Lifestyle

Company Magazine’s ‘Rising Stars’ Party

The Company Magazine’s ‘Rising Stars’ Party has convinced of one thing: I don’t make it out to East London quite often enough. I have to admit that I am a West London girl but I felt a bit of hipster envy at the party, which was held at the cool Queen of Hoxton; a bar, art gallery and club near Shoreditch and a short walk from Liverpool Street station. The best thing about this bar? Each of its three floors has a different vibe to it; from the dark basement to the sunny (we hope anyways) rooftop bar with great views of the city.

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The Rising Stars night was all about showcasing new stars on the music scene in London. We were able to hear live music sessions from fab new artists Laurel and Rainy Milo. We saw Laurel first, who had an amazing sultry voice which she intertwines with piano, beats and strings. Laurel pens and produces her own music and is from near Southhampton. My personal favourite was ‘To the Hills’.

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We saw Rainy Milo perform next and she gave a great performance with ‘jazz-inspired hip-hop’. I was really impressed by the way she just seemed to be a part of the music in the way she moved on stage.

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After the performance it was time to get a tutorial in how to do a fishtail sidebraid by Blown Avenue. Fishtails are really easy to do and I find they work better in not freshly washed hair as you need some rough texture to work with. Once you get used to doing them they should only take about five minutes.

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First steps in creating the perfect fishtail sidebraid

Ingredients for a perfect fishtail sidebraid?

1. Dry hair

2. Texturising spray if you have just washed your hair (as otherwise your hair will be too soft and slippery to work with).

3. Hair Spray

4. Hair Powder or dry shampoo (for texture)

1. Spray a few pumps of texturising spray into dry hair and blast dry with a hot blow-dryer to create texture and help the braid hold.

2. Pull your hair across to one side, reach around the back of your head and gather your hair on the side. Pull it in front of your shoulder and split it into two equal pieces as you would if you were doing a normal three-strand braid (except this time you’re only going to braid with two strands). Take a small amount of hair from underneath one of the strands, wrap over the hair and join it to the other strand.

3. Take another small amount of hair from underneath the second strand, wrap it up and over and join it to the first section. Repeat this from side to side, taking a new small amount of hair from each side each time until you reach the end of the braid.

4. Secure the end with a hair tie, loosen up the braid with your hands and spray with hairspray to finish the shape and sprinkle a little hair powder through your hair to add extra texture.

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Finished product

 

Banish bad hair days forever with the fabulous fishtail!

 

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Harper’s Bazaar At Work Talk with Julia Peyton-Jones

I attended a Harper’s Bazaar At Work event last week at The Dorchester. The editor of Harper’s Bazaar, Justine Picardie interviewed the director of the Serpentine Galleries, Julia Peyton-Jones. It was a wonderful experience to hear these two accomplished women speak.

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Justine started out by reading Julia’s daily schedule, which starts out like this: 6 A.M. – walk Charlie, my Jack Russell, who dawdles and won’t be rushed.

And ends like this: 12 A.M. – last check of the BlackBerry, then bed.

I am now convinced that to be very successful in one’s career, sleep must be sacrificed! Julia is only getting two extra hours of sleep than the U.S. president (who is rumoured to survive on four hours of a night).

Julia is the director of the Serpentine Galleries which are two contemporary art galleries in Kensington Gardens. Entrance to the galleries is free and attracts up to 1.2 million visitors a year. http://www.serpentinegalleries.org

Julia quoted during the talk, ‘people who are very successful are almost always fascinating’ and also urged us to ‘never stop learning!’

I can certainly agree with the ‘never stop learning’ part. It’s what gives life pleasure and makes us find meaning in our own little worlds. A desire to learn creates passion and motivation. I look forward to attending the next Bazaar at Work event!

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Harper’s Bazaar Breakfast with Executive Presence Author Sylvia Ann Hewlett

At Hotel Cafe Royal on Regent Street

At Hotel Cafe Royal on Regent Street

 

I was lucky enough to attend a Harper’s Bazaar breakfast to listen to author Sylvia Ann Hewlett talk about Executive Presence. Sylvia, despite being a tiny woman can definitely command the room with her presence, simply by the eye contact she makes with her audience and frequent but timed pauses in her speech to allow the weight of her words to sink more deeply.

What is Executive Presence?

‘EP is an amalgam of qualities that true leaders exude, a presence that telegraphs you’re in charge or deserve to be.’

Sylvia Ann Hewlett is an economist and the founder and CEO of the Center for Talent Innovation, a Manhattan-based think tank. Instead of listing off her very extensive and impressive curriculum vitae, I will just tell you that this is one very accomplished woman. Sylvia, from a poor mining community in Wales, certainly did not grow up with privilege and these are her words, not mine. She taught herself how to have executive presence as a way to move up and be successful. As much as we don’t want to believe that people judge us on our looks, they do. Sylvia explains this doesn’t have to do with being beautiful and thin but has more to do with having style and good grooming and hygiene habits.

