For those of you who follow us on Facebook you will know that I have had some pretty massive news that I have been (not so) patiently sitting on for the past few weeks. Three weeks ago I got a little email inviting me to talk about my Nothing New Project at TEDxPerth to a sold out show boasting an audience of 1,700. I am unbelievably excited and nervous and I expect that I will be a bundle of nervous energy for the next week until Saturday when I stand up on that stage and give the talk that I’ve been preparing.

It’s an exciting time when someone hears your ideas and is excited by them, thinking they are interesting enough to share and even inspire on the TedxPerth stage. I’ve been very overwhelmed by the media attention that has come after the announcement, with newspaper articles and radio spots… there are a few potential tv spots coming up in the next week or two and if you really want to see me being totally awkward on camera – I’ll publicise the dates/times on the Facebook page when I know more.

I could say that I’ve been staying grounded by doing some gardening and planting seedlings that Bo grew from seeds in the ground at a friends property – but it wouldn’t be true… I mean sure, we did DO that… but grounded I was not. I’m a bit of an air head at the moment, cleaning the house to the sound of my own voice as I listen to my talk over and over again through my ear phones trying to condense the ideas and cut down the blab to a short, concise talk…

I’m strapping myself in for what is going to be a short whirlwind adventure over the next week or so – and I’m trying not to think too much about freezing on stage in front of the world.

I have been really lucky to get to work with an amazing speech coach who has been helping me shape my talk (mostly he has been helping me to stop being so damn verbose – ‘One idea, Sash, you only have time for ONE idea’) and he mentioned to me the other day that historically in literature 28 was a year of great transformation – where something drastic changes.

It’s funny to think that as today is my 29th birthday… and when I look back on 28 it has definitely been quite a ride.

I’ve always been an obsessive watcher of TED and TEDx talks, with all the diversity and the stories and the brilliance in the world  I find it totally bizarre that I get to share my ideas in that forum. But then I remind myself, that every story deserves its voice, don’t you think?

We’ve all got a story in us.

What story would you tell?

  • September 26, 2014 - 5:11 am

    emma - Ya! to you i hope it goes awesome and so very much deserved. Enjoy your the ride and have fun i hope it opens new doors and opportunities for you and Bo. Good on ya mate! xxxxReplyCancel

  • September 26, 2014 - 7:56 am

    Snappystreet - Congratulations! What an achievement! TEDx is an amazing platform and the fact you’ve been asked is wonderful. Harness that nervous energy on the day and you’ll smash it!ReplyCancel

  • September 27, 2014 - 12:33 am

    Life With The Crew - Wow, that is big and exciting! Congrats and good luck. It is something that you’re passionate about, so despite any potential awkwardness, the audience will remember the good stuff.ReplyCancel

  • September 27, 2014 - 11:27 am

    Myfanwy Hood - That’s amazing news! Congratulations! :) ReplyCancel

  • September 28, 2014 - 6:30 pm

    Mandy - Well the best bit about all this media attention is that more people here your story, connect, and create a bigger community with similar ideals. Look forward to hearing your talk and best of luck.ReplyCancel

  • September 29, 2014 - 7:25 pm

    bron - I’m so excited for you sash! wish I could be there to hear you, you’ll be amazing. xReplyCancel

  • September 30, 2014 - 9:02 am

    Lila - I’m so pleased to see this! You have such a powerful message to share (and not the nothing new message alone), I’m glad to see the world is taking notice.ReplyCancel

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”
― Dr. Seuss

We’ve found ourselves in an inbetween place… a place where there are far more questions than there are answers. Where I’m finding to express what I feel I’m needing to allow myself to open the door to things I’d shut the door on. I’m finding myself lost in thoughts alot at the moment, memories of friends long gone and the nostalgia always brings with it a sense of longing.

I’ve found this void is best filled if the answers aren’t lingered on too much. If instead of running through my mind all of the things I have no solution for… I deal simply with the things that I can. Like where we are, how we live, and the relationships in my life that are here and now.

So Bo and I head to the beach at sunset. It’s cold still when the sun isn’t high in the sky, the water is choppy and wild with the end of an early spring storm… but there is peace here. The beach is like a bookend for me, it’s where i spent much of my childhood, it’s where I lived in Indonesia, it’s where I met my husband, it’s where I used to sit with Bo when she was a tiny baby under the shade of a coconut palm. There is something grounding and simple about feet in the sand.

We always feel connected here, Bo and I… as if it’s a place that we can come together and forget the tantrums and the arguments – to forget the stress and the lingering questions. Where we can just exist, together, as the sun goes down.

Do you have an escape?

