Thursday, 30 June 2011

{Indulge} A little skin treat

A real treat tonight - an Elemis Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Facial for two.  The lovely Janey is coming across for some quality time.

Facials are our thing.  She and I have known each other for ten years and, when we first met, we actually had a joint budget sheet to try and make our monthly pay-packet last.  Facials seemed to be a far-distant reality back then so, now, it's a treat we thoroughly relish. The real treat is the quality time with Jane, the clearer skin in an added bonus.

Photo: pinterest

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

{WellBEing} A moment of calm

Over the past week I've been setting my alarm clock an extra 30 minutes early to meditate - it has long been on my list of intentions but, sadly, the thing I've never made the time for.  More fool me!

It has made a huge difference for a number of reasons but today I'll share just one.  I realise I was so used to getting up in a rush, running through my plan for the day while ironing with one hand and making my morning cuppa with the other (you get the picture) and setting a manic tone for the day that I was missing everything. When I've heard the phrase "don't be so focused on the destination that you miss the journey" I'd always thought it a bit twee - but I'm about to eat my words. 

As well as starting the day in a much calmer frame of mind, the biggest difference this new little ritual has made is that it seems to have opened my eyes to what's going on around me a little more.  To appreciate all the little things that make me smile.

So, today, I encourage you to take 30-seconds, a minute, (heck 5 minutes if you have it!) to STOP, take a breather and enjoy a moment of calm.

Photo: this-is-glamorous

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

{Day-dreaming} Local goodies

When I spotted these images on shelterpop of Rachel Bilson picking vegetables with her little sisters, it was all I could do not to leap into my car and head back to the family nest! I've got a serious case of home sickness at the moment - particularly with my youngest brother set to head off to Zambia for 6 weeks tomorrow. I should be there to wave him off!

The beautiful weather we've had over the past few days has only added fuel to the fire.  Lazy days in the city are a real treat but I'd really like to be in the quiet of the Lake District whiling the day away with my family.  Roll on the weekend.....

Monday, 27 June 2011

{Inspiration} Beyonce's dream come true

I'm still reeling from Beyonce's headline set at Glastonbury 2011 - good God, that girl has bags of energy!  I can only imagine what it must have been like in the crowd as she got my living room jumping with her high-octane performance.

Entertainment aside, did anyone else find it quite moving?  She humbly admitted to the 175,000-strong crowd that they were "witnessing her dream" and that she "always wanted to be a rock star" as she visibly soaked up the atmosphere. And, boy, did she give it some welly.

Photo: weheartit

{Take action} Change the record

I'm a snoozer. I must hit the snooze button about four times in the morning before I eventually wake up. To put it mildly, the alarm bell is not my most favourite sound in the world!

But this past week I've turned it around - and I thought I'd share.  Possibly the last person in the world to join the iphone generation, with my new gadget came a new alarm and, rather than opt for the high-pitched tones I've been used to, I decided to opt for a piece of music. And it's upbeat and super-positive music at that. Very aptly, it's Teddy Pendergrass singing "Wake Up Everybody" and it kicks my day off to a positive start. Listen here

What's the song that would put a spring in your step?

Photo: pinterest

Friday, 24 June 2011

{Take action} Do your thing...

What's the one bad habit that you can't shake?  I don't mean that chocolate indulgence, or the sneaky mid-week glass of wine - we all deserve a little treat!  I mean that learned way of being that you're trying to un-learn .... or you don't even know you're doing/being until it's too late.

I'll put mine out there.  I'm a self-confessed people-pleaser.  Not all the time but in certain situations I water down the fire that rages on the inside, too afraid to (god forbid) rock the boat.  So today, I'm going to do one thing today that scares me - speak up and use my voice.  

Photo: weheartit

Monday, 20 June 2011

{Inspiration} Real women

What do you get when you take 14 women from across the country and throw them together in a London townhouse for a day ... along with a hair and make-up team? A day to remember!

This week marks a year since I joined the ladies above for the 'Ultimo' experience.  And, while I loved every minute of the star treatment, the reason that day is memorable for me is because of the amazing ladies I met that day and because it taught me a valuable lesson.

I guess I've always believed that friendship is earned and slow-growing, and this has been my experience with my closest girlies, but this bubbly gang were proof of a different pudding. The 'Glasgow contingent' in particular seemed like they'd known each other for decades longer than the reality of their train journey south, and they were quick to welcome the non-'weegies into this fold. Twelve months on they're still doing the Ultimo girls proud and bonding over house parties and a glass of wine or two.

It reminds me of a quote I'd seen and doodled on a notepad years ago: "strangers are just friends waiting to happen".  And so this week I'll be smiling at a stranger or two .... Just try to smile back!

Photo: Ultimo Couture

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

{Celebrate} Making memories

I'm excited. This Friday, my wonderful friend Clare will be getting married. She is the most laid-back, chilled-out bride to be - a true testament to the happy-go-lucky character I love about her. I think I'm possibly more jittery than her! Aside from the nuptials, I'm so looking forward to all our university friends getting together again - travelling from Germany and New Zealand to share the special occasion. They're the kind of friends that, no matter how long you've spent apart, you feel immediately 'at home' with and this doodle, borrowed from the darling, epitomises it. It's going to be a special day.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

{Take action} Rest up

It's been a hectic summer so far and, as our wedding date creeps ever closer, "free" time is going to be thin on the ground. It's got to the point where, lately, I feel I've been running on empty - I go to bed to rest and I've been spending most days on countdown to bedtime! Not good. But a recent magazine article caught my eye as it talked about revitalising with 'active rest'.

