Friday, 29 November 2013

A wonderful rewarding Christmas!

Hello, my name is Sharon and I write the Miss Beau Bangles ethical fashion and lifestyle blog. I was recently asked by Pam to write a blog post for her Con-fused Arts website on why it’s important to buy fair trade or ethical Christmas gifts. I jumped at the chance. I have followed Pam’s work for a while now and the work of the Kazuri women whose stunning jewellery she sells for even longer, and I admire both greatly. So it is an honour to be asked to express my humble views on Pam’s website and I hope I do the opportunity justice.
If you are a follower of Con-fused Arts’ work then you are probably well versed in what fair trade is all about, so rather than a descriptive article on the benefits of fair trade, I’ve decided to make this a personal piece that explains my own motivations to take a more ethical approach to my Christmas shopping. For me, there are three reasons why I will be shopping as ethically as possible this year:

Fairer Distribution of Wealth:
For me, the single most important reason for shopping more ethically this Christmas is an economic one. I want to see a fairer distribution of wealth in the retail industry.
The Centre for Retail Research reported that Christmas spending among consumers in the UK was  an estimated £70 billion in 2012. This includes money spent in shops and online. £3 billion of that figure was spent on Boxing day alone.
Wow! That is a lot of money for one tiny little island to spend on one celebration. The vast majority of this money is spent in a relatively small number of large multi-national retailers, whose profits are paid out to shareholders. We shop there because it is easy. These retailers have lots of money to put on amazing TV adverts to show us what they sell and to entice us into their readily accessible and beautifully decorated stores to buy their products. And at this time of year, we could all do with making our lives easy, right!
Yet there are many small businesses in your local area, and in developing countries all over the world who make and sell amazing products, but as a small business they struggle every day to compete in a fierce marketplace. They don’t have large marketing budgets and many can’t afford a bricks and mortar store on a high street, and so they are not so accessible to us as consumers. To be found, they require a little effort from us in seeking them out.
But why should we seek them out? Well, as I already mentioned, there are some fabulous products out there, but I’ll come back to this point later. The other reason is that, without our support, these small business cannot survive, yet they are hugely important to the economies in which they exist. In developed countries they create a diversity in terms of the products available to us as consumers, they can often offer a much more personalised level of service to consumers, and they provide a more diverse range of employment opportunities for the communities in which they are located.
In developing countries, small businesses that operate with a fair trade ethos have an even more pronounced importance. These businesses are empowering their employees and helping them to move out of poverty, thereby improving the chances that they and their children will have access to improved health, education and quality of life. In developing countries these small, fair trade businesses can be a matter of life or death for some people. To me, that’s got to be something worth keeping, and if we want to keep them, they need our business.  

Supporting Businesses that Value Human Rights:
My second reason for shopping more ethically this Christmas is a human rights issue. For years we have been reading about poor working conditions in the factories that supply many of our largest retailers. However this year the issue has been brought into much sharper focus after over 1,000 people were killed when the Rana Plaza building collapsed in Bangladesh. Many more lost their lives this year in numerous factory fires caused by unsafe working practices. And as BBC’s Panorama programme, “Dying for a Bargain” recently revealed, some factories operate a compulsory overtime policy that has people working as much as 18 hours per day.
When shopping on the High Street, it is hugely difficult as consumers to know whether or not we are buying from a store which uses factories that operate humanely and safely. For that reason, I have chosen to make an effort where possible to seek out retailers who I can be sure value the human rights of their employees and those in their supply chain at least as much as they value profits. Surely, in this day and age, with the vast wealth that exists, asking for employees to be treated humanely and not like slaves is not too much to ask. The businesses that understand this are the ones I want to spend my money with.  

