Summer is nearly here and with it comes a change in wardrobe. We all switch from wearing heavy sweaters, boots and thick socks to short-sleeve shirts, shorts and sandals. Are your feet healthy and ready to come out of hiding?
Happy feet make a happy person and are something we often neglect. How many of us pay much attention to our feet in winter, for instance. It’s usually only when summer is nearing and – oh my goodness – the feet have to be “on show” that we suddenly reach for the pumice stone/brush/ped egg etc and try to give them a bit of an MOT.
Looking after our feet, to most of us, is a bit of a chore. If you’re on your feet a lot, however, you do realise how very hard our feet work to support us. Don’t they deserve a bit of looking after.
Feet are actually highly absorbent and apparently it’s a good idea to wash them before you go to bed. The thinking behind this is that the feet re-absorb excreted toxins during the night!
The average person takes 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day, which adds up to about 115,000 miles over a lifetime! All this wear and tear on your feet can be harmful if they are not maintained properly.
Pedicures are a great way to provide basic care for your feet. What is a pedicure? A pedicure is a cosmetic treatment for the feet and toenails that cleans your feet, provides nail care and foot/calve massages.
Here are the top five benefits of a regular pedicure:-
Decreases Chances of Infections
Clipping, cutting and cleaning of the toe nails prevents them from growing inward and causing infection. The elimination of dirt and bacteria from your feet will also help prevent nail diseases, disorders (fungi) and foot odours. It is also important to keep toenails healthy because they protect toes from trauma.
Preserves Skin’s Moisture
A pedicure includes a soak in warm water and massage with oils and lotions that help preserve the moisture and integrity of your feet. Moisturised feet are less likely to get blisters, cracks or other foot problems. It is also important to keep your cuticles moisturised to prevent nails from growing out with ridges or split ends which can cause the nails to lift out of the nail beds.
Exfoliates the Feet
Exfoliation, or removal of dead skin cells, prevents the cells from accumulating and causing bunions or corns, which can be uncomfortable and painful. The removal of the dead skin on your feet, especially on the heel, encourages new cell growth which creates smoother and more attractive feet.
The most enjoyable part of the pedicure is the massage Massaging helps promote circulation and helps relieve tension in the calves and feet. Increase in blood circulation can reduce pain and help distribute heat throughout your body.
Relaxes the Body
A good pedicure can be very relaxing. It helps you relieve stress and can be therapeutic. According to the British NHS information, “massage therapy eases tension, stiffness and enhances well-being”.
Feet get little care compared to other parts of your body such as your hands and face. Healthy feet are vital to our overall health so don’t neglect them! Whether you go to a therapist or you do your own pedicure, make sure to get one at least once a month to help your feet stay in good condition.
Would you like a Luxury Pedicure?
Give your feet some well deserved pampering with a Luxury Pedicure from Back to Beauty. Revive and refresh tired feet with a soak, shape, cuticles, exfoliation, mask, foot & leg massage, foot cream and long lasting polish. All that for only £25.00.
I have a really great Newsletter which goes out once a month.
If you would like to receive a copy please sign up here:-
It’s fully of lots of interesting topics, some up-to-date wellness bits and whatever is happening with B2B (including any offers) only available for special people.
Many thanks for reading.
What I’ve realised
So I give out lots of advice about how very important it is to look after yourself, both your health, stress levels, nutrition, exercise etc etc. However, in March I got sick (don’t panic, only a cold!).
I’d had a busy time, working, getting my new treatment room ready – I’d given myself a deadline (I know not why……) and obviously got a bit run down and succumbed to some nasty germs.
Felt a bit rubbish for a couple of weeks but then realised I should really start taking my own advice. Soooo, I decided to book a massage for me – yay! Massaging a lot myself (which I do love doing) does sometimes result in my back aching. Also, being a tall lady I really need to safeguard my tools, i.e. me.
