Happy Christmas day !!!! I hope Santa brought you everything you wished for yourselves and that you’re enjoying spending relaxing time.with friends, family and loved ones – have a great day – love you all
As well as giving me the chance to goof around outdoors, the recent snow also gave me a chance to do some thinking about a whole range of things. It’s great fun to let your mind wander around like this sometimes. While it’s not exactly meditation, for me, I can find it even more restful than sleeping and certainly more enjoyable !
One of my recent daydreams had me wondering. You know we’re always racing from one thing to another, what would we do with more time ? If you’re anything like me, probably more running ! But isn’t it crazy that the less time something takes to do, the less likely we are to do it ?
So girl, its time to put down that mobile phone, abandon the Facebook status update and dare I say it step away from the cake………. (I know, I can’t believe I typed that either) Instead, why not try one or more than these quick routes to a better day and happiness ?
Breathe. That’s right, just breathe ! The best thing about these five minutes is that you can literally do it anywhere, office, home (there’s even one girl in the salon that does it in the ladies – she gets embarrassed) You don’t need to “do the pose”, sitting cross legged with your thumb on your fingers, just comfortable !
Close your left nostril with your left thumb and breathe only through your right nostril and let the energy flow through you. You’re looking to keep a regular rhythm with your breathing and keep your breaths in and out the same length. I also prefer to close my eyes closed personally, but beware, I’ve heard ladies snoring a couple minutes in when they do this ! Just settle into your rhythm and enjoy for five minutes. Heaven !
Find your balance.
This is my personal favourite 5 minute exercise. Ok, so you don’t have to stand on a mound, looking like the cross between a figure four and a belly dancer, but studies have shown that simply standing on one foot for 5 minutes can have a positive effect on your core strength and joint stability. I know what you’re thinking though – are you having a laugh ?
The simple answer is NO ladies !
Try standing on each foot for a couple of minutes to get a real benefit in your core – if nothing else, you’ll learn to wobble evenly !
Doodle (or colour in)
#YNotbU recently bought the Authentic image modelling agency and their Creative Director Amanda is an AMAAAAZING doodler, but even if you aren’t as talented as Amanda, there’s still a great mental benefit to doodling and colouring in.
Just listen to Amanda’s advice “Don’t let a perceived lack of talent stop you – get some pencils and a pad and just create your own masterpiece. Whatever you do will be an original so don’t forget to sign it !”
Doodling isn’t just a way to keep yourself occupied in a dull meeting either, studies have shown it can help improve your memory and ability to retain information, improve focus, reduce stress and help you think more creatively. Dedicate a few minutes a day to doodling and see where the blank page takes you…. I’d love to see what you create !
Getting back to an exercise theme though, I want to talk to you about probably the most important 5 minutes of your workout. The 5 minute warm up before and the 5 minute warm down afterwards. Follow this simple routine at the start and end of your workout and thank me later !
Upper body and arm stretch: Clasp hands together, plans facing outwards, push arms up above the head. Hold for 30 seconds.
Tricep stretch: Raise right arm, bend it backwards so right hand is in middle of back and use other hand to gently pull elbow towards left side until you feel a strict. Hold 30 seconds and repeat on other arm.
Standing cat cow: Feet hip-width apart, legs slightly bent, lean forwards and place your hands on thighs just above knee. Round your back so head and shoulders are curved forwards. Then arch your back so your chest is open and shoulders back.
Shoulder shrugs: Shrug shoulders up and down 10 times.
Upper trap stretch: Lean your head to one side so your ear is towards shoulder. Hold for 10-15 seconds. Repeat on other side.
Calf stretch: Bending your left knee in a lunge shape, place your right leg straight out behind you, heel on the floor. Place hands on kitchen side and stretch into right calf for 30 secs. Repeat on left side.
Hamstring stretch: Bend your left knee and place your right leg straight in front of you. Sit into the left leg tilting your bum towards the sky. Keep your right foot flat on the floor for 15 secs, then lift toes towards sky for 15 to increase stretch. Repeat on left leg.
Glute stretch: You can hold the kitchen side for support if you need to here. From standing, bend you left leg slightly and lift you right leg up and place your right ankle just above left knee. Sit into it and try and for 30 seconds, Repeat on left.
Quad stretch: Standing on your left leg, feet hip-width apart, take your right ankle in your right hand, keeping your knees together. Tilt your pelvis forwards to increase the stretch and don’t lock out your standing knee. Hold for 30 seconds, repeat on left side.
So let’s get going girls AND Don’t forge to tell me how you get on !
