In order to view the video below – you do need to be logged in as a member. If you’re not already a member – you can find out more about my Menopause Metamorphosis programme here.

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To all my members, welcome to self-care Sunday!

Today is all about looking after your hands and nails, and who better to do this than Kim Treacy – nail stylist to the stars!

Kim has been a nail Technician/ Manicurist for 25 years. Over the years the nail industry has boomed – there are now so many ways of doing a manicure, and therefore, so many ways to destroy your natural nails with use off gel polish if you do not know how to remove  it properly!

So Kim is very passionate about natural nail and hand care and below shares a few tips as part of my Menopause Metamorphosis programme.

In the video below – we talk through a hand scrub – you can find the ingredients below:

Ingredients

* 1 tablespoon of coconut oil (preferably organic)
* 1 tablespoon of honey (preferably organic)
* 1/4 cup of sugar ( brown or white)
* 1/4 cup of sea salt
* Lime juice

Method

1. Mix one tablespoon each of coconut oil and honey
2. Add the sea salt and fine sugar to this and mix well
3. Add the juice of a lime and blend for 30 seconds
4. Massage the mix gently onto your hands for 1 minute. Rinse with warm water
5. Store in an airtight container and use it within a week

I really hope you enjoy our fun chat and you take some time out for yourself at some point today.

x

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Every now and then I aim to showcase a business I really love and believe in – it’s great to champion the smaller business.

So I wanted to introduce a fabulous lady called Nikki Holt and her candle business – Nostara.

These candles are my “go to,” as not only do they all smell divine but they burn really well!  Nikki actually showed me how to burn a candle to make it effective and last!

Over to Nikki …

xx

Introducing Nostara

I first met Jo at Axe Vale Craft Fair in 2018, since then she has been an avid supporter of Nostara.

She has asked me to write a few words to tell you all about my journey from stay at home mum to founder of Nostara…

After many happy years as a primary school teacher and a stay-at-home mum, it was time to start a new chapter in my life. My love of fragrance drew me to creating my own range of luxury home fragrances and with the support of my family and friends and in 2017 the Nostara brand was born.

Finding the perfect name for my business was very tricky – I had lots of great, and not so great ideas, but I finally settled on ‘Nostara’!

It is derived from a combination of my first initial and ‘Ostara’ the Goddess of Spring, chosen for its meaning of new beginnings – the perfect metaphor for my new business.

Why did you start the business?

My aim was to bring a sense of luxury to the everyday and launch a collection that was aspirational but accessible – something that I would want to buy for my own home.

Focusing on ethical, sustainable, and local production was really important to me. I wanted to keep everything sourced in the UK and I am pleased to say I was able to achieve this.

I was thrilled to be awarded a Great British Brand in 2020 and 2021 – something I can truly say I am proud of.

About Nostara’s candles & diffusers

Nostara’s candles are hand poured in small batches in the South West – one of my fabulous suppliers and an expert in pouring candles!

I use 100% natural sustainable soy wax and scents which have been created using premium quality essential oils with distinguishable top, heart, and base notes. The candles feature 100% cotton wicks and will burn for approximately 40 hours with an exceptional scent throw, providing a clean, even, long lasting burn to your home, office, or wedding.

Nostara reed diffusers, also hand poured in Devon, are made from Augeo, which is an innovative and eco-friendly new base, derived from soya renewable resources. It is non-toxic, low in carbon footprint and low in odour, giving it a superior performance.

The reed diffusers are the perfect way to effortlessly add long-lasting fragrance, whether you want a signature scent or to create a particular ambience.

My collection is available in eight fragrances, all personal to me: Bergamot & Black Tea, Lime & Juniper, Linen & White Gardenia, Ebony Rose, Burnished Amber, and two winter editions – Frosted Fir and Winter Wonderland, both encapsulating the magic of Christmas!

My collection even encompasses a ‘MANdle’ with the Leather & Vetiver fragrance offering a confident, masculine redolence – a darker addition to Nostara’s range. This aroma will bring a sense of drama to any space, with its deep, musky undertones and powerful presence.

