Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Me in Three Words

Sometimes we need to see what others see in us, it's not about indulging the ego. Its a way of seeing yourself in a new perspective. So I took the opportunity to ask about 10 friends who have known me individually for different lengths of time to describe me in 3 words. I chose to ask 10 people so that I wouldn't be too bothered if someone didn't want to do it and it meant that I wasn't waiting on one persons opinion.

Half of my friends obliged and this was the outcome.

Kind, generous and loving
Loving, cheerful and bright
Fun, thoughtful and sassy
Loving, clumsy and sunny
Lovely, friendly and kind 

I had already thought about it honestly and this is how I would describe myself in three words.


These aren't exactly positive words to describe ones self, especially if they were left alone. However, in conjunction with what my friends have said it all ends up being quite fitting and enlightening. Yes I am indecisive but that often means that I am easy going in social situations and am happy to go with the flow. Because I often over-think things I do put a lot of thought into what I do for my friends, so I am glad someone has recognised me as thoughtful. Being loyal is important to me and that can be reflected in being seen as kind, loving and bright. I can be quite stubborn when it comes to pulling myself out of bad moods and asking for help so its lovely to see that someone thinks of me as sassy and generous. I do make an effort to be generous with my time and attention towards others.

A funny one was clumsy and yes, I have been know to trip, fall and walk into things quite often.

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Now ask a few people how they would describe you. I think you will be presently surprised.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Reaffirming Love

Often seeing your partner in a whole new light can reignite your feelings towards them and reaffirm why you are so attracted to them.

It is so easy to  become so caught up in the everyday routine, you bicker about who does the washing up, argue about who does more cleaning and who put the bin out last. All you see is someone so tired because they work so hard that they don't really want to chat when they come in at the end of a long day, instead they want to relax. I'm to blame as well, I often use the internet or the television as a way of escape. I'm not escaping my boyfriend, he is normally sat right next to me. I'm escaping an unfulfilling job and an uncertain future but while you try to escape reality, you are leaving someone behind who makes reality so great.

"reignite the spark"

We went to gig recently and I got to see my boyfriend in a whole new light, in a completely different environment. It was a Ska Punk gig, we both loved that genre of music growing up but had never gone to a concert like that together before. We also went with two mutual friends who again, we have regularly been out with socially but never to a concert. It was awesome to see them all enjoy themselves and have fun in a different setting. This is what escaping reality should be, it was being present in the momement  enjoying a special time with your friends and loved ones in different and exciting situations. It was great to let go of the daily grind and be surrounded by people experiencing the same thing.

Seeing my boyfriend truly letting go and forgetting about the hard work he has to do and his daily responsibilities to simply have fun and be young was truly an awakening eye opener. I've realised that I judge him too quickly on the now and not think of all the experiences we have shared. It is too easy to forget his interests outside of work, his great friends and his charismatic personality. Don't forget that someone is not just the job they moan about, or that they don't want to be tired or fed up either. Remember why you love them so much and work with each other to find opportunities and interest that will reignite your spark, whether it be with family, friends or your partner.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Going Green

This Tag was created by Rachel over at All Natural Aspirations, it's basically like a having a little nose to find out how some green beauty/lifestyle bloggers came to be green in todays world. I for one can be quite nosey so I think this is great! When I was tagged by Annie, who you can find at Hello Purple Clouds and Amy from Disguised By Zebras to do this post, I wasn't so sure if I should do it. I'm not sure if I would call myself a green beauty blogger as my focus has always been improving my self-love and wellbeing. But when I got thinking about it I felt that I really wanted to do it as I have/ am making changes in my beauty routine gradually. Just as becoming aware of what you put in your body is important, surely you should be aware and take responsibility for what you put on your body as well? This doesn't mean I wont ever use a conventional product again but I do love looking out for alternatives and like to educate myself on what I am using.

The wonderful thing about this tag is that it can include the newbies and the old hats who have enough knowledge to fill a library.

