Lifestyle - ways to live a healthier, happier life
Notes and ideas on how to lead a healthier, happier life are all rounded up here on this page with my lifestyle blogs. Expect beauty articles, product reviews, healthy recipe suggestions and easy tweaks to your day to day routine.
Notes and simple ideas on how to lead a healthier, happier life
Last weekend, I caught up with two girlfriends I met whilst living in Germany. We had previously settled on having two nights in London, staying in the Notting Hill area. Having researched properties to rent for a couple of nights through AirBnB.com and Homeaway.co.uk, we had found a place that was unintentionally opposite the Blue Door in the film Notting Hill for a very good price. Based on Westbourne Park Road, it was a great location. Not only because it was easy for all of us from our various starting points, but it was literally just off Portobello Road with all its buzz.
Given what happened in London this week, I felt like I couldn't publish my usual blogs without mentioning the terror attack on Westminster on Wednesday. With that in mind, I thought I'd list the things I love about London.
This week, I was lucky enough to go to Soho Farmhouse with one of my oldest friends Miss. T. Luckier still, we were blessed with sunny weather and warm temperatures that made this country outpost of the Soho House chain even more idyllic than it already is. Set within rolling hills near Chipping Norton, on the outskirts of the village of Great Tew, Soho Farmhouse is about an hour and a half from London and a completely decadent slice of heaven.
I love looking at the interiors section of any shop. All the better if the shop itself is dedicated to all things beautiful for home living. Over the years, with my moving house every other time the earth goes round the sun, I have learnt to holdback from buying a shop's entire range the moment I get a new abode's keys. I have learnt the hard way that it's better to live in a place first before decking it out in furniture and home furnishings from top to bottom.
So for this week's top 10, I have listed my favourite online interiors stores - suitable for a wide range of budgets.
At the weekend, I was lucky enough to visit a friend of mine who is living for a short while in the beautiful foot hills of the Midi Pyrenees near the town of Saint Girons. Having been before, it was the perfect destination for me and my burgeoning bump as the littlest things take all the energy from me at the moment. By visiting somewhere I knew well, and with a short flight, any crazy pregnancy worries were allayed, and I found myself flying from Heathrow to Toulouse on a Friday night.
Brunch is my favourite meal of the week, without question. By its very nature, it means that I have time to relax with little time pressure to be elsewhere as it is an inherently lazy meal given that it is a morning ritual. If it's on a Sunday morning, more is the better as I find that is when my family is at its most chilled. For this week's top 10 on This Is Carrt, I have chosen the recipes I enjoy making and eating most - beware some are healthier than others! But after a Sunday morning run, all can be a guilt free pleasure. Must remember that in future.
Back in the day, the point of a pub was simply to be a destination to have a few drinks and perhaps chew the cud with a friend. These days, pubs' food offering is equally, if not more, of a draw than what ales it has on offer. Whilst, as a food lover, I'm all for this, I do have a number of gripes with the nu wave of gastro pubs that charge through the nose, not because their food is exemplary, but because their walls are the current in vogue colour of grey from Farrow and Ball. Recently, I have visited a number of pubs that have happily not fallen into this category and instead, I have dined out exceedingly well at pubs that are sadly not walking distance from my home. That being said, they were definitely worth the drive.
I don't know about you, but my skin is in need of a change of season about a month earlier than the environment has planned - with or without global warming. Winter has taken its toll and my face needs some warmer spring climes and a little bit of sun right this minute. Not in March, when we are due to welcome the change in season.
I've tried to keep the fact that I'm pregnant off my blog. For many reasons, I did not want to divulge it, but it's so painfully obvious now (I'm, fingers crossed, due in three months) that I felt I simply could not ignore it anymore. Plus I wanted to write down just how overwhelming not only the prospect of pregnancy and having a child is, but simply the breadth and depth of information available to us is. Whilst writing this post will add to such info, I thought I'd impart some things I have so far learnt on the most superficial of matters: how to dress stylishly when pregnant.
Whilst I lived in Germany with my husband for two years, I learnt a great many things. I can now drink a whole stein of beer and hold my own, I can make a mean schnitzel, I can drive fast without the fear of god running through me, and I also learnt to love a spa. Interestingly, for a woman, I always found spas a bit 'and what next?'. I think I found it hard to realise that the whole point of going was not activity, but just indulging in doing absolutely nothing. Apologies if I'm telling you how to skin a cat here, but the point of spas genuinely passed me by up until I moved to the North Rhine Westphalia area.
2016 was a year of highs and lows for me - all of which taught me something. From the sublime: my outlook and what I wanted from life. To the ridiculous: that I can never really give up carbs and travel wise, what I shall be repeating and what never to mention again. Given that I want this blog to be helpful to other people than just myself, I've written here my tongue in cheek, top tips for travel in 2017 as opposed to listing my new year's resolutions regarding my waistline and other such personal matters.
