This week I received a press copy of the wonderful Danielle Steel and her new book The Cast- which I simply could not put down!


From The Lady Magazine;

The name Champneys is synonymous with luxury. Ever since 1981, they have been the inventors of the getaway well-being retreat that city dwellers love to escape to while Mrs Dorothy Purdew (now 86!) is still very active in the business and all that it stands for.

Set in sprawling grounds with grand fountains and well-kept gardens, Champneys at Tring is one of the UK’s most well-known spas, leading the way in expert treatments. It has been transformed from a stately home originally owned by the Rothschilds (which still holds all of its classic English charm) to a state of the art spa which includes a marine wellness centre, spa treatments, fitness and more.

I was there for a day of pampering and rejuvenation and on arrival was immediately welcomed by friendly staff who brought me one of the iconic white fluffy Champneys bathrobes (which I couldn’t wait to get on!) and then whisked away for the grand tour. The venue is luxurious and decorated in an elegant and chic style but without any stuffiness- indeed I revelled in how you can keep your robe on all day should you wish and leisurely wander around! The spa itself is absolutely huge so the tour was definitely needed. It holds jacuzzis, two fitness studios, shops, a swimming pool, gym, a tennis court and of course their famous spa that they are so well known for.

From massage and facials to wraps and scrubs, there was something for everyone to revel in their carefully-crafted list of dreamy treatments – which includes brands like Carita, Clarins, Elemis and Jessica. I prepared to relax and unwind with utmost dedication as I picked out the Beautiful Bumps package and a Collagen Gold facial.


I was taken through to a quiet tranquil treatment room and given a massage using the Champneys Shea Butter designed specifically for blossoming bumps. It involved a back, arm, leg, foot and scalp massage which sent me into a bliss-like state (and almost fast asleep too!) Massage benefits many areas of the body whilst helping to ease tiredness, improve circulation and relax the muscles in your lower back.

After all that hard work of relaxing it was time to take a break for some lunch. The Art Deco style restaurant was spacious with banquets and tables looking out onto the vast green lawns. The lunch is a suitable mix of fresh salads, sides, hot seafood, meat, vegetarian main courses and some not too naughty desserts (I fully recommend the healthy cheesecake!) Well, as I have an appetite the size of an elephant at present I tried a mix of salad and main and afterwards leisurely strolled (or should I say waddled) to have the Collagen Gold facial which Champneys is so well known for.

The Collagen Gold Facial is something skin often loses out on- hydration with the infusion of collagen and involves a refreshing mix of cleansing, exfoliating followed by the collagen gold mask suitable for all skin types (which looked a little futuristic but felt very calming on the skin). This was also followed by a massage.

I must admit I am a huge fan of reflexology so when my therapist asked me what massage I would like to try whilst my mask was working it’s magic I had to pick feet of course!

Many of their treatments can be tailored to your time at the spa and my guest (my mum) gave me the full report on her Citrus Blush treatment. She has dry skin so the Citrus Blush is designed specifically for hydrating and gives a full body uplifting experience, including a tension-relieving back massage and hot stone neck and shoulder massage. After being scrubbed, cleansed, massaged and slathered in beautiful Champneys products there was only one thing for it- head to the gift store! Here you can buy the actual products they use on you in an array of sizes and sets. I instantly bought the Shea butter but not sure my massage technique on myself will quite cut the Champneys level at home. And as my mum said on leaving the grand doors of Tring, “It’s hard work being so pampered!”

To book your spa experience;

For Beautiful Bumps visit;

For Collagen Gold Facials;

As seen @ The Lady Magazine

I had heard Dr Murad was a celebrity favourite and I have most definitely seen the creams on the shelves but could his products help me with my combination skin? And who is Dr Murad? Known as ‘the father of internal skincare’ (sounds quite saintly when put like that!) Dr Howard Murad is recognized as a leading visionary for his scientific innovations which focuses on a total body approach to youth building and overall wellness. His mission and passion is to help people unlock their potential to look younger, to feel younger and to live healthier, happier and more rewarding lives (good to know if you want to snitch a couple of years off your D.O.B).

