Tuesday, 31 May 2011

{Romance} Tiffany-inspired romance

My Tiffany obsession grows.  As an old romantic, I adore anything that echoes the romance of yesteryear and Tiffany's latest ad campaign oozes glamour and l-o-v-e love.

It feels like an intrusion - as the hustle and bustle of New York's soundtrack plays out below, our couple share a moment, comfortable in each others silence and dwarfed by the city, though the only ones in it.  

This photograph is just dreamy...

Monday, 30 May 2011

{Feel-good} My personal MOT

My bank holiday weekend was kick-started with my favourite indulgence, a therapeutic treatment with the wonderful Julia Waterton.  I've felt 'light' and happy since I floated out of her treatment room so it's time to share my best-kept secret.

I usually crave the calm and peace of a reiki treatment, but this week's session had a little difference - I'm calling it my 'personal MOT'.  Julia took me into a meditative state and then set about my 'MOT', more technically known as QMA Analysis (Quantum Magnetic Resonance) and , two minutes later, was taking me through my personal health report.  I was amazed that, by simply holding a sensor for a couple of minutes, the equipment was able to analyse my body, top to toe - the report covers everything from blood sugar levels to vitamin and mineral absorption, from cardiovascular conditions to bone mineral density, and the list goes on.  Though I've not been ill, I've felt 'below par' for ages and this short session was quick to identify possible reasons why I've been feeling sluggish, achy and have a fluctuating appetite.

And I'm in good hands in putting things right.  Julia has many, many strings to her bow and, with her usual compassion, she had soon presented a number of treatment options to pursue at my will.  This time I opted for N.A.E.T allergy therapy and Julia treated me to some reiki while I relaxed too.  

Some 90 minutes later I was struck by how light and relaxed I felt, having certainly shaken off the stresses of the working week.  Julia is a god-send!

Photo: weheartit.com 

Thursday, 26 May 2011

{Feel good} Attitude of gratitude

I'm a copycat.  There's the honest truth.  I read Lake Jane's post on attitude of gratitude and was inspired to follow suit .... aka copy!  So, here's my little list of things I'm grateful for right here and now:

... the beautiful work of Tabitha Emma on my new blog logo.  I'm so giddy about it.
... the generous glass of red wine poured for me by my gorgeous boy.
... for my wobbly legs, as I know it means I worked-out hard!
... the weekend in sight and the exciting things I have planned for it, including quality time with my infectiously happy Janey.
... for the tingle that says that times are a-changin'.

Photo: weheartit

{Feel good} Surround yourself with colour

Top: 'Through the Forest'.  Bottom: Emma Coulter’s 'Shedding Skin' exhibition

It's said red is the colour of power and blue is peaceful and tranquil.  And my favourite, purple, denotes luxury and sophistication.  Whether you believe in colour psychology or not, it can't be denied that a pop of colour - either in your clothes or your surroundings - can change your mood.

Imagine the sensory overload if you had one of these gorgeous paintings by Aussie artist Emma Coulter hanging in your home.  I'm no art-lover but these vibrant oil and acrylic paintings, from Emma's new exhibition Shedding Skin, have put a big, colourful smile on my face.

Have a look at the rest here

Photo: thedesignfiles.net

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

{Take action} I'm just a girl who can't say no

I never was the sporty type at school.  It wasn't for want of trying, I was well aware that the sports teams were the fast-track entry to the in-crowd.  It was more that, as one of the smallest in my year, I was often last-picked for netball, hockey, (the list goes on) and so I fell out with sport.  Drama became my extra-curricular thing, with my bit-part in the school production of 'Oklahoma' the first time I tread the boards. (Front row, second in from the left: that's me.  Yes, the small one!)

I remember watching in admiration as one of the 'big girls' playing 'Ado Annie' belted out "I'm just a girl who can't say no" to the proud parents in the audience.  It's not quite so admirable now I am thirty-something 'big girl' though and still a self-professed girl who can't say no.  Worry not, it's not a "feller gettin' flirty" that's my problem - no, it's that I constantly seem to be running half an hour late for my life!  The final straw was a last-minute meeting that over-ran on the evening of my fiance's birthday.  I simply take on too much and it's got to stop! 

As far as I can, without a radical change in personality, it's a gentle goodbye to people-pleasing and hello to a new resolve to be more assertive. 

