Monday, 14 December 2015

Cosmic Bronze Eyeshadow Quad by Fleur de Force

When it was announced Fleur was releasing a makeup range I was really excited - she was the first beauty blogger I started following and I always turn to her when I'm looking for a review of a product as I find she's almost always right and has brilliant taste in makeup. I knew her makeup line would be special, because I couldn't imagine her releasing something she wasn't 100% happy with. It's taken me a little while to get my hands on her products, but better late than never!


Friday, 11 December 2015

Top 5 Healthy Christmas Recipes

As a massive foodie I love Christmas! I'm a huge believer in balance but even over the Christmas period I like to remain a bit healthier - because I absolutely love this lifestyle, love the food I eat, it makes me feel so much better than eating refined, sugary foods and the flavours of healthy plant-based foods tend to be so much more delicious and wonderful. It can be tricky to stick to a healthy diet over the festive period - with selection boxes everywhere you go, candied everything, mouth-watering desserts and an array of canapés but these top 5 healthy Christmas recipes are bound to keep your sweet-cravings at bay, your tummy satisfied and your tastebuds tantalised.
 *Remember though, there's no harm in the odd Cadburys celebration chocolate or M&S Mince Pie!*

--- I also thought this would be a great time to tell you that I've started a health blog! Dedicated to delicious plant-based recipes, tips & tricks to stay feeling happy and healthy, exercise advice and lots of other things like that! Head on over to to check it out!----

1. Mince Pies by Madeleine Shaw
I love a good mince pie, and this is my first Christmas being dairy and gluten free so I was a little worried about how I'd cope without my warm mince pie! I found this recipe from Madeleine on a blog and it's perfect. Sweet, delicate, wonderful perfect and you won't feel sluggish or guilty after eating this Christmas treat. Note - if you don't have time to make your own filling Meridian do a brilliant pre-made vegan and refined sugar free mince pie filling.


Thursday, 10 December 2015

Figgy Pudding Candle

I do love a good candle all year round, but there's something especially lovely about them at Christmas. The scents can make you finally instantly festive and the glow of the candle wick burning is comforting & soothing. Every year there's such an array of different candles with so many scents to choose from, I personally love the spicy Christmas scents, or the sweet cinnamony ones as they make me feel the most festive.
The only thing is candles can be very expensive and if you go for a cheaper option they're often not as good quality, the smell is weak or it doesn't last long. Every year I try to hunt down a bargain option with not much luck, but this year I've found one and it's totally dreamy.

The Figgy Pudding Candle by Sainsburys (£4) is one of the nicest smelling Christmas candles I've ever got a whiff of - it's sweet but not sickly with notes of vanilla, fig and cinnamon.
The candle burns really nicely and the aroma is so wonderfully festive and warming. I love that the scent isn't overpowering though as I find some candles are far too intense and end up giving me a headache!
Figgy pudding is encased in a sweet little white pot that has 'Warmest Christmas Wishes' written on the front and a little red & white stripped bow tied around it. It'd make a lovely Christmas gift!

For the bargain price of £4 for a multi-wick that smells this delicious you just have to go and pick one up before they sell out! 

What's your favourite Christmas candle?


Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Pick Of The Christmas Novelty Jumpers

Christmas is the time of year we get to be tacky and no-one cares. Out come the ridiculous amount of sparkles, the OTT makeup and the novelty Christmas jumpers.
We wouldn't dare wear anything like this at every other time of the year but somehow Christmas makes us all want to put on crazy coloured knitwear with imposing patterns.

I've gone through several different clothing sites eyeing up all the brilliantly striking jumpers and thought I'd share with you my top picks! Bring on the knits!

