Showing posts with label lifestyle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lifestyle. Show all posts

Monday, 24 July 2017

Lagos, Portugal : Part 3 ft. Inish Pharmacy

Being Irish and fair-skinned is a clear indication that I've had ancestors not too acquainted with the Sun. As much as I love it for the surge of Vitamin D and the great benefits to my mental health, I still am cautious of its dangers.

Tan, courtesy of Bellamianta and maintained by Palmers 

Before I left I asked Paul of 'Inish Pharmacy' for information for you and I to keep in mind during our days of being in the sun, even when it comes and pays us a visit to Ireland. Albeit, not very often. 

People often ask me why I love the sun so much if I wear SPF 50.

Well, the reality is that whilst I would tan eventually after a long time in the sun, I just don't see the point in trying to get a tan just for it to fade. I don't want to risk getting skin cancer for vanity reasons. I just wear a moisturiser with a self-tanner in it. I apply it every night whilst I'm on holiday.
Before I go on holiday I apply Bellamianta's 'Self-Tanning Gradual Moisturiser' in the run up, and then two nights before I go I put on Bellamianta's 'Rapid Mousse'.

To continue the maintenance of tan throughout the holiday I wear Palmer's  'Natural Bronze Gradual Tanning Lotion'

Otherwise if I didn't, I'd just get paler as the holiday progressed!! 

So why does SPF really matter?

Pharmacist Paul of Inish Pharmacy told me 

 "When exposed to the sun, our skin needs to be protected from UV rays. The most high profile risk from sun damage to our skin, is skin cancer. With over 10,000 new cases in Ireland each year, it is the most common form of cancer in Ireland. When choosing a suncream, it's important to check that the product has enough protection for your skin type. There are two main things to look for, the strength of protection or SPF level but also whether or not the product protects against both UVB and UVA. Some products will only protect against UVB, which gives protection against harmful UVB rays that are the main causes of skin cancer, but offer no protection against UVA, which mainly causes skin ageing and winkling. La Roche Posay Anthelios Light Fluid and Bioderma Photoderm Max Cream are excellent choices in this regard with the Photoderm cream slightly more moisturising" 


If you're anything like me and the rest of the population, you really don't want premature ageing in exchange of a fading tan, right?

So fake tanning is the healthiest and safest way to be tan before, during and after your holiday.

Laughing at the sun trying to penetrate the Factor 50 on my skin

 I was also curious to ask Paul about 
Food Poisoning and Dehydration because my stomach hasn't really recovered from my younger days of Whisky and Raw Chilli's (WTF?!) and so I'm a little susceptible to getting sick.

Last Summer in Sicily I got Sun/Heat Stroke because I went for a run in the morning and then spent the day on the beach without being in the shade the entire day. I thought it was from food I had earlier because I was being uncontrollably sick when I got back to our place. I was so scared because I thought I would have to go to the hospital as I wasn't even keeping water down.
Eventually I had stopped being sick and I slept for 15hour straight whilst my boyfriend bought out half of the local pharmacy. 

From that point on I vowed I'd come more prepared if there would be a repeat occurence.

I explained to Paul that this was what happened and he was able to clarify that it was Heat/Sun Stroke.

Paul explains that Heat/ Sun Stroke is 

" a condition where the body overheats and cannot cool itself down like it normally would, leading to symptoms such as dizziness and headache, cramping, feeling sick, a fast pulse rate and heavy sweating and a dark coloured urine. This can happen if you are in a very hot climate but also if you are exercising vigorously you can suffer from heat exhaustion / heatstroke. 


What to do?

"The main thing is to move to a cool place, out of sunlight. Lie down and remove as much clothing as possible so that the skin is exposed. This will help the body cool down. Have someone apply a cold wet towel to dampen the skin and gently fan the skin, this will help your body regulate temperature again. It is very important to drink plenty of fluids."


I find that when I'm sick even at home or abroad, Dioralyte are usually what I would use or recommend to others. Even Paul recommends...

"...everyone to pack some Dioralyte before travelling. These sachets are easily packed and contain vital salts and electrolytes which your body needs to replace in times of excess fluid loss. This doesn't necessarily need to be after having diarrhoea or vomiting, even when you sweat a lot more than usual it is easy to become dehydrated in hot weather if you are not replacing the fluids by drinking plenty of water."





