We're really chuffed to be added onto the Really Helpful Club's Little Black Book. If you've not heard of it yet, it's an online forum for busy, like-minded women to share great ideas, helpful tips & their best recommendations. The Really Helpful Club is a great way of finding dependable, reliable recommendations and referrals as well as sharing positive experiences.
Launched in 2013 by a Wimbledon mother of two, the Really Helpful Club is already proving a great success with members looking for fantastic holiday destinations, help with childcare, gap year suggestions, reliable builders, inspiration for original presents or ideas for that all important me-time & so much more.
You can register for free at www.reallyhelpfulclub.com. Maybe say something nice about HA fitness while you're there?
Boggio Studio, the lovely family photography studio based in Wimbledon, is looking for a new Bookings Support person to join their team. It would be perfect for a local mum looking for a flexible full-time job. You can find out more at www.boggiostudios.com/careers
GUEST BLOGGER, Anita, from Feron Clark Style, gives us her top tips on how to choose the best handbag
Handbags - Make More Than A Statement
1) Your handbags are part of your signature style, so you want them to show off your personality. A Creative personality might choose something like a Helen Rochfort bag, whereas a City Chic would prefer a neat style from a brand like Radley or Osprey.
2) Try out handbags as you do clothes, checking in a mirror whether the scale, shape and colour work for you.
3) Make sure the handbag is suitable for its purpose. You may be wowed by a great design or colour, but if you can’t get all your belongings in it, you'll end up not using it.
4) Ideally you want ones with linings in a light colour, to find your items easily. You want to make sure the light coloured lining is easy to clean too.
5) When you carry your handbag it will fall near your body, so if you have a large bust, carry your handbag at arm’s length by your leg or by your waist. If you are fuller around the waist and bottom area, avoid handbags dangling at that level, carry them higher up.
Never seem to have the right handbags or shoes? Anita is offering all HA fitness clients 20% off any of her services, so get in touch if you need some help to make the right choices in clothes, colours & accessories:
Anita Feron Clark
Feron Clark Style
GUEST BLOGGER, Sue Saker, The Couples Coach, gives us some top tips to help you put a bit of sparkle back into your relationship:
Holiday time is approaching which often means spending more time than usual with our loved ones. In theory that’s great but it can also highlight tensions or show that all you ever talk about is the kids, logistics and work - not the most stimulating topics! Here are 3 quick tips from Life Coach Sue Saker help get the love party going again.
- Sort out your ratios. Healthy, supportive relationships have far more positive interactions (‘I like that tie on you’) than negative ones (‘Yuck, that’s a really big boil’) and 5:1 is a good ratio to aim for. Look for ways to appreciate your partner - thanking them for doing everyday things, complimenting them and acknowledging where they’ve tried. It might feel one sided but gradually you should see an improvement in how you are relating to one another.
- Think positive thoughts each day about your partner. Set a daily reminder and think of as many great things as possible - do they shop / cook for lovely meals? Do they make you laugh? Do they book great holidays? Are they kind? Are they an enthusiastic parent? Keep choosing to focus on the good stuff and you’ll find yourself loving them more.
- Book up date nights. It sounds simple but spending time together is so important. If you can’t afford a babysitter then offer to swap with a friend. Or declare one night a week as an indoor date night. Switch off the gadgets (yep that does include the ipad!) and have fun talking, playing, connecting.
The Couples Coach
Jane MichellGUEST BLOGGER, Jane Michell from Jane Plan, gives us a quick and healthy tuna kebab recipe which is only 352 calories per serving!
At only 352 calories per serving, our tuna kebab recipe is quick and easy to do yet healthy and bursting with goodness.
Grilled Tuna and Vegetable Kebabs – serves 4
4 X 140g tuna steaks
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
4 shallots, peeled and quartered
12 vine ripened cherry tomatoes
1 red and 1 yellow pepper, de seeded, and diced into 2.5cm square pieces
1 courgette sliced
4 tablespoons of olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Preheat the grill to high. Cut the tuna into 1 cm cubes.
2 Divide the tuna, tomatoes, peppers, courgettes and shallots between 4 large skewers, or 8 small skewers.
3 Lightly brush the kebabs with oil and sprinkle with lemon juice.
4 Grill for 10 – 15 minutes, turning occasionally (or cook on a BBQ!).
5 Garnish with lemon wedges, and sprinkle with black pepper. Serve with new potatoes or couscous and a delicious salad.
If you're interested in losing weight, Jane Plan will design a diet just for you. Find out more:
GUEST BLOGGER, Laura Clark from LECnutrition, discusses what to do when a small 'snack' slides down into the category of a 'small meal'.
The age old saying of a little of what you fancy does you good, might often be in our minds when we justify tucking into our favourite treats that we simply can’t resist. But are we also plagued by thoughts that we ‘shouldn’t’ be snacking on that something ‘naughty’ if we want to lose those few pounds. So what’s the truth, can we or can’t we?
