5 ways to improve your life, right now.

#1 Start watching Jane the Virgin

I’m serious. I know it’s totally made up, but Jane makes me want to be a better person. She’s honest, loving and positive. She tackles situations head on and puts her family first every time. Plus, she’s just so damn cute!

friends, girl, and beach image

#2 Speak to more people

People are amazing. Ask questions, be interested, be interesting, share stories, be silly and serious and everything in between. The best cure for any problem is to talk it through and even when you think there’s nobody to talk to there always is. Type your interests into the search bar on Facebook, join groups and chat to people in there. Some of the nicest people in the world, you’ve never met yet. I love that idea. The people you meet through life circumstances aren’t always going to be the ones you get along with best. Open yourself up to meeting more people – but be careful, of course.

morning, coffee, and good morning image

#3 Do early nights and early mornings

This might be a personal preference, but I’m not much of a night owl. I’m incredibly productive first thing in the morning, and I tend to find lie in’s lead to days where I do nothing. I always say, the first hour of your day will determine how the rest of it goes. For me, that’s so true. I like to get up early, have a shower and tick as many jobs off my list as possible before lunch. In the evening I prefer to wind down and go to bed feeling calm and prepared for the next day. I often have a bath and listen to an audiobook at around 9pm so I’m relaxed and fall to sleep easily. Kitty cuddles are, of course, essential before bed too.

say yes to new adventures

#4 Invest in yourself & say YES more

I find it fascinating to think about the ways we invest our time and money. So often we’re happy to pay to go to the salon, or buy nice things to make our homes look pretty. We invest in ourselves physically, paying to enhance our appearance, and we invest in improving the look of our lives from the outside. But we forget to invest in ourselves, mentally. How often do you buy a self-development book or pay to take a course that will teach you new things? When was the last time you spent time really trying to figure out what makes a good person? When I’m no longer here, I don’t want people to say, ‘She had really great hair’, or ‘Her living room was always immaculate.’ I want people to say, ‘Wow, she was a really positive person. She made me feel good.’ Invest time; consciously teach yourself to become the person you want to be.

summer, girl, and smile image

#5 Be someone that makes everyone feel special

Do you know someone that you love spending time with? What is it about that person that makes them so nice to be around? Do they make you laugh? Compliment you? Encourage your goals and wishes?

How do people feel when they’re around you?

I’ve started making a very conscious effort lately to make people feel good. It’s really not very difficult. Instead of just thinking, ‘Her skin is looking really great,’ I say it! I take an interest in what people are doing, I congratulate them on small things. And you know what? It’s fun! When you see someone today, challenge yourself to make them smile. Say something nice. Positivity is infectious and you’ll feel great yourself for doing it. Become known in your friendships and families as a really happy, positive person.

 

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What I Got For My Birthday 2016

Thursday 23rd June 2016. British lives changed forever as we voted to leave the EU, but let’s talk about something of real importance here – my 24th birthday.

Some of my favourite blog posts to read are the ‘What I got for my birthday/Christmas’ type ones with lots of pictures of peoples’ lovely new bits and bobs. So I thought I’d create my own – here are some pics of my own such bits and bobs.

I’m feeling very lucky and would like to say a big thank you to all my gorgeous friends and family for being wonderfully generous and spoiling me.

5 tips for successful home workouts

I signed up to a gym last week for the first time in five years. It was dreadful.

The actual exercising part was fine – not necessarily enjoyable, but fine – but it’s the ‘other people’ part of gyms that I can’t be doing with. I know everyone in there is concentrating far too hard on what they look like to be bothered looking at me, but I can’t be the only one that gets on the treadmill, panics that the other person is looking, and puts the incline up so high I can only mange 3 minutes. Is that just me?!

Which is why I much prefer a home workout. I can wear my pyjamas, sweat as much as I want and listen to my choice of music without worrying my headphones are going to wrap round the emergency stop button and send me flying.

I feel, at this point, I’ve perfected the home workout set up. I look forward to my workouts now, and I don’t even have to brave the rain or the traffic to get there. So I’m going to share my 5 top tips for working out at home, successfully.

#1 – Create a workout space you love.

  
As comfy as your living room rug is for relaxing on, it’s probably going to burn you if you try to work out on it. Plus, you associate this room with the usual things you might do in there: watch films, take naps, cuddle the cat. When you’re working out, you want to be able to distance yourself from that version of your living room and have somewhere fun and exciting which invites you to train hard and push yourself.

I bought a yoga mat from Primark for around £6, and I simply roll up my living room rug and swap it for that. I clear the space around me and make sure I have everything I’m going to need before I start. Phone with timer on. Water. Cat out of the way. If I’m feeling super motivated, I even put my gym clothes and trainers on. But not always.

#2 – Plan time into your day to workout.

  
If you were going to the gym you’d probably have decided that morning, or even the day before. Make sure you do the same with your home workouts, and plan when in the day too. Telling yourself you’ll find time for a workout tomorrow is fine, but when things come up – I’ll just nip to Tesco/I must do that ironing/the new series of Suits is on Netflix – the first thing to be knocked off your to do list will be your workout. So set a time and stick to it consistently over a period of 30 days or 3 months; whatever you want to set.

