Forty ways to look after yourself

At the London Lucky Things Meet Up in January, the theme was looking after yourself. Not only did we hear tips from one of the UK’s leading mindfulness experts Dr.Tamara Russell, we also heard each other’s ideas for taking care of ourselves. I encouraged the attendees to think of a nurture wish they would like to pursue during the following month. I didn’t suggest something for the whole year as sometimes you just need to try things out. It had to be something that would be good for them as individuals. So what better way to kick off my 40th year with a list of 40 ways to look after yourself. These are just 40 of the nurture wishes people shared with me at the Lucky Things Meet Up. Enjoy this list and hope it also offers a bit of self-care inspiration…

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Seven ways to support International Women’s Day

Did you know there’s a different theme for International Women’s Day each year? For 2017 it’s #beboldforchange. Not many people know but the first official “lnternational Women’s Day” event was held back in 1911*. As championed over at internationalwomensday.com, for 2017, they’re asking us to #BeBoldForChange where we can call on the masses for support or as an individual help move towards “a better working world – a more inclusive, gender equal world”.

Whoever we are and whatever we do, we can influence our social sphere to help other women feel more confident and reach their potential. I’m a strong believer that small actions are really important too. As Lucky Things is all about looking after our wellbeing, career and confidence, here’s seven ideas for supporting International Women’s Day today (and all year round).  Continue reading

Top tips on being social media savvy from Eimear Varian-Barry of The EVB Edit

As you know I’m a big fan of Instagram. For me, it’s also a great source of inspiration and a way to build your online community. It’s also a supportive place when you can surround yourself with like-minded people. It was great meeting the successful Instagrammer Eimear Varian Barry at a recent Mothers Meeting in London. She blogs over at The EVB Edit although she’s modest about being called a blogger.

Looking at Eimear’s Instagram feed, her style and layout looks flawless. In real life, Eimear is refreshingly honest and down-to-earth. When I first said hello to Eimear, we ended up chatting about Zara; not about the world of blogging or Instagram.DSC00508

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Why it’s good to think about intentions and not just goals

At January’s Lucky Things Meet Up, we heard one of the UK’s leading mindfulness experts Dr. Tamara Russell chat about everyday tips on looking after ourselves. Tamara also talked to us about the value of setting intentions. When Tamara and I first planned our talk together, hearing her views on why intentions were helpful made sense. It completely changed my own outlook on setting goals.

Here are some highlights from the talk and why Tamara encourages us to focus on our intentions rather than goals. I’ve also shared how I’ve started to use intentions more. As a intro, here’s what Tamara’s has to say about intentions in her book Mindfulness in Motion (Watkins, 2015). Continue reading

Inspire interview with Claire Burrows, founder of Air & Grace

It was great catching up with Claire Burrows from Air & Grace at a gorgeous new coffee shop opposite her studio in Brixton. We talked about the ups and downs in our careers, what it means to hustle and why some shoes are sadly only worn once.

Claire is proud that you can enjoy the feel good factor without compromising on style. She confidently says that her shoes and boots are like wearing sneakers. I won’t apologise about being a bit techy but the Air & Grace footwear range are super comfortable. They feature Tender Loving Air® technology providing cleverly hidden three layers of luxurious memory foam cushioning.

I first came across Air & Grace on Instagram and then met Claire at her stand at Stylist Live 2016. Months have flown by and we finally managed to grab a coffee. Here’s what Claire had to say about renting a van, confidence and a big career change…img_0614

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Why failure can be a good thing

Failure. It’s not a word a lot us like to hear is it? It’s viewed as the opposite of success. But is it always a negative thing? As a word, it gets a raw deal. It makes us feel bad, when we can try and take away the good bits out of it. The word failure can even scare people. It can stop people from trying things out that might go well. What will people think of us if we fail? How are we going to move on after a bit of failure? In some situations, I think there are lots of things we can learn from failure. It can actually help us out. So here’s seven things that are good about failure.