First up we have the Reindeer Christmas Jumper from Boohoo (£15) - how cute is the little reindeer on the front! I also think the price is great - I personally wouldn't want to spend much on a jumper I'm only going to wear at Christmas.
Next is the Snowman jumper from House Of Fraser (£29.50). This one is a bit more understated but super cute with snowmen all over it!
Then there's the #Crackers jumper from Marks & Spencer (£29.50) which I honestly just want because it's got a roll neck and I love all things with a high neck at the moment! Love the festive red colour too, and the funny hash-tag.
Last but not least is the ASOS Christmas jumper with Embellished Snowflakes (£26.50). This is the prettiest of the 4, and the one you could get away with wearing throughout winter. I think the white knit with the gold snowflakes make it look really festive.

Have you got a Christmas jumper yet?
Which is your favourite
from my picks?


Tuesday, 8 December 2015

L'Oreal Pais Super Liner Perfect Slim

I love a liquid liner all year around, but there's something about the festive season that makes me reach for the liner pen even more - nothing quite beats the cat-eye flick and a red lip!
I'm quite a fuss-pot when it comes to eyeliners, they have to be the right intense black colour, the perfect size and they must be long lasting. I've always gone with the Soap & Glory option which is brilliant, but after hearing rave reviews about the L'Oreal Paris Super Liner I thought I'd give it a go to see how it compared.


Monday, 7 December 2015

Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil

Winter is the season I really amp it up with my skincare. I like to give my skin that extra boost and little bit of help to fight off the cold weather and give it a little extra lovin'.
I was doing some researching into new products to try and saw a lot of people saying how important an oil is and how much it can make a difference to the appearance of your skin, me being the skincare fiend I am decided to purchase an oil to add into my routine.
Pai is a brand I'd wanted to try for a while, having heard lots of brilliant reviews about their products and knowing they're all organic and vegan made me instantly interested in seeing what they had to offer. I took a look at their website and saw they had a Rosehip oil, and I instantly made a purchase.


Sunday, 6 December 2015

Life: Staying Positive

I've had more downs than ups during the last couple of months, and staying positive has been quite a challenge. I've been suffering with a hip injury since the beginning of September, which has steadily worsened, resulting in being signed off work and missing out on fun days with friends. I've been having various tests and scans and seen quite a few doctors now, but nothing's given me any answers.
Understandably this has left me feeling down and negative, just as a was getting somewhere with my life I've been knocked back. I'd started driving lessons, was starting to feel fit and healthy after a tough time getting over coeliac symptoms, and was enjoying learning more and more about yoga and fitness but that's all been put on hold.

 I have a history of depression & anxiety, it wasn't until I discovered yoga and the power of a healthy diet that I started to feel more in control, more confident and happier within myself. Yoga and exercise is the way I deal with this part of me, it helps me stay balanced, so not being able to be active has put me to the test. I started off feeling lost, very alone, scared and extremely down but I'm starting to practise other methods which are helping me stay grounded, keep in control of how I'm feeling and stop me going out of my mind!


Saturday, 5 December 2015

Beauty Handbag Saviours

Us girls all have those few products we can't leave the house without, right? Mine change quite frequently but I always carry a few handbag saviours around with me, as well as at least 6 lipsticks (oops!).


Friday, 4 December 2015

Pyjamas & Tea

A hot cup of tea and cosy pyjamas is a match made in heaven. I'm a self confessed tea-oholic and drink at least 3 cups a day all year round, but the colder months make that mug of comfort all the more enjoyable, especially when I get to sip on it whilst wearing the softest pyjamas ever.

I love all tea but I drink green and white teas the most, sometimes they're plain and sometimes I mix it up a bit and go for flavoured tea, daring I know. I've got three firm favourites at the moment and they're so delicious and wonderful I thought it'd be a crime not to share them with you. It'd also be a crime not to share with you one of the best pairs of pyjamas I've ever owned (honestly, think about the softest thing you've ever felt and they're better than that).


