Monday, 16 June 2014

Staying Fit for FREE

I've gone from couch potato to gym aficionado in the past year so when I read that one of the first things people give up when faced with having to tighten the purse strings is their gym membership, it got me thinking!

In a survey conducted by Legal and General people have voted with their feet by stating that their gym membership would be the first luxury they gave up. Now, obviously, keeping fit doesn't have to go hand in hand with a gym membership as there are lots of ways you can keep fit for free!

I think for me, an easy thing to start with would be walking, jogging, running and basically just getting up and out. I never would have thought I would have recommended this back in the day, but having recently had to take up a spot of running before the Manchester 10K, I have a new appreciation for getting out and about rather than sweating it out in the gym!

If weights are more your bag then don't think that no gym membership equals no weight lifting! For those of you who need lighter weights, tins, water bottles and resistance bands can be thrifty ways of pumping iron at home. If you usually lift something a little more weighty than a tin of beans, then fear not, you can use body weight as a tool very effectively!

It's also worth bearing in mind how useful the internet can be in terms of picking up free workouts, you can access yoga, pilates and other exercise classes virtually on YouTube. Staying fit definitely starts in the kitchen so check out online recipe forums and cancelling that gym membership doesn't need to be a big deal!

Back in the day I would have just thought, ah well no more gym, but since going to the gym and enjoying it then I definitely think there is no excuse to stop keeping fit! You just have to be creative...!

Sunday, 15 June 2014


Every so often an email pops into my inbox from a brand and the concept of the collaboration really appeals to me.

This post is a collaboration with Thierry Mugler and as they launch the new face of Angel as Georgia May Jagger, they've asked people to talk all about their #AngelTribes (or group of pals for those of you unfamiliar with the campaign.) Mugler feels that the woman who wears 'Angel' is strong and empowered by the other strong females around her through their friendship. Something about that really resonated with me and I would like to introduce my #AngelTribe to you guys!

The idea of the post was to try and get everyone in the same photo, in the ultimate selfie, but the truth is, all my amazing friends are hard to assemble in one place! There were a good few others I could have put in here and I am sorry to my pals who I missed out but if I had to pick a mix of old and new that I spend the most time with, it's the people above!

My 'tribe' means the world to me and they all bring out a different part of my personality I think. I can't put my finger on what draws us together as it varies from friendship to friendship, all I can say is that I love each dearly and hope to have them around for the distant future!

What I love about the Blogging community is that it allows me to mix with like minded people, sometimes in person and sometimes virtually. It has pushed me outside of my comfort zone and also made me challenge myself to start new things. I'd say Blogging has encouraged me with the weightloss project, so when Steph (Angel number 2 in the picture!) suggested I check out Elite Performance Fitness, I did. Originally it was for the good of the Blog, but then I realised that I actually enjoyed going and was getting a lot out of it!

Which leads me onto Angels number 4 and 6.. Alex and Clare. I met both through the gym and they have become close friends. I love that as you get older, history isn't such an important factor in choosing friends. Don't get me wrong, I love my friends from school (Steph - 2, Zara - 7 and Lauren - 9) but as you grow up you evolve and you make friends with people you meet along the way.

Janine (1), Taylor (3) and Sara (8) are friends I have made via other friends but they really understand me and contribute very positively to my life.

I think my tribe is very unique in that we are all very different, have a real mix of careers and personalities, but it works. Between us we are; a Makeup Artist, PR, Business Owner, Physiotherapist, HR/Blogger (that's me), PA, Wedding Stationary Designer, Lawyer and Pharmacist! Some very impressive women I call my friends so I'd love to hear about yours!

If you want to get involved in the campaign too, post a picture of you and your tribe on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest or Facebook mentioning @Thierry_Mugler with the hasthag #AngelTribes.

Twitter: @Thierry_Mugler

Friday, 13 June 2014

Manchester Staycation

I have recently collaborated with Travelodge to talk about my favourite Manchester establishments and what you could get up to during a weekend break to our fine City.

