Sunday, 10 July 2016

The Summer Series: Green Smoothies

If you read my post last week you will know I am taking a break from posting whilst working on a brand new website that I hope to launch after the summer... In the mean time, I wanted to share some older posts, so you can expect these very quick posts every Sunday.
This month I have been doing Simple Green Smoothies 30 Day Challenge for the second time this year. There are a few reasons why I love it:
1. It is not a diet or about replacing a meal with a smoothie. All you have to do is add one green smoothie to your day. I usually have it at around 3pm when I would usually raid my office cafe for a chocolate bar.
2. It is SO convenient! You get an email every Friday with next week's recipes and a shopping list.
3. It actually makes you lose weight, but not in a crazy way. In January I lost the few extra pounds I had put on over Christmas.

Last year I wrote a couple of posts about green smoothies, as I always crave them after a heavy night or as a way to get back into a healthier eating pattern. Here they are so you can read them again!
Spinach and avocado smoothie for hangovers
Please feel free to share your favourite recipes in the comments, as I'm always on the hunt for new ones!
Inma x




Sunday, 3 July 2016

A long overdue update



Hello!

If you read Sunshine & Glow regularly, you may have noticed that things have been pretty quiet around here this month. Maybe you hadn’t even noticed! In either case, it has been really quiet, which couldn’t be further from how busy it’s been in the background, so I thought I would give a quick update.

LIFE OFFLINE

Last spring a professional opportunity came up to do a six month secondment in a different team in Oxfam. I love a new challenge and said yes to it, and finally started it three weeks ago. Even though there are lots of similarities with the role I was doing before, I am learning SO much every day and there is SO much information to take in that my brain is on sponge mode, trying to absorb everything I can, and I haven’t found a way to switch into creating mode yet.

On a different and less positive note, there’s been something that has thrown me a bit off balance, which was the result of last week’s EU referendum, or Brexit, as those of you from outside the UK will have heard it called. For those of you who don’t know, I am from Spain and have lived in the UK for nearly 13 years (I feel like I have said this too many times during the past week). Apart from a bumpy start I have mostly felt at home here and this time last year I was considering applying for dual citizenship. I won’t go into great detail about how I feel after the result, as I am still working through my emotions and understanding what it will mean for me in practical terms, but it is fair to say that I feel unsettled. It’s a bit as if I had been living in this house, coming in and out of it because it was ok, and now suddenly I have to ask for a set of keys to what has become my home. I am lucky that I work for an international organization where there are many of us from all around the world and live in a city where 70% of the population voted to stay within the EU, where there is great diversity. My British friends are so appreciative of cultural diversity and they have all expressed a lot of love in the past week, but I am very aware that I am not British, and as such, different, an outsider.

SUNSHINE & GLOW

But let’s talk about more positive and exciting things! The fact that I have not been publishing any posts doesn’t mean that I have lost my passion for it. When I started Sunshine & Glow at the beginning of 2015 I did it without much expectation. I just wanted to have a play, to have a go at it. Along the way I have loved writing, got frustrated with my inability to take good quality photos and enjoyed reading other blogs, commenting and connecting with other people who in some cases have other full time day jobs like me, or others who have successfully been making a living from their online business. I have heard about so many mind blowing podcasts and books that have helped me grow as a person and broaden my mind and outlook on life. During that time my content has slowly been evolving but I really fancy shaking things up here.

The truth is that at the beginning I always compared my blog to others that I considered successful and tried to find what worked for me and what didn’t, being inspired by certain topics or formats. Over time I have been finding my own voice and my interests have changed, and I know what I want this place to be, regardless of what else already exists online.

A couple of months ago I got in contact with Helen from One Line Studio. We had worked together in the past before she set up her own ethical graphic design business. I always loved her work as a designer and so I thought I could ask her to design a new logo and tweak things a little bit. That was the original plan, but to kick things off Helen has encouraged me to think about  what Sunshine & Glow is about through a simple questionnaire. It was a really interesting exercise that set my brain on fire. I came home one day a few weeks ago and spent all evening writing lists and lists of things I wanted to do here. Some of it requires research, time, new inspiration, and increasingly I have realised that what I want to unlearn everything I have done and look at it with fresh eyes, and I can’t do that without stepping away from it for a while.

