Never in a million years would I have envisaged that so much could happen in the space of 4 weeks since I sent my last newsletter to you all – it’s like we’ve been catapulted into a parallel universe and we’re on some kind of survival sci-fi-docu-drama if there's such a thing? … only it’s for real!
I hope to goodness you’re all doing ok out there and you, your families and your colleagues are all safe and well. Whilst the ferocity of the virus is terrifying, it's also been incredibly heartwarming to see communities pulling together to help one another out - long may that continue beyond this. If you're feeling isolated or down yourself, whilst I'm no expert, please don't feel like you're alone, don't hesitate to contact me for a virtual brew or a G&T if you need me x
So, as we’re all isolating ourselves (as much as possible) and my events and retreats are both absolute no-no’s at the moment, I thought the next best thing would be to share a few simple ‘Stay@Home’ tips to help you feel well; eat well & keep well over the coming weeks - we simply can't afford to be complacent right now, so let's focus on the things we can do at home and keep ourselves and our families safe - I love this chart sent by my brother Duncan - 'a coping calendar to keep calm, stay wise and be kind' - thanks to www.actionforhappiness.org for this x
So, my top 'Stay@Home' tips include:
KEEP WELL – Most people seem to be adapting to the ‘new norm’ pretty well from what I can tell so far – however, for those of you struggling with everyone at home at the same time, I decided to put together some ‘Happy Stay@Home Ground Rules’ … yes, they laughed at me, but they also listened … and … so far so good. It’s only simple things like, if you borrow it, ask first and return it (phone chargers grrr); if you make a mess, clean it up (2 teenagers at home enough said); if you open it, close it; if it will brighten someone’s day say it; if it hurts someone’s feelings keep it to yourself there’s enough stuff going on out there. This is also an important one … whoever cooks it, doesn’t wash or clean it up, I've got a few more on there too, but you can tailor this to your own family, you know where the stress points are and what you need help with to keep yourself well. I’m also a HUGE fan of podcasts to keep my mind engaged – my favs are, ‘Fortunately’ with Fi Glover and Jane Garvey, it's like having a brew and a laugh with 2 friends, I’ve also recently started listening to ‘Feel Better, Live More’ with Dr. Rangan Chatterjee GP thanks to my other brother Leon – he has some excellent guests - plus on the small biz owner front, I love love Holly Tucker from @hollytucker and @hollyandco ‘Conversations of Inspiration’ - For a shot of positivity on the socials, I also enjoy @thehappynewspaper @postivenewsuk and @simplethingsmag - Plus as we know lighting a candle, listening to music and having a soak in the bath is also hugely beneficial too.
KEEP MOVING – I’ve been blown away by how many wonderful wellness experts have put their lessons and talks online already – big bravo to them! My ‘go-to’ classes this week have been by Adele @PurebodybyAdele (£14 online drop-in class) – ‘Yoga by Adriene’ great for getting my family to try yoga with her 30-day from home classes (Free on YouTube) and 'Power Yoga' with Roisin @concretejungleyoga (£7 online drop-in class) – I’ve heard that @thebodycoach Joe Wick’s PE Sessions have been a hoot too for both parents and kids alike. Going back to the note on my fridge, I’ve also added everyone’s names after each day, which they can highlight when they’ve done 40 mins of exercise /movement each day, this has proved to be quite motivating actually. Thank goodness running is also still allowed at the moment too, this really helps clear my head – have you ever thought of running to classical music?? … I know it’s a bit left-field, but check out ‘Classical, Film Scores Instrumental’ if you have Spotify it really fuels me – I hear visualisation can be good too – so I visualise Johnny Depp running ahead of me with a bottle of craft gin under each arm while listening to the Pirates of the Caribbean, whatever works for you – If you're not a runner, there's also an NHS Podcast called ‘Couch to 5k’ which is a plan for complete beginners to run 5k in 9 weeks.
