Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Life: Happy Holistics

Organic, fairly traded, delicious skincare. What more could you want?

I met Kelly from Happy Holistics at my favourite market in Bristol, where I am usually to be found scouring the vintage stalls or stuffing my face with sourdough pizza. (Get me, hipster extraordinaire!) Anyway, one bright autumn day, I made a very important discovery - Happy Holistics facial oil is in fact the best thing since sliced bread. It comes in both rose and neroli, both smell beautiful, and both do wonders for your skin - mum got the rose, I went for the neroli. 

I was impressed with the positive impact it had on my skin, the fact that it didn't feel oily at all, given that it is, in fact, oil, and by how long the tiny bottle lasted. Really good product and really good value for money. Will definitely be buying again.

All the products are organic and fairly traded. Kelly is an experienced aromatherapist so she knows what's what. Check out her and her product's credentials here

Now, upon finding her website, I'm looking forward to trying the Skin Smoothies, and mum will be investing in some of the Cosmic Waters. Get your hands on some Happy Holistics of your own!

 A x

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Style: Skirts for Spring

A finds the skirts that will see you through spring into summer.

Spring is here! Pack away those jumpers and tights and bring on the skirts. I may be getting a little ahead of myself, but around this time of year, I get very excited about skirts, the promise of summer, and my legs start to make a tentative appearance. This is my roundup of skirts that will be brilliant right now (maybe with a pair of boots and thick socks or even opaques) and will serve you well right through the summer.

Playtime - M&S have come up with the most perfect summer skirt, the cheery, yellow colour just sings 'summer', the fit is relaxed, and long enough for frolicking; sitting cross-legged; or even skipping, should the summer mood really seize you. Great for those of us with generous hips, this loose, gathered style will disguise the size and show off slim lower legs. Neat, huh?

Summer Staple - I don't know a single woman who's gone through life without a denim skirt. This classic number from Braintree can be styled with some wedges and a floaty shirt to embody this season's 70's vibe. Or wear it with a neat little t-shirt and trainers to channel your inner 90's girl. Great for creating the illusion of curves on a pair of non-existent hips.

Work Skirt - the answer to staying cool and smart in the summer has been provided in the form of this button down skirt by Topshop Boutique. The straight, midi cut will look brilliant on long legs, even adding elegance to the most ungainly of Bambi legs. It's made in Britain too, doncha know.

Long Weekend - COS can be relied upon to deliver a plethora of beautiful basics every season, and this summer is no different. An easy skirt in a colour and cut you can wear almost anywhere, over and over again. Great for showing off a slim waist and skimming flatteringly over larger hips.

Lounging Around - this is the cosiest skirt known to man, perfect for kicking back on a cool summer's evening. Maxi skirts that skim the hips and fall right to the floor are a godsend for those with short legs, especially worn slightly above the hip, creating the illusion of legs that never end. Thank you Ralph Lauren.

Summer Wedding - summer is full of fancy events, and even in our temperate climate, it's hard to look elegant whilst sweating profusely. This maxi skirt from The Reformation is the solution. The colour and fabric are dressy enough for a wedding, while the fit will keep you cool all day long. 

A x

P.S. As always, we only recommend brands that we really love, that are making great progress with sustainability/ make quality clothes to last/ are pioneers in eco/ ethical/ sustainable fashion.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Life: The Marie Kondo Method

R cleaned up her act.

I'm late to the party on this I know but two weeks ago I read 'The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up' by Marie Kondo and, it's changed my life. 

"Marie “KonMari” Kondo runs an acclaimed consulting business in Tokyo helping clients transform their cluttered homes into spaces of serenity and inspiration. With a three-month waiting list, her KonMari Method of decluttering and organizing has become an international phenomenon."

It's a huge, vomit-inducing, cynic-infuriating cliche but seriously, that woman is my new hero. 

Fair warning, you will have to ignore a *LOT* of mystifying Japanese spirituality when reading her book. I suggest you apply the KonMari method to it directly, it's neither useful nor beautiful so simply discard. What that then leaves is a book full of simple, sensible advice to improve your quality of life. 

Yes, tidying really can improve the quality of your life. 

