What I know about You, Yes You!

I confess, I’ve been stalking you. I got curious about who reads my content and decided to have a sneak peak myself to find out who is lurking!

Melodramatic much?

As you know my daily job requires me to travel quite a lot and this leaves me with minimal time to write, talkless of anything else. But I managed to get all of December off work…so I committed some time to learning more about the little lush blogs followers, that is you.

And it’s been fascinating. From content on, movies, mindfulness, inspiration, TV shows, experiences, travel, fashion, religion, blogging
fitness, evergreen content: how to, top tips
Politics, controversial topics, writing, poetry, Brighton (yes in the UK), home cooking, baking, personal lives to even some in languages I can’t read! Wow!

It was a lot of content! And I loved it! And yes I opened up every single followers site and had a look. It helped me learn more about what we have in common and more so what you find interesting. I must confess, I learnt a few new things too!

To be honest, I don’t know why I never thought to do this. So what do I do now that I know all this?

Well I want to keep you interested so I’ll be using this as a learning point this new year!

Happy to hear more on what you like, so if you have a spare moment, do share!

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Operation Christmas Child: #IPackShoeboxes

Have you ever given someone a gift and in doing so felt absolutely content and full of joy watching their eyes light up, or the smile that beams across their face?

This is what I imagine when I think of Samaritan’s Purse: Operation Christmas Child charity Shoebox initiative.

That little boy or girl somewhere in the world whose Christmas Day I can make so much brighter.

The first time I ever heard of Operation Christmas Child was a few years back in church. We got given green and red shoe sized boxes and were asked to fill them up with little gifts, as many as we could fit in for either a little girl or boy. Of course there were guidelines on what we could include as the boxes were shipped out. We were even allowed to include a little note and even a cheerful selfie to let the child know who sent them a gift.

I thought to write about this cause it’s something I feel is really amazing and in turn makes me feel amazing. And I’m so excited about it as this year Samaritan’s Purse have launched the “Pack a Shoebox online” option.

Nothing beats buying all of those little gifts, packing up the box and holding onto that exact shoebox knowing it will sit in the hands of a child on Christmas day. But most importantly nothing beats knowing I don’t have to miss out on doing something good because work, travel and generally time don’t permit me to.

Did I also mention that in January you get an email telling you what country your shoebox ended up being sent to? That was one email I looked forward to from the minute the box left my hands. Who knows, maybe one day we can get emails of photos the child drew during the holiday season…or something appropriately personalised! Ok, I’m getting carried away…

This year, all shoeboxes packed online will be shipped to children in Moldova. On the website you have a number of items to choose from to include in your box, and the packing is all done by Samaritan’s Purse on your behalf. Simple, straightforward and quick. Don’t forget your note and photo too!

It’s something I really love because it also serves as a real reminder that Christmas is more than just giving gifts, but also celebrating love. Christ’s love and even if that means nothing to you, family is love, and friends are love.

So aside from spreading a little Christmas cheer, spread some love to a child somewhere! Pack your box here . But hurry, the closing date is 18th November 2017 before all shoeboxes get sent out.

NB: If you prefer to pack a box yourself, this is also possible and you can use any good old shoebox at home! There are many places to drop off, so don’t you worry. And should you miss out don’t worry, Christmas comes round every year.

Dear Jane: From a Woman on Behalf of Men

The long, long, awaited sequel to my Dear John post.

Before we delve, I must state, this is based on my opinion, as well as many a conversation with friends. So ladies, what Do you do when faced with certain ‘John’ scenarios?

Bearing in mind that there is no one best approach and men are different…here’s a man’s perspective through a woman’s lense.

