Tea and Cake Time

Monday, September 30

Thank you so much to everyone who came to support my Bake Sale fundraiser on Saturday.

Jen, Munira, Michelle, Sarah, Nikki, Trav, Shelly, Sam and Bindy thank you for baking such delicious treats!

Che thanks for taking all the photo's for me.

Lisa at Skin+Care, thanks for hosting us in your beautiful shop.

Tina, from Stella and Dot, thanks for planning all this with me.

If you are reading this and would like to contribute and spoil yourself at the same time, you can still shop until the 19 October here at Stella and Dot, and the proceeds will go to providing Yoga to Children with Special Needs.

And to those of you who couldn't make it and put money into my account - THANK YOU!

This is all going to go towards such a fabulous cause.

 Have a Super Monday wonderful people!

Happy Moments from this Week

Thursday, September 26

This week has been busy. But an exciting kind of busy, not the tedious type. And there is something so super cool in the pipelines that I can't wait to share with you!

Anyways, a few happy moments from my week in pictures.

My new Oliver Bonas Scarf from Karen, and my Kate Spade ear rings and packaging from Bindy.

The late afternoon skies this week in London.  I feel like in my head I had decided that winter was upon us....and then Mother Nature surprised us and pulled out a whole lot of late afternoon sunshine in the past few days.

And these pictures that my Uncle, Paul took on my Parents Farm this weekend in South Africa.

They make me part homesick and part super excited for our visit home in December!

How beautiful.

I am so looking forward to seeing those of you who have said you will try and make it on Saturday- Thank You!

What has made you happy this week?

Yoga for Children with Special Needs Fundraiser

Tuesday, September 24

I think that most of you know what a massive impact the special yoga centre has made on my life.

The impact of their work on the 800 children with special needs every week that they provided with 1:1 therapy has obviously been even greater.

Most children pay nothing for their sessions, many have been going there once a week for years. Others pay what they can afford.

I sobbed this weekend at the news that they have gone into administration, and that this week they are forced to close their doors.

They plan to try and continue their work in the community, but it's not going to be easy.

I am holding a coffee and cake morning and Stella and Dot jewellery charity trunc show this Saturday afternoon from 2pm to 5pm, at Skin+Care in the Wimbledon Village, to try and raise some money for the individuals who are going to try and continue with this amazing work.

Please click on the link below to rsvp and join us if you can!

It would be great to see you there:)

When Nothing Goes Right...Go Yoga

Friday, September 20

Problem is, that when things aren't going quite to plan..... we tend to skip out on the Yoga or whatever else it is that we usually do as a form of exercise or 'time out'.

I LOVE this quote and think it serves as the perfect reminder for us.

 To try and make time for some exercise or a quiet 10 minutes of thinking, when when we are feeling despondent, unhappy or just a little overwhelmed.

Thanks Che for making me a pretty picture to go with it:)

I have my monthly weekend of Yoga teacher training on tomorrow and on Sunday.

What are you up to?

My Karma Yoga Inspired Speech at SW London Wellness Event

Wednesday, September 18

 Good evening and thanks so much to all of you for joining us this evening.

I think that most of you have received the initial email that I wrote when planning this event,   and I know that quite  a few of you have replied saying that you really like the idea that I hope that this is not going to be a typical networking event where you are going to be bombarded by people tonight and tomorrow trying to shove their businesses at you, or encouraging you to pay to make an appointment with them.

I think we all have had that kind of experience at networking events before!

Since starting my business earlier this year, I’ve been overwhelmed by the people that I’ve met who have wanted to help me, and not expected anything in return.

And a number of you are here this evening! Thanks Ladies.

Having worked in a leading Private Hospital that was very money driven before going on my own, and having a Father who is a successful businessman - I started my company with some ideas as to how I thought things should and would work. 

And due to a number of influences, I have completely changed my mind about a lot of these things.

One big influencer, and how this evening came about, has been the Yoga teacher training that I’m doing this year.  At times I have thought some of the projects were ridiculous, but the overall experience really has been life changing.

