A travel and style blog

Couples That Exercise Together Stay Together...Right?

What I posted: Feeling motivated after a riverside run with the boy!

What really happened: It's been a long, exercise free winter for me. I used to go to the gym regularly, maybe two or three times a week, but my motivation over the last few months has been AWOL. Last week without warning, in a prodigal son type scenario, my motivation unexpectedly returned.
I'm not sure what the turning point was. The evening I sat curled up in my dressing gown, watching telly, eating a box of Maltesers like they were a packet of crisps, or the shopping trip to River Island for holiday swimwear.
Nothing fills you with dread more than the prospect of having to do a poolside, bikini clad, saunter past fellow sun bathers, while actually thinking 'Christ I hope everyone is reading and not looking at me. Get me in that pool. Be casual, don't run!'
Don't even get me started on the 'emerging from the pool' saga.

My boyfriend likes to keep active, so at least I have an exercise buddy while I've got my workout mojo back. Be wary though, you may unleash a side to your man that you've never seen when you try the following together.

A Game of Squash
My View: This will be a bit of fun. Let's see how many times we can hit the ball to each other without stopping.
His View: There's no point in playing if your not playing to win. I'll give her constant pointers to help her improve. I'll offer to play with my left hand so that she has a chance of winning a point. This is thoughtful and in no way patronising.

Road Running
My View: I'll just gently jog and then walk for a bit if I start to struggle. There's no rush. I'll resist the urge to punch him in the face if he says 'come on, keep going' one more time.
His View: Speed is everything. We need to keep the pace up, and keep moving. I'll track our progress with my Strava app.

My View: This will be relaxing. Fresh air and a bit of scenery. Lovely.
His View: I know a great 21 mile route we can nail. "If you use your gears properly you won't need to stop!"

The Gym
My View: We can use the treadmills together and catch up. I'll give him a wave when he's in the weights room, that'll be sweet.
His View: Yeah I'll see you after my workout. Meet me in the steam room.

Our approach to fitness may be worlds apart at times, but we agree on one thing. You feel so much better when you exercise. It's not just about shaping up and being able to wear something other than a shift dress every time I go out. It sounds a bit dramatic but I find that my outlook on life is more positive when I get regular exercise. Maybe this is because I can eat Maltesers guilt free.

I once read in a women's fitness magazine that you should listen to your body. If your body is telling you it needs to rest, listen to it (or that's how I interpreted it anyway). A healthy balance between exercise and rest is what I'm aiming for.

Don't underestimate the power of exercise, and don't underestimate that feeling when you secretly improve at squash and actually win a game. Time to play with your right hand you swine!!

Thanks so much for reading x x

20 Signs I Need A Change From My Nine To Five

There are days at work when sitting at my desk for eight hours drives me slightly mad. If you work in a quiet office you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. These are the signs telling me I'm ready for a change.

1. I sit at my desk in the morning and start by repeating positive mantra's to myself to try and summon motivation.

2. I make a list of all the things that I WILL do...tomorrow.

3. I drink gallons of water. I may be bored to within an inch of my life but my God my skin looks hydrated.

4. I talk to my colleagues about everything I can think of, then grill them on their own lives.

5. Social media is a life line. I check Twitter, Instagram, Facebook about ten times every hour.

6. I read posts on Bloglovin as above.

7. A tea break is a highlight of my day. If I need it I'll throw in a biscuit.

8. I play Candy Crush Soda Saga and thoroughly enjoy it. I currently only ever use my five free lives. Paying for extra lives is a cry for help. I know, I know, playing the game in the first place is questionable.

9. Forgetting I've packed something particularly nice for lunch and re-discovering it a lunch time is a pretty big deal.

10. My Instagram news feed has no new updates because I've only just looked 34 seconds ago. Any 'sipping smoothies poolside' snaps are hard to look at.  

11. I post a photo of my own on Instagram. Checking any feedback will pass a bit of time.

12. I can't think of a single person I want to Facebook stalk because I've already looked at everybody.

13. If I find any positive affirmations on social media such as 'Always remember that your present situation is not your final destination. The best is yet to come' I save them thinking yessss this is so me right now.

14. I text friends and make plans for outside of work.

15. I text my boyfriend and tell him I'm bored on the off chance that he might have a solution. If I get the chance I'll phone him a bit later on and tell him that I'm still bored.

