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    Ask the Expert: Rachael Rogers - Vacation Planner
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    Destination Looks- March

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    Melissa Odabash Blog

    • Ask The Expert- Jody Shield-

      We all lead such hectic lifestyles; long hours and heavy workloads, yet constantly been told to breathe, relax, live a little slower and be in the moment but sometime's it's just not that easy. All we need is some gentle encouragement to ease us away from everyday stresses and towards more positive feelings.
      Let me introduce, Jody Shield- an inspirational speaker, author, meditation teacher and intuitive mentor.

      She is rapidly becoming a sought after name amongst London’s high fliers as the go-to substitute therapist to solve our entire modern woes- one stressed-out, lost and pained Londoner at a time. Jody is known for her fabulous inspirational speaking and meditation coaching, frequently consulting for many respected brands, corporates and agencies across London adding more calm and zen into their busy lives.

      We took the time to interview meditation guru Jody, where she gave us a little insight into what exactly fueled her career change and made her become London's go to intuitive therapist.

      How did you start out in the meditation profession?
      Quite by accident, and a bit of a crazy story, I actually learned how to meditate on a plant medicine retreat in Peru!! I was travelling around South America taking a break from my intense job in advertising 6 years ago, and I found myself in the Amazon jungle in an Ayahuasca retreat with an indigenous tribe. I was taught meditation as our whole group used it to prepare us for the ceremonies that I went on during the experience. It helped us really get “in-tune” with ourselves during that trip.

      When did you discover your love of meditation?
      I noticed I loved meditation when I went without doing it. The difference in how I felt, and how my day would go was huge. I realised I needed it to be a practice that I committed to because I wanted to feel great every day.

      What did you do before?
      I worked for 10 years as business director in advertising agencies. I worked with very big corporate clients, ran advertising accounts, managed big teams of people and launched big campaigns across the world. As glamorous as it sounds, it wasn’t. Lots of late nights, socialising, people pleasing!

      What makes you so unique?
      There isn’t really anyone who offers what I do to everyone - the mainstream. Although there are many meditation teachers and coaches, there aren’t many intuitive mentors and inspirational speakers who talk about wellbeing in a deeper way. I bring together the corporate world with the world of wellness and blend it together in a modern way that is easy, relatable and accessible to everybody.

      What do you think makes a fantastic mentoring session?
      To really see, feel and sense life changing results and the power of transformation. To witness clients take back the power of their destiny, and realise that they have the power to change their lives if it doesn’t suit them.

      What’s your mediation of choice?
      A receiving meditation, where you open up and receive all the energy that is meant for you to fill yourself up when you are feeling drained, depleted and exhausted. It’s a way of recharging your batteries. It’s divine :-) In fact I need to put one on my website.

      Talk us through a typical day in the life?
      There really isn’t a typical day, every day is very different: one day I could be speaking to a room with 500 people, the next holding a meditation session in Central London, another flying off to the Maldives for work, and then signing books at Waterstones. It’s a lovely, fast rollercoaster that I cling tightly to :-)

      What do you love most about what you do?
      Meeting all lovely people and listening to their stories of how they’ve transformed through my work. It is so inspiring to meet so many lovely people who want to change their lives. And to know they’ve done it with my help is amazing.

      What is your ultimate career goal?
      To feature on Super Soul Sunday with Oprah + to have 3 best selling books.

      Quickfire Questions

      What’s your signature holiday style?
      Soaking up the sunshine on a white beach on the Caribbean.

      Bikini or Swimsuit?

      Pool or sea?

      Sun-cream or Tanning Oil?
      Organic Sun cream

      What smell reminds you of holiday the most and why?
      Caudalie Facial Spray, because I always take it with me when I am on holiday.

      Where is the best beach you’ve ever visited?
      Ilha Grande in Brazil, Mole Beach

      How do you adapt your diet on holiday?
      Eating light foods and drinking lots of water

      What’s your go-to beach activity?
      Reading and walking up and down the beach to keep moving

      What’s the next book you want to read on the beach?
      “Pussy: A Reclamation” by Regena Thomashauer - it’s passionate, bold and sensual!

