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Beauty Fashion Lifestyle

The Birthday Wishlist 2018!

 

My birthday is rapidly approaching and one of my favourite posts to write every year is my birthday wish list with some of the products that I’ve been lusting over and why. This years products have a little bit of a theme as they’re unintentionally very pink/nude.

1.First up is this super cute Olivia Burton ladies Midi 3D Bee Grey Dial & Rose Gold Watch. If you’ve been following me for a while you’ll know I love a bee on anything and everything so this watch ticks all of he boxes for me. I love all of the Olivia Burton watches, and colours but I’ve chosen this darker grey as I feel it would be a little more durable. It would be an amazing accent for any outfit too.

2. The Armani Si Nacre Edition perfume is super pretty. It’s a little on the pricey side but it’s limited edition. It has a glitter that runs through it which comes out when sprayed and leaves a subtle sparkle on your clothes or body.  The perfume smells amazing with top notes of apricot that lingers so beautifully. What’s not to love.

3. Next up is an Apple iPad. This might seem like an extravagant thing to go on my wish list but I watch and listen to quite a lot of films, music and programs and I thought that maybe an iPad might be a good way of playing these. It’s also so much more portable than my main computer and much lighter too which means no arm pain from dragging around my heavy laptop everywhere. Bonus!

4. Pink Vans are trainers that I’ve been wanting to get my hands on for a while. I love the vintage look and these Vans scream vintage with that stripe and the style but they’re still ultra cool. They’ll also go with loads of outfits, from summer dresses to jeans and a leather jacket.

5. One of my favourite make up products that I would love to own is the Too Faced Natural Matte palette. It’s so pretty, has great product pay off and is really natural too. It’s also very photogenic.

Are you loving any of the products in my birthday wish list, maybe you have one or two of them and you want to give me your reviews or maybe you’re planning on getting a few of them too? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy Shopping!

Lifestyle Vegan

The Nourish Co: A Review

I’ve lived in Colchester for almost 5 years now and it really feels like home. One of the things I love about the town is how the vegan community has grown in the past few years, from seemingly nothing to one of the largest in the area.

Vegans and veggies in Colchester are growing in numbers and spoilt for choice when it comes to eating out. We have a number of specialist vegan cafes and others that have dedicated vegan menus or special vegan nights. It’s no coincidence that the Essex vegan festival is held in Colchester each year in the Spring, as well as our own Colchester vegan festival that takes place in the autumn.

The first two vegan cafes to open in Colchester while I’ve lived here were The Den, which specialised in burgers, hotdogs, and toasted sandwiches; and Nourish, a smaller place at the back of a guitar shop which served up soups, cookies, energy balls and their signature lentil sausage rolls. Sadly the Den announced they were to close at the start of the year, but thankfully we weren’t left short as April and Cleo from Nourish took on the challenge of moving into the space and making it their own.

The Den was rather legendary in Colchester – they paved the way for others and really served as proof that an all-vegan cafe could succeed, showing that there was an audience in the area, with vegans and non-vegans packing the place out every weekend. So the girls from Nourish had big boots to fill.

I was keen to see what they would do with the space, and was not disappointed when they opened their doors on Easter weekend. The place feels very warm and natural, with wooden fixtures and lush green plants almost everywhere you look. Upstairs feels very homely, with a large wooden table taking up much of the floor, but leaving enough space for a cushioned area beside the windows, perfect for relaxing with a magazine and coffee on a midweek afternoon.

The Nourish menu has expanded from their early days, and is split into 3 sections. Their daily eats are perfect for brunch, with toasted sourdough and bagels available with a range of sweet or savoury toppings. The acai smoothie bowl makes for a delicious breakfast.

The menu also includes Warming Bowls and Salad Bowls, which both rotate daily. The warming bowls on offer are a noodle soup, Indian buddha bowl, Burrito bowl and a vegetable curry. The salad bowls rotate between Thai satay, a vegetable sushi, quinoa & falafel, and a kale and avocado caesar. My favourites are the noodle soup and the vegetable sushi, although I haven’t managed to try them all yet!

