Updated: Jul 8, 2019


Be strong, Move on. It's time for you to be happy again.

Isn't it funny how quickly we can erase the memories that are centred around things we fear most. Like pain.


Like heart break.


Those moments in life when we have been at our rawest and feeling the most intense feelings we as human beings are capable of feeling.


Like childbirth. The death of a loved one. The loss of a lover or a friend.


When we are in severe and acute physical or emotional pain.


I find it hard to remember now exactly now much it hurt to feel the contractions that came minute after minute with my eldest daughter. 16 years helps dilute that pain I guess. But I do remember at the time thinking that I would never, ever forget how it felt. And I would never be the same person I was before ever again because of it.


I find it hard to remember now exactly how much it hurt to feel the waves of grief that washed over me minute after minute when I found out that my Dad had passed away in the most tragic of circumstances. 17 years helps dilute that pain I guess. But I do remember at the time thinking that I would never, ever forget how it felt. And I would never be the same person I was before ever again because of it.


I find it hard to remember now exactly how much it hurt to feel the waves of pain that gripped me every time I moved after I suffered a prolapsed disc at the age of 39. 2 years helps dilute that pain I guess. But I do remember at the time thinking that I would never, ever forget how it felt. And I would never be the same person I was before ever again because of it.


I don't find it as hard to remember now exactly how wonderful it felt to feel the waves of euphoria and elation that I have felt when wonderful, happy feeling have filled my heart with joy, elation, pride, jubilant celebrations of personal achievement and wonderment.


Those magic moments that are the pinnacle of life's highest highs. Graduation Day, Year 12. Finally leaving school and beginning my life in the big wide world as a grown up. Free to do whatever I pleased with no limitations - the world at my feet. Oh it felt so free and boundless to be young and beautiful with only my dreams ahead of me. No fears that things may not turn out the way I hoped. Just a crystal clear belief in good things to come and my dreams coming true. I still remember that feeling and thinking about that memory stirs the same feeling in my heart now.


The Rehearsal Dinner before my wedding day when my Dad turned up at my hotel room door done up in a suit with arm outstretched ready to escort me to the Church for our practice run and walking down the aisle. Seeing his joy and pride and pure love for his only daughter filled me with those same emotions and literally swelled my heart. I still remember that feeling and thinking about that memory stirs the same feeling in my heart now.


Holding each of my babies in my arms as they slept on my chest after a mid afternoon feed. When there was silence and nothing but pure love between mother and child. Those big blue eyes looking up at me with contentment in their milk drunk haze.


Looking back at these moments that were so pivotal in my definition of being happy, I realise that without those terrible, heart wrenching life changing moments of extreme grief, pain and sadness - how could I ever truly understand what heart clenching, overwhelming love and happiness is.


I look back on the memories of my Dad and remember the good and the painful; The lessons I have learnt continue to guide me to a better place of kindness, understanding, compassion, empathy love.

Just as I didn't fully comprehend how lucky I was to live a pain free active life until that was taken away from me and I had to fight to get it back again.


I clearly understand now that the biggest lessons of my life have been learnt during times of immense pain and loss. This is why I used to find remembering them so confronting; - my brain had locked those memories away to protect me from re-experiencing the trauma.


I also see now that each and every time I experienced these extreme moments of agonising emotional and physical pain - I also was presented with the most phenomenal amount of love.


At the time I couldn't see them or fully experience them like the good memories I retain so clearly. My heart was surrounded with a darkness that was impenetrable to light. I couldn't fully feel the overwhelming positive emotions then that today are so obviously clear.


Like the love and support that surrounded me as I grieved for the loss of my Dad. The friend and her husband who drove 500km out of there way to be at his funeral to give me a hug and tell me she loved me.


Or the obstetrician who gave up his weekend with his family to be with me as I tried desperately to deliver naturally and then raced in late on a Sunday evening to save me and my baby when we both went into distress.


Or the friend who drove my kids to school every morning when I couldn't get out of bed let alone tackle two flights of stairs and sit in a vehicle for 30 minutes.


Moments of compassion, love and empathy that were surrounding me at times when it seemed so dark and terrifying.


I understand now that the lessons I was meant to learn from these tragedies and difficult times have helped me grow and lead me to a path through a maze of twists and turns that ultimately were where I was supposed to end up. That with each painful experience comes a multitude of positive ones to keep you afloat and headed in the right direction back to happiness.


