Fitness

Springing into May with some workout motivation!!

As the London Marathon kicked off last Sunday, and we bore witness to the tens of thousands of people making their way around a 26.2 mile course in 24 degrees heat, I was left feeling inspired. I don’t know about you, but when big sporting events such as the Olympics, the London Marathon and Wimbledon come around, it always leaves me feeling inspired and motivated to put my trainers on, and get active in the great outdoors. Watching the likes of Mo Farah manage to complete the gruelling course and set a new UK world record, along with seeing some incredibly impressive times from friends who have trained extremely hard, to see them complete it and create new personal bests, is so inspiring –  this alone is enough to motivate me to get up and set new goals.

Another key factor in motivating me to work out? The seasons!!! As Spring has officially SPRUNG, where the days are longer, the evenings are brighter, and the temperature starts to heat up, here are my tips, for smashing that workout plan and getting back into that dreamy eye-catching bikini you had so much hope for when planning your holiday wardrobe!!

1. Get outside!

One of my favourite things about working out in the Spring, is that I get to take my workout outside!! I love nothing more than jumping out of bed, putting on my trainers and going for a morning run in the outdoors – it’s early enough that you get to see the sun creep up over the hills, feel the fresh air of the morning and take in the tranquillity of your surroundings.

Not only that, but rather than spending my lunch break cooped up in the office social area, munching on my Tupperware lunch and staring out at the gloomy clouds, I much prefer being able to head out and go for a walk for an hour, headphones in and sunglasses on. It’s great to get outside and get moving whenever you can – my Fitbit is the best reminder for me to get my steps up and keep moving, set new goals every day and join challenges with friends.

2. Make it social!

Rather than being cooped up on your own in a sweaty gym, working out through gritted teeth as you see the sun beaming outside, search for fun classes in your area where you can get outside, and enjoy with friends! I’m lucky enough to live in a beautiful little Cotswolds town where there are regular boot camps and outdoor classes that you can take part in – so drag your best friend along and enjoy the great outdoors together! Discuss your goals and keep each other up to date with how you’re doing – when you’re in it together, you’re less likely to fall off the wagon!!

3. Smoothie season!!

Nothing tastes better when the sun comes out than an ice cold berry smoothie – it works as the perfect breakfast option for me after my workout, adds a healthy and fruity vibe to my breakfast and gets me in a bright and sunny mood.

Here’s my current favourite recipe:

4. Search for fun workout plans

Stuck for ideas on your workouts? Pinterest is my trusty go-to if I’m struggling for inspiration – it’s a great place to search for workout ideas, whether that’s in the comfort of your own home, your back garden, or the gym. It also has some really fun workouts for you to do with a partner – having a workout buddy motivates me more, and I’m less likely to slack!!! Plus, workouts don’t always have to be high intensity, burpee-friendly or mega-sweat inducing – I sometimes find mixing up my workouts keeps me so much more interested, so try introducing some swimming into your weekly routine, or some Tuesday night yoga!

5. Pick your perfect spring/summer outfit

Our favourite high street stores and email reminders from the likes of ASOS have suddenly become particularly optimistic and colourful, which is a great reminder that the holiday season is upon us! In my wardrobe I like to have the perfect spring/summer outfit ready, along with a vibrant and colourful bikini which gets its annual debut on my summer holiday. To get me motivated to work out, I use these as personal goals to get into comfortably (I put on a few extra pounds over Christmas, don’t judge). Finding those things which motivate you to get into the workout zone can be just that tiny push you need to stop you hitting the snooze button, or ravaging the leftover Easter chocolate currently occupying the top shelf of the fridge!!

I’d love to hear your ideas on what motivates and inspires you to workout!!

 

Advertisements
Standard
Beauty, Lifestyle

Creating your own ‘me’ space

This may seem trivial, but I absolutely love having a space, a personal sanctuary, which is just for me. Simply just a corner in a room and a space for me to sit at, whether that’s in the mornings/evenings to conduct my beauty routine, read my latest book, find inspiration for the next blog post, or simply just to reflect. A place filled with my personal belongings, hair and beauty products, books, notebooks; you name it. I think it’s really important to create this personal space, to allow yourself that invaluable time to reflect, relax and recharge.

