John Masters: The Wizard OF FABULOUS HAIR!

John-Masters-Shampoo-Petite-words-review

Introducing my new pal JOHN MASTERS. To call him a ‘Master’ is an understatement, he is a true wizard of hair! Working his magic with each gorgeous potion. Every bottle is brimming with natural herbs and scented wonders, things like ‘aloe vera leaf juice’ and ‘nettle root extract’, the kind of concoctions you’d never dare to put together, but they work!

Hair care is a science, after all and dare I say it, this shampoo has finally got it right.

John Masters has such a wide range of treats to choose from, and without really knowing WHAT my hair IS (as I’ve previously explained my hair resembles a ‘crimped’ terrier and that’s probably being a bit harsh on the terrier) so in the end I played it safe and opted for NORMAL HAIR.

But THIS shampoo is far from normal, it had my locks soft and tamed, with not a terrier in site.

And yes it’s pricey, IT IS. But if you wash you hair once or twice a week the  a bottle of shampoo last what, 3/4 months!?  So is £17 really that damaging?

Well, I’ll tell you what IS damaging, the nasty little shampoos sold in all are favourite shops and supermarkets…. some of them even dare to call themselves ‘NATURAL’ when they’re technically a bottle of toxic waste. CHEMICALS people are surrounding us and so John Masters shines down like a beacon of hope. And yes there are a lot of super Organic brands out there and I’m not affiliated with John Masters in any way, but I just REALLY love their all their products and want to spread the word…..

ORGANIC BEAUTY IS THE WAY FORWARD. Forget the chemicals, here’s to healthy happy hair!

I have OCD. And you?

OCD-mental-health-petite-wordsWhen you think of OCD you probably think of the continuous washing of hands or of someone turning the light switch on and off 100 times. But is that it? Is that really OCD? Nope. It’s part of it, for some people, but like all mental problems,  OCD comes in many shapes and sizes.

I have OCD, obsessive compulsive disorder. I was born with it. And I will always have it, because OCD never leaves you. And if you let it, it will eat you up. It will make you feel isolated, hopeless and like the most dreadful person in the world, which of course you are not.

OCD is a clamp on your mind, it twists your thoughts and memories and can play them on repeat until you’re literally about to explode, anxious, torturous, THAT is OCD.

It started when I was a child, I remember having to tell my mum EVERYTHING, that was the first compulsion, THE TRUTH. I’m a compulsive truth teller, which most people actually admire, until I tell them something a bit too honest and  then suddenly friends vanish in a puff of smoke, never to be seen again. Why am I telling you all this?

Well, I think you need to know, because it’s my belief that there’s a of lot of us out there and a lot of people too scared to admit it.

But WHY?

Even today, where the gates of mental health are pretty open, there’s still such a cloud of uncertainly, too many questions unanswered. So as soon as you mention ‘MENTAL HEALTH’ you get thrown into a box marked ‘risky’ because  the brain is a funny old thing, it’s unpredictable and most people don’t like unpredictable. And here lies the big problem….. Of course we don’t want to admit we function differently from other person,  because god forbid we are actually different.

But I wonder… if we really got down to it, how many of us would have a mental health problem, at least at some point in our lives. I can’t talk for all mental health issues but I can give a little voice to OCD.

So here’s what you should know about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder:

You should know your child could have (it often starts at birth)

You should know it will never completely go away but it can be tamed

You should know that drugs (antidepressants etc) are not the answer

You should know it’s not just about ritualistic actions but also repetitive thoughts

You should know it’s really hard for people to admit they have OCD because explaining how they feel seems like the hardest thing in the world

You should know  going to therapy doesn’t help most people

You should know OCD is irrational, you cannot rationalise it

You should know about CBT, a great technique to deal with OCD

You should know Mindfulness and learning to live in more spiritual way is really helpful for calming OCD

You should know OCD has a good side, people with OCD are often more dedicated, motivated and push themselves until he job is done

I believe I was given OCD for a reason. I believe I can control it and I believe I can harness it for the better. If I wasn’t OCD I’m quite sure I wouldn’t be so ambitious, so pushy, so driven and I’m certain I wouldn’t see the world as I do.

