Stories

Sopwell House Spa Special Offer

Get a free ‘Beauty Boosters’ gift worth £42 at Sopwell House Spa when you treat yourself to two ESPA products at Sopwell House Spa.

Sopwell House Beauty Booster Gift

Loaded with pure, highly active ingredients, your free gift will include five supercharged Tri-Active formulas to return your skin to its radiant, healthy and beautiful best. The free gift is complete with a metallic cosmetic purse.

The offer is valid whilst stocks last.

Sopwell House is a stunning Georgian manor house located in the city of St. Albans within the Hertfordshire countryside. Located only 20 minutes from London St. Pancras, the hotel is the idyllic getaway just outside of the hustle and bustle of the capital, with its 128 stylish guestrooms including 16 bespoke Mews suites.

The spa at Sopwell House is the perfect place to relax with 14 treatment rooms, a 15-metre swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and Eucalyptus steam room, along with a fully equipped gymnasium.

Sopwell House, Cottonmill Lane, St Albans, AL1 2HQ
For reservations, please call: 01727 864477
www.sopwellhouse.co.uk

Yoga Thread Test

We’ve all been there – you have a favourite, favourite pair of Yoga pants that just shape you the right way, are the perfect texture, hug your hips just right and cover your bum in downward dog….but you wear them to death because they’re so amazing, and now they’re frayed right?

Yoga Thread Test

Fear not, we’ve found a new range of yoga gear that is super stylish and will fit your budget too. Its Blossom Yoga!

Galaxy print

The range of yoga leggings includes lots of bright and playful prints and colours so you can let your personality shine through on the yoga mat, featuring names like ‘Galaxy’ and ‘Northern Lights’ prints.

Northern Lights print

I tried out the Galaxy print leggings and was pleasantly surprised to find the print didn’t stretch to transparency levels that most others do. I never understand why other brands make yoga leggings in such thin material that you are basically flashing the person behind you every time you bend over. Blossom Yoga fabrics are thick enough to offer protection in even the most prone pose, whilst being sleek enough to still give you a great silhouette. The waist is also high, and holds tight no matter how sweaty you get in your Hot Yoga class.

I can’t recommend them enough – plus they offer free shipping within the UK to orders over £50, sweet! To see their full range visit www.blossomyogawear.com

Pumpkin & Chicken Broth Soup

There’s nothing like sitting down to some warm soup on a cold winters day, its good for the soul and warms you from the core outward. I have a number of favourite recipes i go to when i am craving some comfort, but more recently i’ve found my cravings centre around broth based soups. There’s something so naturally invigorating about broth that nothing else can match. Very recently broth has become somewhat of trend as new broth-bars and ranges keep popping up all over the place, so we decided to try one out ( we tried Sadies Kitchen) in our favourite Pumpkin Soup recipe.

Pumpkin with Chicken broth soup


Recipe:Pumpkin Soup with Chicken Broth

Ingredients:

1 x Pumpkin, cored and de-seeded, chopped into cubes

1 x Large Onion, finely chopped

A teaspoon of Nutmeg

2 x Cloves of Garlic

1 x Packet of Sadies Kitchen Chicken Broth

1 x Tablespoon of Sesame Oil

1 x Litre of Water

1 x Teaspoon of Paprika

1 x Teaspoon of fresh Ginger, finely chopped

Seasoning to taste with salt and Pepper

Method:

1. Toss the cubes of pumpkin in oil and pop on a roasting dish along with finely chopped garlic, season with salt and pepper and pop in the oven at 200degrees for 30mins, tossing every 10mins

2. Once the pumpkin has been roasted (pick with a fork to test softness), remove it from the over and place in a deep saucepan, Add the turmeric, paprika, ginger, onion and nutmeg and fry lightly until the onion has softened. Add Sadies Kitchen Chicken Broth and simmer for 10mins.

3. Transfer contents of the saucepan to a blender with 2 cups of water and blend to a smooth consistency, before transferring back to the saucepan.

4. Add remaining water, and bring the soup to a moderate heat, cooking for a further 10mins and making sure not to let it boil.

5. Season with salt and pepper to your own taste, making sure not to mask the spicy heat of the spices added previously.

6. Once fully heated through its ready to serve with a crusty piece of bread

Most importantly, enjoy!

For more broth recipes, read on or visit Sadies Kitchen here

Healthy Chicken Bone Broth Soup recipe

Too often we can be guilty of throwing too many ingredients into the pot when making a soup and not appreciating the natural flavours of a simple broth soup, so todays recipe is one of my favourites – a simple Healthy Chicken Broth Soup. Prepare to make the simplest yet most glorious soup to make your heart sing!

