Tuesday, 23 July 2019

An Evening at The Ivy Tower Bridge With Pandora

Last month I was lucky enough to be invited to a launch to celebrate Pandora’s 2019 bridal collection. I’ve been invited to an event with Pandora before, so I knew it would be boujee as and as someone who has grown up with Pandora (who didn’t own a charm bracelet at high school?!) and doesn’t leave the house without my Pandora feather ring firmly on my finger, I was excited to see the new collection!

Although it’s referred to as a bridal collection, it doesn’t mean it only appeals to brides-to-be! There is something perfect for guests, gifts, brides and bridesmaids. Anyone looking for a beautiful, delicate stand-out piece of jewellery for a special occasion or event.

I'll take the rock on the right please

The event itself was held at the Ivy Tower Bridge- somewhere I’ve never been to before, but I definitely hope to be back- that view! The table setting was absolutely stunning, and I was excited to see that we had an evening of champagne and calligraphy in store for us.

Usually only one of those words would have appealed to me (can you guess which..?) but my competitive nature means I will have a go at anything (and probably be good at it *paints nails emoji*) but I’ll tell you this for nothin’- calligraphy was H-A-R-D. Thankfully we had the lovely Katie from London Calligraphy on hand to help us out, but my attempts are recreating her intricate lettering left a lot to be desired….!

Whilst I attempted to write my own name (badly), I inhaled my weight in truffle arancini, lobster cones, chicken skewers and the most delicious macarons, washed down with 600 glasses of champagne. Every single detail of the night was exceptional and it was the perfect ambiance to accompany the stunning bridal collection. I spent the evening learning, laughing and (sorry I can’t think of any more alliteration to replace the word ‘drinking’) And THAT is why Pandora know how to host a gorgeous event!

*I was invited to attend this evening by Pandora, but all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

My F45 8 Week Challenge Experience and Results

I'm gonna start this blog post off with a picture of me in Ibiza last week, cos I'm so bloody PROUD of myself and my body and the number of jump lunges I've forced myself to do over the last couple of months. But don't worry... the dreaded 'BEFORE' picture is looming!!!! (Make sure you're sat down before you scroll.)

I’m not going to lie, I was SUPER nervous for my first F45 class. From what I had heard about F45 is that it’s a bit of a cult. But since relocating here, I have realised that Londoners LOVE fitness, and there are so many boujee fitness studios that people swear by: 1Rebel, Psycle, Barry’s Bootcamp etc etc, and you only have to take one look at their IG pages to feel totally intimidated. The women are super toned and work out in Lululemon sports bra co-ords and the men are absolutely ripped- and then there’s me. Fresh from my 2 week all inclusive holiday eating and drinking my way through the Dominican Republic.

Body type = bag of custard. The super thick clotted cream Ambrosia one. Not a #LEWK.

The 8-week challenge happens around 4 or 5 times a year, and every F45 studio across the world takes part at the same time. For a set price (around £200 p/m) you get access to as many classes as you can handle, a meal training plan (including recipes for every single meal and snack of each day during the 8 weeks) and round-the-clock support from the trainers at your studio. We were split into teams and each allocated a trainer to keep us motivated through the duration of the challenge. 

The classes themselves are split into cardio and weight training- Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays are cardio, and the rest weights. And let me tell you this, Cardio is HARDIO. Every class is equally as tough as the last but (and I’m not just saying this because #gifted), there has never been a time when I have regretted a class. The energy in the room is always buzzy, the music is loud and the trainers and so encouraging and to be fair, they have totally made F45 what it is for me. They are so supportive and push me to my limit in every class (which I really appreciate even though I don’t look like I do at the time..!)

When I started the challenge, I had to do the dreaded body scan. Which is basically a machine that tells you how heavy you are, where the majority of fat from that KFC Deliveroo has been stored around your body, and if you’re gonna die of clogged arteries any time soon. Joking. Well, Mike (one of the owners) told me the main things to watch are body fat %, muscle %. Throughout the 8 weeks I wanted to see my body fat go down, and my muscle go up- simple right?

I had no idea what I thought my body fat would be, as I would consider myself generally quite fit, but I have never been so mortified when I was told it was 36%(!!!!!!), on a page which came out the printer next to the words SLIGHTLY OBESE in bold capitals. Brilliant.

Anyway, on to my results! (Hyperventilating as I get ready to post the dreaded before and after photos)

Time: 8 weeks
Classes: 48 (average of 6x per week)
Body scans: 2
Burpees: 87364873483277
Body fat before: 36%
Body fat after: 30.8%

You can see from the stats that I didn’t really lose any weight throughout the challenge, which is weird because before the challenge I thought weight was the only metric that mattered when it came to my body. BUT look at the difference in my back between week 1-8!

(It makes me feel violently sick to post this photo, but I have to post it as motivation to push on aka keep dragging myself out of bed for the 7.40 classes and not turn back into a potato.)