Lesson 102

  1. Keep calm and stop nagging. That dreaded word “nag”, women would much rather call it complain. I suppose there is a problem of differing views here, but either way, men don’t dig it. Consider brushing some things off and weighing things out before addressing them. Think, is this worth causing a ruckus about? What could this lead to? In no way am I suggesting you settle for mistreatment, your feelings are very much important, but consider how you communicate this and in turn he will too.
  2. Silence isn’t Golden. Speak up, men are not mind readers, they are straight thinkers. I have listened to multiple girlfriends complain about their other halves. Telling your friend makes no difference. If you hear yourself say ‘NO I wont say anything, there is no point’! Think, surely if you take the right approach and break down what is wrong, a man is more likely to listen and try to understand. No silent treatment, no throwing jabs, nor the infamous ‘attitude’ needed. Instead express what you would have preferred. He can only compromise if you share, and the sooner you share the sooner you both will be happy.
  3. Let me Lead. Now we all love a manly man, but we also love our independence. Getting this balance right is key for both John and Jane. I appreciate this one can be slightly tricky. Modern day independent strong women, hear me now, you are very much your own woman (I bet anything he loves that about you) and rightly so your opinion, needs and feelings are paramount.  Just remember that his views and opinions are just as important as yours. Trust his judgment, listen to his views, let him provide where he is able and show your appreciation along the way. He wants to feel of value to you and in turn you should be valued too.
  4. I am unique. Do not compare him. Do not generalise. If at all anything, in Your eyes he should be special and rightly so. A simple way to think of this, turn the tables. Dare he compare you to another?
  5. My time is My time. Ever thought, he would rather spend time with his friends, or watch football, or just even be alone rather than be with you? This is not even worth a moments thought. See men are programmed to need space, I like to think of it as recuperation time. This is almost a necessity for him to regroup his thoughts in order to reengage. Not just with you but with most things in his life. Most importantly, he doesn’t really expect you to devote All your time to him, after all absence (in the right dose) does make the heart grow fonder. And if that doesn’t console you, John also wonders what you are up to when that ‘space’ is in play. And if THAT doesn’t console you…Darling, you are his solace. No friend or sport can provide what you can.
  6. I am human. He has emotions too, he hurts too and equally he would like to be comforted. Men just show it differently. Be his support system, be his ‘go to’ when thoughts he may not necessarily share in detail with you are weighing him down. You should be his happy place and vise versa.
  7. I love a challenge. Men love to be intrigued. Keep him on his toes, have intelligent conversations with him, show him your playful side, your weakness…but never let him take you for granted, ever. He does not want to feel like he can sit back or walk all over you and he should not. Your confidence and self respect only highlights your worth to him. That’s part of the reason why he chose to be with you. Exude that confidence!
  8. Love is Patient amongst other things… Relationships require patience and kindness. Having patience is key in a number of situations; be it during a fight, or when you are both upset, or when it comes to willingness to share personal stories, or making changes to things you both don’t like, or in simply making efforts to keep each other happy, the list is endless. Patience and timing is key, be patient with him (vise versa) and  in time no situation will be insurmountable and the benefits you both will reap will be endless.

Now, to say this is a definitive view of a man’s wants in a relationship would be a lie. For starters, I am no man and secondly every human being is different in their own way. I could hold onto this post as a draft for ages just trying to encapsulate a man’s mind and it would never get published. 

However, what is definite, is that not one single point above does not hold true at some point or the other in every relationship in our lives.

xoxo

Stylist Live Event: What went on

I remember the faithful day when I saw the ad while scrolling through Instagram. Perhaps what is one of my favourite free magazines to read on the tube journey home was having an event?! Eeek!

Being what I like to describe as an empowering, fashion and beauty focused (magazine) STYLIST event, there was no way I was missing out on this. A three day event at the business design centre, costing £25 (cheaper if you were an early bird), with much value for your money, brilliant!

A ticket guaranteed you:

  1. Entrance to the overall event,
  2. Entry into one talk or workshop of your choice, AND
  3. A Swarovski trending catwalk show.
  4. Let’s not forget your free glass of Chambord Black Raspberry Liqueur & Freixenet and  your STYLIST LIVE event bag. Love a useful freebie!

If you have ever been for London Fashion Weekend, you would have loved this event. Think LFW and a tad bit more!  Motivational, life and skill development talks or workshops for those who like the more hands-on approach! Numerous beauty, accessories and clothing stands to splurge on. All of this under one mahoosive roof (well, building).