At the time, the reason for the bad things I experienced didn't seem clear. I could not understand why these difficulties were dealt to me or those I love, nor could I fully experience the immensity of the abundance of love, friendship and light that was also around me at these times.


Now I do.


As the darkness clears and the light shines over my world again, I see that I needed a very sharp shove onto the road that I was doing my very best to veare away from - and that I received so much more love and protection when I was at the rawest and most painful parts of my journey. I just couldn't see the light.


I read a beautiful message the other day that resonates deeply with me now.

"The pain will leave you when the lesson has been learned."


Suffice to say - I think I can finally say - I get it.


Life is about finding the tiny piece of rainbow or sunshine on a stormy day. It will always be there, you just have to look for it and let it warm you while the storm runs it course.


The darkness won't stay forever - it will stay until you have experienced what it is you were meant to to help guide you to where you are meant to be, back in the sun light once more.



Updated: Jul 8, 2019

Not a Princess. An Empress! There is a difference you know.


This little girl we shall call Diana Sparkles.


This name - Diana Sparkles isn't one I just plucked out of my imagination for the sake of this story. I feel like I need to paint the picture a little bit more clearly for you dear reader as this is the first time we have met.


This comes about from two truly fabulous female characters in recent movies and a nickname bestowed upon the Author our fair Lady Empress.


Diana, of course, plays homage to the gorgeously stunning, unbelievably amazing Diana Prince aka Wonder Woman played by the glorious Gal Gadot. How stunning can a woman be - and pregnant when she filmed this movie??


All class and FIERCE to boot!!



The nickname Sparkles was bestowed upon the Lady Empress by some particularly lovely people from Western Queensland at a Wallabies Rugby Game when the Lady Empress was spotted coming down the stairs amongst the 20,000 strong crowd of Rugby supporters by the said 'Particularly Lovely People' by the shiny gold Sass & Bide Rats Metallic Leggings she was wearing.


Gloriously Sparkly and under the high voltage lighting of Suncorp Stadium at night lit the Lady Empress up like a lighthouse beacon! Hence - Sparkles!



Check them out for yourself, Sass & Bide back when Sarah-Jane & Heidi were in their prime! Oh they were the days. 2009? Best $180 I ever spent as nearly 10 years later they are still going strong.



Bit less 'rouching' perhaps due in part to hyperthyroidism, adrenal fatigue and a prolapsed disc in 2016 that left Lady Empress unable to walk for few months and then severely limited for almost a year in her ability to move and live the energetic life she used to. There will be many blog posts dedicated to these 3 issues that affect so many.




Continuing to set the scene though: - The Sparkles part is the nickname and a nod to a really great movie full of singing, dancing, fabulous hair, glitter and sequins! Trolls The Movie circa 2016 I think? Will check later for posterity. http://www.dreamworks.com/trolls/movie "From the creators of Shrek comes DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls, a smart, funny and irreverent comedy about the search for happiness, and just how far some will go to get it.").


But I digress - something you better get used to if you are going to start regularly following this blog! Let's start again.


Once upon a time... blah blah blah ... little girl who dreamt she was an Empress... blah blah blah. Her name was Diana Sparkles.


Diana Sparkles dreams were a little different to most of the other little girls she knew. Diana Sparkles loved the refinement of princess life, you know the beautiful castles and golden chalices and grand ballrooms.


** Interesting side note: - I just googled castles and look what came up! God I love the internet!! Where would we be without it. Personally, I prefer using Google Chrome to surf 'the net' less glitches and crashes - definitely DON'T recommend Explorer, its a disgrace to Microsoft. Little plug, visit my website under the Solutions page for more IT support and services.)


"Castle Dream Meaning and Interpretations 0BY STEPHEN KLEIN ON JAN 2, 2017 DREAM DICTIONARY, DREAMSCAPE PLACES, Castle Dream Symbol – Dreaming of a castle can mean many things, so you need to look at the dream in association with the things that are uppermost in your mind. Castles represent family, extravagance, luxury, wealth, and loyalty. Castles are huge with many different rooms.


A castle is a place where you can get your own space from the others that inhabit the space. They also symbolize royalty and being always in the public eye. This can mean there is a contradiction in your waking life between the privacy you think you have and what is actually so."


