How I Stay Healthy

31 March 2015

Eldwick, Bingley, Bingley, West Yorkshire BD16, UK
Now that I'm working and busy nearly all the time, it's not as easy to stay in shape. I have never been and will never be a gym person. Swimming isn't my favourite thing to do as I'm too lazy. However, I am extremely competitive which is the only way I can encourage myself to actually work out. I'm lucky to live in in area with a lot of hills, quiet areas and enormous landscapes so there's plenty of places to run or walk. Playing netball with friends every week is the one thing I look forward to. There's plenty of opportunities to run around and increase my fitness level without going overboard and being surrounded by friends. Taking long dog walks or hikes are the typical weekend workout activities which help me to stay in shape.

The app, RunKeeper has become a favourite when I chose to take a jog in the evenings. The app keeps track of everything you need to know, from distance to heart rate and average pace while helping me reach goals and remain motivated. The application includes an area to log your motivation, including photos as well as your goals and training plan. There' s also the option to share your achievements which RunKeeper keeps a track of once you make an account.
PumpUp is an app I used to use after school in the evenings to see if I could squeeze in extra exercise after walking home. The app creates workouts for you based on equipment available and level of fitness. This was helpful as a beginner, but after learning which moves I prefer, I created my own workout schedule complied of positions I find more comfortable.
My Fitness Pal is a great app I used to use to keep track of what I ate. Unfortunately, logging everything I ate wasn't as easy as it sounds and I found it much easier to just note down what I have eaten rather than keep track of calories and fat.

I drink herbal tea throughout the day which has helped my skin a lot, but also settled my hunger habits. Taking a packed lunch or planning what I'm going to eat for work has helped me keep my diet in line. Eating large meals in the morning is impossible for me, so smoothies are the best bet to keep me awake and ready to go. Working in a big city means there's unhealthy food on every single corner, from Subway restaurants next door and the train station being lined with Starbucks and KFC stops. The high prices are enough motivation to stay away, but on a busy day it's easy to give into temptation. When I bring my own food to work and actually take time to eat it, I've found that I'm less likely to nip into a corner stop and buy an unhealthy snack to settle the hunger. Making a salad in the morning doesn't take too long, and I like to bring a piece of fruit along if I get peckish during the day.

Wrapping in the Warmth

29 March 2015

Eldwick, Bingley, Bingley, West Yorkshire BD16, UK
Travelling between train stations are the moments in my day I least look forward to. The busy atmosphere and malfunctioning ticket gates don't get to me. It's the cold northern breeze that runs through the enormous grey building that leaves me frozen solid. I have lived in Yorkshire my entire life, but I still can't get used to the chilly temperatures. Despite this time of year being a season I treasure, there is nothing I dread more than stepping out into that crisp wind. There are a few ways I like to stay warm without dressing up like the Michelin Man.
Thermals Work.
I used to take these toasty gems for granted. Almost every item of clothing is available in a thermal form. From coats to dresses and even tights. I underestimated the power of such a fabric that has been around for so many years. Not only are thermals available in most camping/outdoor stores, they're usually in neutral and basic colours so can be disguised and blend well with normal clothing. Thermals are advantageous because they're often quite thin and great for layering.
Layers, Layers, Layers.
A technique used by our ancestors to keep warm throughout the colder season. One of the main reason I adore fashion at this time of year is because I can experiment with layers - mixing colours, textures and patterns to create an interesting look. It's a great way to spice up an everyday look and create multiple statement pieces without going overboard. Throwing thermals in the mix is the key to finding extra heat. I usually have a mix of scares, tops and jackets to try and layers, keeping the top-half warm.
Beautiful Boots.
I have always worn ankle boots as a quick and easy casual style pick. Thigh high boots are immensely popular, especially among celebrities with suede being the favoured pick. Unfortunately, they don't suit everyone including myself. However, there are so many different styles available in high street stores with end-of-season sales being only a few weeks away. I prefer a tiny heel, because they elongate the legs and can pull an outfit together. Being drawn to black boots is a habit I'm desperately trying to break; I've also found that good quality boots don't need to be real leather which helps when you're shopping on a budget.
Accessorize!
Now that I actually have to abandon the internet and go outside everyday, I value my woolly knits more than ever. I recently bought a Michael Kors beanie hat from TK Maxx which keeps my enormous head warm and ears hidden. The thick knit is perfect, and the dark charcoal fits well with many other colours. There's nothing better than finishing work at 5pm and wrapping up in a super soft and extra long scarf. My hands are always cold so the extra pair of "magic gloves" do the trick perfectly. Earmuffs are also available in stores such as Claire's and Accessorize for great prices.