For my talk session, I chose “How to make decisions with confidence”, which was presented by professional Life Coach, Dr Mandy Lehto. There were so many other talks I would have loved to attend, but you were guaranteed one talk and then first come first serve basis for any other(s). Ranging from talks about how to get on the property ladder, to how to turn your part time blog to a full time job and even workshops on coding!

Lets not forget the trending catwalk show hosted by Swarovski. In September I went for LFW and missed my runway show slot, devastated much! You can only imagine my excitement to get another opportunity to watch a runway show. Whats best about the Stylist catwalk though is everything the models wore were from high street shops, so if you liked anything, you knew it was easily accessible and most importantly…affordable.

 I have included some photos to share my experience. Also, my awesome Clarins mini freebies makeup bag (received post initial purchase. I think they are an awesome skincare brand personally). Just to add, in no way is this a sponsored mention. I truly do.

But without further ado, here’s what’s trending for A/W 2016. Thank me later!

Trend 1: Intergalactic

Trend 2: Velvet Goldmine

Trend 3: Sportswear

Trend 4: The Navy Coat

Trend 5: Spice World

I also hear that Stylist Live 2017 will be held at London Olympia for those looking to go!

xXx

How to be a #GIRLBOSS (or #DUDEBOSS)

During my many travels (bored at airport), I came across this book #GIRLBOSS which I remembered a good friend (independent motivated young woman) of mine had recommended .Trusting her judgement, I made a purchase. Do not judge the book by its cover, men can apply this too.

girlboss

Disclaimer: Image from Google Search

I like to think of myself as a fairly independent woman. And I very much admire people who are in influential, entrepreneurial positions and career driven, especially when they are women. So imagine my excitement in finding a book offering an insight into the mind of not just any entrepreneur, but a successful female entrepreneur (with a net worth of $280 million),who had worked hard literally from scratch till this very day.

The book provides huge insight into the successes and failures of Nasty Gal clothing CEO, founder and entrepreneur Sophia Amoruso. It is extremely motivating to read and most of all, so “real”. Real, relating to every piece of advice, the down to earth tone and even to the downright cringe-worthy stories shared by someone so successful. Portraying a CEO in a way you probably never imagined.

In the spirit of sharing and uplifting other women AND men, (especially helping out those who dislike reading), these are key lessons that stood out to me while reading the book:

Note to self:

1. People need to be led, regardless of age, position and status. Even people who may have years of experience over you. Never underestimate yourself. Experience is key, but your ideas are unique to you! especially when starting up Your Own business.

#GirlBoss Snippet: Sophia experienced this when she found herself hiring individuals who were older and had decades more experience than she did. But, Nasty Gal was HER vision, therefore she had so much to share and teach those individuals.  If you have ever found yourself feeling intimidated or even clueless compared to those around you, just remember that.

2. Idolise no one. Learn from other people, but do not idolise them. This hinders your own creativity, uniqueness and views (which could be much better than theirs).

#GirlBoss Snippet: Sophia mentioned that she did not idolise a single person, she never had an idol. And look how she turned out.

3. “Don’t ever grow up. Don’t become a bore. Don’t ever let the Man get to you“. The man, refers to anyone, don’t let anyone drag you down. Ignore the haters. Cliché as it may be,do not lose your focus. Never let anyone tear you down to uplift themselves.

#GirlBoss Snippet: Sophia stayed true to herself every step of the way, nothing influenced her perception of how she wanted things to turn out. She did not conform or give in. Especially when being bullied and falsely accused of misconduct on eBay by other sellers.

4. Be prepared. For success beyond your own expectation. AND failures. BUT remember “there are secret opportunities hidden in every failure“.

#GirlBoss Snippet: Sophia started her business on eBay. Sophia got kicked off of eBay. (She openly states that she got kicked off because she posted up hyperlinks which were not allowed on eBay).Sophia now manages her own website.

5. Every day is a learning opportunity to grow. And when growing you can’t grow alone, keep the right people close to you. Team work makes the dream work, you never know who could support making your dream a reality!

#GirlBoss Snippet: In building her brand, Sophia was supported by her network. Friends who were photographers, friends who would model for her, etc.

