Tuesday, 30 September 2014

All I did was cut my hair

My most recent photo

My hair had grown really long and although I was loving it I knew that the remnants of my blonde stage (from almost two years ago) needed to go. Those dead bits HAD to go.

So on Saturday I went to the hairdresser and let him cut the last of my blond out. I'm now left with shoulder length hair. I know hair grows back and hopefully this time ill be able to keep it healthy but this hair cut reminds me of myself about 8 years ago. Eight year ago me that was always unsure about herself and hated how she looked.

This weekend I've been complaining about my hair, because honestly I don't feel myself and I don't think it is the best length or style on me. But instead of going on about how much I dislike it, I'm going to have to embrace it. I don't want to be a drag about it. At the end of the day its only hair.

I'm going to find cute hairstyles for my shorter hair and try to enjoy it. I've realised that since growing my hair long over the past 3 years, that my long hair had became my safety net. Why does long hair have to be the main symbol of femininity? I have to get over it and stop stereotyping myself.

Have you ever struggled when cutting your hair off? Did you loose your sense of identity?

I know its not even classed as a short hair cut. I just need to get on with it and get to know my new image/self!

Monday, 29 September 2014

Gratitude #10


The past couple of weeks have been a mixture of good and bad. This weekend. Two whole days. Were good ones. I am grateful for:

Being at peace with myself for the first time in a very long while.
Understanding that it is okay that I don't always feel that way, life is a mix of highs and lows.
Feeling nervous and knowing something is so important.
Baking and not being too bothered about the outcome (I'm not the best baker).
Seeing my best friend so happy and content.
That my Mum has really gotten into making green smoothies!
Watching a chick flick and having a right good giggle.
Starting to de-clutter the living room, my head is already feeling less fuzzy and the room feels more calm.
Singing in the shower.
Jojoba oil
Having the time to put on make up on both Saturday and Sunday and knowing that I don't have to wear it but I wanted to.
For not feeling the need to wear high heels and be comfortable in my cute flats.
Bringing my own wellbeing into focus and allowing myself to be selfish.


What are you grateful for?

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Green People // Age Defy Cell Enrich Facial Oil

As I creep towards my 30's I have been really thinking (with urgency) about adding an extra step to my routine. An anti aging step that is! Right on time the lovely guys at Green People asked if I wanted to review their Age Defy Cell Enrich Facial Oil.

This facial oil is priced at £29.95 for 30ml, paying thirty quid right off the bat is a lot of commitment. I'm being honest, if I were interested in this oil I would probably buy the trial size of 5ml for £10.99 first. But I'm a cauticious carol and would plump for the cheaper option first anyway.

So, the Age Defy Cell Enrich Facial Oil is jam packed full of ingredients, including Rosehip, Perilla and Blackcurrant. It is designed to promote cell regeneration (did you know that our skin starts to degenerate at around the age of 25, yeah not fair!) and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, whilst working to soothe and reduce any inflammation.

I have been giving this facial a good go since August and while I will say it is incrediablly nourishing, I do find that it takes absolutely ages to sink into my skin, perhaps due to it's runny consistency. So I experimented and mixed it with my facial moisturiser and still I felt it was too heavy. I dont like going to bed with a sticky/oily face, so having to make sure that I have put this on more than an hour before bed time, is sometimes a bit of hassle.

Normally I'm more of a serum girl, I find that they sink in easier and I'm lazy so that works better for me. What I'm thinking is perhaps I didn't need such a full on oil during summer, I will continue to use it throughout Autumn and Winter and see if my skin loves it more then.

I don't think this oil has caused any breakouts, although I don't use it everyday so I can't say it wouldn't if I had done. Once I awake from my slumber my skin does look more plumped and refreshed, maybe a little more oily in the morning than normal but never the less a bit more beautiful. Maybe that's thanks to the "20 beauty enhancing actives" that this Age Defy Oil holds. Who knows. All I know is that I will continue to use a night time oil/serum in my routine from now on!.

Have you got any suggestions on what i should be putting on my skincare wishlist?


Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Love yourself


“Love yourself enough to give a damn about looking your best. It’s all a sacred celebration.”

I love what Danielle LaPorte is saying here.

