Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Multitasking Mums

travelling mum
 Sara has jetted off to the sun and given me free rein to write a post in her absence. My name is Di Overton and I am the Mother of Sara the author of this blog. I feel a bit like a burglar coming in here and posting just what I like. I am hugely proud of my daughter and as a professional blogger myself I truly respect what she has created here.
walking the dog mum
 I can't say it was easy persuading her to write a blog but now she has started there is no stopping her. Apart from running her own business - Rituals Beauty (oh how I love having a daughter that is a beautician) she like many other women has to juggle all the other things in life like
housework mum
cooking mum
gardening mum
 Gardening (well neither her or I are any good at this one)
diy mum
 Fixing stuff
laundry mum
 Washing and ironing

organised mum
 Scheduling both her business and personal life
working mum
 Writing her blog and keeping accounts
photography mum
 Recording little Billy's progress in life
shopping mum

yoga mum
Keeping fit and yet she still manages to look sexy. Well done mum
All these fabulous images are by the hugely talented photographer Heidi Lender. Her project about Mothers is called - She Can Leap Tall Buildings

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Guest Post - Charlotte Roll

Today I would like to welcome my next guest post - written by my little sister Charlotte writer of The Paupers Kitchen blog; who is lucky enough to live in Paris! She has a major passion for food and boy can she cook! Her blog has the most delicious recipes and fascinating musings. You may even be lucky enough to try some of our gorgeous family dishes.

What with me, our mum and my sis it seems blogging is well and truly in the genes! I'm sure she will make you as jealous as I am reading this post! Hope you enjoy.

The Paupers Kitchen

A Rosbif in Frogland

The Frog and Rosbit

It has been a long and turbulent love story between us Brits and the French. Most of the English find the French arrogant and too proud. I've been living in France for the last eight years, so they must be doing something right for a Brit born and raised to stay their side of the Channel.

The French themselves are indeed arrogant and too proud, but once you dig a bit further they can be a warm people. They have a right to be proud too. Their health and social care is amazing, they have 5 weeks holiday a year, 10 days of which you have to take by law during the summer months! But the best thing the French have to be proud of is their food.

They have such a respect for anything and everything edible it can be quite breath taking. I'm not talking about the Cordon Bleu part of French cuisine, but the everyday stuff. I can spend hours in a French supermarket.

The array of fresh fruits and vegetables, all loose and so you can choose the best.

French fruit and vegetables

The cheese counters are to die for.

French cheese counter

The fish counters are always beautifully presented.

Fish counter France

The bread aisle smells heavenly.

Bread counter France

Lest we forget the wine section. Take a look at those prices, no wonder the French gulp the stuff down as if it were water!

Wine section France

The supermarkets even hold mini festivals called Foires, in the entrance of the supermarket where they pay particular attention to a certain product. The most appreciated is of course the Foire aux Vins (the Wine Festival). The French come in their thousands to pick up a good deal on the crème de la crème of French wine (and of course have a little taste).

Foire aux Vins. Wine Festival

However, even though these huge hypermarkets are everywhere and offer extremely competitive prices, all French towns, however small, have
a bakers

French Boulangerie

a butchers

French Boucherie

a grocery store

L'Epicerie shop front

and a bar tabac.

Bar Tabac France

The French love nothing more than coming out on an evening, usually around 6.30pm, picking up a freshly cooked baguette, popping in for their meat for that evening's dinner, swinging by the grocery store for a bottle of wine to go with it all and last stop at the bar for a packet of Gauloises and an aperitif before heading home to some good wholesome home cooking.

Another thing I take my hat off to French for is their food legislation regarding regional specialities. Cognac can only come from Cognac, as Champagne can only come from Champagne. Coulommiers cheese is guessed it Coulommiers. This protects the regions' own creations and means that there can be no inferior quality products trying to pass themselves off as the original. So look out for the AOC logo.

AOC logo

Last, but by no means least, the markets. Now these are the real gems of French cuisine. Nearly all French towns have a weekly farmers market. The best thing about the French markets is the stall holders will always let you taste before you buy. They are confident with their produce that they are sure once you have that slice of cheese or cured ham you just can't resist.

French Farmers Market

So there you have it. The reason I've stayed so long. Bon Apetit and Cheers everyone!

French Wine and cheese
All images via Carrefour and Leclerc

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Guest Post - Carly-Ann Clements

Today I would like to welcome my first guest post - hope you enjoy!
Image via Etsy

Carly is a writer and social media type known mainly for her blog, Thoughts in Little Boxes.

