A relaxed Friday night in...

5 December 2014

I'm writing this to you from my super snuggly sofa with the twinkle of the christmas tree lights in the corner, The Fall on the tv (its SO good guys, seriously!) and Goblin curled up under the tree. All of this in my book means that for me it's a pretty perfect Friday night!

This year has FLOWN by and I'm making sure to be as mindful as I can this Christmas season with everything ramping up like it usually does this time of year. Relaxed nights like this do wonders for keeping me calm and balanced, something that I always feel I need more of when Christmas is over! 

So for now, I'm going to close the laptop, make myself a cup of peppermint and liquorice tea and lay my ass back down on the sofa. Namaste folks. 

Oh Hi December!

1 December 2014

This weekend was spent doing lots yoga, having fun little dates with Ben and ultimately getting really excited about Christmas. 

The tree is going up this evening which means there will be Christmas music, mulled wine and a cheeky Goblin running around...

Bring on home time I say!!

Aw, look at how happy he looks.. three presents down, a bazillion to go! 

Taking stock

16 November 2014

Drinking: Hot peppermint and liqourice tea. Soothing and sweet.
Watching: The Fall, season I haven't moved from the sofa all day I've managed the whole first season.. sooo good! 
Wanting: A hot water bottle to magically appear on my tummy without me getting up to do it. I'm feeling so incredibly lazy.
Smelling: My new sandalwood Vila Hermanos candle. Nothing creates a cosier vibe than candles and cosy is what I am needing right now.
Wishing: Christmas was here already. Is it okay to want that already?
Loving: The relationship that Ben and I have nurtured the past 4 and a half years.
Hoping: That 2015 is better than 2014.
Needing: A Clarins facial, a year and a half is much too long between facials. fact.
Feeling: Really rather poorly. I've had a relentless cough the past week which isn't easing up - hence the lack of doing anything at all this weekend!
Wearing: Ben's jumper, abercrombie sweats snuggly socks and a huge comfy throw.
Reading: High by Tara Bliss - such a soulful book.
Missing: These two cheeky boys!


5 November 2014

Peace begins with me.


My prayer. My mantra. My truth.

My Juice Cleanse with Jack Beanstalk Balham

21 October 2014

A few weeks ago I embarked on a 3 day juice cleanse with the charming Jack from Jackbeanstalk Juice in Balham (that's him up there making our morning shots!) and my bestie Claire from the Healthy Blue Bird.

Now, before I say anything else I must confess... I ate some food whilst I was on the cleanse (a salad for lunch on all three days) but this was only because I have very low blood pressure and was feeling dizzy before I even started - I needed to get some salt into my system!

Aside from the fact that I cheated a little I had a great experience. 

So...what's the point of a juice cleanse anyway??

I like to think of it as a sort of holiday for your digestive system. Your system works hard to digest solid food day in and day out and giving it a break by juicing enables it to rest. A juicing cleanse is also a great way to get rid of toxin build up in the body.

Day 1 of my cleanse was TOUGH. Real tough. No bullshit here. 

The day started off with a shot of apple and ginger (see above!) followed by a shot of wheatgrass. I was handed a giant litre of green juice for the day and set on my way. As soon as I got to work I had half of the green juice and got on with the mammoth to-do list. At lunch I had a salted green salad and then about 3.30pm I finished the rest of the green juice. 

The thing I noticed the most all day? The pounding headache and then the lack of bloat. I text Claire for a little support as the headache was getting the best of me. Her advice? "That's toxin release. Don't worry. I completely understand. You are doing really well. Keep going, you're doing amazing things for your body."
That was all I needed, I vowed that I would not be taken down by this headache!
(You can read about Claire's experience with her juice cleanse here)

On my way home I popped by the juice stall again and picked up the second litre of insanely fresh juice for the evening. Sitting there next to Ben eating a delish dinner was so tough! But I persisted and finished every last drop.

Day 2 and 3 were pretty much the same as the first except the headache was gone. I had more and more energy and less and less bloat. Winning combo if you ask me. 

The hardest parts for me on day 2 and 3 were resisting the delicious smell of fresh croissants as I walked past Pret in the morning and Ben doing his hardest to make me stray with chocolate treats in the evening!!  

