, the next morning I jumped on the website and did the same thing.
I must admit, still my mind was saying ‘I bet it will come up with nothing, I bet it will tell you there’s nothing wrong with you’.
But it didn’t.
Filling out that checklist was the most honest I’d been with myself in months, years even.
It came back as HIGH.
I registered in the High range. Meaning I really did have depression and really wasn’t well and I wasn’t just being dramatic.
Directly below my HIGH reading were suggestions to call a 000, a doctor or lifeline or someone immediately. As if I was moments away from hurting myself or doing something drastic.
I wasn’t, but It was in that moment, of reading what experts suggested, from my completely honest answers in their checklist, that I realised, it sunk in. I stopped pretending. And let myself be honest with myself.
‘You really do need help, you can’t do this on your own anymore’, I thought.

So later that day I told my Husband. And it felt good to release some of the tension. And I made a vow to myself to be kinder to myself, to be honest with myself and to have the strength I know I have to ask for help.
I have steps and plans to take to move forward, to pull my mind out of the black hole it’s crawled into, and life already seems brighter.
But finally, after at least 10-15 years of dealing with depression and anxiety on my own, I’m giving myself a break and allowing myself help, because I deserve it.
My logical thoughts pushed through the negative and I know I’m worth it, I’m deserving of help.
I’m tired of feeling awful.
I’m ready to feel good again.
I’m ready to help myself get help, and make the changes to become strong again.
I will always have my bad days every now and then, I know that. The difference now is that my will and want for more better days is going to get stronger again.

This has been such a hard post to write.
And even now I’m struggling with wether I should post it.
It is a hard thing to push through your own wall you’ve put up, your own misplaced pride and really tell your true feelings.
But the whole point of R U OK Day is to not only ask someone how they are doing, but answer honestly if someone asks you.

And whilst you will not have asked me, hopefully if you’re reading this, it might make you think about another friend or family member that you think is struggling.
Really ask them, if they say they are fine, which I did all the time, and I pretended so well everything was, ask them again, let them know you’re there to really listen.

ThankYou for taking the time to read this, I know it’s long.
If you have been pretending for too long too, your not alone, and it can and will get better.

Liz xx


Recent Selfies and personal style

I haven’t done a post in a little while, I have been practicing, editing and takjng alot more photos again with my dslr. I’ve been focusing a lot on my little DinoGirl and her development and learning as we tried to figure out whether to send her to big school next year or to another year of four year old kinder (we decided on another year I four year old kinder, and that will all be in another post), and I’ve been working a lot on getting my business and website started. It’s exciting, I can’t wait to launch it all and for it to all come together!

But in the interim, here are some photos from my iPhone I’ve take over the last few weeks… You can more out over at my Instagram account: liz_thejoycollective
Or my facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/thejoycollective

Hope your all smiley and have full bellies.

Liz x tJc x



















Tuesday Tea Tip

Due to my many years working for T2Tea I have built up quite a well of knowledge and tid bits about tea.

I am definitely not an expert, or a health/medical practitioner or a nutritionist, but I do have a lot of experience brewing, tasting and testing tea and I love it.
So I thought I could share a few tid bits every now and then.
I will endeavour to do a weekly (or atleast very regularly) post about tea and tea associated things.
So here’s my first one!!

Yesterday I was speaking with my Aunty who had decided to stop drinking coffee a few days ago. That is fantastic as coffee is very high in caffeine, which is great for some reasons (like if your a parent and can’t remember what a full nights sleep is like, or, like me, you move to the Australian home of coffee and there is a cafe every few metres everywhere you go). But can be harsh on your system.
At the same time she decided to stop drinking coffee, cold turkey, as they say, she also started to have a few stressors in her life over the next few days.
When you stop drinking coffee your body goes through withdrawals from the lack of caffeine it’s become accustomed to, and goes through some stress of its own.
With external life stressors added on top, my Aunty started to get heart palpitations and racing heartbeat, mild anxiety attacks.
Over the course of the weekend she had three of these and ended up at A&E late one night.
She is all fine now and is learning to breathe through her stress, but I also gave her a TEA TIP I used to give to a lot of my customers and friends:

When giving up anything that is a habit, especially when its a habit or dependency within your body, going “cold turkey” doesnt work for most people and their bodies. It is often too much of a change for your body.
The best and healthiest way that I think to give up coffee is to cut down over time.

Replace a cup of coffee with a cup of tea similar to the way you make your coffee.
Pop into a tea shop and test and trial different flavours and strengths to find one that you like and will drink.

