It has been ages since I did a round up of things I’ve been enjoying for the month just gone (probably about 2 years actually…) so I thought now seemed as good a time as any! Here are a few things that I have been enjoying this month.
1. You’re dead to me
I have my house mate to thank for this one. Usually I listen to a lot of news podcasts and since one particular story is dominating the news at the moment (you know that little thing beginning with c) I have been looking for some alternatives. You’re dead to me is a BBC sounds podcast hosted by Greg Jenner, a British author and public historian, about various historical figures and periods. He is joined by an expert on the topic of the week and a comedian, which makes for an entertaining and informative podcast. You can learn something new without it feeling like learning! If you’re looking for some other podcast picks you can read about my favourites here: Top Podcast Picks
2. All things green
Green is fast becoming my favourite colour. Pastel green is clearly a popular colour this spring which is probably part of the reason I find myself drawn to it but the other reason I love green is because it’s the colour of my plant children. I am definitely a crazy plant lady – I just can’t get enough, bedroom jungle here I come! There are loads of benefits to having house plants; they purify your air, looking after them is beneficial for your mental health and they add a nice pop of colour as well as creating a relaxing atmosphere. You can read more about my houseplant obsession here: Hello Houseplants
3. Animal Crossing
There is something surprisingly relaxing about spending your day fishing, catching bugs and collecting fruit in order to pay back your debt to a business savvy racoon. I had animal crossing years ago back when it was on Nintendo DS, and when I saw the new version I thought I would give it ago. Admittedly, this was not a cheap decision… but it was worth it! There is so much more to do in this version (besides paying off your house loan to Tom Nook) and I can see myself playing this for a long time to come. Given the current situation *cough, quarantine and social distancing, cough* I’m not doing much so this is an enjoyable way to fill the time. It also has the added benefit of being able to play with friends. So the more people I can convince to invest in this the better!
4. Yoga with Adriene
One of my New Years resolutions was to do more yoga and I must confess until now I really haven’t been making an effort with this one. In an effort to force myself to do this I have started Yoga with Adriene’s 30 day home series. I was 4 days in and really enjoying having a proper structure to follow and hold myself accountable to – then I slipped a disk in my back so haven’t been able to do it more recently…
5. L’Oreal No Haircut Cream
This one is a rediscovery rather than anything new. I forgot how much of a difference L’Oreal Elvive Dream Lengths No Haircut Cream makes to detangling wet hair. Especially now that I have blonde hair I’m making an extra effort to take care of the ends to try and avoid them getting dry. I used to use this back when my hair was longer and I was trying to grow it to minimise split ends but I forgot about it until I found it while doing a bit of a sort out. I won’t be forgetting about this again, that’s for sure.
I am definitely guilty of being lazy when it comes to taking skin care seriously. However, in order to be a proper #adult I decided to start taking better care of it. But there is so much out there to choose from, there’s toners and lotions and potions galore, so to make life easier for you here are my go to products.
For everyday cleansing
Camomile cleansing butter
I picked this one up because I was intrigued by the concept of a cleansing butter and after one use I was hooked.
It’s super easy to use, and it leaves my skin feeling really soft. Although, it isn’t the best at removing eye make up.
I really like cleansers that can be applied to a dry face as it speeds up the process. I am much less likely to properly clean my face if I have to wait for the tap to run warm before I even start the cleaning process.
Camomile make up remover
When I picked up the cleansing butter I decided to try the eye make up remover as well and it did not disappoint.
I wasn’t sure if I would like this one but they sell a mini version of it as part of a gift set with the cleansing butter. Mini’s are a great way to try new products without spending loads of money. The number of times I have bought a product that has been super hyped up only to use it 3 times and forget about it.
When I finish my mini bottle I will definitely be going back for a big one!
If I can’t be bothered to do a proper clean with the butter then I’ll use micellar water, I also have a mini version to take with me when I go on trips.
Micellar water is great for giving your skin a good cleanse when you haven’t got water to hand. I will tend to use this after using a make up wipe to try and get as clean as possible. Also because I often feel like wipes don’t take all the makeup off, using micellar water gets the last bits off.
For the super deep clean
Himalayan charcoal clay wash
When I’m in the shower I’ll do a proper deep clean using this face wash.
I particularly like this one as it contains tea-tree which helps with break outs. It also doesn’t leave my skin feeling dry at all, which some deep cleansers do. It unclogs pores which I think is really important to properly get rid of all the pollution and grime your face picks up during the day.
And, as if that isn’t enough, it smells amazing!
Once I’ve cleansed its time to exfoliate. There’s just something about an exfoliator that leaves skin feeling super smooth that I just love.
