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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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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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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This post contains PR samples

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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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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