Monday, 30 June 2014

Weekly Gratitude #4


This week I am grateful for my week taking on a different pace and being a slight change from the norm:

Watching Maleficent with my Mum
Going to a Gig
Having lunch and sunday dinner made for me
The saturday chillout
A mini reunion with an old friend
The amazing salad I ate at ZiZi's
The peaceful sunday
The lie in

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Wellbeing // What does wellbeing mean to you?


In part three of this series asking "What does wellbeing mean to you?", I had the pleasure on asking Florence who works for the Network of Wellbeing. She discusses the NOW own wellbeing concepts and her own thoughts on what wellbeing means to her as part of her lifestyle. A very interesting read!

I actually find this a beautifully complex question to reflect upon. Firstly, I should highlight that I work for an organisation called the Network of Wellbeing (NOW), so wellbeing is a concept I spend a lot of time thinking about. So, you may wonder, why do I find this question so complex? Through my experiences working at NOW I have discovered that wellbeing is something everyone cares about in one way or another, yet people can seek to achieve wellbeing in a multitude of different ways and can approach wellbeing from many different angles. Thus, in some ways you could argue that wellbeing can be seen as both universal and specific. 

In my own understanding of wellbeing, I have found the work of the New Economics Foundation (nef) helpful, in providing a simple yet valuable approach through the Five Ways to Wellbeing(Connect… Be Active… Take Notice… Keep Learning… Give). These Five Ways are intended to be a wellbeing equivalent to the idea of having five fruit and vegetables a day. They offer a basis for reminding you of the aspects of life which can be vital to ensure health and balance. We have used the Five Ways to guide our approach to some of our community projects at NOW, and this has had some very positive outcomes. 

At NOW we talk about wellbeing as being about healthier people, happier communities and a more sustainable planet. It is important to care for personal wellbeing, and from this place of taking good care of ourselves we can hopefully take better care of each other and the planet. I see this as a virtuous circle, since it has been shown to be good for personal wellbeing if we connect with others and if we spend time appreciating and caring for the natural world
In addition to this, I think wellbeing is a concept which can provide people with a way to challenge the status quo of measuring our societal progress in terms of economic growth only. There is plenty of evidence showing that increases in economicgrowth do not always improve our quality of life. Following this it is fair to ask, shouldn’t our collective measurements of progress more accurately reflect what really matters to us in life; our health, our happiness and caring for the planet which sustains all of our lives. If we could shift towards more holistic progress measurements including wellbeing, rather than focusing economic growth only, these are issues which could be placed higher on the political agenda. 

So, when asking what wellbeing means to me it brings to mind all of these different aspects on personal, community and planetary levels. Wellbeing is a holistic concept which helps me reflect on the importance of prioritising quality of life for myself and others, now and in the future.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Happy Beats: Footloose

 I love all types of music. Pretty much anything and everything can become my jam. Music lifts us up, invokes memories and can either bring us down or motivate us to power through anything.

Music for road trips, parties, cleaning the house, for relaxing, a romantic night in *wink*, music for working out. We are surround by music, when we are on hold, when we are in the  shop changing room, we hear theme tunes, radio play and lounge music. I really love it all.

Happy Beats is going to be a new feature where I share the songs that make me instantly tap my feet and make me happy from the inside out.



For the first song, it has to be Footloose by Kenny Loggins. Its a favourite for both my Mum and me. We even danced to it alone on a dance floor at my cousins wedding (yes we are those people) and I have loved the original movie for a very, very long time. I love the lyrics and the beat. I think the words can resonate with everyone.

I love the whole song but the part above is my absolute favourite. It is so true life that doesn't wait for you, it will pass you by and it is your choice as to what you are going to with it.

Critical appreciation aside it is fun to pretend to be Kevin Bacon for while and get footloose! Everybody clap, everybody clap *clap, clap*.

What is your favourite happy beat?

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Project Pan: The Epiphany


The epiphany that I have had during my project pan is this:
I was buying a hell of a lot of make up because I was trying to hide the fact that I was so unhappy with myself. I was buying more and more when I just simply didn't need it. I was unhappy with my looks, unhappy with my weight and unhappy with myself in general. Make up was the escape, it is what I used as an instant fix.This is why I was buying so much make-up. To fill some kind of void.

