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a dash of

SPICE |October 2015|

NO Stone



Weight Loss Myths


content: Feature: Living  to  the  max  

The Coach  


Fashion &  Beauty  

Food &  Drink    

Money Mine  


Health &  Fitness  


Seeds of  Inspiration Living      

  Q&A       Travel  





4 9   10   13   16   17   18   20   21   22 23    

+ editor’s note: In this  issue  we  have  two  very  dynamic  women  who  share  their  stories  of  how  their  lives  went   from  being  routine  and  ordinary  to  extraordinary.  Colleen  Roberts  and  Harmanpreet  Kaur  give   you  glimpse  of  their  lives  and  how  they  went  from  living  what  society  and  generations  of   women  before  had  d ictated  as  the  standards  for  a  woman,  to  living  with  passion  and   liberation.     I  have  never  been  pregnant  and  just  reading  Colleen’s  travel  around  Australia  while  pregnant   with  her  twins  was  exhausting.  As  I  journeyed  with  h er  through  her  story,  I  visualised  the  arid   soil  and  the  metaphorical  boulders  that  she  had  moved  just  to  keep  her  children  together  and   safe.  Harmanpreet’s  story  was  a  sweet  reminder  that  full-­‐time  work,  marriage  and  children   are  no  barriers  to  pursuing  your  passion.  While  both  women  have  started  their  online   business,  the  hours  that  they  put  in  and  the  commitment  must  take  a  toll  on  them,  but  from   reading  their  stories,  one  would  never  guess.     If  you  missed  the  first  issue,  “A  Dash  of  Spice”  was  a  metaphor  for  women  to  pepper  up  our   lives  and  to  start  living  fully  and  to  start  NOW.    Even  if  you  are  going  through  a  difficult  phase   or  a  challenge,  find  something  to  perk  you  up  –  just  like  how  a  dash  of  spice  can  perk  up  a   dish.  I  started  this  magazine  for  women  to  share  their  journey  from  one  phase  to  another  and   to  share  their  talents,  interests  and  h obbies.    So  a  dash  of  SPICE  is  a  magazine  where  women   inspire  women.       If  you  have  a  story  you’d  like  to  share  and  inspire  women,  we’d  like  to  hear  from  you.       Drop  us  an  email  at  and  b e  part  of  the  spicy  family.     Begin  again;  Live  again;  Love  again.  

Editor, A  Dash  of  Spice  


Colleen Roberts,  age   47,   lives  in   Perth,   Australia  and   a   proud   mother   of   five   children,   and   has   one   grandchild.   Colleen   currently   works   full   time   at   Polytechnic  West   as   a  Divisional   Admin  Coordinator,   has   completed   Cert   IV   in   Frontline   Management,   Cert  IV  in  Training.     She   is   also   a   Certified   Life   Coach   and   currently   studying   Marketing.   She   is   owner   of   and   is  passionate   about   promoting   and  supporting  other   coaches   that   may   feel   overwhelmed   with   the   techy and   marketing  aspects  of  running  a  b usiness.  

no stone unturned: “NEVER GIVE  UP”  and  “As  long  as  myself   and  my  children  are  healthy,  we  will  get   by”  are  the  two  mantras  that  I  live  by.   Lack  of  self-­‐esteem  and  money  struggles  have  been   my  two  main  issues  and  still  play  a  major  part  in  my   story.  One  thing  I  have  learnt  is  that  the  one  thing   holding  each  of  u s  back  is  the  lack  of  faith  in   ourselves.   My  life  today  is  as  a  single  mother  of  five  and  I  have   a  beautiful  granddaughter  who  is  three  and  a  half   years  old.    Each  of  them  is  healthy,  which  I  am  very   grateful  for.     Over  the  years  I  h ad  been  involved  in  a  few  other   relationships  they  have  not  lasted.  I  seemed  to  be     in  their  life  for  a  specific  purpose  or  to  help  get   them  through  whatever  they  needed,  p utting   myself  second  instead  of  first.  I  was  always  very   determined  also  to  protect  the  kids  and  myself     from  having  someone  move  in  and  the  children  not   be  comfortable  in  their  own  home,  or  to  have   another  big  financial  struggle.    


Now that  the  children  have  nearly  become  adults  and   earning  their  own  income  I  am  able  to  be  more  flexible   with  how  I  spend  my  free  time.   I  grew  up  in  a  small  suburb  in  Perth,  Australia  and  our   family  consisted  of  my  mum  and  dad,  my  older  brother Andrew  and  younger  sister  Helen.   We  were  all  happy  enough,  were  taught  family  values   and  to  be  respectful  of  others.  We  played  with  kids  up   the  street  and  had  lots  of  family  holidays  on  my  great   Uncle’s  farm  in  Capel,  a  few  other  family  holidays   down  south  and  went  on  quite  a  few  camps.   Although  the  family  home  was  paid  off  within  a  few   years,  we  never  grew  up  with  having  much  money.     Both  mum  and  dad  were  very  careful.    My  dad  was  and   still  is  a  very  good  saver,  “always  putting  money  away   for  a  rainy  d ay”;  always  grumbling  when  he  had  to   spend  money,  though  ensuring  he  was  putting  some   money  in  long  term  saving  accounts  for  us  kids  until   we  each  reached  18  years  of  age.    We  grew  up  mostly   with  second  hand  clothes  and  made  do  with  what  we   had.  He  was  born  in  the  great  depression  years  when     a  lot  of  families  were  doing  it  tough.    

growing pains: Us  kids  got  teased  a  lot  as  we  didn’t   have  the  nice  clothes  or  toys  or  things   that  we  wanted.  The  feeling  of  not   being  good  enough  or  as  good,  smart,   funny,  pretty  as  others  was  something   each  of  us  kids  felt.    We  lacked  self-­‐ esteem  and  it  seemed  that  for  my   sister  and  me,  it  followed  us   throughout  our  life.    

