Browsing Tag

happiness

Lifestyle and Interviews

MOCKTAILS: ELDERFLOWER BUBBLY & CRANBERRY LIME COSMO

December 19, 2016

Have you seen that episode of The Vicar of Dibley where Dawn French is invited to several Christmas parties in one day and each host cooks her a Christmas dinner? She goes ahead and eats every single one of them rather than admitting shes already eaten? I feel you Dawn, the food and wine on offer over Xmas can get a little OTT.

Don’t get me wrong, I love dinners over the festive period. The food is delicious and I thrive off the company. But it’s so easy to indulge way too much with everyone handing you a glass of fizz and bowl of snacks upon arrival.

As mentioned in this post I recently had a big health scare and, although it was completely unrelated to indulging, it still gave me the impetus to make my body as healthy as possible and that can be hard over the Christmas holidays.

So, with that in mind I’ve been testing out some 100% natural mocktails which not only taste delicious, but are good for you too.

Cranberry and Lime Cosmo Mocktail

Crisp cranberry mixed with the sharp taste of lime makes this the perfect mocktail:

  • Pour cranberry and lime juice into a cocktail shaker (I used Feel Good Drinks)
  • Add the juice of half of a lime, ice and raspberries
  • Shake it up then strain into a glass
  • Garnish with lime and rosemary

Elderflower Bubbly

Not sure this one really needs instructions but I always feel more Christmassy with a champagne flute in hand and this is the best alternative:

  • Pour apple and elderflower into a champagne flute (I used this one)
  • Garnish with raspberries and add a sprig of rosemary

Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year break relaxing with friends and family. I have a busy couple of weeks in the UK visiting all of my favourite people and I’m so looking forward to it.

Collaboration: This post is sponsored by Feel Good Drinks, but I’ve been passionate about up-ing my alcohol free tasty beverage intake for some time now, see more of my recipes here

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I am the sunlight on ripened grain. I am the gentle autumn rain.

November 3, 2016

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I’m missing my Grandparents immensely today. My best friend has recently lost her Grandad and is preparing her reading for the funeral.  As a result I re-visited the eulogy which I wrote with my family and read at my Grandparent’s funeral. Naturally it evoked lots of special memories and a deep sadness that they are gone.

I remember writing the eulogy with my sisters, Aunty and Mum. We sat around the dining room table with a suitcase of old photographs. Each telling stores about them whilst laughing and crying, with a glass of wine in hand. By the end of the night the speech was written.

When I got to the church the vicar held my hand and said God would give me strength. I did indeed feel strength and read each word without falter. It felt so powerful reading those words to a church full of hundreds of people who had the up-most respect for my Grandparents.
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They were a wonderfully wholesome couple who had a huge influence on the lives of my sisters and I, along with many other people that knew them.
Sadly they both passed away within days of each other and we had a joint funeral for them. The Rector said during the service: “Their lives were so bound up in each other – and they have left this world together. They did everything together and looking after their grandchildren was one of their greatest joys.”

He went on to say: “I have been amazed at the number of people who stopped me in the street to tell me of the passing of this wonderful couple and each and every one had wonderful memories of them.”

Though I am thankful that they both lived until 73 and had fulfilling lives, it never feels like the right time to lose someone you love.
Everyone suffers the loss of a loved one at some stage during their lives, it is heartbreaking that special people must leave us. But my goodness, how lucky we are to have had people like that in our lives in the first place. If death teaches us one thing, it is to live.

The title of this post is of course a quote from Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep a beautiful poem written in 1932 by Mary Elizabeth Frye.

With love X

Lifestyle and Interviews

5 WAYS TO TURN A BAD DAY AROUND

September 7, 2016

LedByLucy-Blog-BerlinOccasionally we all have bad days that can be hard to shake off. Here are some of my top tips on picking yourself up, brightening your day and changing your perspective:

1. Three Good Things: I keep a notebook on my bedside table and at the end of the day I write down three good things that have happened that day. It can be something exciting like flying to Barcelona for the first time, or it can be something less grand but still beautiful in its own way, such as trying out a new recipe and seeing other people enjoy it. This really helps me to count my blessings daily.

