Sunday, 20 January 2019

BE A RESPONSIBLE HOUSE PLANT PARENT

Watering Can and Heart Photograph Outdoors Gardening House Plants
Houseplant on a Windowsill

If you are anything like me you will be sucked into that lovely house proud look of having plants dotted around in cute pots and planters.

Certain plants require more care than others and sometimes you can over water them.. true story and I am afraid I have definitely caused a few plant deaths by this. *facepalm*

If you want to be a responsible house plant parent, then keep on reading...

MONSTERA PLANT // ALSO KNOWN AS A CHEESEPLANT

Water your monstera weekly, or whenever the top 1 inch of soil feels dry, and allow it to drain completely. Reduce watering in the winter to prevent waterlogging your plant. Give your monstera a shot of a general purpose fertiliser every 60 days from Spring Time through to Autumn.

INDOOR PALM TREES

Palms grown indoors need proper care to thrive and produce the large fan or feathered leaves, depending on the species. When caring for indoor palms, the plant needs the correct amount of light, fertiliser, water and correct temperature to prevent foliage problems, such as brown leaves. If you know the type of Plant you have then do your research so you can care for it appropriately.

SUCCULENT LOVE

Choose an appropriate succulent for your indoor conditions. Plant your succulent in a very well-draining potting container and tray and place it in a sunny location. Allow the potting mix to dry out between waterings and fertilise your succulent at least once a year.

CUTE CACTI

When watering, the soil should be given a good soaking, allowing excess water to drain away. Allow the compost to dry out slightly between each watering and feed your plants once a month using Cacti and Succulent Feed which is a good formula to use.

HEALTHY HYDRANGEAS

My absolute favourite flowers are Hydrangeas. You have to provide at least 4 hours of bright, indirect light every day. Keep the soil evenly moist, but not soggy while plant is growing and flowering. Use lime-free water because lime will make the soil too alkaline and will affect growth. Keep the soil barely moist in Winter.

AWESOME ORCHIDS

Orchids need ample water but should be allowed to dry out some between waterings. One way to check for watering is by poking your finger about an inch into the pot. If it's dry, give it some water; otherwise, let it be. I sadly did not have this tip whilst caring for one of my many orchids I have killed.. whoops. 😞

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Monday, 14 January 2019

MAKEUP TRENDS IN 2019


Welcome to another new year. We've got four seasons of fabulous fashion and modern makeup trends ahead of us. So, let's get started on what's what for the next 12 months... or what should be what, based on what the who's-who of foreseeing trends have been saying in the last few weeks.

Bright, Bold Lips 

Starting off the year on the faces of the stars, this year's Golden Globes were alive with bright, luscious lips. Actresses aplenty flocked to Beverley Hills with lips as bold as the red carpet beneath them this year, kick-starting a trend that will be seen leaving salons all year round in 2019.

Contrast bold reds and bright pinks with delicately flushed cheeks and pastel eye shadow, and you've already accomplished a vibrant look that will stand out at any event.

Powder and Almond Nails 

Ready to give up your gel nails? Okay, how about hoping for a longer-lasting manicure? A dip powder manicure will last as long as a month – and doesn't damage the nails anywhere near as much as the gel formula.

If you don't fancy trying this at home just yet, you'll find most manicurists already encouraging people to make the switch the next time they visit a salon. If you're looking for a new shape for your nails, look for anything almond shape and add this sleek style to your pins on your next visit.

Glossy Makeup

Sorry, Matte, it's been great, but it's time we both moved on! Gloss is back in 2019. It's thicker and stickier, not to mention slicking up the hair and face with a shine that will stand out now and look especially striking in the summer. The matte look is… yes, you guessed it… fading out in 2019.

Lip gloss, eye gloss, hair oil – the lot – give you good reasons to add some serious shine to your beauty ensemble as soon as possible. Whether you're visiting the salon yourself or sending people out into the world with a shimmering makeover, gloss is officially great again.

Microblading and Contouring

The only two ways to do eyebrows in 2019, and why not do them both? When sculpting the perfect eyebrow shape for the face, there is no better technique around than microblading. With tiny strokes added to the skin below each eyebrow, even thin or unruly brows can be made thicker and fuller for up to 18 months at a time.

Remember, if you visit a salon for this service, make sure they have microblading insurance, which will prove that they are a trusted provider of this service. Contouring the brows, later, further enhances the natural-looking brow-beauty created with the microblading process.

Colour Blocked Eyes

A great way to cheer up the winter months, this talking-point beauty trick has finally outgrown the festival fields and made it to mainstream, contemporary glamour. Sweep a finger or brush of colour across your eyelids, and don't worry about making it look symmetrical – imperfection here is perfect!

Complementing bright, bold lip looks, like above, or contrasting more natural tones elsewhere, colour-blocked eyes will create a vivid, visual first impression wherever you go this year. You might even be set to provide this treatment in a salon - in which case, consider makeup artist insurance.