My dad  would  always  say,  “Be   nice”.  We  didn’t  realise  at  the   time  that  he  also  meant  to  be   nice  to  ourselves;  we  just   thought  that  he  meant  to  be   nice  to  everyone  else.     To  this  day,  both  my  sister  and  I  hate   that  saying.    It  seemed  no  matter  how   nice  we  were  to  others  we  got  the   raw  end  of  the  deal.      We  would  go   out  of  our  way  to  apologise  to   someone  if  we  thought  that  we  had   upset  them,  always  b e  there  for   everyone  else,  and  put  ourselves   second  to  everyone.   We  had  to  do  jobs  to  get  minimal   pocket  money  and  were  always  told   not  to  waste  our  money.  I  started   working  part-­‐time  as  a  “check  out   chick”  in  Kmart  and  would  work  as   much  as  I  could  after  school  and  on   holidays.  When  I  finished  school,  I   started  work  full  time  as  a  clerk  and   typist  at  Central  Law  Courts  in  Perth.    I   could  spend  my  money  on  what  I   wanted,  but  was  quite  often  told  I   was  wasting  it,  no  matter  what  I   bought.  We learnt  that  we  had  to  b e   independent  and  I  moved  out  of   home  when  I  was  18.

Colleen, second  from  left,  with  her  sons,  daughters  and  granddaughter.  

not a child, almost a woman: I got  engaged  when  I  was  21  though  we  broke  up  a  year  later,   which  did  nothing  for  my  self-­‐esteem  as  he  moved  on  to  my   cousin  and  was  still  going  to  be  in  my  life  to  a  degree.     About  two  years  later  I  was  involved  in  my  next  major  relationship,   with  my  ex  husband,  the  father  of  all  of  my  children.  We  got   together  and  a  few  months  later  I  discovered  I  was  pregnant  with   twins.  He  was  happy  one  minute  and  the  next  would  be  angry  as   he  thought  I  had  trapped  him.  He  had  large  debts  from  his   previous  marriage  and  was  away  when  in  Broome  when  I  told  him.   I  went  up  by  bus  to  see  him  for  a  week.  He  left  his  job  to  come   back  to  Perth  with  me.       For  a  time  we  were  living  with  his  parents  –  not  my  choice.    I  was   still  working  full  time  until  about  three  months  b efore  I  was  due.     He  wasn’t  working,  but  wanted  to  get  away  from  Perth.  He  was   also  very  controlling  and  possessive  and  wanted  me  away  from  my   family  and  friends  especially  before  the  twins  were  born.          

the yo-yo ride across australia: He got  a  job  as  a  butcher  in  a  remote  outback  town,  Laverton,     which  supplied  us  with  a  house.    So  I  left  work  and  we  both  packed   up  and  moved.  Isolated  was  how  I  felt  in  Laverton.  We  stayed  for   about  a  month  or  two  when  he  d ecided  to  leave  the  job  as  he   hated  it  there  and  I  would  have  either  had  to  have  the  girls  in   Kalgoorlie  or  back  in  Perth  which  he  didn’t  want.    He  said  his  boss   wasn’t  going  to  be  giving  him  much  time  off  for the  birth. With  my   long-­‐term  savings,  we  had  bought  a  long-­‐range  four-­‐  wheel  drive.       5

As we  drove,  we  kept  seeing  this  sign   to  Alice  Springs  and  we  decided  to   take  the  plunge.       He  organised  for  a  job  as  a  butcher  in   Alice  Springs  and  off  we  set  just   having  enough  money  for  fuel,  food   and  a  week’s  accommodation  in  a   caravan  park.    We  travelled  across  the   desert,  on  an  ungraded  road  until  we   got  to  Alice  Springs.  

We were  there  a  few  weeks   when  he  again  decided  that   he  wanted  to  go  back  to   Western  Australia  and  work   in  Broome.   Again  he  organised  for  a  job  and  we   left  Alice  Springs.  By  then  I  was  35   weeks  p regnant  with  the  twins.    We   travelled  across  the  Tanami  Desert,   got  to  Broome  and  then  headed   straight  back  to  Perth.       It  was  so  nice  to  see  my  family  again   and  I  thought  we  were  now  going  to   have  the  twins  back  in  Perth.    We   were  back  home  a  week  when  he   decided  he  wanted  to  go  back  to  Alice   Springs.    This  time  he  drove  alone  and   I  came  over  by  plane.    The  girls  were   born  in  Alice  at  38  and  half  weeks.     This  is  normal  for  a  twin  pregnancy  so   lucky  they  didn’t  come  earlier.      I  was   away  from  my  family  and  friends.      

As long  as  I  had  him  I  didn’t   need  anyone  else,  or  so  he   would  say. This  was  a  major   event  and  I  was  away  from   everyone.     6

My mum  and  n ana  had  booked  to   come  over  about  two  weeks  later.    

Colleen (in  red  dress)  with  her  mother,  brother  and  baby  sister.  

Colleen, with  her  Father   and  granddaughter.  

His  mum  and  dad  were  there  about  five  d ays  after  the  girls  were   born  when  we  had  just  left  the  h ospital.     He  again  found  work  and  we  stayed  there  for  eight  weeks.    The   gypsy  in  him  wanted  to  still  travel  so  he  organised  a  job  in   Townsville  (towards  the  top  end  of  Queensland),  then  soon   afterwards  Bundaberg  and  then  down  to  Melbourne.    We  were   living  mostly  in  onsite  vans  though  in  Melbourne,  we  lived  in  our   tent  for  two  months.    We  were  intending  on  selling  our  four-­‐ wheel  drive  and  getting  a  bus  but  decided  not  to.    We  drove  back   to  Perth  and  bought  an  old  caravan,  doing  it  up  so  we  could  take   off  again.    We  ended  up  making  it  more  into  an  onsite  van  and   stayed  in  Perth  u ntil  the  girls  were  13  months  old  then  off  to   Wyndham  (top  end  of  Western  Australia).  He  organised  another   job  with  a  house  to  live  in  and  off  we  took. We  stayed  there  for  about  a  month  before  taking  off  again  to   Katherine  in  Northern  Territory.  We  got  married.  The  twins,  17   months  old,  were  my  flower  girls.  Only  my  mum  and  dad  came   over-­‐  no  other  family  or  friends.  No  one  else  was  even  invited   except  for  his  parents  though  they  didn’t  come  over  as  he  h ad   been  married  b efore.  We  got  married  in  the  morning,  in  front  

