Posts Categorised: Lifestyle/Fashion

Why I Have Become Sugar Free

Boden Wrap Jumpsuit

I ummed and ahhed about writing this post because it’s not really what you might expect me to normally talk about but it’s been such a positive experience that I felt it might be beneficial to someone and in fact it has impacted my work life so yeah, I decided it’s definitely relevant.

Some time ago I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. You may have heard of this before  – it’s been in the press a little lately with Lady Gaga having to miss some tour dates because of the condition. It’s one of those funny old illnesses that isn’t visual so people can on occasion think it’s ‘ all in your head ‘ but let me confirm now that no – one would want the symptoms.

Sore and stiff muscles, flu like debilitating fatigue, headaches, burning mouth and tongue, mouth sores, ( hope you’re still with me … ha ), sleep issues, weight gain .. and as you would imagine these can cause someone to feel pretty low at times. I was getting to the point of panicking if I had to go out for the day as inevitably it would wipe me out for a few days afterwards – even just going out to meet friends for lunch. That said, I tried hard to keep a positive and objective outlook because who needs to go in to a downward spiral ? Not me.

It can be caused by several things but in my case it was a virus and stress and I can almost pin point the moment it ‘ struck ‘.

Boden jumpsuit wrap navy

But here ‘s where the positive part of the post kicks in. After far too long I decided to read up about these symptoms and found some interesting articles about sugar. A few people that had given it up. So I decided it was high time I tried it myself  – couldn’t hurt to give it a go ? For some it might be easy because they might not have a sweet tooth but I do .. or did.

I decided to completely give up sugar and sweeteners apart from fruits and juice.

The first four weeks of a changed diet, I’m not going to lie, were hard. I craved sugar and it was overwhelming at times. Then week six -literally all I could think about was chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. But then a few days later I felt perged of sugar. Like I literally didn’t want it anymore and the thought of it actually made me feel unwell.

Three and a half months later and several things have changed. One is that I have a lot more energy. Where as I used to lie down on the sofa regularly, I now go a full day without feeling the need to rest. This also means I have the energy for exercising and go to the gym two or three times a week. I can walk Sandy our dog and feel good at the end of it. Blogging, Home DIY and interior design here feels like it has a new lease of life and I’m full of ideas and energy to act on them so it has impacted heavily and positively in so many ways. It’s a bit like the domino effect isn’t it ?

What’s also interesting is that my skin has completely changed. It feels permanently moisturised and much clearer. Maybe that’s all the water and peppermint tea ?

The thing I have found staggering is how sugar or sweeteners are in so many things that you’d assume were purely healthy. It’s been a real wake up call. I’ve started cooking more meals from scratch which has sharpened up my culinary skills and I’m sure my family are relieved about that :)

jumpsuit navy boden wrap beach huts southwold

The general feeling of optimism has made me re – evaluate so many things and work out situations and environments that are not right for nurturing good health. So all in all it has been a great experience so far and I want to carry on to see where it takes me. I’m not out of the woods completely as I do still have some symptoms but I feel so much better that it would be crazy to go backwards and I feel I’m working towards something really worthwhile.

I’ve got much more back in to fashion. I love getting dressed up and had missed feeling good. My lovely friend and photographer Tamsyn Morgans and I spent a few hours our beloved Southwold recently by the beach huts having some fun trying out some of my new pieces from Boden.

Tamsyn was so great and easy to work with  – she’s a natural behind the camera who is working on some great projects at the moment. You must check out her website.

Maybe this post has been useful ? I guess what works for me might not necessarily for someone else but hey, you never know.

Lucy x

Clothing c/o Boden:

Wrap Jumpsuit, Kira Shoulder Bag, Ruth Sandals.

24 Top Picks for a Colourful Christmas

Colourful interior gift ideas1. Dinner Plate – Unique and Unity 2. Mascarade Cushion – Designers Guild 3. Tea Light Holders  – LSA International 4. Planter – West Elm 5. Sara Miller Candle  – John Lewis 6. Pink Vase – Studio Arhoj 7. Rock On Hand – Audenza 8. Bergamot Citrus Soap – Fresh

If I left this post any longer it would be too late. Or at least that’s how I’m justifying a totally ‘ in your face ‘ Christmas gift guide.