I understand that we don't want to be bloated on holiday, especially when our mid-riffs are seeing the light of day for the first time in 6 months. I always wanted to know how to stop that bloating and irregular 'movements' if you know what I mean, but Paul answered my question without me even having to ask it because he suggested that taking...

 "...a good quality probiotic, such Bio-Kult or Proven, can help you avoid some stomach upset while travelling. When we are on holiday we are out of our regular routine, often eating different foods and at different times of the day. All these things can contribute to upset stomach, with diarrhoea, bloating or constipation all possible. Probiotics not only help your digestive health, they are also good for your immune system and skin, so if you are worried about getting sick on holidays, this is a good idea to start a probiotic a few days in advance of travelling."

No sucking in that tummy needed, just pop a probiotic 

Thanks to Paul with his generous advice to myself and you, I was able to enjoy my holiday with a little less bloating, and a lot more confidence in keeping myself safe from sickness and sun dangers.



Stephen and I

My Godmother/Aunt and I

My boy modelling for 'Daz' washing powder advert...

Probiotic Perks

Playsuit thanks to DV8

I've always loved the combination of Orange and Blue





                     I hope you've enjoyed my holiday posts as much as I've enjoyed my holiday.

Out of them all, which was your favourite outfit I wore out of  Part 1 and Part 2?  I'm curious to see if it's the same as my favourite.

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Monday, 26 June 2017

Letting Go...


I lay in my bed and stared at the prismatic colours on my wall that were coming through the blinds. I was trying to figure out whether or not this meant the sun was shining.

5 minutes earlier a dead silence woke me up. An unfamiliar calm, a heavy stillness. Submerging from my unconscious, I remembered.
Just like I have been remembering every morning for the last two months.

He’s not here anymore.


What was once a bed not big enough to hold those who lay in it, was now a bed that felt vast; A large tombstone with the memory of weight and expired dreams engraved upon it.


It’s been two months since he left my life, my dog.

Yes, a dog as opposed to a human. Loyalty as opposed to betrayal. Unconditional love as opposed to conditional love.  Comfort as opposed to hostility.

My dog gave me everything that humanity couldn’t.

I looked down at the bottom of my bed, and in place of where he slept for the last 17 years was a little wooden box with his name emblazoned on it. ‘Rico’, it read. His ashes.



For 17 years ‘Rico’ was the name that echoed off the walls. I would shout it loud, to rival his playful bark. Now his name is whispered, to match his silence.
 
Forever, that’s how long I’ll love him.
Someday, is when I’ll see him.
Never, is when I’ll let him go.

I’ve let go of his body, but the memory remains. That is enough for me.

To hold on to him, to his memory strengthens me.
To hold onto other things, weakens me.

After meditating on my love for him, I got up from my bed and I started.
Something in me starting buzzing, an enthusiasm, a motivation.

I started to clear away.

I de-cluttered, I deconstructed, and I declared that everything must go.
I pulled every irritating piece of clothing off the clutches of its hanger, threw it in a bag and continued on my rampage of evicting every piece of fabric whilst the quiver of the now bare wooden hangers were the soundtrack to my epic mission.

“Don’t think about keeping it anymore, just let it go” I murmured to myself as I held up a dress that had been worn a couple of times too many.

Of course I had many brilliant nights, and yes perhaps that dress was a symbol of my young, wild years.  Now I choose to enjoy the memory, but don’t cling to it.

We cling to the times that were good. In our older years we find it hard to let go of the social life we once had, and will never again have, for it was our youth that made it so. So maybe it’s not letting go of the short dress that is the problem, perhaps it’s what letting go of the dress means.

We struggle to let go of the notion of what we think our life should look like.
A wardrobe full of good-intentioned dresses for the much fantasised glamorous parties will not serve us well when we have to get work done, or run to get to the bank before 1pm on a Saturday.

To let go isn’t to forget, it’s to allow room for change.

Change is what we fear.

Why?

It’s because we’re afraid we won’t be able to ‘cope’.

We are not just one person. We have many ‘selves’. Like a Babushka doll/Russian doll we are made up of different versions of ourselves. These versions of our identity can adapt to new environments and situations, we just don’t realise that we’re able to because we don’t expose ourselves to change. We hide from it. We stay within the confines of our comfort zones.