When I first moved in with my fiancé, our house was quite small (but cosy!!), so I used to have random boxes stuffed in the wardrobe, under the bed, under the bedside table, (wherever I could fit them, essentially) filled with my things, nothing having its own individual place. I used to be squished on the floor between the bed and the mirror, trying to do my makeup as Marcus had to quickly learn advanced acrobatics to get past me without disruption, and also trying to get himself some airtime in the mirror to do his hair.

So when we finally moved into our lovely new home, I was really excited to be able to create this ‘me’ space. Straight away, I headed to my Pinterest board (which I’ve been adding inspirational ideas to for a while now!!) and picked out the key things I knew would fit the bill. First on the agenda – storage. For all of my products, whether that’s hair, makeup, skincare, notebooks, reading books, jewellery, keepsakes, I needed storage to house all of these items, and organise them exactly how I wanted to. So we stopped by IKEA, where I had seen a gorgeous desk/dressing table combo, with a set of drawers, which fit the profile perfectly! Once I’d got these home, the next item on the agenda was to build it and set it in the corner of our second bedroom, ready for me to fill with my things.

Then comes the exciting part (for me, anyway) – organisation! Now you may have got this from previous posts already, but I’m a very organised person. I like to know exactly where everything is at all times, follow a routine and this is where I am most comfortable. I picked up these great drawer organisers from IKEA and TK Maxx, which meant I could separate out my different products and various other items, so everything had its own little home.

Once I had filled the drawers, the final touches were to decorate the exterior to make it nice and cosy… so candles were an absolute essential! I love how the scent of candles can fill a room, the warmth making it feel so cosy, and how calm and relaxed they can make you feel. I received this beautiful set of Lily Flame candles for my birthday, so this was a perfect addition to my space. I’m also slowly but surely building up a lovely collection of perfumes, so I wanted a nice ‘home’ for these, and found this gorgeous copper tray at TK Maxx (you get the theme here!) which complements the colour palette perfectly.

So there you have it – the lovely space I have created just for me, and constantly adding to. I would love to see and hear about the spaces you have created for yourselves, and how you find these moments and spaces to be calm and have time solely for you.

Standard
Health, Lifestyle

2016.. A Review

So what can I say about the year 2016… well, I would say that it hasn’t gone quite as swimmingly as I’d have hoped.. as I’m sure most of you’ll agree, and from what I’ve seen from some of the fantastically thought out meme’s that have been circling the internet, 2016 hasn’t exactly been the best year all round. We’ve lost many well-known influencers of our time, and after many political surprises, it has been an odd year, and myself, like most people are quite glad to see the back of it. However, even though there have been some peaks and troughs this year, I still thought as an end to the year, and to begin 2017, it would be quite nice to do a review of what has gone well, what maybe hasn’t gone quite so well, and what I’ve learnt along the way.

First of all, I thought I would look at the New Year’s Resolutions that I set for myself at the beginning of this year, and see how well I managed to keep them…

Eat clean and experiment with my cooking so I can enjoy healthy and delicious meals

I’ve been really good this year with experimenting with my cooking – not necessarily trying out wild and outrageous foods that I would never normally eat, but more so that I’ve been creating meals from scratch, with some exciting new recipes. One big influencer of this for me, has been Madeleine Shaw. She has such a positive outlook on food, and how it not only affects your physical body, but also how your diet can affect you mentally. I really struggle with anxiety, and one thing that has helped me with keeping this under control is focusing on eating well and keeping my body nourished. I’m sure you’ll have seen in some of my previous blog posts as well as my Instagram feed, the different recipes I have been trying out and experimenting with.

