Sunday, 27 July 2014

Personal Style And Do You Have It?

Fashion and style are two very different things, and what I've come to realise over the years is that being stylish is not about following fashion.  It's about understanding who you are as a woman and how you want to represent yourself.

In this interview by British Vogue, from Vogue Festival 2014, I think Lucinda Chambers sums up really well about style and the modern women.  Style evolves, and thankfully all those teenage/early twenties looks we all got wrong, is actually very normal.

I'm excited by clothes, fashion and styles and I know that my own style has evolved in the last ten years and it will continue to evolve until I'm a fabulous fashionista in my 90's!!!

Here is the full length version of the Vogue interview, which features Lucinda Chambers, Amanda Harlech and Alexa Chung, who are all very good, give their views about their personal style.  Unfortunately I think the interviewer could have done a much better job of not butting in once she asks the question!!?

For those of you who get this by e-mail, you may need to click here to view.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Practicing Mindfulness

The art of practicing mindfulness, is to have the ability to stop and clear the mind from all the thoughts that are flowing through the brain.

By spending ten to fifteen minutes each day, clearing your mind of thoughts, this gives your brain a chance to recharge, over time it's said that you should feel energised and that your brain will be working at increased levels compared to yours today.

To sit and not think, is not easy.

I've been told that these clips on YouTube by Ted Talks are a great way to learn meditation techniques.

Here's the one I found about mindfulness.

For those of your who receive this by email, it's like you'll need to click here to view.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

I'm loving this summer...Havaianas Special Collection

Review and republished April 2017

This Special Collection I mention below is no longer available, but hey Havianas are so cool they are always updating their range.  Click here for their latest online store.

When it comes to flip-flops there really is only one brand to go for, Havaianas.  They come in a huge range of colours and can be very simple for the day or perfect for evening.  The rubber, both the sole and the strap, are so soft and comfortable that from the first day you wear them, you feel like they have always been yours.

Why not take a look at their Havaianas Special Collectionthis special collection is a mix of luxury and simplicity - just what every girl needs!

Mine are from the Havaianas Slim Hardware - slim sandal with metallic charms along the strap, in gold. Recently purchased in Corsica, but you can get them from any great surf shop or online.

I'm also loving….

Havaianas Slim Crystal Dragonfly - slim sandal with a central metal and crystal charm on the strap

And Havaianas Slim Geometric - slim sandal stamped with a central metal and resin charm on the straps.

All images are from Havaianas website, simply click here to view

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Cellulite cream vs The Cross trainer

I've been a lucky girl this year, as I've had two wonderful beach holidays already. My first holiday was soon after winter had ended, and getting your body "bikini ready" whilst we still had rain and dark nights was quite daunting.

For this holiday, I had six weeks to get ready, and I found myself in all of a panic at the Clarins counter asking for a miracle cure to get my legs ready for my trip! Not surprisingly I was instantly sold cellulite cream at £36 and told to use it day and night and I'll be tip top by holiday time.

With this I was also advised to add dry brushing to my daily routine!  A lot of daily hard work and effort was going on and after two weeks I wasn't really that impress with how things were progressing.

It wasn't until I added the super cheap Dove Summer Glow cream to my routine, and my legs darkened that I started to feel better about it all. But that bottle was only £4.99!!

Day one of my hols I thought, well I've done my best. But I didn't feel great.

For my next holiday, about five weeks before, again I thought...I need to get "bikini ready". Reviewing how I really felt about the Clarins cream I decided I needed to do something different. This time not only was I going to eat heathy and try and lose a few pounds, but I also thought I need to get fit.

So I found myself at 7am on a Bank Holiday Monday on eBay buying a brand new Cross trainer for £80 (twice the price of the cream). It was delivered within a couple of days and with thanks to my hubby for setting up, I was good to go!

At first, ten minutes seemed like the end of the world, but after a couple of weeks I was easily up to twenty minutes and improving each time I was on there. It was so easy to add time within my day to use it. I also felt so good afterwards and the next day, I naturally wanted to continue.

And with improving my nutrition, I felt brilliant.

By holiday time, I didn't care about how my legs looked. Happy days!


Saturday, 12 July 2014

Sistema salads are the future!

One of my lunchtime salads - Loved by Lizzi

One of the biggest changes I've made to my diet recently is giving up the baguette and crisps and swapping it for a bowl of salad and a yogurt.

At first, I thought I won't last a week, but a fortnight into changing I noticed I was really enjoying lunch, not feeling stuffed afterwards and not snacking later in the afternoon!

We have a restaurant at work and a baguette with crisps would normally be about £3 a day, unfortunately their salad and yogurt had increased my spend to £5 a day, an extra cost I was not happy about.  I'd notice that a few of my colleagues bring their own lunch in, something I've never really done, so I thought I would give it a go.

As you know, I don't like to be the same as everyone else, plus I can be a little fussy about my salads, especially about things going soggy.  So how was I going to look after my croutons, or my eggs etc if it was all mixed up with the dressing?

