LET US ALL COME WELL ARMED

LET US ALL COME WELL ARMED

Reading Time: 5 minutes

 

What is it about arms that women don’t like? Our own arms I mean, and particularly the tops of our arms. It is true that our arms have been the comfort of many a baby, weeping teenager or saddened adult. For centuries our arms have laboured and toiled for us, and so why are we reluctant to bring our upper arms out in public, calling them names like ‘bat-wings’ or worse?

Having got all of the ‘why put down our arms’ questions out of the way, it is a fact that it is the one area of a female body that is considered the most unsightly.

It is true that even in the eighties, before I had kids and gained the baby weight, when my arms were quite trim and well-toned, I still yearned for the arms you see in airbrushed supermodel poses in magazines. Utterly impossible for most of us.

So let’s get the shaming psychology out of the way, and begin by getting real and understanding how we can improve those upper arm wobbly bits and start to bring them out into the open.

I am constantly reminded of mine as my grandchildren love to squeeze them in their hands slapping them from side to side, laughing at the sheer joy of Grandma’s wobbly bits, as I silently endure the humiliation, but not really minding too much, as anything to please the grandkids. But when we want to reveal our arms for a sexy dress or swimming costume, it is a completely different kettle of fish.

We can start with some easy exercises, which only have to be done for five minutes a day to make a difference.

Never mind the baked bean tins, although you can try that one as well, using them as weights. But my exercises are far more effective, and you start by stretching the arms out to the side and tipping them over with palms facing backwards until you feel a tightening in the upper arm region.  Draw them both towards the back so that they try to touch behind you, work toward that and get a little bit further every day.  Within a week you will see and feel a difference.

Make sure you moisturise your arms each day and really massage the upper arms to help tighten the skin, this again will also impact on the way you feel about this part of your body, and get you closer to loving the area that you have been trying to hide for decades.

If you are not ready to reveal, then cover up gracefully with a shawl or wrap, and try to purchase one that doesn’t enhance the fact that you have something to hide. In other words, go bold with colour as you would any garment, and be creative in the way you drape the material.

The other thing to be aware of is you are not alone, and share this alarming ‘attitude of arms’ with a huge percentage of women across the Western World. So be aware, take action and you will become well-armed in no time at all.

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THE MAGIC OF A MINIMALIST LIVING SPACE

THE MAGIC OF A MINIMALIST LIVING SPACE

Reading Time: 5 minutes

 

We have recently spoken about a major Detox, whether it be in your diet, alcohol intake or Digital activities, so now we have the most challenging, especially if you or your partner like to hang onto things that are well past their sell by date.

My parents were prime examples, so much so that some of their keepsakes actually came back into fashion after a few years.  It was actually my Dad who had the addiction to clutter, but was cleverly overcome by my Mum who packed the ‘rubbish’ into storage and put it in their very ample loft space in tidy boxes.

Nowadays, we are much better at throwing out unwanted belongings, especially furniture, ornaments and clothes – as they are easier to recycle or sell online or give to charity.

I recently had a major declutter, and feel a lot better for it, helped tremendously by a revolutionary book I’d heard about by Marie Kondo, a Japanese organising consultant, which began from friends comments on how she had transformed their lives.

The book is called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, which has sold millions of copies across the World.

Marie Kondo’s book is simple but instructive, and if you take it seriously, is revolutionary about how your approach clutter.

Her first instruction is to identify and put your hands on everything you own, asking yourself if it makes you feel good, and if it doesn’t, thank it personally and then dispose of it.

Secondly, once only your most joy-giving belongings remain, put every item in a place where they are visible, accessible, and easy to grab and then put back. Only then, she says, will you have accomplished your housekeeping happiness, and cleaning will be easier and more satisfying.

You may find this idea challenging at first, as a working mother or if you have lived in a house for a long time with a lot of precious memories embedded in ‘things’ around the house.  But according to an array of home owners and occupiers, who have followed the advice of Marie Konde, it is life changing and can become a blissful remedy to depression, anxiety and even lead to releasing endorphins that you didn’t know existed.

It may not surprise you if you have been following any of my articles in the past that I have tried this myself, and it began with my overly laden wardrobe of unwanted clothes, especially tops and jumpers.

It was hard at first to get rid of ‘favourites’ but I discovered I had several of the same type, and discovered I only wore one of each of them anyway.  So after eight black bags had been filled for the charity shop, I started to feel better and certainly more enlightened as Ms Kondo had suggested.

I am now starting on the home itself, and even if you really really don’t want to let go of old heir looms, then why not store them away in the loft to see how you feel with a clearer living space, which in feng shui speak, can only lead to a more productive clutter free future.

So for once I would advise ‘Do Try this at Home’.

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A DIGITAL DETOX IS GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH

A DIGITAL DETOX IS GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH

Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

We are all so dependent on our iPhones, laptops and all aspects of Social Media, that it is difficult to imagine life without such technology.