Thoughts in Little Boxes blog

As a bit of a jack of all trades, her blog covers a number of topics offering something for everyone. If you can't find a topic on the blog, then there's no doubt you'll find an external blog that she writes for covering it. Today her guest post covers one such topic:


I am a complete bookworm. You would have thought that that would have be evident after studying literature for many years but it wasn't until after I stopped analysing texts that I really started appreciating them. A few years on from studying and I'm known to take a longer route home so that I have extra time to read. I'm happy going for a meal on my own with a good book in tow. I have even stayed up all night to finish a book with work the next day. I read everything from graphic novels to Greek mythology, young adult fiction to thrillers, chick-lit to non-fiction. Everything has its time and place and with that in mind I'm going to share some of my favourite summer reads with you.

Though good literature can be enjoyed at any time, I always think that the right environment will enhance your experience. My list will feature a wide range of books that I feel benefit from a bit of sunshine, relaxation and a dedicated stint of reading time. So if you're planning a beach holiday or just sitting in your back garden this summer, pick up one of these books and lose yourself in the pages.

Marching Powder - Rusty Young

Marching Powder is a true crime novel about an Englishman named Thomas McFadden who is sent  to a Bolivian prison for drug trafficking. It's an amazing insight into the bizarre world of San Pedro Prison where inmates either live like kings or run the risk of being killed in their sleep; they even do guided tours for visitors within the prison walls. Rusty Young documents the stories Thomas told him during visitations to the prison - some will show the pure elation Thomas experienced, some will chill you to the bone but all of them are unbelievable. The book isn't for the faint of heart but worth every second you dedicate to it. If you're usually a thriller or crime reader, give this a go, if you just like non-fiction you really won't regret reading it.

One Day - David Nicholls

This book exploded into the public eye as soon as it was published but many are yet to read it. The book takes place on the 15th July every year for twenty years following the story of Emma and Dexter after they meet on the night of their graduation in 1988. We follow them through their uncertain relationship and often troubled lives on a scale unlike any other. This book is mesmerising and written in a way I've never really come across before. The fragments of time we experience with the characters is enough to really understand them and by the end you feel as though you know them as well as you know your friends. It's a book that you can return to time and time again and I often find myself reaching for it and reading my favourite passage for no particular reason. It's a book you want to throw yourself into head first so make sure you have a clear schedule when you start to read it.

I Heart New York - Lindsey Kelk

I secretly love chick-lit. After a dark and serious read there's nothing better than whipping out a light-hearted, comical book to wipe away any dark emotions. I Heart New York is about a woman called Angela who finds out that her boyfriend is cheating on her at her best friend's wedding. With little more than the clothes on her back, Angela decides to leave her woes behind by escaping England and jetting of to NYC. A first person narrative that shows all the gritty, embarrassing details of a clumsy girl trying her luck in a new situation and all the problems that ensue. What's better than being in a foreign land than reading about someone else in a foreign land making all the social faux pas you can imagine?

Kafka on the Shore - Haruki Murakami

Haruki Muakami is one of my favourite authors but his books aren't for everyone. Kafka on the Shore is one of his best known novels. It's a duel narrative following a young man called Tamura as he runs away from home at fifteen and the slightly more surreal Nakata who is a tracker of lost cats. A truly bizarre and wonderful novel that stays with you long after reading it but be warned… there are some disturbing images that may upset some readers. It is one of the few books I have read and honestly had no idea where it would lead and a great introduction to the world of Murakami and something for those who love the bizarre and wonderful.

Vampire Academy - Richelle Mead

If you loved Twilight then why not give these books a go. A series of Young Adult Fantasy fiction following Rose, a young vampire guardian in training and her best friend and vampire princess, Lissa. The first book in a series of seven takes the reader deep into the world of vampires, forbidden love, ruthless social scenes and terrifying rituals. It's a really easy read that sweeps you along leaving you wanting more. A great book for those times you just want to escape the real world and embrace a bit of fantasy.

If none of these books take your fancy but you can't decide what to take on holiday then I recommend sticking to books that are bright and cheerful to go along with the relaxed, sunny, summery vibe. I also recommend reading the first 5 pages of a selection of books to see how you connect with them - nothing worse than lugging a paperback halfway around the world and realising that you don't like it. And lastly, never read anything that feels like a chore. Reading is supposed to be relaxing and enjoyable so don't try to read War and Peace if you look at it and feel your heart sink.