Sorry! I promise I will stay on track. Where was I? Oh that's right.


Diana Sparkles dreams were about coming home after a tough day in the office fighting against evil and justice prevailing (Think Justice League/Diana Prince up against the other Super Heroes fighting the good fight! + Wonder Woman - BEST MOVIE EVER!! referenced above) beside her Prince Charming. They arrive home to a grand gala filled with family, friends, music and laughter. Gorgeously put together evenings with fabulous food, towers of elegant crystal stemmed bowls overflowing with the finest of french Champagne, cascading like golden bubbling streams .... whoops there I go again, off on a tangent dreaming up fabulous events and bringing dreams to life. But that part of the story is for another day - (Side note if you want some help to create your perfect event, seamlessly well organised and delivered to the highest calibre of Empress' signature flair - check out our Empress Events page for how you can! **aka - strategic plug for events arm of Empress).


Back on point.


Diana Sparkles didn't want to be holed up in a tower all gussied up in the finest silks and furs. Lounging around on a stunning velvet upholstered day bed while her maids fed her grapes and fanned her gently with peacock feather fans while Prince Charming was out there having all the fun and changing the world and coming home to rescue her on his Golden Akhal Teke. (Do you know the one I am talking about - the 'golden horse'?


Here's a pic and the details to jog your memory! "This horse is beautiful enough to be a bronzed statue! With an unbelievably shiny coat that appears to be metallic in the sun, the Akhal Teke is the national emblem of the country of Turkmenistan. Not surprisingly, it's known as the golden horse! "https://www.sunnyskyz.com/blog/390/The-8-Most-Beautiful-And-Rare-Horses-In-The-World)



Now don't get me wrong. Diana wasn't a card carrying, man hating "femi-nazi" as her father used to 'lovingly' refer to Women's Liberalisations of the 70's & 80's who burnt their bras and paved the way for little Diana Sparkles to demand to have a voice in a male dominated world.


Diana Sparkles had a different belief in her dreams. Every now and then she did love the 'princess life'. Just not every day. You know - for a living or anything. Because of course - that would get boring after a while wouldn't it?


In her dream life, Diana Sparkles loved her spa days with the girls. Pampering and anointing her body with the finest oils and scents, having her natural, organic, cruelty free not tested on animals makeup professionally applied to emphasise her natural beauty (which is carefully maintained and nurtured with a careful selection of elixirs and potions concocted from the world's finest oils, herbs and flowers delivered on the wings of white doves no less) as her hair was coiffed to perfection by her fave stylist back then it was Vidal Sassoon - today's equivalent would probably equate to Jonathan Colombini (Sally Hershberger Salon: 760 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood; 310-854-4922; sallyhershberger.com . Clients: Demi Moore, Vera Farmiga, Paul Wesley. ➻ He's an expert at blending in hair extensions with his cuts, wielding what's called skin wefts or tape-ins ($600 to $900) and silicon cylinder beads ($1,200 to $2,500). He also gives a helluva bang trim and killer blowouts https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/los-angeles-celebrity-hairstylists-749641). Further into our blog series, Lady Empress will share her where to gos and who to see recommendations. Keep an eye out.)


Diana Sparkles craved more from her dream life than Prince Charming coming home at the end of the day, sitting down to dinner at the head of the long red cedar ancestral dining table and asking her lovingly to pass the Worcestershire Sauce before they quietly moseyed on upstairs to the Tower for some good old fashioned 'Baby Making'.


She didn't want to fill her days with organising tennis and tea parties for her friends as they morbidly sat around comparing notes on who's life looked better in the pretend world of social media where 'everything is perfect' but their real world is a twisted mess of unrequited loves and mourning what could have been if only they had the courage to speak out against their families, or partners or lack of self love. (I pause here for reflection momentarily. If we are being truly accurate - back when Diana Sparkles had these dreams Social Media wasn't even something to even be comprehended. The internet was only JUST a thought, the computers then took up whole levels of corporate high rises... best comparison I guess would be in the social pages of the Sydney Morning Herald or The Land; Vogue Magazine or Country Style?!)


Diana Sparkling saw in her dreams a life filled with Living. A life filled with Love and a Life filled with Laughter.


