Beauty, Lifestyle

Destressing after a busy week…. Time to hit the Twilight Spa

If I have a busy and stressful week, whether that’s to do with work, studying or anything else that may have cropped up, I hate entering my weekend with that stress still weighing heavily upon my shoulders. I like to thoroughly enjoy my weekends, making them as stress-free and care-free as possible. The weekend is my ‘me time’… To truly relax and rejuvenate, so when Sunday night comes around, I feel recharged and ready to take on whatever the week ahead has in store for me.

Now for most of us, when 5pm hits on Friday, we have that exhilarating feeling that now, we are free, and the weekend has begun. We can leave work with a spring in our step and start to celebrate this next two days of bliss. For me, I used to destress by going to the pub after work, enjoying a few drinks with my work colleagues which inevitably led to dinner, more drinks and then stumbling into bed at around 12am. Now whilst at the time, I thought I was letting my hair down and destressing, in the morning it was an entirely different story. I wake up feeling groggy, a bit heavy-headed and with absolutely no energy. I’d waste the best part of my Saturday in bed, watching trash tv and sipping on a cup of coffee. The stresses of that previous week are still playing on my mind, and I don’t feel like I’m truly relaxed and ready to go. Now don’t get me wrong, to some this would be the ideal way to spend a Saturday. But for me, as quite a generally anxious and stressed person, This isn’t the best way for me to leave the week behind. This is something I only discovered recently, when I started to truly try to take care of myself , so I started to try to make some changes to the way I destress after a busy week, so that I could really enjoy my weekends. This week, I found myself lucky enough to be heading to a spa evening with one of my best friends, and to me this was absolutely the perfect way to spend my Friday night.

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As we entered the spa, we were greeted by a friendly therapist who sat us both down in the dining area, with a glorious cup of tea and handed us our complimentary robes and towels, with a list of treatments for us to enjoy. We had both pre-booked a relaxing body scrub, and I was SO looking forward to it!! We had an hour until our treatments, so we chose to relax for half an hour in the outdoor jacuzzi. I couldn’t help but feel the sense of glee that this is how I was spending my evening.

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We then took a slow walk up to the treatment area, where I was greeted by my lovely therapist for evening, and the indulged in a 30 minute glorious body scrub. This is the moment where I could truly let my mind switch off, focus on my breathing and surroundings, and truly begin to relax.

I then made my way to the relaxation room, where I was offered some refreshing cucumber and mint water, reclined on the most comfortable seats, and treated myself to a catch up on the latest edition of Elle magazine. I relaxed here for about half an hour until my friend came out from her treatment, and we then made our way to the main dining area, where we sat with yet more refreshing cucumber water and relaxed even further.

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We were then invited to dinner at the spa’s restaurant, so we got ready and made our way across the courtyard. As we walked in, we were greeted by the smell and heat of a roaring fire, candlelit tables and a warm, comforting yet buzzing atmosphere – straight away falling into the comfort of the dining chairs, we sat down and ordered a delicious dinner. We treated ourselves to some delicious haddock fish cakes (pictured below!!) with sautéed spinach and poached egg, followed by some mango and passion fruit sorbet decorated with rich berries. We devoured our delicious dinner, then relaxed for half an hour, soaking up our surroundings and truly enjoying our evening.

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I arrived home at 10pm, feeling completely relaxed, fell into bed in a blissful 8 hour sleep, and woke up this morning completely refreshed, relaxed and ready to start my weekend.

That’s my way to destress after a busy week, and for me this is sheer bliss. I’d love to hear how all of you end your working week, and enter your weekends stress-free.

 

 

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Lifestyle

When In Paris… 

Now if you’ve been following me on Instagram or Snapchat, you will have seen that I’ve been spending the last week exploring the wonders of Paris!! So I thought this week, I will share with you my experiences, my recommendations and also, my top tips if you’re ever to make the journey (which I strongly recommend!!)

Accommodation

We were lucky enough to stay in a lovely hotel right in the centre of Paris, where we were in the centre of all the buzz and able to walk to most places. Even on a budget, it is possible to find a reasonably priced hotel right in the centre of everything, so I would certainly recommend doing this if you can. From the moment we stepped into our hotel, we felt like we were on a movie set- now this, of course was the theme of our hotel- each floor had a theme of a famous movie director, and each hotel room had a theme of a particular movie, which was pretty incredible. Ours was rocky balboa, much to my boyfriends delight! When we enter the hotel, were greeted by two very friendly and welcoming receptionists, who were pleased to accommodate our every request, and give us their best recommendations- as newbies to the area, we knew the great tourist attractions that we wanted to attend, however we had no idea where to eat, what the best way to get to certain places were, and where the best views would be.