Gifts that Reflect the Essence of Christmas:    
Thirdly, shopping more ethically is a great way to find gifts that are the true essence of Christmas. I mentioned earlier that small and fair trade businesses offer some fantastic products. Many of these products are not widely available and so have a special uniqueness. Many are handmade and so are truly individual. Many can be personalised, and many have a fabulous story to tell, such as that of the jewellery made by the Kazuri ladies.
One of the product stories I love, is of a group of Senegalese ladies who call themselves Groupement Takku Liggey. These ladies lead a hand to mouth existence, selling things like fish, rice, cold water and donuts at a local market to survive. A few years ago, with the support of a woman from Edinburgh they began making products such as shopper bags, tablecloths, and aprons using African print fabrics they bought locally. These products are now being sold in small quantities in various countries around the world, and with their first profits the ladies have bought two cows for the co-operative to rear and sell, bringing benefits and further income to be shared among the community. You can see one of the women pictured above with one of the cows. Isn’t that a wonderful smile!  
Now imagine the faces of your family and friends as you give them their ethical gift and they hear the story behind it, appreciate its uniqueness and admire the craftsmanship that has gone into it. By taking a little time to look beyond the major retailers this year, I’ve uncovered some wonderful products with some wonderful stories, and I’m sure you will to.

How to get Started
I hope after reading this blog post you are feeling at least a little inspired. If you are, then you may be wondering how to begin shopping more ethically this Christmas. If you are looking for jewellery, of course Con-fused Arts is a great place to start. Over at Miss Beau Bangles I have written a blog post that makes some suggestions for great ethical Christmas gifts, including a fair trade recipe book, bamboo socks, and a recycled tyre wallet from Traidcraft; jewellery from Con-fused Arts and Miss Beau Bangles; and an eco-soy candle from Robin & Rose. Why not try doing an internet search for “ethical gifts”, or if you know what you are looking for, try sticking the word ethical or fair trade at the start of your search term. You might also want to seek out some blogs that have an ethical focus, as these are a great source of advice and inspiration. Facebook has some fabulous businesses selling fair trade and handmade products so why not follow a few.
Whatever route you choose, I hope your friends and family love their ethical gifts, and I hope you all have a truly wonderful festive period.

Sharon x

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Do you know you have powerful gifts?

These days, so many people moan and complain about life but did you know that one of the most wonderful and powerful things we can do is to be thankful?  Would you like to enjoy your life more and make progress even in the midst of difficult situations? It all begins with giving thanks. Every morning, I say thank you for waking up, for a comfortable bed, for food in the house, the list goes on - it really does make a difference!

Many people can BE truly thankful for someone in their life but do they actually take the next step and tell them or show them they are thankful?

Encouraging others is one of the another great thing we can do in life.  Life can be difficult and most people have plenty of reasons to feel discouraged  but we have been given a tremendous gift - the ability to encourage and uplift other people and make them feel good about themselves.

This festive season, I challenge you to a person of action. When someone has blessed your life or you feel they need encouraged, take a few moments to send a card or call them on the phone.  Why?  Because those few minutes out of your schedule - that simple action - can completely transform their day!

Another great way to encourage or thank someone is to buy them a  gift. At Con-fused Arts, we have a great range of Fairtrade jewellery all lovingly handmade by the wonderful ladies at Kazuri, Kenya. When you give a gift of Kazuri jewellery, you are also giving a piece of Kenya - a gift of knowing that you are helping us empower disadvantaged women in Kenya! CLICK HERE for our website or HERE for our FaceBook page.

Why not share this to encourage and challenge your friends?



Thursday, 3 October 2013

Dress for A/W 2013!

the seasons are changing and if like us your nights are drawing in and it's getting cooler, you will be thinking of changing your wardrobe. This month, we are bringing you a quick guide to some of the hottest colours this coming season!

Nothing says autumn more than rich sumptuous colours from deep purple and midnight blue to mustard and burgundy. So it is no surprise that Tomato Red, Cobalt Blue (see bracelet left, £24.99,  Chocolate and Purples featured strongly on the catwalks.  A couple of surprises included a subdued lime green and dusted rose pink.  Oh and don't forget the obligatory Christmas parties, office parties and New Year Balls. Let's mix in a splattering of metallic including gold, silver and bronze.

If you are feeling brave, you could wear them in large block colours such as dresses or winter coats. If are you not wanting too much colour, why not add a splash of gorgeous colour with a scarf, shoes or jewellery. Hmmm, jewellery I hear you ponder... well this is where Con-fused Arts can help you!

Here at Con-fused Arts, we are excited to be introducing a new gorgeous range of luxury ethical jewellery with richer tones and colours and also some different designs perfect for autumn/fall and winter. Keep your eye on our Facebook page for announcements on when this jewellery has arrived in stock. 

Look good and feel good with Con-fused Arts :)

Love Pam

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Be Bold, This Spring!

