Health & Fitness week| Joining the Gym.

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We are joining the Gym*.

You heard the correctly, me on a treadmill. Now, I realize that this might open the floor to some comments like, don’t be silly, you’re fine! You’re a stick with eyes!

Well let me tell you guys I don’t need it. I promise, I love you all but I’m cool with honesty, I’ve let myself go and I’m about to make it up to myself.

Furthermore, if you do ever encounter a six-foot tall stick with eyes – Run! This is not a drill people; this is the beginning of the apocalypse!

Why now?

So how come we have decided on the gym life? We’ve never gone in the gym direction as a couple before instead prior to a string of injuries and moving house we were prolific cyclers and runners. I personally, love working out when I do finally go, I just tend to like it more, outdoors.

Before I broke my ankle in 2011 I used to run for about two hours every other day all around Deptford, Greenwich, Blackheath and Lewisham but post ankle break it took me a while to get back. In fact from about 2013/14/15 I had three near stress fractures on my metatarsals and I still suffer from a lot of metatarsal pain every now and then. Especially when I’m pounding the pavement, it made running outdoors, impossible.

Josh however, unlike me isn’t so attached to the outdoor exercising life, in fact when I met Josh he was a full blown gym addict. He of course was super excited about going back, its where he feels comfortable getting a full workout.

My unexpected reaction

I won’t fob you off, when Josh suggested it, I cried in the middle of our kitchen. A strong reaction right? But I realized that feeling ‘big’ can be a big restriction in feeling comfortable enough to attend. Would I be judged? I’d met enough mean girls from attending an all girls school to encounter some more shouldn’t have been a problem… Luckily for me I have my best friend boo who has been a committed gym goer for ages to put my mind at ease. She let me know that most are so wrapped up in what they are doing they won’t be noticing me.

Now, I can’t lie I have done an awful lot of googling this past week or so to get the lay of the land. Especially since part of the problem is just that I have no idea what I am doing, but we all have to start somewhere, and this is going to be mine, deep breath, lets do it….

*We joined! Its was strange and all kinds of odd….

The Weekend | Wellness & Health Pamper Saturday….

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The best thing you can do for yourself tomorrow morning? Give yourself a time out to look after yourself.

Last weekend we chose to give ourselves a weekend at home to finish up a few more things in our living room and just have the weekend off. In reality we barely got any chores done because we were too busy resting, but thats ok too and here is how it went . . .

YOGA

I’ve been a little out of it in terms of exercise but I have been focusing on building strength and balance rather than focusing on quick fixes. Yoga has been great for me in terms of flexibility and strength and I’ve been trying to do a different practice every other day. Last Saturday it was improving posture and shoulders, thursday was core and tuesday was legs…etc It certainly won’t transform me overnight but I’d rather I implemented a practice I could keep.

Body Scrub

2016 marked the year of proper skincare but interestingly I’ve never been good with the rest of me. I have surgery scars that the moment they occurred everyone told me to cover in vitamin E and all that but its just never been something I’ve been that bothered with, so four years later they really are still there but I have been playing around with body scrubs. Especially since we still haven’t gotten a bath, its as close to relaxation and candles as I’m ever gonna get.

Here I’ve used both a foot scrub (It smells of peppermint!) and a hand scrub which in the winter season really helps to minimise all that dry skin!

Face Masks

Last year I found this Face Mask from Loreal+  I really love the Charcoal mask but because I take it off with a hot flannel I’m always worried I’m leaving parts of it in my pores so I like to follow it up with Estee’s Nightwear detox mask.

Moisturise….

Once you’ve stripped all the oils you have to put them all back in! I also like giving myself a good amount of time for this to sink in. As we were at home that day I also used the advanced night eye cream, which I love. This thicker, gel like consistency sinks in quickly and I hate to say it but my eyes feel better for it, whether its working or not.  Followed up by daywear which is my go to for the winter months.

As a body moisturiser I’ve recently been using this moisture spray from sanctuary, its really light and absorbs quite quickly making it quick and simple for those like me who are on the go.

Eat Well

In another effort to feel better I’ve been dropping carbs in and out of my diet to find the best balance for me. I’m not allergic or anything like that, but my ibs is happier with less carbs, so a hearty breakfast last weekend was half an avocado, an egg (best poached) and some bacon, delicious, easy and simple.

The best way to continue a weekend like this is of course, a daily walk, afternoon naps and plenty of movies, but if you aren’t good with weepy films don’t foolishly start The Choice thinking it will be all daisies and buttercups… not the case.

Me and Josh are still recovering now 😉

 

 

Friday Feelings | Is enough, enough? A case for minimalism.