6. You may not be where you want to be, but you will end up where you’re meant to be (original phrase by Douglas Adams).

#GirlBoss Snippet: Sophia was in numerous menial roles prior to Nasty Gal’s birth, but they were all stepping-stones, providing her with an opportunity to research into or learn something that would help build her own brand. Although this was all unknown to her at the time.

7. Spend wisely, sell things for more than you spend for them and save more than you spend. Sometimes having the option is better than owning the option (Because you can afford it doesn’t mean you must buy it. Money looks so much better saved!

#GirlBoss Snippet: Sophia, although oh so capable, of avoiding a Porsche, actually purchased a second-hand car as her first. Main point to me in the book was when she said the satisfaction that comes from buying that FIRST car, never matches up to the satisfaction or pleasure that comes with buying a second or replacement (if you sold the first) car. I mean yeah a Porsche is brilliant, but I completely GET that meeting a NEED is so much more pleasurable than satisfying a WANT. Save and spend wisely.

FYI, She eventually did get the Porsche.

8. Save 10% of your income AND If you want something, ask for it. If it’s a pay rise, first ask yourself if you deserve it. Separate your money from your emotion.

#GirlBoss Snippet: Sophia essentially said be true to yourself and speak up if you want something, but also remember to be able to prove that you have worked hard and deserve it. Advice straight from the mouth of a CEO.

Still working on the saving 10% idea, I think it’s a good target to set yourself though. Did i mention that Sophia started GirlBoss with no debt, loan, nothing? Great start to owning a business.

9. “Sometimes it pays to spend a little more than you bargained for on real quality“.

#GirlBoss Snippet: Sophia mentioned that as an employer, same applies as above. If your employee is deserving, award them that promotion. Do not always wait for the ask. After all, it is an investment in yourself (and your service or product etc).

10. You aren’t lucky, you made magic

#GirlBoss Snippet: You get back what you put out in life and in work. Focus on the positive things in your life ONLY. This doesn’t only relate to a job and your efforts. If you are a negative person you put your life in a negative perspective. If you focus on the positive, positive things start happening. (If you don’t read the book, at least read chapter 6. I simply cannot summarise it. By far the best chapter).

11. Be unapologetically You.

#GirlBoss Snippet: When reading through the book, you see that Sophia stayed true to herself, her beliefs, her Vision. She took on all advice, but applied only where relevant to HER dream.

12. “Dive head-first into things without being too attached to the results. When your goal is to gain experience, perspective and knowledge, failure is no longer a possibility

#GirlBoss Snippet: That quote from the book is brilliant! and something I myself need to remember. We always stay so focused on what the outcome could be that we restrain ourselves from challenges with worry. Rather than thinking What If I FAIL, think, What IF I learn a new skill, what IF I can apply this in another aspect of my life, What IF I meet great people…the list is endless.

13. You belong anywhere you want to be. Never feel as though you don’t belong.

#GirlBoss Snippet: Sophia shared this self-doubt in relation to when she met her first investor. Especially in work environments with your business sponsor, your senior colleague, the CEO… Don’t be anyone but you. You are in that very situation because you are YOU. Unapologetically.

14. As a CEO  or senior in a company. Every action you make is suggestive. Do not get drunk on your own success.

#GirlBoss Snippet:Sophia mentions that when you are in a position of leadership you have to consider your actions. If you get in a lift (elevator) and speak only to one individual. This suggests that the individual is more important than anyone else in the lift. Innocent as it may seem. You are motivating and leading by example in your every move.

15. Ask questions till you don’t have to ask questions anymore. Knowledge is power. 

#GirlBoss Snippet: I love Sophia’s reference to a meeting she had where she had asked multiple questions. Her point was, she doesn’t care how stupid she may seem by asking multiple times or silly questions, her concern is to understand.

I seriously, seriously, struggled to stop at 15. There are some really useful pointers, not to forget chapters with advice on CVs (resume) and cover letters. I couldn’t possibly start writing up on all without stealing Sophia’s shine. However, for those who would rather watch a show than read, I hear Netflix are starting a series based on Nasty Gal.