On a bad day you can reach for this book and read through it reflecting on all of the beautiful moments in life that you treasure. It will also remind you of the things in life that make you particularly happy, and perhaps inspire your activities for the day.ledbylucy-tun-a-bad-day-into-a-good-day

2. Yoga and Walking: It might be the last thing that you feel like doing but hauling yourself up and out of the door for some fresh air works wonders. I set myself a daily challenge of doing 10,000 steps per day. It’s pretty geeky but I love to check my steps on my app and see if I am close to my goal. If you are at work then go for a brisk walk on your lunch break or get off the bus home a few stops early and walk part way. As my Grandma used to say, a bit of fresh air really clears the cobwebs away. You could try my Ideas For A Sunny Day Out post.

Yoga is a magical mood booster for me too. Concentrating on your breath, clearing your mind and stretching out any worries is heavenly. I love going to a studio where you leave your external thoughts at the door and enter into a peaceful atmosphere. But, if you can’t get to a class, then there are lots of wonderful resources online. Vinyasa is my favourite, a style of yoga in which your movements flow with your breath and the poses run together like a dance.

3. Friends and Laughter: A full belly LOL can cure all woes, even if just momentarily. I randomly came across Trailer Park Boys on Netflix, the first few episodes had me absolutely splitting my sides (admittedly it gets a bit repetitive after the first few, but by then it’s done the trick). Also a call, Skype or visit with a bezzie is bound to put a smile on your face again.ledbylucy-walking-for-happiness-14. Food and Water: Give your body all of the support and energy it needs with some nourishing food and plenty of water. Reading Cameron Diaz’s book The Body Book some time ago now inspired me to really take an interest in healthy living.  You really are what you eat, and your mood can be dramatically effected by how well nourished you are. As Cameron says “eating for nutrition is not about taking from yourself. It’s about giving to yourself. In the short and long run, it is more fun to love your food when it loves you back.” Try making my Blueberry and Almond Smoothie Recipe

5. Pamper: Run a bubble bath, light some candles, play uplifting music and apply a face mask or whatever lotion/potion you fancy. Try my sister’s West Indian Bay Bath Oil Recipe Sometimes a good old pamper is the best way to relax and unwind.

I’d love to hear your tips on staying positive and beating a bad day, please let me know your ideas in the comments below.

Suggested Post: Why Hobbies Are Important

Wearing: Topshop Ripped Jeans, Topshop Striped Top (similar), Birkenstocks and CRU Mini Bucketbag

Photo Credit: With special thanks to the talented  Berliner Post for taking these photographs

Travel & Places

ONLY BORING PEOPLE GET BORED

September 24, 2015

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LedByLucy-Golf-2Golf, pool and ping-pong, not my scene. And when I say not my scene, I mean I suck at them and losing is boring. But as my Grandma always said ‘only boring people get bored’ and I totally agree. In our new home city there is a ping pong table in every park and most bars too. So I’ve been trying harder to enjoy that kind of shizzle and much to my surprise, it’s working! We even played shuffleboard the other day (I’d never even heard of it to start with) and it was so much fun. I scored a 4 (the highest mark) which potentially helped a little.

These photos were taken in Portinatx Ibiza, you can read more about the trip here.

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Lifestyle and Interviews

IDEAS FOR SUNNNY DAYS OUT

August 27, 2015

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LedByLucy-Summer-BikeRide (14) CropSummer technically ends in August which is giving me a sense of urgency to make the absolute most of the sunshine before Jack Frost pays us a visit. 

I’ve put together a list of my favourite days out celebrating summer’s gifts of warm fresh air and Vitamin D. My plan is to squeeze in as many as possible before the sun goes into hybernation for winter. (That’s a scientifically accurate depiction of the seasons).

It’s so easy to get into a routine where hanging out with my friends means eating out or going for cocktails at our favourite bar. What I love about all of these activities is that they are healthy ways to hang out, they get your body moving and your blood flowing. Well, perhaps not the cinema, unless your watching a horror movie, but the fresh air is still good!

