Category Archives: Health/Fitness/Sport

An Interview With Infruition Water

Water! If my sons complain of  headaches or feeling tired or nauseous, my answer has always been “Drink Water!”  Luckily for me, they enjoy a glass of water and 9 times out of 10, it does cure their ailments.  However, I must hold up my hands and say that I find plain water just … well …. plain boring!  My guest this week, Carmen Hubble of Infruition Water, is on a mission to convert me! Hi Carmen ….

image

Hello I’m Carmen and I’m the Brand Development Manager for Infruition fruit infusing water bottles.

Infruition Water is a simple yet brilliant concept – water bottles with an inner capsule that you pack with your choice of fresh fruit & herbs. What inspired the conception of Infruition Water?

Infruition’s message is simple; we want to help people drink more water, naturally. We launched the brand with this idea in mind and immediately knew that fun and creativity was at the heart of Infruition. Everyone knows they should drink more water and Infruition makes it easy.

image

There are currently three styles of water bottles – sports, classic and kids. All made of 100% BPA free plastic apart from the classic,which is made of glass. Which style is proving most popular among your customers?

The Infruition Sport is the most popular as many of our customers like to use their bottles on-the-go or at the gym! We have only recently launched Infruition Kids but are already seeing alot of pick up amongst the little ones and hope that this continues, as it is so important to get kids drinking and enjoying water.

image

A normal water bottle you can just fill up – so, can you explain how you can prepare your infruition water? Any handy hints?

It really is as easy as 1-2-3: choose your combo, load the chamber, top up and go! For a stronger flavour, slice fruits or leave the bottle in the fridge to chill overnight.

There are so many fruit & herb combinations to try from strawberry & basil to the more exotic pineapple with cucumber & mint. My favourite combination is lime & mint. Have you got a favourite? What was the oddest combination you’ve come across?

Lime and Mint is actually our most popular combination; if we have events we always make sure we have this on offer. The oddest combination we have come across is famously featured in our recipe booklets:  Avocado and Kale.

image

Infruition Water is a great way to get the message across about the importance of drinking water – from the new children’s bottles with their cute designs to the sports bottle that fits snuggly into bicycle holders. Just how important is it to keep hydrated?

Our brains are composed of 85% water, and studies have shown that even mild dehydration can have a significant impact on mood, energy levels and mental performance. Researchers at the University of Connecticut found that mild dehydration in study participants led to alterations in mood, headaches, fatigue and difficulty concentrating. These findings, published in The Journal of Nutrition, were found to be more pronounced in women than in men (ladies take note!); and occurred both at rest and during exercise. Check out an infographic by nutritionist Naomi Mead on the importance of drinking water: http://www.infruition.co.uk/happy-hydration-10

image

As your company is based in the UK, are overseas customers able to purchase your water bottles?

Yes – we ship worldwide. If you are having issues finding your city, town or country on our website,  just drop our customer services team a line and they can help you.

Are you planning to expand your bottle styles/range in the future?

Absolutely; we have jugs, drinks dispensers and frui-tea bottles coming up!

image

Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc so that readers can find out more about Infruition Water.

www.infruition.co.uk
https://twitter.com/InfruitionWater
https://www.facebook.com/infruition/

OK …. You’ve convinced me Carmen!  I may pass on the avocado & kale combo, though! So, dear readers, what water combo would tickle your fancy? What are your water thoughts?  Do tell!

Linda x

All photographs have been published with kind permission from Infruition Water.

Share This!
Pin It

An Interview With Xinx

Keeping fit at the gym, whether circuit training or doing your Zumba class, requires the right outfits – they need to be practical and tailored to provide maximum comfort – and, if you like to be stylish in your day to day wear, then why compromise on gym clothes either?  Nick Jelley, a personal trainer with an interest in designer fashion, wanted to create fitness wear that was practical yet stylish – so, in 2013, he founded Xinx, the stylish sports wear brand.  I caught up with Nick recently to find out more…. Hi Nick…

Hi! My name is Nick Jelley and I am the managing director of XINX, a fitness clothing brand which I started in 2013 alongside my gym. My background is as a Personal Trainer and I have always been involved and enjoyed keeping active, particularly in the gym these days.

What was the inspiration behind XINX?

My inspiration to launch a fitness clothing brand came from various influences. In my opinion,  fitness clothing can tend to be uninspiring in design and also doesn’t provide the most comfortable fitting products. I wanted to rectify this – to create fitness clothing that featured fashionable designs whilst meeting the technical requirements for exercise and athletic physiques.

image

As you are a personal trainer and have a passion for designer fashion too, launching XINX seems to be the best of combining both of your interests. Growing up, was your career aspirations sport or fashion orientated or neither? When did you start to cultivate an interest in fashion?

Growing up my aspirations were more centred around fitness management which is what I studied at university. I made use of this through opening my gym which is more of a strength & conditioning facility compared to a typical health & fitness club. However, my entrepreneurial instinct is that I am always looking at new opportunities and decided that a fashion brand would work well alongside management commitments of the gym. Whilst I have very little fashion industry experience, I understand business and have a fitness background so am determined to establish XINX as a worldwide designer fitness fashion label.

What do you look for when deciding what to add to your brand – popular styles, old favourites, customer suggestions, your own tastes or bits of all those?