Thursday, 3 December 2015

Christmas Gift Guide - For Her

I love buying Christmas presents for other people, and actually get far more joy going out and choosing gifts for people I care about and seeing them happy when they open them than receiving presents myself. Although it's something I always look forward to it can be easy to get stuck in a rut and not know what to get someone, so I thought I'd give you a little helping hand!
I've complied a list of gift ideas, ranging from major bargains and stocking fillers to more luxury and pricey gifts for a lucky recipient. Whether you find something in this post ideal for a loved one or not I hope it gives you so inspiration, maybe you see something you can add to your own Christmas wish


Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Christmas Gift Guide - For Him

Men are definitely harder to buy for than women, fact. Every year I struggle with it, and I know my friends and family do as well. Hopefully this gift guide gives you some inspiration on what to buy your Dad, brother, boyfriend, husband, guy friend, Uncle, Granddad, etc.

Under £10

1. Green & Blacks Dark Miniature Collection (£5.50). Great for chocolate lovers, this collection of mini chocolates contains 6 different flavours from Green & Blacks.
2. World's Hottest Chilli Powders Set (£6). Perfect for a spice fan, this box contains some of the hottest chilli powders tested. It also comes with fun fact cards.
3. New Look Dark Grey Knitted Scarf (£8.99). Nice knitwear is always a safe bet, this scarf looks so cosy and stylish.
4. Grow Your Own Beer Kit (£9.95). A fun gift for a beer lover...see if they can keep it alive!
5. Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey Fudge Tin (£9). Delicious fudge flavoured with Tennessee's finest honey-flavoured whiskey, all incased in a nice tin.


Tuesday, 1 December 2015

November Favourites 2015

We all say it every month, but November really seems to have flown by so fast I don't quite know what's happened. We're now into December, which is a little crazy, the last month of the 2015 and lots of exciting things to look forward to (eeeeekkk Christmas!).
November's been quite a strange month for me, I've been backwards and forwards to doctors and hospitals with a hip injury and have been off work so I haven't had all that much time for shopping and discovering new products. That being said there have been a few things that have stood out as favourites this month.

All year around I'm normally a reds nail varnish girl; bright red in warmer months and berry toned reds in colder months, however I've been used a gorgeous grey colour on my nails during most of November and totally loving it. Essie's Chinchilly nail polish (£7.99) is a gorgeous grey with hints of purple in it, with the perfect balance between being cool and warm. The neutral tone manages to look classy yet edgy at the same time, meaning it goes well with any outfit or suits any occasion.


Monday, 30 November 2015

New - Dove DermaSpa

I can't remember the last time I used a product from Dove. They're just not a brand I think to turn to for skincare/bodycare, but when they approached me to see if I wanted to try some products from their new DermaSpa range I was excited to give them a go.
Dove, in partnership with leading skin and beauty experts, have created it's most scientifically-advanced body care products ever, with industry leading technology resulting from 10 years of skincare research and the involvement of 280 scientists the Dove DermaSpa range was born.

I was sent a few products from the range, and I've picked my favourite 3 to share with you.
The two products I got the best results from were hand creams, I know...I know...I don't normally like hand creams so this goes to show how good the Dove ones are.

The one I've been using every night for a restorative treatment is the DermaSpa Intensive hand cream (£4.99), which is designed to instantly soothe and restore very dry skin. This is a richer formulation out of the two, so I use it once I've got into bed and am ready to sleep; I rub it well into my hands and let it work it's magic overnight. It's non-greasy but quite heavy, and I find it works wonders at helping any dryness to vanish. If you have sensitive skin I think this would be ideal for you as it isn't scented and feels soothing.


Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Yes To Carrots Daily Facial Moisturiser

I'm not loyal to any daily moisturiser, I jump between different brands constantly and never seem to find one that wows me.

I've recently been hearing a lot about the 'Yes To..' brand, and knowing that they use natural ingredients made me even more interested in them. I was drawn to the 'Yes To Carrots', purely because I know how wonderful carrots are for the skin and whenever I eat them I feel really good, so a skincare product that contains these orange sticks of amazingness cannot be a bad thing! I purchased the Yes To Carrots Facial Moisturiser (£9.99) and have been using it for a few weeks now, so I thought I'd let you know my thoughts on it.