One of our tasks during the year long yoga teacher training - is to live as a different type of Yogi for one day each month.  The first of these days was to live as a Karma Yogi.  Basically this entailed a whole day where I had to try to only think, do and act in a way that would be of benefit to others, and not to seek any rewards for myself through my actions. 

I know, not the easiest!

I had agreed to go to a charity market in the morning of my karma day, but at the last minute my friend couldn’t come with me, I already had loads of work to do and I really didn’t feel like going. Had it not been my “karma yogi” day, I would totally have cancelled.

But I went along to the charity market, which I enjoyed, and bought two raffle tickets whilst I was there.

My day continued and I tried to be as conscious as possible about doing good for the world around me.  I spent some time organizing a free group yoga class for children with special needs and helped a friend with her new business plan.

I really had a lovely day.

Later that evening I got a phone call completely out of the blue from an old colleague of mine asking if I wanted to get involved in a teaching program.  It has all been confirmed since then, and they are paying me more for by the hour than I ever thought possible. 

And by the end of that week I’d had two phonecalls, saying that I had won both the raffles that I had bought tickets for at the charity event.

I couldn’t believe how much had come my way on the day that I was trying to help others and I couldn’t wait to share my story at my next yoga teacher training weekend.

When I shared with our Yoga teacher and class what happened to me, I was amazed when pretty much the whole class shared began to share similar experiences to mine on their Karma day! When I looked incredulously at Padma our teacher, she smiled and said that this is exactly what happens every time that she sets this task.

And I’ve seen it happen again and again since.  Each time I try and help someone else or do something for free, even more good comes back my way!

So thank you to all of you who have helped me so much already – and thank you to everyone for joining us this evening.

 I hope that we can all find a way to help someone else who is here tonight!

And not because we want something in return.

But you may be surprised at what happens as a result…

And so in the spirit of this, I am now going to randomly give out your business cards to half of the group.  Those with the business cards need to go and find the person whose card they have received, and then ask each other if there is anything that you can do to help in their business?

Thank you so much to all 28 of you that joined us last night, and to Jenny for helping me to organise the event!
And to Layla, the stunning new restaurant in the Wimbledon Village for hosting us!

We had a wonderful mix of people and it was such a lovely evening.

Jenny and Isabella from Sports Science.
Marianne from Children's Therapies.
Lisa from Skin+Care.
Paige and Laurence from Fit 8.
Claire from Nutri8.
Munira from OT4Kids.
Vicki from New Baby Company.
Nerys from Occupational Therapy Uk, based in Greenwich.
Claire from Claire Cerkin Nutrition.
Karine from Darling Magazine.
Heather from Yoga SW London.
Alessandro fron Nikken.
Fiona from Ezee Sport.
Ross and Rosie from Support and Sustain Physio.
Jeannie from Create Pilates.
Inge from Arbonne.
Natalie, from Spiro Health.
Janice from Homeopathy at Home.
Gail Reflexology and Pilates.
Tina from London Dieticians.
And Derinda whose website I'm struggling to find a link to!

And thanks Che for the business card draw idea, and listening to the speech practice:)

I am already looking forward to our next one!

If you have a business in SW London that promotes health and well being and would like to join us next time, please tweet me @lulujayphysio and let me know...

My Favourite Books of this Year so Far...

Tuesday, September 17

If you are looking for some book recommendations...these have been very popular in our book club in the past few months.

The Cookbook Collector, Allegra Goodman. I loved this, and think all the girls who have read it enjoyed it.

The Horse Boy by Rupert Isaacson, may be more interesting to anyone who would like to learn more about autism, and as a children's physiotherapist I found it very enlightening as to what it is like to live with an autistic child 24/7..

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, by Rachel Joyce, most of us thought was brilliant, but one or two of the girls didn't enjoy it all! If you have read it, what did you think?

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, seems to have topped all the best seller lists, and whilst it won't change your life in the long term, it's really gripping.

The Fever Tree, by Jennifer Mcveigh, I LOVED! Please read it and let me know if you agree?

The Hundred-Year-Old Man who climbed out of the Window and Disappeared, by Jonas Jonasson. I adored this too! Don't think I've met anyone who didn't?

