Thursday, 31 July 2014

Sweet Treat: Creative Nature Bars


Wondering around Tesco I spotted down the free from food isle, some yummy new snack bars to try. They were on offer, so I brought all four flavours. I thought that they were so yummy I would buy them again (for the third time)and share them with you. Normally 99p the Creative Nature bars are jam packed full of goodness, they are vegan and also gluten free, each bar is cold pressed to retain nutrients. They are a really great snack option for the 11am munchies! They all have a great texture and I will definitely be picking them up again.
 
There are few new snack bars in town and all four pack a flavourful punch!
 


This flavour was the first one I tried and I think it is delicious, it has a strong taste of red berries and is very fruity. The cranberries aren't too tart, the flavour is really balanced and almost juicy!

For a 38g bar you get 122 calories and 0.1g of saturated fat. That 0.1 is not a typo, that is it a delightful fact!

Ingredients:
dried fruit (apricots, cranberries, pineapple, goji berries), oats, sultanas, vegetable glycerine, natural flavouring.



This bar is the most savoury of the munch bunch and I really enjoy the flavour. There is a hint of sweetness but not overly so. It's a lovely change to having an overly fruity bar. Because of the protein content I noticed that this bar kept me going for longer than the other bars, which is a massive plus for me!

In a 38g bar you get 170 calories and 1.4g of saturated fat. This bar also contains 6.5g of protein, making it a get work out snack!

Ingredients:
roasted peanuts, dates, sunflower seeds, sultanas, hemp protein powder, vegetable glycerine



Smells liked a decadent chocolate dessert. On first bite you can taste the fruitiness, then comes the yummy flavour of the cacao powder and cacao nibs. It's delish. I would buy this again in a heart beat for when I am in need a chocolate flavoured boost!

For a 38g bar you get 132 calories and 1.1g of saturated fat.

Ingredients:
sultanas, oats, dates, cranberries, vegetable glycerine, goji berries, cacao powder, cacao nibs, cacao butter, maca powder, water.



Is the zingiest of the bunch and packs a punch with some serious ginger tang. I'm not a massive fan of ginger and this was not my favourite of the bunch. However I would not turn it down if it was the only thing on offer. It is still tasty and although the ginger is strong you still get a hint of papaya, I have to say that it is possibly growing on me (I'm currently eating one know and it's a grower!).

In a 38g bar you get 124 calories and 1.9g of saturated fat.

Ingredients:
dried fruit (pear, pineapple, papaya, apricots), oats, ginger, coconut, vegetable glycerine, barley grass powder, pau d'arco, lemon juice.


So there you have it, a new bar to add to my slightly unhealthy healthy fruit bar addiction. I would eat these bars in place of conventional treats. The full flavour of the bars is moarish but I find that I am left satisfied after one bar and not wanting to go back for more.

What flavours take your fancy?
P.S once you find you favourite you can buy single flavours in packs of 20 online.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

This is me Part Two


Hello,

This is me.

 My eyes are a mix of hazel and flecks of green. They can sparkle when I smile and look like dark pools of chocolate late at night. They can become hidden when I smile and squint.

Sometimes my gap between my lower teeth shows when I laugh, because I laugh loudly, with full abandon.

My hair can appear dark brown in pictures but it is a mix of light and medium brown tones and a few flickering strands of red. I have quite a few grey hairs that like to peek out from the brown. The grey is part of growing older. It's a reminder of years the to come. I am aging and that's okay.

I have awkward eyebrows, but at least they seem to grow back after a few eyebrow plucking disasters!

I have hooded eyelids, which just means I get to apply more eyeshadow to give me a deeper crease (that's my excuse and I sticking to it).

I get dark circles easily, at least this lets me know when I am truly in need of some rest.

I have tiny nails and chubby fingers but my nails grow strong and my fingers stay nimble. All the better for typing this post with.

I look like my dad and that makes me happy.

I have fair olive skin that can burn easily, treated with care and attention my skin can retain a bronzed glow for months after the sun has stopped shining.

I have lots of moles. Everywhere. When I was little, I used to trace them with my finger and imagine that they were star constellations.

I have three different birthmarks. All unique and funny to me.

I can't help but tilt my head to one side when I'm talking to a friend. I think it's because I listen with care. I'm not really sure.

My weight fluctuates, often. I enjoy my food and then know when it is time to eat healthy delicious food, rather than another slice of pizza.

I get puffy eyes when I'm tired, again it shows me I need rest. I need care.

I look like my mum and that makes me happy.