Tea has around half the amount of caffeine as coffee.

So your body will be getting a hit of caffeine, like its used to, just not as much.

If you want to completely get off caffeine all together, you can slowly change from black tea to green and white teas (they only have very small amounts of caffeine), then to herbal and rooibos teas which contain now caffeine at all (rooibos still contains antioxidants though).

By cutting down slowly over time, you won’t be shocking your body into change and it will be easier to cope with. You may also find you sleep a little better too.

Good luck if you are trying to cut down on caffeine and keep sipping!

Liz x TJC x


Arbonne – Making Mumprenuers

Recently I have noticed a new group of women on Facebook.

Ladies I’ve gone to school with, friends of friends, looking radiant in their photo uploads and spruiking how happy and motivated they are in their status updates, making extra money for their families in their own time and with a great company.

Have you seen them too?

They are Arbonne Independent Consultants and they are changing their lives one face and pamper session at a time.

Seeing this trend and wanting to find out what all the fuss was about and what this Arbonne company was, I emailed a school friend of mine who is shouting the Arbonne praises from the rooftops (rooftops=facebook status’s).

I must admit, due to the old saying “if it sounds too good to be true it usually is”, I had a very small doubtful part of me expecting to find some pyramid scheme and poor products.

How pleasantly surprised and wrong i was! I was so glad that very small part of me was wrong.

Below is a little info from Mel, my friend I emailed about Arbonne, with her story and why she chose Arbonne.

Hi, my name is Melanie Waring. I’m 28 years old, married to an amazing man and have 2 beautiful children, a  2 year old son and a 10 Month old daughter. Before my son was born in 2011 I worked in childcare and had done for 8 years. After having my son I decided to give up work to be a stay at home mummy to him. In 2012 my husband got offered an amazing job promotion with his company in a remote country  town, 4 hours from our family and friends. We decided it was too good of an opportunity for my husband and our little family to turn it down. So with a 17 month old, 37 weeks pregnant and 9 days to do it in, we moved across the state! It was a huge move but a great opportunity. 
 I found the move really hard and missed our family alot! Especially having 2 little kids and no help, as my husband works long hours. I met a few lovely ladies who have become my close friends and lifesavers at times! In February 2013 I saw on social media the success of my friend with her new Arbonne business. I was curious and contacted her for some information. After meeting with her and trying the amazing prestige products there was no way I could say no. So I started my own Arbonne business in March 2013. I kicked off my business straight away and had instant interest in the product and within 2 months I had promoted myself to District Manager.
Arbonne is a worldwide company who offer prestige range skincare and well being products. I was shocked to find out that 96% of the well known major skincare companies in the world have animal by products and dangerous chemicals in their products. All Arbonne products are botanically based, free of all nasty chemicals and contain no animal by products nor have they ever or will they ever test on animals.  Our well-being products are all gluten free and vegan. Our RE9 anti-ageing system has been clinically tested through independent testing and come out Number #1 in anti-ageing in the world!!
 Lots of people are choosing our internet-based career opportunity to be their own boss, work from home and create the freedom they have always wanted. Arbonne is the fastest-growing company in Direct Sales history in Australia. I love that I can work my own hours, as much or as I little as I want but still bring in an income and stay home with my babies, I have to best of both worlds!
This opportunity has changed my life in more ways than one! Being in a new town I was often feeling down and very, very lonely. Since starting Arbonne I have met so many amazing people! I am now able to help my husband support our family financially and the personal goals I have achieved in only 3 short months of being in the business is incredible!! I feel like a new woman and I am forever grateful to my friend for offering me such a life changing experience.  
If I had to pick my favourite Arbonne product to share with you all (I love them all!!) I would have to pick the RE9 Cellular Renewal Masque. Used once a week it will visibly improve skin tone and texture, minimises pores, and provides skin with an immediate, radiant glow. 
For more information visit my website http://melaniewaring.myarbonne.com.au
Or catch me on Facebook- Melanie Waring- Independant Arbonne Consultant https://www.facebook.com/MelanieWaringIndependantArbonneConsultant?fref=ts
Or Feel free to contact me at – melaniewaring@myarbonne.com.au



                           (Mel and her babies. Aren’t all three of them gorgeous!?)

Mel was kind enough to send me a trial pack of some of the Arbonne skincare and makeup products and I’ve got to say, my skin has never had such a radiant, natural glow, with or without makeup on, And I’ve never noticed such a change in my own skin in such a short period of time.

