How To Stay Positive

When things are stacking up against you, I know how hard it can be to stay positive. Even if things seem like they are going well, sometimes all it takes is just one trigger for all that positivity and confidence to simply fall apart.

How to stay

I remember when I failed my driving test(s). The first time, I accepted that it was just one of those things, the second and third however, I did the grown up thing and just took myself to bed. Did it help? For about 5 minutes yes! But eventually, you have to get up and face the world so you may as well do that sooner than later.

Staying positive isn’t easy. It’s actually pretty hard work, our brains are hard wired to look for threats and when it finds one, it focuses on it. Threats can be perceived by the brain as being something as simple as worrying about a deadline – so you can be sure it happens to everyone.

There are times when you have to consciously choose to stay positive and you can train your brain to do so…

Here are three tips on training your brain to stay in positive mode…

Be Grateful.

Everyone is going to be faced by challenges whether it’s on a daily basis or once in a blue moon, we all have to deal with different shit. However, when things are going well, and there are positive things around you – it’s important to stop and take stock of these moments. Even if it’s something as small as having a choccie biscuit with your cup of tea.

Reflecting on the positive events in your life helps your brain store these moments up. Consider keeping a gratitude journal where you can write down your blessings as and when they come. Or maybe make it a weekly ritual that you start to document all the great things that you’ve actually got going on in your life. It doesn’t have to be long, drawn out essays, just keep it short, sweet and to the point.

Use affirmations.

Affirmations work on the basis that the more you hear something, the more you’re likely to believe it’s true. So if you’ve got a self confidence issue, standing in front of the mirror and telling yourself that you are worthy – works!

Try to chose at least two affirmations that represent you, your ethos and your goals.

I love this one from Tiny Buddah…

Keep your head up and your heart open.

Repeating your positive affirmations will help you make sense of and handle negative aspects of your life.

Don’t give in to negative thoughts

After my car accident earlier this year I had a week where I just felt awful. Not just in a physical sense but about everything. I didn’t want to get up, didn’t want to work and I didn’t want to even leave the house. I had to force myself to quit moping, get up and just get on with things.

Our brains zone in on negative thoughts, they expand them and can (at times) blow them out of all proportion. If you’re constantly worrying about something, those negative thoughts become bigger and badder.

A good tip I discovered was to try and distance yourself from the negative thoughts and look at them from an outsiders point of view. Observe it and then take practical steps to actually solving the problem.

So for example: rather than thinking “I’m a failure” try looking at it from the point of view of “I’ve worked really hard, this hasn’t worked out because of XYZ so what can I do to achieve my goal on the next attempt”.

It’s not easy to do but if you keep at it then you’ll start to look at things in a completely different way.

How do you stay positive?

image credit flickr

Words to Live By

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So sad to hear of the death of Robin Williams this morning. Such a talent and played such a huge part in what I saw growing up. The world will be a much blander place without him.

“No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world” ~  Dead Poets Society 1998

Equal Pay FOR ALL

I have a major issue about equal pay. It really grinds my gears to hear about women (or actually, anyone) receiving less pay for doing the exact same job as someone else.

Only a couple of days ago I was reading a piece in The Independent about how equal pay for women is actually about 60 years away. 60 YEARS!

Let that sink in and have a think about how old you or your children will be in that time! It’s a disgrace – right? According to the article, the gender pay gap currently stands at 19.7 per cent, with women earning only 80p for every £1 earned by men.

I don’t want to get too ranty but I wanted to share this video from Funny or Die where Christina Henricks (star of Mad Men) won’t work like a modern woman if she’s still getting paid like a woman living in the 1960s.

Modern Office with Christina Hendricks

Take a look…what do you think?

Happy National Watermelon Day

Thanks to Slim Paley for alerting me that it is indeed National Watermelon Day today!

Which is good news for me as watermelon has been on of my staples this week. Since I don’t have a kitchen yet (luckily, I have a toaster, microwave and grill so I’m not having to live on takeways) salads have been top of the menu for dinner almost every night.

