Emma Currie: Wine, Women & Wholeheartedness

 

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Photo by Tamlyn Patterson Photography

 

When I first moved to the Mornington Peninsula area a couple of years ago, I obsessively followed a gorgeous blog called Marvellous Mornington Peninsula. It’s author, Emma Currie, would blog about everything from wineries with playgrounds to day spas to where to buy the most beautiful blooms. She seemed to intuitively respond to exactly what I needed in my life!

I stalked her on Insta and when I finally met Emma in person at a blogger’s meet up, I was absolutely delighted to find that she is one of those rare people who is as beautiful in real life as she is on her blog.

Fast forward several months and in addition to writing her blog, working, raising a toddler and spreading Peninsula love on Instagram, Emma has launched Mornington Peninsula Wine Club- an open invitation to women to get together and connect with like minded people.

I sat down with Emma on the weekend and picked her brain about her why. This was going to be a formal Q and A session but, as always, once we got chatting it turned into a long convo so I will sum up the key points as best I can!

 

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Emma Currie, founder of Mornington Peninsula Mums Wine Club. Photo by Tamlyn Patterson Photography

 

It came as a surprise to me to learn that Emma can feel just as reserved and shy as the rest of us when it comes to meeting new people. The wine club was born from a desire to meet new mums and have some time out. That may have been where it started but since the first meet up in March 2018, it has evolved into something much bigger.

Maybe it’s because it’s obvious that this is a passion project. Maybe it’s because each meet up raises money for MSFIN (which you can learn more about here). Maybe it’s because small businesses recognise the value in sharing the love with dozens of locals and so supply awesome raffle prizes. Or maybe it’s just because Emma has tapped into a need for all of us to connect and engage. Whatever the reason, the club has gone from strength to strength over the last few months.

I, personally, have gone to each and every event. I love meeting locals and chatting to people about what they’re up to and what’s happening on the Peninsula. Highlights for me would have to be hearing Meredith Gaston (author/artist) talk about her take on wellness, meeting some lovely ladies I have only formally connected with via Insta and doing a flower-crown making workshop while drinking local wine at Mercetta in Mornington.

 

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Amanda Dark, Emma Currie and Katie Jones at the first Mornington Peninsula Wine Club event. Photograph by Tamlyn Patterson Photography

 

As you can see, each event is different. Guest speakers, raffle draws, workshops, informal group dinners; there’s even a pop up shopping night at Commonfolk Coffee coming up in June which is set to be epic. There will also be a Prosecco Van there! There really is something for everyone.

The July event is set to take place at beautiful Stumpy Gully Winery. I am so excited for that one as I have never been before and it’s been on my list for ages.

The best part (I think) is that tickets reflect the price of food and a glass of wine. No mark up. This is not a profit making exercise, it is truly something Emma does because she is a legend! The other great part is that you can come to one per year or all of them. There’s no membership; you just purchase your ticket for whatever event you want to go to.

So, have there been surprises along the way?

Emma says yes. “I have been surprised by how many ladies come along solo. It takes a lot of courage and I really admire them for that. Being a mum can be an isolating and bewildering experience. This offers women a chance to make new friends and I love making them feel special. Every woman deserves that.”

See! That’s why I love her so much. Such. A. Gem.

But don’t just take my word for it! I asked some locals why they decided to bite the bullet and come along to an event. Here’s what they had to say:

“I wanted to attend the wine night dinner because I wanted to meet people like me. I’m always keen to support local and I just wanted to get out of my comfort zone and meet people I wouldn’t necessarily get to meet in my day to day life. I feel like there are so many amazing women who I want to meet and chat with and this is a great opportunity for me to do that” says Karina (you can find Karina on Instagram here as @locallovin_morningtonpeninsula )

“There’s always such a great atmostphere at the MP Mums Wine nights!” says Lauren (who you can find on Insta here as @mpmade_scene_eat)

“The crown workshop was such an eye opener that we all need to take time out of our busy schedules to focus on us and our creative side. What a wonderful experience to learn how to make flower crowns with a lovely supportive group of women. Come as a group or come on your own, Emma makes sure everyone feels like they have been friends forever and when you throw in a glass of wine and great food it’s such a winner!” says Malene (find her on Insta here as one half of the @twotravellingplanners.)

“MPM Wine Club is such a great concept. I love connecting with amazing and talented local ladies on the Peninsula and checking out new places. The guest speakers always make sure it’s also about self development which I love. And wine, did I mention wine?” says Julia (you can find her on Insta as @mumsgottatravel here)

If you would like to learn more about the Mornington Peninsula Wine Club or would like to purchase a ticket for an upcoming event, visit www.marvellousmp.com/

While you are there, take a look around her blog. I promise you that you’ll learn something new and be inspired to explore this beautiful place we call home.

