And… breathe

Anxiety is something I have carried with me for a long time. Although rather manageable most of the time, there are periods that it still gets the best of me, no matter how many defense mechanisms I have against it.

The first time I came across aromatherapy breathing roll ons was after the this works energy bank launch event. I loved the range, but was really intrigued by that little roll on.

Fast forward a bit a few have come into my life. I feel the different scents do evoke feelings of calmness, energy, relaxation but for me, the most important thing is the time you take to breathe.

Sounds weird but most of us do not find time in our days to breathe mindfully. We our always on the go, with our heads on the schedule ahead, with a million thoughts overlapping. And if you are an anxious person, multiply that by 100, on a good day.

For me, the simple reminder of that little fragrant tube begs me to stop (hammer time! Not really), take some time out, breathe deeply a few times and think of nothing. And resume.

At the moment I have a few on the go, with a heavy bias towards the this works breathe ins, which have a natural blend of super oils. I apply them on my wrist, rub against the other and breathe away.

The energy bank fragrance is brilliantly awakening, with soothing orange oil, mood-boosting rosemary and energising geranium.

It is really an awakening fragrance, a fab post-lunch pick-me-up and costs £18 for 8ml.

The deep sleep stress less breathe in shown was reformulated and renamed as stress check and is now part of the fantastic stress check range.

It is calming, refreshing and really opens the airways for even deeper breaths, formulated with eucalyptus, frankincense and lavender oil . The packaging is now white for all this works breathe in roll ons, and they are very affordable at £16 each.

Bamford’s Padmasanainspired by the yoga pose of the same name, is a 100% organic blend of rosemary, ginger and basil oils, for concentration as it helps to restore mental strength and clear the mind.

It is quite fragrant, quite smoky to start with and then quite herbal.

Finally, a little spray from Evolve Organic Beauty, the Tranquility Essence with lavender, bergamot and cedarwood.

Although it contains alcohol in its formula, I really love this spray. It is not overpowering, quite citrus and you can really get the lavender at the end.

This is little helping hand is very useful if, like me, you struggle to naturally take a little time to breathe.

What’s your go to method to get your daily dose of mindfulness?

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

#NoDateNight

Should you want to poke fun at my current marital status, you could say that the title of this post is pretty much every night of my life. Ha. Ha. Funny.

Sadly for you, meanies out there, that’s not entirely the case, I’ve been known to have the *occasional* date since I became expectedly single last year, thank you very much.

#NoDateNight is in fact a little venture Badoo, an app with more than 350 million users in the world, is putting together at the Rooftop Film Club at the Bussey Building in Peckham, London.

It’s for singles (the clue is in the name!) on Sunday 6th August (fear not, Monday is a bank holi-yay) and it’s FREE.

Yes, you heard it, FREE. And not just entry. You get to watch Hitch, get some complimentary cocktails and food and maybe, just maybe, meet someone fanciful. *Waves*

To get a ticket, sign up on the Badoo blog. Winners will be informed on the 2nd August and are added to the guestlist with a plus 1 (which CANNOT BE A DATE).

So, hotties out there: I’m showing up. Fancy coming along? As they say, come thirsty, hungry and well… single!

On Badoo you can not only search for a relationship, but also for friendships and counts with a pioneering face-mapping technology.

The company was founded in 2006 by Andrey Andreev and has become the world’s largest social discovery network. It has over 350 million users, 60 million active users monthly, 300,000 daily sign-ups, 600 million swipes and 6 million matches each day!

written by Dani

Badoo invited me to pop along as media to check it out and probably get more drinks than you. No biggie – if you’re cool, I might share 😉 Or not.

For your pleasure

Oh to have a Magnum ice cream…. for years now I’ve been feasting on the most indulgent flavours and every summer Magnum does not disappoint.

Their fabulous pleasure store is back in London for another year, this time located on Seven Dials.

Dare I say it’s the best edition yet; decorated in collaboration with Moschino, it is colourful and bold and it even has special edition totes (£212) you can buy.

Now, the opening was, of course, star-studded. The store was opened by Jeremy Scott Moschino’s and Magnum creative director, with the soundtrack provided by the fabulous Jodie Harsh.

And I got to rub shoulder with Erin O’Connor, Alice Dellal, Talia Storm, Vanessa White, Oliver Proudlock and many others.