The living room & Harry Potter world

(Our living room in the beginning of construction/overhaul – I’m not sure we’d even seen this much of our floor in a long while!) 

When I went to university I only took as much as would fit into my dads Volvo. I had my basics, a couple of books, dvd’s my kitchen and bathroom stuff and a couple of weeks of clothes.

For months, I never felt like I didn’t have enough. I didn’t go clothes shopping, I didn’t need to and although after a few months I shopped again and things changed as I went back to work (I didn’t work the first year of university, or the last) but I bought more, but never as much I have now, never as much as I had a teen but the reality of this story is this, I never needed for more, and I was happier, with less.

I’m bringing this up because Josh and myself are so sick of having so much stuff. We’ve just done over our living room, including the floor and as we went to put all our stuff back in the room, we refused to. Instead we wanted to chuck most of it out.

Currently upstairs in our house is a mess. I feel suffocated by all these things, now that I know how it feels downstairs with just a few things.

I’ve not gained happiness by having more stuff. Instead I’ve crowded myself more instead. I’m not saying that we are going to sit in an empty, minimalist house but we are certainly looking to have less, buy less and hopefully be happier in effect.

It starts with having a shopping ban on fast fashion in the home and on clothes but also on food and other little things, beauty products, make up. Actually focus the stuff factor to what I actually need rather than a lot of things to make myself feel better.

That money we save gets to go towards our savings again and our time gets given back to us as well. I for one am looking forward to seeing the white spaces in my wardrobe again and on that note, less time spent in shops and more time living.

The most interesting part of this is that prior to the last wedding year we had achieved this goal, we had been so focused on living over stuff and I’m sad to realize it didn’t stick properly. I’m not looking to downsize our house and live in a shoe box, live in empty rooms, true, current minimalism isn’t me either but its finding a happy in between, its finding true to us happiness in what we have and what we do.

As we go on this journey it will be interesting to see the little ways our lives change from now to living more simply, of course I will share it all here and I’m thinking it will of course re start in my wardrobe.

Friday Fashion recap & New Years Resolutions?

2016 in review

I’ve always been terrible when it comes to making new years resolutions. There has been the odd year where I have made some but none where I have actually kept them and fulfilled my plan.

This year however, honestly I feel like I have some to make and some to keep, whether I will or not I guess I have to tell you them to keep some accountability.

Educate myself

As the wedding planning ebbed away this came to me almost fully formed, I want to go back to educating myself a little. In particular, I want to finally learn to code. In secondary school I learnt basic coding on terrible programs like Dreamweaver but now I know I really need to get to grasps with HTML and be able to apply that to my graphics for work and this blog.

I also want to touch up my graphics knowledge. Although I don’t use that knowledge on this blog that much (mainly because I don’t have a decent enough computer to cope with Photoshop or even elements.) I have about 12 years experience but I really want to hone it in and learn more about using the newer tools.

Saving

To assist myself with this I am also planning on saving up for a new basic laptop.

Currently I have an eight year old Toshiba laptop which is crazy clunky and needs an external hard drive attached to work faster than a snail and then I have my MacBook pro. This is only 4 years old and I am writing on it right now however, it is almost out of storage and really I can’t delete enough off of it to give myself enough space for Photoshop and everything else I need so my plan is to get a new one which can cope with Photoshop and all the other programs I need.

On the savings front I am also tempted to join bloggers like Jesse Coulter on having a spending freeze on things like clothes and home wears. Something, which really became apparent this Christmas is we really don’t need anymore home wear stuff. At first it was super exciting because we had this big house which looked empty but ultimately we have plenty now and really don’t want to cramp our house anymore.

We have just painted and laid new floors in our living room and after having emptied the room we have ended up putting less than half of the stuff that was in there back in. Since then it’s really opened up the space again and feels like a breath of fresh air with so much less stuff!

With this in mind I am really thinking it would be good to stop spending for a while put that money towards a new laptop and furthering my graphic design/HTML knowledge.

Continuing to get out more and spend more time being active

Planning everything during the last two years kept us stuck inside and our bodies and minds have felt worse for it. In response, at the end of last year I started walking into work in the morning, adding a further 20 minutes exercise into my day and I have really seen the mental and physical benefits.

I think it will also be nice for Josh and me. Two years ago we spent vast amounts of time on cycle rides and walks and just taking in life outside of the TV and the living room and it really defined us as people so being more active again with walking, cycling, yoga and exploring our new village will really bring us back to that place of comfort and health.

That is really it for this years resolutions they are all rather easy and achievable and this year I am determined to follow through! Picture wise, as above I barely shared any outfit posts this past year so hopefully we can also rectify that as well!

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Friday Fashion Feelings | Your emotions v.s getting dressed

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When you write about anything long enough you start to see patterns and trends. Heavens even your topics can get a little staid.

