Surviving January (and let’s face it, February)

The party well and truly is over. When the summer comes to an end (and trust me, we stretch the feeling to the bitter end), we all start looking forward to the season to be jolly.

The celebrations usually start in early December, but with the shops putting the decorations up in mid-November, it is easy to get carried away by the festive spirit, especially when you love Christmas, like me. And it’s all fun and games.

We eat, we drink, we are merry. Too merry. Then January hits. Even worse, mid-January, when you had time to take a long, hard look at yourself… No bank holidays for a long stretch, dark, dark and cold days, we are poor from all the crimbo expenditure and our bodies are feeling the worse for wear after all the eating and drinking. It is truly dreadful.

So how do I plan to survive? By looking after my mind and body, that is.

The body works

I’ll reach out for the fake tan. I’ve been loving the Fake Bake Five Minute Mouse tan as I feel mega lazy. It’s quick, transfer free, little smell and develops into a gorgeous tan that lasts up to a week (I top up every 4-5 days).

Before bed, I lather myself with the Nivea Rich Nourishing 48h intensive moisturising care, which is perfect to treat your skin, battered by the cold and heating, overnight. It’s a classic that has been reformulated recently and it’s super creamy, delivering up to 48-hour hydration, thanks to the Nivea Deep Moisture Serum and almond oil.

And smells Nivea-comforting. It is very rich, but absorbs well. Next day, I can feel it “coming out as a shower”. This is serious moisturising.

I am a huge fan of pillow sprays and as much as they are for the body, they are for the mind. I am using the Feather & Down pillow spray, together with their shower cream and body oil before going to bed.

I absolutely love the fragrance and if you are not too keen on lavender, this one is definitely for you – so calming, relaxing and absolutely delightful.

Going back to fitness has been on my list for over six months, after being plagued with injuries. I am at a point I can ease myself into my usual routine, a step at a time.

I have just had a proper week of working out – four times, and closer to my old routine, including aerial pilates, ballet barre, an inversion class and circus conditioning. My injury seems to be ok with it and as long as I take it really slowly, it feels promising.

My diet will receive the attention it deserves. No, I am not going radical, but will stick for a while to the ketogenic diet my MSK specialist doctor recommended, to diminish inflammation, as well as taking good supplements like probiotics and immune system support, which worked a treat for me this year.

That also includes cutting down alcohol (dramatically? we’ll see about that), in quantity but mainly type as some are more irritable to my body than others.

I will also stick to my Zenii Radiance and Skin Health supplements as they do work a treat to fight dullness.

Minding the gap

My mental health will be a huge focus this year, so I’m starting strong in January to set myself up for the year. I will practice mindfulness, work to prevent thoughts from becoming compulsive and my actions turning obsessive and spiralling out of control.

Planning my budget and organising my life in general has always been a struggle, so I am aiming to put a realistic plan together. That should enable me from planning for the travels and hobbies I want to squeeze in 2018.

Attention will be focused on what matters; people who matter. Friends who are supportive, reliable and positive. Of course, no one is like that all the time, but it’s the give and take balance that is really important here. I will not be a sole giver. Unreliable friends make me anxious and why would I want to be around people show are not supportive? Exactly.

Creating rituals is important for me. I must go back to “face mask Wednesdays”, “mani Thursdays”, or “deep stretch Mondays”. You get the drift – something that is great for body and mind. Two birds and all that.

And the blog, which has saved me through so much, will continue to be my haven and I will (and already have been) paying more attention to it,

How are you planning to survive during these dark months?

written by Dani

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

 

 

 

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.

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.

A sweet shower

patisserie-de-bain-strawberry-cupcake-review-2What excites me more than cake? You guessed right: beauty products!

Patisserie de Bain has the most gorgeous smelling products around, with real delicious desserts smelling bath, shower and bdy products to indulge and relax.

patisserie-de-bain-strawberry-cupcake-review-3If like me, you are rather partial to a sweet scent, feast on their Strawberry Cupcake range, which combines the smell of strawberries and cream.

The shower créme (£3.99/200ml) is rich, gentle and lathers amazingly; skin feels clean and moisturised.

patisserie-de-bain-strawberry-cupcake-review-4The body lotion (£4.99/200ml) is silky and glides on skin, absorbs well, leaving skin soft and with the most amazing subtle scent.

patisserie-de-bain-strawberry-cupcake-review-5Who doesn’t love a bath bomb (£4.99)? Well, this one gives you a sweet explosion to tingle all your senses! It fizzles out for total relaxation!

patisserie-de-bain-strawberry-cupcake-review-6Finally, this little hand cream (£3.99/50ml), a delight to carry around in the handbag or keep by the bedside. Absorbs well and leaves hands moisturised and soft, and of course, with that fab sweet smell.