This is my favourite time of year. It’s the choosing gifts that I love the most and my friends will probably tell you that I drive them potty asking exactly what their kids would like. I really don’t like giving something that I think won’t be used or really wanted.

To save you a bit of time potentially, I’ve put together some ideas for loved ones who love a bit of colour and good design, if you fancy a look through. Some fun things for the kids too. Maybe there will be some items that are just what you are looking for. Also have a discount code for one of the stores a little later on …

I’ve had my eye on that West Elm Planter for some time. It’s a classic shape – I think it would be hard to disappoint with it. Also the vase from Studio Arhoj – these look lovely in a set. As a special gift for someone.

Do you have any rock lovers in your life ? I’m thinking this Gold Hand from Audenza would double up as not only a beacon of ‘ ROCK ‘ on a shelf but also a jewellery holder.

All of these websites here have lots of ideas – definitely worth a look.

Colourful clothing gift ideas christmas1. Slippers – Boden 2. Pink Jumper – Oliver Bonas 3. Purse – Liberty london 4. Semi Precious Ring – Ottoman Hands 5. Grayson Perry Brooch – Lou Taylor 6. Yellow Scarf – Whistles 7. Jacket – Scamp & Dude 8. Purse with Charger – Cuckooland

Good ol’ Boden, eh ? I wear their slippers all the time. Always perfect colour combinations. In fact I’m wearing some as I write this !

A pretty pink throw on knit at this time of year is always appreciated. Oliver Bonas as always have a good selection of clothing and homeware.

This year I’ve got very much in to Ottoman Hands jewellery and constantly swoon over their pieces on instagram. It looks so decadent and it stands out in the crowd.

Being the most massive Grayson Perry fan  – how could I not share this brooch by Lou Taylor ? Her website has some fantastic icons such as Iris and Vivienne Westwood, transformed in to statement jewellery. I insist you check her out :)

Also I have much appreciation for Scamp & Dude who are relatively new as a clothing brand but doing really well. A fresh take on bomber jackets and leopard print tops. I like – hope you do as well.

Must just mention this clutch bag / phone charger from Cuckooland. Two in one in a teal colour. What do you think ?

christmas gifts kids teenagers
1. Bunny Racer Pyjamas  – Boden 2. Pen set – Tatty Devine 3. Pom Pom Hair Bands – Topshop 4. Polaroid Pop – Polaroid 5. Rose Gold Earphones – Sudio Sweden 6. Pink Felt Board  – Ginger Snap 7. Water Bottle – Roos Beach 8. Unicorn Snot – The Present Finder

Loads of colour here. Pretty sure the pen set would go down well with a wide age range. Glad to see Tatty Devine doing stationery now –  they are always so distinct.

Have you heard of Sudio Sweden headphones ? they come in several colours and styles. I have a 15 % discount across their website if you’re looking for something like this. They have a broad price range so suitable for all. The code is LucyLovesYa15 which you can add at checkout.

Who doesn’t love a felt board – totally instagrammable and really fun. This one is from gift store Gingersnap. They also do orange and yellow boards. Another discount code for you here  – if you add PINK at checkout for this board or any items on their site you will currently receive 33% off the price of it. Whoop !

If you haven’t heard of Roos Beach then a good opportunity to look at their store. This water bottle is just one of loads of cool things. They’re based near Newquay, Cornwall and their shop is just fab if you’re ever in the area.

That’s my little round up for now. Hope you enjoyed it. Almost time for mulled wine and gingerbread is it not ? … Almost.

Lucy x

Our Cosy Family Traditions for Christmas Eve

As we hurtle towards the end of another year it makes me really take stock of my family and it’s quite astonishing how much my girls have grown up this year.

It makes me more keen than ever that they have many happy memories for their futures. One of  the things I know they will always remember will be our little Christmas traditions – maybe they will carry them on. Its funny isn’t it ? The small things but probably the moments that we will hold close the most. I’m not sure how many of our traditions started  – I think we’ve just taken inspiration from my own childhood and then added on some of our own new fun bits along the way.

We never forget to put up little trees in our own bedrooms as well as the main one. The girls decorate theirs every year with all sorts of things. We seem to accumulate different baubles along the way and they make some decs at school.

