June Favourites 2017

These months are coming and going rather quickly right now are they not? June was quite an exciting month for me and as usual I collected together some of my favourite points to share with you all.

Self Employment
It feels like it's been much longer but June has been my first full month of self employment. It's a lot of hard work but work I enjoy doing more than anything else in this world. I still have no money, as most of anything I make goes back into my little business so I can continue to bring out new things and I even forked out on a new website which you can check out here, but you know what? Money isn't everything and I feel so much healthier being away from the old toxic workplace I used to spend 6 days a week at. I have lots of exciting projects planned including mugs which is all going on behind the scenes, plus if you'd like to see anymore posts relating to running an online shop, do leave a comment with your thoughts. Please feel free to share my shop on social media, any help is appreciated more than you could ever know!



Chip Mug - Primark
My beyond awesome friend Vik managed to swipe us a Chip mug each from the mighty Primark earlier this month and I couldn't believe it when she leapt out of her car brandishing this in her hand squealing 'look what I've got for you!'. It was such a cute gesture as she knew I'd been on a Chip mug mission since I heard they were available in Primark and this little guy now sits on one of my high shelves in my office where he can't get damaged. I absolutely adore him!


chip mug, primark, disney mug

Vegan Truffles - Tesco
I've seen these occasionally in the vegan world, most likely on Kiera Rose's YouTube Channel and I wanted to give them a try for myself. They lasted me over two weeks which is crazy for me since I'm a huge chocolate lover but they were very rich and creamy that I found just one every now and then curbed my cravings. They're £2 a box from Tesco and I'll definitely be picking up another when it's time for a treat! 


vegan chocolate, vegan truffles, tesco vegan chocolate

Jake Munro - YouTube
This guy deserves way more subscribers so if you haven't already found his channel, do check him out because he makes his own music and films in such a unique way...usually whilst riding an electronic skateboard! I've become so addicted to Jake's channel and even more so when his stunning girlfriend Kaya is involved. They mostly explore the city of Belfast, visit friends, go on picnics, all sorts of activities but Jake films and edits so beautifully. Also, I could listen to their accents all day long.



A New Lifestyle
June was the month we decided to finally go vegan, after months of me putting it off claiming I wouldn't be able to cope without eggs. We were already on alternatives to cows milk and have been for around two years, but now we're using up everything non vegan in our house and everything we buy from now on will be vegan. We're bound to make mistakes so please bare with me whilst I find my bearings in this whole new world but even whilst writing this, it's been under two weeks since I cut out dairy and eggs and I already feel different in myself. I'm making more of an effort to prep meals and involve more veg, snack on fruit instead of crisps, cake and chocolate and I'm making it my goal to do at least 10 minutes of exercise everyday. It doesn't sound like a lot but 10 minutes of skipping really does your legs in, especially followed by running up and down the stairs a few times! I've lost nearly half a stone already which I've been wanting to do for ages and although the food side of things is a struggle for me as I'm not very good with being brave and trying new things, I'm hopeful that I'll get into it and things will settle down.


buddha bowl, vegan food, vegan meal, healthy meal, salad

Moon Cup
During June, the UK experienced some rather warm weather and I believe we reached highs of 32 degrees in the Midlands. It was also typical of my body to decide it was time to menstruate over that scorching week and it was absolute torture, not gonna lie. I was sweating in places I didn't know could sweat and I was in an unbelievably foul mood. At night, my hay fever played up very badly but what made everything a lot more bearable was my Moon Cup. I just popped it in, changed it twice a day which is standard for me and I was able to sleep in it, stark naked, sprawled out on top of the duvet and not have to worry about leakages or thick pads in such warm weather. I love this little thing more than ever now and don't know how I ever coped without it.


Mooncup, menstrual cup,

I'm really enjoying focussing more on lifestyle content as well; earlier today I was re-reading some older posts and realised I wrote an awful lot of reviews and that was it. I do love a good old review every now and then but what I love even more is documenting life and sharing more around that so I hope this is okay with you guys too :) lifestyle posts are some of my favourite to read from other bloggers as well so please feel free to leave links to your posts below so I can have a ganders!