"To do more for the world than the world does for you - that is success"
Henry Ford
Everyone's idea of success is different. For some, it is being able to read and write, for some it's having a big family and for some it's a professional career. What is your idea of success? What makes your heart sing? 
I challenge you to be BOLD, I challenge you to do something that makes you feel alive.  If like a lot of people, you are busy, juggling jobs, kids, the house - being bold may not be doing something for someone else but it could be doing something for yourself like booking a massage, going for a walk, doing a new exercise class. 
In the very early days of Con-fused Arts, I made greeting cards and lavender sachets but this quickly changed.  I decided to be BOLD, I decided to stand up for women who have many more struggles in life than me, struggles to live a dignified optimistic life. Women who deserve a job with security, fair wages, trade union rights, no sexual harassment or mental stress.  Some overseas factories working for the UK fashion industry which on the surface look clean and modern, workers are often deprived of their internationally-recognised basic rights.
Our passion is helping and supporting these strong amazing ladies as well as supporting the women who buy and wear our jewellery.  Currently, our most popular range of luxury ethical jewellery comes from Kazuri, Kenya. The 400 local women at Kazuri, who are mostly single mothers, handcraft every piece of jewellery, from the beads being shaped to painted, glazed and strung. There is heart, feeling and personality in every necklace, bracelet and pair of earrings. Not only does Kazuri provide employment opportunities for single mothers and disadvantaged women in Kenyan society but the company also hosts a medical clinic that provides free medical care for its employees and their families.
So whatever you do, why not be BOLD, it could be for yourself or for someone else.  It's a new season, time for CHANGE!

Thursday, 28 March 2013


Well, spring officially sprung last week, what with the spring equinox on the 20th and British Summertime beginning next weekend, and I got to thinking how lovely Spring feels after a long winter (and oh boy, has it felt like a long winter!) and what it is about the season that really seems to inject a new sense of life into us at this time of year, and a lot of the changes in the way we think and feel eventually come down to light and colour.

During winter, we suffer from an absence of both light and colour in our natural environment, which means that even the colours that do occur in our lives are often muted thanks to the grey days, dark cloud and early evenings, which encourages us to cuddle in and hibernate.

But spring brings with it lighter mornings and evenings and shoots of colour peeking out from unexpected places. The sky starts to seduce us with bright blues, snowdrops peek shyly through the grass and the bluebells dance alluringly on the woodland floors. The light seems brighter and everything seems to have more impact.

Our clothes seem more vivid and leave us feeling more vibrant, our décor seems just a shade more vivid than it did before. It all seems lighter and brighter and that tends to wake our brains up and become more aware of our surroundings, especially now that we can see more of it!

The colours of spring can all be thought of as fresh. They’re light, bright and invigorating. They have the same effect on our psychology as sorbet has on your palette. They induce feelings of revitalising, freshness, brightness, and energy. So what sort of colours are spring colours?

Sky blues dominate the spring landscape as we start waking up to skies where we can see the sky instead of waking up to cloud cover, rain, snow or fog. Blues traditionally inspire comfort and a sense of continuity, reliability, loyalty and constancy, and within the context of the vivid colours of spring, those traditional colour traits become representative of life continuing on, of the dawn of a new season and the cycle of life.

Tender greens are the colour we traditionally associate with spring, as we begin to see shoots of new life coming through the ground, and plants beginning to slowly bloom. Whilst greens are traditionally representative of nature, interpretations of the colour green run the gamut from emotional stability to healing to nature. In Spring, however, we seem to predominantly focus on the tender, fresh and more vivid shades of green to represent life and renewal.

Primrose yellows and nectarine oranges often come with the new blooms like daffodils, black-eyed susans,  shasta daisies and honeysuckle and offer a cheeringly optimistic bloom of colour after a stark winter. Both bright, but strangely delicate colours, they provide a positive accent to the greens and blues that surround us and remind us of the warmth that is seeping back into the world around us, giving us energy to begin new things and push forward towards to a sense of being able to thrive in our environments once again.

White is a colour that we often see during Spring, though rarely associate with the season. In fact, Spring is often heralded by a blazing display of white through the snowdrop. When we see white in winter, it can seem very bare and stark, but when we see it amongst the fresh and positive shades of Spring, it appears as a blank canvas, an offset for all the colour that surrounds it, making them and itself all the brighter for the contrast.

