Achieving Balance

Achieving balance and having a fulfilling life isn’t something that only the spiritual masters or monks get to experience.

We are living in an ever changing fast paced society, what with the numerous social media platforms that many of us interact on. Not to mention the day to day of running a family or business or in a lot of cases both at the same time. Emails to respond to, orders to get out, blogging, designing, marketing and all the other 1001 things that are constantly clamouring for attention. With all the challenges of “getting the job done” how do we find time for recreational activities and a fulfilling life?

I do find that I get overwhelmed at times, and  that puts me in my head with thoughts going over and over and not able to think clearly. If I stay there too long without pulling myself back, I crash both mentally and physically usually getting some sort of virus or just needing a day in bed.

Once that happens, I find the only way back to centre again is to bring life right back to the moment. To start looking at what I’m doing in every moment. Rather than projecting forward or looking in the past. Maybe some of you have gone through some tough times in the past and it can be very easy to be triggered back to those times maybe going over old mistakes or thinking about wrongs that were done to us. Going over this old crap time and time again is not serving you, me or anyone else. Also when I’m looking too far ahead & trying to control what may or may not happen, and how I imagine things may go, it’s the same result. It builds anxiety. You can plan but then you need to let go and bring it back to the here and now and what you need to do in every moment along the journey and be totally in the present.


For me being totally in the present means that when I’m engaged in a task I’m fully present in that task, keeping my mind focused on what I’m doing. When I’m talking with someone to be fully present and listening to what they’re saying.



By prioritising what’s important to me, it helps break things down into manageable pieces. First I need to identify what is important me. without knowing this, everything is just a jumble. I find this is a crucial part of getting in balance.


When you have requests from others that you don’t feel able to do, one of the biggest favours you can do yourself and others is to learn to say no. You don’t need to feel guilty about saying no when you’re needing to take care of yourself. If you find it difficult try these tips:

  1.  Simply say “Im sorry I cant do this at the moment”. Most people would understand if it’s said lovingly  but firmly. If they still ask just repeat that you’re “not in a position to help out at this time”.
  2. Buy some time. When someone makes a request of you say “let me think about that and get back to you”. This avoids adding pressure when you may feel obliged to say yes.
  3. If you really feel bad about saying no and would still like to help them, offer to do something less demanding  of your time. You can say “I’m sorry I’m unable to help with that but how about I ……..”(You fill in the blanks with whatever you think they may appreciate.)


Probably one of my most used tools to help bring me back to centre is meditation. Meditation has been around for a very very long time, and as we are seeing people using it more and more to help with anxiety and stress it’s now becoming more main stream rather than something only yogis or spiritual gurus do. I’d like to be able to say I have a daily practice,  but in reality it’s only a few times a week. I like to meditate before I get to the point of overwhelm but there are definately times when I’m feeling stressed that I just stop and take some time out.

There are many apps that you can download on your phone if you are new to meditation like Headspace for guided meditations or Calm for relaxing meditations to help you sleep better.

There are also many audios that you can download to your phone. One of my favourites is called Stripping The Layers – Meditations for Grounding which is available on both Apple or Google Play. They’re short 4-5 min meditations that take you through a guided journey back to a place of balance & stillness. Presented by Shandara Newman who is an Australian meditation practitioner.

We have all the answers to our life within us, we only need take the time to come back to balance to unlock these.

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Let me know in the comments how you balance your life when things get busy. Thanks for dropping by and keep those vibes high.

We all know what it feels like to be overwhelmed and at the point of burnout, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

These days we live very busy lives. Some of us try to be all things to all people which I’ve learned throughout the years from my own experiences lead to resentment and burnout. Leaving us depleted with nothing to give either ourselves or anyone else.

At times I’ve mistakenly seen Self Care as being “Selfish” so not practised the necessary habits for many years. However, as I’ve learned more about myself and my needs I see that it is crucial to living a healthy, happy life. Treating myself as kindly as I would treat others.

Over time I’ve developed some habits that help me maintain a level of sanity. There are so many ways to cultivate self care and there is no right or wrong ways, just what is right for you. Let me know in the comments some of your Self Care Habits. I believe the more we help and support one another the healthier we can be.

One author who I can recommend on this subject is Cheryl Richardson. A renowned bestselling Hay House author who has written several books on Self care .

Here are 10 habits that help me keep my sanity

 1. Get Enough Sleep

Yeah right, you say (eyeroll). Easier said than done when you have littlies that keep you up at night or health issues that maybe affecting your quality of sleep. As someone who has had many years of sleep Apnea I know first hand how this affects my happiness as well as my interactions with others. There’s loads of scientific evidence to show how important the right amount of sleep is. I guess bottom line is get an early night regularly, says she staying up till the wee hours writing blog posts…lol. Try and stay off your mobile phone before sleeping, keep the room cooler than you would think and just like your Mum told you, don’t eat less than 3 hours before bedtime. These things all make a huge difference to my quality of sleep when I practice them.