Chicken Bone Broth soup using Sadies Kitchen Bone Broth

Recipe: Healthy Chicken Broth Soup

Ingredients:

1 x Chicken Breast (organic or free range preferably) chopped into thin pieces

1 x Packet of Sadies Kitchen Chicken Broth

1 x Leek, chopped finely into rings

1 x Carrot, chopped finely

1 x Broccoli, chopped finely into florets

Method:

1. Lightly sautee your leeks in a cup of Sadies Kitchen Bone Broth until they glisten and soften as they broth evaporates

2. Add you chicken breast pieces and sautee them until they are cooked through, taking care not to let them burn, just add a cup of broth every time the saucepan dries out

3. Now add your carrots and the remaining broth, turn the heat right down to simmer very gently and walk away……remembering to check on it every now and again for about 30mins as the content of the saucepan take on the flavour of the broth.

4. Finally post taste-test, add your broccoli for the final 5 mins making sure to take it off the heat as soon as the broccoli has gone bright green.

5. You can season to taste but i prefer to enjoy this as it is, with all its chicken-y glory.

And most importantly, remember to enjoy it!

For more recipes using broth, read on or visit Sadies Kitchen website here

Benefits of Magnesium

You would have to be living on the moon lately to not have heard every ‘health influencer’ talking about trying to increase their Magnesium intake due to its benefits, so we wanted to investigate a bit more on your behalf. Why is Magnesium so important? And what are the best sources of Magnesium?

Magnesium for Health

Magnesium deficiency can cause muscle aches, spasms, is linked to poor digestion, anxiety and insomnia.

Benefits:
– Energy Boosting
– Improved sleep patterns
– Can Increase flexibility by reducing aches and pains in the bones
– Its said to ease anxiety
– Increases mineral absorption
– It can relieve Migraines

So how to do you increase your intake of Magnesium?

Great natural sources of Magnesium are leafy greens like spinach, almonds, avocados, tomatoes, nuts like cashews are great, beans like black beans and lentils and seeds are great too.

My favourite – Dark Chocolate is a great source of Magnesium too! Yes!

Other sources:
Take a bath!
I often don’t have time to tick off the list of veggies and beans above to make sure i’m consumed enough magnesium, so often after the gym or a hard day at work i’ll take a bath in Magnesium salts. Your skin is the most porous organ on our body so its the best way to absorb minerals, by applying them topically.

Magnesium Flakes

I use the ‘Better You’ range, as they have a huge selection of specifically Magnesium rich products. I usually run a bath with the Better You Magnesium Flakes as they come in big 1kg and 5kg packs so i can make sure i always have some around. Plus a bath is super relaxing, so its chilling me out after a stressful day at work and also ensuring i’ve topped up my Magnesium levels.

Magnesium Oils

Then i’ll finish off my using a Magnesium Oil after my bath, again having the benefit of being really nourishing and moisturising whilst locking in that added Magnesium too. Again, i always have the Better You Magnesium Oil at hand because i know for a fact that they work and they have a lovely range that even includes a Lavender oil, so i can put it on just before bed and the scent eases into a blissful sleep too.

Try a Magnesium supplement!
Magnesium supplements are easily available from your local health food shop. I always keep a pack of supplements with me, particularly when i’m travelling so that i have them within easy reach in the car or in my suitcase.

So now you know what all the hype is about. Make sure to keep your Magnesium levels in check.
And if you’d like to find out more about Magnesium check out the Better You website which has a huge source of really interesting facts on Magnesium, right HERE

And if you are concerned about your Magnesium levels please visit a qualified health professional, your GP or book an appointment with a Nutritionist or Dietician on Wellclik.com to have your levels checked

Tick Kilimanjaro off your Bucket-list for 2018 by joining this great trip

Join the Happiness Personal Trainer, Mollie Millington and Eco-Africa Climbing on an empowering trek to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Eco Africa Climb

As the largest freestanding mountain in the world (5895 meters), the challenge will be unforgettable. The trip is 2-11 March which includes the 7 day trek to the top of Kili (see the full itinerary here http://www.eco-africaclimbing.com/international-women-day/). The group summits on International Women’s Day and is exclusively open to women. What better way to celebrate being a woman than be looking out over the world at sunrise?

