The Trends Cheat Sheet

Most of the time, we don’t pay very very close attention to trends… We try, but they change so often that how can we possibly hope to keep up with them as well as everything else life throws at us? So look to Vogue – who else – to fill you in on the trends you might like to know about. Ten slides to click through, this fashion trends cheat sheet for Spring/Summer 2015 makes updating your wardrobe a cinch!

fashion trends spring summer 2015

The sales are over and wintery clothes are beginning to look a little tired. Before you start to shop the new season, here’s Vogue‘s quick-fix style guide to updating your look for spring/summer 2015. Read more: Vogue.

This Girl Can

We love love LOVE the latest campaign from Sport England. Ready to sweat, celebrate your shape and get involved in sport?

“I jiggle therefore I am”. Girls, it’s time you get your fit on! Fore more information, see the This Girl Can website.

Maximise Your Health

It’s that time of year when we’re starting to leave that resolutionist zeal behind, isn’t it? While everyday gym visits and endless kale might have seemed realistic in the first enthusiastic flush of January 1st, somehow… With tips on how to fend off illness, nutritional guidance for women, mindful advice for better health, practical fitness tips and useful probiotic and antioxidant knowledge, The Telegraph brings together five experts to ensure that your 2015 is as healthy – and happy – as possible!

fitspiration

Five experts – including a nutritionalist, a hypnotherapist and a cancer researcher – offer insider tips on how to vastly improve your health this year. Read more: The Telegraph.

After The Party

The so-called party season is officially over. This month you’ll find us slurping down green juices, adding kale to every meal and generally feeling quite hair shirty in order to atone for festive excess and overindulgence. But we might just have considered booking a detox had it not been for Korres’ magnificent Party Survival Gift Set.

korres party survival set

People seem to think that gift sets are reserved for Christmas and birthdays, but we’re going to let you into a little secret: any time of year is a good moment to give yourself a little something – if you deserve it! And dedicated hard-partying ways most certainly merit this bunder of wonder from Korres. In reality, you’re unlikely to confine your parties to the festive season only (right?!) so the Party Survival Gift Set is actually very useful 24/7/365. Five beautifully-scented natural products to mask the scent of gin make you feel like a human being again. What could be better?

korres party set

Skincare-wise, say au revoir to the slap with refreshing, energising White Tea Cleanser, and follow up with a deeply hydrating brightening Wild Rose moisturiser. Then bring body and mind back to life with an invigorating blast of Guava Shower Gel and zingy Basil Lemon Fresh Tones Body Milk. There’s also an Aloe and Dittany Shampoo so you have no excuse for hangover hair… Buy this now and keep it somewhere safe for when the party spirit returns!

The Korres Party Survival Gift Set is available to buy online via Debenhams.

RIH Drinks

For the non-drinker, Christmas can present a bit of a trying time. First off, people will inevitably question your reasons for abstaining from booze and try and wheedle you into having a tipple or two. And secondly, non-alcoholic drinks tend to be pretty uninteresting. You can expect to find soda water, orange juice or – if we’re being adventurous – sparkling elderflower.

From Lindy Wildsmith’s inspired Artisan Drinksthis recipe for Cranberry Fizz is deliciously different and wonderfully seasonal. On festive occasions this stunningly colourful drink can be dressed up for the non-drinker at the party. And it also works beautifully with a splash of gin, should you wish! Vary the fruit in this recipe to make vibrant fizz at any time of the year – rhubarb in spring, soft fruits and cherries in summer and blackberries in autumn.

cranberry spritz

500 g (1 lb 2 oz) cranberries
Finely pared rind and juice of 1 lemon
Finely pared rind and juice of 1 orange
300 g (10.5 oz) sugar cubes
2 litres (70 fl oz/8 cups) boiling water

3 tsp (10 g) fresh baker’s yeast, or 1.5 tsp (5 g) active dry yeast
Pinch of caster (superfine) sugar
20 ml (0.75 fl oz) warm (not hot) water
1.5 tsp (5 g) cream of tartar

cranberry

Put the fruit in the crock or deep bowl and crush with a potato masher or the end of a rolling pin or even better a mouli-legume or mincer. Add the citrus zest and juice, add the sugar cubes and the cream of tartar. Pour the boiling water over the top, stir and leave to cool to blood temperature. When the liquid has cooled sufficiently, mix the yeast and caster sugar with the warm water, stir into a paste and add to the liquid. Cover with a clean cloth and leave for 48 hours.

artisan drinks

Using a slotted spoon, skim and discard any debris that may have floated to the surface. Strain and using a large jug and funnel pour into bottles. Stand for 48 hours. Keeps for 2 to 4 weeks. Once open drink up within a few days before the sparkle subsides.

Lindy Wildsmith’s Artisan Drinks is published by Jacqui Small. Buy online here.

Status Anxiety

The first question you tend to get asked when you meet someone at a party is “So what do you do?” And according to how impressive your answer is, people are really keen to get to know you or swiftly leave you behind by the nuts.

If you ever needed proof that the School of Life completely lives up to its billing, watch one of their YouTube videos. In just over four succinct minutes, you must get at least one hour’s worth of therapy. In this clip, the School of Life tackles an oh-so-timely issue: status anxiety.