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Friday, 11 January 2019

AN APPOINTMENT WITH GURU FA AT HARVEY NICHOLS MANCHESTER

Front of Harvey Nichols Manchester Image
Image of the Frontage of Flint + Flint Salon in Harvey Nichols Manchester
Treatment Room Decor at Flint + Flint Harvey Nichols Manchester

You guys know that I LOVE to try out beauty treatments and the more unique the better!

I recently had the opportunity to discover traditional chinese medicine methods at Flint + Flint in Harvey Nichols Manchester with Guru (Helen) Fa!

I must admit that before my appointment I was very ignorant in terms of what Chinese Medicine actually entails and it does still seem like a quite magical, 'out of body' concept!

To try and shed some light, here is what traditional chinese medicine is according to wikipedia;

Traditional Chinese medicine is a style of traditional medicine based on more than 2,500 years of Chinese medical practice that includes various forms of herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage, exercise, and dietary therapy, but recently also influenced by modern Western medicine. 

TCM is widely used in Greater China where it has a long history, and recently it has begun "gaining global recognition". One of the basic foundations of TCM is that "the body's vital energy (ch'i or qi) circulates through channels, called meridians, that have branches connected to bodily organs and functions.

I bet you are thinking, ok great, so why offer traditional chinese medicine at Flint + Flint which is predominantly a concept skin clinic?

The treatments, which are exclusive to the Manchester clinic in Harvey Nichols, use various Eastern mind and body practices, such as acupressure, to treat or prevent health problems.

Adam Flint, co-owner of Flint + Flint, said:  
“When the opportunity to partner with Helen came about we knew it was a real coup. Helen’s knowledge and unique skill-set meant we could introduce traditional therapies that aren’t common in the West to our treatment menu, allowing us to not only provide solutions for various skin concerns but also physiological concerns. We believe in the merits of skin health and so it was a natural step for us to embrace Helen’s expertise, promoting overall health and wellbeing. We refer to her as our Guru Fa”

An expert in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Contemporary wellbeing therapies, Helen Fa successfully completed a 3-year master’s degree in Social Medicine and Health Service Management at the Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, China. This was followed by a 4-year undergraduate study in BSc Rehabilitation Therapy. Her academic achievement resulted in Helen being offered an internship at a highly renowned Chinese hospital - Shanghai Huashan Hospital. Thereafter, she secured a management position at Chinese healthcare group until she decided to relocate to the UK and join Flint + Flint.

Coming from a family full of Doctors, Helen’s motivation for studying medicine and new treatment methods is one she developed from an early age and her passion for combining Chinese and Western therapies has become a reality at Flint + Flint.

Rooted in the ancient philosophy of Taoism, Traditional Chinese Medicine dates back more than 2,500 years and is a type of holistic and natural health care system. Based on the belief that Qi (the body's vital energy) flows along meridians, 12 core channels in the body that relate to specific organs and keeps a person’s spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical health in balance.

Traditional Chinese Medicine aims to restore the body’s balance and harmony between the natural opposing forces of yin and yang, which can block qi and cause illness, pain and physiological or mental complaints.

TCM is a natural approach to health because it stimulates the body’s own healing mechanisms and takes into account all aspects of life, rather than just several obvious signs or symptoms. The aim is to help facilitate the body's own ability to heal itself. Treatment with Guru Fa aims to correct imbalances in the body, draw out impurities and create harmony using a combination of methods:
  • Diet therapy 
  • Acupressure 
  • Zhi Ya and Tui Na Massage
  • Moxibustion (burning of the mugwort herb) 
  • Meditation 
  • Gua Sha scraping detoxification process 

Western medicine often relies on pharmaceutical therapies to address health issues, while Chinese medicine relies on more natural substances.

Conditions that can be treated to name a few include; chronic pain, back or neck pain, muscular aches, frozen shoulder, gynaecological problems, digestive issues, weight concerns, breast issues, stress, insomnia, dizziness, headaches, high/low blood pressure and circulation problems.

Treatment at Flint + Flint with Helen also includes advice on how to manage your pain or wellbeing between sessions to restore the body’s natural functions. Depending on the severity of the condition Helen may recommend lifestyle changes and other complementary medicines.

My only experience to date with anything remotely like this was when I had accupuncture as a part of physiotherapy treatment on some shoulder problems I was experiencing so I really did not know what to expect from my appointment with Guru Fa.We decided to address some back pains I have been experiencing as I think she could tell it was causing me anxiety and affecting my moods.

Now, without going into major amounts of detail about what caused it, I have been suffering with a really really bad back after an incident at The Albert Hall in Manchester. I have been feeling pretty awful to be honest and the pain I am in pretty much all day every day is horrible. My movement is awkward and restricted because of the pain therefore it has meant that my upper back and neck have been super tense and knotty!

