Thursday, 17 July 2014

…Feeling Healthy...


This post is in no way a guide on how to eat a certain way or buy into certain foods. I only wanted to share my thoughts, views and experiences on keeping a healthy/balanced lifestyle…

Following on my from my last fitness and health post, here…I want to share with you some of my favourite healthy finds of the moment. I have never really been a 'bad' eater, but I was not always aware of the kinds of food that I was putting in my body. Over the past year, more specifically in the last six months, I have really tried to make a conscious effort to think carefully about how foods are made and what is going to the best option for my body. Laura over on WholeHeartedlyHealthy is a great source of inspiration on how to make healthier choices. I really value her advice and guidance. Currently she is holding a great giveaway full of delicious, healthy goodies...

http://wholeheartedlyhealthy.com/2014/07/wholeheartedly-healthy-big-summer-bundle-giveaway.html#comment-34016

Nourishing my body is the most the most important thing and giving it wonderful whole, delicious foods is always going to be a better option. Here are just a few things that I've changed/added to my diet that allows me to feel the best that I can. Such as swapping ordinary oil for the amazing coconut oil. How I haven't come to this glorious food sooner, I don't know. But I use it for everything from cooking to my skin and hair, and also for drinking via the water. It really is a super food. I've also cut down on my diary and rarely have milk/butter/and maybe a little bit of cheese. Again my skin fills less clogged and so does my tummy. Almond milk is my go to substitute. Soya didn't sit well with me and Oat/Rice always felt too empty. Eating as much fruit and veg has become a daily habit for me and it really isn't hard to get over your 5/7/10 a day. Adding a handful of berries to your breakfast, then maybe two pieces of fruit for mid-morn snack. Add some raw veggies to your lunch with some dip, then pile up your plate at dinner and there you have it, your daily quota of veg/fruit done. I try to limit the amount of fructose and sugar towards the end of the day, as I won't be burning it off. Alongside coconut, quinoa and chai seeds have found their way into my eating habits. Chai seeds, well, I love them. That's all I can say. I have them with breakfast, in oats and with yogurts, maybe in smoothies too. They expand and keep me full for ages. Plus quinoa is a great alternative to getting your protein in take. Mix it into your cereal or oats in flake form or boil it up and create some amazing salads with it.

I believe it is about making small changes that later lead to bigger noticeable changes in your life. Trying to control everything and change everything at once, is too much and may lead to feeling bad about not achieving the goals you want. I know that when I workout or finish a daily yoga session,  I feel really good about myself and in turn want to fill my body with some great food, not crappy rubbish that is going to undermine my efforts physically. I have definitely benefited from taking care of myself, in terms of maintaining a healthy weight, feeling stronger and more able. The other day I was able to do my first inversion and keep myself up. You are capable of doing anything and everything you want if you want to. It's about how you go about achieving those things that you need to work on and develop and build upon. I have found following blogs and reading books that inform me about how I can look after my body really useful. Understanding how and why, for me, makes it easier to make the best choices in life that are going to benefit me. It's all a matter of personal choice. We are not all the same and finding the path that suits you best and will help you to be the best that you can is all within your power to achieve.

xxx

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

…FAVES: Monthly Round up...


Here is a little round up of my favourite items from the past two months. A collection of things that have become staples of my day to day life. Lets start with my daily beauty items. This REN hot cloth cleanser I received as a freebie from a magazine has done wonders for my skin. My pores feel fresh and clean once I've exposed my skin to this delicate and invigorating cleanser. When it is finished, I will definitely be looking into purchasing a more substantial quantity. Love it. Taking care of my skin is extremely important to me, and the evening ritual of cleansing my face, is very precious to me. It's a time when I devote myself entirely to myself.

Secondly, I've begun dabbling in the world of essential oils, and have found two that I use regularly - tea tree and lavender. The one that is most important to me is the lavender oil. I use it for when I go to bed, massaging a little into my temples and sprinkle a little on my pillow to help relax me. The smell is just divine and extremely soothing.

This book is firm friend of my bed-side table. The Wisdom of Yoga: A guide to extraordinary living has really helped me gain an insight into how powerful the force of yoga can actually be. Not just for your body, physically, but also in allowing you to explore the deeper parts of your mind that maybe the route cause of suffering and pain in our daily lives. Funnily enough, this book comments a lot on the Patanjali sutras, which I had bought on a separate occasion. It has become a great guide in helping to understand some of Patanjali's teachings. If you are interested in discovering how yoga can be a positive part of your life, then consider this a firm recommendation from me to you.

And finally, one of my favourite items that has become a constant feature in my life - my Birkenstocks. Such a great purchase and definitely worth the investment. One of the most comfiest pair of shoes I own. They get better the more I wear them. Moulding ever so slightly to the shape of my foot.

xxx

Monday, 7 July 2014

…OUTFIT: Linen and lace...

After having some time away from blogging, due to many prior work commitments, it is finally nice to be able to have some fresh content to post. The first being about my fitness routines, which I am so glad has finally been posted. I really enjoy being active and wanted to share some of my personal techniques that keep me feeling fit and strong…

Now back to the subject of this post - a little old outfit from the weekend. And what a wonderful weekend it was. Catching up with old friends, and celebrating significant milestones that solidify ones status as an adult - attending a friends baby shower. Yes, it really has come to the point where my main social events are filled with babies, dinners and weddings. Wow, definitely feeling all grown up, ha!