About Nikki Holt

I teamed up with the award-winning perfumer, Marina Barcenilla (also local to me), to develop my perfumery skills and create a range with an emphasis on complex fragrance notes, giving a multi-dimensional olfactory experience.

I love travelling and discovering new scents along the way. When I return home, I try to recreate those fabulous scents and bring a bit of that special place back to life in Nostara’s fragrances. Whether you are tempted by the zesty homage to a G&T in the sun – Lime & Juniper, or the uplifting, spa like fragrance Bergamot & Black Tea (inspired by a hotel in Hong Kong) there is something for everyone.

I am such a lover of fragrance, it has the power to evoke such wonderful memories. Creating new scents and products is one of my favourite parts of running the business. I’m so pleased to have created something unique to Nostara, and that everyone can enjoy for many years to come. I hope you enjoy them too!

Love Nikki x

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Nikki has kindly offered all of our members a discount code – which if you’re a member and logged into the site – you can see it below.

Not already a member? You can find out more about Jo’s Workout Club here.

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It’s time to bring you our regular meditation, courtesy of Amanda Penalver.

Amanda is a meditation expert and founder of True Rest®. Her work is devoted to challenging, inspiring & motivating her clients to live a more growth-full, rich & deeply fulfilling life.

Amanda offers True Rest classes & guided meditations to uplift, restore, replenish & re-energise you to live on purpose, fully awake, fully embodied & deeply connected.

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“A positive menopause” – members only meditation

Today’s meditation is exclusively for our members and forms part of our Menopause Metamophosis programme. If you’re not already a member – you can find out more about this unique programme by clicking that link.

If you’re already a member – make sure you log in above and the meditation will appear for you below. Find yourself somewhere quiet for 20 minutes and click play to indulge yourself.

We often focus on all the difficulties and negative things about our menopause, so in this uplifting meditation we reflecti on the many positive aspects of the menopause journey.

Find out more about Amanda’s brilliant work at mandypenalver.com

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Finally I can reveal what I have been working on for the last 3 months ….

🦋 My Menopause Metamorphosis Fitness Pilates Programme 🦋

To celebrate World Menopause Day on 18th October 2021, this is biggest and best programme I have written and choreographed to help those in perimenopause, menopause and post menopause.

This programme includes..

🦋 A comprehensive, 6 week, guided fitness programme involving Pilates, yoga, Cardio and weights. with 5 classes a week.

🦋 A tracker sheet to chart your progress and to keep you motivated throughout the 6 weeks.

🦋 Everyday the classes will be completely different targeting all aspects of Menopause. Weights and weight bearing classes for bone health, cardio for heart health, relaxation for anxiety and many more exciting new classes.

🦋 13 brand new classes within the 6 weeks and 18 classes carefully selected from the back catalogue of over 230+ classes

🦋 Educational classes covering areas such as the pelvic floor and good posture.

🦋 Self care Sunday classes where we will look at meditation, hand aesthetics, books, recipes and more!

🦋 2 live zoom chats with me to ask questions and to keep on track.

This is certainly my most comprehensive programme and one I truly believe in..

If you want to make that change and metamorphasize what you want to become 🦋…… Visit jotuffrey.com/menopause-metamorphosis where you can see the programme in full 🦋

Members will be access the new programme from 30th September. It begins on 4th October, but you can start at any time.

x

Each month, we feature one of our amazing Weekly Workout Club members here in our smaall bu perfectly formed wellness and lifestyle area.

If you’re a member, you’ll know that its really important to Jo that we are all in this together and supporting one another on our fitness journeys.  This is the reason why Jo always refers to the club as the ‘Weekly Workout Family’

We thought it was time for members to get to know each other a little more and to share some stories and experiences.

_________________

Our September spotlight features Edgar Wallner, one of Jo’s longest standing clients, Judith (Edgar’s wife is Jo’s longest standing client). Jo has been training Judith for nearly 20 yeas and Edgar for 15 years.

