30.03

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Today I’m excited to be sharing an interview with the lovely Brittany, from She’s All Smiles blog! Brittany is a total ray of sunshine- one quick glance at her blog will show you that she really *is* ALL smiles! Her blog is about happiness, about cultivating a healthy mind and sense of wellbeing, and a strong body-positive message that I just adore. I’m excited for you to get to know She’s All Smiles! So, let’s get to it…

1. Will you tell us a little about how you got started writing She’s All Smiles?

Well a few years ago I was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. (You can read my story here) I had a long battle with this disorder and ended up going from a size two to a size 00, and weighing in at an even 100 pounds. I started blogging as a way to catalog my experience as I was trying to make my way through recovery. It was really more for myself, an online diary if you will called Pancake Crusades. I made it my mission to one day be able to eat my favorite food again, pancakes. After a few months of blogging, I started to get emails from people saying they were experiencing something similar and that my writing had really helped them. That’s when I realized that I should make my blog all about leading a happy and healthy life through everything we do, whether that’s fashion, food, wellness, travel or our careers. Then She’s All Smiles was born. It’s been a great journey so far and I’ve met some amazing people along the way.

2. How would you sum up your blog, in just 3 words?

Fashionably happy and healthy.

3. Has blogging brought about any changes in your life, so far?

It has brought around so many changes in my life!!! I’ve met some amazing people who have experienced depression, anxiety and disordered eating just like myself. It’s an amazing feeling to realize that others share your struggles and together you’re able to work together to recover. I’ve also had the opportunity to travel to some really cool places like Carmel Valley, Chicago and New York. Carmel Valley was my favorite in particular because I went with my husband and for four days we talked over wine, ate amazing food and immersed ourselves in a really unique culture.

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4. Would you share with us three of your favourite posts, and tell us why they’re particular favourites?

Hmmm, ok, I love this question. Let me breakdown my favorite posts for you:

Up in the Air and That’s Ok: I wrote this post during a time when I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, career wise. I had been in the Public Relations game for a few years and I was beginning to become burned out. I realized that I wanted to do something more with my life but I didn’t know what that thing was. I think a lot of people in their early to mid twenties feel this way and wanted to let them know that that feeling is normal.

In Defense of Taking Medications for Mental Health: There has been a big debate in the states lately about taking medications for mental health. Some believe that those afflicted should try natural methods to deal, while others believe that natural remedies are not enough. I wanted to shine a light on this debate and outline that it is perfectly acceptable to take medications for mental health. Sometimes you need a little extra help. That doesn’t mean you’re any less of a human being than anyone else and that it’s something that you should never be ashamed of.

Silencing Your Inner Mean Girl: The idea for this post came to me after I had a lot of conversations with some girlfriends about their issues with body image and how they can’t silence the voice in their heads telling them they’re not enough. I have the same problem and thought it would be helpful to write a post about this very topic. We are all beautiful and have so much to offer the world, we shouldn’t second guess that about ourselves.

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5. What’re some of the best things about living in Orange County, California?

I absolutely love Orange County! I was born in Cincinnati Ohio, moved to Florida with my family when I was entering High School and then moved to Orange County straight out of college with my husband. I love the weather here, it’s always sunny and warm. We are just minutes away from both the beach and the mountains which makes our weekends always an adventure. The food here is amazing! And I mean amazing, especially brunch. Every Saturday Chad, my husband, and I always try a new brunch spot. It’s a fun little ritual we have. Orange County is great. I highly recommend a trip out here if you can find the time.

6. What might Cider with Rosie readers be surprised to learn about you? Any secret skills or party tricks?

Hmmm. Let’s see. Aside from blog writing I actually love to write poetry and songs. My dad was in a band when I was little and he got me to love music and the art of writing. I love to sing, although I don’t do it in public that often, and write my own songs as my own form of therapy.

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7. Fashion is a huge part of your life, right? Will you share with us three of your top tips for putting together outfits for changeable Spring weather? :)

I’m a bit obsessed with fashion! My mom was very fashionable growing up, and still is, and she taught me everything I know about putting together outfits.

Mix together high end products with low end products to create one ensemble. To be stylish, you don’t have to break the bank. Invest in a few great basic pieces, like a leather jacket or purse, or a strappy pair of Steve Madden heals and mix these items with fitted jeans and a top or the like from H&M or Forever 21. Works every time.

Dress for your body type and size. If you know that you are a size 6 don’t try to fit in to a size 2 or 4. The size on the tag doesn’t matter, what matters is how the outfit looks on you. Never stress about the size the tag reads. In the end it really doesn’t matter.

Coordinate the colors and patterns you wear with the current season. In fall, utilize mustards, burgundies and forest greens. In Spring wear pastels, whites, creams, and denim.

One last tip, I know you said three, but I want to throw this one in there. Always wear a smile. With a smile and an air of confidence any outfit you put together will be on point, guaranteed.

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8. And finally, it’s our old favourite Desert Island Discs! If you were stranded on a desert island, what would you bring along for the ride? You can bring two albums/CDs, two books, two films, ingredients to make a meal, and one luxury item!