A couple of month back I wrote part one to this post. Part one has proved very popular, it was not intended to be self deprecating. It was meant to show that what we perceive as faults, have come from somewhere of value and heritage. They are, no matter how much you dislike them from your parents, it is part their legacy, that you will pass on to your children one day. I was trying to show that I am aware of what I don't like, but I don't mind it too much because it reminds that I am a creation of my parents.

This is me Part two is to show that you can turn any fault into a positive. It's time we all start loving what we have already and stopping trying to attain the impossible.

This is me. And I like it!

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Gratitude #7


After the mayhem of organising a special event for special person, this week has been much more relaxed and fluid in motion. And it has been really nice. I wrote a post about feeling out of routine and towards the end of last week I have been a lot more mindful of what I'm eating and how I'm moving. It has been really calming and clarifies why having some kind of routine can be really important.

I am grateful for;

being able to have time to relax
having somewhere to call home
being able to understand why I'm over indulging and stop it
for green smoothie
for being able to afford to buy healthy foods
to have the choice to eat well
cleaning the flat with upbeat music playing
raspberries
spending the day with my little brother
believing that it will all be okay in the end.

Last week ended on a lovely relaxing high note. It was so nice to have a quiet weekend, at the moment its like the eye before the storm, as it slap bang in between hen parties and also a wedding/social gatherings. It will be mad the next couple of weeks, so it has been fantastic to relish the quiet while I have it!

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Oqibo Ninety Day Challenge


Have you tried adding flax seed oil to your smoothie or slurped some straight off the spoon? It doesnt taste too nice does it? No, it doesn't and I hate the taste. I have never gotten used to it, however I do like reaping the benefits of flax seed oil. So when the guys at Oqibo apporached me to try some of their other supplements, I was far more interested in their cleaner, greener Omega Advanced Supplements.

Here's what they say about the Omega Supplement;

A perfectly balanced ratio of Omega 3, 6 and 9 delivering nutrients essential for every day wellbeing.

Wellness on the inside, healthy on the outside.


  • Naturally high in Essential Fatty Acids
  • Helps maintain normal cholesterol levels
  • Plant derived, no fishy odour or aftertaste
  • Cold pressed to help maintain optimum nutritional value

Oqibo Omega Advanced Supplement packs an optimal daily dose of Essential Fatty Acids into every last capsule. Each daily dose delivers a perfectly balanced ratio of Omega 3, 6 and 9, naturally high in Alpha-Linolenic Acid and delivering nutrients essential for everyday wellbeing.

Each individually sealed capsule delivers super fresh, plant derived macronutrition that works with your body to provide a balanced dose of Essential Fatty Acids from fish-free sources. A healthy, happy body and healthy, happy you.

Here's what's in them:

Flaxseed Oil ( each capsule contains Flaxseed Oil 500mg, Containing Alpha-Linolenic Acid 250mg*), Vegetarian Capsule Shell (Glycerol, Modified Corn Starch, Carrageenan, Sodium Cabonate). They are suitable for both vegetarians and vegans.

They are currently priced at £14.95, which I think it reasonable for 90 capsules and while they do offer other products on their site, for my personal taste the supplements are what interests me. This is a company with a great vibe and is also very charitable, I just wish their other items where a bit greener!


So From the first of August I will be taking one capsule a day for 90 days to see how I get on. I will be documenting my progress in a few posts and I hope to see some benefits along the way.

Wish me luck!

Friday, 25 July 2014

Out of routine

  Source

I'm really bad at establishing and then maintaining a routine.
I know it is good for me and the equilibrium I can reach when I am focused is fantastic.
I'm focused on life and how I feel, I'm mostly happy and content.
There will be weeks on eat were I'm eating well and everything else seems to flow. It feels good.
But then for one reason or another (a special occasion perhaps) I fall out of routine and become stuck in a rut.
My rut this week has been food. I've not been eating well so that has made me feel lazy and uninspired.
My skin is screaming out for nutrients and my stomach is cramping up because of the crap I have put in it.
I'm not talking about the occasional indulgence I have been eating badly meal after meal.

Although, at least I can stop it, I can move forward and try to regain some momentum in the right direction.

We all fall of the wagon. None of us are perfect.

Just make sure you get back on!
 
All I can do is at least try. Just Try.
 
Heres to eating well and feeling great!

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

When other people can't deal with you not being married


I don't hate the idea of marriage, nor am I bitter or frustrated that I am not married. I don't feel like I need a piece of paper to establish or officiate a union between two people.

What frustrates me is this:

 When people discount how long a couple has been together before they actually got married. The question "how long have you been married?" completely de-values the time spent together in the run up to the four words a lot of girls long to hear.