“I can honestly say I never tire of training them, as their enthusiasm each week to training is unyielding.” – Jo

Jo goes onto say:

“I always look forward to our sessions not least to exercise with them but also to learn from them.

I always leave the sessions with a smile on my face from regaled stories of old and always a nugget of wisdom.

They definitely are testament that we should always keep moving!

During lockdown I obviously could not Personal train them so they both joined the weekly workout family… ”

Tell us about yourself

My name is Edgar – I graduated in 1958 and am now 84.

I took a small Italian medical device company public in the USA in 1992 and when I retired in 2004, I set up a theatre production company which transferred plays from the National and other subsidised companies, giving them back a large part of any profit but taking any losses ourselves.

Among our successful transfers to the West End and Broadway were The History Boys, War Horse and One Man Two Guvnors for which James Corden won a Best Actor Tony Award.

Why do you exercise?

Essentially to keep me alive and kicking!

But also, for flexibility, so that I can do the contortions to get out of my car in a tight parking situation, for keeping up muscular tone so that I can still lift the shopping and for balance which always deteriorates with age.

Why do you enjoy The Weekly Workout Club?

I really appreciate Jo’s imaginative choreography which means that the varied exercise is never boring, unlike the treadmill.

It feels like you are a member of a family and Jo’s constant humorous chatter keeps you involved. I especially like her physiological explanations of what the exercise is doing.

My favourite exercises are weight exercises lying down.

My top 3 favourite workout classes so far are listed below:

Weight it up.
Arms, bottoms and centre.
Circuits

[You need to be a member and logged in to view those workout pages!]

What are some of your favourite things?

My favourite food is Herbed Spatchcock from Rooks, the great family butchers in Holyport, Berkshire.

My favourite drink is a Campari, soda, fresh orange juice, angostura bitters, so that it is the colour of lobsters.
My favourite book is Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby

And my favourite film is Fahrenheit 451, the 1966 version starring Julie Christie and Oskar Werner, directed by François Truffaut. (Not the cr**py American remake of 2018!)

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Thank you so much to Edgar for his wonderful spotlight article. We’ll feature another member next month and if you’d like to be featured – drop us a line!

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It’s time to rest my body and mind. I have been busy  planning something for the last couple of months (ready to reveal soon!!) 🥰

So much goes on behind the scenes in my online work. It’s quite easy to be working on it day and night, especially when I have something new on the horizon… like now. 🥰 It’s sometimes just good to just stop and take stock, then come back with fresh eyes.

It’s so important for us all to stand back and reflect on what we have done and to be proud of all the things we have accomplished, as insignificant as they may seem sometimes. As we race through our lives, it’s very easy to forget the small stuff; the stuff that, when everything else falls away, is the stuff that really matters!

In a world seemingly full of perfection, especially through the lens of social media, it’s good to remind ourselves that being ‘perfectly imperfect’ is ok. (Thank you to @thejoyjournal for your wisdom reminding me of that!)

I’m always in my happy place on the river, with the ever-changing scenery, the wildlife, the slow pace of life and the nighttime star gazing (when it’s not cloudy or raining which it usually is for us!) 🙄

I just love pootling along, not knowing where we will moor up next, but knowing that when we do, the barbecue will be lit, the glass of wine will be poured and everything will be ok! 🥰

So, In the immortal words of one of my idols…

“Don’t get too busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”
Dolly Parton

Here’s to making the most of the summer.

x

Each month, we feature one of our amazing Weekly Workout Club members here in our shiny wellness and lifestyle area.

If you’re a member, you’ll know that its really important to Jo that we are all in this together and supporting one another on our fitness journeys.  This is the reason why Jo always refers to the club as the ‘Weekly Workout Family’

We thought it was time for members to get to know each other a little more and to share some stories and experiences.

Our August spotlight features Alison Wilson …

Tell us about yourself

My name is Alison Wilson , I am 59 and live in Kent with my husband. I have one daughter and two adorable grandchildren, Amelia & Finley aged 9 & 6 who are my world.

I work 4 days spread over 5 for a Self-Help Legal publishers. Since last March I have worked from home.

