Sundays and Somedays

5 Ways To Practice Self-Care

LifeBrenda McIntoshComment
A purple flower after a London rain shower | Sundays and Somedays

This past week has been a stressful one. I'm a naturally anxious person, and a few things have been compounding that lately to the point where I've forgotten to eat meals, been riddled with headaches, and unable to concentrate on the simplest of tasks.

This weekend, I decided that I need to focus on self-care. I've not checked emails, have generally stayed away from social media and have instead have listened to my body.

What does self care look like for me? It's doing the things I love, yet seldom take the time to do. It's eating healthy meals at the table (rather than in front of a screen) and being physically active.

Here are five ways to practice self-care and an example of each I've done this weekend. Admittedly, none of these are revelatory, but they always help me to reduce my anxiety and improve my mental state.

| Step Away from the Screen |

It's too easy to go from looking at a monitor at work, to going home and watching Netflix, and heading to bed, which really means scrolling through Instagram.

I find that looking at other people's highlight reel on Instagram can only serve to make me feel worse about myself. A favorite blogger might be traipsing around Italy, meanwhile I'm sitting on the couch in sweatpants.

 It's important to sometimes put the phone/computer/tablet down. Take a break from emails, the news, and social media. This weekend, instead, I picked up a new book (The Secret Lives of Colour) and it's felt entirely refreshing to take in some printed text. 

| Get in a Workout |

Nothing clears my mind and wipes away my anxiety like a good workout. It almost feels like my stress exits my body through the sweat. I never want to go to the gym, but I always feel so good afterwards - physically and mentally.

This weekend, I visited one of my favorite gyms, 1Rebel, for a morning spin class. The music, the dark lighting, and the tough workout cleared my head and made me feel more refreshed than I'd felt all week. Finished with a chocolate, peanut butter, vegan protein smoothie, it was a perfect Saturday morning. 

| Eat Whole Foods (at the table) |

Anyone else find that they eat on the couch, in front of a screen more times than not? I have a terrible habit of having dinner this way most weeknights. And a few times this week, I've simply just not eaten a proper meal at all (hello chocolate for lunch).

Friday evening, I stocked up on a few healthy staples - avocado, whole grain bread,  greens - and made an effort to prepare myself nice meals that nourish, rather than just quick ones that usually don't.

This meant avocado toast for breakfast (when normally I'd have a breakfast bar) and fixing my favorite salad for a couple of meals - a simple one that's just butter lettuce, parmesan shavings, pistachios and a drizzle of walnut oil.

Eaten at the table (not the desk or the couch) makes the meal feel special and helps me to be present and actually savor the food and the moment.

| Get Some Fresh Air |

Typically my day is spent indoors - whether it's in my apartment, the office, or a tube station. And when I'm outside, it's usually walking between those and surrounded by smog.

It's feels suffocating at times, as growing up I was always surrounded by greenery, and vacations were typically camping trips in the mountains. I find that being outside in nature, just like a workout, helps to clear my mind. 

If I'm in a rut, sometimes just a walk in a park can bring me much-needed clarity and fresh air just feels, well...refreshing.

This weekend, I decided to go out to seek some air. It was a rainy day, but the rain just made the trip outside all the more refreshing. I walked through a park in a suburb of London and took the time to snap photos of blooms that looked even better with a few dewdrops. And I certainly made a point to breath in the clean(er) air.

| Do Something You Love |

Many times, I put my needs last. I tend to prioritize others - whether it's my cats or work or something else - before myself. I've traveled enough where I should really know to 'secure my own mask before assisting others' but sometimes I forget that being my best is what's best for others.

On Saturday, after my spin class, I decided to do what I normally wouldn't - get off the tube a few stops early and do a spot of shopping at my favorite store - it's not something I typically let myself do (it's a hectic spot that others don't tend to enjoy and it involves spending money, which I'm trying to do less of), but it can be a real treat.

I bypassed the clothes in favor of a new book (above) and a candle, and took a scenic bus ride home (rather than hopping back underground).

Here's to an upcoming week that's now feeling a bit more manageable.