It's a lesson Ado Annie could definitely have found useful - the minx!

Sunday, 22 May 2011

{Inspiration} Arielle Fierman

I'm completely inspired by people who  know themselves ... and are not afraid to LIVE it!  Live it without fear of being judged by others, or needing to follow a path determined by someone else to be right.  Arielle Fierman is one of these people.

After losing her job, Arielle was given the proverbial kick up the tush to set up her own business and she set about developing an enterprise that combined her interest in nutrition and her love of making jewellery.  At first glance these two areas may seem poles apart but, to Arielle, these two strands both led to one clear purpose - to make women feel beautiful on the inside and out.  'Be Well with Arielle' is the result.

I'm currently lusting after her signature ring, the iloveme ring.  Described as a "gentle reminder to love yourself so you can open up your heart to receive love and share it with others", the ring is available in sterling silver or gold with a 'floating' freshwater pearl or conflict-free diamonds and is infused with reiki.

I can imagine wearing this and feeling like it's my secret weapon.  When life takes over, when people and situations take you off course, one glance at my hand would remind me of the bigger prize.  And I'd be back to being Arielle-well ... and then some!

Photo: iloveme ring

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

{Take action} Try a little Rocket yoga

Yesterday evening I tried something a little new: Rocket yoga. Nicknamed 'the rocket' as it's said to "get you there faster", this is quite a shift from the steady, flowing hatha yoga I'm used to.

Created in San Francisco by Larry Shultz (while on tour with cult rock band The Grateful Dead, it's said), the practice uses combinations of the first three Ashtanga series and combines them at tempo.  Although I've been practising yoga for years, I went to a beginners Rocket class which highlighted the challenge of this form - it combines advanced and beginners poses in one sequence, moving from one to the other at quickening pace.  

You need to have had your Weetabix to give this a go - it relies on stamina and endurance and, with repeated lifts, persistance. At first I wasn't sure that the lack of calm in class suited me (as the sense of wellbeing from yoga is what motivates me to practice), however after working up a glistening sweat you're certainly rewarded with feel-good factor in bucket loads.  You definitely feel you've earned the relaxation.

Will it 'get me there faster' though? ... I'll keep you posted.

Take a look here: youtube.com

Photo: jenniferjarrettyoga.com

Monday, 16 May 2011

{Inspiration} Liz Earle

Sat nestled on my doorstep this evening was a very familiar-looking package. Loving wrapped in tissue paper was my latest supply of cult beauty classic, Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish - a bumper anniversary edition at that. Only introduced to this multi-award winner last year, I knew I was way behind the curve in adding the hot cloth cleanser to my bathroom cabinet (and now an avid fan), but I was still a little surprised to see it celebrating it's 15th year. Having done a little digging, it seems the product's success is due, in equal parts, to a stella idea, a keen set of principles and sheer hardwork of Liz Earle and business partner Kim Buckland.

Already a successful beauty journalist, broadcaster and author (most famously known as the face of GMTV), it was Liz's personal struggle with eczema-prone skin that was the catalyst. A piece of advice from a nutritionist on how to treat her condition, coinciding with the aspirations of marketing exec Kim, got the cogs turning and the 'naturally active skincare' range was born. Offering both luxury and affordability, and launched at a time when your choices were budget-busting or a Boots' own-brand, the visionary duo were advocates of botanical, organic and ethically-sourced ingredients long before traceability became a buzz word.

And they're principles that have stayed true to the heart of the brand in the 15 years since. It's said Liz personally visits growers and producers across the world to source the very best ingredients for the range. And the personal experience you receive from the company from placing your order to unwrapping the tissue when it arrives, has you coming back for more.

Reflecting on her success, Liz says:
‘I’m reasonably OK with the way I am. Life is not about being perfect, it’s about progress. That’s how I see my own personal journey and what I try to pass on to (my) children. You try to get it right, but inevitably you will sometimes fall down, and you have to pick yourself up, try again and learn from what went wrong. The key thing is the learning."
(Source: dailymail
Photo: ICNetwork

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

{Mid-week breather} Ingredients for a relaxed night...