It sounded, at first, a complete contradiction but it seems active rest is a proven concept by 'The Rest Doctor', Dr Matthew Edlund. (Well, with a name like that it got my attention!) His book, The Power of Rest provides a 30-day rest programme to re-educate our bodies and to rediscover how to feel refreshed.

So, 'active rest' - what is this magic elixir? It's not sitting on the sofa catching up on Sky+ planner - instead the doc suggests four types: physical (such as yoga or afternoon naps), social (simply meeting a friend for lunch or a walk in the park), mental (relaxation and visualisation) and spiritual (meditation and mindfulness).

Dr Edlund cuts to the chase. He says we wouldn't expect our bodies to function without food and similarly we shouldn't expect to feel fuelled and alert without rest. "It's not just critical to our survival.  We can feel better, look better and have a much better shot at living long and well."

Anyone for lunch?

Monday, 13 June 2011

{Inspiration} Christy Turlington

Is there nothing this woman can't do?  Having graced glossy magazine covers galore, Christy Turlington is better known in front of the camera but, this month, has made the news through her directional debut - a documentary about maternal mortality called 'No Woman, No Cry'.  The reportedly shocking film adds to Christy's reputation as campaigner - after retiring from the catwalk, Christy threw herself into an anti-smoking campaign after nursing her father through advanced lung cancer and later studied for a Masters degree in Public Health at New York's Columbia University.

So more than just a pretty face, then?  Vogue magazine once described Christy as "the most beautiful thing that ever lived" but, from what I've read about her, I get the feeling that she would prefer to be known for her brains rather than her obvious beauty - she likened modelling to "being the silent, one-dimensional creature."

Sharing my passion for yoga and wellbeing, the former model has her own line of yoga clothing, Nuala, developed with sportswear brand Puma, and a line of Ayurvedic skincare, Sundari, and chanelled her interest into the internationally successful book: "Living Yoga: Creating a Life Practice".  

I'm in admiration of all that she's achieved but, it seems, Christy sees this as just the beginning.  She says: “With every passing year I feel more fulfilled. I am only just coming into a phase of my life where I can say that I feel passionate about what I do.” 

Photo: Pinterest

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

{Be} Turn down the noise

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder and, it's true - I've missed my verbal doodles here over the past few days.  It just has been one of those weeks that tests the mettle!

The picture says it all - I feel a little like I've had the wind knocked out of me this week and, when the going gets tough, it's difficult not to get caught up in the noise!  Tonight I'm taking a little time out with friends to get back to 'ME' without the need to do, be or say the right things.  And try to find my little place in the world!


Friday, 3 June 2011

{Celebrate} My weekend is...

... getting fitted for my bridesmaid dress for Rach's big day
... enjoying a glass of fizz to celebrate the bride-to-be's hen do
... giddy chats
... dancing the night away with the girls

Hope you have a good one Rach x

Photo: Pinterest

Thursday, 2 June 2011

{Beauty} Don't be a TEWL

Yesterday evening I went to a 'Natural Hydration' event at Liz Earle, billed as a 90-minute talk with the in-house botanist Jennifer Hirsch. Disappointingly, the talk itself was only about 15 minutes and, as a committed two-litres-of-water-a-day girl and skincare enthusiast, I can't say I learnt anything new .... except for one juicy fact.  Don't be a TEWL!

An acronym for Trans-Epidermal Water Loss, in plain English it means the water you lose through your skin, your biggest organ. And it hit home. I've been glugging away at the H2O and not applying a protective barrier to prevent it all evaporating from the surface of my skin. And the key ingredient you should be looking for to stop this? Plant oil. In short, it traps moisture within the skin so it continues to circulate around your body and, end result, keeps your skin looking plump and supple. Sounds good to me.

My Weleda Wild Rose Smoothing Day Cream passes the test, but I'm now on the hunt for a new body moisturiser. Any recommendations?

Photo: Pinterest

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

{Nourish} Make mine a 'green juice'

Ok so it doesn't look that appetising but, appearances aside, I'm joining the green juice revolution.  Since my 'Personal MOT' last week suggested I need to get more greens into my diet, I dusted down a book I'd read a few years ago to give me a little inspiration - The Healthy Skin Diet by Australian nutritionist Karen Fischer.  The book's holistic approach encourages a whole-food and nutrient dense diet and extols the virtues of one little ingredient - chlorophyll.

I can almost hear you replaying your school biology lessons - yes, chlorophyll is better known for it's relationship with plants.  But it's benefits are not limited to your potted fern.  Chlorophyll is a highly-prized antioxidant.  It works by evening out the acid/alkaline balance of your blood so is great as part of a detox programme, but also improves circulation and has anti-carcinogenic properties.

I've been trying it as a supplement but now intend to give one of the juicing recipes a try at Total Raw Food.

Photo: wholefamilyfare


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