British Designers I Love

27 March 2015

Eldwick, Bingley, Bingley, West Yorkshire BD16, UK
ALEXANDER MCQUEEN
His fashion sketches were fearless fiving him a reputation for creating shocking and challenging ideas. He was an inspiration for creativity. Lee McQueen mastered six methods of pattern cutting after leaving school at sixteen. He went on to create collections such as "Highland Rape" and "Nihilis" as he believed "British fashion is self-confidence and fearless; it refuses to bow to commerce, thus generating a constant flow of new ideas whilst drawing on British heritage."
The signature 'bumsters' made an early appearance which proved McQueen's clear talent for challenging tradition. The brutally sharp approach of his collections mix bold imagery with extreme beauty. His clothes were priased for the unqiue interpretations and technical mixtures, including him in the roster of the most creative designers in the country. By 1996, McQueen was one of the most respected designers in the world, recognised at an international level for his extraordinary shows.
BURBERRY
The fashion sensibility of Burberry is enhances by the Prorsum collection. The label has become a beacon for global luxury brand, Burberry, The collections create a mix of classic garments and high fashion style. Set up in 1856 by Thomas Burberry, the first London sotre opened in in 1891 and by 1895, Burberry was making the uniforms for the British Army. Queen Elizabethh II granted the signature paid lining brand a Royal Warrant in 1955.
Burberry Prorsum ('forward' in Latin) began as a high fashion line in 1999 adding a modern twist to the classic luxury brand. Christopher Bailey joined Prorsum as creative director in 2001 after experience at Donna Karan and Gucci. Prorsum was transformed into a relevant fashion brand without sacrificing any of it's originality, helping it to continue defining classic styles and shapes on the runway. Bailey is inspired by Englishness alongside Burberry's heritage, showcasing the original shadow with quirky and youthful touches to keep the brand alive.
CASSETTE PLAYA
Creating a fashionable hodgepodge of sports, street-wear and exciting animation. Designed by Carri Mundane, the collections are a combinations of magic and colour, favoured by London's club kids. Mundane's vision is energetic, inspired by real and virtual worlds. Her clothes present a youthful spirit captured by a kaleidoscope of colour in menswear. Mundane's designs are described as "graphic, future, positive and primal, almost like a virtual media in the industry. Mundane confirms that contemporary methods of communications hugely influence her pieces.
Despite the garments being presented on men, Mundane described them as "mixed wear" - essentially clothes than can be worn by both genders. Ettore Sottsass, Keith Haring and Versace are among her design icons. The collections are known to have florescent colours and signature prints which I adore. Mundane believes street fashion is fashion in it's purest form.
Mundane is also a stylist, contributing her colourful visiton to magazines such as i-D, Dazed & Confused and Super Super, redefining a luxurious industry for a new generation.
CHRISTOPHER KANE
The designers of beautifully refined clothes and bright, sexy and dynamic designs. Creatively fusing colour, print and fabric, Kane is at the forefront of British fashion design. Inspired by the ingenuity of John Galliano from an early age, Christopher Kane received praise from Donatella Versace after a graduation from Central Saint Martins, landing a consultancy role at Versace in September 2006. Kane showed his first independent show at one of London's Fashion Weeks. Skin-tight pieces referenced the work of Gianni Versace, Azzedine Alaia and HervĂ© Leger. Kane captured the modern essence of London's fashion, with a working ethic of "working hard and trying to do something interesting". He states "I want women to feel really special in my designs but my ideas on aesthetic change like the weather." Kane's work is inspired by his own memories and interpretations, beginning at drawing, then working on a mannequin and on the body to edit the garments. For Kane, the fashion show is the most exhilarating part of his work. He certainly helps fill the quote for British designers creating on excellent international reputation for being visionary.
EMMA COOK
Her clothes combine quirky femininity with exquisite detailing, retro styling and rich textures. Cook's appreciation for using directional prints and unique character in her garments was noted by the British press who focused on her unique attention to detail after her 1999 graduation from Central Saint Martins. That very charm has come to develop and define Cook's work. After winning a Vidal Sassoon Young Talent Award, Cook produced her own collection at LFW for S/S 2001.
Despite Emma Cook's collection being described as 'girlish', they are always graphic with very strong construction techniques. There are often visible themes of natural or artistic references such as foliage, birds or animals and flowers. Cook designs her pieces to be worn over and over again - not just for the time of the year. Cook ensures that her collections present original twists on contemporary fashion by developing a girly but not cute aesthetic. The most rewarding part of her job is seeing people wearing and enjoying her clothes, despite the phenomenal designer and perfectionist never feeling satisfied.