At the end of the 3 days my skin was clearer, my tummy was completely flat and my energy levels were up. I felt so good and Im even planning my next juice cleanse at the moment. The darker mornings and evenings are meaning that I need some more sunshine in my life! 

The quality of the juices was incredible. Jack uses only the best and freshest produce in his juices and you can tell this straight away when you drink them. Liquid nourishment! 

The passion that Jack and Claire have for JackBeanstalk is infectious. They have teamed together and have started a Crowdfunder to get a permanent juice bar up and running in Balham. You can watch their video below and get involved by pledging here....lots of AWESOME goodies to be gained! 

5 things that have made me happy this week

19 October 2014

Having a Vortex Healing session with an inspiring and talented healer on Monday. What a way to set up the week! 

Taking time to notice the beautiful colors of Autumn. The trees, the grass, the sky. It's simply stunning. Favourite time of year. 

Spending the whole weekend with people that I absolutely adore. Saturday afternoon trampolining, a delicious dinner out, Sunday Lunch and some fresh air....what more could I want from a weekend! 

And all of this was made a million times more special by starting a Hello Sunday Morning challenge. Want to know more? Head over here and find out for yourself.

Scheduling in time next week for some Desire Mapping. How I want to feel most this week? GOLDEN. 

Feeling the Magic // My Honest journey back into Self Care

9 October 2014

Let's start with a confession... 
I haven't been putting my sacred self care at the top of my list these last few weeks months and I am feeling it on the MAJOR right now. I've let things slide that are important to me. My yoga practice. My meditation practice. My journaling. My blog. All these things that I totally and utterly LOVE doing have become something that I do weekly and not daily. And at the end of the day I can go on and on about why this has happened and play the victim card but there's no excuse for it. Not really. The simple fact of the matter is that I've been putting my focus and energy into my job and not been managing my energy properly so that I can do all of these things alongside that. 
Overwhelmed and exhausted would best describe how i'm feeling right about now. 

So tonight I went out onto my little balcony and looked up at the Moon. Three times. 

Wanna know why??

Because when I look up at the Moon in the night sky I can't help but remember that I'm part of something so magnificent and expansive that everything else falls away. Taking a deep breathe and contemplating the Universe I can hear the voice of my Higher Self. The part of me that knows that everything will be exactly as it is supposed to be. The part of me that simply is

Being present with this energy is what keeps pulling me out of the fuzziness. 

I am not my thoughts. 
I am not my body. 
I am not my problems. 
I am not my past. 
I am not my future. 

I simply AM. 

Being gentle with myself when I'm feeling like this is key. Choosing LOVE over FEAR in every moment. After all, berating myself for not being on top of things is hardly going to inspire me to pick up my Sacred Self Care Rituals is it?? 

Building up my own trust with myself through kindness, compassion and a gentle touch is what will propel me forward. 

Living my WHY - to inspire trust and love - is my daily Prayer.

Radiating gratitude..

25 September 2014

For the most invigorating, explorative and juicy yoga class I’ve had in ages.  For Craig, our teacher, guiding me to get out of my head and into my wobbly and tense body. I floated home and had SO MUCH FUN. 

For choosing kindness towards myself as my intention to the practice and fulfilling my intention. Especially after such a flap filled weekend. 

For Ben being a sweetheart and having dinner ready for us when I got home. Pie and mash is always a winner. 

For Dairy Milk Bubbles with White Chocolate. Because it’s bloody delicious. 

For being assisted up into my first ever forearm stand this evening!

For breathing big and deep in Pigeon pose and receiving an AMAZING assist which meant that my expression of the pose was the deepest I’ve ever experienced

For meditating on feeling GOLDEN.   

For having a fluff ball that makes me smile every single bloody day. Goblin is definitely the cheekiest Goblin out there! 

The perks of having a grotty cold

18 September 2014

One aspect of my Sacred Self Care practice is that I always make a concerted effort to see the silver lining in everything that happens in my life. The gift in the struggle, the lessons that I need to learn when things are tough, the growth that comes from resistance... you know the stuff, the hard stuff, where the magic happens. And this morning I realised that after a sleepless night thanks to my grotty cold, that this was no exception. So I present to you the perks of having a grotty cold.