Eco Africa Climbing

Details of the trip:
The group will be taking the Machame Route over 7 days which yields a 90% success rate.
– 7 nights of camping on the mountain and 3 nights in a hotel are included in the registration fee, in addition to meals.
– After the trek, we will visit a local school and meet Masai women to learn about life in Tanzania. We will also stop at a hot spring for swim and picnic lunch on the way
– There is an optional safari through 14 March 2018 if you are interested
– Free gift worth £30 from Mollie to the first 10 people who pay in full and give Mollie’s name as a referral.
– Facebook group to get to know one another before we meet in person.
– Eco-Africa Climbing provides carbon offset, park fees and taxes, transfer to/from Kilimanjaro airport, portable toilet, 4 liters of water per day, and porters to carry up to 15kg of personal items.

Not sure what to pack? Click here to see what Eco-Africa Climbing recommends HERE. The journey takes you through several different climates so layers are key!

You don’t need to be super fit to climb Kilimanjaro. Here is a seven-week training plan that should be used alongside endurance training (such as walking, cycling, running or swimming). Most days you will be walking for 4-5 hours at a time, with breaks of course.

If you are ready to say ‘yes’ to this unforgettable experience, click here to register. Full payment is due by 28 February 2018. We hope to see you in Tanzania!

Wellness Guru of the Week Matt Pepper shares his ways to Life Happiness

I managed to get my hands on a copy of Matt Pepper’s new book ‘Happiness: The Inside Job’ as soon as i heard about it. i just knew i had to read it, and it didn’t disappoint. Matt has a wealthy of knowledge to share on the true route of happiness and how we can all attain it if we open ourselves up to it. So as soon as i devoured the book, i asked him to share his thoughts with you so we can spread the happiness vibes! Read Matt’s tips for Happiness below

Matt Pepper

HAPPINESS THE INSIDE JOB – THE 7 WAYS TO LIFE CHANGING HAPPINESS

When a new year rolls around, we all take some time to reflect on what did and didn’t work for us in the year which has just passed. If 2017 wasn’t the best year for you, then you may be feeling that something pretty spectacular needs to happen in 2018. But how can you do things differently this year to find the happiness which has been eluding you?

Sadly it is a common misconception that the future can magically bring us happiness, it probably won’t if we blindly repeat the same old patterns and do nothing but hope for a better future.

Finding happiness is not about changing our circumstances, it is about what we are feeling on the inside and how what we feel defines everything in our lives.

So many of us go through life with the belief that, “I will be happy when…”. I know I have thought like this in the past too. See if you relate to any of these:

I will be happy when my relationship improves or I find someone to love me

I will be happy when I get promoted or find a new job

I will be happy when I reach my target weight

In this way happiness always seems to be waiting just around the corner. If life would just do us a favour and line up as we want it to, then we would be happy.

Being in a constant state of longing, wishing, waiting or even resenting never seems to work very well. The future is not a very reliable thing to hang our happiness on!

The truth is we can be happy now. Nothing in our circumstances needs to change, just the way that we are feeling about ourselves and our lives. There are so many ways to improve our happiness and our thoughts. Whatever your starting place, I believe that life-changing happiness is out there for all of us in 2018.
 
Here is a brief summary of my 7 Ways to Life-Changing Happiness:

1) Fire Up Your Own Happiness
You can be in charge of how happy you are and find ways to raise yourself up “The Happiness Barometer”. See how life improves dramatically by learning to feel good in yourself first. Say bye to believing circumstances have to dictate how you feel – You have the power to change how you are feeling.

2) Expose Your Ta Daa !

You can be the ‘Real you’ again. Let’s get you being the person you were born to be. Placing this crucial piece of the happiness puzzle in place by living life as your brilliant self, expressing your uniqueness, being able to ‘dump any fronts’ you thought you’ve needed to function, Let ‘s get you being as happy as you know you can be in your own shoes.

3) Tend Your Emotional Garden
You can nurture and grow your own positive emotions, doing what it takes to feel your best and weeding out any unwanted negative emotions. You have the power to improve how you feel. You might feel bad or even get low, but I am going to help you see how you can improve things emotionally for yourself and quickly fire up your own good mood.

4) Jump On The Groovy Train Of Thought
You can fill your mind with good feeling happy thoughts and stop allowing it to get clogged up with negative ones. Learning to think great is a game changer. You can change both the way you think, and what you think, so you become in charge of your own better thoughts. Let’s get you learning to enjoy and feel empowered by your own thoughts.

5) Listen To Your Wise Old Gut
Learn to follow your gut and know what is right for you. Let’s get you tuning in and really listening to what your ‘wise old gut’ is telling you because it always knows what is best. This way our best life possible will unfold naturally.