      Do you have a go-to holiday location solely for meditation?
      Marrakesh, we have a riad there and inside it’s so peaceful

      What swimwear piece and beachwear pieces from the Melissa Odabash SS17 collection would you choose to spoil yourself?
      Aruba bikini in white lattice, the Yasmin in cream, the Marrakesh clutch and white sandals.

      Jody comes from a decade of experience in advertising, most recently as a Business Director, managing big budgets and brand relationships. She left with a first-hand understanding of the stresses and strains of the corporate world, making her our go-to for a calmer state of mind.

      Since taking the plunge and leaving the corporate world Jody now works as a speaker, author, meditation ambassador for Lululemon UK and an intuitive mentor, also working with many Global brands as a wellbeing consultant and influencer. As a consultant, she now works with brands to inspire, teach and change lives. In 2013, she founded an events and experience brand, now called LifeTonic, where she holds regular monthly events, meditations and inspirational talks.

      Jody Shield’s book LifeTonic - a modern toolkit to heal your life and soothe your soul is out now from all good bookstores. You can also keep up to date with Jody via her Instagram and Twitter pages.

    • Breakfast with Roz Purcell

      We don’t need to be reminded that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and here at Odabash, breakfast is taken very seriously. We all love a yummy but nutritious breakfasts to start our day off the right away and we tend to mix up the menu from delicious smoothie bowls to guilt-free pancakes. The best part? They can all be jazzed up in a variety of ways.

      We have teamed up with, Roz Purcell, one of Ireland’s most successful lifestyle and health bloggers, who is sharing her top three breakfast recipes. She began her blog, Natural Born Feeder in 2013 to document her love of cooking and to share her recipes.
      Roz’s approach to cooking is simple: to use whole foods to live a whole life.

      Scroll down to see Roz's favourite breakfast recipes which will take you right through from breakfast to lunch.

      They all look absolutely delicious; never have a half-hearted breakfast again…

      You can visit Roz’s fabulous blog here and be sure to check out all her social media channels: Instagram - Facebook - Twitter - Youtube

    • Easter Weekend

      We can guarantee every office across the UK is counting down the hours until 5 O’clock today, marking the start of a lovely four day weekend. YAY!

      For those of you not jetting anywhere out of the UK, we have rounded up our top 3 picks for something a little more easy to reach. We have even combined our easy to wear outfits of choice to go with each activity, including a few wardrobe items for the little ones to wear.

      Have a lovely Easter Weekend!

      Escape the city for a few days for some sea air in picture perfect Devon...

      Enjoy a delicious afternoon tea at Kensington Roof Top Gardens, where your little ones will be invited to join the Easter Bunny on a special egg hunt, followed by an array of themed crafts and face-painting.

      Take a drive out to the countryside for a yummy Easter Sunday Lunch, combined with a scenic walk post lunch.

    • What To Wear To Coachella

      Coachella officially kicks off festival season and despite the awesome music line up, the fashion scene is just as important. You need to have cool-girl ensembles worthy of the festival itself. Meaning? Breezy off-the-shoulder crop tops, glitzy body chains and long flowing dresses that showcase your modern bohemian edge.

      It’s now time to narrow down what you’ll be bringing with you to the desert, or even if you’re just planning on being there in style spirit, make sure to shop below for our top 6 Coachella Fashion looks.

    • Throwback Thursday-

      Last week on a glorious sunny evening in Central London, Future Dreams Ambassadors Melissa Odabash and Jacquie Beltrao hosted the launch of Melissa Odabash Swimwear line at Grace Belgravia, developed for lingerie specialists Amoena UK and in collaboration with London based charity, Future Dreams.

      The range was designed in specializing for post-mastectomy women who still want to feel confident and fabulous in swimwear, while raising money for Future Dreams, aiming to help all women and their families touched by breast cancer and its goal of opening Future Dreams House which will provide free one to one emotional and physical support and therapies to anyone affected by breast cancer.