This number I wore to James's, cousin's wedding reception, was made up of some of my favourite pieces of clothing. The white, linen top, was a steal from a local charity a few years back and fits like a dream. Buttoned up from the back, with no give in the material at all, means I know when I've put a little weight on. Good for keeping me in check. I love the nipped in waist and peplum style design. Paired with a neutral pair of shorts and black heels, makes this outfit feel very basic and simple. No fuss needed. The jacket had just enough detail in the delicate lace to make the outfit pop a little. Again another steal from a charity shop. Handmade. Bargain. I believe everything baring the shoes were charity shopped, sourced over the past two years. Not too shabby for a posh do up in London. 

Items don't have to come from an expensive or an exclusive brand for you to able to piece together a chic, classic outfit. Although it is always nice to have a few key items that you know will last, based on the quality of material, stitching and attention to detail. Those kinds if items are worth spending that little bit extra, but not too much…

xxx

Friday, 4 July 2014

...Health/Fitness: Routines & Regimes...

This post has been sitting in my draft box for a good while now. Since this is what I've been spending a lot of my time doing, amongst other things (more on that later), I thought it would be a great post to get the ball rolling again with blogging.

So...Part two of my health/fitness posts and this time I thought I would focus on my routine. What sort of exercise I do and mostly enjoy. I hope you enjoyed reading my first post about what I like to wear... and also my comments on healthy living… Better late than never really...

I'm happy with my weight. Of course it would be great to be a few pounds lighter, but overall I am content with my body, and am finally accepting how lucky I am to have a healthy, working body. However, when I am 'on it' and committed here is what I like to do. It was not until I began working in London, that I became fully committed and interested in staying fit. Since then I have been on/off with my routine but do try to keep myself active as possible. Being active is key. It was during this time where yoga became a very prominent feature in my life and still practise to this day as much as possible. The benefits have been tremendous and I cannot stress enough how invigorating yoga can be. Using a combination of yoga videos and a book that focuses on various positions, has helped to keep my motivation going when practising. Starting off with classes is really important, as you gain a real understanding of the positions and how to control your breathing. Yoga is a great form of exercise, working your muscles in a very subtle way and also your mind. After a stressful day, a good few sun salutations can do wonders for relaxing my body and mind, easing out the strains of the day. With daily practise, I have noticed my core strength improve and my ability to achieve more advance positions.

Alongside yoga, blogilates is my new found love. I feel everyone should go take a look at Cassie's blog and see what she has too offer. She has a great selection of home videos, which are fun and dynamic. She also provides a monthly calendar to help you stay on track. You can choose to focus on particular parts of your body or do a whole body workout.  I find if I have only a short amount of time to workout, doing her videos fit perfectly as they range from 10 minutes to 30 minutes.  Every now and then I'll throw some weights into the mix to help build strong bones and develop key strength skills. Strength training is vital to help build a strong body that can with take a huge amount of pressure and stress. I know when I'm older I want the strongest body possible, so I can continue to do all things I enjoy doing.

I strongly believe that exercising should be motivating, exciting and something you should want to do. Running, yoga and HIIT training, I have come to realise are the best forms of exercise for me. Changing up your routine will do wonders as your muscles soon become used to those moves, meaning they don't work as hard. Eating as balanced a diet as possible is another part of keeping a healthy lifestyle. Balance, balance, balance is the key to life...creating a middle way of life is all we can strive for...

xxx

Monday, 12 May 2014

…Needle and Thread…


Bit of a different post today - DIY! Or more specifically altering a dress, when I've never really altered or customised anything before this.

So, the other day I found a beautiful, floral Laura Ashley dress in a local charity shop. Perfect Summer wrap dress. However, the length, yikes, too long. Pretty much down to the ankle. Now I know I'm short and that it might not have been as long on someone taller, but still, come on, no one wants to wear a dress that looks like they've stepped off the set of 'Little House on the Prairie'. Not that there's anything wrong with that. it's just not for me.

I went away thinking I'll just take it up a few inches, how hard can that be? Let me tell you, my back was breaking by the end of Saturday. It was a much longer and slower process than I initially thought. I started out by deciding on the length I wanted it to be and then cut the dress using a pair of fabric scissors. Very important note to remember about the kind of scissors you use. Fabric scissors allow for a much smoother and cleaner cut. Next up I pinned up the hem, so it would look neater most importantly not fray in the wash. 

Now the next part should have been a swift and simple task, however; not having a sewing machine meant I had to hand stitch the hem. A running back stitch is not an easy thing to do. But I am so pleased with the finished result. It may not be perfect but it was a something I did all by myself and took the time to do. I found the process to be very relaxing. Plus I now have a new Summer dress ready and waiting for when the weather deciders to stop messing about.

xxx

Thursday, 1 May 2014

…OUTFIT: Illustrated...

