Seize the Yay
Summary: A lawyer turned funtrepreneur's investigation into how some of the world's most inspiring people find their "yay", whether it's through work, rest or play and any other pearls of wisdom they have along the way.
Welcome to November beautiful people, this year has just flown by I can't believe we're already thinking about Christmas! Still on a total wedding high and getting used to the new name - we're actually in Byron Bay this week for our mini moon so it seemed the perfect week to release this episode with Mullumbimby girl, Renée Bargh. I was lucky enough to record this one in Renée's beautiful home in Venice Beach when I was in LA on the way to Necker Island a few weeks ago and she had literally just come out of the ocean, what an absolute goddess. Despite an incredibly successful career over in the US, she remains a down to earth, Aussie beach baby whose family and friends mean more to her than anything. Having always lived for the performing arts, presenting was not Renée's first or even second love. After studying at Brent Street, Renée first set her sights on a career in dancing but then got picked up by Sony as part of a girl band (very originally called Girlband). It was a happy accident that got her into presenting with National Bingo Night on Seven then Surfari on Channel 9, followed by Channel V which then led her to her current position in LA as host on Extra TV alongside co host Mario Lopez and this is her ninth year on the job. Holding her own in Hollywood on the most fancy of red carpets, Renée's charm and talents have won her TWO Emmy awards that you'll hear I made her whip out during our chat. She speaks candidly about making it, homesickness and finding balance and I hope you enjoy as much as I did. + Follow Renée at @reneebargh + More about our videographers, Moon and Back Co + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
We've chatted across a couple of episodes now about therapy and psychologists and I've had so many people mention how positive this was for them to have mental health normalised and discussed more openly. You may know I regularly see a psychologist and have for years now, and while I didn't think it was quite appropriate to have my own therapist on the show, one of our beautiful long time followers and listeners Amy Kate Isaacs very kindly stepped in for a chat AND flew in to Melbourne from Brisbane for the occasion - what an absolute legend (you can clearly tell we're in Melbourne from the background tram noises - soz!) Amy Kate took the long academic road to psychology practice finishing with her Master's degree and is now a Developmental psychologist and founder of the Mindful Collective. She uniquely combines the technical science of psychology with the increasingly important notions of mindfulness and lifestyle factors in promoting good mental wellbeing. I loved exploring both the vocational depths of studying the mind with her but also finding out the many different parts of her journey from being a school chaplain to now practising with a THERAPY DOG, Evie. I'm so grateful that she also openly shared her personal experiences with therapy following two sexual assaults to help open up discussions that we haven't yet covered on the show and to show that finding your yay can sometimes involve the darkest obstacles but that the right help and support can put you back on a path of lightness and joy. SIDE NOTE: Amy Kate has just announced that she is opening up her very own The Mindful Collective studio in Paddington in November!!!!! HOW EXCITING!!!! Stay tuned! + Follow Amy Kate at @themindfulcollective + More about the American Express Platinum Business Card + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
Only one sleep to go until we tie the knot!!! Thank you all so much for submitting your questions and for getting so excited with us, we did our best to answer most of them and had a great giggle along the way. + More about the American Express Platinum Card + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
This guest is one of my favourite human beings who I've known since way back in our school days! You're in for a solid hour or so of hysterical laughter - I was laughing out loud on the plane editing this, it is FULL of yay. There are many reasons why you might have heard of the beautiful Olympia Valance - her sister Holly, her four years on the iconic Neighbours, her incredible talents on Dancing with the Stars... but today we're celebrating season two of PLAYING FOR KEEPS that starts TONIGHT (Oct 16th) on Channel 10 at 8:30pm. The first season kept us on the edge of our seats with the drama, affairs, and heartbreak of the wives and girlfriends of the fictional Southern Jets AFL club in Melbourne and, as you'll hear Olympia spill, the next season is bigger and better than ever. After earning her stripes as girl-next-door Paige on Neighbours, Olympia absolutely nails her new role as the fiercely powerful, incredibly bitchy but, as time goes on, vulnerable Thalia - wife of the Captain of the team. I won't bang on too much because this episode is longer than usual, but it was one of the most enjoyable hours I've spent finding out more about creating roles, her life outside of acting, the woes of having hobbit feet and everything in between. + Full show notes here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
