Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Being LUSH

I vividly remember my first jaunts to LUSH as a teen - I was like a kid in a sweet shop, only instead of sweets, the counters were piled high with brightly coloured bath bombs. Nothing much has changed since then, and I still feel that kid whenever I step foot in-store. It's all quite Willy Wonka-meets-cosmetics when you think about it - solid shampoo bars, shower jellies and playdough substances which can be used as a shampoo, soap and everything in between.

I have to say, its probably one of my favourites retailers on the high street - all products is freshly handmade, always ethical and the brand is completely against animal testing to boot. That's the kind of brand I can get on board with.

My local LUSH has recently had a bit on an overhaul, and the lovely team kindly invited me down to check out the new fixtures and fittings. First thing I noticed? Lots of driftwood - a nod to LUSH's coastal home in Poole.

The staff, as ever, were terrifically knowledgable about all products and the brand and it's heritage, and their enthusiasm, something I've always loved, was at an only appropriate 110%.

One of the main things I was interested to learn about was their fragrance collection, Gorilla Perfume. There is such a story behind each scent, and I particularly loved the tale of Breath of God, inspired by Buddhist monks and the inhale and exhale patterns they use in prayer; the 'inhale' and 'exhale' notes of the perfume are both slightly different, making it masculine and feminine both at the same time. Deep.

Some of the guys who hand-produce fresh items were on hand to show us how to make Angels with Bare Skin, a fresh cleanser based on a medieval recipe, crammed full of good things for your skin - almonds, lavender and rose. A LUSH lady then demonstrated how when emulsified in water, the clay-like cleanser breaks down, making it much easier to apply to your skin.

As always, I loved just browsing around the shop and feeling like a kid again - who wouldn't want the psychedelic bath bomb, Granny Takes A Dip, livening up their soak in the tub? Go on, head to LUSH and treat yo'self.

LUSH Newcastle, Unit 1B/Chevy Chase, Eldon Square, Newcastle upon Tyne.


Saturday, 13 September 2014

All Over Autumn

(Source: Country Living)

It's safe to say the last four weeks have been pretty disastrous.

Injury, illness and having to go to hospital at the Great North Run start line rather than run the race (yes, that really happened) have made the past month one I'd like to forget swiftly. 

With this fail of a month in mind, I'm setting some Autumn goals to achieve by the end of October, to ensure I get back to full strength to be able to continue improving my fitness and taking part in some exciting events I have planned. I'll be keeping a track on everything throughout September/October and checking in on my progress here.

Run 13.1 miles 
As I had to bow out of the GNR on the day due the manifestation of a nasty infection resulting in a day in hospital a.k.a one of the worst days of my life, I'm still aiming to complete a half marathon. I raised such a lot of money for charity for the GNR and am gutted I was unable to run on the day after all of the training I put in. I don't think I'll quite get a PB for my own half-marathon, but I'm adamant to complete the distance I worked for, even if I do have to spread this across two sessions.

I'm now a member of a strength training gym. This is something I've been wanting to get into properly for a long time now, and having dabbled at a smaller gym, the facilities at The Fitness Rooms really are second to none and I'm so pleased to get stuck in and make some gains. Some lasses who lift who are currently inspiring me? I'm a huge fan of Blonde Health, Wedges and Weights and Carly Rowena.

Complete an obstacle course race
The River Rat Race in August was a great introduction to the world of obstacle races (albeit one I won't be doing again due to the infection I picked up from the River Tees). I am however, signed up for the Newcastle Stampede in six weeks time. A Tough-Mudder-esque course, this takes places at Gosforth Park in the Toon and I fully expect to get very very muddy.

Stress less
August was without a doubt a stress-filled month on all accounts, and I definitely came off badly from it. Bad skin, bad sleeping patterns, a bad, bad time all round. Coming into September, I've learned to not sweat the small stuff. It's really not worth it.

Invest in health, invest in yourself
When it comes to finance, I'm allocating a bit more money on myself from now on. Totally selfish? Non.  I've just bought a new road bike, signed up for a new gym (for that strength training, yo) and am all about buying more organic, nourishing food to keep my wellbeing at a peak over Autumn and into Winter.

Drink more water
I drink gallons of the stuff (always with lemon and cucumber for an added hydration booster) but I really can't sign the praises enough of drinking more of that clear H20. It does wonders. Believe the hype.

How do you track progress to make sure you can reach your goals?

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