I now understand that OCD is a part of me and by rejecting it I just made things worst. The hardest lesson in life is learning not to hide from ourselves, we have to embrace our demons and we have to remember there is no light without dark.

P.S  A  person who just washes there hands lots probably doesn’t have OCD. We call these people ‘hygienic’. This is something we need to think about because throwing labels around like they’re the cool new adjective can be really damaging. Ditto with ‘depressed’ you bf didn’t text back and you’ve finished the Ben and Jerry’s boo hoo, that’s not depression.

I’ve written a children’s book!

Oscar_Rabbit_Cover-1024x1011I love children’s books! Even now at 27,  I’m often seen with a kids book in hand. They just seem to make for happier reading compared to adults books.  So one day, I decided to write my own children’s book, introducing OSCAR RABBIT.

It was written especially for my grandad (Oscar) who left this Earth a little while back. I know he’ll be looking down chuckling at his little rabbit drinking carrot tea and I hope it makes you smile too.

So what’s it all about? Well, it’s Easter time and little Oscar rabbit, an avid gardener and secret inventor,  has to step in for the Easter Bunny, who has just broken his best hopping leg. Oh dear! Luckily Oscar rabbit has just the plan to save Easter!

It’s a really cute story, if I say so myself and all profits go to Butterfly Thyroid Cancer Trust.

It also costs less than an Easter egg! So indulge in my little book, Oscar Rabbit on Amazon now for £1.99!

Happy Easter Bunnies!

P.S Oscar Rabbit also has a donations page, if anyone’s feeling extra generous or doesn’t have a device to download the ebook. You’re donations are wondrous! £5 makes for happy bunnies!

Donate the cost of a fancy easter egg here. Big LOVE! 

Mama.

IMG_7013

Mama and me have this thing, we have this thing where we can communicate without words, it’s not telepathy, it’s just what we do.

Because when we’re together we can think as one. So even though our minds are so very different, we really are the definition of chalk and cheese,  I feel her thoughts and I know she feels mine too.

Mama and I are one of the same and no matter how grown up I become, the fact will always remain, I was made from her.

I am hers and she is mine.

And there is something unequivocally wondrous about that.

Because being a mum is extraordinary.  Yes it may happen every day, it may be as common as taking a breath, mother’s are everywhere. But that bond between mother and child is really something to be in awe of.

And yet… how often do we stop to soak it all up, to sit quietly and drink it all in.

Today I am doing just that, for today is Mother’s Day. We are both sitting here, counting the zillion wonderful blessings we share. We’re here just having laughs and eating cake and loving it all, because there’s nothing quite so perfect as my mama.

Mama,  I will always be with you and near you, no matter how time and space separates us. We will always be US. And US is something so special, so treasured that it laughs in the face of disaster, it stands firm against disease and not even death can make a mark, for too much love has been shared and too much happiness has been granted. So US is impenetrable, US is forever. There will always be US mama.

Happy Mama’s day.

 

Screw You Fashion! How-To Find YOUR Own Style…

sunshine-fashion-style-quote-be-you-unique-petite-wordsOnce upon a time I was a voguer, bitten by the Carrie Bradshaw bug I was a teen obsessed with fashion. And I dreamt of being a Fashion Journalist.

But luckily I grew up (don’t worry, not that much), I realised it was all a big pile of pretentious HOO-HA.

I mean, think about it, fashion trends come and go so fast, that you could be perfectly fashionable at breakfast only to be a total fashion faux par by lunchtime. How can anyone keep up with that?

But also,  why on earth would you want to, because if you really look at fashion it’s pretty DAM RIDICULOUS, let’s be honest. The shapes that cut all which ways, the styles that sag too much here and pinch too much there, the patterns that make us dizzy,  the colours that make us pasty, I just don’t get it.

And it’s ironic, because I remember as a kid in school everyone loathed wearing school uniform and hated looking the same as everyone else. So when we grew up, we strove to be unique and individual in our style, and so we followed trends that told us they were ‘quirky’ or ‘off-beat. But then we all ended up looking the same because…

Fashion is the most widely worn uniform in the world. 
Now you start to understand the term ‘SLAVE TO FASHION’!