If you follow Marie's advice and become a KonMari practitioner then your house will be filled with only things your find to be useful or beautiful (excluding ugly necessities like smoke alarms, marriage certificates etc). 

As you follow the suggested order of clearing and start with your clothes you'll find yourself seeing everything you own in a new light. All the reasons you previously kept things for like 'it was a present', 'it was expensive' or 'I'll fit into it one day' all suddenly seem laughable as they're exposed by Marie's down to earth logic of if it doesn't spark joy, then throw it away.

It's as simple as that. Does it spark joy? No. Recycle it - now. 

Following this theory I have thrown away over 30 bin bags of "stuff" so far. 20 of which were just from my wardrobe. And I'm nowhere near finished yet. 

The thing is, what's the worst that can happen? I throw away something and then regret it. Well, that hasn't happened yet and also, if it does, I'll buy another one. It's not like I'm chucking Hermes bags or Faberge eggs. Everything you throw will be replaceable.

What you're left with is an incredibly ordered wardrobe, crease-free clothes (thanks to Marie's genius folding tips), drawers and cupboards that close properly and an overwhelming sense of "hell yeah" every time you walk through the door.


You really have to try it to believe it, but I feel calmer at home, I'm relaxing easier and I'm spending noticeably less time deciding what to wear/ ironing clothes/ finding general stuff. 

Marie explains how her clients have gone on to change careers, loose weight, find love etc as a direct result of clearing out their house with her and I can easily believe it. 

A messy, cluttered house can only mess and clutter your head and heart. 

Now I'm the one spouting dodgy spirituality. 

R x

Further reading:
Stuffocation - the book that sparked the reading of Marie Kondo which sparked the best clean up of my life. 

Monday, 4 April 2016

Life: 100 Healthy Days

R and A embarked on 100 Healthy Days

50 days ago today me and A kicked off 100 Healthy Days. 

Inspired by my approaching nuptials and a desire to feel awesome on the day, we committed to 100 days of holistic health, meaning a focus not only on being physically healthy but also mindfully and spiritually.

What does that look like? A whole lot of clean eating, more exercise but also more time for our bodies and minds to truly unwind. 50 days in and it's going well!

R: I am LOVING this challenge. I have done so many of these things before, like giving up sugar for 90 days and committing to exercising every day for 30 days but while fun and positive, no challenge has ever felt this liberating before. 

Every day for the past 50 days I have asked myself, what's the healthiest thing I can do today? How can I best treat my body? What does my soul really need today?

Sometimes that means drinking litres of green juice and only eating salmon, while going for a swim or a heading to Pilates. But other days that means setting my alarm an hour later or eating a Lindt Gold Bunny while watching Gogglebox. I am genuinely doing what I feel my body, spirit and soul need. 

The result? I've upped my exercise to 3-4 times a week and I'm mostly-juicing in the week and then eating only protein and veggies (wedding dress fitting means this isn't as extreme as it sounds). I'm drinking more water and less coffee, though only slightly less coffee. 

The most noticeable change though? Yes, I've lost weight and most people in my life have noticed which is lovely. But the most incredibly change is my state of mind. 

I am getting married in June, am in the process of buying a house and have started a new job and yet, I am calm. 

I am spending evenings reading and soaking in the bath, saying no to work events and weekends away and instead taking precious time to do very little. 

It has prompted a radical, restful revolution in me. 

Drink more water!
I have to be honest, I'd forgotten this was a goal. Having said that, my water intake has increased, and I am not chain drinking tea like I used to. Buuuuut... I definitely could do better. Will have to write a big sticky note to myself.. MUST. DRINK. MORE. WATER.

Get fit!
I am really pleased with my progress on this goal. I have stuck to my running programme, and am slowly but surely working my way through the #couchto5k programme. I have avoided my previous trick of going hell for leather then burning out quickly, so am pretty sure I'll keep progressing nicely.

Healthy eating!
As you might imaging, this went straight out the window this Easter weekend, but apart from that, I am positively delighted with my progress. I am actually snacking less, and craving crap less. In fact, on multiple days, I have craved fresh fruit and vegetables - surely a good sign? I am even looking forward to getting back on the bandwagon after a wonderful weekend of indulgence. And isn't that the point? An everyday standard of healthy eating, makes the indulgence on a special occasion all the more special.