She dreamt her castle to be filled with the squeals of delight from her children who shared the dreams with their parents and went on to create dynasties of their own from the child hood filled with love and laughter with grounding and balance instilled in them - and came home regularly with their friends and significant other's for family celebrations and love filled festivals when they left the family nest.


She shared the challenges that life presented her with her soul mate. Her true love. With her friends and family. She spoke honestly with all who she came across. Always with compassion. Empathy. With a genuine interest in helping them become the best versions of themselves that they could be. Always ensuring her relationships were two way partnerships, equally balanced with giving and receiving and never giving too much of herself or taking too much from another.


She celebrated hers and her families and friends successes with resounding joy and fun filled events. Created memories to last her through this lifetime and continue her legacy through her children well into the next.


She filled her dream life with symphonies of strings reverberating from the rooftops; choirs of angels uplifting their souls in songs of magical melodious perfection. A grand piano set under a full length glass window looking over the expanse of the estate where she could play to her hearts content. Releasing her anger in volatile toccatas and rock fugues and gently bringing her back to a place of tranquility and calm with soft, soothing lullabies and love songs.


Her perfect dream home/castle included a Japanese Zen garden and a Peace Room for meditation and reflection where the air circulating is infused with the gentle notes of lavender, sandalwood and myrrh, jasmine, wild orange and cinnamon - (Yep Essential Oils baby. Doterra, Ameo - Lady Empress loves them all! Check out the blogs ahead).


Crystals carefully placed to support the families energy and allow in the healing when needed. (Love myself some Citrine and Amethyst. Couldn't have got through a few of the bigger challenges without the protective support of Obsidian! Again, check out the blogs to come.)


Her Gardens lovingly tendered with foliage and flowers; vegetables and trees. The best that nature has to offer and a beautiful space to raise her family and allow clear air into their bodies.


Her Dream Home/Castle was surrounded by river flats with naturally rich black soils for Sustainable farming practices to ensure that her families health and well being was holistically provided for and her guests dined only on the very best cuts of beef and lamb raised on fertile green pasture.


(Not offal though. She has always hated offal. I know it's good for you - but being raised on a beef property where no cut went to waste, it meant that offal was regularly on the menu. Brains in white sauce, Steak and Kidney pie, lambs fry - eek even thinking about it makes me dry retch. One thing you can be sure of dear reader is that throughout the yummy, healthy recipes I will share in this blog - none of them will contain offal. Just a little dislike I have. But again, I digress.)


She paired this delectable protein with sumptuous salads and vegetables from their family horticultural property; organic, preservative free wines that set the taste buds alight but didn't make her violently ill after it's consumption. (Oh yes! It does exist! Read on my friend, Read on.)


And from the dreams of little Diana Sparkles come the musings of The Lady Empress. Trying valiantly to live the life that she dreamed of as a little girl. A life not without it's fair share of dragons and wicked witches, handsome Princes and gilded castles.


There's quite a few differences in the Lady Empress Life and the dream life of little Diana Sparkles. No castle surrounded by expansive estates. No Prince Charming, 4 kids, a high rise apartment, school fees, bills to pay ...


But I look forward to sharing many more of Diana Sparkles dreams and adventures with you - and most of all I look forward to sharing some of the magical products and healing therapies I have found that have helped an ordinary girl live an extraordinarily ordinary life. The wonderful adventures and fabulous places and people I have found as I explore the Gold Coast and surrounding areas of the real life of the Lady Empress.


The magnificent produce and foods farmed sustainably in and around Southern and Western Queensland and recipes that help you make 5 star meals on an every day budget without spending hours and hours slaving over a stove.


Beautiful homewares and clothing from gorgeous boutiques and local designers. Beauty Treatments, natural remedies. Sources of healing and alternative treatments helping to make a busy life less 'noisy'.


By no means is this blog intended to preach that the Lady Empress has the dream life of little Diana Sparkles. It is instead, just an honest reflection of life, love and laughter. Good food, healthy living and holistic approach to being the best version of herself she can be.


As the gorgeous card my dear friend gave me says: - Live, Love, laugh! Until next time, I will leave you with this beautiful song that warms my heart and hopefully yours too from that gorgeous movie Trolls mentioned above.


Lady Empress (Diana Sparkles :-))






© 2019 EMPRESS ERICA STEWART

GOLD COAST, QUEENSLAND, 4217

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