Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Guest Post - Joanna Vargas on Organic skin care

I am absolutely honoured to have a guest post from a very special lady! Joanna Vargas is a highly acclaimed skin care guru to the stars, and you can read all about her work below.

Brighton C x

"When I was a youngster and on vacations with my parents we picked wild blackberries from wooded areas in Central Oregon and coastal region of Northwest Washington to make pies and preserves. Presently I take my son with me and shop at Wholefoods and farmer’s market and buy organic blackberries when they are in season for the amazing antioxidants they provide.  
This is the best example and a clear distinction between wild crafted and organic skincare products.  While wild crafted products are derived from botanicals found and gathered in the “wild” at their source, organic plants are deliberately cultivated and harvested for the manufacture of products including skin care.  Plants like coffee grow wild naturally in Ethiopia, as blackberries are found growing wild in abundance throughout the West.  They can grow with no maintenance or tampering by human hands and be harvested in their natural environment. The wild blackberries are for munching, but wild “Harrar” coffee of Ethiopia can actually be found in skincare products for its nurturing benefits.

Wild harvested plants are not exposed to pesticides or other harsh chemicals during their growing season.  By far, wild harvested plants are the optimal healthiest choice for skincare because they are not contaminated with chemicals or tainted by over-processing.  Of course, if you consider that labeling for products is not always accurate and sometimes flat-out false, then you are likely to be skeptical in shopping for your next skin care product.  Skincare labels are intended to convince the consumer that you are buying dreams of youth and wonderful health in a bottle, packaged well.  It is best to be vigilant by really looking into any skin care products you purchase that label themselves as wild crafted, organic or fair trade.
Organic skin care products from certified organic plants have been getting tons of attention over the last few years.  Organic plants are cultivated and harvested by farmers for consumption using no chemical pesticides or fertilizers throughout the growing process.  This is a healthier means of cultivation for the environment, the farmers and the consumers who are not exposed to harmful toxic chemicals.  In order to be labeled “organic” the product must meet the often questionable guidelines of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  The end result, after meeting FDA approval, may be a product with a certain percentage of ingredients that are actually organic and some that are not.
Consumers, in their quest for beauty and better health, have become more conscience in choosing products with more natural organic ingredients, with few or no chemical ingredients that are detrimental to the overall health of skin and body.  There is also a relatively new consideration by consumers of how these products are grown and manufactured, with a newfound concern for their environmental impact and the toll taken on the producers or growers of those products.  I applaud this recognition of the importance of sustaining the environment while achieving overall good health—it is a commendable achievement by consumers.

Whether you choose wild crafted skin care products or organic, you are consciously treating yourself to a quality chemical-free skincare regimen that is the healthiest path to youthful vibrant skin for all parties involved.

Joanna Vargas is a graduate from the University of Chicago and is a celebrity facialist well known for her unique facials and skincare treatments. She has been written about in Vogue, Allure and many other magazines. She is also the inventor and retailer of a full body LED light therapy bed and her own skin care products will be available soon."

Sunday, 26 June 2011

The new craze of Dog Dyeing makes me feel sick

I was on facebook this morning and up on my news feed was this picture. Someone had shared it because they thought it was 'wrong but cool'. Their friends went on to share links to a whole collection of dog dyeing.

It's apparently the new craze sweeping through China. Not content with the full range of apparel available for poor little poochies, they have now taking to dying their dog's coats to make them look like tigers, pandas and even flourescent 80s throw-backs.
This isn't a new idea as pink poodles have been around for years, but now every breed of dog seems to be target for this horrendous fashion statement.

You might argue that the dog looks happy, it doesn't know, etc etc. But I just find it really upsetting to think the poor dog has been graffitied on with permanent dye. It must be pretty confusing for him to say the least. I think this is on a par with 4 year old girls being tarted up with make-up. I'd be interested to know what everyone else thinks, so comment below if this story has riled you!

Brighton C x

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Brighton Creative tries Laser Lipo

Yes, it's true. I've taken the plunge. As soon as I heard about Laser Lipo, I was intrigued, and longed to try it. Although I'm not overly keen to spend all my money on trying to make myself look good, I have been desperate to shift the extra pounds I've put on over the last year due to medication I've been on.

So when I was offered a trial session of Laser Lipo for 50 quid, (via a Twitter business contact) I had to take it up. And bless him, AB paid for it in the end because he knew how hard I'd been trying to lose weight already.  I managed to book it within 3 days, and on a Saturday. This was rather scary. I had no idea what I was letting myself in for, and had visions of a Sci-fi scene involving a giant laser and lots of bright lights.