The Strawberry Cupcake range also has a cupcake soap and fancy, mini bath bombs on a delightful vintage glass  jar, hand cream pot and a soap cake slice.

patisserie-de-bain-strawberry-cupcake-review-1And they have all sorts of delights: cherry pie, lemon bon bon, sugared violet, cranberries and cream and orange crush, on top of some fab limited editions, such as the lovely créme patissiêre range I reviewed not long ago. All made in the UK to make you feel and smell divine, with a great value for money!

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

Saturday relaxing rituals

dove-nourishing-care-oil-review - 1Ah, Saturday morning… what a bliss. Well, maybe not when you woke up with a heavy head from the night before, but still, he best time to wash away the week’s stresses and embark on a relaxation ritual.

And the new Dove nourishing care shower oil is the perfect product for that. I put a white fluffy robe on, put a face mask on, read a magazine while sipping some coffee.

There is always a candle or diffuser somewhere in the house!

dove-nourishing-care-oil-review - 2Using some sugar or a polish, I give my body a good scrub to get rid of dead cells, stimulate circulation and soften the skin. If I’m feeling it, I sometimes dry body brush before.

I then shower, first removing the face mask. I was never a bath person as I have low blood pressure and it tends to plummet really quickly in the bath. A good shower washes away the physical dirty, but it is also an opportunity to clear the mind.

dove-nourishing-care-oil-review - 3The shower oil contains Moroccan argan oil and creates a gentle lather when in contact with water, cleansing and nourishing the skin, without stripping the protective barrier.

The oil is luscious, non-stick and smells amazing. Skin feels soft and moisturised. Sugar can be mixed with the shower oil to give skin a gentle exfoliation too.

dove-nourishing-care-oil-review - 4After my shower, I don’t need to moisturise, but every three days I use the Dove Dermaspa Summer Revived, a tanning moisturiser that keeps the glow going.

I then moisturise my face; most of the times, if I am staying at home, I will put on a great facial oil such as dermalogica’s phyto replenish oil, Skin & Tonic Naked Beauty or Dr. Jackson’s.

And relax!

The Dove nourishing care & oil range also contains a body wash, which has a blend of Moroccan argan oil beads for that extra nourishment, and a classic beauty cream bar with added moisturisation from argan oil. Always with 1/4 moisturising cream!

The Dove nourishing shower oil costs £4 (RRP), the nourishing care & oil body wash, £2.50 (RRP) and the cream oil soap bar under £1.

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This post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

That monthly thing

pink-parcel-review - 2Girls don’t really talk about our periods a lot. Not that it is the kind of thing that comes up in conversation all the time, but many tend to avoid any mention.

Truth is, it is (almost) always there. There is the discomfort, the PMS, the tenderness, the bloating, swelling, cramps… some have it much worst than others, but for most of us, it just doesn’t go unnoticed.

I am quite sensitive in my privates (sorry, over sharing), so I always keep an eye on it; I get irritation, thrush and UTI quite often if I don’t look after myself properly; that include trying to control the stresses of daily life, which do not help the cause.

That’s why I welcomed the Pink Parcel this month, my first since coming off the pill for a very long time. I was expecting it to be a nightmare, which it wasn’t, but this monthly useful treat really made it a bit better.

The Pink Parcel comes with all your tampon and pads needs – when signing up, you can pick your brand so you stick with what you like, and you can mix pads and tampons, to suit your taste. They send you enough for a normal 3-4 period so you don’t have to worry.

They have three shipping dates in the month, so you can pick the one closer to your time. Personally, I think getting it 3-5 days before my period is the best, so I can reach out for treats during the dreaded PMS.

The box comes split in neat (I love that) “sections” if you wish; “for now”, a fabric pouch, comes with pads and tampons for every day, to go in the handbag; “for later”, more pads and tampons to keep and replenish that handy little bag, “for down there”, some soothing and/or cleansing product (mine came with one of my faves Femfresh wipes) and “for you” comes packed with treats.

pink-parcel-review - 10I was very impressed with the amount of pads and tampons, as well as the “for you” treat box: something sweet, but not too much, some relaxing items, like the Badger Sleep Balm and tea plus beauty treats including favourite brands like Simple and lottie London, and some new to discover, like True Brit nail polish.