There is something for everyone when it comes to makeup, that was is so great about it. I however became fixated on eyeshadow. I knew I could buy something that suited me and that would it "fit". Where, as if I brought clothes, I knew I would struggle to find something that suited me.

I still love makeup and always will. I just know now, that as I work through my stash, it won't get as big again and that I don't "need" multiples of the same thing. Make up can change how you can look for the day, you can play on a certain look for the night but it isn't going to change you into that person you may be trying to be. You can't fake that persona.
Now instead on copying loads of different looks, I tend to stick with a feline flick of eyeliner and a nice blusher. I still adore eyeshadow but I know now that realistically I'm only going to wear neutral shades. I think I found it hard to find a "signature look", for example I used to buy lipstick half knowing that I wouldn't wear them. They just don't work for me. I brought bright lip glosses all the time when really, I got the most use out of a light peach shade or a clear  lip balm.

Experimenting is fun and I'm sure I will still take a few risks in the future, at least I know now that I don't need it all to be happy. Just because I can buy red lipstick and purple eyeshadow, it doesn't make me Jessica Rabbit and I shouldn't get down when I can't replicate an exact look from a magazine. I'm now happy with what I can achieve.

The silly thing about buying all the makeup in the first place is that I rarely wear a complete full face of it any more and was always happy to go out bare faced. So I was simply buying it all out of fantasy. At least I'm now able to step out of the fantasy and deal with the reality.

The reality being that makeup should be used to create a more polished version of yourself, not to completely change the way you naturally are. Have fun with it, don't need it and always love yourself before you have put any on!

Weekly Gratitude #3


This past week has been quite stressful and If I'm honest Friday would have ended on a very bad not if it wasn't for the G.O.T marathon. Not much happened in the week and then I ended up having a lovely weekend.

This week I am truly grateful for:


The fact that I have a place to call my own
A supportive best friend, who happens to be the boyfriend.
Friends that I may not be able to see all the time but I know they are there
Planning trips
Being part of my best friends wedding
Hearing loved ones great news
That yummy drink and  chat in the summer sun
The fantastic barbeque at my mums
Eating some home grown strawberries


Writing it all down really but everything into perspective. What are you grateful for?



Monday, 23 June 2014

Tea at The Ritz


We all know I love tea. So I was very excited when the boyfriend's Nana turned 80 and his family wanted to celebrate. She knew where she wanted to head to. She wanted a posh chow down of some Tea, Cake and Sandwiches. Tea at the Ritz it was!

Celebrating someone else is always fun and it really gives me a sense of calm, happiness and wellbeing, espeicially because they know that you love them and want to pay them some special attention. It makes me feel good to focus on the positive and to focus on the good in others. Celebrating a special birthday with someone you care for is priceless and creates wonderful memories to keep forever!


Here is how it went down, we got to choose a pot of tea from a lovely selection and then an assortment of sandwiches were brought over for the table. The staff knew ahead of time that I was dairy free so they had a  dairy free selection ready for me and had also made some dairy free cakes for me to eat as well. I thought this was very good and also kind of expected at such a famous establishment.


We sipped Tea from china cups and chatted while we ate some delicious finger sandwiches. The crockery was lovely and it felt very special to have silver cutlery and a tier of sandwiches and cakes to choose from. After we have demolished the savoury, it was time for some sweet!
 
A lovely gent came round and offered us a choice of lemon drizzle cake or pecan. I knew I wanted to have a bite of the lemon cake so I asked for slice. THREE cakes where then brought over for me because they had forgotten about the dairy free cakes. So I felt like a little piggy, but I was helped out and it wasn't wasted. The rest of the birthday party enjoyed a selection of mini delights and a slice of cake, while we got to try another pot of tea if we wished. I opted for the lemon tea as it is a brilliant digestive for when one has over indulged!
 
The selection of cakes below from the right: dark chocolate and banana mouse, apple and raisin cake with soy cream and a cinnamon muffin, also topped with soy cream. I didn't think much of the soy but I'm not a fan anyway, so that isn't The Ritz's fault!. The muffin was my favourite and the bite or two I had of the lemon cake was absolutely divine!


I had never had Afternoon Tea before, so to have my first at The Ritz was an absolute pleasure! To be sat in such a beautiful room with breathe taking décor, surrounded by fantastic company was amazing and for me it felt really special because I had never been in an extremely swanky hotel before. There are nice hotels yes, but the décor in The Ritz is something else.

