Walking for Fitness, Fun and Charity

Team SOLE Shine Walk training

women running

I am a massive advocate of walking. Apart from the fact that scientists have discovered a daily brisk walk can delay the ageing process by 12 years, it’s a great weight-bearing exercise so perfect for keeping bones healthy. And – if you do it fast enough – it helps keep the wobble under control. There are even more fabulous benefits: For me, walking every day means I keep my fitness levels fairly constant, my dog gets his exercise and I can guarantee that if I leave the house feeling under the weather, I’ll return after a walk (rain or shine) feeling much brighter. It’s a natural, free happiness booster and as I mentioned here in my last post, I want to bring more of them our way!

Team SOLE Shine Walk training
Team SOLE Shine Walk training

The social aspect of walking is always a bonus – unlike jogging and running, you can hold a conversation with your friends without panting and having to stop mid-goss to get your breath back! That’s why this year, I wanted to take my usual choice of charity walk/run up a notch. So instead of the 5k Race For Life, I’m pleased to be joining a team of great women (including my gorgeous daughter, Aimee, below) to take part in the Cancer Research Shine Night Walk. I’ve opted for the 13 mile walk through London at night rather than the full marathon 26 miles because…well…because I’m a scaredy cat!

Me and Aimee at Race for Life
Me and Aimee at Race for Life

I’m really looking forward to the walk, as well as catching up with the team, but I just hope I’ve trained enough and that my niggly hip doesn’t cause me too much trouble.

One thing I can be sure of though, is that my feet should be comfortable because our team have been sponsored by SOLE whose unique orthopaedic footbeds and footwear adapt to the body to offer optimal support. They have sent our team a range of footbeds, the softest, bounciest socks I’ve ever worn (can socks be bouncy?) and some fab flip flops which look great with my tanned toes!

silver flip flops sole

Shine Walk Bits

Of course, walking to raise money for the Cancer Research charity is the main point of the Shine Walk and I’m delighted to be part of the hundreds of walkers who are going to do our best to help kick cancer’s butt!

If you’d like to donate, it would be much appreciated and you can click on mine and Aimee’s page here.

Thank you everyone and wish us luck! xx 

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Get Happy with The Sunshine Vitamin D3

embracing-the-sunWay back in February I wrote a post about how to make yourself feel good when you’re feeling a bit down (click here) and I often write about how the dark, cold days of winter leave me feeling blah as well (click here). You have every right to think I’m a bit of a moany madam, but it’s really just the winter that does it to me…oh and living in a perpetual building site!

But I wanted to let you know about my favourite feel good find – and I’m so pleased it’s come my way just as the days are getting shorter – and wetter! It’s a handy little Vitamin D3 spray from Natural Health Practice that was sent to me, along with the staggering results of research by the Scientific Advisory Committee, that found a huge 60% of the UK population are deficient in Vitamin D!

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So, why do we need Vitamin D? Apart from boosting your mood, Vitamin D helps the body to absorb phosphorous and calcium, which are essential to bone growth and inadequate levels of it can lead to insufficient bone density, fatigue, and muscle aches.

Most dermatologists will tell you to wear sunscreen daily – so this, plus the fact that we have low levels of sunlight in the winter can lead to lack of Vitamin D, BUT that doesn’t mean you should throw away the sunscreen – No Siree – your wrinkles won’t thank you for that! But getting outside for 10 minutes without sunscreen is all you need. In just a few minutes, your skin is unlikely to suffer and you’ll be filling up your Vitamin D quota.


Don’t forget to eat the right foods as well – eggs, mushrooms, fatty fish, meat and fortified cereals all help, but if you’re suffering with the winter blues, fatigue and general lethargy more than usual, it’s a good idea to ask your GP for a blood test. You may just be deficient and not even realise it.

I’ll be writing about Ways to Get Happy a lot more over the coming months, as happiness is something we just can’t get enough of! In the meantime, you might want to invest in your own little Vitamin D spray of sunshine, which you can find here at £10.97.

The Easy Breezy Way to Refreshed Skin with the Skinbreeze Orbital Facial

The treatment being carried out (not on me).
The treatment being carried out (not on me).

Working from home, aka the building site, amidst the dust and drilling of a team of tradesmen, any invitation that comes my way that will get me out of the hell hole house is usually met with me shouting ‘yes please! Yes please!’ in the high pitched, over excited manner of a school girl being asked if she’d like to be the lead in the school play. So, when I was kindly invited to try a new facial at the Soho based Premier Laser Clinic, I was out of the door in a puff of dust…really.

