Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Rainy Day

Today was one of those days! Coming into December the rainy days are becoming more frequent and it's becoming dark so early in the day. Myself and Ollie had absolutely no plans today, and so close to Christmas we can't be trusted to go out anywhere exciting in fear that we spend all our Christmas savings. Or days when you literally just cannot be bothered getting in the car! 

Today Ollie napped very early and by lunch time we had been for a long walk, so where as he was bouncing off the walls- at 5 months pregnant I was hitting my midday slump with  no hope of him settling down again I decided we would do some meditation and relaxation techniques.
Just a few minutes of deep breathing, stretching, and relaxing music and it gave me the energy to spur on for the rest of the day. Ollie joined me for a while with some poses, he also sat on my head, walked Peppa pig across my face and urgently needed to know "what's that Mammy" all within the same 20 minutes.

Don't be put off, If you are trying to take time to yourself as a mammy;
✔️even a  5 minutes of deep breathing/ gentle stretching can help restore energy levels. Try get a few minutes in each day
✔️have lots of activities around to occupy little ones, Ollie is really into Art& craft at the moment and I've stocked up with heaps of materials and stickers from Dealz to keep him busy
✔️ if it's really not working you can always try again later, don't get worked up trying to relax.
✔️limit screen time as much as possible. This is a personal one but I find most of the time social media is filled with useless  information that won't add to your day.

The struggle is real 😂, trying to have 5 minutes quiet time with a 2 year old!

Coming up to Christmas I have premade heaps of these Christmas tree decorations that Ollie then decorates with stickers and keeps him so busy. Yay 

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Life is for living.

I'm sure you have heard the saying "live each day like it is your last", it's not my favourite saying as it's not really possible, is it? Surely if this was your last day, you wouldn't spend it sitting on a crowded bus for an hour to go to work a ten hour shift in an office! You need to do this, no matter how much you might not want to... But if it was your last day. No way! You'd spend it with family and friends, laugh, dance and sing and certainly no one would go to work. 

It's on these days, the every days, that it is hardest to muster up appreciation for all that we do have. It can be hard to see the positive side to the ordinary every days. But each and every day is life, each week that passes shouldn't be wasted or wished away, even if it seems the same as last week.

It hit me recently, as I was driving along one day how we only appreciate how  much we have when it is gone. We only appreciate our health when we are ill, our youth when we are old, our freedom once we have responsibilities, the absolute wonder if the world once it seems to be falling apart.

My other half was recently diagnosed with an illness that will effect him forever more, that will change our path. Instead of getting upset over this, we thought "ok , now our path has changed, let's see where this one leads". We still have a beautiful healthy boy, we are alive and get to wake up each day together. We are healthy enough to be able to work, we have our family, our friends and we have today.

So to end on a positive note. Try to appreciate each day to the fullest. Here are a few of my tips for gratitude. 
➕ Be present. Notice the people around you, the smells, the sounds and sights. Use all your senses and you will see things today that you never noticed before.
➕Don't compare your day/ life to others.   Social media is a powerful tool but it gives a warped sense or reality. Everyone's life has ups and downs. 
➕Count your blessings. Literally. From having time to sit with your family over breakfast to having the ability to work. Take a moment to be still each day and think of all you are grateful for. It all counts. Count it.

A new day tomorrow, let's make it count. 

With love 
Rachael. X

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Ban the bead.

I have seen a lot lately about the LUSH Ban the bead campaign. It surrounds the concept of the environmental damage that microbeads in exfoliants are having on marine life. In one study 35% of fish tested were found to have microbead particles in their digestive system. Microbeads in body and face exfoliants are made from plastics (you will see it on packaging as Polypropylene or similar) that do not bio-degrade and are therefore building up in the oceans. 

There are 2 types of exfoliaters 1: Chemical ( such as a sallysidic acid) or mechanical (beads/grains/particles). I think that it is pretty unnecessary to use an artificial product on your skin when there are so many natural grainy substances that can do the same physical job. 