6) Turn Your Muck To Luck
Learn to bounce back from the worst of times and create your own best of times. We look at the keys to self-empowerment and how you can achieve an empowered state of mind to take you over life’s hurdles and move your life forwards. Let’s get you creating a clear calm perspective on what your life is all about and seeing the best in people, situations and your future.

7) Pimp Up Your Purpose
Head in the right direction for you. How you can point your life in the right direction and get to where you want to be. By doing what makes you feel good and discovering your passions, you will begin following the direction that feels best to you.

If you are determined to make 2018 your best year yet, then following my 7 ways to life-changing happiness might be the key to achieving this at long last… so take charge of your own happiness, starting today!

Grab a copy of Matt Pepper’s book ‘Happiness: The Inside Job’ HERE

Luxury Fitness Retreats in Cote d’Azur

CHATEAU LOU CASTEOU have some amazing fitness retreats lined up for 2018 that i can’t wait to check out, check them out.

Chateau Lou Casteou

‘LET’S SALSA’

5 – 8TH APRIL 2018

Learn the different dance disciplines of Salsa, Bachata, Cha Cha, Merengue, Regaetton, Kizomba, and Street Dance on this fun four-day, all-inclusive luxurious residential retreat, led by dancers Laith Sami, John Let’s Salsa and Simon and Becky Mascarenhas.

The retreat caters for both beginners and experienced dancers wishing to improve footwork skills. Dancing is complimented by fitness activities designed to improve core and leg muscle groups used in dance. These include core strengthening and fun swiss ball sessions, plus water and Latino aerobics, boxercise and a tennis workshop. Wine tasting and evening cocktails are enjoyed with street dance sessions and themed party nights.

Details: Three nights’ full board costs £1,250 per person in a rivate en-suite room with sea- or mountain-view or £998 for 2 guests sharing, price includes all meals and wine, open bar over the four days, a champagne reception, daily dance and fitness classes, excursions and transfers from Nice airport (+44 (0)7990 573 287, loucasteou.com).

TENNIS ACADEMY

3rd – 7th MAY 2018

This five-day all-inclusive tennis event caters for up to 18 guests, on a luxury all-inclusive basis. All healthy and delicious meals, drinks and wines are included and served around the chateau’s heated infinity pool, in its historic cloisters or period reception rooms. Tennis sessions, held at nearby club are led by Richie Baker and his experienced team of French and English tennis professionals. Richie is a Level 4 LTA coach, a Sports Physiotherapist and Specialist in musculoskeletal and sports injuries.

Tennis coaching sessions take place each morning, with singles or doubles played in the afternoons. A tournament is then held, followed by celebratory, closing dinner. Non-playing partners are welcome to attend the event and can relax by the heated swimming pool, or visit the Cote d’Azur’s local beaches and historic attractions. Local town Frejus holds a Provencal market and the picturesque beaches of Agay and St. Aygulf are a short drive away.

Details: Four nights’ full board costs £1,360 per person in a private en-suite room with sea- or mountain-view or £1,030 person for 2 guests sharing, with all meals, drinks and wines over the 5 days, inc. elegant three-course dinners, daily professional tennis coaching sessions, a Tennis Tournament and Awards Dinner and transfers from Nice airport (+44 (0)7990 573 287, loucasteou.com).

Chateau Lou Casteou

BODY TONIC FITNESS RETREATS

30th MAY – 3rd JUNE

20th – 24th JUNE 2018

19th – 23rd SEPTEMBER 2018

​Held in the beautiful French Riviera countryside Body Tonic at Lou Casteou provides guests with a balance of energetic, fun training and vibrant Latin dance classes, stunning coastal and mountain treks, balanced meals and chateau accommodation. Body Tonic is designed to appeal to all ages and levels of fitness, whether seeking to improve strength and well-being or kick start a healthy regime.

Guests stay at the luxurious chateau on an all-inclusive basis. All meals, drinks and wines are included. Highly-talented Italian chef, Matteo Mangerotti and Michelin Star restaurant Manager and Sommelier, Silvia Ravello prepare healthy and delicious, low-carbohydrate, nutritionally-balanced meals prepared from the best local ingredients. Meals are served around the pool, in the historic cloisters or elegant, period reception rooms.

Fitness classes include stretching, core and kettlebells, boxercise, TRX strengthening and toning exercises, cardio blast, circuit training, water and Latino aerobics, salsa, legs, bums and tums classes and a relaxing massage. The programme also includes tennis, kayaking and treks along the stunning coastal routes. Also evening aperitifs served by the pool and themed dinners and parties.

