Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Weekly Love #8



1. Pub Quiz

On Tuesday evening, I went for a catch up to the pub quiz at The Woodstock in Didsbury, with my friend Laura and a few others. When we used to live in Didsbury we were always at this pub, but I hadn't been in so long. I love a pub quiz too, and recently was saying that I wanted to go to a regular one. This one was quite hard, but we had a brain box on our team (although, I did quite well in the music round if I do say so myself) and it was great to catch up with one of my closest friends.


2. Boxing

After trying rock climbing a few weeks ago, I decided that I wanted to start doing more activities and incorporate them into my fitness routine. I've always fancied boxing, so when I saw that Bell's Gym in Altrincham were doing a taster session, I signed me and my friend Jacinta up. What I didn't realise was that it was a HIIT circuits class. I've never done HIIT before from fear that I might pass out, but I actually really enjoyed it. It was only 30 minutes, but we did 8 different exercises 3 times and I'm still hurting today (Sunday) whilst I write this!


3. Dough

On Friday evening we had a work night out to Dough Pizza Kitchen in Manchester. I hadn't been for a few years, but I remembered how nice the pizzas are, and being quite the food addict, I jumped at the chance of going - and obviously to spend quality time with my colleagues... I had the Piccante which was amazing and had chilli, parma ham and chorizo! The last time we all went out was for our Christmas do but I had to leave early as I was going to Hamburg the next day, so it was great to have a longer night out with everyone.


4. Come Dine With Me

On Saturday we had our next 'Alphabet Come Dine With Me' at my friend Siobhan's house. The letter was N and she did Nepalese food. We ended up getting a takeaway from a place in Chorlton which was amazing. We had poppadoms and dips to start and momo's (a sort of meat filled dumpling), two different types of stir-fry meat, a lamb curry, deep-fried naan bread and rice. If you're observant, you'll realise that the last time we did CDWM it was the letter O for Oman and if you know the alphabet you'll realise that O comes after N, but due to people being busy and work commitments, we had to do it this way round!


5. Walk

On Sunday afternoon, a group of us went for a walk to Styal Mill with my friend Sophie's dog, Ferryn, who I hadn't met. She was adorable and such a good dog to go for a walk with! It was nice to get outside in the open and do something a bit different as a group, plus the walk itself was lovely. It was raining a bit on and off but that didn't really bother us, and definitely didn't bother the dog!


6. Roast Dinner

After the walk on Sunday we went for a roast to a pub called The Ship, which was about 5 minutes away from Styal. It'd been a while since I'd been out for a roast dinner and this one was one to write home about - it was amazing. We ended up spending over 3 hours in the pub just catching up and putting the world to rights. I had a roast dinner wrapped up in a Yorkshire pudding (let's just take a minute to think about that...) and a sticky toffee pudding for dessert. A great way to end a Sunday!


7. Sorting Out My Life

As we'll be moving soon, and I don't have any full free weekends, I decided that it would be a good time to go through all my drawers and get rid of the paperwork that I didn't need anymore. I managed to go through 6 drawers and it felt so good to actually make a start on it. I've got a long way to go, but it made me feel less worried about it - and I found so many nice memories from over the years in there. Sometimes it pays to be a hoarder.

xx

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Friday, 24 February 2017

8 Little Life Changes


We're coming up to the end of February (try and remain calm...) but that does mean that we are almost 1/6th through the year. I decided to write this blog today to let you in on some of the little changes I have been making in my life to show myself some self-care and love, but also to make me a happier, healthier individual.

These are a mixture of food, beauty, and healthcare, and I'd love to know what you've been doing too!

1. Yoga

You might remember that at the start of the year I mentioned that I was starting yoga... well we're almost at the end of month 2 of the year, and I think I've only missed one class - plus, that was to go rock climbing so I think that's allowed... The yoga class I go to is on a Saturday morning, so it really sets you up for the weekend, and the teacher is really helpful. I used to get embarrassed when I fell over from time to time, but now I just feel as though everyone is in the same boat, and sometimes you have to fall down to get back up stronger!

2. Sleep

I'm one of those people who feels so tired throughout the day, yet when it comes to actually going to sleep, could spend the next hour watching YouTube videos or scrolling aimlessly through instagram. At the moment I am trying to limit the amount I watch right before I fall asleep, and read for 15-20 minutes to switch off. I've also started listening to the sound of rain (I use an app called rain rain, original...) when I am about to drift off, and I find this really helps me to fall into a deeper sleep quicker.