Saturday, 31 October 2015

Halloween Bath Time

During the warmer months I'm definitely a shower over baths type girl, however as soon as the winter winter creeps up on us I instantly crave baths. I find them so comforting, relaxing and uplifting when it's cold, rainy and dark outside. My go-to bath products are always Lush, I love to use their bubble bars, bath bombs, bath melts, everything is amazing and there's so much choice...I'm also a huge fan of the brand itself and respect them massively for the work they do trying to fight animal testing. 
Lush are always bringing out limited edition products to fit the season, and I got my hands on the Sparkly Pumpkin bubble bar!


Thursday, 29 October 2015

Night Time Skincare Routine

I've never felt entirely happy with my skincare routine, especially my PM one. I've never felt like it was doing much for my skin, and some steps I was taking seemed pointless. It's taken me quite a while to find products that really work for me, but I think my current routine might be a winner.

I'll start by saying I have normal to dry skin, that's quite sensitive. I luckily don't tend to get many breakouts (touch wood), but I feel like my skin needs a bit of help with evening complexion.
Also, I haven't included any face masks in this post as I tend to change them up a lot and don't have a stand-out favourite (recommendations welcome!), so this is just my typical every day evening skincare routine!


Monday, 26 October 2015

Estée Lauder Double Wear Brush-On Glow BB Highlighter

I'm all about trying to keep that healthy, glowing look in my skin at the moment. We're well into Autumn, and Winter is rapidly creeping up on us which means my skin is starting to suffer. Keeping on top of my skincare routine helps dramatically, but sometimes I feel like I need miracle makeup products to really awaken my complexion and banish any signs of dullness.
The Estée Lauder Double Wear Brush-On Glow BB Highlighter (£24.50) (longest name ever..) has been my go-to makeup product over the last month.


Wednesday, 21 October 2015

It's All About That Base

I'm all about that base....(refrains from singing Meghan Trainer.....).
Perfecting your base makes a huge difference to your makeup end result, and I love making sure I'm confident with how my skin looks. Over the years I've collected a few holy-grail base products, ones I know I'll continue to repurchase and have become staples in my day-to-day makeup routine.

Primer isn't something I use every day, simply because I don't need it and sometimes I feel it can clog up my pores. But a product I do use, which isn't marketed as a primer but I find helps to prime my skin and prolong the wear of my foundation, is the Elemis Pro-Illuminating Flash Balm. It's a relatively recent find for me, but it's quickly become a firm favourite for it's brightening, skin perfecting qualities. I'll be posting a full review soon.


Sunday, 18 October 2015

Autumn Berries

Autumn is my favourite season. I love the crisp, fresh air, the cold but not unbearably freezing weather, the leaves turning beautiful browns and reds, conkers, Autumn fashion and of course Autumn cosmetics.
As soon as the season comes around I get so excited to whip out the berry lipsticks, nail varnish and when I'm feel adventurous the berry toned eyeshadows (think MAC Cranberry....*swoon*).

Berry lipsticks are my favourite. I'm a huge lover of a smokey eye and nude lip, but something about a berry toned lips makes me so happy. I instantly feel put together, confident and a lot more seasonal. I have a few lipsticks in this category, but I've whittled it down to 1 high end and 1 drugstore favourite.


Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Top Tips For Healthy, Shiny Hair

Rewind about a two years and you'd see I didn't have the best conditioned hair. It felt constantly dry, not very nourished, it was frizzy and dull. Fast forward to now and you'd see I have very healthy hair, that grows quickly, is shiny, healthy and very rarely feels dry. I've made a few tweaks to my lifestyle that have caused my hair health to improve, and I completely swear by them. If you're having issues with dry or lacklustre hair maybe try these things out.


Friday, 9 October 2015

Natural Deodorant, Why Is It So Important?

It's no secret that I'm passionate about living a healthy life, and I try to do the right thing by my body in every way that I can. The common ways would be eating a healthy, nutritious diet, getting plenty of exercise, getting fresh air daily, and drinking plenty of water. However, people seem to neglect to use skincare and body care products that are non-toxic. I'm not going to pretend I'm all organic and only use 100% natural products, but I am taking steps to become more and more that way.