I saw this exactly when I needed to.

I don't wear makeup everyday. I don't feel like I need to, especially if i'm just going to work. I go out into the world dark circles, spots and all. I am able to say that I am confident enought in my own skin, which enables me to leave the house with out any slap.

What I have noticed is that even when I have on a touch of blush or concealer, I am more confident in how I present myself. In how I act, how I talk. I work in a customer facing job. Sometimes I think, should I be making more effort in  my appearance? Will that give me an air of authority because I have make up on? Will I look like I have it all under control at work, because I look put together within the image I'm presenting.

However if I were to go down that route, I wouldn't be doing it for myself. I would be dressing up to meet someone else's expectation. An imagined expectation that I have put on myself.

Sure, some people say I look tried, but I make sure that I dress professionally, I try not to look too scruffy. Maybe I will try to apply a bit of rouge in the morning, if it does happen it will be kept minimal. I know I love snoozing in my bed more than waking up early to put a full face of make up on!

A good skincare routine also gives me confidence. When I have taken the time in the morning and evening I feel great.

Consistency is key

I lack consistency.

If I am able to continue with a routine and I am feeling good in myself, everything else seems to be a bit easier. If something disrupts it, like a big life event, a holiday or sickness, I fall out of schedule and stop doing what I know benefits me.

Sometimes I have to force myself to get up and put eye cream on! I mean, I love eye cream but sometimes it just feels like an everest amount of effort.

But in the end it is all selfcare and self care is important. It is a celebration of yourself.

As long as you are celebrating yourself in your own little way. You don't need the make up or the elaborate skin care routine, if you don't want it. Maybe you just need to put of a favourite top or scarf. These little things with help you to feel your best and hold your head high up for the day.

Maybe it can be singing your favourite song in the shower or on the drive to work. Making the most of your self is a daily opportunity. It can become a daily occurrence.

So whether you wear make up or not. Do something that makes yourself feel your best and smile.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

little acorns grow big oaks


It's not often that when I step into an ordinary taxi, I get extraordinary advice.
Normally it's either weather chat or how busy your day was.
But during a 10 minute journey I had with this lovely taxi driver, I felt at home and welcomed into his worn cabby world for all but a few minutes.

After talking about where I had been, we got onto the topic of new beginnings and persevering when you find things tough. After a moment of silence, he said

little acorns grow big oaks

In other words, making little steps towards your goals will lead to a big result in the end.No matter where you are in life you can take little steps towards what you want. Even if you never quite reach the end goal how you thought you would. If you step back and look at the bigger picture, you have this culmination of little actions that have made a great big heap of effort and in fact, you will realise that you have done a great deal.

All of these actions will create momentum and if you keep up with your enthusiasm and motivate yourself to continue. Who knows where it will take you.

All the work you are doing know can be used in the future.
Never give up. Do it for yourself. Your future self.

Monday, 15 September 2014

No Sugar, No Limits. Three Meals with Provamel


 Whether you are vegan, dairy-free or just trying to be a bit healthier. Sometimes you just miss the decadence of a creamy dessert, dip or dinner. I have to say i was getting a bit moody with my search for a decent tasting yogurt. But after reading Sarah Wilson's "I Quit Sugar", I hated how much sugar was in yogurts, let alone most dairy free yogurts currently on offer.

Here is where Provamel comes in, with the launch of their new sugar free soya yogurt, Provamel Zero Sugars. It has a savory taste so it can be used in both cooking and baking. So yes, I was sent some to try and I went for it whole hog. Provamel has also brought out a yogurt sweetened with agave syrup.

So even though I am limiting my sugar, the agave sweetened yogurt became the perfect treat when mixed with chia seeds, left over night, turning it into the most delicious, just sweet enough chia pudding. It was the yummy treat that topped my muselli. It is also great when simply topped with fresh fruit.


I incorporated the sugar free soya yogurt into two of our dinners for the past week. The first was a falafel wrap with a tangy vegan tzatziki dip.

For more than enough for two, you will need.

1 cup of Provamel zero sugars
About half or one whole cucumber diced.
half a clove of garlic minced.
A dash of good olive oil
A generous squeeze of lemon juice
Chopped mint and dill , as much as you like!
Salt and pepper to taste

All you need to do is mix all the ingredients together and enjoy it!


