LUXURIA LOCKDOWN LOVES

Mar 31, 2020




Now  we are all in some form of isolation, I thought I would use this opportunity to bring you some of the things that are bringing me joy at this difficult time, in the hope you can take something from it also.
LEARNING:
Now is a great time to dabble in topics and subjects you have always been interested in. 
The University of Yale is now offering it's most popular course 'The Science of Well-Being' and you  can register for a FREE

One I plan on joining is Masterclass (you have probably seen the Anna Wintour ads floating around Instagram). This is a paid subscription but it has some of the best instructors in the industry such as Gordon Ramsey, Anna Wintour, Bobbi Brown........the list goes on, and I plan to get stuck in ;-)
Working Out With:
So if you are at home and cannot get to a gym or a class, then exercising at home is your only option.
I found Melissa Wood on Instagram about 3 months ago and here workouts are fabulous; mainly Pilates and Yoga based but also working with weights, exercise balls etc. I love her workouts because some are 15 mins, some are 45 mins. Or you can mix and match and create your own. 
There is a monthly subscription of $9.99/month. But it is minimal when you consider what a good gym membership is.
PAMPER:
The name says it all. 'The Martini'.
This is a bath soak by GOOP and is supposed to:
*take the edge off turbulent times
*centres the body and spirit
*helps to relieve tension in the neck and shoulders.
I have used it and I love it. I am not a huge bath fan (I prefer a good power shower), but this is slowly converting me ;-)
Listening To:
I am an avid reader, but I have slowly been converted to audio books over the last 2-3 years.
 I love listening to audio books because it means I can listen when doing other things. I also find I retain more when I listen rather than just read (maybe that is just an age thing ;-)
Here are some of my favourite audio books I am listening to or re-listening to at the moment. They are all non-fiction as I don't tend to read or listen to fiction at the moment.
I won't link them all. But you can find them all on AUDIBLE

* The Surrender Experiment (Michael Singer)
* The Untethered Soul (Michael Singer)
*The Happiness Advantage (Shawn Achor)
*Big Magic (Elizabeth Gilbert)
*Girl Stop Apologising (Rachel Hollis)
*The Beautiful No (Sheri Salata)
*Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender (Dr David Hawkins)
I hope you find one you like that you may not have even considered before.
Pursuing The Pretty:
I'm not sure about you, but in times of "crisis" I need things to cheer me up and just make me happy. And this is one of my "non-essentials" that I know I will make use of in Spring  and Summer because let's face it, Spring and Summer will still be arriving.
You can get up close and personal with these beauties here
So there you have it!
I hope you enjoy some of the things that are bringing me a little joy.
Keep safe.

Everything Is Coming Up Daisies

Mar 9, 2020

Has Spring arrived where you are?
It hasn't where I am and there doesn't look like much sign of it next week either!
So to help us imagine Spring is on its way, I wanted to talk about flower-power.


Floral designs are still everywhere 


Mulberry

However, I'm not sure about you but in the past I tended to keep
away from florals. I always feel that if you don't know how to pick
the right pieces you could either look like someone's spinster Great-Aunt
or a remnant from the 60's! So I've always steered clear.

However, if you are still unsure of doing the whole floral get-up
then why not just add a floral piece that will still bring you
on-trend but not in such a conspicuous way.

If you want to follow the daisy trend as Kate Middleton did (without having to sell
one of your children or a kidney) then I think you
might like these:


Kate last week in Ireland wearing Daisy Earrings from Asprey
Cost: £17k


These are more affordable and just as pretty (in my humble opinion).



All here



That's it lovely ladies.
Love to hear from you as always
xxxx




p.s a little something to make you chuckle

Things I've Loved So Far This Year

Feb 22, 2020






So January and February can be tricky months for some people; 
the Winter seems never ending and there is still very little indication that Spring
is on the way.   
However, I love these months. I really hunker down and literally
go into hibernation from the rest of the world (I am sure I must have been a bear
in another life!).

So here are some things that brought me joy over the last two months.