All the books I've read on holiday have made the memories of my travels even more vivid. I hope your next summer read does the same for you.

You can also follow Carly on Facebook and Twitter @woshixiongmao 

Monday, 21 May 2012

My Guests Are on Their Way!

Just a quick post, I am taking a break in the sun for a couple of weeks...

Hee hee I wish! Image via Modern Luxury Homes

and handing over to some fantastic fellow bloggers who will be popping by to say 'Hi'. Keep your eyes peeled! 

Image via Pinterest

See you in a couple of weeks, until then I'll leave you in their capable hands. Hope you enjoy!

Sara x

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Tips on Using Essential Oils & Diffuser Blends

In my Amazing Essential Oils - Not Just a Pretty Smell article I gave you interesting history and facts about essential oils, so you will know why I absolutely adore these precious beauties. So I thought it was about time I told you about the many easy ways you can use these gorgeous oils.

Essential oil uses

This is information I have gathered and sent to various friends, family and clients since studying Aromatherapy.

 Many Uses of Essential Oils

Put 1-6 drops in oil diffuser/burner or nebulizer (liquid vaporiser).
For children 1-3 drops.  Babies 1 drop.

Steam Inhalation 
Put 2-3 drops into a bowl of hot water, cover your head with a towel and breathe deeply.
Children 1 drop. Not suitable for babies.

Mix 2-4 drops to 10ml of oil or milk and to bath once run.
Children 1-2 drops/10ml. Babies 1 drop/10ml.
A mix of Lavender and Roman Chamomile is great for calming stressed out little monsters!

Add 2-4 drops to 10ml of massage oil.
Children 1-2 drops/10ml. Babies 1 drop/10ml.
Put 1-4 drops on a cotton-wool ball or tissue and lodge behind the pipe or somewhere in contact with the heat.
Children's rooms 1-2 drops. Babies room 1 drop.

Wardrobe and Linen Cupboards
Put 1-4 drops on a cotton wool and put in drawer or base of wardrobe or in your linen cupboard/airing cupboard to keep clothes, bedding and towels fresh.
I like to use Lavender as moths and flies hate it!

Bathroom Freshener 
Put 2-4 drops on the cardboard ring inside the toilet paper roll.
Lemon works really well.

Utility Room
Put 3-5 drops into the softener compartment of your washing machine.
I like to use Lavender and Roman Chamomile for our sensitive skins.

For use on pregnant women (or trying), babies & children, or any medical conditions, please refer to a qualified Aromatherapist first for safe oils.

Which Oils To Choose?
If you have had Aromatherapy treatments, have you ever wondered why one time you may love a smell and hate it another? Well if your body needs an oil you will like the smell, if it doesn't you won't - so  - makes sense! So get sniffing and listen to your body!

My idea of heaven.
Prometheus Springs Aromatherapy Apothecary

Some of My Favourite Oil Blends - the list could be endless so I've whittled it down to just 3!

Eve Taylor's Winter Blend 10ml £6.37
This goes with me everywhere, this amazingly effective blend of Tunisian Rosemary & minty Eucalyptus clears & cools the sinuses, chest & head. Ravansara clears the chest & is anti-viral. French alpine Lavender soothes & comforts. Madagascan Palmarosa clears the mind & stimulates the senses.

Safe for all the family. Anti-bacterial & anti-viral - for colds, coughs, seasonal allergies & sinus congestion. Use around the house, at work, on planes, public transport or stuffy atmospheres to help keep a clear head  & fight off bugs in the atmosphere.

Eve Taylor's Relax Blend 10ml £6.30
And Relax! Unwind your mind  & body. This oil blend is fantastic for de-stressing and great for using in a massage blend as well as a diffuser. I use this a lot around the house and in treatments as it is so effective and everyone loves it - who doesn't need to relax hey?!

I quote: It has warm earthy aromas of Egyptian Geranium, sweetened by the richness of Indonesian Patchouli, gently unwind the senses. The hint of ripened Italian Mandarin, permeates through the subtle smoothness of Bulgarian Lavender. Sounds like a fine wine!!

Aromatherapy Associates Revive 10ml £20
I love this blend of Bergamot, Pink Grapefruit and Frankincense - it's 'Wake Up and Shake Up' in a bottle! Detoxifying and uplifting - just what we need!

Great for any time of the day, fantastic to use at work or for studying to get the concentration levels and enthusiasm going hee hee! Ideal for using after work to revive the senses for an evening out. Makes you happy and generally perked up!

Eve Taylor do a fantastic range of environmentally friendly diffusers and nebulizers which are flame free - so super safe for the entire family.

Eve Taylor Mio Petite Personal Diffuser £14.60
I never travel without this pocket sized and battery operated diffuser. It comes with 5 re-usable cotton pads to put your favourite oil blends on.

Eve Taylor Diffusers, Oil Blendss and Essential Oils are available from Rituals Beauty!

Always do the patch test before applying any products to detect the reaction of your skin.

To order any product from Rituals Beauty, call 0789 4120073 or email If you aren't local, I offer a postal service for a little extra cost. Now taking Paypal.

I will be doing more posts using Essential Oils in Home Made Beauty, Home Making, Cleaning and Health Rituals in future posts, so keep your eyes peeled!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

COMING SOON to Rituals Beauty - Outback Organics

I am super excited to announce  Outback Organics Tea Tree products will be available from Rituals Beauty soon.

Outback Organics
These unbelievably effective products are for use after waxing or any hair removal to keep those pesky ingrown hairs away.

I suffer badly from ingrown hairs and have rigorously tested these products myself... and I can tell you they are truly amazing - and I am very very fussy!!!

Outback Organics

Outback Organics is a British company. I feel it's incredibly important to support British companies and especially ethical ones.  I am very proud that I will soon be part of the team and must say their customer care is second to none.

The products are free from parabens, sodium lauryl sulphate, SLES, mineral oils, synthetic fragrance and propylene glycol. They are not tested on animals and are free from harsh synthetics or man-made chemicals. The kind of products I LOVE!

Australian Tea Tree
Australian Tea Tree. Image via Flickr

The products contain natural, organic plants which are ethically sourced from a company in Australia who financially support the indigenous people who plant and harvest them. 
Tea Tree oil is the perfect solution to many skin care needs, in fact it has been found to be ten times more powerful than carbolic acid but is non-toxic and non-irritating to the skin (use as a mild dilution to start with).Tea tree oil has been proven to be a powerful yet natural antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal medicine (essential oil). 
Source: Outback Organics

My Tried and Tested Products

Hand & Body Lotion 100ml tube £5.99 or 250ml pump bottle £9.99 
This nourishing hand and body lotion is rich in Macadamia Oil that quenches and soothes dry, itchy skin, leaving it silky soft and deeply hydrated. It contains pure Tea Tree and Anisata (antiseptic) essential oils. It is safe and gentle enough to use straight after hair removal and can help prevent and treat of ingrown hairs- as I have experienced to my delight! I have very dry and sensitive skin and I had absolutely no problems.

I had no ingrown hairs on my legs or bikini line for the whole year I was using the Hand & Body lotion and now they are back after a long break - well not for long! Never again will I be without this little baby.
Outback Organics Hand and Body Lotion

Ingrown Hair Serum 8ml roller ball £7.50 
This is 'the ultimate defence in the fight against ingrown hairs' - yeah baby! A powerful, dual-action product containing super duper effective fruit enzymes from Pineapple and Papaya, which nibble away at your dead skin cells like a possy of lil Pacmans! These enzymes are blended with betaine salicylate (polysaccharide from Sugar Beet) to exfoliate the area where your hair is trapped. Those stubborn ingrowns are freed from captivity revealing smooth, blemish-free skin. Great for both men and women. It's super handy to pop in your bag.

Outback Organics Ingrown Hair Serum

Face & Body Scrub  100ml tube £8.99 
This gentle exfoliating scrub is suitable for the face and body to lift hairs and prepare the skin for waxing. So great for men too!

This rich, moisturising scrub contains gentle but effective Jojoba micro-beads to buff away dead skin cells and leave your skin feeling silky soft and no scratching your delicate precious skin.

It is infused with some of my favourite essential oils:
Bergamot orange (antiseptic), Sandalwood (skin softener, antiseptic, anti inflammatory and super nourishing), Patchouli (healing and anti inflammatory) and Rose (nourishing, soothing and antiseptic).

Outback Organics Face and Body Scrub

These products have well and truly earned a place on my Hero Product List!

Always do the patch test before applying any products to detect the reaction of your skin.

Other products in the range are available upon request - don't be shy!

To order any product from Rituals Beauty, call 0789 4120073 or email If you aren't local, I offer a postal service for a little extra cost.

Outback Organics

Images via Outback Organics

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