On arrival at the pristine clinic, I met skin specialist, Ellie, whose years of experience belied her youthful looks and who assured me that the recently launched Skinbreeze Orbital Facial would soon put pay to my tired, stressed skin.

I laid back – trying to ignore the weird vertigo that I’ve suddenly acquired which makes me feel as if I’m about to fall off the bed everytime I turn my head – and got ready to be pampered.

I’ve had microdermabrasion before and admit, even though my skin often looks great once the redness has subsided, it’s not particularly relaxing as I find the exfoliating crystals quite scratchy. However, the special thing about the new technology in this facial, is that it has specially designed rotating tips of various levels of coarseness – we started with the least abrasive as it was my first time. There’s also a wide choice of speed settings and I was pleased that the exfoliating tip actually felt quite tickly, and not at all uncomfortable, as it vibrated and massaged my face, cleaning and refining pores.

Another plus point about having various speeds and levels of abrasiveness means that, unlike usual crystal microdermabrasion – which is kind of a one-size-fits-all affair – this treatment can be tailor-made to suit the individual’s skin type and requirements.

While the skin resurfacing is taking place, a red LED light is shined onto my skin, and this is said to help promote cell renewal, stimulate collagen and boost circulation.

The next phase of the facial was what excited me the most as I’d read about the skin plumping and line filling benefits of oxygen on the skin and I couldn’t wait to see it for myself. Ellie used what looked like a small power washer to deliver an infusion of Skinbreeze serum, containing powerful ingredients such as Hyaluronic Acid and Seaweed Extract, along with O2, into the deeper layers of the skin. The feeling was wonderful! These little puffs of cool spray made my skin feel very revived and refreshed.

Once my skin was polished and tingly, Ellie placed a super-hydrating sheet mask over my face and as she tried to lay it so that the holes for the nose, mouth and eyes were in the right place, she asked whether I was claustrophobic. ‘Nope’ I replied confidently as the mask came down and it all went black. Of course, my mind then immediately went into self-sabotage mode and mocked me: “what do you mean you’re not claustrophobic? Don’t you remember how hard you find it to breathe when you’re in a lift – or when it takes too long to get a jumper over your head?” Great. Thankfully, just as I was about to embarrass myself and hyperventilate, the mask fell into place and all was well. Phew. I felt calm and relaxed while my skin drank up the softening, nourishing moisturisers.

While the mask was on, Ellie used an ebrasor – a hand held massaging piece of equipment – to smooth and lift the skin and stimulate the muscles of the face in order to drain excess fluid and dissipate puffiness.

My Verdict: What a treat! My skin felt smoother, looked so much brighter and had a restored glow in the cheeks that seemed to have been missing in action lately!

Sorry about the no makeup! But skin looks fresh :-)

A course of Skinbreeze facials is usually required to maintain the results but a one off is the perfect precursor to a night on the tiles. Or in my case, it’s the perfect remedy to bat away the skin spoiling effects of the building debris until the next time!

The Skinbreeze Orbital Microdermabrasion Facial costs from £150 at the London Premier Laser Clinic. Click here to find out more about this and other Skinbreeze treatments.

Here’s the Skinny on Skinade


Have you heard about Skinade? If you’re in the health and beauty industry, or you’re interested in reading about nutrition and all things body beautiful, you’ve probably seen or heard the buzz about this ‘liquid beauty drink’. When I received a parcel of the ubiquitous white plastic bottles with their stylish and simple black font – enough for a 30 day trial – I was intrigued and couldn’t wait to find out what the fuss was about…

My first thought was that it was probably a bit of a fad – but the brand definitely had an amazing sales team because I began to see Instagram images and blogs about these little white bottles of the ‘elixir of youth’ everywhere! I mean, how can one drink a day improve the skin – could it really improve my skin any more than my usual routine of slapping on an SPF, moisturising and regular facials?

But then I started thinking about it and, actually, nutrition plays a huge part in how our skin looks and ages, and we all know somebody who swears supplements are helping them with their skin, nails, hair or creaky joints, so why shouldn’t a drink help?

Credit: Skinade Instagram
Credit: Skinade Instagram

As I twisted the lid off my first bottle and took a long glug, I closed my eyes and prayed that 1, it worked and 2, that I would have the stomach to down one of these nasty tasting drinks every day. I really wasn’t taken with the taste from the start, no matter how many eye-catching images I saw on Instagram of pretty girls sipping their Skinade on the beach, dressing it up in a tall glass with lots of ice and a cocktail umbrella. Nope. The only thing that made it a little more palatable for me was to make sure it was icy cold and to hold my nose while drinking it as quickly as I could! 