of a  small  congregation  of  people  that  we  didn’t  really   know.  We  couldn’t  afford  a  honeymoon  so  that  was  it.     All  over  by  lunchtime.     Soon  after  we  were  off  again  over  to  Cape  York,  at  the   top  end  of  Queensland  and  then  b ack  to  the  middle  of   Australia  to  Alice  Springs.  This  time  I  got  a  job  during   the  day  at  a  lawyer’s  office  and  he  was  working  at  a   restaurant  at  n ight  so  one  of  us  was  always  with  the   twins.  We  stayed  there  until  the  end  of  the  year  before   heading  b ack  to  Western  Australia,  moving  to  Bruce   Rock  (a  small  town  in  the  wheatbelt)  where  our  next   child  Luke  was  born.  Again  I  was  away  from  everyone.     His  parents  came  and  stayed  for  about  two  weeks  after.   We  left  Bruce  Rock  and  off  to  Merredin  when  Luke  was   six  weeks  old  as  the  butcher  shop  had  been  sold.   From  there  we  went  to  a  few  other  country  towns   before  coming  back  to  Perth  where  we  found  a  house,   just  up  the  street  from  his  parents.  We  continued  to   rent  for  a  couple  of  years.  My  next  child  Brandon  was   born.  When  he  was  about  six  months  old  I  went  back  to   work.  Soon  after  I  realised  I  was  pregnant  with  Emily.     As  we  were  trying  to  buy  our  own  home,  I  worked  up   until  a  month  or  two  weeks  before  she  was  born.  We   found  a  large  five  bedroom,  two-­‐bathroom  house  and   finally  settled  down.  In  saying  that  though,  things  were   far  from  good.      

getting off the rollercoaster:


We split  in  July  2000,  divorcing  the  following  year  and   that  was  such  a  horrible  time.    My  children  were  nearly   2,  3,  5  and  twins  were  7.  My  income  became  the   parenting  pension  and  the  family  allowance.  My  ex   husband  went  from  working  full  time  to  casual  so  no   maintenance  was  paid.  When  we  divorced  he  decided   that  he  did  not  want  any  financial  commitment.    He   wanted  his  name  off  the  mortgage  as  he  had  left  the   family  home  (moving  in  with  another  woman  initially   for  the  first  year  then  when  that  ended  back  to  his   parents  house).  As  he  had  left  with  nothing  he  was  not   going  to  contribute  to  the  personal  loan  that  we  also   had  of  about  $12,000.         I  had  two  options  –  either  sell  the  house  and  find  a   rental  or  try  and  refinance  the  mortgage  so  it  was  in  

my name.  We  had  only  been  in  the  house  for  two   years  so  not  much  equity.  As  I  wasn’t  working  things   didn’t  look  too  good.  I  didn’t  want  to  unsettle  the  kids   more  by  selling  and  moving.  One  thing  in  my  favour   was  that  I  had  b een  paying  the  mortgage  and  the  b ills   for  the  whole  last  year  with  the  income  that  I  was   receiving  proving  that  I  was  a  good  budgeter.  After   much  effort  and  negotiating  with  the  government   agencies,  I  was  able  to  refinance  the  house  such  that   half  the  mortgage  was  in  my  name  and  the  other  half   owned  by  the  government  agency.  

standing up, standing out: With this  extra  responsibility  I  got  a  part  time  job  at   two  local  petrol  stations  d oing  shift  work  when  I   didn’t  have  the  children.  This  was  very  stressful  and   dangerous  at  times.  This  job  though  taught  me  to  be   very  assertive.  There  were  situations  that  I  had  to   think  quick  or  showed  that  I  was  not  scared  –  one  of   them  being  threatened  with  getting  set  alight  with   petrol  from  an  irate  customer.  The  fear  or  being  held   up  on  any  shift,  as  there  was  n o  security,  drive  offs   and  abuse  from  customers  was  a  constant.  Then  with   a  friend’s  h elp  I  got  contract  work  at  Polytechnic  West   and  slowly  worked  my  way  to  where  I  am  today.   My  mum  died  suddenly  of  a  massive  heart  attack  in   2003.    She  was  only  64  and  I  was  just  starting  to   spend  more  quality  time  with  her  and  dad  as  they   supported  me  through  my  divorce.  I  was  finally  free   to  catch  up  with  my  friends  and  family  whenever  I   wanted  and  when  I  wasn’t  working.   Dad  sold  the  spare  block,  which  mum,  had  initially   bought  when  they  first  got  married.  With  my  share,         I  refinanced  the  other  half  of  the  house.  I  started   attending  seminars  on  how  to  grow  my  wealth  and   now  my  main  source  of  income  is  as  a  Level  4   Divisional  Administration  Coordinator  within   Polytechnic  West.  I  am  also  a  life  coach.   These  last  few  months  have  b een  challenging  to  say   the  least  and  I  will  end  it  with  my  two  mantras:  “never   give  up”  and  “As  long  as  myself  and  my  children  (and   now  my  grandchild)  are  healthy  we  will  get  by.”     7

building a community: In 2013  I  and  a  few  other  coaches   formed  a  small  amazing  Facebook   Group  –  Niche  Networkers.  I  wanted   to  incorporate  my  idea  of  helping   other  coaches  who  were  struggling   with  the  techy  aspects  of  creating  an   online  coaching  business.  We  were   all  feeling  quite  overwhelmed  and   also  wanted  a  safe  place  that  we   could  share  our  triumphs  and  our   challenges  with  one  another.     Andrea  Lavelle’s  idea  was  to  create  a   directory  of  coaches  and  Allie   Atkinson  wanted  to  support  and   encourage  each  of  the  July  2012   intake  to  achieve  their  certification   within  the  coaching  academy. In  2014,  Andrea  Lavelle,  Allie   Atkinson,  Tara  Tulum  and  I  decided   it  was  time  start  up  a  membership   site.  We  were  each  trying  to  do  this   in  addition  to  creating  our  own   online  businesses  and  juggling  other   aspects  in  our  lives  such  as  working   full  time,  children  and  family  and   health  issues.  We  were  also  four   very  different  people  trying  to  make   things  work  in  different  parts  of  the   world  and  different  time  zones   which  took  a  toll.  In  June/July  we   had  48  foundation  members  sign  up   with  a  donation  to  get  us  started   though  Andrea  and  later  Tara  and   Allie,  stepped  d own  as  core   members  but  are  still  active   members.  So  for  now  my  vision  is  to   be  promoting  each  of  our  financial   members,  getting  them  and  their   businesses  out  to  the  public,  whilst   still  providing  techy,  marketing  and   emotional  support  to  all  members   including  our  Facebook  community.       8