So, in the spirt of National Watermelon Day I thought I’d share one of my favourite salads…

Watermelon & Feta Salad

All you need is:
• 180g feta, crumbled
• A bunch of mint, leaves only, any larger leaves torn
• 500g watermelon flesh, cut into chunks
• 1 small red onion, finely sliced
• Extra-virgin olive oil

Just combine all the ingredients in a bowl and serve with some freshly ground black pepper!

What’s your favourite way to serve watermelon? 

 

Make Your Own Butter

I love a good kitchen gadget. Especially one that means that I can make BUTTER!!

This week I tried out the Chef’n Butter maker…which is a great little gadget to help you make your own butter. It is seriously simple!

All you do is pour in some double cream, leave for 6-8 hours, shake for a couple of minutes and rinse with water and voila you’re left with butter.

You can then add in herbs and spices to make your own flavoured butter. I tested it out with some garlic butter which I then stuffed inside a chicken breast and baked in the oven – deliciously simple.

Home made garlic butter - recipe (and an easy trick) coming up on rachphillips.com in a few days ! #food

Check this blog post out for lots of flavour combos you could try…

How to Have A Stress Free Wardrobe {guest post}

Today I’ve got a great blog post from a real inspiration – Amy Corbin has just set up a new blog AmyCorbin.com and has thoughtfully shared her advice on having a stress free wardrobe.

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I don’t know about you but I’m guilty of having way too many clothes, moving house in the next couple of weeks is going to kick me in to action of getting rid so this post comes at the right time!

Anyway, over to Amy…

I don’t know if it’s a girl thing, or if it’s just my thing…but I used to be literally obsessed with having loads of clothes. 

The thought of not having lots of different outfit options was a scary one.

I know, it sounds ridiculous – right! But this obsession was making my life very complicated; I would spend about 2 days packing for a holiday, I would have to buy extra storage boxes to keep a winter wardrobe under my bed and it would take up to 2hrs and 4 outfit changes before I decided on what to wear before a night out, and yet I still didn’t feel good. 

Then I considered what it would be like to own fewer clothes… 

1. You would have more disposable income.

2. You would have more time to live your life.

3. Getting ready would be easy and stress-free.

4. You would be able to see everything you owned.

5. Packing for trips would be piece of cake.

6. Laundry days – you’d be wining! 

So I decided to give this a go, and boy do I not regret it. I realised that I was buying into the lie that more is better, and every season I was accumulating more and more clothes.

I was convinced that new clothes would bring joy, happiness and confidence. This may last for 1-2 days, but what happens when you’ve worn that new top a few times?? Yup, you go back out there a buy another one, and so the cycle continues.

So here is my challenge for you…Why not try a different a route with your life. Try owning fewer clothes, you will be surprised how much joy and freedom it brings.

Here are some steps you can take to living a clutter free wardrobe. 

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1. Admit you own too many clothes. This is the biggest step of them all.

2. Wear fewer clothes.  Most of us already have a favourite colour that compliments our skin tone best, why not only own clothes that make you look a million dollars.

3. Embrace the idea 5.  5 dresses, 5 jeans, 5 tops, 5 skirts – trust me this is more than enough for you to mix and match your perfect wardrobe. I now only own 40 items, that’s 330 items less than I use to own. 

4. Remove your clothes. You need to get the clothes out of your house; donate, sell, discard, whatever you need to do just get them out. This is a tough one, my rule was if I hadn’t worn something in the last 5 months it was a goner. 

5. Get over your shopping habit. For most of us, shopping is an addiction or habit. To begin breaking the cycle of shopping you need to go cold turkey for a while, I recommend 90 days of keeping that credit card in your wallet.

6. Set yourself a limit. You need to set yourself a monthly spending limit, pick a low number and stick to it. 

7. Buy quality over quantity. Only buy clothes that are good quality, they’ll make you feel better than buying 50 £7 Primark dresses.

8. AVOID SALES! The are just plain dangerous. 

Impress people with your character, not your clothes. 

REMEMBER: “People won’t notice old clothes if you wear a big smile” :)

image via ifashioncopenhagen.tumblr.com

A few kitchen tips to avoid waste…

I hate food waste. I’ve told you this before. But I love clever little kitchen tips that not only make life easier but also eliminate problems like wastage.