This has got to be the most amazing skin balm I have ever used. 
It was recommended by Gwenyth Paltrow in her Gift Guide at the 
end of the year.  But I found it much earlier by hearing the creator talking 
on one of my favourite podcasts-The Ikonns (episode 51). Just hearing what the creator
May Lindstrom went through before even bringing this product to life was just
so inspiring.  The balm itself is quite expensive BUT it will last you a long time as you 
need a small amount. Plus it soothes not only the skin, but the mind.





I love listening to podcast and audio books because it means I can do other
things whilst listening.

So here are two podcasts I listen to "religiously".

i) The Sheri and Nancy Show. This is really one of my faves. It's with Sheri Salata (who
used to be the Exec Producer of the Oprah Show, and her best friend from childhood.

It's just such a breath of fresh air as they talk about how they want to reignite the 8 pillars 
for a joyous life. The explain what the 8 pillars are and they also have a really
engaged Facebook group. 

They also have the most amazing guests and they talk about everything
from the woo-woo to going plant-based and everything in between
(plus they are soooo funny).

I can't wait for their weekly episodes to drop.

ii) The other podcast I love is The Ikonns (which I mentioned above).
They are a Canadian couple who moved to London and are just so
inspiring in what they have achieved. Anyone who thinks "Millenniels"
are "snow-flakes" just needs to go and listen to their podcast. 

The guests they have are so amazing, but I also love the episodes 
when this Husband and Wife team are just chatting between themselves.




I don't often watch that much TV. But I have "binge-watched" quite a few things on
Netflix which are a  real first for me. So my faves have been:

i) Shine On with Reese Witherspoon (Reese interviews some of the most inspiring women 
from female film Director Ava Du Vaney to one of my faves Dolly Parton). 
It's only a short series, but I loved every woman she interviewed.

ii) If you want to watch a good suspense thriller, it has be The Stranger.
OMG!!! I have recommended this to SO many friends who then cursed me
when their housework, cooking, to-do list, good intentions all got swept
to the wayside as they got hooked on this series. Go and watch it. It will
have you gasping to the end.

iii) In the same vein as ii) and also by the writer Harlen Corben, it's called 
Safe. Again, don't expect anything to get done for about 8 hours (admittedly
I watched it over a course of a week, but I had to force myself each time
to turn the damn thing off!)




OK, I hate working out. I mean seriously hate it. But this year I decided to 
make small changes (not say I am going to run a marathon when I can't even run
for a bus if my life depended on it!). 

So I found Melissa Wood Health by accident on Instagram. 
What I love about her workouts are they are yoga/pilates based, and they each last about
15-20 mins. So you can do one or however many you feel a desire to do.

Even if you just do a 20 minute session you really feel your muscles have been worked.
There are SO many videos to choose from, so you never get bored. 
I love that you can just do it from your computer wherever you are.
It is subscription based. But it costs something like $9/month.
I did the free-trial and loved it so much I signed up immediately.
And guess what? I actually love doing my workouts 4-5 times per week.
Who would have thought!




I loved seeing Kate Middleton wearing some of my fave earrings at the 
moment-drop leaf earrings.
I am loving my own version ;-)

Mine are a little longer and also come in silver. 
I also have a range of leaf jewellery, so if you don't like
ferns but fancy something else, take a look here 

But seeing her in these this week really made me smile.


So that's it for now.
Would love to know if any of my recommendations are new or not
for you. And as always I would love to read your comments.


Keep safe and warm 
(storms still raging here in the UK)

Van
xxxxx




Hairbands Are Having A Moment.

Feb 13, 2020

As shown by Salma Hayek at the Oscars last Sunday.



Yes lovely lady. 
She is wearing an "olive" hairband that is very, very similar to mine.

The only difference would be that you don't have to sell 
one of your children, or a kidney to buy mine.

However, she does show that hairbands are having their moment 
and not just for weddings and 7 year olds!
Women of a certain age can also rock a  hairband.