Details: Four nights’ full board costs £1,550 per person in a private en-suite room with sea- or mountain-view or £1,350 for 2 guests sharing, with all meals with wine over the five days, a champagne reception, daily fitness and dance classes, coastal treks, water aerobics, one massage, yoga & stretching classes and transfers from Nice airport

To book call+44 (0)7990 573 287, or visit loucasteou.com

Valentines Day can trigger Relationship Anxiety

14th of February marks a day of anxiety for those who suffer from relationship related phobias and for some, these phobias create a whole host of issues around Valentine’s Day. However, according to Phobia Guru and Harley Street hypnotherapist, Adam Cox, phobias could be affecting your relationships year round.

Anxiety

For those with Androphobia and Gynophobia, the fears of men and women respectively, their phobia can stop them even approaching another person. This can interfere with both platonic and physical relationships, particularly making Valentine’s period a time of anxiety for sufferers.

Adam has revealed the most common relationship related phobias.

Aphenphosmphobia – The fear of intimacy. Fear of being touched and love.
Mysophobia – The fear of germs. It is also rightly termed as Germophobia or Bacteriophobia.
Androphobia & Gynophobia – The fear of men and women. Usually seen in younger females, but it can also affect adults. This may occur if you have unresolved mother issues.
Philophobia – The fear of love, which causes sufferers to be frightened of falling in love or developing emotional attachments.
Monophobia– The fear of being alone

Adam Cox explained

“Phobias are an unconscious reaction to a stimulus, not a choice. People don’t choose to be frightened of love, intimacy, rejection or germs. The impact of these fears and phobias can mean people avoid flirting, dating, kissing and even sex and relationships. The good news is that no matter how severe the phobia is, psychological tools such as hypnotherapy and NLP can reverse a phobia in just one or two sessions”.

Adam continued. “As a hypnotherapist based in Harley Street, many people aren’t able to afford my services. To make my services accessible to as many people as possible I’m currently offering a free audio download that will give people tips and resources to make immediate progress and improvement on their fears or phobias when it comes to romance and relationships”.

All phobias can be crippling but with help of a professional, they can be overcome and conquered.

A new boutique hotel opens on PGA Catalunya Resort

Opening in April 2018, Caddy Rooms is an exciting new lifestyle hotel situated within the world-leading PGA Catalunya Resort, Spain. The launch of the hotel, set within one of Europe’s most coveted leisure destinations, will give visitors a brand-new experience of the resort. Joining the movement of pioneering hotels that are currently reshaping and rethinking the modern-day hotel experience, Caddy Rooms merges sleek design, high-tech features and buzzing communal spaces to create an alternative lifestyle hotel.

Caddy Rooms

Ideally located just 10-minutes from the historic town of Girona and an hour from the vibrant metropolis of Barcelona, Caddy Rooms is an ultra-modern 50-room boutique hotel that offers direct access to the world-class offering of the PGA Catalunya Resort.

Technology is at the centre of the Caddy Rooms experience; guests are able to do so prior to arrival via the dedicated hotel app or at the iPads situated in the Bar, gaining access to a digital room key and allowing guests to communicate with the hotel and its services at the touch of a button. In addition, guests do not need to check-out at the end of their stay.

Markus Laahanen, director of operations, says: “

We are incredibly excited to be launching Caddy Rooms on the magnificent PGA Catalunya Resort this spring. Our goal is to bring something completely new to the destination by offering a fresh take on a lifestyle hotel featuring high design and low-price points. Caddy Rooms will attract those with a millennial mind-set who want a social and flexible hotel environment without compromising on style or substance. Created in response to the needs of the modern-day traveller, the boutique hotel will provide a new view on the resort experience.”

Guests can take the opportunity to create a picnic for the day ahead from the Pure Food Market, and in addition, can indulge in fine dining at neighbouring 5* Hotel Camiral at its signature 1477 Restaurant, or experience a more relaxed affair in The Club Café.

Residents of Caddy Rooms will have access to the outstanding facilities of the PGA Catalunya Resort. Two exceptional championship golf courses; The Stadium Course, ranked No.1 course in Spain, and the Tour Course, suit players of all levels. Far beyond just golf, other facilities include bicycle rentals, running circuits, outdoor tennis and padel courts, a fishing point and Forest Park, the resort’s own zip line adventure park.

Room rates at Caddy Rooms start at €140 per night in high season, and €120 per night in low season.

For more information, visit www.caddyrooms.com.