There is also something quite appealing about science and beauty. Instead of being all talk, Dr Murad has been in the business since 1989, creating groundbreaking skincare formulas, which were among the first to achieve significant measurable anti-aging results without surgery. Dr Murad continues this innovative research and holds 19 patents for advances in the science of skin health.

At Blush and Blow, a spacious hair and beauty clinic stood in a leafy neighbourhood of West London, there is something calm and tranquil when arriving. My lovely therapist listened to my concerns (mainly combination skin which tends to be dry and oily in different areas) and recommended their classic Dr Murad facial with Vitamin C mask. The poor thing had her work cut out for her removing the amount of makeup I had been wearing earlier in the day and then the cleansing of the face began (which also felt like a lovely light massage).

The idea of the facial is to combine a high-performance glycolic peel with a selection of creams and serums. She put a low version of this on my skin  (as I am pregnant) and told me to tell her what level of tingling I felt. Indeed the sensation was not uncomfortable at all but felt very light on the skin and each stage of the treatment was a seamless transition to a selection of statement creams designed to provide a plumper, glowing and more smoother skin after just one treatment.

There is also the added factor of hydration. Living in a city, being busy along with tiredness can cause a whole host of complexities within the skin. The facial aims to bring back a more advanced level of hydration whilst tackling problem areas. Dr Murad believes in three areas of hydration problems; Genetic ageing, environmental ageing and hormonal ageing and even though these are mainly natural processes that happen over time there are ways to combat it with the right replenishment.

Indeed after my facial, I did feel I had ‘got the glow,’ with the amount of creams, tonics and serums that had been gently applied. There is also the therapeutic effects of the facial. Being whisked away from central London for an hour, having your skin cleaned, plumped, hydrated and refreshed made me feel very pampered indeed with a natural healthy glow. And as they say, if the body is pampered, the mind is free to concentrate!

The Dr Murad facial is now available at Blush and Blow; 

020 7736 0430


As published on Huffington Post UK-

It’s that time of the year, the air changes, our skin starts drying and our emotions can start to feel quite drab. Although there is a certain joy about getting the winter coat on and purchasing a couple of new jumpers (named the back to school kit forever!) it can still feel irksome when the cold winter nights set in.

It has been proven that we lose a lot of our enriching vitamin C at this time of the year and often motivation, so here are my top ten tips to get a spring in your step, whatever the season….

1- Spontaneous plans

It can be quite easy to fall into the tread of everyday existence, wishing the winter months by and dreaming of summer, but it’s a time to be rejoiced. Cherish the colours of the trees through autumn and the crisp December mornings. Take that extra walk even if it’s freezing. It’s also good to switch up your plans a bit. Visit a new obscure place. Call an old friend to catch up. And do something with your weekends! Don’t let life drift by, you don’t have to wish your winter away.

 2- Vitamin overload!

Now is the time to really get your vitamin intake in shape. Doctors can provide a blood test to see what your deficient in as well as iron levels. Supplements can be purchased cheaply but beware of the real rock bottom priced ones (I’ve seen some for 40p for 100!) because they are produced chemically in a factory and contain nothing that is good for you. 5-HTP supplements are great for increasing serotonin and Vitamin B can have a calming effect. If you feel like treating yourself, a nutritionist is also amazing at working out exactly what you need to be the best you.

3- Continue your new years resolutions now!

Make that list, pen out a plan and write down your dreams. Create your own mood board for your dreams and believe in the intention that you will act upon them. Don’t say try, say I will! Break down small tasks that can become bigger tasks. Look at what’s not working and change it, no one’s stopping you from ending something you’re just not into anymore.

