365 Positivity

Once upon a time, your friends used Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to share snaps of their pet or inform the world-at-large that they were making a cup of tea. These days? Social networks seem to be wall-to-wall motivational phrases. It’s like Deepak Chopra’s PR team have contacted everyone you know and asked them to repost their positive quotes. If you’re loving all those uplifiting vibes, you’re going to ADORE 365 Positivity.

365 positivity

The free mobile app serves up one mindful quote each day of the year, designed to be motivational and empowering. “Don’t seize the day, seize every day”, “Time is precious, so love now” and “Health is wealth” are a few of the gems you can expect. Yeah, it might seem trite, but taking just a few moments to be mindful and think about who you are, where you are and how you feel can really have such a positive impact on your everyday life. The app is totally free, so it’s hard to see where you could go wrong really. Do it!

positive quotes

365 Positivity is an entertaining new self-improvement app that pings original empowering quotes to your mobile each day for one year. Available from Androiad and iOS devices, you can download the app for free here.

Magic Mornings

Hands up if you’re not a morning person. Yeah, you’re not the only one! So what if there were seven simple steps you could take to make mornings happier, easier – and keep you smiling all day long. Just seven steps – how hard can that be?

morning tips

We read a lot about this or that morning ritual that will make you productive. But what about one that makes you happy? Research shows that being happy actually makes you more productive. So let’s kill two birds with one stone and focus on smiles. What’s the first step? Here’s a little secret: happy mornings don’t start in the morning… Read more: Barking Up The Wrong Tree

The Fitness Fix

“Hot and not bothered” – yeah, that’s us sweating and loving it at the end of a really, really good workout. As part of its This Girl Can campaign. Sport England has launched a new range of cool gym clothes for women in partnership with Marks & Spencer. Not only does the range of activewear look great, it also supports This Girl Can by raising funds to help women get involved in sport, exercise and getting active. Win!

this girl can marks and spencer

Cotton Rich This Girl Can Logo Hooded Sweat Top

Pure Cotton This Girl Can Vest Top

This Girl Can Performance Leggings

The campaign is all about inspiring women – regardless of age, shape or size – to get active, and actually celebrating women in sport. Whether you love swimming, cycling helps you switch off or feel fantastic at the end of a boxing match/spinning class/game of tennis, This Girl Can! And the campaign has had a real impact too: in December 2015, Sport England’s Active People Survey revealed that the number of women playing sport and getting active once a week, every week, has increased by 148,700.

THIS GIRL CAN

What’s more, the number of women playing sport is actually increasing faster than the number of men. Result! Of course, we’re not saying that you need a load of snazzy new gym gear if you want to get active, but the range is well-designed and made in performance fabrics – these are pieces that we’d definitely wear. That Hot And Not Bothered Gym Bag is just exactly what we’ve been looking for….

this girl can gym wear

Cotton Rich This Girl Can Cropped Joggers

This Girl Can Slogan Shopper Bag

This Girl Can T-Shirt

The This Girl Can range is available online and in selected Marks & Spencer stores in sizes 6-22. Sport England receives 8% of all sales to support This Girl Can projects which support and celebrate women getting active.

Point of View

I have always found it bizarre that women can be so harsh to other women. Our choices, our lifestyles, how we dress, the new haircut – we are lovers or haters. It is either amazing that someone gives up work to have a baby and stay with them as a mum, or awful – there’s no in-between ground. Everyone talks about “choice” and no judgement but then I always sense that I am being judged all the time. I have a great example of that.

sass

I launched a brand that creates conversations. We have had magazines refuse to take our advertising. We have had journalists who love the idea and products but their editors ‘don’t want to go there’. We have seen people on Twitter suggest that we are the root of all evil and are demonising women. Then we have heard what real women think. The friends who have struggled with thrush. The new-found fans who have tried everything a doctor suggested. Women sensitive about how their vagina feels and want to do something about it. Yes, I did just say vagina.

Sass is a range of products to give women choice. There are some washes to ensure women (who ARE using shower gel) have a healthy and ph-balanced option. There are sport products so that chammy creams and serums can protect and help you to recover after a spin class.The beauty products help prevent ingrown hairs and give you an easier way to shave. Most of these products have been created based on personal experience.

Sass intimate products

Having to shave due to laser treatment, cycling 400km in Kenya and feeling on the brink of thrush every night. My mum had always told me not to use shower gel and to air myself… But I don’t want to be worried about what I wear, what underwear I choose, or if I have had a session in the gym, I don’t want to feel sore or irritated. To me this is all about choice.

Of course we want to understand and engage people but we also know what we stand for. When people question the brand, it’s ethos, or the products I am always open. Some are polite and engage in conversation, others take to an intern who helps us with Twitter, or raise the issue with Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. All great ways to share an opinion but I often feel it is judgement in another way. Trying to make women fit into a ‘feminist box’ – I am not sure why we feel the need to do that when we all set our own path.

sass intimate skincare

It is exactly that which is true for SASS. For me true Sass comes from being who you want to be. It is not about judging anyone. A confidence that shines through. I was recently on a panel with The Guardian and the fellow panelists showed how alluring that can be. The vulnerability of being open and having a confidence that of course no-one has all the answers – that is real confidence.