Albums/CDs: Tove Lo – Queen of the Clouds and Gooey – Glass Animals

Books: Tina Fey – Bossy Pants and Lena Dunham – Not That Kind of Girl

Ingredients to Make a Meal: Spaghetti Squash is one of my favorite meals! So I’d bring a spaghetti squash, mushrooms, ground beef, Italian seasonings, tomato paste and Parmesan cheese.

One Luxury Item: Coconut Body Scrub (I’m obsessed!!) from SkinFood

~ Thanks so much for your lovely answers, Brittany! Do click over to She’s All Smiles and say hello, and don’t forget to follow along via Facebook‘! ~

If you’d like to see your own blog featured here in an interview on Cider with Rosie, then simply click through to the Sponsor page to find out more about advertising and snap up an advert!

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26.03

Cider-with-Rosie-March-advertisers

Happy Easter weekend, my friends! I hope you have a lovely cosy time planned with your family and friends, full of chocolate and togetherness and fantastic roast dinners. I’ve started my Easter weekend off with a little chocolate…and a lot of green juice to balance things out! Today, I’ve got another roundup of wonderful blogs to share with you! There are some about healthy living, some about travel, others about all things ‘lifestyle’, and others about a little of everything! I’m certain you’ll find some new favourite blogs below. Happy reading, and a happier long Easter weekend!

She’s All Smiles
It’s been so lovely getting to know Brittany’s blog over the past month, and have been dipping in to see what’s new on She’s All Smiles every few days! Brittany’s blog, as she says in her ‘About’ page, is about bringing her readers inspiration for living a happy, healthy life. Her posts cover everything from food and fashion, to general wellbeing and the challenges of being a modern professional woman. I love how enthusiastic Brittany is in all of her posts, and how passionate she so clearly is about all she shares via She’s All Smiles. Oh, and you must go and read the post she shared from her recent trip down to Florida- the food looks like total American diner classics, and that sunset at the end made me long for a holiday!
Favourite post of the past month? A trip to Seaside FL.

Silverspoon London
Angie’s blog is a gem, through and through! Silverspoon London is all about the finer things in life- luxury international travel, London’s greatest hotels, restaurants, and experiences, and fine dining both abroad and at home. This month, Angie’s shared a round up of the eight best luxury hotels in Thailand (a must-read for anyone honeymoon shopping, ahead of this year’s upcoming wedding season!), reviewed the finest looking seafood Cornwall has to offer at Jamie Oliver and Rick Stein’s restaurants, and had a divine afternoon tea experience at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in London. Angie’s posts are always so insightful and full of helpful information, and its become my favourite site to turn to when I’m looking for ideas for special occasion treats!
Favourite post of the past month? Eight of the Best Luxury Hotels in Thailand.

The What Now Blog
The What Now Blog, as you know, has been a recommended read of mine for many many months now. I just love the way Louise writes her posts, with their focus on achieving a clearer, more focused mind, a greater sense of wellbeing and contentment, and a sense of balance too. This month, Louise has shared posts about gaining focus during a break from work through 10 minutes of meditition, creating a healthy workspace (I loved this post, and most definitely need to utilise the tips at home!), and about her experiences of attending an intensive two day leadership course. If you ever find yourself feeling stuck in your own head, and have the horrible sensation of never being quite able to switch off, I’m just certain you’ll find something on Louise’s blog that’ll help!
Favourite post of the past month? 3 Quick Ways to Create a Healthier Workspace.

Around the World in 80 Pairs of Shoes
Kelly’s blog is such a lovely one, and always such a pleasure to read! Around the World in 80 Pairs of Shoes is primarily about travel, the number one love of Kelly’s life! Its other focus? Why, the second love of her life, of course…shoes! In the past few weeks, Kelly has been on adventures to Seville (her photos, or ‘shoefies’!, of the beautiful tiles are a sight to be seen!), to Suffolk (the wobbly buildings are so charming), and shared photos from a Tiki Tour she experienced in her home country of New Zealand! I love how natural all of Kelly’s travel posts are, and that her posts always seem to be written simply from the heart. It’s just such a lovely blog to follow, and I’m sure you’re going to enjoy reading it!
Favourite post of the past month? Tiki Tour New Zealand: The Manukau Heads Lighthouse a Awhitu Peninsula

The Dubai Diaries
Rachel’s blog is a totally new one to me this month, and I’m so enjoying getting to know it! The Dubai  Diaries is about Rachel’s life as a flight attendant, and her travels all over the world! As you might have guessed, based on Rachel’s blog’s title, she’s based in Dubai but spends her time travelling internationally with her airline. Over the past few weeks, Rachel’s shared posts from her stay in Dusseldorf, her visit to Boston (which looked fantastic!), given us a few of her top travel tips, and shared photos from her best friend’s visit out to see her in beautiful Dubai! I love how Rachel’s blog gives real insight into a lifestyle so different from my own, and how exciting and adventurous it all seems! For anyone with a serious case of wanderlust, The Dubai Diaries will be the blog for you!
Favourite post of the past month? The Dubai Diaries: Hidden Gems.