I am very much about self-development in any way shape or form, especially when its entertaining, so here’s hoping this uplifted you, or at least got you thinking!

xXx

10 Pointers on Managing and Accepting Change as an Expat

If you are an expat, consultant, international student, business traveller, travel enthusiast or just purely interested in hearing about other people’s experiences, then this ones for you.

In my last post I mentioned that work took its toll and I slacked off in other aspects of my life, blog included. I found myself living and working in multiple locations over the past two years; New York, Switzerland, Luxembourg, to name a few.

The number of times I’ve had people say. “You’re so lucky”, “OMG – that is amazing”…I would bet one in five people who read this would also say same.

But you’re wrong, for starters I am not Lucky (see Point 10 if you dare skip 1 to 9).

Jet d'eau

Geneva (TheLittleLushThings)

It is difficult managing the balance of your personal and work life. More so, when five days a week of it is spent, for varied (min 6 month) duration’s, living in a different country. Away from family, friends, hobbies, life conveniences, boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife….most importantly YOUR haven. Truth is, no amount of comments like the above can compensate for the things you miss out on at home (living in a hotel is not lush in the long term) and the strain it puts on relationships (especially if married).

Put it this way, I travelled 3 times a week between three different countries, stayed in a hotel and worked long hours. It was tiring. I fell ill, had emotional down days and barely ever had time to focus on me, especially cause when I had down time I wanted to use zero brain power. I would fly home every Friday night, get stuck in traffic and spend what was meant to be my weekend, running errands and trying to rest for the following week.

Sounds draining doesn’t it? Read on.

NYC

New York (TheLittleLushThings)

What I have failed to mention is the immense growth I’ve seen, not only in my career, but in myself and the great people, places and things I’ve gotten to experience! So to counteract the negative outlook above, here are some pointers to survival till that (final) glorious trip home:

  • POINT 1: You become so devoted to your career that you gain a huge amount of skills. I have never been so confident in my self worth as an employee and individual! See this time as an investment in yourself.
  • POINT 2: You build amazing relationships and network connections which can be great for your career and potential future endeavours.
  • POINT 3: Foodie Heaven! If you are anything like me and enjoy going out to eat, you WILL BE SERVED. I have been to some of the most amazing restaurants during my time as an expat. Try out new cuisines!
  • POINT 4: Explore. I have taken some of the most beautiful scenic photos (some within this post) and selfies during my travels. There are so many beautiful picturesque places to see. Take pictures, build memories, see things you’ve never seen.
  • POINT 5: Exchange rate benefits, Duty Free and Air Miles. If you don’t mind saving a few while shopping, then this is a perk for you. Get every penny’s worth and stack up those miles. See you in the lounge!
  • POINT 6: New experiences. It is most likely a country you have never been to or that was on your bucket list. Tick off that travel location.
  • POINT 7: Your CV looks good-as-hell! Jet-setter! That’s a skill right? Everyone likes a flexible, adaptable employee.
  • POINT 8: Get family or friends to come visit. Free hotel anyone?
  • POINT 9: You most likely are having your expenses covered. Get to saving, even if it’s just your weekly petrol cost. Money looks so much better when its saved!
  • POINT 10: Why am I not Lucky? Because Luck just doesn’t cut it.

I am incredibly blessed and working my magic! And so should You!

Luxembourg

Luxembourg (TheLittleLushThings)

I am incredibly blessed by my faith and work my magic through my hard work! My magic is what makes me unique, my magic is the hard work and time I put into developing myself and my ambition.

My magic is me.

Therefore, it isn’t luck, which suggests ‘by chance’. It’s magic ‘by choice’, by performance.

Every experience you have in a changing situation or circumstance is as a result of YOUR own magic!

More on ‘magic’ (and my current craze on it) to follow in my next post! Thanks for reading.

xXx

Taking back Control

I always find that my best ideas, motivation, thoughts, concerns, inspiration, to-do lists… spring to mind 30,000+ feet in the air. If only I was more proactive in noting these down.

My (3 x Weekly) Flight Routine:

1. Take off.

2. Headphones on.

3. Idea or thought comes to mind.

4. Zzz. Snooze.

Today, 33 000 feet high, I made a change to step 4. Hallelujah.

