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Confession time - hoping the boredom of this day fades away soon

29 November 2013

^^ I've worn pretty much the same outfit every day this week and i'm not even remotely ashamed about it. Leggings, t-shirt, Ben's jumper, comfy boots, blue scarf, purple gloves, white bobble hat. The only things I've swapped out are the essentials; underwear and a new pair of funky leggings every few days. Keeping things simple around these parts at the moment, after all I wear it only for the commute.
 
^^ Wishing that I had done even juts a little bit of yoga last night instead of stuff my face with Domino's and then falling straight asleep on the sofa.
 
^^ Realising that my handwriting changes with every single fucking pen. Does wonders for my OCD.
 
^^ Seeing this on my walk this morning brought a tear to my eye. and made me send out love to all those people I wouldn't want to live without.
 
^^ I found a pair of pants in my drawer this morning that I've had for about 6 years. I remember wearing them in college which means that pants are going on my Christmas list. Pronto. Oh, and I chucked them away, don't you worry.
^^ Wishing I hadn't said the last one. You probably all think I'm gross now.
 
^^ Needing a hair cut. REALLY BAD and wishing that I could be even just a little bit bothered to go and get one.
 
^^ Knowing that I won't be bothered until my hair reaches that critical hot mess stage.
 
^^ Seeing this picture on my way to work and realising that this was not going to be how my day goes. The only shit I got done this morning was full of stupidity. Putting blusher on just one cheek, dropping my powder brush into the wet sink, getting mascara on my nose.
 
^^ Hoping that my sister will do some yoga with me this weekend when I'm back home visiting her. And then hoping that she will give me a pedicure with her fancy pants UV gel kit for nails thing (yes, that's the technical term for it). I'm mostly holding out for the yoga though (there's nothing better than having a yoga buddy to giggle with and keep things fun!)
 
^^ Talking of yoga buddies... I met some gorgeous ladies (Charlotte , Lottie & Becca - go stalk them, they're fab) the other night for some drinks in Balham and next week we're becoming official 'yoga buddies'. Having internet blog friends who are just as awesome in 'real life' is the best.
 

London town, space and talk of silence.

27 November 2013

 
I love London. It's my home. My place. The resting outer space of my soul. I will never not love London but lately I've started to feel a change taking place with how I feel about it. A subtle shift in what I'm looking to have more of in my life. What I really desire.
 
 
More space. More fresh air. More outdoors. More silence.
 
And all those things? They don't exactly flow with abundance here in London.
 
 
It's been a fleeting sense of claustrophobia that I've been feeling. The over crowding, the pollution, the rudeness, the rushing. It impacts slowly and subtly over time. And it's been nearly five years now. I'm feeling the impact. More and more.
 
 
Don't get me wrong, I still get those moments of awe-struck wonderment looking out over the twinkling city on my way home and I really do feel so incredibly lucky.
 
 
But it doesn't feel enough anymore. I used to feel that wonderment all the time. Now I just want to have more space. Space, space. It always come back to space.
 
 
More space to explore, to take walks, to feel the quiet. What a dream it would be to be able to practice yoga outside...not to be disturbed by a busy main road, honking horns, commuters on their morning runs, foxes scavenging in bin bags. To just be and move in the quiet. 
 
 
But London will be in our story for a few years yet. It fits for now, it fits us just fine. It's where I need to explore the next chapter of my life; teaching yoga, writing, building my dream from the ground up, spending time with Ben before a family comes along.
 
The unease, that disquieting feeling I get... it's definitely there to remind me what I am aiming for. And aim I will.
 
 
photo 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

This post entails me talking about love. Boys, you might wanna skip this one.

26 November 2013

Love means something different for everyone.

To me, love is that feeling when I met Ben nearly three years ago on our first date. I knew by the end of our first date that I would be the luckiest girl in the world if he wanted me as much as I wanted him. I've never in my life been so excited by a first date.

It's accidentally saying those three words by accident, in a shopping centre, over the pick n' mix stand, in front of one of his friends. Embarassed doesn't really cover it.

It's him starting the sweetest conversation in the car on the way back (sans friend) about how he really likes me but wants to say it when he really really really feels it. I've never fallen deeper for anyone over one little conversation.

It's him saying 'I love you' for the first time on holiday two months later.

It's still being able to make each other laugh now as much as we did on that first holiday.

It's looking over to him as I'm writing this and asking what he thinks my flaws are and for him to look up and answer honestly. Something about chocolate, being a Princess and over controlling at times.

It's him still thinking that I look cute when I get home and take all my make-up off, put yoga pants on and look very much like a hot mess.
 