Good afternoon friends. It is so great to see you all. Today I have a real treat for you. Photographer Laure Dherbécourt is here to chat about her work. This woman is amazing and each aspect of herself describes just that. Come on over and meet this talented and humble woman.
Tell us about yourself.
I was born and raised in France. I wasn’t born there but I grew up in Normandy, in the country surrounded by goats and plenty of other animals and my parents always showed me the sustainable development. I made my entire schooling in Normandy… I worked 8 years near Paris after my graduation from college. It’s when I had my 1st experiences with women… 10 years ago, after I’ve lost my job I had a wonderful opportunity to come in Réunion Island (a French overseas department located in the…
There’s not many feelings greater then when a friend of yours gets recognition for their efforts. It’s one of the things i love to be able to share, so i was really thrilled for K’anne earlier when her book the Outsider was nominated in this top 100 list. Why not check it out for yourself and find out why ? Yoi won’t be disappointed !!!
Earlier this year, a close friend of mine, the lovely Waritsara, got in touch to ask if I could help with her music career which had stalled for the last four years and gotten to the stage where she was thinking about giving up.
Well, I couldn’t have that !!!!
She’s a super talented bunny with a really unique sound, chilling and haunting at the same time and her lyrics (all her own work) So, we set about a plan to get her out there, to hook her up with some great people and lone behold, two months later – this great video !!!
Would love to know what you think !!!
Like it ? Of course you do !!! You can catch up with up with her on her Facebook page here
Darlene recently got in touch with me complaining that as a glasses wearer, it seems everytime she tries to apply makeup, things go wrong and she ends up “looking like a clown” or “not getting the look that she wants”. This got methinking, there are lots of guides out there for looks you can achieve, products to use etc, but how DO you apply makeup if you wear glasses ? I mean, not everyone can or wants to wear contact lenses, right ?
So, Darlene, here are some hints and tips, which I hope will be of help to you !
First of all, you’ll benefit from a little planning up front. I know, it’s boring, but a little planning and preparation up front really gives you a clear picture of what to achieve. When you’re selecting your look, look at pictures of women wearing glasses already !!! More than that, look at pictures of women wearing glasses similar to YOURS !!!! We know, it sounds obvious, but a lot of girls forget this and look at pictures of dramatic evening wear makeup (like the smokey eye look, or cats eyes) which when framed by your glasses, can make your eyes look really heavy and deep set.
Once you’ve chosen your look, as strange as it seems, you’ll benefit from a really good mirror.
When I say good, I mean good magnification and also illuminated. My personal favourite is this one from Waneway. It’s got 20 dimmable LED lights around the edge which help illuminate your whole face (it also has a memory function which saves you having to pfaff with setting it each time you use it) It also has a 10x removable spot mirror, which really helps see detail when you are doing fine work – finishing lash edges, wingtips, that sort of thing. Best of all its less than £20 !!! BARGAIN !!!!
Another really handy product is this little beauty I came across when researching this article
Foldable glasses !!! I have to admit, I don’t wear glasses (I had laser surgery a little while ago to correct my vision) but I’ve heard a few ladies say they use these and although fiddly at first to get to grips with, they’ve found that with time, they have learned to make the most of them. One comment that I did hear from ladies that use these is that they are more useful for doing eyeshadow than eyeliner. I also noticed when looking at them, they tend to come in standard magnifications (1.00 +1.50 +2.00 +2.50 +3.00 +3.50 +4.00 were the most common, so they might not be exactly right for your prescription. But at £6.99 for a pair, they’re worth trying if you’re struggling with fine detail.
So, you’ve got some great tools (you can get your brushes here) now, what to do with them ?
Well, first things first, you’re best to apply primer to your face. There are two reasons for this. (1) It provides the perfect surface to apply your foundation on. (2) It helps even out blemishes across the skin which can be magnified by glasses, particularly under the eye. My personal favourite is Youniques Glorious Primer. This is absolutely PERFECT for building your foundation on and stay in place. It’s a little heavy for the eyes though, so there’s a special formulation that you can get for your eyes here.