This time of year is a chance for you to spring into colour, inspired by nature.

Enjoy yourselves!

Sarah Clive is an Inspirationalist from Sarah Clive – Life’s Too Short where she helps people to follow their dreams and live life outside the box, on their terms. Sarah's a specialist in thinking outside the box and uses her unique skill and enthusiasm for life by helping people find ways to make life work for them so that they can focus on doing what they love.
She can be contacted through her, or website: Or you can always get in touch the old fashioned way and give her a call on the phone on 01228 513134


Friday, 22 March 2013


I have been working on something with you in mind. I am sure you will agree that it's great to look good but good to know that you are helping the environment and the people in our world too!

We hope that our "7 TIPS TO ETHICAL STYLE HEAVEN" will help you think about your wardrobe and in what way you can help us fight against waste, pollution and unfair working conditions amongst other things. We hope we motivate you to make a positive change and contribution whilst still expressing your individuality and gorgeousness! We would love to hear how you get on, if you are inspired by our tips to buy some new ethical goodies or if you discover some gorgeous eco-friendly things.

You can always let us know via Twitter or FaceBook and also check out our gorgeous handcrafted jewellery from the wonderful ladies at Kazuri, Kenya.

Thanks for reading this and supporting us, we really appreciate it.


Much love,


Friday, 1 March 2013

Art and Giving Back

Please take time to read this post from a wonderful lady Celina Wilde. She really is pushing her boundaries!

Last month I decided that nothing was going to stop me from living life on purpose. At the beginning of January I set up the Mortal Coil Project on my website, to challenge myself and others to do and try all those things they have always wanted to, big or small.

One part of this for me was a short film script that I have been toying with for 6 months: 6 long months of procrastinating, faffing and putting it off. So when I finally decided to get serious last month about everything in my life this was the first port of call.

I got ridiculously focused, wrote and rewrote and rewrote, sent it off for professional analysis and rewrote it again. I got it to a point where after 20 rewrites it will be a powerful socially conscious film that can contribute to creating real change in the world.

Due to the film being about providing understanding about the emotional impact of Rape on a victim and the people that love them, it is a topic that is bound to cause controversy, but also unite with a similar cause. I personally am tired of living in a world where 1 in 3 women are subject to rape, abuse or violence in their lifetime. The only way to create change is to work for it, join together and make it happen.

One of my other life goals is to become a film director. I have a passion for creative arts and the entertainment industry, and I truly believe art and film has the power to change the world through education and understanding.

So after writing the script, setting goals, and doing all my budgeting research it’s time to find finance. I set up the website and Facebook and the Indiegogo campaign launched on 1st of March. For those not familiar with Indiegogo it is a crowd-funding platform where people can contribute a little or a lot to a project and receive special gifts or ‘perks’ for it. Lots of people contributing a little bit all add up.

The best part of this though, is because it will be a group effort to create the film its only right to give back. So 50% of all the film profits generated once the film is released will be donated back to Rape counseling and support charities around the world.

If this is a cause you are passionate about, please pop over to the film Facebook page, join us and share. Together we can make the world a better place.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Mother's Day Contest

Con-fused Arts are passionate about supporting women and wants to celebrate mothers and mother figures around the world. We’re launching our first themed contest on Pinterest and you’re invited! Get that creativity going, because we’re looking forward to seeing some gorgeous inspirational boards to celebrate your mum in 2013.
To enter, create a board, title it “I love Mum” then add a description to your board. Make sure your board contains the above competition pin above, 3 jewellery pins from our "We Love Mum" board in no particular order. In each pin’s caption, include the hashtags #Con-fusedArts and #Mother's Day. When your board is perfect, share it with us by posting a comment on the original contest announcement pin, with a link to your board, located in our “We Love Mum".
Make sure to check the details below. Your board could win one of Con-fused Arts jewellery pieces that you pin to your new board and inspire our future trends throughout 2013!
  • You must follow @confusedarts on Pinterest to enter.
  • Contest ends 5th March 3pm GMT.
  • Each pin must include the hashtags #Con-fusedArts and #Mother's Day.
  • Only one entry board per person.
  • Boards will be judged based on creativity, Con-fused Arts spirit and adherance to the guidelines.
  • The winner will be notified by e-mail March 2013. In order to be notified, please sign up by clicking HERE.
We can’t wait to see your creative, beautiful work you share with us, feel free to also share on Facebook and Twitter as well! Most of all, have fun!

