Flying First Class to a Safari Shack

Flying First Class to a Safari Shack

This one was a trip filled with indulgence, adventure and inspiration. It began in the lap of luxury and ended in an African safari hut. Both equally delightful in their own unique way, but a trip full of juxtaposition.

Intrigued? Let´s join our resident traveler for the journey…

Flying First Class to Dubai

 

A real bathroom, a real bar, a huge TV, a cute desk, comfy pajamas, private space and food that is delicious beyond words. No, this isn´t a 5* hotel, it´s an airplane, honest!

This sneak peek is thanks to Emirates and our resident traveler, my sister. I’m told it´s the best 16 hours she´s ever spent in the air, however, this was one adventure that was not going to continue the way it started!

Boarding a Bush Plane

 

After disembarking in Dubai and enjoying the land of luxury, the next stage of the journey began. It was time to board a bush plane destined for Zambia. The environment couldn´t have been more of a contrast; leaving the land of luxury behind and becoming immersed in the understated magic of a Zambian reserve.

It was a change of circumstances for sure, but both were equally beautiful. The luxury bathroom 35,000 feet in the sky was replaced with an open-roof shack, and visits from the first-class cabin crew replaced with wild animals wandering free outside the door. Wow! The opulence was gone, and it was replaced with something very different, but equally unique and amazing.

The lesson of the trip? There is beauty in every situation, we just need to open our eyes and appreciate it.

This was one trip that was full of contrasts, but what an adventure! I hope you enjoyed joining our resident traveler for this beautiful journey.

Until the next time…

My Chinese New Year Celebrations

My Chinese New Year Celebrations

Do you stay up for New Year’s? I can’t do that anymore, so I started celebrating the Chinese New Year. This year it is January 25 and I make an occasion of it.

 

You can celebrate New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day; make it an event, learn a little bit about the history and the expectations for the new year.

 

In Chinese culture, superstitions are intertwined with food and traditional dishes are said to welcome in good luck and prosperity for the year ahead. I thought it could be fun to find out a bit more, so here we go… 

A whole fish is a staple for most Chinese New Year celebrations.

 

Why? It’s intended to welcome prosperity for the year ahead.

Dumplings are a popular choice.

 

Why? Their appearance is similar to a traditional currency used in imperial China. They are said to attract wealth for the year ahead.

A whole chicken is often served.

 

Why? It represents family togetherness and rebirth.

Spring rolls are a traditional favorite.

 

Why? Their name literally welcomes in the new spring season.

Extra-long noodles are served during the celebrations.

 

Why? They are said to represent a long life. It is customary to slurp down the noodles, so the strands stay intact. If you give this a try, please don´t choke!

The star of the dessert table is a glutinous rice cake, which translates to the New Year cake.

 

Why? It is said to symbolize growth, as the word for cake sounds like the word for tall or growth.

Fascinating and delicious, but If you don’t feel like cooking there is always your favorite Chinese takeout right around the corner.

Remember to decorate a bit, Pier 1 and World Market are great for that.

There was a fantastic window display at Neiman Marcus and I just had to capture it for you.

Don’t forget the tea or the sake if you were so inclined!

Wishing you a very happy and prosperous Chinese New Year.

10 Tips to Stay Active After 50

10 Tips to Stay Active After 50

The spirit of wellness continues….

The new year is a time when we´re supposed to feel energized and full of ambition, but instead the holiday over-indulge often leaves us feeling bloated and a bit lethargic. The best tonic to tackle the tiredness is to get moving, and so I’m sharing my 10 top tips to stay active after 50 and have some fun along the way.

 

Use it or Loose it

Staying active after 50, offers so many benefits. It helps to keep us strong, healthy, flexible and it also combats the effects of the menopause monster. But exercise doesn’t always call for your blood, sweat and tears. A healthy life is all about wellness. I love to stay active, whilst enjoying myself at the same time, so here are my top tips to do just that…

1 – Walk and Talk

Taking a walk is a great way to get outside and be active. To amp up the fun factor, invite a friend. After half an hour of walking and talking you´ll have caught up on all the gossip and completed your 30 minute work out for the day without even realising it.

2 – Yoga

Yoga is a great way to stay active, whilst improving strength, balance and flexibility. It comes in many shapes and forms and can be tailored to suit your needs and abilities. Some styles are more fast-paced or strenuous than others, so if you aren´t a full blown Yogi yet, then look out for a suitable teacher or gentle yoga class close to you.

3 – Shop till you Drop

Some partners might disagree, but shopping is exercise – believe me! Spending a few hours walking around the mall gives you (and your credit card) a great work out for the day.

 

I also like to don a pair of killer heels to up the ante and really get those calves workings!

4 – Pilates

Pilates is a fantastic way for us to stay fit, providing a range of mental and physical benefits. It allows us to tone and strengthen our muscles, without being too taxing on the joints. Attending a regular class is also a great way to meet and mingle.

5 – Swim and Sauna

Swimming is a great form or exercise that works the whole body, whilst being gentle on the muscles and joints. Select the stroke, speed and distance that works for you and off you go.

 

After completing a few lengths, I like to treat myself to a relaxing sauna. It´s a great end to the work out as it’s can improve circulation, ease pain, reduce stress and improve cardiovascular health. That´s a win for me!

6 – Respiration and Relaxation

Controlled breathing has been shown to reduce stress, boost your immune system, increase alertness and it’s a great way to start the day.

