Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Best way to stay healthy this winter!

The kind folks at Pukka sent me over a wonderful hamper filled with immunity boosting Elderberry goodies!! I had never even heard of elderberry but aparently they are tipped as the new superfood.

These wonderful berries have a long history of use in herbal medicine. Elderberries are hugely effective at maintaining a strong immune system because of their anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties. There are lots of research studies that support the protecting properties of this super fruit and champion them as a great way for you to fight off viruses during the winter months. Many even claim elderberries are more effective than the traditional flu fighter, Echinacea.

So I decided to give them a go, every morning for the last 30 days I have added a teaspoonful of Pukka’s Elderberry Syrup to my herbal tea.  It tastes really yummy! I am going to continue taking it over the festive period and will update you with my results but so far so good!!!

Below is some of Sebastian Pole’s top tips for keeping well this winter. Sebastian is Pukka Herb’s co-founder and master herb smith. He formulates all the company’s teas and supplements, and is a registered member of the Ayurvedic Practitioners Association, Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine and the Unified Register of Herbal Practitioners.

1. Move over Echinacea, elderberry is the new superfood
Many recent studies have shown that elderberries can neutralise 10 strains of the ‘flu virus. Packed with Vitamin C and antioxidants, elderberries can ease symptoms like fever, headache, sore throat, fatigue, cough, and body aches.
To make the most of the protective properties elderberries have to offer, and introduce some of their natural goodness into your diet, take one teaspoon of Pukka’s Elderberry Syrup up to three times a day. If you’re starting to feel rundown, try three teaspoons a day and you may be able to beat that cold or flu – or if you are already suffering you may be able to shorten your flu duration by half. The syrup also tastes great meaning it’s perfect for the little ones in the family too, give them just half a teaspoon up to three times a day.

2. Stay hydrated
As the months get colder, many forget it is important to drink lots of warm water and stay hydrated in winter. It is paramount to maintaining tiptop health because when hydrated, your body is better able to flush out toxins and fight bacteria. You’ll also benefit from boosted energy levels and improved concentration. If you do catch a cold or a nasty flu bug, dehydration can make your symptoms worse so keep your fluid levels up.
One way to drink lots of water and simultaneously help you stay warm in winter is to enjoy herbal tea.

3. Get rest
Late nights and early starts can take their toll on your body if you don’t get enough hours each night. The body is said to repair and rejuvenate itself when it rests, so it’s imperative you give your body the chance to do so. Try to get at least seven to eight hours sleep a day to let your body’s cells, tissues and organs repair themselves and keep your immune system strong.

4. Keep exercising
When it’s cold and wet outside it’s tempting to stay indoors and sit in the warmth, but do try to fit your usual gym session or weekly run in. It’s not just to keep fit, but to build your army of antioxidants that will help you fight the viruses that are everywhere in the season.

5. Massage yourself
The cold weather often brings with it aching joints and ‘frozen shoulder’. To offset this seasonal tendency, massage yourself with warm oil. When you’re finished have a hot shower and rub the oil off your skin with a towel. 

What do you do to keep colds at bay over winter? 

Love Ashly xxx

Monday, 19 October 2015

Why I go Paraben Free

Hey all! As it is breast cancer awareness month, I want to share with you all why I avoid personal care products that contain the chemical preservatives parabens.  Have you heard of them?

They are found in nearly all personal care and beauty products you buy on the high street. In 2011 they were banned in Denmark in products aimed at children under the age of 3 years on the grounds of reproductive toxicity. In fact, Exposure to high levels of oestrogen before or just after birth can be detrimental for male reproductive function. Scary to think many 'nappy creams' contain these preservatives.

All parabens have been shown to bind to human oestrogen receptors and increase expression of oestrogen. Lifetime exposure to oestrogen is among other things, an established risk factor for breast cancer so much so that Breast Cancer UK publicly supports the phase out of all parabens from all cosmetics and products designed to be applied to the skin and supports an extension of EU Article 60 (3), to ensure parabens are, by default, classed as Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC).

We are all becoming more aware of what we are putting in our bodies as food so perhaps it is time to take a look at the ingredients in the personal care products we apply every day to not only our skin but our families bodies too.

For more information see…/bcuk-fact-sheet-parabens/

I hope you found this useful.  It is not something I was aware of until a couple of years go, as soon as I became aware I made the switch :-)

Love Ashly xxxxx

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

New Bag! Paul's Boutique

As soon as I saw the press pictures of this bag I knew I had to have it.  I mean just look at this beautiful blue colour!!! It is so different to anything else I have and the shape is gorgeous.  Plus it is faux leather so suitable for vegans and animal lovers!!