Hello beautiful people. You've probably noticed that this year has involved a big conversion from non-runner to running lover and I've had a lot of questions from fellow curious but reluctant runners about getting started and building up to finding the joy in running. So, I figured I'd turn to one of the experts to help out who also has a super interesting way to yay and is our first Kiwi on the show! I met the lovely Lydia O'Donnell through the Nike family just after she had WON the Surf Coast marathon. As well as being an elite marathon runner, she's also a running coach AND qualified geologist of all things! As you'll hear, one of the things I love about her is that while her elite level might seem very serious and intimidating (and she might have treated it that way at times), she ultimately came back to running purely for joy and for her mental health and she's even founded her own running community, One Step is All It Takes, to raise awareness of the benefits of running and movement for anxiety and depression. We had such a fun chat in the Joyride lab at Nike HQ in Melbourne and she also shared some of her practical coaching wisdom to help us all get out and pound that pavement - hope you enjoy! + Follow Lydia here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
We've had a truly amazing 2019 so far and I didn't think things could really ramp up much more, but the past few weeks have been a blur of excitement and I can't quite believe where this episode is being published from. For the coming week, I'll be on Necker Island in the Caribbean with Sir Richard Branson and twenty other amazing business women facilitated by the incredible team at Business Chicks. I won't start gushing or I'll take up the whole intro, but I don't think you could seize more yay than that so I'm sure I'll be bombarding you in no time. If you haven't heard the Business Chicks story you can head back to founder Emma Isaacs' episode to catch up and we've had several other wonderful members of the Business Chicks community on the show. Today's is another one of those who I've been so excited about, as it's our first medical professional to join for a chat. Yep, the wonderful Dr Nikki Stamp is our guest for this episode, one of Australia's 11 cardiothoracic surgeons. Originally from Perth with dreams of being a performer, her father encouraged her to first complete a degree during which she fell in love with medicine and never looked back. Having completed the gruelling years of training to become a surgeon she is now not only saving lives on the daily but has also just released her second book the day we recorded a few weeks ago, Pretty Unhealthy, is a public speaker, mentor and passionate supporter of women in medicine. I'm a bit squeamish so couldn't have hacked it in medicine but still have SO much curiosity about it as you'll hear very clearly, and I hope you find it as fascinating as I did to hear about life as a surgeon. + Full show notes here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
Today's guest is one of the people I admire most in this world who is the fiercely passionate thought leader behind The Body Image Movement and whose first film, the documentary Embrace, has reached over 100 million people with her message about learning to love your body. Taryn Brumfitt broke the internet in 2013 with an unconventional before and after photo where the after shot was heavier and HAPPIER than the leaner before shot taken during a body building competition when she was more restrictive, less balanced and less happy. After going viral all over the world and receiving over 7000 messages from women struggling with body confidence, she wrote a book and crowdfunded an incredible documentary, Embrace, that is set to become Australia's highest grossing documentary ever. She is now in the process of raising money for the second film, Embrace Kids, and I couldn't be more excited for the positive impact and contribution it will make to a comparative, competitive and sometimes overwhelming world that our children will grow up in. Not only is she making serious waves in the world, she also loves to play and doesn't take life too seriously which I LOVE about her and the cackles are next level - hope you smile as much as I did during our chat!!! + Full show notes here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
I know it's a little late this week, so please excuse my travel brain - I released the wrong episode then didn't have this one ready but it's here and you'll probably get another very shortly. I pinch myself during most Seize the Yay chats, but this one in particular felt like a beautiful full circle I never thought was possible. I've been a customer of Endota Spa for so many years now (since as far back as uni) but especially during my legal career when it was my absolute saviour and could never have dreamed I'd be sitting down with founder Melanie Gleeson at Endota HQ for a gasbag. Self-care didn't come as naturally to me back then but an hour at Endota Spa would bring me back to life and my monthly Endota visit has endured to this day. It's such a beautiful haven that started on the Mornington Peninsula when Melanie was just 26 and has now grown to a multimillion dollar network with over 100 locations and 1000 staff. It was a such a pleasure to hear about Mel's way to yay from an exchange to Scotland, a career in theatrical hair and make-up before founding what was one of the very first day spas in Melbourne well before it was trendy. It's also probably one of my favourite play to yay chats too where we discover some mutual quirky interests and spend the rest of the episode in hysterics. Hope you enjoy! + Follow Endota here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
