No Makeup Selfie to Beat Bullies

Amy Elsegood Birthmark Selfie

Amy Elsegood Birthmark Selfie

Ah the world is full of inspiring people! Today via Huffington Post and Daily Mail I found an inspiring story of Amy Elsegood, who was born with facial birthmark. Apparently she was bullied when she was growing up just because she was different. I really hate these bullies – what’s wrong with these kids? What is wrong with being different?  Well, I was bullied at school too, so I understand how difficult it is to deal with bullies. But luckily I was not suffering from a physical difference like Amy did. According to Bullying UK, there are still a lot of myths about reporting and challenging bullies. I really hope we will find an effective way to stop bullying one day, because I am sure it is causing many children serious misery in their precious early life.

Anyway, back to Amy – I was so impressed with her Selfie and her positive attitude. Amy now accepts who she is, and decided to promote the discovery with her No Make-Up Selfie. What a brave thing to do, I totally admire her for her courage.

Amy with foundation concealer

Amy with foundation concealer

Amy also has a wonderful support from her boyfriend, Josh, who didn’t even register Amy’s birthmark when she first revealed it to him. Whenever I hear about these aspiring young people, I become a bit more positive about the prospect of this sometimes gloomy world. Looking at Amy’s selfie  makes me smile with hope and wonder. Really well done Amy!

Borrow a Dog and Be Happy

Little girl with a black dog

Little girl with a black dog

Puppy in bed with blanket

Puppy in bed with blanket

Bulldog brothers and sisters in bed

Bulldog puppies

Husky puppies sleeping

Husky puppies sleeping

Whoa! I found an amazing company today via Huffington Post.  Borrow My Doggy is a community for dog lovers, and  it matches dog owners and borrowers to enjoy lovely doggies jointly.  Isn’t it a great idea?  Look at the above photo of a little girl hugging a dog. Sooooo sweet!  Apparently you can BORROW a doggy even for a few hours.  I know there are many people in Central London who want to have their own dogs. But sadly space and busy work schedule often don’t allow them to own doggies. That’s why this service makes sense.

Its co-founder, Rikke Rosenlund, came up with the idea when she “borrowed” a Labrador named Aston.  She took her for a walk in the park and it was a life changing moment.  Shortly afterward Rikke met her co-founder, Les Cochrane, who used to volunteer at the RSPCA.  Together they started Borrow My Doggy website.  This is how it works – dog owners post their dog’s photos with an annual fee of £34.99 (that’s actually very reasonable, don’t you think?).  Then borrowers can browse the website once they set up their own profile with a £7.99 a year.  Borrow My Doggy can even arrange for a meeting between an owner and a borrower locally. Really amazing!

Having a pet at home is a great way to alleviate day to day stress level.  These days we all work really hard and often long hours. Certainly my stress level drops sharply when I see Jude greeting me at the door every night.  So everybody, this is a new way of life – borrow a doggy and BE HAPPY!  You can learn more about Borrow My Doggy via their blog here.



Charity Music Marathon by Inspiring Violinist Antonia Azoitei

Antonia preparing for a music marathon

Antonia preparing for a music marathon

Inspiring violinist Antonia Azoitei with children

Inspiring violinist Antonia Azoitei with children

Today I found this touching story about a charity music marathon on London Evening Standard. A professional violinist, Antonia Azoitei is one of the founders of Classical Babies and a former member of BBC Orchestra. She is playing a musical marathon to raise money for a charity The Lullaby Trust in memory of her friend’s baby. Matilda sadly died at only 9 months last year because of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The 26.2 hours music marathon will start tomorrow at Antonia’s home and it will be streamed live!

I can’t imagine the grief and sadness parents experience when their babies die in such a tragic way. According to The Lullaby Trust a total of 244 unexplained infant deaths occurred in England and Wales in 2011. The figure is higher when the death of a toddler is included.

Through multiple miscarriages I too experienced loss in the past, but I think their grief is deeper and different. I truly hope Antonia’s beautiful music will ease their sadness and sorrow. At least a little….. If you’d like to donate, please go to justgiving.com/cocoazoitei

Get Fit and Lose Weight with a Fun Dance Workout

Tracey Mallett FuseDance Cardio Melt Workout

Tracey Mallett FuseDance Cardio Melt Workout

Yesterday I didn’t feel very well with a touch of cold, so stayed indoors to rest all day. Probably the crazy travel schedule in Boston and New York a week go finally got me gounded….. But after a lazy day yesterday I am almost fully recovered!

Every time I get sick I usually have a HUGE rebound, and this morning was not an exception. I needed to click YouTube and dance along with my favourite workout video Tracey Mallett: FuseDance Cardio Melt Workout- Interval Fat Burn. Have you tried her workout? If not, please try, this one is by far the best dance workout I ever found!

Tracey Mallett is really big in the US, but she is actually British. She began studying dance at the age of three and was later accepted at London’s Premier Theatre Arts School, The Italia Conti. After graduation. she started her brilliant career in musical theater, acting and dancing across Europe and in the US since 1996. Her workout is a great fun with a a combination of ballet, jazz and aerobics. Her BIG personality is so infectious when you are dancing along with her too. To be honest, I am not really a GET FIT kind of person, so it is boring for me to go to the gym or just run. But a dance with Tracey? Oh GO FOR IT! We tend to forget how great it feels when we exercise. For me dance workout is the best way to get fit and lose weight. I am now thinking about buying her DVD called Booty Barre Ballet. This looks like almost a ballet lesson – hmmmm, might be tough, but worthwhile to find out if I can manage a ballet pose or two.