Based on a nationwide survey of college graduates working across a range of sectors and occupations, Sylvia Hewlett and the Center for Talent Innovation discovered that EP is a dynamic, cohesive mix of appearance, communication, and gravitas. While these elements are not equal, to have true EP, you must know how to use all of them to your advantage.

Filled with eye-opening insights, analysis, and practical advice for both men and women, mixed with illustrative examples from executives learning to use the EP, Executive Presence will help you make the leap from working like an executive to feeling like an executive.

Wise words of advice to get ahead include surrounding yourself with people that are better than you, that will challenge you to be your best. Another tip was to drive change rather than be changed which is self explanatory. The book talks through how to exude confidence and credibility and signal that you are leadership material. Hewlett reveals EP to be three things: how you act (gravitas), how you speak (communication), and how you look (appearance).

I would recommend this book for anyone who is wondering how to get that promotion or recognition at work and to be more effective in your communication with your colleagues.

 

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The London Well-Being Festival

The London Well-Being Festival

Conversation starters at the London Well-Being Festival

For anyone who has ever felt like they could use an instructional guide on how to be less stressed, well then, the London Well-Being Festival is for you. From psychics to aura readers to prayer chanting to energy healing, there was definitely a positive vibe going on at the Festival, which took place over this Bank Holiday Weekend in May.

I’ve always been open-minded to the thought that we can become less stressed by focusing on positive energy, by meditating and using alternative therapies (massage therapy). Despite being sceptical, I’ve even seen a witch doctor in Malawi on a 3-month journey through Africa once!

However, I hadn’t heard of a lot of the therapies at the Well-Being Festival. There were a lot of informative talks, demonstrations and even a pop-up temple. A group of people listening to personal music players danced through the crowds, smiling and lost in their own worlds. I heard gongs going off from somewhere within the complex and a man wearing a shirt that said, ‘Free Hugs’, wandered around wrapping his arms around people.

I was asked to join a meditation group, as they were going to do a short meditation. The mediation style was called Transmission Meditation, which has to be done in a group to better distribute energies. The energies to be transmitted are invoked by the group saying together ‘The Great Invocation’. The main point of the meditation is to focus the attention on the anja centre-between the eyebrows-and hold the focus there. If attention wanders, bring it back to the anja centre. It was a simple technique.

A group gathered and we did the meditation for fifteen minutes. I could feel myself at times getting restless or my mind wandering but after the fifteen minutes were up, felt strangely very relaxed and my limbs felt very heavy. It is definitely something that I would try again in the future.

Next I tried Jyorei, a Japanese healing art where positive energy from the universe is transmitted into you via a transmitter, ie a practitioner. I had tried Reiki in the past while living in Japan and during the one time that I had experienced it, remember seeing a bright flash of light during the session. Jyorei is different however, and is described as a prayer and directing positive energy into another person. It is said that a person receiving Jyorei regularly experiences profound healing in both spirit, mind and body that leads to genuine happiness.

The session lasted 10 minutes as I sat with the practitioner, while they directed positive energy into me. I cannot say that I experienced anything different after or during the session but it might be something that has to be honed over time to notice the difference.

The last therapy that I tried for the day was EFT Tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique) which I was highly sceptical about but wanted to get some more information. This therapy turned out to be the winner of the day, despite my high scepticism for it.

EFT has been developed from the ancient Chinese meridian energy system – ‘it is a form of emotional acupuncture without the needles, and is based on the premise that all negative emotions are the result of a disruption in the body’s energy system.’

According to theeftcentre.com, EFT works by clearing the blockage or disruption by tapping on the end points of the body’s energy meridians (while thinking of a specific issue) which sends pulses of energy to rebalance the body’s energy system in relation to that thought/specific issue. Shifting energy changes the way the brain processes information about a particular issue, and so tapping while tuned in to the issue is like rewiring or rerouting the brain’s conditioned negative response. You can imagine how liberating this is if you or someone you know has suffered from a phobia, or traumatic memories. EFT also works in the same way to release the limiting thoughts and beliefs that get in the way of your success, happiness, health and inner peace.

As I had been stressed recently, I tapped on the meridian points while saying a positive message, such as ‘Despite being stressed by x…I love and accept myself’ again and again while tapping on the meridian points.

My shoulders and neck had been really tight lately due to stress and the pain before EFT was an 8. After I used EFT for myself, the pain had reduced to a 5. It suprised me too! This is definitely something I will try to incorporate into my life.