3. Cutting Caffeine

I always wake up in the night, period. I've always just thought that everyone did, but it turns out the majority of people I talk to tend to sleep through. When I started listening to rain sounds and reading before bed but I was still waking up 2 or 3 times during the night, I started to think that maybe it was down to having a cup of tea before bed. I'm not sure how much caffeine there is in tea, or whether it's all in my head, but I started to drink decaf tea in the evening (i.e. any time after 8pm) and I swear it's made the difference. Although I still wake up in the night (usually because of my tiny bladder of my boyfriend's inability to shake a cold) it's usually only the once!

4. Food Changes

I have a lot of friends who are vegetarian and vegan, and although I agree with many of the reasons for their choices, I still find that with my lifestyle, it wouldn't really suit me. That said, I have started eating much less meat and diary and try to limit myself during the week - every little helps! Recently as well, after being to a few different health blogging events, I've really started to care what I'm putting into my body. I'm never going to be the sort of person who sticks to a strict diet and doesn't allow themselves chocolate or pizza, and I still tend to eat what I want now and again... but the main change is, what I am 'wanting' to eat are foods that are slightly healthier, or high in vitamins or protein-rich because I know they're doing me more good on the inside.

5. Slow Down

I have quite a reactive personality, which basically means as soon as I think of something, I usually go and do it, but this can also mean that I sometimes can burn the candle at both ends. Because I'm not getting any younger, I've really started to listen to my body, and if I'm feeling tired I'll relax for the evening instead of going out which has helped me value my time in a different way. It's also helped me save a bit of money which is an added bonus!

6. Make Time For You

Last week I took myself for a massage at my auntie's salon and it felt so good to have some time that was just for me. Even though I do yoga, I'm terrible at stretching after the gym or in the morning so my muscles get tight really easily. Not only did the massage relieve stress (which I also suffer from) but it allowed me to switch off for an hour and just be pampered which we all need every once in while.

7. Don't Beat Yourself Up

Life is hard - there I said it: What a cliché, but it's true. Sometimes we get so down and out about the things we haven't achieved by a certain age, or that someone else is more successful, or thinner or bought a house first or is married; but in reality, we need to not be so hard on ourselves. Life is different for every single person on this earth, and that's the beauty of it. We also need to remember that the life that people portray on social media, probably doesn't include just having an argument with your boyfriend, or feeling bloated because you're on your period, or crying for no reason because you saw a sad advert. Don't beat yourself up over the little things, it isn't worth it.

8. Aveeno Moisturising Oil

I wanted to mention this product because it has been a game changer for me. Last year is the year that I started getting more into beauty and skincare, and up to this point, I never really bothered with all over moisturisers after I got out of the shower because I hated the way they felt on my skin. I was bought this Aveeno moisturising oil (with almond oil) for Christmas, and I've used it every day since. It smells absolutely amazing, and it absorbs so quickly that I never have the problem of clothes sticking to me after I've applied this. Definitely a recommendation from me!

Have you made any changes to your life this year?

xx

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Monday, 20 February 2017

Weekly Love #7



1. Massage

My auntie has recently taken over a salon in Alderley Edge (called Cheshire Beauty if you're wondering) and offered me a complimentary treatment. On Tuesday I decided to take her up on the offer and went for a full body massage. The salon is right in the centre of Alderley Edge and it smelt amazing - think air diffusers, scented Neom candles, and massage oils. The treatment lasted around 45 minutes and was amazing. It reminded me that we all need to take a bit of time out for some self-care every now and again.


2. Baked Eggs

For as long as I can remember, I've seen recipes for baked eggs pop up all over the place, but I'd never actually tried making them even though I love eggs. Last week I found myself buying a book dedicated to cooking with eggs (I know, wild child, calm down...) and found a pretty easy recipe to follow as I am quite inept in the kitchen. We had it for dinner on Thursday after a very stressful day, and it was so easy to do! I can't wait to do it more often and discover other dishes to try from my book. Maybe I'll start the #eggupdate hashtag... (but probably not for my sanity...)


3. Jack Whitehall

On Wednesday I had a very intriguing text from a friend saying he had a spare ticket to Jack Whitehall on Friday night. If you've known me for any length of time, you'll know that I absolutely love him as a comedian and actor so I jumped at the chance to see him again. We saw him about 3 years ago at the MEN and he didn't disappoint this time either! His support act was also really good.


4. Artisan Market

If you know me, you'll know I love a good food market. This weekend was the monthly Artisan Market in Wilmslow, so me and my boyfriend took a trip over that way on Saturday afternoon and met up with my Mum and my Nan and had a browse around the market. It turned out to be quite a lovely day weather-wise as well so really enjoyable overall. Plus, I will always welcome free samples of food!