Thanks for chatting with me Emma! And thank you for giving me a reason to put on lipstick once a month!

Wine not your thing? How about coffee? Read about our fave drive thru coffee places here.

Part Two: Rainbow Light Therapies

To read part one where Mini had a session with Kim from Rainbow Light Therapies, check out Excavating Undertones with Rainbow Light Therapies |Local Biz Review. This time, it was my turn to take time out and head to Langwarrin to the cosy hideaway that is Rainbow Light Therapies.

I’ve been really stressed out lately. I think it’s the kids, the hot weather, the work and the life. I explained all this to Kim during our session and within minutes she confirmed what I already knew: anxiety. I’ve struggled with it on and off my whole adult life and even though I am all about transparency, I don’t like admitting when I have it. But Kim saw through that almost instantly and had me up on her treatment table as quick as a flash.

This is where Kim is one of the most interesting people I have ever met. Behind her eyes I just know that there is so much going on. She’s picking up on things unseen and feeling energy but her manner is so calm, so in control that I found myself wanting to throw myself at her feet and wail “Fixxxxx meeeeeee.” Kim would probably argue that there’s nothing to fix. That stress and anxiety are a natural part of life and that the strategies in coping with, rather than trying to rid ourselves of, are going to have a much more positive impact in the long term.

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During my treatment,  I lay on a treatment table (like a massage table) and, with my permission, Kim lightly touched different areas of my body. She was clearing out all the old crap by sweeping it out through my feet.

What I felt: Emotional. I cried. A lightening in my stomach area.

What I thought about: Well, nothing really. We chatted during the treatment but I was very much in the moment with Kim.

What happened afterwards: I lost my appetite for a few days. Thought ALOT about the topics we had covered. Tried to be more gentle with myself and stop being such a psycho. It seemed to work.

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It ended up being quite a personal experience (more personal than when I got a spray tan before I met Matty J and got my boobs out with a very nice woman I’d met on the internet) so it’s hard to put it into words without delving into 97 of my ongoing issues. But I did feel lighter afterwards and I felt compelled to make another appointment.

Mini Update: She is still sleeping really well. She does yoga every night before bed and, apart from when she was recently sick, she has been staying in her bed all night. Yay!

You can get in touch with Kim via her website here

Want more ways to do things that make your soul happy? Read this!Where Art Thou?

 

 

Excavating Undertones with Rainbow Light Therapies |Local Biz Review.

If I said the word “aura” to you, would you stop reading this blog post on account of it being too woo-woo? What about if I said “holistic counselling”? Whether you acknowledge the link between body and mind or not, I think we can all agree that stress and anxiety DO take their toll on how we react and feel in every day life. Agree? Phew, let’s carry on then.

When Kim Norton, the beautiful brain behind Rainbow Light Therapies approached me to see if I’d like to learn more about her business in Langwarrin, I was unsure what to expect. So like all good mother’s I volunteered Mini for a session. Mini is big into mediation and is on a first name basis with the forces of the universe. She is also a deep thinker (like both her parents – the poor kid got a double dose of the ruminator gene.) and is quite empathetic. This translates to being a typical (slightly erring on the side of highly intelligent) kid but one whom cannot watch films (not even Paw Patrol) and you can forget about anything with loud noises (ie circus acts, motor bikes.) She has also taken to jumping into our bed in the middle of the night which means no one gets any sleep. Cue cranky mum. I am sure I am not alone in this issue!

So, we went down to meet Kim and see if she could help us out with this particular challenge. We’ve done straight up bribes and….well actually that has been our one and only strategy up until now. Sticker charts, ACTUAL money #desperate and promises of toys.

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This is what occurred during the session:

  • I walked in and felt instantly calm. The space is professional but welcoming.
  • It occurred to me within 5 minutes that Kim actually knows exactly what she is doing. All ideas I had of woo-woo nonsense went out the window.
  • Mini TALKED. And talked. And talked. She was talking about how she sees shadows in her bedroom and about how much she loves her pink wall and about how sometimes when she starts thinking about something she cannot distract herself and she just keeps thinking about it. I had no idea about any of this.
  • Kim gave her three things to try when she wakes up at night in order to go back to sleep in her own bed. Then Mini practiced those things.

To be completely honest, I held about 55% hope that Mini would suddenly start sleeping in her own bed. That night we did our teeth, book, yoga routine and I tucked her in before reminding her of her three new strategies. And then the magic happened. SHE. DID. NOT. GET. UP. UNTIL. MORNING. Whaaaaaa? It worked! And then it worked the next night and the next. Admittedly there has been a blip or two during the last two weeks; when Dylan goes out she slyly announces that it’s a girl’s night and I find her tucked up next to me in the morning. But overall, there has been a massive improvement.

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Kim also sent me some reading material about empathy in children and it was really relevant not only to Mini but to our whole little family.

