Newest Nibbles (August/ September)

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Where did August go! I seem to have misplaced an entire month. My summer has been stuffed with a mound of projects, leaving me a bit frazzled, so after a little chill time I’m back with some super delectable treats to see you though September.

PROPERCORN SWEET & SALTY MULTIPACK 6 X 14G, £1.79

Being a picky little one I always like a mix of salted and sweet popcorn so I was super pleased to discover these. And of course there’s no nasties so a good treat for little one’s pack lunches!

ThreeSixty Organic Peru Coffee 227g, £4.99

More than I usually spend on coffee but this curious to try it. I love the whole concept of ThreeSixy coffee, each bag contains coordinates so you know exactly where the coffee comes form, you know you’re getting the bees knees.

Yarden Greek Style Aubergine 250g, £1.80

Truly scrumptious, though one little tub is never enough! Sweet, juicy, stuffed with flavour, perfect with salad, bread, eggs, anything really!

Cranks organic bread wholemeal 800g, £1.55

I’m not a lover of wholemeal bread but my husband adores this and it’s definitely a healthy alternative, packed with fibre. It’s firm and wholesome, you really feel like you’re getting a satisfying loaf of bread.

WAITROSE LOVELIFE 4 CHOCOLATE BROWNIES 150G, £2.19

Delectable, my husband and I love brownies but sometimes I find there much pricer to make than to buy  (well if you do it the right way, real choc and ground almonds) so I’m always searching for supermarket alternatives. These are great, try for yourself as I’m sure you SO deserve it!

Have you discovered any new organic/ fairtrade / free-from treats this month, I’d love to know.

 

My Wedding Day Of Doom

wedding-brideI rarely share sad experiences, mostly because I feel when something upsetting happens, it’s usually good not to dwell on it. However, some experiences aren’t just remembered for being sad, they are also very poignant moments in our lives. And this is one of them.

2 years ago was one of the worst days of my life: my wedding day.

Most women spend years planning every detail of their special day: the white dress, the gorgeous venue, fine tuning every last frill and canapé.

But for me, our wedding was just an essential task that needed to be completed, ipso facto a way to insure my partner and I could continue life together, because, yes the world really is that cruel.Anyway, to cut a long story short my husband is Colombian, I’m British, we met in China. And so, the government don’t care how beautiful your love is, if you haven’t got money to throw at an immigration problem, it’s a brick wall.

So, some time later off we flew to Hong Kong to get married. We had just enough money for 3 nights in a beach hotel, on a tiny island next to Hong Kong, Llama island; a bump of tropical trees, expats and frogs. You might be thinking, wow, what an adventure and that’s what I thought too! We’d made the very brave decision to forfeit anything remotely weddingy. We would have no reception, no white dress, no guests, just us and we would just do what we had to do, in the hope that a few years down the line we could have a real wedding celebration back in the U.K with our families.

The day started off as surreal as you’d expect. Breakfast looking out to sea,  we didn’t talk much, but I tried my best to feel happy thought quite frankly, we were lonely. We missed our families, we missed the celebration of it all. We were both awash with emotions and somewhere between the cava and the getting glammed up, everything fell apart. My husband was stressed I had told him the registry office is pretty casual and that he wouldn’t need a jacket. But now he regretted not bringing one and had a massive superman without his cape moment.  The wedding was in 2 hours and now he was devising a plan to head into central HK  to buy a jacket and then meet me at the registry office. My husband has no harry potter time turner and is quite possibly the worst time keeper in the universe. So, fearing he’d be hours late for his OWN wedding and that I’d be stood there like a bridal lemon, I tried to talk him out of it.

But, with emotions already stretched, it all began to unravel and the arguments began. Screaming, shouting, our love letters and wedding gifts to each other, torn up, thrown around the room. My face, that had been perfectly made up, was now a mess of tears and smudges. I collapsed on the bed, sobbing, why was this happening to us? The rest was a blur. We bellowed at each other for what felt like hours and then, a reality check… we were already late for the ferry which would take us to the registry office and the final one was leaving in 10 minutes.

To wed or not to wed, that was the question…..

Then there was silence, and the next thing I know, we picked ourselves up. There was no time for fresh makeup, no time to get dressed, so I threw on my shorts and stuffed my bag with makeup, my dress, shoes, rings. And we ran. We ran for our wedding, we ran because we didn’t know what else to do. Through the bustling streets with men selling lobster and  expats enjoying beers in the sunshine, our faces bathed in sweat, 38′ heat and we’re running, literally sprinting. My stick on bra, which stood so firm before, was now far from doing it’s job. (F.Y.I stick on bras don’t react well to humidity).