But most of all, love is having that person there for you unconditionally, regardless of all your flaws and shortcomings and love of yoga clothes. He makes me feel perfect. Perfect for him and our sometimes crazy, sometimes lazy and sometimes over controlled life together.
In the end that's all that matters.
 
 
*This post was actually written nearly a year ago(!!) and posted over on the gorgeous Rachel's blog, I discovered it in my blog folder today so I thought I'd share it over here too as I'm feeling pretty grateful to have someone like Ben in my life at the moment.

The time I made too much food.

25 November 2013

Some days I think I have this whole 'grown up' shit down to a tee and then other days it's pretty evident that I really don't. 
Take this evening for example. I was given the pretty simple task of making mash potato for dinner. In the past I've always relied on Aunt Bessie's frozen mash but as I'm really working on making proper meals now (self care ya know) and the fact that I'm not 18 anymore meant that I was going to have a crack at it. After all, it's not fucking rocket science. Apparently. 

Here is where I am just going to point out three things to you:
1. It's Monday. I don't function at anywhere near full capacity on a Monday. 
2. I had just got in from work. On a Monday. In the Winter. I'm not a fan of Winter either. 
3. It's Monday. I don't function at anywhere near full capacity on a Monday. 

Now that's all clear, back to what I was saying...
Making mash. 
I start off by washing the potatoes - that's always a good place to start, dirty little things. I then ring my Mum to ask her how she makes her mash (I always ring my Mum when I need advice) and she runs me through it and I re-think "that's pretty simple" so I start doing as she says. I chop a few up potatoes and plonk them in the pan full of cold water. 
As I'm about to put the hob on I think back to my childhood and how much I used to hate the texture of potato peel when I had to put it in the bin (I always got the best jobs) and how nice it is that I don't have to do that job anymore. 
Perks of being the adult.
And then it dawns on me.

I haven't had to put the gross slimy potato peel in the bin BECAUSE I HAVEN'T PEELED THEM.

So I ring my Mum back and double check. 
"Do I absolutely HAVE to peel the potatoes??"
The laugh that cackles down the phone for the next five minutes says it all. The woman can barely speak from laughing. 
So that's where I found myself this evening; scooping potatoes back out of the pan to peel them and then put all of that gross peel in the bin...feeling rather unaccomplished about my life. 
The mash was bloody delicious though in the end. 
Definitely worth the crisis of confidence. 

SIDE NOTE: I made about four times the amount of mash we needed. Something about me using most of the bag of potatoes for just two of us. Monday's slay me. 

Aw, isn't he such a cutie??

24 November 2013

This post has no point whatsoever. It's literally just pictures of Goblin and I'm totally 100% okay with that. 
Hope you've all enjoyed your Sundays! 

Yoga with my two favourite boys

22 November 2013

After what seems like weeks of Ben complaining of a sore back and neck I finally got him on the mat last night to remedy that situation with some yoga. We cleared space in the lounge, put out our mats, got settled in and then started to move. We did this routine to warm up and stretch out and then this routine to really get into our backs.
Half way through our practice Goblin decided that enough was enough and he needed some attention. After sprawling out on the back of my mat for a while he decided it was probably best to move to the front after I accidentally booted him in the face. What on earth did he expect. This moving started the game of trying to catch our incredibly elusive fingers. Oh to be a cat and satisfied with such simple things!
Once he had had enough of nibbling us he took a well deserved rest from all the yoga and spent the rest of the evening looking like something out of a horror film. Just look at those eyes, terrifying huh?

When / Where / Why / Favourite / Not so favourite

21 November 2013

When? Saturday 16th November.
Where? Sam and Harriet's flat in West London.
Why? Because we all love food, films, booze and being silly. So we did all of those things. Namely eating and being silly though.
Favourite moment? Playing on a computer game for the first time ever. GTA5. I was utterly shite (as you can probably imagine.) Computer games are not my jam.
Not so favourite moment? Three words. Ben. Rail replacement. Not so fun.

Wednesdays are for winning.

20 November 2013

I know that in the picture above it doesn't appear like I'm wining at anything other than a pouting contest, but I can assure you that I am indeed winning.
Why? Because tonight myself and Carly (from over at the awesome Project Hot B*tch blog) are going to a Gentle Hot Yoga Flow class in Covent Garden and I am so EXCITED.
Like, 7pm can't come quick enough kinda excited.
 
Knowing I have this class later makes up for the complete lack of sleep I had last night, the creepy dreams that wouldn't go away, the dark gloomy morning, the layers upon layers of clothes, the rain, the train journey that was so busy I couldn't even stand on both my feet properly and the general feeling in my tummy that I'd just like to be at home today instead of at work.
 