But the highlight was really the ice cream!

The Moschino collaboration cements this year’s Dare to Go Double attitude, which sees the amazing Magnum Double Coconut and Double Raspberry as the new flavours for the summer.

I could not resist them on holidays!

Of course, at the pleasure store you can, for £5.50 make your own bespoke freshly dipped Magnum with three toppings of your choice – and they are something special.

I had pistachio, cherry and gold flakes (because why not?) on mine, dipped in dark chocolate, white chocolate sauce and a pink Magnum coin. It was delicious – and gorgeous: it’s my very own at the top of the post.

As they say, a day without pleasure is a day lost. Hurry up!

The pleasure store is located in London Seven Dials (21-23 Earlham Street, WC2H 9LL) until the 10th September 2017, and the opening times are:

  • Sunday: 10am – 6pm
  • Monday/Tuesday/Wed:  10am – 7pm
  • Thursday: 10am – 10pm
  • Friday: 10am – 9pm
  • Saturday: 10am – 10pm

You can get all the info on the store at the Magnum UK website.

written by Dani

I was invited to this experience by Magnum; opinions are my own.

Get your Shine (Shack) on!

 

My love of glitter is never ending. From the tiny pots mum started to buy when I was around 8 that doubled up as school crafts and hair adornment for ballet presentations, to the same little pots purchased years later to comply with the 90s “glitter round the eye” trend, my love for it never grew smaller.

If anything, it just grew, may I say, exponentially, in the last years. And I have no shame. Glitter Milanese is the goal (#GlitterMilanese/#MilanesaDeGlitter, you saw here first hahahaha).

So you guys have no idea what meant to me to be invited by the amazing girls at Shine Shack to have a glitter makeover for Lovebox at their beyond fabulous pop up at Missguided Westfield Stratford.

I mean, who am I kidding? I’ll never get over the fact my girl crush and glitter goddess Posie Dwyer actually touched my face and glittered me up <3. I’d been Insta-stalking them for aaaages!

So off I went on my “disco ball day”, with my lovely Carol in tow to get to shine even brighter and spread their sparkle even further on the second day of Lovebox.

I got a proper silver holo that was all sorts of fabulous and Carol an amazing pastel-y gradient. The gem design is customised, as well as the glitter combos and obviously Posie and the Angels listen to what you want and deliver extra.

Basically, it is a happy event altogether: they are happy, it’s a great vibe, there is clearly a huge passion behind the brand and work that is done and you can definitely feel that. Plus, glitter IS life so…

Here’s a ridiculously excited story I posted on Insta still at Missguided after being Shine Shacked:

You can have from a simple bio glitter huge sprinkle on the parting of your hair (£3) to lovely braiding (£15, various styles, add rings for an extra £5), as well as glitter on one side of the face, gems, or the full works: glitter on both side of the face, chest plus gems on both (from £7 to £30). Take a look at their divine shimmery menu below.

I mean, I did some glitter on my face on Friday but this was EXTRA. Another level, I cannot recommend enough.

Shine Shack is at Missguided Westfield Stratford (on the right as you come in) on Fridays and Saturdays 10-5pm and Sundays 12-6pm all summer . You can pay at the till for your makeover.

Apart from having it applied professionally and lovingly by the Angles, you can also buy their sparkly range of glitter (from £5.50 – £16.50), accessories (from 2.50) and the brand new mix and match gems (£8) if you fancy DIYing on the Shine Shack website and at Missguided.

Plus, you can catch them at festivals this summer and they are available for private booking – parties and functions: just get in touch and they will have a package to suit you

On top of it all, crushes and love of glitter aside (which might make me biased as I barely managed to remove it all from my face and body as I wrote this), it is amazing to see young, talented women working hard doing what they love,  succeeding and spreading happiness in the process. It is inspiring and empowering and I am a fan, unashamedly.

You might as well just go and follow them on Instagram @shineshack: it will add that extra glam sparkle to your feed!

written by Dani

Yes, I was invited and was lucky to be offered the glitter makover for myself and Carol. But I love the guys and would recommend 10 times over. 

 

I like piña colada…

Who knew today was National Piña Colada day? I’m well into my cocktails, however, it is not totally acceptable to have them any time, everywhere… so…

Let’s say I was happy Oykos launched this little taste of the tropics, the Piña Coco Paradise, a deliciously indulgent Oykos silky Greek yoghurt with a flavoursome layer of pineapples and coconut at the bottom, that gives you a nice reminder of our not-working-hours-friendly Piña Colada.