I have sensitive skin so I need an exfoliator that isn’t too harsh and this one is perfect.
For the break outs
All things Tea-Tree
Clay Mask – £11
Targeted Gel – £7.50
Night Lotion – £10
I use the Skin Clearing Clay Mask once a week, twice if I’m having a particularly bad skin week (Mother Nature I’m looking at you). Every night I use the Night Lotion on areas that are particularly prone to breaking out. I find if I use it all over it just makes the problem worse. Then to finish off I use the Targeted Spot Gel. Does what it says on the tin really, it reduces spots overnight. I’ll use this twice a day on spots until they disappear, which is normally one or two days.
So there you have it, the lazy girls guide to skin care. What are your go to skin care saviours?
The start of the new season means that there are lots of new trends to try. Here is a round up of some of my favourites for Spring 2020…
Your favourite white shirt gets an upgrade
White shirts are versatile and easy to wear but they aren’t usually the focal point of your outfit. Until now. Spring 2020 sees the rise of the oversized white shirt, my personal favourite is this one from river island because it brings in the puff sleeve trend as well and I love the detailing on the sleeves.
Still easy to wear, and for those colder days wear it sticking out the bottom of a nice cozy jumper – or if you’re feeling brave (which I don’t think I am) you could wear with a sweater vest.
Bring on the brights
Brighter days means brighter outfits, and this year you don’t have to wait until summer to get out your neon gear.
If you aren’t keen on the walking highlighter vibe an easy way to do the neon trend is through your accessories. A pair of bright trainers will spice up any outfit! Want to go a bit bolder? Coordinate your top to your shoes. By having a different colour in the middle it means the colour isn’t too overpowering but it’s still a bright and fun outfit.
Forget florals, today is all about Tiers
Florals for spring may be groundbreaking, but there are other ways to get a girly outfit vibe. Maybe you’re not quite ready to crack out the summer dresses, the tiered trend is a nice transition.
This Topshop dress is one of my favourites. The dark base colour makes this a great outfit for those grey-er spring days, but the ruffles give it a lighter feel. Also this is the perfect day to night dress. Dress down with some Dr Martens or dress it up with a pair of strappy heels.
Fabulous Faux Leather
And you thought leather way just for winter – how wrong we were! Leather looks get a spring makeover with thinner fabrics and brighter colours.
Faux leather ‘shackets’ are very of the moment, but I personally like a little bit more warmth and so this Asos jacket is a winner in my book. We all know that sunshine is far from guaranteed in spring so a good jacket is a must. One of the many advantages of faux leather is that it is waterproof as well as stylish.
Doll it up with dots and spots
After the rise of THAT Zara dress last summer it’s no surprise that everyones gone dotty for spots (pun 100% intended). Polka dots are big this season, particularly on dresses.
This Miss Selfridge mini dress is perfect for spring. Pastels, puff sleeves and polka dots – what’s not to love! Although perhaps one to crack out later in the season when the weather is a little bit warmer, paired with a denim jacket and some white trainers.
The start of September means the start of a new season for fashion and I am SO EXCITED! Here are some of the trends I am looking forward to making the most of now that the weather has cooled down a bit:
This blazer co-ord from Nasty Gal is perfect for autumn, style them together or separately and the colour is perfect for the summer – autumn transition.
Personally I think a corduroy dress is a staple for autumn. It has the potential for so many layers – long sleeve tee underneath, snuggly jumper on top and a coat once it starts to get really chilly. H&M have some nice ones but this blue zip dress is another Nasty Gal find.
You can never go wrong with an oversized shirt and I particularly like the colour of this Pull&Bear one – giving me all the autumn feels!
2. Slouchy knits
I am a sucker for anything soft and warm so slouchy jumpers are my favourite thing about autumn. It’s always good to have a neutral coloured jumper on standby, particularly if you are a fan of bright colours and patterns (like me). I am loving all the jumpers in Fashion Influx’s In The Style collection but I especially like the slouchy jumper in beige and this roll neck jumper dress in white.
3. Jewel tones
Just because the weather might be turning grey doesn’t mean your wardrobe has to! Add a pop of colour to your outfit using your accessories – for example this belt from River Island. You can never go too far wrong with blue and this blue wrap blouse, also River Island, is perfect for those ‘jeans and nice top’ occasions. The pictures don’t do justice to the colour of this Nasty Gal polo neck, guaranteed to brighten up any autumn day.
I haven’t bought a new handbag in what feels like forever. I am a girl who normally sticks to a backpack – they’re practical but not always the most fashionable I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to branch out and get something practical but also something a bit more adult and stylish.
