Sunday, 14 February 2016

Love is all around us...

Crafted with love for all those important occasions 
It's the time of the year when red roses and soft toys sadly clutching hearts pop up everywhere. But for many, upcoming events like Valentine's Day and Mother's Day are little more than card shop celebrations - designed to give us a reason to part with cash in a conspicuous display of affection. We might feel we're co-erced into buying cards, presents and extravagant food and drink - just to 'keep up' with everyone else and so that we don't look like we don't care. Some of us might even feel we'd rather opt out of recognised calendar dates and hope for smaller but more authentic signs we're loved on a day-to-day basis.

Yet even the most cynical among us would be pretty disappointed if our loved ones forgot to mark certain occasions from anniversaries and birthdays to the manufactured days those retailers are keen to encourage us to celebrate. Which is the crux of the problem. Why is feeling that we are loved  - right from birth - so important?

Monday, 8 February 2016

Fitspiration - Julia Buckley can transform you!

healthy living, weight loss, working out, fat burn
Hands up if you want to join Julia's revolution!
You know that mug that reads something along the lines of 'You have the same amount of hours in your day as Beyonce'? Well, you don't have to look to the States to find someone achieving as much - and owning a tight booty too! Meet Julia Buckley, online fitness trainer, author, journalist - and all round inspiration to those of us that want to 'run the world'.

But Julia's not one to keep her secrets to herself, having felt first-hand the frustration of putting in miles of running and restricting calories but still being unhappy with the soft, stubborn fat on her thighs, belly and arms (yes, hard to believe if you look at the photos here!!). So she changed how she was working out - going for fat burning and explosive strength exercises and simplified her diet. And then she passed on her wealth of knowledge! Her first book, The Fat Burn Revolution, was launched in the UK in January 2014, published by Bloomsbury and was released in the USA in March 2014. She also runs an online gym - with some pretty amazing body transformation testimonials from people of all shapes, sizes and ages.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Say no to nasties: Parabens

healthy, organics, ethical
How do you feel about the chemicals in your products?
Image courtesy of Sira Aeamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This is the second in my series that looks into common ingredients in everyday toiletries and cosmetics.  I want to learn more about the risks I might be taking by regularly putting these additives on my face and body. I'll also showcase alternative brands that have moved away from using these synthetics - to provide a more natural and potentially healthier choice. This time I'm looking at parabens. 

To learn more about Sodium Laurel Sulphate (SLS), another common additive, click here.


What are parabens?

Parabens are basically chemicals that have preservative qualities. They have been a common additive in cosmetics and pharmaceutical products since the 1950s to help prevent bacteria growth. Using parabens dramatically extends the shelf life of many beauty and health items because it stops them going mouldy. Products can last longer on shop shelves - and in your home - particularly the moist, warm environment of a bathroom, where many such items are kept. Parabens are ubiquitous - find them in toothpaste, sunscreens, cleansers, hair products, moisturisers and cosmetics like mascara and foundations. If you look at an ingredients list you might see them listed as butylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben, ethylparaben or isobutylparaben.