Lori Jai Harding | EIGHT TEN TEN

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This was an extra special interview for me, Lori is a dear friend of mine and someone you instantly fall in love with. Lori has the warmest nature, an infectious smile and is not only insanely gorgeous on the outside but as equally beautiful on the inside.

Lori is a mother of two, a fiancée, a sister, a daughter, a friend to many and most of all she is one of the kindest people I have ever met. Lori and her fiancée Matt have created one hell of a family, their life is filled with adventure, a ridiculous amount of love and a not to mention a ridiculous amount of good looking genes, their beautiful bambino's Justice and Noah are the most adorable kids you have ever laid your eyes on. Justice and Noah have definitely inherited their parents kind and loving souls. I also hope they inherit their dad Matt's incredible dance moves. 

Not only is Lori all of the above she is also a talented writer, her way with words is so captivating, you cannot stop reading. This is a little snippet from Lori's latest interview to show you what I mean...

IF YOU STAND CLOSE ENOUGH you can hear the passion bubbling and swirling just beneath her skin, threatening to overflow should she open her mouth too speak. A gifted singer, talented pianist and poetic writer, it seems her endless and ferocious passion must be harnessed and expressed through the arts in the fear that she will become overwhelmed by it. Breathlessly and whole-heartedly passionate about most things, she is a whirlwind of energy and captivating paradox {continue reading here}

Yep talented doesn't quite sum up Lori's abilities. Lucky for you and me, Lori shares her talent and beautiful family on her blog eighttenten.com - a blog to inspire not only mothers but wild hearted and free spirits who dream of travelling, living a healthy and happy life, filled with love and family.  

 

LORI SUMS UP HER BLOG LIKE THIS:

Featuring a collection of interviews from creative families from around the world and sharing the journey's of travel and adventure from wild-spirted women. 

It is also a glimpse into the life of a very normal, new family going through our own journey trying to live more simply and treasure the small moments, live with passion and positivity, travel and create a life that is rich in colour and depth and overwhelming with love. Remember to laugh at our many mistakes, dance on table-tops and make enough money to fund our world travels and end up in a shack on the beach and maybe even more kids thrown in there somewhere.  

STUFF LORI LIKES:

+ The beach. This will become very obvious from the 7,538 beach photos I post. Long beach days with our friends & family down the coast with an esky full of beers, coconuts, chicken, avocados and fresh bread rolls, good surf for the guys and magazines a-plenty for the girls, napping babies under trees and kids running wild are our favourite kind.

+ Coffee. Oh coffee. 

+ Red wine. 

+ Camping...with red wine. 

+ Bikram yoga (to sweat out the red wine). 

+ Health...however this suffers on a regular basis as we are incapable of coming home from a night out any earlier than 4am. 

+ Bringing our mattress into the loungeroom, watching movies and ordering take-out.

+ Dancing in our PJ's to RAGE on a Saturday morning with the boys.

OTHER STUFF YOU SHOULD KNOW:

+ I like to get deep. I am an over-emotional, over-senstive Cancer who is so completely ruled by the moon I even have a moon-shaped face to match.  

+ We turn into gangsters after approximately two drinks (our dance style...not guns and stuff). Matt is disturbingly good at dancing like a woman. 

+ Our names! Lori, Matt, Justice (almost 3) and Noah (1.5) 

SAY HELLO TO  L O R I   J A I   H A R D I N G

Let’s start with how you began blogging, what was the inspiration?

During my first pregnancy, in the midst of one of my many pregnant meltdowns resulting in my entire closet thrown onto the floor in frustration and me sitting on top of them hysterically crying like only a hormonal pregnant women can, I did what any modern Mother would do…I asked google. I started typing in things like ‘what should I wear when I am pregnant?’ ‘pregnancy fashion’ and  ‘stylish pregnant women’….and nothing was coming up. So then I started searching for pictures and stories of the young families we wanted to aspire to be – youthful, fun and creative families doing cool things…and I couldn’t find a single blog or website dedicated to inspiring families.

So when Justice was 10 months I launched eight.ten.ten which featured family interviews and photography, fashion advice for pregnancy, kids style and stories of our own journey into parenthood and I had a great response - it just grew from there! Since then I have re-launched it into a website featuring family interviews, kids style, health and a new travel section which is actually my favourite section! I stopped writing about fashion because I think lots of other people do it much better but it was a great place to start to discover what I am really passionate about writing about - which is travel, family and journey.

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How did you come about the name Eight Ten Ten?

It is Justice’s birth date!

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What do you want people to feel when they first get to your blog? What do you want their first impression to be?

I suppose the most important thing for me is for my readers to connect with our story and experience, as well as feel inspired by the other family and travel interviews to do the things they really want to do.  I think that other people’s narratives are the most interesting thing in the whole world and a true source of inspiration so I guess that is why I do it. It is very closely connected with my own journey so I sort of find people and stories I relate too or am inspired by at that time of my life and lucky for me so many people feel the same as I do.

Advice for people who are starting a blog? What is the biggest challenge for you and your blog?

Stop talking about it and do it already.  Make it private, start building and editing it at your own pace; stay up late, drink too much tea and obsess over it. Just start. It will look like a mess for a while but just when you are about to give up on yourself and the whole idea it all starts falling into place!  Just keep going. And have faith. The amount of times I have told myself I was going to give up and that it is all a stupid idea and then three people in one morning will randomly tell me they love what I am doing so I keep going. I think if you care about it and it gives you that rush that keeps you up late and is never far from your wind you should be doing it and that the hard work is always worth it.

