If you’ve decided that it’s time to tone up as you’ve never toned up before, the last thing you want is to waste your time on diet and exercise regimes that really don’t work. If you want to find out a few things that will work and have worked for me, read on…

Eating Enough

A lot of ladies think that, in order to tone up, they need to go on the latest fad diet or cut their consumption to a minimum, this simply isn’t true! It’s perfectly possible to eat little, be skinny and not toned, and actually eating less than your body needs to support itself will actually cause your metabolism to slow down. To burn fat and get into better shape, you need your metabolism firing on all cylinders, and that means eating regular healthy meals, not starving yourself. Fad diets just don't work!

Practice Yoga

A lot of people think that yoga is a very gentle form of exercise; a practice of stretching which might make you feel good, but doesn’t exactly do much to build muscle and tone the body. Have they ever seen a dedicated yogi? Sure, yoga is all about stretching the various muscles in the body, but you know what? It can be quite a workout, and when practised regularly it will almost certainly help you to tone up and build the kind of long, lean muscle that makes you look fabulous. So why not spice up your body with some yoga workout? You’ll be amazed by the results you can get in such a short time. I always find my body is aching in all the right places after a yoga class.

Lift Some Weights

Lifting weights scares many women. They think that, after a few weeks down the gym they’ll emerge looking like a female version on Arnold Schwarzenegger! This is really not the case. Lifting weights will help you tone up faster than almost anything else, and unless you’re doing something silly like taking steroids or other substances, there is literally no chance that you will ‘bulk up’ in the same way bodybuilding males do. What’s more, when you’re lifting regularly, your metabolism will be stoked, you’ll burn more calories, drop fat, and best of all you’ll be able to eat more (healthy) food. What’s not to like?

Kettlebell Training

Another thing that can very quickly help you to lose fat, build muscle and tone up is the humble kettlebell. This fabulous piece of equipment, which looks (and feels) a bit like a cannonball with a handle, can help you to burn well over 1,200 calories per hour, and give you a full body workout in just 15-20 minutes. If you want to be in peak condition, you need kettlebells in your life.

Cut Out Bloating Foods

One thing that can prevent you from achieving that lean, toned silhouette you’re after is bloating. As well as working to increase your fitness, you should try to eliminate as many of the causes of bloating from your diet as you can. Some things which commonly cause bloating include salt, beans, onions and fizzy drinks. If you can remove your triggers, you’ll instantly look a bit slimmer, and you’ll definitely feel a whole lot better too.

Other than trying some or all of the above, to be the most toned you’ve ever been, all you need is patience and determination.
It doesn't come easy, but making small changes and sticking to them can make big changes to your body!

What do you find work's best for you?


**This post is a brand collaboration**

There are few things more exciting than seeing your partner get down on one knee, declare their everlasting love for you, and then ask for your hand in marriage. It’ll be one of the most memorable days of your life, so soak it up and enjoy the moment. Once the occasion has passed, you’ll be able to relive the moment all over again when it comes to telling your friends and family the good news. But how does one exactly go about sharing the news? Below, we take a look at the people that need to know, and how to tell them.

Stay Cool

OK, first thing’s first: you need to stay calm. We know it’s hard, because, after all, one of the most momentous moments of your life has just occurred. However, if you’re overexcited, then you run the risk of spoiling your chance to control the narrative of your engagement. And if the news gets out to everyone straight away, you won’t just be compromising the experience for yourself – you also might hurt the people you care about most.

Family First

If you’re close to your family, then there’s no getting around it: you need to hold off breaking the news to other people until they’re informed. And don’t just send them a text, or even call them on the telephone. Go round in person, and break the news in a special way. We’re sure they’ll be thrilled for you, so it’ll be handy to bring around a bottle of champagne. Pop the top and raise a toast to your future with your loved ones!