Jolly Jumper

25 March 2015

Eldwick, Bingley, Bingley, West Yorkshire BD16, UK
There are some items in my closet that I can never let go of, either because they have a sentimental touch or a significant memory I like to remember attached to them. With this jumper, it was the first item I bought on a shopping trip with my friends when I was only twelve. This may not seem like a very big deal, but when I was younger, shopping trips to the city centre were a huge thing, especially when there were no parents. It's a lot different now and tweens seem to be skipping the awkward pink jeans stage I went through. Surprisingly, this jumper still fits as I bought a large size all those years ago. It has stuck with me and stayed in great condition ever since. The sweater slowly became my favourite, and during the winter I would wear it just about everywhere.
Jumper // Topshop
Jeans // Urban Outfitters
Bag // Next
Shoes // Next

Triple Threat

12 March 2015

Eldwick, Bingley, Bingley, West Yorkshire BD16, UK
Black Leather Boots, Dorothy Perkins, £39.99
This pair of boots were my first ever Chelsea boots. I jumped straight onto the band wagon and followed bloggers and celebrities into the leather phenomenon. They're comfy stlish and easy to wear which makes them one of my favourite airs. On a busy day, I lean towards these boots as they aren't too tight-fitting and have a flat but very sturdy sole for me to rush around in. The shape fits my feet perfectly as they're not a wide fit but still leave plenty of room. The basic style helps them pair well with just about everything I own.
Suede Ankle Boots, Next, £37.00
I tend to wear these boots to quite formal events, because they can be easily dressed up. The ontrast in heel and material fives them a bit of edge and adds the small contrast in colour to a look. Fortunately, the suede looks great against tights which have helped these boots become a winter favourite. And who doesn't love suede? The heel is high enough for the to be worn with casual attire as well as a much less colloquial setting.
Black Leather Ankle Boots, Next, £34.00
I was first reluctant to purchase these boots due to the pointed toe and unique look. Pointier toes always make feet look longer in my opinion, which is something I have always been concious of. However, paired with jet black or even charcoal jeans they highlight the best in a black on black look with the tiny details in the boots making the outfit seem more exciting and put together with minimal effort. The leather isn't shiny which means it doesn't contrast with common fabrics such as denim or jersey. I love that the boots pair well with dresses as well as jeans, as it's quite difficult to find an ankle boot style that's so versatile.

Girl Crush: Angelina Jolie

10 March 2015

Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK
Angelina has been the girl crush of my life for a solid 14 years, Lara Croft and Mrs & Mrs Smith are both films I can't live without and have the luxury of sitting as DVDs on my majestic movie cabinet. Angie has become an idol of mine due to her free spirit but mature attitude. She is someone that's easy to relate to, grew up in the public eye and has experience so much as a woman. The way she carries and handles herself is to be admire as well as her phenomenal wardrobe choices. I may envy her husband and lifestyle, but one thing I would love to steal is Angelina's wonderful wardrobe.
Her style (as well as make-up) are constantly all over my Tumblr feed, and she's basically red carpet royalty. My favourite AJ looks are her award show dress which always manage to steal the spotlight. Similarly, Mrs Pitt's everyday look are so simple yet appear so stylish. All-black outfits are owned by Angelina.
Sometimes the most effective looks are the ones with much less going on. As the years have gone by, I have learnt (with the help of Angelina) that all-black outfits aren't all bad and extremely busy looks can just be too much. There's no shame in wearing an oversized black tee in the middle of August, but that doesn't mean you can't glam up in a bright green glittery ensemble for a dinner party. She annihilates just about every look she tried, and has a presence that's unique to her personality.