And we made it. And here in ferry bathroom I tried to piece myself back together, covering my blotchy cheeks with concealer, placing the flowers back in my hair, applying lipstick to my smile-less mouth. I was not a shining bride, but I was there.

We sat, bobbing up and down on the ferry, looking at each other painfully, our love so unsettled, we just didn’t know what we were doing. Most people would have taken a epic argument on their wedding day as a sign NOT to get married. I just wanted to press the restart button, have the day afresh but life is no game and we don’t have the luxury of 2nd starts. It’s go forward or go home.

In the end, 45 minutes late, with puffy eyes and frayed nerves we said ‘I do’.  But not just to marriage, we said ‘I do’ to struggle, to life being difficult and accepting that real sadness is not a wedding day ruined or a disappointing moment, no, real sadness is something you can’t come back from and there were we, standing together accepting that.

After the wedding, things continued to be a nightmare, lots of ignoring each other, feeling strange and unsettled because honestly, we were both broken. I was desperate to make things normal, to push us back together but my husband, who was also hurt by the whole mess, needed time to find himself again. So we spent the following days with no smiles and lots of resentment.

Not exactly a honeymoon recipe, but isn’t that just life.

I mean, there is NO fairytale, marriage is not a dream and romantic things usually never work how you hoped. However love, if you want to put your money on anything, love is your best bet. Love IS a bit special, it’s the magic which binds life together, which makes disasters that bit more bearable and the happy days that bit more blissful. Love always wins, not matter your situation never forget that.

P.S Incase you’re wandering, my husband and I are still very much in love, have been together almost 4 years and are ready to say the I Do’s all over again, but this  time in the proper setting, with our families in England, cake and of course and the big white dress. So for anyone scared of marriage, look at our horror story and  how our love survived it! You’ll also be glad to know they’ll be no stick on bra this time round and of course my husband will have a whole wardrobe of jackets, just in case!

Clarifying Clay Hair Mask

beauty_remedies-clarifing-hair-mask-petite-wordsI love using organic hair products, but due to living in a hard water area, sometimes they don’t work as well as I’d like. As a result, every few months I’m left with a horrid buildup on my hair, that makes my locks a tangled, dull mess!

So, what to do? I’ve been experimenting at home and found bentonite clay is pretty super at clarifying your hair and combined with apple cider vinegar is works some serious magic. This recipe was inspired by Wellness Mama who is a total goddess of DIY beauty. It works to cleanse your hair, leaving a luscious finish and a brilliant shine.

Ingredients 

1 tbsp Organic apple cider vinegar

1 lime fresher addition

2 eggs

1 tbsp bentonite clay*

*Find this super clay on eBay, health food stores and other online retailers

Mix all the ingredients together, making sure there’s no clumps and apply to freshly brushed, dry hair. Make sure it’s covering all the hair. Leave on for 5 minutes then rinse with cool water OR apple cider vinegar rinse. I also like to spray a few drops of lavender oil/ water mix through my hair after, just to banish any egg/ vinegar lingering smells. Though in general it’s a very fresh feeling recipe.

What DIY beauty hacks do you love?

8 Ways to be a happy blogger

HAPPY-BLOGGER-petite-wordsI started this blog to make myself happy.  My blog is my little nook in the big wide web, my room, my space. I can put up flamingo fairy lights and paint the walls with glittery paint, I can drink tea in bed and eat cake for breakfast… My blog, my rules. No.1 rule on my blog is….BE HAPPY!

I may not be a rich blogger or have a million visits a day, but I am a regular and happy blogger, who LOVES blogging. And I think that is something to celebrate, because let’s face it with our insanely busy lives sometimes we just loose our blogging mojo and sometimes, shock horror, we give up! So here’s to happy blogging, my top tips for being a HAPPY blogger:

-Don’t do it for money, do it for love. It can be easy to fall in love with the idea of living off your blog and making a real success of it, because so many bloggers have. But most of us will never make any money and if you push to hard for money, it’s like selling fake flowers to the bees, it just doesn’t work.

-Don’t force the writing, let it flow. I’m dyslexic which means sometimes writing just doesn’t come. I could have a spare hour to blog but the words just hide in my mind, like a very stubborn hideous game of hide and seek. So I learnt a priceless lesson: forcing writing= bad posts.

-Go in whole heartedly. As Confucius once wrote “wherever you go, go with all your heart”.

-Don’t push for sponsorship, let it come to you. Don’t be easy, don’t be cheap. You are building a mini world of thoughts, that one day everyone might be interested in, so don’t sell yourself short and never beg for handouts.