My biggest (and constant) challenge is finding the time to blog however I am sure this is a challenge I share with every other blogger out there as most people start blogs in their spare time. Everyone has jobs, children, other businesses and busy lives - I have learnt you just have to make the time and for me that is staying up late and drinking too much tea.

 

We want to know all about the Treasure Yourself Project and the momentum it gained in just a short few days (I know I was well and truly hooked)?

Yes over 1000 women in 48 hours! I honestly thought I would have a handful of friends and a few friends-of-friends joining me in the project so to watch the numbers grow so rapidly was so exciting and humbling at the same time to know there were so many other young women out there that connected with my story.

I created the project when I was going through a rough patch as a new Mother of two with an 18 month old and newborn and just wasn’t looking after myself mentally and physically. I knew I had fallen into a hole and I needed a plan to pull myself out of it so I put together compilation of ideas and tried-and-tested methods to help me get happy and healthy broken down to weekly tasks over an 8 week period. I asked others to join me on the blog because I knew I needed support and like-minded women to get me through the eight weeks! It ended up becoming this buzzing online community of women sharing their knowledge and ideas and giving out a huge amount of support and love to women they didn’t even know which I thought was just so beautiful – I never expected that to happen!

My favourite part of the whole project was the instagram gratitude project #treasureyourself81010 where people would post moments, objects, people – anything they were grateful for. My feed was literally full of gratitude posts each and everyday and looking for something to be grateful for each day wasn’t the problem, it was trying to pick just one! It was a huge lesson.

How has the TYS project helped you?

It completely transformed my life. Honestly. I learnt so much about my health and gained a connection with my body by (finally) listening to it, I detoxed a lot of old, stale thought processes and behaviours and most importantly I learnt what really made me happy and it wasn’t at all what I thought. I am sure it was a combination of motherhood as well as the project but there was a lot of growth. I am currently writing an e-book on my story (due January 2014) part-memoir part-plan and I have some amazing, talented women collaborating with me on the book. It is very exciting!

What has been your favourite interview on Eight Ten Ten? Any major standouts for you personally?

Ohhh that is a tough one because they all have different elements that I love but I would have to say my all-time favourite is still Kiya’s story of travelling across Australia with her young family. Her wisdom, outlook and photography moves me everytime I read it and I have read it many, many times! However I am currently putting together a travel story on a guy’s year-long barefoot journey through India it completely blew my mind! That may be my new favourite.

Your beautiful boys have every girl I know swooning the second you post a picture on Instagram, they are going to be heartbreakers. Tell us about your amazing sons and family?

They are crazy! Justice has just turned three and Noah is 18 months and they very rarely sit still. Justice is two parts sweet one part cheeky and Noah is probably the other way around haha. They drive me wild sometimes but they are kind and loving and hilarious and I am incredibly proud of them. Noah is just starting to talk and listening to them talk and laugh and watch their relationship grow is just the most beautiful thing in the whole world.

My fiancée (I still feel weird calling him that) Matt is the sweetest, most generous and kind man and my boys are a true reflection of the amazing human he is. He is also an excellent dancer which is probably why I love him so much because he is also realllyyy annoying.

You recently got engaged to your soul mate Matt, tell us a little about the proposal and have you got any plans for your wedding yet?

 We had a backyard Woodstock party for his 30th and he was incredibly nervous during the speeches and I kept looking at him thinking why is he so nervous?! He started his speech and was talking about family and his grandparents and the meaning of life and kept getting all choked up and I was thinking what is with him tonight? ! He asked me to stand beside him and take his hand and I STILL hadn’t cottoned on yet until he said that he was so happy with his life and there was only one thing left to do…and then I realised what was going on, screamed and yelled oh no! The whole party erupted into screams and yelling and my girlfriends were quite literally whaling and doing big, loud, embarrassing sobs from the crowd. He got down on one knee, asked me to marry him and I burst into tears and said yes! Then all our friends and family ran up to us and we all hugged and cried and screamed together.  It was the most incredible moment to be able to share it with everyone we love and many, many tequila shots were consumed afterwards.

We plan on getting married on our best friends parents property in Springbrook but it has been put on hold for a year or two because we are all going travelling next year instead.

Tell us about your style, and how you always manage to look so smokin hot! 

Haha I don’t! I am very boring. I like neutral colours, simple dresses, anything high-waisted and I am completely obsessed with stripes. If I have a special occasion I just ask my incredibly stylish best friend Jody (owner of Ledeux boutique and soon to be launched The Daily Co.) who can’t even walk her dog without putting together an outfit. However, if I could spend my money anywhere it would be with Stone Cold Fox. They are my favourite and I hope they make my wedding dress one day!

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Do you have a beauty regime and if yes what can you not live without?

Ohhh it is pretty basic! I can’t stand dry skin so I feel stressed if I don’t have moisturiser close by but I have been using coconut oil for a while now which smells beautiful and it’s cheap! I always cleanse, tone and moisturise before bed and I love rose-hip oil. I drink lots of water, try to swim in the ocean everyday (in Summer) and get in the sun for 20 mins. I also try to eat almonds and avocado everyday because they are so good for your skin. 

Where do you see your blog going in the future, what can we expect from the incredibly talented writer Lori Jai Harding?

Continue to meet and interview incredible families and people, write my e-book, hopefully see my name in some of my beloved magazines and publish a coffee table book!

In 5 years time I will be…

Travelling around Australia in a camper-van with my family and meeting up with friends and writing about all our adventures and the amazing people we meet along the way!

FOLLOW

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VISIT EIGHTTENTEN.COM

Images sourced from eighttenten.com / Images of Lori's family shot by the talented Jenna Agius.

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Sophie Bell

PEPPA HART, PO BOX 8523 , GCMC QLD 9726