Here are few kitchen tips to avoid waste…and you’re going to need to stock up on apples!!

Fresh Food

Wrap banana stems in cling film. Banana’s release natural ethylene gas to ripen themselves, and the majority of the gas is released from the bottom. By wrapping in cling film, you’ll stop some of the gas from reaching the rest of the banana.

Store potatoes with an apple, to stop sprouting.

Store eggs with the pointed side down which will help them keep fresh for a longer.

Do not store tomatoes and cucumbers in the same draw. Tomatoes give out gases that cause cucumbers to rot faster so make sure that you keep these two apart.

Same with apples (one bad apple and all that)…don’t store with the rest of the fruits and vegetables as they give out certain gases that cause fruits and vegetables to taste bitter and turn faster.

Actually, whilst we’re talking about apples. If you want to ripen fruit faster (ie plums) then put an apple in the bowl.

Wilted greens? Revive with ice water. The osmosis process means that water travels across the permeable membrane of the leafy vegetable’s cell walls into dehydrated cells, which will make them look fresh again.

If the radishes have shriveled, place them in a jar of cold water. Water will restore the radish to its previous splendour.

Keep root vegetables in a vertical position. This lets the veggie save energy and remain fresh for a longer time. This is via FoodFromTheFridge

Do you have any great tips to share??

Curry in a Hurry – JustIngredients

You may have noticed I’ve been a bit quiet lately, it’s not because I’ve run out of things to say but I’ve been working on a new that will help busy women prepare and cook healthy meals. I’m a LONG way from launch so I can’t go in to too many details but needless to say if you’re a busy woman who doesn’t have time to cook then you’re going to love it!!

Anyway, talking about busy. I wanted to share with you these range of sauces from Just Ingredients. I was sent four curry sauces (I couldn’t help but break in to the bourbon bhuna that night) and I have to say – as someone who isn’t a fan of packaged food – they’ve totally won me over.
Great sauces from just ingredients

JustIngredients is a whole food mecca! They sell herbs, spices, oils, wholefoods and more. Their range is diverse, selling all manner of products that are non-irradiated and GMO free. It’s also a great place if you’re looking to purchase items that are are suitable for vegan, vegetarian, nut-free and wheat-free diets.

The curry sauces are AMAZING. I’ve always been wary of packet or jar curry sauces, they usually taste really fake and like vinegar but these sauces taste like they’ve been delivered from the local take-away which is perfect if you don’t want to ruin your healthy eating plan but fancy something quick and tasty.

The curry sauces come in 4 flavours and start at £4.20 per sauce: Aromatic Tikka Masala, Saffron & Rose Korma, Bourbon Bhuna, Coconut & Orange Goan and get a big thumbs up from me!

How To Make Coffee Cube Iced Lattes…

Since getting back from New York, I’ve fallen in love with iced lattes (and iced chai tea lattes too – if anyone can point me in the direction of somewhere in Cardiff that does these then I’m all ears!).
Coffee Cube Latte

The best thing about these coffee cube lattes is that the coffee has time to infuse in the milk and you don’t get the watery taste that you would if you just put regular ice-cubes in cold coffee.

You will need:

  • A decent quality coffee & cafeteria (some instant espresso)
  • An ice tray or bag (if you’re using a tray, use a silicone one)
  • Milk

Start off by making your coffee. You’re going to want it pretty strong as it has to flavour the coffee.

Let the coffee cool and then pour it in to the ice tray.

Now you’ve got your coffee cubes.

Coffee Cube Latte

Next you need fill your glass or mason jar with the coffee cubes.Coffee Cube Latte

And the pour over your milk…

Coffee Cube Latte

The cubes will start to melt and infuse the milk. It’ll get stronger as you go along so its the perfect way to ease you in to your day.

Iceberg latte - thanks for the inspiration @rosielondoner

I was sent a sample of A2 milk which is a cows’ milk naturally rich in only the A2 protein and none of the A1 protein that is usually found in cows milk.  The A1 protein digests differently to A2 protein and has been linked to discomfort after drinking milk. That means a2 Milk may provide relief to many of the one in five Brits who struggle to digest cows’ milk.

Coffee Cube Latte

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