crystal cups lifestyle wear

The first time I tried on the Crystal Cups Om Yoga top and Kali leggings, I found myself revelling over how soft they felt next to my skin. More to the point, I had no idea that this was how bamboo clothing would feel! Crystal Cups Yoga and Pilates wear comprise of 95% Bamboo and 5% Elastane.  When I tried the yogawear on, it felt extremely comfortable – so much so that I could liken it to a very comfy second skin. Everything both clung and supported in all the right places and really flattered and enhanced my shape, which gave me even more confidence that I’d finally chosen the right gear!

So I decided to test run my new Crystal Cups outfit during my Maya Fiennes Kundalini Yoga class and was pleasantly surprised at how they appeared to self regulate with my body temperature. Its natural thermo regulating technology kept me warm when I needed at the beginning of the class and cool when I became overheated as I became more physically active, after my warm up.

I chose the Om yoga top because I was drawn to its empire neckline style with the keyhole opening, which I found really attractive. The loose panelling gave me freedom to move just as I wanted and the top didn’t keep flapping up, become static (which can often be the case with some workout wear) or get caught on something whenever I bent over. It simply ‘swung’ back into position. I also liked the fact that I could adjust the sleeves up or down by preference, without compromising the look of the top.


My favourite aspect of the Crystal Cups Om Yoga top is the ingeniously placed discreet panel, especially designed for me to place my little crystals next to my heart chakra, as I did my Kundalini Yoga session. It brought some comfort knowing that my little crystals were safe and doing their work, whilst I worked on the rest of my chakras!

During a work out, some leggings have been known to do unspeakable things at the most inopportune moments, resulting in one having to hitch them back into place as discreetly as possible. But with the Kali leggings, I didn’t have any issues at all. They felt like a second skin, gave at the right points, whether I was in lotus, crab or downward facing dog and I never had to adjust them – not once.

I have been working out in various forms for many years and have never – until now – found workout gear that makes me feel as good as my actual workout! I love my Crystal Cups yogawear and would happily recommend them to anyone who is looking for the perfect combination of comfort and style, along with a unique and special place to keep their crystal securely, whilst enjoying the optimum Yoga experience.

chakra healing crystals

For me, the combination of practicing Kundalini Yoga and wearing Crystal Cups Yogawear couldn’t form a more perfect synergy.  In this day and age, it is vital to find an outlet to counter life’s daily stresses that can, if you allow them to, take over your life, eventually culminating in toxic build up, leading to health issues, stress and fatigue.  Working on unblocking your chakras through these practices helps your energy to flow freely, as it was always meant to, whilst improving your life in more ways than you can ever imagine.

Ladies, if you’re interested in the Crystal Cups concept and finding the perfect Yoga and Pilates wear for you, Crystal Cups Lifestyle will be appearing and exhibiting at the Om Yoga Show in Manchester (Manchester Central) on 10th and 11th May, 2014.  They will also be in London on 24th, 25th and 26th October 2014.  Check out

Crystal Cups Lifestyle also design lingerie, daywear and loungewear, with the same discreet crystal cups pocket theme running throughout their line, so you can keep your precious little crystal next to your heart all day and night long!

Check out all that Crystal Cups Lifestyle has to offer at: http://www.crystalcupslifestyle

Also, check out Maya’s Kundalini Yoga at her Maya Space website at:




By Brucella Newman



frida vogue via 1938 via lynne hoppeFrida Kahlo, who was a most renowned Latin American artist of the 20th century and was famous for her self-portraits, was also an ardent photographer and collector of photographic imagery, as was her husband, celebrated Mexican mural artist, Diego Rivera.  Today, it was announced that a six-month scheme, financed by the Bank of America, is to be set up, in order to conserve 369 of her private collection of photographs to be made available for public viewing at the museum, La Casa Azul (The Blue House), that was once her home in Mexico City, until her death in 1954.