I've been so excited to put this episode out into the world since we recorded it a few weeks ago. If there wasn't already enough yay going on up until this point, we were lucky enough to head to Adelaide to record this one on location at Adelaide Zoo!!! Nic and I are both absolutely obsessed with animals and one of the jobs I've been super keen to showcase on the show is zoo-keeping, so I'm delighted to have Senior Zookeeper Michelle Birkett on the show to confirm that it is in fact the best job ever. And we didn't just to get to record our chat, we spent a full day exploring and meeting the beautiful animals at the zoo beforehand. I loved meeting Michelle not only because she adores what she does, but also because it's been something she's wanted to do since she was younger and kept at it despite everyone telling her she'd "eventually grow out of it". She's also one of the first people we've had on who doesn't struggle as much with the productivity pressure and relentless achievement conveyer belt that we've talked about a lot in prior episodes. It's so refreshing to hear her perspective on ambition and how that doesn't always have to go upwards. I also loved that she still squeezed in some time overseas and lots of different jobs along the way but nothing swayed her away from life at the zoo. Hope she lights you up as much as she did us! + Full show notes here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
There are so many people who have contributed time, wisdom and hugs to getting me to where I am today, but this guest is one who I can absolutely say I wouldn't have started without. In fact, Jess Hatzis might just be the first person I ever told about the idea for Matcha Maiden and I am forever grateful for her overwhelming love and support then and at every stage of the journey since. And it's no wonder I continue to turn to her for wisdom being a co-founder of global skincare sensation, Frank Body, as well as trailblazing creative agency Willow & Blake and more recently, a new gym Frame Cremorne with her husband. She has been a business woman laying the groundwork for the entrepreneurial boom that was to come since before most of us had ever been exposed to start ups and leaving corporate jobs to follow dreams. It's not often that your second job ever is your own business and even rarer than your second business then explodes just a few years later. Starting with $5000 and a production line of friends, family and whoever else they could get together, Jess and the four other co-founders of Frank Body grew the business to tens of millions of dollars of revenue in a few short years. Theirs is the ultimate social media start up sensation story and there are few corners of the world that Frank Body hasn't reached. It was a delight to hear the journey again I can never hear it too many times and loved hearing what's happened since I heard it last. I have looked up to Jess for the longest time and am so grateful she joined the show to share some of her pearls of wisdom, biggest lessons and why Kipfler potatoes are the best. + Full show notes here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
This week, we welcome our first tri-citizen to the show who became an Australian citizen the day before we recorded. I always feel so lucky to have such incredible and supportive people around me and Kemi Nekvapil is one of the wisest and most empowering - how lucky Australia is to have her and if anyone has heard her speak before, you'll no doubt agree. With British, Nigerian AND Australian citizenship, Kemi spent her childhood in five different foster families and her early adulthood with as many different careers covering stage and television acting, professional baking and yoga teaching before she even touched on her current calling as a coach, author, speaker and now podcaster! Through challenge, open mindedness and a lot of self-development, Kemi has developed a unique resilience, agility and power and I always leave her presence feeling enlightened and excited for human potential. In true Seize the Yay fashion, Kemi was an open and honest book and I loved exploring the concepts of cultural identity, self-acceptance, the marvellous workings of the universe and the incredible moment when you realise you have CHOICE with her in such depth. This is the perfect blend of serious, life-changing imparting of wisdom and hysterical laugher about nipple pinching, body hair, and home births... As you'll hear, she's starting her own podcast this week and the launch is only a few days away on 5th September, so if you're in Melbourne I've popped the link for tickets in the show notes, she'd LOVE to meet you all. Hope you enjoy and are seizing your yay! + Full show notes here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
I'm so excited to finally share the chat we recorded on our whirlwind trip to Seoul for the global Nike Joyride launch. It was such an incredible experience especially at the peak of my non-runner to running-lover conversion and so cool to head back to the motherland after 17 years (a long story that I'll tell another day). After he hosted the global launch event, I was so lucky to sit down with Nike Senior Product Line Manager, Will Moroski, to chat in more detail about this incredible shoe as well as sharing his own amazing way to yay in the process. Another wonderful example of ending up exactly where you never expected but where you were absolutely meant to be. While nurturing a love for sport from very young, Will's nerdy side also flourished through his journey. While competing seriously in track and field, he started college at UC Davis undeclared but then found himself in biomedical engineering. Loving it so much, while others took a gap year, Will headed to Oxford to do his Masters in Biomedical Engineering completing a casual thesis on Malaria in Pregnancy: Assessment of Effect Using Image Texture Analysis. This then took him to Thailand for field work and research followed by a clinical studies engineer position at pacemaker company Biotronik. It was Biotronik that moved him to Portland, the home of Nike HQ, where he found himself teaching spin classes to Nike staff who encouraged him to make the jump. Five years later, he's working on world class innovation and changing runner's lives with new technology. I'll let him tell you the rest but hope you enjoy!!!! + Full show notes here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