Places to eat

Now as you walk along the boulevards of Paris, there are endless places to stop and eat, drink and have a socialise- so many in fact, it’s hard to know which to choose from. One slightly awkward experience was going into what claimed to be a ‘Thai restaurant’, however nothing on the menu seemed to actually reflect any form of Thai food, so we made a swift exit once the waiter turned his back!! We soon realised the best thing to do would be to ask the locals. We became friendly with the reception team at our hotel who gave us their very best tips on where to eat, and where would not rip us off (after all this is a huge tourist attraction and businesses can really capitalise on this). Our hotel recommended a traditional French restaurant called Le Mesturet. We entered the restaurant and it was packed- always a good sign. Even though we hadn’t booked, the waiting staff sat us down in the waiting area with some complimentary snacks whilst we waited for a table, which took only ten minutes. Once we were sat down, we had the waiters full attention, and shortly realising we were English tourists (we stood out like a beacon), he talked us through the menu for our ease. Now as you can see from the photos, they aren’t shy with their portion sizes, and this was truly value for money, so I would definitely recommend getting some tips from the locals if you are unsure on where to go.

Getting around 

You have multiple choices for getting around, including walking, the metro and taxis. Personally, I love to sightsee, and I believe the only way to do that is by walking as much as you can, to see and soak up as much of the French culture as possible. On day two, I convinced my boyfriend how lovely it would be to walk (in the rain I must add!) from the Eiffel Tower to the Louvre, which took a good hour.. We saw some wonderful sights along the river, walked through some beautiful Parisian streets and the Louvre gardens which were idyllic and picturesque. The only downside was once we arrived… unfortunately they’d closed it for the day, so I had to do some extreme grovelling!!

The metro, again is another great way around- it’s quick and easy, and also very cheap if you’re on a budget. You do just have to be careful for pickpockets and beggars on this form of transport- at times I did feel quite uncomfortable, so I would always definitely choose walking over the metro, if I am able to. Taxi, again is another form of great transport. It is however, quite a luxury – the price can be extremely high, especially when the traffic is bad which in Paris, can be very similar to London. So my advice is to buy some good trainers (if anything it’s the perfect excuse to make a purchase!!) and walk as much as you can, so you truly get to experience the beautiful Paris.

Places to visit

Now there are too many beautiful places that we visited for me to name on here, but there are a couple that stood out for me. First of all, was the Notre Dame. It was completely free entry, and absolutely breathtaking inside. As you can see from the pictures, the whole place was completely majestic and there’s so much history there. I love even the smell of old buildings, you can feel the history coming alive inside.

Another place I absolutely loved was the louvre. I never really knew what to expect, as I hadn’t actually done much research on it- being quite naive, I knew the Mona Lisa was there but that’s about it!! And truly there was so much more to see- some incredible pieces from some incredible eras – my personal favourites being the African, Georgian Era and the Egyptian history. I’ve placed a few of my favourite pieces below for you to see here too. This place truly blew me away with the amount of art and history contained within it.

And last but never least, is the iconic Eiffel Tower. Now unfortunately for us, it started to rain just as we began our tour, but it didn’t spoil the true beauty and history that surrounded us. We had a friendly tour guide who introduced some history behind the Eiffel Tower, who then left us to our own devices whilst we were there to explore by ourselves. We bravely chose to take the lift to the very top floor (eek!) which was quite scary as I’m not the best person to be around when it comes to heights. But the views were truly breathtaking, to see the entirety of Paris at this level, literally watching the city continue its day.


So there you have it- my glorious experiences over a three day trip to the city of love. And what a wondrous place it was.

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Health, Lifestyle

What a beautiful day to be outside… Beer garden, anyone? 

That right there, is the one sentence that absolutely cripples me, and my clean living lifestyle. Days like today, where it’s such a gorgeous day, are a rarity in the UK, so as a proud member of the British public, we all don our sandals and shorts and embrace the glorious sunshine. Weather like this, I truly believe brings the positivity out of the grumpiest of people. On a day like this, I wake up feeling happy and positive, soaking up the gorgeous surroundings. Going out for my morning run in this weather is a delight- there is still a slight frost and chill in the air, but the sun is just starting to rise and I feel like the morning is waking up with me, on its own terms. I can truly take advantage of the fresh morning air and the stunning surroundings at this time, and again this is another thing I love about running in the mornings- it’s extremely refreshing and rejuvenating, and I feel like I’ve had my share of the gorgeous outdoors, before entering an air conditioned office for the hours of 9-5.

This is the season where I enjoy ice cold beverages and summer salads, and being outdoors, so really it’s the perfect weather to complement my clean living lifestyle, which I thoroughly enjoy. However – there is one sentence, one suggestion, and one question that cripples all of my good intentions- “what a beautiful day to be outside – beer garden, anyone?”

This weather, although beautiful, mood-lifting and heart-warming, makes me crave a cold glass of rose in the sun, socialising with friends. Now, we all know how high and dangerous the sugar content of alcohol can be (I choose to remain oblivious when it suits me, I won’t lie to you) and how it can ruin that clean lifestyle a lot of us are trying to live.