I have wrestled with that decision for a good 3 weeks now. Part of me is scared of what will happen if I don’t post at all. Traffic was in a lovely flow lately, visits growing slowly but steadily, I was happier with my posts… Will that be lost? I have never taken a break that has been longer than a few weeks, so I am nervous that I will be shooting myself in the foot. I have considered still writing the Best of posts, and I still don’t know what to do about those. But I know I need to step away from it to take a small break and then work my backside off writing and photographing new stuff, working on the new design with Helen and presenting something new to you in the autumn. I hope you will still be here then, and that you may even want to tell your friends about it!

I will not be completely silent and will revisit some old posts on social media, so make sure you follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Have an amazing summer and see you around soon!


Inma x
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Sunday, 12 June 2016

High 5: Posts I am most proud of

When I look back through old posts, there are some that make me cringe, believe me. Those are probably the ones that I have learned the most from, like the collaboration with a small website that practically tried to tell me exactly what I had to write and then wouldn't even share my post on social media. It taught me to stick to my guns and go with my gut - although I believed and meant every single word I said I just hate seeing it there, but it is a reminder to only write about what I am passionate about. Sometimes that means taking a week off, or posting a few days late, but at this stage in the game, being proud of what I put out there trumps consistency if there is a conflict.

Then there are other posts that I have forgotten I had written and are a pleasant surprise, like the 9 steps to build your self confidence or the post about oils. And finally, there are the ones that really meant something special to me and that I feel proud to have written.

1. RECIPE FOR THE AUTHENTIC VALENCIAN PAELLA


This is special to me in many ways. I am a complete foodie and have such a soft spot for food from my country that evokes so many happy memories. Making paella at home was a ritual and it often involved everyone in my family. My dad would be in the driving seat but he made sure that we all got involved in one way or another, whether it was chopping vegetables or tasting the broth. I have never tasted a better paella than my dad's and every time I eat it I think of him.

Until I wrote the next post in this list, this recipe was my most read post by a mile, and it made me really proud that it was something as personal as a family recipe that I have eaten and made time and time again.

2. WOMANCODE: THE BOOK EVERY WOMAN SHOULD READ



Since I had to undergo major surgery last September to remove some pretty large fibroids, women's health and hormonal balance have become two topics of massive interest for me. At Christmas I came across Alisa Vitti on The Lively Show podcast and this book that she wrote has changed my outlook on women's health and has improved my own health so much! I had the pleasure of having a video chat with her as a consequence and she was just as wonderful and caring.

3. MAKING GOOD THINGS HAPPEN



This is one of my most recent ones, but one that sums me up pretty well and encapsulates what type of messages I want to spread from here. When I started Sunshine & Glow I did it because I wanted to do something creative and explore that side of me. I started off talking about things that interested me, and slowly I get so much joy out of talking about things that matter to me. Having a positive outlook on life and being resilient to all the crap that happens to all of us are skills that I have had to learn and have found so valuable.

4. WHY I LOVE YOGA



Yoga is very special to me. It helps me keep fit and it helps me unwind, but it has done so much more for me than just that! I wrote this post after coming back from a wonderful yoga retreat in France where I had SO much fun, I laughed so much and came back feeling so strong and so confident that I couldn't not talk about it. You will have to read the post to see why I love it so much, but it has given me the best tools I have to live.

5. BEST OF 2015



This represents all the "Best of" posts, which I really enjoy writing every month. At the beginning it felt a little bit self indulgent, but my friends who read Sunshine & Glow always say they enjoy those. The rest of my content is probably more interesting to women, but these appeal to anyone. My friend Gary pretty much only reads those (Gary has been looking out for a name check here for weeks now, so let's see if you are reading now!).

If you have been reading for a while, what other posts have you enjoyed? Or which one of these did you like? Would love to hear your opinions.

Inma x

 
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