Sydney Coaches  Meetup  in  May  2015  

Colleen is  putting  together  her  new  course  specifically  for  members  –  The   Honeycomb  Effect.       She  loves  the  analogy  of  the  honeybees.    Whist  the  end  result  is  for  them  to   make  the  honey,  their  most  important  role  and  journey  starts  with  them   cross  pollinating  the  flowers  (taken  from  the  One  Minute  Millionaire  by  Mark   Victor  Hansen  and  Robert  G  Allen).   By  breaking  down  each  step  in  building  our  honeycomb  we  will  each  achieve   our  goal.    It  covers  six  major  aspects  –  Getting  Started.  M oney  Magic,   Creating  Content,  Marketing  Psyche  and  Funnels,  Ninja  Support  and   Partnerships.   Click  on  the  link  if  you  are  a  life,  biz  or  wellness  coach  and  would  like  to  be  a   part  of  our  facebook  community  or   If  you  are  interested  in  becoming  a  member  then  check  out  the  link  which   will  give  you  some  more  information­‐a-­‐member.html   If  you  would  like  to  organise  a  chat  with  Colleen  Roberts,  then  email  

+ the coach: Living large by living small

“My purpose  on  earth  is  not   to  dust  furniture  and   household  displays  or  scrub   the  floors  till  they  sparkle.”      

"Live large  by  living  small".  This  has   been  my  mantra  since  the  start  of  last   year,  2014.  Since  my  cancer  scares  in   2012,  I  had  become  increasingly   conscious  of  the  stressors  around  me   and  vowed  to  lead  a  less  hectic  life.    

allowed me  to  have  time  for  myself   and  my  loved  ones; where  my  time   would  be  spent  in  taking  care  of   myself  rather  than  in  worry  that   something  is  not  done.  I  always  joke   with  my  friends  that  my  purpose  on   earth  is  not  to  dust  furniture  and   household  displays  or  scrub  the  floors   till  they  sparkle.  Surely  that  cannot     be  your  purpose  on  earth,  right?  

I have  been  asked  by  my  friends  and   students  about  how  I  manage   without  a  domestic  help  which  is   common  here  in  Singapore.  Some   don't  believe  me,  arguing  that  it  is   impossible  to  manage  work  and   domestic  responsibilities  given  the   volume  of  my  work.     My  new  philosophy  for  life  is  to  keep   it  simple;  the  floors  in  my  home  are   In  a  way  2013  was  a  transition  year  for   cleaned  in  10  minutes  max;  I  h ave   me  -­‐  moving  out  of  my  hectic  and   very  few  ornaments  so  there  is  h ardly   frustrated  life  to  one  that  b rought  me   any  dusting  to  be  done;  I  buy  small   more  fulfilment;  something  that     Before  then,  I  had  big  plans  to  live  to  a   bigger  flat,  so  that  I  can  h ave  a  bigger   living  room,  a  bigger  dining  room,  a   bigger  home  office,  an  extra  bedroom,   an  extra  bathroom  and  the  list  goes   on.  So  the  endless  arguments  would   start  in  the  h ouse  about  why  we   should  move  while  another  defended   the  stay.  

minimal wastage  from  food  that  has   expired.   What  do  I  mean  by  living  large?  Well,   it's  about  living  a  life  filled  with   purpose;  filled  with  the  joy  of   companionship;  a  life  free  of  worry   over  something  “not  being  enough”.     My  new  philosophy  is  living  in  the   present  and  being  contented  with  the   present.    I  keep  my  environment   simple,  I  keep  my  wardrobe  simple,  I   keep  my  meals  simple  –  this  is  my   daily  life.    It  is  predictable,  it  may   appear  dull  but  I  worry  less.    I  know   my  bills  will  always  be  paid  and  that   my  family  will  not  go  to  bed  hungry.   My  husband  and  I  spend  almost  2   hours  every  morning  chatting  or   debating  over  politics,  social  issues  or   our  views  on  health  and  finances.    We   discuss  our  problems  and  give  each   other  advice.  We  can  do  that  because   we  live  small.   Rachpal  has  designed  an  online   coaching  programme  for   women  in  transition.    For  a   FREE  CONSULTATION,  write  to   her  at  or   visit  her  website  at   9

+ interests/hobbies:

Burning question  from  last  issue   was  –  Rachpal,  do  you  have  a   professional  designer  for  your   Facebook  posts?  Many  of  you   commented  that  you  want  to   create  such  p osts  but  don’t  know   where  to  start.     Truth  is  I  don’t  have  a  professional   designer  now.  When  I  started  last   year,  I  engaged  a  professional   designer  but  I  could  not  afford  the   retainer  fee  for  long.  So  I  started   dabbling  with  the  Apps  and  I  didn’t   get  far  as  I  didn’t  h ave  the  time  nor   the  patience.  I  once  again  engaged   help,  but  this  time  it  was  a  novice   and  we  had  a  wonderful  6  months   together  and  we  parted  ways  as               I  had  specific  requirements  and   when  something  came  out   different,  the  meaning  was  lost.  So   once  again,  I  was  on  my  own.     Left  with  little  choice,  I  had  to  learn   fast.  I  looked  up  the  Internet  for   Apps  that  would  work  on  my   Android  phone  and  most   importantly,  I  could  master  in  less   than  30  minutes.  I  made  mistakes,   some  things  I’m  still  figuring  out   but  for  now,  it’s  good  enough.    




spice up your life

Apps for Prolooking Posts

SNAPSEED (download  it  FREE  for  both  Apple  and  Android).     My   absolute   favourite   App.   This   picture   was   on   the   cover   of   the   first   issue   of   the   magazine   and   was   edited   using   Snapseed.   It’s   a   great   app   as   it   allows   you   to   adjust   colour,   crop   and   give   it   the   different   feel   that   you   can   even   make   the   picture   look   vintage   or   black  and  white.  This  is  where  I   START  when  I  am  editing  pictures   for  my  p osts  and  for  the  magazine  too!  It’s  easy  to  use  and  you  can   always  revert  to  the  original  photo  if  you  don’t  like  the  edits.      