Here goes.

What Started it all off for you?
I have always been interested in all sorts of  natural alternatives and remedies but in the past I was not committed to making a complete change. When I really started to see the connection between what we put in our bodies and how it can affect us, I then started to think about what I was putting on my body.

What was the first thing to go (ingredient or product)?
The first ingredient was Lanolin when I found out what it was, it just didn't sit right with me. It took me a while to realise that normal shampoo's were too harsh for my scalp, so that was the first product to go.

What are you/did you struggle to let go off?
Make up, I have a lot of it. I've changed my face powder and have a few eye shadows and blush that are okay. But I cannot find a decent mascara that doesn't crumble or flake (I've tried a fair few) and don't get me started on liquid eyeliner!
I have decided that I'm not going to throw my mainstream products out, I'm going to use them up and try to find an alternative as I go. I would see it as a waste of my money if I just tipped it all in the bin. Maybe I would think differently if I had suffered from a lot of reactions but as I haven't I'm happy to continue using them as they are doing the job for now.

What has been your best find or change (i.e a green product or a tip that you are really glad you've found)?
I can't pick! I love using sweet almond oil or coconut oil for hair masks and make up removers and Oats can make a great gentle cleanser/ exfoliator.

What has been the worst thing about going green (what has been the hardest transistion or find an adequate replacement of)?
Deodorant, I'm still searching.  I've also found it hard having to justify myself when people question why I prefer natural products, especially when I do use conventional ones as well. I don't think it should bother anyone, it's just my preference.

Anything else to add (a tip or trick to pass on):
Don't purge everything unless you can truly afford to replace everything at once. You may make it harder for yourself if the job at hand is too large and a massive stress, it should be just as pleasurable shopping for green products as it is to shop for convential ones. Don't compare yourself to what other people are doing, they may have started their transition a long time before you or are lucky enough to have a bigger spending budget. They may also have different opinion thnn you about certain ingrediants that you are okay with using etc. Do you own research, make your own choices.

Lastly, buy a huge tub of coconut oil and never look back!

The Tag rules are:
  • Link back to the tag creator (Rachel)
  • Answer the questions in blog or video form.
  • Tag a few bloggers
I Tag:

Amber Karlson: all naturally beautiful
Stephanie Harris: East Central Love
Emma : CHIC by Emma

Friday, 14 February 2014

Coconut Water Love

(please excuse the eyebrows!)

New York 2010 and I have finally tasted fresh coconut water for the first time. It is the beginning of a tasty love affair at the first sip. I had wanted to try it years before at Notting Hill Carnival but was warned off by the parentals not to try it. This was because I was 12 years old at the time and they didn't want to deal with me if I got a funny tummy.

This had put me off trying it for a long while, so as we walked past a street vendor I thought "why not" and went for it and I have loved it ever since. It was a few more years later until I started seeing it available in supermarkets and my love was reingnited.

It's great on it own and in smoothies, you can also get them in different flavours but I acutally prefer it plain. It's full of antioxidants, an anti-inflammatory and it's detoxifying. Not to mention yummy!

You can regularily find small and large cartons in most supermarkets. I keep a small one in the fridge for when I want to add something extra to my smoothies. It's also really refreshing after exercising, When you are enjoying a sunny day you can sip of this and think of somewhere tropical and some people use it as a hangover cure.

This makes sense as coconut water is one of the most balanced electrolyte source available in nature. This means that it is extremely re-hydrating, as it can help to replenish electrolytes (like sodium and potassium) that are lost through exercise and illness. A serving of coconut water contains about the same amount of potassium as four Bananas. I love bananas but if you can't keep anything down but water when sick, why not give coconut water a try.

All I know is that I love coconut in all it's forms! All hail the coconut! (unless you hate it..... then more for me!)