So in the name of beauty I set about to make my own natural exfoliants using only ingredients from my kitchen or garden. I have a pretty normal skin type, and generally only exfoliate my face once a week, but I stopped altogether for about 5 weeks. By this week it looked dull and lifeless!

I made up a few for different skin types or concerns;


  • capsule of activated charcoal
  • few fresh mint leaves
  • zest from a lime
  • small drop of cool water to mix a paste
This is a great deep cleansing exfoliate that can be left on as a mask. Charcoal is deeply purifying and detoxing for the skin. The lime is packed with Vit C and Mint contains Vitamin A which helps repair skins surface. Empty the charcoal capsule and mix all the ingredients into a bowl, use your fingers to mash everything up into a paste. The charcoal is a fine powder so it is the perfect light exfoliant for oilier skin.

  • Polenta ( or any fine maize)
  • Fresh corriander
  • Virgin organic coconut oil
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Polenta is a fine maize grain rich in Vit A and C. It is slightly coarser so perfect for drier skin. Corriander is very nourishing for dry skin too. A small drop of coconut oil to bind it all together. My skin was so soft after using this.

Other grains that can be used as exfoliaters:
Coffee- Caffeine for perky bright skin
Oats- If you suffer from sensitivity
Crushed Almonds/Cashews/Macadamia Nuts- Dry skin
Salt or Sugar- More coarse so better for a body exfoliater

Mix with fruits or veggies such as 
Citrus Fruits rinds

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Inhale good, exhale bad

Welcome back to Wellness Wednesday! 

It's been a busy week for my little family this last week, between working, projects and family time it's been all go go go!

As mummas daily life is chock full of busy times.Stress comes with the territory when you are trying to juggle so many things in a daily basis. It's easy to feel like your fighting a loosing battle with household chores, work, and general life. Sometimes it is important to remember just to BREATHE. To really breathe, deeply, and let go of the tension you are holding in your body. It will instantly give you relief. I see so many people coming into my work, holding their shoulders so high and tight, completely unbeknownst to them. Stress and tension are physically draining and can take a toll on your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Have you ever had a particularly stressful day, and then the slightest thing sets you off, and afterwards you feel so much better, albeit slightly crazy :)

On a daily basis it's so important to take time out just to BE. Weather it is 1 minute or 15 minutes or an hour - if your lucky. Breathing deeply right down to your little toe and exhaling, releasing all the negative energy and emotions and thoughts. That niggle of annoyance about the towel that your other half left on the bathroom floor. Let it go. The stress you feel over the ever increasing laundry or dishes. Let it go. The exasperation you feel when your little humans empty the toy box everywhere, seconds after it has been tidied away. Let it go. If it does not serve you let it go! 

When I'm feeling particularly stressed I find a quiet corner in the house or take a walk outside and breathe. Inhale good energy, fresh air, positive thoughts. Exhale your gripes, annoyances, negative energy and stress. Let your shoulders relax. I bet you didn't even realise you were holding them tight?

 When you are finished you will feel ready to put back on your mummy hat and take on the world again. So when it feels like it's all getting too much, just remember to take a step back and just breathe .

Much love,

Rachael x

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Wellness Wednesday

Hi all, 

I thought I would start a thread for wellness Wednesday's that, hopefully il be able to post every week with a positive little message!
 Being a mum (or dad) is one of the most amazing and rewarding jobs that there is. Getting to watch your little ones grow and develop and achieve their goals is such an amazing feeling but being a parent is also such a hard job at times too. It is so important to be aware of this and to accept that it isn't always going to be lovely and easy! 

As a mum your day starts at crazy o'clock in the morning, you don't get lunch breaks, double pay, holidays or time off. When we are feeling tired or run down, or if we have a busy schedule it can be a little overwhelming. Being mindful does not mean to be positive all the time, it does mean to be aware of how you are feeling at that present moment and seeing the reasons that may be making you feel like that.. And to accept it!