2. Trust Your Intuition

Have you ever had that feeling that you shouldn’t do something, but done it anyway? You know that little voice inside of you that says “this is going to end in tears”. Too often I didn’t follow that voice and sure enough. It ended in tears. In a busy world we are so used to the outside noises and distractions that it’s easy to miss the signs and signals that often our body and intuition are giving us. Intuition is like a muscle. The more we use it, the stronger it gets. Learning to trust those “gut feelings” or “hunches” was a game changer for me. I went from someone who couldn’t make decisions to now being confident that I’m being led by a higher force. As Obi-wan Kenobi says “May the Force be with you”.

3. Meditate

It took so many years of resistance to meditation, believing that I had to sit in a pyramid and OM. I couldn’t see the point in this. I’m a big believer in continually learning and growing, so on this journey I found teachers that helped me to deal with stress and encouraged me to take time out, even if it was only for 15-20mins and just sit quietly and focus on your breathing and how the body moves with the breath and any sensations that are happening in the body. As well as guided meditations. This has been a huge benefit for me and since then have found many different forms of meditation like guided meditations. There are a ton on Youtube from short 5mins to longer ones. Maybe you have another way you like to meditate. Perhaps it’s just simply getting out in the sunshine and really feeling the warmth of the sun on your face, or sitting watching the ocean or walking in nature. Whatever gets you back in touch with your body and clears the head.

4. Find a Hobby

Hobbies are an important part of life. They enrich our lives and bring us joy. Just as with meditation, my crafts and sewing provide a level of calm for me. A way to take time to enjoy something that is just for me. It helped get me through my depression after a failed marriage. For others it might be the physical challenge and feeling of accomplishment.

5. Spend Time with the Right People

Have you heard of the term “emotional vampire”? Well learning to identify those who are draining your energy is a habit well worth creating. You know which people I’m talking about. The ones who walk into a room and immediately you feel yourself wanting to leave. Or those friends who constantly complain about everything in their life. Choose wisely the ones who are worthy of the investment of your time and energy. We all have a limited amount of time and energy. Spend it wisely.

6. Learn to say No.

This is one that I think a lot of us have trouble doing. We’re just programmed to be people pleasers and to not want to disappoint someone or even just feel guilty, so instead we say yes, and a lot of times that can lead to resentment.  – Ask yourself why you’re afraid to say no. Learning to create positive boundaries. Have a look at this short video on  How to say No.




7. Live In the Present

I find this is probably one of the practices that I struggle with the most. Projecting too far into the future or going over past mistakes. Practising mindfulness is tool that often helps to stop these behaviours. But what is mindfulness?

  • Doing one thing at a time
  • Dont rush tasks. Being deliberate and focusing on what you are doing
  • Doing less helps you avoid having to rush through tasks to get everything done.
  • Recognising when you are worrying about either the past or the future and practising bringing yourself back to the present.
  • Pay attention when you’re talking to someone
  • Eat your food slowly and savour it
  • Making everyday tasks a meditative experience like cleaning or cooking. That just means focusing on the task and not letting your thoughts wander.

Let me know what Self Care Habits you’ve created in your life. Comment below.

If you liked this post sign up to our HIVE VIBE CLUB to receive monthly updates of new my new bag designs and more inspirational posts, eco-friendly fashion updates, notifications of secret sales and more. While you’re here take a look at some of our Vegan Cork Leather bags, designed and made by my own hands. Can’t see what you like. Contact me and I can make something just for you. Thanks for dropping by.


Fashion is changing and bringing with it, exciting revolutions in the leather alternatives industry.

Finding sustainable solutions in nature are at the forefront of the vegan fashion industry. There are new and innovative materials now out in the market, and also new materials in various stages of development.

Products such as hemp & Cork.

These products have been been increasing in popularity Ava Single Colour Cork Frontas leather alternatives and are readily available on the market. They are now part of a new and exciting group of products which include materials produced from vegetable material.

These next two products have very limited availability in the market due to limitations on production and distribution. However, they are well and truly on their way to becoming future leaders in the vegan fashion industry. Pineapple leather known as Pinatex  which is made from pineapple leaves fibres developed as Cork is, in Spain.

Vegan Leather

Another interesting newcomer is mushroom leather known as Mycelium which is developed from mushrooms. The material is strong, flexible, and durable, just like conventional leathers. It is also water-resistant. Mycelium is made from natural fibers, so this material breathes and feels like leather.

Vegan leather

Together with other leather alternatives which include ultra-suedes & rubberized leather, they are now making it possible to ditch the “animal” leather, and adopt a cruelty-free lifestyle. As the demand for these alternatives rise, we will see a drop in the prices which will make it a more affordable and main stream option. The vegan fashion industry has less than 20 years behind it, so the industry still hasn’t come into it’s fullness yet.

In the time that HIAH has been a part of this vegan fashion industry, I’ve seen so much incredible research and innovation that it will only be a matter of time when alternative fabrics like these are seen more often in fashion collections worldwide than ever before.