In blogs the worst you find is, “I went to Nordstrom last week and fell in love with this little striped…” yeah, sure you did, simple sponsored post. For me I have begun seeing a different type of pattern, a pattern about staring into a wardrobe void and coming up blank.

The reality is on a day where I can barely get off the couch or string a sentence together is the same day I can’t get dressed either. When my head feels messy or my house is messy, when I feel claustrophobic from our tiny office and trains the less inventive I become, the less inspired, the more monotony of my day to day life the harder it can be to be, ‘creative’.

This outfit is the personification of a bad dressing day. See if you give me date night, I’ll give you my khaki suede pencil skirt and burgundy peep hole shirt with orange suede boots and I’m happy. That is easy and fun but for a casual Sunday? A walk for coffee and a trek through a field and I’m stuck. I’m not a casual dresser. I have friends who can just pull on jeans, a t-shirt and cardigan and just look polished, effortless and cool but I’m not one of those people, if I dress casual then I look casual, nothing polished about it.

So what I am finding on repeat is the struggle of getting dressed when I’m emotionally tired and when I feel a little cramped and for a big word, suffocated. Part of that person starts to struggle with the idea of getting dressed.

Another part of that is not seeing the wood from the trees when it comes to endless fabric and little definition. In contrast this lack of space has led myself and Josh to consider switching up my wardrobe and honestly has led me to consider how we can better manage our stuff and our space to give us the most mental space as possible.

I began to realize that often what we our capable of writing and putting on or body is often influenced by other external factors and how we live. In terms of a wardrobe it can be as simple as undertaking the 30 for 30 or a capsule wardrobe and for others it could be re organizing our space, giving ourselves more breathing room and in terms of the blog… maybe that means making time for sharing reality v.s. sponsored, v.s. posed.

Food & Health | Health Kickstart at breakfast

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Last week we took off two days before the bank holiday so we could give ourselves a much needed break. Unlike our usual stay-cations where we cram in as much as possible this was the short holiday where we decided that we wouldn’t do anything.

It also happened to be the last weekend of eating whatever we want before our self-imposed four month wedding diet kicked in. (By now it has and I’m probably a craving mess right now.) Something we both noticed by three days in however was that although sometimes its nice to forget the rules completely your body also needs to be nourished and looked after as well. The bread might taste great but the body sometimes needs recalibration.

Starting with breakfast and a run on Monday morning we were getting back on track and this right here is the best way to kick start it. Porridge, Linseed, Honey, Banana, Cinnamon and pumpkin seeds. Throw in as much water as possible and peppermint tea and you’ve got yourself a party of good eats! Now ask me this again next week and it might be a different story . . .
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Happiness is … time for baking

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Fudge topped brownies 

(Who just needs brownies when you can have fudge sauce on top as well? Also I made both of these with pre mix because I just didn’t have time for full on stuff! I have zero judgement for using pre mix)

I can have the most insanely filled weekends but fitting in, baking or watching a girlie movie or even reading a magazine can instantly turn busy insanity around to a relaxed weekend.

With a wedding on the horizon our weekends are getting more and more jam packed (especially once we add in gardening!) but this weekend we had my lovely sister in law around and Joshes best friend in the world Paul around meaning in the course of one day we managed to get some shopping in, a frappe stop off, pick up some of the suits for the wedding as well as de weeding the front garden and of course baking fudgy brownies and cookies…

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These are my particular favourites. I mix nigellas recipe for double chocolate cookies and then I either put a caramel button in the centre or this time a piece of malteasers chocolate. They taste amazing and are also ridiculously fun and relatively simple! Next time I am tempted to add popping candy (Joshes favourite thing) so this is what happiness looks like this week, baking cookies and watching the second season of Grace and Frankie on Netflix (love this show so much!)

The Weekend | Happiness is . . .

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It might sound obvious but finding time off on the weekend has not always been that easy for me. Although in the past I’ve been known to be a homebody as an adult I took on some many side projects that filling the weekend was more than easy to do.

Since moving we have slowed this down and have found more downtime in our weekends for relaxed fun. This weekend we spent saturday literally running errands and napping. Although we did fit in a quick walk around the village as the sun went down which was amazing.

On Sunday however we weren’t so certain what the day would hold. We started off with some fruit and cooked breakfast before heading off to a national trust property in Sevenoaks. Unfortunately it turned out that everyone else had had a similar idea so not long after we found ourselves in Tonbridge. Getting out of the house seems to be a key component for feeling happy. There is really little better than time spent wondering with Josh before coming home to paint our fence in the sunshine.

This weeks happiness therefore was simple. Happiness is . . . doing very little at all.

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