29.4.15

CULTIVATING SELF-AWARENESS | HH DEUX


So....Last night after the event I scurried back to my place to have a peaceful hair wash and snuggled into bed after finding myself very relaxed and at a strange sort of ease after the event.

Starting from the beginning, I was greeted by the rather friendly hotel staff at the  Hoxton, Holborn and made my way to the event space called The Apartment with it's own bar and lounge and two large, homely board rooms. On arrival, the bar staff handed myself and few other early birds our signature house pressed Hubbard and Bell juice before networking and mingling. 

With this type of event, other peoples motivations for attending really fascinates me as it doesn't necessary scream out major networking opportunity nor does it offer any sort of freebie (or one that many people would consider a freebie). A colleague of mine (who may I point out declined my offer to attend) felt it sounded slightly 'preachy' and along the same waves of therapy, which is totally fair. Tapping into people’s emotions especially communicated through a talk format can be quite personal and many would much rather go for a meal, to a bar or just simply have a chilled night in after a days work.

Meditation allows you to get to know yourself better. There is no hiding on the meditation cushion, your anger, boredom and your anxiety is present in that moment and allows you to embrace and overcome that emotion.Butttttt not for me! For myself and the 13 others that attended the talk, it was insightful and educating and actually very enjoyable and applicable to everyone’s very digital lives. The speakers Sebastian Nienaber (founder) and Palma Michel, a mindful leadership advisor did a great job to incorporate interesting facts, examples, interactive activities and key take-always to practice and be aware of in your daily life.

I think that if you are one to practice yoga and meditate, self- awareness may be something that resonates quite well as the two are heavily linked. Many of the attendees were that type of person, however It is unfortunate as a talk of this sort can be so helpful to people who don't realise it.

Self-awareness is about training your attention. Much like you would train your body at the gym using resistance methods to help build muscle, but in this case its training your mind and resisting the attention you give to passing thoughts.

By doing this, you give yourself more to the present moment, allowing you to be open to emotions in that moment keeping your body more relaxed. It will help you to optimise yourself to be your best self at that time. Going to the mental gym is the practise of meditation.


Amongst my own knowledge that that presented by Sebastian and Palma, I am making it my mission to do some sort of mind training every day, which when commuting can be quite easy. It helps break up the day with a moment of calmness before starting your professional day at work. 

Ok, so it all sounds quite deep and spiritual but it was a unique Tuesday and building up to my summer Yoga retreat and new dynamic training program it was the perfect session to keep me motivated and keep my mind on the prize...a life time of happy thoughts!


SKL

28.4.15

HACKING HAPPINESS | THE HOXTON



It's back! and I am glad to say that this year I managed to keep on top of my events, so the I could get involved. Hacking Happiness is a summit that has been developed to target the the growing number of people who are ever more intrigued by the 'self' and how the body functions. The topics include mindfulness, neuroscience, meditation, nutrition and basically all things that affect our day to day bodily functions.

This year Hacking Happiness is working alongside the Hoxton Hotel to bring us a number of talks that delve deeper into the idea of happiness and how to achieve it in today's ever digitalising, over productive world.

I am here currently writing at the newly developed Hoxton Hotel in Holborn, a sister to its original in Hoxton, where the atmosphere is liver than ever for a Tuesday. I am awkwardly sat on a iMac with the screen closer than should ever be and at I height I feel is making me feel overly short. The ergonomics are all wrong, but the interiors are mostly definitely on point!


See below the talks that are happening this year. It's is of a much smaller scale but I am hoping the content and quality will remain the same.


Check in right after the talk, peace!
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Cultivate Self-Awareness
Knowing yourself is at the heart of emotional intelligence and the first step in managing your inner landscape. Session two shows you how to create a life with self-awareness and, invites you to find out "who" instead of "what" you want to be. Together we will explore and introduce techniques how to increase awareness and unlock your true potential.

Boost Your Productivity
Our modern work life environment is dominated by information overload, 24/7 connectivity, multitasking and back-to-back meetings - the ability and space to focus has become increasingly rare. Session three introduces next practices to increase your productivity, de-clutter your life and improve your focus.