... the deepest bubble bath
... a good slug of my Elemis Skin Nourishing Bath Milk
... a gin and tonic
... and a suitable soundtrack: Adele's '21'

Photos: blog.vakrehjem.comthekitchn.com

{Dare to dream} Believe

Isn't it funny how sometimes you see exactly the right thing, at exactly the time you need to see it most. The picture above is the inside of a card given to me by my parents for passing my first 'swimming endeavour'.  And, believe me, it was quite a journey to get there!  I was petrified of swimming - there were tears at bedtime the night before, sudden tummy aches and nausea on swimming lesson day and if, by force, I'd made it to the poolside I would spend the entire swimming lesson clung to the edge in terror.  At some point I must have let go and faced my fear because here I am, the one in the middle wearing a fearful expression, completing my long-awaited endeavour.  (The lady with the baby on her knee is mum, in a very fetching tracksuit, cheering me on!)

Although this card is 25 years old, it surfaced over the weekend and the inscription is so relevant to me at the moment.  Dad's unique handwriting reads:
"Dear Emma. Please keep this and remember at any time in your life when you 'think' that you can't, look at this and 'know' that you did.  And can."

Photo: Courtesy of Pappa B!

Monday, 9 May 2011

{Inspiration} Madonna

"I am my own experiment, I am my own work of art."

I'm not sure if it's because I'm the eldest child, or it's just my nature, but I've always been a 'good girl'. While my younger, cooler sister occasionally stayed out later than curfew or went to parties she shouldn't, I always towed the line - very 'vanilla'! Even now I've entered my third decade on this planet, I'm still doing what's seen as the right thing, wanting approval, living with my head rather than my heart.  While I don't plan on an all-out rebellion, it might now be time to make a few mistakes, to be brave and take a leap into the unknown, to spread my wings a little.  And so, today's inspiration could only be the poster girl for self-expression personified - Madonna.

Photo: weheartit

Friday, 6 May 2011

{My weekend} Clare's hen party

The wedding season kicks off in style this weekend with my friend Clare's hen party. She will be the first of the 'fab four' from university to tie the knot so the start of the celebrations will be really special.  I'm sure it will be a raucous, giggly weekend to remember. We wish you were here to share Lynz x

Thursday, 5 May 2011

{Inspiration} Cocoa & a lot of heart

What did you want to be when you 'grew up'? I had a list as long as my arm when I was a little girl - hairdresser, air hostess, hotelier, teacher, artist, runner (this one is particularly hilarious!).  While I wasn't particularly choosy, the beauty of my perspective at this young age was that I believed I could do anything.  It didn't occur to me that they might not be options for me, I thought I could do or be anything my heart desired.

When did this change?  When does that child-like innocence and freedom gets swapped for a more 'mature' and rational mind? Our hearts' desires get a little diluted by doing the right and accepted thing.

In the past year I've woken up to this optimistic and confident part of my former self, realised that I should follow my heart a little more than my well-behaved head!

With this fire in my belly, it was lovely to see Jen Ramos' Cocoa&Hearts website come to fruition.  I've long been an avid reader of her blog, made by girl, and so was excited to see her new collection of original artwork - it's fun, colourful and full of life. Equally engaging though was the 'about' page of her website where she reveals that painting has always been her 'first crush'.  She has connected with those hopes and dreams and made it a grown-up reality.  Go Jen!

Photo: 'Modesty' @ Cocoa & Hearts

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

{Mid-week breather} A Million Years

Love the lyrics to Alexander's A Million Years.  Take a breather and enjoy x

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

{VIP} Happy birthday Pappa B!

Wishing a very happy birthday to my wonderful Dad.  Love you loads x

{Take action} Finding my 'yes'

Nestled under the 'hobbies and interests' section of my CV boldly sits the word yoga.  And, it's true, I love it. So much so that, at one point in my life, it became woven into the very fabric of my day - I practised each morning, I was studying the British Wheel of Yoga's certificate and I'd completed Yogabugs training. And I'd never felt better - my body felt toned, I was full of energy and it encouraged better food and drink habits too.

So why is it that, knowing how good this makes me feel, my yoga mat has been gathering dust for months?   The answer can only be ... habit.  I've been out of the habit of enjoying a true passion because my daily life has taken over.  I've said no in every form possible - I'm too busy, I'm working late, I'm tired ... the list goes on.

Recognising that I've not felt my best of late, I've decided it's time to form a new habit, it's time to say yes. 

To give me a little nudge, I've downloaded the wonderful LuluLemon's manifesto - download it here 



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