And then on my kindle recently...

Bobbi recommended, The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith, and it was unputdownable! Seriously, I didn't sleep a wink on our flight to New York. It is actually written by a super famous author under a different name.  Maybe read it first then google who it's really by later? Apparently the person who let slip who really wrote it lost their job...

Where'd you go Bernadette by Maria Semple was also recommended to me by Bobbi, and was really great too. I can't stop thinking about the house that they live in. 

The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson, I found quite heavy going in parts.  What I didn't realise at the time was just how much I learnt about what life is like in North Korea.  It's an incredible story and a modern day political education about the atrocities that are going on in North Korea as we speak.

The Fault in our Stars by John Green I can't stop thinking about. Life is just sometimes so unfair.

Have you read any of these?

Any other recommendations for me?

My last lot of recommendations you can find here.

Rainy Weekend Thoughts...

Monday, September 16

Usually on the weekends 

I like to go out

eat out

catch up with friends

and explore new places

But this weekend

I wanted to mainly stay at home

and hang out with my husband

and catch up on my yoga teacher training essays

and listen to the rain outside 

whilst I was cosy inside

and make a roast dinner

and have time to read and think

because after watching this

I'm fascinated by the idea

that we are spending too much time

looking for knowledge from others

rather than thinking about things for ourselves...

did you know that Isaac Newton 

came up with some of his biggest theory's

whilst at University

in the two years that Cambridge University

was closed for the black plague?

No, me neither.

An Incredible Children's Yoga class.

Friday, September 13

With schools back full time this week, I have had a proper week's work for the first time since the middle of July. This was my first summer since I started my own Physio practice and I had no idea that the whole of London disappears for a least a part of, if not all of, August!  

I think that next year, we need to go away on holiday for the month too.

But seeing fewer patients has meant that I've been able to work on a few other exciting plans.

This week I started teaching a children's Yoga class.

Oh my hat, they were so sweet!

The group comprised of 4 and 5 year old girls, none of whom had ever done Yoga before.

When I asked the girls in the beginning of the class what they thought Yoga was, I realised that they had a pretty good grasp already.

"Yoga is doing exercise."

"You need to be flexible for Yoga."

"My Mummy does Yoga."

"Yoga is stretching."

Correct girls, and it's also about being kind to other people and kind to yourselves.

The class started with the usual chaos that ensues any group exercise class, especially when they are meeting their teacher for the first time.   There was a flurry of excited chatter and clothes being tossed all over the show as they adorned their PE kit for the class.

After their initial whoops of delight at the pink yoga mats laid out on a circle when they came in, there followed a few minor disagreements over who was sitting on which mat.

That established, the girls soon became absolutely engrossed in the class.  I told them a story about an adventure that we had all been invited on whilst we were warming up and I received a 'phone call' via my foot as we stretched our lower legs towards our ears.

We were giraffes in a zoo munching leaves from a tree, who saw a cat that was angry because of a dog that was barking whilst it played with a puppy and a ball.

Our adventure continued and we rode bicycles to the beach under a bridge where we saw boats and dolphins, and we performed each physical pose as we went along.

We incorporated breathing exercises where we imagined balloons going up and down in our tummies, and did loud 'haaaaa' exhalations with 'mmmm' on the end.

The girls loved it, and so did I.

After 40 minutes, we were all feeling a little tired, and so we lay down in a circle on our mats, with our eyes closed. I then walked around and placed a little heart on each girls forehead, asking them to try not to let the object fall off during the relaxation.  I read a poem whilst these gorgeous little ladies lay absolutely still and every heart stayed perfectly in place.

When I invited them to sit back up, most of them kept their eyes closed and held their little hearts to their foreheads with their fingers, although I had said that they could now open their eyes.

The peace in the room was palpable.

When they opened their eyes and saw the little hearts they were delighted!  

But instead of the shrieks that we had entered the room with, there were quiet whispers.  And as we made the little kindness cards that I had prepared for them, they whispered quietly and only when they were asking for my help.

