Who is the Smartest Woman You know?

A few years ago there was a pretty fab campaign for  Clinique Smart Custom Serum.  It Starred one of my fave Beauty experts Caroline Hirons (whom I discovered on Twitter, and who is as funny as she is smart), and it  celebrated smart women and their qualities. For Caroline Hirons, the smartest woman she knows happens to be her mom, something I can totally relate to.

If you have read the Sam Haskell memoir ‘Promises I Made My Mother’ you will probably find yourself agreeing that although you meet many people in the course of your life, it is your Mother you still turn to in times of need, in times of stress, even when you are way past 40, but still need someone to put their arms around you and tell you it is going to be OK. Sam Haskell rose to the top of a very successful career at the world famous William Morris agency, and felt he did this by holding onto the values and life lessons that his mother instilled in him during childhood. These helped him to retain his pride and dignity, even when working in the often morale free world that is Hollywood.

I’m so with Sam! My mom is my heroine in so many ways. She was a teenage mom who proved to be the best mom any young girl could wish for – clever, funny and most certainly smart. She was a stay-at-home mom until I was 12, and then went back to work and rose to the top of her career path. Now she is almost 64, still working in management and is as great a grandmother to her three grandchildren as she is a mom. My son Joe just adores her.

Life lessons from my mom, I have them in abundance and they certainly still guide the way I live my life. She taught me that you can do anything if you try, that you can be opinionated, intelligent, funny and outspoken without needing to be brash, rude, egotistical or offensive. She taught me that if a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing in heels (although she does wear them slightly lower these days) and that you only have one skin, so you most definitely need to look after it, she certainly never sleeps in make up.

I get my love of fashion, of animal print, of Grace Kelly and Marilyn Monroe, of T Rex  and The Beatles all from her. She is inspirational, and most definitely deserving of the title smart woman. My love of reading, of old movies, of animals and travel, all come from my mother, but she also taught me that manners cost nothing and that if you can’t say or do something good, then maybe you should say nothing at all.

You can have lots of friends in your life, but you only get one mom, and I totally struck lucky with mine.

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On holiday in Menorca.

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my mom and me!

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At Marco Pierre White’s in Birmingham.

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Mother’s Day with my mom and sister.

 

Finding A Healthier You

Becoming a mom is one of the most physically gruelling things you can do to your body, though sadly without the end result of washboard abs or a pert booty. When you have a young family, it’s so easy to let fitness fall on your list of priorities but this only leads to low self-esteem and even lower energy levels.. You can make the decision to prioritise your fitness regime, and one that works for you by making smart choices, and working out for a small period of time, every day. Here are some ways you can do so quickly, and effectively, even with a busy lifestyle.

Image by Sangudo used under the Creative Commons license.

Power walk to victory

Walking is the best thing you can do for your body to slowly build strength and fitness without putting unnecessary stress on it. If you can’t neglect your everyday chores to make time for a stroll, then build walking into your day’s routine. Park a few blocks away from the supermarket and make up the distance on foot. Walk the kids to school if it’s in the local neighbourhood, vow to take the dog on a brisk walk every morning, and make play dates with other moms for a stroll rather than a sedentary hour in the park. At the weekend, a hike is the perfect way for your family to get healthy together. Make sure everyone is well-equipped with good quality walking socks and boots, and work together to navigate to make it engaging.

Add a Multivitamin Complex

Our body does not always get all that it needs from our diets and lifestyle, so we sometimes need to give it a helping hand. Adding a multi vitamin from Epsilon Life could be the answer if we feel we need to give our immune and digestive system a boost. Epsilon’s Multivitamin and Mineral complex is Vegan certified, and  has, among other ingredients Iron, B-complex, Ginkgo Biloba and Ginseng. It will give you all the vitamins you need in one tablet, and not only will you feel better, but you will look better too, with healthier looking hair and skin.