Vicks VapoRub makes for a great cheek highlighter. Wanting glowy skin? Reach for Vicks. Make sure not too much on or put it too high up on your cheekbones though, getting the vapor too close to your eyes is a bitch. Trust me.

Wearing zilch make-up for two days is liberating and allows your skin to do it's thing...breathe free with no junk on it.

Meditating whilst not being able to breathe through my nose has been the perfect way to grow my practice.  Witnessing the resistance crop up was a mirror to the other areas of my life I give up all too soon. Honoring the commitment that I made to myself feels expansive and juicy good.

Being unable to do even the simplest of inversions (Downward Facing Dog) and feeling like I need a good stretch i've had to improvise. Yoga in bed to the rescue. I think this might be one of my favourite things. Watch this space soon for some of my favourite bed yoga poses.

Getting to read more of I AM PILGRIM than I usually would. So far it's bloody awesome.

Now of course this all runs much deeper than having nice glowy cheeks and spending a few days in bed. It's about tuning in and giving my body what it really needs when it's feeling run down. It's about giving my body love and attention, giving it time space to heal. After all, our bodies are precious things.

Positive Vibes

17 September 2014

This morning as I was sniffling away in bed, gulping my medicine and feeling pretty sorry for myself I decided that it was probably best if I spent a bit of time with my head in OM Yoga Magazine (which has always been a sure fire way to perk me right up). 

Low and behold I come across an article entitled "Positive Vibes - Seven steps to the feel good factor".

Thanking the Universe (it's always ALWAYS spot on) and thinking that I could really do with some of that amidst my snotty nose situation I got to reading. 

Two of the seven steps screamed out at me.  Dance and Focus on the present. I'm gonna share how I bring these high vibing steps to life. 

Trust me on this one. When I'm in a funk the surest way that will get me out of my head and into my body and having fun is a dance party for one. I shut the door on my yoga room, put on some of my favourite tunes (this, this, this and this are my favs) and go for it. 

I LET EVERYTHING GO and I don't give a damn what I look like in the process. 

All I care about is what feels good. And dance is the perfect way to do this. 

Now take yourself off and have a dance party. 

Focus on the present. 
If you've read my blog for any length of time then you'll know that I'm a massive advocate for meditation and mindfulness. My meditation practice is how I remain connected to the present moment and it's in the present moment that I'm most powerful. 

It is in the present moment that you are most powerful. 

If you haven't tried meditation before then a simple way to try it is through the Headspace app or you could even head to Innerspace in Covent Garden for free guided meditations!

Fancy finding out the other steps?? Head over here and have a read for yourself! 

Love & Light x

Disclaimer: The awesome people at Om Yoga Magazine have given me a free online subscription in return for me occasionally sharing articles in the magazine here on Our Little Balham Life. This article was inspired by an article I read in the magazine. Image found here

A few of my favourite things...

10 September 2014

This article - an inspiring and insightful take on the Wisdom of Uncertainty.

The Wonders of the Universe. This program has been blowing my mind over the past few days. Over the last few weeks I've become increasingly interested in learning more about where we come from...the Stars, the Solar System, the Universe, the Moon. The vastness of the Universe makes me feel secure, safe, powerful.
Also... Brian Cox...making science sexxxxyyy.

This project.

My facial skin care regime is solely consisting of Liz Earle goodies now. Their Cleanse & Polish? Life changing.

This article. 
"I’m wondering what might be different in our lives if we prayed for the space in our lives to be human."
Oh Mara. You gem.

Booking myself onto some of the upcoming The Expression Sessions run by Claire Arnott. Abstract Watercolour Painting? Yes please!

Day dreaming about living here, getting married in this and meditating here.

Looking forward to this launch.

A journal extract - on giving myself space to listen in

5 September 2014

I had blogger open for an hour earlier to write a post. I wrote nothing except "I want to blog but I don't know what to write..".