      The lovely evening started out with a touching few words from the hosts, Jacquie Beltrao, Sky News presenter and former Olympic gymnast, who is the face of the new line and Melissa herself.

      Jacquie openly discussed her breast cancer diagnosis and subsequent surgery and explained the importance of the range for other women and the close connection she has with the charity. After receiving the all-clear in January, Jacquie spoke about still wanting to feel and look good in swimwear despite surgery or treatment.

      Melissa then gave a quick insight into the making of the collection, explaining how she has cleverly tweaked four designs of her best-selling designs, making them a little higher cut to hide scars and to offer the support and security that women want when they have had surgery.

      It’s so fantastic to think so many women can now feel sexy and confident despite their circumstances, lifting women up when they feel down is something we all feel so passionately for!

      Melissa with Kate Percival, founder of Grace Belgravia, Spencer and Jacquie.

      Sarah-Jane Mee- Sky News presenter, shows her support for the evening.

      The evening followed with guests enjoying a delicious three course meal in a beautiful intimate setting.

      Melissa with Interior Designer Kelly Hoppen, Jacquie and Yasmin Mills.

      Both Team Odabash and Team Future Dreams, expressed how much of a fantastic celebration the night turned out to be and we know for sure the collection is going to be a massive success.

      All photographs taken by photography team- Paul Toeman Photographers, be sure to follow there Instagram Page.

    • Destination Looks - April

      Roll on Spring- nothing makes us all feel more Spring-like than the Easter Holidays. The UK is blossoming, the evenings are staying lighter and there are not one but two bank holidays coming up. The Perfect opportunity to jet away to Europe for a long weekend away in the sunshine or somewhere further afield for guaranteed tropical sunshine and a complete cultural change.

      We have rounded up our top three destinations for the upcoming holidays, Antigua in the Caribbean for its famous sandy white beaches and fabulous colourful culture or Marrakesh in Morocco, an exotic city unlike any other, which bestows authentic Arab and African cultures.Or perhaps you fancy somewhere a little closer to home; Provence in France which offers a spectacular showcase of natural beauty and where the stunning countryside is filled with historic towns and tranquil Provençal hideaways.

    • Ask the Expert: Rachael Rogers - Vacation Planner

      As summer beckons and the poolside daydreams begin, who better to interview for Melissa Odabash’s Ask The Expert than Rachael Rogers, founder of For The Story Vacations
      Rachael prides herself on creating 100% tailor-made vacations for her clients, making sure their money goes as far as possible, and giving them the vacation they’ll look back on for years to come.

      Old Silver Beach- Cape Cod, Massachusetts USA

      "Cape Cod is known historically as the beginning of "The Americas", but the Cape offers much more than Pilgrims, wild turkeys, and cranberry bogs. This is a summer getaway reserved for not only Mr. Obama but lovers of summer time retreats without extreme heat. Old Silver in Falmouth, Cape Cod is an all time favorite spot."

      First things first: How did you discover your passion for travel?
      When I was 16, my high school offered us the chance to travel to Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji (if we could save up the money). I thought I’d be homesick but I was actually sad to leave. This would turn out to be a recurring trend throughout my travels.

      How did you know planning people’s vacations was for you?
      Well, first off, you should probably know I’m a little bit crazy. My Irish husband and I had two pretty large weddings seven days apart: one in Missouri, where I’m from; the other in Ireland.

      It took a LOT of planning and hustling. Not only did we have to get people booked into the perfect hotels and Airbnbs for their price range, we also wanted to ensure all our American guests who flew to Ireland got the full experience and vice versa.

      The weird thing was, I actually enjoyed doing it. I loved the euphoria on peoples’ faces. Although I was working in sales in NYC at the time, it really got me thinking.

      What makes For The Story Vacations unique?
      I really, really care. I’ve dedicated my life to travel and researching for my clients. I hate that so many people spend above the odds for a totally generic holiday. I sit down with my clients or chat with them over Skype. They tell me their loves, hates, bucket list, pet peeves.