Initially I researched a selection of established brands to identify what products they were releasing to create a mood board of what I liked. Then working with a design and manufacturing team focused on matching the technical fabric quality alongside creating the best measurements to suit the products. Following the initial range, we considered customer suggestion alongside best selling products to progress into new designs where we again consider fashion trends to create mood boards for new collections.

image

From your current collection, the Flash capris & vest caught my eye. What has been your most popular design to date? Have you got a personal favourite?

Funnily enough, the Flash range has been our most popular item to date closely followed by the men’s prime vests. My favourite men’s items are the Prime and Stripe vests, while my favourite women’s is the snake shorts which I knew we had to create as soon as I saw the fabric. There is no design there, it is just the textured fabric which is so soft! It is difficult for people to realise the garment quality through the website, due to not being able to feel the product, however the first comment people mention when trying items from the range on, is about the comfort.

image

If you were able to visit anywhere in the world, to inspire a collection, where would you go?

We visited South France last year taking in design ideas from the shops in Cannes and St Tropez, which gave us some inspiration. I think Italian designers are great and also feel the Far East seems to offer futuristic designs, but I also draw inspiration every time I am in London. It is difficult to choose one destination because you can take a photo whenever you see a design and due to the internet you can browse so many websites for items to draw from for new designs.

Which famous lady and gent (dead or alive) would you love to see as the “faces” of XINX?

That is a very difficult question! I have considered this before and would ideally want someone similar to myself who has a genuine interest in fitness whilst also being interested in fashion. From the gent’s point of view, I think Jonny Wilkinson would top my list as a top English sportsman and rugby player (rugby is my favourite sport), however I feel Hugh Jackman would also be good because even though he isn’t as strong as me, I know he is into his training also….

Are you hoping to expand XINX in 2016 by adding other lines, such as trainers etc?

We are in the process of adding additional accessory items as well as bringing in certain selected brands as partners.

image

As you are based in the UK, are you able to offer your online service & delivery to overseas clients?

Yes, all our designs are available for worldwide delivery via our website www.xinx.co.uk. We already receive orders from Europe, the US and Australia and we hope this will continue to grow as we progress as a label.

When not personal training, what sports or activities do you enjoy pursuing?

Nowadays, I mostly participate in gym based training, taking part in strength based competitions as well as the occasional cardiovascular event, whether it be running or cycling or charity event. I have occasionally raced in triathlons and the London Marathon and cycled the UK this summer. I also enjoy rugby although purely as a spectator these days and I like to go on snowboarding annually. Admittedly, I do like a challenge and would really like to complete a charity expedition to the North & South Poles which would be an incredible experience.

Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?

When I’m not wearing XINX, my wardrobe would have to be classed as Smart Casual although I am a fan of 3 piece suits when the occasion calls for it and my tailor regularly gets an email of a new item whether it be a suit, chinos or a shirt.

Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?

I am a fan of Selfridges which I tend to visit in London quite often. From a brand point of view I like Ted Baker however the fit doesn’t always match my physique and I recently discovered Orlebar Brown which I am into at the moment.

What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?

I will be looking to add some clothes to increase my winter wardrobe and I will be contacting my tailor soon most likely for some more shirts when I have highlighted any items that I like. For shoes, a pair of suede derbys and loafers are on the list as well as a new pair of espadrilles in time for the next holiday.

Boots or Shoes? 

Definitely shoes. I only tend to wear boots when it is snowy or icy for better grip, otherwise I prefer shoes which offer greater versatility with so many style options.

Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc so that readers can find out more about XINX

To see our collection please visit www.xinx.co.uk where we also release our blogs. Also our social media addresses are:
Facebook: XINX
Twitter: @XINXuk
Instagram: XINX

Thank you very much Nick for chatting to us – I’m sure that 2016 will be a great year for you.  So, dear readers, do you like to be stylish when you workout?  Are you Zumba fanatics or bendy yoga experts?  I like Pilates, and I would love to master yoga some day! Do tell, what do you do to keep fit?

Linda x

All photos published with kind permission from XINX.

Share This!
Pin It

An Interview With Author Suresh Purushothaman

I’m brimming over with positivity this week – I’ve come across a lovely motivational book that contains short yet uplifting phrases that the author hopes would inspire readers to live a happier and more meaningful life.  I caught up with the author, Suresh Purushothaman, recently to discover what motivates and inspires him….

image

Hello everyone, my name is Suresh Purushothaman, author of the new book, “Being In Oneness”. I live in London with my wife and son. I was born in Pondicherry, which was previously a French colony in South India.

Congratulations on publishing your book, “Being In Oneness” – a motivational book containing uplifting short phrases to inspire readers to live a happier and more meaningful life. Where did you get inspiration from to write this little book of positive affirmations &
quotes?

I always venture deep into the consciousness to get my inspiration. I can also say why I wrote this book. I wrote to share my deep thoughts on life and happiness with everyone. I want to keep it short and simple, so people can read quickly and ponder over the thoughts to find their own meaning of life and true happiness. I decided to write and finish my little book when I was facing a possible medical scare. I know that things like that can happen to anyone anytime, so I can also say my medical scare pushed me to complete this book.

Your book focuses on themes such as success, achievement, life, happiness, fear, etc. The book, however, has no chapters – so you can just dip in; and is not meant to be a formula for life; simply signposts you can use in your journey of life. Being born and brought up in
Pondicherry, India and having lived the last 16 years in London; which short phrases or inspirational thoughts helped you when you relocated to London, which must have been daunting for you?