I started this blog way too long ago and I have to say I didn’t commit to it like I would have hoped. Tut.

My last post was about a trip to Paris and my experience while there. Since then I have found myself living (mostly working) in different countries and doing a lot of growing up.

Why on earth have I not been sharing? I hear my inner conscience scream.

I ask the most obvious question to myself. Work is demanding, life is demanding. I am losing control over my own life and losing time for other things I like to do.

And if you’re anything like me, you struggle with juggling it all. But I am seeking to make this minor change, as a first step to breaking out of my ‘usual’ routine and hopefully making major changes.

I find writing to be a nice escape from life’s daily demands and an opportunity to talk about things I would like to speak on (hopefully things others like to read about too).

So here we go…. Round 2. The Return of the Blog. Wish me luck!

Message of the day: You are in control of your own life. Stay Motivated, Self discipline.

Paris C’est Magnifique!

I’m casually sat in Costa, favourite leggings on with a baggy white tee, enjoying the best cappuccino in the World…and then it hit me! I haven’t blogged about Paris!

About a weekend or so ago, I went to Paris for the first time Ever! It’s been a long time coming, but I finally did!

For those who haven’t been, it’s so beautiful! I cannot seem to muster up the right words to describe it in a way that would portray it in the manner that it deserves. Forget pictures or what you’ve heard, the view plus the accompanied feeling when you arrive is simply indescribable.

And might I add, there is Nothing sexier than French spoken in France! The language sounded so much more delicious, that’s right I said delicious! 😉

I went by Eurostar, which is about 2 and a half hours. Shortest two hours of my life if you ask me, spent sipping on Sauvignon blanc, feasting on cheese and crackers… maybe a Rhubarb pie too which was topped with a bit of goss.

Upon arriving at Gard du Nord, I got a cab to the Loft where I was staying at avenue des Champs-Élysées. That is right where the Arc de Triomphe is located! Champs-Élysées is known for its theatres, cafés and luxury shops. It is also centrally located to all tourist attractions, making it the perfect location to be situated for those wishing to shop or tour.

Avenue des Champs-Elysees

Avenue des Champs-Elysees: Spot the Arc de Triomphe

The Loft was right on top of what was almost a mini shopping centre, so I was able to feast my eyes just a teeny bit. The balcony view from the apartment was spectacular, nothing beats the view of Champs-Élysées at night and having the Beacon light at the peak of the Eiffel Tower rotate and reflect right before your eyes…super exciting! It felt absolutely romantic. Now I see why some people have chosen this as a proposal spot.

Balcony View: Avenue des Champs-Elysees

Balcony View: Avenue des Champs-Elysees

Balcony  View: Spot the peak of the Eiffel Tower

Balcony View: Spot the peak of the Eiffel Tower and the Beacon beam

Did I also mention the balcony serves as a fantastic view for the Tour De France? Amazing. Don’t even get me started on the decor…

My first night in Paris was spent at Soixante Dix Neuf (79) club for dancing and drinks. I can’t say it was the best club I’ve ever been to….but hey in Paris everything’s that much better!

The next day started off with a late brunch at L’Atelier Renault, a restaurant overlooking Champs-élysées, which also showcases year round exhibitions for Renault. It was the perfect setting to take in Paris and enjoy a meal. And as a  true Londoner in Paris, I ordered the fish and chips! Ha. If I’m to be completely honest, none of the main courses really appealed to me. The cod was delicious though! Following on from brunch….

Fish and Chips at L'Atelier Renault

Fish and Chips at L’Atelier Renault

I can’t say I toured Paris as well as I’d have liked to, as I didn’t get to see all its iconic attractions. But I ensured the Eiffel Tower was ticked off my list. After all, you haven’t been to Paris if you haven’t seen that!

It looks so much prettier at night, but during the day is just as astonishing. I did not get to climb up it, but I will do. Perhaps on visit 3, visit 2 has to be me covering all attractions. My first visit was more of an impromptu last minute trip that surprised me myself.

En route to the Eiffel Tower: I was so excited!

En route to the Eiffel Tower: I was so excited!