So did I persevere with it? I certainly did! It took about 10 days before I started seeing a difference in my skin and there was definitely a big improvement in  hydration and plumpness. When a friend commented that she’d dismissed buying it because of the £90 price tag but, after seeing the effects on my skin, was having second thoughts, I had to fess up. Yes, I think the drink was somewhat responsible for my glowiness of late, but I’d also had a couple of really good facials during my Skinade trial – so I’m sure they also had a positive impact.

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So, what’s in Skinade? The bumf describes it as:  a peach and mangosteen anti ageing collagen drink containing a patent pending formulation of active ingredients that boosts your body’s natural production of collagen and hyaluronic acid. Hmmm maybe it’s the mangosteen that I found hard to stomach? But I do know that collagen and hyaluronic acid are skin goodies, so that makes sense. By drinking it, rather than using it topically, Skinade says its formulation of low molecular weight collagen and essential micro-nutrients ensures rapid absorption and nourishes skin from the inside. 

My verdict: £90 is a lot to pay if you already fork out for high quality skincare and, I admit, I haven’t put my hand in my pocket to buy it since I’ve run out of my press samples. However, my skin’s hydration definitely improved – possibly helped with the combination of facials too and once my bank account is safely back in the black, another supply of Skinade is top on my list of beauty buys.

Have you tried Skinade yet? 

The Instagram World of Glowology

I do love a bit of Instagram, don’t you? It’s a wonderful rose-tinted version of life as we know it with softly filtered pictures that somehow manage to make something quite ordinary, such as a cup of coffee and bunch of flowers, a simple lipstick or – in my case – a glass of fizzy, into a masterpiece. So, here’s my Instagram life lately…and the reality behind it!Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 16.16.03 My gorgeous, leggy friend (let’s just call her Elle ;-)) is setting up an online accessories business called Barewith Accessories. She very kindly treated me to lunch as I helped start her off on the wonderful world of Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Although she said it made her head ache as there was so much to learn, I know she’ll soon be a dab hand at it and her business will be flourishing – especially with a  little bit of blogging and social media love from moi! Although Barewith Accessories hasn’t officially launched yet, it would be lovely if you could reach out to her and say ‘hi’ on Twitter @LoveBareWith or on Instagram @barewithaccessories and Facebook.Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 16.17.02Grooming isn’t all about the girls, is it? Here’s my lovely Stressed Husband getting splattered and soapy, making sure our precious black lab, Troy, gets his shine on! Loving the pinny – and it seems as if it’s inspired him to don one in the kitchen as he’s been cooking up a storm lately…who knew? Stressed Husband no more perhaps?

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 16.17.59Last weekend I attended the evening reception of the prettiest, quirkiest wedding I’ve ever been to! The young lovers partied the night away in a barn-cum-circus with all manner of fabulous ice- cream coloured, sparkly decor catching my eye. Despite the torrential rain, it was a truly breathtaking display of originality and, apart from the full size merry-go-round, my favourite thing was the bucket of pretty pink flip-flops adorned with a touch of pearl and glitter that the bride cleverly set aside for us girls. By the end of the night, those of us high in heel and wild on dance floor were very thankful to kick off the shoes and carry on boogying the night away in these!

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 16.12.50Yep, flip-flops and rain again. Seems to be a theme going on! Here I am on a journey with Stressed Husband after just having visited the salon. My pedi was fresh and sassy and there was no way I was going to allow a little rain get in the way of showing it off! Oh, and as an aside, to the guys who keep liking and commenting on pictures of my feet on Instagram – I do NOT want you to regram the pictures on your account and NO, I will not allow you to do anything else with them either! Go. Away.Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 16.11.55

I like to update my social media with the odd positive message – and on a Monday, I sometimes find it’s essential to get my head in the game (as Zac Efron so beautifully put it in  High School Musical…remember? Swooooon). This was a particularly fine, kick-ass quote I thought.

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And finally….although this picture was taken on a Sunday, it wouldn’t be Friday without a glass of fizzy would it? Scrolling through my Instagram and Twitter feeds, I think a glass of bubbles is possibly my signature post and I guess, it’s the perfect symbol for the way I’d always like my life to be…fizzy, fun and intoxicating :-)

Have a lovely weekend and long may it be flip-flop, fizzy drinking weather!