Now if you'll excuse me...I'm off to spend the next 6 hours losing myself in the depths of pinterest.
You can find me on pinterest here if you're bored today too.

Pact coffee

19 November 2013


Also known as the best coffee I have ever had. And I'm not even exaggerating one tiny bit.
 
"At Pact we are on a mission to get the UK drinking better coffee by making incredible, freshly roasted coffee accessible to everyone. Our world-class beans are bought from dedicated farmers, hand-roasted in London and shipped within 7 days. Our coffee isn’t ground until the last possible moment before being sent straight to you to enjoy."

Says it all really doesn't it??
 
Let me set the scene for you....Saturday morning. 11am. The flat is freshly cleaned (Friday night cleaning for the win), I’ve spent a few hours reading my book (the only perk of my body not letting me have a lay in), Goblin is in super snuggle mode and because I'm an awesome girlfriend I decided to make Ben's favourite lemon and poppy seed pancakes for breakfast.
I know right, my wife points are sky high at the moment.  
Whilst John Mayer kept me company with his dreamy voice, I boiled the kettle, cooked the last few pancakes, busted out the cafetiere and set the table.
 
Multi-tasking is my jam.
Breakfast dished up, we brew the coffee. We chose the 'Finca San Antonio' blend for our first time on the recommendation of a friend but honestly though, who would say no to this....'Well layered chocolate nut and berry notes, with a sweet, earthy undertone of caramel, light acidity and a chocolatey smooth aftertaste'??
Yeah, didn't think so.
A few aaaaahs and mmmmmmhhhh's later we dig in and slurp away.
 
Freaking hell people. Words on this page don't convey how delicious that coffee was. I even had it just by itself....and that's super rare for my 'lets milk up this coffee to the max' usual coffee preferences.
 
So because I love to share I've teamed with Pact to offer you the chance to get your hands on a 250g bag of their coffee for just a pound!!!
 
Not even joking. £1.
 
All you have to do is go to www.pactcoffee.com and enter BALHAMLIFE to get the deal.
 
Pop in your details, choose your coffee, set your preferences and in no time at all it will be shipped to you (usually the next day). You can cancel any time, change your delivery frequency, skip a bag, order extra bags and even take a coffee break if you’re going away or feel like a month off the caffeine...it's really flexible and totally worth trying out.
 
Our next batch arriving just in time for December will be the 'Zamorana' blend. 'Toasted marshmallows, dark chocolate, earthy, buttery popcorn, maple syrup'.
Bring it on.
 
And this picture is making it's way into this post because it's utterly adorable.
 

A little patience needed...

18 November 2013

No balance.
Hormones.

Not the best combination for stepping onto my mat this evening.

Even Ben reminded me to "be nice to myself' after he saw the look on my face when I emerged from the living room.
Frustration. Lack. Doubts. All shown right there, plain to see - I've never been one to be able to hide what I'm feeling.
Sometimes I can get so wrapped up in the end goal and trying to be 'the best I can' that I forget that it's the journey that matters.
It's the journey that matters.
It's the journey that matters.
It's the journey that matters.
So that's all that I'm reminding myself the rest of the evening. Tomorrow is a new day after all.

image here

Just my cup of tea...

17 November 2013

Today was spent having lunch with two of my favourite ladies, journalling and exploring the Fire Starter Sessions, taking long bubble baths and practising yoga by candlelight. 
Moving through my day with ease and quietness is just what I needed. 
Tonight has been just as lovely too... Ben and I have snuggled up and watched the first Hunger Games in preparation for the second one coming out soon (yay!) and are now watching The Hobbit. We sure do love an epic film! 
It's so nice to feel completely rested, right through to my very core. It's not surprising really when the most taxing thing I've had to deal with is the fact that just now when I wanted some biscuits, I realised I had made myself peppermint tea instead of normal tea. Can't dunk chocolate biscuits in peppermint tea can you now?Oh, the stress! 

...You will be glad to know that this has all been corrected now, so I'm off to go dunk those chocolate biscuits! Thanks for the tea Ben!!!

Inner landscape...

16 November 2013

I believe that transitions are equal parts wildly beautiful and equal parts 'butterflies in the tummy' kinda terrifying. Movement, chaos and change is becoming my kind of jam and just in time really, next year is gonna be full of it. 

Long showers and using those 'special occasion' products every day helps me make my every day a little more special. Keeping the every day special helps keep my life special. And feeling special is my life force. 