When tea was over we waddled to the cloak room to get our things and headed home, We had a quick peek at what else The Ritz had to offer, gasped at the price of the jewellery and woke up full the next day from all the food! It was a very happy birthday celebration.


Have you been to The Ritz? Do you have any suggestions of where I should have Tea next?

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Why your are not enough



Because you keep telling yourself that are not good enough.
Be your own cheerleader
By motivating yourself, instead of bringing yourself down, you will be good enough
Because you are good enough.
Just the way you are.
Even if you think you are not!

Monday, 16 June 2014

Weekly Gratitude #2


This week has been pretty uneventful. I think it is so valuable to have some down time. Even if you think you should be rushing around catching up with everyone else.

I'm grateful for
The sunny weather
The quiet
Smelling the roses on the way to work
Noticing how beautiful the flowers are in other peoples gardens
The fish supper I had on Saturday
A visit to a Relaxation Therapist
The guided meditation
Nesting at home
The delicious peach iced tea that I happily slurped on Sunday
Quality down time
 
Sometimes I need to focus on the little things. If I don't reflect, I those sight of what makes a week happy and become lost in the daily grind. The bigger picture is often a result of those little things that we forget. So I'm hoping that remembering them will create a brighter picture
What makes you happy and grateful?

Sunday, 15 June 2014

The Wellbeing Beverage: Purdey's Rejuvenation Multi Vitamin Fruit Drink


This drink has been in my life for longer then I can remember.
Whenever I was out and about with my Dad this is what we would always pick up if he had the choice.
So when I picked up a bottle a few years ago it was out of sweet nostalgia and the smooth silver bottle called out to me.
Now, whenever I fancy something other then water and I see this on the shelf, I will pick one up. Bored in the car I started reading the back of the bottle. Purdey's claim that their drink is the original wellbeing drink for mind and body.

Purdey's Rejuvenation Multi Vitamin Fruit Drink is a mix of Apple and Grape juice, combined with sparkling mineral water.This beverage contains some unusual Botanical Extracts, these are emotionally uplifting herb Damiana , cleansing anti- bacterial and anti- viral Oak Bark and energy inducing Chinese Ginseng . It's fizzy enough to feel special but it isn't too crazy that it makes your gut feel funny (or is that just me?). The taste is delicately herbal and I have really grown to love it.

I picked this one up in Boots, but I have brought it at Holland and Barratts and other stores such as Tesco before.

Try it, you might like it!


Saturday, 14 June 2014

If I could give you some advice

 
If I could give your some advice, it would be this.

Your Mum may be strict with you and it will cause a few arguments. However, she is doing it out of love and you will grow up to see that.

Your Mum has had her own share of shit to deal with. BE NICE

There are going to be girls whom you think will be your best friends for ever. Some will be, some wont. That is okay.

Times change and so do you, don't exhaust yourself trying to save dead relationships.

Study harder.

You are not as large as you think. You should be happy in your own skin.

It is okay that you don't want to have sex right now. Stop comparing yourself to other peoples gossip. It's not your business.

Calm down when people try to have a joke with you. Sometimes they aren't being mean, learn to take things with a pinch of salt.

Hold your head up high when you walk past people who used to bully you. It gets better. so much better. In ten years time or less you will have moved on, I promise.

It's not always great being the popular girl.

Do not take back any boy who cheats on you. Even if it is a kiss. even if he was drunk and can barely remember doing it. Everyone deserves better.

Speak up for yourself

Love yourself

Be Brave and take chances, they might not come again.

Give people your trust but if they break it consistently. Don't give it to them again.

Don't tell other peoples secrets.

It's okay to cry.

If I could tell you anything is would be this. You may be a confused sixteen year old, but in a few years time all of this worry will seem a lifetime away and not so important
.
I often think about what I would say to to my past self during different stages of my life. The important thing for maintaining a sense of wellbeing is learning from all of your experiences upon relfection. Using those lessons to lead you into the future and be aware of not becoming fixated on the past. The only thing that is certain, is what is happening right now in the present.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Healthy Snacks

 
I can't go through out the day without least one snack. I try to eat a piece of fruit or a hand full of nuts, maybe a boiled egg. But sometimes, you just need a good munch of some treats. When I can, I will head to a health food store and stock up on some bits to keep in my cupboard.
 