Check out the Manchester Get Up & Go Guide here!

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Parklife - My First Festival

Woohoo - another item to check off the to-do list! I went to Parklife last Sunday and experienced my very first festival!

Despite some of the weirdest weather I have EVER witnessed.. blazing sunshine, then grey skies, then horrendous downpours and then a beautiful sunset(!) I had an amazing time and I was way more ok with portaloos than I thought I would be!

We headed over about 4pm as we were most interested in the acts later on in the day, grabbed a 'Parklife Burger' from Almost Famous and listened to the vocal talents of London Grammar, Bastille and Foals.

Upon reading the #parklife hashtag on Saturday night I was a little dubious as to what to expect and apart from a bit of confusion about where we should be queuing to get in I thought it was fine!

It is always worrying when you read about things that have happened and I must admit I was a bit anxious about whether I would see any fights or trouble! One thing I did think was hilarious though, was that my sealed nurofen were taken off me, as categorically no tablets were allowed in the festival! There were a fair few people who were quite evidently on substances other than alcohol, but nevermind..!

I would definitely go to Parklife again and other day festivals, I'm not sure I am cut out for camping but I think being able to go to events like this when they are on my doorstep is great!

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Umberto Giannini at Harvey Nichols Manchester

Image c/o Manchester Fashion
On Monday I was thrilled to be able to head down to Umberto Giannini at Harvey Nichols Manchester, where the lovely James tended to my tresses for me.

I had met with James on Friday to have my patch test and discuss what I wanted. We decided to disguise my growing roots with a semi permanent dye and then add some balayage lighter pieces through the ends to brighten up my hair for summer, without the upkeep of highlights.

I've kept my ombre look and in terms of cut, I had recently had it cut alot shorter but felt that it was a bit blunt and therefore felt very thick. James softened it all for me using a razor cut method and took some of the weight out of it, which has made styling a bit easier for me!

The salon is super relaxing and feels very high end but without the 'intimidating' atmosphere that some other salons of this calibre have. I was made to feel so welcome and it was a really lovely treat to have such a pampering couple of hours.

I would highly recommend James and the salon itself, to book in, call 0161 828 8840!

Click Here to view the website.

Thank you very much to Umberto Giannini and James! :)

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Weekend Hair Treat Alert

Ladies! Don't say I don't spoil you..

From the 6th to the 8th June, blow dries at Umberto Giannini in Harvey Nichols Manchester are just £20! Get yourself booked in :)

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Life is better with a tan...

I know the title of this post is a bit shallow sounding, and probably not even applicable to some of you English Roses, but I am a fake tan junkie. A lazy one. I always feel like I look healthier with a tan and it makes me feel so much better about myself!

A quick post today to talk about my favourite three fake tan brands that cater for all budgets, time slots available for tanning and desired colour.

First up is a new product recently introduced to me by my visit to Top Notch Salon in Manchester. Lauren's Way Solution 60 is honestly been a bit of a revelation to me. I was very kindly treated to a spray tan when I visited Top Notch and they used this new formula on me which develops in a mere 1 to 3 hours. I am normally quite sceptical of such claims, but I can reveal that in just 2 hours time, the Lauren's Way Spray Tan turned me the most amazing bronze colour, was even and I feel it's probably going to be a new obsession of mine... I had it applied on a Monday and then it was still going strong for my weekend in Paris a good few days later so in terms of longevity it is definitely up there!

Cocoa Brown by Marissa Carter was another tan that intrigued me with their claims and the blogger hype that surrounded the product. I have used the normal foam one and the dark mousse, both are quick to develop, give a great colour and are fantastic value for money.

Xen Tan is at the luxury end of the tanning marketplace and I do absolutely love it but I do not love the price tag.. probably the best smelling out of the 3 tans I have selected, Xen Tan is a really beautiful product. Kind to skin, evenly wears off and provides a natural looking glow.

I'll be getting my pins out this weekend for Parklife in Manchester so will need to get them tanned up - what are your fave tanning brands? :)
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