Monthly Archives

May 2017

Posted on May 31, 2017

5 simple exercises to help ease lower back pain

fitness

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From a young enough age,  I accepted that chronic back pain will always be an issue for me.  I first became accustomed to lower back pain around the time when I started menstruating and it has since then became such a normal part of my life. I have now gotten into the habit of practising my own stretches and exercises at home to ease up any tension whenever I feel a bit crampy.

Of course, I am no fitness expert (please see disclaimer below). Being a regular gym goer and attending fitness classes has helped me pin down which exercises work best for my back pain so here are some of the simple exercises that I do at home whenever my back starts to act up:

Cobra stretch

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Directions:

  1. Lie flat on the floor with your tummy facing down and both legs extended.
  2. Tuck your hands and elbows at the side of your body and the push your torso upwards while taking in deep breaths.
  3. Ensure your hands are placed directly under your shoulders and only arch your back as much as it’s comfortable.
  4. Hold for about 15 seconds or more and then slowly lower yourself back down while exhaling.

Bird dog stretch

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Directions:

  1. Position yourself on your hands and knees while keeping the spine neutral (no arch).
  2. Extend one leg back and the opposite arm straight ahead.
  3. Hold for about 10 second, or as long as comfortable.
  4. Repeat five or six times on each side.

Floor knee-to-chest 

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Directions:

  1. Lie flat on your back with your legs straight.
  2. Using both hands, pull one knee up towards your chest while keeping the other foot flat on the ground.
  3. Hold your knee firmly against your chest and keep your lower back pressed to the floor.
  4. Hold for about 15 seconds and then repeat with the opposite leg.

Floor bridge

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Directions:

  1. Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and your arms by your side.
  2. Slowly raise your hips off the floor keeping your feet flat and contracting your glutes as you go.
  3. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds and then slowly release.
  4. Repeat about 10 times or more.

Wall plank (yoga pose)

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Directions:

  1. Start standing facing a wall.
  2. Reach the wall with your straightened hands and slowly bending them forward and downwards.
  3. Lengthen your spine as much as possible and if you feel any pain, slightly bend your knees.
  4. Maintain this pose for about 30 seconds while breathing deeply.

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Disclaimer: This is not a substitute for professional medical advice, I am simply sharing some of the exercises that I tend to find helpful for myself. Always seek advice from a health professional or physician before trying any exercise at home because no two people are the same, if it works for me that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will work for you!

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Posted on May 15, 2017

“You’re a frilly pair of knickers away from being a Bridget Jones” and other funny quotes about me!

vlog/ youtube

I was once told that I am overly concerned with using Instagram, taking selfies and eating Happy Meals. Although there was a time in my life where I would have found the truth in those words incredibly offensive, I can’t help but laugh at them today – especially since I can’t remember the last time I actually had a Mc Donalds!

Nothing humours me more than hearing some of the things people say about me and I’ve always made it a point to surround myself with people who never fail to have me in tears of laughter – it truly is the best medicine! So I’m about to give you a dose of that with some funny quotes about me – which may or may not be true.

Hope you enjoy my video! And remember, if you can’t laugh at yourself, then who can you laugh at? 🙂

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Posted on May 10, 2017

Dear Irishmen, please stop sexualising us

Uncovered

IMG_0505

Dear Irishmen,

There’s more to us than our colour.

There’s more to us than our looks.

There’s more to us than the body that you have unjustly exotified because you refuse to look at what we can offer you intellectually.

We have depth. We have character. We have value.

So please stop sexualising us.

When you sexualise us you don’t make us feel beautiful. You don’t make us feel special. You don’t make us feel unique. You make us feel like an object that you will eventually get bored of and toss out after having derived maximum pleasure from us.

Stop sexualising us.

Because when you sexualise us you are merely reminding us that you don’t actually see us. You do not see us for what or who we are. You see nothing more than a physical aspect of us. You see a carnel desire and someone with whom you want to explore your insatiable black girl fetish.

Stop sexualising us.

Because when you sexualise us we can’t help but wonder how much longer you’ll stick around after you get tired of the pigment of our skin.

Stop sexualising us.

Because when you sexualise us you are damaging our spirit. Tearing up our soul. You are instilling an insecurity in us about something that we should be proud of.

Stop sexualising us.

Because when you sexualise us you’re telling us that we will never amount to anything more than a checklist, a conquest, a tool.

It is degrading. It is diminishing. It is devaluing.

So why do you continue to sexualise us?

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I am not a commodity.

I am not a car for you to test drive one day because you’ve come to the realisation that you’ve yet to try a black one.

I wasn’t brought to this world to explore your sexual curiosity and I do not exist to fulfil your sexual needs.

Dear Irishman, the next time you set your green eyes on me, remember this:

There’s more to me than my colour.

There’s more to me than my looks.

There’s more to me than the body that you have unjustly exotified because you refuse to look at what I can offer you intellectually.

I have depth. I have character. I have value, so please stop sexualising me.