Wellbeing and Beauty Tips from Women Like US



To kick off my new blog series that I’ve called Wellbeing and Beauty Tips from Women Like Us, I’d like to introduce you to my friend and fellow glam girl, Liz Bennett. I chose Liz as she’s one of those lucky women who always looks fabulous whatever the situation. Honestly, I remember when we’d both be in the playground with colicky newborns, toddlers at our ankles and, whereas I’d still be in my maternity dungarees (yep, I went there) and hair scraped back in a ponytail, Liz would be floating around in a boho style creation with her silky black ringlets bobbing healthily around her glowing face. Annoying? I guess so, but I’ll let her off because she’s such a fabulous friend :-) So, over to Lovely Liz… Continue reading

How to Get Perfect Skin: Top Tips from Expert Mimi Luzon

Mimi Luzon

Mimi Luzon

When you’re given the chance to meet the highly regarded skincare specialist from Israel, Mimi Luzon, who has worked her magic on the faces of  international celebrities including Victoria Secret’s model, Alessandra Ambrosia at the world’s glamorous fashion shows and awards, what do you do? Apart from wonder whether, after treating such beauty Goddesses, she might wither at the sight of my 47 year old very mortal face, I thought “Let me at her!” If anyone knows the secrets to fabulous, youthful looking skin, she does. Here’s what we chatted about:

The ageing process starts younger than you think!

Did you know that the human growth hormone which is produced in our pituitary gland and is responsible for keeping us youthful, healthy and vital in both body and mind, begins to decline around the age of 14? Yep, 14! One of Mimi’s latest products, HGF Youth Serum has been developed with this knowledge and is enriched with a peptide that emulates the action of this hormone to boost the skin’s immune system, provide deep hydration, encourage cell rejuvenation and protection which will help lead to a fresh, radiant complexion. It’s not available in the UK yet, but Mimi gave me a little sample to take home with me. I’m thinking of employing a bouncer to watch over my cosmetics bag to stop my girls getting their hands on it…now they’re not quite as young as they think they are :-)

So, Mimi explained that we need to teach our girls (and boys) to start looking after their skin from a really young age. Clean away impurities, protect it from the sun as much as possible and keep it moisturised.

The worst skin spoiling culprits are…

Hot water, air conditioning/central heating and touching our faces! Mimi says she can’t believe how many women go to her with a break out and congested skin complaining that they don’t know why their skin is misbehaving. She watches as they talk – putting their bacteria riddled mobile phones against their cheeks and constantly touching their skin with dirty fingers. She stresses to them: “Leave it alone!” Keep skin as clean as you can and wash hands and wipe phones regularly to prevent bacteria getting onto the face.

Extremes in temperature such as very hot water or too warm central heating can really sap the skin of its goodness and play havoc with the skin’s natural PH mantle, so no matter how horrendous our winter is, avoid too hot baths and hogging the radiator!

Everyone deserves perfect skin:

This is Mimi’s motto. I asked her about the role stress plays on the condition of our  skin and she says that women today often take on too much, reaching levels of extreme fatigue and this is where she often sees them turning up with ‘premature aging’ asking for her help. Mimi believes we should seek help for our skin problems and try to prevent them in the first place by looking after ourselves from the inside out.

Try to eat healthily and exercise but don’t forget that you should also spend time on looking after your skin as much as you can. Professional skin treatments and high quality products are an investment.  “After all” Mimi said “You wouldn’t take your car to get fixed but tell the mechanic not to worry about replacing the broken light” So, she says we should look at ourselves as a whole and don’t think of skin as an ‘add on’.

As Mimi was in London introducing the latest Alma Impact Expert™ laser to press and skincare clinics, she allowed me to experience its effectiveness by trying it on me.  Using a variety of products chosen specifically for my maturing, dehydrated skin type, the gentle acoustic waves emitted from the handheld laser help advance active ingredients into the skin’s layers for enhanced results. It felt warming but quite comfortable even though the sounds were a little strange – a bit like squeaky radio signals (sort of how I’d imagine aliens sounding!). 

Without a doubt my skin looked fresher and more youthful immediately after – Mimi said this is one of her celebrity favourites, so it’s got to be good!

At the moment this treatment is available The Mayfair Practice but you can find out about other stockist from ABC lasers on 0845 170 7788.

Mimi’s No1 Quote: “The confidence a lovely complexion gives us is priceless.” I agree!

It was a pleasure to meet Mimi and talk to her about her obvious passion and expertise in skin. It was also lovely to find out that she has a teenage girl and boy who also keep her busy – just like me! 

For more information on Mimi Luzon and her wonderful work and research on skin, click here.