Nourish also regularly hosts special events, with guests coming in for one-off pizza nights, smoothie workshops and Sunday brunches and more. You can find all the details on their Facebook page – I’m particularly looking forward to the Fully Raw Mexican Night next week! The support for local chefs and creators doesn’t stop with the events, as plenty of ethical items from local makers are on sale in the shop. You can find wonderful artisan coffee, snacks and granola packs for sale, and as well as the recent addition of a beautiful selection of little faux marble plant pots which are made by a local girl.

I love what the girls April and Cleo from Nourish have done with their new space and the cafe is a warm, friendly place where everyone is made to feel welcome. It’s great to see them go from their early days to where they are now, and I’m proud of what they’re helping to build in Colchester as the vegan community continues to thrive!

You can find Nourish at 23 Crouch Street in Colchester, open 10am to 4pm Tuesday to Sunday. Check out their website for the full menu and give them a follow on Facebook or Instagram to keep up with what they’ve got going on.

Have you visited The Nourish Co in Colchester, if not what on their menu takes your fancy? Hop on Twitter and let me know.

Happy eating!

Lifestyle

The Tiptree Jam Jar Bar at Fenwick

On a recent journey home I took a scenic route back through some of the Essex countryside, and found myself driving through a stunning little village. Lined with extravagant homes and beautifully quaint cottages, it turned out to be Tiptree, a name I recognised from the company known for their jams, honeys and gins. Originally called Wilkin & Sons but recently rebranded to just Tiptree, their farm has been growing and selling fruit since 1865, so they know a thing or two about sweet treats!

Tiptree have been making waves in the last few years with their delicious range of fruit gins, and this Saturday they launched their new pop-up bar on the top floor of Fenwick in Colchester, which just so happened to be World Gin Day! So I grabbed my camera and went down to take a look.

Two months in the making, the wonderfully-named Jam Jar Bar opened for business with a selection of fruit gin liqueurs, cocktails, mocktails, wines, smoothies and shakes being prepared by a team of friendly mixologists. The bar area is beautifully decorated with rose gold lights hanging above a faux marble bar topped with small wooden boxes full of fresh fruit. A beautiful blossoming tree sits at the back of the room by the windows that flood the area with natural light, with the surrounding tables decorated with fresh flowers.

As well as their signature Tiptree gins, other local products from the likes of Adnams, Aspall and a range of wines selected by Peter Watts of Coggeshall were available. There was a really relaxed vibe, and an opportunity to soak in the view of Colchester from the top floor of Fenwick.

I flicked straight through to the mocktails, and picked out the Elderflower Sherbert, which contained a wonderful combination of Tiptree apple juice, lime marmalade, elderflower, lemon, cucumber and grapes. It was sweet and fizzy, and the fruit gave it a taste reminiscent of the little fizzy sweets I used to have as a kid, while the cucumber and ice kept it light and refreshing.

My husband opted for the Virgin Pina Colada, which contained Tipree Pineapple conserve, pineapple chunks and coconut cream. This was thick and fruity and like any Pina Colada tasted just like holidays! It had little pieces of dried pineapple on top and like my elderflower sherbet was served in a cute little Tiptree jam jar.

The Tiptree Jam Jar bar is open on the top floor of Fenwick in Colchester until the end of the year, so if you’re in the area be sure to check it out. And if you do then hop on Twitter and let me know what you went for.

Happy slurping!

Lifestyle

Thoughts on my First Trimester!

If you haven’t already seen my little announcement, I’m delighted to say that I’m pregnant. I’m currently 19 weeks so I’m almost half way and loving pregnancy so far. Pregnancy is a beautiful thing and I’m in awe of what the female body can do.  It’s very strange but cool to think of what’s going on inside me without even having to think about it.