The English capital is a fantastic city to visit at any time of year, but at Christmas there are even more wonderful things to do in London. I've listed my top tips
Every year as Christmas approaches, I promise myself that I won't almost kill myself by socialising every night in the run up to the big day. Every year as Christmas approaches, I fail. In the past, I have found that continuing on like this, whilst working during the day, means if I am not careful, that by the time the 25th December arrives, my skin is grey, my hair is greasy at the roots and dry at the ends, and my nails are brittle.
Etsy is such a great place for so many reasons. One is the abundance of ludicrously priced art that is on offer that suits so many tastes, styles and interiors. Below are my top ten that I cannot recommended highly enough.
Last week, I submitted five pictures to the Royal Horticultural Society’s annual photographic competition. The snaps I entered are below and I have discussed them, where they were taken and why I submitted them. I’d love to know what my readers think – and see any floral or botanic pictures they have taken! Just contact me below!
About two years ago now, something happened to the manner in how my husband and I booked holidays. We bought a dog. Any dog owner knows that a dog is not just a dog. He or she is a member of your family and leaving them for extended periods of time beyond four hours can actually be fairly upsetting and stressful. Ideally you would take them with you wherever you go. Whilst my mongrel hasn't, in the main, always stopped me from going further afield (please see my previous two blog posts at least!), if I can come up with a feasible holiday destination that can include the mutt, I will.
Back in the depths of winter, I wrote a blog about how to tackle hand luggage limitations before going away. This week, I tackle the same issue, but with a summer holiday in mind. In particular, one that takes in a city weekend break in Verona followed by a week in Lake Garda, as that happens to be my own summer holiday this year.
I am super excited to announce that a couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be selected for the Liebster Award, which seeks to honour new bloggers by other bloggers. I had the privilege of being nominated by the lovely Anna from Postcards from the World. To take part in the award, she asked me to answer the below questions, and then go on to ask my own 11 questions to a handful of other bloggers that I would like to nominate myself.
A lovely girlfriend of mine asked me for my help recently finding an outfit for a wedding she is attending in Portugal this summer. She was told the wedding was on a beach and the men in the bridal party were wearing red chinos, so she thought it was fairly relaxed. It made me realise what a minefield dressing for a wedding can be with so many different types of venues these days and increasing deviation from the traditional white English wedding. Having been to a number over the years that varied in location, time and heat, I thought I’d give examples of what I’d wear to the following types of nuptials:
With the improvement of cameras on phones, and the huge market of DSLR and bridge cameras available, there has also been a huge influx of apps that help with photo editing, storage or social media . I find this quite overwhelming at times, but thought I would give a shout out to the apps that I use regularly and actually find useful. Across all the below apps there is one thing in common - ease of use. I am an inherently lazy person and if something is difficult or tricky to use, I simply won't use it.
Over Easter, I had a spare afternoon to do one of the things that I loathe the most: going through my wardrobe to sift the wheat from the chaff. In the past, I have found this task not only daunting, but a laborious and worthless use of my time. Mostly because I am useless at it and rarely get rid of more than a holey pair of sports socks.
My other half and I are have headed back to the UK for two reasons this Easter. One it is Easter and a time to be with family and friends. Two, we have a wedding to attend the first weekend of April of the gorgeous Mr and Mrs T to be. I can't wait. It is my first wedding of the year and signals the start of the season for me, where the other half and I live a Hugh Grant esque lifestyle from April through to the end of September. Whilst this is a tiring and expensive process, (it isn't just attending the wedding, but the hen/stag dos, the hotels, the present...the dress), I bloody love a good wedding. Here are my tips for surviving the matrimonial months unscathed.
I have just returned from five idyllic days in the ludicrously pretty Harz Mountains - a region just south of Hanover. It is a shame I haven't visited them sooner.
Owing to living 800 miles from the majority of my nearest and dearest, as well as having an insatiable appetite for travel, I have become quite adept over the years in the art of hand luggage packing for whenever I go on a trip. In the main, the key is to take layers, neutrals that can be dressed up and nothing that needs an iron. Here is what I take whenever I return to the Big Smoke or go on a city break. I will tackle summer holidays another time - but it is possible to take two weeks' worth of outfits in even Ryanair's hand luggage allowance!
With the upcoming Valentine's Day, I've put together some gift ideas to help circumnavigate any present giving minefields that people may wander into.
Whilst Valentine's Day has its drawbacks, it does afford a good excuse for a long weekend break with a loved one or friend! Below are my top picks for people who may have left any last minute gifts to the very last minute, or those who may be in need of a grand gesture, or simply those who want to get away to a great city.
For regular readers of my blog, you will know that I currently live in Germany with my husband who is stationed here with the British Army. As is the way of a military life/wife, our time here is nearing its end and we currently expect to move away in August. Bearing this in mind, I thought I would also make a German hit list to ensure I make the most of living on the continent, something which, if I am honest, I have not done so. As yet.