January's bookmarks

Monday, 26 January 2015

Well, we have finally reached the last week of January. I hope this month hasn't been too hard on you. Just think, six more days and we'll be in February. The month of love and pancakes. This can only be good :)

I've been bookmarking articles and objects that I have loved from around the web this month. I hope you enjoy them too.

Want more. Be more kind. Danielle LaPorte gives us her 10 points to success. As a huge fan of her work, this is everything.

A beautiful tutorial on painting fake feathers.

Jenny from Healthy Crush teaches us how to listen to our bodies to see how the food we're eating impacts us. This has been revolutionary for me. Join me in doing her breakfast experiment!

I absolutely love this makeup artist. She is such a talented lady. Here are her
beauty favourites from 2014. I want all of them.

Topshop dress is an absolute beauty.

Trust your instincts and embrace imperfection.

I have such a soft spot for stationery. These marble and gold gift tags are on my wishlist.

On Fey and Poehler at the Globes and how their opening speech made a much needed feminist statement.

How to find the right shade of lipstick. 
This tip by the genius and all round lovely chap, Wayne Goss, is ludicrously simple and sooo effective.

A great lighthearted article by a beauty points enthusiast on her joy of "working the points".

This month, I discovered the site, Annapurna Living. I have bookmarked so many articles from here this month. Here are a few of my favourites: an ode to mornings; "Without devotion in a Yoga practice, it becomes just exercise"; a beautiful film about Maria Helles, a Russian ballet dancer who, at 95 years of age, is independent, fit and healthy. Inspirational.

Much love
Louise x

(Image via Freepeople)

Healthy chocolate and banana smoothie

Monday, 19 January 2015

Come New Year's Day, "losing weight" was not on my list of resolutions and hasn't been for the past few years. But what I am focusing on is my health. Do I have enough energy? Is my body working the way I want it to? Can I play superheroes with my nephews without feeling like I've ran a marathon?

The answer unfortunately isn't always yes, so this year I'm addressing that. The challenge though has been to find recipes that are healthier - but that still actually taste good. I have tried soooo many healthy recipes that just taste, well, a bit blah.

But I have finally found one that does taste great. Really great. Plus, Imran likes it. And he is one fussy discerning eater.

Originally found here, this chocolate banana shake is seriously good. Plus it's free from added sugar and dairy.

Healthy chocolate and banana smoothie

1 ripe banana
1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cacao powder
1 tablespoon smooth almond butter
1/3 vanilla almond milk

Slice the banana. Add the rest of the ingredients into the blender and blend until nice and smooth. Boom. That's it!

As we don't have a blender, we just mashed up our bananas and then popped all the ingredients into the Kitchenaid at the highest speed for a few minutes. Worked a charm!

The original recipe suggests freezing the bananas before adding them to the blender. I decided not to do this as in this cold the last thing I want is a chilled smoothie, but I am 100% sure that will change come summer.

I hope you enjoy! Do you have any tried and tested healthy recipes?

Much love
Louise x

Finally, I'm back!

Monday, 12 January 2015

Wow, four years is a loooong time to not blog for. What started off as a short break when my career became rather all-encompassing, turned into a four year hiatus.

I really missed blogging. And the lovely community that I got to know. It is good to be back :)

Here's a little recap of what's been going on in my world over the last four years...

I got a promotion at work which, as I'm sure most of you have experienced, meant longer hours (sooo long) and, of course, more responsibility. I work in marketing and have been for the last 15 years. As much as I love the work itself, taking that step-up meant that I had to deal with a whole host of other things (Politics! Public speaking! Networking! Gah!).

I have the utmost respect for my colleagues who enjoy these things and really nail them on a regular basis. So inspiring. But, and it took me four long years to realise this, these were elements of the job that I just did not enjoy, and spending so much time on them was sucking the life out of me. My energy levels were depleted, I started suffering from anxiety attacks and although I'm sure I seemed ok on the outside, on the inside I was really struggling.

I do feel that we get so bombarded with the message that we can be/do anyone/anything that we try, try and try again to be "that" person - sometimes at the expense of listening to our own intuition.

At the end of last year, I made the decision to hand in my resignation and made a promise to myself to follow my joy - and to trust in that (something I got from attending a session with the lovely Rebecca Campbell).

I've started to freelance, helping small businesses and individuals that I truly believe in market themselves. And, in the spirit of following what I love, I took a leap and signed-up for a make-up course. Countless hours of blending eye shadow and a few shoots later and I'm ready to start testing and assisting, and combining that with my marketing work and blogging here.

All very exciting and, I'll be honest here, slightly terrifying. But more exciting. Promise ;)

Anyway, it's truly lovely to be back blogging. I hope you enjoy following my journey and the usual mix of posts!

Much love
Louise x

(Images via glitterguide and Nylon Pinksy)

Oreo cupcakes

Saturday, 19 February 2011

A weekend for me means the excuse to try new recipes. If I try baking something new on a weekday I just get really frustrated if it goes wrong. At least on a weekend you can chuck away the ruining batch, tweak your recipe & try again.

Today I baked some Oreo cupcakes. Dead easy. Just use your favourite chocolate cupcake recipe, whip up some vanilla butter icing, break up some oreo cookies (try not to eat them all before this part. I nearly failed...) and then gently fold them into the butter icing mixture. Yummy. Goes perfectly with a nice cup of tea :)

Romantic Moderns

Thursday, 17 February 2011

I thought it would be nice to share a book that I'm reading - and absolutely loving - at the moment. If you like the whole 1930s/40s period then you have to get this book. Firstly, it's beautiful & as fickle as that sounds, a beautiful book is something to be treasured. The text is broken up with lots of images from books, architecture, paintings... It really brings the words to life. Secondly, it spans literature, architecture, art... So many topics & written about in such an accessible way.

If you invest, let me know! - Louise x

A few Etsy treasures

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Seeing as I'm currently squirrelling away my pennies for our new bathroom & kitchen, I thought I'd share my favourite finds on Etsy - in the hope that they will find a good home & stop tempting me with their awesomeness ;)

Greta's home

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

I pretty much want to jump into Greta's home. I love everything about it - the colours, the fact that it is so homely & don't get me even started on that kitchen. That is the dream.

At the moment my brain's pretty much preoccupied about working with a friend on a new project. I'm excited but also a little nervous... It's always risky working with a friend, but we lived together for 2 years so at least we know each other inside out. It's a fun project though so once it gets going I'll be sure to let you know!

Hope you have a lovely week - Louise x