With your primer set, you’re ready to move onto your concealer. When you wear glasses,
your eyes will tend to need a little more attention in this area, as the glasses will tend to magnify any circles, dark areas or pores by drawing attention to this area of your face. Concealer is great for prepping your eyelids before applying your eye shadow application. You’re looking to apply a concealer 1-2 shades lighter under your eye (remember, not too heavy) and then smudge it out. A lot of girls like to use their fingers for this, but I personally prefer to use Youniques blending buds for this – the pink one is perfect for fine detail around the eyes and they leave a smooth even finish without to much pressure, which is important in delicate areas like the eye. Depending on the shape of your glasses, you may find that you need to apply a little more concealer in the under eye area than your used to, because big bold circular glasses (like the lady on the cover photo of this article) tend to magnify a large are under the eye. As before, blend it out with a blending bud (this time the purple one)
Now you’re ready for your foundation. As with all makeup, its a personal choice, but my personal favourite is Touch mineral foundation at the moment. I use it with a foundation brush, rather than pads, sponges or fingers (but this is just my preference) Check out the tips section at the bottom of the page for a really useful tip for how to use your brushes !! If the frame of your glasses is quite thick, don’t worry about applying foundation in the area of the bridge of your nose. There’s simply no point applying in this area, it will only come off and the finish of your foundation will encourage your glasses to slide down your nose. It will take a little more blending (and hence time) but the result will be worth it. Don’t forget to blott away excess foundation to keep your makeup from coming off onto your frames in the cheek area. If you’re set on applying foundation in this area, fix it in place with a little setting powder which will also help stop your glasses sticking to your foundation and lifting it from your face.
Before we leave this area, I want you to put your glasses on. Why ? Well, while the frames of
glasses frame your face, your cheeks and brows frame your glasses. So, we’re looking to accentuate these features to draw attention to your eyes! Use sculpting trio with a dark brown shadow and an angled brush to fill in your brows so they are prominent. Then apply a bit of pink blush on the apples of your cheeks. If your glasses are larger frames that hide a bit of your cheekbone, use them as guidance for where to apply the blush so the colour doesn’t rise up past the frame. With the glasses on, use a highlighter to add some shimmer to the outer cheekbones, the bridge of the nose, and above your eyebrows. Blend bronzer into the hollows of your cheekbones for added definition.
Now…… It’s time for those funny looking glasses !!! (or if you’d prefer, the spot illuminate mirror) Because, we’re going to focus on our eye shadow, eye liner and mascara !!! Exciting huh ? I personally prefer a light, clean and simple look for the eye lid because the glare from the lenses can sometimes be distracting enough. Apply a nude, neutral or bronze, matte shade just above the crease with a fluffy brush. Then use a velvety, peach shade in the inner corner of the eye and on the centre of the lower lid. There are lots of fun shades to choose from out there though if you want to be a little daring – Younique offer an amazing range of colours here.
We’re almost done !!! Use black, liquid eyeliner to apply a thin line along the upper lash line, finishing it with a small upward flick at the end (Winged eyeliner is so IN at the moment !!!) and then finish your look with mascara – 3d lash mascara (or a lash enhancer if you prefer) is ideal for this !!! Don’t forget your brows too – pluck any stray hairs and give them a nice shape using one of our contour guides. I personally prefer to colour my brows, but a lot of girls are choosing to go for shaping and fixing in place with a clear mascara (You can use liquid one from the 3d mascara set for this) Then pop your glasses on for the ultimate finishing touch – LIPSTICK !!!!
Because you’ve kept your eye makeup clean and simple to this point, you can have some real fun with your lip colour – and the best news is there are some amazing shades out there at the moment, which better yet, really stay in place !!! My personal favourite at the moment is the “Savvy shade” from the Younique lip stain product range, which you can find here.
And that’s all there is to it, you’re all good to go girl !!! If you’re a spectacle wearer, I’d love to hear what tips you have for your makeup and products you use – it’s always great to learn new things and who knows, you might even get a personal message of thanks from Darlene !!
My top tips
The thicker your glasses frames – the thicker your eyeliner can be and, if your frames are tiny – draw thinner line with your eyeliner. This adds balance and harmony to your look.
Smudging your eyeliner draws attention to your eyes without looking too sharp and angular. If you find your eyes water when applying eyeliner, try this my pro tip: draw a thick line with your black/brown eyeliner pencil on the back of your hand and then, using a smudging brush and apply the product on your lash line (try to keep it as close to your lash line, as possible). This helps make your eyeliner look very soft and elegant.
Curling your eyelashes can help move them away from contact with the lens of your glasses, prevening marks on them which you have to clean off and lets be honest, who has time to do that in the office ?
When you wear glasses, eye shadow that has “shimmer” in it can make your eyes look smaller. A light amount of shimmer for your brow bone area is the one exception to this rule.
Using a moistened brush helps move the product over your face. I find that if the brush is too dry, it can pick up too much of the product and pull too much at the sensitive skin under the eye.