PIXLR (download  FREE  for  Android  and  Apple).       My   latest   love.   Not   only   does   it   allow   you   to   edit   the   photo   effects,   you   can   also   create   photo  collages,  add  borders  and  my  absolute  favourite,  you  can  put  in  a  text  and  there  so   many   different   font   types   to   choose   from.     You   can   make   your   pictures   fun   by   adding   stickers  and  the  different  effects,  like  the  stripes  in  this  picture  to  create  a  running  track.  

WORD SWAG  (download  FREE  for  Apple).     I’m  not   happy  as   it’s  only  for  Apple   users,   sigh.  Nevertheless,  great  app  as  it  has  many   templates   that   you   can   choose   from   if   you   don’t   have  your   own   visuals.  And   they   have   a   wide   range   of   typography   to   choose   from.     The   post   above   was   created   using   both   template  and  typography  from  Word  Swag.  



glitter and  glam    

fashion/beauty: My love  for  intricate  Indian  jewellery  spawns  back  way  in   time  when  I  would  admire  my  mum  getting  dressed  for   functions.  She  always  made  it  seem  so  effortless  looking  like   an  ethereal  classic  Indian  beauty  and  trust  me  on  this,  she   made  use  of  whatever  little  she  had.  Accessorizing  was                   the  key!       Moving  forward,  I  got  a  wakeup  call  one  fine  d ay  when  I   realised  I  can’t  b e  looking  like  a  mass-­‐produced  jewellery   factory  at  a  function;  I  wanted  to  look  unique,  classy  and   confident.  That’s  when  I  decided  no  more  p rocrastination  and   it’s  time  to  get  down  to  business.  My  mission  was  clear  -­‐  my   love  of  Indian  jewellery  should  be  enjoyed  b y  every  other   woman  who  feels  zapped  out  like  me  every  time  there  was  a   wedding  or  celebration  to  go  to. We  women  get  so  bogged  down   with  work  and  our  billion  duties   where  we  always  fail  to  put   ourselves  first  and  end  up  going  to       a  function  so  d rained  out  that  we   look  dreadful.  I  felt  if  my  zest  for   Indian  jewellery  could  inspire   anyone  to  look  and  feel  good,  half   my  goal  would  be  achieved.     This  thought  gave  birth  to  Treasure   Trove,  an  online  business  which  was   a  concept  procreated  by  my  sister,   the  silent  partner  and  me.  Sourcing   out  great  suppliers  was  a  task  but  it   has  been  an  adventurous  road  so   far.  It  has  been  an achievement   reaching  out  to  women  very  much   like  me  who  want  to  look  good  and   feel  good. 12

Bling Bling…the Indian Spice Express By Harmanpreet Kaur

Our guest   writer  this  month  is   Harmanpreet  Kaur,   38  years  old,  is  a  career   woman   and   entrepreneur,   married   and   a   mother   to   a   bubbly   little   boy.     She  is  a  dynamic  young  woman,  juggling  her  many  roles,  which  include  a   full-­‐time  job,  an  independent  Mary  Kay  Beauty  Consultant  and  managing   her   own   online   Indian   accessories   business,   Treasure   Trove.   Harman’s   passion   in   her   online   business   is   evident   as   she   brings   in   new   designs,   which  are  versatile,  not  just  for  ethnic  wear  but  also  to  be  enjoyed  when   you’re   in   a   dress   or   jeans.  To   look   up   more   of   Treasure   Trove’s   collection,   click  here    

I am  sure  a  lot  of  you  reading  this  article  right  now  can  relate  to  me.  I  feel  that  we   women  should  stop  acting  like  the  self-­‐sacrificial  lamb.  There  is  no  hidden  law  that   states  that  just  b ecause  you  are  born  with  an  extra  X  chromosome  you  are   supposed  to  evolve  your  life  around  other  beings.     My  roles  in  life  have  been  diverse  and  becoming  a  mother  was  a  very  fruitful   experience  albeit  a  tough  one  and  the  “gal”  in  me  stopped  existing;  I  was  pushed   into  more  responsibilities.  Thus  this  new  path  that  I  have  embarked  on  the  past  2   years  keeps  me  very  focused  and  I  waste  no  time  in  categorising  my  to-­‐do  list  daily.  

“Always remember,  your  biggest  enemies  are  hiding  in  you  –   laziness,  fear,  doubt,  indecision.  Be  a  warrior  of  your  dream,  a   knight  of  your  goal  and  a  soldier  of  your  wishes.”    

Tip 1:  If  you  have  one   chunky  piece  like  a   necklace,  that’s  all  you   need,  with  a  dash  of   make-­‐up  to  spice  up   your  look  and  outfit.  No   need  for  earrings.  

Tip 2:  (picture  on  the   left)  Necklaces  made   from  beads,  pearls  or   other  neutral  coloured   stones  are  excellent  way   to  jazz  up  your  work   outfit.    Ethnic  pieces  do   not  just  belong  with   ethnic  clothes  or  events.  

Tip 3:  Get  the  kids  involved.    As  you   can  see,  my  little  boy  absolutely   loves  d ressing  up  too.  I’ve  trained   him  to  wait  patiently  for  Mummy  to   dress  up.  