-Don’t try to replicate other bloggers. Of course this is a life lesson, copying anyone always ends badly and with blogging, it’s just the same. Be you, because that’s the best person you can be!

-Integrate blogging in your everyday life. Recipes, life lessons, reviews of products you really wanted to try. My blog is my personal ideas diary and it’s more authentic because of that.

-Make Blogger Buddies. Say hello to other bloggers, be it with linkups, sharing ideas, it doesn’t just benefit your blog, nothing makes a blogger happier than making bloggy friends!

-Always remember blogging is a choice. Sometimes you’ll be exhausted but if the want is there, blog. Don’t ever resent the time it takes you.

So that’s my tips, but stay tuned this month, I’ve got a real treat for you! Top blogging advice from my absolute fav mummy bloggers, who really know what it’s all about!

#dreamteam-linkup-featured

Hair Saviour: Apple Cider Vinegar

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O hair, how you’ve caused hours of red faced annoyance! The frizz oh the frizz, especially annoying from someone who doesn’t frazzle their hair with heat or bleach it to the beyond.

Like my aunty and her aunty before and her aunty before that, I have inherited ‘The Frizz’ somewhere between brushed out curly and crimped, mixed in with straight, it’s not a good look. No matter how much my mama says it is, though even she’s stopped trying to convince me my hair is wearable down. Bless her!

You see I always put it up, clips, pins, flowers, my hair is a festoon of fun, so that’s the plus of frizz hair, you learn how to do great updos!

However, I’m always trying different things in the hope I might achieve the full and luscious locks of say Penelope Cruz, I mean that’s achievable right?

I use Organic shampoo and conditioner, it’s my treat and it’s worth it, my hair always thanks me for it. But sometimes, it just needs a shiny, sleekly boost and as I am to find a good Organic finishing cream (please do tell me if you know of one) I tried Apple Cider Vinegar (gotta be organic people, yes there REALLY is a difference). And BOOM!

It is amazing, detangled, shiny, super soft hair! The smell of course is something to discuss.

First of all you only need to do it once every other week or once a month, and make sure you shampoo as normal before then either spray it thought or pour drops here and there, half a cup should do it.

Leave for few mins and rinse. Then rinse again, most of the smell should be gone with the second rinse, but to banish the remnants, put a few drops of essential oil (lavender and lemon is my fav) in you hands and rub it through you locks, rinse again if you like.

This brand, BRAGG ORGANIC is exceptional (I also take it as a tonic, diluted in water and am in awe of the effects so far, more on that later.)

So, wishing you all a happy hair day! What are you beautiful hair hacks, I’d love to know.

P.S I’m not affiliated with ANY COMPANY but it’s my persona favourite.

 

The Writer’s Book You Need To Read

bird-by-bird-book-review-petite-wordsNow and then I stumble across a book that shakes things up. And after reading it I just want to shower the world with it’s wondrous pages.

This was one of those books.

‘Bird by Bird’  by Anne Lamott  helps with a simple yet monstrous question ‘How To Be A Good Writer’.  Good writer or not, I have a feeling we’re all dying to know! But aside from delving into the magical whirl that is writing, she mostly talks about LIFE. Because let’s face it, writing  is not so different from the journey of life. It’s always about finding yourself (at least if you’re a writer in the truest sense of the word) and it’s usually a struggle, though it’s spattered with amazing moments of satisfaction and wonder, just like life is.

And I’m not one for manuals and easy how-to guides but I just stumbled across a review of this book and was instantly draw to its relatability. Every quote was from my own mind, granted the wording was a tad more charismatic and concise, but I was in awe of how truthfully it was written. Seldom do I read books that really ‘speak to me’, but this one did.

And she spoke with such a modest human voice, full of life’s woes and bumps and scrapes, you couldn’t help by admire her, coffee stains and all.

“Truth, or reality, or whatever you want to call it is the bedrock of life…but you can’t get to any of these truths by sitting in a field smiling beatifically, avoiding you anger and damage and grief. Your anger and damage and grief are the way to the truth.”

She talks about acceptance;  accepting your truth, and using it for your writing, channeling life’s pains and acknowledging things are far from perfect. These things make you a better writer. She also touches on accepting some things are ever as good as they seem, like getting published, which was refreshing to read. She pinpoints the real joys of writing,  the true value of it is not found in the fame it can bring but in the process itself (and she should know, she’s published a whole shelf of books).