Fast forward to now, I'm in bed, I've Ben snuggled up next to me, Goblin is running around like a cat possessed and I've just done 15 minutes of Headspace meditation. Those 15 minutes kick started something in me, they inspired me and I thought instead of writing some nonsense about "blah blah i've been busy blah" I would instead share my journal entry. You see, most times after I've meditated I reflect on my experience and usually write in my journal anything that has come up. It's a practice that we were encouraged to do on our Yoga Teacher Training and one that has stuck like glue since because it's so bloody insightful.

So here goes...

15 minutes. At first I was restless, fidgety, distracted, unfocused and bored...even considering giving up entirely and settling into my book instead. But then I realised like a slap in the face that on TT I'd been up against far worst and yet I still honoured myself and my practice by showing up, getting over it and sticking it out regardless. I could have given up but I knew that I would be lying to myself and the disappointment would sit in me, giving me reason after reason not to trust myself. Nope. I would be sticking this one out. 

I was going to LISTEN IN. 
So what did I hear? 

I heard and felt that I hadn't been breathing deeply and soundly for days. There was a belief of lack instead of abundance and this was showing up in my short and shallow breaths. Surrendering to the fact that I was going to be there for 15 minutes meant that I could LET GO this belief of lack. 

I heard, crystal clear, that underneath my harsh judgements and criticisms of myself that I AM WORTH LOVE AND TRUST. It wasn't something that I thought. It was something that I felt. Deep down in my heart and Soul. All that crap was what it says on the tin. Crap. 

I heard and then felt tears running down my cheeks.This was the sadness that I felt for the part of me that feels somewhat lost at the moment: my "yogi side". I met the sadness with love and the knowledge that I define what Yoga means to me in the context of my life. Yoga to me is being mindful of my highly sensitive nature and of my energy. It is breathing deeply and fully. It is stretching and moving in a way that feels GOOD TO ME. Most importantly though it is realising that when I haven't been doing these things, taking a body check-in and then meeting that moment with LOVE AND COMPASSION and not fear and judgement for 'not being good enough or doing enough'. 

I heard that my life has changed. Dramatically. And that it's taken a path that was unexpected and uncomfortable for a while. I'm not teaching yoga full time, I haven't written that eBook that I know is in there waiting to be birthed, I'm not making waves to having a flexible and free-range career. But what I am doing now is learning and growing and being challenged. Every single day. And this FEELS EXPANSIVE. It feels good. And feeling good is the primary intention remember (hint to Danielle LaPorte there!). The last four months I have busted through what I believed to be my capabilities and for that I am fucking proud. My Yoga and meditation practice keeps me rooted from a place of love whilst I explore what the Universe has given me - after all, I set my intention for growth this year and oh my did the Universe deliver! 

This year has been BIG. My biggest yet and I am loving every single shiny moment. 



Grateful for...

14 August 2014

The beautiful couple of weekends that I've had away lately. That picture up there? Cornwall last weekend. Stunning.

The clarity that my meditation practice gave me this evening. I've started the Headspace journey from scratch to get back on track with my practice and compassion is what's seeing me through.

Sitting here watching 'Thanks for Sharing' with Goblin snuggled on my lap. |'ve missed him so much whilst we were away.

The excitement I'm feeling about seeing all my friends this Saturday night for my Birthday Drinks.

Having lovely pretty toes thanks to my sister and her UV lamp.

This article. Love love love.

My new water glass with giraffe's all over it.

Noticing and accepting that it's totally okay to feel sad and that it's not because I am a bad person or that I am a failure. I am love. That's all there is to say.

Introjuicing with Curry's!

4 August 2014

A few weeks ago I attended the "Curry's Intro to Juicing" event for bloggers, hosted by the lovely team at Greenlight Digital and I loved it!

An evening of nutrition tips, making your own juices and hanging out with bloggers... what isn't to love?

The evening started with everyone mingling around looking at the sparkly new Phillip's juicer that Curry's were showcasing at the event and resisting nibbling at the spread of fruit and veg laid out for us!

Before we were invited to dive in, we were given a talk by Derry Temple from Urban Kings Gym all about the benefits and downfalls of juicing.