To my surprise I realised it is by Paul's Boutique! They have had a complete rebrand, and are now officially amazing!

They have gone from young, brash and slightly chavy to sleek, edgy, urban and very cool!!!

The bag has a shoulder strap and sits really nicely on your side while using it. It has multiple pockets inside, including the must have one for your phone and a zip section for valuables.  I am in LOVE with the bright pink trim!! Oh so pretty!!

I have had so many compliments since I have started using this bag, looks like it's not just me who loves it!! Well done Paul's Boutique :-)

Head over to and check out their new bags, you will love them.

Ashly x

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Glowing Autumn Makeup Tutorial | Cruelty Free

Products Used
(all Arbonne)
Liquid Foundation in buff, deep beige & neutral beige
CC cream in Medium
Blossom Blush
Eye shadow in Linen & Java
Festive Xmas Pallette
Concealer in medium
Plum eyeliner
Rose lipstick

Lots of Love Ashly xx

Monday, 31 August 2015

How to Quickly Stop People from Holding you Back

Relationships, business, work, health, mind, ever wanted to change or improve something in your life but somebody is in the way? Someone is stopping you or annoying you or not letting you do what you want to do?

Do you ever utter the words, if only my boss would give me that promotion then I could get the new car I want. I wish my boyfriend would stop putting me down then I would be so happy.  If only my parents would give me more pocket money then I could go on that holiday with my friends?

What if I told you that there is a solution to your problem, that there is an answer to that person or situation 'getting in your way'?

3 years ago I wouldn't have believed you. I would blame others for where I was in my life, that I was unhappy or didn't have enough money or time and wasn't living the dream I'd hoped for. Until a situation forced me to look at myself at the choices I had made.

What I realised was that I was where I was because of me, myself! Nobody held a gun to my head and said I must be in that relationship or be working with this person or doing that job.I realised the choice was mine.

"The degree to which you accept responsibility for everything in your life is 
precisely the degree of personal power you have to change or create anything in your life" 
- Hal Elrod

By not making my own decisions and desires clear to myself and others, I was unconsciously choosing to let others lead me and let them make decisions for me, which in the long run I wasn't happy with, so how could I blame those people?

I want to tell you this so that you don't make the same mistakes that I did.

Whatever situation we are in is actually of our own making. At first I was so scared of this revelation, it meant I had to look at myself, that I was responsible for me and my own happiness.

After sometime sitting with this I got very excited and began to feel empowered. I am in control!!! I decide my future, just like you do!!

We have the power to change anything we aren't happy with!! A great book that helped me with this is 'how to get from where you are to where you want to be' by jack Canfield.  I highly recommend it, especially if you are looking to take control of your life or are in a situation be is work, relationship, living situation that you are not happy with.

Please don't spend time moaning about others, what they are or aren't doing for you or how they are treating you, when you have the power to change any situation you aren't happy with!

A friend of mine was always complaining about Facebook and how there were people on her timeline venting about their relationships or work and it made her so frustrated!  We spoke about it at length and she realised she had the option to change her frustration, she could either leave Facebook or delete/unfollow the people whom frustrated her.  Right then and there she unfollowed all the people whose comments frustrated her and she stopped moaning!! She changed from frustrated to empowered in an instant! Simple as that!

I hope you found this useful, please share any revelations you have had recently or any advice you have to help shift from an unhappy situation in to a positive place :-)

Love Ashly x

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Linton & Mac Press Launch Aberdeen

I can not tell you how excited I was when I heard about this brand new hair salon opening in Aberdeen.  It had the promise of something edgy and different and I have to tell you it did not disappoint!

It seems a lot of hairdressers go for the same vibe, clean, pretty and sometimes a little unfriendly but Linton and Mac Aberdeen has none of this.  It is Urban, modern, relaxed, cool and feels like you are in an edgy London suburb like Shoreditch or Spitalfields.

Jennifer Linton and Joanna MacDonald make up the duo Linton & Mac.  Both professional hairdressers with many years experience in other salons around Aberdeen, decided to take the next step and create their own funky new salon.

I love love love the decor and the layout.  The Long table for styling and different heights of seating is so different to anything I have seen before.  All the products and tools are hidden as they don't want their customers to feel like they are in a hairdresser but somewhere they can relax.

Everything about the salon screams new and edgy! On top of this the girls and the whole team are very friendly and helpful.