As it gets dark so early it’s a good opportunity to close all the curtains It really doesn’t feel like Christmas Eve until everything sparkling away. Lighting is key for our Christmas.

Marshmallows hot chocolate

It is impossible not to have a hot chocolate ladened with marshmallows while we crack open the mince pies for Father Christmas. I have some festive vinyl that I always put on. The classic songs are the best – White Christmas, Winter Wonderland and Santa Claus is Coming to Town. So we have a little dance and maybe scoff a pie or two along the way. Rude not to eh ?

It’s imperative that we are dressed in some cosy pyjamas to snuggle up and watch a classic film, usually something like The Sound of Music or National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. This year the girls have very cool festive ‘ Father Christmas riding a Unicorn ‘ pairs that come in sets of 2 and I have this very apt ‘ Do not Disturb ‘ set all from Marks and Spencers. Christmas Eve is one day of the year where I won’t be disturbed :) I love a party at this time of year but there’s usually too much to do for the the big day so chilling is just fine by us.

Unicorn M&S Pyjamas

We then make sure the stockings are all in their place, in the right place and then put a plate with a mince pie and some carrots for the reindeers.

There are always last minute gifts to wrap and the girls love helping with that. Then it’s bedtime for them and not soon after …. us too – always knackered by about 9pm !

I really, really love Christmas. It’s one of my favourite times of the year. I literally can’t wait …

What are your own traditions for this Christmas Eve ? I’d love to hear them. Do leave me a comment under the post.

You can find some more traditions of fellow bloggers on Instagram and Twitter if you search for #MyMarks  – this year’s campaign by Marks and Spencers.

Lucy x

This is a collaboration with Marks & Spencers. All opinions as ever are my own.

All images taken by me, Lucy, except image 6 which is by my awesome Daughter Mae.

 

Red Carpet Glamour Comes to Ipswich on October 4th

Film Premiere Ipswich Breathe Andy Serkis Clare Foy Film Festival
Sponsored post in association with American Express®

Coming from a film and theatrical background, I’m always interested to see how new films come to fruition and where the idea has come from. There’s usually a fascinating story behind it. So this post has been a pleasure to research, and I also have some exciting news for you – if like me, you love a good film and the glitz and glamour of the red carpet.

If you live in the Ipswich area, you’re a film fan and fancy something a little bit special, then I have some fabulous news – American Express and the BFI are bringing the 61st London Film Festival to the town next month.

Breathe Film British Film Festival Tickers

American Express has been proud sponsors of the BFI London Film Festival for the last 8 years, and this year, along with the BFI they’re bringing the Opening Night gala of the Festival to Ipswich.  Members of the public could experience one of the benefits of being an American Express Cardmember, which includes gaining access to some of the most talked about films during the Festival.

Across the country, regional cinemas will be screening not only a stream of the live red carpet, but also the much-anticipated European premiere of Andy Serkis’ feature directorial debut, Breathe. You’ll find more information about how you can register for tickets at the end of this post and more detail about all of the cinemas taking part.

Breathe Film American Express Andy Serkis Director Claire Foy

I’m so looking forward to watching it, let me tell you a little about the storyline of Breathe.

Written by twice Academy Award nominated writer William Nicholson, Breathe is a true story about an adventurous man, Robin Cavendish (played by Andrew Garfield ), who meets, falls in love with and swiftly marries a beautiful young lady called Diana Blacker (Golden Globe Winner Claire Foy). Together they move to Africa and enjoy an idyllic life with Diana becoming pregnant, but suddenly, Robin is struck down with Polio, leaving him paralysed from the neck down, and rushed to a hospital and  attached to a respirator that enables him to him breathe. He’s given the prognosis of a few months to live.

A few months on and with a new baby son in their lives, Robin has been moved to another hospital and is being taught to talk again, but has given up. Diana though is adamant that she wants Robin to survive for the family, so instead of letting the illness take control of their future, she manages to bring Robin home from hospital, and between them they amaze everyone with their tenacity and lust for life.

Robin’s good friend and Professor Teddy Hall (played by Hugh Bonneville) develops a homemade wheel chair for him with a battery-operated pump. It means he isn’t stuck in bed anymore and starts to have mobility again.