La Casa Azul, which carries a sign that reads: “Museo Frida Kahlo,” at its entrance, was transformed into a museum in 1958.  It currently houses an archive of around 6,500 images, many of which were taken by Kahlo and her husband, and that depict the essence of Bohemian life in the earlier part of the 20th century.  The restoration scheme by Bank of America Merrill Lynch is one of 25 projects that are to be assumed by the bank over the course of this year.

Museo Frida Kahlo

In and among the images can also be found a series of photographs of the French writer and poet, André Breton and Russian Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Leon Trotsky.  In addition to the many photos that are in need of restoration are photographs taken by the renowned American modernist artist, Man Ray and French photographer and so-called father of photojournalism, Henri Cartier-Bresson.  Photographs of American influential photographer, Edward Weston and Mexican photographers Manuel Alvarez Bravo (artistic photography) and his second wife, Lola Alvarez Bravo (photojournalism).  All were leading figures, pioneers or founders in their fields: always on the cutting edge, as was Kahlo.

Director of the Museo Frida Kahlo, Hilda Trujillo suggests that the photographs, which span over more than 70 years and date back as early as the 1880s, offer important historical evidence of both Frida Kahlo and her husband Diego Rivera’s lives, enabling us an understanding of Kahlo’s personality, socio-political views and personal relationships with her husband, friends and family as well as her frustrations due to her ill-fated streetcar accident, that prevented her from carrying an embryo to full term.  Trujillo said that each photograph represents a puzzle piece that fit a picture of Kahlo’s varied and complex life.

According to the Allen Blevins, director of global art and heritage programs at the Bank of America, Kahlo and Rivera were two of the most influential figures in 20th century and Mexican art, as well as being larger-than-life individuals, who, along with their friends, were also at the center of the most significant arts and political movements of their time.

Born to a Mexican Catholic mother and an atheist Hungarian Jewish father from Germany, Kahlo was a truly incredible and innovative woman who happened to endure a lot of physical and emotional pain sustained from a tragic 11449_frida_kahlo_in_a_hospital_bed_drawing_her_corset_with_help_of_a_mirror_1951_collection_galeria_lopez_quirog_juan_guzman_bus accident, from which a bar of metal had impaled her, entering through her spine and exiting via her reproductive organs.  As a result, she was unable to carry an embryo to full term and suffered three miscarriages – some elected for her safety – while she was married to Diego Rivera.   Since her tragic and horrific accident, which left her bed-bound and in then a wheel chair for months, Kahlo had been known to paint daring and sometimes rather grotesque images of herself, depicting her pain and frustration at the loss of her ability to have the little son she so badly wanted.  Kahlo said of these works:

“I paint self portraits because I am the person I know best.  I paint my own reality.  The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration.”

Last November, hundreds of Kahlo’s dresses from her eclectic wardrobe went on display in Mexico City.  Following her death in 1954, Kahlo’s wardrobe had been kept by her husband until they were discovered after his death in 1957.  From that point, the collection of dresses were locked away until they were once again rediscovered in 2004 and put on display in Mexico City.

The current restoration of Kahlo’s private collection of photographs is a selected project, that is part of a Bank of America sponsored scheme and is one out of 58 projects from 26 different countries that was launched in 2010.  On completion, the photographs will be available for viewing at the Museo Frida Kahlo in Mexico City.

Written by: Brucella Newman


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Brucella Newman’s news articles and opinion editorials can be found at Guardian Express LV:

No, I’m not making reference to the book, The Bush Dyslexicon, where George Dubya was quoted as asking that eternal question “Is our children learning?”

What I’d really like to know is what is it about our teenagers that makes us just want to pluck out every last eyelash (both upper and lower lid)? Bind our faces over and over with Sellotape? Run, screaming from the house, without even caring that we’ve neglected to change our bedroom slippers?

Could it be:

  •  Their desperate need to announce their presence, or indeed arrival, to a captive audience (normally on a bus or train) by shrieking across an enclosed space (a distance of say, twelve inches) at each other so that when you disembark at your destination, you are certain to have developed tinnitus and high-pitched ringing not just in your bad ear, but your good ear as well?

