MoisturiserMy evening getting ready for bed routine is something I really enjoy however never really pay that much focused attention to actually doing it. 

Moisturising mindfully is a great way to settle me ready for sleep whilst incorporating mindfulness into my routine. 


 

The 10 Steps to Moisturising Mindfully :

moisturiser 4

  1. Pick up the pot/jar/tube- notice its weight, material and temperature in your hand.
  2. Carefully open the lid, noticing the the action of your wrist and any sounds
  3. Study your moisturiser in the pot (if in a pot), the peaks it forms, the way the light hits it and the colours.
  4. Pop some moisturiser on your finger, feel it’s coolness and weight.
  5. Rub between between your thumb and forefinger finger for texture and any tackiness.
  6. Lift up the moisturiser to your nose, with each in-breath notice any fragrance that may be there. What effect does the aroma have – is it energising or calming?
  7. If at any point you think “this is silly, why am I doing this?” recognise this as a random thought and return to where you left off with your moisturiser. Let go of any self- judgement, questioning or criticism.  
  8. Dot the moisturiser on your face, enjoy the coolness and feel on your cheeks, chin forehead and nose.
  9. Gently massage and savour the experience. Notice the movement of your fingertips and how your facial muscles relax.
  10. When fully applied notice how your skin feels- is it more sensitive to temperature, does it feel wet/ smooth/fresh etc ?

 


 

Have a field day and play around with the above steps however you like. Take as long or as short a time as you like.

Tip: Try this with various moisturisers e.g. day vs night moisturisers- you really start to notice and appreciate the differences between them.

I hope you enjoy – I always love to hear how you get on. Have you tried applying the above to any other mindful habits?

 

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finished candles

I’m absolutely taken by the new wellness trend sweeping homes everywhere – Hygge. It’s been hard not to avoid, but if you’ve missed it it’s something you’ll certainly want to get involved in!  Hygge, pronounced ‘hue-gah’/’hoo gah’ comes from wonderful Denmark. It essentially stands for cosyness and all the things that make you feel warm inside.

Since living in Aarhus, Denmark,  I’m ‘slightly’ obsessed with scandi culture and Hygge is the latest trend I’ve embraced.  I’m hygge-fying my life to the max this winter;  think cosy-nights in, hot tumeric lattes, snuggly blankets, dinner parties with friends and candles – LOTS of them.

I wanted to create thoughtful Christmas gifts for my family and friends this year and decided to give the gift of Hygge through homemade soy candles. The result has been so much better than I ever anticipated and I just can’t wait to give them out….squeee.

If you fancy giving the gift of Hygge or just love a great smelling soy candle that won’t cost the earth take a look below at the really simple steps.

 


What You’ll Need:

(I made 10 candles and used the below amounts, adjust for what you need. Also I didn’t have much time to shop around online so headed into Hobbycraft for most things… which isn’t the cheapest way, but I’ve linked the items anyway.)

  • 10 glass containers 
  • 10 Pre-waxed wicks  with metal tabs (you can buy unwaxed but these are hassle-free)
  • 10 Pens / chopsticks/ sticks …you get the idea
  • 1.8kg Soy wax flakes
  • Essential oils of your choice (I made a few combos which used Clary Sage, Bergamot, Pine, Patchouli, lavender, sandalwood.. I REALLY wanted Cedar but it was out of stock)
  • Labels, paint, stamps etc. to decorate with

1 | Prepwicks

  • Ensure all the glass containers are clean, free of dust and grease
  • Stick down the pre-waxed wicks to the base of the jars. (If, like me you, don’t have sticky tabs on the wick disks melt a candle you already have and use some of the wax to stick the metal tab to the base of the jar
  • Use pens/chopsticks etc to hold the wick up straight. Wrap excess wick around the pen

2| Melt

wax melt in pan

  • Set a large saucepan of water on the hob, bring the water to the boil and then turn to a simmer
  • Place a glass bowl in the water
  • I melted the wax in batches as I wanted different scented candles. I used a spare candle jar to measure out wax into the glass bowl,  1 candle = 2 x the jar volume
  • The wax will take about 10 mins to melt

3| Mix

essential oils

  • Whilst your wax is melting concoct your scent mixes in a small bowl. (you can add your essential oils directly into the wax but I wanted to smell-test the mixes beforehand)
  • I used about 50+ drops in total per candle
  • When the wax is melted and the fragrance ready, take the glass bowl off the pan
  • **IMPORTANT** Do not add your fragrance whilst the wax is boiling hot- allow it to cool for a few minutes as the heat can take away the fragrance of the oils… not ideal..
  • Mix the oils into the wax using a metal spoon (easier to clean)