Tuesday, 6 October 2015

A Passion For Palettes

Eyeshadow palettes are most probably the products I yearn for the most. I so often will see a new eyeshadow palette release and go all lovey dovey eyed over the sleek, glamorous packaging, the array of beautiful colours, the shimmer, the intense mattes.....I just get drawn in!
I thought I'd share the top 3 in my current wish list.


Friday, 2 October 2015

September Favourites 2015

The fact it's now October is slightly freaking me'll be Christmas before we know it!
I always think the months fly by, but I really don't know where September went, I seemed to only blink and it was over. As quick as it went I still managed to find a firm few favourites over this month, a couple of new products and a couple of old loves that I've returned to.


Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Flowerbomb by Viktor and Rolf

I've been on the hunt for a new fragrance. I absolutely adore my YSL Black Opium, but sometimes find it a little heavy. I wanted something lighter, more girly but not too sweet, a combination that was actually quite tricky to find, especially as I'm quite fussy when it comes to scents anyway. After trying out goodness knows how many samples (I now have quite the collection) I decided on Flowerbomb by Viktor and Rolf. What can I say? It was love at first sniff.


Tuesday, 21 April 2015

NARS Sheer Glow, Worth The Hype?

As a lover of beauty blogs and discovering the best makeup trying NARS Sheer Glow foundation has been a long time coming. It's a product I've wanted to try out for what feels like forever, and seeing practically every beauty blogger in existence raving about the foundation just made me long for it even more. When it comes to foundation I do like a light/medium coverage every day, but for nights out, special occasions or just when I want to be a bit more dolled up I always opt for a fuller coverage that'll give me that flawless skin effect.

I can tell you now that I love NARS Sheer Glow! I have the shade Mont Blanc and it's a pretty perfect match.
The foundation comes in typically sleek NARS packaging - a glass bottle with a matte black lid, which feels expensive and sturdy. The only downfall when it comes to packaging is the bottle doesn't come with a pump, meaning you have to tip the product onto the back of your end…..often resulting in too much product which'll go to waste. For a foundation that costs over £30 I'd really expect a pump!
The foundation itself doesn't live up to the name 'sheer glow', as it's not sheer and not especially glowy. The consistency isn't runny, but nor is it thick; it's a brilliant in-between that glides onto the skin smoothly, is beautifully easy to blend and although it's a high coverage looks very natural on the skin. The foundation covers imperfections really well, so well that I don't need to use any concealer (except under my eyes), which is a really bonus.
Another winning point is that Sheer Glow is very long lasting. I often find even more expensive foundations tend to wear off by the end of the day, but NARS have done a fantastic job with the formulation because it looks almost perfect all day.

At £31 for 30ml it's quite pricey, but a little bit of this foundation goes a long way and it's definitely worth the money. It's my favourite foundation ever.


Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Origins Night-A-Mins Moisturiser - Review

Over the last couple of years that I've got into skincare I've tried out different cleansers, exfoliators and serums but night creams are something I've not focused on much. I've always just gone with a standard moisturiser, and never spent too much. However, recently I was browsing good old eBay and came across a 30ml sample of Origins Night-A-Mins, which is a night moisturiser I've heard rave reviews about but is quite pricey so I've never taken the plunge. A sample seemed like the perfect option, and I'm now considering splurging on the full sized product.

Origins Night-A-Minds is a night cream that's focussed on reduced the dullness of skin, and leave your face feeling refreshed, radiant and moisturised. It's enriched with vitamins C, E and H and has a slightly orangey scent which I really like. I find it isn't too thick nor is it greasy, but it still feels so nourishing and rich on the skin which is perfect for bedtime.
After about a month of use everyday (in conduction with my beloved hydraluron) I've noticed quite a difference in my skin! My skin feels soft and definitely looks more radiant, I've definitely noticed a difference in 'imperfections' as well; I've mentioned before that when I get spots they take a long time to completely fade, but I feel like this moisturiser has really sped up that process and my skin is looking clearer than ever….*touch wood*.
The full size product is £34.50 for 50ml which definitely puts it in the luxury product range, but I do reckon the pot would last you a while and as I always say 'you only get one face, look after it'. If you want to try it out before paying the larger sum of money there are several sample's for sale on eBay, which you can find here.