The official drink of Puerto Rico is also (really) the UK’s fave cocktail (according to a 2015 survey) and it’s dead easy to make: 50ml rum, 25ml coconut milk and 200ml pineapple juice.

Shake vigourously for that creamy smooth texture and voila. Cherries and pineapple wedge for decor optional (but highly recommended) but umbrellas are almost compulsory!

Now, I arrived from holidays a few hours ago and have to say it kept that beach vibe going for a bit longer… plus I do love a yoghurt with a layer of fruit (and I’ll say again, I love coconuts!).

The yoghurt itself is lush! The chunks of fruit are a delightful surprise but do not spoil the creaminess of the yoghurt. And it is full of flavour. Yum.

And the best thing? Oykos comes in more than 10 flavours and costs only £2.39 for 4 and you can get it from major retailers nationwide (including Tesco, Ocado, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s).

Also, at the moment there is a great promo going on. By buying an Oykos multipack, you can enter a competition to win a fabulous island escape. It’s a 3-day luxurious Greek getaway, all inclusive, with spa treatments and hunky helpers.

And I assume all Oykos you can eat?! Peter Andre is also included! Head to oykos.co.uk/islandescape for more info.

written by Dani

 

The London festival experience

GALA Brixton

As spring is firmly underway – or so we hope… c’mon, it’s still around 13°C most days here in London!– and daylight gets one extra minute each day, we get closer and closer to the wonderful stream of festivals that sweep across the UK. However, it seems like long gone are the weekends of mud, sweat and tears…

It seems that, as years have gone by, people are less interested in what some still love to call *the festival experience*. By that they mean camping for three/four days, often braving horrible weather conditions, large quantities of mud, bad toilet facilities, with little or no possibility of freshening up, let alone having a shower.

GALA Brixton

For someone who loves freshly washed hair (although I thank the Gods every day for dry shampoo!), clean and crisp clothing and the comfort of my own bed, this reads as my description of HELL.

I was never into this idea of ‘festival experience’, and I remember going to V Festival in 2006 and saying “oh my word, I cannot BELIEVE I’m home”. Don’t get me wrong, the festival was incredible! And it was even more so because in 55 minutes I was at my door, skipping happily to my warm shower.

I’m so glad to know that I’m not alone in this. The new festival experience involves VIP bracelets, a “sweat only if you want to” attitude, gourmet food trucks, drinks from independent producers and –the best of it all – a short tube/bus/Uber ride home.

LOVEBOX

It is no wonder that inner London festivals are becoming big players in the music scene. Field Day (Victoria Park), South West Four (Clapham Common), British Summer Time (Hyde Park), Wireless (Finsbury Park), Lovebox (Victoria Park) and GALA (Brixton) are some of the main festivals happening within London this spring and summer, taking advantage of the appeal of being at home after a long day (and sometimes night) of partying.

And let’s not forget that 2017 will be the first year where we’ll be able to use the night tube during summer! This is something I’m really looking forward to, in order to reduce my late night post-partying Uber addiction…

So, if you ever thought that you wanted to experience festivals but wouldn’t be happy applying your makeup in a muddy compact mirror, after cleansing your face with just a baby wipe for the third day straight… I HEAR YOU. Have a thorough look on all events happening within London and I’m sure you’ll find something that tickles your fancy – and with travelling time possibly shorter than your daily work commute!

written by Carol

Right, you know the drill… this is a bit of a PR post.

Festive, me?

2017. I am doing festivals. What?! I hear you shriek in disbelief. Really?

That’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while. I dipped my toes for a day once, a couple of years ago, but never really got into it.

The fact that on festivals you can get away with copious amounts of glitter on your body is too big an attractive for me to pass.

But fear not, it’s still me and you won’t catch me camping anytime soon.

To open the season, I am going to ease myself with GALA, in Brockwell Park on the 28th May, bank holiday weekend, and welcome summer with Carol in a disco fashion with a very local vibe.

Of course, preparations have started – you know me, nothing happens without due preparation.

I’ve decided silver holo is the way forward for this one, because…disco ball. Stars, chunky and fine glitter are waiting to be devised into some shimmery face adornments.