      In the end, I create a completely tailor-made vacation for them for less than they would have paid for the cookie cutter one through the old-school methods. And then I take care of booking it all for them too.

      What inspired you to start a travel business in your mid-twenties?
      Shortly after the wedding celebrations ended- which basically took a month- I had my annual performance review. Although I had exceeded the sales targets, it was suggested that I would be better served within the sales world if I spoke up less.

      I left the meeting determined not to let another person tell me how be successful. Having gone to an all women's college, it didn't sit right with me that two men were suggesting I smother my personality… I liked my personality! A week later I quit and launched my own company.

      What did you do before For The Story?
      I pursued theatre for 4 years after college. A tour around the US and a summer in LAMDA punctuated some great but challenging years in NYC. I also worked planning weddings in Manhattan. Although these were great experiences and I learned a lot, I felt like something was missing.

      Everything just seemed to be a means to an end that would let me book my next flight to Europe. Eventually, I decided I’d book a one-way ticket to Paris next time, instead of coming back after 10 days.

      How did you manage this?
      It seems crazy to me now, but one day I sat down, constructed an email, and essentially emailed every English-speaking Paris tour company I could find. I landed a Skype interview with a bike tour company.

      One week later, they offered a second interview. This time, though, it was in-person. And in Paris. I booked a one-way ticket and ended up working as a bike and Segway tour guide in Paris. The travel bug had caught me and I never looked back.

      Where are you next going on holiday?
      My husband and I work remotely and travel full-time, moving to a new city every month. I like to have researched a place before sending people there. We are in Vienna right now and Dubrovnik in Croatia is next up.

      How do you adapt your diet while you travel?
      It's hard man! I want to experience traditional foods and specialities but that takes its toll on your body if you’re always traveling. I’ve become a big fan of splitting multiple smaller dishes rather than eating one large one.

      I get the knowledge I need as a travel planner and the enjoyment I want as a foodie, without making my clothes snug.

      Walking around exploring is great, too. I get familiar with a city while getting my 10,000 steps in.

      What is the best beach you’ve ever visited?
      Old Silver Beach in Cape Cod. It has the softest sand I've ever experienced, and it continues all the way into the ocean until your feet can't touch anymore.

      Szechenyi Thermal Baths- Budapest, Hungary

      "Budapest is an up-and-coming city filled to the brim with amazing restaurants, ruin bars, and history. The outdoor thermal baths make this city truly sparkle. Open from 10am-10pm, you can soak and relax all day while enjoying drinks, food, and a bit of fun."

      Quickfire Questions

      What’s your signature holiday style?
      Comfy and cute. Sun dresses all the way. Cute sandals, sun glasses, and adorable hats.

      Bikini or Swimsuit?
      Usually a swimsuit but I love both.

      Pool or sea?

      What smell reminds you of holidays?
      Sun tan lotion. I get butterflies in my stomach. When I was a kid, applying it meant we were going somewhere that involved sun and fun. I'm also a summer baby. It's when my hair, skin, and tan are at their best. Plus, I love running around barefoot.

      What pieces from the Melissa Odabash SS17 collection would you choose to spoil yourself?
      I actually own a Melissa Odabash piece that I am in love with because it makes my tan look awesome! It’s the Bali bikini in Fluro. When I get another one, I want to pair the Aruba Bandeau Bikini in pink with the Adela Bandeau Dress in dusty rose. Were you expecting that detailed an answer off the top of my head? :)

      What do you love most?
      Wine? No, all jokes aside, I love my husband, my family, and the friends that have been part of this crazy journey. Sometimes it doesn’t seem real.

      Career goal?
      To use my passion (and my unfiltered personality) to be successful doing what I adore.

      And, finally, what’s your favourite place to visit?
      Paris. It will always be Paris.

      Cliffs of Moher- County Clare, Ireland

      "Ranked one of the best "cliff views" in the world, the Cliffs of Moher should be a stop on your trip through the Emerald Isle. County Clare offers winding roads, fields of sheep, and ocean views, and more sheep. This day trip is one for the books."

