I know it’s been a while…

Have I abandoned my first child? Perhaps. So, I guess I have some explaining to do, Happies.

As many of you know I’m due to give birth pretty much any day now, and while I consider The Happiness Cocktail my ‘first’ child, the reality is that my real, human first child is taking up all my headspace. Something has changed in me in the past month, something where I’ve gone insular, nesty, homey and most definitely focussed on the impeding arrival of my little man. Things like blogging and twitter and instagram have suddenly fallen out of my realm, as I single-mindedly do everything I can to mentally, physically, emotionally and literally prepare for not only the baby but the labour as well. I’m meditating, yoga-ing, cleaning, washing, resting… but not blogging. I’m taking some time for me, I guess.


Which is wonderful and everything The Happiness Cocktail is all about, right? It’s about living your life in an honest way and tuning in, listening and not buckling under the pressure of other people. But the timing isn’t great, as I’ve just found out I’m a finalist in the coveted Bupa Health Influencer Blog Awards, an amazing achievement and something I’m really proud of. It’s so nice to be recognised among other like-minded, extraordinarily inspiring people and have people nominate me in the first place. WOW! So there’s a part of me that wants to earn a win and blog and blog and blog and scream from all my social media platforms that I am a finalist! But the reality is, my priorities have shifted.

And this is all a part of the journey. I’ve come to realise over the past 9 months that there will always be timing mismatches, pushes and pulls, shifts, movements and changes in life, and the best way to deal with them is to be OK with where you’re at, stay focussed on your end goal and know that when you follow your heart and your gut, there is no right or wrong. There just is.

So with that in mind I’m going to be honest and say that I’m not sure when my next post will be. I might get the urge to write in between night time feeds or I might not. I won’t know until I’m in the midst of it all. But until then, I’ll still be uploading things to instagram and Facebook and keeping you up-to-date with all things Happiness Cocktail related. But do know this, I’ll be back on a more regular basis really soon, armed with an entire new chapter of lessons to discuss and share and learn from. So keep in touch!

Stay Happy,

Yaz xxx

The Absolute Beginner’s Guide To Meditation

We all know the benefits of meditation, but when it actually comes to sitting down and giving it a go, people generally say 1 of 3 things to me:

1. I don’t know how to meditate

2. I can’t sit still for 2 minutes, let alone 20

3. I can’t get my thoughts to stop

Well, Happies, here’s the good news. There’s nothing to really learn as such, or be good at, and when it comes to stopping your thoughts, unless you’re as enlightened as the Dalai Lama, you’re not expected to. You just need to let them keep flowing and not get stuck on any one thought, rather than look into blankness altogether.


So, I’m no meditation expert but I have done my fair share of courses and do try to practice as often as I can. Here’s what’s helped me along the way…


Often people say they can’t sit still because their mind is on other things, they’re worried about work or their to do list. First things first, schedule in your meditation time so you can relax about the other stuff and know you have allocated this particular time to yourself. Once you make that a priority and literally make space in your life for meditation, you can train your brain to be present with you, rather than wandering off all the time.


The brilliance of meditation is that you don’t have to sit there for 40 minutes in your first session to see results. In fact, if you try to do that you’re going to get restless and over it really quickly. Think of meditation as muscle training: you wouldn’t expect to look like Arnie in one weights session at the gym, so why expect the same with your meditation? Instead, start off with a 3 minute meditation, then 5 minute, then 10 minute and so on, building up the strength in your concentration over a realistic time frame.


Sometimes it’s the simplest things that make the biggest difference, and with meditation, it’s often something as mundane as your posture that makes or breaks your practice. So, choose either a lying or comfortable sitting position. I like to lie when I’m practicing yoga nidra or meditating at night, and sit any other time. I love my meditation pillow but a chair works just as well. If you’re lying down, position your feet so they’re apart and your palms face up. Make sure everything is aligned. If you’re sitting, sit up straight, pull your chin slightly in and make sure your shoulders are in line with your hips and your legs are comfortable.