Loved by Laura
Laura’s blog has been one of my favourite discoveries of the past few months, since its been linked here in my sidebar! It’s got such an effortlessly charming vibe to it, and Laura herself just seems so lovely! Loved by Laura is a lifestyle blog, and features posts about a wonderfully wide range of topics. In March, Laura’s shared posts about her new go-to Spring ensemble (that cape! I’m in love!), her time at London fashion week, her experiences attending a Caribbean cooking class with the iconic Levi Roots, and about her new hair care secret for ultra hydrated hair! Each of Laura’s posts is so well written and engaging, and I find myself nipping over to her site time and again to catch up with her recent goings-on. You’re going to love it!
Favourite post of the past month? Levi Roots Caribbean Smokehouse Cookery Masterclass & Ticket Giveaway

Another wonderful blog for you to get to know:
Get the Skinny || Tara’s blog is currently down for maintenance, and I’m eagerly awaiting her new site going live!

If you’d like to see your own blog featured here on Cider with Rosie and exposed to 10s of 1000s of new readers, click through to the Sponsor page to find out more!

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23.03

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S P R I N G    F O R W A R D S . . .

Spring is full of so many little joys.

Hot cross buns thick with salted butter. Tulips and daffodils and (my favourite), hyacinths in vases. The door to the garden flung open wide in the morning, to let the dogs pootle in and out whilst I eat my breakfast. Watching the little robins who, for the third year in a row, are busy building nests in the ivy on the fence at the end of our little garden. The promise of a farmer’s market that in just a few short weeks, will be overflowing with ripe peaches and sweet watermelon and all the other treats I dream about during the long winter.

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This Spring is tasting extra sweet to me so far this year, and I’m not sure I could even explain why right now. It feels so full of promise, and anticipation, and I’m soaking in every bit of it I can.

On the first official day of Spring, this past Sunday, I woke up fairly early and sat eating my breakfast whilst the dogs played on the deck. I managed to catch them in the middle of ripping apart some old grasses they’d stolen from an old hanging basket, and have you ever seen such a pair of guilty faces before?

I’m not sure if maybe it was better when Teddy used keep Elsie at arms length- these days they’re thick as thieves and double the trouble, and I don’t think I can keep up with the pair of them!

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Later on in the morning we went out, the four of us, up to our favourite woods, and Jason and I managed to come home almost as thick with mud as the two puddle-waders we own.

The little lane up to the woods has a few beautiful blossom trees growing along it, so I made Jason stop the car whilst snapped a few photos.

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We came home to hot cross buns and afternoon naps, before leaving the dogs behind tucked up in their beds whilst Jason and I nipped into Guildford to run a couple of errands.

I usually feel oh so impatient for one of our beautiful English summers, once spring has arrived, but this year I don’t at all. This year, I’m enjoying every single day of it.

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18.03

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I’m *so* ready for this weekend. We’ve got nothing in the diary, and plan to spend most of the time pottering. Which, as you’ll know, is pretty high on my imaginary list of favourite pastimes! I’m keeping my fingers crossed we have lovely weather, and that Jason and I can head out with the dogs on Sunday morning in bright, crisp sunshine, with a flask of coffee each to boot. Here’s to a happy weekend! And here’s what’s made me happy this week…

1. Jason’s Mum’s famously amazing sticky toffee pudding- dessert after last Sunday’s family dinner. I’ve been thinking about it non-stop all week.

2. Walking Teddy and Elsie along the river in Guildford this afternoon, and seeing so many signs of spring all over the place! Blossom and daffodils everywhere, and so many birds out and about. Oh, and I stole Jason’s gilet to wear whilst I was out, and it’s the cosiest thing ever. It was the nicest walk! Though we did also see a dead heron that the dogs were *obsessed* with, which wasn’t so happy making (pretty gross, to be honest…)

3. Two fun days of filming work this week, with a company called Kalm Kitchen. It was so great to work on something totally different!

4. Spending an evening with Jason babysitting our 2 month old niece! She’s the cutest, and it was so fun playing at being parents for the evening!

5. The vase of brightly coloured tulips currently sitting on our coffee table, brightening up the whole living room.

6. The prospect of mushroom carbonara for dinner this evening. I’m already excited…

7. Embryolisse ‘lait-creme’ moisturiser! I had a sample in a Birchbox a couple of months ago, but only just got round to trying it…and it’s the bomb! I’ve already gone out and bought a full size version…

8. Reading Countrylife magazine! It’s totally my new favourite.

9. A productive week of emails. You know those weeks, where it just feels like you’re smashing through your inbox and everything’s clicking? I love those weeks.

10. Seeing the dogs go loopy for Marmite. It’s their new favourite thing- heaven forbid I dare eat a slice of toast with Marmite on without giving them each a lick of a Marmite-covered teaspoon!

What’s made you happiest this week?

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