And if we look back through fashion’s history WHO do we admire, who do idolise? The conformists? The people in uniform? NO! We admire men and women who pushed the boundaries of what was accepted, who made a stand, who invented something new. CoCo Chanel for example, in a time when everyone was all feathers and ruffles, she tore down the gaudy facade and intrigued the world with her simplicity, her elegance, the likes of which had never been seen. All of these iconic fashion figures stood for more than just ‘trends’ they were TIMELESS they were UNIQUE.

So do WE really want to be told what to wear? Excuse me, but I take orders from nobody,  I’m not a ‘off the rack’ kinda gal and I’m betting you aren’t either.

I believe in MY style. The kind of style that everyone can afford and that we can all make our own.

So here goes… 5 Tips to take back the GODDESS within:

  1. OWN IT: Be the girl who wears sunshine. Even the most stunning girl in the most gorgeous dress isn’t going anywhere without that LIGHT that sparkle. That sparkle is something  us amazing people have and can flip out at any moment, we got the power! So always remember a smile and some sass are the best accessories a girl can have.
  2. COLOUR: For some reason vibrant colours seem banned in the winter months, which actually makes me wear even more colour than usual, just out of pure rebellion. I mean since when did black suit everyone? I know it’s a sliming colour but actually black washes most people out. And it’s a fact that colour is a mood enhancer, just think about that. So, experiment, find the shades that suit you best and you’ll be amazed at how great you look.
  3. OLD IS THE NEW NEW: It’s lovely to treat yourself to a few key pieces now and then but when I’m trying to pull in the purse strings I find eBay and charity shops have some wonderful stuff, quality brands and quirky pieces that you just wouldn’t find on the high street. Also remember that not all designer brands are quality,  sometimes you’re just paying for the pretentious label.
  4. COMFORT: From the crazy that designed stiletto heels to the madman that came up with drainpipe jeans, these people are not of this world and have clearly never seen a human body. We must remember that comfort= happiness. And comfort doesn’t mean Bridget Jones pants and sloppy joe hoodies, being comfortable is about understanding your body’s shape and wearing clothes and shoes that make YOU feel amazing, not suffocated, not pained because that’s are never a good look!
  5. TRENDS: Finally, always remember TRENDS are a marketing tool designed to help you spend your hard earned money. Most of them won’t actually suit our bodies or make us feel good about ourselves. Remember that.

So here’s to us feeling wonderful about ourselves, to opening up our style possibilities and being free of the fashion restraints. May your style goddess run wild!

UPDATE: By popular demand ‘Dress Yourself In Sunshine’ is now available in Print form! Click here.

petite-words-etsy-shop

Bewitching Iceland On A Beautiful Budget

iceland-on-a-budget-frugal-holidays-abroad-petite-words

Iceland….the land of ice and snow, a place so bewitching you’ll quite forget where you are in the universe. People, what people? Never mind them… You’re too busy looking at a mountain, yes another mountain but look at it, it’s so beautiful. You just look, drinking it all in, you’ve never felt so small, never felt so lucky to be alive and never felt so lucky to witness nature at its finest. That’s Iceland. It’s bloody brilliant! But it’s also really bloody expensive, I mean literally the most pricey place I have ever visited.

iceland-1-travel-petite-word-2

But…. we’ll forgive you Iceland, labour rates are high, VAT is high and importing is an expensive business.However, fulfilling as your scenery is, we are human beings and we kinda gotta eat and drink.

So, here’s how to DO Iceland on a BUDGET.

Travel Around. Iceland is not your typical holiday destination, it’s not set up for weekend getaways, staying in the city and day tripping around. You can’t just whip by and see the delights then bugger off. The public transport is, well, it just isn’t. It isn’t there! So, hire a car that way you’ll be free to stay in cheap digs, access all the supermarkets you want and really experience Iceland. Road tripping is the BEST and cheapest  way to see this gorgeous country in all its glory.

iceland-1-travel-petite-word-vice-beach
The Black Beaches at Vik

Forget the Tours. Horse riding, glacier hikes, there’re all wonderful BUT Iceland is a WOW country so tours  are not an essential part of a holiday. You can totally come to Iceland and pay to see nothing, just as nature intended!