Thanks for reading,


Dog Ownership: Expectation vs Reality

When I homed Custard, I was just 22 years old and that's quite young to even contemplate getting a serious pet like a dog let alone take the plunge. I was single, lived alone and spent all day every day at work with dogs only to come home to a completely empty house. I have also grown up with dogs my entire life so moving out and being away from it all really hit me hard, so along came Custard. Three years down the line, I'm happily married, living in our own house and we now have Vespa too - it's been a whirlwind of crazy experiences that even with five years of dog handler training under my belt, didn't make everything 100% foreseeable and obvious.



Sharing Everything - Expectation
Every meal you have, every ice cream on your trips to the seaside together...they'll automatically be entitled to a bit. You think it's cute that they're even more a part of your family now because what's yours is theirs and what's theirs is yours.
Sharing Everything - Reality
You've done the above far too often and are now exceedingly annoyed when your dog comes and sits right in front of you the minute they smell food cooking. They'll follow you around, literally asking you for a piece of that carrot and you know it's your fault they're doing this but you don't have the heart to tell them to sling their hook. What's worse, is when we have company round and Custard actually 'speaks' when she wants food. She does this sort of purring noise and it's that cute everyone just laughs at her, then I have to awkwardly make her sit somewhere else whilst hanging my head in shame and embarrassment.



Mess - Expectation
The dog may steal the occasional piece of mail from the postman but they'll faithfully place it into your lap and that'll be the end of it. They're never poorly or sick so they're definitely a better option to a baby and they'll only poo once a day, a nice easy one to pick up and pop into the bin.
Mess - Reality
Vespa will try to sabotage our postman in any way he can. He just loves shredding paper...wrapping paper, toilet paper, kitchen roll, letters, cardboard - he's on it. We have to have a special device which catches all of the mail so he can't get to it, but the amount of 'missed parcel' slips I had from Royal Mail which I had to take in pieces, begging for my parcels to be handed over was insane. Dogs get ill, sad but true. Even if they've eaten too much grass, oh look they've just been sick on your carpet. Sometimes a runnier poo will pop out too and leave a smear on your garden and thank your lucky stars if they actually manage to do it outside. Truth is, when your dog is sick, you're going to be treating them exactly as if they were a human. Extra blankets, extra cuddles, checking them every half hour, even scrambling up some egg for poorly tummies. 



Bath Time - Expectation
Oh bath time. A time for bubbles and fun, it'll be clean and over in a jiffy. Your dog will absolutely love the water and will patiently wait for you give him a good scrubbing over and he'll be smelling as fresh as a daisy in no time. The bathroom will remain as you found it and you'll be able to proceed with your day straight afterwards.
Bath Time - Reality
HA. Your dog might love throwing itself head first into a pond or trawling through the muddiest of puddles but put them in the bath tub and it's your funeral. If you're lucky, they'll just stand there shivering and giving you the stink eye at the very least. They'll hate you for the rest of the day minimum and god help you if you have to give them a bit of a blow dry afterwards. It's not like you're trying to stop them from getting too cold and uncomfortable, don't be silly, you may as well be trying to kill them. As for the bathroom, I wouldn't even go back in there. Water all up the walls, bathmat thrown to the side, paw prints everywhere. Just don't.



Despite the hard work and responsibility that goes into owning a pet like a dog, it's so totally worth it and I wouldn't change anything about my two for anyone. We've had down days and come home to our fair share of poo, piss and sick but the unconditional loving bond between you and your dog is something very special.
So these are just three of the things that are a definite struggle for dog owners...I'm just glad I'll never have to bath a cat! Can't even begin to imagine what a ridiculously crazy saga that must be!