  • September 20, 2014 - 11:44 am

    jade - i too love, love, love the beach. i have 3 little girls (5, 3 and 4 months)and it is the one place where my little tornado (3 yr old) finds peace as well. it is a place where no one has tantrums. they literally just sit in the sand playing with water all day long until i decide it’s time to go and that is often a long time!ReplyCancel

  • September 21, 2014 - 5:36 am

    Mama's Secret - I love the beach. I can really recall memories and think clearly with the ocean breeze, the sound of the waves crashing onto one another, and theres is truly something magical with the sand covering my toes…. That feeling… :) ReplyCancel

  • September 21, 2014 - 7:25 am

    Life With The Crew - I am a firm believer in the power of nature to make things better. It might not solve the problem, but it will help to put things in perspective. Just getting outside, a change of scenery, seeing a hawk flying overhead, or watching a beautiful sunset, is great for changing moods. And it definitely helps with tantrums (except for when it is time to go home)!ReplyCancel

  • September 24, 2014 - 4:24 am

    lisa thomson-The Great Escape... - What lovely photos! And yes, I feel peace at the ocean as well. I love the Dr. Seuss quote, too.ReplyCancel

A few months ago I started seeing a naturopath for a host of things that I was struggling with, anxiety, stress, exhaustion – a lot of which was being manifested in my skin. I’ve always had very dry skin, it’s genetic… my littlest brother and I have always struggled with it and no amount of over the counter products have ever been of much use to me. With the Nothing New project, a big instigator was an instinctual pull that I felt away from consumer ‘solutions’ and more toward natural alternatives.

When I started seeing my naturopath we talked a lot about natural solutions to the problems that I was experiencing. We talked about changes of diet and natural supplements. We talked about reducing stress and getting more sleep. We talked about lifestyle changes and positive coping strategies that could help me combat some of the more difficult areas in my life. We talked about natural balms and oils and products.

Then we talked about chickweed.

I had read a bit about chickweed oil/salve (one of the places was here in this great run down of chickweed by Little Eco Footprints) and wanted to discuss it further with a professional. My naturopath raved about it but did warn that it could be quite expensive. Chickweed salve has great natural skin healing properties, it is excellent for dry skin but is also recommended for minor burns, skin irritations, minor abrasions and rashes (particularly when associated with itching or dryness). I was very curious… something natural that could be used as a kind of skin healing balm? It sounded ideal. But I coudlnt’ find any locally produced and at around $10 for 50g it was going to be very expensive to use as a moisturiser.

Then I discovered, chickweed grows (like a weed) all over this part of the world.

So we foraged. We experimented and we made our own. I made about 2L of the oil for less than $10

And you know what? It works!

Are you game enough to try it?



Fresh or dried chickweed (check here for some tips on how to identify chickweed growing in the wild)
Good quality olive oil


I had a medium-sized basket of chickweed that I foraged at our local university with a couple of friends of mine. First of all it’s best to wash and dry your chickweed so that the leaves are free of any potential dust or nasties. I just gave a good wash in the sink and lay it out in the sun for an hour or so.

There are several methods for making chickweed oil, here is one for slow infusion, and one for infusion in a double boiler. This is a great website for some different options if you want to try it another way. I used a slow cooker that I borrowed off my mum. It’s really important that the chickweed is submerged in oil AND that the oil never gets too hot as the chickweed will then become deep-fried. You want the oil really hot, but not boiling.

In a slow cooker put equal parts oil and chickweed. I had a lot of chickweed so used about 2L of Olive Oil to ensure that the chickweed was fully submerged.Make sure the slow cooker is on its lowest setting and pop on the lid. Then leave for 4-6 hours.

Strain the chickweed infused olive oil through a muslin cloth squeezing the herbs to ensure that as much of the oil comes out as absolutely possible.

That’s it. Simple, beautiful, healing oil.

Now you can use the oil as it is… I used it on my skin for a month or so before I even bothered making it into a balm. But once I made the balm, I haven’t turned back – the texture is nicer and it’s a lot less messy to use in a rush.

To make the balm simply use a solution of 5:1 (five parts chickweed oil to one part beeswax).

Create a simple double boiler by placing the tin can in a couple of inches of boiling water and place the oil and beeswax into the tin. Keep an eye on the mixture, stirring occasionally, until fully combined.

Remove the tin can from the boiling water (be careful it will be very, very hot) and pour into prepared sterilised jars or containers.

Keep a jar in your bathroom to use as a moisturiser on any skin conditions and another in your first aid box for use on burns, bites and rashes.

  • September 15, 2014 - 10:27 am

    Life With The Crew - Really interesting. I just learned about dandelion salve on another blog, now I know about chickweed salve too! My hands get extremely dry in the winter and lotions and creams never help. I refuse to use petroleum based products, so I am always on the lookout for something more natural.ReplyCancel

  • September 15, 2014 - 3:42 pm

    Alicja - This is brilliant! Love the idea!ReplyCancel