Wednesday
Aug202014

Things & Ink - are niche magazines the way forward?

Print magazines are struggling, with mainstream magazines like More, Zest and Company recently folding. However, head to a large WH Smiths, or Selfridges and you'll see that niche magazines are still holding their own.

Magazines that have a clear audience, and speak directly to their interests are capable of creating loyal and fabulous fans. Readers who go out of their way to buy each and every magazine; often keeping the issues on their shelves like a book, rather than throwing it away after a quick flick through.

I'm proud to have a regular column in Things&Ink, a rather delicious tattoo magazine, unlike any other tattoo magazine you've seen. Gone are the endless photos of tattoos, interspersed with the occasional semi-naked lady. Enter article, after article to read on a beautiful grade ofpaper, with topics including music, home, attitudes, events etc etc.

My column is pretty varied, and I love the challenge it gives me, to write in a slightly different format to my blog.

You can order issues of Things&Ink online , or check out the stockists (who includes Selfridges!).

Let me know if you give it a read!

Tuesday
Aug192014

Stories by Kelly Osbourne - A fashion line for everyone?

Kelly Osbourne is launching her own fashion line, which will be available in sizes 0-24 (US sizing).
I believe it will be sold via an online shopping network in US, so I'm not sure we'll have immediate access to it here in the UK. 
What is interesting about the Kelly's range is that it will be available across the size range, from size zero to size 24 (in UK sizes I believe that is a 4-28). I'm not aware of many of collections that span that wide of a range. The plus sized ranges usually start at 12/14 upwards, so the idea of a truly inclusive brand is pretty exciting.

 

Tuesday
Aug192014

More than one truth can be true - can't we all just get along?

It used to really annoy me when older people would preach on about their experience, and how many lessons they only learned later on in life. As if being young made me stupid. Youth certainly doesn't make you stupid, just as age doesn't make you wiser, but I'd hope that there weren't many people who at least didn't become a little more wise as they gained more experience.

One of the life lessons that it took me a while to fully accept was that there isn't usually a single truth. That it is possible for two opposing things to be true at the same time. Learning this was actually freeing.

 There is an ancient parable about a group of blind men, who are asked to describe an elephant. One describes the soft trunk, one describes the tail, another the legs, one the ears etc. They all get into an argument about their true description of the elephant, disclaiming against the lies told by the other men. Of course the story demonstrates that our own truths are limited by our own subjective viewpoint of the world. All of their descriptions were true, in part. Their truths could all exist alongside each other.

 So, when we disagree with someone, it can be pretty powerful to remember that most people are arguing from their own truth, just as we are. The argument can get stuck because we are convinced that there is only a sole truth, that we must convince the other person of.

An example of this is dealing with people who are sometimes flakey or often late. My 'truth' about lateness is that if someone is important you are never late for them. Therefore is someone is late, you cannot be that important to them. However, this is not a universal truth, and it is therefore rather irrational to get into repeated fights over it. For others, they just haven't learnt to manage their time very well, or always underestimate how long something takes. They won't be able to understand your upset, as their truth is that lateness doesn't mean anything at all. 

It can really help to ease confrontations to work on understanding why the opposing person carries their truth with them. What perspective are they seeing the situation from, which is different to yours? What experiences have they had which filter their understanding, which are different to yours? Once you work out that neither of you has to be proved wrong; that you can both be right, it's usually much easier to move forward.

Monday
Aug182014

How do you invest in your own well being?

Sometimes we need to make investments into our own wellbeing. Exercising, for me, is an investment into my own health, in both body and mind.

Studies have of course shown, over and over, that excercise is beneficial to our moods, fitness, and general well being. 

Yesterday as I jogged to the gym, I reflected that I'd also made an investment into my happiness with an appointment with a cognitive hypnotherapist. I'd been a tad nervous about the cost of such a session, but actually, if it isn't worth investing in our own happiness, what is it worth spending our money on!

I had my session yesterday, to change my emotional response to managing my finances, and got emailed over my tape to listen to each night for two weeks. The tape is completely personal to me, using my language, vocabularly and goals.

I'm a very big believer in the power of own internal voices, and have successfully changed my own 'voice' in a few other areas of my life. This final one was stumping me, so I decided to get help with it!

We are the result of our thoughts, and I don't think we are powerless to control these. It just takes work; sadly there are no magic wands to wave.

Sunday
Aug172014

A weekend away in Suffolk

This weekend me and my mates headed to the Suffolk coast for a girls' weekend away. Now it may not be quite the same as a beach holiday in Greece, or a city break in Barcelona, but I haven't had a holiday yet this year, so tried to embrace it for all it could be!

I was born and raised in London, and definitely love the buzz of a city, but a little English village can still prove pretty sweet. I particularly enjoyed the architecture of Southwold Pier, definitely the most deliciously branded pier I've ever seen.