But, change is necessary. To be human means to grow and to grow is to require change.

Put it this way. We outgrow our clothes and yet we find ourselves hoarding them and keeping them for what they signify. Time outgrows us, and yet we cling to everything that is reminiscent of that time.

But holding on to an expired time weighs us, and stops us from the process of change. Holding onto worn clothes takes up room, and inhibits expansion of our developing style.

We shed our clothes, and we shed our skin. Yet, we throw neither away.

Change is inevitable. We can choose prepare ourselves, or we can choose not to.
Either way, it’ll come. And whether or not you want to, you’ll find yourself adapting to this change. So why not embrace it?

Like trends in fashions, change comes in cycles.

To change is to let go.


The future scares us because it means change.  We fear that who we are not is not able for the future. However, who we are now will develop, grow and transform into a person who can deal with the inevitability of the future. It’s hard for us to comprehend that person now.

But we can’t be our future self if we don’t let our present grow.

And to do that means letting go of expectations of what you think life should be, de-cluttering your life of everything that was once important, but no longer serves you.

Clear your space of old reminders and it’ll clear your mind. Shed your skin and it’ll shed your old perspective to reveal a fresh perspective, ready and ambitious for change.


Let go of all that once was, and embrace what is yet to be.



Wednesday, 22 April 2015

The Sting


On sunny mornings I’ll usually stand in my garden and breathe in the smells of the new Spring.
This morning, following this routine, I walked out into my garden and saw a huge bumble bee sitting on the garden table. I walked on, and then stopped in my tracks, stopped by some force of nature, and returned to where the bee was.
I instantly remembered about the time I wrote an article for local magazine, Local Women, for the Valentine’s edition. In my unconventional way I didn’t write about romance or love, well love in the traditional way. I actually wrote about how St Valentine is the patron saint of Bee Keeping also.  In the article I chat about how bees are integral to the existence of mankind. No bees, no pollination, No food. 

Albert Einstein once said “If the Bee disappears off the surface of the Earth, man would have no more than four years to live.’’

Upon remembering this reverence for the bee, I owed St Valentine, I had a duty.
So I looked. The Bee, not moving at all, was quite possibly dead. The cause of death? A mystery.
Standing in the dewy morning in my mis-matched pyjamas, and a child-like freckly face to match my child-like curiosity, I bent down and observed the situation in my Sherlock inspired inspection pose. I suddenly remembered that I heard somewhere that bees can become exhausted and to give them sugared water to revive them. With excited anticipation to see if the theory worked (my own little scientific experiment) I went into my kitchen, got sugar and some water and put it on a teaspoon. I went back out and sat the teaspoon down right in front of the bee. No movement.
I pushed the spoon further towards the bee and poured out some of the liquid onto the table. A tensed few seconds passed under my held breath.

There it was, the movement I had been scanning for.

The Bee, faded and slow, began to soak up the sweet water with what looked like a long straw and a little tongue bobbing in and out on the end of it. 





I had never been so close to a Bee before.
The Bee sucked at the sugar particles, and at that I remembered ‘Honey, we have honey’.
I ran back into the kitchen to retrieve the honey and brought it back out, put a dollop in front of the Bee and stared in amazement at how this bee reacted to the honey as if it were a drug he was in withdrawal from.


Not five minutes after giving the bee the honey, my close observance was interrupted with the instant buzzing of the bee. He moved, stretched his legs, tested his wings, and at that he flew off…
When the bee flew off I felt a sense of happiness that I was able to help this creature revive and continue its path in the course of nature.




It also made me think of something else. It made me think of people. It made me think of the people in my life who I’ve given my help, time and love, just as I had given to this Bee. And like the bee, they leave.
We have people in our lives, some come and stay and others go. This bee today, upon leaving me could have stung me, but it didn’t. Some people, upon leaving our lives, do sting us, without us previously never knowing that they could have such a poisonous sting.
Why, if we give love, the rich sugar and water of our lives to these people, do they hurt us and leave? Why do these people, on this Earth, stop by in our lives, take of us our resources, what they need and then just unexpectedly leave?
What do we do?
People who are stung and hurt are often left feeling foolish for investing so much time and love. They feel that they are empty because they’ve no longer the sweetness or vitality that they once had, because they shared it with someone who was no longer there.
What should we learn about such circumstances?