4- Start your morning well

The morning is a very important time. Laying the foundations correctly can set the whole day up for happiness, focus and purpose. Waking up and having gratitude for your life and loved ones is a great way to start and too often we forget how lucky we are and throw ourselves out of bed. If you can take a probiotic it will help with digestive wellness, followed by hot lemon water to release toxins and create an energy flow. Simple stretches and leaning over gently to get blood to your head or a brisk walk to get fresh air can clear the head. And in the adopted words of Benjamin Franklin ask yourself, ‘what good am I going to do today?’

5- Cutting out the rubbish!

Earlier this year, I was bedridden with a chronic illness. Throughout this time, I tried many doctors, specialists and everything medicinal in-between but when that didn’t work I turned to naturopathy. I thought I was pretty healthy but my therapist suggested I cut out wheat, dairy, sugar, gluten, carbs and alcohol (to my astonishment at the time!)

Within just one month I had more energy, focus, happiness and creativity- it was physically and emotionally like a cloud had been lifted from my shoulders. My friends thought I was mad not eating sweet treats and although not easy, the benefits far outweigh it.

It is amazing that even on the back of a simple supermarket salad you will often see an abundance of additives including lactic acids, stabilisers and Xanthan gum.

6- Boost your serotonin!

Winter Seasonal Affective disorder (SAD) affects millions of people worldwide with a huge 25 million in America. Serotonin exerts powerful control over our emotions, wellbeing, memory, focus and cravings and when lacking this can cause problems with sleeping, pain tolerance, body temperature and the ability to feel enjoyment.

Serotonin boosting foods are kale, spinach, green tea, eggs, nuts and fatty omega rich fish.

7- Take a gadget break.

If its not whatsapp, it’s instagram, emails or facebook. Then there’s telephone calls, YouTube and computer work, its no wonder the brain gets frazzled! This can all lead to a state of aggravation, confusion and feeling complacent.

An easy way to start is to get technology out of your room when you’re sleeping. Then try to take frequent Internet breaks. Do you really need to see another duck video or a photo of someone’s macaroni cheese?

8- Get spiritual!

Yoga and meditation have been used in ancient Chinese culture for centuries and have been proven to have calming effects. Most recently Harvard students produced a five-year study, which scientifically proved that practicing yoga, meditation and mindfulness increased energy metabolism and insulin secretion.

When testing people that practiced yoga twenty minutes a day and those that did not, they found a medicine link that reduced inflammatory disease and stress.

If you don’t have a yoga class near you, there are many free online tutorials and meditation wise, Deepak Chopra posts brilliant videos.

9- Swot up!

In the dreary months ahead learning can always broaden the horizons. There are some great online courses or my personal favourite is watching Ted talks (perfect in the bath!)

You can find out the most incredible inspiring things! Look at your local classes if you don’t feel like travelling, walking to a class might be easier and you’ll get some air too!

10- New exercise!

We hear it often enough that working out is good for us but did you know that repeating the same exercise cannot always benefit as much as we think? Our bodies can accommodate and adapt to regular exercise very quickly therefore not burning as many calories (whilst sometimes it can get a little boring!)

Arnold Lee, MD, a physician at One Medical Group, San Francisco believes that stimulating different muscle groups releases more endorphins and stops your body and brain from going onto autopilot.

Exercises that require more than just using the body, for example ballroom dancing, stimulates the brain whilst building a healthy heart, body and mind.

Coat by Zara

Maternity Dress by Serpahine

Shoes by Marks and Spencer (but don’t they look oh so Prada;)

Well, it’s not all afternoon teas and cakes! I’m so excited and thrilled to be pregnant, so thought I would write a blog post about my journey so far.

Wow! Motherhood. It seem it is the most terrifying journey I think I have ever been on so far- more scary than when I used to go for auditions in front of ogre directors that would rip you to shreds if they felt like it! More scary than venturing anywhere or trying something new because I am now responsible for another life for the rest of my life (cue thinking ‘But I can’t even look after myself!’)

But above all, I am super excited and happy to be venturing into the unknown. I am so happy to try and be the best I can be at something so wonderful and give all the love I can.