Thanks for reading,



The Lazy Girls Guide To Fitness

Not gonna lie, I'm one lazy little shit. Like a lot of women, I tell myself I'm going to make more of an effort to look after myself, exercise and eat right but very quickly (usually before a week has gone by) I surrender, give up and go back to complaining how bad I feel about my body. I'm not as body conscious as I used to be, but I know for a fact I could be a lot fitter as I'm the type who can't even run up the stairs without becoming breathless. So behold, some of my favourite mini exercises to break you in gently. These have been great for keeping me motivated as they don't take up much time but you certainly feel the benefit.

Skipping
I've seen fitness skipping ropes for just £1.99 in places like Decathlon and you can definitely find them in other sports shops for a similar price. Skipping is fun and it also gets your heart pumping that blood around your body. It's also quite good for balance, you can do it at home and just 10 minutes is better than nothing. You could try mixing things up a bit by doing one legged skipping...a little tricky but with practice it'll come. I still can't manage more than 5 one legged skips but I'm getting there! I usually get a right sweat on when I'm skipping and I really feel it in my legs the next day.



Squats in the shower
This one is great for those of us who don't feel like we have much spare time on our hands. I like to try and do between 10 & 20 good quality squats before each product I pick up in the shower and if I'm feeling a bit more adventurous, I'll do some more whilst lathering the shampoo into my hair. It's also a good one for doing whilst brushing your teeth! Squats are really good for those bum cheeks and leg muscles and if you're doing them right, it won't take too long to start noticing a firmer botty and stronger legs.

Push ups against a table
This one is so underrated and people used to laugh at me for doing this literally whenever I could. It's particularly useful when you're waiting for the kettle to boil (do it against the worktop) and it certainly helped me to achieve a full on push up in no time. I couldn't even do one push up before I started doing these, no joke. Also try lady push ups on the floor; you just stay on your knees rather than extend your legs all the way out and it'll help you gain some strength in your arms ready for the real push ups.

Plank
The plank is one of the best things you can do to improve your core strength and is another good one for abs, leg muscles, posture and balance. If you struggle with the timing, try doing 30 seconds worth and increase it by 30 everyday. I like to set myself realistic goals - increasing by a minute for example may seem like too much and off putting so 30 seconds is still increasing it, just a little at a time. Of course, if you find your timing too easy, up it to suit you!

I'm trying to get into the habit of setting myself some little circuits up around the house and with a fitness obsessed husband, he often gets involved and most of the time way too excited to exercise together but I'm grateful for the help he gives me. Having a buddy to do these things with certainly helps! Something that really motivates me is wanting to gain strength rather than loose weight. The likes of Wonder Woman and Brienne of Tarth (from Game of Thrones!) illustrate to me such a huge inspiration for fitness and for me this is kind of a big deal because until this year, all I'd ever want to do is focus on loosing weight and going about it in all the wrong ways. My goal by the end of the year is to be able to do a pull up on a bar we have attached to one of our bedroom door frames and along with my new vegan-in-training diet, I'm aiming to be lot fitter and healthier at the end of the year than I was at the start.

Thanks for reading,





June Wishlist

I have found wishlists to be extremely helpful when it comes to curbing the urge to go on a big spending spree. After all, collecting pretty pictures and writing about them is quite fun and I've also found a huge love for making these mood boards. Here are a few beauties I've been lusting after this month!


1. Vegan Protein Shake - Cute Nutrition
I've wanted to try this shake for a while now and I'm just waiting to use up all of my current shake before I buy a tub, but one of the biggest reasons I'd like to give this a go is because Cute Nutrition have a vegan shake available as well as their regular ones. I'm not a vegan yet, but I'm trying to convert myself and trying to switch as much as I can food wise to animal free. It's a little more expensive than the standard shakes from Cute Nutrition but I'm willing to give it a go and will at some point, be grabbing myself a tub!

2. Unicorn Necklace - Paperchase
How pretty is this necklace? I spotted it on the Paperchase website and for obvious reasons, I'm now in love with it. The fact the pendant is made of porcelain makes it even more adorable...so cute and dainty!