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Do the green thing does Valentine's Day!

 After Christmas, Valentine's Day is one of the biggest waste producing days of the year. Over a billion cards get posted and untold amounts of unwanted, unloved and un-inspired tat gets presented in pink and red wrapping.

Free yourself from the consumer-driven Valentine's Day and instead celebrate it with a bit of upcycled thinking and some crafty ideas. We've picked five of our green gift ideas to help you spread the love.

1. Happy memories
Gather up all the photos, cinema tickets, love notes and that beer mat from your first date and glue your way to a collage of love.

2. The way to the heart is through the stomach.
Bake their favourite cake, cook up their most loved dinner and if you want to add the extra bells and whistles then almost anything can be heart shaped. Cookies, cakes, pancakes, waffles, sandwiches, fried eggs, omelettes, pizzas, the list goes as far as your imagination and kitchen prowess.

(Image: abeachcottage)

3. Flowers forever
Forget single wrapped red roses and bunches of flowers that will die before the weekend hits, give the gift that keeps on giving - a packet of seeds for your beloved to grow their own bunch, be it flowers or carrots.

4. Weekend away
If no Valentine's Day is complete without a huge romantic gesture then forget writing a message in the sky and whisking them away to a secluded island. Book the Eurostar to Paris and walk hand in hand through the city of love. Or try Amsterdam for a less obvious trip.

5. Get your craft on
If you're the kind of lover that likes to show your love in glue and glitter then the possibilities are endless. And you don't need a craft box full of expensive materials either. Collect sticks for a hanging wooden heart, turn newspaper into heart bunting or fold your way to these adorable origami hearts with a message of love hidden inside.

And remember, showering together saves water and if the night goes well then don't forget these.

Happy Valentine's Day.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

How The Law Of Attraction Loves You Back - Kate Spencer 

This month's blog is slightly different, Con-fused Arts are not just about luxury ethical jewellery but also about supporting women issues including confidence and self-esteem. We are excited to share with you a guest blog from Kate Spencer of The Life and Soul coach, on the subject of Law of Attraction and our opportunities in love. 

It’s the time of year when our attention turns to romance, and whether you are single or attached you can engage with The Law of Attraction to draw in more of the experiences that you want and less of what you don’t. We are all a combination of energy and this includes thoughts, feelings, beliefs and experiences and The Law of Attraction works by bringing to you a match to your own energy signature. In essence you attract what you are, and this is based on the thoughts and feelings that you are sending out there into the universe as they are magnetic. 

If you are in a relationship that could do with a side order of sizzle and you are in a place of thinking “my love life stinks”, then the universe will send you a match to that thought and things will never improve! Likewise if you are single and wishing for that special someone to sweep you off your feet with hearts and flowers, it’s likely that you will be sending out thoughts like “I’m lonely, I don’t have anyone in my life.” Again in terms of energy you will find that you get a direct match to this and that no one shows up. 
This is where affirmations can really help you and yes it does feel a bit fake to begin with but you know what they say, “fake it ‘til you make it!”. Affirmations change your thoughts and then your feelings and gradually the signal that you are sending out to the universe in order for you to get a different result. Make sure that they are in the present tense and positive. Starting with “I AM” gives them more impact and power.
So depending on your situation, you could try some of the following:

“I AM in a loving and stable relationship where I am cherished and adored.”
“I AM attracting the perfect partner for me.”
“I AM sexy and loveable and my life experience reflects this.”

Sending you love & blessings this valentine’s.

Kate Spencer

 Author of 12 Lessons ~ The 5 star reviewed debut novel from Kate Spencer that is changing lives all over the world. 
“Bridget Jones meets The Secret”
“This is chick lit for the intelligent woman”
“Quite simply the best book that I have ever, ever read. Changed my life entirely.”

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Your life changes the moment...

I have just come across this quote that has so resonated with me that I simply had to share my story.
In April 2012, I took the leap of faith and started my own business to get away from the most difficult and challenging set of circumstances (that have been ongoing since 2009) I have faced in my personal life in a long time. This was the beginning of an exciting journey for me and I finally felt happy and contented for the first time in a long time.