      Rachael Rogers, a phenomenal vacation planner with a fabulous commitment to fantastic and incomparable customer focused one to one service. Rachael’s genuine passion and true love for exploring is seen through her wonderful attention to detail to create one of-a-kind vacations for her clients and no matter where you are based in the world, Rachael is so easily and seamlessly able to make your dream holiday become a reality. Team Odabash consider Rachael’s business concept as ideal- day to day life means we become way too busy to schedule holiday planning, so having someone do it all for you sounds perfect!

      Be sure to follow Rachael over on her Instagram Page and Facebook Page where you can stalk her incredible travelling photos- instantly making you want to click that contact button for Rachael. Also, make sure to watch FTS daily videos to keep up to date with Rachael’s fab advice and tips for each city she mentions.

    • Destination Looks- March

      Longing for some Vitamin D? Fantastic news for us all as Easter is just around the corner which gives us the perfect opportunity for a well-deserved getaway… roll on some sun, sea and sand!

      However, perhaps you're craving bags full of sunshine combined with a little adventure thrown into the mix? Whether your preferred choice of adventure may be paddle boarding, kayaking or white water rafting, we have lined up three exciting destinations and breath-taking Sports Luxe wardrobes to match.


    • International Women's Day

      Today marks the 106th International Women's Day, a day dedicated to commending women and their achievements, and a time to reflect on what we need to do to help make this world a fairer place for us all. Team Odabash feel greatly that the cause is something which should be continued to be celebrated, as well as given awareness to and Melissa herself is a true advocate for supporting women.


      Melissa with Jacquie Beltrao- the face of the collection

      Melissa has always been passionate about advocating women and helping all women to feel their very best in their own bodies, So, in 2015 Melissa launched her Mastectomy swimwear line, alongside the UK based breast cancer charity, Future dreams which was designed to give the confidence back to women who have suffered from the disease.

      The line still oozes in style, meaning women can still feel great despite what they have been through and amazingly, all proceeds from the range go to the Future Dreams breast cancer charity, the line can be purchased here.

      Melissa accepting her award

      Following this, Melissa was awarded the first Future Dreams Humanitarian Award. This was given to Melissa as recognition for her role and efforts in working alongside the charity to both help fund-raise and ease the process of women who are going through and have been through this battle.

      Melissa feels passionately that is so important to keep up the awareness of the mastectomy line and the charity, recently having spoken on Gaby Roslin's BBC London radio show promotion this amazing cause for women.

      Melissa with BBC Radio London host Gaby Roslin

      Melissa also often attends and speaks at events aimed at endorsing the achievements of women and what they can do, pictured here at the women powered talk last year at Burberry, which was held to show women how they can build a brand. This is just another amazing way Melissa enjoys giving her support to other women.


      Melissa speaking at Burberry House

      This week, Melissa attended a Women's event held at the London Stock Exchange, where Sherry Coutu spoke to inspirational women leading businesses across the UK and female CEO'S who are at the early stages of their career. Melissa is a firm believer in women supporting other women and commends women celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women.

      Melissa at the Stock Exchange opening

      So today, throughout the world women and men are encouraged to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities. Wondering how can we celebrate International Women’s Day? There are in fact, so many ways! Around the world there are talks, gatherings and rallies. Some women are also striking economically by refusing to work, you can find out more on https://www.womensmarch.com/ There is also a theme created by IWD, where they are asking everyone to be #BeBoldForChange, whether this be organizing your own event or making a pledge to speak out about equality, we can each play our part in creating sustainable equality for all.


      Happy Valentine's Day Bikini Lovers!

      The office desks are heaving under the weight of beautiful flowers today at Odabash HQ, and our bellies are full of love and chocolate! What better way to wind down the evening than to have a #NYFW round up. Here are a selection of some of our favourite catwalk looks seen at NYFW over the weekend and how we intend to channel the trends, Bikini Queen style!

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