28 June 2017

6 Mindfulness Exercises For Beginners

If you follow me on social media, you might have noticed that I recently visited one of my favourite childhood places The Elan Valley. It was such a beautiful day and really reminded me how important it is to be present and not to be racing a million miles ahead all the time. In short Mindfulness is a practise that originated in Buddhism and is a simple form of meditation that focuses on the present moment, as well as your feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations. It's a practise that has been around for a long time now, but has definitely gathered momentum in the fact that it is now a proven way to help with stress, depression, anxiety as well as promoting a more healthier and positive lifestyle. The reason why I love practising Mindfulness, is because it restores my senses, puts me back in the present moment and it really doesn't take that long to do! I often get put off timely practises, as more often than not I'm here there and everywhere. I have put together 6 of my favourite Mindfulness Tips, which are perfect for beginners wanting to make a positive difference in your life. 

1 - Shower Meditation
Mindfulness is so easy to slot into your day to day life and one of my favourite practises is shower meditation. Every time you have a shower take sometime to close your eyes and visualise washing away your stress and anxiety. Concentrate on feel of the water upon your skin and notice any scents of textures of products that you may be using. As the water falls from your skin envisage any negativity you may be feeling going down the drain. 

2 - Mindfulness App
I couldn't be without the Mindfulness App, it's such a fantastic way to practise mindfulness just a few minutes a day. It also alerts you throughout the day to take a few minutes too yourself, as well as bunch of super inspiring tips and tricks. My favourite thing to do is the "Bodyscan" which takes under four minutes, but brings me back to a relaxed and present state of mind. 

3 - Colouring 
Colouring is a great relaxation tool. There are so many fantastic adult colouring books, which you can purchase online and on the high street. It's such a popular thing to do these days, I remember when Daniel thought I was crazy when I brought home a colouring book. However, if you're like me and you're a bit of a messy when it comes to colouring then there are also some fantastic apps, which I find equally relaxing and easy to incorporate into my very "techy" lifestyle. 

4 - Get In Touch With Nature 
Getting outside is one of the very best ways to recharge your soul and get those endorphins flowing. Taking note of the scenery, the smells and the feeling of so many different sensations is the perfect way to naturally calm down and give back to yourself.

5 - Bodyscan 
As I mentioned above my favourite mindfulness practise at the moment is the Bodyscan. The purpose of the body scan is to simply notice your body. You might have a lot on or things on your mind, which usually results in trying to distract yourself by running away with ourselves. The bodycan helps to bring you back to the present moment and appreciate how calm "right now" can really be if you just pay close attention.

6 - Practise breathing
Last, but not least and as obvious as it sounds breathing is quite a technique! I know for a fact that when I'm not exercising much when I do go back to the gym, my breathing is all over the place! It's similar with mindfulness. Stress and various other situations can induce shallow and uncomfortable breathing. However, by simply focusing on your breathing technique you can really help to ease any stress or anxiety that might be lingering over you. Begin by paying attention to what one breath feels like and the sensations and movements of your body, soon you will begin to feel more at ease.

I hope you've enjoyed this post about my favourite mindful practises that have really helped me over the past 18 months. Each time I start to feel a little overwhelmed, I devote some time to being mindful and the difference it makes is really noticeable. Being mindful can literally take you a minute and isn't something that is hard to fit into your day to day lifestyle, it's all about giving yourself a much deserved break.

Lots of Love

10 June 2017

The Skincare Directory 2017

Skincare is a real passion of mine and an area that I have also worked in. I'm by no means an expert, but as requested by Twitter I have put together a directory of my all-time favourite skincare products, which I would recommend in a heartbeat. 

Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel 
Elemis Pro Collagen Cleansing Balm 
Emma Hardie Amazing Face Cleansing Balm 
Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm 
L'Oreal Fine Flowers Cleansing Milk 
Elemis Smart Cleanse Micellar Water
 Clarins One Step Peach Cleanser
Garnier Micellar Water 

Elemis Gentle Rose Exfoliator 
Polaar IcePure Gentle Scrub with Arctic Cotton 
Origins Modern Friction

Pixi Glow Tonic 
Alpha Liquid Gold 

Elemis Soothing Apricot Toner
La Roche Posay Serozinc
Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair
Superdrug Simply Pure Hydrating Serum

Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief
Origins Make A Difference + 
Decleor OR Excellence 

Vita Liberata Self Tanning Night Moisture Mask
Charlotte Tilbury The Goddess Skin Clay Mask 
Origins Original Skin Retexturising Mask
Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask
Elemis Herbal Lavender Repair Mask
Sanctuary Spa 5 Minute Thermal Detox Mask 
Oskia Renaissance Mask 
Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask 

Jurlique Skin Balancing Face Oil
Emma Hardie Brilliance Facial Oil 
Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil 
Decleor Aromessence Ylang Ylang Purifying Oil

Odacite Eye Contour Serum Concentrate (Baobab + Sarsaparilla) 
Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream
Origins Eye Doctor 
Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Cream

Nuxe Reve De Miel Balm

I will keep adding to this list throughout the year and will keep my Twitter up to date with any new additions! Please feel free to ask me any questions on any of the products listed in the comments section below.