Increase Your Creativity
Creativity is a dance between what we know and what we don´t know, and it is through this dance that we make meaning of the world around us, making the unknown knowable, the unconscious conscious and the invisible visible. Session four provides inspiration on how to awaken particular states and qualities of mind that boost your creativity.

You Are What You Eat
Come down to The Hoxton, Holborn and join Hacking Happiness for a mindful breakfast. In the last workshop in our series on Mindfulness at The Hoxton, we will be discussing Mindful Eating…that's the kind of eating which doesn't involve automatically reaching for the biscuit tin, something we're all guilty of.

The session will enable you to walk away with the tools to be more aware of what you're eating, both quantity and quality. It's not a diet, it's about focusing on the diversity of ingredients, their texture and taste, to connect to the food that's nourishing our body, mind and heart. So that when you allow yourself a treat from the biscuit packet that treat stops at one biscuit and NOT the whole packet. Imagine that…
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SKL

27.4.15

THE EDIT

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I began using coconut oil around 4 years ago, way before the mad coconut oil hype, but found so many more uses for it as it become more popular amongst the clean eaters and beauty fanatics. I started out using coconut to help soften the ends of my hair as an overnight hair mask. I then went on to using the oil to soothe my eczema prone skin, which led to just using it as a post-shower oil to massage into wet skin before bed (lush).  I wouldn't recommend using this in the morning but it makes for the perfect bed ready body for a cosy night in.
I know that using coconut oil while cooking is a thing for major health driven eateries, but I tend to only use it in the odd morning smoothie or for my protein pancakes. More recently, I have got myself into a pretty gross habit of rubbing a small amount of coconut oil on my teeth as a natural whitener, which is also said to have great effects of reducing sugar cravings and aid in weight loss. Overall Coconut oil over the past year has been THE health obsession that everyone has been talking about.
It is the must-have thing in every cupboard as it will always come in handy, a bit like aloe vera.

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I have always been aware of Philosophy as a brand, but never quite took it seriously till now. I was purely being over judgemental about the packaging, as it look too simple. An amazing friend of mine currently works at the Boots head office and is constantly exposed to some amazing products and samples that she can trial and rave about to me and The Purity Cleanser was one of them. I am a sucker for going by recommendations as it is the best way to get an honest opinion of the product in question.
I used this face wash for as long as I could make it last, which was quite a long time considering the size of the bottle as the constancy is very light and fairly runny. I usually go for quite thick and harder cleansers as I personally feel that the most is being done to my skin, but this changed my thoughts completely. I loved the smell! It was clean, very fresh and natural and reminded me of rubbing all sorts of Cowshed hand lotions over my face.
It left my skin feeling refreshed, oil-free, and very soft. The perfect base before putting on any make-up.  This is all without any sort of exfoliating beads making it the perfect every day face wash.

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Next up is another friend recommended product that I am now sharing. Miccelar water is becoming a big thing in beauty for removing make-up in the most natural and softest way. This product by Garnier was amazing and I have passed it on to many friends and family. It was a pretty decent sized bottle that has lasted over 6 months for only £4.00 from Boots, but unfortunately for me and my minor eczema bursts, it slightly irritated my eyes leaving tiny little red dots.
So although it was so easy to use and the best thing to remove all face make-up, I unfortunately had to revert back to the old Simple face wipes.

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Last Christmas, Santa gifted me with my all black Tangle Teezer that is loved by everyone in my family and yes that included my dad. He has gone to the extent of sneaking down to my room to steal it and hide it in his cupboard everyday...probably until he thinks I will forget. Every evening I go back up to get it back.

It is amazing for wet hair or used as an in shower hair brush, but for me and my fair hair it doesn't do the best of work to my dry hair. The fluffy fresh look isn't really my thing but everyone's has got to have a Tangle Teezer in their life. If it wasn't your thing growing up, pick one up now.


Limited edition Lulu Guinness Teezer anyone?


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 My go to skin care brand has got to be Clarins for an everyday skincare regime. I used to use the youthful energiser range, but it is always good for the skin to shake it up every now and again, so I opted for the Iris toner and face cream. The toner is perfect for London commuters to help get rid of unwanted dirt and dead skin cells, to leave it feeling clean, fresh and even all round. I am a huge believer in toner and have been using the stuff for years, especially after commuting or a night out where my face needs an extra scrub to get rid of excess make up...it can be seriously satisfying. 