It’s also important to think practically. I know that if my fiancé is at home, I’m not going to get my workout done. He’ll want to watch the TV and he’ll more than likely laugh hysterically at my version of a Fire Hydrant Kick. I plan my workouts when I know there will be no interruptions and I even shut the curtains so I won’t have to pretend I’m just picking up a speck of dirt from the floor if someone walks past.

#3 – Don’t put the telly on!

  
It’s tempting to pop This Morning on and tell yourself that you’ll do more squats if you’ve got Holly and Phil to distract you from the pain. Let me tell you, you’ll get too into someone’s story about the time they fake tanned and nearly died, you’ll sit down and you’ll forget you had ever planned to work out. I’ve done it!

Things that are good to distract you from your burning thighs:

  • An audio book
  • An amazing playlist on Spotify
  • Music channels (also helps with motivation due to high volumes of perfectly toned semi-naked women reminding you what you’re working towards!)

If you’ve got a Smart TV or a phone/laptop you can link to your TV, you can get YouTube up on your TV screen, too, which brings me nicely onto my next tip.

#4 – YouTube videos.

  YouTube is brilliant for showing you how to do absolutely anything. So whether you’ve got a list of exercises you want to get through and aren’t sure exactly what a reverse lunge should look like, or you want a complete workout guide from start to finish, there’ll be a video to help you.

What’s great about YouTube is you can search exactly what you’re after and you can guarantee someone, somewhere will have uploaded a video on it. Try searching exercises for particular body parts you want to work on. Here are some of my favourites:

Stomach and Abs

The 7 Best Ab Exercises – A tad cringe but each exercise is only 30 seconds which motivates you to push yourself on each one.

Killer 7 Minute Ripped Abs Workout – This one is pretty tricky but I’ve been doing it for a couple of weeks now and I’m getting better! Stick with it.

Sexy Slim Stomach Exercises with Vicky Justiz – Quite similar to the Killer 7 Minute Abs, this one is painful but worth it! And if you’re not motivated by Vicky’s body I just don’t know if I can help!

Legs and Bum

30 Day Fat Burn: Legs and Butt Shaper Workout – This is a great one if you haven’t got any weights or equipment because you don’t need anything at all. There’s a girl in it who isn’t as good as the others and I love her! She makes me feel better.

Victoria’s Secret Angel Butt Workout – I love this one for making me feel good about working out at home. The woman is in her living room too, plus she’s got a cute dog who sleeps in the background the whole time.

#5 – Set goals & don’t give up!

  
As with any form of exercise, results come over time. Unfortunately, two 7 minute ab workouts won’t give you the toned stomach of your dreams. But set yourself a target and reflect on how you did. For me, my goal is to work out every day until I go to Ibiza in 3 weeks time. Once I get back, it will be to do 4 workouts a week for 30 days. Make your goals achievable and measureable, and don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day. Just work twice as hard the next day and don’t do it too often!

On a Sunday evening, I spend time planning which workouts I’ll do on what days, right down to how many reps of each exercise. I think about which workouts I enjoyed the previous week, and add more of these into my plan for the next week. It’s all about consistency. You can either sit on your bum and moan about your body, or you can get up and do something about it. I’ve chosen the latter!

Happy home workouts!  

Shellac Love | The Best Nails I’ve EVER Had 

Having been an acrylics girl for MANY years, I felt utterly bare when I recently made the decision to take them off for good. The damage they had done to my nails over the years meant that I was left with thin, ridged nails that split at every slight knock. They were actually painful and just awful to look at.
Now, I’m a big fan of the Juice Plus capsules and I truly believe they have all but brought my nails back to their original strong, shiny condition but I still felt completely naked with nothing at all on my nails!

I’m just not one of those people who can wear normal nail polish and look effortlessly stylish. I’m in awe of the Lauren Conrads and Cheryl Coles of this world who can make a nail polish last even through the night (although I’m sure someone is paid to follow them round with the OPI at the ready just in case of an emergency). No sooner have I applied, I’ve smudged, chipped and picked off 60% of the colour and my mirror like shine is nowhere to be seen. I have hundreds of nail polishes, from a wide range of brands and an even wider range of prices, but if I’m honest, the majority of them are now in that separated, slightly hardened state that it’s impossible to return from.

I needed a solution; I just refused to believe there wasn’t a way to have sleek, shiny nails without the damage of acrylics. Which is when my hairdresser explained that she had a new nail lady at the salon now.

“She does Shellacs,” she informed me loudly over the noise of the hairdryer. “She did mine last week, look.” Her nails were beautifully square, not too long and had the shiniest coat of orange nail polish I’d ever seen. After a week! Okay so the orange wasn’t for me, but she showed me a range of about 20 colours that I could choose from

I’d never tried Shellac before, mainly because nobody had suggested it to me. I’m one for word of mouth recommendations. Show me someone right in front of me who swears by a product and I’m sold. I don’t care if a celebrity is posting selfies with it on Twitter or not. So I booked an appointment for the very next day.

Within half an hour, Joanne the New Nail Lady had transformed my nails into a thing of beauty! They’re my nails, but they look lovely. There’s no nail extension, nothing glued to me and they were dry instantly.

 I’ve only had them done two days but I can tell already that they’re going to last. They feel strong, flex when I press my nail and I can type with ease! What’s not to love?!

So from now on, I think I’ll be a Shellac girl. Oh, and I get a £5 discount for being a customer at the hairdressers – score!