PAIR IT UP

Okay so I’m prepared to face the facts here – what I’m about to share may not be groundbreaking… a lot of people already (probably) do this. But this is a new style of workout I’ve stumbled across and I find it very exciting!

When I go to classes, I leave absolutely exhausted, but I find it quite hard to push myself when I exercise on my own. I’m not a personal trainer so I’m not trained in creating and developing workout plans and schedules, so I usually just go with what I feel like on the day, or I’ll throw a BBG / FBG workout in the mix if I want to follow a structure.

However, this style of workout really works for me – I can give it my all and it gives me little time to think so I just get on with it!

What to do:

Do a quick all body warm up first (5 minutes)

Pick two exercises that target the same body area – alternate the exercises for 30 seconds each for 3 rounds

Blast your music out and just go for as long as you want!

 

Here is an example of some exercises I may do:

Legs

  • Squat jumps
  • Lunges
  • High knees
  • Star jumps

Glutes

  • Donkey kicks
  • Glute bridges
  • Squat pulses

Abs

  • Mountain Climbers
  • Sit Ups
  • Reverse crunches
  • Ab bikes

Arms

  • Shoulder press
  • Shoulder taps
  • Bicep curls
  • Lateral raises

The best part? I can do it anywhere, anytime! Give it and go and let me know how you get on!

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WINTER SKINCARE WITH A CONSCIENCE

Not only is party season coming up.. but the harsh winter weather is fully here now! To be honest, I absolutely love frosty mornings and cold weather, but I know it can wreak havoc on my skin! I have combination-oily-dry skin (it varies all over my face!) so I like to use products that are both harsh to get the job done (looking at you night-out-make-up) and gentle to take care of my skin. Finding products that are balancing both of these is tough…

This is where Artistry comes in… now – I’d never heard of them before, so I was surprised to find out they’re actually one of the world’s top 5 largest selling premium skincare brands!

Even better (in my eyes), they are part of Amway – an environmentally responsible company. Not only are they committed to renewable energy, but they also don’t test on animals. You can find more about this, and their other commitments, here.

  • Commitment to Renewable Energy: Amway has signed a 20-year contract with Wolverine Energy to invest in renewable energy through the first wind turbine farm to be constructed in the state of Michigan. Upon completion, the wind farm will provide 10% of our total energy use at our World Headquarters facilities.
  • Animal Testing: Our line of ARTISTRY® skin care products and cosmetics is not tested on animals unless required by government regulations. We actively lead initiatives to create alternatives to required animal tests.

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I really love that the make up wipes come with a resealable lid (cause the sticky ones never work) and I loved that the tubes were actually pumps (for no other reason than I just wasn’t expecting it…)

When it comes to make-up.. I’m pretty amateur – I like to stick with the same old brands I’ve used since I was 14 and pray they don’t get discontinued!

HOWEVER, this Artistry make-up was enough to make even me swoon – the packaging is gorgeous (a tad YSL no?) and what I thought was really cool, was that the compact mirror pops off the eyeshadow – so when you’re done with the palette you can chuck it out without binning the mirror, or you could swap it out for a blush if you wanted to take that out with you instead!

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What are your thoughts? What do you look for when you’re buying make up?

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REASONS WHY I EXERCISE

I’ve been asking myself this question recently.. why do I exercise? Why do I make myself go out early in the morning before work, or brave the darkness after work get a sweat on? Sometimes I leave work bang on time and rush across London just to go to a fitness class… but WHY?

I don’t think anyone could give just one answer to this question, so I’ve decided to jot down a list of why I exercise. No one reason is more important than another, in fact I think all the reasons put together is probably why!

  1. Endorphins – I just love that post workout high that leaves me feeling invincible and blissful
  2. Body confidence – since starting Kayla’s BBG a couple of years ago, my self confidence has rocketed! I used to be self conscious about what my body looked like and now I just love it and am so proud of what it can do!
  3. Mental health – exercise is a great de-stressor, I read once that thinking about stressful situations gives you an elevated heart rate and sweaty palms, but when you exercise and think about stressful situations, you attribute those things to the exercise, which gives you a clearer mind and less anxiety. Whether that’s true for everyone I don’t know.. but it certainly works for me!
  4. Body shape – I’d be lying if I said toning up wasn’t on my priority list, it helps me feel more comfortable in my clothes (cause who really wants to spend more money on jeans?!) and more confident overall
  5. Achievement – the sense of achievement and pride you get from setting yourself a goal and then smashing it 3, 6 or 12 months later is second to none. Want to feel good about yourself? Get out your pen and paper and then work hard to make it happen!

What about you? Why do you exercise?

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CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE

It’s that magical time of year again and I couldn’t be more excited to bring you my 2017 gift guide! (I’ve literally been excited for Christmas since June)

It’s sometimes quite difficult to come up with our own list of things we’d like to treat our friends and family to no matter how well you know them, but hopefully this post can offer some inspiration for different budgets!