I am seeking physiotherapy treatment for the mid to lower part of my back which was directly impacted by the incident so I asked Helen if we could try and work on the areas that were 'suffering' indirectly and causing me additional pain, namely my upper back, neck and shoulders.

Helen gave me the most wonderful massage and whilst I can't explain what was different per se, it was unlike any massage I have had before. It was extremely precise and I can only really describe the movements as feeling like every muscle fibre was followed and relaxed from their tensed up 'protective' state.

You can very much tell that Helen is highly experienced in this area and whilst my lower back isn't there yet, it was fantastic to get some relief from the massage in my upper back, neck and shoulders. It was a deep tissue style massage but interestingly I did not get the headaches nor did I feel ill afterwards which is usually the case for me when any knots are worked out.

I so enjoyed the treatment and I feel a lot more positive since. I had been feeling really down about how much pain I was experiencing and had been worrying about how long it was going to take to feel normal again and back to my old self.

I know I am not there yet but the treatment with Helen gave me hope and reduced my general discomfort which has been most welcome! I have felt positive and encouraged enough to brave the gym again which has just been completely off the cards since the incident as my whole back, neck and shoulders have felt like they were locked up and the smallest movements have caused significant pain. I am taking it slowly and just stretching and doing hilly walks on a treadmill but it's something and I am so grateful to Helen for helping me feel like I can do it.

I would recommend Helen with no hesitation. She can treat so many conditions, feelings and symptoms that it's worth having a chat with her to see what she could recommend. You can book a complimentary consultation with Helen Fa now, contact information as follows;

Call: 0800 170 0606
Email: man@flintplusflint.com
Visit: www.flintplusflint.com
Social: @flintplusflint

Let me know if you book in and how you find it!

Thank you so much to Helen, Flint + Flint and Harvey Nichols for the opportunity to visit, it was amazing ❤


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Thursday, 3 January 2019

THE RESOLUTION SOLUTION



Making a list and checking it twice is very me... Yes we are on the other side of Christmas but I always like to have something written down to record what I need to do or achieve!

I don't make resolutions as such as I feel like they can have negative connotations sometimes and I ain't about that negative life! I want to feel empowered and inspired by my goals, not feel like they are an indirect jibe at myself for not doing something the year previously.

So here's my list of things I want to and will try to focus on in 2019;

Be More Kind - To MYSELF

Seems oh so simple, right? I guess it can be. I want to just commit to looking after myself better. Get back into the gym, eat right, worry less, get out into the fresh air and not sweating the small stuff. The odd face mask and pamper session will also be thrown into the mix too 😊

Put Blogging Back in the Front Seat

I seemed to take an unplanned break from blogging in 2018 which was a shame as it is a hobby that really does make me happy and I should absolutely be doing more of what I enjoy. 

I got into a bit of a rut and became a bit disillusioned with the blogging world as it's hard to not be disheartened when you feel like you work hard on something and don't get included in opportunities which would be a perfect pairing! That said, you've got to be in it to win it and I definitely wasn't 'in it' consistently enough to win! I am going to *try* and work to a twice a week posting routine just to get back into the swing of things and see how I get on.

Don't Accept Sh!t.

I think that a lot of my stress in 2018 was trying to dance around awkward topics with people and trying not to offend. When I did perhaps try and communicate it sometimes did not come out as intended and then other times I didn't say anything and people took advantage. It can be tricky to try and strike the right balance! 

For friends, I think I need to steer clear of conversations that are sensitive via text as it can be interpreted differently than intended. There are definitely occasions that warrant an assertive email when it comes to dealing with tradespeople or others who seem to assume that because you are a woman you won't stand up for yourself!

Spending time and effort on people who do not care to the same extent as you is just wasted energy in my opinion.

THANK YOU, NEXT.

Grab Life By The BALLS

Last year I feel like I was a bit 'woe is me' and being brutally honest I had no one else to blame for this except myself. Sitting on my arse and feeling indignant about opportunities that passed me by really is not productive! I strongly believe in the sentiment of 'just say yes' - not to drugs or anything that's going to make me end up in jail, but just being open to new opportunities with new people and whilst I have made some progress in this domain I could definitely do more.

Moral of the story? Believe in yourself baby!!

Practice Proactive Gratitude

I think I have mentioned this before but if not - I was fortunate to be able to attend and am now a facilitator of a 'Resilience' course at work and one of the key learning points is that being able to practice gratitude can often make you a much more resilient person. 

Finding the positive in a situation or at the very least not completely freaking out can really help you navigate the bumps in the road better and this all starts with a very simple task.

I bought myself a gratitude journal a few months back and I haven't used it consistently, I want to change this in 2019 as it's actually really great to look back over when you are having a bit of a down-day. It feels a bit weird at first as the things I am grateful for can be a little repetitive but I can definitely see how this will be beneficial to me.

So here's my aims and objectives of 2019, what are you focusing on?
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