I got the answer from the Sistema range.  They don't appear to have their own website, but I know you can buy them in Tescos, Waitrose, Amazon and John Lewis to name a few.

My photo above gives you an indication of how it works, there is a large compartment for all your lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber - I also like to add olives, and sometimes spring onions.  In that section you can also add your meat like chicken, parma ham or tuna.  

And then the top section works in three ways; you have two separate sections to keep items like croutons or cheese free from any water in your greens.  The little circular jar in the middle is where you put your dressing and then the best bit is that you knife and fork fits directly underneath so that you always have them with you!

Top tips

  1. Make your salads at the time of cooking your dinner, saves time and you can easily pop it into the fridge
  2. Keep the container upright - i've noticed that it can sometimes leak (just a little) and you don't want that over your bag etc!
  3. Have a napkin with you - you will need to wipe your knife and fork before use, as they get covered in any juice from your salad.

You'll be the envy of the office with your fabulous salads, one of my colleagues has already purchased his own Sistema salad bowl!

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Top tips on improving your resilience - Part 2

More tips from the resilience course I went to last week;  they gave advice around different tools that you can consider using to help build capacity within your day.

Some of these seem very straight forward, some however will require a need of learning and then adoption to master these in full.

Now this one will need some learning!  I've yet to try this technique, but my understanding is that you are suppose to be still (whether that's sitting or lying) and just let your thoughts run through your mind.  Don't try and use the brain to think of the past or the future, but to "empty".

By doing this for about ten minutes each day, the clearing of the mind helps with energising your brain. By exercising the brain, this can help with your productivity.

I'll be looking at this one in more detail in a future blogpost.

We know this already - I hate this word, I personally prefer to keep fit & healthy, I think that sounds so much better and less like a chore.

To keep fit and healthy, think movement.  Anything that gets you up and out of bed or off the sofa can only be a good thing!

Clarity of purpose
Again I don't think this one is as straightforward.  You need to spend time thinking about what matters to you, what do you want to achieve and be.  Without goals or aspirations you can end up plodding and waste time and energy on things that are not what you want to do.

Facing reality
Some goals are achievable, some are not.  For example, I will never be a member of the Royal family, so there is no point dwelling or wishing on this, as it can make you unhappy.

Facing reality is about being realistic and pragmatic, by doing this you can clearly see your stepping stones to get yourself on your way to achieving your life's desires.

Healthier Nutrition
"You are what you eat!" is a popular quotation, but it's true.  By drinking lots of caffeine or eating lots of sugary food will only give you a short-term hit and your likely to feel worse then before you had them. Drinking more water is not easy, but a no brainer really!  

Bring grateful about what life is all about.  I've been practising Law of Attraction now for over two years, and one of the main elements of this is being grateful.  Say thank you to waking up healthy, say thank you to being free and independent, say thank you for having drinkable water flowing from your kitchen tap…. and so on!

You soon realise that you are a very lucky person.

Keeping connected
We are a social animals.  We are designed to be around other people.  Without socialising your not getting feedback and that's important to us, to know how we are feeling.  

The trainer mentioned that if all we do is get up, go to work, go home, eat, watch telly and then go to bed - we will not be happy, we will burn out.

By doing other activities throughout the week, and mixing things up and not keep to a regimented routine, not only will we be happier but we will be more productive at work.

Quite a lot to take in, but all very worthy points.  Now we are not going to achieve all these points overnight, but just start to think what could you change, will it make you happy?

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Top tips on improving your resilience - Part 1

Last week I attended a course that was all about improving your own resilience.  You can't and no one else can increase the number of hours in a day, but what you can do is add capacity within your day if you improve your resilience.

I'm an early bird, most days.  My day starts at 5:10am and normally ends between 10-10.30pm.  And if I'm super busy or want to add another activity into my day, my natural reaction is to consider getting up earlier!!  I try not to do this often because I'm very much a 7 hours sleep chick!  

In fact, I'm currently writing this at 6:06am on a Saturday morning, whilst eating my breakfast!  

The course was focused not just on work life, but how to improve all aspects of your own life.  A good visualisation test they made us think about is to write down all the key day-to-weekly-to-monthly activities, so for me this would be (in no particular order):

  • Work
  • Home
  • My dog
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Shopping
  • Beauty treatments
  • Blogging
  • Learning
  • Reading
  • Films/Cinema
  • Exercise
  • Cooking
  • Household chores (inc food shopping)

From this, you are to consider the size of a bubble that they are each, and the ideal size of bubble you would like it to be. 

For example, I love to read but my bubble for this is quite small so my ideal size would be is that it is bigger than it currently is, but I don't want my bubble to bigger than Home, My dog, Family or Friends - that's because I want these four to be my biggest bubbles.

Then you weight your "ideal" in preference to how you want to spend your ideal life.  Then every now and then, you need to evaluate how you are spending your time and if it sits between how it normally is and your ideal.  If it is then your going great.  If you find it's all nearer to your ideal then your doing fantastic!  

If though it's bigger than current and no where near your ideal size of bubble, then you need to think what you can do to rebalance your life…!

So what sizes are your own bubbles?