4| Pour

wax in jars

  • This bit is tricky so take care.  You can move the wick to the side to help pouring the wax from the bowl into the jar
  • Take your time to pour the wax from the bowl into the jar- mind you don’t drip any around the edges as this will set around the jar and make it look messy
  • After a few tricky tries I got the hang of it and decanted the wax into a glass pouring jug for better accuracy
  • Before leaving to set ensure the wicks are in the centre of the molten wax
  • Leave overnight to set

 

5| Decorate!

fnished candles 2

  • I designed labels on PhotoShop and printed them onto standard sticky labels
  • For some extra jazz I dotted gold 3D paint either side of the text
  • I also used string and tags to personalise each candle for the recipient. Each tag was stamped with a gold mandala for some mindfulness prettiness

And that’s it!

These were super, super simple to make and the result is , I think, really pretty. They also smell absolutely divine and the soy wax means they burn extra cleanly.

I can’t wait to give them out as gifts this Christmas :)

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Mindful Tea

It’s so helpful to have to hand a few inspiring references whilst trying to lead a more mindful life.

There are days when I’m stuck in a bit of a rut, having woken up late, feeling groggy from over (or under) sleep and can’t summon the necessary brainpower to figure out what’s best to get me going. The below references have been a great helping hand in guiding and reminding me of the practices  and what might be best for my current mood or need.

The list is ever growing as I’m only new to the practice of mindfulness and cant help having a good old Google for new resources and can’t resist diving into a bookshop for the smell of new pages and new wisdom.


 

The Little Book of Mindfulness; 10 Minutes a Day to Less Stress, More Peace – Dr Patrizia Collard

This was actually bought for me as a stocking-filler from Mum after I mentioned I was going to start blogging about mindfulness. Its such a cute and handy go-to with beautiful illustrations to boot. As it mentions in the title the book is filled with  5 – 10 minute practices and inspirations to help us to reconnect to the now. I will be posting about some of the practices and how they help me. If you do pick up the book check out p82 for the ‘Metta Meditation: Loving Kindness’ for self-compassion, empowerment and transformation.

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How to Love – Tich Nhat Hanh

I have literally fallen in love with the book. I am guilty firstly of choosing it because of its cover but then justified my choice as the author is Tich Nhat Hanh – only one of the best known Zen teachers in the world!

The book is so gentle and calming that just from reading I feel a glow of compassion welling up inside me and I look forward to moments where I can practice some of the things written about. The book includes notes on love such as how to recognise true love and the four elements it encompasses.

There are also practices and meditations on how to nourish true love, these come with beautiful names like ‘Watering the Flower in a Friend’ and ‘A Pot in Search of a Lid’. Each page features a new offering and is accompanied by lovely pink pen and ink drawings.

The Mindfulness Bible; The Complete Guide to Living in the Moment – Dr Patrizia Collard

I bought this book as a pure coincidence that it is written by Dr Patrizia Collard, the same author as the Little Book of Mindfulness (above), this is about where the similarities end, as a guide it could not be more different. This ‘bible’ is much like a school Geography textbook with lots of words accompanied by photography and case studies. The book also includes a detailed eight-session mindfulness course with a blank diary grid for your weekly entry. I’ve found this useful as a way to refresh my knowledge from the eight week Mindfulness course I took at the London Mindfulness Project. Also it has been helpful in helping me geek up on the  actual science behind mindfulness. There is a HUGE section on Mindful Meditations and movement exercises (accompanied by step-by step pictures) which has been useful to pick and choose from.

Eat Pray Love; One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia – Elizabeth Gilbert

OK so I’m currently half way through this book and I’m hooked. I cant wait each night to snuggle down and catch the next few chapters of Liz’s journey. This book is different to the other’s I’ve already mentioned as it is biographical and absolutely nothing to do with guiding actual meditations etc. Instead, it is an insightful, funny account of Elizabeth’s travels to find happiness and fulfilment following a few rough years of divorce and depression. She has a likability that challenges even that of our best friend Bridget  Jones.

In terms of a reference for mindfulness this book is FAB in supporting my practice at the moment as it feels like I have a friend on the same journey as me :)

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