For me when it comes to looking after our vagina I know some people are happier with just water but I wasn’t. We are all for choice and choice shouldn’t mean compromise, but I will let you make up your own mind!

sass products7

Carrie Osman is the founder of CRUXY&CO and co-founder of MAD Brands. She started both businesses having gained over ten of years of marketing experience, working for entrepreneurs and for Mars Inc. Her passion for business and branding saw her named as one of Marketing Magazine’s 30 under 30. In November 2013, Carrie decided it was time to make her own mark and created CRUXY&CO: a challenging and provocative consultancy that repositions businesses.  Carrie’s latest venture is MAD brands which she co-founded with Mark Curry. The MAD portfolio currently includes intimate skincare brand SASS, with more innovative, inspiring products to launch soon. 

Podcast Perfection

One of our go-to blogs for intellectual inspiration, Brain Pickings always serves up interesting fare across literature, science, life and art. This round-up of nine recommended podcasts spans subjects from consciousness to creativity and therapy to thinking will provide hours of stimulating listening.

best podcast

A short playlist of intellectual, creative, and spiritual invigoration. Read more: Nine Podcasts for a Fuller Life.

RIH Drinks

‘Tis the season to be celebrating and there’s nothing we like more than a festive cocktail or two. Don’t get us wrong, mulled wine is lovely, but a cocktail somehow feels that little bit more special and sophisticated. So what will we be tippling on this year? A sumac-pomegranate gin fizz is the answer. Bright and sweet with the delicate scent of pomegranate, underscored with a spicy, zingy sumac kick and finished with a splash of sparkle and a spritz of citrus.

cocktails

This is a cocktail that looks as good as it tastes too – garnished with mint and a sumac-sugar rim and served long, it’s a tipple to savour. And no complicated mixology skills are required here either – once you’ve infused the gin with sumac, you can knock this cocktail up in a matter of minutes; ideal if you’re playing host.

 

To prepare the sumac-infused gin, simply place 250ml of gin in a kilner jar with two tablespoons of sumac. Leave for a couple of hours to infuse in the fridge. You can also add fresh mint, lemon peel or ginger if you like. Any gin is fine, but we especially like the subtle spiced oriental botanicals of Opihr Gin. Equally, you can top this up with either soda water, tonic or – if you’re feeling particularly celebratory, Champagne or prosecco.

gin sumac cocktails

30 ml sumac-infused gin
Seeds from half a pomegranate
Lime
Sumac
Cane sugar
Mint
Soda water or tonic

Place the pomegranate seeds in a cocktail shaker with a sprig of mint and use a rolling pin to muddle the ingredients.  Add the gin, juice of half a line and some ice then shake. Wipe the rim of your glass with lime then mix the sugar and sumac together before dipping the top of the glass into the mix to coat. Add ice cubes, a couple of lime wedges and a sprig of mint to the glass and then pour over the cocktail. Top up with tonic or soda to finish.

Life Isn’t Fair

Sometimes it just feels like life is unfair, doesn’t it? Well guess what – it is. The reality is understanding the world around us and the life we’re living comes through the realisation that there’s no ‘should’ when it comes to these things. The real rules to life? Oliver Emberton figures he knows – and his viewpoint is pretty enlightening.

lifes not fair

Unless you’re winning, most of life will seem unfair. The truth is, you need to play by different rules. Read more: Business Insider.

Just Dance!

Ahhh wonderful watching. How many Hollywood classics can you name? Add the subtitles to see all the film titles – from Lady Be Good and Girl Crazy to Broadway Melody and It Happened In Brooklyn… About time for an old school Hollywood movie marathon anyone?

The Meaning of Multi-Tasking

Shopping on your phone as your catch up on Netflix and draft a quick work email, all while eating dinner with a glass of wine? We’re all so busy, on all fronts,  at all times, juggling so many balls these days. But is there a cognitive cost of multi–tasking? Should we try to concentrate on just one task at once? What’s the long term effect of spinning multiple plates?

multitasking

We are starting to realise that the blessings of a multitasking life are mixed. We feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of things we might plausibly be doing at any one time, and by the feeling that we are on call at any moment. Modern life now forces us to do a multitude of things at once — but can we? Should we? Read more: Financial Times.

Improve Your Emotional Intelligence

What do we like even better than watching a TED Talk? Reading a feature about the best TED Talks, AND THEN watching those TED Talks. So let’s consider emotional intelligence and how to improve it; from stress, sleep and success to compassion, relationships and love – these five TED Talks will give you an instant boost.

5 Brilliant TED Talks That Will Boost Your Emotional Intelligence. These talks will inspire you to think differently about yourself and others. Read more: Inc.