My favourite part (aside from the cool decor) is the blow-dry bar! Hop in for a half hour appointment before your night out, accompanied with a glass of prosecco or a gin & tonic of course, and get coiffed with your gal pals. All for £25, genius!

The official opening date for Linton & Mac Aberdeen is the 1st September.  I predict this place is going to be VERY popular so get booked in now on 01224 641664!

Ashly xxx

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

5 Secrets to Maintaining Beautiful Hair Extensions

Hair extensions make your hair thicker, fuller, longer.  I've been having them for years, I got my first set in 2005! Wow time flies.  They become quite addictive actually! A bit like getting your nails done, they just make everything look better!

The hairdresser tells you a couple of tips and may even give you a care packet but nothing prepares you for extensions like talking to somebody who has had them for years. 

With this in mind I know how hard it is when you first get them done and you don't really know how to look after them, they are not cheap after all so you want to make them last as long as possible.

Here are my secrets to keeping your hair extensions in great condition and making them last as long as possible! 

1. Always dry your roots.
This is where the bonds will be so whenever you wash your hair make sure that you take a couple of minutes to blow dry your bonds using COLD air.  I would use the hot setting on my blow dryer and they would get all warm and soft which is the opposite of what we want. So always use the cold setting. 

2. Wash less
It's a good idea to wash your hair as little as possible to keep your bonds in tact.  Dry shampoo is a lifesaver for this.  Extensions tend to hold styles and curls a lot better so why wash it if you don't need to? You can also do a top wash.  Section your hair in half, making sure all the extensions and bonds are neatly tied in a bun at the nape of your neck out of the way, leaving your natural hair free at the top of your head. Put your head upside down over the bath and do a shampoo and condition on the loose/top part of your hair. I do this once per week between washes. 

3. Serum and mask
It's likely that the ends of your extensions will get dry because they are not attached to your head they are not getting any oil to them.  To combat this I use an all natural hair serum by arbonne on my ends everyday, it keeps them shiny.  

4. Shampoo sans SLS
One of the main reasons my extensions often last 6 months is because I only use shampoo with out nasties like sodium laurel sulphate and silicones. SLS is a foaming agent which strips away the colour and moisture of your hair.  Best to avoid these ingredients to promote longevity of your extensions. I use Arbonne FC5 shampoo and conditioner.

5. Brush gently
I know this sounds simple but it really makes such a difference.  Brush your hair very gently and hold on to the top part of your hair while you run a soft bristled brush from near your hand to the bottom of your hair.  Braiding your hair at night to keep it from getting tangled over night is a great idea too!

Feel free to share your tips on keeping your hair extensions in great condition…

Love Ashly xx

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Pretty Little Thing Floral Maxi Dress

Dress - Faith Floral Print Maxi Dress // Pretty Little Thing £15

Photo - Sid Scott 2015 (See Imagine Define
Makeup - Kay Barclay of Kiki Belle MUA

Lots of Love Ashly x

Friday, 5 June 2015

REVIV ME IV Treatments

Pictures of celebrities with IV drips attached to their arms have been appearing everywhere. For years, I've heard rumours of celebrities receiving their vitamin top ups via injections. Of course why wouldnt you want to make sure your body has all the nutrients and vitamins it needs?  The only problem was where did I go to receive such a treatment?  So I was pretty excited when I was offered the chance to try the famous REVIV ME Mega boost vitamin wellness infusion drip treatment.

REVIV is a modern wellness spa specializing in IV Infusion Treatments and Energy & Wellness Booster Shots

We were founded by a group of Board Certified Physicians with a combined forty years of first hand experience in treating dehydration and low energy levels. Without argument, we know that the quickest and most efficient way to restore hydration and energy is thru IV infusion and Booster Shots.   

I did have a couple of questions though...

Why would you choose IV rather than just taking a vitamin supplement? When drinking water, sports drinks, energy drinks or taking oral vitamins, they all pass through your digestive tract and you only absorb about 50% of their benefits.  Delivering hydration & nutrients via IV means you get 100% absorption. Well that answers that then!

How long does it take? Our IV Treatments can take as little as 29 minutes for a single IV bag of Hydromax, Ultraviv, Megaboost and Vitaglow.  Our Royal Flush total body purification IV typically takes about 45 minutes. 

When can I start feeling the benefits? You begin to feel the effects immediately and they full develop over the next few hours.  

The Treatment

Great, off I went.  The spa I visited is in Knightsbridge, central London and was really nice.  Clean and relaxing without looking too clinical.  The staff were incredibly friendly and welcoming,  I was running behind and they stayed to wait for me.

