Did you know that this May is National Walking Month?

Walking is such an important part of my exercise routine. Who am kidding? It’s the ONLY part of my exercise routine. If I didn’t walk to work and back every day, and potter about in between, I’d basically be a sloth, lying around all day on a huge, comfy branch.

Walking has all kinds of benefits. It’s great physically obviously to get your body moving and your heart pumping, but I find walking really useful mentally too. If I’m feeling a bit grumpy or miserable or cross, going for walk makes a difference. Not immediately, but after ten minutes or so of swinging my arms and pounding my feet I start to feel more relaxed. Things seem to shift and fall into line more neatly than before. I start to get ideas. The world takes on a rosier glow.

To get as many people as possible enjoying the benefits of walking, Westfield Health is launching its Walking Lunch campaign to coincide with National Walking Month, in partnership with the UK’s walking charity Living Streets. The theme of national Walking Month for 2017 is ‘walking cities’, which is why for Walking Lunch 2017, Westfield Health are cosponsoring the Crumbs City Trail app. You can register as a team or as an individual, track your steps on their UK leaderboard AND win fantastic prizes if you’re one of the most active participants. Prizes include vouchers, fitness trackers and £1,000 cash towards a health and wellbeing initiative in your workplace.

To celebrate, and encourage you guys to have a go, I took Bee and Belle out for a walk to try out one of the Bristol Crumbs City Trails.

Aren’t they adorable? My two little cherubs.

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I think it would be fair to say that Belle and I approach make-up and skin care from totally opposite ends of the spectrum.

For me, it’s all about protecting my skin, moisturising, using sun protection and generally keeping it healthy. For Belle, who turns 15 in a few months, it’s all about contouring, Kylie Jenner lip kits and getting the perfect winged eyeliner. (None of which I understand.) Sometimes I worry that I’ve neglected my parental duties by not teaching her how to apply make-up, but to be honest, she already knows way more than me.

One of her very favourite things is to do other people’s make-up. She loves creating different looks and experimenting with different colours and products. She spends most of her pocket money on make-up palettes and is very particular about who gets to use her make-up collection.

Because I really am a lovely mummy, even if I don’t know much about mascara, I let Belle do my make-up this week, and took the opportunity, while she couldn’t walk away, to talk to her about taking care of your skin.

Whatever your age, whether you’re 14 like Belle or 21 *ahem* like me, looking after your skin is really important. Whatever you want to do make-up wise is kind of irrelevant – the need for healthy skin is something that applies to us all, whatever your age.

Boots No7 serum View Post

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cures for a cold

I don’t know about you, but it feels like we’ve had about 27 colds between us already this year. Yucky ones too – proper colds that leave you feeling grotty and exhausted and like it’s almost too much effort to reach for the remote control. It’s not much fun.

A cold can leave you feeling seriously sorry for yourself. I tend to go as far as actually sticking my bottom lip out and trying to widen my eyes when I look at people, to extract maximum sympathy when I whine pathetically ‘I don’t feeeeeel very welllll.’

It’s a sorry sight.

Just in case you’re in a similar predicament, I’ve put together a list of nine nice things you can do for yourself when you have a cold that will help you feel not quite so awful as you otherwise might.

 

Accept that you have a cold. This is tricky because we all like to soldier on don’t we? It’s like there’s glory in working even harder than normal, to prove you’re somehow much more capable than everyone else. Accept that you have a cold, be kind to yourself and lower your expectations. It’s okay if some things don’t get done until next week.

 

Get yourself some wholesome snacks. You might not feel like cooking, but don’t fall back on crappy things like biscuits and ice cream. Your body needs good things to help the healing process, so stock up on things like good soups, fruit, smoothies – stuff with actual nutrients in. Shop online for minimum hassle or bribe a child to go out for you.

 

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I’ve never particularly been the sort of woman to have girl crushes.

I did have girls at school that I wanted to BE like (and as a result named by daughter after, because I was 17 and what else would you do at that age?), but that was really just because I dreamed of being as popular as them.

I do have a teeny tiny crush though on Reese Witherspoon. I think she’s just awesome and I love her in absolutely everything she does. If I had to put together a top ten favourite films of all time, it would contain Legally Blond AND Legally Blond 2. That’s how much I love her. I watched Legally Blond on a plane a few months ago and that scene in court where she nails Chutney for the murder of her dad – it actually gave me goosebumps.

‘Isn’t the first cardinal rule of perm maintenance that you’re forbidden to wet your hair for at least 24 hours after getting a perm at the risk of deactivating the immonium thygocolate?
…and wouldn’t somebody who had, say, 30 perms before in their life be well aware of this rule, and if in fact you weren’t washing your hair as I suspect you weren’t because your curls are still intact, wouldn’t you have heard the gunshot, and if in fact you had heard the gunshot Brooke Windham wouldn’t have had time to hide the gun before you got downstairs…’

*swoons*

When Sky Atlantic asked then if I fancied driving around for an hour in a Volvo XC90 to watch the first of a new Sky Atlantic series called Big Little Lies, starring Reese Witherspoon – well, I knew I was going to love it before I even saw it. (Volvo sponsor Sky Atlantic, it wasn’t just a weird PR with an overly specific interest in car manufacturers.) 

I was not disappointed. View Post

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I’ve been using Innovo for about six weeks now. In case you need a refresher, take a quick read of my introductory post here or, if you’re too lazy to click a link, (shame on you), then you’ll just have to pick it up as you go along. It won’t be the same though, so your loss.

So what is Innovo?

Didn’t I just say that you had to read the post introducing Innovo? Well I meant it. Off you go.

Okay, okay.

Innovo is a non-invasive way to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, which basically means you don’t have to insert anything anywhere. It’s essentially two big, wide straps, that you attach to your thighs, and which then send electrical impulses to key muscles. These in turn stimulate your pelvic floor muscles to contract – six times per minute – in a bid to strengthen your pelvic floor and stop you doing a wee in your pants every time you sneeze or go on a trampoline. (Both of which *may* have happened to me.)

Innovo pelvic floor exercise

 

What does Innovo feel like?

I’m not going to lie – Innovo is uncomfortable to start with. You’re advised to start off slowly and build up over a few sessions while you get used to the sensation. When you first start, it really hurts at 30, and you wonder how you’ll ever progress, but you do very quickly adjust. Just experiment with upping the pulse bit by bit but don’t worry, you will get there in the end.

It’s an odd feeling, because you lose control of your own muscles, and get to watch them contract and relax independently of you. Once you have built up a bit of resistance though, it’s quite satisfying, and you can definitely feel it working your pelvic floor muscles. View Post

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