Until next time,

- B

Summer Makeup Staples

Life, StyleBrenda McIntoshComment
Summer Makeup Staples | Bobbi Brown eyeliner, Nars shadow stick, Nars creamy concealer, BareMinerals bronzer, Benefit They're Real mascara, Blink Browbar eyebrow gel | Sundays and Somedays

With the arrival of summer comes sunshine, warmer temperatures, days spent outside in the park, and a bit of a change to my makeup routine. I want my makeup to feel lighter, more natural, and able to withstand a commute on the hot and humid tube. I've gathered my go-to products for a quick summer makeup routine - here's what I'm currently using and loving:

Bobbi Brown Ink Eyeliner |

I bought this on a whim while browsing the beauty aisles of Liberty London. I heard that Adele uses this brand (and of course, she's got the best eyeliner game in town), so I thought, why not give it a go? I'm glad I did - it's ridiculously easy to apply (even I can get a good cat-eye) and lasts all day, even in the heat!

Summer Makeup Staples | Bobbi Brown eyeliner, Nars shadow stick, Nars creamy concealer, BareMinerals bronzer, Benefit They're Real mascara, Blink Browbar eyebrow gel | Sundays and Somedays

Benefit 'They're Real' Mascara |

This has been my go-to mascara for a really long time - and for good reason. It gives me thick, long lashes with only a few swipes of the wand. The end of the wand is also shaped really well for defining those hard-to-get lower lashes. 

Summer Makeup Staples | Bobbi Brown eyeliner, Nars shadow stick, Nars creamy concealer, BareMinerals bronzer, Benefit They're Real mascara, Blink Browbar eyebrow gel | Sundays and Somedays

blink browbar Brow Colour and Build |

I've been making the rounds to several brow bars (which are apparently now a thing), and blink has been one of the best. I'm really loving these two products for summer as the color adds precise definition while the build wand keeps my brow shape and color in place all day, no budging!

Summer Makeup Staples | Bobbi Brown eyeliner, Nars shadow stick, Nars creamy concealer, BareMinerals bronzer, Benefit They're Real mascara, Blink Browbar eyebrow gel | Sundays and Somedays

bareMinerals Invisible Broze Powder Bronzer |

What's summer without a sun-kissed face? I add a touch of this light-as-air bronzer below my cheekbones for definition and then a very light brushing on my cheeks, nose, and chin (where a tan would naturally appear) for a sun-safe glow.  

NARS

spotlight on my favorite makeup brand

Since discovering NARS last year, it's quickly become my go-to beauty brand. Their products are always worth the cost, last for ages, and are quick and easy to apply. For summer, I'm loving these ones in particular:

Nars Creamy Concealer in Vanilla |

This is really a year-round product, but I love it in summer because I can apply it in the morning and the coverage lasts all day, even if I'm commuting on the Central Line in rush hour.

Nars Velvet Shadow Stick in Siros |

This was a fairly recent buy, but I love it as an alternative to a powder eyeshadow (which tend to become creased in hot weather). This one glides on and stays put. The Siros color adds subtle shimmer to my lids and is perfect for an everyday look. I'll certainly be exploring and buying new colors soon!

Nars Radiant Cream Compact Foundation in Mont Blanc |

Once summer rolls around, I trade my heavy liquid foundation for this cream one, which is a bit lighter and more breathable, but still provides me with medium coverage. Plus, the application takes seconds!

Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Bolero |

I love coral colors in the warmer months. I tend to go for bright coral nail polish and more subtle peach colors for the lips, like this one from NARS.

Nars Blush in Orgasm |

A cult beauty product for good reason. I love this blush because it has a warmth to it that others don't - perfect for adding a little bit of sun-kissed color to the cheeks.

Summer Makeup Staples | Bobbi Brown eyeliner, Nars shadow stick, Nars creamy concealer, BareMinerals bronzer, Benefit They're Real mascara, Blink Browbar eyebrow gel | Sundays and Somedays
Summer Makeup Staples | Bobbi Brown eyeliner, Nars shadow stick, Nars creamy concealer, BareMinerals bronzer, Benefit They're Real mascara, Blink Browbar eyebrow gel | Sundays and Somedays
Summer Makeup Staples | Bobbi Brown eyeliner, Nars shadow stick, Nars creamy concealer, BareMinerals bronzer, Benefit They're Real mascara, Blink Browbar eyebrow gel | Sundays and Somedays

...and a couple of my current favorite summer extras. 