3. Bath Bomb - Bomb Cosmetics
This little delight is just one of many products I'm dying to try from Bomb Cosmetics for many reasons. The main one being their bath bombs are so beautiful to look at and they're quite a big cheaper than bath bombs from Lush. The bombs are a tad smaller than ones from Lush but the stunning decorating more than makes up for it and I'm going to bear these guys in mind for Christmas prezzies too!

4. Wallet - Disaster Designs
It is rather unfortunate that the zip inside of my current purse has broken and it's the compartment that holds coins so it's not ideal that right now they just fly around all over the place. In typical female style though, I already have my eye on a new one and I'm waiting to treat myself. I have a bag from Disaster Designs which is one of my absolute favourites and their products never fail to make me smile. 

5. Tanning Lotion - Superdrug
I've heard a lot about this tan from other bloggers and have been thinking of trying it out for myself. The only reason I haven't bought any is because I already have two bottles of another brands gradual tan which I have made my mission to use up a long with a load of other products that have accumulated in my house over the past few years. If I haven't by the end of summer, then I really hope Superdrug are still selling this next year so I can finally test it out.

6. Leggings - Pink Soda
I'm a huge fan of Pink Soda after discovering their brand in Ireland last year. They sell it over here too in JD Sports store and I'd really like to get my hands on some more of their gear. I have found them to be very comfy and size I've started to exercise more, gym clothes are something I look around for quite a bit.

Thanks for reading!


Moo Moo & Bear - An Etsy Shop

I keep seeing dogs with neckerchiefs on at the moment and me being me thought...wouldn't my two look flippin' awesome with a little bandana each? I started wondering around the internet and decided I would try my damned hardest to support an Etsy shop for what I wanted and I came across Nadia's shop, Moo Moo & Bear.


These two beautiful little numbers have a matching print and were an absolute steal at £4.50 each which I think is amazing for handmade gifts. The quality is very impressive and Nadia's sewing skills have blown me away - it's all so neat! Nadia also makes dicky bows and collars for your fur babies which are just as cute and I'm dying to treat Vespa in particular to a dicky bow for the festive season.
Here are Custard and Vespa each modelling their new accessories and I think they look the dogs bollocks...no pun intended!

miniature schnauzer, dog clothes, cute dog, schnauzer

yorkshire terrier, yorkie, cute dog, dog clothes



I'm not a huge fan of dogs in clothes but a little accessory around the collar like this I think looks very sweet and better yet, both my dogs seemed to think it was great! I did feel slightly anxious that they might try and get them off with it being a new strange object attached to them but surprisingly they were very comfortable with it and the small size was perfect for both of them. Postage was also very reasonable at £2.50 and I also believe that was signed for mail so my order was guaranteed to be delivered to me. There is a tiny wait because everything is made to order but I'm so impressed with Moo Moo & Bear that I'll most definitely be back for more doggy pressies at Christmas!

Thanks for reading,



Money Saving Tips

Since I left my 'real' job last month, I have been looking into ways of saving money and I've found it can encourage you to get a bit more creative with your ways of living. At first I thought, do I really want to be sharing money saving tips on my blog? But then I thought some may find it valuable and also, we work hard for the money we earn do we not? So why not save a few pennies for those well earned treats.

Halving Makeup Wipes
I use baby wipes to mop up the areas around my eyes when I wake up. No matter how much I try, after washing my makeup off the night before I always wake up in the morning with a bit of panda eye going on. I literally tear my baby wipes in half…no need to get the scissors out and they therefore last so much longer. I find baby wipes to be much gentler on my skin and you get double the amount in a pack than you would 'proper' makeup wipes.