I came across the brand Claudia Canova on ASOS, and I it is fast becoming my favourite brand! Their styles are so fun but also simple enough to go with everything, and they had some great deals in their end of season sale…
I had my eye on this tote bag for a while and when it went on sale I had to order it! I don’t like a big black bag it just feels a bit to school bag like for me, so this khaki colour is perfect. It has this little inner bag that you can remove which is perfect for keeping all your stuff organised. Ever since I got it, it has been my go to bag everyday. I also picked up a new purse – also in the sale. I bought both of these direct from the Claudia Canova site, rather than through ASOS but it is worth checking both sites because they’re sometimes cheaper on ASOS and sometimes on sale on Claudia Canova.
I also needed to replace my little black bag – we all need one! One of the things I loved about this is that it’s a little bit different and adds more to the outfit. I also discovered that the strap is interchangeable so when I want this bag to feel like new again I can just get a new strap for this bag. I love the pink Claudia Canova lining – really gives it that luxury feel.
It has a zipped pocket on the back which is perfect for storing your phone and multiple pockets in the main section as well which is perfect. Such a bargain as well as it was in the ASOS sale down from £55 to £25!
Recently I have been really bad at getting to the gym, a lot of things have changed for me and so fitness has taken a bit of a back seat. Anyway in an attempt to get back into the swing of things (and minimise possible excuses) I thought I would invest in some decent resistance bands. My old ones are too thin and dig in to my legs whenever I use them, so I don’t really reach for them. I have heard really good things about Grace’s resistance bands so I thought I would give them a try.
So I picked up the light (blue) and the heavy (peach) bands (the medium was sold out) and for 2 bands I paid £25 a single band was £14* (I think). I ordered these late on Wednesday and they got to me by Saturday morning which is pretty fast I think. They come in a resealable plastic pouch which is nice if you want to store them properly but honestly I can’t be bothered with that!
All of Grace’s products come with a selection of workouts or to use the proper name “Booty Burners” which you can access on an app called Aflete or you can download the PDF emailed to you when you make your purchase. There are several different styles of workout: Resistance Band Glute Activation Non-Resistance Band Glute Activation Resistance Band Glute Burnouts Non-Resistance Band Glute Burnouts Home Glute Workouts – these consist of exercises with and without resistance bands.
In order to do a proper review I thought I would use the bands to complete a variety of the Booty Burners. So today I did a Resistance Band Glute Activation workout followed by a Home Glute Workout and finished off with a Resistance Band Glute Burnout. I decided to use the light band because its been a while since I exercised so my strength isn’t as good as it was.
Did I feel the burn? HELL YES!
I honestly don’t think I will be able to sit down comfortably tomorrow! I really liked the workouts as they’re all quite short so if you haven’t got a lot of time these are perfect. Also they’re all body weight exercises so perfect when the gym is busy and there isn’t any equipment available. The app is super easy to use and I like how easy it makes accessing the workouts.
Are they worth the money? They are very good quality and I understand that they have to make a profit so I would say they are worth the money. I would definitely buy a bundle rather than a one off product though to get better value for money.
Would I recommend these? Yes, I was afraid that they were over hyped just because of the name on them but they are definitely as good as everyone says they are. I like that you get workouts with them which definitely helps if you need a bit of inspiration or are a complete beginner. They are also really pretty, the colours are so cute and the little logo is a really nice touch.
These are currently sold out but I believe they are restocking soon
* I bought these when they were first released under the Grace Fit UK brand, they have since become B_ND and now fall under the Shreddy umbrella. Prices were correct at time of writing in 2018 but may have since changed.
So today we are not just talking about leggings (who’s shook) because I did a haul – sorry bank account – from JUST STRONG
Firstly I need to talk about the idea behind this company because it is so great.
“I AM NOT STRONG FOR A GIRL, I AM JUST STRONG”
Because who doesn’t love being stereotyped. Going to the gym shouldn’t be about being skinny it should be about pushing yourself to get stronger. As a girl who enjoys going to the gym I do often get the comments like “but you don’t want to get bulky” no you’re right I don’t “you don’t want to look manly” who said that men were the only ones allowed to have muscles? So when I saw what this brand represented I thought it was pretty damn awesome and I am fortunate enough to be affiliated with them – that being said this will be a completely HONEST review because I gain absolutely nothing by lying to you.
Now that I’ve bored you suitably with my little feminist rant lets get into the review…
Links to everything I talk about will be at the bottom of the post
Since I do have a love (addiction?) of gym leggings we will start with those.