Week 1- week 8

Although 8 weeks feels like a lifetime, two months absolutely flew by, and I’m still as obsessed with the classes than I was on day 1! It sounds SUPER cringe, but it really has changed my life. I am so confident with my body- something I have had issues with for as long as I can remember. 

These are my results from February until now:

Week 1 - week 16

My diet has been slacking (I blame beer gardens and chilli heatwave Doritos) but I've kept to my routine of hitting f45 at least 5x a week, so I'm looking forward to seeing how my body changes in the next couple of months- hopefully my one singular ab will turn into 2!

What kind of exercise makes you actually *want* to do it? Have you tried F45?

Monday, 13 May 2019

Have You Tried Floatation Therapy?

I never thought of myself to be someone who gets easily stressed out, but since I moved to London- in a totally different environment with a new job and a new house and new friends- I have found myself to get stressed super easily.

I’ve struggled with anxiety, and with a super active social life combined with my f45 obsession and my job in social media meaning I am always online, I find it hard to switch off. I’ve toyed with apps like Calm and Headspace, and although I’ve had them downloaded on my phone for about 8 months, I’ve probably used each one about three times maximum.

I first found out about Floatworks when I saw a couple of PT’s from my F45 studio upload it on their IG stories, so I had a browse of their website and wanted to try it out ASAP! Basically, you lie in a ‘float tank’ which is a huge pod filled with water, for an hour and just totally switch off. Music plays for the first 10 minutes and the last 5 minutes of the session, but aside from that it’s totally silent.

I thought I was going to get bored around 30 minutes in, but I can’t explain the feeling of just total relaxation- no phones, no people, nothing to think about apart from my breathing.

My time slot was 6-7, which was perfect timing as I got home, made dinner and then slept like an absolute baby!

After doing some reading on the website, I realised that the benefits of floatation therapy are absolutely endless! The key ones I picked out are:

  • Promotes total calm and peaceful relaxation
  • Improves sleep
  • Alleviates stress (mental and physical)
  • Energises, rejuvenates and revitalises
  • Increases motivation, diminishes depression, anxiety and fear
  • Facilitates freedom from habits, phobias and addictions
  • Deepens meditation
  • Expands awareness, intensifies acuteness of all the senses, accelerates learning
  • Enhances hypnotherapy and self-hypnosis
  • Speeds up rehabilitation and recovery
  • Relieves pain
  • Improves circulation and distribution of oxygen and nutrients
  • Reduces blood pressure, pulse, heart rate and oxygen consumption

Have you tried floatation therapy? What did you think?

(I visited the Vauxhall studio of Floatworks)

*session was gifted

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Mothers Day Gift Guide: 2019

As much as I love putting gift guides together, my mum is SO hard to buy for, especially now that I don't live at home so I'm not there to listen out for her mentioning certain things she likes, so I have to guess! 

I've gone for a baby pink theme this year, covering all bases: booze, beauty, practical stuff, homeware and of course, a touch of luxury! All items linked below. Happy shopping!

Monday, 25 February 2019

Having Braces As An Actual 26 Year Old Adult

How I will be smiling from now until July 2019.

I don’t know if I’ve spoken about it enough yet… But if you didn’t know, I’VE GOT BRACES! Not Invisalign- full on train tracks. On the top row and the bottom now. Think Katy Perry in the TGIF video, and that’s what I currently look like.

I get compliments alllllll the time about how straight and white my top teeth are (Crest strips are the one guys) but my bottom row of teeth look like a smashed-up garden fence and I just want everything on my face to be perfect! It’s really annoying that I couldn’t just get braces to sort out the garden fence teeth, but because they would be bringing my teeth out into a neater row, my top teeth wouldn’t sit right so they need to be braced up and rearranged slightly too.


ONTO THE GOOD NEWS (kinda)- I only need them on for 6 months! The method I’ve got is called QST (Quick Straight Teeth) and it’s for people with healthy gums who don’t need tooooo much rearranging. I also couldn’t really eat anything for the first week so I’m a *skinny icon* They don’t hurt at all AND they make my lips look like I’ve had 5ml of filler which I am absolutely loving.

THE BAD NEWS- I can’t really chew anything properly so I will inhale my dinner and still feel starving because I’ve wolfed it down that quick my stomach hasn’t even registered food yet. My cheeks are shredded to smithereens and I can't eat any of the office MAOAM's.

I’ve only had them on for 3 weeks and I feel like it’s been an eternity. 21 weeks to go then it's OVER for you hoes!!!!! (lol jk I've just always wanted to say that ok)

Any tips for keeping the inside of my cheeks intact greatly appreciated guys!
(Done by the fabulous Dr Caitlin Roondog at 47 Dental. Get in touch with her practise if you want the best teeth in town.)