1. Picnic and biking in the park – Packing a picnic basket with goodies and soaking up the rays in a pretty park is my ideal. I like to take along pillows, outdoor speakers and decorations too if it’s a party. I’ve got massively into biking this summer which is rounded up nicely with a picnic in the park.

Try it here: Hyde Park (London) or Tiergarten (Berlin)

2. Out-Door Cinema– Watching a movie under the stars, cozy under a snuggly blanket is the best way to experience a film. The last Al fresco film I saw was Breakfast at Tiffany’s, it was so special to see Audrey’s beautiful face this way.

Try it here: Fountains Abbey (Yorkshire) or Freiluftkino Insel im Cassiopeia (Berlin)

3. Al fresco Yoga– At my usual indoor class the teacher plays ambient music emmulating nature: a babbling river, birds singing or ocean waves. Oming with actual Mother Nature takes it to another level. I’ve heard sunset and sunrise yoga sessions are magical so I really want to try those too.

Try it here: Park Yoga (Berlin)

4. Fruit Picking at The Local Farm– Pop your dungarees on, head over to the local farm and grab a basket. Freshly picked fruit and vegetables are full of vitamins and when picking your own you can select the cream of the crop. Strawberry picking is my favourite, I like to ‘test’ a few along the way to check that they are sweet enough!

Try it here: Greenbank Farm (Lancashire)

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For my bike ride picnic featured in the photos I wore a ‘Thunder Blue’ crepe tunic from White Stuff . It is a relaxed fit so its nice and cool to cycle in. And to quote Game of Thrones, winter is coming so I can pair it up with some tights and ankle boots in the cold.

What’s your ideal sunny day out? Let me know in the comments section below so I can add it to my list!

Wearing: Thunder Blue Crepe Tunic From White Stuff Camel Ballet Pumps From NewLook and New Look Watch Pale Gray (Similar)

Suggested post: Ibiza Brights

Fashion & Beauty, Travel & Places

CHESTER: STOPPING TO SMELL THE ROSES

July 23, 2015

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Appreciating and savouring every experience in England became a priority as soon as we made the decision to move to Berlin. I always like to recognise and enjoy the little things but when you know that you wont be seeing something again for a while your senses seem heightened and you start to notice things that you had never even seen before. It is often the micro-pleasures that bring a smile to our faces and make the bigger picture what it is. England is such a beautiful country, I am so glad that my family home is here and I will be back and forth all of the time.

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These photographs were taken where my Mum lives in Chester by the River Dee. I love the weeping willow trees that surround the bank. It might sound corny but they remind me of the Jolly Holiday scene in Mary Poppins. Do you remember it? The picture here might jog your memory.

In the words of ‘David After Dentist’, I sometimes find myself asking “Is this real life?”

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Wearing: Accessorize Daisy Ring (similar)/ CRU Willow Weekender (use CRU15LBL20 for 20% discount for LedByLucy readers)/Crochet Crop Top (similar)/Vintage Blue Skirt/Crepe Bow (similar)

Suggested Post: Gatsby’s Eyes In Paris

Lifestyle and Interviews

Bottled Memories In A Gratitude Jar

January 1, 2015

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A few years back I made a New Years resolution to bottle my memories in a gratitude jar. It has since become a tradition and I wanted to share it with you.

Start the year with an empty jar and each time you experience something that makes you feel grateful or happy make a note of it on a little slip of paper and store it in your jar.

The memories that you keep can be absolutely anything. Mine always vary so much. It might be something as simple as doing yoga for the first time and feeling radiant or something more poignant like recovering from an illness. Sometimes I am surprised to find that my friends and family have added their own notes into my gratitude jar too.

On New Years Day Nick and I sit down together and go through the jar, each taking it in turns to read out a memory.

Storing your memories in this way really puts the year into perspective and makes you realise how much you have achieved, each note is like a little treasure.
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I suggest sticking each years worth of notes into a scrap book so that one day you can look back on your fondest moments from the past decade or so and see how far you have come.

Happy New Year everyone! May your gratitude jars be full of happy memories!

Lucy Xx

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