Monday, 31 March 2014

This Week I... #5

(image course: weheartit)
This week I've been focusing a lot on my personal style, thinking about what clothes I wear, and whether my wardrobe and personal style is really where I want it to be at this moment in time. I've never had a massive focus on clothing and fashion in my life, despite loving reading blog after blog of outfit posts and what's currently in fashion. I guess it's because I've never really known where to start, and have opted to buy clothes I like on other people, or items that are on sale on whims instead of really sitting down and thinking about what suits both my body shape and my lifestyle. As much as I wish it were true, I do not lead a life where I can totter about metropolitan cities in heels and beautifully effortless outfits, brunching with friends and not having to worry about exercise or fitness as I have a metabolism the speed of light.

Instead, the lifestyle which I lead (which I absolutely adore I would like to add!) is one of working a 9-5 job, exercising every day, and socialising with my boyfriend, my friends and my family at the weekends. Whether that may be heading into Coventry town centre or into Central London, or maybe being curled up in bed, making the most of not having to do anything that weekend.

What I've noticed recently however, is that whenever I look in my wardrobe I always feel really uninspired and bleh about the clothes that I have, and whilst I have my favourite outfits I still don't think that really know how to dress in a way that shows my personality and who I am. I needed to sit down and figure out the style of clothes which I really love, and also have a good think about the things I do day to day, to ensure that when I am buying clothes in the future, they will be ones that are both practical and pretty, and that I will get maximum use out of instead of sitting in my wardrobe waiting for the right occasion that never actually comes.

Helping my do all of this is INTO MIND - a blogger soully focused on helping her readers develop and perfect their own personal style in a minimalistic and unwasteful way, whilst capturing everything which they love about fashion and fitting it in with the lifestyle they have.
I think I must have read Anuschuka's blog back-to-back 20 times already since I discovered it, and I am yet to find a post which hasn't been insightful and beautifully well-written. Whether you want to give your wardrobe a mini update, or are like me where you are still wandering around stores picking up things without any real knowledge of what suits you in your entirety - I 100% think that everyone will be able to take something away from this piece of the internet.

Not sure whether it's worth a read, or is relevant to you? Check out this post and I'm sure you'll be instantly intrigued! :)

It's not every often I find a blog which resounds with me as much as this one has, so I couldn't help but dedicate a post to it! I've already started following her advice. I have revitalised my Pinterest account to enable me to capture images and outfits which I love, hopefully giving me a starting point to uncovering what really works for me, and I have also started to work through my closet space sorting the things which I love and wear, from things which whilst I may adore, I just don't get the use out of any more...

I'm planning on doing little updates every couple of weeks or so, so keep a look out if you're interested! I also have things up for sale on eBay - more things will be added soon!

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Out & About | The Simply Health #backcareevent

Hot Yoga was big news in the second half of 2013, and the trend has definitely continued into 2014 with many-a person attending a Hot Yoga class popping up on my social feeds over the past few months or so. I’m a sucker for heat and whilst I am yet to sweat it out yoga-style, I was lucky enough to attend a Hot Pilates class recently as part of Simply Health’s #backcareevent.
It was probably the sunniest day of the year so far when I pottered around Covent Garden pre-event having arrived a little early. It was so lovely to be out and about in a denim shirt and leggings, with sunglasses shielding my eyes from the sun. Naturally I treated myself to an Iced Tea and sat people-watching for a little before heading over to the Yotopia Yoga Studio located around the corner.
arrived to a super warm greeting from the Simply Health and Greenlight teams, and got myself changed before heading into the room where _______ Amy Slevin would lead the class. The room was already at ____ degrees when we laid down our yoga mats, although I have to say it wasn't quite as hot as I expected it to be! That said, I think I was expecting it to be volcano-like so don't think that it wasn't still super toasty!
Amy was brilliant at taking us through the various positions throughout the class, and was great at explaining how they benefited you too! One of the parts which I found particularly useful was finding where your centre of balance was when you were both standing and sitting by rocking side-to-side, and forward and backwards. It was surprising how off balance you can be even when you are just standing still! It's made me think so much more about my balance and body posture when I do weights and I've really noticed a difference with how I feel when I lift, and I hopefully it means that I am being safer when exercising and reducing my chances of injury. I've heard of so many people getting back injuries in particular from incorrect for so it's something that's really important to me! The heat also allows your muscles to stretch more which has a two-fold effect as it helps increase flexibility but also means that you have to engage your core a lot more to help control your body in all of the positions making it an awesome workout! There are also many other benefits for doing Hot Pilates as well so if you want to read more about it then click here. :)

I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed the Simply Health #backcareevent - I just wish that I had the opportunity to chat more to some of the other bloggers who attended! I've spoken to so many of them on Twitter and read their blogs so it was a shame that everyone had to go their separate ways... Maybe next time eh? :)

Have you ever tried Hot Pilates or even a Hot Yoga class? Let me know what you thought of it!


Tuesday, 18 March 2014

A New Obsession | Kate Spade

I have a new obsession. Outside of the health and fitness world, it's not very often that I find something new that I am well and truly excited about. A new type of workout or recipe and I'm all over it, but it's much less frequent that I find things outside of this that really grab my attention for any length of time...

Kate Spade with all it's storytale-esque quotes and gorgeous designs has broken that trend.