On a whole, it was good for me to attend the Well-Being Festival. I often put my own needs last so it was nice to focus on putting them as a priority again.

Some useful websites:

http://www.crystalclearpsychics.com

http://www.shumei.eu

http://www.share-international.org

http://www.aetherius.org/london

http://www.theeftcentre.com

 

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British Vogue’s Alexandra Schulman Interviews Fashion Photographer David Bailey

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Recently, I had a chance to listen to the British Vogue editor, Alexandra Schulman, interview one of the most famous fashion photographers in the world, David Bailey. Bailey’s current exhibition, ‘Stardust’, is a collection of photographs currently on exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery and sponsored by Hugo Boss. The event took place at the Hugo Boss flagship store on London’s Regent Street.

Guests enjoyed drinks and canapés by Peardrop from Rose & Lychee Martinis (rosewater, vodka, lemon juice and lychee syrup with Peychaud’s aromatic bitters) to Elder & Sage spritz (vodka, elderflower, apple & lemon juice shaken with sage and cucumber, topped with Prosecco) to delicious canapés. All guests left with a 50ml bottle of Hugo Boss Jour Pour Femme fragrance, one of my personal favourites that is great for both day and evening.

 

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Bailey has had a distinguished career, ranging from photographing Andy Warhol to Jack Nicholson to Kate Moss. Among various jobs, he worked for Vogue and spoke of taking lots of pictures of ‘frocks’. However, Bailey wanted to make sure that he wasn’t only known as a fashion photographer. He also spent time traveling in East Africa, Papua New Guinea, Australia, Delhi and the Naga Hills and even in his own backyard of East London.

Bailey is very loyal to his East London heritage and kept referencing his past during the talk.

I found the banter between Alexandra and David Bailey to be amusing and they played off of each other very well. It was clear to me that Bailey is very true to himself and remaining true to his work is very important for him.

Quoting from the National Portrait Gallery, ‘David Bailey has made an outstanding contribution to photography and the visual arts, creating consistently imaginative and thought-provoking portraits. As well as new work, this landmark exhibition includes a wide variety of Bailey’s photographs from a career that has spanned more than half a century.’

I would highly recommend going to see the exhibition and works from this great photographer.

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The London Pet Show

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The London Pet Show

For all animal lovers the London Pet Show is a not-to-miss event. Showcasing pets from rats and chinchillas to ponies and micro-pigs, this is a great opportunity to find out what kind of pet suits you. Often people consider how a dog or cat will fit into their lifestyle but don’t consider how their lifestyle will suit the dog. For example, people who work all day and leave their dogs alone for hours-is it fair? It really depends on the dog. Dogs can display a wide variety of anxiety, just like humans and often owners don’t know how anxious their dog gets when they leave them on their own during the day time. Dogs need from 30 minutes to two hours of exercise a day, depending on the breed. Typically with the smaller the dog, exercise needs range from 30 minutes to 1 hour a day and the larger dogs need up to 2 hours a day.

The London Pet Show is a great way to see what kind of dog is the best match for you. I loved the German Spitz and the Norwich Terrier which really surprised me as I hadn’t considered owning a terrier or Spitz before going to this show. The wonderful thing as that you have the opportunity to meet each breed and chat with the owner, and if you are lucky, get a cuddle or two out of the dog. You certainly cannot do this in a pet store!

And not only dogs will give you a cuddle, there is also the Discover Cats zone, where you can meet 25 breeds of cat. With the cats I loved the British short-hair-what an adorable breed. I also got the chance to pet a Sphinx, which felt like a warm peach (remember the cat from Austin Powers?). Another cat that surprised me was the Maine Coon- their large size and look reminded me of the bobcats back home in Kansas!

In addition to showcasing the animals of different breeds, there are informative talks, shows and demonstrations to keep you entertained. I was lucky enough to squeeze into a seat to watch the Superdogs Live show, hosted by TV presenter Ben Fogle and Noel Fitzpatrick (The Bionic Vet and The Supervet) as well as Jo Good and Anna Webb from the BBC radio programme ‘Barking at the Moon’ and the ‘Alan Titchmarsh Show’ as the pet experts. I watched Strictly Doggy Dancing, where there were three performances by owners and their pets ‘dancing’ to a routine. I loved the ballet performance from a little Jack Russell-who knew dogs could dance?

Wildlife presenter Steve Backshall was around signing books and also hosted a show where he was showed a selection of the deadliest animals from around the world. I could tell he knew his stuff cold when he gave the audience a chance to ask questions at the end of the show. This is a man who swims with leopard seals underneath icebergs for a living. Now how’s that for a day job?

Some links worth looking into:

http://www.borrowmydoggy.com

http://www.forgotten-paws.com

http://www.wheaten.org.uk

 

 

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