As for outfit, I am keeping my options open. It’s London after all and the weather will dictate what I wear (plus I won’t tell you in advance, silly!) but expect some fun and comfortable, married with comfy footwear. I might crimp my hair. Just putting it out there.

In my bag, Dove deodorant, Gucci Guilty roll on perfume, the Garnier Ambre Solaire SPF mist, lollipops, lipstick, glitter, a fan and a power pack for the phone.

Juuuust in case it turns into an after party (or just for that post frantic dancing much needed touch up), I will have some powder, concealer, eyeliner and that e.l.f. Baked highlighter/blusher duo at hand.

Now, enough about me. Let’s dissect this. GALA will host the holy trinity of disco: Studio 54’s Nicky Siano, Paradise Garage DJs and Horse Meat Disco.

And that is not all, expect to also boogie to the sound of Late Night Tuff Guy (a Bowie tribute), Moxie, Honey Soundsystem, Afriquoi, Stevie Wonderland, Crazy P Soundsystem Live, Love Glove, Mood II Swing, Harvey Sutherland & Bermuda, Bas Ibellini, Krywald & Farrer and NixWax.

Gala 2016

What if all that dancing get you hungry? Fear not, there will be a feast of South London independent food on offer: The Joint (delish BBQ, bread from prison guys), Kriket (Indian small dishes), Bill or Beak (pulled duck? Drool. You know what I’m having).

They are joined by The Chicken Shop (succulent rotisserie chicken), Kerbisher and Malt (traditional fish and chips), Fatties Bakery (deserts. Amazing ones. Salted caramel dreams. I am not going to disagree), Made of Dough (pizza, pizza!), Killa Dilla (sexy quesadillas) and Oh My Dog (also sexy hot dogs) to make sure you’re suitably fed. Yum.

And to ensure you’re properly watered, the Soulshakers (they are bar and cocktails experts. Here’s my number), Brixton Brewery (local, independent, full of craft beer), Brick Brewery (a Peckham microbrewery) and Canopy Beer (a Herne Hill microbrewery) will be at hand for refreshments galore.

This is a bit of what went down last year!

Now, how much you ask? Tickets started at £20 but at the moment, they are on third release through good old Resident Advisor (how I love thee) for £35 plus £3.50 booking fee, which is excellent value for money.

You can also get a group ticket for £140 for 5 people or early entry (before 13:30) for £25, and the 10% booking fee also applies.

It starts at 12 and goes to 22:30, last admission at 17:00, with an after party at Jamm (£10 + £1.30 booking fee).

And you might bump into me (YAY). I’ll be the shiny disco ball-like girl bouncing around.

To get all the information go to thisisgala.co.uk.

Right, you know the drill… this is a bit of a PR post.

Urban yoga

My body has now entered rehab mode. My gluteus tendonitis, which is an office injury, means that circus is, for now, off the table.

So I am giving my body time to heal and what better than yoga to help the process? Add all the much needed mind benefits and there I was, with a smile on my face to be invited to the launch of the Karma Sanctum Yoga brunch club.

Taking place monthly at the lovely boutique Karma Sanctum hotel in Soho, London, the experience has a whole hour Vinyasa flow yoga with Katie Silver, coconut water, Lululemon yoga mats, a goodie bag, bottomless healthy brunch at the lovely heated hotel rooftop.

Oh, and did I mention there is a hot tub you can also use after your practice? Of yeah, THAT.

Carol and I headed to the inaugural yoga session, which took place at their cinema room. I found Katie excellent; an instructor who delivered a class for all levels.

Her voice and presence are calming and soothing, her instructions paced and clear, her adjustments fair and focused on you, even on a large class. And the orange oil she used at the end was divine.

Carol also pointed out that Katie was very available (and smiley!) after the practice, talking to some attendees about their technique, how to improve postures, etc.

On the bottomless, al fresco buffet brunch menu devised by James Cathcart, coffee, rolls, pancakes, plenty of fruit, fresh juices, yoghurt, scrambled eggs and avocados (made into a delicious guacamole). Being able to mix and match is really great. The setting is calming and it was great to be outside.

Carol and I were expecting to perhaps see gluten free carbs opposed to white rolls and very healthy smoothies/green juices, but those were not available, although we were satisfied with the fresh and filling fare provided.