If you’d like to learn more about Kim and what she could offer you or your family, take a look at her website. FYI, Kim is registered for NDIS and is a member of the International Institute of Complementary Therapies. She is accredited and has a current Working With Children’s Check.

Tune in next time to hear all about what happened when I booked MYSELF in for an appointment to tackle stress, anxiety and my lifelong need to be in charge (read: control freak.)

Read about my own appointment here: Part Two: Rainbow Light Therapies

 

Untamed Flowers on The Mornington Peninsula

You know how people talk about perks of the job with things like a work car or 10 weeks of holidays or international travel etc? Well my perks as a writer and digital content creator are EVEN BETTER THAN ALL OF THOSE because I live on the Mornington Peninsula. A few weekends ago I was invited to Villa Floretti – a working flower farm – down in Boneo to participate in a flower workshop with Dawn from Peninsula Wild Flower. I’ve been doing some copywriting for their new website and getting immersed in the natives brings forth sentences from my brain that would otherwise be mixed up in the garbled mess of teething and school pick up.
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Let me set the scene. Villa Floretti is this incredible working flower farm filled with fields of natives. Beyond the fields is the sea and to add to the beauty of the farm itself is a barn, a dog called Olive and an onsite cook and flower picker called Richard Barassi who is on a T.V show. It is nothing short of magical with a side of the absurd as Olive greets each visitor with a little too much enthusiasm and the flower fields serve up impossibly beautiful King Proteas.

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In our intimate group there were a couple of brides-to-be scoping out potential wedding flowers, one or two aspiring flower arrangers, a curious local and myself. We were accompanied by Dawn the head florist forager at Peninsula Wild Flower and the owner of Villa Floretti, Richelle.

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We started the day with a sit down meal cooked by Richard of The Intolerant Cook fame. Chicken, carrots, asparagus and cake. There are only so many words in the English Language for amazing but oh mio dio, it was belissimo. After we’d cried “Salute!” and downed some Italian wine we set off for a guided tour through the flower fields.

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By what felt like chance, we eventually came across a table set up in the middle of a King Protea field equipped with buckets and buckets of freshly cut natives, a pair of shears each and a whisper of magic in the air. As we took our places, Dawn expertly guided us through the process of arranging an abundant bouquet. Okay, an aside: Dawn is amazing. You will never meet anyone more humble and she will certainly not blow her own trumpet so let me. Dawn’s talent is almost other worldly. You can see her clear her mind and make working with flowers almost meditative. This woman worked with the Queen. The actual Queen. And did a royal wedding in Madrid. But she is the least pretentious person I know; she just genuinely adores flowers. I know, I want to be her too.

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After offering one on one guidance to each participant we tied our bouquets together and headed back to the barn for some handmade chocolates. By this point I was on realestate.com looking up flower farms for sale and dreaming of a live in chef.

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Alas, as I drove home down the sun dappled roads of the Mornington Peninsula the only thing that made returning to real life tolerable was the notion that I would return to the fields for the next workshop.

If you have not already, you MUST check out these classes. Give Dawn a call on 0431 029 345 to find out how you can book yourself in for a day of lusciousness.

Want to learn about another gorgeous small business on the Peninsula? Introducing Brilliant Bianca

Peninsula Wellness Store

Practicing self love, as a mama, is so important. But it is also so hard to prioritise in amongst the white noise of school pick up, pumpkin stains and the daily trimming of precious minutes to yourself. I practice micro self love moments. For me, this looks like 5 minute meditations, baths with Epsom salts, foot massages, new nail polish…you get the idea.

I have recently discovered a gorgeous local online business: Peninsula Wellness Store. Owner/Operator Carissa is in her final year of studying naturopathy and has recently added her own creations to her store. She very kindly sent me a couple of complimentary products to try out.

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They were packaged beautifully and each product came with a little swing tag with printed instructions and ingredients. And look at those gorgeous sticky labels. Pretty! I love a bit of bohemian branding.

The Bite Ease roller blend smells good enough to wear as perfume. Seriously. It’s amazing. And the roller top makes application easy for dramatic five year olds who are claiming to have bites but who secretly just like the smell.

 

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Easy roll on application

Does it work? It seemed to. It felt like a gentle antiseptic.

The Face Serum smelt beautiful too with the lemon and orange essential oil blend (amongst other oils.) I loved that I could use it on my hands without a greasy feeling. I even used it to give myself a foot massage and it was divine!

 

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“I don’t want to be an Instagram Husband’ Said Insta Husband as I forced him to take this photo over my shoulder.

 

 

Overall, the Peninsula Wellness Store offers you a chance to take time out and be kind to yourself. The treat for your senses -the smell and the soothing application- feels like a mini luxury. I think we could all do with a bit of that!

To learn more about this wonderful Mornington Peninsula business, take a look at their website here: http://peninsulawellnessstore.com.au/