Tip 4:  When  you  have  an  outfit   that  has  all  the  sparkles,  go  easy   on  the  accessories.  Here  I’ve   worn  a  very  simple  necklace   with  a  tiny  p endant  but  I’ve   played  up  on  the  hair  and  large   earrings.  Your  necklace  and   earrings  do  not  have  to  match   (that’s  such  an  ancient  concept)!   Instead  look  for  a  neutral  stone   or  a  something  in  white  or  rose   gold  that  will  match  the  larger   jewellery.    Here  I  have  a  simple   gold  chain  and  small  p endant  to   complement  the  tiny  diamantes   on  the  earrings  and  the  stones   on  my  outfit.  


+ food and drink:

spice, dice  and  splash    

Grilled Sambal Fish & a Spritzy Sour Plum

Grilled Sambal  Fish   Ingredients:   200g  fish  (snapper  or  selar)   5  small  chilli  padi     5  red  chillies   5  cloves  of  garlic   2  inches  ginger   2  inches  lemon  grass  stalk   Salt  to  taste   1  teaspoon  fish  sauce   1  teaspoon  sugar   2  tablespoons  olive  oil     Method:   • Wash  the  fish  and  pat  dry  with   paper  towel.    Rub  the  fish  with   salt  and  set  aside.          

Spritzy Sour  Plum  

• •

For the  marinade,  mix  all  the   ingredients  in  a  blender  or  you   can  pound  them  too.   Rub  the  marinade  on  the  fish  and   set  aside  in  the  fridge  for  about   one  to  four  hours.   Heat   the   grill   over   medium   heat   and  add  the  oil.   Once  the  oil  is   hot,  place  the  fish   and   grill   each   side   for   about   4   minutes  or  until  fish  is  cooked.   Garnish   with   some   salad   and   lemon   wedges   and   serve   with   rice.  

Ingredients: 250  ml  chilled  sparkling  water   2  dried  sour  plums   2  tablespoons  lime  juice   2  tablespoons  sugar  syrup     Method:   • Soak   the   sour   plums   in   the   lime   juice   and   sugar   syrup   for   about   an   hour   or   until   the   plums  soften.     • Once  it  is  soften,  use  a  fork  to   mash   it   such   that   the   plum   mixes   well   with   the   lime   juice   and  sugar  syrup.   •

Pour mixture   into   a   tall   glass   and   add   the   chilled   sparkling   water.   15

+ money mine:

common cents    

LEARN FROM THE BEST One advice  Suze  Orman  constantly  repeats  is  that  if  you  don’t  know  what  to  do  with  your  money,  it  is  best   not  to  do  anything  at  all.  How  I  wish  I  had  heeded  that  advise  in  2008  when  I  had  decided  to  transfer  my   investment  to  a  novice  in  the  industry.    Stupidly  I  believed  that  we  all  have  to  start  somewhere;  after  all,   wasn’t  I  once  a  novice  in  my  trade?  Within  2  months  of  the  transfer,  markets  crashed  worldwide  and  my   funds  plummeted  by  almost  30%.    Well,  the  financial  crisis  was  something  he  could  not  have  predicted  and  so   many  people  worldwide  had  suffered  similar  or  worse  fates,  so  I  cut  my  financial  advisor  some  slack  and   continued  to  allow  him  to  manage  my  funds.       Then  from  2013  onwards,  I  began  to  h ear  less  and  less  from  him  and  then  it  was  complete  silence  until  early   2015  when  he  requested  a  meet-­‐up.    The  funds  had  hardly  moved  over  the  years  and  in  fact,  no  growth  and   some  small  dips.  At  this  meeting,  he  said  that  he  was  not  able  to  predict  trends  in  the  markets  and  therefore   had  n ot  made  good  decisions  with  the  funds  entrusted  to  him.    I’ll  spare  you  the  emotional  gamut  but  there   was  one  lesson  I  learnt  that  day  –  stick  to  the  experts.    At  46,  my  focus  is  on  b uilding  my  retirement  fund  and   it  is  my  responsibility  to  learn  how  to  plan  my  finances  so  I’m  going  back  to  b asics.    I’m  starting  with  Napolean   Hill’s  Think  and  Grow  Rich.    Until  then,  as  S uze  Orman  says,  it’s  best  not  to  do  anything  at  all  until  I  fully   understand  what  I’m  doing  with  my  money.     16


live life to the fullest

health and fitness:

3 Weight Loss Myths and Tips Myth 1:  Celebrities  lose  weight  in  less  than  a  month,  so  can  I!   • •

This picture  was  taken  just  2  months   ago  when  I  was  on  a  short  holiday.  It   took  two  hours  on  a  bumpity  taxi  ride  to   get  to  this  beach  and  as  you  can  tell,  I   was  pretty  excited.       But  that  bubble  burst  as  soon  as  I  saw   this  photo  later  that  evening.  The  two   folds  at  my  abdomen!  How  did  I,  who   prided  myself  for  eating  healthy  and   working  out  regularly,  got  to  this  state?   It  got  me  thinking  and  hence  this  article   –  to  tell  of  you  of  some  myths  that  we’ve   believed  about  weight-­‐loss.  

Stop watching  celebrities  weight-­‐loss  shows.   All  that  weight  d id  not  just  clamber  upon  us  in  one  month  or  two   months.  That  extra  waistline  (or  some  friends  call  it  wasteline)   slowly  attached  itself  to  our  waist,  arms  and  hips  over  a  span  of  a   few  months  or  a  few  years.  So  what  makes  you  think  you  can   shed  it  in  a  few  weeks??  This  unrealistic  expectation  sets  us  for   failure  creating  stress  and  feeling  of  hopelessness.   Let’s  get  real  –  they  have  money  and  all  the  support  system  and   resources  to  lose  that  weight.  You  and  I  have  to  juggle  work,   family,  kids,  housework,  preparing  meals,  maintaining  the  family   budget,  and  you  really  think  you  can  do  that  3  hours  work  out  a   day  even  if  it  is  spread  out  throughout  the  day?  