Tell Your Close Friends

In the hierarchy of the most important people in your life, your friends will likely be a close second behind your family. You can break the news to them in a more casual way, such as by putting it into a group message for all to see. They’ll all come back with words (and emojis) of congratulation! Make plans to all get together in the coming weeks to celebrate the good news properly.

To the Web

Once you’ve let your inner circle know, you’ll be able to share your joy with the whole world! Sharing pictures of diamond engagement rings has become the norm on social media, so take a snap of yours (with your other half, of course), and upload it to your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. Once the word is out, you can just sit back and watch those likes and comments roll in!

Throwing a Party

The fun doesn’t have to stop just because everyone knows! You won’t have been able to give the news to everybody individually, so why not throw an engagement party and invite everyone around for a good old get together? Most people don’t need any encouragement to party, and especially when it’s a party that’s celebrating the love between two people.

Finally, remember not to gloat about your engagement. You want people to be happy for you, not bitter and envious! Follow our advice above, and the whole world will approve of the union. And now the next fun part: planning!  

If I mention the Greek island of Zante I’m pretty sure I’ve got a good idea of what springs into your mind. I was the same before I started researching venues for our wedding. Zante is famous for being a party island; a place where school leavers go to get pissed and do whatever school leavers do (I wouldn’t know as I never went on one of those raucous holidays)! Zante tends to make the headlines for all the wrong reasons, drunk Brit-kids spilling out of bars, quadbike accidents and General bad behaviour. However, this beautiful Ionian island deserves a lot more recognition than it gets credit for. The partying is pretty much exclusively contained within the town of Laganas in the south of the island, and the rest of Zante is largely unspoilt mountains, rural areas and stunning hidden beaches. There are a few main towns where you will find the regular tourist traps, but if you step outside the hotel-land and explore the island, trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

Last time we were in Zante it was for our wedding (!) so when we returned this year we made it our mission to see more of this beautiful island and find out all of it’s secrets. Here are my top picks for a different kind of holiday on this paradise island.

Rent a motorboat and find your own turtles in Keri

Zante is all about the turtles. It’s famous for it and the popular beaches and harbours are packed full of ‘guaranteed turtle spotting trips’. You probably will see a turtle on one of these excursions however, they are generally large boats full of tourists so you are unlikely to get anywhere near the turtle, let alone get a photo of it. It’s much better, and not much more expensive, to take a short drive to the quiet southern harbour of Keri where you can rent a small motorboat of about 100 euroes. No experience needed, not even a driving licence! Apart from being an amazing experience and great fun, your chances of seeing a turtle are pretty high at the right time of year.  Once the boat is hired you can take it for a spin to the beautiful Keri caves and across to the famous ‘turtle island’ where the turtles lay their eggs (these are all roped off to make sure they are kept safe). For the best chance of seeing these amazing creatures we recommend heading to the opposite side of the bay to the caves, close to the Harmony Hotel and sticking close to the coastline (it’s deep so no worries about the boat!) just cruising up and down on the lookout! We saw about 5 turtles in this area and there was literally no one else there! We jumped in and snorkelled with the turtles without worrying about crowding or upsetting them with too many people. It was a truly magical experience.

 

Dine with the most stunning view in Kampi

The town of Kampi is set in the West of the island and is somewhat off the beaten track, but it’s famous for having several clifftop restaurants with the most incredible views! They get booked up in advance for evenings as the sunset there is apparently gorgeous, however we stopped there for lunch – kind of by accident during a drive! We ate at one of the clifftop venues and even in the daytime the view of the rugged coastline and the crystal clear blue water was absolutely incredible. The restaurants all serve traditional Greek dishes and are set up with stunning shaded outdoor areas to enjoy the view whilst tucking in!