Now one of my biggest downfalls is the minute I have a lovely glass of my favourite summer beverage, all willpower goes out the window and I find myself tucking into a glorious portion of nachos, thinking “oh I’ll be okay tomorrow”.

How very wrong I am. I suffer the consequences when I wake up with a dull head, a horrid heavy feeling in my stomach and craving a bacon sandwich, and to me, there is no worse feeling. I absolutely love waking up feeling fresh with a clear head, ready and raring to put my trainers on and tackle the day ahead, and this groggy feeling completely gazzumps any plans I may have previously had.

Now please don’t get me wrong, I’m all for relaxing, letting my hair down and if I really want that refreshing glass of rose, I’m going to have it if it’s the last thing I do!! But I do need to remind myself how I feel afterwards, the after effects the next day, and the repercussions of this questionable habit.

Now, how do I get past this, do you ask? I know it sounds silly but, as long as I have a beverage of some sort in my hand, I don’t feel like I’m missing out. A cool glass of lime and soda provides me with a satisfying refreshment, as well as not feeling like I’m missing out on socialising. I arrive home at a sociable hour, resist the cravings of greasy food, and I don’t wake up feeling up feeling groggy and moody. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I won’t every drink socially again. But what I am saying is, you don’t always have to feel like you need to join in the bad habits to have a great time socialising with friends, and compromising your own wellness journey whilst you’re at it.

Now that’s one of the ways I choose to avoid those tempting yet unhealthy scenarios, and I’d love to hear yours.

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Lifestyle

Five Ways To Have A Really Great Week

So, let’s start this post with the fantastic feeling that right now, we are in the midst of bank holiday Monday. So right now, every other Monday, we would have all come home, feeling tired from our first day of work. So, let us celebrate with this extra glorious day …. Happy Monday!!!!

Now for the downfalls – for the majority of us, tomorrow is work. Yes, we may have had a fantastic weekend, regardless of whether that consisted of us going out and about, being extremely productive to make sure we made the most of our extra day, or on the other hand, chilling on the sofa and watching reruns of the kardashians (guilty). Whatever you’ve done this weekend, it’s been a great long weekend.

But now the week ahead is looming, and for the majority of us, that Sunday feeling is creeping up. So, here are my ways to ensure you have a really great start to the week, and remain positive about the week ahead;

FOOD PREP
Now for me, I love clean eating and nourishing my body with clean and natural foods. There is nothing worse for me than waking up in the morning and realising I’ve done nothing to prepare. So, why should it be such an effort to prep my food for the week ahead? I spent my Sunday baking Madeleine Shaw’s Coconut & Apricot granola. This took me about 25 minutes, from prep, to cooking time, to being completely ready to eat, so there’s breakfast sorted.

For lunch, I like to have some seasoned chicken or salmon, with lots of veg. I like to know everything I eat is feeding my body with clean and nourishing ingredients. Again, this does not take a lot to prepare.So take 10 minutes to season your meat/fish and throw it in the oven for 30 minutes- and whilst you’re at it, put some frozen veg in the fridge over night ready for tomorrow. It’s a lazy girl’s guide to healthy eating, but as long as you’re nourishing your body, who cares how you do it?

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ORGANISE MY OUTFITS FOR THE WEEK
Now, one thing I love, is to feel great in everything I wear. One of my favourite TV shows is Suits, and one of the reasons is because they all dress so impeccably, and I truly believe that if you feel like you look fabulous, that confidence exudes out of you.

So I like to not only plan my outfits, but ensure I prepare each day’s look. I love to get them ready, side by side, Monday to Friday so I know as soon as I wake up, I’m ready for the day ahead.

WORKOUT
During the working week, my favourite workout time is first thing in the morning, before I get ready for work. As soon as I hit the pavement in my running shoes, it allows me to take in my surroundings, inhale the fresh morning air and be with my own thoughts. I finish my morning run feeling satisfied, ready and raring to go for the day ahead.

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PAMPER YOURSELF
Taking care of yourself is so important. So for me, a good evening pamper is an absolute must. Whether this is a soothing facial, a relaxing manicure or just taking a moment to read a chapter of my favourite book, I like to do something so that when I wake up on Monday morning, I feel ready for the week ahead and feel like I’ve given time to take care of myself.

WRITE DOWN ONE POSITIVE THING EVERY DAY
Now I know this sounds cheesy, but one of my New Years resolutions was to write down one positive thing every morning and every evening. And for me, this has really helped me start and end my day feeling thankful and positive. This morning’s positive thought, like I’m sure most of you felt the same, was “I’m so thankful that we have an extra day to relax and recharge ready for the week ahead.” Personally, if I write it down I feel like I’m giving myself some ‘me time’ so I can self-reflect and take care of myself.

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So there you have it- my top five ways to have a really great start to the week. I’d love to hear yours.

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