Well, what a difference. I decided to take the day off – went for a run first thing – did some (computer) work for a couple of hours and then hit the massage couch mid-afternoon. I was going to go back to work afterwards but I decided against it. As I tell everyone else – “relax for the rest of the day to get the most from your treatment”. So I did. It was fab! I’m doing it again this month too. So there.
According to Beata Aleksandrowicz, massage expert – the principles of massage include emotional wellness, posture and mental awareness. Put simply, a massage makes you feel good. However, it can also help to regulate the different systems within the body and enable it to heal itself. Even a one-off massage will make a difference to your health – it can boost the immune system, reduce blood pressure and release muscle tensions, as well as making you feel more relaxed and positive.
I’m going to continue with my monthly treat as I feel I owe it to myself to look after me. If I’m having a particularly busy or stressful day, it’s lovely to know I’ve got “my day” coming up and I can do with it what I choose.
But we can’t all just take a day off Sarah, I hear you cry. Well, I guess for me that’s one of the huge benefits of being self-employed. As I sometimes work at the weekends (both Saturday and Sunday this weekend) it is something I can build around what I do.
Working from home
According to a report from the UN’s International Labour Organisation, people who work from home are more likely to suffer from insomnia, stress and depression.
Natural Health Magazine, April 2017
So you see, even more important.
For those of you in a similar position – plan and put it in the diary – it won’t happen otherwise. For those of you who are retired or work part time – plan a day which suits. For those of you who work full time – do it on a weekend – or take annual leave. Whatever suits you. Prioritise you – why ever not. Don’t be so busy living that you forget to look after yourself.
I have a really great Newsletter which goes out once a month. If you would like to receive a copy please sign up here:-
It’s fully of lots of interesting topics, some up-to-date wellness bits and whatever is happening with B2B (including any offers) only available for special people.
Many thanks for reading.
As some of you may know I have collaborated with Donna Henry of Mad Henry’s Tea Room at Riverside Cottage (1 mile outside Bideford) to provide a Beauty Pamper & Vintage High Tea – am sure you can guess which bit I provide!
A bit of background
I joined a Ladies Networking Group in January last year as I wanted to mix with likeminded businesswomen, meet some people, get some support and generally have someone to talk to. Yes, being a sole trader can be a lonely business sometimes.
The meeting proved to be invaluable to me in the first half of last year. I met some lovely ladies doing some wonderful things in and around North Devon. A really diverse bunch of women who, like me, had taken the plunge to leave their 9-5 jobs behind and follow their hobby/dream/passion/interest/great idea etc.
Whilst at a meeting, I heard about a workshop being run to Boost your Business which I attended in April last year. Sarah Escott, a Business Development Specialist at The Best of Barnstaple (click here for website) ran the workshop for free (we donated £12 each to charity). Sarah provided some invaluable advice and I was and am extremely grateful to her for putting on the workshop.
A lovely lady called Sarah-Jane Payne attended the workshop and gave me some names of people to contact, whom she felt might assist me and my business. Sarah-Jane owns and runs West Country Caterers (click here for website) which specialises in providing a high level of home cooked cuisine and is one of the leading catering companies operating all over Devon.
It’s ok – relax – the next person I met was not called Sarah! There are rather a lot of us about……
After an appointment at Hallsannery I swung by Riverside Cottage and literally arrived and announced myself (I had gone on the off chance recommended by Hallsannery; yes, everyone knows everyone, thank goodness for me!).
Apologising for not having called first, or made an appointment, I was immediately met with “come in – come in”…… the lovely Donna Henry and I had met for the first time and clicked immediately.
The rest, as they say, is history……
After a few initial meetings Donna and I very quickly came up with the pamper tea idea and launched it at the end of the summer last year. It has been extremely well received and I know we are both very proud of what we offer. It has, and continues to be, both a pleasure and a privilege to work with both Donna and her husband Simon whose friendliness, charm and professionalism are bountiful.