It has undeniably been a rollercoaster few months, I’ve had such a rocky pregnancy I was scared to even write, post or say anything at all- I have been in and out of hospital, getting sick, bronchitis and having placenta previa with a whole host of other abnormal things along the way- not that glamorous eh?!

Also you have to deal with the sickness. Literally smokers made my stomach turn. And their bloody everywhere in London! I would cross the road as smokers would make me be sick if I smelt it- hello zig zagging! But then another would pop round the corner. Your sense of smell is so strong that even a whiff of BO on the tube can send you into gag mode.

I have now stopped being sick and am in nesting/planning/organising mode! I am addicted to all things vintage so I’ve turned into a mentalist for Silvercross, 1950’s and well, anything darling! Yes, I am that woman googling vintage prams at 1am in the morning!

I will be excited to do some posts of what to wear when pregnant- it is a hard job if you love vintage and being feminine like me. Of course there are those maternity jeans and leggings (yuk) so I’ve been getting creative with what to wear. At first I tried to make my normal clothes last as long as possible- stretchy dresses or blouses over capri pants (but with the zip down, as I couldn’t do them up 😉 But now I have hunted in fabulous places for maternity wear- including Seraphine, Bombshell HQ, bargain sales and of course Marks and Spencers (the one stop go-to shop).

Am I scared? Absolutely. I am not going to deny I have had crippling anxiety at times, worrying about the smallest things and feeling totally overwhelmed by the bigger stuff. I started having anxiety attacks at how I was going to manage, waking up in the night and worrying and although this is something I suffered from in younger years it came back in full force and felt totally uncontrollable. Luckily I instantly got help in every way I could. A doula to help with day to day organising nearer the time, a few sessions with a Therapist who is very spiritual too and lots of yoga/meditation are all helping more and more.

I also felt better doing the smallest thing- not beating myself up and trying to ‘stop’ the anxiety that kept coming my way. When your pregnant you are totally hormonal anyway- I saw a picture of a dog one day and literally started crying as I thought it looked quite sad! But, if there’s nothing I can do about it, why bother getting upset?

I realised it’s o.k to be scared and vulnerable, it’s o.k not to know how it’s supposed to go, it’s o.k for life to suddenly turn on it’s heel- including motherhood. I am no expert and sometimes things aren’t perfect and that’s o.k. Sometimes life just happens and instead of worrying, try to turn these thoughts into a positive and move into a more better way of life. And that’s what I’ve been doing- slowly but surely!

Although I feel I am still learning and walking in unknown territory, I am on the whole loving being pregnant. It is such an exciting time and it has made me change my view on the whole world and how it works. I feel much more humble and joyful at this new existence I will be living. I now feel I can truly be myself, work towards positive new goals and for that I am grateful.

But apart from all this serious stuff, having a baby is super fun!

All the questions you have- ‘what will they look like?’ ‘where will we go together?’ ‘what will they become when they grow up?’ are all so exciting to think about, but currently I am trying to enjoy the moment and go with the flow.

I haven’t been able to have my normal pace of life which involves weekly dinners, attending events, writing, dance, shoots, a little champagne and generally rushing around being a busy bee! Even when I write that I realise how frivolous that sounds! But when your living in London, it’s the norm to cram in as much work and fun stuff as possible. I’ve still been doing some of them but everything has slowed down and well, I feel good, content, happy- well, I feel just really right.

I am sure I am not the only one to worry about how to do it all and for that we just have to blindly feel along the way- especially those like me who never planned it (and I don’t mind admitting that) but when it’s been thrown their way are seeing what a blessing it is.

How wonderful that we think we are going down one path, and then we are told we are going a different way! I think for me that was poignant in the last year- going to America after fighting so hard at getting a permanent visa and swiftly realising it was not for me, with a lot of crazy stuff happening along the way (but that’s another post for another time 😉

Ladies, your not supposed to know it all, just enjoy the delightful experience of a little person growing inside you. The most magical, exciting and awe-inspiring thing in the world. And as they say, ‘You’ve got this!’