I emailed the salon to ask what I should or shouldn't do before the appointment, and they basically said nothing, but I had to exercise for 30 minutes afterwards. I'm not going to mention the name of the salon, as although the therapist was very nice, and clearly knew her stuff, I wasn't impressed with the surroundings or general environment of the salon (but grim) so don't want to give it bad press but don't want to promote it either.....

Anyway, I had a consultation to decide whether the treatment was safe for me, the therapist measured my chosen area for the treatment (the back of my thighs) and then I laid on the massage table. (fully clothed, apart from my legs of course) The laser itself is not frightening at all, it's just two shoebox size plastic things with a red light in the middle that are placed on to the skin in the chosen area. I didn't feel anything at the start of the treatment, although towards the end of the 15minutes it felt like I had a hot water bottle on my leg.

After both legs had been cooked, the therapist measured my thighs again. Dissappointingly I had only lost a quarter of an inch on one thigh ( I think she exaggerated this though to make me feel better) Apparently some people lose up to an inch in one session but it depends on your body type. She told me to make sure I drank lots of water now.

I left the salon feeling a bit of an anticlimax, but my legs felt a bit lighter. I went off to have a power plate session to do my obligitary 30 mins exercise, then walked home. I felt ok until I had been home for an hour or so. I then felt really drowsy, started sweating, basically had a fever and felt a bit doolally. I still have a headache today (the day after) and feel a bit weak. I guess this is the reaction to having fat melted down and released in to my blood stream, which my body is fighting to flush out. If you've ever detoxed, you'll be familiar with the flushing out feeling! I had to cancel my plans for dinner with a friend which was sad.

AB came over in the evening and was impressed with the results, he said you can definitely see a difference from my side profile and my cellulite (ergh) has smoothed out quite a lot. Although there hasn't been any inch loss, I can see a clear difference and can see how having 8 - 10 sessions can be really effective. At a price of £150 per session, I won't be doing that any time soon! I'm also not sure I could feel this rough 8 - 10 more times though... I'd rather go to the gym. I'm off to 'Hot' (Bikram) yoga tonight to see if I can flush a bit more out and feel better. I hope it works!

Brighton C x

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Guest post #3 - Hot dress tips by Peachy

My lovely friends at All Women Stalk have written a guest post for the summer. Thanks Peachy! If you haven't looked at their website, have a peek, it's absolutely for of great tips written by women, for women.

"The sun is shining, the weather is warm and the days are longer at this time of the year! Summer is the
perfect time to bring out those bright colors, prints and shapes to look gorgeous under the sun. Here
are some hot summer dress tips for you:

Minus the Straps… Perfect!
Any body type can look extremely good in a dress; with a strapless dress however, it is
important to have the right fit as well as the right fabric. Heavy cotton would be perfect
and unless you’re extremely fit, clingy fabrics such as jersey dresses are big NO-NOs.

Excessive Pits
If you fall into the half size category, always pick a dress that’s one size larger. This will
definitely save you from any “skin hanging over” around your armpit area.

Chilly Nights
For slightly cool summer weather, especially if you're staying in the UK on a Bournemouth beach or a river Dart Dartmouth Holiday, you can always wear a solid-colored, paper-thin t-
shirt underneath or go get yourself a cropped jacket or a wrap knit to cover your bare
shoulders when feeling a little bit chilly.

Go Mexican!
Tube dresses with the typical Mexican blanket prints and floral patterns are hitting the
runway these season. You can pair these with wedges, jelly shoes, ballet flats and even
flip-flops! These are great for parties since the patterns accentuate your most sexy
areas. It’s fun, sexy and flirty at the same time!

Lift and Separate!
No matter how small your busts are, you really need to lift and separate to avoid
that “shelf” look when wearing a strapless dress. Make sure your strapless bra has
underwire or cups that are lightly molded to avoid finding yourself tugging your dress
just to keep it in place. And if you’re wearing a strapless dress with a heavy fabric, wear
a bustier instead to avoid the “saggy” breasts look."

Saturday, 11 June 2011

The £1 Roast Dinner

The title is probably a little deceptive here... I use the term 'roast dinner' loosely! I'm so busy this week I've had to grab food here and there when I can. I knew this would be the case last time I went to Asda so I made sure I had at least one microwave meal (I know, I know) I'm also desperately dieting so was pleased when I found a cheap, quick and low fat low calorie option!