So these are the Charcoal Camo Just Strong Leggings and I got them in a size medium. They are 90% polyester 10% elastane. Fit wise I wish I had gone for a size small just because they are a little too big on the waist. That being said they are very flattering. The seam down the side of the leg acts as a sort of contouring which I really like. As well as the camo print there is a hexagonal honeycomb like pattern but it’s so subtle it definitely doesn’t distract from the camo print. I pull mine up so that they are just below my belly button because personally I prefer a high waisted legging. Squat proof which is always a must have and really comfortable for exercising in. I much prefer the stuff where the logo is not so obvious (as you will notice from the rest of my haul) just because I generally don’t wear things if they have big logos. All in all I rate these pretty highly and will probably order more of their leggings….just in a slightly smaller size.
Next up is the Just Strong Sports Bra…
Now this was the most disappointing. Given that it’s branded as a sports bra there is absolutely NO support so I would probably call this a crop top. Design wise I really like the band saying just strong and again the logo isn’t too big. Unfortunately I ordered a medium which is definitely too big for me (you can see it gaping at my arm pits). The material isn’t the nicest and it’s incredibly thin which is probably due to that fact its 96% polyester and makes it feel cheap. It looks fine in pictures but I can’t say I’ve worn it to the gym. A shame because I really do like the style it just isn’t practical.
Staying in the sports bra/crop top area lets talk about the Just Strong Emblem Crop Top.
Possibly my favourite thing that I got. Again I feel it is misnamed because this is much more like a sports bra than a crop top. 90% nylon 10% elastane and a much nicer feel. I got a size small and I think I’ll be getting everything in this size from now on. Very comfortable and actually surprisingly supportive although I wouldn’t try any high impact sport in it. A flattering fit definitely my new favourite sports bra. Would 100% get this again.
Having said that the Emblem Crop was my favourite I have to say this next one is also up there. The Jet Black Mesh Tee.
So cute. Its 90% polyester 10% elastane so is good and stretchy as well as being breathable. The mesh inserts on the sleeves are a nice touch and the insert on the back helps with breathability as well as looking really nice. Without the mesh it would really just be a plain oversized tee so it is definitely the key feature of this top. There is also a drawstring cord which I use to make the top a more cropped style although it is less flattering than just having it loose. I got this in a size small (I think) and it fits perfectly. Great for those days when you don’t feel like showing your tummy so far it’s got a good amount of use.
Last but not least… the Jet Black Cropped Hoodie.
I got this one in a size small but I probably could’ve gotten away with a medium. Comfy and great for throwing on when going to and from the gym or as casual wear with jeans. The pockets are a bit too small to be useful – my phone fits but it doesn’t seem secure. Even though its a cropped hoodie it hits your waist at a really nice length and with high waisted jeans/leggings you aren’t showing too much midriff. I’ve already got a lot of wear out of this one and am contemplating getting it in another colour.
And that brings us to the end of our little haul. I’m quickly going to talk about shipping… not the speediest (we’re talking 7 days minimum) but comes with a little note thanking you for supporting the brand which is so lovely!
If you do get anything from them, want to see more pics of what they look like, if you liked this post, if you want to see more like this lemme know over on Instagram:
When you are trying to lose fat or are trying to eat healthily holidays become a bit difficult. While you want to enjoy yourself you also don’t want to let your habits slip or lose any progress you might have made. The reality is that one week of eating “badly” is not going to have a lasting impact. That being said you can still do little things to make a difference. I went on holiday with every intention of eating super healthy and going to the gym at the hotel loads…when I got there however this didn’t really happen.
I started the holiday super healthy – fruit and veg being the main component of every meal – and I ended the holiday with the majority of my plate being deep-fried food.
This post is a sort of food diary with a few things I found helped me to stay on track while still enjoying myself.
Up at 3:00am (ouch) at the airport by 4:30am breakfast at 5. I do not cope well with early starts, who does! If I don’t eat within a certain amount of time after I get up I feel really sick and if I am travelling will be sick so it was really important that I had breakfast. So we went into wetherspoons. Now I know what you’re thinking ‘spoons is not the healthiest BUT they did this delicious granola with berries and yoghurt.
We got to the hotel around midday which only meant one thing… LUNCH! The hotel wewere staying in ran an all-inclusive buffet for lunch as well as for breakfast and dinner. For my first lunch I had a salad with some salami, chargrilled veg, cheese and afocaccia style olive bread roll followed by chocolate cake with strawberries.
After a lazy afternoon by the pool before dinner I decided to investigate the gym. Obviously the main attraction for people for this sort of holiday is not to spends hours in the gym so it was only a little one. A couple of treadmills a bike and a few strength machines as well as a selection of dumbbells is not a lot to choose from. That being said you can still get a killer workout just using dumbbells. After a short upper body session it was back to the room to get ready for dinner.