Now I am not studying and having finished with the books (for a while), I am more inclined to do things that I enjoy and find comfort in. One of those things is drawing. I haven't done a post like this in such a long time. It has felt extremely nice getting back into my little sketches. What would be fantastic is finding local drawing classes here in Worthing I can goto in the Summer. Art and sketching has always come naturally to me and when I get into the swing of it, it becomes a very liberating and relaxing hobby of mine.

These images are of outfits from the past three weekends. The Audrey one, I'm not too keen on. A little smudge here and there. Pastel, charcoal and chalk are very unforgiven when you get something wrong. Need to practise more and I'm sure things will get better…


xxx


Sunday, 27 April 2014

…Around Town...

Another busy weekend coming to an end. It seems my social life is on a good turn at the moment. I think after next weekend, I will be ready for some 'me' time and some introverted activities. I do like it though having things to do. Seeing my diary filled with events and occasions; however, it is also really important for me to have time where I don't have to talk to people or put myself out there. Balance is key…


So, here are my snaps from the local fair last week. Most of my images were too crowded from all the people along the front. It was taking forever waiting for people to move out of the way. Irks me a little. Most of the time people can see that you have a camera and you'd think they would wait for you to take the picture. But, alas, no that was not the case last Monday. Oh, well, I did manage to get some decent snaps…

xxx

Friday, 25 April 2014

…OUTFIT: Tweed and Shades...

Jacket - Mango via Second hand, Jeans - New Look, Shoes - Russel&Bromley, Glasses - H&M, Scarf - India


Weekends, especially bank holidays, are made for relaxing and chilling out. Exploring local attractions and just moseying around. That's exactly what I did the weekend just passed. Monday was spent nosing around a local fair in Worthing, along the seafront. Local foods, handmade crafts, and artists were out in full force, showing a whole variety of wonders. 

With regards to styling an outfit for a casual Spring day, I was a little at a loss. This interchangeable weather is playing havoc with my morning attire. To coat or not to coat? Scarf too much? Sunglasses really necessary? Well, these are the constant questions running through my mind. I cannot wait for summer and the simplicity that comes along with it, with regards to clothes…


xxx

Monday, 21 April 2014

…OUTFIT: Hodstock Priory...

Blazer - New Look, Dress - Primark via charity shop, Shoes - Next via charity shop, Bag - Mango via charity shop


Weddings are the best. The chance to celebrate with your nearest and dearest. I love them because it is the chance to get together with all my friends and have a great party. It's the opportunity to be with people you may not have seen in a very long time, and when you do, no time has pasted. 

This weekend I was fortunate to be invited to one of my uni friend's wedding and what a beautiful day it was. She looked stunning and surprisingly serene and relaxed. I would have been anxious for everything to run smoothly. If she was at all nervous there were no signs. Every detail from the weather to the service to the food to the dancing was a delight. I do not know how people plan a day like this, and remember all those elements that go into making a wedding. Kate…Murray…You guys put on a brilliant celebration and I wish you both the very best.

Following on from my last post about recycling clothes and re-working my wardrobe, I choose to wear a simple, fitted dress with a plain blazer. I could of gone out and bought a new outfit but I have so many nice clothes already that I rarely get a chance to wear them. My favourite part to the whole out was my shoes. I love them so much. Such a steal from a local charity shop. Very comfortable for a day spent mostly standing and waiting...

xxx

Sunday, 13 April 2014

…Playing Dress Up...

Dress (Top - Zara and Skirt - H&M), Gloves - Claire's Accessories, Shoes - Charity shop, Jewellery - Various places

Oh dressing up is always fun, especially when you get the chance to be Audrey Hepburn from 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'. This is the most effort I have put into a fancy dress outfit, since about the age of 11/12, maybe? As I am currently on a tight budget, I wanted the challenge of creating an outfit using  items of clothing I already owned, rather than splashing out something I'll never wear again. I must say, it was harder than I thought.

I have plenty of black dresses, but either they are patterned or too short, and not keeping with the classic Audrey style everyone knows and loves. So, I assessed my wardrobe and noticed my long black skirt, and knew I could team it a plain black top. Perfect. The result was a simple, floor length 'dress'. Creating an outfit, and having to use my imagination in putting pieces together, was a great way to recycle my wardrobe. If you try hard enough, and I'll admit within the limits of what you're trying to create, your wardrobe can be used for anything. I am very much in this frame of mind at the moment. Only buying items I feel they are necessary and worthwhile. (N.B. The only items I did purchase were the little black shoes and gloves, all for less than a tenner, may I add).

When sourcing inspiration for my outfit, I noticed that the fashion in the late 50's, early 60's was much simpler, cleaner, less varied. Styles were clearly marked and people knew exactly what look they wanted to create - the classic black flick and rouge lips never fails and the simple silhouettes are just wonderful. People took the time and effort in putting their look together. I am only recently doing the same myself.

I suppose true fashion, and true style is timeless. I know in the varied fabrics and colours and multitude items of clothing I own, I have enough to recreate and restyle as many outfits as I need. Maybe I am just being a tight old git, but maybe I'm just finally being more savvy with my choices. Taking more care in how I present my style, and thinking all the time - What would Audrey do?


xxx