It made me realise that the very simple skincare regime i was using, which only consisted of separate brands of a cleanser and moisturiser (and full of chemicals) where just not cutting it, especially after I had moved interstate from a humid climate to Melbourne where the air is much dryer, even on my oily/combination skin, which Ive always found so hard to manage. Plus, Im almost thirty (oh God!) and starting to notice the signs of aging, I needed to up the anti and help my skin.

I also have some skin and minor nerve damage to the inner corner of my left eye and underneath due to a long standing medical condition. So it looks like i have one really bad dark cirlce under one eye, and has caused my eye lid to be just a little bit lazy.

After a week of using the Arbonne products, which consisted of a Corrective Eye Cream, I noticed, for the first time, an improvement in the skin condition and colour under my eye, and the skin around both eyes was looking more hydrated and supple.

I was seriously stoked! Even my Husband noticed and commented on how my skin was looking. I was loving myself sick! I felt like my skin looked fresh every time I looked in the mirror.

Im totally hooked on the Arbonne skincare range and also loved trying the Primer and Foundations, which had a great range of skin tones. The Lipglosses were rich in colour and had a slightly thick, sticky consistancy which I found lasted well.

Arbonne have a range of skincare products for different skin types to suit your needs.

I also asked Mel about the natural comparison of the company to Avon, the other big name in Direct Sales. 

This is what she said,

“As soon as you explain it to people they say ‘oh like Avon/Tupperware etc.?’. Whilst similar in some ways, we are actually quite different. Arbonne is really promoted and run more like a business not just a hobby for the Consultants and I believe we have the opportunity to make alot more money. Arbonne is also top of the range prestige products. At area manager level (my next step) your business actually becomes willable aswell, which is awesome for our families.

There is so much growth potential in Arbonne too, both personally and in business and it offers full support and training. 

You become your own business owner and entruepenur and can work your own hours, you get to control it.”

So if your feeling like you need an update with your skincare pop over to Mel’s website (shown above) and check it out.

And whilst this may seem like a schmoozy paid blog post, I fugured If I was wondering about it, other people must be wondering what all the fuss was about too? And you wont know unless you ask.



Liz x TJC x







It’s all a bit too much today

I’m feeling really blaaa today.

I’m tired and sore. I havent been looking after my body and respecting it like I should be. I have some frustrations (Nooo you sick little ladies, not of the sexual kind, minds out of the gutters! lol), and to be honest I’m so sad, annoyed and sick of the last 24-48hrs of news/media in this country that I’m taking a break from the news and news articles today.

Instead, to fuel my soul and fill it with goodness again I’m going to bake, play with my Girl and teach things to her and allow her to be a beautiful,innocent child and revel in that. I’m going to tidy and clean the apartment as I want to feel pride for the things I have. Today I shall drink from my most favourite teacup and share beautiful, happy and creative images and stories on social media so that others can possibly have a moment or two of goodness too….
Life is hard enough sometimes, and being an adult means that we have deal with life and all it’s atrocities and misfortunes at some point. But lets be honest, it’s hard.
We fill our day with our mobile devices and are online and plugged in 24/7, we know every detail of ever news story, good and bad, the second it happens. We fill the extra minutes of our day with trending apps and games and try to keep up with everyone and everything.
And that’s fun, I do it, but it’s not withstanding. You can’t keep it up all the time.
All of that extra stuff takes up space in our brains and in our hearts, and I for one often feel like its hard to fit anything else in sometimes and it means the important things get squeezed into our day, instead of taking centre stage and all our attention.

As Taylor Swift sings (and I often quote), It’s exhausting!

If you have read this, I’d love for you to share something on social media today that is inspiring, happy, something that makes your soul sing. It could be a picture, a quote, an article on someone who is amazing or talented, a recipe to your favourite food… Anything.

Let’s bring back the Joy!! The Goodness. #collectjoy!

(p.s Why yes, I do still have my dressing gown on, cause it’s cold in Melbourne, and it makes me feel good.)

Liz x TJC x








the unexpected results of taking chances

Gosh life can be funny sometimes.
And by funny I mean at the time it’s really hard and then later down the track you might laugh about it.

Some days run along uneventfully and your comfortable and can just fit in with it. Your in it, doing it, getting by and it’s ok.

Then, like someone has dropped one of those comical weight bells on you, your pushed down, sink under and the swell of life and all it’s struggles takes you out into the deep dark sea.

That’s kind of how I have felt on and off over the last month or so.

