24 July 2015

SUMMER STYLE AND JORD WATCHES // MAMA STYLE

jord watch and summer books Summer styleSo you've survived week one of the summer holidays? Yes? High fives all round. Not that the summer break is something to be feared, but as a mama who works from home I am constantly torn between meeting deadlines and showering my baby -fast growing soon to start school- boy in attention, cuddles, kisses... and  yes this may sound a little dramatic, but you didn't see the crazy lady who started bawling her eyes out at the final pick up of pre-school....oh you did?...erm yes that was me. Thankfully I have the perfect summer style and a new timepiece c/o Jord Watches to get me through the next six weeks.  

Nothing marks the passing of time quicker than having a child, all those important milestones fly by and then suddenly you find yourself in the throws of summer, their first day of school fast approaching and you wonder where all that time went. Even thinking about it makes me well up a little, big school you say? I remember the first few minutes of bringing him home in his car seat, placing him in the middle of the lounge floor and wondering what the hell I was supposed to do next.  So not only have I successfully managed to keep my child alive – because believe me as a new mama that is pretty much what you're focused on – but through all the years, days, hours, minutes and seconds I have somehow managed to raise a beautiful, thoughtful, kind, funny, brilliant and clever little person who will soon be leaving my side and running off into the playground, where to quote Will Smith, he'll spend most of his days.  
watches presented in a beautiful  gift boxPicking flowers Cora series Jord watches

So this summer I want to fill all that time with beautiful memories and magic and mostly love. I want him to feel so loved that his little spirit bursts with joy and that way he'll go off to school happy and I'll have filled the memory banks for all those tiny seconds of the day where I suddenly get a pang for my messy haired bundle, his grubby little hands and infectious laugh.

I have decided to go slow, to not worry so much and keep it simple. Simple food, simple clothes, simple fun. I'm practically living in this patterned kimono/cardigan at the moment - you can find one similar here – as it's super soft and easy to throw on, plus makes a great impromptu picnic blanket. But my favourite new summer accessory has to be this beautiful Cora Series Jord Watch, completely crafted out of maple wood this automatic timepiece is so stylish and simple, with a splash of colour punctuated with Swakovski crystals. I love the whole range and the variety of styles, all delivered in a lovely wood crafted presentation box. Oh and did I mention how cool this book is?

Cora series jord watch
mama style jord watches

Oh and look who couldn't resist being in on the action. The cutest little photobomber!



The cutest photobomber

Wooden Watches by JORD

23 July 2015

HOW WELL DO YOU SLEEP? NATURAL SLEEP REMEDIES & ULTIMATE SLEEP GUIDE

Ever since the miscarriage, truth be told my sleep has been all over the place and I seem to be continuously sporting dark circles, bags and even a small suitcase under these eyes of mine. Imagine my horror as I approached the Chanel counter *insert me swooning over their product* in the hopes of a miracle cover up, only to be told that 'Darling Chanel can't fix this' and a circular finger motion that indicates the lady at the counter is not going near these bad boys. Oh how I laughed, then secretly had a little cry, being told by a relative stranger that you need sleep and water is the wake up call I needed to try and look after myself.

My sleeping habits tend to be completely erratic, some nights I'll fall into a restful slumber, others I'll struggle to drop off or most likely I'm tempted by the soft glow of the iPhone. Either way bedtime doesn't start until midnight or there after, and with a small boy to wake me in the early hours I'm not doing myself any favours.



So when Barker & Stonehouse asked me to trial some natural sleep remedies over a month as part of their Ultimate Sleep Guide I was all for it. I was sent a box of natural goodies to try once a week and feedback on how well it helped my nights. Each product was easy to use and it was interesting to see the difference each one. Here's a little weekly break down of my sleeping habits:

Week 1 - Relaxation CD
At first I found having music on after the lights went out a little strange, but once I focused on the soft wave sounds and let the melody wash over me it was very relaxing, and I found I was able to fall asleep very quickly. I didn't even wake when the music stopped! I would definitely say this is a great way to help those who struggle falling asleep.

Week 2 - Lavender Pillow Spray
It was interesting using a scent to help me sleep, I didn't do as well with the lavender but I think that's due to the association I have with the smell. At first I used too much and found it quite overwhelming when using it on my pillow, which meant I was struggling to get comfortable, however after I used a tiny amount and let it air off before bed, I did find it a little relaxing.

Week 3 - Cherry Juice
I was quite excited to try the cherry juice drink as I love cherries and I know the health benefits of this super food and how it supports healthy sleep. I found it very easy to use, I mean who doesn't like a fruit drink? Although I can't say it helped me fall asleep quicker, I certainly felt rested on waking, which in turn made me feel good throughout the day. I'm pretty sure this was doing some good but it didn't help me relax and switch off.

Week 4 - Hot Bath
This was probably the most effective at getting me to drop off quickly. I'm normally a shower person, using it to wake up in the morning. Using a hot bath with candles at night meant I got my body into a good night time routine and I found myself relaxing as the evening drew near. It did make me feel super sleepy and ready for bed, and I found I was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.