I'm not even saying that I don't want to get married (I used to ALOT), I may do in the future. What annoys me is that the longer you are with someone, the more you are asked "when are you getting married".
Of course it is enevitable that people ask, however I do think personal questions like that could be dealt with delicacy rather than with demand.

As I approach my thirties I get asked more and more whether or not I'm engaged. I even had one lady grab my hand to inspect my ring finger as she asked me if I was engaged. Then in reply to my "no, I am not", she said "awwwww, oh well" and gave me a pitty pat on the back.

It was like she felt sorry for me. Seriously don't be.

I admire a shiney ring with the best of them. I have loved watching friends try on their wedding dresses. That is what feels right for them. What feels good for me right now is, being perfectly happy living with my boyfriend of six years and saving  for our first house together. To have somewhere of our own is far more important to me than a wedding.

A year and a half ago, after returning from a short ski break in Scotland. A work collegue announced that she had been positive that I was going to come back engaged. Our holiday to Mexico was no different. If was the first question I was asked by multiple people when we returned.

So when you have the urge to ask when someone is going to get married, no matter how long they have been in a relationship. Think about it for a second. Have they started the conversation? Are you going to feel offended if you don't like their answer?

I've had people bluntly tell me that, "if I don't intend to get married, why bother being with someone". I think that, that is an incredibly archaic way of thinking. I've had one women insesantly ask me "why, why don't you want a wedding day?" Why have I dreamed never of the big day? Why have I never been that bothered with a white dress?

I just simply have not. I know myself well enough to say that, I am also very afraid of debt and the average cost of a wedding frightens the life out of me. Maybe it has a lot to do with that my Mother has been divorced twice, so a wedding doesn't automatically mean forever. It offers me little reassurance.

I love celebrating my friends who are getting married and am so happy to see them enjoy their day. Apparently this is a contradiction to most people. I can't enjoy someone else's wedding if I don't want my own. Of course I can celebrate the love of two people, of course I can appreciate a wonderful dress, beautiful flowers and imaaculate hair and make up. I love all of that.

To me that is a wedding and a marriage is the union of two people in love, who want to work through the good and bad, spending their lives together. Maybe we will get that bit of paper one day. For now our love is already official. It just might not be seen that way without the paperwork to someone else.


Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Gratitude #6


It has been a busy week and its time to reflect, I am grateful for,

The sunny weather
The storms that follow
Having Friday off work
Spending some quality time with my best friend before her hen do
The cucumber mocktail-delish!
Pre- Hen Do Afternoon tea, in the sun with fantastic company
To know myself well enough to cope with high stress levels
Friends who keep you grounded and love you even in your stressball moments
Seeing the happiness you have created
Power walking race for life
Onions rings (unhealthy but needed after a hen do!)



It is okay to get stressed


Okay, lets be honest here.
I can get really stressed out
 
It doesn't happen often but when it does, I am one of those people that needs to ride the stress wave until it crashes into smaller calmer ripples in the sea of life. That is how I get over it. I need it out of my system, so when I am stressed I use it to my full advantage.
Sometimes stress can be used as a ball of energy to power you through what ever obstacle you are facing. Often we need a little bit of stress to convey how we feel when we are disappointed or let down. We can use that energy to meet a deadline or have a great work out.

I got very stressed during my best friends Hen do,  everything was going wrong. They had double booked the room, the projector didn't work etc, etc. All that mattered was making sure that the Bride was having a brilliant time. That was really important, the stress was not actually anything to do with me, it was about giving my friend the day she wanted and what I thought she deserved.

Luckily I was with the Hen's sister who was a much calmer than me and she stopped me from repeating myself when I was telling the Assistant Manager how I felt. However I do I feel that sometimes it's needed and completely relevant to come across stressed. Especially when it is to do with fixing a problem. I was using my stress to make sure the Bride would have the best time possible and that issues where rectified.

Yes, I am on a wellness journey and I write about wellbeing. I am passionate about living a balanced lifestyle and living mindfully. The thing is that, it is my own unique journey and I am still going to get annoyed, mad and yes, stressed. I am going to react differently compared to how other people would. Because sometimes things are so important that I don't want to let go of it, I want things sorted and I want it my way. At least I am mindful of my words and I talk through my feelings to make sure everyone knows how I am doing and what I am thinking.
 
 That for me is authentic. Honest.

What I'm saying is, don't let anyone make you feel bad for feeling stressed, as long as it doesn't turn into feelings of deep long lasting depression or violence and you are able to remain civil. It is fine. It is human. It is normal. You are allowed to worry you are allowed to be passionate, sometimes being passionate means being stressed.