What's your current night cream?
Do you think it's worth spending more on 
luxury skincare products?


Saturday, 11 April 2015

Warm Aubergine, Spinach and Avocado Salad

One of my favourite things to do for lunch at the moment is grab lots of fresh vegetables and other wonderful ingredients and throw them in a pan, cooking them with different things every day.
Today I made my favourite one yet, an aubergine and spinach warm salad with a hint of fresh pesto. So delicious!
Along with being super yummy and filling this warm salad is so nutritious; it's high in iron, fibre, vitamins and also healthy fats.


  • Half an aubergine
  • Red cabbage
  • A handful of spinach
  • 2 - 3 mushrooms
  • Half an avocado 
  • A sprinkling of pumpkin seeds
  • Pine nuts
  • Fresh pesto (I got mine from the co-op)
  • Nigella seeds
  • Mixed herbs
  • Lemon juice
  • Coconut oil
(Serves 1 person)

  1. First start by putting a teaspoon of coconut oil into a pan. Let that melt and heat up before adding your ingredients. 
  2. Chop up half your aubergine into cubed pieces and place them into the pan.
  3. While the aubergine is cooking slice your red cabbage…this is one of my favourite ingredients! After the aubergine has cooked for a few minutes add in the cabbage.
  4. Sprinkle some mixed herbs and nigella seeds into the cabbage and aubergine for more flavour, you could also add chilli flakes for more of kick.
  5. Slice the mushrooms, I used 3 small chestnut mushrooms. Making sure you wash them first, as with all the other vegetables! And add them to your pan when the cabbage has cooked a bit.
  6. Grab a large handful of spinach and add that to the pan as well, letting it wilt.
  7. When all your ingredients look almost done add in your pine nuts and pumpkin seeds. These give the salad a delicious crunch.
  8. Slice an avocado in half, scoop it out of the skin and cut into cubes while the other ingredients are cooking for a further few minutes and then remove the pan from the hob to add the avocado.
  9. Stir in a teaspoon of pesto.
  10. Add some lemon juice.
  11. Enjoy!


Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm - Review

I'm a bit of a skincare fiend, I love trying new products and I'm not really loyal to any part of my skincare routine as I like to test different things. I recently ran out of my Body Shop Camomile cleansing oil (which was actually a repurchase) and decided I wanted something new. Armed with a £5 off Feel Unique voucher I browsed the site looking for a new addition to my skincare regime, and I came across the Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm…which I'd heard a lot of good things about and it sounded dreamy, so I made the order. 

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm (£22) is a lightweight cleansing balm that looks solid when you open the pot, but once you scoop the tiniest amount out (which is all you need) and rub it between your fingers it melts into an oil which you massage into your face. The oil is unscented, which is brilliant for those with sensitive skin, but feels luxurious, calming and really cleansing. 
The oil, although lightweight and not greasy, removes even stubborn eye makeup which I was rather pleased about. My skin is left feeling super clean, moisturised and fresh after using this cleanser.

Although it may be a little on the pricey side at £22 I think it's well worth the money, the 125ml pot will last you ages as you only need the smallest amount of product to cover your entire face, it has fantastic ingredients that won't do any damage or dry your skin out and I always think it's worth paying a bit more for good skincare, because hey…you only get one face, look after it!


Monday, 6 April 2015

5 Countries I'd Love To Visit

Over the last few months I've had a serious case of 'wanderlust'. I think about different places I want to travel to and explore constantly, I read travel blog posts and endlessly search on pinterest. I think it's so important to see as much of the world as possible, to experience different cultures, breath different air, meet new people and see the best the world has to offer.
I'm hoping soon I'll be able to see more of the world, once I've saved up some money, but for now I thought I'd share with you a few countries I'd love to visit. They're not necessarily all my top 5 countries, but they're definitely all in my top 10 places to visit, and they'll probably be yours too after you see the photographs...