The main thing to remember when juicing?? Juice more veggies than fruit. Keep the sugar levels down.

After the talk, we were let loose to make our own juices!! Mine was DELICIOUS. I literally shoved all of the veg that I could grab in it with a few apples to sweeten it up.

After the juice making fest, we were all invited to take part in a fitness class run by Derry - which I couldn't make in the end due to timings but I have heard pretty good things from all the other girls that went!

And the cherry on top? I finally got to meet Rebecca from p0larmilk and we had a brilliant, honest and insightful chat about all things life related. Such a wonderful, beautiful woman. Second cherry on top? We were all gifted a 2 in 1 Phillips blender!! Look out for the review when it arrives!

THANK YOU so much to Curry's and the great Joe's Bloggers team at Greenlight Digital for an informative and entertaining evening!

Guest Post // The Healthy Blue Bird: Chia Seeds

29 July 2014

Today's I want to introduce you to The Healthy Blue Bird...the new health blog written by one of my best friends Claire!

Claire's a total health bunny and currently in training with IIN to become a health grab a cup of herbal tea and have a good old read about the wonders of Chia Seeds!

Chia seeds may seem like the latest health food fad but these bad boys have been around for thousands of years, fascinatingly even Aztec warriors consumed them for sustenance whilst running long distances or during battles!

Chia seeds come from a flowering plant in the mint family and are native to Mexico and South America.

With more omega-3 fatty acids than salmon, a wealth of antioxidants and minerals, a complete source of protein and high levels of fibre these seeds have been dubbed 'a dieter's dream', 'the miracle running food' and 'the ultimate super food' by advocates and athletes.

Top Five Benefits of Chia Seeds:

Protein, Protein and yet more Protein
Chia seeds are a complete source of protein so your body can use them to repair and build muscle. Before the meat eaters scoff that they already get enough protein, it's good to know that animal protein contains bad cholesterol which is linked to heart disease, diabetes and cancer. With zero cholesterol, chia seeds should not simply be reserved as a protein source for vegetarians, everyone can benefit from them. They also pack a punch of protein. Just two tablespoons of chia seeds gives a massive 4.4 grams of protein, which is nearly 10% of your RDA.

Increase your Healthy fatsThe war on fat is biased and unfounded. Although nobody is doubting that a cheeseburger will contribute to you gaining weight, healthy unsaturated fats, such as those found in chia seeds are good for the body. Eating healthy omega-3 fatty acids will not only reveal its benefits in your skin, hair and nails, but they also keep your brain healthy, strengthen your immune system and improve your heart and cholesterol health.

Stabilises blood sugarDue to the high fibre content of chia seeds (two tablespoons provides half your RDA of fibre) they have a stabilizing effect on blood sugar, fighting insulin resistance, which can prevent, reduce and even cure diabetes. As if this wasn't enough, insulin resistance can be tied to an increase in belly ditch the crunches and load up on chia seeds to get rid of any unwanted belly squish.

When chia seeds are mixed with liquid they create a gel like substance. This gel like texture can get into all the hard to reach parts of your intestine, sweeping up undigested food which has been stuck in the intestinal folds. It also picks up toxins expelled from your liver and takes them along for the journey, meaning they don't get re-absorbed back into your blood stream.

Because chia seeds can swell up to four times their original size they're the perfect perfect pre/post/mid workout hydration booster. They contain an abundance of vitamins and mineral...much unlike the very additive filled lucozade! Choose wisely!

So now that you've learnt all about these marvellous seeds now you can learn how to use them. he seeds are flavourless so it is easy to pack them into your usual meals by adding them to a smoothie or sprinkling them on salad but you might also like to try...

Chia waterPerfect for rehydrating post run, or for an energy burst mid run, mix a tablespoon of chia seeds with 1 litre of water and add mint and cucumber for a refreshing drink.

Chia seed porridge
This makes 4-5 portions and is great for breakfast. It lasts in the fridge for up to 6 days.

All you have to do is mix one cup of chia seeds with one litre of almond milk, add a tablespoon of cinnamon and stir. And that's it! I like to load mine up with banana or berries for an extra kick of flavour!