Another thing I loved, the title, which encompasses beautifully, the books message. It comes from her little brother, who, she recalls at the end of one summer, finally sat down to begin his homework assignment of categorising birds, and he broke down, on realising the hugeness of the task. Then their father simply saids “Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.”

It really resonated with me. I love to cram the day and sometimes bite off much more than I can chew. These past few years have taught me that we have to take each day as it comes, eat the cake as it’s cut. We cannot do it all, when we want, because even when we are free our bodies are governed by clocks, we must sleep, eat, reboot and continue our lives work. By the end of the book she’s hit so many nails on the head, I felt obliged to share it with you, from one writer to another,  it would be selfish not to!

The book really is full of so many little titbits and life’s lessons learned, that you finish it somehow feeling fuller, more satisfied, even though it’s riddled with sarcasm and lashings of bitter truth, it has a funny way of soothing the anxieties of life.

My favourite quote was this one:

“…live as if I am dying…Time is so full for people who are dying in a conscious way, full in the way that life is for children”

For years I’ve believed the same, and have tried on many occasions to carefully wrap this idea  into words, most unsuccessfully and there, she said it, perfect, truthfully, to the point, live as if you are dying. Is it the key to life’s happiness? I don’t know, but it’s the closest I’ve ever gotten.

So, to gush once more, I loved this book! And I have a sneaky feeling you will to.

 

Newest Nibbles (JULY)

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July, welcome! I cannot believe you’re here already, really, where does the time go! So, celebrating the start of summer with some truly wondrous organic treats, I hope you’ll be inspired to step into the world of Organic eating!

Belvoir Organic Ginger Beer 750ml, £2.59 

Summer is a perfect opportunity for cocktail’s in the garden, YES! And I used this ginger beer as a wonderful mixer with gin and lime for a London Mule (gin, London, get it!?). My absolute favourite cocktail.

Roots & Wings Organic Sherbet Lemons 100g, £1.99

A favourite with my nanny, whose had 80 years experience as a sweetie connoisseur… and now I’ve got her hooked on Organic sweets! Talk about mission completed. And these are such fresh little sweets, not syrupy and they don’t leave a sugary feeling in your mouth.

Higher Living Organic Green Tea Chai, £1.99

I love the soothing spice of Chai tea, but also the tummy helping benefits of green tea. So, what a wonderful combination this is!

Tropical Forest – Organic Honey 454g, £4.29

Delectable honey, simple and you know it’s non nonsense. I love adding honey to numerous dishes and really believe in it’s health benefits, but only with pure honey. So much of the honey you get in supermarkets is a mix of sugar and bad quality honeys, so I always go for raw/ Organic.

Cafedirect Fairtrade Organic Machu Picchu Coffee 227g, £3.50 

Coffee has got to be Organic for me. It’s such a pure and beautiful thing, you really CAN taste the difference. There’s increasing more wonderful Organic coffees to choose form, and this one’s gorgeous.

What Organic delights are you enjoying this month?

How To Find Your Inner Child

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I’ve never really felt like an adult, despite doing and having lots of typically ‘grown-up’ things: owning a business, being married, living with my husband, drinking fine wines. I still have never ever felt it. I am a 26 year old, very mature child and I don’t mind, in fact I like it.

So what does that mean?  Well to be frank, I’m just not very good being with adults, discussing ‘normal’ grown-up things or going to grown up places. I just feel like I don’t fit in. And when I do speak to other adults I have to tread very carefully as I’m never quite sure how funny/ personal/ frank or reserved to be! Inside my head, I’m a pink fluff monster with pigtails and polka dots, so I can’t really offer that up on a plate to the ‘normal’ adult. I have done, and it got me some funny looks.

So, my escape, my breath of fresh air is working with children. I find, in the most important ways, they usually know more about life, no offence adults! And children just have this ingenious way of simplifying things yet making them intricately wonderful at the same time, it’s a gift!

So, I wanted to share a secret with you….. Being a child is exceptional and the secret is, being an ‘adult’ can be too! I’m not talking success, money and breaking boundaries here, I’m talking about contentment, about seeing life in a new light and the great satisfaction that brings. Usually adults are looking for happiness in all the wrong places, maybe you’ve just forgotten the simple joys of the world. but children haven’t.

So here’s what I do, when I’m feeling a bit too adulty, here’s how I feed my inner child:

-Run down a hill: feel the breeze waving through your locks and you heart skip a beat, it’s just so much fun, do it immediately, if not sooner.