The first trimester was interesting so I thought I would look back on it and few of share my thoughts.  We didn’t find out that I was expecting till I was well into my seventh week. I’d started to feel faint and a little sick in the daytime at work around the same time every day which hasn’t happened before so I decided to take a test. It was positive. Whoop! We literally couldn’t stop smiling and I was sure that we were going to quickly give our secret away.
I got into the flow of early pregnancy quickly but then the morning sickness hit just a few days later.  Ginger, honey and having a few small snacks through out the day to try to shake the feeling of nausea soon became my friend. Little and often has become also my motto!  I had one particularly tough evening but apart from that nothing too extreme.
I started taking Pregnicare, it’s actually one of the first things I did when I first found out that I was pregnant – Pregnicare is a multi-vitamin that midwives recommend to take in pregnancy. I’ve found that they’re expensive but well worth taking. Make sure you research and talk to the midwives before you go taking any tablets though.
I started to put on a little weight, I feel like it was more bloating in my first trimester that would fluctuate greatly throughout the day. To help with this I used the hair tie trick which allows you to still wear your pre maternity wear. Just popping a hair band through the button on your jeans and then through the button hole with the zip lowered slightly really works wonders giving you an extra bit of breathing space.  If you wear a little strapy top that’s quite long or a belly band, a little piece of material that goes around your waist.  It sits over your jeans to hide the zip and no one can even tell that you have the zip down. It really helps when you’re in that awkward stage of bigger than you normally are but not big enough for maternity wear, a stage that I’m still currently in.
Another thing I did and really enjoyed while in my first trimester and beyond actually has been down downloaded a few apps to my phone. The ones I went for are ‘What to expect’ and ‘Pregnancy plus’, both really similar but I found they had different information, tips and hints.  I’ve also recently downloaded the BabyCentre app. These all relate to where you are in your pregnancy and literally what to expect, what you could experience, what is normal, what to look out for and best of all information on what’s happening with your baby. It’s size, what’s forming etc. It’s all really useful and I found that they have become my friend especially when I couldn’t tell anyone. We’d read these little tip bits of information in the car on the way to work and they really helped us connect as a couple but also with the baby. ‘What to expect’ is completely free but ‘Pregnancy Plus’ becomes £3.99 when you get to your second trimester. It’s a good price and I’ve carried on using the app well into my pregnancy so far. The BabyCentre App is also free and I’d highly recommend all three.
As we’d found out in our seventh week, the first trimester seemed to come and go quite fast. We were so excited to start telling people and once we had our 12 week scan we did just that. It was so exciting but a little over whelming telling everyone especially as it was so unexpected. Both our families had had birthdays recently so we hid the scan picture in an envelope and gave the others birthday and belated mothers day presents over as well as our little surprise.  It was so unexpected that it took a while for the mothers/parents to get what our little picture was but once the secret was out, there was lots of tears hugs and smiles.
I feel like the pressures really on now and I hope I do everything right. It’s an exciting time, I’m growing a little baby Dravnieks and we can’t wait to meet them!

Lifestyle

Living with Anxiety!

Anxiety is an interesting thing to live with.

I liken it to those nights where your brain is working in overdrive and you can’t get to sleep. Your brain feels foggy, head achey but the thoughts in it are filled with clarity but they run on and on and on! Where you’re on edge because know you’ve got to get up early in the morning for something important so your body feels jumpy, your heart is racing, you feel like you’re ready for some thing to happen. Like that person that jumps out at you, the drop in a scary movie or that phone call informing you that something bad has happened to a loved one and you’re close to tears because the feeling of dread is high.
Anxiety is this for me but all day every day. Some say that it’s like a full time job as you don’t get a rest or a break. It never goes away fully because strangely a little anxiety is good. Healthy even. It makes you vigilant, it makes you care and it’s part of life. It’s when it reaches the high levels like this that it’s difficult to deal with and you know something needs to change.
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I haven’t spoken about this much to people outside of my close circle of friends and family but I have two long term conditions that have anxiety as a possible side effect. Hypehidrosis or severe excess sweating, something I’ve lived with since I was a small kid. The second is Trigeminal Neuralgia better known as severe facial pain and something that is more of a recent thing that I started to have symptoms of around 5 years ago.
Anxiety as I mentioned before can be a side effect and what comes with anxiety is often depression too. For me, though I’ve always had a little anxiety that I would say has been higher than other peoples, it’s still been manageable until recently where there’s been a definite accumulation to higher levels. It suddenly washed over me and I didn’t quite know or understand what was happening.