This turned out so tasty. The boyfriend even declared that it was on par with what he buys on the regular (the stuff I can't eat), so I take that as a success! It has a great cooling contrast when mixed with some spicy falafel.

A few nights later it was curry night. As i'm not a Deliah in the kitchen, I took direct inspiration from the recipe section on Provamel's website. Vegetable Curry it was!


For a Vegetable Curry for two, you will need.

350g Potatoes (par boiled)
2 tbsp of olive oil
Half of an onion, finely chopped.
Two tablespoons of your favourite curry paste
A can of chopped tomatoes
A small cauliflower (get a good mix of small and chunky bits0
100g of chickpeas
A giant handful of delicious spinach

The how to:

After you have heated the oil in your pan
Cook the onion with your curry paste, until it is all combined
Add the cauliflower and tinned tomatoes to the pan and cover
Mix in your chickpea, potatoes and spinach, cook for a further 15 minutes.

Serve with the option to stir in some yogurt. We both ended up adding some of the yogurt and it made the curry's texture even richer.

You can get hold of Provamel from Holland and Barret and other health food stores. Unfortunately, you cannot buy it in supermarkets. I would still go looking for it else where, just because it is currently the only yogurt that is actually, genuinely sugar free.

I was sent the yogurt to try, have fun and make some new recipes. All opinions are always my own and I will soon be on the hunt for more because I want to bake with it as well!

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Al fresco Eggs and Bacon


 Recently we made the trip to Scotland for our dear friends wedding. The morning after we went for a chilled walk before the drive home. On our walk we found the perfect place to have our breakfast, Coffee House in Innerliethen.


Even though we were only just over the border the pace of life here seemed different. It may have been because it was the weekend, for the atmosphere was tranquil and the people happy and calm. The main street on the town is lined either side with high hills, topped with beautiful green trees.

I had made the conscious choice to have a tech break for the weekend, however I did allow my camera and I felt like recording this morning in photo's because I felt so chilled out and well, blissed. I was full of joy for my friends happiness, I had had a great night and I was with my love. This morning was good.


The landscape was incredible and we wished that we had more time to explore the surroundings. So wilth our journey home impending, we sat down outside and ordered breakfast.
Two bacon and egg on toast and a pot of tea for two.


Although the air was fresh and cool, the sun was out, so it was a pleasure to be sat outside and soak up the good morning feeling as much as possible. So we tucked into our delicious plates of food and sipped our tea, recounting stories from the wedding the night before and just nattering away about nothing happily. I don't eat a lot of red processed meat but after a night of dancing my feet off, I felt like an extra topping of bacon on my eggs and I have to say, it was yummy.

With our bellies full and our hearts happy we made our way home. Leaving this quiet quaint town behind us, hoping to return some day in the future.

p.s This was our view from where we were saying. Not the best photography but it was beautiful to wake up to and I appreciate it none the less!



Thursday, 11 September 2014

Try not to compare


After spending an evening with some great friends, who happened to also be paired up in a couple. It got me thinking.

Why?

Because I was comparing how I behave in public with my boyfriend, to how my friend acts with their boyfriend.

Public displays of Affection.

PDA is not really for me, a quick kiss or a hug is fine but I'm not one to sit with my arm around someone or look into their eyes for ages etc. I'm not hating on it, it doesn't feel natural for me.

However,

It's that little niggle in your head, the comparison that gets you. You are completely fine in your habits but once you see how others behave or how they seem much happier than you. You fear that maybe they are better, their relationship or life must be better than yours. What they are doing is better.

STOP with the comparisons it's only going to lead to depressing thoughts. Instead put everything into perspective. Yes they look happy and that is lovely. However (using PDA as an example) I don't need to be like that to know that I am happy in my relationship. The snap shot you see of someone's life doesn't mean that everything is perfect.

If you see someone else and start to compare.Whether it be life choices, jobs, relationships, houses, how can you ever be content with what you have got. How can you ever move on and develop your own sense of happiness and wellbeing, when you are so consumed with what someone else is doing.

