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Exercise. Diet. Calories. Sleep. Yikes! It can feel totally overwhelming when it comes to creating structure and routine to lead a healthier (and hopefully) happier life, can’t it? Throughout the shooting and writing process of my book I had been swimming regularly, but my crazy schedule meant my diet had suffered, especially when I was on the go so much during my book tour. Running Bright.Bazaar singlehandedly means I’m juggling everything from invoicing and contract negotiations, through to blog post writing and photo shoot styling, photography and editing – I love it but it sure does keep me busy! I had been keen to take steps to improve my diet and increase my exercise for sometime, but I felt daunted at the thought of yet another thing to add to the To-Do list and it was easy to find excuses not to dive on in and get started.Jawbone-UP24-band-2
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However, at the start of this year I made the decision to try my hardest to lead a healthier life. I added a regular gym routine to follow my usual swims, and I made a concerted effort to pay closer attention to the food I was eating. Yet, all I had to monitor my progress or keep me on track was my memory. I figured this would be no problem but the distractions of day-to-day life and running my business meant that is actually was difficult to keep on track.Jawbone-UP24-band-4

That’s why I was delighted to partner with Jawbone to try out their new UP24 band – it was just what I needed to help me keep a focus on my daily levels of activity, exercise and diet. As the UP24 band syncs my movement and sleep patterns automatically via bluetooth with an app on my iPhone, it really does streamline the process of recording and remembering my activity on any given day. I recently had problems with my back due to too many hours spent working at a computer, so I am hoping that the vibration within the band that happens automatically if you have been inactive for too long will help remind me to take screen breaks. In addition, I’m hoping that I’ll be able to utilise the app to keep a closer track of what I am eating and how my diet is shaping up around my busy schedule. In the past eight months or so I’ve found it both rewarding and challenging as I explore and think more deeply about how to achieve my mission to live a make-you-smile style life. I know for sure that eating better and being more active is a huge part of this, so I’d love to hear of your own stories of leading a life that’s more respectful of your body? How do you stay motivated? Perhaps you have some great tips to share for exercise and diet? I’d love to hear them all! Have a great weekend, guys.

// Photography by Will Taylor | Posted in partnership with Jawbone but all views and experiences my own.

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Padding around bare footed at home doesn’t sound too appealing now that the weather has started to turn that bit cooler thanks to the arrival of Autumn, does it? Yet there’s something about arriving home, kicking off your shoes and relaxing at home with scented candles burning and generally nesting in comfy clothes. This is what led me to seek out ways to create a cosy home under foot for the new season. Truth be told, I’ve never been a huge carpet fan but my mind quickly changed upon discovering the new Quirky B collection from Alternative Flooring. Not only is the collection of carpets and stair runners incredibly colourful (massive brownie points right there!) but it’s also an exploration of striking patterns, too. This combination creates the opportunity to really make the floors in a space the statement feature – this approach to a scheme is ideal if the room is lacking a natural focal point, like a fireplace or other existing architectural detail.

The new Quirky B collection is a new broadloom patterned carpet collection in collaboration with designers Margo Selby and Ashley Hicks. The collaborative designs sit alongside a range of more designer Quirky patterns in-house, too. The wool carpets are woven on traditional carpet looms in the UK and each designer created two styles each. Margo Selby is a woven textile designer who creates colourful handcrafted fabrics. The two designs seen here, Fair Isle and Shuttle, are here first ever carpet and runner designs for Alternative Flooring. Both are beautifully crafted in Margo Selby’s trademark 3-dimensional style and feature her distinctive graphic patterns in earthy and vibrant colour mixes. The innovative designs are developed on handlooms by Margo in her studio and then woven into broadloom carpets. Meanwhile, international interior and furniture designer Ashley Hicks designed two striking patterned carpets called Chainmail and Daisy.

Personally, I love how this collection allows one to invite both colour, pattern *and* comfort into a space via one decorating element. The Quirky B collection has cemented in my mind that carpet can be cool, so given I have a penchant for alliteration, I’m certifying the collection ‘cracking carpet’! Which of these ten carpet ideas from Alternative Flooring do you like best? How would you use carpet in your own home?

* // Photography by Alternative Flooring

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1. Wearing stripes on Saturdays should be the law.
2. I can’t walk past a blue door without stopping to take a picture of it.
3. I loved the yellow type and visual contrast at Topolski.
4. Every home should have a candy coloured striped rug.
5. A window box overflowing with bright blooms equals instant charm.
6. Whoever named their house the ‘pink house’ needs a colour award!
7. Loved spotting these Greek blue shutters in Knightsbridge on Sunday.
8. I wasn’t exaggerating in number two (see above!).
9. It was such a joy to have Lindsey staying with us from Paris for the weekend.
10. Two traditional red telephone boxes seen side-by-side is a sure fire way to raise a smile!