London is a great place to live, but I have had to start from scratch. I lost financially before I started a new life in London. So I can say this thought is my famous one: “ Never wish to have anything in your past back, even if you lost a fortune. The beautiful connections of life will reveal numerous opportunities as you step into the future: Be guided by your oneness, your soul. And help it to open up new beginnings”.

“Love and life are so interlinked that one cannot live without the other. Start loving yourself and others; and life will start loving you” – that is just one of my favourite phrases that I read from your book. Have you got a favourite saying/phrase?

I also like the phrase you chose because it sums up everything for you about life and love. If you are asking my favourite phrase, it’s
“Live a life of happiness within you first; it will then radiate to cover the universe.”

image

Your powerful words are enhanced on Kindle versions by beautiful photography which helps to assist the reader to reflect on their thoughts – which is a glorious bonus. The pocket sized book can be carried easily & provide an opportunity to dip into it on a regular basis.
Although you are based in London, is your book available to purchase overseas?

Yes, I decided to have pictures in the Kindle version, so readers can take time out to think on the thoughts and see how they can apply in their everyday life. You can buy my book on Amazon – it should cover the world.

If you had to write a book in a different genre from “Being In Oneness”, what genre would you pick?

I would have picked  “Leadership skills through the application of oneness”.

Are you looking at writing other books in the future? What topics would you like to cover?

The next book I am planning is the application of oneness in leadership, which can create great leaders who can inspire and motivate others for a bigger and better cause naturally as opposed to the coercive nature of modern management skills.

What sort of book genre do you like reading? Favourite books or authors?

I like books on happiness, life and leadership. My favourite authors are Dale Carnegie and Dalai Lama.

If you could visit any place in the world to give you some book inspiration, which place would you love to venture to & why?

I would like to visit places where people are happy in the midst of poverty and war and want to see what makes them happy and content.

When you’re not writing, what hobbies/past times do you enjoy?

I love watching news and debates. I love going with my wife for weekly shopping and doing a little house work for my wife.

Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?

Normally you can find me in tee shirts, cotton trousers and sneakers.

Do you have any favourite shops or online sites ?

I normally shop on Amazon. I like their price, delivery and customer service.
.
What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?

I am planning to buy a pair of shoes.

Boots or Shoes?

I always prefer shoes; they are more fitting to my style.

Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc so that readers of the blog can learn more about you and your book.

www.beinginoneness.com
https://www.facebook.com/beinginoneness
https://twitter.com/beinginoneness

http://www.amazon.com/BeingInOneness/dp/0993313701

Thank you so much for speaking to us Suresh and sharing with us your positive and inspiring thoughts.   So, dear readers, what makes you happy? Have you any tips or phrases to share? Do tell, I’d love to know!

Linda x

All photos have been published with kind permission of Suresh Purushothaman.

Share This!
Pin It

An Interview With Pretty Be Online

Online meets beauty this week as I chat with qualified nail technician Julie Allseybrook, brainchild of the innovative online promotional tool for professionals in the hair, beauty and well-being industries – PrettyBeOnline. Great news for customers too as many services are listed to satisfy all your beauty needs.  Let us welcome Julie onto the blog to reveal more …Hi Julie!image

Hi there, I’m Julie Allseybrook the founder of Pretty Be Online, I’m 39 years old and have a little boy who’s 5.

What was the inspiration behind Pretty Be Online?

The inspiration came from when I qualified as a nail technician and I was looking for a cost-effective place to advertise my business online. It seemed that everywhere I looked the available platforms weren’t particularly user-friendly and the popular ones seemed to charge an arm and a leg for using their facilities. They weren’t particularly nice to look at either so I started to do a bit more research into how I could solve the problem of pricing and make it more appealing for customers to browse through. It also struck me that while I was searching for what’s available, there wasn’t anywhere where everything was under one roof for the Beauty, Wellbeing & Fitness Industries so I wanted to combine that too.

image

There are a few beauty websites and apps that combine services, so what makes Pretty Be Online so appealing to businesses and to customers?

Pretty Be Online works in a completely different way to what’s available at the moment, making it particularly easy for customers to do a quick price check and distance finder from the businesses advertising on there. When looking at a particular advert, it also brings up all the other adverts that business has listed, making it very easy to see what else is available instead of trawling through the static profiles like on other platforms. From a business point of view, as well as a business profile, we allow unlimited adverts in any categories that they deem suitable to include special offers & gift vouchers. We charge a one-off fee of £20 a month so have no hidden commission fees which usually end up costing small businesses. Their profile is also 100% in their control meaning they can remove or archive adverts as they please, re-activate them when they choose. There is a free app available too so they can manage their account on the go just as they would at a desktop. We provide links to websites, email and social media platforms and have an optional booking request form which can be activated should they wish which doesn’t tie them into an online booking system but offers a little bit extra. We also have a keyword facility in the adverts which allow businesses to put in what they feel is suitable which in turn helps to increase the SEO.
Another thing that Pretty Be prides itself on is that we don’t allow free listings on there. We are here to bring the standards back up in these particular industries and feel like if we offered free listings, it would have under qualified businesses on there. I’ve seen it all too often where profiles have selfies as business logos and if you are serious about your business, you wouldn’t want to be listed next to those. We treat all businesses the same who choose to advertise with us which means no premium listings to push them out of the way, it’s worked purely on postcode.
As we cover lots of services that fall under the umbrella of the Beauty, Wellbeing & Fitness industries, we find that customers will have a browse through the different categories. This means that they usually end up looking at treatments/services they weren’t originally looking for meaning more exposure for businesses.

image

What type of treatments seem to be most popular currently amongst advertisers?