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It is likely that 80% of girls have experienced some form on the dreaded ingrown hair from shaving or waxing. It can become quite irritating and sore depending on the severity of it. The cause? Can sometimes just be blocked follicles from thick body butters or oil and sometimes from the combination of shaving and waxing.  Some people use Aloe Vera to calm it down, but this is only a temp solution. No Bumps is a pretty harsh smelling potion that helps to tackle the bad boys. Use a tiny bit on a cotton pad in the morning and before bed and watch the area clear up (after a couple of weeks).


KIELS AVOCADO EYE TREATMENT 
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I was on the hunt for a light and cooling under eye cream that would not speed up my anti-aging regime, but keep my eyes at bay, removing dark circles and restoring the youthfulness to my eyes. This Kiels eye cream is very light despite its slightly dewy consistency and appearance. All it takes is a the tiniest dab, a mix within the fingers and patted on to the area across the whole of the orbital bone. It helps brighten, firm up and energise the eye with natural avocado.

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I have been weighing up the Touch Éclat by YSL, Boiing by Benefit and the Bare Minerals concealer for a while now. I have been going back and forth to each concession counter to help make up my mind. My decision: Bare Minerals! It has amazing thick coverage with the smallest amount. The tiny little compact is almost too small but comes with a little handy mirror to dab on your concealer through out the day if needed.

ELIZABETH ARDEN'S EIGHT HOUR CREAM

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I've heard people raving on about this for years but never really knew what it was best for. I have had my little bottle for around 2 years with the odd bit of use maybe once a week. I originally set out to use the skin protectant for my lips as they get really dry in the winter months. I then shared the usage to my dry little elbows and cuticles over night as an intense moisturiser. Last year a friend of mine said she used a small amount on her face as an overnight moisture mask and it really helped to even out her skin tone. So on it I got! and will use it over blemishes and dry areas of my face throughout the year.

It is a little bit like Coconut oil in that it can be used for so many different purposes but once you have them in your cupboard, you eventually find the right times to use them in ways that work best for your skin.


So, there are my 9 product reviews and recommendations that I hope will be useful and insightful for your next beauty shop. I have more recently purchased a few more pieces to add to the collection, which I am in the process of using so they will form the basis of my next beauty edit.
If you guys have any suggestions or have tried any of the products above please share...


SKL

21.4.15

FLANERIE DOWN IN CHELSEA


Flânerie
flâ·ne·rie
Aimless idling; dawdling

I wouldn't instantly place Hermes w/ the idea of flanerie (aimlessly wondering) or as the  Saatchi gallery put it - 'urban wandering', but more so precision, Parisian class with autonomy, butttt to go in line with the grand opening of their flagship store in Londonn, Hermes have stepped out of their Birkin bag and entered a Wanderland of all things fantasy. Bringing designer lovers that one step close to the world of Hermes.

After a 10min queue to the exhibition itself  I was beginning to think there were free bags being given out as guests slowly stepped foot by foot into the first room of video projections and enchanting mirrored lighting. The journey through Wanderland was honestly spectacular! Like nothing I have ever seen before within an indoor space as the passages all replicated the journey of a wonderer on the street of Paris, gifted by all things Hermes.

Each element that you can imagine has been carefully considered in the designing and curating process including all senses being tickled along the way (except the sense of wanting! Because that I didn't get).

“The journey through Wanderland draws its coherence from two intrinsic elements of la flânerie: dreaming and freedom of spirit"
- Bruno Gaudichon 

11 rooms, 11 sets and an endless count of things to look at and experiences to enjoy. There was no sign of a fast-pace life right outside the doors as exhibition goes literally strolled and wondered the streets of Paris. If only the Parisian cafe was real? The one thing that was missing was a croissant and coffee!



For such a classic and perfected brand the use of digital technologies within each piece created something so unique to a fashion exhibition of this sort. It was highly creative with elements of surprise and excitement, which for me, put the designer in a whole new light of contemporary fashion and style.


It was an exhibition like no other and I would 100% recommend heading down to the Saatchi gallery to take a look if you are at all curious....