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Posted on May 7, 2017

And the winner is…

win

bellamianta

Firstly, a massive thank you to everyone who entered my Bellamianta competition on Instagram and Twitter. It was incredibly hard to choose a winner (as always) but unfortunately there can only be one!

A big congrats to Amanda Troy, I will be in touch with you so keep an eye on your DM’s 🙂

I encourage the rest of you to keep an eye on the blog and to follow my social media channels, for upcoming competitions! Thanks again for all your support 😀

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Posted on May 1, 2017

April favourites!!!

product review

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Hello everyone, I hope you’re all enjoying your long weekend! I spent Saturday afternoon filming a story time video for YouTube. I shared a story about the time I thought I kissed an American – don’t ask. Just reserve your judgment for after you’ve listened to my story *straight face emoji*

Today’s blog post is going to be less amusing as I will be giving you a roundup of my ultimate beauty faves over the past few weeks. But don’t worry. I might not have you in stitches, but at least I can help you achieve flawless skin this summer after these lil gems become part of your life 🙂

Differin Adapalene 0.1%, prescription only

differin

If you suffered from acne at any point in your life, then you would know how much of a nightmare it can be to find a cream to treat it or foundation to cover it. My nightmare has finally come to an end (for now) since my doctor prescribed me with Differin, a gentle retinoid drug that is quite aggressive in how it treats acne. I won’t go into too much detail of this product because I do plan on doing a full review for acne awareness month! But for the moment, take my word – this product is a holy grail for acne prone skin. The key with Differin is to USE IT PROPERLY – a pea size amount before bed will suffice. In the first week I overused it and it burnt the face off me, so make sure you follow the instructions. Do your research and speak to your doctor about getting a prescription as it did absolute wonders for my hormonal/cystic adult acne.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gelee Milk Cleanser, Boots, €10.99

hydro boost

There is just something about a no rinse cleanser that I can’t seem to get enough of. This gel like cleanser combines “the lightness of a gel with the  efficacy of a make-up remover milk.” It has been my go-to makeup remover and cleanser after a night out – a few pumps on a cotton pad and voila, the makeup is gone! What I like the most about this product is that it works with the skin’s natural moisture system to restore, replenish and give it that healthy glow. It contains Hyaluronic acid, which is naturally found in the skin meaning your skin gets an extra boost with little to no effort! Other makeup removing products in this range worth trying are the Hydro Boost Water Gel Cleanser and and Hydro Boost Micellar Water both €10.99 in Boots.

Fruit of The Earth Aloe twin pack, Mc Cabes Pharmacy, €7.00

aloe vera

This lotion actually started off as my ‘gym lotion.’ For the non-gym goers out there, that simply means I bought it solely for using after a shower in the gym. The words aloe, natural, and skin-cooling stood out to me immediately and given the price, I thought I wouldn’t lose much if I didn’t get any benefits from it. Much to my surprise, this lotion now has a permanent place in both my gym bag and bedroom. The triple action formula always leaves my skin soft, smooth and nourished – all the properties it most definitely needs after my frequent sessions in the steam room!

Payot Huile Elixir* 100ml, selected salons

payot

If there’s one thing to know about me, it is this – I’m obsessed with scents. And I don’t just mean perfumes here. Scented candles, scented body oils, Febreeze (yes, I kid you not). So it wouldn’t take a genius to figure out why this multi-purpose oil stole my heart within seconds of using. It has quite a unique long lasting smell that reminds me of summer– it combines myrrh, amyris extracts, balsamic plants, vegetable oils, rice, hazelnut and almond. But of course, it does more than just smell nice. This dry oil repairs and nourishes both the hair and body. I’ve been using it at the ends of my hair or on my legs when I show off my pins! Given the weather forecast for this week, I’ll be doing a lot of that! )

Faux Mink Lash Extensions, Hush Lash Lounge* Naas, €120

hush lash

For my birthday in March, I treated myself with some false lashes. I have always been quite reluctant about getting false lashes for two main reasons: 1) my real lashes are naturally quite long and 2) false lashes tend to scare me. But I had been flirting with the idea of getting a lash lift the weeks prior to my birthday, so when I was gifted with a voucher to get lash extensions at Hush Lash Lounge, I took it as a sign that longer lashes were meant for me! Expert lash stylist Rachel Byrne was very understanding and accommodating after I expressed my concern for wanting to keep the extensions  as natural looking as possible. She recommended the baby doll look for me as it would open my eyes more.

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Not only am I impressed by the results of, but I also can’t get over the fact that they’ve lasted me so this long – five weeks later and I still have them. That is remarkable, especially for someone who practically lives in the steam room! My lash extensions were undeniably my ultimate beauty fave over the last couple of weeks as it made wearing makeup so much easier too . For more price listings have a look at the www.hushlashlounge.ie

Have you tried any of these products? Tweet me if you have! 🙂

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(*)These products or services were gifted to me by a PR company. However all views and opinions expressed are my own.

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