I look after my grandchildren on Wednesday, Friday & Saturday and the odd Sunday – as my daughter and her husband work weekends.

I don’t find it a chore but a privilege to be such a big part of their lives.

What motivates you to exercise regularly?

I exercise to keep fit and healthy and to clear my head.

I used to belong to a gym for many years and did body combat, body pump etc but didn’t really enjoy it and all the classes had a 12 week program – so by week 3 you’d find yourself thinking of your shopping list in your head and just going through the motions of the class ..

In 2015 I was diagnosed with breast cancer and so I took 8 months off of everything to concentrate on getting well.

I knew I didn’t want to go back to doing things I didn’t enjoy but knew I had to do something so I found Pilates.

I did enjoy it but it was only once or twice a week and again a bit repetitive – so on a rainy Monday evening I could easy talk myself out of going.

Then I found Jo and the weekly work outs .. yay! I found my happy place!

What do you enjoy about the Weekly Workout Club?

Jo is such a excellent teacher and every class is so different you never know what you are going to open. I love it.

“It is like a lucky dip bag when you were a child … or a secret Santa present!”

People ask whether I miss real life classes – but Jo makes you feel you are in a class ,… she explains every move and what it is for and chats away … before you know it the class is finished.

It’s only 30 minutes – which we can all find in a day.

I couldn’t pick a favourite 3 classes – as I love the equipment classes then open another one without equipment and equally love that one! That’s the beauty – they are all so different and such a joy.

“You truly feel good about yourself after a class.”

How else do you exercise?

I love being outside – walking, gardening and  playing rounders with the children

And I love cleaning !

What are some of your favourite things?

I love eating out and all types of food. I always have something I’d never cook at home when out, but I guess my favourite home meal would have to be the Sunday roast which I do most weeks for us all.

My favourite drink depends on the time of day.

I have a decaf Tea In the morning – then Green Tea – then sparkling water with a dash of lime for the rest of the day.

At the weekend, if we go out I will have a couple of glasses of rose Prosecco or a weak pink gin .. ( I’m a cheap date!)

I love reading and read on my Kindle most days. The book that has had the most impact on me is ‘ Not Without my Daughter’ by Betty Mahmoddy which is a true story.

I don’t watch a lot of films but my all time favourite has got to be ‘Pretty Woman‘.  You got to just love it , a modern day Cinderella …
___________

Thank you so much to Alison for her wonderful spotlight article. We’ll feature another member next month and if you’d like to be featured – drop us a line!

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It’s time to bring you our regular meditation, courtesy of Amanda Penalver.

Amanda is a meditation expert and founder of True Rest®. Her work is devoted to challenging, inspiring & motivating her clients to live a more growth-full, rich & deeply fulfilling life.

Amanda offers True Rest classes & guided meditations to uplift, restore, replenish & re-energise you to live on purpose, fully awake, fully embodied & deeply connected.

______________

Short breathing:

Feeling anxious or stressed? Take a short pause in your day to press the reset button, calm your nervous system & soothe anxiety.

Find out more about Amanda’s brilliant work at mandypenalver.com

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Every now and then I aim to showcase a business I really love and believe in – it’s great to champion the smaller business.

Many workout family members have asked about the various outfits that I wear that they’ve spotted on Instagram and so I thought I would showcase a fabulous lady called Natasha and her business, Nulu.


I’m Natasha Roberts and I run Nulu here in the UK and am delighted to be featured in one of Jo’s business spotlights.

Nulu is a South African brand of activewear and our pieces are bright and colourful, or have amazing prints and are really different from other activewear you can buy on the high street.

Often people ask if I’m South African, but I’m not … I’m very English, but I have family in Cape Town and did work there in my younger days! So I have close connections and visited frequently (pre Covid!), and Lucinda who founded Nulu, is one of those friends for many years.

Lucinda launched Nulu in 2009 when she spotted the trend in activewear whilst working in the clothing industry in South Africa. Originally Nulu was a purely yoga brand, but has developed to encompass activewear for not only yogis, but also those being active through pilates, gym classes, running.