20.4.15

SQUARE EYES PART TWO



At the start of the year almost as some sort of self-promise, I aimed to read one book a month in addition to my weekly magazines. It was kind of a resolution - one that I knew I could actually maintain. I was constantly exposed to some really amazing titles that I would research and save for months in my endless Amazon basket.

At the end of last year, I took the plunge and for Christmas my Amazon basket was finally cleared on many of my desired reads that were recommended by friends, blogs and magazines.

If you are in need of a bit of me-time but never actively pursue it, now is your time to make that change. Every Sunday, at your desired time, make a hot cup of green tea, wrap up with your blanket and make it your mission to read one chapter- at least.
So, towards the end of last year, I suddenly felt the world of journalism pounding on the idea of feminism 2.0 (that I am all for), it bought with it a whole world of books that stood for empowering woman - a new wave of feminism for the modern world of entrepreneurial, techy, career driven women. I decided to put together a list that is still a work in progress of books to read to continue the momentum that I started towards the end of 2014.

Feel free to join me on my bookathon or wait up for my book reviews.
FYI I am in month 4 in and almost finished on book for.


So, I may be year too late for this hype, but if I am going to be completely honest, I was pretty disappointed by this book. I wasn't expecting magic or any sort of life changing experience, purely just a chilled, easy read with a few entertaining facts about the presenter turned London 'it' girl Alexa.

It took me around 3 days, journeys to and from work to read the book filled with far too many pictures and overly large text, that passers by may have thought I was slightly special or just lacked a certain degree of intellect. I should have left it at home...No worries though because I finally get Chung's story and I'm jealous alright! annnd I got a coffee table book to perk up my bed side. Gain!
If you are a fan of Alexa or mad on fashion it is for sure a must read, it's definitely a seen a blog hype, so get on that. 

After finishing 'it' rather speedily, I got on to a book I had been dying to read after mass emails received from Nasty Gal and major Instagram promotion. During my time at MyFlashTrash, Nasty Gal was a major competitor or mother brand to look up to, so to follow Sophia's story of success was as good as it gets. 

Whether you know about Sophia Amoruso's brand Nasty Gal or are even interested in that area, it still makes an entertaining and informative read, written in a pretty chilled and engaging way.


I may be completely over and quite frankly fed up by the word 'Girl Boss' but Sophia has achieved the impossible and is someone to look up to for any aspiring entrepreneurs or talented runaways who also started their career with theft! No Judging now.


 Next up is the HBO sensation Lena Dunham aka Hannah from the major US series Girls staring and co-directed by Ms Dunham herself. 

After so many magazines raving about the book written by the care-free, young spirited, natural and quirky writer I just had to see what the fuss was about. Annoyingly, this is now the third book about these powerful and independent women that seem to all have a very girly pink cover with hugeeee titles and that really doesn't excite me! On to the content, which is obviously more important, Lena tells her life stories divided into various areas of the growing up process for a young lady, including all the private parts no normal person would really want to disclose...need I say more?


Overall though, I am so glad I read the book and it got me even more excited about the new season of girls just to get a bit more of Hannah/Lena's awkward humour and life. I honestly couldn't put it down and hated it when I arrived at Old Street station because I never felt ready to stop. 


BOSSY PANTS | TINA FEY
Tina fey, known to most Americans for her role on Saturday Night Live, but everyone else remembers or  just give that little 'ohhh yeaaaah' when I remind them of her role in Mean Girls as the teacher miss Norbury but little do they know she wrote the screen play for Mean Girl and Freaky Friday. 

Her book Bossy Pants is comical autobiography written in the style Tina Fey knows best, sarcastic humour. It topped the New York Times best seller list and was a natural want after watching her host the Golden Globes. The book wasn't as easy to read as I thought and makes references to elements of Fey's career I was not familiar with but equally makes for an easy light-hearted read.

&
COMING SOON...

IF YOU HAVE TO CRY GO OUTSIDE | KELLY CUTRONE
GIRL IN A BAND | KIM GORDON
HAUS FRAU | JILL ESSBAUM
BETTER THAN BEFORE | GRETCHEN RUBIN
CHLOE SEVIGNY |  CHLOE SEVIGNY
CLOTHES, MUSIC, BOYS | VIV ALBERTINE
WILD | CHERYL STRAYED
   



18.4.15

THE WEEKEND | NOTTINGHAM

What a manic two weeks it has been! Aside from going about my usual day of work from nine to five, training five times a week with Yoga on a Wednesday, there has been a whole realm of other things that I have been working on too.