Many of us can also remember a time when the telephone was restricted to the home or office, emails were non-existent and the World Wide Web was a phenomenon only imagined in sci-fi books or movies.

How on earth did we exist without them? They have certainly improved communication, education and even creativity in our lives, but how do we restrict ourselves and especially our children from digital excess?

A recent survey revealed that we check our phones on average 200 times a day, and many of us are spending more time in front of a screen than we do asleep.

So how do we combat the stress levels that come with keeping up with the latest trends, expensive apps and a general commitment to social media?

It was interesting to discover that a few high-profile personalities have come off Social Media altogether, Simon Cowell for one, who has not accessed his mobile phone for several months, saying that it was adding too much distraction and anxiety to his already busy schedule.

I think like any heavy addiction or habitual activity, to stop abruptly can lead to serious withdrawal symptoms, and can create even more problems.

But to have a holiday or mini-break from texting or checking your phone could be a good way to start and set an example for your kids.

A group of friends recently suggested that they put their mobile phones away when out together, and the first one to resist and check their phone would pay the bill of the entire group. A major deterrent!

Another suggestion is to charge your iPhone overnight in a room separate from your bedroom, so that you are not tempted to reach for it in the night or first thing in the morning.

If you are feeling even more ambitious you could leave it at home when shopping, or if you are visiting family or friends at the weekend.

There is nothing more irritating than someone who constantly checks their phone as you are trying to get their attention.

It is also a good idea to leave it out of reach when driving, as the urge to look down or reach for the phone as a random call or text comes in can be too tempting, which has been the cause of many collisions.

It would be a good idea to discuss it with your family or social circle, and come up with digital tech-free activities, because if you are sharing some screen-free time together, it is a lot easier to enjoy the experience of personal social interaction, which is ultimately far more rewarding.

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HOW TO MANAGE THE UNREALISTIC DEMANDS OF A PERFECT LIFESTYLE

HOW TO MANAGE THE UNREALISTIC DEMANDS OF A PERFECT LIFESTYLE

Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Many of us are living with high levels of stress, from the demands of a ‘perfect’ lifestyle, with the expectation that we have to live up to the Picture Book imagery of the immaculate Mother with the beautifully turned out kids, running her own business from home whilst doing the school run and cooking the perfectly organic healthy recipes, cooked from scratch of course.  Sounds familiar?  It could be you or your offspring, if you have grown up kids, oh and being the perfect Grandma also comes with its challenges.

If you are trying to live up to any of the above, you will be feeling the strain, and any small event could tip you over the edge if you aspire to these heights of perfection.

The one thing we all want to avoid is reaching for the gin bottle at the end of the day, or pouring that extra glass of wine or God forbid, take up smoking again.

You definitely do not want to take medication to calm you down either, and so we are giving you some support with some healthy ideas to help you through the day (and night!).

One last tip, stop trying to be perfect – you won’t score any brownie points, and will be a lot happier in the long run.

Here are our top buys, please consult your GP before taking any herbal products in case of any
interactions with any medication you are already taking.

 

Bach Rescue Remedy Spray

 

Kalms Tablets

 

Karma Mood Tablets

 

Calm Balm

If you have a favorite herbal remedy please let us know and we will be sure to try it

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THE WEEK WE WENT TO NETHERGONG – IT’S A FAMILY AFFAIR

THE WEEK WE WENT TO NETHERGONG – IT’S A FAMILY AFFAIR

Reading Time: 6 minutes

 

THE WEEK WE WENT TO NETHERGONG – IT’S A FAMILY AFFAIR
by Dee Anderson – Editor in Chief

When my daughter and son-in-law suggested I join them for a camping holiday, with my three grandchildren, I did question my ability to survive such an ordeal.  I know my limitations and am up for a challenge in so many ways, but have always been more of a five star girl myself.

However, this was a special circumstance in that my eldest granddaughter of 7 was coming to the end of her treatment for a condition she had endured for some time, and was especially looking forward to carrying out activities like a normal kid again, that had been put on hold for the past two years.

So I readily agreed, and was instructed to look at a camping site, already familiar to the family called Nethergong Camping, in Kent.

I decided to book a ‘Romany Caravan’ which looked cosy on the website, and covered my initial fears of insects and night time chills, and the rest of the family would pitch their well-equipped tent alongside to keep me company.  I also decided to bring along Milly my golden Labrador, who is approaching two and just loves long walks and lots of attention.

I drove down separately from the rest of the family, and on arrival spotted a very helpful young man on a tractor, who readily directed me to our camping location.  From his accent I realised that he was not a local, and he told me that he had come from the US after marrying his wife, who I gleaned was one of the ‘Nethergong’ family.

We were fortunate to catch the weather as it had warmed up and managed to swerve the floods that had besieged Kent the week before.