Now I won’t lie, I haven’t been completely on the band wagon with eating clean and healthy all the time. I have definitely drank far too much alcohol this year. Usually, I will eat clean during the week, and on the weekend is my allotted time to have a few well-deserved drinks and a few naughty snacks. However, this year I have found myself on several occasions having a mid-week tipple, which has inevitably led to bad food choices, such as morning bacon rolls to make my day at work more bearable, as well as heavy carbs such as pizza and pasta etc. Now don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing I’m treating myself because I do think that you need a break, and when you really feel like you need the garlic bread, you should damn well have that garlic bread! But for me, I know that I feel at my best when I’ve been sticking to a clean diet, and this keeps me on track. I have also noticed that my biggest anxiety flare ups have been when I’ve had a heavy weekend in terms of alcohol and bad food. The bad food choices have also led to weight gain, bad skin and generally feeling a bit down in the dumps, so I know that in order for me to feel good again, feel positive and in control, I need to get my diet back on track.

collage-3

Catch up with friends at least once a month

Now this one, I have done much better than I thought I would!! I have made the time to catch up with friends, and whether that’s just going for a coffee on my lunch break with a friend I haven’t seen in a while, right through to spending a weekend away with my old uni friends, I’m really pleased with how well I’ve done here. This one was really important to me, especially as the majority of my really close friends lives quite far away, so I wanted to ensure I made a conscious effort to see this through, and I’m proud to say I have and I definitely feel better for it.

Get more sleep

Now I may have slightly over committed here…!! As someone who loves sleep, I definitely think I have taken this one to a whole new level!! During the week, I used to stay up until gone 11pm, and wake up in the morning feeling groggy and lacking energy. This year, I do think I have been much more sensible, and am generally in bed by 10pm at the very latest. Other than this, my weekends are absolutely my favourite time to get some well-earned sleep in – I allow myself at least one day on a weekend where I lie in for as long as I possibly can – as well as a few mid-afternoon naps sneaking in there!

Don’t take things too seriously (I’m a serial worrier)

Now this one, I haven’t completed to its full potential. Unfortunately, due to the fact I am quite a sensitive person, an over thinker and a serial worrier, I knew this one was going to be tough, as this is pretty much ingrained in me – however, I think this is more of a long term resolution that will take time to achieve, and I need to put certain measures in place in order for me to do this, such as making more time for myself and practising mindfulness. So I don’t necessarily see this one as a failure – but more of a working progress for me to actively build upon.

What else have I achieved this year? 

Other than looking at my resolutions and how well (or not so well) I did at keeping them, I thought it would also be nice to actually look at some of the key things that I have accomplished this year that weren’t necessarily in my resolutions.

Finished my CIM Professional Diploma in Marketing

This has been an absolutely gruelling two years. Whilst my friends were out partying, and colleagues were heading down to the pub for some after work drinks, I was cooped up in an office tuning into some webinars and burying my head in a text book. Whilst everyone was chilling out on the weekend doing fun things and relaxing, I was heading into the office to hammer out my latest assignment. Whilst the world was sleeping in on a Sunday, I was up at dawn with my laptop, with only caffeine to get me through. I sacrificed the majority of my free time for this, and I’m so glad that after all my hard work, I achieved this, with merit, at the end of it. It sent my anxiety through the roof, and at times I thought about packing it all in as I simply didn’t feel it was worth it, but I’m so glad I stuck it out and now have a great qualification to help further my development for the long term.

My sister got married

This was one of the most wonderful days to date, as I watched my sister marry my now brother-in-law. It was the first time in for as long as I can remember that my whole family spent the entire day together, and it was such a lovely occasion.

collage-w

We bought at house!!

After a year of searching, going from house to house on the weekends and evenings, me and my boyfriend have finally found our own house that will be completely all ours. I feel like this is jinxing it slightly as it hasn’t completely gone through yet, but I’m far too excited not to tell you all about it. As someone who is a lover of interiors, home-ware, and real ‘project homes’, as is my boyfriend, we both really wanted a house that we could completely strip back to the bare structure and rebuild so it was our perfect home, exactly how we want it. For so long it didn’t seem this would be able to happen, as all of the houses we saw were either far too expensive, or the wrong location, wrong size etc. We’d just about given up on finding this, until one evening we just decided to go and see a house, that we didn’t even think we’d like. We both absolutely fell in love with it, and we have finally got that dream home (almost!!). So I cannot wait to get the keys and focus on building this up, so you can look forward to some blog posts and pictures on this as it progresses next year!