To start with, on occasion I go back to where it all started for me in Nottingham (my place of study) to visit the university and do talks or lectures to current or perspective students as a sort of 'this is where the course got me' sort of talk. I go into a lot about the roles I have had and the companies and contacts I have made since graduating and how I got there before and during university. As a student, you can imagine how helpful this could be when you're on your last leg in final year or struggling to adapt to university life in your first year.  So, a few weeks ago I was asked to head back for the open day to do a talk to prospective students. 

Baring in mind I was a mess at presenting during my time at university with my knees wobbling, my hands shaking and my voice almost unrecognisable from all the stress, this was and always is a huge deal for me and I do feel very proud and grateful for this opportunity. 

After a very last minute session on Powerpoint the night before I talked for the worlds and it went really positively. I stayed back for the workshop to answer a few questions and do my bit of handing out a couple of business cards here and there. The rest of the weekend was just a dream! Shopping, sleeping, massages and facials, lots of alchoholic beverages and eating of anything and everything. Some people find it strange that I do enjoy going back to Nottingham so often because it is not the same as being there as a student, but honestly some of my best and worst memories were there and I guess it was the city I really felt like I grew into my own, so it always is exciting to see the new bars and pop-ups that have opened and to see how the city has developed.

If anyone is ever stuck on what to do for the weekend and doesn't want to travel too far. I would highly recommend a day in Nottingham (if you know the right places).

Lee Rosy's Tea - Tea House
Rough Trade - Cafe and record shop
Coco Tang - Cocktail Bar
COW Vintage - Vintage Fashion
The Orang Tree - Pub
Das Kino - Games Bar
The Boiler Room - Secret Bar
Wild - Vintage Shop
White Rabbit - Tea House
Thea Caffea - English Tea Rooms 
Delilah - Brunch and Deli
Broadway Cinema - restaurant, bar & arts cinema
Pitcher & Piano - restaurant & Bar (in a church)





2.4.15

PASS ME THE GLASSES


I am proud to say I love reading, mostly on the tube, often in cafe's, at home and almost always on long journeys slash holidays. Now I can't say I get my head stuck into the ultimate must reads, or the ones highest on any sort of book list and they are far from challenging from the mind, but for me its about down time at home or while having a tea away from any sort of humanly drama, which is pretty much all the time. I spend a Monday morning reading Marketing Week and Campaign magazine and now they can take its toll slightly.

I tend to consume a whole lot of content through industry magazines and emails and fashion updates from blogs and magazines. My ultimate go to publication has got to be my open obsession to The Sunday Time Style (thanks to my dear father) that I have been reading from my early teenage years, even if the content was hardly relevant (Mrs Mills as a fucked up agony aunt I just didn't understand). I now collect copy after copy finding it a step harder to dispose of my hoarded collection despite my mommy giving me that not so gentle nudge every weekend. More recently, I have a major girl crush on two world wide obsessions Cara Delevingne and Kendal Jenner, don't ask why because the world has spoken and in my eyes they are just perfect little things, so I have only gone and bought all their most recent covers inc. Love and Dazed and Confused.

My weekly reading regime (and yes it has to be done, because we only have a certain amount of time a day when we are not on our phones scrolling through apps or out at work, drinks or catch ups, gymming or just sleeping. So that just leaves erm... on the train on the way to work and back). Monday's start with my current book Bossy pants by Tina Fey Tuesday's are half for my book and half for flicking through Time Out for the latest pop-up bars and restaurant, exhibitions and just snippets of info. Wednesday is obviously Stylist day (a HUGE deal in my office with 3 girls getting up earlier to get each other a copy in case the other missed out - like I said a big deal!). This usually takes the full journey back with the way there for my current book and just my nerdy excitement to whether I get my copy that week, which has even sometimes resulted in actually picking up a copy from the floor - grime I know. Thursdays are for ES mag and Fridays, well on the way back, they are pretty much a write off after a few drinks.
Keep an eye out for my personal book list for the year, that I will be posting soon.
What are your reading habits?