5. Birthdays

On Saturday night I went in to Manchester for one of my oldest and dearest friend Emily's birthday. We started at Eastern Bloc Records in the Northern Quarter and then onto Ply. It was a really nice group out and all of her friends who I hadn't met before were lovely. I also managed to have a catch up with some of my favourite girls which always makes my weekends better.


6. Fashion Network 

On Friday lunchtime, I noticed that my latest blog had been shared on the Fashion Network facebook page which has over 5,000 unique likes. I'm not sure where they saw my post, but I was really chuffed that they had decided to share it. Sorry for the shameless self-promotion but it did make me really happy knowing that a brand like that wanted to share it!


7. Curling Wand

On Monday afternoon, I came home to a parcel from Salon Success. I'd seen on a couple of blogger's posts recently that they were sent the curling wand kit to try out by Paul Mitchell, and I was lucky enough to have one too (as well as really love smelling hairspray and a brush). Because I didn't have any proper plans during the week that warranted curly hair, I waited until Saturday to try it out, and it didn't disappoint. The actual wand is a gorgeous copper colour and it heated up really quickly. I'm used to using a wand, so I found it easy to use and didn't burn my fingers once #bonus. If you're looking for a new styling wand, this one is out later this month.


8. Chapter One

I mentioned a few weeks ago that Hannah and myself had gone for tea and cake at Chapter One in the Northern Quarter and it was my new favourite place. Well on Sunday, I decided to head there again with her and my other friend Africa. I opted for a regular breakfast tea (because I panicked as I was fixated on the cakes) and a slice of Earl Grey lemon drizzle which sounded intriguing. The overall vibe of Chapter One is really chilled and we sat right next to the fire which was lovely as it was quite drizzly in Manchester. A lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon.


xx

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Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Fashion | 7 Bloggers Who Are Killing It


Killing it is an expression right? Am I cool if I use it?

I'll carry on...

London fashion week is upon us, colour is actually making a comeback, and it feels as though the fashion bloggersphere is really upping its content in terms of the photography we're seeing all over the place. I for one absolutely love following fashion accounts and I think it's refreshing seeing real girls modelling clothes rather than size 6 stick insects with bony backs.

For me, I want to know that the clothes I fancy buying look good on curves and girls with bigger legs, real figures etc. I think that's one of the reasons the blogging world has become so big in recent years and celebrity endorsements are slowly dying out.

And on that note, these girls are ultimate goals right now (I'll stop with the 14-year-old lingo I promise...)


1. Samantha Maria

You wouldn't know that this mega-babe had a baby in December (who btw is one of the cutest babies I have ever seen) because she is back up and running in the world of fashion. She is a beautiful girl inside and out with a fashion sense that is muted, yet adds a dash of colour here and there. One of her new year's resolutions was to be more adventurous with her style, and I for one can't wait to see what she wears next.



2. Hello October

Suzie is the queen of skinny jeans and oversized shirts and is a petite princess. Her style is effortlessly cool and she looks amazing in everything she wears. She did a really interesting post called 'saying hello to 2017' where she used previously taken photos of her in a bikini on a beach in Costa Rica (I know... how the other half live...) and looks incredible. It's refreshing seeing real curves on the internet!



3. In The Frow

I couldn't not mention Victoria as she's a fellow Northerner and even went to my uni! Victoria works with some amazing high-end and high-street brands and makes all her clothes look especially cool. It may help that her boyfriend is a photographer and can make her look great in everything, but it's definitely her innate style that shines through in his photography.



4. Shot From The Street

I've followed Lizzie's blog for about a year now when I discovered she was a fellow Manchester blogger. She brings a new meaning to the word 'grunge' in 2k17; think darker photography, lots of earthy tones and bucket loads of attitude and you've got Lizzie posing on the streets of Manchester, putting us Northern girls on the map. Her personal style shows off that she is not afraid to mismatch prints, wear fur and trainers yet still rock the 'cat mother' poses.



5. Frock Me I'm Famous

Hayley is the epitome of girly fashion, and it's fair to say her embroidered jackets, polka dot dresses and adorable floral prints are becoming her statement look. She is someone who isn't afraid to wear colour or experiment with her style and her wardrobe is second to none. I love the fact that she mixes up prints in a world full of monochrome.



6. The Elle Next Door

Maybe I like Ellie's blog because she has the same name as me... maybe it didn't cross my mind... who knows? Think a lot of pastel tones yet bright, bold photos to match, and you've got Ellie's blog down to a tee. Another great mix of high-end and cheaper pieces - a bit of something for everyone.