Snacking as a habit is not necessarily a bad one. It has been proven that regular eating (having something to eat every 3-4 hours) is important for regulating metabolism and helps to avoid over eating at meal times. Generally regular eaters have also been shown to have better control over their weight.
The truth is there’s no reason why a little of what you fancy everyday can’t be part of your healthy balanced diet for weight control but what exactly is ‘a little’?!
As a guide, a snack should contain around 100-150kcals. Anymore than this and you’re heading into ‘small meal’ territory and risk taking in more calories than your body needs. 100-150kcals is equivalent to up to 6 chocolate fingers, 3 small squares milk chocolate or even a penguin bar! Chocolate is well known for boosting mood due to the chemical release triggered in the brain and sometimes after the toughest of days it’s the only thing that will hit the spot!
However, before we order our loved ones to buy the biggest box they can find, let’s remember it doesn’t necessarily hit the mark when it comes to combating hunger or providing our bodies with essential nutrients. A diet yoghurt, plain popcorn or half a pita bread with hummous would provide a similar number of calories and a whole lot of nutrition to boot!
For further advice or support with your weight management goals, contact Laura. Telephone consultations are available for busy Mums!
GUEST BLOGGER, Anita Feron Clark, An Award Winning Personal Stylist, Talks About How To Look Good On Holiday.
Brits Voted 'Worst Dressed On Holiday'
According to a survey by Tripadvisor.co.uk, "the British have been voted the worst-dressed on holiday". To be fair to our nation, we're not accustomed to long hot summers so our wardrobes aren't geared up for warm weather. We know we need to be cool and comfortable and that often takes priority, but with a little thought and effort we can learn to be more stylish in the sun.
Think Comfort And Style
The body swells in the heat so do choose lightweight, natural fabrics but don't sacrifice style completely for comfort.
Do think about what clothes make you feel good; holidays are for relaxing but also for pampering and feeling good about yourself. Don't get lazy and fall into the 'baggier is better' trap.
Lighter shades and white can look great in sunnier climates, but pastels and beige all over doesn't work for everyone and can wash you out completely. Don't forget to take your good colours with you.
You do need shoes that are appropriate for the heat. If you don't like sand in your toes, wearing socks with your sandals is not the answer! It's either good flip flops or sandals with no socks, but if you really don't like them then get some lightweight plimsoles and wear tennis socks that don't go up the ankle.
What To Look For
Don't assume that everything in your favourite retailer's holiday range will suit you and that you will find your entire holiday wardrobe in one shop.
Do try to plan your outfits and think about items that can be worn from the beach to the bar. For ladies, a stylish below the knee kaftan in a good colour can easily be dressed up with a change of shoes and some accessories.
Don't forget that you need to look good on the beach too, just like all the locals do. Do treat yourself to a couple of good bikinis/costumes/swimming trunks and a few good cover-up pieces such as a sarong, shorts, beach dress etc.
Do take some smarter clothes for the town or going out at night. Ladies, don't forget a bit of a heel, a couple of dresses and some tasteful accessories. Gents, some modern short sleeved shirts and a lightweight jacket will spruce up your look.
Do follow the European style example and choose fewer, better quality items that you know you look good in rather than taking masses of clothes and shoes you're not sure really suit you and are unlikely to wear.
Key Holiday Pieces
Still a holiday winner. Good for most body shapes as the fabric is usually fine and glides nicely down both curvy and straight figures. Choose one in a colour that really flatters you. Take care with size and pattern.
The Maxi Dress
Even more popular this year. It can be tricky on petites (too much volume or length) or big busts with small hips (sizes that fit the bust will be bigger elsewhere so can add unnecessary bulk) but shop around, there are plenty to choose from. The skirt should be just skimming the floor, not halfway up your ankle or tripping you up.
White is big for summer and is a fabulous holiday look. You can go head-to-toe white if it works for you, or team it with your favourite seasonal shades. Choose lightweight cotton or linen and wide leg, palazzo or peg cuts to keep you cool. Take care with the transparency factor and the VPL.
Utility, Tapered Or Harem Trousers
Don't panic! You don't have to don the full army/masculine/desert look, there are simpler variations on these styles. They are airy, comfortable and can be rather elegant. If you are wider on the hips or short in stature then minimise details such as zips, pockets, draping and volume, and always wear with a heel. They look great in khaki, stone, grey or white, all of which are easy to pair up with colours or metallics.
Do You Always Struggle With Your Holiday Style?
If you find planning your clothes for holidays hugely stressful, you would benefit from some expert advice on managing your wardrobe. Just a couple of hours with Anita Feron Clark will help you understand what works for you and how to shop smart. You will also learn how to balance keeping cool and comfortable with looking stylish on your holiday. Visit www.feronclarkstyle.com to find out more.