So that’s how to beat status anxiety and get past focusing on what other people think of you. After all, who actually cares what you do? For more like this, subscribe to the School of Life’s YouTube channel.

Broken Sleep

You really need to make sure you get at least eight hours. Oh no, hang on, if you want to be super successful, you should be able to train yourself to manage on four hours a night before an energising gym session. And then there are the insomniacs amongst us. ARRGHH – aren’t we confused about sleep!  OK, how about if we told you should wake up in the middle of the night…

sleeping

People once woke up halfway through the night to think, write or make love. What have we lost by sleeping straight through? Read more: Aeon Magazine.

Party Polish

Thinking of splashing out and treating yourself to a Christmas party blow-dry? If you’ve more than a couple of festive events to attend, you’re probably not going to be left with much cash for gifts, now are you? Spare a thought for family and friends and take the sensible option: book one of Headmasters’ Party-Ready Masterclasses – available across the nation for a cash-not-card price. For £45, you can learn how to create one of three chic styles to wear to Christmas parties including an elegant updo and this rather chic polished ponytail. Read on to discover how to recreate the look…

polished ponytail

STEP 1: Start by prepping damp hair with L’Oréal Professionnel Tecni Art Volume Architect for a satin like finish. Blow-dry hair using a small ceramic brush to aid natural volume at the roots while encouraging curl at the ends.

polishe pony 1

STEP 2: Take a horse shoe section and pin away. Taking sections at the sides tong randomly away from the face (remember to pin and allow to cool). Repeat this with the top section but make sure you tong the hair away from the face. Add a mist of L’Oréal Professionnel Tecni Art Fix Anti-Frizz Spray to give extra hold.

polished pony 2

STEP 3: Begin brushing out the set using a natural bristle brush form the upwards from ends to roots to make sure you don’t brush all of the curl out.

polished pony 3

STEP 4: Starting just in front of the crown, take small sections and using a backcombing brush tease the roots.

polished pony 4

STEP 5: Using your fingers rake the hair back into a pony tail between the crown and the nape and secure with a bungee. While securing the bungee tip your head back to make sure there is no sagging. To finish, take a small piece of hair from underneath the ponytail and wrap around the bungee.

polished pony 5

Headmasters’ Party-Ready Masterclasses are available at salons across the UK, priced at £45 for a 45 minute appointment. For more information, see the Headmasters website.

How to Live Meaningfully

Brain Pickings is one of our favourite blogs when it come to interesting, insightful, uplifting and creative articles. Spirituality, self, happiness and life lessons aplenty; this selection of 14 books is essential reading for anyone looking to live a little more meaningfully…

mindful books

How to be alone, wake up from illusion, master the art of asking, fathom your place in the universe, and more. These are the year’s finest books on how to live sane, creative, meaningful lives. Read more: Brain Pickings.

Point of View

Once upon a time, or at least up until the 90s, you could have seemed mysterious and high-brow if you said you didn’t watch TV; now you just look like a bit of a killjoy if you choose to opt out. The huge range of channels on offer, not to mention the devices you can watch them on, are undeniably tempting. However niche your interests, you’ll find them covered by the not-so-stupid box. Whether you relax with a dose of structured reality (see ITVBe) or history documentaries (Yesterday), there’s no excuse not to indulge. Yes, you’ll probably spot a few repeats in the listings as you flick channels (ahem, Dave), but you’ll also find new programs to enjoy.

house of cards

Being a TV fan isn’t something to be sneered at now – with streaming services like Netflix delivering sharp box set dramas, such as Orange Is The New Black and House of Cards, many modern shows are designed to be binged on. Want to watch the whole series in one go? Sure. Just don’t apologise for being addicted. Home-grown seris like Sherlock and Broadchurch, or American imports like Breaking Bad and Homeland, have delivered some seriously good watercooler moments over the past few years, with the kind of production values and budgets you’d expect from a blockbuster movie.

TV’s big rival has always been the film industry, luring people to the local multiplex in droves. However, with the ever-increasing cost of cinema trips, an empty wallet can make you retreat home to the TV. But is this entirely a bad thing? Instead of being confined to a crowded cinema with an errant child kicking the back of your seat, you can relax on the sofa and access a whole range of film channels at the touch of a button. Alternatively, ditch a film for a must-watch evening program and tweet or Facebook your response as it unfolds (something you definitely can’t do in the cinema). Even if your night isn’t exactly action-packed, it’s pretty satisfying to make a pointed comment about a bizarre act on Eurovision or a TOWIE scandal, then see your social media street cred soar.

eurovision

Great British soaps are another major talking point and something of an institution for many of us. Love triangles and family tiffs aside, soaps do raise awareness of key issues such as HIV, eating disorders and domestic violence, as a character’s problem hits home with viewers. When a Coronation Street storyline saw Hayley Cropper battling pancreatic cancer, the charity Pancreatic Cancer UK recorded a marked increase in people asking for support. Tons of research goes into shaping these storylines to ensure they reflect reality as much as possible, so don’t go assuming they’re trivial.

If you’re a secret telly addict, now’s the time to embrace your love of the box. Whatever you’re into – bad-ass crime dramas, finely tuned soaps, failsafe entertainment shows and everything in between – it’s not stupid, just truly compulsive viewing.