We have had our struggles, our little family, in recent weeks.
The last 4 months have been fairly trying, with moving interstate and all.
But just when we thought we were settling in here in Melbourne, one of those weight bells got dropped.

My husband lost his job.

The big, wonderful, surprising, challenging leap of faith that he took, suddenly felt like he was just falling, plummeting even.

To make a long story short about the reasons why he was being let go, and without going into too much detail, basically his boss just didn’t like him, from the very beginning (even though she hired him), she made his work life hell, sucked out every ounce of confidence and self belief out of him, chewed him up and spat him out, all within his three month probation (a week before the end of it infact) which meant she could ‘get away with it’. It had nothing to do with his performance or work ethic, and everything to do with her being a bully.
Everyone else around him in the company were completely shocked and outraged. It was just really unfair.

We found this out on the day we found out DinoGirl had finally been accepted into a Kindergarten class.

He was gutted.

I was hopeful and optimistic and supportive.
I was being the strong one, as you do, when something really shitty happens to someone you love.

Husband immediately started thinking and planning for the worst case scenario, which was that he or I wouldn’t find another job in time and we would have no money left and have to move back to Brisbane, move in with his parents (again for the 2nd time) with our tails between our legs.

He felt he had failed us.

He couldn’t have been further from the truth.

In that moment, of him feeling so low and defeated, I felt more love and pride for him than ever before.
The guy had taken a leap and aimed high and taking some chances in life is something I will always admire. He had brought us to Melbourne, a beautiful city I’d barely been too before and had fallen in love with. I will forever be grateful just even for that.

I know how hard this guy works.
He gives his all to every job and role.
He’ the guy that people make comments about like “well he’s never been afraid of work”, and “he’s such a hard worker”.
He would tell me a little bit about the shit he had to deal with on a daily basis from his boss, and that after two weeks of being there he was being threaten with his job by his boss, and it worried me a little, but I never thought it would ever actually happen.
He was given a few weeks notice, “out of the goodness of her heart” (her words, not mine) so that atleast we had some time to look for jobs and get ourselves sorted.
But we stressed and worried and thought of every possible outcome and scenario.
We told our families and some friends and just focused on ourselves and my husband finding a new job.
I started looking for work an we even considered my working full time again and my Husband being a SAHDad. But I just would not be able to make enough money in retail (my background) to cover our expenses, and Ofcourse out expenses were a little higher in Melbourne than in Brisbane.

We both started to feel the pressure and I started to feel homesick and miss my Mum and friends like crazy.
A lot of my close friends have lived away, but they never felt further away than they did now.

Finally a friend mentioned his Dad needed new staff to start straight away in a high end car dealership as a sales consultant.
A little left of field for my teaching and education background Husband, but not completely different, he did work in retail and managed shops while he studied at Uni, so it wasn’t a completely ridiculous idea. And it was a job, that he could start at straight away.
They loved him and hired him straight away.
So it turns out he’s actually pretty good at it! He’s only been there a week, but he’s a natural and he’s enjoying it. It’s no where near as stressful, but it is longer hours, and an hour away on the north side Of Melbourne, but it’s saved our butts at a time that we needed saving and was some good luck.

A few days after he left his old job, he got a call to say that HR and the big bosses were looking into his old bosses performance and actions and were investigating all his claims in his final exit email.
A little bit of good news.

Then, in amongst all of this, after two years of trying unsuccessfully for a second baby, my body started playing tricks on me.
But that’s another little story for another blog post.

After all of this, after all the stress and drama, I’m still really happy we moved to Melbourne.
We needed the change for ourselves, and you gotta take those chances.
It’s been a good learning adventure for our family.
Always moving onwards and upwards I say, never backwards, just forwards.

But a little less stress now for a while would be good…?

Liz x TJC x

{Daily Delivery} – Fashion Friday

A friend of mine posted a beautiful image to her Facebook page, The Last Doll Standing, and I fell in love (the first image below), and it reminded me of Kanye West’s film clip to his song, Runaway.
The beautiful bird lady and her delicious feathers and make up.
Personally I loved the film clip, in its entirety, and the song as well. The guy is a bit of a musical genius, in my opinion, and I do think you often have to ‘appear’ as somewhat of a wanker to be that good in your field. You have to get a thick skin and be able to beat off the haters and negative people who try and bring you down.

But I digress.
So after seeing the picture my friend posted I then watched the Runaway film clip again, and googled the female model in the clip.
I never knew but she is also a Victoria’s Secret Model.
Her name is Selita Ebanks.

Liz x TJC x