Social anxiety is one of those things that I started to be effected by.  When I’m around people my stomach gurgles loudly even if I’m not hungry. I feel sick, heart beats loudly, head swims, and I suddenly become aware of everything and everyone around me. Things travel through my head at a hundred miles an hour even if they don’t settle enough for me to even think them fully. What are people looking at, what they’re doing, do I look okay, have I got things in my teeth, etc etc.
Something like going into a cafe that is a normal thing, a treat became difficult. I order, sit down and start writing blog posts. Stuck in a world that I love. The food arrives, I start eating, eating is loud and crunchy and difficult to eat and I worry about what people are thinking. I start getting anxious and take large inhalations of air. My chest tightens and now my stomach is a little bloated. I try and catch my breath a little, calm myself down as I know a panic attack is in tow however slight. My stomach pops, and makes noises and it’s painful. I continue eating due to my stubborn self. The experience isn’t enjoyable but I eat and I calm slowly. Really slowly.
I used to be such a confident person, I studied Performing Arts, always talking to people, happy to be caught off guard. Now I find every event, menial task involving people, a hen night, a family event, a small girls evening, even a quick meeting with friends takes stubbornness and inner strength to get through. I often go to things for a small amount of time to show my face and I leave before my anxiety gets too bad to cope with. Things that wouldn’t have any effect on someone else will play on my mind for days, weeks even months later. I still think about conversations that I had at my wedding,  cringing at the reasons I said or did something and wishing I could go back and change it.
I get through every day using a series of techniques. They’re second nature these days because I do most of them without thinking. I try and fit in Meditation often, exercise regularly as it keeps the depression away. I love to run, to dance, to sing, review, write – write a lot and to travel and discover, to do what I love and immerse myself in these things to allow creativity and feel normal.  I try and have a positive mental attitude. I often seek space especially while I’m eating as I know this is an issue for me for what ever reason, I take time away from noise.  I use distraction a lot to help my racing mind and I write down a lot, write lists when I need to especially at work, especially when thoughts continue to swirl. I’m also not ashamed to say I go to CBT counciling and combined it all really helps. I also found that changing my diet to a vegan one really made me manage my symptoms especially my Trigeminal Nueralgia.
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Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t supposed to be a pity party. I realise that I’m lucky and that things could be much worse but under the smiles and the facade of confidence you never really know what people’s personal struggles are. Suffering from anxiety has made me realise that even though I’ve felt alone, a lot of people suffer from mental health issues and anxiety is more common than you think. It’s one of the most common mental health conditions in the UK with a staggering 3 million people suffering with it. One of the biggest problems around anxiety is that people don’t talk about it enough. It can be seen as a weakness and is often misunderstood but with mental health issues being more common, it’s not something to be ashamed of and I’m thankful that people like Fearne Cotton and Ruby Wax are voicing their experiences. By talking about our individual stories and experiences with anxiety, people become less isolated and won’t suffer alone. This post is my way of talking about it.
Do you suffer from anxiety or know someone that does. Hop on twitter and share your stories.
 