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Make your own way

When I got the opportunity to write for another blog I was so excited but also really chuffed because it meant someone out there had connected with what I was writing and I felt so privileged to share my thoughts over on another person's space on the internet.

When I started to think about what to write for Amy over at Disguised By Zebras, I felt that it would be a great chance to introduce myself and talk a little bit more about how I started to think about writing a wellbeing blog and how it can be hard making your life authentically your own, when you are inspired by so much around you.

While you are there for a read, have a nose around Amy's awesome website, it is an inspiration it's self and offers a plethora of knowledge on beauty, wellbeing, spirituality and more.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Conscious Eating

I am not vegan but I eat very little meat, from what meat I do eat, red meat is a rare occurrence. If I were to eat a sausage it would be an organic, sulfate free, gluten free, lactose free sausage. The only other processed meat I will eat is Bacon and I don't eat it every day. I stay away from processed junk food, I have not eaten a McDonald's for a very long time but I have had an organic free range beef burger recently. I also eat free range eggs. On the flip side just because the packaging on a food says it's a vegan or healthy alternative if the ingredient list is full of additives, I try to stay away from it.

If I were to eat a cake or dessert I would prefer it to be homemade so there are not any preservatives in it. I also let myself have a few treats that are simply treats, as I know I would be unhappy if I limited myself so strictly. If I eat something I deem as junk, I will detox the next day. It is so important to be open minded towards yourself and forgive yourself. You are allowed treats. Just be mindful of what you are putting in your body.

Eating a variety of natural whole foods is essential for me to feel well.

Its a personal choice to whether you eat meat or not. I believe that if you want to eat meat you have to understand where it is coming from and how the animals have lived.

I try to eat a whole food, plant based diet with at least one one meal a day being vegan which often ends up being twice a day. I cook omnivore meals for the boyfriend as he still eats more meat then I do.

My favourite cookbooks are actually vegan and he is really supportive in trying what vegan meals I have cooked for dinner. We love chickpea burgers and vegetable curry etc.

If I'm on my own for the weekend it often ends up being vegan day, if I don't have an egg as a snack.

I don't preach at people, I don't say you shouldn't eat that to a friend who is chomping on a steak because everyone is welcome to eat what they want. I just know that eating a lot of animal products everyday doesn't physically agree with me.

I really don't like labels but if I had to label myself, I would like to think of myself as a conscious, mindful eater. 

As long as you understand where your meat is coming from, how they are killed and are appreciative of what you are eating, I believe it is your right to eat it. I think it is naive and obnoxious to have the belief that we as humans, are on the top of the food chain and don't have to care about where our food comes from. We are not at the top of the food chain. If we were living out in the wild surrounded by animals, we would have to fight to survive equally with the predators around us.

There are a lot of meat free meals that are sustaining, full of protein and delicious. I also find that I am more creative when cooking meat-free dishes.

To me it is all about being healthy inside and out.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Sweet Treat: Nakd Bars

 Searching for a tasty treat when you are out and about is easy enough. Finding a treat that is natural and full of goodness that you won't feel guilty about eating isn't. That's why I am so happy to see Nakd Bars in conventional shops as well as health food stores. They are fully raw, wheat and gluten. Pretty much music to my ears. I really like the Cashew Cookie and Cocoa Orange flavours but it was awesome to see a bunch of different flavours at my local Waitrose.

I honestly squealed out with glee when I saw new flavours to try and was throwing these three bars into the trolly as quick as you can say "dairy-free"!

First I tried Pecan Pie, it only contains three ingredients, dates, pecans and almonds. There's also some natural flavouring in there as well. Let me tell you that this is bloody amazing and so delicious to eat.

Next up was Ginger Bread, as I have a thing for ginger biscuits and proper ginger bread from Grasmere in the Lake District so I guess you could say that I had high hopes for a decent replacement. This surprisingly has the same mix of pecan, dates and almonds as the Pecan Pie bar with the addition of ginger, clove and cinnamon. It does taste nice but I found that the clove gave it quite a strong taste at first. After a few bites I got used to it and I think it would be perfect with a cup of tea.

Lastly I saved the  Cocoa-Mint bar for when I was in major need of a chocolate fix. This is a mix of dates, cashews, raisins and cocoa with a few drops of mint oil if I remember correctly. I liked this but again the taste took some getting used to. It undoubtedly fed my chocolate craving and I would try it again.

My favourite bar by far was the Pecan Pie and to my delight you can buy a box of 18 them directly at for £13.99, that makes them about 77p each individually. The only problem would be having a whole box in the house!

Each bar contains about 11g of sugar, as this is naturally occurring sugar I'm fine with that. They are often eaten as a treat now and then and not an for every day snack. There is also about 11g of fat in each bar, again this fat is from nuts which is healthy in moderation. With 4gs of protein and 4gs of fibre in there as well they make a great sweet treat.


Wednesday, 5 February 2014

What wellbeing means to me

 Personal wellbeing can mean so many things. Here is what I often ask myself to keep myself on track.

 Are you comfortable in yourself?
What I mean by this is, am I comfortable with myself as a person? As I get older I am getting better at  appreciating myself more as a whole. It is a work in progress.

Do you honestly know that you are doing my best or are you just plodding along?
For a while I can honestly say that for a few years i was just plodding along and it just came to a point where i had to stand up to the fact that I wasn't making myself a priority and I wasn't investing any time in my interests. I have been working on implementing small changes, a few at a time so it isn't overwhelming.

Do you enjoy your work or at least have a work life balance to counteract the bore of work with a fun hobby or creative outlet?
I don't have the most interesting job but it does pay the bills and that is important. To balance that out, I love to read and study what I am interested in. I'm attending yoga classes and writing this blog as a creative outlet.

 Do you make time for yourself? 
I'm not great scheduling time for myself / spending time with the boyfriend during work nights. I often become engrossed in some article or something on telly. I really need to cut the television time and start taking care of myself, partner and home.

Have you made enough time to spend with family and friends?
This can be a struggle, everyone has their own lives and schedule so it can be difficult to get the time in. I do make sure I send emails and texts if I feel I've been lacking and often follow that up with a phone call. I'd say I do see friends who live near by but I know I don't get to see friends who live further afield enough.

Are your brave enough to make new friends?
I can be really shy, I will happily chat to people I don't know but that is normally in a group of other people. I'm also not great on ask a friend "out" for a coffee etc. I need to put myself out there a bit more, which is scary.

Are you eating nourishing meals that make you zing from the inside and help your body to work to its full potential?
I love to cook and I really enjoy browsing recipies and cooking from scratch. However, there are days when I come home from work and really hate the idea of cooking and just want something quick. Which is normally something egg based. Which is fine, but not great. This is something I need to work on.

Are you letting yourself have a few treats along the way?
Yes, maybe too many treats at the weekends. I'm really good at controlling my snacking on weekdays and I think that is because the working week has a lot more structure to it then my weekends. I shall look into a way of implementing a "loose Structure" and maybe that will help me snack less.

Are you letting yourself down by allowing the fear of another person's judgement stop you from trying something different that you may love?
I am working on this, i'm doing my own research and looking into topics that excite me. I'm often worried about how people with perceive me after learning about what i'm interested in. I've come to realise that there is nothing wrong with having different interests and hobbies. If someone asks me what i have been doing i tell them, if someone asks why i don't eat gluten i tell them, why are you interested in nutrition etc... i just tell them. I take on what they have to say and move on to the next conversation. Sometimes it even sparks a new topic on health and wellness because I have shown an interest.

Do you understand the  value of money and have control over your spending?
I can be really careful and conscious of my spending and then blow it by spending too much on unnecessary items. I'm starting to cut back on my spending and have not bought clothes recently and have been more mindful of why I am feeling the need to spend.