Every month, you can count on the box to come with tampons (your selected brand and something new to try), pads, tea, something sweet and beauty products.

Beauty boxes for me are not that appealing, but this is actually useful as  it comes in the right time, giving me exactly what I need!

You can subscribe to your Pink Parcel via their website, the first one costs only £6.99 including P&P, and the following one, £10.50, P&P also included!

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This post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

 

Clock change: make it empower hour!

dove_empower_hour - 5
Good morning lovely people, we just got an extra hour! Yay! Let’s not think about when it is taken from us – yet – and let’s fully enjoy it by using it for ourselves!

Dove has challenged me to have a moisturisation empower hour. They gave me a few tips and sent me some products to help me get the best of that “free” hour.

Here’s how I started my day and used that brand new 60 minutes, that was given while I slept and claimed when I got up, all for myself.

Before I got into the shower, I lit an aromatic candle in the bathroom and kept the lights off. Low lights send a relaxing message to the brain.

dove_empower_hour - 2I took 5 minutes to breath. Recently I was gifted a brilliant shower aromatherapy shower oil called Clear Mind and it helps with mindfulness, a practice really close to my heart.

I rub the rich, golden and fragrant oil in my hands and deep inhale three times, then I rub my tummy and chest with it, before stepping into the shower. It is great; it delivers a true moment of calmness.

Then I swept a dry brush up my arms and legs towards the heart for 5 minutes to stimulate lymphatic circulation. This helps the body get rid of toxins.

dove_empower_hour - 1For a good 10 minutes, I exfoliated my whole body with the gorgeous Dove Exfoliating Body Wash, which gives skin a gentle scrub, removing dead cells and moisturising at the same time.

The skin is left super soft and ready to better receive the next skin care steps. I always use a body oil after showering; and I cannot recommend the Dove DermaSpa Goodness³ Body Oil enough!

I then used a Dove moisturiser on damp skin (at the moment I am loving the richness of the DermaSpa Goodness³ Body Cream) and for another 7 minutes I rubbed my muscles; especially forearms, thighs, shoulders and upper back.

I also manage to squeeze a quick 2-minute massage with the Dove DermaSpa Uplifted+ Body Roll-On, which is a fabulous treat for the body.

Plus a cheeky 60 second hand fix to exfoliate and moisturise my hands, which are ever so often neglected.
dove_empower_hour - 1 (1)After that, I put a soft dressing gown and slippers on and applied a face mask for 10 minutes. I used Caudalie’s Detox mask to help unclog my skin. Following that I applied a second one for another 10 minutes, this time a hydrating face mask, also from Caudalie.

While I waited for the masks to work their wonders, I had my handy humidifier on, had a coffee (yeah, I can’t shake that habit) and caught up with my magazines.

I find the humidifier is great in the winter to help counteract the central heating, which is super drying to the skin. For me, it is extra helpful as I suffer from rhinitis. The fact this has a soothing light is a bonus!

After removing the face mask, I took 5 minutes to moisturise and massage my face. I used an oil (the extraordinary Dr Jacksons Face Oil) and a serum (Liz Earle Superskin Face Serum). I applied both with upwards movements to stimulate circulation.

dove_empower_hour - 8Finally, with my last 5 minutes, I gave myself a powerful, knot-crunching hand massage using the Dove DermaSpa Intensive hand Treatment, which is super moisturising and smells amazing.

I feel revitalised, ready to face the shorter days. Well, I mean, as ready as one can be. As the steps in the hour are very short, I will certainly be picking and choosing to incorporate them to my routine.

What about you? How are you using your extra hour today?

The Dove Exfoliating Body Wash costs around £2.55 for 250ml and £4.38 for 500ml and is available now from retailers nationwide.

You can read my full review on it.

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This post contains PR samples and was written in collaboration with Dove.

 

 

Bathing Under the Sky outdoor spa with wood fired bath tubs

bathing under the sky outdoor spa - somanylovelythings

Bathing Under the Sky takes spa experiences to another level… how amazing are their luxurious outdoor wood fired bath tubs? Come on!

I had the immense pleasure to be invited by them to experience this amazing treat and headed to Innocent Un-plugged festival to immerse myself in the Swedish style tubs…

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