7. I Covet Thee

I only discovered Alix's blog just before Christmas, but I'm already in love. Her photography style is what every blogger dreams of, and she has a style that I love - it's very wearable, understated, yet stylish and she makes even just a striped Breton t-shirt look amazing. Alix is also a mega-babe for not shying away from her gorgeous curvy figure, flaunting it in high waisted jeans and bardot tops. Also, is it just me, or does she have a look of Drew Barrymore?


Which fashion accounts are you loving at the moment?


xx

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Sunday, 12 February 2017

Weekly Love #6


1. Strictly Come Dancing

Way back in December, my cousin asked if I wanted to go and see the live tour of Strictly Come Dancing in Liverpool as a Christmas present for my Mum and my Nan. Even though I've never watched the programme in my life I said yes because I love spending time with my family (especially when it's all of the girls!) However, when Tuesday came around this week, I felt as though I really couldn't be bothered going all the way to Liverpool to see the show and almost cancelled, but I knew I'd enjoy myself once I was there so we battled through rush hour traffic and made our way to the Echo Arena. I didn't know what to expect from the show (except dancing of course) but I absolutely loved it. I can't explain it properly (and the two glasses of wine I'd had might have helped slightly) but it was just amazing and my whole family had a really good time. There was a competition throughout the night and the contestants did their two favourite dances from the show, with Louise Redknapp winning the glitter disco ball (and my favourite Ed Balls coming runner up). It's definitely encouraged me to watch the show when it's back on TV later in the year and was a really great way to start the week.


2. Liverpool

You may or may not know this about me, but I am half scouse! My mum was born there and I still have a bit of family over that way. I hadn't been to the city for a good couple of years (the last time was for a leaving do) and it had been even longer since I'd visited the docks. When we went on Tuesday evening for Strictly, although we only spent a few hours there, I realised how much I loved Liverpool as a city and how much it had changed over the years. We ate at Smuggler's Cove on the docks which had a mixture of everything. I shared a deli board and some chips (and wine) with my cousin and the food was lovely and good value. I definitely want to go back to my second city and spend more time there this year.


3. Eat Kaizen

On Wednesday me and a few of my blogger friends went to the launch of Eat:Kaizen which is a healthy food place in Altrincham. I loved not having to go all the way into Manchester for a launch and have people come to my hometown! It's a really good addition to the ever-changing face of Altrincham and I can't wait to go back soon. The owners were really lovely, the staff were very attentive, and the food was really good too! I also got to catch up with some of my favourite health and fitness bloggers, which is always a plus.


4. Victoria Baths

On Friday evening, me and Hannah went to see '10 Things I Hate About You' as part of the pop-up cinema at Victoria Baths. I'd only ever seen pictures of this venue, but I'd always been intrigued to go; so when I saw that they were doing a valentine's special, I thought it was a great opportunity. The venue was so cool, and the film has always been one of my favourites making it even better. Plus we had blankets, coats, scarves and enough food to feed a small army, so it was nice to be all wrapped up. Little tip - if you do find yourself here in winter, wrap up warm because it is freezing!


5. Things To Come

If you follow me on Twitter or Snapchat, you might have seen me hinting about things I have planned for this little blog. I've said from the start of the year that I want to put more effort into my space on the internet, and I hope to continue to do so. I've even got some external work planned which will see me writing something longer than a blog post but I've got to keep it quiet for now!


6. War Dogs

On Saturday night we decided to stay in and have a film night. I'm not a massive film buff, but I'd heard really good things about War Dogs, plus I really like Jonah Hill. When I couldn't convince the other half to watch 'Bridget Jones' Baby' we both agreed on this and I really enjoyed it. For some reason in my head I thought it was a comedy, and although there are funny bits, it's more of a action-drama. If you haven't seen it, give it a watch; plus, it's based on a true story which I always think is pretty cool.


7. Flapjacks

To go with the film on Saturday night, I decided to whip up something in the kitchen. If you know me, you'll know that 1. I have the biggest sweet tooth ever, and 2. I love baking! I found this recipe online, but decided to use more honey and less oats so they would be really gooey. They only needed 10-12 minutes in the oven, which was perfect for me because I am pretty impatient when it comes to food! (Apologies for the awful picture!)