We’ve had some great bookings: friends celebrating a 25th wedding anniversary, 2 young ladies celebrating a 17th birthday, friends just catching up, anniversary and birthday gifts to each other, to name but a few. We are just about to host our first “hen” pamper tea which we are very much looking forward to.
Mad Henry’s Tea Room is a very special location being right on the river with stunning views of the river Torridge. I love that you can see the iron bridge on the Tarka Trail which I think looks wonderful whether the tide is in or out. The tea room is decorated to a very high standard with comfortable chairs, fresh flowers, and home-made cakes, scones and jams all made by Donna herself. The almond and apricot scones are an absolute must.
In the warmer months there is seating outside and a summerhouse which seats 6, is close to the river and very private. A lovely little hide away for a cosy afternoon of pampering and a scrumptious tea.
If you are interested in booking a Beauty Pamper & Vintage High Tea, whatever the occasion, please click here for more information.
Just a word of warning, however, the earlier you book, the more chance you have of getting the day and time you want. Also, to note, in the summer months we can only take bookings for up to 6.
As I sit at my desk today writing this Blog I am only in the 2nd year of my business but I feel extremely blessed. So much has happened that I am grateful for and I am lucky to have met (and also work with) some really fantastic people. Long may it continue.
If you’ve enjoyed this blog and want to sign up to my lovely new Newsletter please do so here
It’s fully of lots of interesting topics, some up-to-date beauty bits and whatever is happening with B2B, including any offers only available for special people.
Many thanks for reading.
Some of you may know that I volunteer at The Long House in Holsworthy, North Devon Hospice’s (relatively) new building. The Long House opened in September 2015 and has provided over 1,200 sessions of care since. This ranges from one-to-one counselling and complementary therapies, to family craft and nurse consultations days.
Wellbeing days are held each month where those dealing with a life-limiting illness and their carers can come along and get their hair cut, have a facial, massage, reflexology or manicure. It’s a chance to relax and be pampered.
The Long House is a really wonderful space, totally non clinical, friendly and welcoming, decorated beautifully, exuding peace and tranquillity. The staff there, both employed and voluntary are, in my opinion, truly amazing.
So, I had the idea a while ago now, to put on a fund raiser for the Hospice to do something small to give a little bit back. I mentioned the idea to the lovely Donna Henry, of Mad Henry’s Vintage Tea Room, Riverside Cottage – my partner in the Beauty Pamper & Vintage High Tea we offer – and she, in her always generous spirit said “Why don’t we hold it here?”
So we did …….
The idea was we offered a “Taster” pamper treatment of, say, 10-15 minutes, plus tea and cakes – handmade by Donna – all for £5. This would then be donated direct to the Hospice. We didn’t want to make it too expensive as we wanted to encourage ladies to attend.
I arrived early and set up, wanting to make sure I was fully prepared and organised for the people coming through the doors (I hoped!). Donna had received many calls and enquiries about the event, and we were both a bit nervous and excited at the prospect of it being well attended.
I need not have worried; the event started at 10am and a group of ladies came through the door pretty much on the hour. I was offering a Relaxing Facial or Foot & Leg Massage as these are practical for a short “mini” treatment. Although I did end up doing some seated back, neck and shoulder massages too!
We had a small lull in attendees for about 30 minutes over lunch time (at least I could grab a sandwich!), but the rest of the day was busy and passed very quickly. Although we were busy, there was also time to chat to people and the atmosphere was calm and chilled, which was lovely for both ladies attending and Donna and I as hosts.
Everyone was very complimentary about what we were doing, and what we both offered – both individually and together – some people paying more than the £5 we were charging which was just great.
We did ask people to complete a very short survey to see, if we put on such an event again, which days people would prefer and if they would come back. They would!
We raised £155 for the Hospice from the day, which Donna & I have agreed we will make up to £200 – giving half each from our respective businesses.
Many thanks to all who attended and supported the event. Also a big thank you to Simon and Katie, who assisted on the day and who’s help was invaluable.