Once you’re comfortable, it’s time to get started. I like listening to guided meditations (see below) as they help you focus on the practice. I highly recommend these for beginners or monkey minds. Alternatively you can listen to music or enjoy the silence of your surrounds. Just make sure your eyes are closed and you are meditating in a calm, quiet environment to start with. Once you get stronger, you can meditate anywhere (on the bus, in the car, around your family) but for now, just light a candle or find a quiet place in nature, sit serenely and close your eyes.


While some meditations use a mantra, I find that just focusing on your breath is the easiest way to concentrate. Think about how your breath enters and exits your nose, pay attention to your breathing, is it shallow? Deep? Stressed? Tired? Start tuning into your body but always remain focused on your breath. If thoughts come up, just let them go. If another one pops up, let it go too. The key is to just keep letting your thoughts pass like a running river and focus on your breath.

So that’s it. That’s essentially all there is to meditation. It’s not hard, in fact, it’s the easiest thing ever. Just sit and breathe. That’s it! If you’re interested in those guided meditations, here are the ones on high rotation in my house…

1. Meditation for Beginners – Baron Baptiste

2. 7 Meditations: Small Meditations & Visualisations for Your Everyday LIfe – Mette Sorrensen

3. Rosie’s Yoga Nidra

4. Basic Yoga Meditation – Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati

5. Ahhh Inspiring Meditation – Michael Hallock

Tell me Happies…

Do you meditate?
Does this help?

Stay Happy,

Yaz x

Video: The Weekly Wellness Ritual – Jojoba Scalp Massage

Let me put my beauty editor cap on for today’s Wellness Ritual, Happies, and treat you all to a bit of insider knowledge: Jojoba Oil (the pure, good stuff) is an amazing remedy for scalp irritation and dryness.

This sudden change of season might see your scalp getting slightly more dry than it was in the hotter months, or perhaps, like me, your hormones are causing shifts in the way your body reacts to its environment. Either way, this simple scalp massage will not only rebalance your scalp, but your mind as well. It’s pure bliss. Enjoy!

Tell me Happies…

What do you think of scalp massage?
Keen to give it a go?

The Brown Rice Basics

With all the fancy wild, red and black rice options these days, it’s hard to remember why we love the humble brown rice so much. Not to mention the movement towards skipping grains altogether in favour of living like our long lost caveman ancestors. So, today I thought I’d pay homage to this tasty little grain and remind you, you and you what makes brown rice such a simple, standout option.

Unlike its processed friend, white rice, BR still has its bran layers intact, meaning that all the goodness hasn’t been stripped away. What goodness you ask? Well, brown rice contains the highest amount of B vitamins of all his grainy mates, as well as iron, vitamin E, amino acids, and linoleic acid. It’s also high in fibre, low is sodium and made up of 80% complex carbs – a good thing if you want to remain nice and full hours after eating your favourite brown rice dish.

So what does all this mean for you? I thought you’d never ask. Brown rice promotes ace digestion; it’s good for your guts, Happies. It also, rather remarkably, quenches your thirst AND, in case you needed more, it balances blood sugar and controls mood swings (great if you suffer PMS).

Here’s a big, long list…

brown rice

When looking for options, go for organic brown rice if possible or a high quality option that doesn’t have any (or many) nasty little green grains. Store it in a glass container that’s airtight and cook when needed, remembering the basic ratio of 1 cup of brown rice to 2 cups of water or stock.

Looking for some recipe inspiration? Try my Mexican Brown Rice with Egg and AvoFried Brown Rice with ‘Shrooms, Greens and Tofu; my scrumptious Brown Rice and Tofu Patties; or for something fast my 15 minute Brown Rice Sushi Rolls with Asian Salad. YUM!!!

Tell me Happies…

Do you like brown rice?
What’s your favourite brown rice recipe?

Five Amazing Wellness Tips We Can All Learn From My Trip to Hayman Island

I’m still relishing in the goodness of my recent trip to Hayman Island. It was gloriously decadent without being brash and over-the-top, and focussed on the things that mean the most to me – health, wellbeing and finding serenity in the craziness of modern life. Sounds amazing, right?