For me being well is all of these things and more. I certainly have not mastered keeping on top of all of these things at once but it is a process that is keeping me aware of myself and helping me to gradually build a better life for myself that is purely from my imagination. Sticking to a few easy goals makes all the difference.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Be everything you want to be. Be everything you have to be

With all of the positive affirmations around on social media it is sometimes hard to keep focused on yourself and the life you live. Of course you want to "do what you love and love what you do" but sometimes we have to work in a job that isn't perfect. Sure I love to not let money be a factor but sometimes you have to make sure that you have food and shelter. At the beginning of my wellbeing journey I struggled with the comparisons I was making with the people or quotes I admired. They seemed to have it all sorted, time to have the life they want and the means to do it. They were living a vibrant life that seemed so out of reach. Because I have to sit at a desk and work for the man everyday, it made be feel like I couldn't be truly well. I was over thinking it.

So what if I can't afford to constantly travel the world, go to retreats and work in a trendy, great job and meet tons of like minded people. I have to work with what I have. What do I have? I have a job. Its not my dream job but it pays for me to eat well, go on trips and see friends. I can read books and go out. I have my health. I have my great friends who have stuck by me through everything and I would do anything for them. Sometimes it quality over quantity with that one!

I can take a new class or learn a new craft, for example I'm addicted to beauty tutorials, wholefood recipes and paper crafts of YouTube. My friends might not be interested in that but I can find things out there to relate to. I need to learn that I can do things on my own and it is okay to have other interests that other people may not be interested in and that doesn't make it any less important. If someone else is great at painting but you are just terrible, so what!  You can appreciate their talent and enjoy what they are doing. Don't be jealous about it, go out there and find something you enjoy and can become great at in your own right and in your own time. Alternatively if you are great at the same thing there is room for your unique talent as well. There is room for all of us to go out there and experience something. whether it be a small or big goal.

Be everything you want to be: A green smoothie addict, wellbeing enthusiast, meditator, make-up lover, music lover, bookworm, foodie.

Be everything you have to be: bill payer, employee, dishwasher, Sunday food shopper.

Do what you can with what you already have. Be grateful.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Be honest with yourself About food

I know that when I over indulge in yummy food that it won't be helping my body function to it's best ability. When I eat biscuits, crumpets and roast dinners I get an instant hit of "oh this is yummy, mmmmmm" but after about 20 minutes it is like lead in my tummy. The other problem is that I seem to forget the lethargic feeling and my next meal might be all about comfort eating as well. I'm not saying I don't like roast dinner or toad in the hole, I love them, I bloody love them.

I love pies, I love burgers but they all seem to act as a trigger or a gateway to eating a large amount of heavy food. I'm not saying I'll never eat these meals again , I've just got to keep focused on the fact that I feel so much lighter brighter and better  after eating, soups, salads, stirfrys etc.

"feelings will not disappear in a doughnut, there is no radical cure in that cupcake"

I am an emotional eater and often find myself wanting junk food when I'm upset, bored or stressed. I need to own up to this and to stop feeding myself crap just because I like crap. This is not taking care of myself. I need to look on those foods as very occasional treats and not the cure to my problems. You cannot eat your feelings. They will not disappear in a doughnut, there is no radical cure in that cupcake.

The healthier lighter foods also affect my mood, I feel prepared for the day and am often more positive in my attitude. Eating a healthy, nourishing diet is essential to taking care of yourself. I follow this about 85% of the time. I'm not saying it's bad to eat indulgent foods but when I eat them it isn't because I feel like I deserve a treat. It's not for a friends birthday or a rare special occasion and I'm not at a restaurant trying something new. I'm almost always eating unhealthy foods because I need an instant "ahhh that's better". If I want to eat something indulgent I want to because I'm enjoying a happy time etc, not because I'm eating my emotions.

It's all about balance, which is hard because I hardly have any figuratively or literally speaking!