 
I then try to use portion control when eating them (sometimes is doesn't happen.... quinoa chips, I'm looking at you!). Knowing that I can take a treat to work that is a healthier alternative is great and means that I'm not rushing to the local shop and buy something I'm going to regret eating later.
 
 
I'm aware that there are always going to be cleaner/healthier alternatives. This is the kind of thing what I would choose for a treat. I picked up a few new things to try recently, see below for what I thought about them.





Eat Real Chilli and Lime Quinoa Chips:
These are delicious! These chips are vegan, wheat and gluten free, contain no artificial colouring or preservatives and are completely MSG free. I found the link above to a website where you can purchase in bulk for £6.80. I'm tempted, but it may be too dangerous to have a large supply in the house. For me they are that good!

Naked Cocoa Delight Fruit and Nut Bits:
These have become a standard in my house. They are my chocolate alternative and a favourite to have on standby when I need a sweet fix. The chocolate flavour doesn't hide that these little cubes are made of fruit and nut but they are flavourful enough to eat three or four and be happy. I find that I don't over eat these. You can buy them at Tesco for about £2.00 a bag or you can purchase eight bags in bulk here for £18.95

Inspiral Raw Banana Supergreen Granola:
To be honest I wasn't sure about these, they are sold as the ultimate fitness food as they contain the purest ingredients and are handmade. They are 100% natural, gluten free, vegan and are also trans fat and soya free. I liked the banana flavour but I couldn't get used to the wheatgrass powder after taste. However they were a nice alternative to the Naked Fruit Bits, as they are not as sweet. It has not put me off trying out what else Inspiral has to offer. Priced at £1.39, they are not to expensive for a treat every now and then. I've tried their Kale Chips before, which are yummy! I will definitely be sampling some more raw treats from them soon! If you are ever in London and love a good salad, please go their café in Camden!

What do you eat for a healthy treat? What else should I be trying?


Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Being Honest


Being honest is really hard. It can also get you into trouble. Especially if you end up telling someone something they really didn't like hearing. Sometimes you have speak to a loved one and tell them what they need to hear, not what they want to hear.

There will be times when we have to broach a subject that causes tension and will lead to several other tense discussions. Tension can lead to misunderstanding and negative assumptions, but more importantly it can often lead to rectifying something gone wrong, it can solve problems and enrich relationships.

Taking the step into becoming more honest and open with yourself and others is scary. This doesn't mean that being honest gives you permission to go around moaning all the time. Just because your being honest when someone asks how you are, so you tell them exactly how you feel, because you are having a completely shit day. Making that person feel uncomfortable by telling them how shit your life is at present.

Instead, I would explain why you have had a bad day in a short conversation and then ask how they are, what have they been up. Then maybe suggest what you would like to do with them to cheer up. Maybe go for walk, get a coffee. You can make sure that you are on the same wave length with those around by being politely honest.

Sometimes someone will ask for my "honest opinion" and that is exactly what they will get. I don't shove it down their throats or be unreasonable with my opinions and I try not to offend anyone with my words. But, if someone asks  me to be honest, I would hope that they wouldn't be shocked when that's what they get.

Take actions in your honesty. Don't use it as an excuse to wallow and never take it as an opportunity to gloat.

It is a chance to be yourself and begin engage with those around you properly. Creating sustainable and authentic relationships.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Weekly Gratitude #1


 Gratitude, thankfulness, gratefulness, or appreciation is a feeling or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive

To keep me in line with the positive, I am going to be writing a weekly gratitude list documenting all that I am grateful for.

Weekly Gratitude #1
I am Grateful for:
A Sunny weekend
Eating that Ice Lolly
The Bacon and Avocado Ciabatta
Lazy Sundays
The lazy Sunday with the Boyfriend.
Being able to eat well
Catching up with friends
Learning how to drive
Developing my self-confidence

What are you grateful for?


Animal Totem:The Fox

 [artworksamclaire]
The fox is a symbol of pure luck.
This animal can bring energy for mischief and new opportunities. The fox can teach us to play more and worry less.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

S/S Green Beauty Swap with Ria (Naturia Beauty)


A few weeks ago Ria from Naturia Beauty organised a green beauty swap. We were paired together and got talking. I'm not going to lie I felt a bit nervous buying for someone who is quite established in their green regime and whose own blog I read for advice.