J.Crew Sunglasses |

I'm loving the candy floss color of these shades. I don't think I could get away with wearing these in winter, but for a summer day, they're just perfect. I'm also loving all the shades that are currently stocked in Madewell. I just have a weak spot for sunnies! 

J.Crew Earrings |

I snapped up these earrings in New York to wear for a recent Las Vegas trip (I went for some glitzy looks), but I'm finding that they add a bit of fun and sparkle to many of my everyday summer outfits. J.Crew's accessory game is always strong!

Until next time,

- B

7 Polo Terms to Know

Life, StyleBrenda McIntoshComment
7 Polo Terms to Know and What To Wear to a Polo Match | Baublebar earrings, Boden occasionwear dress | Sundays and Somedays

| My Outfit |

Boden Dress | Prada Bag (more about the Prada outlet in Florence here) | BaubleBar Earrings (more of my current favorites at the bottom of the post) | Steve Madden Sandals | Le Specs Sunglasses

Going to a polo match is like entering another world and certainly unlike any other sporting event I've ever been to. Glasses of bubbly, a chance to wear a pretty dress, and an afternoon spent in the sunshine? This is my kind of sport!

Having just attended my very first polo match, I came away with a bit of a champagne headache, plus a few new words to add to my vocabulary. Here are seven terms to know if you're heading to a match, plus some snapshots from our day at the polo pitch:

7 Polo Terms to Know and What To Wear to a Polo Match | Baublebar earrings, Boden occasionwear dress | Sundays and Somedays
7 Polo Terms to Know and What To Wear to a Polo Match | Baublebar earrings, Boden occasionwear dress | Sundays and Somedays

| Pony |

A polo pony is really a horse that's been bred specifically for the sport. They're quick, agile and usually Argentinian. Because the sport is very intense, a player switches ponies each chukka to give the horses a much-needed rest.

7 Polo Terms to Know and What To Wear to a Polo Match | Sundays and Somedays

| Goal |

A goal is scored when a player hits the ball between two end posts. Like a (American) football field goal, even if the ball goes higher than the posts, as long as it's crosses the goal line between them, a goal is awarded.

7 Polo Terms to Know and What To Wear to a Polo Match | Pimm's Cup | Sundays and Somedays

| Chukka |

A chukka is a period of play - the match we attended consisted of four chukkas, each seven minutes in length, separated by a halftime. Other matches can have six chukkas, or periods.

7 Polo Terms to Know and What To Wear to a Polo Match | Baublebar earrings, Boden occasionwear dress | Sundays and Somedays
7 Polo Terms to Know and What To Wear to a Polo Match | Baublebar earrings, Boden occasionwear dress | Sundays and Somedays
7 Polo Terms to Know and What To Wear to a Polo Match | Baublebar earrings, Boden occasionwear dress | Sundays and Somedays

| Smart Casual |

Not necessarily a polo term, but something good to know. At most polo matches, you're required to dress nicely, similarly to how you'd dress for a wedding or a nice restaurant. Women generally wear a dress that falls at or below the knee and wedges (making walking on grass much easier), while men wear jackets and nice shoes (tennis shoes are a definite no-go). No need to wear a fascinator, tie, or anything more unless the dress code specifies. 

7 Polo Terms to Know and What To Wear to a Polo Match | Baublebar earrings, Boden occasionwear dress | Sundays and Somedays

| Mallet |

A mallet is the stick a player uses to hit the ball. The handle is made from bamboo (which provides a bit of give) and the head is solid wood. All polo players hold the mallet in their right hand, as it's the rule of the game - who knew?

7 Polo Terms to Know and What To Wear to a Polo Match | Baublebar earrings, Boden occasionwear dress | Sundays and Somedays
7 Polo Terms to Know and What To Wear to a Polo Match | Sundays and Somedays

| Stomping the Divots |

Divots are chunks of grass that are kicked up by the horses' hooves as they're running during the match. At halftime, spectators are invited onto the field to 'stomp the divots,' or put the grass back into place. It's a fun chance to be on the field and mingle!

| Pitch |

The grass field on which the match is played is known as the pitch - at each end are goal posts and the field is usually 300 yards long.

7 Polo Terms to Know and What To Wear to a Polo Match | Pimm's Cup | Sundays and Somedays

Plenty of Pimm's and spectating a new sport made for a perfect date with my dapper husband. It was a day of proper fun and we'll certainly be attending more matches soon! 

Until next time,

- B