How does spending a week in a beach house on the Sunshine Coast sound? Well that’s exactly what we got to do in the July school holidays with a group of incredible teens from all over Australia and New Zealand. For the second year running we have held our Personal Development course for girls aged 13-17 in a beach house and it really is the best. Think hanging on the couch with your new found friends while chatting about friendships and learning job interview skills, making and eating yummy nourishing foods, yoga on the beach with whales frolicking in the distance, spending a day doing hair and makeup finished with a professional photo shoot.

Of course the first day also included lots of nerves as not one of them knew any of the other girls but by lunchtime we could already see some beautiful friendships blossoming and by graduation on the last day, well let’s just say there was not a dry eye in the house as hugs goodbye were being shared.

We had a team of awesome supporters throughout the week, including:

  • 4 trained youth mentors supporting the girls throughout the week
  • 4 guest teachers
  • And our wonderful photographer who also is a trained youth mentor

They were all there to share their wealth of knowledge and support the 7 students who joined us.  The beach house provided a safe space for the girls to open up about topics that some had never discussed before with the love and support of not only the team but also each other. We were so proud of the girls for giving things a go and giving it their full. It was a HUGE week and it’s one we’ll all remember for years to come.

Highlights included:

  • We followed the 5 second rule. If there is something that you are unsure of or nervous about count 5,4,3,2,1 and just do it! Thanks Gabby for the tip from the book “The 5 Second Rule’ by Mel Robbins.
  • We learned that we might have different values and strengths to the person next to us and this is totally OK!
  • Learning how to find our own power within to face challenges and scary situations.
  • We learned about different Personality types and this is why maybe sometimes we don’t see eye to eye with everyone in our house but we now can empathise with the understanding that it’s who we are and who they are.
  • We chatted about Riverdale (Netflix series), boys, girls, periods, who we follow on Social Media and questions whether we’re doing this for the right reasons. Nothing was off limits!
  • We learned tips and tools for dealing with anxiety and stress through breath work and expression in Nia dance.
  • We set goals and came up with our own personal mantra that we created and designed in a creative session to take home with us.
  • We learned a bunch of life skills and ways to express ourselves authentically with the world.
  • We learned about natural skincare and haircare.
  • The photoshoot every year is a highlight and why wouldn’t it be… getting all dressed up with a group of girls and doing each other’s hair. Then learning to feel confident and beautiful in your own skin in front of the camera.  Everytime we hear phrases like, “oh my goodness you’ve shown me how beautiful I am – inside and out – thank you!”


We couldn’t have done it without our supporters and sponsors, who generously gave their time, products or a discount to our girls, including:

  • Coconut Groove (fueled us all week with coconut water!)
  • The Darling Tree (we played with the gorgeous Darling Tats every morning!)
  • Everescents (we always love learning about organic hair care with you guys and love your products!)
  • Sacred Self self-love cards and alchemical oils (the girls LOVED the Magic spray!)
  • Kylie’s Professional Make Up (our favourite make up which the girls used for the photoshoot)
  • Twenty8 Skincare (our absolute favourite skincare)
  • Lemon Canary candles (a beautiful addition to our gift bags)
  • Gutsy Girls Will Rule the World (we love the Gutsy Mantras and always love your mantra workshops Sharyn!)
  • Madame Flavour (the yummiest teas!)
  • TOM personal care products (our favourite pads and tampons)
  • Loving Earth choccies (OMG so delicious and all raw and vegan!)
  • Easy pH litmus paper (a fun way to test your alkaline/acid balance – get them at the local pharmacy!)
  • Sharing Our Unique Lives  (Leah supported us for the entire week, as she always does – we couldn’t do this without her)
  • Jo and Gabby, Face it Forward (Talk about gentle and nurturing, Jo and Gabby came up from Melbourne to volunteer as trained youth mentors and added so much wisdom and insight. Jo and Gabby run workshops and courses in Melbourne together)
  • Emma Newby, Some Wild Darling  (Ohh what a gentle, beautiful, FUN photographer and mentor Emma is)
  • Ashley Jubinville, Kitchen Coach (Talk about knowing how to get the girls to eat more greens. Ashley has an amazing way to talk about wholefoods to get everyone in the house wanting to get on board. She shared some amazing recipes that everyone loved)
  • Jordana addy, Youngsters Yoga (took the girls through a beautiful yoga session followed by some relaxation)
  • Helene Purcell, NIA Dance (Guiding the girls to push their limits through expressive dance, something fun and new for all of us)
  • Cafe Nurcha for delicious treats (what delicious food we had throughout the week)

And of course we wouldn’t have a program filled with gorgeous girls without the parents and grandparents. To the ones who flew from other cities and countries.  Parents who drove an hour each morning and afternoon to drop off and pick up their daughter.  Families who could see the value in a course like this.  These girls are incredibly lucky to have families like you, investing in programs like this, supporting them to shine their brightest.  Thank you.

Amanda + Leah xx


If you’d like to get in early and book in for our 2019 teen retreat, you can do so here.  

If you’d like to purchase our book, you can do so here.

If you’d like to sign up for our newsletter, you can do so here!