My mantra of choice is 'I'll figure it out'. This keeps me going in the right direction

I'm starting to respect my fears. Asking myself 'is this thought accurate?' and 'is there evidence for this thought?' has blown open the limiting beliefs I have held about myself for years. 

I aim for passion. I declare my dreams

When I'm on my mat and moving my body with ease and kindness I feel more myself than I ever have.

Reading a good book (and I mean one of those books that really stays with you...you know the kind) is time spent very wisely in my opinion. 

I'm excellent at systems. Organising is my kinda fun (I can be a little Monica Geller at times) and I find that when I'm externally organised I feel more organised internally. For me, order = merriment. 

Wearing clothes that make me feel good (and sexy and smart and at home and full of life and creative) change the way I act out in the world. Pride in appearance. 

Clarity for me is knowing how I want to feel. And this is how I want to feel: Strong, abundant, connected, open. 

How do you want to feel?? 

How to get a bloody brilliant bra fitting every single time ladies...

14 November 2013

The other week I asked myself this question: 

Do I or do I not post a picture of myself in underwear on my blog?

For underwear reviewing purposes. Obviously.
(not in the name of flaunting my stuff for no reason)

My decision was no. This is the internet after all.
 
Side note:
And how was I going to do it anyway? Have an impromptu fashion shoot in the bedroom, prancing around whilst Ben snaps away? Underwear selfies in the mirror? Do I wear heals to make myself look slimmer? Do I drape a sheer cloak over me and pout like the lady in the picture above?
Fucking unlikely.
 
So let me back up a second and tell you why I even asked myself that question in the first place ...
Remember the Littlewoods lingerie event that I went to a few months ago? Well after being told lots of nifty hints and tips regarding finding the perfect fitting bra and then being enlightened to my own correct bra size (I was waaaayyy off), we were offered a matching Wonderbra set to take home for ourselves.
 
Matching underwear set??
Not something I was going to say no to.
 
A few weeks later I received the gorgeous Wonderbra Chic Lace bra in white (here) and the lace shorties to match (here) and let me tell you now...I adore this underwear set. It's right up there as my favourite set now because it fits perfectly, gives me awesome cleavage and most importantly, makes me feel sexy.
 
So that's where I found myself, loving my new underwear set and wandering if I should share a picture up of me wearing it, but instead I'm going to let someone who does this for a living show you how it looks on...
And all of those hints and tips that I learnt at the event? I'm going to let WonderBra (who do that for a living) take over for a bit...
 
With many women wearing the incorrect bra size, it’s important to know how to spot the signs of a badly fitting bra. Wonderbra is on hand to guide you to bra heaven…
 
Why should I worry about wearing the right bra size?
 
Throughout your life the size and shape of your breasts constantly changes, so it’s vital that you’re fitted regularly, especially when trying out a new brand or style.
You need to ensure you’re wearing the right bra size as, apart from being more supportive and comfortable, it can improve your posture and the way your clothes look, and it can even make you appear 5lb slimmer!

How do I know if I’m wearing the wrong bra size? 
 
Straps: The straps should fit firmly on your shoulders and should be adjusted to give by a few centimeters, but not to dig into your skin.

Cups: The cups should fully encase your breasts, with no overspill. The underwire should sit behind the breast tissue, on the ribs.

Back: You should only be able to fit a few fingers underneath the band and you should fit it on the loosest hook and eye, as the bra will naturally stretch over time.

What if I can’t find my size in a style that I like?
 
Whilst wearing your usual size would be best, it is possible to move up or down to your ‘sister size’. Therefore, if you go down a back size, you need to go up a cup size and vice versa. For example, if you usually wear a 36D you will also fit into a 34DD.
 
Emma, Wonderbra Fitting Expert says… 

“It is important to wear the right size bra, not just for comfort and support, but also to give you a better silhouette under your clothes. A correctly fitted bra will give you increased confidence, and you will look and feel great.”

What sizes do Wonderbra offer?

Ultimate Strapless: 32-36 A, 32-38 B to D, 30-38 DD to G
T-shirt: 32-36A, 32-38 B to DD
T-shirt 30-38 D to G
Chic Lace: 32-36 A, 32-38 B to D, 30-38 DD to G
Full effect: 32-36 A, 32-38 B to C, 30-38 D
 
Now ladies, go and get yourself properly fitted, treat yourself to a brand new matching set and flaunt that gorgeous body of yours!!! Maybe not on the internet though, keeping it safe...

All I have...

12 November 2013



I am imperfect.
I am hopeful.
I am human.


And I will always keep trying.