At the end of the class when I thanked and congratulated them for being so wonderful, their responses melted my heart.

"I love Yoga."

"I just don't want this to ever end."

I never cease to be amazed by the effect that Yoga has on anyone who partakes in it.

I can't imagine that all my future classes will go as perfectly as this one did, but even if they are a tiny bit as incredible, I will be delighted.

And as Jo Manuel of the Special Yoga Centre says, "There are no bad Yoga sessions."

I am so blessed to be able to do the job that I do.

I ams also teaching a second children's yoga class for 4 to 7 year olds at The House of Yoga in Putney (without their heaters on), on a Thursday afternoon, which has a few spaces left in it.  Contact them or myself, for more details, if you have a little boy or girl that would like to join us!

Because as I have said soo many times before, I think that all children should do Yoga...

Daylesford Organic Farm

Wednesday, September 11

On the morning of my 30th Birthday, a few weeks ago now, I woke up in this gorgeous little B and B, had a delicious breakfast and then took Judy and Jess who were cruising around the countryside with me from South Africa, to one of my Favouritest places.

I just love everything about this place.

I could live in the beautiful buildings.

I wish I could own everything in their homeware shop.

And their food store is AMAZING.

I sent some Coffee back as gifts to my Mum and Pete's Mum in SA.  
The packaging is stunning. 

We were too full from breakfast to eat anything more than a small scone, but I've eaten at their restaurant before and it is fabulous.

On a very important side note, both times that I have been to the restaurant, I have seen the most gorgeous looking human being who works as waiter there.  Seriously if you go there and see him, you will know what I mean! Wow.

I am totally obsessed with this place, not sure if it's the farmer's daughter in me or what, but I love it.

My dream would be to have a place as beautiful as this one day in South Africa that is also a Yoga retreat and health spa...

There is also the Bamford Hay Barn Spa and Yoga studio at Daylesford which I am yet to try out but dying to!

And they have a shop in Notting Hill too.

If you live in London, it's about a two hour drive away, you need to go there! And do let me know if you spot the waiter....

New Forest and French Silliness for Michele's Hens Party

Tuesday, September 10

On Friday morning we set off in the pouring rain from London to the New Forest to celebrate Michele's hens party, with her sister Nix, and her bridesmaids Elena and Shelley.  

Elena and Shelley actually flew all the way here from South Africa as a surprise to join her for the weekend!

Our first stop was for lunch and walk in the pretty coastal village of Lymington, where fortunately the weatherman's very dire predictions turned out to be incorrect.

We then met up with La and Clare who had caught the train down and it was time for tea, scones and a whole lot of silly photos on self timer at this quaint old hotel, which was built as a hunting lodge in the New Forest a few hundred years ago. 

Next was a delicious dinner across the road from our little B and B.  By little I mean the 3/4 bed that La and I shared was certainly not made for two comfortably...thank goodness we are such good friends!

On Saturday morning the weather was again much brighter than we could have hoped for and we drove back to London where the festivities continued.

The theme for the evening do was a French one, we all had our make up done and dressed up all French like - it was so much fun!

How sweet is Noodlez hat and outfit?

And then it all got a little bit silly...

Nix, Elena and Shelley, thank you for organising such a fantastic weekend!

And Michele, you are fabulous....Happy Wedding Planning :)

Fig, Mozzarella and Toasted Almond Salad

Monday, September 9

I love having friends to dinner at our house, but I hate having to be in the kitchen preparing the food, when I would rather be chatting with our guests.

Subsequently, I am constantly trying to conjure up meals where I can prepare as much as possible before my guests arrive.

Last Thursday, our friend Caylee was visiting London from South Africa for work, and her, Megan and Beany came for dinner.

I was able to prepare most of the meal beforehand, so I was able to enjoy a glass of wine out on the balcony with the girls, on what was a gorgeous late summers evening.

I made this chicken baked in yoghurt and spices dish, (how much have my photos improved since I last made the dish!) served on brown rice, with a delicious fig, mozzarella, toasted almond and green bean salad.  Followed by strawberries that I had dipped in chocolate, and then left to set in the fridge.