Or is it:

  • Their incessant shuffling around with slumped shoulders and constant whingeing that everything is ‘so unfair’, when you’re (ever so patiently, with gritted teeth) trying your best to share the benefit of your experience by teaching them to food shop, cook, clean and stick their clothes in the washing machine every once in a while?
  • Maybe, after pulling out all the stops to cook a lovely family meal (made with love, I might add), that they baulk, roll their eyes and wail “Whyyy???” when you suggest that they need to pay their way around here and contribute by washing up afterwards?  (There’s nothing like a wailing banshee to spoil the mood and good intention that lies behind said lovely meal.)
  •  Perhaps it’s the getting them to sit still, get off FaceBook, BBM and X-Box simultaneously (who said teenagers can’t multi-task?), stop procrastinating and get on with their homework or revision that gets your goat; which is met, incidentally with their pitifully absurd response, “I’m going to be a super-star/rock musician/super model/millionaire by the time I’m twenty-one, anyway.”

Well, all of these, I can deal with.  Here’s how:

  •  On the bus, I could stick some headphones on to block out the noise.  Failing that I could deliberately sing out of tune, really loudly, or phone a friend and shout over the phone that I can’t hear them and could they speak up.  Or maybe I could just get off at the next stop.  I could always use the exercise anyway.
  •  My response to the second one would be this: “Listen, kiddo.  One day, if you carry on whingeing just as you are now, your wife will leave you.  In which case, you’d best know how to cook, clean and do your own laundry.”
  •  Me on point three: “Now look here, see?  This is not a restaurant/hotel.  You see that food on the stove?  You’re eating it.  You eat what we all eat. You eat off the same plates and with the same cutlery. Somebody else buys and cooks.  What are you waiting for? The dishwashing fairy? Get to the sink!”
  •  Four is simple.  I take away any distractions until self-discipline is learnt.  If it’s met with “You don’t want me to have anything!” It is countered with, “You clearly don’t want to have anything, including an education at this rate.  Which boss on this planet would be impressed or beguiled, when scanning your CV and asking what your strengths are, is met with your response that you can score highly on a soccer game on X-Box? And incidentally, the more you whinge about any confiscations, I add another week.  You really don’t want to go there with me.”

While we’re on the subject of X-Boxes, I could barely contain my glee when my teenage son’s finally conked out.  “You’re really pleased it’s broken, aren’t you?”  He looked at me accusingly.  Somehow, I managed to mix up my motor skills and whilst replying slowly, “Nooo…” I found myself simultaneously nodding, instead of shaking my head. (Doh)

Anyway, back to the issue of ownership.

The one thing that I have issues in dealing with and what really does make me want to cringe, not at them, but for them, is when they adopt what is known as Teen Street Slang.   It’s their language and theirs alone.  Anyone who is not a teenager is forbidden to use it.  If (Heaven help them) a grown up starts using it (*gasp*), woe betide.  You will be met with a burning hostile glare and be told in a low harsh growl: “Don’t. Ever. Speak. Like. That. Ever.  It’s embarrassing.”


Excuse me; did you just say you’re embarrassed?

There is nothing more embarrassing for a parent when his or her A* English-scoring offspring refers to their mates as ‘blud, ‘rude boi’, ‘manz’, ‘mandem’, ‘gyaldem’; or refer to a great experience as ‘nang’; muscular as ‘tonk’ (how onomatopoeic); a nice-looking person as ‘peng’, ‘piff’ or ‘chung’ … and I’m not yet entirely sure as a parent how to take being referred to as ‘rents’.  When they want to ‘big themselves up’ or ‘represent’, their final sentence is punctuated with an unexpected “Pow-pow!” (Similarly, they might substitute it with “Brap-brap!” with an extended rolling emphasis on the ‘r’, whilst shooting an imaginary pistol in the air.   If it doesn’t make you flinch, it will certainly leave you scratching your head in bewilderment.   “What did I ever do to this child?” I hear some of you wail.

All I can say is that it will pass.  If your sprog is not yet in secondary school, it will come to pass; but eventually, (*clasps hands together in prayer, whilst crossing fingers*) it will pass.  They have to go through these stages to fit in and find their place in the world.