When the stress is over, make sure you learn from it. Maybe if something similar occurs in the future you will be better equipped at dealing with it. Then let it go and get back to your own rhythm and enjoy some stress free living!

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Field Trip Tour 2014 with Call It Vanity


Get ready for a very long and soppy blog post:
 
You know when you have a girl crush and you bet you would get on like a house on fire if you met? Well that is what happened on Saturday.

So when the awesome twosome over at Call It Vanity organised a meet up/ shop till you drop day for anyone who had an interest in green beauty/ beauty in general. Let me tell you, it was a GREAT day.

I am very chatty by nature but on the flip side can be very shy, I needn't have been worried. Instantly my nerves where gone when I reached my destination and was greeted by the stylish and too cool for school Sabrina.

There were so many of us that we were split into two groups, Group A (for awesome) and Group B (for Bestest). I was in Group B with some pretty special people, (in no particular order) Amber Amber's Beauty Talk,  Ana Ana Goes Green, Annabel Fragmented Splendor, Katie Katie Vibes, Evelyn We Were Raised by Wolves and Tamara Rainbow Feet. They made my day, seriously, it was great to just settle into the day ahead and chat.

We talked about our interests and what we do outside of blogging and of course green beauty. I even got to quiz Ana of Ana Goes Green on skincare, as she knows her stuff, which was very helpful indeed!


Our first stop was BeautyMart in trendy Shoresditch, I picked up at E.O.S SPF lip balm and some bath fizzers. Both lemon scented, its obviously a thing. Sabrina had me in stiches when we all posed as a group for an instagram pic. I can't take pics of myself at the best of times and looking at myself in the mirror whilst trying to look nice was too much and I burst out laughing. I'm just too goofy.

Next we headed to the mecca of all health food shops. Whole. Foods. The one on Kensington High Street is massive and I probably annoyed a few people by going on and on about how much I love Wholefoods. But, I do I love Wholefoods with all my heart/ It was EVERYTHING.

This is where I did most of the damage to my wallet. I've been cutting down on my spending and with my project pan in mind, I only brought what I knew I needed, a hair mask, heat protector and a lovely coral  Zoya nail varnish that Tamara brought as well. I also brought a few exciting food bits.

Next was the huge food court, it has everything from smoothies and juices, to pizza and noodles. Katie recommended the salad bar and I love mixing bits and pieces so that was perfect for me. I washed it down with a Tea Pigs Green Tea.


As I was stuffing my face, Group A arrived and we got to meet the other half of Call it Vanity, the beautiful Mayah. Group A was made up of Rachel from All Natural Aspirations (my first follower on twitter don't you know!), Sarah from Sugarpuffish (the reason I buy myself so many treats!), I got to have a right good chin wag with Jen from Jen's Green Skincare (she smelt amazing). I finally got to meet my name twin Liz from Smells Like Green Spirit, who came all the way from Brussels! I also got to say a quick Hello to Tania from Bowtied Beauty, Hepzibah from GFMGFY and Katie from What Katie Rates.

I read all their blogs and my only wish was that we could have chatted more because I know I didn't get to talk to everyone. Especially because I was so hungry when they arrived that, I was more interested in my food. I'm sorry but a girl has got to eat!

After Lunch, we headed to Nature and Co, it's products are beautifully presented and the lady there was so welcoming, the atmosphere in the shop was so calm and serene. I didn't need any make up, however they did have Alima Pure in stock, which I did have a look at. The brand is now on my wish list.


I opted for a body water by Durance. This is where I made a boo boo, I loved the scent and brought it without really looking at the label. It was pointed out to me that the third ingredient was Butylene Glycol. Some of you will gasp, but I kept it. I've read a few articles and I will see what happens, for the time being I'm happy that it is cruelty free. If I react to it, i'll know for next time. For the time being I will enjoy it. The Spa down stairs in Nature and Co use it as a room spray before each treatment. It is very invigorating and claming at the same time.

Here is were things got HOT, we had to get the Bus to Bond Street. No biggy. But, it was so hot on the Bus. So hot I turned tomato red which didn't go away until I sat down in a cool room with Air con a few hours later!
 
Content Beauty and Wellbeing was the finishing touch to the day and it was perfect. Imelda the store owner and founder was there to offer advice and I really enjoyed seeing some clients have their make up done. Content Beauty is really the boutique to end all beauty boutiques. It is small, but full of the best of the best.



I picked up at RMS Lip Shine in sacred, a sample pack of One Love Organics and a Vapour concealor. We even got a very generous gift bag form the girls at Content, it is full of beautiful products to try. Which was outstanding. Thank You Content!