16. I rearrange my office and have a tidy out. Maybe Feng Shui will help.

17. I google career advice and conclude I'm ready for a change.

18. I scour my Indeed job app and look for an exciting job. I get a bit depressed and come off it.

19. I try to think of something that I could invent and present on Dragons Den. Reggae Reggae Sauce has already been done...hmmmm.

20. I mull over how long it would be until my home was repossessed if I just quit today. Not long.

I do of course do some work, I'm so much happier when I'm busy it's just the quiet days sat at a desk that bring out the above in me. If you happen to be sat at a desk reading this "Keep The Faith Desk Sisters! You Can Do It! Go Make That Cup Of Tea!!" 

Do you have any desk survival tips? Send them my way.

Thanks so much for reading x x

The Liebster Award

I'm flattered to have been very kindly nominated for the Liebster Award by Tallulah, the brains behind the gorgeous fashion and beauty blog Lula Moon. The aim of the award is to help spread the word for new bloggers who have under 200 followers. While this nomination doesn't mean I can quit my day job, or that I need to start practicing an emotional acceptance speech, it's a lovely idea to spur on the new kids on the block, like myself. 
The Rules
1. Thank the person who nominated you.
2. Answer the nominator's questions.
3. Nominate 11 blogs with less than 200 followers who you think deserve this award and include their links.
4. Create 11 questions for these nominees to answer, and notify them via social media/blogs.
The Questions Set For Me
1. What is your favourite thing about blogging? I've been stuck in a slight career black hole, and blogging has given me something fun to focus on. I love getting comments from people who have enjoyed reading a post!
2. What did you do for your latest birthday? I went to Dublin and spent it sightseeing, drinking Guinness and warbling along with live music in the Temple Bar area. 
3. If you could wake up tomorrow in the body of someone else, who would you be and why? This is a tricky one, but I'd like to wake up in the body of a lottery jackpot winner. I'd make a donation to my real self and live happily ever after. I'm fairly sure this would count as fraud but try explaining it in court! I'm also assuming that we are only waking up as someone else for one day.
4. Which of the four seasons do you love the most? I love it when Summer has just arrived after enduring what feels like a never ending UK Winter. You emerge from your dressing gown huddle and actually feel like leaving your house - by god without a coat too!!! What a treat.
5. What was the last film you watched? Did you enjoy it? I watched Get Hard with Will Ferrell.  (Will Ferrell was in the film, I didn't watch the film with Will Ferrell). It was pretty funny, not a life changing film but a funny and easy watch. You can't not enjoy a film when Will is involved.
6. What has been the best holiday you've ever been on? A long weekend in Rome. I loved everything about it, such a romantic city and so much to see. I'd love to go back.
7. If you were trapped in a TV series for a week what would it be? Without doubt it would be The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Wining and dining in Beverly Hills? Yes please.
8. What's the worst physical injury you've had? Touch wood I've been lucky to escape any physical injuries so far. I've had my fare share of embarrassing falls but no lasting injuries.
9. If you could travel back in time to a particular memory what would it be? To an evening meal I had in Rome with my boyfriend. A simple thing but just a lovely memory. We stumbled across a restaurant near the Trevi Fountain and everything from the champagne cocktails to the company was perfect. 
10. Do you have any future goals? If so, what are they? I'd like to find a career that stimulates me. Life's too short to wish 37.5 hours of each week away. If I could write for a living that would be my ultimate goal. I'm very lucky to have great family, friends, and at long last a great boyfriend. I aim to always appreciate these relationships and look after them. Life's no fun if you've nobody to share it with...and you never know when you might need a loan. Just joking! 
11. What was the last thing you bought? A dress from Coast for Ladies Day at Aintree.
The blogs that I would like to nominate are
(I know the rules say nominate 11 but I've cheated slightly and just gone for 5).
These are the questions I'd like to ask
1. What/who inspired you to start your blog?
2. What is your most embarrassing moment?
3. Which one item from your make up bag could you not live without?
4. What is your biggest achievement so far?
5. What is your biggest regret?
6. What is the worst date you've ever been on?
7. If you could pick any celebrity and ask any question, who would you pick and what would you ask?
8. If you found a crystal ball that meant you could see into your future would you have a sneaky peek?
9. What is your dream holiday destination?
10. If you won the lottery what would be the first thing you would buy?
11. What one thing have you learnt from blogging so far?
Get typing fellow nominees, oh and sorry too, checking the rule and answering these questions took me far too long x x

Ladies Day At Aintree - Expectations Vs Reality

What I posted: My first ever Ladies Day done! Had such a nice day dolled up sipping fizz in the sun.
What really happened: I descended on Aintree last Friday to experience my first Ladies Day at the races. Famed for the bold and brave outfits worn by event goers and for the not so lady like behaviour of its attendees, here are a few of my Aintree expectations and how they bared up in reality.