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

I also got a close up of the Arc de Triomphe. It was so close that I could have hardly missed it and missing it would have been ridiculous. While in full tourist mode, I came across this awesome group of people who had cycled all the way from London, they were so energetic and full of life that I had to take a picture of them (funny story, see the vent-like thing they are standing on, well I wish someone would have told me I’d have a ‘Marilyn Monroe’ moment while walking over it so I could have at Least struck a pose!ha).

Cyclers from London

Cyclers from London

The architecture in Paris is so picturesque, I need to go on a proper tour to indulge in the history behind every single architectural piece because they truly are sights to behold.

Arc De Triomphe: Up close

Arc De Triomphe: Up close

If I had any tips to share for a trip to Paris;
1. Have a minimum of €200 to spend (ideal for a weekend trip).
2. Be sure to roam your phone. Wifi in the hotel alone will just not cut it.
3. A French speaking app or a language guide will be Super handy. Parisians aren’t particularly willing to speak English. Either that or not many of them can.
4. Don’t forget your Passport and European Health card, or some sort of health insurance.

Those are the essentials. Forget clothing and all other things you think you need. Without the above you could be cooking up a disaster. Okay I’m being a tad bit dramatic, but really these should be top of the list.

Quick fun fact to share, on my journey back to Gard du Nord, I went through a street called Boulevard de Clichy. In my mind all I thought was “goodness, why are there so many sex shops”. Literally shop by shop had something sex related. I quickly made a mental note to look into this later on Google. Well, turns out Boulevard de Clichy is a famous street in Paris known for it’s bustling night life, numerous strip bars, cabarets, sex shops and the Museum of Erotica. Oh and wait for it….it is also the home to the famous Moulin Rouge. Can you believe it! I was so close and missed it! How devastating!

On the bright side, at least I’m a bit more knowledgeable for my next trip 🙂 All in all Paris was fabulous and I would definitely go again.

Have a great weekend.

xoxoxo

I joined the Kale Klub!

You must have heard about it somehow now! The infamous Kale that everyone seems to be putting in practically everything they eat…or drink!

For those who don’t know. Lesson 101, Kale is a veggie (non veggie lovers don’t get turned off just yet)! Kale is packed with vitamins K, A and C, calcium, among other nutritious goodness. A major fact which many may love to hear is that it is fat free and low in calories (I honestly thought all veggies were but hey, I’m no nutritionist, merely sharing what I read myself). To find out more about Kale, click here.

So I’m no fan of vegetables. I have no problem eating them, but I’m not one to go out for a ‘salad’. I’d rather have my veggies cooked in some type of sauce or sauteed..don’t get me wrong I do appreciate a good salad and have settled for salads on rare occasions. Balsamic dressing is delish after all!

Putting aside all nutritional facts and all that jazz. Let’s jump right into the good stuff, which coincidentally involves the use of Kale and a particularly amazing electric machine which I’m so excited about. I find that these days I’m very much into healthy living and eating, way more than I was before, which for me is a big change. Hallelujah!

Right down from anti gravity yoga, to grabbing lunch at all the healthy hot spots and even trying to get into the healthy groove; running shoes, check, 7am run, WIP…hah 😉 As a result of the newly found me, I decided to indulge/give in to the kale hype. I figure if you’re not going to eat your veggies, might as well drink your veggies…right?

After trying a kale smoothie, I had to try making one for myself. Kale has a strong flavour, so if blending in with other fruits or vegetables, it is advisable to keep it to just a handful. Too much and you may end up with a bitter or should I say a strong tangy type taste in your smoothie, that honestly just takes all the fun away. I’ve done this, so I know. Keep it at a generous handful and you’re good.

You can blend your kale with any fruits or vegetables of your choice. Recipes for cooking kale and smoothie ideas can be found here. In my strive for a healthier life and to make the process slightly more convenient, I recently purchased a ‘mix and go’ smoothie maker by Russell Hobbs. There are various brands you can buy these in, simply search for ‘personal blenders’ on Google. I love it so much as it’s SO convenient! You basically blend your fruit and veg in the same container/bottle that you drink from. All you have to do is replace the blade with the bottle cover and you’re good to go! I love this, as it’s perfect for morning journeys to work and if you’re anything like me and barely have any time to fit in breakfast time saving techniques are always welcomed.