 

Take a deep breath, expanding your belly. Pause. Then exhale slowly to the count of five. Repeat this four times and the benefits are yours for the taking.

7 – Resistance Training

Don’t let the fancy name, put you off. Resistance training is simply using your own body weight to get stronger, which makes it great as it´s super easy to do at home.

 

Exercises can include planks, side planks, hip bridges, lunges and squats. Each exercise can be modified to suit your skills and abilities. For those looking to really challenge themselves you can start using resistance bands for an added challenge.

8 – Arm Toning

The bingo wings and toothbrush wobble are a real pain point for a lot of women. Arm exercises are a great way to tone up this problem area and banish the upper arm wobble for good.

 

Push ups, dips and arm curls are simple exercises that help to improving toning and all can easily be performed in the comfort of your own home.

9 – Morning Stretches

 

If you´ve been following me for a while, you´ll know I’m always zipping here, there and everywhere. Morning stretches are a great way to get your body warm and moving first thing.

 

Five minutes and a few simple exercises can improve flexibility, mobility and alleviate stiffness. A combination of neck, arm, and leg movements leave you feeling ready for the day.

10 – Local Classes

Be socially active. It´s no fun to exercise alone. Pop to your local health centre or gym and see what they have to offer. The after-class coffee with friends is always a welcome reward.

I hope you´ve enjoyed this share. A healthy body and mind are what it´s all about!

If you´ve got any questions, leave me a comment so I can reply below and don´t forget to share with a friend so the walking and talking can commence.

Sending wellness wishes to all for 2020.

Sonia x

My Wellness Journey at 65

My Wellness Journey at 65

As you might know, I started to live full-time In Montana about four years ago. I was finished with my large construction project there and we moved into a gorgeous home.  After that project was finished  I had nothing to do no one to talk to and the winters are cloudy and long.   I had no purpose and very few connections. I finally had to pull myself up by my bootstraps and reinvent myself.  So at 65 I finally started to connect on social media. I chose Instagram for the beauty there, the women I saw and the art I could create.  I had never even been on Facebook.

 

So when we were talking about wellness and it became such a large all encompassing topic I thought I would start with ‘the meat of the coconut’  as I put in my post. For me that was getting centered and finding my power.  All the creams workouts and detoxes can’t begin to help if your mind and your self-worth are not aligned. I took a few steps to begin to control just that.  Here  is what I ended up doing

1. Exercise every day!

 

Even if it’s 15 minutes on a treadmill or a long brisk walk.  Get out in nature when you can; it is very important to connect in that way.

 

The key here is consistency. Start small and consistent. It’s easier to stay on track that way. I used to think if I didn’t work out after some arbitrary time let’s say 10am I “wouldn’t get around to it” this time I worked out whenever I had the time but never let one day slip by.  I don’t know if this happens to you, but if I miss one day I can talk myself into missing others – Don’t do that!

2. Teach yourself to set boundaries and say no!

 

Trust me when I say this will empower you, lighten the load and remind you of your strength.

 

Not only that, it frees up your time so you have no excuse not to spend the measly 1/2 hour it takes to get centered .  It occurs to me now that we might fill our time with things for others in order to avoid doing something for ourselves.  I promise you will not lose your friends They might even admire you for it.

3. Start your day with a healthy quick and a tasty green drink.

 

I used to say I don’t eat breakfast, but you have to “break the fast”. if you want your body and mind to get going. I never thought I would like a green drink, but I have a recipe here for a detox that is an every day easy to make way to get your veggies from Jacquelyn Jones, Health and Wellness Coach and Vegan Chef.

Featured on the Food Network
Founder of SolFood Collective and Starving and Single
@solfoodcollective
@starvingandsingle

4. Take the few minutes to put on your make up.

 

When you look good you feel good you will be surprised how that helps.

5. Go through your closet and

put your comfortable but everyday prettier things upfront.

 

For a long time I had a tendency to wear my old sweats and that does not serve you well.  As our resident stylist once told me if you don’t want to look ugly keep your ugly things in the back of the closet.  Well, she used other words!

When I did that I never wore them again I’m not saying you should be fully decked out, uncomfortable or in any way out of place. Just show pride in yourself.

6. Finally Don’t play the victim

 

As Nelson Mandela was quoted saying it doesn’t serve you to act small.

 

5 Affirmations to Attract in the New Year

5 Affirmations to Attract in the New Year

A New Outlook

At this time of year, everyone is busy setting their resolutions and goals for the new year ahead. If I´m being honest, I´m not a huge fan of resolutions. They tend to focus on giving things up or taking something away, so this year I’ve decided to try something new.

 

 

Attracting not Subtracting

Ive chosen five self-love meditation affirmations that will replace my typical new year resolutions and allow me to focus on growth and attraction for the year ahead. I wanted to share them to remind each of us of the power of thought and visualization.

 

My New Year Affirmations

 

In 2020, I will express gratitude for what I am lucky enough to have and experience.

In 2020, I will celebrate my body and it´s unique and miraculous abilities.

In 2020, I will release the negative and make room for people and things that make me happy.

In 2020, I will enjoy expressing my boundless creativity, without apology.

In 2020, I will treat myself with the same kindness I offer to family and friends.

 

 

Happy New Year. Happy New Decade!

 

Sending you lots of love and happiness for the year ahead.

 

Love, Sonia x