Popular listings include Reiki, Training Courses and Holistic Treatments. Popularity is also rising for Coaches who offer things such as NLP.

You are a qualified nail technician and yet Pretty Be Online the website and your social media presence must take up a lot of your time. What job “hat” do you personally enjoy doing the most?

I’d have to say all aspects of Pretty Be Online, I just love it when I get positive feedback as it makes me feel like I am fighting the corner for small and medium-sized businesses.

Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?

I’m a sucker for jeans, I seem to live in them. I try to keep myself smart/casual so would pair these with a nice top and shoes or boots.

image

When you get a chance to be pampered, what treatments do you like to indulge in? Any new treatments you haven’t experienced yet but would like to try?

I like to have facials or a massage. There are loads of new treatments I’d like to try – microdermabrasion and a vampire facial to name a couple.

Do you have any favourite shops or online sites ?

Not really, if I see anything I like, I’ll buy it regardless. I do love ASOS though purely for the catwalk facility on all their clothes. I think that’s brill!

What’s next on your clothes/shoe/ bag wish list?

I want to get myself a nice designer handbag like a classic Mulberry or something.

Boots or Shoes? 

I prefer boots as there are so many nice ones available. I do like shoes but mainly heels which I’m not very good at wearing anymore so I stick to wedges.

Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc so that readers can find out more about Pretty Be Online

You can find more information about PB Online at www.prettybeonline.co.uk or via our fb page www.facebook.com/prettybeonline or twitter www.twitter.com/prettybeonline

Thank you Julie, and what a fantastic idea!  Ummm…vampire facial.. that leaves an interesting vision in my mind! Dear readers, do you like being pampered? What service do you enjoy and what would you like to try? Do tell! 

Linda x

Photo Credits: Photos of Julie & the logo were published with kind permission of Julie Allseybrook.  Other photos: Linda Hobden.

Share This!
Pin It

An Interview With Spa Sweethearts W.I.

Happy New Year!  At the start of every New Year most people make resolutions – lose weight, stop smoking, join the gym, etc.  The resolutions made, often reflect our need to enhance our lifestyle by becoming slimmer, healthier and ultimately happier. Your resolutions can also include stimulating your mental wellbeing by starting a new hobby or joining a group…such as the Women’s Institute.  The W.I. are celebrating their 100 year birthday in 2015 and despite its “Jam and Jerusalem” image, young ladies whose average age is nearer 30 than 75 are joining groups and having a ball. I’m chatting to a lovely young bunch of ladies from the Spa Sweethearts W.I. this week about why they joined and is it all about Jam and Jerusalem…. Welcome Becky…image

Hi! My name is Becky Warburton, I’m 26 and I’m the president of Spa Sweethearts Women’s Institute in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. In my day job, I’m the Student Activities Manager at the University of York Students’ Union, which basically means I organise extra curricular activities for students while they study.

The Women’s Institute is celebrating its centenary this year. What was your initial incentive to become a member?

I’d just come back from uni in Newcastle and a lot of my old school friends had moved out of Harrogate. I wanted to do something that would help me get to know some new people, so my mum and I went along to a meeting. Within a few months, we’d both joined the committee, and I’ve been president since February 2014.

I imagine a lot of people perceive the WI as being all “Jam & Jerusalem” with an average age of 75 and with the saucy antics of the Calendar Girls. I am sure that there are groups like that in the UK but not everywhere is that the case. Being a group of women in their thirties who are very active members how do people react when you say you’re a member? How did you join – was it via word of mouth, out of interest,etc?

Yes, whenever I say I’m in the WI, people look a bit confused, then they either ask me if I can make jam or they make some reference to stripping off for a calendar. With 100 years of history, it’s a shame that that’s all people can think of! There’s so much more to it than that.
The WI has done a lot of campaigning over the last century and has done an enormous amount of good for society. The jam link actually stems back to the Second World War, when there was a huge drive to preserve fruit and vegetables, so WI members made a lot of jams, pickles and chutneys to help the country get through food shortages. In the 1950s, they launched a drive to reduce littering which was the beginning of the Keep Britain Tidy campaign group that has just celebrated its diamond jubilee. More recently, campaigns have been about things like increasing the number of midwives to make childbirth safer, and supporting local businesses to make sure our high streets survive the recession.
I heard about Spa Sweethearts at the Great Yorkshire Show as I visited the WI ‘tent’ to find out some more information and see if there was a group local to us. One of the advisors mentioned the Sweethearts and I knew immediately that that was the group for me.

So what do enjoy most about being members of the Women’s Institute? Have you a favourite activity that you do as a member of the Women’s Institute?

I really love the sense of community that I get from not only being a member but also from working alongside my amazing committee members. They never fail to make me smile, even after the worst of days at work! But I also enjoy learning something new and different every month and getting to step outside of my comfort zone every so often.

Baking and jam making still are popular pursuits, and joking aside, the Women’s Institute do know how to bake and make jams. Even TV shows like Masterchef call on the Women’s Institute for judging events. Be honest, how’s your baking? Are you expected to have expertise in culinary skills or an interest in that field?

I love baking and I’m not too bad at it, but not all of our members are. A lot of them have other talents, like sewing or knitting. Some aren’t interested in that sort of thing at all, and that’s fine too – we’re a very diverse lot! But we’re all pretty good at eating the cakes even if we can’t make them ourselves.

What benefits do you feel that the Women’s Institute could offer the lady in her 20s,30s,40s,50s?