EAT WELL – On the food front, I stuck up a menu for the week on our fridge door too, taking into consideration ‘sell by’ dates, which has resulted in less questions, meal ingredients remaining in the fridge vs being hoovered up as general snackaging fodder and less waste, so toot toot to all that! Now I just need to think about Week 2 hmm?! If you're looking for recipe inspiration, a family favourite here is from ‘Hugh’s Three Good Things on a Plate’ cookbook - pasta, asparagus and chorizo (with parmesan) - technically 4 ingredients really Hugh, but anyways, it's a winner - https://deadsimplesuppers.tumblr.com/post/42668329578/hugh-fearnley-whittingstalls-pasta-asparagus-and Plus, the best homemade granola recipe ever (in my opinion) if from Natasha Corrett’s Honestly Healthy Book (1st edition) see below. Also, have you heard about Jack Munroe?? – this lady has put together lots of recipes using cans and store cupboard essentials: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tin-Can-Cook-Store-cupboard-Recipes/dp/1529015286 Last but not least, a great suggestion from one of my lovely past retreaters Joanne De Pace @joannedepacestudio is ‘The Roasting Tin Simple Dish Dinners’ https://www.amazon.co.uk/Roasting-Tin-Simple-Dish-Dinners/dp/1910931519 - I love that you can pretty much bung the ingredients into a try and by the time you've slipped into your PJs, made yourself a G&T cocktail, served up some nuts and put some tunes on, it's almost ready - ok so there's a bit of prep too, but there always is isn't there Jamie?
SLEEP WELL – I’m personally only dipping in and out of the news during the day, watching it before bed has made me feel a bit wired and overwhelmed, so depending on how I'm feeling, I sometimes meditate/fall asleep to either the ‘Buddhify’ or ‘Breethe’ Apps – both of which I find to be super relaxing and may help with any anxious thoughts or feelings right now. I’m also going to try something new tonight, which is Gong Bath Meditation – this lady was recommended to me recently by Steph Edwards @steph.edwards.holistic – I’ll keep you posted, but if you fancy giving it a go too, check out Amanda Kent here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCh-cU5lc5NmI0d3I_oPd8w
Best Nutty Granola - Honestly Healthy Cookbook
(minus the dates but with organic coconut shavings added)
Thanks to Natasha Corrett
& Vicki Edgson
100g (3.5 oz/1 generous cup) jumbo rolled oats
3tbsp olive oil
85g (3.5 oz / half cup) raw cashews
& pecans (I break these up a bit)
1 handful of raw pumpkin seeds
1 handful of coconut shavings
Preheat oven to 160 degrees
Stir together all the ingredients (other than the coconut) and mix well.
Pour out onto a baking tray and bake for 15 mins - then take out and give it all a good mix - reduce the heat to 110 degrees and cook for a further 30 mins
or until it looks dry and crisp.
Leave to cool completely before adding the coconut shavings and transfer into an airtight container.
I've tried a few granola recipes over the years and this is honestly the best - no pun intended! Delicious served with a dollop of natural full fat yoghurt,
fruit and honey - enjoyed any time of the day or night - all good stuff xx
> Buy the book
Thinking Ahead - Keeping Positive
'Sip & Swish' Social
(New date to be announced as soon as it's safe to do so)
Hummings Gin & Cocktail
If you're taking this 'forced pause' as an opportunity to declutter your wardrobe and you like the idea of a 'Clothing Swap' event - put 3 good quality preloved items aside that you think are suitable to bring to a Clothing Swish and email me and let me know you're interested and I'll send you the date as soon as I can. If you book on via the link for the 3rd June, in the likely event it is cancelled, all bookings will be transferred to the future date, or fully refunded to you - email me at email@example.com
This event is in collaboration with the fabulous Emma Reed from @stylingyouwell - Emma will offer styling advice; a chic packing demo for a Retreat / Weekend Away and an opportunity to 'Swish' your preloved items and take 3 different pieces home - voila a new wardrobe and a social in one - ginius!
Includes: Welcome G&T
Swishing Session - Styling Advice & Smart Packing Demo & Light Bites
Anything not 'swished' will be donated to 'Esteem Ahead' a wonderful charity that supports women in all seasons of life, from dressing with confidence to CV prep and wellbeing advice.
When staying 'in in' is the new going 'out out' why not try 'dress up Friday'
This week I took part in Emma's 'Friday Live' guess the shoes virtual cocktail hour - see photo - Emma @stylingyouwell is also an ex-shoe designer as well as a stylist - which was great fun (skirt from @wonderlustthelabel and blouse from @paradise_boutique_surrey) I've been in leggings and sweatshirts pretty much all week, so it was a lovely opportunity to dress up - why not dress up and hook up with your friends & family this Friday and help lift each others' spirits up, gin or otherwise!
Thanks for reading this, as always, I really do appreciate your support and your follows, I am still planning lots of lovely things combining wellness and gin going forward so hang in there - I also truly hope that by the time I write the next newsletter things will have changed for the better - until then, keep safe, keep well and keep positive xx
"There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about."
Gin & Yin Retreats