The One Teabag Between Two
This sounds totally gross but I assure you it's not. I've taken to using one teabag for making two cups of tea. I wouldn't do this for anymore than two mugs full because I don't think you'd get a decent drink out of it, but for two mugs why not? I have a nifty little tool that I got with some tea for Christmas that means you can pick the teabag out of the mug and pop it into another mug straight after. I only do this when I'm making James & I a hot drink…I wouldn't save my teabags for later as I think this is a little bit minging but using one bag at the same time means your teabags go further and you don't have to buy them as often.

Stocking Up
I'm not gonna lie, I love Superdrug. It's my go to place for literally everything cosmetic and I find they have cheaper products plus their own range is cruelty free. Online, Superdrug always have loads more deals in their 'Star Buys' section and the other day I grabbed four bottles of hand soap for 50p each…bloody bargain! I'd recommend always checking out this section of Superdrug which is usually on the sites homepage, as you never know what treats they might have to offer at a fraction of the usual price.

Switch to Lidl or Aldi
In the Woolley household, we're massive lovers of Lidl and we're lucky enough to have one in our town. Better yet, they're currently building an Aldi too which we can't wait to explore and see what they have to offer. Some people are quite snobby when it comes to supermarkets but seriously, get down to either of these and I promise you'll find some amazing products. You can get things like soya milk for better than half the price of what you'd pay somewhere else and things like cheese, freezer food, toilet roll, crisps a bit cheaper than what you'd usually pay. It depends what it is you're buying, but we've noticed a significant saving since getting most of our shop from Lidl. It lacks in some veggie friendly products like sausages and bacon but we just nip elsewhere on our way home for the last few bits.

Solar Powered Lights & Candles
This one is best during the winter when you need lights on during the day, but we picked up some gorgeous indoor lantern style lights from Sainsbury's which come on in the evening for a good hour or two which gives us enough light. We're also massive fans of candles in our house and these certainly create a better atmosphere than switching on the electricity. Places like Wilkos and Ikea do really cheap candles and little tea lights so get creative and make a wonderful, cosy space to relax in. 

Get On Depop!
I feel like I was late to this party and have only recently been quite active on Depop, but since leaving my job I've been a lot more aware of when I'm buying things for the sake of it; stuff I don't need or will ever use. For example, I went to the Harry Potter studios a couple of years ago and bought a Pigmypuff because I didn't fancy anything else. True story. Said Pigmypuff has been sat in a drawer ever since, still with the tags on so he has gone onto Depop in the search of a new loving home. Sometimes we have things accumulate in our houses and it just becomes 'there'. Dedicate an afternoon to collecting stuff together, assessing whether they could make you some extra pennies and if not, charity shop. It's very healthy to have a clear out and if you can make a bit of money from it then that's even better.

What are your top money saving tip?

Thanks for reading,



Veggie to Vegan?

*DISCLAIMER - SOME READERS MAY FIND THIS POST UPSETTING

When I was just 7 years old, I told my parents I was going vegetarian.  To cut a long one short, I saw Gordon Ramsay on TV slaughter a turkey that he was teaching his kids to raise and then kill for meat. I was devastated. I can't remember how or why I was watching it at such a young age, but it has stuck with me and I haven't touched a single piece of meat ever since. Family and friends have waved bits of meat in my face in the past or laughed at my reasoning behind being a vegetarian and it never really phased me. All I did was ask for them to become a bit more mindful of what they were consuming and respect my choices. Now age 25, I've been becoming increasingly aware of things like the dairy and egg industry and have been trying to convert myself further, to no longer consume anything made using animals.

James and I went to Tesco last week for our shopping and usually we go to Lidl. The traffic in town was horrendous due to a bike race and shut roads so we took a U-turn and made our way home, stopping in at Tesco as we went. I'd never really acknowledged before just how much Tesco as a supermarket have to offer for vegan customers and it wasn't until that day that I fully explored each section of food. For at least a year now, we haven't bought cows milk. Instead, we've tried things like soya, rice, hemp, oat and almond milk as an alternative and whilst they take some getting used to, they're cruelty and guilt free.

vegan food tesco vegan life

This is the range of food we managed to get within our weekly shop and we were beyond impressed with the variety of products available at Tesco. There were cheesecakes, chocolate, cookies, pasta sauce, curry sauce, garlic bread, standard bread, cheese, butter and so much more to choose from. We got a bit of everything to try and so far, you wouldn't know the difference from the 'real' thing. Our local store had a decent sized section in each isle dedicated to vegan and gluten free products so everything was easy enough to find and I'm sure there are still things there waiting to be discovered. I really hope Tesco and the other supermarkets continue with this awesome work and more people at least give these products a try.