My vital stats and blood preasure were taken to make sure I was suitable to have the treatment, I was.  Then the drip was administered.  I am not going to say it didn't hurt at all, there was a little prick but nothing too bad.  I'm pretty sure the thought of it makes it worse.  Once it was in I was taken to a room where I lay on a very modern comfortable bed and was given a blanket, I could have fallen asleep if it weren't for chatting to the staff.

About 30 seconds after the iv drip was attached I had a funny taste in my mouth an was told that was the vitamins so it does work VERY quickly!!

34 minutes later and I was done.

The Results


Directly afterwards I felt quite tired. Bearing in mind I'd hardly slept for 2 days and had been up since 5.30am, it was now 4.30pm.  I began walking to the tube thinking about how I was going to fall asleep on the train.  By the time I got to the tube, 10 minutes walk, I felt so awake I no longer wanted to go home and headed to Harrods to do some shopping!!  When I got home, I even made the dinner (now that is a rarity).  I stayed up that night until about midnight and had one of the best sleeps I have ever had.  The next day I definitely felt more alert and I even woke up early without an alarm.

Would I have it done again? Yes definitely.  If my body is getting everything it needs to work optimally why wouldn't I.

For more info head to

What do you think? would you give IV vitamins a try?

Ashly x

Thursday, 21 May 2015

5 Top Tips for Success

Up until a couple of years ago I didn't realise that there is a formula for success.  Success has a touch, feel and smell.  If you study any of the greatly successful men and women there are a few things you will hear over and over again that they relate their success to. 

1. Follow your dreams

If you are going in to business, be passionate about what you are going to do.  This will get you through the tough times.  Success is hard, it takes blood sweat and tears, if you aren't in love with what you do it will be all to easy to quit when the going gets tough.

2. Get Comfortable With the word 'No'

Not everybody will want the service or product you have to offer, and thats ok.  Sometimes no doesn't mean never and it is more often that not, not personal.  Take the emotion out of it and get comfortable with hearing the word no.  You will also have to be ok with saying no yourself, apparently women find this harder to say than men.  Practice makes perfect!

3. Be Persistent

Success takes stamina, patience and a massive amount of persistence.  There are hundreds of stories of successful people who had to hear 'no' or got things 'wrong' before they succeeded, but they persisted and that persistence paid off.   The secret.. never give up.

Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because he "lacked imagination and had no good ideas.


In one of Fred Astaire's first screen tests, an executive wrote: "Can't sing. Can't act. Slightly balding. Can dance a little.


While developing his vacuum, Sir James Dyson went through 5,126 failed prototypes and his savings over 15 years.


4. Wake Up Early

It is no coincidence that successful people wake up early.  Research actually shows that early risers tend to be happier and more pro active.  Starbucks' President Michelle Gass wakes up at 4:30 every morning and goes running. Vogue editor Anna Wintour is on the tennis court by 6 every morning before work. Square ceo Jack Dorsey is up at 5.30am to meditate and go for a 6 mile jog.  There is even a book about it "What the most successful people do before breakfast".

5. Set Goals

"The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score" - Bill Copeland.  Goals propel you forward, having a goal written down means you are 80% likely to achieve it, a goal in your head has only an 8% chance of success.  The more specific your goals the better.  This is a great article with a more in depth look at goal setting.

I hope you found this useful.  What are your top tips? Do you agree with these?

Ashly xx

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Gratitude.. BS or truly revolutionary?

Gratitude (thankfulness, gratefulness, or appreciation is a feeling or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive.) 

Have you heard of it before? It seems like all of a sudden it is everywhere.  Party due to the book 'The Secret, by Rhona Byrne' becoming so popular (if you haven't read it, check it out).

I have practiced it for quite a few years now.  However, I have to admit in the first few years I didn't truly understand it and I wasn't truly grateful for a lot of the stuff I was trying to force myself to believe I was grateful for.  When I look back now I realise it wasn't working for me, how can you be grateful for a job you hate? Or for a relationship you are in which is making you unhappy? No matter how hard you try to be thankful for these situations in your heart, you are not.  Ever have that feeling when you say 'I really do not like my job' and someone reply's 'you should be grateful you have one, many people don't' (The world should in my opinion is horrid but thats another story)... Do you get that feeling in the pit of your stomach? You feel guilt for not being grateful for this job which you hate.  This creates all sorts of negative feelings toward yourself and sometimes others.  So how can this gratutude work if that is the case?