 
 

Lifestyle

What I've Been Streaming Lately

This week I’ve been under the weather so I’ve spent a lot of time snuggled beneath a duvet watching movies and box sets to pass the time while my immune system does its thing. Lucky for me Panasonic dropped me a line and asked me to share what I’ve been streaming lately. No problem! Let’s take a look at what I’ve been watching, but before you do, show them some love and check out their Panasonic HD televisions if you need a new screen for your box set binges!

Designated Survivor


Kiefer Sutherland from 24 returns to the screen, this time appointed president as a the result of a terrorist plot which leaves him as the last man standing. His attempt to rebuild the country is consistently under threat with White House insiders involved in further terrorist attacks. Plenty of twists, turns and political drama make this great if you enjoyed 24 but want something slightly different.
Watch On: Netflix

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel


This multi- award winning TV series is set in the late 50’s and is all about Miriam Maisel, a Jewish House wife. The eight part series follows Midge and her trials and tribulations when her husband who is a budding comic confesses suddenly to having an affair and leaves her. After a few drinks she braves it and gets on stage at the local comedy club and realises she’s actually funny. The show is some thing special, and I’m really looking forward to the second series.
Watch on: Amazon Prime

Mozart in the Jungle


This one was a recommendation through Twitter and thought I’d give it a try. It’s actually based on the 20o5 memoirs of Blair Tindall (Mozart in the Jungle:Sex, Drugs and Classical Music) and her adventures in her professional life and career as an oboist. It follows Hailey as she plays for New York Symphony, several high profile gigs and with the orchestras of Broadway. A thoroughly enjoyable watch!
Watch on: Amazon Prime

Not Cinderella’s Type


It’s a modern day Cinderella story based on the well loved Jenni Jones book. It follows Indy as she moves in with her Auntie and Uncle after a life changing event turns her world upside down. There’s teenage angst, fab characters, some serious issues dealt with in a sensitive manner, a few cheesy lines and accidental love. It’s an unexpectedly good film, definitely worth a watch.
Watch on: Amazon Prime

Creed


The latest in the long line of Rocky movies, this isn’t your typical blokey boxing movie. The story focuses more on love, adventure and taking a big chance when life presents a small opportunity. Stallone is present, but the main character is former champ Apollo Creed’s long lost son. A surprisingly heartwarming movie that’s easy to watch.
Watch on Netflix
What movies or box sets  have you been streaming lately? Let me know in the comments below or over on Twitter.
Happy Watching!
*in collaboration with the lovely people at Panasonic

Lifestyle

Interview with Deliciously Ella

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Deliciously Ella is plant-based food blogger turned entrepreneur that I’ve been a fan of for a while now. Her mission is to change the way that people eat for the better with plant-based recipes that prove that vegan and veggie food is more than boring salads.
She began her journey into healthier eating to help battle a serious illness, learning how to cook using simple ingredients she already had in the house, and her blog was a way to share her recipes. She didn’t expect many people to read it, but they did in huge numbers, and she’s since released a number of books and opened a wonderful deli in central London.
Lately her passion for wellbeing has developed into physical and mental health too, with a growing love of yoga and mindfulness. She’s really warm and down to earth, and took the time out to speak to me about all things Ella.
 