Despite being rather low-carb, I couldn't not eat some seaside chips could I!? I'm a tons of vinegar girl, and they didn't disappoint. The difference though was that I shared a bag, rather than having a whole bag like I perhaps would have done before.

The beach was so cute, it had hundreds of colourful beach huts, many of which had whole kitchens inside! I'm not sure I'd need a whole kitchen, but I can definitely see the appeal of a kettle and a fridge while enjoying a day at the beach.

I've not actually really picked fruit before, which really seemed to surprise my friends. You should have seen their faces when I said that these were the first blackberries I'd even eaten! I explained that I didn't really come from a fruit-picking family, the fruit I ate as a child wasn't very exotic, mainly apples  and bananas I'd say! As an adult I've been working on diversifying my palette!

We also got our hands dirty digging up our dinner. We dug out potatos (which we roasted), carrots and cabbage (for a coleslaw), as well as  onions and tomatos (for a salad). We used the rhubarb for a crumble. If you follow me on instagram you may well know I'm not a natural cook,  but luckily for me, I was only in charge of the salad. I won't mention the scary earwig that emerged from the cabbage, nor will I mention our less-than-brave response to it.

While we were fruit picking, we found an empty park, complete with mini zip wire, swings and see-saw. We obviously all had a go, and then decided to see if we could summon any amount of arm strength to do the monkey bars. Two of us tried, and failed, simply unable to move our arm to the next bar. However, we then saw our friend complete the whole set, and it got me  thinking. Maybe it doesn't just need strength, but it just needs to the willingness to let go, and trust that it will be possible. To ignore the fear of lifting the hand off of the bar to reach forward to grasp the next.

I tried again, and managed to move a single hand, before dropping. I wasn't ready to give up just yet, and after a quick hand rub, I tried again. I didn't manage to get all the way over, but  I definitely did about four monkey bars. A mini lesson for life I guess; sometimes what we think is holding us back, isn't the actual stumbling block at all. 

Friday
Aug152014

What is the most popular hair colour right now? Turquoise hair!

Turquoise hair is definitely the most popular colour request at Rockalily Cuts at the moment. I'd say last 'season' it was pastel shades - baby blues and pinks, but teal seems to have surpassed them at the moment.

Similarly to having any bold fashion colour, these bright hair shades require a lot of upkeep. You will end up with stained collars, coats, skin, bathing grout, tiles and towels. 

The colour will fade fast, so try not to wash it too often! Most people with bold hair colours like blue, purple, red etc regularly top up the colour at home, sometimes by mixing colour into their conditioner.

Have you tried turquoise hair yet? Tweet me and let me know! @ReeReeRockette

Friday
Aug152014

You're allowed to be naturally slim, but not to have to work for it.

I haven't been to the gym in a while, I've been running about once a week, but have paused from a more strength based routine. This is due to a couple of reasons, one being that I've been dating someone which of course takes up some time, and that I've been enjoying running outside in the evenings.

Just before heading off to the gym, I read an interesting article by Autumn Whitefield-Madrano called "You're right, I didn't eat that," about the choices (sacrifices?) some women make to stay thin. I'm firstly in awe of her writing, but it also struck a few chords with me, and I thought I'd highlight and share some of her ideas.

 Firstly is the idea that men who like thinner women also demand that the woman not be seen to be working for it. They want to see them eating burgers, and skipping gym sessions - but to stay small. I'd never really considered that before, and as Autumn highlights, the desire is often wrapped up in the belief that women just need to "look after themselves" (but of course meaning stay slim).

 I found Autumn's discussion about the need (desire?) to maintain thinness particularly interesting. The diet industry makes its billions due to the fact that people who want to lose weight find it pretty near impossible to maintain the changes. She reminds us that for most people "thinness is so impermanent", which resonated with me. I often say that if you want to lose weight and maintain it, you have to make that choice over and over, each day.

This idea of course applies to many habits that we change, including fitness, keeping a tidy house, and learning a new language. Changes are not binary, they have to be chosen, repeated, and stuck to when we don't feel like it, and worked on over and over again.

Autumn raises the point that there are women who are naturally slimmer, and women who work at it. Although she only discusses men's attitudes to these two types of women, I actually see it in women too. There seems to be a positive-body movement that seeks acceptance for whatever bodyshape we come in, as long as it hasn't been changed too much. It seems that women are not allowed to want to change their bodies, without their choice being seen as reflecting negatively on women with the opposite choice. As if a lady who has sculpted a set of muscles looks down on those who do not?

The final statement in her piece includes, "...that when it comes to me being thin and carefree about it, they can’t have their cake and eat it too. But that they’re more than welcome to mine." Again, summarising the choices we are all able to make every day about what and who we want to be. Sometimes, I can't eat at the first restaurant my date takes me to, and sometimes we have to check menus before we go. I'm now a woman who is vegetarian and pretty low-carb, which seems to rule out a lot of the core veggie dishes places like to offer me (pasta, rice etc). I've become that girl. But do you know what? I'm ok with that (I've never felt better).