8. Katy Perry's New Song

On my way home from work on Friday night, I heard Katy Perry's new song 'Chained to the Rhythm'. I am a huge KP fan and have seen her in concert a couple of times, so I am pretty damn happy that she is back!


xx

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Friday, 10 February 2017

Travel | The 10 Lessons I've Learnt From My Travels


I wouldn't call myself a traveller by any means. I've been to a few places around the globe yes... but I've never had the experience of packing up for a few months, living out of a backpack and making friends with strangers... The opportunity has never really arisen for me. I mean I've had the option when I dropped out of university, but I felt as though I needed to get a job before I went back to study in order to survive the big wide world: I had the option when I finished university a few years later, but I went straight into full-time work and I am still here today: I have the option every time I get paid to uproot my life and not look back, but I have a boyfriend, friends, family and bills to pay - so it never really seemed like the responsible choice.

Travelling is one of those things that has always appealed, and something that I know I will do one day. I mean heck, it says in my blog bio that I have incurable wanderlust (or on checking, it definitely used to) which in some sense is true. Almost every day now I post a picture on my instagram of somewhere I have been in the world or want to visit, and I am glued to Sky Scanner in my spare time just planning my next trip. It wasn't until a couple of years ago that I realised how important visiting new places is to me, and how much it helps you grow as a person to experience new cultures, foods and ways of life. I completely agree with the expression, 'Travel is the only thing you pay for that makes you richer' (unless you know, you buy the winning lottery ticket)

Although I haven't travelled far and wide to all the corners of the earth in my lifetime, what I have done in the last few years though is taken a fair few short breaks here and there which have not only allowed me to experience new and exciting places in the world, but also taught me some 'tricks of the trade' when it comes to travelling (and allowed me to keep my job and my holiday allowance).

One day I will see the world though, mark my words!

1. Do your research!

Quite a straightforward one really, but honestly, the amount of people I have spoken to who don't research where they are going before they go, astounds me. Yes, there is much to be said about not having a plan when you go away, but surely something attracted you to that destination? Research what is around where you are staying, where the best places to eat are, where to go at night, free things to do, walking tours, how to get to the beach, where to get brunch etc.

2. Have some sort of plan

On the same note, having things grouped together by day makes it easier for you to navigate around and spend your time wisely. Have a look what tourist spots are close together, and do them all on the same day to maximise your time on your travels. Bus tours are a great way to see a city and you can usually get 1-2 day tickets which let you hop on and off as many times as you like. I tend to spend one morning/afternoon getting my bearings and then from there I know where to go the next few days and the easiest and quickest way to get there.

3. Make a note of how to get from the airport

I mention this one because there have been numerous occasions where I have ended up in a brand new city without the foggiest idea how to get to where I am staying (like the time me and my friend convinced everyone we were on the right train to Amsterdam and ended up in Den Hague, which evidently does not mean 'the centre'). It's easy when you are younger as you just follow your parents out of the airport and just go with the flow, and even when you are a young adult going on your first holiday without your parents, chances are you'll have a really organised friend who has booked a minibus, or a coach, or if you're really lucky, your hotel might have arranged a transfer already. But if you want my advice, check how to get from the airport to the city centre and book ahead if you can because if you're anything like me and book the cheapest flight going, Ryanair do not fly to the city's main airport!

4. Have a look at the weather

I'm a sucker for googling 'what's the weather like in [insert city] in [insert month]' and just taking it word for word, but the fact of the matter is, global warming is playing havoc with our weather every year, so you can almost guarantee that the weather won't be the same as it was in 2014. Use iPhone weather, or the met office updates and only have a look a couple of days before you go because, like everything in this world, it won't stay the same for long.

5. Leave some time to aimlessly wander

I did mention before that having a rough idea of things to see if a good way of getting the most out of your time, but some of my favourite holiday memories are those where I didn't have a plan. Getting lost in a new city is a great way to see the real sites that aren't in your lonely planet guide (as long as you have google maps ready and waiting to get you back to your hotel) and you'll be surprised at all the beautiful side streets and interesting places to see that are just off the beaten track. This is a great way as well to not spend a fortune on restaurants that just hike the price up for being in a touristy area.

6. Don't forget your adapter

Pretty self-explanatory. If you want to be able to charge your phone, use your laptop and straighten your hair, make sure you pack your adapter (and also make sure it's the right one for the continent you're going to so you're not searching the airport in a sleep-deprived state at 6 am right before your flight to Oslo...)

7. Ask people for the recommendations

In this crazy social-media-obsessed world, the chances are that someone you have in your network has been to where you are going. I love hearing people's travel stories and recommendations for places I'm about to visit, so ask friends, family or just people on twitter for their suggestions. Sometimes the best finds come from right under your nose.