Don’t bother with Reykjavik. I sound a bit mean saying that and you are a very cute little ‘city’ (cough cough town) and yes it’s the capital but really, who visits Iceland for the bright lights and night clubs?! Not that Reykjavik is very well endowed in that department anyway. I’m not sure, maybe I just missed the show,  but all I saw was an amazing church (that really was worth seeing), some cute cafes and a lot of overpriced shops and restaurants. Not Iceland at it’s best, good for a stopover but don’t bother hanging around.

Bring Booze. You’re on holiday, everywhere is the middle of nowhere in Iceland. And you can no longer buy alcohol in the supermarkets, you’ve got to visit special liquor stores called Vinbudin.  I learnt my lesson the hard way… The bday girl who arrived in Iceland on a Sunday to find ALL the liquor stores shut!!!! Boohoo. Luckily the lovely owners of our apartment felt our pain and gave us a vintage bottle of rioja, WOW, happy birthday to me! Icelandic people are really kind btw. Anyway, back to drinks, most alcohol is double the price of the UK, so it’s a no brainer really, just don’t go crazy, there’s obviously a limit to how much you can bring !

iceland-on-a-budget-petite-words-drinks
Icelandic miniatures, Bjork liquor!

Goodbye Bacon. A sad truth, bacon for some mad reason is extortionate in Iceland, like £15 for a pack of regular streaky bacon. Forget it, you can eat all the bacon you want when you get home! This was the the same for a few of my favs: blueberries £9 a punnet! Good coffee £8 a pack! Fancy jam £5!

iceland-1-travel-petite-word-cabin
Log Cabin, the best place to be in a snow storm!

Forget the Souvenirs. Little pebbles of volcanic rock, Icelandic woolly jumpers, anyone would think they were selling gold dust! Just don’t do it. Iceland is about the memories not the random bits you bring home. Shopping in Iceland really is the best way to blow your budget.

Bring Coffee. Also tea, chocolate that kind of packaged stuff, it’s so easy to fit in your suitcase and most of the flights give you a 25KG allowance, which is plenty for everything! It was nice having my organic home comforts and we also we saved over £50 on coffee, as a decent cup outside was about £3.50.

iceland-skogafoss-petite-words
Skogafoss Waterfall

Picnic in the Hotel. For the most part we stayed in log cabins and self catering apartments but if you do find yourself in a hotel don’t think ‘oh right that’s our budget blown!’  We found that most of the hotels give you a really good free breakfast (with BACON, yippppppeeee) a pretty good start to the day. So in the evening we’d just have a picnic, in our room. Snacks, fruit, cheeses, wine, desserts, it was lovely and cost very little.

iceland-1-travel-petite-words
Gullfoss Waterfall

 

Have you visited Iceland or other pricey destinations, what are you’re frugal traveller tips?

 

WOW DIY Body Butter

body-butter-homemade-natural-organic-recipe-beauty-petite-words

SKIN…. It lives, it breathes and it needs nourishing. And  I don’t know about you but my skin tends to drink up any lotion thrown its way! That can be an expensive business when you use Organic products, as some of the good ones don’t come cheap.

So here’s what I did, not wanting to sacrifice my healthy organic habits I opted to make my own Body butter using a few key raw ingredients and it was pretty effortless!

I bought raw Organic Raw Shea Butter and Organic Coconut Oil  which you just melt down, I prefer using a bowl of boiling water and placing the cup of ingredients inside, so it can slowly melt. I used about 5 parts shea butter and 1 part coconut oil, as I wanted a thicker, creamer body butter.

Now time for scents…

What I love about making my own products is how unique they become, each cosmetic can be tailor made to suit your style. I added a few drops of Bulgarian Rose oil and Lavender essential oil, Organic of course. You can be so free and the really wonderful thing is,  you know exactly what goes into them, no nasty chemicals that can harm you or your family.

This body butter costs very little to make and you can whip up large tubs to share with all your friends. Go one give it a whirl…. Here’s to happy hydrated skin, the ORGANIC way!