I mean, what words really are there to do this week's guest justice and adequately explain the feelings you can only imagine I felt being lucky enough to sit down with him for a chat about seizing the yay. As I've been bombarding you about on socials, I'm sure most of you already know I met the inimitable Gary Vaynerchuck last week when he was briefly in Melbourne to launch the epic collaboration between his new company, Empathy Wines, and Aussie wine legends, Vinomofo, thanks to another amazing Seize the Yay guest and Vinomofo founder, Justin Dry. Ahead of every curve with his astonishing intuition, Gary Vee has gone from former Soviet Union migrant to worldwide entrepreneurial sensation embracing e-commerce before the term was coined taking his family wine business from a $3million to $60million turnover when he took over the reins and producing content prolifically since YouTube was just four months old. The accolades and achievements since then are too many to list, but most importantly not as relevant to list as you might expect despite him having since founded VaynerMedia as well as investing early in many of the world's biggest beasts a la Facebook, Snapchat, Venmo etc. Not having been quite sure what to expect, it was so delightful to be met with an incredibly humble, hardworking and honest person focused more on redefining success away from financial metrics and external approval and towards happiness and love - he is definitely seizing his yay and I'm SO grateful he shared some of it on the show. Full video will follow shortly too! Ladies and gentleman, Gary Vee... + See show notes here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
As promised last week, this week's guest is the beautiful second half of the greatest power couple going around. Hearing Mark's incredible story you'd be forgiven for thinking it'd be impossible to find a worthy match, but my dear Samantha Gash is just that and more. After meeting each other through mutual obnoxious eagerness in our first year of law studies, we've had a beautiful and enduring relationship for over a decade seeing each other through many different adventures, phases and careers. She may be small in stature but she's a big personality and even bigger inspiration to myself and many hundreds of thousands of others who her story has touched and it's no surprise our chat goes well over an hour and even closer to two so buckle in! Having united her early passions in a Performing Arts/Law degree, Sammy's love for the extracurricular has been around a long time seeing her work in Texas on capital cases, in Indigenous communities throughout Australia and everything in between. Sport was never her strong point, and yet, in the first display of what has become a characteristic love for discomfort and challenge she randomly undertook the 100km Oxfam challenge and has never looked back. From there, she has continued to defy even our wildest imaginations leaving law to pursue her career as an elite ultra marathon runner and incredible public speaker starting by becoming the youngest person and first female to complete the four desert series - 4 x 250km races across the hottest, windiest, coldest and driest deserts in the world. She then ran 1968km across South Africa and 3253km across India both to raise awareness and funds for causes close to her heart. Nic and I have been so lucky to be part of her crew on a few different adventures as you'll hear and she continues to open my mind every day. I could bang on forever but I'll let her tell you the rest! Enjoy!! + See show notes here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
This week's guest was on the very first list of potential guests that I ever made for the podcast and while our crazy schedules full of travel and adventure mean it's taken us a little while to coordinate, I'm SO excited to have Mark Wales on the show today and his beautiful fiancé Samantha Gash to follow next week. You might already know that Samantha is one of my dearest friends and soon to be bridesmaid and that Sam, Mark and their bubba Harry are pretty much family. And yet, somehow even after hearing both of their stories many times, I am still completely blown away by these powerhouses every single time and count myself so lucky to have them as friends. They are truly just another breed of human being and their stories add something very different to the yay we've seen so far. Starting off with Mark, you may know I'm almost as obsessed with the military as I am with crime (you can't help what makes you yay) and Mark was not just in the army but an SAS platoon commander in special ops - SO COOL!!!! Having his eyes on the prize from year 9 when he first heard about the SAS, he made his way through the gruelling training to join the SAS and ultimately complete tours in East Timor, Afghanistan, Lebanon and more. Impressive enough as that is alone, his stellar career in the military was just one of many chapters on Mark's way to yay who, after coming back to the academy to teach then retired and headed to New York. And not just for a gap year or gardening leave... oh no - he went to do an MBA at Wharton and become a Management Consultant at leading international firm, McKinsey. If you thought that was enough, you don't know Mark and Sam. I can't really imagine Mark in an office environment especially after being in combat and it turns out he felt much the same so tried out for Survivor Season 2 back in Australia. On the show, he met our beautiful Sammy and the two now have the most beautiful little boy, Harry, who absolutely lights up all our lives. On top of that, Mark also started his own business called Kill Kapture designing luxury streetwear to help the ex-military transition back into their lives with armour for their day. And quite understandably, he is now a coveted public speaker sharing his wisdom and knowledge from his amazing experiences along the way. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did! + See show notes here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!