However, in July 2012 yet another unexpected event pulled the rug from under my feet and left me feeling completely bewildered and unable to focus on anything good or positive in my life. From July through to December, I was fighting a constant battle with the “mind gremlins” who were telling me “what are you doing this all for”, no-one cares whether you succeed or not” “just give up”. I have never come so close to listening to them and simply just quitting. However, giving up is simply not in my nature or in my vocabulary so I wasn’t prepared to give anyone the satisfaction of giving in and quitting what I had worked so hard to achieve - this was simply not an option or solution.
Fortunately for me I have always had a very strong and supportive network of family and friends around me who stand by me no matter what - for which I remain eternally grateful. I began to realise towards the end of December 2012 that I had spent an unnecessary amount of time focusing my valuable time and energy on aspects of my life that I really have no control over. This “light bulb” moment about how I had allowed certain people – who no longer had any significance in my life - to clutter my mind with negativity was for me life changing.  It was then that my outlook changed and what better time than just before the start of a new year. Yes, I may have carried over some unfinished business into 2013 but I no longer allow it to dominate my time or energies and give it any credence with which to influence my life.

January has so far been an amazing month for me. I have changed as a person and I no longer take for granted anything or anyone who matters dearly to me – the rest of them can take a hike quite honestly. I have so much to be grateful for and so many positive aspects of my life that truly deserve 100% of my focus and energy that I have no room for any of the negative “monkey chatter” that I have allowed to dominate my life. I have never felt so focussed, determined, positive and full of excitement for the opportunities that lie ahead. I am working on the confidence issue and I am sure it is only a matter of time for that to be fully restored also.

April 2013 will be the first anniversary of my business and I am determined to have made a real success of it in order to celebrate in style. If someone had said to me a year ago that I would have fulfilled a life-long ambition of having my own business, I would not have believed them. So, now that I am in this position, nothing or no-one is going to stop me from reaching my goals and fulfilling all my life ambitions and dreams. I have been blessed with so many wonderful experiences and met some truly inspiring ladies who I am privileged to call my friends that the incentive to succeed in business is massive. I most definitely would not give it all up now. Bring it on, I am ready!
I love what I do as a massage therapist and am passionate about health and wellbeing. I love working with clients to try and alleviate pain related issues due to back ache, tension, stresses and strains.

Hold onto your dreams and don’t ever give up. Don’t ever let anyone make you think you are not capable of achieving whatever your heart desires.
As you can see, I do love my quotes and the following are also very close to my heart:

When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us. Alexander Graham Bell

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Do you suffer from square peg syndrome? - GUEST BLOG BY PAULA JONES

I believe wholeheartedly in stepping outside of our comfort levels. In fact, I believe that comfort zone, when seen as a dot in the distance, is a great marker of how much we’re willing to push ourselves towards the shiny stuff we want. However, there’s also the issue of being a square peg in a round hole and in trying to batter ourselves into shape to fit, we have a tendency to knock our confidence levels.

Let me give you an example.

I have a client who knows that for her business to be a success, she must network. And let me tell you, she loathes it. Now, I’m not the biggest fan myself, but I do it and I’ve found networking formats that suit me really well. My client, however; we will call her Sue, and you guessed it, her name has been changed to protect her confidentiality; Sue made appointments for networking and signed up to tons of events, because they would seem like a good idea at the time, and then she’d torture herself over them.

Here are some of Sue’s old thought processes:
“I really have to go.”
“I should go, I’ll feel terrible if I don’t.”
“I don’t want to go.”
“If I don’t go it will look really bad.”
“I’ll feel like a failure if I don’t go.”

So, not a healthy set of thoughts, and thoughts that are guaranteed to make us instinctively form the “loser” gesture once we start beating ourselves up about them. What a shame.
Sue and I discussed her reasons behind these thoughts and I asked her what she did enjoy; and she enjoyed the social type of networking where she didn’t have to stand, quaking in her shoes with all eyes upon her while she stumbled through an introduction. So, I asked what was stopping her from choosing the networking events she could get along with and ditching the others.
Her eyes were like saucers. “I don’t have to go to the ones I don’t want?”

No, of course not.