1. You always seem to be on the go – talk me through a normal day. 
There isn’t really a normal day, which is something I love – I really enjoy the spontaneous nature of the way I work, everyday is so different. I get up at 6.30 most days and do yoga 7-8, then walk through the park with Matt and Austin to work via the deli to check in with the team or have a breakfast meeting, I normally have our creamy bircher muesli with almond butter and homemade compote, I’m obsessed with our slow-cooked pineapple one at the moment. I then spend the rest of the day doing a variety of things from innovation meetings, strategy planning, commercial meetings, time with our customers, meetings buyers or suppliers, recipe testing, social media, content planning, book writing or a whole host of other things! We tend to work late Monday-Wednesday, then Thursday we have a date night at one of our favourite spots in London!
2. When you’re not at your own restaurant which plant based restaurants do you visit in London?
I love 26 Grains, The Barbery, Palomar, Granger and Co and Roka
3. I’m a big fan of your books! How do you come up with the recipes, do you spend a lot of time experimenting or do you put your own spin on more traditional recipes?
I just love cooking and experimenting with new ideas, so I’m always trying new recipes and flavour combinations. Lots of the recipes are inspired by what’s popular within the Deliciously Ella community too. If a recipe is a real hit then I’ll look at similar concepts or ways that we can evolve it to give readers more ideas.
4. Your food has a very distinct style and actually so do your delis. My husband said it feels like eating at a friend’s kitchen, what was the interior style inspiration?
That’s so nice to hear, and that’s exactly what I wanted to create. I want everything about Deliciously Ella to feel warm and inviting!
5. You obviously take great care with the food that you eat, and it feels like you do the same for your home and kitchen decor. Do you have any pointers for budding home designers out there who want to brighten up their spaces?
I think it’s just about finding your own style, putting together pieces that you love and not being nervous to try new things – that’s how everythings taken shape at Deliciously Ella.
6. I love your beauty line in Neal’s Yard. If I were to buy just one product from the range which would you recommend?
Thank you! I love the body moisturiser, it smells so delicious!
7. What are the essential beauty products that you carry around with you everyday?
I like keeping things really simple – I wash my face, use a serum and a moisturiser and then a few beauty products, normally mascara, blusher, concealer and some bronzer. Brand wise I love RMS, Ilia and Kjaer Weiss
8. I know you love Yoga and Pilates. Have you got any tips for the beginners out there?
I’m a yoga addict at the moment, I practise almost every day before work and it really helps keep me grounded. There’s something so calming about the practice and it really helps me create a positive mind-set.
9. You always seem to be working on something new and exciting! What’s next for Deliciously Ella that you can tell us about?
I know, the last few years feels like such a whirlwind – there have been so many different projects! We’re working on some new recipes for supermarkets this year, it’s still a secret for now but I can’t wait to share more soon, and then there’s a new book coming in August. The new book, called The Cookbook, is probably my favourite thing I’ve ever worked on, it’s really personal and shares all of our stories, as well as all the recipes from the deli.
10. Like you, I work with my husband and love it. It seems like you both love it too so I wondered how you balance your work and personal life?
We love it, I know some people think we’re mad (I’m sure you’ve heard the same!) but there’s something really special about creating such a connected life together and having the support of each other is so amazing. We make it work by doing such different things, I do all the creative and he does the business development, finance, operations etc and together we try to bring the vision to life. It’s hard finding time to switch off but there’s so much to be excited about that we don’t really mind.
11. Finally what do you do on a perfect day off?
Sleep in; go to a great yoga class with my favourite teacher; eat brunch smashed avocado on rye toast in bed with garlicky mushrooms, roasted tomatoes and homemade baked beans; take our dog for a walk; eat lunch with friends; get a massage; take a nap and then go for a big Indian feast with my husband. The dream!
Have you tried any of Deliciously Ella’s recipes? Hop on Twitter and let me know!
Happy eating!

Lifestyle

Tips for Planning a Girls Weekend

It’s officially Spring, which means the days are getting longer and there’s fun, sunshine and adventures just around the corner! While I often think about long holidays and city breaks abroad exploring new places, I recently had the task of planning a different type of adventure – a girls weekend!
Girls-only weekends are fantastic fun, you get to leave the men at home for a few days and let your hair down, whether it’s for a hen weekend, a birthday or just a road trip with your besties.
While they’re fun when they finally roll around, they can be quite difficult to organise especially if you’re a big group. I thought I’d put together a few tips to help you get one together and make it back in one glamorous piece.

