Thursday, July 28, 2011

Freebie List - "8 Glasses of Water a Day"

Unless you are a fish, most of us probably don't drink enough water every day - come to think of it I'm not even sure if fish actually do drink - but you get what I mean.

The old '8 glasses a day' rule has been around for ages, and even though the latest scientific evidence somewhat debunks the theory that we need at least 8 glasses a day, I know there are days when I don't drink a single glass at all.  Which is not a good thing.

Some of the main benefits of drinking plenty of water include -

  • It helps to suppress your appetite 
  • It helps to keep skin moisturised, radiant and supple
  • It helps our digestive system to work properly
  • It helps to flush toxins from our body
  • Drinking enough water stops your body from retaining water

So, combining my need to drink more water and my exorbitant love for lists, I've created a little chart to track how much water I am drinking each day.  So far today I've already had 3 glasses - which is roughly 3 glasses more than I had yesterday so I'm on a roll so far, woohoo!

The good news is scientists now agree that most liquids you drink count towards the total, including tea, coffee, juice, etc. but obviously there are far more benefits from drinking water than downing 8 glasses of soft drink!

5 tips for drinking water (if drinking water is not your thing!)

1. Drink 1 glass as soon as you go into the kitchen in the morning.

2. Personally, I find water is easiest to drink with a straw, it goes down quicker and easier.

3. If you drink a lot of coffee or tea during the day, trying drinking a glass of water between each one.

4. If I feel like a little extra zing, I add a dash of one of Bickfords traditional cordials.  There are 9 cordials in the range but the Diet Lime cordial is my favourite - super refreshing and not too sweet.  And I just love the look of the Bickfords bottles - so vintage!

5. Finally, I like drinking my water out of a really nice glass.  Years ago I bought two gorgeous cut crystal tumblers and they are divine to drink out of - heavy and sparkly!  $20 is a lot of money to spend on one glass, but when you think about it $20 is not too bad to have a little luxury in your life and you may be able to pick up a bargain on eBay.  Waterford Crystal is some of the best crystal in the world.

If you have any more tips on how to increase your water intake, I'd love to hear them!

If you would like a free copy of the chart (its an A4 page with 2 charts per page), leave a comment with your email address, or you can email me directly at eloise (at) webbi . com . au

Lastly, just keep in mind that although 8 glasses is a great idea, it's not a big deal if you can't manage 8 a day.  If you are not a big water drinker normally (like me), even 3 or 4 is an improvement so don't beat yourself up about it if you are not crossing all the glasses off the chart.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What do Marie Antoinette, Marilyn Monroe and Me have in common?

Very little probably - I am not a French queen or a famous sex symbol – (or ever likely to be!) but there is one thing that we all have in common.

During the late 18th century, it was considered the height of fashion in the court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette to apply small “patches” of black velvet or silk to the face.  These fake beauty spots were known as “mouches” [French for fly] and would typically be cut into the shape of circles, hearts, moons or stars.

Patches were worn by both men and woman and were so popular that people carried them around in pretty little patch boxes that were commonly exchanged as gifts.

So how did the equivalent of a large black spot on the face ever become so darn attractive?

It started in the 1600’s when patches were first worn to cover small pox scars.  But by 1653, John Bulwer wrote "our ladies have lately entertained a vain custom of spotting their faces, out of an affectation of a mole, to set off their beauty.”

By Marie Antoinette’s time, patches were no longer considered as the baroque alternative to Clearasil.  The French court had come to realize that an imperfection, such as a beauty mark, can actually enhance a person’s natural beauty. 

Or as Conrad Hall so succinctly put it “There is a kind of beauty in imperfection”.

By the mid 1800’s patches had fallen out of fashion. But when Marilyn Monroe appeared on the scene in the late 1940’s, her signature spot above the lip launched beauty marks into vogue again.

In reality, Norma Jean Baker’s famous beauty mark was a skin coloured mole which was initially covered up or erased from early photographs.

But Norma Jean was a smart cookie.  She recognized that this particular imperfection actually enhanced her natural beauty and highlighted her famous pout. By the time she had transformed into the blonde bombshell we know as Marilyn, her beauty spot was artificially darkened with makeup.

Even today, the popular trend of having a small stud piercing above the upper lip is known as a “Monroe Piercing”.

So what does this have to do with me? 

Well, I won’t be gluing black patches to my face any time soon or painting my moles with liquid eyeliner or getting any facial studs, but lately I have come to realize – as did my soul sisters Marie and Marilyn – that there is a kind of beauty in imperfection.

There is a lot of pressure in today’s society to be “perfect”.  Perfect looking, perfect weight, perfect wife, perfect mother, perfect job, the list goes on. 

The message is blasted at us from every magazine, every TV commercial promoting the latest wrinkle cream and every Kentucky Fried Chicken ad with it’s perfect mum and dad and their perfect children smiling over their perfectly positioned fries.  Ugggh.

But as I approach the big milestone of 40, I realize I am not perfect and I never will be.  And you know what, I’m comfortable with that. 

I might yell at my kids a little too often to be a perfect mother or avoid the housework too often to be a perfect wife and I definitely eat way too many muffins to ever be the perfect size, but that’s okay.

I forgive myself for my imperfections and more than that, I cherish them, because I recognize it’s those things that help to make up the beautiful person I am.

So let’s stop beating ourselves up over our imperfections.  Let’s stop feeling bad about our past mistakes.  Let’s admit we don’t have to be super woman or even super mum.

Be kind to yourself, forgive yourself, love yourself and recognize the beauty of your imperfection.

Do you feel under pressure to be 'perfect' all the time?  Do you have imperfections that you have come to love?  Leave a comment below, I'd love to hear from you!
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