When I'm feeling overpowered or low on energy, or if I'm having a tricky moment with Ollie there are a few things I like to try to pick our moods up! 
•Go outside; fresh air and the outdoors are known to increase your mood. Especially in Ireland when the weather can be so wet. Just wrap up well and get outside for even a few minutes! 
•Nourish yourself; you know those days when you have a take away and instantly feel sluggish and tired. Rarely do you feel like this after a salad or fruit. Keep it in mind next time you go to fix a meal. Eating well will nourish your body and mind. 
•Meditate and Stretch; if you have time take 15 minutes or even 5 minutes to meditate and focus your thoughts. Deep breathing or sun salutations are great for increasing energy and positivity. I try to set aside time in the garden while Ollie is playing for this. If yoga or meditation is not your thing light excersise will help too. Often when you have taken time to be with your thoughts you will realise that what was stressing you is not that important (the dishes will wait)
• Take time out for yourself; this is so important for self wellness to just take time out to do something you enjoy, by yourself! Wether it's going for a walk in the evening while your other half watches baby, Meeting friends or just having a bath in peace. It's important not to loose sight of you as a person outside your role as a parent.

And sometimes the only thing that will help on those days where you feel like you want to pull your hair out is a good nights SLEEP! :) Keep in mind what an amazing job you are doing mummy's and how much your little ones appreciate what you do!

Rachael x

Monday, 4 May 2015

Stop to smell the roses.

Firstly I just want to say sorry for my complete absence from the blog lately. I have been taking time out to really focus on Ollie and embrace our time together. 

I mentioned in a previous post I got tickets for  a mindfulness workshop and myself and Billy attended it in March. It focused on mindfulness with parenting and really helped me to become more aware of the present moment, not to be anxious about the future or regretful for the past. 

As adults we are looked at as the teachers to children and to set a good example yet it is children who show us how to embrace the present moment. Our little ones are determined, they don't give up until they get what they want and they see the beauty and wonder in the world that we have become so accustomed and blinded to. They teach us to live every day to the fullest.

So lately I have been spending a lot of time with Ollie outdoors and learning from him. We do yoga, we have our breakfast in the veggie patch (when it's not raining) and mostly we play 😊.His latest hobby is smelling every single flower he sees. When we are out walking he picks all the dandelions and daisies, I'm trying to teach him not pick "planted" flowers. Even with the dandelion, which is basically a weed, he takes a long sniff and says WOW. Our cherry blossom tree bloomed in the last week and the fragrance off the flowers is so beautiful. That tree has been in the garden for years and I don't think I ever really even saw it! One aspect of mindfulness is beginners mind which is basically seeing the world through a child's eyes. 

Im really going to try and practice this on a daily basis. Our little ones have so much to show us and open our eyes to the important things in life. I'm going to make a big effort also to post more regularly on this but I keep the Mayalu Facebook page updated more quite often so check that out.

Rachael xx

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Nailed it!

Most of you have probably heard the hype about toxins in nail polishes. It wouldn't come as a surprise, with the strong smell of it, that a lot of those little colourful bottles are filled to the brim with toxins. Most polishes have phased out the ingredients for the 3-free polishes and are slowley following suit for 5-free, greener more natural polishes!

What is 3 free and 5 free nail polishes?

3 Free; No Dibutyl Phthalate, Toluene, and Formaldehyde
5 Free; No Dibutyl Phthalate, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, and Camphor
The harmful effects of these ingredients are are well documented. They are strong, toxic chemicals and a quick google search will fill you in on all the deets!

I'm not too picky on brands of nail polishes as I rarely paint my nails any more since I had Ollie. If I do buy polishes its nice to be able to make an informed decision, especially since the more natural ones are just as good in my opinion. Great range of colours, brands and better for your nails and health :)

Which brands are 3 Free?

 CND, Essie, Estee Lauder, Hard Candy, Lancome, M.A.C., Nars, OPI, NYC, Wet ‘n’ Wild, Avon, Revlon, Nubar
Which brands are 5 free?

Chanel, Dashing Diva, Dior, Givenchy, Hopscotch Kids, L’Oreal, Nubar, RGB, Scotch Naturals, Uslu Airlines, Zoya, Mineral Fusion, 

If you know of any other brands that I'm missing, et me know and I'll add them in :)