Blender and Bottle in One

Blender and Bottle in One

Russell Hobbs Mix and Go

My first Kale smoothie:

  • Curly Kale (generous handful, wash well)
  • Cucumbers
  • Nectarines
  • Blackberries
  • Apples, Oranges, grapes, strawberries and pineapple (ready made pack).
  • Ice
  • Half a lemon’s juice
Spot the Kale

Spot the Kale

Ready to Go

Shake it up and it’s Ready to Go

You can also buy prepacked frozen fruit, that will be more cost efficient and provide you with a nice variety of fruit. I’ve tried with frozen fruit packs and it tastes just as good.

On the plus side, you’re bound to be fulfilling your 5-a-day, no excuses!

Xoxox

National Lipstick day

Nothing beats coloured lips! These days I can barely stand my lips without a hint of colour!

So when I learnt it was National Lipstick Day, I figured it was a great excuse to put on colour’s I otherwise wouldn’t wear on a normal day to work…excited much! Yes, very much so that I’ve decided to write a blog post mid week (unusual, but this should really change).

What’s all the fuss behind the day? Well, we are celebrating 91 years of the lipstick tube. It is quite funny the history behind lipsticks, from being regarded as something used by only lower class women and prostitutes….to being such a statement look in modern day! I won’t give you a history lesson, but here is a link to an interesting article on National Lipstick Day and all it’s glory! Truly amusing!

There’s no better opportunity than the present to share my fave lipstick/lip gloss shades…

Lipstick Shades

Lipstick Shades

These have to be my 5 favourite lipsticks. One from each of our most treasured lipstick gangs; Red, Plum/Purple, Peach, Pink and Nude. Whenever I’m caught wearing lipstick, it’s most likely to be one of the above. See details below for each, listed in line with picture above:

Red- W7 Scarlet Fever! This lipstick is amazing, I kid you not, it lasts forever. I’ve been out with it too many times and whenever I pop to the loo to freshen up I NEVER need to top it up. It literally lasts the whole night. The most frustrating thing is having to constantly check your lipstick is still in place when you’re out just trying to enjoy yourself…if you are anything like me, I detest having to check my lips when out, I just want to have fun. If you’re into the more expensive brands, I’d vouch for the Russian Red MAC lipglass, ditch the Woo ladies!

Plum- Kate Rimmel 30! My new fave. It makes such a sultry mellow statement…I love it. The perfect substitute to your regular bold red lippy. See pictures below, I shared this look cause it’s That good 😉 I HAD too! Excuse the not so great pics!

Plum Plump

Plump Plum

Plum Perfect

Plum Perfect

Rimmel Kate 30

Rimmel Kate 30

Peach – Bourjois Color Boost 04 Peach on the Beach! This is actually my latest buy, I love this for an every day look. It’s so simple but gives the hint 0f colour I was talking about earlier. It has a nice moist feel on the lips and glides on nicely. Nothing like a regular lipstick, looks like a crayon but works just as great as a lipstick. If I’m correct this comes in three other colours (and yes I shall invest in another soon). It’s also quite new I believe, pop into Boots to grab one!

Pink- TopShop Clueless Lipstick ! Similar to the Bourjois, this comes as a crayon as well. It’s such a playful and bold shade of pink. Not for the faint hearted me dear! I was hunting for a Nicki Minaj type shade of pink so when I found this I could not resist. Mostly a weekend look!

Nude – L’Oreal 601 Nude ballet! For me this is the perfect nude shade with just the right amount of gloss. Picking the right shade of nude can be tricky business as I’ve found some just look so ‘wrong’ on…almost white-ish! The horror! I’m still on the conquest for a nude lipstick as this is more of a lip gloss to me. Packaging is pretty basic, but the brush/spatula type applicator is pretty cool.

Some great tips for making your lips look luscious for longer can be found here! If you’re like me and most other woman who suffer countless problems with lipsticks and keeping them on your lips and off your teeth, you’d appreciate this! Thank me later!

Have a great week guys!

xoxoxox