I think Italy looks absolutely beautiful and fascinating. I can't pinpoint one specific place I want to go because I want to see it all! I think Rome is top of my list though; the Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum, the Spanish Steps and Palatine Hill look amazing. I'm also dying to visit Pompeii, Venice and Tuscany.

This doesn't seem to be a popular choice when it comes to people going travelling but I really want to visit Switzerland one day. It looks peaceful, calm, beautiful and almost magical.
Lake Geneva is one of the largest lakes in Europe, surrounded by mountains, a hilly plain and the alps with elegant towns and cities too.
 Bern looks utterly picturesque. It's a medieval city which dates back to the 12th century. There's an ancient clock tower with moving puppets, a Gothic cathedral and market stalls.

Ever since I saw the Top Gear special in Vietnam I've had an urge to go there, which has since been cemented in more by EmTalks blogposts on her trip there, which she called life changing.
It looks like such an incredible country with so many different things to see. Ha Long Bay is my number 1 place to visit, with it's aqua-green water and cluster of rocky outcrops rising from the water it looks like something from a fantasy story. It features over 2,000 jungle-covered Islands with caves and grottoes…get me there! The old city of Hoi An is on my list too, for it's historic architecture and traditional culture. It's full of tiny pathways, traditional wooden houses and little shops.

Greece isn't somewhere I've really wanted to visit before, but after seeing some gorgeous photos and hearing travel bloggers talk about the country I'd love to visit. Namely the Greek Islands Corfu and Santorini (the latter being top of my wish list…I'd give a lot to go there!); they look breathtakingly stunning. But I'd also love to see the mainland, Hyrda is a small town that's arty and pretty.

Huge country, and so much of it I want to see. New York city is somewhere I've been longing to go for ages, to walk through central park, see the Empire State Building and explore. Then I'd want to go to the Grand Canyon, LA, visit Texas - especially San Antonio, and walk through the cobbled streets of Savannah.

There's so many more places I feel I need to see. Bali, Cuba, Brazil, more of France and Australia is definitely very high on my list; the only reason it isn't in my top 5 is because I think I might do a separate post on Australia…there's a lot of things I want to see in that country.

If you could go anywhere in the world, 
where would you go?


Saturday, 4 April 2015

How Yoga Changed My Life

A couple of years ago I was an unhealthy teenage girl, both in mind and body. I was unfit, had back and knee joint paint, and I was not happy. Now I'm a 20 year old who's healthy and happy.
About a year and a half ago I decided to change and become a healthier person, and one of the things I decided I wanted to do was yoga. Yoga has become a huge part of my life now, and I can't see that changing!

If you know me personally then I can pretty much be 100% certain that I've told you to do yoga at least once. It's something I believe everyone would benefit from, and I'm about to tell you why.

Before I started practising yoga I thought it was literally just a bit of simple stretching and mediation. I thought the only benefits you could get from it were flexibility and perhaps a bit of calm in your mind, but there's so much more. The benefits to a regular yoga practise are endless!