Well here’s how it works. Hayman Island, the 5-star luxury resort in the Whitsunday Islands, has just launched their very own Spa & Wellness Program, led by their resident wellness expert, Ryko Kalinko. Think of this as an opportunity to reconnect with yourself, learn new life skills, relax and indulge in some seriously tasty (yet superbly healthy) fare over 4 blissful days.

Here’s what I learned…

1. Make The Morning Your Most Precious Time of Day


I’m not a ‘bed springer’. I slowly open my eyes, resist the early morning light and usually roll straight back over for an extra half hour of sleepy bliss. On the flip side of that, I never sleep in past about 8:30am, but for those lucky bed springers this seems like a late start.

But here’s what I learned; those sacred few hours between around 5-7am are the most precious of the day. The world is awakening, the tide is turning and your spirit is ready to be embodied. Sleep through all that and you’ve missed out on a really beautiful, grounding time of day.

And so I’m changing. Instead of going back to sleep I’m making an effort to wake up when I first open my eyes, embracing the morning with a little meditation and morning exercise to lube up my limbs and get me ready for the day ahead. Be it chi gung, tai chi, movement meditation or yoga (all of which you learn at the retreat), I’m trying it. So stay tuned for the instalments on my Weekly Wellness Rituals, as they’re bound to pop up soon.

2. Be Open To Receiving and Sharing Information

I never used to be very good at opening up. I preferred to pretend things were always great, when in reality I may have wanted to scream. Or cry. Or do both at the same time. Over the past few years, as I’ve worked hard at delving into the depths of myself, I’ve learned to open up, express myself and share information with other people. It’s a gloriously liberating experience feeling open to receiving, because when we spend our lives giving, it leaves us with nothing in the tank. Of course, you need to still give, but giving and taking in equal measures is what creates balance and harmony.

Ryko is a true wealth of information and knowledge. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that he is the most spiritually advanced person I’ve ever met. His ability to listen and heal and teach is truly what sets this program apart from many other wellness programs out there, so by being open – rather than resistant – to any changes or experiences that come up, allows you to really get the most out of your stay. That same can be said in life, too.

3. Let Go of Inhibitions

Let Go

One of the mornings we were there was spent doing a series of morning exercises, one of which included interpretive dance. At first we were all a little apprehensive as we bounced around on the grass, our arms flailing and my baby bump gently shuffling from side to side. From a distance we must have looked ridiculous, but as we kept going and let go of those inhibitions, the experience was hilariously fun. I felt free, alive, filled with energy and happy. So, so happy.

The lesson? So much of life is dictated by rules and worries of what other people think. It’s confining, uncomfortable and totally unnecessary. Even if you still live within those confines (and let’s be honest, most of us do), make time to break free of these shackles with a little free movement in the park, or in the privacy of your own home. I’m already planning on making morning dance a daily ritual with my son as soon as he’s old enough to stand up, and I already swan around the house making my husband break into fits of hysterical laughter. It’s great to feel uninhibited, so strip off and let loose, would you!

4. Slowing Down Ironically Speeds You Right Up


Know someone who’s like a bee in a bottle? You know, manically busy, stressed and so highly strung it’s almost hard to be around them. We all have one of those in our life, and while the fear of slowing down might make them feel their ‘to-do’ list is getting done, the reality is the busyness in their head is causing them to move around in circles. Oh, the irony.

Here’s the truth. No matter how busy you are, if you make just a little time to stop! And breathe, even 2 minutes, you will instantly reset your brain and have more clarity, focus and concentration than you did just 2 minutes ago. By slowing down, even for a few breaths, you are actually speeding right up, but in a much healthier, more manageable way. There’s nothing good about stress, rushing around, manically switching from task-to-task, so make it a priority to switch off EVERYDAY and learn to push reset. Your mind (and body) will thank you for it.

Tell me Happies…
What do you think of these lessons?
Do you want to do the Hayman Spa & Wellness Retreat?

Stay Happy,

Yaz x