Where To Go

No matter where in the UK you live you’re spoilt for choice, and unlike our cousins across the pond you can travel to pretty much anywhere within a day. I love Brighton, the beach is beautiful and there’s no shortage of entertainment day or night. There’s also a great selection of alternative shops, and you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to vegan restaurants and cafes. If you’re looking for a more chilled weekend then Bath is a great option with its wonderfully unique buildings and relaxed vibe. Norwich is also a place to check out, it’s a modern student city with fantastic castle worth a visit and plenty of atmosphere buzzing throughout the unique pubs you can find dotted around the cobbled streets.
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Where to Stay

hotels.com has plenty to offer but can be a bit pricey if you need a lot of rooms. For something a bit different have a browse on Airbnb for large apartments or big country houses, where you get the whole place to yourself for the weekend. Just don’t break anything!

How to Get There

If you’re not travelling far then just hop in the car with a well crafted playlist, some snacks and turn it into a road trip! If you’re travelling to the other side of the country then you’re probably going to need a train which can be a bit pricey but there’s loads of room for fun and games once you step onboard. For something a bit different you could get a coach – sometimes the bus prices work out a bit cheaper and if it’s not too busy you can turn it into your own party bus!
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Packing Essentials

If you’re a regular traveller then you know the drill – pack an outfit for every conceivable occasion that you can fit inside your suitcase. Just don’t forget an eye mask – you never know when it might come in handy, and it might be a life saver on the journey back if you need to catch up on a few winks. Also don’t forget Nurofen in case you end up with a few too many wines, and the most comfortable pair of shoes you own – I guarantee you’ll end up walking a lot more than you want to over the weekend!
What are your girls weekend survival tips, and you have one booked in with your friends this Spring? Hop onto Twitter and let me know.
Happy travelling!
*This post was sponsored by the lovely people at Stagecoach, who love a good party bus!

Lifestyle

Garden Furniture Inspiration

Brrrrr! It’s been freezing this week, with snow, wind and low temperatures hitting the UK like a big icy hammer! But while it may seem a world away right now, Spring really is just around the corner. We’re only a few weeks away from Easter, and British Summer Time officially starts on 25 March, less than a month away!
With a few spring buds already starting to show in parks and fields I’ve been starting to think about my own garden and I’m really looking forward to that first sunny weekend where I can roll my sleeves up and get stuck in!
There’s so much to think about when planning out that initial gardening session – and it can get quite overwhelming. My garden does not look in a good way right now, and there’s much I want to do to make it a happy and welcoming place. Beyond the fundamentals of beautiful plants and well placed outdoor lights, one of the areas I really want to work on this year is the furniture. It’s much easier to spend time in your wonderful garden if you have some furniture to relax on!
Whenever I get excited about something I do some research and get some inspiration together. That’s exactly what I’ve done here and I wanted to share it with you, so let’s go in and take a look at some garden furniture ideas!

Palm Beach 2 Piece Sofa Set

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I am absolutely in love with this sofa set! I’ve never been into grey furniture, but things are different outdoors – it would compliment the colourful flowers and not detract from them. It comes with a great little coffee table for cocktails in the afternoon or perhaps an al fresco meal. I like the idea of having the versatility of a sofa and separate chairs that you can move around, which you don’t get with those giant garden corner sofas. Think I’m in love!

Garden Bar Set

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Dining outdoors is something I’d like to do a lot more of this summer if the weather allows me to! There’s nothing better than waking up on a sunny Saturday morning and preparing a healthy fruit and granola bowl in the sunshine after a little yoga session. It’s great to just soak in the beauty of a warm weekend ahead with a meal, so this bar set with high seats looks just perfect. It even has an ice bucket built into the centre of the table so you can keep your juice or your fizz cool in the sun, which is something I can definitely get behind!

Daybed Garden Set

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Okay I’m going big with this last one! I’m not a lazy person, but the idea of a day bed sounds incredible. Lounging around with a book or writing posts on a laptop in the shade sounds like a fantastic way to relax outdoors. This grand day bed has storage for your cushions too, and curtains if you want to a bit shut off the outdoors and have a snooze. Bliss! I’d recommend having a look at this whole daybed section, they’re all incredible!
Have you started thinking about your garden this year, and do you have any similar pieces sitting in your outdoor space just waiting to be used? Hop on Twitter and let me know!
Happy gardening!
*in collaboration with the lovely people at Fishpools

Lifestyle

Mindfulness tips and products!