So here are some of my picks that I think will decorate
women of any age without making you look like
the proverbial "mutton".

gold olive headbands, wedding headbands, bridesmaid hair accessories, wedding accessories

When thoughts turn to Tuscan olive groves and wafting kaftans. 

gold olive headbands, wedding headbands, bridesmaid hair accessories, bridal hair accessories

Just add a floaty dress or your fave jeans and t'shirt and 
you are good to go. 


rhodium silver headbands, wedding headbands, bridesmaid hair accessories, bridal hair accessories
Fun with ferns.
Keep it casual with this beauty.


gold floral headbands, floral wedding headbands, floral bridesmaid hair accessories, floral wedding accessories
Crazy about Crysanths.


gold floral headbands, floral wedding headbands, floral bridesmaid hair accessories, floral wedding accessories

Go dainty with Mimosas

gold floral headbands, floral wedding headbands, floral bridesmaid hair accessories, floral wedding accessories

When you need some petal power.

These are my picks.
I would love to hear what you think, and if you
are embracing the head-band trend.

xxxxx

Is It Just Me That Loves Winter?

Jan 27, 2020

Brrrrrrrr! It's bone-rattlingly cold
as I write this blog post.
But here's the thing. I LOVE Winter;
when all the festivities are over and it's
time to hunker down and wait for Spring.

Is that just me (because everyone I talk to
hates Winter!)?
But I think my love for it comes from living for so many years
in 45ªC heat which let m tell you gets really tiresome after a while.

Here's what I lover so much about Winter:

* cashmere comforts

*crispy pages of new journals awaiting
my scrawling handwriting

* optimism and excitement 



* weekend lockdowns when it is deemed perfectly
acceptable to hibernate like a bear and to refuse
to go anywhere or see anyone

*the sight and smell of new books and magazines
waiting to be devoured and savoured by a wood-burner.


* lazying and grazing (I am good at this. SO good! I am 
sure I was a cow in another lifetime!)

*cold frosty walks that rattle your bones and teeth
but which give your cheeks a nice healthy glow that
you can never replicate with make-up.

* hot, indulgent drinks that welcome you
back home


* big scarves

* cosy coats (that hide a multitude of sins ;-)

* pom-pom hats that are acceptable to the over
40's when brain freeze is imminent


* the crackling sound of logs burning

* reflections

*the darkness and stillness of early mornings

* hot, homemade soup

*the smell of freshly baked bread (why does
my mind always go back to food?)

* the desire to want to learn something new

* double rainbows

*thunderstorms whilst safely tucked up inside

* that feeling of nothing needs to be done (after the
madness that was December)

I love it all.


Is it just me that loves mid-Winter?
Would love to hear if you like Winter or are
hanging on by your Chanel painted finger-nails for Spring.

xxx

What I Wish For You This Christmas

Dec 22, 2019


Well how quick has this Christmas come around, or
is it just me? I can't believe it's nearly time for the BIG MAN
to arrive.
So before we all get sucked into food comas and wrapping paper, 
 here's what I wish for you:




*the joy of finally "getting there" and the
realisation that what's not done can stay undone

*the joy of imperfections; perfection is over rated ;-)

*the joy of making real memories. Memories

that will be etched in your memory forever (for all
the good reasons of course).

*the joy of spontaneous memories that happened
before you could even find a phone to capture the moment.

*the joy of reflection



*the joy of  cheesy Christmas films


*the joy of meals thrown together in the
after-math of the big day as you decide to
channel your "inner Nigella".

*the joy of pyjamas becoming daywear .

*the joy of anticipation as you start to think about 
 dreams for the next decade

*the joy of having somewhere to wear an over-the-top
sparkly number; something you would not ordinarily
wear.




More than anything I would like to thank you for 
the joy you give me as you accompany 
me in this humble space I call 
my blog. I am not a writer and sometimes
find it difficult to come up with anything of value.

In fact most days I can't even think of words to string

a sentence together .

So I appreciate every single one of you who make
time to visit. I know how "time-starved" we all are,
so it means even more to me to think I have people
even reading my ramblings ;-)



Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and
nothing but the best for the New Year;
I also hope we will continue as friends in 2020.
xxxx