Anyway after a few deep breathes and a few emails from Ria, I got shopping, which was so much fun. You can see what I got her here. Firstly I opened my package to see a lovely pink box, which really brightened my day and I hadn't even opened it yet! I want to say that I have really enjoyed being part of a swap. It was a great opportunity to get to know someone who I wouldn't normally get to chat with. It has been great getting know Ria.

When I did open it, I could not believe how generous Ria had been, check out what fantastic products she sent me.


As you can see Ria sent me one hell of a great beauty box and I was overwhelmed with gratitude for how generous she has been.

Green People Anti-Age Eyeliner: I think Ria may have noticed my occasional rants about finding a decent eyeliner. I like that she chose a grey rather than black. It gives me another colour option to try out. (This eyeliner has won a Beauty Bible Award )

Ila Pure Relaxation Bath Soak and Body lotion for nurturing skin: These smell amazing, I'm planning a mid week pamper and a bath soak is most definitely on the list. They are both packed with essential oils, which is right up my street.

Eco Tools Foam Applicator: This was so exciting to open, I already have a few Eco Tool brushes but not this one! I'm looking forward to see how well it applies foundation and if that pointed tip will help with concealer application around the eyes.

Yarok Feed Your Hold Hairspray: This couldn't have come at a better time. I have really fine hair but lots of it, so keeping my curls in place without any product in it is impossible. Hopefully this is the answer.

Dr Organic Coconut Oil Moisture Melt: Everyone around me knows I love coconuts. So opening this body oil was a real treat. I'm thinking you can even use this on your hair? You have to gently heat this is some warm water before you can apply it to the skin. It isn't just coconut oil, there's some papaya seed oil and mango butter, among some other ingredients in there as well.

E.O.S Summer Fruit Lip balm: I have tried the honeysuckle flavour before (about five years ago!) and remember really liking it. So I instantly recognised this and was really chuffed that Ria had sent me one of these cute little orbs of organic goodness.

Balm Balm Rose Geranium Face Balm: I love a multi-purpose product. This rose scented balm can be used pretty much anywhere. I'm looking forward to putting that to the test.

Michael Todd Citrus Face Cream and Cranberry Toner: I have wanted to try this brand for a very long time, so I was really happy to unwrap these two! I have already used the toner and it leaves my skin feeling refreshed and smooth.




Ria also sent me a some Therapie Himalayan Detox Bath Salts, which the boyfriend laughed at because I'm really into using pink Himalayan salt in my cooking. However, I wouldn't eat this (which he jokingly suggested) because there is also some lovely lavender and rose mixed in with the salt. So this shall be used for some much needed bath time.

I also received two collagen sheet masks, which will be fun to try out and some lovely samples. I'm looking forward to trying them all out, especially the Lavera Beauty Balm and the Pai Cream Cleanser.

Thank You Ria for all of my gifts, you have spoilt me rotten and I really appreciate it. Now I have lots of new green beauty products to try out. If you have not checked out Ria's lovely blog then what are you waiting for?!

P.s: You can check out what I sent Ria HERE


Monday, 2 June 2014

Cherry Blossom Tree


A blossom tree of any kind, is my absolute favourite. It's dusty pastel pink flowers dance in the wind on their delicate branches, a blossom tree always makes me smile when I see one.

Cherry blossoms are connected to Japanese folk lore, they are often seen as a symbol of reproduction and new life.
The Japanese cherry blossom is interpreted as 'transient of life'. This is because the cherry blossom tree has short blooming periods and are very fragile.The trees bloom quickly and then die quickly, representing a beautiful, short life.
I always feel so fortunate to see a blossom tree in bloom, as they are also seen as a omen of good things to come. Winter has ended.

The cherry blossom signifies power in China. A cherry blossom tree in Chinese culture is a symbol of feminine dominance. It indicates female beauty and sexuality. It's meaning in China relates accordingly to how the Chinese name their herbs, Cherry blossom means, love.

For some a cherry blossom is a symbol of humanity and hope. The meaning of this beautiful tree in different cultures represents life and love. I find it so interesting how we pass by things in our daily lives that can have so much meaning, often it will stay lost until you do a little research and find out for your self. You might even find the meaning your were looking for.

Now there are less trees in bloom, making way for the summer. Until next spring, when there will be an explosion of pastel and white again.