Dinner was a bit random. I just picked up a little bit of everything that I fancied. Spring rolls, scampi, a prawn, paella and carrots. Then dessert. Apple tart and pineapple. For every meal during the holiday I had some sort of fruit for dessert. My way of convincing myself I was being ever so slightly healthy.
First experience of the breakfast. Naturally I had to try lots of different bits. So I started with a plate of fruit (thereI go being healthy again) and followed it up with a couple of pancakes with strawberry sauce and a chocolate muffin (bye bye healthy).
Lazing around all day by the pool is such hard work I had to reward myself with lunch. Seafood paella – which apparently needed translating to fish rice – and focaccia. I didn’t have any dessert this time because I wasn’t too hungry. Not only did I only have one plate of food but after a lazy afternoon I went to the gym again! This time to do a lower body workout. Again I just used dumbbells but I was still stiff the next day.
Dinner consisted of fish, chargrilled veg and deep-fried cauliflower. Now I know what you’re thinking deep fried cauliflower sounds weird but honestly it was delicious even if it’s not particularly good for you. Although I didn’t photograph it I followed this up with a bowl of fruit (and maybe some cake I can’t remember…so there was probably cake).
Given that I ate pretty much the same thing for breakfast every day I didn’t think it would be worth boring you with photos of the same thing constantly so we will move straight on to lunch. Another plate of fish with vegetables but also focaccia and the deep-fried cauliflower. The main issue I had with the buffet was the lack of vegetable options. There were plenty of meat, fish and potato based things but there was only ever one or two vegetable choices which made life a bit tricky.
The hotel ran a variety of activities during the day to keep everyone entertained and in an attempt to get people up and moving and in the afternoon there was a game of water-polo which I joined in with. Not the most active game of water-polo but it did at least get me off my sun bed and doing something different.
For dinner I helped myself to half a plate of mixed veg which mostly consisted of carrots with deep-fried cauliflower (I had a lot of deep fried cauliflower this holiday ok it was soooo yummy) marinated pork and cheese. Again I’m sure there was a plate of cake and fruit after this but I was starting to forget to photograph things…
Same breakfast as usual. Lunch was probably paella and who knows what I had for dinner. I didn’t document any of my food all day, but there is more to life than photographing every scrap of food I eat. I did however try the aqua gym class…and I never did it again. Wasn’t really my thing and didn’t really feel like I was exercising but again I suppose it got me up and moving for an hour when other wise I probably wouldn’t have.
Again useless with documenting food but I did manage to capture my dinner. A healthy balance of chicken nuggets, fried squid, chargrilled veg and potatoes. A random selection but buffets always are!
After dinner we went for a walk down to the beach so that was my activity for the day!
Got up nice and early and headed to the beach for the morning, which made a nice change from lying beside the pool. The water was such a gorgeous colour and lovely and warm. Naturally we had to be back in time for lunch (couldn’t miss that all-inclusive buffet) so then spent the afternoon by the pool – shock. To add a bit of variety instead of having dinner at the hotel we went into the town and had dinner at “The Travellers Inn”. I had a mahoosive pizza and a Pina colada that came with sparklers and a straw too long to drink out of in a cup with a funny face on.
Our last day. Mixed it up and went for a cooked breakfast. Instantly regretted it. Bacon was too soggy so I went back and got my usual plate of fruit. For lunch I had chips and green beans with some sort of meat (again I can’t remember what it was – my memory is truly appalling) with lots and lots of mayo. I put all that mayo to good use in the gym later and did myself a little upper body session.
For dinner I had Paella, chargrilled veg, a veggie spring roll and some calamari. Calamari is one of my most favourite foods. When I was little it was all I would eat if we went on holiday. I still will always pick it if it is on the menu. We had to get up so early the next day that breakfast wasn’t on. So I had a large Burger King when we got to the airport… epitome of health amirite. Then it was back home and back to normal life.
HOW TO HOLIDAY HEALTHILY
So what did I do to avoid being super unhealthy. One week was never going to seriously hinder me but I wanted to make an effort to not go too off track. I aimed to eat at least one portion of fruit and veg with every meal and to get up and do something active every day. As you can tell from my food diary some days were healthier and better than others but I didn’t want to stop myself from having a good time or be worrying about it constantly. Overall by the end of my holiday I felt a bit fluffier but didn’t feel significantly larger and none of my clothes felt too tight. So I would call it a success.
My gym essentials. The things that live in my gym bag and I couldn’t live without them! As a new gym goer I had no clue what I needed and over time I’ve worked out what I need to have the best workout!