Lots of Love 

Celebrate Good Times With Dartington Crystal

There has been an awful lot going on in the world recently, a lot of which quite frankly is terrifying. However, as the #OneLoveManchester concert so wonderfully demonstrated... Celebrating even in times of adversity can only bring positivity and love in yours and other people's lives.

Dartington Crystal provide exquisite designs in crystal and glass. Hand crafted in Devon, Dartington is now the only Crystal brand still producing in the UK. Combining eye-catching appeal with sleek and elegant designs, Dartington Crystal make the perfect choice for your home or as a gift.

I was lucky to receive two beautiful Gold Celebration Flutes from the Dartington Glitz Collection. Handmade, intricate and decorated with stunning Swarovski elements, these Flutes make the perfect celebratory gift. They would be absolutely perfect for an anniversary, wedding or moving in gift or even a special birthday gift for your nearest and dearest. The quality is absolutely fantastic and for £45 for two flutes, you also get a contemporary gift box, which really does add to the glamour of these gorgeous toasting flutes.

I can't wait to use these and I think I'm going to save them for my moving in celebrations! 

Do you have any big celebrations coming up soon?

Lots of Love
PR Sample

4 June 2017

A Hidden Gem - Cotswold House Hotel and Spa Review

The past few weeks have been highly stressful for me and one of those periods of times where everything seems to want to hit you at once. I've always been resilient and able to get my head down and focus on moving forward, but recently I have been quite poorly which has really knocked me for six and has left me often feeling tired and lacklustre. I decided last minute that I really needed to getaway, and who better to ask than my lovely older sister! She is a spa day pro and I knew that we would have a great day if I left it up to her to find somewhere for us to relax and spend quality time together. One of her favourite hidden gems is the Cotswolds House Hotel and Spa a quaint, contemporary boutique hotel situated in the stunning English village Chipping Campden.
We started off our day with a champagne lunch at one of the hotels restaurants, The Bistro. We both opted for the Chicken Breast dish, which was lovely and a nice size for lunch. We also had dessert and both had a delicious Frangipane and Rhubarb Tart with Clotted Cream, which was delicious. It was a really nice and relaxed setting and the staff were fantastic. I've never been to Chipping Campden before and with it's rustic charm it made for the perfect day of escapism.
Once we were done with our lunch we headed through the secret garden path to the spa, which in itself was a relaxing and wonderful experience. My sister has been to the spa many times before and has always really enjoyed it, so I was excited to try it for myself. The spa is situated within a stunning coach house styled building and right from the moment we stepped through the front door I could feel a sense of calm that was assured by the lovely staff who were there to greet us with a warm smile. We headed into the relaxation area to fill out our consultation forms, once done we were greeted by our therapists and taken to our individual treatment rooms. 

My therapist Hayley was extremely warm and welcoming, as well as being very professional. Once we had had an initial chat about my needs, I was left to undress and prepare for my full body massage. I've had a lot of lovely massages, but this is the best full body that I've ever had. It was honestly fantastic and the attention to detail was the best I have ever experienced. I could feel the stress and tension evaporating from my body as my therapist used her techniques to really target my troublesome areas. Once my massage was done (I never wanted it to end) I went back to the relaxation area where I met my sister after her treatment. We were treated to a delicious little pot of sorbet and a glass of Prosecco, which was a lovely way to finish off both of our treatments.

We then made our way to the facilities to enjoy the rest of our day. The hydro pool was fantastic and I spent a lot of time relaxing in the pool and taking in the lovely surroundings. Overall, Cotswold House Hotel and Spa was just what I needed! It's not a huge spa, but I really liked the fact it was more quaint and personal, as it allowed me to truly relax. It's true, the best things come in small packages!  

Once again a huge thanks to the fantastic team at Cotswold House Hotel and Spa for making both of our days truly relaxing and memorable. I would highly recommend visiting!

Lots of Love
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