1. I will definitely be sipping Moet: A bottle of pink Moet cost £80!  I drank Crabbies alcoholic ginger beer.  Strictly speaking it is still fizz.

2. I might enter the competition for Most Stylish Lady (after a bit of Dutch courage): Shoving a fascinator on your head can give you delusions of grandeur. I didn't enter. In fact I only managed to catch a glimpse of the competition on an outdoor screen while I queued for the ladies toilets.  Pints of Crabbies can go straight through you.

3. An event photographer might stop me for a photo of my outfit: They didn't.

4. Betting on horses won't really be my kind of thing: After beginners luck and three wins in a row I was hooked.  Watching the races live was so much more exciting than I expected it to be.  I think it could be the first sport I've ever actually felt compelled to shout out loud at, and not a ladylike "Giddy Up" either but more of a "COME ONNNNNN."  It's surprising how you can change when the possibility of pink Moet is on the horizon.

5. I will not end up like the drunken disgraces you see in the papers. Ladylike for one day, how hard can it be: After seven hours stood on a slope in heels I could take it not longer. I trotted off shoe less (fascinator still on head) and swapped my Kooples heels from my meticulously planned monochrome outfit for a pair of complimentary lime green Crabbies flip flops. Black leather clutch in one hand, plastic carrier bag with shoes in in the other.

6. I'll enjoy looking at everyone's choice of outfit for the day: I tried not to gawp too obviously at fellow event goers outfits and put on a top notch performance of casually laughing off seeing a woman twenty years older than me in the same dress.

7. I'm only going to Liverpool I won't need sun cream: The top half of my back is a delightful bright red.

Despite suffering from sun burn after one day out in the North of England, Ladies Day was so much fun. A great chance to wear as elaborate an outfit or as casual an outfit as you like, and not feel out of place either way.  I'll be pencilling it in the diary for next year and maybe going for the next size up in the fascinator stakes. "Yoohoo, event photographer...look at me"

Thanks so much for reading x x

Hair Today Gone Tomorrow - The Hassle Of Being Hair Free

What I posted:  Feeling lush after my latest beauty treatment.  I'm all set for summer!

What really happened: A hen do last weekend prompted me to book a bikini line wax.  I usually put this off for as long as possible to avoid the pain, and the embarrassment of bearing all to my beauty therapist.  I've had the same one do it for years now, in fact we've become friends in-between holding my breath and the tearing off of wax strips. I've still never gotten over the shame of revealing my wax ready private area each time.  I've come to the conclusion that it's a shame that never goes away.

The prospect of sitting in a hot tub with about ten other hens triggered a swim wear related panic. I've talked regularly at home about 'Operation Hot Pants' since January, a full body tone up that will banish all cellulite.  This has however yet to progress from the recurring thought stage of the program. On top of this my pale skin hasn't seen the sun in a good twelve months.  To avoid a third bodily horror, or embarrassing mix-up when passing the poolside 'no pets allowed notice,' I seized the day and booked my wax.

My boyfriend rejoiced.  I can usually take his jokes as well as the next person but on this occasion one badly timed racoon remark hit a nerve.  I pondered while in a hair free sulk, where the pressure to be hair free had come from. If people in the 1700's bought Merkins to hide hair loss what happened from then to now?  When did we switch from hiding hair loss to forking out for a Hollywood?

After a bit of hair related snooping on the internet, 'it's off because it's out' seems to be the general consensus in the rise of the fashion to remove hair.  As fashion's became freer the trend of being hair free increased.  A 1915 advert for Gillette razors is noted to have had a big impact and helped kick off the fashion, implying confidence and happiness as results.
I want to point out that I'm in no way unusually hairy (I hope), please don't picture me sat typing this post with paws or have visions of me doing some pampering with a Black and Decker device!  I'm a brunette though and find that shaving alone just doesn't always give me the lasting smooth results that I get from waxing.

While it would make life that bit easier if I didn't have to fight mother nature, I feel so much better about myself when I'm waxed.  Ultimately I suppose it's how you feel that counts.  If you're happy hairy then so be it, and who knows you might find a Mr Right who harbours a fetish for 18th century fashions.

Bigger eyebrows have made a comeback recently so who knows what other bodily hair might be next. Wouldn't life be easier if hairy was in fashion.

Thanks so much for reading x x
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