Then I got changed and took a dip on the fabulous hot tub, with some super relaxing jets that soothed my muscles post-practice. I left feeling light, relaxed and open. What a delightful way to reset for the new week.

Overall, I believe it is very good value for money!

If you want to snap up one of the 20 monthly spaces, go to sanctumsoho.com and get booking. Yoga sessions start at 10 and finish at 11, with brunch/hot tubbing going until 13:30 on a Sunday. The next one is on the 4th June, then 30th July and it costs £40 per session.

On the goodie bag, great brands such as Skin & Tonic (which I love!), Yogandha Body Oil, Gallinee Hand Cream, Potion London, Orelia and Hype Clothing, probably worth more than the session alone!

To find out more about Katie, visit her website.

We are better together: Carol Aquino for So Many Lovely Things

Wow. That’s how I am opening. I never thought I’d get someone other than my selfish and picky self to write on So Many Lovely Things.

The day, however, has come. Welcome Carol Aquino *all clap*.

Our paths crossed randomly a few years ago but just recently we realised we may have more in common than previously accounted for. Add to that the fact Carol, originally from Rio but a good old London soul like myself, has enviable credentials and boom.

In all honesty, I am over the moon (surprised and a bit incredulous, tbh) she agreed to become a collaborator on So Many Lovely Things. I cannot say enough how ecstatic I am to get a bit of her shimmering sea of knowledge, professionalism and fun over the blog.

Ms. Aquino brings extensive fashion, style and communications expertise, plus a ridiculous gift for seeing the future (she works in trend forecasting) to the little blog, to make up for some of my shortcomings, mainly in knowledge, but also in, erm… lazy assness time to create more posts.

The low-dow:

  • MA in Fashion Journalism (London College of Fashion)
  • Extensive experience on international trend forecasting (she worked for Stylus and trendwatching.com)
  • A background in economics, mainly providing poignant research for politics.
  • An undying love of glitter and dancing (hello! <3)

Some of you may have already seen her on my Instagram or at an event, so will not be surprised to see her face (and wise words) ’round here too.

Carol will be covering fashion, trends, style, lifestyle and to be honest, anything she wants, gracing us with her fabulous flair and that eye in the future!

Catch her on Instagram (@carolaquino), Twitter (@querouaquino) and of course, here real soon.

Bliss! It’s a Bathing Under the Sky pop-up

Bathing Under the Sky is made those amazingly lush red cedar outdoor spa wood fired bath tube that have been successfully gracing festivals for quite some time and I was really lucky to try back in 2015 at the Innocent Unplugged festival.

Now, why wait for a festival to enjoy this amazing experience? You don’t have to! Bathing Under the Sky now has an amazing pop-up at the Bourn Gold Club, near Cambridge.

In the next month or so you can book your ticket to experience the 40 degree bliss.

The combination of the hot water, the wood burning, the cold weather (and even the rain) is a relaxing and re-energising antidote to rushed modern life.

Apart from the baths, they also have the amazing barrel sauna on location, a bar, changing facilities and showers.

And while the weather was truly horrible, once you get in the bath, all the miserableness is magically wiped away and all is left is relaxation.

And the feeling you can never, ever actually leave the bath.

Each ticket gives you access to the site for 3 hours and of course, to the Swedish-style wood-fired hot tubs, the dry Finnish barrel sauna with cooling shower, one complimentary drink served to your hot tub, chill out area with deck chairs, fire-pitches and blankets, hair-dryers, straighteners and mirrors, one sarong style towel, showers with toiletries and lockers for valuables. Phew.

All that for £28 per person!

Also worth noting that this a lovely family business, grown around Cambridge where all members work hard to give you the best experience. Plus they are just so adorable!

I thoroughly recommend this experience. And fear not, if you miss the pop-up, I am sure you’ll be able to catch Bathing Under the Sky in a festival near you!

They will be at Bourn Golf & Leisure, Toft Rd, Cambridge CB23 2TT on the weekends of 11-12/25-26 March, 8-9 April, 29 April – 1st May and 13-14/27-29 May. More dates will be confirmed soon for the summer and they have another location, Fanhams Hall, Ware, Herts SG12 7PZ, in the pipeline!

To book, go to bathingunderthesky.com.

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains an experience offered by PR. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.