As a niche brand, we hope that our customers will love wearing Nulu leggings, tops, etc that not everyone else is wearing, and will compliment other items in their activewear wardrobe! The brand is supposed to be fun and playful, making you feel good about what you wear.

For me, when it’s a rainy, dreary day in the UK I love seeing the latest designs and prints that Lucinda has chosen for a product range…..a bit of bright sunshine and colour from Cape Town.

I’ve really missed being able to meet customers over the last year as I used to sell Nulu at gyms, studios, house sales and fairs but am looking forward to getting out there again. Although you can buy online via our website or Instagram. I’m always happy for people to visit me at home to try items – just message me if you are in the South East!

So if you fancy a new pair of yoga leggings or a vest for a Pilates workout, please take a look at Nulu and I hope there might be something to tempt you. Our green palms leggings look fabulous on Jo, it could be you too!

An exclusive offer for Jo’s Workout Club members!

Logged in members can see an exclusive discount below. If you’re not a member or logged in – you’ll see a different message.

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Worried you’re missing out on great offers and great workouts? Take a look at the Club here.

 

 

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Hi! I’m Helen Gambarota and I am delighted to be back with Jo’s Weekly Workout Family to share my love of books with you.

I am a total book nerd. An avid reader and a compulsive book buyer, although I do need to slow down on the book buying as there are piles of books all around the house. I started reviewing books on Instagram as @BestBookFoward almost 4 years ago and I love chatting about books and sharing my passion for reading.

Each month I bring you my recommendation of a must-read book. I read a variety of genres so it could be anything from fiction, non-fiction, romance, historical fiction or a thriller and I really hope that you’ll enjoy each of them as much as I do.

If you’d like more book inspiration you can find my reviews on my Instagram account which is @BestBookForward, on Facebook or on my website bestbookforward.org

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Last month I took you back in time to 1950’s Florence with Still Life by Sarah Winman which I really hope you’ve enjoyed. This month I’m taking you on another journey, but this one couldn’t be more different – as it is a Post-Apocalyptic story.

I used to devour dystopian novels; The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood and 1984 by George Orwell being two of my favourites.

When The Stranding by Kate Sawyer landed on my desk, my first thought was I don’t know if I feel like reading this while living through a pandemic, but the premise was so original and interesting that my curiosity go the better of me and I just had to pick it up straight away.

Let me give you a quick spoiler-free rundown of the plot.

Note the cover has since changed – this was a preview copy.

The story is about a woman named Ruth who is leaving her life behind to head off on an adventure to New Zealand. When she lands in New Zealand there is chaos at the airport as news breaks that Europe has been destroyed. Ruth finds herself on a beach with a stranger called Nick. Together they decide to crawl into the mouth of a dead whale to try and escape what is coming. When they emerge they find that the world has been destroyed and that they are completely alone.

What follows is the story of how they decide to build a life together with what they have available to them; and that is all I’m going to tell you, as I don’t want to spoil it.

Now if at this point you’re thinking this isn’t the book for you, I really would urge you to pick it up. I know a lot of books in this genre can be pretty harrowing (I’m thinking of The Road by Cormac McCarthy) but The Stranding left me feeling really hopeful. Parts of the story reminded me of the very start of the pandemic. When we first went into lockdown, people were panic buying and there was just an awful feeling of uncertainty, but as the days went on, we learned to be more resourceful and kind to one another. We also saw nature healing, as the pollution levels dropped.

While we never find out what the event is that happens in The Stranding, I felt it was another brilliant reminder for us to be more mindful and to take greater care of our planet which we are so careless with.

The Stranding is Kate Sawyer’s debut novel and I am so excited to see what she will write next.

I had the opportunity to chat to Kate on an Instagram Live recently and she said

“I hope that it makes people think about what is important in life.”

I have to say it worked for me.

It’s a book that is so beautifully written, it is just captivating and it’s one that stays with you long after you turn the final page.

I really hope that you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.

___________

You can buy your copy from Amazon here, or from all good bookshops.

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