A break from everything is a great opportunity to reflect and refresh so when the New Year break rolled around recently it gave me the time to look more at what I can do to take care of myself, to stay as stress free as possible and most of all be kinder to myself and to the people around me. Especially as I recently read that it’s thought by the year 2020 the top 4 diseases that people will suffer from will be stress related, an interesting yet alarming statistic so with this in mind, I thought that I would put together a few items and tips that I’ve been loving.
My  top three tips are:
1. A good evening routine
Whether you struggle with getting to sleep or not it’s good to have an evening routine where you wind down. Try not to work till late into the evening as your mind will race long into the night making sleep a hard point to get to. Make your bedroom inviting, de-clutter your room, maybe spruce it up a little too and make it an inviting place to go to. We’re often advised to keep technology out of the bedroom so put  a ban on television and computers in this area of the house. If I have to use a phone, I always try for minimal use and use a low blue light.  To continue with the routine, a hot bath, a good book or maybe some calming music will all help to signal to the body that it’s winding down. Get some some soft pyjamas too, some that you’ll look forward to get into at night.
2. Drink more water
It might seem like a simple thing to do but one of my biggest tips is to drink more water. Apart from helping keep the complexion clear and fresh, your skin will feel softer and appear more elasticated especially in the winter. Being hydrated also helps keep the mind stronger and clearer too. Dehydration can do strange things. I always find it helps to always keep a bottle of water with you at all times, maybe one that has times on the side to remind you to keep drinking and how much you should be drinking throughout the day.
3. Take some time for yourself.
I’ve found that taking a little time for myself, even 20 mins to half an hour a day were you can relax and reflect on the day really helps replenish the mind and body. Meditation and Yoga really help with this and I’ve found Yoga with Adriene to be amazing. Adriene pops free videos on live every week. She has a relaxing voice, is knowledgable and breaks down each pose making Yoga an enjoyable experience. You definitely learn a lot in each of her videos so why not pop over and take a look!
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Neom Scent to de-stress set
The first product that I wanted to share with you are products from a company called Neom . They’re a company that really try and explore the natural products available. They research essential oils and have put together sets that help with anxiety, sleep and de-stressing etc. Neom products smell amazing and last so long too. I recently spotted this Scent to de-stress set that contains Lavender, Jasmine and Brazillian Rosewood. The products in the set include a fine spray that you can use on face to freshen and calm. There’s an intensive relief that you can pop on your pulse points to help melt away the stress and lastly there is a fine pillow mist that can be sprayed onto pillows, cushions or linens. The gorgeous aroma stays with you long into the day. If you spot any of these products online or in town, go check them out!
 
 
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Fearne Cotton – Calm / Happy Journal
Lastly I’ve been loving some of the books that Fearne Cotton has recently released. She might seem like an unlikely author but her books are beautifully written and researched. The first, Happy looks into depression, the second and more recent Calm looks into anxiety. Both give Fearne’s story of how these have effected her. She also gives tips and things she does to help combat it. She interviews people of interest that have suffered from both, she incorperates a doctors insight and others stars stories too.
Both books are quite good reads and more recently, I’ve found that there is also a journal that runs alongside the book Happy. It follows the year and this time gives you things to do. Pictures to draw, songs to listen to, goals to set and new things to try out. Even if you don’t complete the tasks, just to give yourself the time to think about the small things is refreshing. It’s all really helpful and insightful information across the board and understanding why something happens and knowing that you’re not the only one suffering with something can be quite comforting.
Have you got any mindful tips that you would like to add or maybe you’ve put some of these tips to the test already. Come over to Twitter and let me know your thoughts.
Namaste!