Wow where did January go? Some people really don’t like this time of year but I don’t mind it. The aftermath of Christmas and the nights getting a bit lighter just two weeks into January do help. To be honest it went really quickly for me as I have been very busy focusing on my marketing and trying to get super organised, hopefully, saving myself time later in the year.
So to February, and I thought this month I would cover a bit about massage. There are many different types and what do they all mean and do for you.
A definition of Massage Therapy
“The manual manipulation of soft body tissues (muscle, connective tissue, tendons and ligaments) to enhance a person’s health and well-being”.
Massage therapy isn’t just a massage. There is a high level of organisation behind the pressure, strokes, and stretching. Throughout history, massage has been valued as a medicinal and therapeutic practice, with certain massage techniques catering to certain ailments. Here are just a few:-
Relaxation Massage – is exactly what the name implies, a full body massage strictly for the purposes of rest and relaxation. This massage is essentially the same as a gentle Swedish massage that uses smooth, gliding strokes. The primary purpose will be to help you relax, and the massage therapist will probably move at a slower pace and use light pressure.
Swedish (or Classic) Massage – is the best known and most widely practiced massage using medium pressure. It focuses on improving blood flow to the skin and muscle and removing muscle tension. Swedish provides generalised relaxation, improves circulation, lowers blood pressure, reduces stress and enhances one’s overall state of health.
Aromatherapy Massage – is massage therapy with adding one or more scented plant oils called essential oils to address specific needs. You can have oils that are relaxing, energising, stress-reducing, balancing, etc. One of the most common essential oils used in aromatherapy massage is lavender. Aromatherapy massage is particularly suited to stress-related conditions or conditions with an emotional component.
Deep Tissue and Trigger Point Therapy – uses slow friction and deep finger pressure on body areas suffering from chronic muscle tension or areas that ache or feel contracted. This type of massage is useful for areas of hypertension, such as a stiff neck or sore shoulders. Deep tissue work works well in combination with traditional Swedish therapy.
Indian Head Massage – is a relaxing yet invigorating holistic seated massage which helps increase mobility and flexibility in the neck and shoulders. It improves blood circulation, lymphatic flow and aids elimination of toxins and is particularly good for reducing the effects of stress and tension.
Back, Neck & Shoulder Massage – is a massage concentrating only on these key areas to relieve the buildup of stress and muscle tension in the back, neck and shoulders. Good for people who sit for long periods of time, i.e. at a computer or driving.
All massages should be discussed with your massage therapist first and all can be adapted to suit your needs at the time.
Massage – it’s good for us
Massage has mood-lifting, stress-relieving benefits. In a 1996 study Dr Tiffany Field found that when they were massaged, babies of depressed Mums were more easily soothed and had greater decreases in stress hormones. Works for grown-ups too!
Don’t be afraid to touch. Not that I’m suggesting you go around touching random strangers, but sometimes it just feels right – studies have shown it only has to be a second to count.
So, there you have it. Whatever type of massage you like/need – February is definitely a good winter month to have one.
To the readers of my Newsletter, there will be a special offer this month for massages, so do keep a look out.
For those wanting to sign up to my lovely new Newsletter please do so here:-
Many thanks for reading.
Keep warm and well this month
Well firstly let me wish you all a very Happy New Year. I do hope you had a lovely Christmas and stayed healthy.
2017 has now truly started and got under full swing this week for me. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a great first week in January.
On Tuesday I gave a talk to the local WI in the village hall. I had originally approached them some 12 months ago, thinking, on starting my business, what a good idea it might be. When I was told that the speakers are actually organised some 12 months ahead (how very efficient) I was a little down hearted. However, I was so very glad in the end that I had a full 12 months to prepare!
Firstly, where did last year go, and secondly I had much more to talk to the ladies about, having completed a whole 14 months in business.
The Women’s Institute was formed in 1915 to revitalise rural communities and encourage women to become more involved in producing food during the First World War. Since then the aims have broadened and the WI is now the largest voluntary organisation in the UK. It celebrated its centenary in 2015 and currently has 220,000 members in 6,300 WIs.