When Spa Sweethearts was formed, the ladies from the WI who guided us through the process told us “The WI is what you make of it” and we’ve found that to be completely true. If you want to join the WI to learn traditional skills like baking, jam-making and knitting, you can. If you want to find an outlet for your campaigning side, you can do that too. You can be part of your community just by turning up to meetings, or you can use the meetings to invite people from your town or city to tell you about what they do, such as charity workers, police officers or even unusual things like forensic scientists. There’s no limit on what you can do with your meetings. We try to make our programme as varied as possible, so everyone can find something they’re really interested in, but we also encourage our members to come to all the meetings even if they’re not so enthusiastic about the topics. Quite often, people find they have a hidden talent that’s only uncovered by giving something a go for the first time at a WI meeting!
Of course, many people also come along just for the social aspect – to have a chat and a cup of tea, or even something a bit stronger. The great thing about the WI is that there are thousands of branches, so whatever your age and interests there is more than likely one to suit you. And even if not, you can just start your own – you only need three ladies!


What famous lady would you love to see strutting through your doors asking to become a member?

This is a really tricky one! Well the obvious answer is someone like Mary Berry, as I think our members would love a master class with her! But then I would have to say someone like Giovanna Fletcher, who is one of favourite authors (and also married to Tom from McFly!) because she loves so many aspects of the WI like baking and crafting as well as sharing her opinions through her many social media platforms but she also writes about a traditional WI in one of her books, Billy and Me, and so I would love for her to experience a Spa Sweethearts meeting to show how diverse we are as an organisation and the amazing things that we get up to.

Going back to the Calendar Girl reference – that must have been quite a giggle and at the same time it did stir some interest in the Women’s Institute as well as the charitable aspects of it all. Have you had any funny moments that you can tell us about at WI?

Nothing quite as headline-hitting as that! Our committee meetings are always hilarious – we have lots of work to do organising our monthly meetings, but we have such a laugh as well. One of my highlights was actually from the very first meeting I attended, which just so happened to be on jam making! It was led by two members of our federation who have been members for years and years and who were just this incredibly funny double act, telling us all about the organisation and why they love it so much and I just thought to myself, if I’m still involved at their age and enjoying it as much, then I’d be pretty happy.

Any advice to any ladies wishing to join the Women’s Institute? How should she go about joining?

Do it! The easiest thing to do is to go onto the WI website, www.thewi.org.uk, and put in your postcode to get a map of all the WIs near you. Alternatively, search for your nearest federation (regional office) and give them a call – they’ll be able to tell you which WIs are most likely to suit you in your area. Get in touch with one and find out when their next meeting is, then just go along. Most WIs let guests come to their meetings for a small fee, so you can try before you buy! And membership for 2015 is only £36, so if you do sign up for a year it’s really good value.

What outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing at a meeting?

For me, it’s whatever I’ve been to work in as I never have much time in between getting home, grabbing some dinner and getting to the meeting, to think about changing. I’ll usually just be in jeans or something comfy as there is often a fair amount of setting up or cleaning to do before and after meetings – we all get quite stuck in with that.

You must have had many inspirational speakers visit your group – what speaker or topic did you feel was the most inspiring for you personally or inspired the group as a whole?

One of my favourite and more inspiring meetings was when we had Dee Marshall, from Welcome to Yorkshire, come to speak to us about Le Grand Depart in June 2014, about three weeks before it arrived in Harrogate. I’ve become a massive cycling fan since London 2012 and so was incredibly excited about all these world class cyclists racing through the streets of my home town. I’d also signed up to volunteer at the finish in Harrogate and so to hear Dee talk about how they had won the bid and all the preparation that had taken place was really interesting and made me even more excited to volunteer and be part of something that made me so proud to be from Yorkshire.

What’s next on the Women’s Institute event calendar for celebrating the 100 years?

There are loads of events planned to celebrate the centenary. We’ve got a lot of competitions going on for WI choirs, an official centenary fruit cake, heirlooms which can be passed down the generations… And there will be a couple of focal points in the year. Our national AGM is in June at the Royal Albert Hall and there will be lots of celebrations there, plus there’s a three-day WI Centenary Fair in our hometown, Harrogate, from 3rd-6th September, when WI members from around the country will be descending on us to meet up and celebrate.
At Spa Sweethearts WI, we’ll be going along to as many of the events as we can, but we’ve also got our own centenary fair planned for mid-September. We’re hoping to have lots of traditional elements like baking and craft competitions, but of course we’ll be putting our own spin on it as usual. It’s all part of our year-long campaign to get to 100 members of Spa Sweethearts in the WI’s 100th year. We want to prove there’s still plenty of life in the WI, and to get younger women in particular to put aside their preconceptions and come to a meeting with an open mind. It’s our way of making sure the WI will still be around to celebrate its 200th anniversary!
I’ve also launched a Twitter campaign under @WomenoftheWI. Every week, a different WI will take control of the account and tweet about their week – hopefully including live tweeting their meeting. The aim is to show how diverse our membership is, and how many amazing and wonderful things are going on around the country every week. The interest from other WIs in taking part has been really encouraging and I’m so excited about seeing how it all pans out.

Boots Or Shoes? 

Completely depends on the time of year but spring and summer I live in ballet flats as they just go with everything and are so comfy, but then as soon as autumn and winter hit, I live in boots. I’m someone who gets very grumpy if I get wet feet, so I’ve got to keep warm in the winter months.

Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc so that readers of the blog can learn more about your Harrogate group and the Womens Institute in general.

Our details are:
www.spasweetheartswi.co.uk
www.facebook.com/spasweetheartswi
www.twitter.com/spasweethearts
www.twitter.com/womenofthewi
You can also find a lot of other WIs on Facebook and Twitter, as well as the national accounts:
www.twitter.com/womensinstitute
www.facebook.com/theWI

Thank you Becky – I’m sure that you and your fellow WI friends will encourage many other younger ladies to take the plunge and go and find a group to suit them. It sure sounds that you have lots of fun and I wish the whole WI organisation a fabulous centennary year!  

Linda x

All photos published with kind permission of Becky & the ladies of Spa Sweethearts W.I.

Share This!
Pin It

An Interview With Booticamp Babes

Now is the time to get our bodies in bootilicious shape for the beach and the pool and apart from the inevitable chocolate blip at Easter ( and if you’re a mum, this Sunday too!) we have a few weeks to make an impression – the weather is warming up so let’s warm up our bodies too!  If you’re bored with the diet and exercise DVDs or you need an incentive to get going, why not go for some action that is fun, exciting and motivating? What about a boot camp run by women for women? – it’s a great way to achieve rapid fat loss, tone up and feel great!  Tonight I’m chatting to the beautiful Sarah who launched Booticamp Babes in July 2012. Hi Sarah …image

Hi! My name is Sarah Whitehead, I’m 35 and I have been a qualified nurse for 14 years and specialising in aesthetics for the last 10 years. I am MD of a fitness company called Booticamp Babes and have just launched my brand new Aesthetics Clinic called SW Aesthetics offering globally award winning products, treatments and procedures to help you look and feel your best, with the name you can trust.  I’ve been with my husband since I was 18 and we have 3 children.

Where did you get the inspiration from to start Booticamp Babes?

I was overweight through most of my childhood and pubescent years, so I have never been skinny. I put on nearly 5 stone during my pregnancy and tried every diet with short term success, it was the same old story I lost weight then gained it again. I then started attending a local bootcamp, started clean eating and exercising 3-4 times a week and the pounds fell off. When the opportunity arose to start my own bootcamp, I grabbed the opportunity with both hands as I knew I could add value to the programme and put a unique spin on it. I can relate to every woman that comes through the door as I know what it feels like to be miserable, overweight and unfit.

imageThe Booticamp Babes have an unique “Real Women Real Results” plan- so what is this plan and how does it provide a real alternative to traditional “bootcamps” and mundane workouts in the gym?

We follow a clean eating plan, no wheat, dairy, sugar,caffeine or alcohol. It’s not easy to start with but when the girls start to see the results it spurs them on to keep good habits and even if they fall off the wagon they get back on it easily. We offer constant support motivation and send out weekly recipes, meal plans, tips and advice, ranging from choosing a good sports bra to how exercise can spice up their love lives.We also have a lot of fun and ensure that no one is left out or made to feel uncomfortable. We offer our class’s to any women over 16, any shape, size or fitness ability. My nursing background ensures that I can also offer medical and nutritional advice. With being an aesthetic nurse I can also discuss and consult on what treatments and procedures can help my ladies look and feel their best. At the gym you start off with good intentions but there’s no one there to keep you motivated, so you lose interest quite quickly, we have a secret Booticamp Babes members Facebook page to keep everyone motivated and up to date with the latest news,recipes etc…. There are absolutely no cliques and everyone supports one another which is truly fantastic.

imageSo what do you enjoy most about instructing at Booticamp Babes?  Have you a favourite exercise?

Instructing gives me a real buzz, some nights I’m tired but as soon as I start shouting and hollering and having fun banter with the girls my mood is instantly lifted – it’s kind of a natural anti depressant that’s totally free of side effects. My personal favourite is a Burpee as it works your whole body.

What exercises or aspects of Booticamp Babes seem to be the most popular with your clients?

The girls like to work on their abs, as it’s a place where all women struggle with reducing especially if you’ve had children.

imageWhat exercise(s) seem to yield most results? What seems to be the least popular – or gets the most groans when you suggest it? ( I hate push ups personally!)

Most popular is anything ab related, for reasons above, Least popular are either one leg squat thrusts as they burn your legs or Burpees as they require effort and leave you breathless if performed correctly. However it’s our press ups that leave our girls with fabulous toned arms- they are so proud when they finally do a press up on their feet as opposed to their knees- it gives the girls a real sense of satisfaction and achievement.

Must admit I’ve now managed to do press ups properly but I still like to cheat occasionally and use my knees! 

imageYou have some famous supporters eg Sky Sports presenter Clare Tomlinson. What famous lady would you love to see strutting through your doors?

I would love Jennifer Lopez to come strutting through my doors, but would equally be as happy with someone like Chantelle Houghton, Lauren Goodyer as to me they are real women with realistic curves- women hate to feel intimidated by a body shapes that requires complete and utter daily dedication to maintain. However just by exercising and clean eating they are all realistic shapes and sizes and are happy with the way they look.

imageHave you had any funny moments that you can tell us about whilst boot camping?

The funniest moments are always the partner sessions – every Valentines Day we invite women’s partners to attend the session with them, the men think we just gossip at Booti but they are hit with the stark reality at these sessions. There is nothing more satisfying and funny as seeing the women whoop their partners ass into gear with the men dripping with sweat and not being able to walk the next day.

imageBooticamp Babes are currently in Derby, Belper, Ripley and Long Eaton. Have you any expansion plans?