8. Only pack what you're going to wear

I am the worst at this, but I find I am getting better the more I go abroad. Also, I'm not one of those people who takes a year to pack for a three-night trip away. I literally will pack the day before because A) I don't know what the weather is going to be up until that point (see point 4) B) I tend to write a list of things on my phone when I think of them so want to leave packing until the last minute C) I usually use all the makeup and skincare products I want to take with me up until the morning of my flight so I can't pack them anyway! Aim to plan your outfits based on the weather so you don't over pack (or at least try not to...) and always travel in comfy clothes, remembering how cold the UK is bound to be when you get back!

9. Only pack what you're going to use

I decided to add this in as a separate point after what happened to me when I went to Germany in December. After going to Oslo only a couple of weeks before and not being able to fit a lot in the plastic bag they give you, I decided to be clever and buy my own clear makeup bag off Amazon for my upcoming trip. Except no... you aren't allowed to do that - you have to use the bag they give you. Because of this, I ended up having to throw my deodorant, shampoo, conditioner and mini moisturiser away which meant having to replace them in the airport 5 minutes later; not ideal when you think you have the answer! My advice is, only pack what you know you are going to use; there's no point in packing your whole night time skin routine because you'll probably be too exhausted to do it all anyway! Also, be warned that all your liquids cannot exceed 1 litre altogether; but you'll never get 10 x 100ml bottles in one of the bags anyway so yeah...

10. Film your travels

A picture speaks a thousand words... it sure does, but do you know what speaks two thousand words? A video! This is something that I don't think I've ever done, but definitely something I am going to inflict on everyone that comes away with me from 2017 onwards! Not only are travel vlogs one of my favourite to watch on YouTube, but now I have a decent camera, I want to be able to relive all of my experiences through video as well as pictures. Even if it's just a few seconds on your phone or a saved Snapchat story, think about how great it'll be to play back at a later date.

xx

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This post was written in collaboration with GoEuro.co.uk for their #travellessons blogger competition - wish me luck! Find out more information here. All views are my own. 
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Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Beauty | Rejuvenate Clinic


I've mentioned in a couple of favourite posts that I was invited in to try out a non-surgical treatment at Rejuvenate clinic, just outside of the Northern Quarter in Manchester, before Christmas. I was contacted by Leena, the clinic manager, to undertake a complimentary treatment, and as my friend Hannah had done so previously, I was interested to see what the clinic was all about.

Rejuvenate specialise in non-surgical, non-invasive treatments, and have been doing so since 2012 with 3 main lines of skincare treatments, hair removal and slimming, cellulite and stretch mark ones. Their mantra is helping people feel better in their own skin, which I think is refreshing in a world full of lip fillers, botox and plastic faces, and they aim to educate their clients in terms of skin and body care so that they have a better understanding overall. One of their main USP's is that they tailor make their treatment courses to suit their clients so that they get the results they are looking for. The products they use do not contain any soap, SLS or parabens, which if you are involved in the beauty world, you will know that a lot of companies receive bad press for using these ingredients.

The first time I went to the clinic, I was welcomed by Leena and shown around. She gave me a quick tour, and then we sat in one of the treatment rooms and discussed the treatments I was interested about. I had previously had a look on the website and decided that a slimming wrap or an undereye treatment sounded very intriguing, especially because I have tried so many different products on my dark circles, but nothing has seemed to reduce them. After being told that this treatment usually works best with a course of 3-6 visits, I opted for the slimming wrap which I was equally interested in. Also, with it being the week after Christmas, I still had a few extra pounds hanging about from all the cheese and wine, so I thought anything that might slim me down and detoxify my body was probably the best option for me.

We spent about 30 minutes talking me through the treatment, what others thought of it, what the main benefits were and how long it would take - Leena definitely knows her stuff! We then took a note of my measurements, body fat percentage, weight and water intake and she went through all the safety precautions for the treatment. As I had somewhere to be that evening, I made an appointment for a couple of weeks later.


When I went back for the appointment last week, I was so exhausted from work (even though it was only a Wednesday) and in a bad mood from the traffic to Manchester being so busy. Despite this, me and Leena had a lovely catch up and she talked me through how the procedure would work. We went upstairs to the treatment room and I had my measurements taken from three different parts of my tummy - where my belly button is, 2cm below, and 2cm above. She also did my weight etc. again.

It was then time for the treatment...

Leena told me that she was going to rub some slimming gel over my tummy, and then she wrapped my midriff in what felt like clingfilm and unzipped the 'body bag' as I kept referring to it as. I then lay inside the blanket, between two more sheets of plastic. Leena asked whether I wanted to have my arms inside or outside of the bag, so I chose inside and looked like a little floating head. She then gave me a sip of water and turned the machine on.