If you liked this post and to stay ahead of the new developments in these alternative leather options, sign up to our HIVE VIBE CLUB to receive monthly updates of new my new bag designs and more inspirational posts, eco-friendly fashion updates, notifications of secret sales and more.

While you’re here take a look at some of our Vegan Cork Leather bags, designed and made by my own hands. Can’t see what you like. Contact me and I can make something just for you. Thanks for dropping by.


Hello lovelies,

Our New Website is finally  finished and we’re hoping you’re going to love the new features:


  • Choose from one of our many designer bag styles available. Then select from our range of beautiful Vegan Cork Leathers or gorgeous cotton and canvas prints.
  • add an embroidery of inspiring quotes and symbols from our “Beautiful Embroideries” page
  • Let me know what colour and theme you prefer via the “Order Notes” at checkout and I’ll send some sample photos to choose from. Together we’ll design a bag that is unique to you!


At HIAH in addition to our custom made bags and wallets, we will be offering a range of ready made bags as well as an assortment of handbag accessories like tassels, bag organisers, keyrings and other goodies.


We have introduced a HIGH VIBE CLUB and you get the discounts! Join our CLUB to recive monthly updates and be the first to hear about HIAH’s new releases, as well as contests and exclusive discount codes to CLUB members. As a thank you for joing our tribe we also have a $20 voucher to use against your first purchase.


We also have a blog that will include loads of inspirational stories, industry information, tutorials and tips to make fashion fun.


HIAH is Australia’s first Animal friendly producer of quality Custom Made Handbags using Vegan Cork Leathers from sustainably harvested cork forests in Portugal. Did you know that the cork is harvested every 9yrs without the cork trees everbeing cut down. The bark simply grows back. Have a look at the video on our site showing how this wonderful animal leather alternative is produced.

Come join our tribe and see what we can create together. Let me know if there is something you would like to see in our range, or if you have one of HIAH bags and would like to be included in our testimonial page just drop me line and let me know what you think. I would value your feedback.

I look forward to co-creating with you.

Love Paulette x


Cork has long been used as a water-resistant, organic material in many items and now cork is widely regarded as being one of the most ecologically friendly materials around. It’s easily recycled, completely natural, and derived directly from the wood of the cork oak tree; cork fabric is known as a high class fabric made from cork shavings.

About every 8-10 years, the bark can be carefully stripped from the trees without injuring them. Cork trees in fact live about 150 years despite the periodical harvesting. It’s bark is taken off the tree without harming it. When the old tree is removed, two new saplings are planted in its place, ensuring the cork forest continues to flourish and expand. The cork oak tree also reproduces off-springs naturally by dropping acorns that seed themselves and mature into productive trees.

Our bags have been lovingly handcrafted using cork harvested from Portugal Cork Oak forests. This range is an animal-friendly alternative, also respecting the environment. Cork really is the 21st century answer to leather.

Cork is a sustainable, naturally stain and water resistant material which is perfect for the Eco-conscious and stylish woman.

Check out the video below of the Story of Cork which will give you a better idea of the harvesting process.


Hello my lovelies,

The original idea of this blog was to create a place where I could share my creations with those like minded beings who love to sew. However, as I progress on my handbag making journey I find that I’m creating bags with particular themes. This month I’d like to honour a dear friend who lived with breast cancer for many years. This extraordinary woman touched my life when I met her through a friend and she was seeking help with a breast cancer support group that she had been facilitating for about 8yrs at the time. At this point in her life Barb had already been living with breast cancer for 9yrs and had previously had a double mastectomy and now in remission. I quickly warmed to this gentle woman who’s souls purpose was to offer support and resources to other woman going through the same journey and to continue to raise awareness of breast care. As I joined her on the committee we soon became friends. Her drive and determination to keep the support group alive through some very difficult challenges was indeed inspiring as she would organise fund raising events, be it “Shake the Bucket” at the local farmers markets or “Lighthouse Fun Runs” and the even participating in the “Dragons Abreast Australia” regattas as well as weekly support meetings always having something new to share with the women. Barb’s motto was “through connection with each other we can go from strength to strength”, and she did indeed love to really connect with each and every one she met, making them feel important. At first this challenge seemed daunting but with her determination Barb saw it through for 11 1/2yrs till she was diagnosed again in 2015 when the cancer had returned this time more aggressively. We said goodbye to Barb 21st May 2016 when she left her body and earned her wings. Truly one of earths angels. This bucket bag is in Honour of Barbara Pinter.


This beautiful bucket bag is available in your choice of colour and fabric theme. Just send me a message with your specific requirements and I’d be happy to create something special for you.


Paulette x

Hello, and welcome to my blog. Wow! so much to learn here with the online community but I’m excited to share my journey with you. As I’m only new I’m still learning how to take photos for the internet so please be patient as I learn. Come with me while I journey through the land of handmade handbags and lets see what we discover together.