Magical Music Apps

9 March 2015

Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK
I have a very wide music taste and enjoy most genres as background music. I am possibly the worst person for making playlists, because I never know where to start or what to include. There are a few music apps I use on a regular basis that I rely on most days when travelling, blogging and working out.
SPOTIFY
I tend to use Spotify more as the programme on my computer as I can listen to anything on demand. The mustic list is endless and there are plenty of other users with amazing playlists that I follow and adore. The iOS 8 app works really well (despite adverts and limited skips). It's great for throwing on any old playlist or artist; however if your playlist is too short Spotify with automatically include some extra tracks which can be a blessing or a curse. I have dance around upgrading to Spotify Premiumfor a while as it certainly has it's benefits, such as offline streaming which is great for on-the-go. The price per month is what keeps me from taking the plunge.
8TRACKS
This app is great for discovering new music. Like Spotify, you can create and follow playlists made by other users, but not albums or artists. To find playlists, you can search something to fit your mood, surroundings or activity and narrow the search by selecting adjectives that appear in the list. Spotify also has this feature, including playlists made by Spotify rather than just users, but 8tracks promoted the feature first so I use it more often. There's a playlist for every situation possible and it's one of my favourite ways to find new music to add to my library. There isn't an offline feature for this app, but the website and app do not include sound advertisements despite this application also having limited skips per playlist.
BBC iPLAYER RADIO
BBC Radio 1 and 1XTRA are two of my favourite radio stations. This app is one of the only ways I listen to the radio because my iPod is constantly playing. I use this app to listen to the Radio 1 Breakfast Show in the mornings which helps me to have a great start to the day. The sleek design is one of my favourite things about the app, and the option for every radio station by the BBC is available, including a tab named "find local radio" that will use the location services on your device to find a station near you. The iOS 8 application is extremely effective and has never broken down or stopped responding.
YOUTUBE
The original source of music before new media took over. I don't use YouTube for music everyday, mainly because I can't close the app and keep the video playing. YouTube was my main source for lyric and music videos, before the advertisement days. YouTube has changed a lot from the original iPhone app, and the "Music" tab on the "What to Watch" page is usually where I head to find YouTube Mixes and recommended videos. I can also find videos from artists I'm subscribed to and always find the newest and latest music videos to hit VEVO.

Face Wash Favourites

7 March 2015

Eldwick, Bingley, Bingley, West Yorkshire BD16, UK
Garnier Pure Active Gel Wash
This has become a favourite because it smells ridiculously good. I'm a sucker for a fruity fragrance which drew me straight to this wash. The great thing about this daily wash is that it's thick and soapy unlike a lot of brands which sell thin facial washes despite the great scent. The amazing aroma fills the room, but I also use it as a mini mask when taking a bath allowing the suds to take over. The smooth serum doesn't leave my skin dry which I value due to my skin type. The was is full of moisture and plenty of bubbles which I use twice a day. This product is a great way to alert me in the morning as waking up early is by far the worst thing about being a grown up. A quick facial wash in the morning preps my skin for make-up and helps me actually keep my eyes open throughout the day. The wash rinses well with water which makes it really use and effective to use.

Garnier Pure Active Gel Scrub & Neutrogena Visibly Clear Daily Scrub
I use two different scrubs to help me exfoliate my skin. Dirt and filth don't always come off with the face wash so I use both scrubs once a day. This is just to ensure tough and long-lasting make-up products like my foundation are cleared from my skin to prevent spots. I also use preventative scrubs just to give my skin that extra push in really keeping the blackheads away. I had a full fring for about two years which meant the skin on my forehead was basically neglected, leaving me which a few spots on my forehead and that area being prone to break-outs. Using these scrubs together has really helped to keep this area clean and moisturised. I have used a few products in the past that were too damaging to my skin despite my soft approach. Both scrubs are exfoliating and don't rub too hard, but rather massage it without tearing off layers of skin.

Pull Your Socks Up

4 March 2015

Eldwick, Bingley, Bingley, West Yorkshire BD16, UK
Working full time has helped me to realise I have a very short attention span. Getting bored easily is becoming natural and finding the motivation to do anything is slipping away. It's strange how quickly the time disappears in the evenings in contrast to during the day. My to-do list is getting longer, whereas the days are getting shorter. Every so often I go through these phases of "okay, let's sort out" but it never gets done, or what is completed only lasts a few days. 2015 has already been an eye-opening, reality-slapping year and now is the best time to really pull my socks up. 

Getting into a Routine
This is an essential. Waking up early every day is a shock to the system when waking at around 11 and scrolling through Bloglovin' all day is the norm. Getting into a routine is difficult, but once the ball gets rolling and the internal body clock has adjusted, it's the best way to get the day started.
Eat Real Food
I'm rushing around left, right and centre during the day which leaves me nibbling snacks and unhealthy food. Not only is this terrible for my health, but it also leaves me with headaches and less energy which isn't fair on my body. Packing a lunch or planning where and when to have meals is a great way to maintain a diet and cut down on the caffeine. 
Actually Use the Calendar
The app on my phone has never been more useful. I do have a calendar hung above my desk, as well as a day planner, but electronic reminders are an amazing way to keep the day in check. With voice control and automatic alarm clocks, there's no reason to be late or miss a meeting!
Plan Everything
I can become a control freak with organisation, which is really a double-edged sword. Everything in my day must now be planned the night before, from my outfit to where I'll stand on the train platform. A packed bag keeps my mind at peace and less anxious on a busy day.
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