Overall it was interesting to see the part each natural remedy played in having a healthy nights sleep. For me I think having a routine which allows me to switch of mentally plays an important role, plus being in bed at a reasonable time rather than my usual 1.30am habit.
I always forget how important sleep is, aiding your body and brain to reset itself for a new day and process the 24 hours just gone. It effects everything from your weight, skin, concentration levels, moods...to be honest I'm surprised I've managed to function this long without a good rest. Thankfully taking part in this campaign has really helped me see the importance in switching off and taking care of myself.

How well do you sleep? Do you think natural remedies might help you drift off?

22 July 2015

CLEANSING GINGER AND LEMONGRASS TEA RECIPE

Cleansing Ginger & Lemongrass teaIf I had shares in coffee companies I would be laughing all the way to the bank –  no joke – with my current caffeine consumption at an all time high, I swear I'm single-handedly keeping the industry afloat. Every now and again it's good to curb my intake and take stock of my habit, making room for cleansing teas and detoxifying drinks to help boost my immune system and keep me from the jitters. So I thought it would be good to post about my current health kick in an attempt to get back on track, with this cleansing Ginger and Lemongrass Tea.

I've noticed that my taste for good old English Breakfast tea has totally left me and I only seem to manage a cup of builders tea when in the throws of a hangover *shhhh*, instead opting for a cup of boiled water if I fancy a hot drink. Now although this is good for you it can get a little boring, you can imagine the conversation at friends houses over a good gossip:

 them: "ooh do you fancy a cuppa?' 
me: "mmm yes please can I have a cup of *ahem* boiled water"
 them: ".....erm yeah...sure...do you want a tea bag with that?'

So why Ginger and  Lemongrass tea? Well it packs a punch with anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, disinfectant and diuretic properties that allow you to detoxify the pancreas, kidneys, bladder and the digestive tract, while helping you eliminate excess fat much faster and reduce water retention in the body amongst other amazing health benefits. Plus when made with filtered water you know you're getting the healthiest version of this hot beverage.

Ingrediants for Ginger and Lemongrass tea

It's easy to make, all you need is:

• 4-6 thin slices raw ginger
• 250-375ml water
• 1-2 tbsp honey or agave nectar
• 2 lemon slices
• 1 stick lemongrass, outer leaves removed

To make, simply peel the ginger and add to a pot of water, allowing it to boil for around 10 minutes to release the flavour and goodness. Pour into your cup or glass and add a couple of slices of lemon and sweeten with a little algarve honey. Serve with a stick of lemongrass. Alternatively to create an intense flavour crush the lemongrass with the flat side of a knife and boil alongside the ginger to create your tea. 
Healthy detox teas

Now I'm not crazy enough to give up coffee completely, but I am trying to alternate my drinks in the hopes of helping kick start my health routine after a stressful few months. Kinetico have released a simple water recipe book which is free to download and is packed with refreshing summer drinks that give water a fun twist.  

*This is a collaborative post.

20 July 2015

CREATIVE ONLINE COURSES AT MYPHOTOSCHOOL

You might have noticed that I have a soft spot for photography, in fact it's fair to say I love it. My shelves are full of books – like this and this – by various photographers such as that have inspired me along the way and I always try to keep a camera handy just in case. While I don't assume to know the technical side of photography, that hasn't stopped me from documenting my life and flexing my creative muscles. So when I was asked if I would like to complete an online course with at MyPhotoSchool I jumped at the chance, and enrolled onto the Introduction to Professional Reportage Documentary Photo Journalism course.

Our first assignment was to take three shots only using 40 frames, focusing on a standard portrait shot, an environmental shot and a detail shot. There are four lessons in total set two weeks apart, each including a video lecture discussing case studies and assigning homework, as well as a forum to chat to fellow students and ask questions.


I chose to document my kiddo to see if I could capture different moods with the camera and after half  a day following him around trying to compose the perfect shot I finally submitted my work. I was interested to get feedback on the images, to see where I'd captured a mood successfully and where my weaknesses lie.


Personally I love all three images but I feel the final shot doesn't quite sit as well in terms of colour and tone, plus it's more of an artistic piece than documenting him – although I still love that I found him hiding behind the curtain, peeking out to the world while hidden away.

In our next lesson we have to document someone at work, showing their workspace, their job and their character. This will give me the chance to capture moments in a different way, especially as I'll not have the close personal relationship that I do with F. I'm certainly excited to see what develops from this course and I'll be hoping to post my work along the way so you can follow.

*I was offered a place on this course for review purposes. All words and opinions are my own.  

16 July 2015

LUXURY CAMPING GEO DOMES IN THE DORDOGNE WITH GLISTEN CAMPING


Luxury camping in dordogne with Glisten Campingglamping in the dordogne geo domes in the dordogne with glisten campingA few weeks ago we made our the way across the Channel and drove down France to the beautiful Dordogne, to spend a week sleeping under the stars in style. We try to camp out at least three times a year at home but we'd never tried our hand at this abroad and I couldn't wait to experience the luxury Geo Domes with Glisten Camping. When I first saw images of the domes we'd call home for a week, I was super excited for our stay!


These cool striking structures are set against a backdrop of wild flowers, rolling hills and small country lanes that wind up to the Domaine des Mathevies where the domes are located. The owners have travelled the length and breadth of the Dordogne to ensure the best location for your stay and they hit the nail on the head. On arriving at the campsite, which houses a mix of tents, chalets, gites and four of the spacious domes, we parked up and unpacked.

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