The overall aim of the treatment is to sweat out all of the toxins and excess water in the body by being exposed to extreme heat: Most people can only stay inside the blanket for about 30 minutes and are monitored throughout the experience by a member of staff checking on them and offering water. The amount of heat will depend on how you're feeling throughout and whether you can withstand high temperatures in general which are usually between 40-70 degrees. Being someone who is always cold, I absolutely loved the heat and managed to keep dozing off during the time I was in there. I also had spa-esque music playing as well, and I actually found the whole experience quite relaxing - exactly what I needed after a stressful day.


When I was inside the blanket, I could tell that my body was sweating, but I didn't feel sweaty, which I wasn't expecting. When the blanket was unzipped after the 30 minutes, however, I was absolutely dripping. I was really surprised with how much I had sweated throughout because like I said, I just didn't feel sweaty - it was quite an odd sensation. I had some water straight afterwards and was advised by Leena to keep drinking plenty throughout the evening.

When I got re-measured afterwards, I was a little disheartened to learn that I had only lost 1cm from the biggest part of my tummy - but hey, 1cm is better than nothing, and overall I felt as though my body was refreshed and cleaner on the inside (even though I was dripping in sweat). Obviously, every person is different, and Leena mentioned that she had had some clients who have lost up to 3-4cm on their stomachs, and some who have not lost anything at all - it's just the way your body reacts.

The treatment I had usually costs £59 and is a great quick fix if you need to lose a little bit of water weight before a party, wedding or holiday. In my mind, I feel like I might have lost more if I have undergone more than one treatment, so a course of 3-6 may be better for the long run.

Rejuvenate do all kinds of different treatments, all of which are non-invasive and non-surgical, which I think is a massive plus for this kind of market. The clinic itself is very bright and inviting, and all of the staff are professionals and put you totally at ease. If you would like to find out more about the treatments they offer or prices, visit their site here

xx

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Thank you to Leena and Rejuvenate for my complimentary treatment. All views are my own. 
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Sunday, 5 February 2017

Weekly Love #5


1. Rock Climbing

Because my friend Hannah is a fitness blogger, she gets invited to all kinds of cool events, rock climbing included. On Saturday we headed to Rock Over Climbing just on the outskirts of the city centre for their blogging workshop. This had been in the diary for a while so I've had it to look forward to for a few weeks. I hadn't rock climbed since year 7, and as I was so rubbish then, I was hoping that I would be marginally better this time around. I've always been the first to admit that I have no upper body strength, but I actually surprised myself at how high I got. It was tough, but the instructors were really good and patient with us and the rest of the group were lovely. It was really inspiring meeting bloggers who solely focus on fitness (although I did feel a bit out of my depth every so often) and it was interesting to go to an event which was much different to what I'm used to. 100% something that I'll be doing again.


2. Old Friends

On Saturday night I went for dinner with some of my 'home' friends; I call them that because they are the people that I've grown up with from around my home town, not people who I have met at university or through work. One of my 'sort of sort of not' new year's resolutions was to make more time for older friends as they're the ones who know me the best. We all had our world turned upside down together last year, so I think it's important to spend quality time with people who understand what each other is going through. We had burgers, beers and cocktails, and it was such a lovely evening with some of my favourite people. Can't wait for the next one!


3. Friday Night Club

This Friday evening was the first time me and my boyfriend had managed to chill out just the two of us since the start of the year. Obviously we've seen each other, but it felt like quality time and wasn't rushed by us needing to go anywhere. We had good food, good wine and a really relaxing evening of just talking and it was exactly what I needed after a full of week of work. Definitely one of the things I want to do more of this year and a really lovely way to start a chilled weekend.


4. Maker's Market

This is a market that we have been going to since they started back when we were renting a flat in Didsbury in 2014. This particular market was in Knutsford, and is my favourite one. There is a really good mixture of food, drink, arts and craft stalls, and every other person has a dog, which is always a massive plus for me. We ate pies, pizza, macaroons and had samples of lots of different cheeses whilst drinking homemade lemonade. This has become a monthly tradition of ours, but we hadn't had it to a market since October, so it had been a while!