We would love to expand in the future and have got interest from around the country and even international interest – I’m off to India in October for discussions on franchising and teaming it up with a well-being clinic. Hopefully it will be the blueprint to launch in other parts of the world.

Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found imagewearing?

When I’m not in my workout gear I love to be immaculately dressed, so I like classic tailored clothes. When I’m in my aesthetics clinic I like to look professional so fitted dresses and heels are the norm.

Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?

I love Zara, my daughter works there so I’m lucky to get the best pick of the outfits first. For professional outfits you can’t beat House of Fraser.

What’s next on your clothes/shoe wishlist?

Mulberry Handbag

Boots or Shoes?

Shoes- as I’m quite short, I like to wear heels

Links you would like to share:

Check out www.booticampbabes.co.uk to find out more about us and my new website www.sw-aesthetics.co.uk, to find out about the latest aesthetic treatments and procedures to help you look and feel amazing.

Thank you for taking time to chat to me Sarah… I hope the predictions of a long hot summer in the UK this year will get us all in the mood to get fit and toned….

Linda x

Photo Credits: All photos have been published with kind permission from Booticamp Babes.

Share This!
Pin It

An Interview With Movement For Modern Life

New Year – time to make resolutions to help make your life easier, healthier and happier – what resolutions have you made or will be making? One of the most popular resolutions is to keep fit or take more exercise – if you can’t face the prospect of joining a gym or if you have two left feet that the Strict Come Dancing craze just isn’t for you or you’re looking for something that is different, in which case, I have found the perfect solution – check out online yoga classes!  Whether you’re a complete beginner or already addicted, Movement For Modern Life will transform your outlook on yoga at any rate. Don’t just take my word for it though – my guest today on the blog is the lovely Kat of Movement For Modern Life – hi Kat and welcome:

Hello I’m Kat – very pleased to be on this blog!20131227-211222.jpg
Being previously a city solicitor, what inspired you to take the plunge and start Movement For Modern Life? 
I have always loved yoga, and trained as a yoga teacher whilst I was training to be a solicitor! I even taught yoga to my colleagues in the office in the city. Quite a few things – most importantly, things happened in my life (a bad car crash and then a divorce) which made me realise that life moves fast! Whilst I could sit at my desk as a lawyer for the rest of my life, I would also wonder about the ‘what if’s’. I knew that I wasn’t a typical lawyer, I was always very energetic and creative and had a passion for yoga. I always wanted to start a business and I knew that I wanted to tell the world, in one way or another, how amazing yoga is. I pondered opening a yoga studio. But it was when I was living in the countryside and felt so frustrated that I couldn’t get to my favourite teachers that I started to think about the possibility of starting an online yoga community…
You’re the only British online yoga company to be showcasing the best of UK teachers and teachers who visit the UK and you describe the wide range of yoga classes available as an “all you can eat” buffet of yoga. What are the main benefits of your subscription based service? 
I think it’s the sheer diversity of the yoga on offer, as well as working with the very best teachers, people can get a chance to say to themselves ‘Hey, I wonder what Indaba (a studio in London) looks like?’ and then they can check it out. Or if they’re feeling anxious, they can do stress-relieving practices, or if they have just cycled, they can do yoga for that. Or perhaps they’ve always wondered what Ashtanga is – they know that if they check out our Ashtanga class they’ll be getting a great teacher and this is a great way of finding out about the best of that practice. I’ve learnt so much from working with so many inspiring teachers from such a variety of yoga backgrounds, it’s been a beautiful process for me.
You are passionate about how yoga has improved your life – what were the main reasons that got you hooked? 
At first, I just loved the physicality of it. I did really hard, physical practices, so I got very flexible and strong in quite a short time. I was the stiff kid at school who was terrible at all sports and games. But I started to practice and I found an improvement in how I felt so quickly. I loved the fact I could try all these cool new poses and challenge myself  by doing something that scared me. And then, about 10 years later, I was in a car crash and lost movement altogether for a while. So my yoga practice deepened and I found out the real meaning of yoga, which for me is a deepening relationship with yourself. Finding out about how to learn to really love life.  Now I see my yoga as a tool in the toolkit of dealing with the stuff that comes up in life. 
20131227-211241.jpgFrom absolute beginners to yoga addicts, you have classes to suit everybody. So, which type of class is proving most popular at the moment?
Right now, the Forrest yoga classes are super-popular. We were so lucky to interview Ana Forrest, the creator of the Forrest yoga movement. She was the most beautiful, awe-inspiring person I’ve ever met. Forrest yoga is an amazing tool for dealing with the difficulties and particular stresses poses in modern living.
Have you got a particular favourite yoga class or movement?
This is really hard. I choose different teachers or classes depending on my mood, or what I need on that particular day or moment.
What clothes do you feel are appropriate when about to engage in a yoga session?
Absolutely anything that won’t rip during the practice!!! At home I often do yoga in my pyjamas! In class I like to wear something colourful which moves with my body, so I feel more confident and capable. I think the joy of doing yoga at home online is that you get to call the shots. No need to worry about that kind of stuff.
How do alignment mats help when practising yoga? Would you recommend them?
Absolutely! I use and love liforme mats. They can be handy for practicing yoga classes at home when you don’t have a teacher present to tell you about your asymmetries. They can help give home students confidence. Definitely a good idea.
Looking ahead to 2014 what plans have you got in the pipeline to extend your services?
Oh my word! SO many!!! I often get frustrated that I can’t do it all RIGHT NOW!! But that’s also the practice of yoga, so I am practicing patience… We are working to make collaborations across the health and wellness industries, but also I want to make the site more community-oriented, so that people can interact better with one another and their teachers. That’s really important to me. I am working to make the site easier for people to search for the best classes for them too…
The music that accompanies your videos – how easy is it to pick the right music for the yoga classes? How important is it that the music reflects the right relaxing mood?
I don’t use music on my site. I think if people are at home they can have the fun of picking their own background music. Best not to second-guess music tastes and I don’t want the omnipresent new-agey whale-song in the background…
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?
Ha ha! I actually live in my yoga clothes most of the time. So I can have a sneaky stretch and make sure I feel good all the time…
Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?
I like Lululemon for their yoga clothes.
What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?
Some warm boots which aren’t uggly… also no sheepskin as I’ve heard how inhumane the making of sheepskin is.
Boots or Shoes?
Boots! So I can walk my dog in the countryside. Or barefoot.
Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook etc so that readers can find out more about Movement For Modern Life
https://www.facebook.com/movementformodernlife
https://twitter.com/M_F_M_L
Thanks for joining me today on the blog, Kat, and for being so inspiring!  I wish everybody a Happy and Healthy New Year!
 