For more information about the WI, including becoming a member, go to www.thewi.org.uk/about-the-wi.
I attended the whole meeting, having been invited to, and it was great to see exactly how the WI meetings work. After singing “Jerusalem” (a long held tradition), business was conducted with meeting minutes read, agreed and signed off. Other business then discussed with the group and efficiently dealt with by the Chair.
It was then time for “the speaker” – help – that was me! I must admit, not being used to speaking in public, or to such a large group (there were 20 or so ladies), I initially felt a bit daunted. However, once I got going the ladies were very welcoming and friendly. I made sure there was some interaction with questions which promoted some group chats which was lovely. I then finished with 2 mini facial demonstrations and encouraged the ladies to come up and look at/smell/touch the products I had on display.
Extremely lucky for me I had given the talk in January as it was the only month with food (oh joy!). Hot bowls of homemade soup and crusty bread were quickly and efficiently put on tables and the ladies arranged for the group to all eat together. I must admit I was quite hungry by then and had 3 different soups which were all delicious. A desert trolley (y-e-s) was then wheeled out to reveal many wonderful and again, all home-made desserts. They all looked amazing but my heart belonged to the trifle, yum yum.
So, for me, what a lovely start to the New Year. My thanks to Maureen Poole (Chair) for organising for me to attend, and to all the lovely local ladies for the warm welcome.
The next day this got me thinking about my evening and would I have done something like this a few years ago. Not only, did I do something that took me out of my comfort zone, but I thoroughly enjoyed meeting and talking to (some of) my neighbours and local people.
The WI is an amazing institution; some of the ladies have been attending for a very long time (50/60 years). It is traditional, friendly, warm and certainly a supportive network for a rural community.
Wishing you much healthy and happiness for 2017.
I hope your start to the New Year has been as a good as mine.
No this isn’t the bit where I advise you not to eat anything over Christmas (you wouldn’t listen anyway ha ha ha ) that would be absolutely ridiculous. Obviously, enjoy eating and what you eat, but if you do over indulge on Christmas Day, just try not to eat sooo much the following day. Give your body a chance to recover. Christmas food can be very rich and our bodies are not used to consuming so much at once.
The same applies to drink. Try to match each alcoholic drink with a glass of water – it not only flushes out toxins, but also helps to dilute the alcohol meaning you won’t perhaps feel so bad the next day, or later the same day! Have a drink, of course, it’s great to celebrate, but just be aware of what and how much (this is only advice, obviously!).
Just move your body. The best advice here is to get outside – whatever the weather. Wrap up if it’s cold and go for a good old stomp. If you’re feeling energetic go for a run, bike ride, swim or kick about in the park. Getting outside gets you fresh air and is good for your whole body, mind and spirit.
There you have it, just a few little words of advice for staying healthy and happy this Christmas. Look after your body because then your body will look after you.
Whatever you do this Christmas, and whether you are in North Devon or abroad (as my friend Tina is, lucky thing), I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year.
I went to North Hill Cottage, Barnstaple on Saturday to deliver some treatments for 4 lovely ladies down for a long weekend from Bristol. They go away around this time each year to spend some quality time together, catch up, chill out, do some Christmas shopping and treat themselves to a bit of pampering. That’s where I came in…
Whilst I was undertaking the treatments I thought what a lovely idea for short get away from it all with girlfriend/s – planning in advance and splitting the cost of the accommodation makes it more affordable and is great to look forward to.
Two ladies had a luxury pedicure – no need to worry about smudging your varnish, as all they did was go downstairs and relax by the fire. The other ladies had a massage and facial and, again, could just pop on their PJs and lay on the sofa …… as I was leaving they were just opening the wine and putting out the cheese and bickies ……. how lovely.
A pamper party is a great way to get together with friends, family or colleagues and really have a short burst of “me time”, something we all need occasionally. Whether you’re looking for an alternative to a Christmas party, celebrating an anniversary or birthday, or perhaps wanting to throw a surprise for a friend, a pamper party can be a lovely welcome treat.
