Summer Sprays

I love my essential oils and marvel at the sometimes little-known power of them. With the heat of the summer approaching here in Madrid, the use of cooling sprays is a delight.citronella. Essential oils of citronella and lemongrass have been used for years to ward off insects, midges and mosquitos.  They also help to purify the air. For keeping midges at bay during the hot evenings I make a spray blend with citronella and lemongrass essential oils. BLueGlassSprayAroma You need:

  • an empty spray bottle, dark coloured glass is best, but plastic will do (150ml).
  • A little of the purest alcohol, vodka is fine, also vodka has no smell to interfere with the oils.

Method:  Add a small amount of vodka, about a tablespoon to the 150ml bottle, fill with water almost to the top, then add about 3-5 drops of each oil. Shake the bottle (lid on!) vigorously to disperse the oil in the water, the alcohol facilitates this. Et voila, your spray is ready!

I keep mine in a cool place and spray around my bedroom at night and on myself.  It does work and its all natural, no harsh chemicals in sight!  Just water, alcohol and plant oil!

I recommend the following sites to buy good quality essential oils.

Julia Lawless Essential Oils

Absolute Aromas gardenparty,social,landscape,wishes,garden,getaway-78d7a3b5acae1707f828007d338a69d3_h

French Pharmacies…

…are simply the best! I always visit one when I go to France.


This time I picked up a collection of treats from Caudalie, Avene, Sanoflore, Weleda, and the bonus is that they’re a bit cheaper than in the UK.  Weleda’s massage oil is just amazing and contains apricot kernal, wheatgerm and jojoba oils as well as essential oils, no parabens or mineral oils in sight thankfully. Its great to use post shower on damp skin, having dry brushed the skin first (always in an upwards direction towards the heart). The dry brushing stimulates the circulation and buffs off dry/old skin. I really recommend this to prepare ‘winter’ skin for summer outings!
Sanoflore’s pluie micellaire démaquillante or micellar cleansing droplets is a beautiful cleansing water that smells divine. It contains rose flower water and is so soothing on the skin, it has the ‘Ecocert’ accreditation, again ensuring no use of synthetic ingredients or parabens. Thumbs up!  Caudalie is an absolute favourite of mine and I always use the pulpe vitamine eye and lip cream, as recommended to me by a fellow makeup artist 7 years ago!  As a brand they don’t use parabens, mineral oils, synthetic perfumes or test on animals, though they are not certified organic.

Top makeup artist Lisa Eldridge did a post on her video blog a while back about her love for the French pharmacies too!  See her post here.


Happy, Healthy Nails


I am always trying to use products that are less laden with synthetic and potentially toxic subtances. Nail polish (or nail varnish) is really quite a toxic concoction of chemicals. The ingredients of these nail polishes have been linked to many health conditions and dis-eases within the body.
As with many things there is a safer option, unfortunately this is the option that is never the most advertised or widely available or on occasion the cheapest on the market.
But I am planning to do some testing of brands that sell themselves as ‘better’ and ‘less toxic’.  So for this spring and summer we can all have happy, shiny, colourful nails!
The first is pictured here – Kure Bazaar from France.  Their ingredients are 85% of natural origin, from such things as cotton, potatoes, wheat…


They have a great array of colours and are available to buy online and in stores across Europe and the US.  I am trying out a pale coral colour which went on nicely and has a good shine and texture. I want to try some of the other darker colours and will see how they last!


Spring Break…

As it’s the 1st April today spring has nearly sprung! So we can dust off the cobwebs and break into the new season, the season of birth, light and growth with these wonderful tips from a fellow Yogi Eliza Coolsma. Her latest post titled Super Spring Health Day Plan details easy steps to make your week a little more calm. Ommmmmm…





Origami 折り紙

I have always been fascinated with all things Japanese…and last week I was begged to make an origami swan…of course I had no idea how to! But I came across these excellent videos on Videojug explaining lots of origami pieces. Here is a link to the video on how to make the origami swan.

The word in Japanese means ‘ori – folding’ and ‘kami – paper’, thus ‘folding paper’!  Simple really, except it’s not quite so!  It has been a tradition in Japan for centuries, however, it has also been seen in Germany, Italy and Spain over the years.  I read a lovely article by Wallpaper Editor Henrietta Thompson entitled The Joys of Paper in it she mentions that in Tokyo you can find paper boutiques on most street corners. How lovely. Stationery shops seem to be a dying breed due to our new found love of technology. However, the importance and beauty of paper should not be pushed aside, a medium that has existed since circa 600AD, it should be upheld as a precious commodity. But back to origami…it is a lovely art form, great for kids and for using one’s mental agility and dexterity!


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