The older I get, without a shadow of a doubt I gain more respect for animals of all shapes and sizes. I can't bare to see someone squish a spider or suck it up the hoover, even wasps have their own right to live and if we leave them alone, chances are they leave us alone too. Having just left a job working with dogs, I was sick to death of hearing from colleagues that they were animal lovers yet they gorged on a huge ham sandwich at break time. I had to bite my tongue because something I just cannot seem to understand is how people can claim to love animals yet they eat them without a second thought or any shits given. They were who I considered to be 'domesticated animal lovers'. There was even a girl who one lunch time over a buffet of food was making a huge fuss over whether any pork was present within the snacks and when I asked what her reasoning behind this was, she said 'oh I just love pigs that's all', yet a second later she was eating chicken sandwiches. Another lady at work refused to eat duck because a friend of hers had some pet ducks. This kind of nonsense I cannot deal with.

We as humans are destroying the environment and eating animals is a huge part of the reason why. Whilst humans are also designed to eat a bit of meat, we're not supposed to be eating it daily or consuming anywhere near as much as we do. It's pure gluttony and something I wish more people would wake up to. We are breeding far too much cattle for one and there is simply no need for it. Do you know what happens to male calves when they're born into the milk industry? They get shot because they're good for nothing except meat and rarely live longer than a year beforehand.

I'm no where near classing myself as a full vegan just yet but it's a start and for me, doing it in small steps will be a lot more comfortable and easy to get through than cutting everything out straight away. I cut out meat at the age of 7 and I found it SO easy, I never looked back and haven't ever been tempted. Although cutting out dairy and things like eggs will be a bit more of a challenge, it's something I'd really like to work towards. And for those of you who may be thinking that one person won't make a difference to the animal food industry or that it's just 'one cow saved' or whatever, it's lives and welfare that matter. The fact that the size or significance of the animal means so little to humans is heartbreaking and even if just one person reconsiders their morals after reading this post, it's much better than nothing. 

Is the love for a steak really worth the suffering of another to satisfy your taste buds? I challenge you, to try all of the other incredible, meat free dishes available on this beautiful planet of ours and give those without a voice the support they deserve.

Thanks for reading,




Scrapping The Traditional Wedding

I've not really spoke weddings much on my blog and that's probably because when we got married last year, my blog was still very young and I didn't have much confidence with sharing anything too personal. Over a year later, everything is spilled here and I thought I'd share with you all what really happened when we tied the knot.

Unlike a lot of people, getting married was never something I was overly keen on. Announcing the engagement was even worse. I hate being centre of attention, despise it even, so when the time came to telling people we were getting married, I was mortified. Because here's the truth, we decided together. There was no question asked, no overly romantic scenery or holiday, no posh meal beforehand. Just a standard cold Christmas over at Flat 4 and realising we'd already committed to spending an eternity together. Marriage seemed logical and whilst it wasn't something either of us felt we had to do, it was something we thought, why not? We discussed getting married and decided we'd 'get it over and done with' and booked into our local registry office for three months down the line. We told who we had to tell (meaning parents) and that escalated to us having to tell grandparents because it would have been classed as rude if it didn't come from us. Siblings were told and after that, it was left to the rest of the family to spread the word. We honestly didn't care.



