How to transform your week, on a Sunday…

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If you speak to my nearest and dearest, you’ll already know I’m dedicated to what my husband calls ‘the Sunday sulk’ – which surfaces without welcome (and without fail) every Sunday afternoon.  But, over time, I’ve managed to combat any feelings of Monday morning dread by focussing on productivity, rather than negativity.  If you want to streamline your Sunday and transform your whole week in the process, here’s how to hit the ground running…

  • Devote some time to gratitude – you may already have an established daily gratitude practise in motion, but if not, setting aside some time on a Sunday for reflection can completely transform your mindset.  To begin, simply grab a piece of paper and a pencil and write down three things you are feeling grateful for in that moment.  And don’t overthink it!  No matter how simple the thought, feeling grateful will instantly help any negativity to melt away.
  • Plan your weekly workouts – one thing I like to do on a Sunday to get myself organised (besides meal prep) is to sit down with my weekly calendar and book in my workouts.  By locking in the sessions I want to commit to for the week ahead, I feel like my head is already in the game and I’m less likely to find a last minute excuse to ditch them.
  • Tick off some life admin – part of the reason so many of us dread Mondays is that we feel the weekend always goes by far too quickly without any time to tick off those niggling tasks on our to-do lists.  So, to combat this, aim to tick off at least one of those mundane tasks you’ve been putting off.  It could be taking that bag of secondhand clothes to the charity bin, cleaning the shower or sorting out your hard-drives – big or small, the sense of accomplishment that follows will set in motion a week of productivity.
  • Get inspired – whether there’s a book you’ve been wanting to get stuck into, a blog post you’ve been meaning to read, or a course you’ve wanted to look into, spend a little of your Sunday doing some self-care homework to get you inspired.  Just challenging your mind to think creatively and spending some time looking at how you can broaden your horizons beyond the mundane 9-5 can set you up or a calmer, clearer Monday.

x A

It’s all in the details…

Bridal Hair

Up or down?  That is the question on my lips at the moment and for many bride-to-be’s the debate about what to do with your hair on your big day can be all consuming.  In all the excitement of getting dressed up to look your best, it’s easy to be swept away by the thousands of different hairstyles you see scrolling through Instagram or Pinterest.

While I’m still torn as to what to do with my own ‘do’…my advice is to keep it simple.  You still want to feel like yourself on your wedding day so pick a style that not only suits your dress and style of wedding, but reflects you and your personal style as well.  At the end of the day, letting your hair down with the one you love will be the memory you cherish above all.

x A

(Pics via Instagram – and the bride wore, Hope X Page and Karen Willis Holmes)

 

Love the skin you’re in…

Skin post

If you’re someone who has struggled with problem skin, then you know just how much a breakout can affect your confidence.  I for one, have definitely battled with bouts of bad skin and no matter how old I get, I still feel incredibly self-conscious whenever I have a spotty face.

Knowing just how important it was to me to have clear skin for my wedding, I started prepping early and have found a combination of tips and tricks which will hopefully leave you with picture perfect skin too.  The key is not to get disheartened if you don’t see results overnight – be persistent because I promise, the perfect solution to your skin woes is out there!

  • Clean up your diet – unfortunately the old saying, you are what you eat, could not be more true!  Everything we eat and drink has a direct response in our body and if you’re loading up on refined sugars and processed foods, your body is battling from the get go.  Try to stick to a diet of lean protein, whole grains, fruit and loads of fresh vegetables.  Good fats are also incredibly important for skin health so snack on avocados, raw unsalted nuts and eat oily fish such as salmon regularly.
  • Less is more – these days our cupboards are overflowing with skin cleansers, creams, toners, oils, serums…and yet we wonder why our skin is freaking out!  Although I must admit I’ve always been relatively low key when it comes to my own beauty regime, it wasn’t until I started having regular facials in the lead up to the wedding that my beauty therapist said something that really clicked.  She explained that so many of our beauty products are full of ‘fat’ which, while helping the product to glide onto the skin and absorb, these chemicals also clog our pores and cause breakouts.  Instead, try to look for products that are water based and apart from cleansing your face well twice a day, the only other product you really need is a good moisturiser.   Bin everything else!
  • Stay active – exercise is not only important for a healthy body, it’s vital for good skin too.  Exercise stimulates our body to release toxins and while initially you may experience a breakout as your body rids itself of any rubbish, regular exercise will have the opposite effect and leave your skin glowing.  Staying active will also help to smooth and tone your skin as it improves skin elasticity.
  • Hydrate – while you’ve heard it time and time again, it’s true that staying hydrated is the most important thing you can do for your skin.  Water will not only hydrate your body, it helps to flush out any toxins and keep your skin looking crystal clear.  Aim for 2-3 litres of water each day and limit alcohol and caffeine as much as possible.

