Inspiring People: Olivia Djouadi, online psychotherapist, counsellor and supervisor

At nine years old, Olivia Djouadi was told that she may not live past 30. When she passed this milestone, she started to rethink her life and career. Olivia is now an online psychotherapist, counsellor and supervisor and we are excited to share the story of how she got there…

1. Tell us your story:
I am Olivia Djouadi UKCP from London UK and now work in my dream career as an online psychotherapist, counsellor and supervisor. The training took a total of seven years and I continue to update my knowledge yearly. As a student in the 1980s my family were lucky to have a Apple 2E computer and my love of these machines that connected people began. During my training my computer gave me access to expertise from both America and Europe and I thought people who are time limited due to work, activities, and disabilities could gain my expertise in order to improve their wellbeing and for some a path out of trauma.

2. How did you identify the goal/s you wanted to achieve?
I had been given a sort of lifeline when I lived past 30; I heard at 9 my type 1 diabetes may finish my life at 30 and I really believed it. Suddenly having a future took some excavating in my past, so I got therapy which was life-changing. I knew this was the career I wanted and knowing it took years to train challenged me to make a long-term goal. Reaching that goal meant I could not only assist individuals in my own area, but online as well after additional online training. 

3. How did you work towards achieving your goal – did you have a plan and a deadline to achieve your goals? 
I researched my university options. After the first year at one place, I transferred to another which was a great fit. I knew the training involved both class time and placements at a variety of clinics and GPs. I saw it as a step-by-step process that would continue even after training ended.

4. What was the biggest challenge you encountered along the way?
My biggest challenge was a mild stroke I had four years into training. At the time I was training at one university in traditional psychotherapy, training at another in online counselling, and doing placement hours. I stepped back from client work until I was ok, then I continued on my training journey.

5. What inspires you and keeps you going when you encounter obstacles?
The clients I had were so inspiring and I saw each one progress in their own ways. I also saw some overcome some huge emotional situations and achieve new goals. I work with severe trauma and also chronic illness which is challenging but also saves lives.

6. What advice do you have for anyone wanting to achieve a goal?
Keep going, you may get tired or stressed however little steps along the way will help you reach your goal. Break your goal into steps because the entire goal can seem too much at the start. Get a mentor. As well as getting therapy I also contacted experts in my field.

7. What are the next goals you hope to achieve? 
I would like to establish a worldwide trauma network that people can go to so they can get the support they need either in their own countries, or in another with qualified practitioners. 

Olivia Djouadi UKCP accredited psychotherapist and online counsellor and supervisor in the UK and worldwide. Connect with Olivia at, or on her Facebook page 

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My Top Gift Tips: Tegan Groombridge, Digital Marketing Manager

Tegan Groombridge is an advocate of “put more thought in than money” when is comes to gift-giving. Tegan kindly shared some of her other gift tips and experiences with us…

1. The best gift I ever received was…
“A bangle that said I love you to the moon and back. My husband has said this from the first time he loved me and still tells me everyday. I wore that bangle to death and even though the silver has worn it’s now in my memory box.”

2. The top gift on my wish list is…
“Shoes, always shoes – This year it is sparkly silver stilettos from Debenhams by Faith. You can never have to many shoes.”

3. The best gift I have ever given was…
“When I gave my husband a pin celebrating the Liverpool Football Club Treble from the year he was born, I gave it to him on our wedding day as part of my speech as his something old – he cried.”

4. The hardest person I have ever had to buy a gift for was…
“My Uncle. He hates surprises, he hates people guessing and I really don’t like buying something off his list. He is always very grateful for what we give but I would love to surprise him.”

5. The best last-minute gift is…
“Socks. Everyone needs socks and we all love socks but we don’t like having to buy the essentials for yourself. They are a great budget present, easy to find and you can’t upset anyone with a good pair of socks.”

6. My hot gift buying tip is… 
“Put more thought in than money. I bought a t-shirt at my friends wedding abroad and when she had her son I gave her this silly child’s t-Shirt that said “Someone that loves me went to Mauritius” (I kept that t-shirt for 5 years and it cost pennies) – she also cried when i gave it to her!”

Tegan and her husband, Colin

Tegan Groombridge is the Digital Marketing Manager for My Favourite Voucher Codes, a money saving voucher codes website who donate 20=% of their profits each month to worthy causes. In her free time Tegan is a keen rugby player for her local team Chipping Sodbury Ladies, she loves running and is currently trying to beat her PB of 5km in under 34 minutes.

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Cracking Christmas Gifts for Men

Imagine how great you’ll feel when all your Christmas shopping is done and you can sit back and relax! Hopefully these cracking gift ideas will give you some inspiration for the men folk in your life this year…

We’re also offering a $20 DISCOUNT on all orders from now until midnight, Sunday 24/12/15.  
Use Discount Code XMAS20 in the Discount Code field when you place your order.  

