Playing in Nature

Where houses are abandoned, nature takes over and paints the town in summer’s golden hues. It’s time for reflection, time to love and feel loved, time to reunite with mother nature.
This is roughly the idea behind Maria Galati’s photoshoot who chose Zoe Manousaridou as her model to capture the sense of freedom one experiences when in interaction with nature. An actress, art director and manager of emerging music bands, Maria Galati wanted to simply express her idea through her lens and Zoe’s gypsy soul and country style channeled and delivered the message. Nature played her part too. Enjoy!
Art Director/Photographer/Creative Photo Idea: Maria Galati
Model: Zoe Manousaridou
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Beach Perfect in 5 steps

As we are getting closer to summer, the stress on how our body will look in a bikini is overwhelming. So start planning from now, adjusting your diet and exercise regime to avoid panicking the last minute. Everything is possible as long as you stick to your goal and your goal should be to be happy with your image. Here are some tips to help you tone your body and boost your self-confidence before you hit the beach.
1. Stop Complaining and Set Up your (realistic) Goals.
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No one is perfect and life is not a magazine.  We said before: flawless beauty is itself a flaw. So instead of whining about your big buttocks, your saddle bags or your mushy thighs look at the big picture and ask yourself: What do you feel is your best feature? This should draw away your attention from the parts of your body that could need some work and drive you to a more positive attitude to achieve your goals. It’s a fact: by concentrating on the negative aspects you only attract more negative aspects utterly sabotaging your own efforts. So positive thinking is the key. Loving and respecting yourself should give you the mind frame to set up realistic goals. Start slowly and aim for weekly tangible goals that give you the achievement thrill “Yeah! I did it!” and leverage your motivation to go for more.
2. Start Meditating
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No need to emphasize the effects of stress on the body and mind. Stress can cause hypothyroid and this is no good news for your metabolism or body weight management, not to say your overall health. Meditation helps your body relax and drop adrenaline levels and it is proven to even alter gene expression! Plus when meditating, you can visualize yourself in your ideal state and reinforce your positive thinking. There are plenty of guided meditations on the web, even iPhone applications that can help you get it right, at least if you are new to this approach. You may check The Chopra Center or Erick Brown Subliminal Guided Meditation available at iTunes or any other meditation available doing a simple google search.
3. Exercise
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There is no excuse: if you want to feel and be healthy you have to get your body moving! Even a 20 minutes walk every day is considered therapeutic, if you have no time for the gym. Alternatively you could exercise at home, there are so many quick and efficient programs out there on the web. I highly recommend Yoga Journal’s 21 Day Challenge available for both newbies and intermediate yoga students as your day’s class is delivered straight to your email and you also get nutrition tips and healthy recipes too! If you don’t even have 20 minutes to spare, check Ramona Braganza‘s, short clips where you may even find less than 4 minutes workouts for before you walk -not the red this time,but- the “sandy carpet” 🙂
4. Follow a Healthy Diet
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No exercise however strenuous can outdo a trashy diet. Exercise and healthy eating go hand in hand. So make sure you implement healthy eating habits and take control of your diet. And when I say “diet” I certainly don’t mean starvation, nor the miracle diets or magic pills and teas. You heard about before and perhaps even experienced the yo-yo effects of such “easy fixes”. Try to eat lots of veggies and fruits and respond to your cravings by offering yourself healthy alternatives. If you are not sure what is best for your body it’s always better to spend some money and consult a nutrition expert. A visit would be best but still there are plenty of books on healthy eating or even e-books with online support communities to help you stick to your choice. In any case check the reviews and use common sense to listen to your body and its needs. Also you may have a look at the free healthy eating tips from USDA or Harvard’s healthy eating plate and pyramid explained below.
HEPApr2013As a final but important step make sure you drink lots of water. Eight to twelve glasses of water per day are generally considered as necessary for your body but it also depends on your sex, your body weight, your activity levels or even the climate (all of us living in the Middle East know how easily we can get dehydrated). A good rule of thumb would be to have two glasses of water before every meal.
5. Pamper yourself
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This tip targets especially mums, including myself. We tend to take care of everyone else in the family but ourselves. Personally, even if there is a great choice of spas and salons in Bahrain, I don’t know why but I feel guilty spending my time having my hair or manicure done in a salon. I get so stressed having to be tied to my chair for as long as the hairdresser needs to wash and blow-dry my hair, as if the world around me will collapse. I have been trying for the last couple of months to book an appointment for a massage and I keep on postponing it with the excuse “I’m too busy for this”. I hope you are not in the same wagon as me. What? you are? Too bad! Get over it quick!
Force yourself, like I force myself, and I promise you once you are out of the salon you won’t regret it. The feeling of being taken care by a professional, even when it is just a manicure, is amazing. Your self-esteem will instantly skyrocket. Your body will be thanking you. Still think of it as a luxury? Then bring luxury home!  Turn your bathroom into a personal spa. Scented candles, a bathtub full of warm water and bath salts, a body scrub, moisturizing cream and essential oils is all you need. Then find some quiet time and soak in after all are asleep.
You need to take care of your skin if you want it glowing under the sun, and you need to start now. Be sure to check back our ginny piggy column as we will be soon writing about some of the best anti-cellulite and skin care products we have tried so far!
And please feel free to share your beach perfect tips, we’d love to hear from you!
So are you ready for the countdown? 3-2-1! GO! I’m sure you can do it! 

The jeans beach bag

With the Americana style on the rise, the top to bottom jeans trend (of which I’m not a great fan) and the jeans handbag returning this season, I’m definitely carrying my Michael Kors at the beach for yet another summer! So roomy and light! What do you think?

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Tip-Toe walking in style and comfort

shoesI hear a lot of women opposing the idea of wearing high heels especially when they have a long day ahead filled with work, chores, driving or running after the kids… But none of them argues the fact that high heels are the ultra elegant accessory that gives you a magical – on the spot – feminine posture and movement, elongates the legs, tones your figure and tops up your fashion stakes and confidence.

It surely takes some practice to walk on them confidently and some women have certainly mastered the art of tip-toe walking more than others, however for those who by just looking at a pair of high heels feel that comfort is sacrificed over gracefulness, fashion made it easy for them this year and provided the perfect solution:
Wedges!!

Wedges provide a much better support so you can practice your “catwalk”, they come in all heights so you can wear them from morning to night, plus you won’t have to be afraid of destroying your perfect high heels while walking on a bad maintained road.

This summer’s top trends:

Espadrilles, the casual staple is back (actually never left the scene for some summers now). Cork wedges in patent leather preferably in nude color, snake skin and python details, canvas pumps in mute and bold colors, luxe  sneakers and METALLICS all over!  And let me not forget the color of the season which is no other than bright orange!

We have few suggestions for you on the spot, from left to right: Jimmy Choo nude cork wedges, Christian Louboutin, Tory Burch snakeskin embossed wedges, Tory Burch orange low wedges, Prada metallic silk wedges, Jimmy Choo metallic wedges, Giuseppe Zanotti  metallic wedge sneakers, Michael Kors canvas wedges and you can find them all at Saks Fifth Avenue or the respective boutiques.

Now, don’t go to the other side of the fence where you wouldn’t take them off even if you’d go on a safari in the desert, unless your name is Carrie Bradshaw…

*Fashion – Safety Tip: Always have a pair of flats in your car !! Simply store them under the passenger’s seat and wear them for driving, this way you won’t have to sacrifice your style or damage your precious high heels while stepping on the accelerator. And you drive safely too!

Still not sure what is best for you or need tips on where to find amazing deals? Contact us and arrange for your appointment with a Personal Shopper! It will save you time and money.