Abbylee Bonny - @abbyleebonny
Abbylee, aka the legend behind H + H Lifestyle, is someone who I believe the world definitely needs more of. She's raw, real and is doing her best to navigate the world between being a conscious consumer, living a healthy lifestyle, running a family and motivating those around her to raise their vibration and be the best versions of themselves they truly can be.
It's people like Abbylee that make me so damn grateful platforms like Instagram exist.
Sure, it may have its downfalls and bring people into the comparison trap - although, you have the power to choose who you follow and what you allow to bring into your life - but it also has helped me to find my tribe and love them hard, even when they are scattered all over the globe.
She's also all about essential oils and the powers these natural plants can have, so if you're interested in dipping your toes into this world and learning more about them like I am, she's your girl. She's definitely someone that I'm sure you will be seeing a lot more of over the next few years with my journey on Ethical Made Easy, so I hope you enjoy this interview with someone I'm so grateful to have connected with.
What made you start H+H Lifestyle?
After spending the majority of my teen and adult life following diets and strict lifestyles I really just wanted to be me and to lead a happy and healthy life. Through a lot of personal development, I started to understand my beliefs and values and came up with a philosophy that revolved around 8 lifestyle practices - Wholefoods, Gratitude, Daily Body Movement, Mindfulness, Conscious Consumption, Connection (to self, others, and nature) and Self Care.
The main idea being that how we each practice these will be different depending on what makes us individually feel healthy and happy. For example, doing yoga, eating all the veges and journaling might make me feel fabulous but boxing, eating a mixture of meat and veges and practicing gratitude while taking a shower might be someone else's version of the same principals. I started H + H to connect and empower others, particularly woman to lead a lovely life they love (slower and simpler) and feel confident in doing so.
How did you first come across ethical fashion /conscious consumerism / sustainable living? Wow. Let me start off by saying I haven't always thought of living the way I currently do. I think a lot of it started after traveling in France and Thailand then coming home and studying Holistic Nutrition and doing my Yoga Teacher Training. I created a beautiful friendship with a lovely woman who is now my sister in law. I also thought her brother was quite lovely. Twyla (@beingwell_) and her family have taught me a lot. So I've been practicing living a more conscious lifestyle for the last five or so years now.
What has been the most challenging part since you began embracing this type of lifestyle?
I would say the hardest part is not getting lost because when you start sometimes it feels like its never enough. I always try to encourage people to find two things they are passionate about, it might be saying no to plastic bags and using natural cleaning products. Then once these things fit seamlessly into your life, add another one like buying clothing made of natural fibers and when you don't have to think about that add another one. So when you find yourself overwhelmed I always remind myself of this and take it back a step.
You have the most beautiful little man Cassius, has it been challenging teaching him to live more mindfully? Are there any tips you can give to other Mumma's?
Awww thank you so much. He really is so cool. I truly believe children are here to teach us, he loves nature and wants to care for it, people and animals - it's like innately we want to care then along the way we get caught up in day to day things like paying bills and having a new dress for a party and we lose our priorities. We forget about the beautiful, simple childlike mindset of caring and presence. In a more practical way I think doing things with our children is so important, Cas helps me sort out the recycling and take it to the side of the road, we talk about the importance of looking after ourselves, others and Mother Earth.
What or who inspires you to do what you do on a daily basis?
Cas inspires me to do better every day. The future of the world weighs heavy on my shoulders, more than I think it should. I worry about what my grandchildren will have to deal with so I make simple changes to positively impact the world (without stressing myself out too much).
I loooove what you’re doing here, making it easier for people to shop and live more consciously is so cool. Also Mama’s of the salty slow movement like @vanessa_prosser, @tessguinery really get me excited about living the simple life.
Best piece of advice you have ever received?
Breathe. This feels really relevant to me all the time, I swear in every moment, happy or overwhelming, I feel like a slow, long and strong deep belly breath is gonna do you the world of good.
Do you have a morning routine? If so what is it you do to set yourself up for the day ahead?
Yes! The first thing I do is take my temperature (fertility awareness method), then I make the bed. Oh, I love a beautifully made bed! Next, it’s into the bathroom to scrape my tongue and brush my teeth then it’s downstairs to make Cas his breakfast and have my water and lemon essential oil.
How do you define success?
Success for me is and caring for myself, others and our planet.
One book everyone should read? Why?
Oh there’s too many! I love The Prophet, I feel like every time you read it you’ll get something different.
For those reading this who are inspired to make a change today in their own world. What do you recommend they begin with? Where should they start?
Choose one or two things that you're passionate about, reducing plastic and buying from your local bulk food store, starting a compost bin or committing to only buying clothing you love and want to wear over and over again. It could be anything, just let it be something that makes you feel proud and once just fits into your day to day then add something else! Also don’t be too hard on yourself, if you buy something that’s wrapped in plastic, that’s totally ok, it’s not a sign to throw in the towel and stop caring, that just makes you human.
What is one thing people can do today to help protect the environment for future tomorrows?Start. Start with what you know and have right now. By starting, by doing anything you are helping don’t forget that!
Are there any other Movers & Shakers out there in your world that you think we should all know about?
Oh, I have a bunch of beautiful ethical fashion labels I buy love and wear saved on my gram! I’m actually always looking for inspiration myself! I’m so looking for this movement to grow!