This is part of our DNA make up – the need to fit in, no matter how much we might try to disguise it by vehemently denying that we are sheep or followers and claiming instead that we are individuals, our own person, swearing autonomy and self-government, we only have to look at each other’s social groups, to find that they all dress and talk the same as each other.  This follows whether you’re an Emo, a Skater (or should that be ‘Sk8ter’), a New-age Punk or a Hip-Hopster, into Grunge, Dub Step, a Geek (hey – geeks are chic!) or simply bookish. These are all social groups that have their own means of talking, behaving, style of attire or preference in music.  It was the same when I was growing up and the same goes for our predecessors.

So what’s all this about being ‘owned’?  To be owned simply means to be made a fool of, as in, “Oh shame, dat chief just got owned.”  There are some adults however, who do try to adopt this way of communicating with youngsters, which is unfortunate.  Not only does the adult run the risk of coming across as ‘dry’ (unfunny), but he or she will also look like a ‘wasteman’ (idiot, fool).  But if you do take the mickey out of their language, it’s going to be ‘peak’, as in there’s going to be trouble.

So an example of a conversation might go a little bit like this:

Teen 1: “Wah gwan, blud?  Why you so vex?”

Teen 2: “So I was just kotchin’ wid mandem from endz, when we see these peng gyaldem.”

Teen 1: “Oh, sick… you get their digits?”

Teen 2: “Nah, man, I was chirpsin’ wiv one of dem, but she was just givin’ air, like she was Naomi Campbell or somefink.”

Teen 1: “Peaak!”

Teen 2: “Innit, blud. Anyway blud, she weren’t even dat piff.”

Teen 1: “She dissed you, innit! What did she say?”

Teen 2: “ She said I was just some next man who should take my clappin’ dead-out swag and my dutty, butterz crepes and dash myself and tingz.”

Teen 1: “Is it?! Blud, you got violated!”

Teen 2: “Alie.”


Teen 1: “What’s happening, my friend? Why do you look so annoyed?”

Teen 2: “Well, I was just hanging out with my best friends from my neighbourhood, when we came across these rather good-looking girls.”

Teen 1: “Oh, great… did you get their phone numbers?”

Teen 2: “No, old chap, I was just trying to chat one of them up, but she was ignoring me, like she was Naomi Campbell or someone of that calibre.”

Teen 1: “What a heightened event!”

Teen 2: “It was indeed, my friend.  Besides, she really wasn’t even all that attractive.”

Teen 1: “She disrespected you, didn’t she! What did she say?”

Teen 2: “She said that I was just some random nobody who should take my worn out garments and my nasty, ugly trainers and launch myself into the garbage heap.”

Teen 1: “Did she?!  My friend, you have indeed been verbally assaulted!”

Teen2: “I would tend to agree.”

So there you have it.  Teen Street Slang.  Polished down to a fine art.  Owned by the teenagers, for the teenagers.

W.Martyn Tea and Coffee Specialist, Muswell Hill

I just wanted to mention a wonderful old shop I was introduced to by my partner, called W. Martyn of Muswell Hill.

W. Martyn is a Tea and Coffee specialist store.

Set on a quaint old Victorian style shop floor, the store has been in the Martyn family since it began, back in 1897.

They sell the most amazing selection of teas and coffees, pickles and jams, shortbreads, chocolates and many other tea and coffee acoutrements.

As soon as you enter the store, you are hit with the most incredible aroma of freshly ground coffee.  Just inside the window sits an old giant coffee roaster, which churns over and over, releasing wonderful aromas that would make your toes curl.

Below is an image of the same shop, circa 1930:

I would highly recommend their Cuban coffee, as well as their Amaretto.  To accompany this, I also purchased some clotted cream shortbread rounds. Four words: melt in the mouth.

If you ever get the opportunity, please visit this store.  If you are out of London, now you have a reason to visit!

W. Martyn, 135 Muswell Hill Broadway, Muswell Hill, North London, N10 3RS.