Myth 2:  They  did  it  on  the  weight-­‐loss  show  in  3  months,  so  can  I!   • •

Stop believing  that  weight-­‐loss  challenge  participants  lose  weight   easily  and  quickly.   All  that  they  have  to  do  is  focus  on  working  out  for  several  hours   a  day.  They  also  have  meal  p lanners,  personal  trainers  at  their   disposal  and  a  support  system  to  take  care  of  their  family  and   other  daily  tasks.  Any  coach  or  trainer  that  tells  you  it’s  possible   to  lose  that  10  kilos  in  a  month  is  setting  you  up  for  failure.  For   that  to  happen,  it  often  entails  having  to  make  big  adjustments   to  your  life  that  sometimes  is  not  feasible,  nor  ecological.  You   don’t  live  on  an  island  and  it  is  just  not  humanly  p ossible  to   prepare  one  meal  for  yourself  and  another  for  your  family.  


Myth 3:  If  I  exercise  more  and  eat  less,  the  weight  will  start  coming  off.   Listen  up  -­‐  -­‐losing  weight  is  not  as  easy  as  gaining  weight.  Just  thinking  about  it  is   not  going  to  work.  You  need  a  Plan  -­‐  here  I  write  not  as  a  weight  loss  or  fitness   expert  BUT  as  an  EXPERT  of  several  attempts  at  weight  loss  and  finally  figuring   out  what  works  and  what  doesn’t.   Get  started  somewhere.  Start  a  p lan  and  have  a  goal  that  fits  into  your  lifestyle.   Start  by  taking  baby  steps,  which  also  means  that  you  might  NOT  reach  that   desired  weight  or  dress  size  by  year  end  but  at  least  you  will  not  be  setting   yourself  up  for  failure!       THE  PLAN   Goal   -­‐ State  what  is  the  desired  weigh  loss  you  want  and  by  when.   Schedule   -­‐ Start  an  online  calendar  if  you  haven’t  got  one  already.   -­‐ Key  in  your  calendar  all  the  routine  tasks  you  do  (include  h ours  at  work,   household  chores,  kids’  activities).    This  will  instantly  show  you  where   your  free  blocks  are  every  day.   -­‐ How  much  time  can  you  spend  on  exercise  (number  of  days  per  week   and  n umber  of  hours/minutes  on  those  days.    So  perhaps  on  M onday   and  Tuesday  you  can  spend  one  hour  each  day  and  on  Friday  and   Saturday,  30  minutes  each  day).   Exercise  routine  (Choose  exercises  that  you  like  as  you  will  be  more  motivated  to   do  those  rather  than  those  that  you  don’t  as  it  will  feel  like  punishment.  For   example,  I  like  trail-­‐running  and  h ate  the  treadmill).   -­‐ What  is  the  cardio  exercise  that  you  want  or  like  to  do?     -­‐ What  are  the  toning  exercise  you  want  or  like  to  do?   -­‐ What  areas  will  you  focus  on  during  the  exercise  days?    So  2  days  could   be  cardio,  another  day  abs  &  back  muscles    and  another  day  toning  the   muscles  in  arms.   Meal  plans   -­‐ Change  your  eating  patterns  or  meal  plan  (which  foods  do  you  enjoy  that   will  support  you  in  your  weight  loss  and  which  foods  don’t  that  need  to   be  removed).   -­‐ What  are  some  h ealthy  snacks  you  can  buy  or  prepare  that  you  can  carry   in  your  bag  that  will  help  stave  off  hunger  p angs?   -­‐ Water,  water  and  more  water  –  I  like  to  add  some  apple  cider  vinegar  in   mine.    I  find  the  tangy  flavour  refreshing.   _______________  


+ seeds of inspiration:

where women inspire women



living simply to simply live


I love  eating   out  because  everything   is   nicely   laid   out   in   beautiful  stone  or  glassware  the  beautiful   table  cloths  –  it  makes  me  feel  special.   But   eating   out  all   the   time   is   not   practical   and   can   be   pretty   expensive;  so  the  next  best  thing  is  to  eat  at  home  in  style.     The   funny   thing   about   women   is   that   we   have  all   these   beautiful   dinner   and  tea  sets   sitting  in   the   cupboard  for  that  special  day  and  sometimes  years  go  by  and  they  remain  untouched.    I  blame  my   dear  Mother  for  this  –  always  keeping  the  best  for  that  special  occasion  when  we  special  guests!     So  when   I   started   living  on  my  own,  I  decided   to  break  that   rule   and  use   all  my  stone  and  glassware   whenever  I  wanted   to.     I   will  lay   my   table   with   that  off-­‐white  table  cloth  even   when   I’m   serving   curry   and   I   don’t   care   if   the   curry   spills   because   that’s   what   washing   machines   are   for,   right?     Sometimes   I   just   mix  the  d ifferent  pieces  that  I’ve  collected  over  the   years   and  that  adds  to  the   conversation  over   the  meal.  So  go  on  and  make  everyday  that  special  day.  Open  that  cupboard  and  pull  out  that  hidden   treasure  tucked  away  at  the  back  that  you  had  forgotten  about.   20

+ travel:  

the spicy route

Since 1995,  my  Mother  has  been  my   constant   travel  companion   ever  since  I   accompanied   her   and   Father   to   visit   their   family   in  Punjab,   India.  The  first  holiday  with  my  parents  was  filled  with   rich   experience   as   they   took   me   through   the   villages   where   they   were   born   and   raised   and   introduced  me   to   the   relatives   and  a   life   that   I’ve   only,   until   then   heard   about.   It’s   been   20   years   since   Mother   and   I   first   started   travelling   together   and   since   then,   we’ve   been   to   America   and   Australia  together.  Since  Father  became  ill  and  he  passed  away  in  2012,  she’s  requested  to  only   visit  Punjab,  where  her  family  still  resides.       Mother   is   83   years   old   and   travelling   with   her   now   is   different   from   even   5   years   ago;   her   mobility   is   limited,   her   dietary   needs   have   changed   and   she   has   more   medical   conditions.   However,   that   h as  not  deterred  me   from   travelling  with  her.   I   enjoy   our   time   away   together   and   with   a  little   careful   planning,   we   end  up   having  a   very  good   trip.     So   if   like  me,   you  would  like  to   travel   more   with   your   elderly   parents   but   have   doubts,   read   my   checklist   and   tips   on   how   to   make  the  travel  experience  memorable  for  all  of  you.    


