A couple of weeks ago saw me ‘train it’ from Leeds to London to meet up with a fabulous group of blogging friends for lunch and a certain multi-award winning chart-topping singer/MC and TV judge, Alesha Dixon (standard 😉 )!
Le train selfie! (Cringing at the people next to me who were no doubt thinking I’d lost the plot photographing myself on a train, but you know, #blogginglife and all that!
Forgetting the train pain, it was soon time to rendezvous for a healthy lunch in beautiful surroundings in the basement of The Riding House Cafe for a few hours of laugh-out-loud fun with Alesha.
Here we are: Alesha’s new girl squad or make that, mama squad!
L-R Sam Mann, Anna Marikar, Emily Leary, Amy Treasure, Jacqui Paterson and Jo Middleton.
Not just a style icon, Alesha’s a super mum, singer, TV judge and she’s also an ambassador for Swisse Vitamins, the number 1 Australian vitamin brand, now launched in the UK (yay) -and the reason for our super-food shindig that day.
And what a day it was.
The energy in the room was totally on point.
A low-lit, intimate and lavish affair, we oohed and aahed at the exquisitely decorated dining table, snapping away at our individual floral arrangements with name places to boot in between sips on our instagrammable smoothies. Lush.
What followed was courses of considered, nutritious and incredibly delicious dishes- and a whole lot of conversation too.
It was rather life-affirming (!) to connect with this dynamic group of women, to simply chat candidly about the things which matter to us all: family, work-life and well-being, as we collectively navigate our way through parenthood whilst trying to retain our identities in the process.
And before I get too serious on you all, the ABSOLUTE highlight of the day, was getting my new bestie Alesha, MCing!
But first, let’s rewind a bit to when I first met Alesha, a few years back, clubbing-uh-huh (insert dancing emoticon)-
On the first big night out since having my first son, Oliver, back in 2010, mine and my friend’s table happened to be next to her’s at Mahiki-and I distinctly remember her coming over with her mates at one point and dancing with us all.
Such a genuine and sweet gal, despite huge success and beauty, she’s got her feet firmly on the ground and is truly aware of what matters in life.
Anyone who meets Alesha can see how strong and sisterly she is-I loved her passion for her family and career and related to her drive…oh and her contagious laughter had us all cracking up throughout!
I was touched when she asked for my business card at the end of the meal and told me she thought I was a real FORCE! This mama’s certainly got ENERGY and it takes one to know one, huh!
Here I am with my new BFF. I’ve got a serious #girlcrush on AD (can you tell?)- and I’m adding culottes to my style list of must-haves for summer now too!
…Positively brimming with confidence and good health, (hello seriously glowing skin, hair and nails, natch), Alesha is one incredibly beautiful lady, inside and out.
And what I loved most about her was how happy she is in her own skin.
She revealed that age and motherhood, more than anything, have made her understand and value who she is-and that she REALLY likes herself. YES!
Why is it so rare to hear women talking like this- admitting loud and proud that they LOVE who they are.
We ALL deserve to love ourselves, people.
Strong, sassy and in control, Alesha is the perfect role model for us all.
And looking after your body and mind is the greatest way to feel good about yourself, every single day.
What you put into your body will support your well-being and mental and physical health.
And now for the science bit on how we can all feel good inside and out- with Swisse Vitamins.
Let me give you some background on Swisse. They are a brand, truly passionate about health, happiness and wellbeing and are at the forefront of investing in science and research for the complementary health industry.
They’re a name you can trust and who deliver exactly what they say on the tin!
Alesha believes in taking Swisse vitamins and supplements to support energy and maintain health, saying that taking them is, ‘… just my way of being kind to myself on a daily basis’.
I love that Alesha advocates that what you put into your body is what you get out results-wise- with wholesome food and multivitamins providing a solid foundation for staying fit and healthy.
I too have been kinder to myself, trialling the SWISSE ULTIPLUS, HAIR SKIN NAILS SUPPLEMENT and I’ve honestly found my energy levels have rocketed (and I’m pretty energetic anyway as you guys know), my hair is stronger (AGAIN, you lot know my hair is my THING), my nails are longer and stronger and my skin looks flushed in that healthy way that makes me look 21 again (OK 22)!
In all seriousness, nails were my biggest weakness due to me tapping away at this site all day long so I’m super-happy they’re back on top form and I can start painting them again!
The last time I experienced strong nails like this was when I had a bun in the oven (and no, I’m not pregs before you ask!), it’s all down to Swisse Ultiplus Hair, Skin and Nails!
I’ve also been sent some Swisse Iron+ supplement too, to help with that energy zapping time of the month and look forward to them kicking in and supporting me when I need help most!
But back to lunch- with the dishes cleverly including some of the natural ingredients found in the Swisse range, such as tomato, blueberry, parsley and papaya- it was an epic feast from start to end.
The oriental style silver mullet with new potatoes and braised cabbage were simply exquisite, complimented by an array of healthy juices bursting with kale and ginger. Yum! Just check out the menu!
…And the blood orange sorbet I slurped (so quickly I didn’t take a pic #badblogger) reflected the blood orange extract that can be found in the Swisse Ultiplus Hair, Skin and Nails supplements I’ve been taking too.
Sorbet that’s good for you-genius!
…As we relished our many courses, it was a joy to hear Alesha’s wisdom, her words really resonating with me, particularly her thoughts on guilt and how futile an emotion it is.
She shared that she wants her daughter to see her go out of the door and work- and she feels proud to be a role model for her.
Her daughter is happy and settled and while they spend lots of time together, Alesha said she’s grateful her Mum can look after her when she’s working (as my own parents so often do with my own kids), and she loves what she does.
We also talked in depth about healthy eating and how her mum, an animal activist is a vegan, something Alesha had considered at one point but at that time, she discovered she was pregnant so opted for pescetarianism while refraining from dairy.
Alesha told us that along with a healthy way of eating, her energy levels have increased since taking the vitamins, her nails are stronger and she supplements the vitamins with iron too to give her an extra boost, as I’ve been doing.
Candid, open, hilarious and so, SO warm, it was awesome to meet up with Alesha and hang out with the other blogging girls for such a delicious, fun and inspiring lunch.
I’ll be publishing Alesha’s interview for my #WonderfulWomen series too and I simply can’t wait to share more of her kick-ass brilliance soon!
…Swisse Vitamins are exclusively available at Boots. Get yours now!
This is a commissioned post but all words, as always, are my own and honest.