This offer can’t be used in conjunction with other offers, or redeemed for cash. But please feel free to share with family and friends:-)

Wishing you all a happy and safe Christmas,
Courtney and the Mr Gift Team

Gifts for Gadget Geeks

Kreafunk toCharge Portable Phone Charger

Fitzroy’s Storm Glass

Kreafunk aMove Speaker

Foucault's Pendulum

Burgon and Ball Tyre Plant Pot

Sow-n-sow Seeds

Grow Bags

The Little Veggie Patch Co Guide to Backyard Farming, BOOK 2

Microfibre Tea Towel

Salad Zinger

Suck UK Cooking Guide Apron

Eva Solo Nordic Kitchen Knife Stand

The Game leather Cricket Wallet


INside OUT Umbrella

Baileys Show Cleaning Kits

Surf Shack Photo Frame

Leff Amsterdam Scope Wall Clock

Microfibre Cushion Cover

Suck UK Skull Tidy Decorative Bowl

Gifts for Sporting Enthusiasts

How Champions Think book

Work Darts Set

Soccer Cufflinks

Rugby Ball Cufflinks

Champagne Cufflinks

Suck UK Bottle Light

Areaware Liquid Body Flask Hip Flask

Gifts for Golfers and Fishermen

Troika Smart Guide Compass

Camo Army Toilet Bag

Golf Photo Frame

Fishing Lure "HOOKED ON YOU" in Copper, Bronze or Stainless Steel

Inspiring People: David Black, actor, director, producer and musician.

No one loves an inspiring story more than us, and this week we’ve got an awesome one from David Black, an actor, director, producer and musician. Many creative people struggle making the decision between following their creative pursuit, or taking another full time job and following their creative passion on the side. David shares his story about how he relentlessly chased his dream to make his creative pursuit his full time gig.  

1. Tell us your story:
My name is David Black. I’ve been creative all my life and was the editorial cartoonist for The Truth back in 1989/1990. Back then, I was young and believed that I would make it as an artist, but over time, I ended up taking a full time job and just doing my art and music on the side. My band, Darkness Visible was getting good numbers to our gigs and we were getting out the recordings and music videos, so it looked like something might happen. But then I got cancer and everything started to unwind.

For a long time, I suffered exhaustion and was getting depressed. But as my energy started returning, I was invited to be an extra in a local horror movie called “Cult Girls”. Since then, I’ve gone from back-ground extra, to featured extra, to actor, to directing my own short movies and a TV series. 

2. How did you identify the goal/s you wanted to achieve?
At first, the acting was just something that I had chanced upon and found that I enjoyed. With each role I did, I met more people in the movie industry. I got invited to do quite a variety of different things, which gave me an idea of what I liked doing within the film industry.

3. How did you work towards achieving your goal?
With each goal. I attacked it the same way as at my full time work in sales. I would research, put together a database of contacts and then engage with them. Some things came through and others didn’t.

4. What was the biggest challenge you encountered along the way?
The biggest challenge was that I was going from success to success in an industry where I was new to most people. The skills involved with various projects in the movie industry are very much the same as in the music industry. With 30 years of experience in the local gig scene, it meant that I was bringing these skills with me and getting ahead, whereas some that were long established in the indie movie industry just thought I was the newcomer. This clicked off a lot of jealousies.

5. What inspires you and keeps you going when you encounter obstacles?
So far, whenever someone local has blocked my way, better offers have come in from other sources. When I started writing articles about the local movie industry, the established local blogs thumbed their nose at me. I didn’t have time to get down over it because much larger overseas movie blogs asked for my articles.

When the indie movie distributors wouldn’t give me a press pass to cover their premiere’s, larger commercial movie distributors put me on their critics list.

Basically, there are no obstacles nowadays. Australian is no longer a one horse town. The internet has opened the whole world to us.

6. What advice do you have for anyone wanting to achieve a goal?
Just do it. Get started and see where it goes. Don’t wait for permission or approval from anyone or you will get old waiting.

7. What are the next goals you hope to achieve?
I have just recently finished filming a hosted horror show, called Horror House. My goal is really just for it to take off. I am hoping to leave my full time job and make a living in the film industry. It’s time that I got back to being a full time creative.

David Black is an actor, director, producer and musician. Learn more about David’s recent project on the Horror House Facebook page

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My Top Gift Tips: Emma Saddington, MochO

Ever wondered what other people are giving and receiving as gifts? Our Top Gift Tips interview series is back and this week we caught up with Emma Saddington from MochO, who is a big fan of French champagne…

1. The best gift I ever received was… 
“My noise cancelling headphones from my husband. Our 10 year anniversary came along and with two divine young kids, they have given me exactly what I’ve needed when I need it most!”

2.The top gift on my wish list is…
“A duskii wetsuit…. along with a ticket to the Maldives……..”

3. The best gift I’ve ever given was…
“When I hand knitted each person in my family a scarf representing their personality – for my dad was wool from the farm, for my mum some crazy gold yarn. We had a long haul flight over to LA for xmas, and I planned to knit all the way. The knitting needles were confiscated at customs……”

4. The hardest person I’ve ever had to buy a gift for was…
“My 94 year old grandmother – she has everything and needs nothing – so I just ended up getting her booze every year!”

5. The best last minute gift is…
“French champagne – find me someone who doesn’t love it!!”

6 . My hot buying tip is…
“On-line on-line on-line – and list who to buy for”

Emma Saddington is the proud co-founder of Australian designed and created MochO – The luxury surf poncho.