We also knew we didn't want a big wedding and it was really difficult and awkward having to tell family and friends they were not invited. That's really quite a harsh thing to say, but I also found it rude of people to assume they were invited because that's just the done thing. This is how things get out of hand and we faced many disappointed faces and reactions but do we regret any of it? Big firm no. In the end, we had our parents there and that was that. I have two extra parents as my Mum and Dad are both remarried, so even that started to feel like it was getting too big for me but I wanted them there. We also talked about having our brothers there, but that would have meant inviting their girlfriends which also would have meant it would have been rude to not invite our own grandparents, so we decided enough was enough before it grew into something we didn't want. A parents only, ridiculously quick ceremony and a fancy meal afterwards.

My dress was from Forever 21 and it was a lacy, cream coloured number that looking back, I absolutely hated wearing because at the time, I was feeling really uncomfortable with my weight after being on some anxiety medication and it didn't flatter my figure at all. Point is though, you can find some really pretty dresses from your standard clothes stores and you don't have to spend thousands on something you'll only wear once. As for my flowers, they were so last minute but I grabbed them from eBay literally for no more than £10. They were foam rainbow roses so not only do they look way better colour wise than real rainbow roses, they looked very authentic even close up and I got to keep them afterwards. I bought enough so that James, my Dad, Stepdad and Father in Law could each wear one and they could keep theirs afterwards too. My Mum took photos for us and they aren't perfect, some are blurry and there isn't a single photo of our family with everyone looking at the camera but they illustrate what a care free, laid back atmosphere it was for us and I love them for it.



Weddings can often turn into the opposite of what you want it to be (not trying to put anyone off) and I'm so thankful to have been able to stick to what we wanted, a relatively stress free ceremony. We booked a lovely meal at one of our local restaurants and my brother turned up for that afterwards. James' brother was in the Bahama's studying which was unfortunate but it was a really lovely afternoon and we had most of the restaurant to ourselves. The other bonus to keeping it small and local was the owners of the place went more than that extra mile to ensure we had a wonderful time and it was all very personal for us.

Even our Honeymoon wasn't an exotic trip away to a beautiful red hot island with massages and cocktails. We went to Dublin because it was cheap and easy but because we'd not spent loads on our flights, we went for a fancy castle hotel for three nights and treated ourselves whilst we were over there to nice food, a bit of shopping and sight seeing. For me, having James' second name was the most exciting part and I much prefer my new last name to my old one. It does make things slightly easier as well when you go for things like joint bank accounts and mortgages but that doesn't mean to say you have to get married to do those things. 

If marriage is something you want to do with your partner, I can't stress enough how much it is your day and no one else's. Looking back, I'm so glad to have kept it small and can't help but smile to myself when friends tell me how completely stressed and fed up they are with planning their own wedding. I have a friend who told me she really admired what we did and that it had inspired her to do the same. Over a year later, she's spending over £20k on her wedding which for a lot of people is a deposit on a house. Eloping and tiny ceremonies are becoming a lot more popular these days and I think it's really important to have a solid think about what you and your partner want out of your day. If big, white and traditional is what you want then fantastic! If you want to keep it small, modest and close family only then it's just as wonderful, trust me. 

Thanks for reading,



Clubbercise - My First Experience

In a bid to be fitter and not just healthier, I joined an exercise class. This let me tell you, is unheard of and I have never in my life been to any form of exercise class before this. I wanted to try and prove myself wrong and challenge myself, so when my friend Emily told me she attended one every other week, I asked if I could join her. For those of you who haven't got a clue what Clubbercise is, it's literally a dance based form of exercise with club music. You get some glow sticks, the lights go down and you just strobe the evening away.