-Quentin Blake books: for me it’s this guy, but for you it might be another illustrator, another author. Whoever you childhood book love was, eat up those books until you are full because they really never stop being super. You never grow out of your favourite books, their memory stays in your soul and each time you open their pages you relight something deep inside. Some people wonder why I still read children’s books, and that is why. Every single time I look at a Quentin Blake illustration I feel happier and full of life. So I never stopped reading children’s books and you shouldn’t either.

-Go out in the rain: it can be easy for our vain adult selves to hate the rain. Children, being such wonderfully humble beings couldn’t give a stuff if their shoes get sodden or they looked like they’ve been dragged though a hedge backwards. It is invigorating, standing in the pouring rain and makes you feel so very alive. Something we all need on a regular basis.

– Dressing up: not as in make an effort to look elegant for cocktails, no, I mean dressing up, like raiding a dress up box, pearls, fairy wings, for fun. Dress up like you don’t give two hoots. Clothing is our signature, what do you want to tell the world? “Hello, I’m Charlotte, I wear black socks because I’m too scared of what people think!” I refuse to believe black socks make people happy. If you are the black sock, please do tell me otherwise, if not,  I dare you to wear flamingo, rainbow socks for one day and just watch how your life changes.

-Build a sand castle: working with your hands, creating something from nature,hours of joy doing this as a child. And I still love it!  Some adults make a living form creating sand sculptures, why is building a sandcastle any different.

-Paint your nails: not french manicure or something an adult would choose, I recommend choosing 3 different varnishes and just go to town. I really believe having cool nails brightens my day and sometimes other people’s days. I’ve actually had people look at my nails and smile! I’m not saying painting your nails bring world peace but 1 more smile is such a good thing.

-Paint a crazy picture: remember at school,  just sloshing paint all over half the paper then sandwiching it together to make a ‘butterfly’? What fun that was and super therapeutic!

-Play pirates or witches: a little tricky if you have no children but I highly recommended it. Getting carried away in being silly, is such a relaxing activity, but you must commit entirely to it, no smart phones, pirate hat (or your choice of novelty costume) on and just play.

– Decorating gingerbread men (ooops, I mean people!): I adored this as a child, customising and eating 2 of my fav things. So why stop now, bake and ice people, bake and ice.

-Build a fairy garden: Creativity and whimsy add a lot of goodness to the world. And an amazing conversation starter for your next BBQ  ” Is that a fairy garden?” “Yeah, they moved in last week, parties ever since”.

-Run into the sea: And pretend to a mermaid. We’ve all done it, laying in the sea, swishing about, some adults think we’re supposed to be swimming, but do whatever the hell you fancy. I lay on my back and listen to the sea until my ears freeze or my nose if full of freckles.

Fellow kindred kid spirits, anything to add? I adore you comments.

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Summer Essentials (The Organic Way!)

Summer-organic-beauty-petite-wordsHello summer sweeties! Can you believe summer is almost here, we’ve have our taste of the tropics here in England, so I’m getting ready to welcome summer with my ‘Top Summer Essential’ the Organic way (of course)!

First off, if you’re anything like me sunshine means pink cheeks, hat on and suncream…But for years we’ve all been doing it wrong! Did you know almost all suncream has chemical filers and or hazardous toxics, even the ‘baby proof’ ones! So, actually the safest was is to be bare, stay in the shade and just peep your head out and greet the sun for 10 minutes every day, so you get all the Vit D you need. However, sometimes that’s no possible/ we want to be out more. So,  if you’re not already using Organic sun cream, you can get all the info you need here! My personal favourite ThinkBaby Sunscreen 50+ £9.75 non toxic, smells divine and it works!

Next summer essential… introducing the new super deodorant, it last forever, well a year or 2,  it’s hygienic and again IT WORKS! Salt of the Earth Natural Deodorant (unscented) £3.49 travel size, a non toxic way to stay dry.

Now this is something exciting, for years I searched for an Organic BB cream with enough coverage for acne scars yet light enough to feel fresh and here you go Green People Age Defy+ Tinted Moisturiser £32.40 you’re welcome. You will love it, and in my humble opinion it’s worth the dosh.

Summer skin needs good loving and this richly moisturising, heavenly scented Pacifica Island Vanilla Body Butter £14.95 is perfect. The sweet delights of summer  wrapped up in a tube. Pacifica have all kinds of gorgeous fragrances, Persian rose is my everyday fav (which all all natural by the way, so it won’t irritate your skin like manmade fragrance does).

My last summer essential is Burt’s Bees Ultra Conditioning Lip balm £3.69.  All those ice creams, salt water and sun can leave your lips in need to love and this lip balm delivers a big boost of moisture to restore your kisser to its natural loveliness.

What are your summer essentials? I’d love to know!