So what are you waiting for?? Get purchasing your chia seeds from Amazon or your closest health food shop now!

And finally....a little bit about Claire...

“Inside us all patiently waiting, sits a tiny little adventurous bird”…

And this little bird has decided her health is pretty damn important and to fly away from her city law job to study nutrition and health coaching!

This blog is about general health and wellbeing with a huge big fat focus on nutrition.

There is so much written about nutrition but often it is fairly extreme and pretty confusing. A lot of my focus will be on superfoods which you have perhaps heard of, but are a bit unsure of what they are and how to use them . I hope to demystify them for you so that you can include them into your diet and reap the benefits.
Oh and you must meet Alan, the healthy blue bird himself!

Head over here to read her gorgeous blog, or connect with her here on facebook or on twitter here.

The Wellness Series // What does wellbeing mean to you??

17 July 2014

This post was originally posted over here on the wonderful Wellmeaningbeing blog written by the gorgeous Liz. I thought I'd share it over here too to keep the dialogue going...

"What does wellbeing mean to you?"

These are the words that come to mind when I think of wellbeing.

To me, wellbeing means that I choose love over fear whenever I have a decision to make (and there are always a lot of decisions to be made!). Choosing love is choosing what empowers me and makes me feel good and strong.

To me, wellbeing means that I trust that the Universe is supporting me. That I am loved, perfect and exactly how I am meant to be. Everything is a lesson and the present moment is where I find joy and happiness. I trust wholeheartedly in the Universe.

To me, wellbeing means that I choose compassion towards myself equally when things are very good and when they are not so good. After all...choosing compassion and kindness for my body when it is unwell or struggling is how I help myself heal and how I listen to what my body is trying to tell me.

To me, wellbeing means that I am brave when I step out into the unknown. Stepping into the unknown is where the magic is, where the transformation is, where the sparkle in me reside

My wellbeing is not a tangible thing that I can sit down every day for 20 minutes and work on. It's a constant practice. Something I come back to in every moment. And this is what makes it magic. Because it is always in me and always something I always have access to.

Tell me... what does wellmeaning mean to you???

Thinking / Realising / Wearing...blah blah..

Thinking that Goblin is all kinds of adorable at the moment. Sitting on the poster of 'how to pet a kitty'? Adorable. Goblin sitting on my lap and the laptop at the same time whilst I am trying to blog? Adorable. Goblin following me around like a little lost kitty all the time? Adorable.

Realising I am a crazy cat lady. Entirely.

Wearing my comfiest little shorts and my fluoro Darth Vadar Tee. Cause this heat... geesh.

Considering taking some rather strong painkillers for this stonking headache.

Ignoring the urge to go to bed already. Let's be honest, half 7 is just too early.. even for me!

Anticipating this weekend is going to be full of joy and love.

Honouring my self care routine this week much better than I have in a long while. It feels good.

Things i'm LOVING lately...

16 July 2014

- Spending my lunch times out on Soho Square getting my fix of Vitamin D. 

- My new Liz Earle skincare routine. Face and body. After months of my skin being entirely shit and full of grossness I've made the switch to something that is soothing and healing. 

- Jam doughnuts. 

- Drugstore budget make-up. A £2.50 mascara by 17 surprisingly delivers.

- Drying our clothes outside on our balcony.

- Reminding myself of my WHY before teaching yoga.

- Cutting all my hair off. Feels gooooood.

- Seeing my sister last night and having tonnes of cuddles.

- Having Goblin come for cuddles every single morning, smooshing his face up against mine.

- Having brought two Christmas presents this week. I know, gross right.

- Being challenged every day in my job.

- Ignoring my "shoulds" and just doing what I "feel" like doing.

Life lately : A snapshot

8 July 2014

^ This guy. Being a cutie. All the time.

^ Prosecco and giggles with this lady.

^ British Museum. Viking Exhibition.

^ Lazy Fridays exploring London.

^ Family drinks and catch ups.

^ Birthday celebrations for this guy. Theatre trip, cocktails, dinner, heavenly. Treating him and wondering how I got so lucky.

^ More family time, more drinks, more giggles, more fun.

What a beautiful life I have. So utterly grateful.