Bunny bedside table nightlight: this super cute porcelain light is gorgeous – the perfect gift for someone who’s just moved into a new home! I also think this would be a lovely gift for a baby / child’s room – perfect to brighten up those dark, cosy evenings. Plus, the rabbit’s tail is an LED lightbulb that stays cool to the touch, meaning it’s nice and safe! Get yours on findmeagift.com

  • Perfect for: children / people expecting / anyone who loves bunnies

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Gin baubles: yep, you read right – gin baubles… something for the grown ups! Save this one to treat yourself / only for people you love – these baubles will look gorgeous hanging on your tree all Christmas season. The set includes The Lakes Gin (a speciality gin created in The Lake District, featuring Cumbrian Juniper, heather, meadowsweet and bilberry), The Lakes Sloe Gin Liqeur (made with sloe berries, featuring flavours of sweet raspberry jam, cinnamon and orange citrus) and The Lakes Damson Gin Liqeur (which boasts a delicious flavour of fresh cherries and ripe plums). Find these on findmeagift.com

  • Perfect for: only the people you truly love

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O’Keefe’s Skincare: a classic and much loved Christmas present – a multipack from Boots! O’Keeffe’s have launched a new O’Keeffe’s Hardworking Skin Care Multipack – ideal for anyone (men and women) wanting to look after their skin, this winter!

Within the O’Keeffe’s Hardworking Skin Care Multipack is O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Jar, providing guaranteed relief for extremely dry, cracked hands, a Jar of O’Keeffe’s Healthy Feet, providing hard-working relief for hard-working feet and new O’Keeffe’s Lip Repair Cooling lip balm; cooling relief for dry, cracked lips. The O’Keeffe’s Hardworking Skin Care Multipack is available at £17.99 from Boots

  • Perfect for: anyone outdoorsy who might appreciate a bit of TLC


Stance Fusion Athletics Socks: know anyone who’ll be hitting the pavement for a 5KM run / heading to the gym on boxing day morning? They’ll welcome these! Super warm and comfortable, these exercise socks are great for keeping you warm on chilly mornings!

  • Perfect for: self confessed fitness fanatics

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Vivid Matcha: sticking with the health and fitness theme… Vivid Matcha, known for their ready-to-drink matcha cartons have just launched single serve matcha green tea powder sachets. Perfect for popping in your bag for pick-me-up on the go! Take a sachet and make yourself a matcha latte with some microwaved milk (cow or otherwise), or simply add to a smoothie for an extra nutrition boost!

  • Perfect for: busy people who want to stay healthy on the go


HP Sprocket: I was given this little gadget for my birthday in August and I am in LOVE. It’s essentially a tiny photo printer – you connect your smartphone to it via Bluetooth and you’re good to print from your camera reel or your social accounts! PLUS the photos are sticky back, so you can stick them to your mirror, your fridge, the back of your phone… anywhere!

  • Perfect for: those friends always with their phone out, capturing the moment

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GoPro: again, another birthday present that I just can’t get enough of! Dom got me the Hero 5 (I know there’s a newer one out now but trust me, this one is brilliant) and it’s such an upgrade from my previous one!! It’s waterproof / smashproof without casing, it has a screen so you can see what the camera sees and it’s got so many different options (you can even stop that fisheye effect so well recognised!)

  • Perfect for: adventurers and people who love documenting their holidays

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MY POST RUN ROUTINE

I’ve finally managed (a couple of weeks since the Lisbon marathon) to get back into running! Although I’ve not been doing any “proper” distance running, I’ve been enjoying doing 5-10km after work with my colleagues.

The nights in the UK are now in pitch-black and freezing mode – so I’ve got myself a post run routine that not only spurs me on, but that also treats myself!

  1. Firstly, I drink a bottle of flavoured milk – I read a long time ago in Runners World that chocolate milk is a good recovery drink, so while I don’t drink plain milk really ever (don’t like the taste) these milkshakes from Shaken Udder are utterly delicious (more info on these milkshakes below)
  2. Second, I run myself a bath – with lots of Epsom salts and bubbles to help soothe my muscles and warm me back up again
  3. Third, I get into my PJs (that, ideally, have been warming on the radiator)
  4. Finally, I snuggle up on the sofa, with a peppermint tea and some sort of carby goodness, usually pasta (have you tried my green goddess pasta?!)

More about Shaken Udder:as I said above, I’m not a big milk-drinker – however, I am a big chocolate lover and oh my god the Salted Caramel (hello!) – it’s sweet, salty and simply velvety. A close second for me is the Belgian Chocolate is by far my favourite!! It actually tastes like chocolate, not that chocolate flavouring you usually get! Dom’s a big fruit milkshake fan (which works perfectly) so his favourites are the Banana and new Strawberries and Cream. Quite simply, there’s something for everyone!

The milkshakes:

  • Are gluten free
  • Are suitable for vegetarians
  • Contain vitamin B12
  • Are made with British milk
  • In recyclable bottles
  • Contain no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives

You can get your hands on a bottle from a number of retailers, including Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Selfridges, Whole Foods or Booths (if you’re up north).

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