It all stemmed from a trip to the Bicester Outlet Village last weekend (a very dangerous place for anyone who likes pretty things at cheaper prices I would like to add!). The boyf and I mooched in and out of various designer stores that neither of us could justify affording anything in, but enjoyed the sun and the change of scenery nonetheless. I had of course heard of Kate Spade before but hadn't really thought anything of the brand in all honesty, never really paying much attention when their phone cases popped up on my Facebook or Twitter feeds.
But dear Lord when I walked into that store I wanted everything!! It didn't help the fact I was in a spending mood after my car decided to break on me and I had decided in my mind that I needed something to cheer me up. I stepped through the door and was hit by the most gorgeous fragrance that reminded me a little of the smell that lingers in lingerie shops like Victoria's Secret and Boux Avenue - but even better - and the shelves on my right had an assortment of the most beautiful bags in the most perfect shapes, sizes and colours. It was love at first sight.

Upon looking around the store more I saw even more beautiful accessories, all of which I decided at that moment that I needed in my life - from bracelets to purses to bags to perfume. I MUST have them all!
Unfortunately my bank balance did not agree with me on this one, no matter how much I wanted it to, but that didn't stop me from walking out empty handed. Nope, over 20 minutes later after oo-ing, ahhing and umm-ing, I walked out of the store almost £200 poorer and a great big Kate Spade branded carrier bag resting proudly on my shoulder. I had 'accidentally' bought a new handbag. But despite me now living on frozen veg and other rather unexciting meal choices until next payday I don't actually regret it one bit, something extremely surprising for someone who would never usually even spend £30 on a bag without some serious contemplating about whether it was 'sensible' for me to buy it, or whether I 'really needed it'.
I went into a standard Kate Spade store the day after when I was in London for the Simply Health #backcareevent to see if I really did like the products as much as I did in the factory outlet, and yep that love for the brand and all of it's creations were still there. The colours, designs, the little quirky quotes and other brand characteristics all suit me down to a T, and I can genuinely see it being a brand that will always feature on wish lists for years to come. Naturally I've created a little mini-wish list of bits and pieces that I'm lusting after already, just in case... ;)
Yes I know there's a theme, but it all looks so cute and girly! There are also some absolutely divine handbags, but seeing as I already have enough for now, it's the accessories' turn to shine.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Spring Clean Your Diet!

So we're finally into the first few days of Spring! Last weekend in particular showed both sides of how Spring tends to be with glorious sunshine for the whole of Saturday and then horrendous downpours of rain all of Sunday. All I can say is that I'm routing for the sun!

I'm not sure about other parts of the world, but here in the UK we Brits tend to spend Spring getting bits and pieces in order, and I've decided to make it my mission this March to do the same. Hopefully by the end of the month I will have had a sort through all of my stuff and will have either sold or given away things which maybe haven't got as much love as they deserve!
Another mission I have this month is to also give my diet a Spring Clean. I've been pretty good over the past couple of months and have started to see results which I'm super happy about - but as with anything there's always room for improvement. ;) Winter is always the easiest time of the year to fall into poor eating habits as all I tend to want to eat is easy-to-cook comfort food, so my biggest goal this Spring is to try my up-most to stick to non-processed, wholesome foods!

So how am I planning to go about my self-imposed diet refresh?

  • Eat at least 3 different vegetables per meal
    With all of the lovely vegetables which are coming into season in Spring such as asparagus, spring onions (scallions) and cauliflower I want to make sure that I am taking full advantage of all of the vitamins and other nutrients that they contain. I always end up sticking to the same vegetables (red onion and tomato!) all of the time so I want to try and have as many different colours as I can on my plate!
  • Manage my meat intake
    Much like my rut of eating lots of red onion and tomato in my meals, another rut which I seem to have got myself stuck in is what meats I eat. The vast majority of the time I eat chicken or turkey - sometimes with a portion of beef thrown in there, and I honestly think that I'm starting to notice it in my diet. Since upping my cardio I've been a lot more tired lately and also a lot more achy in the joints, which I have read can be signs of iron and omega oil deficiencies so I'm going to make a lot more effort to eat a wider variety of meats. It's recommended that an adult eats two servings of fish per week, so surely I can manage that, even if it is tinned tuna!
  • Cut out Caffeine
    Since starting my placement I've fallen into the stereotypical office coffee drinker. I think I've drank more coffee in the last 3 months than I did in the whole of my second year of university! So for March it is going to stop - and hopefully long after that as well! I already have my box of green tea at my desk, so next time a caffeine craving hits, I'll be reaching for the Twinings instead of the Nescafe. If I really need an extra dose then I'll treat myself to a bog-standard cup of tea.
  • Ditch processed grains
    Okay so I'm not a big eater any more when it comes to bread, pasta etc. anyway but they have slowly started to creep back into my diet over the past few weeks. Obviously I don't want to cut out grains altogether - they're an important source of energy after all! But I have made the decision to stay away from heavily processed grain products such as bread and pasta, and only eat more 'whole' produce such as quinoa, pulses and cous cous, and even then I want them to only be a side instead of being made the main part of a meal.
Hopefully giving myself a couple of rules/reminders around what I'm eating will help me feel more refreshed than I have been feeling lately, and allow me to keep pushing myself further when I workout. It's a month today until my birthday and just under two months until I go on holiday so I need to keep my focus!! :)

If you've got any tips for spring cleaning your diet, or any other aspects of your life then leave them in the comments section below! :)

Sunday, 2 March 2014

This Week I... #4

I can't really say that this week has been all that exciting if I'm honest, although work is picking up and I have some new projects coming up which I'm really looking forward to!

One thing I think that you guys might be looking forward to though is who the winner of my Zumba giveaway... ;) Thank you to everyone who entered, I'm sure you'll all agree the prize is fantastic - I wish I could get my hands on it myself!

But without further ado, the winner is....

Helen Greenwood!! 

Congratulations Helen I hope you enjoy your prizes! The lovely people at Beige PR will be in touch shortly to arrange getting your prize to you - don't forget to let us know how you get on with them! Here is a run-down of what you've won. :)

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