Resolve to eat well

Your fitness is about 30% exercise and 70% diet, so the importance of what foods you choose to put in your body cannot be overstated. If you have a busy lifestyle, aim to eat small meals, often, to sustain energy and concentration. Ditch sugary, processed food, and anything you have been using as a crutch to get you through the day, whether it’s that third cup of coffee, cans of diet soda or chocolate bars. Exercise and a positive attitude will eventually replace these. Snack on fruit, veg, boiled eggs, nuts and cottage cheese, and whatever you do, don’t skip breakfast.

Many people are now turning to a plant based diet in order to improve their health and well being. Veganism is now seen as a way to not only improve all of their general health, but also to help save the planet too. If you are thinking of changing to a plant based diet, or want to see what effect certain meat products may have on your body and what they can be substituted for you could have a nutritional health test.

HealthLabs.com has been offering customers affordable lab testing online since 2015. These can help to identify which meat or animal products are causing body irritation or what nutrients are lacking which may be addressed by adopting a plant based diet,  nutritional panel tests can also identify other common deficiencies in a broader diet. These tests are far cheaper than if you try to organise through a doctor and can really help you to achieve greater well being.

If you are based in the US and would like to organise a test, you can save 15% by booking through this link.

Make some time for you

You can power walk and chow down on granola bars all day long, but if you’re mentally frazzled, it probably won’t help much. Allocate a set time every day (or every few days) which is just for you. This might be an hour in which you go for a massage. You may want to indulge in an evening yoga class, or spend the morning painting. It could be a creative writing class, or a book group. Whatever it is that helps you reconnect with yourself, make time for it. Your sense of personal well-being depends on it.

 

 

Tips to help Nocturnal Mums to better sleep

When you become a parent, it suddenly becomes hard to remember what a good night’s sleep, a full eight hours, actually felt like. Feeding throughout the night, night’s full of tears, of teething, of croup, all these things mean that real sleep can feel like a thing of the past. And this doesn’t really change as they begin to get a little older and pass the baby/toddler stage. Joe is now 6, visits the toilet at least twice each night, sometimes has night terrors or just sleep walks. I find that with the exception of an odd, much needed lie-in, I never get more than 5 hours sleep per night. Despite all this, some nights I still find it hard to get to sleep. So how can you avoid being a nocturnal mommy and ensure you get the most from the sleep you get?

sleepless-nights sleep

Here are a few tips…

1. Make that bedroom an oasis of calm – no television, no mobile phones, definitely no social media – you really do not need to be checking Facebook and Twitter before you go to sleep. It’s a bedroom, not another extension of your office – remember that.

Not in the bedroom

Not in the bedroom!

2. Comfortable pillows are a must for me. Not too many to give me a neck ache when I wake up, but soft and fluffy enough to lull me to sleep.

3. A good mattress for both you and baby. Naturalmat,  sum this up perfectly here “Every moment spent in bed is precious and a good mattress can make all the difference to having a good nights sleep.” A good duvet of the correct tog is also important, you need to choose one that suits the season, too thick and you will be uncomfortable and too hot to sleep, too thin and you will just feel cold all night. Try to choose an anti-allergy duvet which protect your bedding against dust mites and bacteria.

The Splendid Spring mattress from Naturalmat

4. Try to unwind before bed. Have a bath with Lavender bath oils, drink a glass of warm milk, turn off that social media and maybe unwind with a chapter from a soothing, romantic book. Whatever it is that relaxes you – do it.

Lavender is a great aid to sleep - in oils, in pillows, as a bath oil - give it a try.

Lavender is a great aid to sleep – in oils, in pillows, as a bath oil – give it a try.

5. Don’t go to bed hungry. If you tummy is rumbling, you won’t get to sleep, it’s as simple as that. Have a light snack, something like toast, let it settle, and then go to bed. Avoid cheese through – it’s supposed to give you nightmares (although I’m guessing that’s an old wives tale…)

If all else fails, get up, watch a bit of TV, relax and then try again. There is no point in lying there listening to the other half snoring his way across the night, you will just become more frustrated and more tired.

What are your tips for a good nights sleep? What do you do if you are awake when you should be asleep?