So Instant Goddess has been away on my annual trip back to Blighty, and on the tail end of our trip we came across something quite unknown in recent years in the UK… a heatwave! Unfortunately, my extensive internet weather forecast research before we went away only predicted the climatic conditions for 10 days, and as our trip was a little longer this did not account for the sudden warm spell! The first day we landed it was 13.5 degrees and raining – pretty spot-on weather for a British summer – but I was prepared, with a leather jacket, jeans and adequate layers. However, I was not prepared for the Hong Kong summer dress weather that prevailed for the last leg of our trip!
So what’s a Goddess to do? Much to the annoyance of hubby, I had to go shopping. He was even more annoyed when we had to re-pack our luggage in front of the check-in queue as two of our bags were over the golden 23kgs… ridiculous! 30kgs, now that’s what an Instant Goddess calls heavy! Of course, you can’t argue, otherwise you are seated in the really bad seats, so at this point hubby told me to step aside as he huffed and puffed and threw all my dresses around in full view of the tutting and impatient queue. It was a sad moment to see things of such beauty manhandled. Let’s just say we needed a stiff drink after this charade.
Anyway, unaccommodating ground staff aside, Oliver Bonas saved the day when the mercury hit 30 degrees in London. Stocking an array of perfectly cool, on-trend and fabulous sundresses, I know and love Oliver Bonas from way back. It’s reasonably priced and stocks great clothes with a boutique feel without the fancy pricetag. It also stocks jewellery and great gift ideas, and for the interiors crowd it also has on-trend homewares.
Best of all is that – through this little shopping expedition – I discovered that Oliver Bonas has a great website and ships to Hong Kong for free on orders over £75 (approx $885). Shipping takes 7-14 working days to Hong Kong and they stock sizes up to a hard-to-find-in-the-‘Kong UK 16. Bonus: they currenly have a sale on with up to 70% off!
I do love, love, love it when a great brand starts shipping to the ‘852. So this is some of what landed in my suitcase… not all, I hasten to add!
Instant Goddess goes bananas for Tommy Bahama
A question I keep getting asked at the moment is, where to buy resortwear? Which got the old Instant Goddess shopping antennae twitching, and I remember that filed in the Instant Goddess shopping vault for sunnier times was Tommy Bahama, which launched at Christmas in Hong Kong.
If you haven’t yet been to Tommy Bahama and are looking for a one stop holiday shop, this is for you. It’s packed with resortwear; from maxis to shorter length dresses, swimwear, shorts, cropped trousers, kaftan tops, flip flops, accessories, and even candles and scent to keep you smelling nice on holiday. It also has a very good menswear section and a bar… Instant Goddess approves! It’s right next door to The Pawn in Wanchai.
Too good to be true? The only slight issue is a financial one. The clothes might be a little pricier than you’d want to pay for resortwear, but the quality, selection and range of sizes is good… and you know what the Instant Goddess says; “If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys”.
To give you an idea, dresses are priced around the $900 to $1300 mark – so not OTT price-wise, but it may mean you proceed with a little more caution than usual. Then again, if it’s the beginning of your hols… why not?! .
Left: Zebra palm ring dress approx $1390; Top right: Sahara paisley print top approx $1380;
Bottom right: Banago bag $1550
Left to right: Windswept dress approx $1390; Tamba Moringa Palms dress approx $1390; Lapis wind maxi dress approx $1690
Top left to right: Horizon brush dress $1390; Kasbah paisley top approx $1390
Bottom left to right: Camden denim 5” shorts $890; Pineapple flip flops $290
Shop 1, G/F, 60 Johnston Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 3543 0383
Some of my regulars may recall that a little while back I embarked on another detox. This time the 9-day detox was Clean 9 by Forever You HK. I’m a bit of a detox novice, only having done one before and that was last year when I did the 3-day Punch Detox.
After a positive experience on my first detox, I was keen to try another, especially as it was off the back of my rather elongated 40th birthday celebrations (Yep, I nailed that one)! So feeling rather fat and toxic, I was more than ready to detox. And along came Clean 9 by Forever You HK.
So here’s what they say about Clean 9:
“It’s a 9 day plan whereby your body is gently cleansed of harmful chemicals and built up waste matter. The plan enables you to safely lose around 7-14lb, although results vary from person to person. It is endorsed by doctors/nutritionists as a sensible safe plan. The best part is you’ll feel amazing after! Full of energy and life, your skin will glow and you’ll feel ‘clean’. You’ll achieve a new attitude towards food and dieting plus, the weight will stay off thanks to it not being a crash diet.”
So what does it entail?