Our section of the camping site was next to a huge field, and so we were constantly on the go with the kids and the dog who insisted on clambering up and down the small but steep embankment so a work out was not needed, as this was sufficient for me to maintain my fitness regime.  It was also more than adequate to wear out the two-year-old twin boys who have more energy and are faster than Mo Farah on a good day!

The camp fire at night was particularly idyllic as Ray, my favourite (and only) son-in-law is great at building a fire and making a mean barbeque, and we shared stories and a few glasses of wine as the flames flickered in the darkness.

Some of the wildlife we saw too was unbelievable, with frogs in the fishing friendly pond which the kids adored, a resident swan family, rare dragonflies and damselflies, coots, moorhens and ducks of all varieties, newts, lizards and bats, rare vising Turtle Doves, Cuckoos and Nightingales you can hear at night, Owls and Marsh Harriers and Buzzards.

The facilities are particularly good, especially the showers which are powerful and refreshing, and the loos are maintained to a high standard of cleanliness.

I bumped into Jed, the owner, on one of my solo walks, who explained that the camping site had been in the family for over twenty-five years, and it was now run by his entire family.

He also offered to open their little shop and make us all hot drinks should we need good coffee or more provisions, and on discovering why we were there, sent his lovely daughter Hannah over to see if we needed anything extra.  She also has twin girls of 9 and so was completely au fait with all the basics of having young kids.

The children were all sad when the tent came down, and we packed up, but it is a place where we will return and make an annual family holiday for them all to remember.

I personally am still not a complete camping convert, but have to admit to enjoying so many aspects of the few days at Nethergong, and for the record, would readily return, especially for the sake of the grandkids, wildlife and the barbeques, and having learnt a few invaluable camping tips on the way.

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No 1 Rosemary Water and the Secret of Anti-aging

No 1 Rosemary Water and the Secret of Anti-aging

Reading Time: 6 minutes

 

As we visit the tranquil coastal hamlet of Acciaroli in Southern Italy, we find that the residents have one thing in common – one in ten live to their hundredth birthday, and beyond.

You may say that it is the Mediterranean food or lifestyle, but a rather canny entrepreneur, David Spencer-Percival, looked into the story of Acciaroli, which had been reported by the BBC, The Telegraph and the New York Times, to discover that all of the inhabitants consume the herb Rosemary every day of their life.

In addition to this consumption, they are not at all health-conscious, and indulge in all the pleasures of life that come with a health warning, including wine and tobacco, as well as good food.

It is also a fact that this longevity of life and Rosemary go hand in hand, as we look into surrounding villages and similar coastal regions who do not have Rosemary as part of their staple diet, and as a result do not have such a great life expectancy.

I am gleaning much more from David Spencer-Percival’s discovery as Rosemary holds high esteem even in Greek mythology, the New Testament and Shakespearean drama.

There are even scientific references as a memory-boosting restorative, and it is seen to have antioxidant and antibacterial properties, which would confirm the longevity in the village of Acciaroli, where Rosemary is the central ingredient.

David has pushed the boundaries in his research to provide confirmation of his findings, and is in talks with Professor Moss, from Northumbria University, whose knowledge of the herb is extensive; he has been investigating Rosemary as a memory aid, and is embarking on trials of No 1 Rosemary Water to test its potency as a memory-enhancing product.

When I met David in my Pinewood Studios offices recently, it was a pleasure to spend time with this clever entrepreneur who explained to me the arduous process of discovery he had endured, with months of exploration into ways of extracting the essence of the herb to produce a pure health-giving drink.  He has succeeded in achieving this without using additives – containing just water blended with Rosemary in a bottle.  He admits it has been a longer process than he originally thought, but his passion for the concept has enabled him to produce the only pure Rosemary Water drink to exist so far.

So is it possible to reverse the ageing process with Rosemary?  Whenever we make life changes we can see them reflected inside and out, with our digestive system and then our skin, so this is definitely possible.

It is not rocket science to see that Rosemary, which contains so many healing properties should prolong life, or even reverse the effects of ageing, and so I would like to agree with David and say that this health drink No 1 Rosemary Water, holds the secret it in its waters.

I have recently passed some bottles to celebrity friends and lesser known mortals, who are all feeding back in a positive way.  Anthea Turner is already a fan and has referred to it in her monthly blog.  All are enjoying what is a tasteful and refreshing drink.  It comes in still or sparkling, and I personally like both, whereas one colleague prefers the sparkling variety.  Another design-oriented friend commented on the beauty of the bottle, which is in lustrous white – and I have recently placed one on my kitchen dresser as I agree it looks stunning.

It is no surprise therefore that the product No 1 Rosemary Water is in Harrods, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and other high end outlets to be announced shortly.  It is now being seen as a Global Brand, which is power to its founder and the belief in the integrity of his discovery.

Perhaps this is why Rosemary is also regarded to be associated to Love – or in this case, the Love of Life, which is the most powerful symbol of all.

https://rosemarywater.com

peanutandcrumb

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