We need to learn that it’s not a shame to have dedicated your best self to another, it’s indicative of the kind and sweet soul that you are. The shame lies in the person who stung you.

Learn that just because we are stung, it’s not necessary to sting back. It’s more necessary to stay as the person you are, the giver of the sweet life that revives.

I’ve learned that upon feeling the pain and hurt from a sting, I found myself being revived by another sweet and pure soul who invested their time in me.

I’ve learned that I could never sting a person who revived me, because I know all I need is already in front of me.
I’ve learned to stay true to myself, and the right people will come into your life to stay.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

My Birthday

It felt so special to spend my birthday in Australia, and being in such a beautiful city like Melbourne I knew my birthday would be like none of my previous birthdays.
On the eve of my birthday my brother, his girlfriend and my boyfriend and I had dinner in a rustic restaurant called 'The Boathouse' in a place called Mooney Ponds, the next suburb from where my brother lives. I knew my birthday had begun once my brother surprised me with a Chanel bag, and inside it was a voucher to spend in one of the Chanel shops in the city. Chanel is my favourite designer, not only because it's a luxurious label, but because of the story behind the name, and the incredible woman who built the empire. For me, Chanel is art.




The next morning I woke up totally forgetting that it was my birthday until my boyfriend wished me a ‘Happy Birthday’ and sang to me in one of his many amusing accents. Highly entertained, I set off to begin getting ready as my boyfriend informed me that he was taking me to a place that required quite an elegant dress code, I was so excited because I had no clue where he was taking me.
I wore my makeup heavier than usual because I knew I’d be out all day and I wanted a dramatic look as it was my special day. 


I decided to wear my dress that I bought in the night markets the week before. It's from a beautiful brand called ‘Grandma Funk’ and I bought a few other things from them before I left. They're an amazing group of people. I wish I could buy their entire shop. The brand name basically sums up the style as it’s unbelievably chic, elegant but with added funk. Check out their page here- Grandma Funk


The Man

Chanelling in my inner Blair Waldorf
Still not relenting to my constant questions about where we were going, my boyfriend took me to get the train and at each stop pretended to get off, until we actually got off at the ‘Parliament’ stop, which is basically the chicest part of the city. Whilst walking through the gardens he stopped and pointed to the most luxurious building, The Windsor Hotel, and said “We’re going for Afternoon Tea’’. I squealed as I knew it was Australia’s most highly-esteemed hotel with Beyonce having stayed there during her tours. After I settled myself down and maintained a decent level of excitement we entered The Windsor. 





We were greeted as if we were Beyonce herself and were led into the Tea room. We were given a flute of fine Champagne and encouraged to pick the kind of tea we wanted. I typically chose a strong black tea and my boyfriend enjoyed his coffee. We were then brought out the most ornate display of finger sandwiches, desserts and scones. After 'ooohing' and 'ahhhing' over the explosive flavours and textures of the desserts I found myself being induced into a sugar coma until I was surprised with a 'Happy Birthday' dessert from the staff, it was so special and I did actually eat the Macaron, with the help of my boyfriend.




Pina Colada Cup

Madagascar Manjari Chocolate Mousse

Vanilla Strawberry Slice


Internal thought- "How the hell am I going to eat this"



After the afternoon tea my boyfriend and I explored the hotel and enjoyed reading the history of how it was built and prevailed over the previous years, I loved feeling like royalty on my birthday.

After that experience I was then faced with the beautiful prospect of going into Chanel and spending my voucher. I had my mind set on one of the unisex scents exclusive to Chanel boutiques, and therefore not easily accessed. After much deliberation over which scent to choose (poor sales assistant) and sitting down due to being dizzy with smelling every fragrance (my boyfriend included) I settled with 'Coromandel'.






A beautiful sight
We then went and had the most delicious dinner in an Italian restaurant called 'The Spaghetti Tree' where I was presented, again, with a birthday dessert. But oh that didn't stop there, on the flight back, and a teary parting from my boyfriend, I was victim to another birthday dessert because my boyfriend had informed the airline that it was my birthday and 30,000 ft in the air I enjoyed another beautiful dessert.

Flying high dessert

I had a beautiful and meaningful day spent in a beautiful country with amazing people.

I hope've enjoyed this little insight to my birthday and how it was celebrated.

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