Linda x
 
Photo Credits: Photos have been published with kind permission by Movement For Modern Life.
Share This!
Pin It

To Tan Or Not to Tan…

That is the question on a lot of fair skinned ladies’ lips as summer arrives…and for those of all skin tones a further question may be, go bare legged or not ?!

I am fair,or,as I like to say, “interestingly pale”  – I do not tan naturally easily – although to be fair (LOL!), I am not really a “laze around sunbathing on a beach ” sort of person! The top half of my body does get a colour of a fashion ( ok, I go red!) but my legs remain lily white. I can remember having a successful tan whilst on holiday –  when I was in my late teens and I had obviously fallen asleep on the sun bed during the day after staying up all night dancing the night away! I can also remember having sunburnt eyelids – not very pleasant! What I can definitely recommend if you do tend to go red before tanning is to invest in some Rimmel Sunshimmer  – rub this bronzer onto the red patches as well as on your shoulders,arms,legs,chest and it acts as an after sun moisturiser and turns the red a nice glittery bronze colour !  Fabulous on your face too – gives a healthy tan colour ! Pack some into your suitcases!!!

Sunbeds are an option. I booked a course of sun bed sessions before I embarked on (another) teen holiday to Magaluf! However, I only lasted one session – I contracted chicken pox and that was that. I landed in Magaluf, pale and spotty…but not for long, thankfully! However, if you are not a person who can lie on a normal sun bed for at least 15 minutes before getting bored, then it probably isn’t a good idea!

About 15 years ago I had an all over tan treatment applied at a spa and unfortunately I turned a lovely shade of orange. Luckily, my holiday break that year was to the Lake District where I was able to wear long sleeves and trousers ! Nowadays, fake tans are more sophisticated and the orange look can be avoided.  Spray tanning at reputable salons and centres now produce flawless results – although not used myself, friends have recommended the LA Tanning company, Vita Liberata outlets and Fake Bake.

Alternatively, you could opt for the fake suntan cream and do your legs (and body) yourself. I currently use Body Shop’s Molten Bronze  – a dry body oil with a hint of natural fake tan – apply it every day and you will gradually build up a natural looking colour. For me, it just takes the edge off that lily white ! Johnson’s Holiday Tan and Dove also work in the same way. Facial wise, I’m currently using Leichner’s camera blend tinted moisturiser in “hints of beige”.  Not as heavy as traditional foundations but it gives a lovely flawless illuminated look – available in various “hints” for all skin tones.

For darker tans, and fans of TOWIE, try Lauren’s Way Glam Tan – you can see for yourself how good it is by looking at Lauren Goodger!  ( Lauren’s Way also do spray tans). Another recommendation is pHenomeal tanning mousse by Vita Liberata – this tan can last an astonishing 2-3 weeks – and is available in dark,medium and fair. The product has won the “Best Tanning Range” category in U Magazine’s beauty awards 2012/2013.

You could also boost your all over tan by sunbathing in “Tan Through Swimwear” – the swimsuits and bikinis have a built in SPF of around 6 , so it is recommended that suntan lotion of SPF 6 or higher should be used on areas not covered by the swimsuit. There is a large range on Amazon ; you could also check out the Tan Through website – they guarantee that their Cool Tan swimwear range are not see through when wet or dry. It could be just the thing to eliminate those “tan lines”!

If bare legs are not your scene or perhaps are not appropriate for the occasion, there are a range of tights to give you that just tanned and oiled look. The photo heading this blogpost is of Jonathan Aston Micronet Tights in Natural with Pretty Polly Naturals Oiled Tights in Slightly Sunkissed underneath. Believe me, they look and feel wonderful ! If you want to bare your just painted tootsies in a pair of sandals, don a pair of toeless tights – brilliant invention !!  For sexiness you can’t beat the  seamed retro hosiery  –  available in colours from nude to chocolate – these are great for darker skin tones or as an alternative to the usual black tights/stockings.

Now you’ve prepared your pins – look to have a pedicure, paint your nails a vibrant colour (I love corals!), find those TAN sandals and go, strut your stuff!

Linda x

Photo Credit: Adam Hobden

 

 

 

Share This!
Pin It