Days 1-2 you have one shake (either vanilla or chocolate flavour, made with 300ml of skimmed milk) per day, accompanied with the following natural supplements: Garcinia (appetite suppressant), Bee Pollen (to give you a little bit of oomph and energy)… it did make me laugh (or more accurately, cry) that the mid morning ‘snack’ is 2 Bee Pollen tablets with 240ml of water! And finally, Aloe Vera at various times during the day which is great for your skin, and renowned for its general healing properties. Some can’t stand the taste of it as it’s a bit whiffy in its liquid form, but if, like me, your sense of smell is ruined from being dropped on your head when a drunken dance manoeuvre went wrong, or are just a practiced downer of shots, you should be able to swallow it in one, no problem!
Days 3-9: you continue with the natural supplements above and up your shakes to two a day – one in the morning and one at lunchtime, and I have to say I loved the vanilla shake. Then in the evening you can eat up to 600 calories as your meal. 600 calories is quite a considerable meal if you choose wisely and sensibly, so, many people prefer to split the calories over two meals, and have a low calorie meal at lunchtime as well as in the evening – I found this worked well for me.
Throughout the cleanse you’re supposed to do 20 minutes of exercise in the mornings. No pain, no gain!
Here’s what the Instant Goddess says:
I found it really hard compared to the 3-day Punch Detox, and I was quite the misery on it. Day 1 whizzed by as I took the advice of one of my fellow detoxers in the Clean 9 Facebook group, who suggested shopping to while away the time. That day I did the TOPSHOP personal shopping experience and it worked a treat as a distraction technique. But day 2 was a shocker… I woke up feeling really hungry and wondered how I would get through the rest of the day on one measly shake. Everywhere I went there were pictures of food, to the extent that I felt like eating the cardboard they were printed on… or even at one point, like eating my own arm! But a top tip is to drink water like it’s going out of fashion – this will help fill you up, and you’ll feel like you’re at least consuming something!
I think psychologically, having to do this over the weekend plus the whole calorie-counting thing didn’t sit well with me, as it made me realise that this is what celebs must have to do to on a daily basis to maintain their tiny frames! I’m more of the ‘eat what you like within reason and then exercise like crazy’ school of thought. Calorie counting also reminded me of my teenage years and the startling truth that some people may never try an avocado or nuts because they’re too calorific – not realising the difference between good and bad fats, because the numbers just say no.
BUT – and this is the the bit you’re going to like if you’re trying to shift stubborn baby weight, reinforced-concrete cellulite, or just need to kick some lousy eating habits – you will, and do, lose weight with Clean 9. It will also throw a spotlight on your relationship with food –when you comfort eat, how often you just eat out of habit, when you eat because someone else is eating or you’ve seen a picture of food, or you just want that feeling of munching. This definitely makes mindful eating easier in the long run.
VERDICT: This is no walk in the park, but I lost 3kgs and a very surprising 3cm around my waist so the stats speak for themselves. This is the perfect way to quickly lose weight if you need to fit into that dress for that important occasion and think you’ve left it too late; or the perfect pre-holiday diet to get you bikini-ready; or to kick start a weight loss program or healthier lifestyle.
Special Sassy Mama discount: Clean 9 by Forever You HK are offering Sassy Mama readers a lovely 10% off the purchase price of $1400 for the Clean 9 detox program. But be quick the offer is only valid for one month (expires on 7 September 2013). Email Kate Bolton (email@example.com) for more details quoting Sassy Mama.
If you would like to learn more about Clean 9 by Forever You HK, the lady in the know is Kate Bolton and you can email her on firstname.lastname@example.org. They also have a great Facebook group with video diaries of people’s experiences on the detox, together with daily updates from people currently detoxing and recipe suggestions for that 600-calorie hit. It has a real community feel about it, and is a great support when you’re on the programme. Kate is also very supportive and will guide you through it, supporting you, listening to you whinge (I whinged a lot!) and she’s very knowledgeable and responsive to any questions you may have.
And finally, if it’s good enough for Posh then it’s good enough for us! Apparently she has been hoovering up Aloe Vera on a daily basis and raving about its positive effects on her problem skin.
P.S. The body shots above are not of me – I know you’re wondering – they are, in fact of Kate Bolton who has given me permission to name her! And with a waist like that I’d be happy to have my name published too!) So, Goddesses you know what you have to do!
Midweek Meal Inspiration
This week I give you Chicken, Goat’s Cheese & Cherry Tomato Bake from BBC Good Food. While back in the UK, my sister-in-law cooked a dish like this and so inspired me to find a similar one on the web. My top tip for this dish is, if using skinless chicken breasts, make a parcel by laying the goat’s cheese on top of the breast with a sprig or two of thyme, and then wrap in Parma ham. Then scatter any remaining Goat’s Cheese or extra if you like in the dish to get a creamier consistency.
Yogi tea saying of the week: “An attitude of gratitude brings you many opportunities”.
Instant Goddess saying of the week: “Oliver Bonas, I am grateful!”
Until next week Goddesses, and remember you are ALWAYS, ALWAYS worth it! XX