If you’re a real party animal getting ready for the “season” a pamper party may be just the thing to get you started, nice and relaxed before all the hard partying kicks in. Or, the other end of the scale, you’ve done your partying and you want to get Christmas ready and unwind totally in readiness for Santa to call! Whatever, whenever – with friends or go it alone – a bit of pampering is welcome any time.
I’ve been lucky enough to attend some lovely pamper parties this year; Wansleigh Barton, Hallsannery, Riverside Cottage and Webbery Barton Barn are just some of the fabulous venues I’ve attended delivering some sumptuous treatments (Luxury Facial, Aromatherapy Massage, Luxury Pedicure).
Beauty Pamper & Vintage Tea
In July this year I collaborated with Donna & Simon Henry of Mad Henry’s Tea Room @ Riverside Cottage to provide a Beauty Pamper & Vintage High Tea experience. Not only does Donna make all her own scones, cakes and jams, but the location is beautiful, right on the river, a tranquil relaxing setting – just the right place to have a pamper treatment followed by a scrumptious high tea. Simon’s millionaire’s shortbread is really something very special, although all cakes are equally Gor-Geous (I’m such a Strictly fan!). I always come away from there being fed something really nice……. Oh dear the perils of the job!!!
So, there you have it, looking for an alternative “party” this year – with or without food – something to think about…
So, I’d had my time off, done my training, set up my little business and then thought…. What now! So, I did some planning and a little bit of very local advertising, sourced a (free) business mentor and met up with a lovely lady I knew who had vast experience in the industry for some support and advice (for which I am so very grateful). I also knew I needed “others”, like minded women who were perhaps in similar situations or that I could just chat to, gain advice and have some camaraderie with- so I joined a ladies networking group. It was and is one of the best things I did (I still attend when I can).
I also realised quickly it would take a while to grow a business and that I needed some income – yup – I needed a job! I thought I’d probably fall back on my admin skills and pick up something part time but, I was extremely lucky to get a couple of roles that would give me what I needed, i.e. experience, an income and, most of all, job satisfaction. I went for interviews at Hartland House Spa and North Devon Hospice (as a volunteer Beautician) in the same week and was extremely fortunate to get both roles. I work at The Longhouse, North Devon Hospice’s new venue at Holsworthy, one day a month at their pamper days. These days are held for patients and carers for some well deserved pampering and a bit of time out. It is extremely rewarding and humbling at the same time. I always look forward to that day each month. Hartland House Spa has given me experience and confidence and is a lovely place to work a couple of days a week in a glorious setting.
In the meantime, my own client base has and is growing steadily and healthily. Tune in next time.
Well hello everyone – this is my first blog so please be patient (and kind) with me. I started Back to Beauty a little over a year ago and what an eventful year it’s been. So much to learn, so many people to meet, so many treatments to give. I’ve absolutely loved it!
After many years in administration I took voluntary redundancy from the NHS at the beginning of last year. I had no plan as to what I wanted to do – just knew I definitely needed a change. I also knew I didn’t want to be in an office. I wanted a complete life change. So, basically I knew what I didn’t want, just not what I did! I had a few months off (oh they were sooo nice) doing the things we would all do if we didn’t work, i.e. yoga, swimming, walking, catching up with friends etc.
After a short break away visiting a friend, and after 4 months of doing not so much, I picked up my iPad and typed into Google “Jobs that make you happy” – 5 came up! I picked Beautician, sourced a course and started 3 weeks later. Simple. I guess looking back I should have done some market research, thought about it a bit more, sought advice etc., but I went with my gut and here I am. I did my training full time (as I had the time) and passed my VTCT Level 2 in Beauty in August last year. I then went on to do some more courses, namely Business & Marketing for Therapists, Gel Polish, Body Massage, Swedish Massage and Indian Head Massage. There’ll be more in my second blog, so please tune in.