Travelled to new places 

Another way my anxiety affects me is when I travel. It has caused me to not enjoy my holidays sometimes. It’s incredibly frustrating because I do really love the idea of exploring new places, and I don’t want to miss out, so I’ve been trying to overcome this by travelling to as many places as possible in the hope I will get used to it!! This year has been a good year of doing this, through several mini breaks I’ve managed to fit in with friends, family and my boyfriend. These included a romantic trip to Paris, which I blogged about earlier this year, a couple of great holidays to Portugal which has become my new favourite relaxing holiday destination, as well as a long weekend in Dublin and some lovely day trips to the likes of big cities such as Birmingham and London. I want to continue to do this next year, and one of the first things I have booked is Glastonbury, which I am SO excited for!! Now don’t get me wrong – it has still been quite tough for me visiting these places, and not every moment has been wonderful as my anxiety seems to catch me out of the blue at the worst of times, but it is something I am working on, and I’m so proud of myself for pushing through these moments, and coming out the other side feeling just a little better every time.

collage

Looking ahead…

As I said at the beginning of this year, I don’t want to set myself up for a fall, or encroach silly resolutions onto myself that I know I won’t be able to keep. I’d rather set some general resolutions, which aren’t so strict and that I can look at them in a positive way and be excited about, rather than be filled with dread at the thought that I’m going to have to give something up. So here are the general goals/resolutions I have set myself for this year:

Blog at least once a month

Blogging is something that I have found I really really enjoy doing. I love creating my own content, on areas that interest me, using my own photos and completely finding my own platform and outlet to be creative. I haven’t been great this year at keeping up regularly with my blog, and I really need to ensure that this year I MAKE the time to sit down, plan my blogs and find time to write them too. Too many times, I’ve been in bed about to go to sleep and have a sudden idea, and so I don’t forget it, quickly sit up for 20 minutes and write a rough draft, or I’m out and about and think of an idea, but then I busy myself with something else and completely forget it. I really need to put some time aside to develop these ideas, and ensure I keep up with my blog as much as I can.

Budget better

Now this year I managed to completely clear my overdraft from my university days, which I was so so happy about. It completely lifted a weight off my shoulders, as I knew that I was debt free in terms of my general day to day bank account. However, I made the rash mistake of applying for a credit card – my reasoning behind it was for any unplanned emergencies where I needed to pay for something, or if I was booking a holiday that I could pay off over a couple of months. This seemed relatively sensible at the time, however I’ve ended up using it for everything, so I’m pretty much in the same position I was in at the beginning of the year!! So in 2017, I plan to budget much more effectively in order to pay this off, and get that worry off my shoulders.

Make more time for myself

This is something I really need to do more of. I need to look after myself a lot more than I am currently doing, and set aside time to completely relax and chill out – whether that’s taking a relaxing bath to reflect on the day, attending a yoga class to relax myself and bring about positive energy, getting myself lost in a book – this is about taking my own time to be calm, self-reflect and ensure that I am feeling as relaxed and positive as I can be, and wind down in the best way possible. Again, this is something that should help to keep my anxiety under control, and I know from experience this has worked previously, so I am really looking forward to spending more time looking after me.

Start and end the day with a positive thought (write it down!)

I started this at the beginning of this year, and actually this really did help. Even if it was just 2 minutes of sitting there and reflecting on my day, thinking about what I was grateful for, really made me feel much better. It helped clear my mind about everything bad that may have happened that day as it helped to focus my mind on the good, so I really want to ensure that I practice this again. It really does only take 2 minutes to do, so I have no excuse not to stick to it!!!

collage-4

So there you have it – my year in review, and what I hope to achieve for 2017. I’d love to know your thoughts, and any resolutions you might have also.

Standard