Now I am in a much happier place, life is very good! So I am truly thankful for many of the blessings I have. I now understand gratitude, how and why it works, This is what I am going to share with you today because I know it can help many of you to lead happier, more fulfilled lives.

What is Gratitude?

Gratitude has two components, it's an affirmation of the goodness in the world. Of positivity and benefits we have received.  Not ignoring all the bad but seeing an overall picture that some things are good (this is the part I didn't understand)

The second part is realising where your goodness comes from. Figuring out what you love and like, who and what makes you happy.

The Results speak for themselves

A study done by the university of California were 1000 participants simply wrote in a gratitude journey consistently for just 3 weeks showed astounding results...

Stronger immune systems,lower blood pressure, more joy and pleasure, more forgiving, more outgoing, feeling less lonely and isolated.

According to the university of California gratitude has 5 key benefits...

1. Gratitude allows us to celebrate the present. It magnifies your positive emotions. 
Research on emotion shows that positive emotions wear off quickly. Our emotional systems like newness. They like novelty. They like change. We adapt to positive life circumstances so that before too long, the new car, the new spouse, the new house—they don’t feel so new and exciting anymore. 
But gratitude makes us appreciate the value of something, and when we appreciate the value of something, we extract more benefits from it; we’re less likely to take it for granted. 
2. Gratitude blocks toxic, negative emotions, such as envy, resentment, regret—emotions that can destroy our happiness. 
You cannot feel envious and grateful at the same time. If you’re grateful, you can’t resent someone for having something that you don’t.
There’s even recent evidence, including a 2008 study by psychologist Alex Wood in the Journal of Research in Personality, showing that gratitude can reduce the frequency and duration of episodes of depression. 
Research has also suggested people who have high levels of gratitude have low levels of resentment and envy.

3. Grateful people are more stress resistant
There’s a number of studies showing that in the face of serious trauma, adversity, and suffering, if people have a grateful disposition, they’ll recover more quickly.
4. Grateful people have a higher sense of self-worth
When you’re grateful, you feel that the world is plotting to do you good. Often gratutude is aimed towards a particular person or kind act that person has done for you... the sense that someone else is looking out for you.  You notice relationships, past and present, of people who are responsible for helping you get to where you are right now.

So is gratitude just hocus pocus or is it truly something magical that practicing will make you happier?

Why not try it! For 3 weeks every morning write down or say out loud 5 things or people you are grateful for.

What have you got to loose?
Do you already practice gratitude? How have you found it has helped you?

Ashly xxx

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Pulse Light Clinic // Laser Hair Removal

When Pulse Light Laser hair removal clinic contacted me and asked if I would like to try out laser hair removal I was very excited because I have always wanted to give it a go but never got round to it.

After all who wants to have to shave everyday? Certainly not me.  Considering waxing scares the bajeesus out of me I've really had no other option.  I felt like I was continuously shaving, and I am not even that hairy (honest).

The consultation
So off I went for my consultation.  Excited yet a little aprehensive (I had heard that it hurt).

The staff at the check in desk were lovely and very welcoming, despite me turning up a little late.  I was handed a form to fill in, it was quite extensive with lots of questions like did I use sunbeds or was I wearing self tan?  I didn't quite understand these questions until the lovely therapist explained that it would depend on the light they would use.

So I pulled down my trousers and jumped up on the bed, I felt surprisingly comfortable.  I think because the therapist was so lovely and friendly.

She ran the laser across my skin, it was a strange sensation. A little nippy but nothing too sore, and I have a low pain threshold.  She adviced that I looked at the light as it was working it's magic and that made it even less nippy.

So I pulled up my rousers and that was that. All good... ready for my treatments.

1st Appointment
2 weeks later I went for my first full session which lasted around 10 minutes and felt like nothing had happened.  The only part which felt a little uncomfortable was in a few 'tender parts'. However with the cold air blowing on to my skin at the same time as the laser, I soon felt nothing at all.

Over the next few days I noticed what looked like ingrown hairs, the therapist told me to exfolaite so thats what I did and after a couple of days they all went.

Now it is 3 weeks later and I can not believe the difference already, there is so much less hair.  Instead of having to shave everyday I am now down to about once every 3 days.  And that is after my first session! I have 3 more to go and I am pretty sure that I will be as smooth as smooth can be, I can't wait!

Check back for updates!!

Ashly xxx

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

The Wildfox Sweater

What I wore
Hat // H & M
Sweater // Wildfox Plaid Knit
Trousers // New Look Coated Leggings
Boots // Chanel
Ashly xxx