1. It builds muscle strength. At first I found some yoga poses quite challenging because of the strength in your whole body you need to achieve them, but now I find my body is strong and it's so much easier to hold more advanced positions. My arms are more toned, my abs are strong and my back & legs are stronger too!
2. Yoga improves your posture. In a world where so many people sit at computers all day posture is becoming somewhat of an issue! Yoga teaches you to stand and sit tall, thus preventing damage to the spine and it makes you look slimmer too.
3. Increases blood flow. Yoga aids circulation by getting more oxygen to your blood cells. Twisting poses wring out venous blood from internal organs. Inverted poses (headstands, should stands and hand stands) allow venous blood from the legs and pelvis to flow back to the heart, where it can be pumped to the lungs to be freshly oxygenated. All this reduces the risk of heart attacks, strokes and kidney problems.
4. Prevents cartilage breakdown. As your joints are going through a full range of motion this can help to prevent degenerative arthritis and other joint disabilities.
5. Yoga protects your spine. Keeping the discs in your back supple is so important, and a yoga practice with plenty of backbends, forward bends and twists will really help that.
6. Betters bone health. This is something important to me as I have a high risk of developing osteoporosis. Yoga requires you to lift your own weight which strengths your bones, and also reduces a stress hormone which isn't good for calcium in the bones.
7. Lowers blood sugar. Yoga's been found to lower cortisol and adrenaline levels, which encourages weigh loss and improves sensitivity to the effects of insulin.
8. Yoga helps you focus. During your practise you should focus on the present, not the past of the future, just the now. This is important, and it improves co-ordination, reaction time, memory and even IQ scores with regular practise.
9. Contrary to popular belieft yoga can give you a real workout! Sure, yoga can be super relaxing but it can also be tough, it can get your heart pumping and cause you to sweat!

All of those benefits can be found with regular practise, but what real results have I seen from a almost 2 years daily yoga practise?
I'm stronger, more balanced and more flexible than I was before and that's improving constantly.
I find I'm a lot happier in my mind, I feel calmer and more confident as well.
I sleep better and my brain doesn't feel so busy at night.
I'm in less pain…this is the biggest benefit for me. Before practising yoga I wouldn't be able to stand for even half an hour without chronic back pain, and aching legs…..I'd even moan when walking around the shops! Now I never, ever have that problem. When I go to work I'm on my feet for 8 hours and it doesn't bother me at all.
Maybe now you can understand how yoga changed my life for the better, and why I believe everyone should practise it and start enjoying the beautiful benefits that will sure follow.

If you're thinking of giving yoga a try then please YogaWithAdriene on YouTube…she is fantastic and the only yoga videos I watch are hers. There's none of that silly music in the background, she's real - not a yoga robot, she encourages you to 'find what feels good' and adapt poses to suit you if you need to, and her range of videos is superb.



Friday, 13 March 2015

Chia Seed - The Super Food

There's so much hype around all these different super foods recently - flaxseed, hemp seed, acai, and my favourite….chia seeds!
Chia seeds seem to have become a huge thing recently, everyone's talking about them, and I'm seeing them in more and more shops, but what's so great about them? What are their benefits? Are they worth the 'super food' title?
Chia seeds come from a flowering plant in the mint family that's native to South America. They're tiny, black or dark brown seeds that are pretty tasteless and can't really be eaten alone (they wouldn't taste terribly nice and they'd get stuck in your teeth, I wouldn't recommend it). However, when combined with other ingredients they're a healthy eating dream. My favourite things to do with them are to stir the seeds into porridge or make chia seed pudding.

• Chia seeds contain more iron than spinach, which is essential for carrying oxygen around the body.
• They're bursting with antioxidant strength, some studies show they're more antioxidising than blueberries.
• 10g of chia seeds (approximately 2 table spoons) is almost half your daily requirement of fibre, which is needed to eliminate toxins from the body, and provides a slow release of energy.
• These little seeds are the highest plant-based source of alpha-linolenic, a type of omega-3 fatty acid, which reduces joint pain and inflammation; essential for keeping the heart nice and healthy and lowering blood pressure & cholesterol.
• Chia seeds have the ability to absorb up to 10 times their weight in liquid when consumed, meaning they're fantastic at keeping you feeling fuller for longer.
• They aid muscle and tissue regeneration and help with digestive regularity.
• Chia seeds also contain a lot of magnesium, manganese, zinc and calcium, which boost the metabolism and keep the skin glowing.

Chia seeds may not be the cheapest, but there are definitely deals to be found online and in independent health food shops (avoid Holland & Barrett if you're on a budget), and even a small bag will last you a long time. With all those amazing benefits for the body they're well worth the money, and I think we can conclude that chia seeds are well worth their 'super food' status!

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