Now; this may seem like a no brainer. However, if you run a business and your mojo is running on empty, the temptation is to think that in order to get yourself “out there” you must attend every event going. I don’t believe that’s a useful or viable option. If you are mojo – less, forcing a square peg into a round hole is a pointless and painful exercise, and your discomfort will show. You may as well carry a sign that says, “I don’t belong here!” Trying to keep up and act of being someone other than yourself is tiring and self identity is central to confidence.

This is true of so many situations. Push your boundaries, leave your comfort zone in the distance while you speed away in a cloud of dust; just remember you don’t have to put yourself into situations that leave you thinking, “well, I’m not going there again.” Network like mad, in a format you love. Get into social situations that you wouldn’t normally attend, just making sure you are likely to enjoy it.

You don’t have to force a square peg into a round hole.

Paula Jones is a qualified life coach at She dedicates her time to helping women who have been in a toxic relationship to recover their mojo and get back the confidence and self-esteem they left behind. She is now happily married to a fabby man who makes her laugh every day and reminds her of what it’s like to feel valued and respected and gently made fun of. Life is good again...

Monday, 7 January 2013

Travel ethic and chic!

Travel Ethic AND Chic

For those who are passionate about the environment and love to holiday, we have the perfect guest blog for you... 
I don’t know where you stand ladies but I like to pay a little attention to ethic matters. I am a travel PA and thus I have been thinking lately about ethical and sustainable travelling.
Of course, you can always go backpacking and showering once a week with cold water… But that is just not for me. I like a bit of comfort and chic now and then. Although I do give in to the yearly camping expedition once a year to please the hubby and doggy, but that’s not the subject.

Anyhow, how can we travel chic and ethic ? Well if the joy of camping is just not for you, follow your bespoke travel PA.
Start on paying attention to the housing you choose. You might want to go for High Environmental Quality labeled places. This sustainable label is a lot more common in France than in the rest of the world, but it is used worldwide, and even if it is not strictly the HEG label that you are looking for, the goals need to be the same : build and run sustainable facilities through eco-construction, eco management and a great concern about comfort and health priorities. This label was first used by office buildings and facilities but is now also used by the hotel and housing industry. The first HEQ hotel in Europe opened its doors in 2011, in Lyon, France: The Golden Tulip Millénaire. It has now been followed by a few others.

If you are more of a B &B traveller, you can chose to stay in B & Bs whose owners pay attention to sustainability : shop and cook local products, use eco- friendly washing products… You will usually find them on Google.
And then it’s all about adopting a green attitude. First of all, do not drive around too much. Use public transportation, bike or electric vehicles to get around and allow yourself to discover one area, instead of taking a busy busy full touristy tour of one country. No, you won’t get to see the Eiffel Tower, the Mont Saint Michel, the Châteaux de la Loire, the Bordeaux Vineyards and the French Riviera… But you will get to know one region really well and take time to discover the off-track activities and places, get to know the locals and share some fabulous time with them. You will get that lovely feeling of belonging a little to the place.

Last but not least when you are away, shop local, eat local, live local. Find restaurants and activity providers who share your mindset.
Finally, traveling ethic and chic is all about lowering your impact on earth resources and pollution, but keeping that comfort and chic you are used to and having a positive impact on the local economy. You will find all the addresses and brands name that have an earth friendly policy on the web.

I agree that it might be a lot more work to plan such a trip, carefully choosing your housing, activities, restaurants… Spotting all the off tracks “must do and must see” places, the open markets, the sustainable shops…But I can guarantee it will be worth the pain as you will get a fabulous ethic once in a lifetime travel experience you will be able to brag about for long.
And if you really want this fabulous vacation but on the no-brainer style, I am here to plan it to the very last detail for you. That is what I do with and all my clients leave either with a private guide or a tailor-made booklet of what will suit you on their destination. My bespoke exclusive services are just an email away!"

Our guest blogger, Gwen, taught for 4 years after graduating from anthropology. Then decided it was time to do what she really loved; travel. She recently became a Personal Travel Agent, mostly selling France and Europe to foreigners, but she also works on other destinations. She specializes in bespoke travel and events, making sure that her clients get the best experiences with no worries. This new job allows her to travel as much as she wants with her hubby and doggy and still be available for her privileged clients. Her office fits in a hand luggage : a Mac book, an iPhone, her notebook and a pen, and a few SensationnElle gift cards ready to be sent! Get in touch if you would like to know more information!