Black liner or shadow can be too heavy for most girls with glasses, but a sparkly navy or a deep burgundy liner, makes everyone look good, no matter what skin tone or hair colour you have.
Use a tinted moisturizer to help hide those annoying red marks that glasses often leave behind on your nose. That way if you take your glasses off at any point during the night (when you’re snogging a guy for instance), you won’t have those annoying little red marks that glasses tend to leave on the bridge of your nose. BB creams and BB Foundations will also help get rid of any uneven redness from the start, making your skin look really polished so that your eyes standout even more.
Even though your glasses may hide them, it’s equally important to tend to your brows because they help frame your face for a makeup look that feels complete. To make them standout, use a clear or coloured brow mascara and brush your brows upward and outward to darken them slightly and ultimately give your face a gorgeous, polished look.
Let the colour of your frames guide your choice of eyeliner shades. If you have black frames, you can pull off any colour of liner. But, if your glasses aren’t solid black, try a dark bronze or smoky quartz shade. For tortoise frames, choose one of the colours within the frames of your glasses to make your eye makeup look softer.
Being Emily is a delightfully written, easy to read, compelling, heartfelt read, completely different from the majority of transgender fiction out there (which is usually fetish) and all the better for it. I absolutely adored it from beginning to end.
It’s more than a book about being transgender though, so don’t be put off if you aren’t trans yourself or interested in the subject matter. It’s the story of a person discovering and learning to love themselves with their own sense of identity and purpose. Emily, the lead character ably supported by her friend Emily take us through her voyage of self discovery, without it ever feeling like an in depth examination with over explicit details of gender re-assignment surgery. We get to see the influence of the church on Emily’s mother and Claire, the futile hope of reparative surgery through the eyes of sleazeball Dr Webber, the sense of loss of a son from Emily’s mother.
Rachel displays a wonderfully expressive writing style throughout this book – from her beautiful descriptions of scenes and moments, to the detached emotions conveyed in Emily’s “computer programme speak” when confronted by a scene where she is acting on automatic pilot. By writing chapters from each of the leading characters perspectives, Rachel gives herself the opportunity to explore Emily’s story deeply, in an age appropriate way, without getting hungup on the gory details of surgery. All of the key moments in the transgender journey are here. Doubt, isolation, peer to peer support, parents wanting their old child back, hate, hormone prescriptions, old and new approaches to therapy, a best friend for an ally and the subtle influence of religion on peoples behaviour and in particular her parents.
It’s a thought provoking and sometimes jarring read. In one scene, Emily returns from a meal out to barricade herself in her room, before picking up a knife to cut her clothes from her body, to stand in front of a mirror, knife in hand, poised ready to remove the cause of her dysphoria. Cue her dad’s arrival, literally smashing through the door to come to her aid. This scene, one of a number of pivotal scenes in the book, serves to wrench Emily’s dad from his initial position of the detachment typical of so many male parents, to a realisation that leads to a “tolerance” of her situation and the gesture which ultimately puts her on the path for college and the surgeries she so badly needs to be herself.
I highly recommend this delightful book for any library, school reading program, or any other educational or organised activity, as it’s an interesting, valuable and positive insight into the transgender community and the issues they face.
If you would like to buy the book or yourself – yu can catch it here
This latest novella from Anastasia is a variation on her well established theme of exploring love and romance against a bdsm backdrop. In this book, you have a fun collision of two different cultures and distinctly different people. Indigo, the nervous, timid tourist abroad for an “interview” compared to the assured, confident Hyunkyung, definitely make for a case of “opposites attract”.
Without wishing to give anything away, suffice it to say their first meeting doesn’t go well, but as the Anastasia explores and develops the characters through the book, you get to understand a little of why, paving the way for you to use your own imagination and let yourself into their world and definition of a one night stand.
This is a fun, well written and crafted book which, if you’re like me and catch the bus into work in the morning is a delicious way of spending time on the journey. If you’re new to Anastasias world, I’d definitely recommend it – if for nothing else than the one liners which I’ll leave you a few, before signing off……
◾Kimchi tastes best when served with a side of spanking.
◾”Come I said, and she did”
◾“Say my name the right way,” she said, “and I’ll unzip my dress another few centimeters. Say it wrong, and I’ll spank you with my crop.”
and its follow on
◾“Oh my God.” I writhed. How could she make me choose only one?
If you’re curious about Anastasia and her world of quilting, cookies, spoons and writing, you can catch her at