Breathe film American Express Sponsored British Film Festival 2017

They continue to fulfil lots of their dreams and travel to different countries, all of which gives Robin a new purpose – fighting for the rights of disabled people.

The supporting cast members list is stellar – including Hugh Bonneville, Tom Hollander, Stephen Mangan and Dame Diana Rigg. It’s like a who’s who of my favourite actors, reading through all the names. The production team are also hugely acclaimed.

Producer, Jonathan Cavendish, who is actually the real son of Robin and Diana, always felt his father’s life would make a compelling feature film, and when he told William Nicholson one day about his background, the whole film started to take shape. He also works alongside Andy Serkis (famous for playing Gollum in The Lord of the Rings and his recent role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens) with their own production company – The Imaginarium.

Breathe Film Clare Foy Andy Serkis British Film Festival

I’m excited because reading up on the synopsis of the film – it resonated with me, and I think it will with many, because it’s a tale of challenges that anyone could face and how one family dealt with it all in such an inspiring way. Also, the way that the film all came together really moved me, as it started out with no money invested but with cast and production crew all keen to tell this story – it became a reality. Cool huh ?

Ipswich Premiere Breathe Film Festival 2017

I’ll be attending my local cinema in Ipswich on the night of the 4th October, and I’m really looking forward to it. The film will be released across the UK and Ireland on 27th October.

To register for limited tickets* to see the 61st BFI London Film Festival Opening Night gala film ‘Breathe at Cineworld Ipswich courtesy of American Express visit www.seeitfirst.com/Amex2017  

*Terms apply

I’ve already got my tickets, so I’ll see you there!

Promoter: American Express Services Europe Limited has its registered office at Belgrave House, 76 Buckingham Palace Road, London, SW1W 9AX, United Kingdom. It is registered in England and Wales with Company Number 1833139 and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
Ticket Promoter: See Film First Ltd, 62-70 Shorts Garden, London WC2 9AH

Adventure of a Lifetime on the Road with Coldplay

coldplay set toronto 2017 color colour music gig

If you’ve stayed with me through the last 3 posts you’ll know by this post we are in Toronto and the girls are literally having an Adventure of a Lifetime.

For the last gig and because they opened up the roof of The Rogers Centre we wanted to spend some quality time there during the day. It was literally baking hot and beautiful.

toronto ice cream van quirky fun inspiring

But first we wanted to eat eat ice cream ( mega ? )and take a trip up the CN Tower especially as it was right next to where we were staying.

view Toronto CN Tower vast

Apparently on a clear day you can see as far as Niagara Falls. it was a pretty good view but if I’m honest I was just keeping it together enough to do brave face up at the top … sssshh don’t tell the girls.

I’m sure the tower sways ever so slightly ? Or was I imagining it ? But it was spectacular to be up there and see the whole of the city. Mae even encouraged me to stand on the glass floor with her – which I did but there’s no way I’m posting that photo.

CN Tower buildings toronto CN Tower Rogers Centre Toronto

You could see the Tower inside the music venue  – and at night it twinkled along with the Coldplay hits and changed colours. I kept looking up at it and trying to paste the moment in my mind for keeps.

Coldplay Rogers CentreBoden Shoes on Coldplay Set coldly decorations set 2017 pom poms

There’s always so much to do on the day of a show. They have the finest team and they work so, so hard. Plus they are super nice with visitors. What a lovely bunch of people.

coldplay instagram concerts usa canada

Mae and Bets appeared on Coldplay’s instagram stories while over the week. Look a them being all industrious ! :)

So there we have it. Our little road trip. I’ve always wanted to do one but had no idea that we would get to do one as part of Coldplay’s tour. Which by the way was one of the kindest things anyone has done for us in a long time. I will never forget it.

The concerts each time were energising and so rich in colour. I was literally in heaven. I tell you, if you want to see a show that fills you with positivity then this is the show to see. They seem to have a way of connecting with the audiences even when it’s 50,000 and making everyone feel they are special. It’s a pretty cool thing.

The catering was out of this world. Different every day and very tasty. It gave me some ideas for some new recipes.

Mae has come home and played the piano non stop. So all in all an inspiring time for us all.

How am I going to up this for next Summer Hols ? Gulp !

Hope you have enjoyed each post. You can catch up on the other below in my stream and also find me on Bloglovin’.

Lucy x