Sunday, 17 July 2016

The Summer Series: it's all about confidence!


I'm sitting outside in the garden, with a big jug of lemon and mint water, in shorts and a short sleeved t-shirt, and this can only mean that, at long last, on the 17th July, it feels like summer in the UK!

Today I wanted to look back at a post I wrote about confidence. Weirdly, the beginning of summer always feels a daunting time, one when I don't feel my most confident. I often worry about wearing a bikini on holiday, not being as toned and slim as I would like...

Confidence is something I always have to work hard at, whether it is about my physical appearance or my ability at work, at blogging... you name it! So I thought today was a good day to look back at this post from October in which I share 9 steps to build self confidence.

Hope you enjoy it!

Inma x

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


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.


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.


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
Skimlinks Test