Pre-­‐trip Checklist   • Check  their  passport  for  validity  and  visas.   • Change  the  currency  for  them  and  put  it  in  clear   ziplock  bags  so  that  they  can  easily  spot  it  in  their   bags.  F amiliarise  yourself  with  their  handbags  as   they  usually  have  multiple  compartments  and   forget  where  they  placed  their  money,  medications   or  reading  glasses.   • Carry  a  travel  light  and  put  it  n ext  to  their  bed  in   case  they  need  to  go  to  the  toilet  at  night.   • Have  a  printout  of  their  medication  in  case  there  is   an  emergency  and  you  can  give  it  to  the  medical   personnel  at  the  local  hospital;  or  in  case  they  lose   the  medications,  you  can  go  to  the  local  d octors  to   get  a  prescription.   • If  their  mobility  is  limited,  request  for  wheelchair   assistance  at  the  airports.  Do  this  at  booking.   • Pay  for  extra  leg  room  for  their  comfort  especially  if   they  have  arthritis.   • Make  their  meal  requests  prior  to  departure.   • Put  a  bold  coloured  ribbon  on  their  suitcase  handle   so  that  you  can  easily  spot  it  on  the  turnstile.   • Make  sure  their  hand-­‐carry  luggage  or  handbag   does  not  have  liquids  or  sharp  objects  like  a  nail-­‐ clipper  or  shaving  kit.   • Carry  an  extra  set  of  clothes  in  the  hand  luggage  in   case  of  any  spills  or  little  “accidents”.   • Carry  a  shawl  or  cardigan,  as  flights  can  get  cold.      


Travel Tips   • Keep  your  daily  visits  to  the  minimal;  on  your  own   you  could  perhaps  visit  three  places  of  interests  in  a   day  but  with  the  elderly,  you  could  only  manage  one   or  two.   • Plan  your  daily  itinerary  so  that  you  factor  in  p laces   for  toilet  stops  and  meals.  Not  all  toilets  are  elderly   friendly  so  you  also  need  to  factor  that  in.   • Carry  toilet  wipes  and  h and  sanitiser  or  wet-­‐wipes.   • Carry  a  water  bottle  as  their  throats  can  get  dry  and   itchy  when  the  climate  changes.   • Involve  them  in  the  activities;  whenever  Mother   visits  the  village,  she  always  wants  to  be  part  of  the   action.    One  visit,  she  wanted  to  be  on  the  farm   while  we  did  the  harvesting  so  we  brought  her  there   and  sat  her  on  the  chair.  On  another  day,  she   insisted  in  participating  in  the  food  preparation  so   we  brought  the  vegetables  to  where  she  was  sitting   in  the  yard.   • Check  with  the  staff  at  places  of  interests  if  they   have  wheelchairs.  I  was  pleasantly  surprised  that   most  of  the  major  Sikh  temples  in  Punjab  have   wheelchairs  making  it  easier  for  Mother.   • Not  all  tours  are  suited  for  elderly  because  of  their   pace  of  travel,  so  you  might  have  to  do  private  tours.      


in the hot seed

q & a:


A client  called  me  with  a  dilemma.    She  had  registered  herself  with   a  headhunter  and  for  three  months,  there  were  n o  leads  so  she   registered  with  a  second  headhunter.  Coincidentally,  both   headhunters  got  her  interviews  on  the  same  day  and  she  later  on   found  out  it  was  for  the  same  position  and  the  same  organisation.     The  first  meeting  was  with  the  Director  and  the  second  meeting   was  with  the  department  head  that  she  would  be  reporting  to.    She   was  uncertain  how  to  handle  this  situation  and  asked  me  for  advise.  


First it’s  puzzling  why  the  Director  and  department  h ead  were  working  with  two  d ifferent   headhunting  firms!  Doing  a  perceptual  position,  I  asked  h er  if  she  were  in  the  Director’s   position  and  at  the  meeting,  finds  out  that  the  potential  candidate  had  a  meeting  scheduled   with  the  head  later  that  day  and  Director  could  be  puzzled  why  she  d id  not  voice  it  out  so   that  they  could  have  planned  better  –  perhaps  both  of  them  meet  her  together.         I  advised  her  to  alert  the  two  headhunting  firms  to  inform  the  organisation  of  the  meetings   and  if  they  would  like  to  meet  her  together.    Unfortunately,  the  Director  was  upset  about   the  two  meetings  and  cancelled  both  the  meetings  thus  she  lost  the  interview  opportunity.     Naturally,  she  was  disappointed  but  I  asked  to  consider  if  she  really  want  to  work  in  such  an   environment  where  the  Director  refused  to  work  around  a  situation  where  there  was  an   easy  solution?  His  reason  for  refusing  the  meeting  was  that  candidate  had  approached  two   search  companies!  Now,  that  cannot  be  a  reasonable  reason.  It  seems  more  like  internal   power  politics  and  lack  of  internal  communication.  Unfortunately  such  power  politics  still   exist  and  my  take  is,  if  the  leader  gets  upset  over  something  like  this,  how  does  the  leader   handle  bigger  crisis?  Stay  with  the  facts  in  situations  like  this  and  keep  the  emotions  out.  

If you  have  a  question  on  a  life   or  work  transition,  write  to  us  at   and  we  will  feature  your   questions  and  reply  on  this  page.   23

‌I specialise in Transitional Transformation Coaching for women in transition; to smoothen the transition period, to give clarity and equip you with skills to move effortlessly to the next phase. My coaching philosophy is to take you from being a blunt tool to the sharpest tool in the shed‌ Rachpal Kaur Tulsi

+ Reigniting Personal Belief; Reclaiming Personal Power Rachpal Kaur Tulsi Consultant/Coach 24

Profile for A Dash of Spice

A dash of spice october 2015  

Where women inspire women

A dash of spice october 2015  

Where women inspire women