What IS LOVE?

Good-love-quote-petite-words-valentines-day

It’s an odd question isn’t it… What IS love? I often wonder about it, I bet you’re thinking , WOW here’s a lady with way to much time on her hands, but no, I just think it’s a question that deserves a thought and it IS almost Valentine’s Day!

LOVE: some say there are different types of love; the love of husband, love of a mother, a father, love of a friend, sibling love, to me it’s always been ONE love, like Sir Bobby Marley preached. And that’s how I knew, when I met my husband, that’s how I knew I loved him. He felt like my family, almost instantly,  like I’d always known him, he was the missing piece of my Petite jigsaw.

So we all know LOVE is amazing, but do we ever really stop to ponder the true ‘power of love’, yes I know it’s pure cheddar cheese, but do stay with me…

I believe we don’t think about LOVE enough, we talk about it enough, but never really stop to give LOVE  enough credit.

I get it, life is busy, we get comfortable, sometimes we take love for granted (naughty naughty!) but I can’t help thinking that us humans have complicated life way too much. I mean ‘All you need is love’….. and if the Beatles said it then it’s probably something we should take pretty seriously.

And whilst some people question, what about health, what about money, love won’t pay the bills and love doesn’t cure diseases. But… doesn’t it?

I mean, that do you think?

Here’s what I think about LOVE… incase you wanted to know:

I think far from blinding us LOVE actually gives us clarity, to view with magic eyes the true beauty and purpose of life.

LOVE unravels all problems, even if it takes a long time, it does.

LOVE moves us to the places we need to be.

LOVE is the biggest reality check, EVER.

LOVE makes even the grey days shine. Even when all hope is lost,  love has a way of soothing pain and calming reality.

LOVE teaches us the lessons that nothing or no one else can.

LOVE nurtures us without judgment and truly cares, unconditionally.

LOVE guides us to make better choices.

LOVE inspires us deep down to our roots.

LOVE shows us perfection isn’t real and that life and people are imperfect by nature.

LOVE teaches us that death is a fragment in time, but LOVE will be forever.

LOVE heals our wounds, no matter how deep they are.

LOVE gives us the space and confidence to grow into the person we are meant to be.

LOVE puts us back in tune with nature.

LOVE gives us unnerving strength to hold us up in the darkest of times.

LOVE makes us fight, for what is  good in the world.

LOVE brings out the best in our hearts and brings our souls back to life.

That’s what I think…. but look at me babble on like a love sick pony, let’s end this gooey eyed post before we both turn to mush.  Wishing you all a very happy day of love, today and always. One LOVE people, one love.

The Elusive Grey Goddess.

grey-goddess-growing-old-gracefully-petite-words

I’m 27. I have 0 grey hairs (that I know of!) a few cackle lines and a dabbling of cellulite but nothing else…yet, because I’m young, but one day (if I’m lucky to live long enough) my frizzy hair will go grey, my plump skin with loose it’s bounce and my face will crinkle and soften declaring it’s chilled comfort in the body it calls home.

EVERYONE GROWS OLDER. Every second, of every day, from the day we are born….

But somewhere down the line, we’ve starting ‘Bejamin-buttoning’ backwards, sprinting fast as we can from our real age,  shameful of the years we’ve collected, survived and strived through.

WHY?

Society, the media, advertising, we’ve been had up, we’ve been scanned and quite frankly, damaged, by it all. Because we are not born vain, we didn’t come out of the womb and make a beeline for the nearest mirror, we’ve been conditioned ladies and gentleman and it is not good, not for me and not for you.

Vanity and it’s juicy lips and taut cheeks are plastered all over the media, it’s in films, in magazines, the celebrities we admire (sadly) and the fashions we tend to follow. Even our once geeky pal Carol Vorderman has joined the plastic babe brigade, what a shocker that was.

Some may say “Well, good for her” but is it really GOOD for her. Is inserting plastic in your body, a GOOD thing? Is injecting toxic chemicals into your face a GOOD thing? Is bowing down to vanity really a GOOD way to feel happy about yourself. I don’t believe it is.