5. Candescent Lip Balms

I don't know if you know this about me, but I have constantly dry and chapped lips. They get worse in the winter, but they're always pretty bad, meaning I always have to have at least two lip balms on me at all times. I was contacted by Candescent Shop, who asked me whether I would like to try their new collection which are homemade with beeswax, coconut oil and vitamin E, and I thought why the hell not! Because they're so lovely, they sent me 4 to try, and so far I have become obsessed with the orange one. It's infused with orange oil and just smells amazing. Definitely a brand you should try out if you're into natural beauty products.


6. Chilled Sunday

I spent Sunday afternoon catching up on YouTube videos, writing this blog and having a nap, and it was great. I'm all about chilled Sunday's but recently I haven't had the down time that I really love, and it was great just to have some 'me' time and just relax. January managed to be quite a full on month which I wasn't really expecting, so it's been nice not to have as many plans for February and focus on myself and what's coming up for the rest of the year.

Happy Sunday everyone!

xx

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Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Travel | Christmas in Germany


Remember when I went to Hamburg back in December? No? Me either... it feels like so long ago. I have been meaning to write this blog now for a good two months, but as Christmas, New Year and all those other bits got in between, I've only really found the time now to sit down and really talk to you about it.

This hasn't been a post I wanted to rush, because it was such a great trip, and I wanted to make sure it came across in that way - although I have had to read Hannah's post (which is a good job I did because I almost forgot about the guy who dressed as Santa, tried to give me 60p for no apparent reason and was obviously stoned out of his face on a 7am flight!) upload all my pictures to Facebook, and look through them all to remind myself of everything we did. Woe is me hey?...

Me and Hannah (from Hannah gets Hench) booked this trip way back in August 2016 so we'd have something to look forward to come December i.e. freezing cold temperatures and lots and lots of layering. It seemed as though it was quite a popular destination for bloggers in Winter as a couple of girls we both knew, went the month before us which only made me more excited (and a few visited after we'd come back too!)

We chose Hamburg because 1).the flights were ridiculously cheap, thank you Ryanair! 2) I'd never been to Germany before despite being voted 'most likely to marry a German' in year 11 (it was a private joke relating to our German teacher at the time, who I can hold my hands up and say I did not marry...) and 3) because where else does better and more authentic Christmas markets than the home of Christmas itself?

Our little trip started the evening before as we ate pizza, drank bucks fizz and had a sleepover in preparation for our 6.40am flight. We stayed for two nights at the 'Ibis Centrum' which was right near the train station, and only a 15 minute walk into the city. The hotel itself was lovely, and although we took a while finding our room in our sleep deprived state, it was a good base to explore.

When we first got there we toyed with the idea of having a nap, but instead decided that a proper German bratwurst was more up our street (again, no pun intended...) but ended up in a cute little cafe just opposite one of the markets. After fuelling up on mulled wine, we wandered around the fishing ports, through the markets and to St. Michaelis Church which had a carol service on. We stopped off for another mulled wine at the biggest market, Weihnachtsmarkt, and then went back to the hotel to get changed.


I'd been recommended Hamburg's version of the red light district, Reeperbahn, so we decided to jump on the tram there (although we got on the wrong one 3 times...) It wasn't as extreme as Amsterdam, but the drinks kept flowing, and we even found ourselves visiting the sky bar until we realised we aren't posh millionaires, and so went on to a slightly cheaper establishment.

In the second bar we went to (a couple of bottles of wine down) we decided that what better way to celebrate being in Germany than to completely embarrassed ourselves taking Christmas decorations off the wall and wearing them, and asking for 99 red balloons a good 498123 times - side note, they eventually gave in to us.

After calling it a night, we managed to get on the wrong tram another 3 or 4 times (I'm not even slightly exaggerating) before making it back to our hotel in one piece and asking the receptionist for a peppermint tea - girls gotta alleviate the hangover.


On the second day we did some more wandering, eating and mulled wine drinking (when in Hamburg right?) We visited the Miniature Wonderland, which was very impressive, and then took the tram to the underwater Elbe Tunnel, which connects one side of Hamburg to another and is almost 2 miles long. The tunnel was made in 1911 and allows pedestrians, cyclists and motorists access to the south side of the river Elbe and sometimes hosts art exhibitions.

We built up quite an appetite with all the walking and found ourselves in Burgerlich, which is Hamburg's answer to a fast food burger joint. We were seated straight away and shown how to order our food and drinks on iPads. The burgers were amazing, and the whole experience was very interesting and modern.


All in all, our Hamburg trip was one of my most fun memories of last year, and it was great to spend more quality time with Hannah - I can't wait for our next trip away together! I would definitely recommend Hamburg as a Christmas destination, but I have also heard really great things about visiting in the summer as well. So you never know, there might be another Hamburg blog coming your way in the future!

xx

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