  1. It’s going to happen whether we like it or not…We are not super-beings. Yes we’re masters at juggling all kinds of things and winging it through life. But we can’t do everything. So accept that failure is going to crop up here and there.
  2. It teaches us something we didn’t know before…When something doesn’t go to plan, it’s always a chance to learn something. Failure teaches us about ourselves but also about things that are beyond our control.img_5914
  3. We know for next time!..Ever experienced a failure and then afterwards saying to yourself “That won’t happen again!”? Sometimes it shows us what we’re not comfortable doing. It also hows us what we can try differently next time. So don’t let failure put you off trying out things again. Failure can happen for a number of reasons, some might not affect things next time.
  4. It’s part of the journey…Whatever we’re trying to do or work on, dealing with a bit of failure on the way is part of moving closer to success.
  5. It doesn’t mean we are complete failures as human beings…Just because something goes wrong it doesn’t mean we are failures or incapable. It also doesn’t mean that things won’t go right next time.
  6. It happens to everyone…It really does. Anyone you admire – bet they’ve experienced some kind of failure. At some point everyone has failed in their life. Not everything can be plain sailing. Some people are better at hiding at managing their failures than others. Some people are more comfortable about experiencing failures. Some don’t realise they’ve failed and keep going anyway. Failure doesn’t discriminate so it can affect all of us at any point.
  7. It actually makes us stronger…When you’ve experienced things going wrong, the experience makes us more resilient and more importantly more aware.

Check out next week’s blog on top tips on how to deal with failure.

Over to you…What do you think about the word failure? How does it make you feel? How do you deal with failures?

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Career: Celebrate your skills and talents

Whatever we do as day jobs or careers, over time, we build up a collection of skills and talents. Some we know we have but we may also surprise ourselves with our hidden skills. We pick up skills through training, on the job and every day tasks. We pick them up as we try out new things or projects. A we’re busy with work and life in general we can forget about our many skills and talents. Whether you’re in a job, working on your own business, trying both or a stay at home mum or dad, it’s important to celebrate your skills and talents… Continue reading

Newborn essentials: Etta Loves muslin cloths 

As Toddler Munch is two this year, I’m starting to reminisce lots about the newborn days. Her hair is pretty short so she still appears a bit baby-like. Someone on my blog this week reminded me of how much stuff you carry around when you have a little baby. One thing that’s an essential for the first few months (and even years) is the muslin cloth. Little did I know this piece of cotton cloth would come in so handy. Although Toddler Munch is getting bigger, we still use muslins lots. There’s always one on my coat pocket, in the cross body bag or tucked in the buggy. I’ve now stopped carrying my changing bag as I manage to squeeze nappy changing gear and meals on the go into two handy clutches.

Last year I came across Etta Loves muslin squares. Why is it that I now see lots of things I would have loved when my girls were newborns? The great thing is that we still use muslin squares lots in our home and when we’re out and about.

So what do we love about Etta Loves muslins? Continue reading

Top tips on taking photos of children from family photographer Katrina Campbell

Taking photos of children can be a real challenge. I love taking photos of my girls but it’s always handy to know a few tricks. I met Katrina Campbell at one of the Mama Meets at Olive Loves Alfie East. She captured some beautiful photos of me and my girls which you may have spotted on Lucky Things Instagram. Katrina is a family photographer based in North London. She used to work in advertising, but left to be at home full time when her children were small, and promptly took up photography to keep her sane. Today she is talking about how to take great photographs of your children, whether you use a camera or a phone. Over to Katrina…mama-meet-xmas-4201

Top tips on taking photos of children by Katrina Campbell

We all want to have beautiful, natural photographs of our children as they grow up, don’t we? It’s almost a natural instinct as parents we want to capture the precious memories of, little details of the everyday , to essentially freeze time. However sometimes the simple act of photographing them only serves to remind us how fleeting their childhood is.

Here are a few tips that I find essential when photographing children:

Let them play –  I prefer to photograph young children when they are lost in the moment. If they are content in what they’re doing, whether blowing bubbles or jumping in the sprinkler, you are free to experiment a little with the shot you want. So, get involved, chat with them, make them laugh but then take a step back. You can snap away, and all it takes is a little gentle direction to get them to look at each other, or glance up at the camera. Don’t ask them to smile for the camera – sometimes ‘quick, I need a photo of this’ is all it takes to interrupt the magic of the moment. With older children you can do the opposite – get them involved in the creation of the photograph and make that an activity in itself.

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