June has been an amazing month, really. I remember being a student and looking forward to June and dreading it in equal measure. I had to spend part of it studying for my finals but with the end of them came the beginning of summer, my favourite season. Now I don't have exams to dread so I can just look forward to it.
During the past month my mind and body have gone into summer mode. I feel happier and more relaxed, and you will see that in this month's favourites because everything is much more focused around my wellbeing. A couple of trips have a lot to do with it, but let's get into it!
I bought Trilogy's Rosehip Oil towards the end of May on a bit of a whim. I didn't need another oil but had heard so many good things about it that I added it to my basket when I was buying a few things from lookfantastic. I have been SO impressed by it that I have sacked a lot of products I was using before in its favour. I use it morning and night after cleansing and skip a serum and moisturiser altogether. It has made a huge change to my skin and it shows that when you use something that is really good quality you don't need much else.
Weleda Wild Rose Body Oil already featured in my latest blog post about oils, and I have used it so much this month that I couldn't not mention it. If you want to know more about what I think about it, just click here for that post.
I took Hawaiian Tropic After Sun Cream on holiday, which came in super handy when I burnt my back during a 10km walk in the blistering sun in France. Its scent will forever remind me of that holiday, as I had to apply it so often! It is cooling and refreshing whilst it nourishes your skin when you most need it after being exposed to the sun.
Jen from Shine Yoga (more about her in a moment) posted her recipe for this delicious Bircher Muesli on her website earlier this month and it has been my staple breakfast this month. I love eating fruit in the summer, and I top my bircher muesli with strawberries, blueberries, goji berries, a selection of seeds and some pomegranate or pistachio nuts. It is utterly delicious and it keeps me full and prevents me from snacking until lunch time.
This month I have been on a couple of breaks and this has been a huge part of why I've enjoyed this month so much.
Earlier in the month I spent a week on a yoga retreat in France. I'd been looking forward to this break since the beginning of 2015, and was a bit worried that maybe I expected too much from it. It was better than I could have imagined.
The retreat was in a restored chateau surrounded by beautiful countryside to get lost in. There were 7 of us in total, so it was easy to find a quiet space by the pool or under a tree to read, think or admire the landscape. You could also easily find the rest of the group and have a laugh, and boy, did we laugh! One of the best things about it was how much fun everyone was. I guess when you hear about yoga retreats you don't automatically think about fun, but it was SO MUCH fun! There was a great chemistry between everyone in the group (we didn't know each other before) and I hope we continue to stay in touch, as I have been missing them since I came back!
Of course the other reason why it was so good was practicing yoga 3 hours a day. I really felt the difference in my body, which felt so strong by the end of the week! The classes were taught by Jennifer Austin, founder of Shine Yoga. I could rave about Jen all day, really! She has such an upbeat and positive personality that you will try things you never thought you could do before without even realising. I love that she plays music during class, which makes it quite modern. I remember a morning when we were practicing handstands. I went into it with a really positive attitude but my body wasn't responding and I felt so disappointed. She spotted it and helped me do not one, but two handstands, which gave me such a rush!
I highly recommend the experience to anyone. Jen does several retreats each year, from staying in yurts in a Cornish farm to France or Italy. Check her website for more details.
Weekend in Pembrokeshire
To get over my post holiday blues I managed a quick escapade West to visit my friend Daisy, the very first friend I made when I moved to England all those years ago. She is incredibly lucky to be from Pembrokeshire and I am incredibly lucky to be able to go and visit her. I've been going for years but she always takes me to new places. Last weekend we visited Abereiddi and Porthgain, where I had never been before, walking along the coast. The landscape is just breathtaking. I wanted to take more photos, but sometimes I just need to take it all in and leave the camera in my pocket. We also went to Tenby for a walk along the beach just before I headed back home.
Practising yoga to contemporary music was not only uplifting but it also helped with a few new discoveries. Since I came back I have been listening to Open by Rhye constantly. The other day I stopped at the services on my way to Pembrokeshire and it was playing in the background and I thought for a second I'd gone mad and I was hearing it in my head, ha ha!
Hope you have had a wonderful month as well. I'm excited about the rest of the summer and plan to continue looking after myself and sharing some of it with you here.
Have a great Sunday!