What I really enjoyed about this class was it was really fun and interactive; the instructors were on a stage in front of us and I couldn't fault their enthusiasm. The music was loud and the instructors wore microphones so you could hear them and when I say loud, it felt like you were literally in a club. There were disco balls, flashing lights, the main lights themselves went out and you're left in a fairly dark environment, making the most out of those glow sticks and raving the night away. They played a variety of music but all of it was upbeat and really encouraged those movements which were very 'aerobics' and involved every part of your body.


weight loss tips, clubbercise, fitness tips

At the end, they put on a slower song…I believe it was Love On Top by Beyonce but it was much more relaxed, still moving but a perfect opportunity to stretch off all of those muscles so it didn't have such a painful impact the following day. I got home, sweating my absolute tits off and I have never in my life been that sweaty before. I mean dripping. But it didn't feel so much like 'exercise' as it was super fun and dance based. It only cost £5 for the session and an extra £3.50 for the glow sticks but since these are reusable battery powered ones, I won't have to pay for these again next time.

I loved it that much, I've booked in for another session next week and this time my Mum is coming along with us. I'd highly recommend Clubbercise if you can get to something like this in your area if you're wanting to try and get fit and healthy. A huge plus if you're like me is because it's in the dark, it helps so much for people who feel self conscious about exercising in front of other people. This is the main reason I won't join a gym so Clubbercise is a great alternative, especially for those of us who get nervous in public. I can't wait to go again!

Thanks for reading,



Healthy Breakfast Ideas

We've all had it thrust in our faces how important breakfasts are haven't we? First meal of the day = fuel to kickstart your mind and body ready for whatever is thrown at you, yet a lot of us skip breakfast altogether. I am especially guilty of thinking a coffee is an actual breakfast and only when I say it out loud to myself do I register that coffee is not a substantial item to keep me going. Is this because we go into auto-pilot in the morning and will do literally the laziest, most convenient thing to stop us from having to get out of bed 15 minutes earlier or process actual information before 9am? I'm not a morning person at all so some days I don't even feel like eating that early and wait a couple of hours before making myself some actual food but in a bid to be a bit healthier, I've thrown together some of my favourite quick and easy breakfasts and some tips for those of you who may be on a food budget. It doesn't have to cost much to be healthy and this first one has plenty of options available to tailor to your favourite tastes.

Overnight Oats
I've seen this raved about method literally everywhere recently and I'm rubbish at jumping on any kind of band wagon so naturally, I've only just given them a go. All you do is soak your oats in either milk, a milk alternative or yoghurt along with your favourite fruits, berries, seeds or something like honey. Pop it into the fridge overnight and just grab it in the morning, ready made and no prep time needed during the mad rush. Oats are really cheap and if you can, buy the biggest bag. We get ours from Tesco usually and it costs £1.79 for a 2k bag. Frozen fruit also tends to be a bit cheaper, especially the berries and this also means you won't be wasting any. The amount of gone off fruit we've thrown away in the past is unreal and makes me feel so guilty.


overnight oats

Grapefruit
This one is super healthy and they're cheap too. Not only that, they come in a few different varieties which is great for those of you who may not be 100% keen on the bitter taste. They're not all like that! The only downside to grapefruit is I can't seem to eat one without it squitting me in the eye but overall they seem to give me lots of energy and they're guilt free. Some people like to sprinkle sugar over theirs to cancel out some of the sourness but it's much healthier if you have them as they are. So refreshing and perfect for the summer months!


grapefruit

Branflakes with Sultanas
Of course you can buy Sultana Bran but I find that this is a little more expensive plus it can be quite stingey when it comes to the fruit. I like plenty of sultanas in my Bran Flakes so what do I do? I buy the supermarket own cereal and a huge bag of value sultanas and chuck an absolute handful on top. This way you're in complete control of how much fruit you're adding to your cereal and you're not being mugged off with pathetic little morsels here and there. Don't muck about - whack em in! If you haven't tried Bran Flakes with sultanas you're seriously missing out, plus you can add things like banana flakes and extra seeds/fruit if you fancy it. Bran Flakes are a brilliant source of fiber and also a good option for weight loss as they fill you up without having to eat a mountain of them.


bran flakes, sultana bran,

Let me know in the comments what your favourite breakfast is, healthy or not I want to hear about it! I'm also quite partial to a chocolate croissant but they're for those treat days...I'll keep telling myself that...

Thanks for reading,





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