(i'm going to do a few individual posts on what I got in the near future)

We all said our goodbyes to each other and with some time to spare Amber and I went in search of somewhere to eat and rest our feet. Amber spotted Pret a Manger hidden of side street. I was so red in the face by this point that even the server told me to go down stairs because of the cooling air con.

For the next hour I got to talk to Amber about all sorts. She is really interesting and just a total sweetheart. (very mushy I know!)

Seriously to every single person I met on Saturday, it was great to meet you and put of face to the name. No matter much or how little we spoke it was brilliant to be surrounded by like minded people. Having started wellmeaningbeing this January I couldn't have imagined to meet you so soon and it be so fantastic!

Thank you Call It Vanity for putting together such and awesome day and talking me under your green beauty wing.

Gratitude #5


I am grateful for a lot this week

Call It Vanity for organising an awesome day out in London
Meeting a bunch of amazing ladies
Nervous excitement
Whole. Foods
Shopping till I dropped for the first time in AGES!
Getting some valued advice
Salad Bars
Air Con
Giggles and chats
Making New Friends


I'm also grateful for meeting up with an old uni friend and falling back into how it has always been. We don't get to see each other often but when we do, it is always a joy and we just get on so well that we don't have to be on best behavior. We just get each other. And that is an amazing kind of relationship to have.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Wellbeing // What does wellbeing mean to you?


I was so happy when Nicola, who writes whole of my favourites blogs, Our Little Balham Life said she was up for taking part in this series. Her blog is beautifully and honestly written, it is really easy to connect with her words and over time her blog has become a wonderfully curated archive of all of her adventures and endevores.

The piece she has written below is no different, it is simply beautiful and a joy to read.
 
"What does wellbeing mean to you?"

LOVE
TRUST
COMPASSION & KINDNESS
BRAVERY

These are the words that come to mind when I think of wellbeing.

To me, wellbeing means that I choose love over fear whenever I have a decision to make (and there are always a lot of decisions to be made every.single.day!). Choosing love is choosing what empowers me and makes me feel good and strong. 

To me, wellbeing means that I trust that the Universe is supporting me. That I am loved, perfect and exactly how I am meant to be. Everything is a lesson and the present moment is where I find joy and happiness. I trust wholeheartedly in the Universe. 

To me, wellbeing means that I choose compassion towards myself equally when things are very good and when they are not so good. After all...choosing compassion and kindness for my body when it is unwell or struggling is how I help myself heal and how I listen to what my body is trying to tell me.  

To me, wellbeing means that I am brave when I step out into the unknown. Stepping into the unknown is where the magic is, where the transformation is, where the sparkle in me resides. 

My wellbeing is not a tangible thing that I can sit down every day for 20 minutes and work on. It's a constant practice. Something I come back to in every moment. And this is what makes it magic. Because it is always in me and always something I always have access to.




Friday, 11 July 2014

Oh Honey! Raw lavender and Sunflower Honey


Recently I walked past a small unassuming  stall at a local festival and it was stocked full with homemade raw honey, lavender scented pillows and candles. While my friend gravitated towards the lavender gifts, I moved towards the honey! There were three types and the stall holder let me sample all three. After the first taste I knew some of the lavender honey had to come home with me and also one of the sunflower honeys for good measure.

They both have a delicate sweet taste and are both sweet in texture. I'm now on the look out for some more lavender honey because mine is almost finished! It is that good! It does not taste too much perfume for me it just gives another level of unexpected flavour. It really is that delicious!
 

I was wanting to put a link to the stalls website but unfortunately their website is not working. However, hopefully this will encourage you to buy local and check out those cute stalls you may normally pass by. You don't know what treats may be on offer and who you may meet.

Friday, 4 July 2014

The reluctant grown up




Me: do you think we will every feel like an adult?
Him: I am one already, I'm a reluctant grow up.


I often struggle with when I'm actually going to become an actual grown up, because sometimes all too often, I behave like a fifteen year old on a sugar high. The only difference being is that I now have to work full time and pay my bills.

I don't want to force myself into becoming the "grown up" I think I should be, I don't want to move forward shrouded in my own reluctance when moving forward.

I'm trying to come to terms that, at least in my mind, adult hood is a process that happens in stages and as you enter each of them you evole into the adult you need to be for that life stage. I hope at least that my personality stays the same, maybe it will deepen with a little bit more grace thrown in for good measure. Although i don't think I'll ever master walking in high heels or loving wine.
 

And that's okay by me, because do we ever really fully, ever, grow up?