Focus on the positive. Dive in and soak up what you can do with your own life. Within your own means.

Encourage others in what they are doing and keep yourself busy with what ever pleases you and what benefits you.  Don't even compare it with how you use to be in the past.

Focus on now. Who are you right now. Where are you right now. What can you do right now.

Don't compare it, Be it. This is you. This is your life. Make is yours. Compare it to no one else.

Own it.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Gratitiude #11


The blog has been quiet lately. A few tinges of guilt have passed through me, but I have moved on from it. This space is for me to share how I feel, and how I progress in my own wellbeing and life experiences. And the past few weeks have been a strange mixture of calm hectic excitement and making sure that I am fully in the present when being a part of it.

You see, a lot has been happening around me. Important events that I want to remember.

Recently:

My best friend got married and it was an amazing day, to see her so happy and her now husband glowing with pride, filled me with an immense amount of joy. This was my fourth or fifth time being a bridesmaid, the first as an adult. I am so happy that I was able to experience it.

Before the wedding there were pre dinners, final wedding touches, and a girly night having our nails done.

I had to choose, do I blog or make sure I'm available, so with other commitments and a full time job, I chose to not blog as much. I have come out of it refreshed and less attached to having to post all the time.

I also wanted to catch up with family who had been traveling for a month. I now have a major travel itch that I need to scratch.

Next, two of my siblings started a new school year, at a new school. I am so lucky to see them grow up.

There has been baby news, friends moving in with boyfriends, couples moving to new houses.

And finally this past weekend we drove to rural Scotland to see two of our very good friends get married. It was peaceful and beautiful. The landscape was breath taking. Over the weekend, I didn't check twitter, facebook or the blog, I took in my surroundings and it felt good. It felt right.

Although none of these events were actually about me, they have filled me with happiness and gratitude. I have been busy with everyone else's business. It's not because I'm a nosy busy body, it's because these lovely wonderful people around me, want to share their lives with me. They want me to be a part of it. Part of their experience.

So I will be. I will be there at front cheering them on. Being present. Being mindful. Loving every second.

The feeling is immeasurable.

And I am full of gratitude for it.



wellbeing // What does wellbeing mean to you?

 
 
This next post in the wellbeing series has been written by the wonderful Annie, you can find her over at Hello Purple Clouds. Annie's blog focuses on green beauty and lifestyle, there's always some lovely beauty d.i.y to check out and awesome product reviews to read.
Here, Annie shares with us what wellbeing means to her and it makes for an encouraging, honest, thought provoking read. Thank you Annie!

Being asked to define what well-being means to me has been an interesting experience; I know what the words mean and even what might be a common perception of well-being: health, fitness, eating well, happiness. But what does it mean to me personally? 

It means being overweight but accepting it as a consequence of one of the two chronic diseases I have lived with for years. It means eating very healthily most of the time to make sure I keep my medication to a minimum, even though I know the weight won't budge. It means ignoring the judgment that many people make on your appearance and learning to love the me I am today because I'm stuck with it. It means having the love of a husband who really is a prince amongst men and valuing it all the more because my first marriage was a 15 year hell-hole of abuse. It means appreciating everything I have every single day and not getting hung up on the material things. 

It means that whilst my definition of well-being may not be everybody's, it is the overarching measurement of balance for me. If I can get up every day, eat well, my joints aren't swollen and burning, be not too exhausted to get through my day and feel love, give love and be content - then that is what well-being means to me.

It means doing the best for myself every single day.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

what is beauty?


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, when I think of beauty I think of,
fields full of flowers
dense forests
white tipped mountains
stunning architecture
blue skies
sunsets

When I think of beauty I think of,
confidence
healthy hair
bright eyes
a great smile
standing tall
a bold laugh

Beauty, and what we think is beautiful can often change. Attaining beauty is as simple was appreciating nature or your current landscape. It's accepting what you have and appreciating it. It's working with what you have got, because it is fabulous.

Beautiful is
what ever you want it to be

Whether that be, an awesome outfit, your photography projects, winged eyeliner, hair curled to perfection, noticing the fluffy clouds over head. It's having the knowledge that everything is and can be, indeed beautiful.

Anyone who tells you differently, can't see that yet.