Coffee and shea butter body polish

I have started drinking coffee some time ago and I am obviously completely hooked now. I love coffee smell and those black aromatic grains are perfect for another body scrub recipe. Coffee and sugar is a tested combination. Coffee aroma will awaken your senses and caffeine will improve metabolism and circulation, helping with cellulite. Save your morning brew next time and you will have a lovely scrub for the evening shower.

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This time I am using shea butter for super creamy rich mixture, about 10-15g. As shea butter is quite hard in texture, start by whipping it up with a mini whisk.

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Once softened up, add half of the cup of coffee grains and about same amount of granulated sugar. Combine all well together and now it is time for the essential oils.

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I love using essential oils, I add them to face and hair masks, body scrubs, massage blends. My all time favourite is lemon essential oil as I love zingy, citrusy, uplifting scents. Lemon will blend well with a strong coffee aroma. Also vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, peppermint. Whatever takes your fancy. For this recipe, I am using warm and spicy black pepper essential oil and pungent stimulating cinnamon.

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Black pepper essential oil is steam-distilled from dried, crushed peppercorns. It has got detoxifying properties so it is good in blends for the cellulite treatment. Its warming effects works well for muscle pains and aches as well. Great for massaging those cold hands and feet in winter too! Psychologically, it is said to strengthen physical and creative energy.

Cinnamon is steam-distilled from the leaves and twigs. Again, it will help with poor circulation or slow digestion. It is strongly antiseptic and makes a good remedy for treating cold and flu. Psychologically, it will bring back your interest and enthusiasm for life, if you have felt down or disappointed.

Regular scrubbing is especially essential in winter months when skin gets dry from cold weather and layers of clothing. Try also dry body brushing on a daily basis before shower. It will work as an exfoliation on its own, smoothing and toning your skin. Use long upwards strokes. Make sure you will find some time for a little home spa in a busy pre-festive period. Later, you can only celebrate and be merry.

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Nature walks, British weather and vitamin D

It was a surprisingly sunny day after yesterday evening drenched in rain. Bonfire fireworks, of course, was wet. But today was dry, full of colour and light. I was sitting by the computer, job applying and nervously glancing through the window. I didn’t want to miss the sun and a natural shot of vitamin D. Latest research has proved that people living in UK may have low vitamin D level. 20 minutes daily of sun exposure has been recommended, you can also pop a pill if the sunlight is a bit sparse. I am suspecting so called British humour and irony has been a side effect of vitamin D (read: sunshine) deficiency. It may also cause winter depression and winter blues. Short days in autumn don’t provide enough daylight and we could actually feel sad and low, with no energy. It could be not enough sun, just simple as that. Ah, at the end of the day, we are children of the nature. Scientists come up with the term SAD, the Seasonal Affective Disorder. Come on, you just feel sad and miserable cause there is not enough sunshine to keep you going. You want to hibernate and sleep like some wise animals do instead of facing wind, rain and harsh conditions.

No, no it’s not all that bad. Winters are really mild here over in London, at least it can rain and blow severe gales. Forget blissful whiteness and quietness of majestic snow.

Since moving to London 6 years ago, I mostly have lived down the River Thames, in South West London. Now, only 10 minutes to the river. What a better place for walks or cycling. Prefer walking during weekends. The walking Thames Path is highly congested by runners of both sexes, holding hands couples, families with kids, dogs and buggies, occasionally a briskly walking an elderly person with a walking stick. That obviously makes cycling a bit awkward and almost dangerous. You actually can’t cycle directly on a path running just by the river, there are red signs with the crossed bike. I should have taken a picture of it. Some people cycle anyway, but not so much on Sunday afternoon, at the busiest time, sort of after lunch. I said to myself, whatever the weather I shall go on a walk, alone or in a company of a friend. But today, was just myself. I felt a bit lonely and SAD, but nature and the blue sky always bring a relief to my troubled soul. I never tend to walk leisurely, instead I just picture my path before setting out and always stick to it. Well, mostly.         IMG_3989

So, we start with blue of the river and sky. Now, River Thames is never blue, rather brown or grey. All depends on the sky, today it was a beautiful blue harmony of elements.

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The mood has changed after wandering into woods full of greens, yellows and                  browns. Holy reminds about coming up Christmas season.

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I picked some of the autumn berries: hawthorne, snowberry – isn’t a cool name?         IMG_4004     IMG_4009               

There were an etheric white sails on the river, joined by a rowing youth and a                      nearby boat of the commanding coach. Kids seemed to be tired…    IMG_4020     IMG_4022                                           

Last look at the pier. River take turns into the West. Sun is slowly setting and the light        is changing. Next time I should go out around this time and catch a glimpse of a                sunset.

Dreaming of summer: France, The Cote d’Azur

Here we are, November in full swing. Today is grey,windy and cold. The ash tree in the garden still holding some of its leaves, but most of them from the top has gone now.

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So, here I am dreaming about summer adventures, travelling, sun, colours and new places. Two years ago, we went to France, Cote d’Azur. We flew from London to Nice, then travel all along the coast to the Cogolin, not far from St.Tropez. We stayed in a nice apartment with a view of marina. A little boat would take you to the beach. On the only cloudy day during the whole stay, we cycled to the nearby Port Grimaud and rode a boat across the canals, finished with a bottle of wine on the beach. To get to St.Tropez we got a motorbike so thankfully could skip a lot of awful traffic. The Pampelonne beach was good, with warm sea and celebrities arriving at the Club 55. On the way back to Nice airport, we stayed one night in Cannes, having a look at the famous red stairs.

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I miss the blue colours, the open sea, swimming and relaxing. Makes me thinking about the next summer trip. Au revoir France!

Nature walks

Here we are, autumn in full swing. Just had Halloween and All Saints Day, now Bonfire Night coming up, and then we are on our way to Christmas. Was just talking to my niece and we are hoping it will snow.

During October half term, I went to a countryside in Hampshire with work.  It was my last visit over there, just one night, so I felt relaxed, decided to enjoy it. Nice house, space around it, quiet. Was waken up by the birds in a field, probably pheasants. Now I regret not taking pictures of sun rising and the frost in the fields.

The weather was warm and balmy for the end of October. First day after breakfast, took a walk down the drive. Beautiful autumn light, still lots of colour around, sheep grazing the grass.

Countryside in Adbury park

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Next morning we took a hike up the gentle hill. Place is called Downs, though. Was unexpectedly windy, but still very sunny and mild. Oh, green rolling hills of England, this tune came straight to my mind.

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Being at home, I particularly enjoyed sitting in a conservatory, very warm in there. And obviously, gorgeous geraniums could not get unnoticed.

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