Imagine a generation of perfectly pumped boobies and pulled back faces, where all lips are plump and all hair is dyed, where all nails are acrylic and all cheeks are contoured. And where bare faces are lost in the crowds of smokey, wrinkle less eyes.

Are we not born beautiful, in most unique sense of the word? So, then, why do we spend our whole lives trying to be somebody else, struggling to fit in with societies model of beauty. Surly we just need to find out how to be ourselves.

Because how long can we keep this up for?  Isn’t it exhausting….

And who made those ludicrous beauty rules anyway, why are wrinkles and grey hair such a terribly unattractive thing? I mean I get it, we’re programmed to be attracted to perky breasts and smooth skin but isn’t real BEAUTY more than that. What defines beauty, WHO defines beauty, surely WE do…. not magazines, not hollywood.

We are heading into a time where age and ageing are taboo, where silver foxes and grey goddess’ are an elusive thing of the past.

And if you’ve seen on of those mystical white headed  wonders you’ll get what I mean. It’s someone who ages with grace and wonder, someone who has clearly stuck two fingers up at the status quo. And those people, glow, they glow with the confidence and radiance that only a person who is truly comfortable in their own skin can achieve.  And I think WOW because THOSE are the characters we remember. THOSE are the woman and men that make you stop and stare. The pretty faces, the youthful rosy glows, they are lovely, but quite frankly anyone young can be youthful, but not everyone old will grow old gracefully. It’s a skill, it’s an art and it’s about knowing who you are and believing in your own kind of beauty.

It’s about time we jumped OFF the plastic face bandwagon and we stopped judging, stop pushing for youthful glows and smooth everything… let’s just BE, let’s have wrinkles, let’s go grey, let’s live.

And most of all let’s not be defined by fashion, by the media, let US define ourselves.

Kindness: we’re robots without it.

kindness-quotes-petite-words

Kindness, I never really thought about it much, it was just something you’re told from a young age is good and that you should try and BE IT. But often, as busy human beings we just forget to think about other people. And we’ve started mistaking NOT being ‘unkind’ as being kind, which of course it is not.

KINDNESS is doing something to give happiness, protection or general goodness to another person without any obligation or benefit to yourself. Do you do that? Do you do that everyday? Once a week? Now and then? Hardly ever? Never?

I remember when I lived in Italy, it was a tiny little town, the kind of place where your only friends are Mr biscotti and Mrs gelato. I was working  there as an nanny and every day I’d go to collect my newly adopted twins from their little nun run kindergarten. And because I was a newbie, a stranger, a clearly non-Italian fuzzy haired crazy, with flower power sunglasses,  I was mostly greeted with frosty chic glares and perfectly plucked, knitted brows. However, there was one lady,  a sweet Italian grandma and instead of staring, she just smiled.  I think she could sense my loneliness. And  when everyone else pointed and whispered, she spoke to me and we laughed. We could hardly understand each other, but that didn’t matter, because she understood something more important than English, she understood my need for a friend.

And at the end of that first month, she handed me a gift, it was a ceramic glazed Madonna and baby, she said it was to hang on my wall and to ‘protect’ me.

I was touched. I was so moved that she cared enough about me, a stranger, to make sure I felt safe and protected.  I’m not a religious person, but that day I converted, to KINDNESS.

I think the world is in danger and no I’m not talking about ‘climate change’. Did you know it’s now illegal in America to give food to a homeless person? I mean what? We’re encouraged by society to grown our ‘selfness’,to be unique individuals, but what about our fellow human beings, who we share this planet with, shouldn’t we give a stuff about them?

And of course the media, with it’s big skewed lense seems to focus only on the ‘unkindness’ of the world, as if there’s not a spec of kindness left.

And so we take for granted that people can be kind. We stop noticing it, stop seeing how special kindness is. And maybe we even feel entitled to it. Have you ever been queuing at a supermarket, when you’ve got a handful of items and the large trolley loaded customer doesn’t let you go first in the queue, you felt cross didn’t you,  you see?

So, turn off the tv, smile at people, give someone your parking ticket, help an old lady with her shopping bags, give a homeless person a sandwich, just sprinkle kindness, because kindness will always be something worth investing in.