GUEST BLOGGER, Anita Feron Clark, an award winning personal stylist, talks about how to stay and feel stylish while caring for babies and toddlers.
As a mummy of two small children herself, Anita is fully aware of the demands put on her time. Trying to look stylish isn’t always top priority what with juggling scores of different things related to the children, work, household chores and correspondence etc. However, here are some achievable ways to staying and feeling stylish whilst being a mummy or carer with young children:
1. Finding your colours
Much research has been done on the psychology of colour and its effects on everyday life. Colour can affect your mood and your energy levels profoundly, and has a great impact on your general sense of wellbeing. It will also affect how others view you (source: Colour me Confident, 2006). For example, Red is the colour of energy and by wearing it, you will feel confident and in control – great to wear at the end of a hectic week, when you’re feeling a bit frazzled; wearing pink suggests gentleness and empathy, it brings out the femininity in every women; and purple shows creativity as well as indicating sensitivity – great if you’re organising arts and crafts. If you’re not sure what colours complement your hair, eyes and skin tone, consider having an individual or group colour consultation.
2. Looking good and feeling great doesn’t need to cost a small fortune
It’s about buying fewer items but in the right colour and silhouette that make you look stylish and you will gain confidence from knowing that they are those that flatter you. Places like Uniqlo, Top Shop, Marks and Spencer have a good selection of inexpensive basics such as jumpers, tops, and trousers in a variety of colours and styles, which you can use to mix and match with other items in your wardrobe.
3. Aim to have the right balance of practical, work and glamorous clothing
For example, if you spend 75% of your time looking after children, then your ‘non-work’ clothes should represent 75% of your wardrobe. If you are a full time mum make sure you have enough variety in your wardrobe so that you don’t feel like your wearing the same thing everyday, for example, jeans and a T shirt. Try to have seven complete outfits, one for each day of the week. To achieve this, write a list of items you need to buy to make those outfits look current and complete. Include all accessories for each outfit. That way you can look your best and feel stylish every day of the week.
4. Start by wearing the right underwear, does it fit you properly?
Think about wearing one size bigger in knickers so that you don’t get elastics pinching into your thighs and tummy, which can give ‘visible panty line’. Also your bra size can change during pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight loss or gain. As a rule try and get your bra size measured at least once a year. If you don’t wear the right bra, your clothes won’t hang properly – the wrong bra can alter your body shape and clothing size. Have a variety of bras to suit different occasions and different tops. And although no one can see it, it will make you feel confident and sexy.
5. Take a few minutes to choose your clothes the night before
To avoid a panic in the mornings, this will allow time to think about the whole outfit (make up, jewellery, shoes etc.) rather than you grabbing the first thing that is to hand or the same old outfit. With make-up ‘less is more’ and the right shade of lipstick and blusher can make the world of difference to how you look.
6. Size doesn’t matter, shape does
When it comes to looking stylish, the most important thing is how well your clothes fit not, for example, whether it’s a ‘size 14’. So wear a size larger if you find you are struggling to fit into your outfits. Women fall into seven different body shapes and it’s about understanding this and using clothes that accentuate all your best parts and detracting the parts you aren’t comfortable with.
7. Have you changed your hairstyle or make-up routine in the last 3 years?
Then maybe it’s time for an update. Lots of hair and beauty salons are offering special offers at this time of the year and one way to make an instant change is to look at your eyebrow shape as your eyebrows frame your face and bring your eyes alive if they are shaped correctly.
8. Put yourself first for a change
Think about spending 10% of your household income per month on yourself, be it a haircut, new top, new shoes etc. This isn’t excessive as it’s important for your wellbeing that you put yourself first some of the time.
9. Wardrobe Re-vamp
Try to maintain an ‘up to date’ wardrobe. If you have clothes, which haven’t been worn for over 2 years, consider giving them away or organise a clothes swap with some of your NCT friends etc. This is a great way of adding newness to your wardrobe cheaply as long as it is in the right colour and shape for you. In addition, shoes and boots will update your look easily, so try and invest in at least one new pair every season. What about all those clothes you save for ‘best’? Do you feel you can’t wear your ‘best’ clothes because they might get dirty; most clothes are machine washable so wear them and feel good.
10. Work with your personality rather than against it
This is your own interpretation of fashion and how you like to wear clothes. For example, if you are naturally creative, be imaginative and adventurous with your clothes, accessories, hair and make-up.
Anita is passionate about helping women rediscover how to look younger and healthier by wearing the right colour and style of clothes. Most of her clients are mothers, read what they have to say about her on the testimonial page of her website, www.feronclarkstyle.com.
Anita offers a wide range of services to clients of all ages, backgrounds, shape and sizes. You can come on your own or with friends and she can tailor make any of her services to your needs. Contact Anita at: