WELL BEING & OTHER STORIES

Recipes, rituals and other stories to realign the body and mind

Inspiration

Well Being With Friends ~ Amy Ward of Bug Clothing

Business Stories, Inspiration, Interview, Lifestyle, Essentials, Natural Living, Rituals, Sustainability, Wellbeing, Well Being with Friendsdanielle coppermanComment
170808_BugPortrait_137.jpg

Amy Ward is the mastermind behind sustainable clothing brand, Bug Clothing. She seeks the objective to create garments by hand that reflect the ideology that we should all buy less and admire quality and consideration over quantity. She uses only natural fibres as the foundation of each garment, and each piece will be uniquely different as they are made by hand on a very small scale. The materials used are designer factory deadstock which would otherwise go to waste, meaning they aren't contributing to the reproduction of new materials.

Here, I catch up with Amy on some of her favourite and recently discovered lifestyle tips for living well and behaving ethically and responsibly in a consumerist society.

Favourite or recently discovered Book:

Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed, The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson, and How Should A Person Be by Sheila Heti.

Favourite wellness tip or tips:

I feel like I spend every moment of my day rushing from something, to something, to finish something. So I have decided to make sure I take time to feel and rub each part of my body when I bath. Squeezing and massaging your calves just feels great. We spend so much time stood, walking and using our bodies and I've only just started paying attention to my body and feeling grateful for everything it allows me to do. 

Favourite or recently discovered Podcast:

I'm really bad and listen to the same thing, I just adore The Moth. I love listening to it when i'm on a bus or walking. I really love to listen to stories of people from all different walks of life with a whole different set of experiences and perspectives, it really opens your eyes. I also listen when i'm doing long days/nights in the studio and have spent many'a'hours crying and laughing out loud. I also have really enjoyed 'Violet Sessions' - listening to inspiring people speak about their experiences and businesses is really interesting.

Favourite or recently discovered App:

MyFlo! My lovely friend introduced me to it. It's amazing for Women to keep track of their cycles and to get tips on which foods to eat and what exercises to do to relieve annoying symptoms of our periods. I was going through a phase where I was feeling really rubbish when I was due and said to my friend that I just always wanted to cancel my plans and hide inside, and she just said 'why the hell aren't you just doing that?'. Knowing your schedule and knowing when you might not be feeling great, and not overwhelming yourself with plans and events and taking time to just lay in the bath or just making yourself a lovely dinner that will make you feel good, is very very important.

Favourite or recently discovered Song:

Music, aside from food and cats, is one of my favourite things and is soooo important. My favourite song today is Angel by Fra Lippo Lippi

Sustainable / handmade fashion - tell us more about your contribution and passion for this mission, and give us a few simple tips for effortless changes in this area that anyone can make today:

I read an article a long time ago about how the rate of depression and anxiety is much higher in ours and the previous generation, and how this could be heavily linked to the fact that people spend a lot of their lives at desks on computers, as opposed to doing something physical with an actual physical outcome. The satisfaction I feel when I finish a garment, or a pattern, is just great, and seeing your accomplishments in a physical form is really rewarding. In our Grandparents generation there were far more makers, people mended things, made their own things, they were much more pro-active and nowadays so much of our lives is computer based and I think that can lead to you feeling far less satisfied with your days outcome. 
In the past makers, whether it be seamstresses/builders/carpenters/shoe makers etc weren't especially wealthy or valued, but in recent years people with skills and the ability to make are becoming much more valued. The skill and intelligence it takes to put something together is a wonderful thing and should be rewarded with equal pay. 

I think some people assume it's easy to make something. It's easy to take a garment from a store that you like, take this to a factory and to get it copied and produced, which is what a lot of brands do. And you could say you are getting things made locally, but do they know the conditions in which the people are working, what their rate of pay is, the hours they are working? I make everything within my studio, and currently am able to do this because my demand isn't ridiculously high and because me and my employees have the ability to physically make everything. I think people should delve a little deeper with what they are supporting and buying into. It's very easy with things like Instagram to be enticed by an aesthetic or the look of a lifestyle. But far past 'not currently recyclable', what does it mean to be ethical, anyone can say it, and a lot of people do without really assessing what that means.

Favourite or recently discovered Film / series / documentary:

Greys Anatomy. I don't know why. It just feels good and I love it. There's something nostalgic about it, the soundtrack reminds me of being a teenager and it has the same warming feeling that I get from watching Frasier.

Something you've done recently that felt really, really good:

Me + my partner got a dog! He's called Seabass, and he's very good for my soul. We leave our phones at home and take him for an early morning walk before work. It really helps to set your day up and an excuse to spend time outside whatever the weather is. Also seeing such a lovely innocent little creature running around and having fun is just the best.

Wellness tip to try today:

Look up at the sky! It's lovely and wonderful + we forget to look up at it.

Favourite or recently discovered sustainable fashion brand:

Penny Sage. Kate, the designer, designs everything and gets everything made by one lady who lives locally to her in New Zealand.

Favourite pieces from that brand:

They make a good range of styles and the pieces i've gotten are really well made staples that go with a lot of things. Like a pair of really durable jeans and an a-line denim skirt which I adore. Also, the trousers. Mostly they're the same cut which is super flattering and lovely. They have a button-up fly and are high waisted and just hold everything in place perfectly.

Favourite or recently visited country / city:

I recently went to Pollina in Sicily which was very beautiful, and the local wines were incredible 

A story from your favourite or recent travels:

I really love a lot of places, but my fondest memory that comes to mind was cycling around Southern Turkey collecting fallen Pomegranates. It was the end of their season (October) and they were just rotting on the ground. We rented a scooter and visited the fruit and vegetable market and bought so many wonderful things to eat, and also a bunch of walnuts which I also added to the dye mix. We also visited the local fabric shop and got some lovely Turkish cotton to use, I did some tests and different consistencies which was fun. The initial colour is a lovely pink, as you would imagine, but after rinsing the actual outcome was a really beautiful bright cardamom-y yellow. It was a really therapeutic thing to do. Especially as when you're in London it's quite difficult to find time to do fun, experimental things, there are always a lot of other responsibilities.

Favourite or recently discovered wellness product or tool:

Natural soap + shampoo bars by Funkysoap. They are based in Leyton so very close to me, and don't use plastic containers just lovely natural bars wrapped in paper. I felt really bad looking at my plastic bottles of shampoo and conditioner and how we don't refill them we just throw them, so decided to use bars instead. And I love them. 

Favourite piece of advice, quote or mantra:

Happiness is a how; not a what. A talent, not an object - Hermann Hesse.

Something you live by - a mantra or general morals:

Everything will be better in the morning. Because sleeping on things always seems to be great for perspective.

Favourite remedy for illness:

Rest! Lots of sleep, baths with salts + oils. I have also recently taken to making some of my own natural remedies instead of using regular medical ointments. I sometimes suffer with impetigo when I am run down, and instead of using my usual cream, I instead made a paste of Tumeric mixed with coconut oil, and a lot of hot compresses, it seemed to aleviate the rash very quickly. My next task is that I am going to make a potion with sage to help with ulcers.

Best remedy for sounder sleep:

Hmmm, it's a tricky one because I could quite literally fall asleep in the middle of a motorway. I think fresh air and walking is a really great way to make sure you sleep well.

Favourite form of exercise:

I really love to stretch. Yoga is my favourite and only form of exercise. And when i'm home at waiting for the kettle to boil I like to stretch my body.

Favourite or recently discovered place / person for ultimate chill time:

I went to a Womens' Hamam in Kreuzberg, Berlin in December. The weather was rubbish out and the spa was so lovely and the people so friendly. There was a steam room and the tiled room with the metal pans for pouring warm water over yourself, which when you sit and do it for 20 minutes is super relaxing. After I sat upstairs in a towel reading my book and drinking Turkish tea and it was magical.

Favourite healthy food / drink:

Drinking vinegars! My partner just made a reaaaally great Rhubarb Vinegar that we drink with sparkling water and feel like we're being fabulous.

How do you achieve that work / life balance?

Oh boyyyy. Something I am very much still learning. I think it's just important to not overwhelm yourself (I do this often) and to remind yourself how important it is to do nice things, to appreciate the little things, and to eat a bunch of yummy things everyday. 

How do you remain mindful and conscious whilst successfully growing a business with purpose / promoting a more meaningful lifestyle and consciousness:

I think it depends on how your business came about. I struggle to separate myself from my business because ultimately I am my whole brand. I have to somehow be a business Woman when really I am a maker, so I never started a business with the intention of making money. I just wanted to make nice things and if I could create jobs for lovely and talented people and make clothes that supported other local businesses with buying fabrics and trimmings, then just great. I want to make sure the people I work with are happy, that they're enjoying what we're doing and also at the end of the day it's just clothes. I've never been driven by money and so this makes it really simple for me to produce new styles + clothing. I go by what I think looks great and hope that other people like it too. I think it's good to be transparent and I am working on a series of transparency posts, I want people to know what goes into a product. It's easy to idolise the things you see on Instagram and people are good at creating a mood, this is all well and good but I think it's very important to be real and to be humble. I have previously worked with large high street brands who have the ability to sell dresses for something ridiculous like £8. How is it possible? It's possible because everything is wrong. How is it that something that is better travelled than me and a lot of us, that is made up of material, that's been designed, that's been pattern cut, sewn, packaged and put into a commercial building, being sold for so little? This sets the precedent for how people value what they buy. Why would they buy an item of clothing for £180 if they think the worth of a garment is less than £8? Having a value is very important, things take time to grow, things need to be nurtured and cherished and in our consumerist culture we are all taught that things are very throw-away. I feel very passionately about it. And I myself have been blind in the past, we are raised the way we are and I completely understand that we are not all privileged enough to have the option to consider what goes into everything that we eat and wear, but luckily I do feel like people are becoming more aware. Hopefully big supermarkets will stop using 'not currently recyclable' plastics (idiots), and people will care more about who made their clothes, and the environments in which they are made. And hopefully people will have far fewer belongings, but they'll have really special things. Sorry about my rampage.

Favourite thing to instantly reduce stress:

Go for a walk and listen to a podcast, most likely The Moth, to get a little perspective and be reminded of the kindness of others. Also, I love to read poetry in the bath, things by Rupi Kaur, Key Ballah and Nayyirah Waheed.

First thing you do every morning:

Ask my boyfriend to make me tea

Last thing you do every evening:

I'm not religious but I have a little ritual of asking (in my mind) god/someone/the sky/whoever, to keep all the good people safe and happy and healthy.

Weekend rituals:

I like to have Sundays off, and I like to have a bath in the morning, read some of my book, drink lots of coffee, lay still for as long as I can.

Spring Summer Wishlist & Style Inspo

Essentials, Lifestyle, Inspiration, Monthly Essentials, Style, Summer, Sustainabilitydanielle coppermanComment

Whilst I don’t advocate buying new or more things, I like to take inspiration from current trends which then helps inform my shopping experiences in second hand shops, vintage stores and markets. Below you’ll find an edit of things I’m currently loving, either physically by making a few key investments, or from afar and for inspiration only.

I am so passionate about shopping responsibly and really want to encourage people to do the same. If you won’t use or wear an item more than 30 times, don’t buy it. We need to veer away from the disposability of the fast-fashion industry. Buy things that will last, and don’t fall into the traps of ‘seasons’ or ‘trends’ when buying for yourself. Take inspiration from these things, but don’t feel you have to buy all the new trends, because that basically means compulsive shopping and theres better ways to spend your time (and money). Instead, buy inter-seasonal pieces, things that you can edit and alter throughout the year by styling them differently. Invest in sustainable key pieces like your basics, your underwear and the essentials you wear most days, and then put a limit on how many new pieces you buy if there is something you really love and want.

I’ve included a selection of high street brands below but, mostly, you’ll find ethical, sustainable, second-hand and vintage brands. I hope these inspire your summer wardrobe with beachwear, holiday essentials, summer wedding guest options and more.

🌞

Earth Day 2019: Earth-Friendly Tips From 13 Inspiring Insiders

Essentials, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Natural Living, Rituals, Sustainability, Vegandanielle copperman1 Comment

You know by now that I’m super conscious of the damage we are doing to our planet, and constantly striving to reduce my impact on the environment (unless it’s a positive one!). I love discovering new products and ways to swerve more commercial products or ways of doing things which - it’s becoming clearer and clearer - use up devastating amounts of energy and/or resources. Wherever possible, I opt for sustainably and ethically produced goods, ideally made with limited or no packaging, and made from either recycled, recyclable or biodegradable materials that won't stick around on our planet or disrupt our atmosphere for decades after we’ve disposed of them.

As with many things, there is so much to learn, and there are endless new products and methods to discover. That’s why, this Earth Day, I asked some of my friends of whom are on their own sustainability journeys, to share some of their favourite or recently-adopted eco-friendly life hacks. I am constantly finding new inspiration and discovering new things to try in order to do my bit, and I hope that by sharing several stories from people at different stages on their own sustainability journeys will inspire you to try at least one or maybe even all of them.

Happy Earth Day 🌎#ProtectOurSpecies

4C0B714D-8AC9-45DC-AB4A-86104FA920AB.JPG

Millie Mackintosh, model, entrepreneur & author

How do you make an effort to reduce your impact on the planet on a daily / weekly / monthly basis?

1. I use eco-friendly cleaning products (I’m currently loving Method)
2. I recycle
3. I use food storage boxes rather than cling-film in the fridge
4. I always carry a metal or glass water bottle to avoid buying bottled water in plastic or single-use glass
5. I’ve stopped using plastic cotton buds and straws
6. I have a keep cup for take-out coffee
7. I like to buy clothes from brands that used recycled fabric
8. I only eat meat once a week and am eating a lot more plant-based in general

Cora Hilts Honest Space.jpg

Cora Hilts, Founder of Reve en Vert

What’s one of the most important pieces of advice you would give to someone trying to make more conscious and sustainably lifestyle choices?

My two tips for living a more sustainable lifestyle are to educate yourself and to look outside of your own personal desires a bit more. Educate yourself with reliable news stories, get interested in science, watch things like Conspiracy and David Attenborough’s Our Planet. You will likely find yourself wanting to change rather than thinking of it as something taxing you have to do. And think of personal desire secondary to our collective needs - it’s just one Evian for my yoga class, it’s just one steak I am craving, it’s just one jump in the car. We are all contributing to this massive problem of pollution and emissions, so either think ahead or go without from time to time - it won’t hurt you, and it certainly won’t hurt the planet.

unknown-2.jpg

Eva Ramirez, wellness & travel writer

What’s one recent change you’ve made in your routine to reduce waste?

I’ve become a lot more conscious of food waste recently, and I’m far more conscious about not letting things like a bruised plum or bunch of wilted parsley - which I would have otherwise thrown out - go unused. It’s made me a bit more creative in the kitchen, and my food processor and slow cooker have certainly got more action (I’ve been making pestos, soups and vegetable curries where wilted ingredients get completely disguised) and I feel a lot better about the food I’m eating too. I’m also using my freezer a lot more to avoid things going off and to waste - something my grandma is particularly proud of!

unnamed-11.jpg

Caroline Deisler, plant-based fitness blogger

1. Eating a plant-based diet has so many environmental benefits and it motivates me even more to promote that lifestyle. I feel more connected to our wonderful planet than ever before and love the feeling of eating a colorful diet that doesn’t involve any cruelty.

2. Other switches I made to reduce my environmental footprint is to get around by bike instead of Uber! I feel so much better as well, getting some fresh air instead of being stuck in traffic. :-) I‘m also really trying to cut down my plastic consumption 🙌🏼 I now have reusable shopping bags, reusable fruit & veggie bags for the fridge and got a water filter installed under the zink to stop buying plastic bottles.

+ I will also launch my swim line @caroswim_ this summer and put a big focus on sustainability. All materials are eco friendly, either partly or fully made from recycled materials and the packaging involves no plastic as well which I‘m really happy about. :-)

MelissaHemsley_Shoot4_CoverOption_213_preview.jpg

Melissa Hemsley, chef and author

What’s your favourite go-to recipe to use up ingredients on their last legs, to avoid things going to waste?

An easy and delicious way to clean out the fridge, not waste food and make something great for a breakfast / packed lunch / snack is to do a "Friday Frittata" . Anything goes, you don't even need to chop anything, sometimes it's grated onion, carrot and cheese, sometimes I just tear up the ends of soft herbs like basil or dill and the last of the limp rocket. It's always different, always delicious and it's about 5 minutes of effort.

IMG_0096-1080x1620.jpg

Madeleine Shaw, author & blogger

Can you share your top 3 favourite eco-friendly tips?

1. Picking up the odd fruit & veg - As well as local markets, lots of big supermarket chains are now putting on display loose and often mis-shaped fruit and veg! These poor little guys normally become waste, so I like to pick these up and make a veggie hot pot with them, where it doesn’t matter how they look.

2. Turn on Aeroplane mode - I feel like my phone is always dying on me, and before it does, I need to urgently put in on charge. But, I've consciously tried to start putting it on aeroplane mode to save the battery and save electricity. A small change, but it means I get some time off of my phone and also helps lower my carbon footprint.

3. Who am I ordering from? - I have started to be more conscious about the companies I order stuff from, whether it's food, clothing or toys for Shay. I like to look at their values and also how they wrap and package the products that get sent to me. There are so many choices online for buying stuff, and it only takes 5 more minutes to find a more sustainable company for the things you need.

MQ3A6581.jpg

Olivia Crighton, founder of Glasshouse Salon

Can you share some simple tips for anyone wanting to clean up their beauty and hygiene regimes? And any other habits you’ve adopted and would like to share?

  1. When it comes to my beauty cupboard, I’m a big fan of using Yoni’s plastic free and 100% organic cotton tampons. The material is designed to biodegrade after use and is free from the potentially harmful chemicals included in traditional feminine care products.

  2. I have also recently started using the OrganiCup. I learnt that the average woman uses up to 11,000 single use tampons in her life, so this is a great way to significantly reduce bathroom waste.

  3. I’ve also swapped my toothbrush for a bamboo Truthbrush and have been using beauty products that are packaged in glass, paper or aluminium as much as possible.

  4. I’ve followed a plant-based diet for many years now, but recently I have been making the extra effort to cook more at home and avoid processed and packaged foods to minimise packaging and lower my carbon footprint. I think it’s important generally to consider the environmental output of the foods you eat, choosing to opt for locally grown and organic produce where possible.

  5. It’s difficult to avoid buying all the sweet children’s outfits I come across for my daughter, but I really feel the fashion industry’s carbon footprint and nasty bi-products that contaminate our oceans cannot be ignored any longer. I try to minimise the number of new outfits I buy and opt for second hand options whenever I can. When I do buy a new piece however, I’ve found that buying higher quality items from more sustainable materials last longer, helping me to buy less overall.

  6. For any new mums, I’d also recommend looking into alternatives for basic baby items such as reusable, washable and biodegradable nappies, and biodegradable baby wipes. Traditional nappies can take up to 400 years to decompose and can contain harsh chemicals that could be bad for baby and for the environment too.

GG2.jpg

Genevieve Gralton, founder of Underbares

Tell us what it’s like running an ethical, sustainable brand, and any personal daily habits you’d like to share on reducing waste and avoiding single-use items:

In my personal life, I intentionally avoid purchasing single-use plastics by always carrying a bag with me for groceries, a S'well bottle, and, if picking up food on the go, avoiding any extra packaging or plastic silverware! For my business, Underbares, all of our packaging is either created from recycled materials, biodegradable, or full recyclable. There's a lot of waste in the world--I don't want to add to it

_-57.jpg



Zanna Van Dyke, fitness blogger

What’s one major change you’ve made recently in a conscious effort to love and care for the Earth, and how can we all do our bit to keep our immediate and local natural surroundings thriving?

The main change I have made is raising my awareness of our impact on the natural environment in day to day life. If I see trash in nature, I pick it up. It is as simple as that. Removing plastic, glass or cardboard from the natural environment helps reduce the risk of it impacting wildlife and causing further damage.

sjaniel_new.jpeg

Sjaniël Turrell, natural make up artist

I think the most effective change I’ve made over the last while was making the decision to start using only reusable wash cloths instead of wipes for changing nappies at home and only using wipes (biodegradable of course) on the run. I’m busy and exhausted most of the time so I would love to be one of those mums who only uses rewashable nappies, but as a freelancer without a nanny or cleaner I have to be realistic about what I could manage from day to day. Using washable cloths instead of wipes at home has changed my wipes usage from 3-4 packs per month to about 1 pack every 3 - 4 months - it’s one small change but I was amazed at how much of a difference it made!

Secondly, I have started using balm and oil cleansers to remove makeup with an organic cotton muslin that I can wash out after each use - I do this before washing my face with my favourite gentle cleanser from Twelve Beauty. This has saved me on using copious amounts of disposable cotton pads which I couldn’t live without before.

These aren’t massively life altering changes but I believe if we all make these small doable changes our collective choices have massive implications on positive impact for the earth. It’s about numbers of people making changes, not numbers of things for one person to change.

unnamed-11.jpg

Phoebe Torrance

What are some of your favourite eco-friendly swaps you have made over the years?

Firstly, stopping eating red meat - after a while I didn’t even miss it, I actually started to feel healthier and got my iron from sources like veggies, nuts and seeds. Secondly, bringing my reusable coffee cup everywhere I go - it even gets you money off in shops. Thirdly, using reusable makeup remover cloths which you can wash after use and re-use. And finally, always bringing my own tote everywhere, where, again you save money not having to pay for a plastic one! It’s about making little steps yourself that make a huge difference, and if we all did several small things, there would be a real change!

about_pauline-626x626.jpg

Pauline Hansen, Founder of Pama London

You make gorgeous activewear from natural materials. What’s something you’re particularly proud of or excited about this year?

I’m super excited to be working with Econyl which is going to be one of our newest fabrics used in our leggings and bras. It’s made out of plastic waste from the oceans, meaning it not only recycles plastic waste, but also contributes to cleansing the oceans too! Our new Moon & Stars collection is all about cleaning up the oceans and preserving it. The products are also all recyclable, creating a circular economy for the journey of our clothes. I believe people should buy more clothes made with fabrics like Econyl, and that would be my top tip to anyone wanting to make positive changes to their habits. Buy less clothing and other things made from synthetic materials, and more

4O0A4650.JPG

Pip Roberts, Yoga Teacher

What ‘s your favourite life-changing adaptation been in your daily routine?

Ditching pre-made / shop-bought mylks. Environmental reasons go beyond the impact of cattle farming and back to the single use plastics we use for milk, so I am making an effort not to use tetra-packed mylks.

I blitz up vegan milk (my favourites are oat (so cheap!) and black sesame), in the vitamix each morning, storing any left over in the fridge in glass bottles for later.

Get going with this eco-friendly starter pack

Must See Sustainability Documentaries & Environmental Documentaries

How To Stop Procrastinating

Inspiration, Lifestyle, Mindfulness & Meditation, Rituals, Wellbeingdanielle coppermanComment

How to Stop Procrastination Forever

This blog post on how to stop procrastinating comes at the end of an unproductive day for me. I mean, in reality, I think my unproductive days are equal to many peoples idea of a productive day, but in comparison to my own productive days, unproductive days suck, and leave me feeling super flat and frustrated.

I’ve done all I urgently needed to do today, but I think that’s half of the struggle. Being your own boss and running your own projects can often mean you have to create more work for yourself. So, when you have slightly quieter periods, its crucial that you motivate yourself to go out and find future work or at least plan for it. I had the good intentions to focus on so many things today, and whilst I had the time to make space for them, I found myself procrastinating with unimportant emails, faffing with new software for my website (which took time and resolved nothing), posting a little on Instagram and generally just hanging out on my laptop but with not much to show for it.

It’s days like these - or should I say Monday’s like these, mostly - that really drain me and zap my energy. I always know the minute I wake up that it’s going to be one of those slow-burning days, lacking inspiration or enthusiasm, and where lots happens and I do lots of little bits, but I don’t actually feel like I’ve gotten anything profound or productive done at all.

Today, a lot of positive things happened and lot of important things on my to-do list actually did get done. But, I think, because none of them were incredibly engaging, I didn’t feel as excited as I should have done. I received some exciting emails, I arrived on my new modelling agency’s website, I sent some emails I’d been avoiding for some time, I planned some new projects for Qnola, amongst other things, yet none of these things made me feel like I’d done enough by the end of the day.

One thing in my way was severe whiplash from my recent ski trip to Austria, making my neck excruciatingly tight, my head painfully heavy and my mind dizzy and distracted by a dull and constant headache and a lack of appetite and, subsequently, energy. I also had a little jet lag and was probably overtired, but we never make excuses for ourselves when we’re busy being hard on ourselves, do we? If it was anyone else, I would have told them to take a break or take the day off, but because it was myself, I forced myself to power through and well, yep, it didn’t get me much further than having a day off would have done; may as well be honest with you.

It has however, inspired this late night blog post which I hope in turn inspires you next time you hit a productivity block.

Causes of procrastination and why we experience productivity blocks

A number of things can affect our concentration, motivation and productivity, from one day to the next.

  1. Your job and / or the task at hand. If you hate your job or if whatever you need to do makes you miserable, your motivation is going to be low. Passion is the secret to guaranteed productivity, motivation and drive. Don’t freak out if you hate your job, just don’t blame yourself for lack of drive if that is the case. It’s the jobs fault, not yours. You’ll see when you eventually find what truly lights you up (disclaimer: It’s a forever-project).

  2. Your energy levels. Have you slept well? Have you slept long enough? Are you generally well rested? Have you eaten? Have you eaten too many sugar or caffeinated foods? Have you exercised? All of these things will affect your physical and mental output.

  3. Distractions. These come in all shapes and sizes, from things like matters in your own private life, new stories and office conflicts, to constant texts or emails, external noise from colleagues or things like the radio, or internally muttering coming from your own thoughts.

  4. Time constraints. Sometimes, deadlines can be more overwhelming than good, and can restrict you from doing your best. Other times, they can be too lenient or long, allowing more room for procrastination. Try to find a schedule structure that works for you.

  5. Misc. There are plenty of other things that can induce productivity blocks. I touched on internal muttering of the mind, but more specifically, things like comparison, self-doubt, self-worth, confidence and fear can powerfully affect and dictate how productive your are, or you allow yourself to be, I should say. All of these things have a way of mentally holding you back, by making you feel either incapable, unworthy, undeserving, or all of the above. These kinds of things often arise to challenge you, and in moderation, they’re good traits to carry, but when they become too much and stop you from doing things, they become detrimental to your life and mental health, and prohibit you from living life authentically. Tiredness, lack of sleep, lack of nutrients, external or societal expectations are amongst some of the reasons these thoughts and feelings surface now and again. Meditation and mind-mapping can help silence these self-limiting beliefs and help you regain control.

How to approach procrastination and productivity blocks

What to do when you feel a wave of low-productivity approaching (or when you wake up feeling a lack of inspiration or motivation) and how to avoid it.

  1. Understand that it’s just one of those things / one of those days; notice it, allow it, and whatever you do, don’t judge it or try to change it. It will just. make. things. worse.

  2. Once you’ve noticed you’re having one of those days, start a fresh to-do list. Sometimes, on days like these, you have to break things down really basically. It may seem condescending but making things a simple as possible will really help you to concentrate. Make things easy, digestible, plain and simple. It’s important to be gentler, more patient and more understanding with yourself, as the more pressure you put on yourself, the more overwhelmed and anxious you’ll become. Go slow and try to do one thing at a time. And if this means cutting down your to-do list for the day, so be it.

  3. Drink plenty of water. Down 1-2 glasses of water as soon as you feel this dip in productivity. Follow that with a herbal tea, and even better, bring in a fruit and vegetable based juice or smoothie, for extra and instant nutrients.

  4. Prioritise natural, whole foods. You need your nutrients, and your brain needs as much fuel as it can get. I’d suggest raw or cooked vegetables, foods high in omega 3 fatty acids (like avocado, nuts and seeds), and if you don’t have much of an appetite, incorporate adaptogen powders, tonic herbs or other superfood powders, or take multivitamins and other supplements to support cognitive function.

  5. Take time to breathe deeply. On days when either you just don’t feel productive, or when you feel overwhelmed and unfocussed, stopping to concentrate on your breath can be powerful. Close your eyes and take 3, 6 or 12 long deep breaths, taking full inhalations and forceful exhalations. This should help to reset a few things mentally, and will instil inner calm and peace, if only for a moment.

  6. Try to have just one to-do list. I am guilty of having to-do lists on my laptop, in my digital calendar, in several places on my phone, and then still go about making a handwritten to-do list. It’s never a good idea but I also can’t seem to stop myself. Learn from my experiences, and try to just organise your to-do lists for the present day in one place. Try to keep it neat, and prioritise things in order of urgency.

  7. Don’t

  8. Go

  9. On

  10. Instagram. Honestly, I have now sincerely warned you. There is nothing for you there, and certainly nothing that will help you on a day like today. Perhaps the odd inspirational quote, but you’ll likely pass hundreds of other overwhelming / soul-destroying / envy-inducing snippets whilst your there, that with either make you feel down, jealous, frustrated, unworthy, incapable, negative, depressed and, oh, unproductive once more. Just, don’t do it.

  11. Don’t be so hard on yourself, and don’t worry if you don’t feel like you’ve done ‘enough’. Sometimes, in a days work, you merely plant seeds. You send emails and might not hear back straight away'; you plan projects but have no completed work or outcome to show for it (yet). Try to think of some days as planting seeds, and cultivating. It is all part of the process and things can’t always happen instantly. Imagine the seeds becoming whatever you desire or whatever they are destined to become, and then wait patiently for them to evolve. But know that results don’t always come instantly. Trust the process and do what you can, with what you’ve got. Remember there is no rush, and whatever will be will be.

  12. Get some fresh air. Take a walk in nature or just somewhere local you can go that’s outside. Even just a change of scenery. A trip to a coffee shop or another public place during your lunch break. Any of these things can contribute to lifting your mood and encouraging a new wave of motivation or inspiration.

  13. Indulge in time for yourself, particularly at the end of a day that you feel has been a bit of a flop. Take a bath, read a book, watch something on television, hang out with friends. Do something thoroughly relaxing, and enjoy thinking about how much better the following day will be. Get some rest and know that you will wake feeling more refreshed than ever. And if you don’t, know that that’s ok. Sometimes these things come in waves. I’ve had weeks and even months of low productivity, low moods, low motivation and lack of inspiration and enthusiasm, and it isn’t easy. But trust that it is all part of the process, and that when the time is right, things will become easier and a little more effortless. It depends on a lot of things, but it will come.

How to stop procrastination now

As with anything, I believe there can be important groundwork to be done and foundations to be laid before productivity blocks arise, in order to actually avoid them, more or less completely. Take into account the topics from above, but in general, to avoid the approach of productivity blocks in the first place, try the following 10 steps to stop procrastinating.

  1. Eat well

  2. Stay hydrated

  3. Move. Exercise daily, even if it’s just walking or stretching

  4. Breathe

  5. Talk to others. Also, ask for help if and when you need it. Asking for help regularly or delegating tasks to others around where you can you will help take relieve some of the pressure you’re under, and should help you to feel generally less over-worked and overwhelmed

  6. Read positive quotes or inspirational memes. Or, write some of your own. Write a positive affirmation or thought as a way to pivot any negative thoughts you might be having. For example, if you think something like ‘I hate my job, I will never get a job in fashion like I want to’, write down an opposite thought like ‘I look forward to finding my dream job, and I already love working in fashion’. Thinking more positively and acting as if you are already in the situation you want to be in has profoundly powerful effects on the outcome of your situations

  7. Practice non-attachment. Simply work as much as you can, and get stuff done, but don’t put pressure on the outcome or the reason behind doing something. For example, don’t write an article just so it will be published. Write the article because you want to, and in practicing non-attachment, the outcome and result of you doing so will come willingly, and when it is destined too. And in the meantime, you won’t be putting pressure on yourself or the situation for it to be anything other than what it is

  8. Get outside in nature, often

  9. Give yourself permission to have regular breaks. Even if its just 10 minutes per day. Schedule a time to just be. To welcome silence or stillness. This should keep your productivity nicely topped up

  10. Get enough sleep

'Tis The Season

Essentials, Home + Interiors, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Styledanielle coppermanComment

‘Tis the season for, well, a lot of things. Partying, getting together with loved ones, cooking, eating, gifting, receiving and, most importantly, keeping cosy and hibernating inside. Whilst I am no advocate of buying more and more, and always buying new, I like to curate interesting and unique mood boards to share a selection of items I think you will all love. Obviously I have to say, try the charity shops first; you’ll usually find more unique and special items than shopping brand new. But if all else fails, here is a breakdown of items (some natural / ethical, but others not so much) to see you through each phase of the holidays. From going out and staying in, to drinking and cooking, enjoy getting into the spirit of things with these delights.

Keep it cosy

On the town

For the face

* To enjoy 30% off my favourite products from Showcase Beauty, use code danielle30. Offer runs from Dec 20th until the end of January. You’re welcome! Showcase Beauty have a range of the newest and most unique indie beauty brands, many of which are natural, organic or ethical in some way (but be careful when selecting as not all of them are).

Around the home

In the kitchen

Defence / after the party

Inside My Apartment & My Sustainable Wardrobe ~ With What's Your Legacy

Beauty, Business Stories, Essentials, Lifestyle, Inspiration, Natural Living, Style, Sustainability, Video, Commisionsdanielle copperman1 Comment

Last month, I welcomed What’s Your Legacy into my apartment and let them nose around my room and delve into my wardrobe in search of the most ethical and sustainable pieces and to discover the stories behind them. We talked about my business, my book, my lifestyle and much more, and I showed them my favourite eco-friendly / second hand / vintage items, from jackets and dresses to bags and other accessories.

If you have any questions or comments, leave them below.

Humans of Rixo Campaign & Interview

Business Stories, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Modelling, Interviewdanielle coppermanComment
JPEG-image-2F3D50E255D8-3.jpg
A37C6608-330C-4ED1-9472-3D4E07E71C70.jpg
984893D3-F783-4071-80C0-AF175C4A3245.jpg

This week I worked on an online campaign for Rixo with a few of my favourite fellow female founders, from Female Narratives. Female Narratives is a female-only creative agency run by my good friends Tijana Tamburic and Franzie Klein. Add myself and three others from the agency - Nina Chanh, Lucinda Worth and Stephanie Sian Smith - and you've got the faces of their latest Human's of Rixo campaign, dressed head to toe in their newest collection.

See the full feature and read the full article here.

April Essentials ~ 2018

Monthly Essentials, Lifestyle, Inspiration, Natural Living, Essentialsdanielle coppermanComment

Eco-friendly, biodegradable, plant-based phone cases, made from starch-based biopolymer, recycled materials and flax shive. And this bamboo phone case is also renewable and for each case bought the company plant a new tree. All shipped in plastic free packaging too 💯

Lily of The Detox Kitchen just released a new book, an homage to vegetables.

This app. I'm planning to start using it to recycle old or unwanted clothes that I don't have time to eBay or Depop, or that just aren't worth much anymore. 

My favourite smoothie just had an upgrade. I tend to make some variation of a banana, nut butter, spinach, innermost vegan protein, maca, rhodiola, ashwaganda, ice and a pinch of himalayan pink salt most days before or after a workout. Last month I got my hands on a batch of The Well Co's Super Elixir, and have been adding it to my daily smoothies, or stirring it into a glass of water if short of time. Hands down my favourite greens powder. Much lighter, more tasty and less earthy than the others I've tried.

A friend just introduced me to the idea of using one of these for lose leaf tea. 

Last week, I visited Santorini for the first time. It instantly became one of my favourite places, with its unique and effortlessly chic architecture, warm weather, beautiful views, black beaches and friendly locals, to name just a few pros. We stayed at the Santo Maris in Oia; an idyllic resort perched at the top edge of the island, with beautiful architechture, a spa, a buffet of fresh, local produce, 4 private pools and the best sunset watching spot on the island.

These swim pants.

Obsessed and can't wait for my next chance to wear mine.

This Artisan Artifacts ceramic pitcher with driftwood and cane handle. 

Rediscovered this song which was on my first ever ipod. Listening to the words properly now, it really resonates deeply and stands as a reminder to live fully and evade 'the system'.

This LNDR sports bra and shorts set doubles up as a swim suit. That means you can transition straight out of your workout into the ocean / pool.

Currently addicted to Equinox. Last week I joined their flagship gym in Kensington and have been navigating their huge selection of apparatus and other facilities every since. I also tried their WORKX class - a combination of treadmill intervals and weight work - which almost killed me. Full blog post to follow shortly.

Last week someone on Instagram asked me how I found time to read. My answer was, I make time. I rarely succeed, but recently I have become more conscious of taking time to do not only something for myself, not only something relaxing and meditative, but also something nourishing for the mind, brain and soul. Learning is expanding, and even if you prefer fiction to factual, reading stands as an (if only momentary) escape from the stresses of modern life. Do it! And if you're into spirituality, holistic teachings and traditions and the power to heal, I'd highly recommend this already and I'm only just past the preface.

Time to take a holiday and stop feeling bad for it.

Just finished reading 'The Power of Now' by Eckhart Tolle which I bought years ago and have only just gotten around to opening. Highly recommend it for anyone intrigued by or already embarking on a more spiritually influenced journey.

Finally got to wear this incredible swimsuit.

Mango Committed. Nice to finally see some high street / mainstream brands making small conscious changes. Hopefully it will help educate the masses about the ramifications of fast fashion, and evolve to make up the majority of their collections in the not too far future.

The Mind Body Green podcast; most recently enjoyed their episode The Biggest Myths About Gut Health with Dr Vincent Pedre.

Have loves incorporating Wild Nutrition supplements into my daily routines. Their Premenstrual complex is incredible for reducing PMS, and I've also been taking Magnesium to help sleep whilst travelling as well as Ashwaganda for general stress and tension reduction. 

I almost can't wait for some rain so I can wear these Ilse Jacobsen boots.

Living in these Zara jeans.

New natural beauty find.

My mum sent my sisters and I this a few weeks ago. Cheesy but thought provoking. Moral of the story: don't work your life away.

Since my agency decided I look much better with a tan, I've been working my way through some self tanning products; some more natural / organic or ethical than others. If you want a pre holiday glow, I've most enjoyed Tan Luxe / Espa / James Read Tanning Mist, so far.

Well Being with Friends ~ Bonnie Wright

Inspiration, Essentials, Natural Living, Well Being with Friendsdanielle coppermanComment

Well Being with Friends is a series of short investigations, not so much interviews, into the lives of people I know both closely and from afar. These people aren't just any people, they are people doing inspiring, interesting, innovative and meaningful things, for the greater good of Earth, our Universe, our ecosystem, our environment and, ultimately, our experiences here. The idea is to share the simple habits of the most with-it in wellness, providing an insight into what keeps them thriving. Whether it's a book, an app, a ritual or a rhyme,  I hope you will discover new tools and take away constructive advice from each one. If nothing else, I hope this series connects you to more inspiring people and expands this community of people trying to make positive changes, both personal and widespread.

Bonnie Wright - dear friend, actress, film maker and environmental activist - is, simply put, one of a kind. Her drive, her passion, her courage, her care and her kindness towards the Universe are mesmerising enough, and topped with her constant smile, her glowing complexion and her laid back sustainable style, she is one seamless source of inspiration on so many levels. Whether she's meditating in the morning, directing during the day, surfing as the sun sets or shopping on the weekends, at the forefront of her mind is to make conscious decisions to make daily differences, to protect the environment and make some changes. From taking her reusable cups everywhere with her, to shopping in bulk without using plastic packaging, Bonnie seems to have found the perfect balance of living consciously and sustainably in the modern world; her top tips below.

unnamed-11.jpg

Favourite or recently discovered Book:
Essays on Storytelling by Philip Pullman

Wellness tip(s):
Put more “We” and “Us” in your sentences rather than “I” and “Me”.

Favourite or recently discovered Podcast:
The Treatment and Re-Wild Yourself.

Favourite or recently discovered App:
Co-Star and  MyFlo

Favourite or recently discovered wellness guru: 
Lauren Singer of trashisfortossers.com

Favourite or recently discovered song:
Child’s Play by SZA

Favourite or recently adopted daily ritual:
No phone rule whilst I am eating.

Reducing plastic - tell us more about your contribution and passion for this mission, and give us a few simple tips for effortless changes that anyone can make today: 
Stop for a minute and think about how many times you interact with plastic in your day and see where you could do without. See where you could instead be using re-usable containers, or chose to buy from different brands or even just opt to say no to things. 

Remember that we have the power as customers to steer our spendings away from companies that are not committed to the environment and instead choose more sustainable brands that align with your commitment to protecting the planet.

Favourite or recent Film / series / documentary:
Call Me By Your Name and Blue Planet II

Something you've done recently:
I recently drove South of LA and went camping with some friends by a beautiful beach called San Onofre. It totally opened up the state of California for me, as I have only ever driven North of LA. 

Wellness tip to try today:
Cold shower.

Favourite or recently discovered sustainable fashion brand:
Christy Dawn

Favourite pieces:
I have my eye on their Florence dress.

Favourite or recently visited country / city:
I haven’t been to many new cities recently. I am going to Oaxaca in May, which I am very excited about.

A story from your favourite or recent travels:
I recently travelled to Atlanta with Greenpeace to hand in a petition to the Coca-Cola Global Headquarters, urging them to phase out their production of single-use plastics. That was a very eye opening trip.

Favourite or recently discovered wellness product(s)/ tool(s):
My friend lent me her Bio Mat while she’s away and I am in love. Its the most grounding and comforting thing that I fear if I sit down on it I will never stand up. 

Quote or mantra:
“What you do makes a difference. And you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” - Jane Goodall.

Something you live by:
You are either creating the pollution or being the solution. 

Beauty tip / rituals: 
I love a ritual but also every so often I just completely stop everything and take a break to allow my body to breathe. 

Illness / Immunity remedy: 
Herbal tea and activated charcoal.  

Remedy for sounder sleep:
Baths

Favourite form of exercise or favourite class / trainer:
I have recently been taking all of Amy Dixon’s classes at Equinox.

Favourite or recently discovered place to chill: 
Korean spa, I love Olympic spa in LA.

Favourite or recently discovered healer / bodyworker:
I just had a clearing session with my friend Shaman Durek. It was the truest form of magic I have experienced.

Favourite or recently discovered wellness cafe / restaurant / store:
Mtn on Abbot Kinney. Beautiful and delicious Japanese food.

Favourite healthy food / drink:
I love the Chai Elixir powder by Addictive Wellness for when I am on the go. Current favorite ingredient is the CBD Coconut Oil by Ojai Energetics. Also cumin seeds in all my cooking for digestion.

Work / life balance advice:
Find joy in each area of your life, it shouldn’t be “work” but instead a practice. We are all growing and learning and never really stop.

Business advice - how do you remain mindful and conscious whilst successfully growing a business with purpose / promoting a more meaningful lifestyle: 
Create your own system, or be enslaved by another’s.

Favourite thing to instantly reduce stress:
Meditation.

Spiritual practise:
Meditation, twice daily. Honouring the ocean through surfing

First thing you do every morning:
Meditate. 

Last thing you do every evening:
Read with a cup of peppermint tea and chocolate. 

Weekend rituals:
Surfing, farmers market, cooking, dancing and watching movies. 

unnamed-10.jpg

March Essentials ~ 2018

Style, Review, Natural Living, Monthly Essentials, Inspiration, Essentialsdanielle coppermanComment
unnamed.jpg

Goop launched their podcast with Oprah and this episode is everything. Subscribe now if you know whats good for you.

Girl Boss Radio, an long standing favourite podcast of mine, spoke with Miranda Kerr about the fashion industry, wellbeing and making the shift from money making top model to start up entrepreneur, founder, managing director and everything in between. As a model and entrepreneur myself, it really inspired me and I'd recommend this to any model navigating a new path, as well as non-models into wellbeing and the idea of entrepreneurship. It was super inspiring to hear Miranda's journey as until now I'd assumed she'd put her name on the brand and had other organisations running it on her behalf. Not the case at all.

#EndOceanPlastics #LessPlasticWaste by investing in these copper straw. They look cool too.

Also, these bamboo straws.

Just started watching this on Netflix.

Just finished this book, and would highly recommend it to anyone creative entrepreneurs or anyone interested in starting their own business. It discusses the basics of business but in a way more creative bohemian types can understand and engage with, and also puts the business world into a more purposeful perspective, offering that it is possible to create a meaningful business with true purpose and passion amidst a money-hungry and success-driven industry of large, impersonal and inauthentic corporations (blog post on this coming soon).

Finally giving these Thinx panties a go. As far as periods go, I've had a really positive experience so far using their period-proof underwear. Their really flattering shapes are made with high quality technical materials that you can wear on your period in place of tampons/liners/menstrual cups. Don't be disheartened by the dollar sign; they ship worldwide and if you buy online here, apply the code WELLBEING5 to enjoy $5 off your order. Full blog post coming v v v soon (as soon as my cycle is over and I have some energy back).

One of my favourite illustrators.

Last week I took an afternoon (ok, only about 1 hr) off to visit the Tate Modern to see the Picasso exhibition. As a self employed entrepreneur (that's the last time i use that word in this post), I am constantly working and doing and feel guilty every time I rest or take a break, but I recently thought to myself that the whole reason I like to be self employed is that it gives me freedom to do what I want. I fully surrendered to this and gave myself permission to do something I purely wanted to do, and it was so fulfilling. Most of the time, it is just about permission. We live in an age where we are constantly conditioned to strive and succeed, so taking time off to do things we really enjoy and that sweetens the soul is not something many of us feel entitled to (especially not during work hours). Try it.

Making conscious efforts to replace things in my home with versions made from more natural materials. I’ve given all my plastic clothes hangers to charity and replaced them with affordable wooden ones, and this month I got some linen bed covers. Linen is created from the flax plant, a multi–faceted and renewable resource, making it a more eco friendly alternative to bleached or processed fabrics, as it is totally biodegradable. It’s also known to be beneficial in many ways for humans, encouraging deeper sleep and regulating temperature. Read more about the benefits of linen bedding here. Buy some here or here.

Turkish hammam towels are my new thing. 

I keep my daily make up look pretty toned down and minimal - very fresh, warm and natural - which is pretty low maintenance.  I don’t change up my make up products or routines much unless something really revolutionary, or more natural, comes along. Until last week, I'd been buying the same liquid eyeliner since I started using liquid eyeliner. But I recently tried a few products by Bare Minerals, and their liquid eyeliner is both revolutionary and natural, and immediately overthrew my former favourite. If you’re a liquid eyeliner kinda person, you may not think you need this, but you really do.

i rarely buy new clothes these days, but i couldn’t ignore this beaded bag by Mango. 

My Raw Tamari + Avocado Brownies have been updated - and, subsequently, improved. 

I've just released the details and booking page for my next retreat, taking place at The BodyHoliday in St Lucia, May 21-27th. It's coming up soon and spaces are limited. Find out more and book tickets here. If you are unable to make these dates but interested in the retreat, email me (danielle@qnola.co.uk) or leave a comment below with dates that would work for you, as we are planning several more throughout the year. 

unnamed.jpg
IMAGE.JPG
SALEM_CREME_ROSE_front (1).jpg

Love is back.

I want everything.

I received a this little gift from Sweaty Betty on #InternationalWomensDay.

Intrigued by the Soma Board but want to try a session locally. Know anywhere in London? Leave me a tip in the comments below. 

My favourite suitcase company have launched a travel blog.

We need to talk about non-attachment (blog post to come).

It’s all about balance.

Intrigued

Just a few hours per month, this could lead your to changing someone’s life, and will definitely change yours too.

Have been incorporating this MOA daily cleansing ritual with natural bamboo face cloth into my evening routine, and my skin is saying thank you.

Movement ~ Abs in seconds with Tempo Pilates

Essentials, Inspiration, Movementdanielle copperman1 Comment
DSCF0462.jpg

I've been going to Tempo Pilates ever since a friend of mine recommended it as their favourite local studio. I'd previously tried SLT, Brooklyn Bodyburn and Pilates on the Square in NY, and a few Heartcore classes in London, but had never made a consistent routine of it. That changed after just one class at Tempo; I am hooked.

Tempo offers comprehensive reformer pilates classes dictated by the beat and frequency of music.  Each sequence and each move or posture is controlled and consistent with the tempo of the studios upbeat playlists, to provide a fun and structural pace to flow to. The transitions within and between each movement are controlled and precise, and strengthen not only the major muscle groups but, just as importantly, the mind/body connection; something that not a lot of other fitness methods achieve. The classes also bring attention and awareness back to the breath, which, as well as energising muscles, helps to keep the whole situation calm and relatively stress-free.

Most classes begin with the same sequences, first stretching, settling and becoming accustomed to the machine, and then straight into some challenging ab work followed by warming leg exercises. You'll glide, slide, jump, squat, lunge, plank, push, pull and resist in each and every direction, each movement guided and fuelled by the breath. The breath, whilst centering the mind and enhancing focus and concentration, remains deep and controlled, with powerful exhales introduced to get you through the most challenging moments the movements.

DSCF0476.jpg

What to expect

The beginner and intermediate classes begin with a few core exercises to warm and awaken the core muscles. You'll then move onto double leg work and then glute exercises and single leg work - focussing heavily on the hamstrings, glutes and lower back. You'll then usually do some more core work - involving some variety of crunches, sit ups and pulses, moving swiftly on to some excruciating inner thigh work. Then depending on the day, the time, the instructor, the mood, you'll either go onto some floor lunges (with one leg on the floor and one on the machine), some jump work (using a spring board attached to the end of the reformer machine) or some plank work (involving dynamic isolated planks, active plank to pikes, or some kind of knee to nose crunches or commando planks). Whatever it is, it's gonna burn, it's gonna be uncomfortable, but it's gonna give you abs pretty much instantly.

DSCF0496.jpg
DSCF0508.jpg

Well Being with Friends ~ Agata Kozak of Cossac

Inspiration, Natural Living, Lifestyle, Essentials, Well Being with Friendsdanielle coppermanComment
52_1024x1024.jpg

Well Being with Friends is a series of short investigations, not so much interviews, into the lives of people I know both closely and from afar. These people aren't just any people, they are people doing inspiring, interesting, innovative and meaningful things, for the greater good of Earth, our Universe, our ecosystem, our environment and, ultimately, our experiences here. The idea is to share the simple habits of the most with-it in wellness, providing an insight into what keeps them thriving. Whether it's a book, an app, a ritual or a rhyme,  I hope you will discover new tools and take away constructive advice from each one. If nothing else, I hope this series connects you to more inspiring people and expands this community of people trying to make positive changes, both personal and widespread.

First up is Agata Kozak - founder of Cossac clothing. Agata is pioneering industry change towards eco fashion. Cossac is committed to slow fashion and sustainable design. Transparency, sustainability and social well-being is at the core of their business. They reject the mainstream practices of fast fashion that produce cheap, low-quality and disposable trend items by exploiting workers. COSSAC exists to offer women design-led conscious fashion to help drive awareness of the negative social and environmental impacts of the fashion industry and make it easy for women to make better choices. Find out more here.

Favourite book:
The Unbearable Lightness of Being - by Milan Kundera.

Wellness tip(s):
I’m all about organic beauty; my rule is to use for my skin only things that I would eat; no artificial creams.

Recently discovered podcast:
Affirmation pod; it helps me sleep well during stressful periods.

Favourite guru / blog / website:
I love all food related websites; I’m an awful cook so I need the guidance :) I love your website, and also think the Hemsley sisters are great too.

Favourite or recently discovered app(s):
Headspace, and 7 MWC - a 7 minute workout app  I swear by. I travel so much and sometimes cannot go to yoga or gym but with this app I find it easy to do a quick intense workout anywhere I go. Love it.

Favourite or recently discovered song:
Howling by RY X.

Favourite or recently adopted daily ritual or habit:
Meditation right before sleep.

Favourite or recently discovered film / series / documentary:
I love Chef’s Table and Abstract; find them super inspiring.

Something you've done recently:
I started making organic perfumes and candles which will be launched with AW18 next season :)

Wellness tip to try now:
Right after you wake up, take a glass of warm water with lemon and turmeric.

Favourite sustainable fashion brand(s):
I love Base Range and Girlfriend Collective.

Favourite Cossac piece:
SS18 scrappy jumpsuit. It was so popular back in SS16, that we are introducing it again this season.

Favourite country / city to visit:
My all time favourite place is Tokyo; it’s my happy place. The perfect mix of energising organised chaos and blissful calm.

A story from your favourite or recent travels:
All best stories are probably quite inappropriate actually :). But what I can share with you is how I learnt Tokyo is my happy place. When I went there for the second time, I was travelling from Tokyo to Kyoto on the bullet train and I was staring through the window at mount Fiji, and I just suddenly started to cry. I realised that for the first time in my life I was crying out of pure happiness. Since them it has happened to me 3 times more; always in Tokyo :).

Favourite or recently discovered wellness product(s) or tool(s):
Himalayan pink salt lamp; helps me to sleep and purifies the air.

Favourite or recently given or received piece of advice / quote / mantra:
Meditate an hour every day, unless you don’t have time - then meditate for 2 hours.

Something you live by - a mantra or general morals:
Life starts outside of your comfort zone; I tell it to myself every time I board a plane as I hate flying but have to travel often.

Beauty tip / rituals:
Relaxing baths with Epsom salts - at least twice a week.

Illness remedy:
Boiled water with fresh ginger, lemon and raw honey. I do not believe in popping pills. I believe in more holistic approaches and have a great respect for Chinese medicine. I travel to China often and love to visit their pharmacies, which actually look like more like herb shops.

Tips for sounder sleep:
Affirmation pod and a Himalayan salt lamp.

Movement:
Whenever I travel, I don’t always have time to properly exercise, but everyday I try to do a 7 minute HIIT workout; you download an app and it can literally be done anywhere, anytime.

Favourite or recently discovered place for ultimate chill time:
Monocle cafe on Chiltern street; Monocle is my fave magazine and this little cafe is like a corner of heaven on Earth for me.

Favourite or recently discovered healer / bodyworker:
I have a physio in Guangzhou, China who I visit every 3 months. He is a magician and recently fixed my twisted ankle. 

Favourite or recently discovered wellness cafe / restaurant / store:
One of my all time favourite places is a South Korean jjimjilbad. They are female-only public bathhouses where you can spend endless hours. They have hot springs, beauty rituals, cafes, sleep places and the best full-body scrub I have ever experienced. They are great to visit alone or to hang out with friends. My favourite one is Spa Lei in Gangnam.

Favourite healthy food / drink:
Matcha; I get mine from Tokyo fish market overtime I go there since the quality is so much better.

Work / life balance advice:
I love my work and I do it with so much pleasure and passion that I don’t feel I need a clear balance between work and ‘normal’ life.

Business advice - how do you remain mindful and conscious whilst successfully growing a business with a purpose:
When I started COSSAC I made a list of values/priorities and wrote answers to 3 questions in regards to my business: Why? How? What? I try to stay true to what I believe in and constantly reevaluate my actions and progress and make changes accordingly.

Favourite tip for instantly reducing stress:
Close your eyes and count to 10. My mom brought me that.

Spiritual practise (if any):
Affirmation/meditation and of course, travel.

First thing you do every morning:
Moan. I am not a morning person.

Last thing you do every evening:
Meditate.

Weekend rituals:
Yoga, long walks and visiting markets; I love supporting local traders and learning new things from others. I also travels a lot. Sometimes I book a trip very last minute and just go away for the weekend to disconnect.

Q . WHAT ARE YOUR MORNING ROUTINES?

Essentials, Rituals, Natural Living, Lifestyle, Inspirationdanielle coppermanComment

A . MY MORNING ROUTINES

My morning routine changes depending on my whereabouts, my current schedule, the seasons and the moon phases (and thus my energy levels) and just generally how I'm feeling from one day to the next. I'm constantly developing and changing and so my rituals and routines are ever evolving too. At the moment, I've found my flow in the following waking morning routine.

1st . Lie in bed for a couple of minutes with my boyfriend, check my phone, think about the day ahead and / or positive aspects and gratitude attention practice (I don't journal or write these things down in the mornings, I just spend a few minutes thinking about the positive aspects of my life, and focussing on all I have each morning and all I am grateful for.

2nd . Head to the bathroom (via the kettle - to fill and activate it), spend about a 30 seconds tongue scraping with an ayurvedic tongue scraper and doing whatever else needs doing in there.

3rd . Glass of cold water.

4th . Hot drink - either an adaptogen in hot water or plant based m*lk, or a simple lemon, ginger and turmeric juice cocktail with hot water.

5th . 20 minutes mantra meditation, with said drink at hand. (Sometimes 5 minutes, sometimes 10 minutes, I aim for 20 though).

6th . Nauli Kriya.

7th . Morning stretch sequences or full 1 hour yoga sequence at home. I usually replace this with   a local yoga, boxing, or hiit class, depending on my mood and level of meditation.

8th . Home or my studio to begin work and whatever else the day holds.

INSPIRED, WITH KIKKI.K

Essentials, Review, Lifestyle, Inspiration, Business Storiesdanielle coppermanComment

kikki.K has only been on my radar since Christmas last year, when I stumbled upon their store in Covent Garden - drawn in by their scandi-inspired offerings. I’ve always been a sucker for anything scandi-style and since finding myself a swedish guy, this has only intensified. Some of my clothes are scandi, some of my home is scandi, most of my boyfriend is scandi, and kikki.K came to fill a gap in my work life, which, it turns out, was lacking the scandi touch it needed for some proper order and organisation to take place.

kikki.k may not at first seem so different from any other stationary shop, but once you explore their products and their story, you’ll see and feel the deeper, more meaningful purpose and intention behind every item in the shop. Amidst some everyday scandi-inspired desk-top goods and minimal (yet effective) organisational tools, you’ll find carefully considered motivational materials to inspire and support your daily study and / or work scenarios. Pens with inspirational quotes (of which you know I am a fan) and notebooks with life-sorting layouts soften the blow of overwhelming projects or writers block - perfect if you need a boost during the day, and especially helpful, I've found, if you're often studying or working alone.

Earlier this month I celebrated the launch of their new Inspiration range, which includes a collection of interactive workbooks titled Dream, Do, Enjoy, Share. I was invited to a workshop to discover how these books and other new items could assist my daily life as a self-employed entrepeneur, and support me in dreaming and doing. Each book plays a part in the process of outlining, achieving and enjoying your dreams, assisting you in working out a way to make things materialise, whilst also enjoying the process - which is often the part we ignore, but is, in fact, the most important phase of the journey. It’s enough to dream, but if you don’t enjoy the process of turning your thoughts into things, you may find there’ll be a level of anticlimax or unfulfillment. If you’re only prepared to enjoy the end goal, you'll find it's never enough, and you'll always be planning and preparing, and ultimately you'll always be waiting.

I’ve been using these workbooks to release all of the thoughts and fears from my head to organise them visually, rather than mentally. With the Dream book, I’ve been conciously recognising my dreams - both big and small, both near and far, and both urgent and more open. I used their Vision Board to collect inspiring quotes and other materials aligned to my current dreams and goals, as a way of, well, visualising them, and also keeping them in my conciousness day by day. The Do book offers space for me to annotate and offload what’s holding me back from achieving my dreams, and once these barriers are acknowledged and released, there’s space to focus on what I’m good at and capable of, followed by the initial steps I can take to reach these goals. The Enjoy book has encouraged me to focus on things I love doing, which had put my dreaming into perspective, and has brought up some interesting things to observe about what I want versus what I really want but perhaps don't conciouslly acknowledge.

Regardless of whether someone or something is holding you back, to a degree, we all hold ourselves back without realising it, and that's more powerful in disrupting your abilitiy to materialise your dreams than anyone elses influence over you. Our thoughts are powerful enough to create our things and attract our experiences, but they are also powerful enough to prevent us from believing in ourselves or feeling worthy or capable. These books really resonate with me, and have not only helped me to release the thoughts that cloud my mind, but have also provided the inspirational quotes (of which you know i am a big fan), daily tips and other techniques I sometimes need to help me on your way. Their final book in the collection if titled Share, and is centred around sharing these processes, to lift others up instead of competing with them, to, in turn, make the world a more vibrationally positive, exciting and communal place to be. So, that’s what I’m doing here. Dream, Do, Enjoy and Share. Let's keep this going.

#kikkikuk #LiveYourBestLifeEveryDay