I absolutely love laying tables for a meal, which can be a little challenging space wise when seating 5 people around a small round table!

My Mum recently sent me three dish towels that she had screen printed, but they are so pretty that there is no ways that I want to subject them to merely wiping dishes! And so I placed this gorgeous off white one with green flowers on, on a green table cloth, with the rose candle holders that Jubes gave us for our Wedding, and these beaded lavender flowers in a champagne glass in the middle of the table.

Figs are in season here at the moment, and I couldn't resist picking some up when I was at my favourite Organic Food store in the Wimbledon Village.

Fig, Mozzarella and Toasted Almond Salad


Green Beans 
(Place the beans in boiling water for 3 minutes, then immediately run under cold or iced water so that they beans are a vibrant green colour.)
Almond Flakes
(Toast the flakes in a dry frying pan)


Mix a glug of balsamic vinegar with a teaspoon of honey.

Toss it altogether and enjoy with good friends!

What are your favourite dinner party time savers?

My Internet friends in Real Life...

Friday, September 6

I have met some Fabulous girls through blogging in the past six months, and I have been dying to organise a little get together with some of them, for a general catch up, and to introduce them to each other too!

I was a little nervous about getting the ball rolling, but as soon as I checked with Freya that she could make it, and I knew that no matter what I would get to have a drink and a lovely chat with her, I sent an email around, which resulted in 14 London based bloggers having dinner on Tuesday night.

Bobbi very kindly offered to take care of finding our venue, and we had a lovely meal at The Phene, in Chelsea.

I knew everyone except for Rosie, Lou and Xandra before hand, who had been invited along by Freya and Che.  Some of the girls who came didn't know anyone else, but within minutes everyone was chatting away.

It was great to catch up with the girls that I already knew and to meet new friends too.  Although it can feel a little strange talking to someone about their lives when you have read and know so much about  them from their blogs already!

It was the most wonderful dinner and I am so delighted that I have been privileged enough to meet such wonderful people through this blog and bloggerland!

Rosie to my right and Xandra to my left.

Unfortunately Siobhan, Lou, Amy, Julie and Helen had left before we got our group shot!

Thank You girls for such a wonderful evening.

I never thought I would make friends off of the internet, but wow am I glad that I have!

There is a bustling positive energy that emanates from all of these ladies.

I'm not sure of blogging makes you happier because you make a point of focussing on and reliving happy and exciting times, or if people that are already happier by nature tend to share their positive experiences more, but either way, I am so pleased to have met you ladies.

And of course no life is perfect, but I do think that focussing on the more joyous occasions makes the harder times a little more bearable.

Which is why I think that everyone should write a blog.

I am so looking forward to our next catch up. And I hope that the girls who couldn't make this outing, can make the next one!

The Perfect Saturday

Wednesday, September 4

Some days are just so perfectly filled with sunshine, friends, laughter and good food, that you wake up the next day and you want to have the whole day all over again.

Saturday was one of those days.

After a wonderful catch up with friends for Pete's Birthday on Friday night, we got up early and drove out to the countryside to meet Sam, Bindy, John, Lulu, Pip and Rufus.

After a delicious pub lunch sat out in the sunshine we went to Stonehenge, where we parked, strolled around, and then just lay down on the grass, with warm afternoon sunshine treating us to her golden rays.  

I had so much fun playing with Pip!

When we got back to John and Lulu's house, the sun was still shining...

And it was time for tea, cake and birthday candles in the garden.

The cake was delicious, thanks Sam!

 Pip is at the really cool age where the packaging is more exciting than the gift that it holds, and so after she had helped me unwrap my lovely new nail varnish from Bindy, I tied it around her head as a bow.

And hung out with her as she played with her best friend Rufus! 

Thank you friends for such a fabulous weekend!

If everyone had friends as lovely as you guys, the world would surely be a better place.

My lovely friend and namesake Lulu, blogs at Pencil and Prams...pop on over to her blog and see more about her life as an Army WAG, Motherhood and her gorgeous artwork...and some more pictures from our lovely day:)

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