This chicken dinner, was just £1. Thank you Asda Smart price. I don't think I would have been able to buy one third of the ingredients for £1! So, it comes with chicken pieces (look like cat food) in gravy, (not enough
gravy) sliced potatoes and mini carrots and peas, and a stuffing ball. Nuke in the microwave for 8 minutes and voila, you have a "Chicken Dinner" for one.

It didn't look too bad in the plastic dish. I tried to arrange it nicely on the plate to make it look grander.... but failed.

The potatoes were stuck together, the chicken pieces were very small (not like the picture, and the dumpy stuffing ball didn't get its fair share of gravy. Taste wise, it was ok. It's meat and two veg and some spuds, not much that can go wrong. And
if you look at the food label to the right, you can see that there are not many
additives and the meal is very low in fat and calories.
Quite good really, considering it is quite a filling meal.

I would say that if you're feeling a bit poor, lazy and need some heathy-ish food then this isn't a terrible option as it's substantial and contains green stuff, and is a bit more satisfying than beans on toast! I have even managed to fully recycle the plastic tray that the meal came in. It's now a nice little organiser for my very chaotic jewellery draw                                Brighton C x

Friday, 10 June 2011

I've fallen out of love with Primark

Yes, it's true. The shop that has earned itself around 50% of my disposable income in the last 5 years is going to get dumped. I've had enough. I've sworn to myself many a time over the past year or so that I won't be gracing the threshold of the Western Road branch of Brighton Primark. Yet a strange magnetic pull seems to surround that bloomin' shop.

I walk past and try to think of a reason I MUST go in there, knowing I'll come out with half a new wardrobe of cotton and polyester mix that will shrink in the wash, grow holes quickly and ballet pumps that will trip me up as they fall apart after 2 weeks of wear.

Last year I was very angry when I found an almost identical replica of one of my boutique jewellery designs on sale for £1, but hey that's business, what can I do. I still went back for more bank account abuse just weeks later.

My favourite lady Mary Portas queen of shops even boycotted the terrible Primark which made me like her even more. But I still went back for more. Their floral patterns lured me in.

Today I went in to look for a bikini, after the size 14 one I bought in there last week and didn't try on (who would, with a queue like that) is near pornographic as it barely covers the bits it should. So I spent almost an hour sauntering around for a replacement size 16 feeling pretty depressed that I'm 3 weeks away from my beach holiday feeling fat. So I went for what looked like a good size, got home and yes, you guessed it - top too big, bottoms still too small. How is it that the size 12 trousers I bought in the same shop 3 weeks ago hang off my waist, but according to their bikini bottom designers I'm a voluptuous size 18. I know I yo-yo diet but that's a little extreme!

I picked up some funky beach shorts for Amazing B as he's not fussy and no doubt they'll fit him. If they don't, he can take them back along with the 2 bikinis I have now wasted £20 on. I am NEVER going in Primark again. I will save my money and invest in some nice clothes from Oasis or Jaeger instead. Sorry Primark, you're dumped!!!

Brighton C x

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Buying a car on eBay - Simples!

I've bought a car. I am in shock. I won it on eBay. Within 24 hours of placing my bid, the car was paid for, delivered to my house and I was insured and driving it. All on a bank holiday as well.

I've been using eBay for a long time now, so I've kind of learnt to recognise a good and bad seller. It's a bit like having a sixth sense. And when it comes to buying a car on eBay, you certainly have to have your wits about you. I took a chance bid on a Ford Ka, something I have been doing for the past month, thinking I wouldn't be lucky enough to win. After being outbid a lot I wasn't expecting this little beauty to be mine for just £808.00

With Brighton being such a nightmare for parking, and traffic jams, there definitely isn't room for a large car in my life right now. I just wanted something to stop me having to get the bus and cart my stock around, and to nip between meetings and Brighton Mix socials. 

The seller was based in Brighton and had a squeaky clean feedback profile, which was all for selling, and selling cars at that. If you are thinking of buying a car on eBay make sure you check the feedback profile thoroughly for the type of items the seller has been receiving praise for. 

I also carried out an on-line check for anything untoward with the licence number etc which made me feel very confident and excited. After I won the car, mostly by fluke I reckon because it was 10pm on a Sunday evening when everyone else is tucked up in bed, I emailed the seller straight away to show my worth as a buyer. He then replied the next day and gave me his phone number, I called him, we had a nice chat about the money etc and within an hour my car was on the doorstep and the V5 document signed. After I'd got over the initial shock I searched on-line for insurance which was easy to find, set up a direct debit and was able to drive the car within an hour. Oh how the internet has changed our lives......

Very happy, 

Brighton C x