A sunday photo diary...

11 November 2013

Time is flying over here and all of the talk of Christmas isn't helping. In the blink of an eye it'll be Christmas morning and then it'll be New Year and then before I can even take a second I'll be starting my yoga teacher training. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaa. So for now I am just going to remember what a lovely day I had yesterday with Ben. Keeping it simple over here this evening. 
^^ 7am bookworm. ^^
^^ Big scarves for the win. ^^
^^ Sunday lunch done the right way. ^^
^^ All that talk of Christmas. ^^
^^ Cheeeeese. ^^
^^ Bens treat. I was definitely NOT up for any booze yesterday. Something about a messy Friday night...let's just say that I'm not having any booze for a while, goes right up against my sacred self-care policy and I can't be having that now can I? ^^



Yoga workshop with Simplyhealth & BackCare

8 November 2013

You know that awesome yoga filled weekend I had a few weeks ago? Well this post is all about the Sunday yoganess that happened.
 
Sunday morning, it's 9am and I find myself making my way to Central London to attend a 'Yoga for bloggers' workshop being hosted by the lovely people at Simplyhealth.
 
Side note: my goodness, Sunday morning travel up to Oxford Street beats Monday mornings travel anyday. Ass whooping. And the streets, oh they were empty and it was divine!
 
So back to the point...Simplyhealth specialise in affordable private health care plans and they've partnered with Backcare UK to develop an incredible app to help us look after our backs better. What better way to create awareness than invite a group of lovely lifestyle, fitness and health bloggers to an event all about back care?!
According to new research, a massive 84% of 18-24 year olds have admitted to suffering some incidence of back pain in the last 12 months and what's mad about all this is that I wasn't surprised by that statistic at all. Not one bit. I've had so many conversations with my friends, family and work colleagues about back pain because it seems like most people in my life struggle with it just as much as I do. Back pain is the reason I started practising yoga in the first place!
 
The Back Care App allows users to record and input information about their back pain and offers exercises, information, videos and even hints and tips to help you start to move with more ease, monitor your pain and help your back pain. I had a real good play around on the app before the workshop and I really found it useful and super easy to use. Definitely worth a download guys especially as for every download, Simplyhealth will donate £1 to the BackCare charity, which provides information and support to people affected by back pain. Win win!!
 
So back to talking about the workshop now...once we arrived at the Danceworks studio we all had a bit of a mingle, introduced ourselves and had a good old natter before the fun began! Our super knowledgable instructor Colin came and spoke to us all individually before the morning session to remind us that he was there for us to take and steal as much information from him as we could possibly manage! The guy has over 20 years of experience in yoga and working with back pain so this was an opportunity I wasn't about to pass up!
After our natter we all settled down on our mats for a 20 minute conscious breathing exercise. My kinda heaven. This may sound totally weird but breathing is one of my favourite exercises, even as much as moving my body around my mat! Colin guided us through how to breathe  nice and deeply whilst being aware of the points of contact between our bodies and the floor. We added some gentle movements to get the spine moving and after the 20 minutes whizzed past we all sat up to talk about our experiences. It was amazing to see how everyones excitement from arriving had been replaced by a grounded sense of calm. Oh the wonders of breathing!
Next up we explored our posture and how we stand. We explored some simple exercises and movements that helped to discover how we can adjust our posture to minimise pain. Always being so tall has meant that throughout my life I've slouched to make myself seem shorter. I do this by shifting my weight between my feet instead of distributing it evenly, standing up tall and proud. I even noticed how I place more weight into the inner edges of my feet which also shifts my posture in the wrong way too. All of these little discoveries were fascinating and so useful to my yoga practise. My mountain pose probably looks no different from how it did before this workshop but it feels tonnes different in my body.  
After exploring a few twists and learning how to protect our backs in forward bends you could just tell that everyone in the room was benefitting from the class and having a great time. Personally, my favourite aspect of the workshop was the way that after every exercise we came together as a group to talk about how we were feeling in our bodies and the benefits of the exercises we were doing. Colin was a fantastic teacher and really taught us the importance of looking after our backs in a way that was right for us as individuals.
 
The biggest lesson I learnt? To remain present within my body as much as I can. Habits like slouching when standing, leaning forward when sitting at the desk, not taking many breaks to move my body throughout the day...all of these things can really creap up and cause me pain if I'm not careful. Awareness, kindness, movement! Got it!
 Thank you so much for the fantastic workshop Simplyhealth!!
 
All pictures kindly provided by the lovely team at SImplyhealth.
You can find the Simplyhealth BackCare App here.