x A

 

Wedding series…part two

Wedding Series part 2

If you’re a bride-to-be, the next thought that will probably run through your mind after you’ve set the date is – how do I begin to get in the best shape of my life?  In all honesty, it’s never too early to start prepping and it’s about one word – consistency.  Crash diets and strenuous exercise regimes simply won’t work and instead, you’ll likely be left feeling frustrated and exhausted (less than ideal when you want to be glowing!)

The first step is to make sure your nutrition is clean and green.  No matter how much exercise you do, unless your diet is spot on, you’ll struggle to see results.  So, here are my top tips on how to get wedding ready in 12 months:

  • Put down the bottle -for many women, giving up alcohol completely might not be an attainable goal, but if you want to look great on your big day, then limiting alcohol in the lead up is absolutely vital.  Alcohol is incredibly dehydrating which will leave your skin looking grey and lacklustre.  But not only that, the sugar content of alcohol means that even if you’re noshing on lettuce, those liquid calories at wine time will cancel out your clean diet.  If you simply can’t give up altogether, try to limit alcohol to just one day a week and stick to clear spirits with soda water or organic wines.
  • Eat more fat – swap stodgy carbs like white bread and pasta, for good fats (like avocado, olive oil and coconut) and you’ll not only feel more satisfied, you’ll be less bloated and feel lighter as well.  Try to incorporate fat at every meal and instead of snacking on nutrient-devoid snacks like diet coke, crackers or chips…eat fat snacks like homemade avocado guacamole with vegetable sticks or raw unsalted nuts.  Yes, nuts are high in calories but they are also burnt more efficiently by the body than that zero calorie diet fizzy drink you’re sipping.
  • Aim for balance – most importantly, try to be balanced with your diet as cutting out an entire food group such as grains, gluten, sugar or dairy is just not sustainable.  If you’ve got an allergy or intolerance, then by all means, remove the offending food from your diet, but for everyone else, try to eat all your favourite foods in moderation.  When prepping a meal, ask yourself, have you included a good portion of protein, fats and carbohydrates?  Your salad might include chicken breast and spinach, but if you add a few slices of avocado and a half a cup of quinoa, you’ll have yourself a far more nutritionally balanced meal.

x A

(Pics courtesy of Jasmine Dowling, Alex Knight, Hanalei Reponty and Blacklist Studio)

 

 

 

Summer essentials…

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It’s no secret that I love sunshine…and I mean, loooooove sunshine!  So every chance I get, I’m down at the beach swimming and enjoying all that summer has to offer.  In Sydney we are are pretty spoilt with the weather most of the year round, but nothing compares to that feeling when you open the blinds in the morning and there is blue sky as far as the eye can see.

Hope you’ve all had a wonderful weekend!

x A

New beginnings…

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Firstly, welcome to LUXE / HEALTH…and let me just say, it has been a long time in the making, so I hope you find it a source of constant inspiration for healthy luxe living!

Although there are still a few wrinkles to be ironed out here and there, I thought a new year was the perfect time to launch so watch this space…fingers crossed LUXE / HEALTH will soon become your go-to online destination for nutrition, health, wellness and lifestyle inspo.  I can’t wait to get started!

x A