 

See the famous ‘Shipwreck beach’ before the crowds

The incredible image of the rusty shell of a shipwreck washed up on the white sand is probably familiar one. In fact, Navagio or shipwreck beach is repeatedly included in roundups of the most picturesque beaches in the world! It’s definitely worth seeing, but going on a tour boat can lead to disappointment when you can’t get a picture without thousands of people crawling all over the place! I’m not exaggerating when I say that hundreds, if not thousands, of tourists pour on and off this beach all day. As it’s only accessible by boat, the first large tour comes in at about 9.30am – so to get the place to yourself you need to beat it! We were up at 7.30am and drove north for an hour to a small harbour called Porto Vromi where we hired a private boat to take us to the beach before everyone else! It does cost a bit more but as there was four of us the cost of 4 tickets on a tour boat would have been nearly as much as the fee for the private boat. It was so much fun because the boat went super fast and to get there when there was only a handful of people on the beach was simply amazing! The boat hire is also for 3 hours so after an hour of so at the beach our driver took us to some other beautiful swimming and to some of Zante’s famous ‘blue caves’. For a slightly higher cost it was more than worth it.

Eat traditional at hidden restaurants

One of the best things about holidaying in Greece is the delicious food! The authentic local meat, fish and vegetable dishes are simple and yummy, the more home cooked the better. Like anywhere, eating on the main tourist drags will likely result in disappointing meals which are neither authentic nor fresh. My main advice would be to check TripAdvisor and do not be afraid to stray a long way off the beaten track for an incredible meal! There are a lot of tavernas in Greece which are literally almost set up in someones back garden! A few evenings we ended up driving along rickety roads, following dubious directions to find a tiny authentic taverna! Eating at these types of restaurants not only guarantees awesome food, but are also much more reasonable too. I can particularly recommend Votsalo in Keri and Peppermint in Argassi.

Watch the sunset from a beach bed at Porto Roxa

Being perfectly situated on the West Coast means that Porto Roxa sees the most beautiful sunset, it’s famous for it. We new this tiny beach had a nice beach bar and a lovely setting to watch the sunset so we set off there (about an hours drive from Keri) in the mid afternoon. We were delighted and pleasantly surprised to find a gorgeous hippy beach bar serving yummy cocktails and allowing guests to relax on swinging mattresses rather than sunbeds! It may sound odd, but kicking back on a double bed with a mojito to watch the sun go down was incredibly relaxing. There are the traditional sunbeds too for those who want them, but the hanging beds were something different that I’ve never come across before! And the sunset was just….wow. Worth a visit.

Zakynthos will always hold a special place in my heart, but I truly believe it is an amazing holiday destination for couples, families, and has something for everyone! I hope if you decide to make the trip to this idyllic Ionion island that you find these top picks helpful! Have fun in paradise!

 

 

FOLLOW ME:

 

INSTAGRAM
TWITTER
YOUTUBE

 

Hello beauties!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a good old beauty review post, and I miss it! I don’t know about you but sometimes I get stuck in the same old products which I use again and again; I love them, but it’s great to try out some new things. I’ve recently seen a lot beauty bloggers and influencers raving about The Body Shop’s new range called Drops of Youth, in particular the liquid peel, so I decided to give it a go and see if it lived up to these high expectations!

So, is it worth the hype?

The simple answer is: yes. For a home use exfoliating peel the Drops of Youth is one of the best I have ever come across for doing it’s job. I mean seriously, if you like proof that a product is working then this is the one for you; you can actually feel and see the dead skin coming off under your fingertips!

 It’s super easy to use, I literally applied two pumps to my face and massaged onto my skin. The packaging recommends massaging for 30 secs – 1 min about I could feel the dead skin being removed after a few seconds! I don’t really know if this is a reflection on my skin, perhaps it’s very dead?!! And it’s quite gross to describe really but I loved the feeling of all the horrible impurities and dead skin coming off and being able to wash it all away! Afterwards my skin felt soft, fresh, clean and looked significantly brighter. The sensation of the peeling may not be for everyone but if you like your skincare products to pack a punch I would thoroughly recommend it. It also does all of this without stinging or making the skin red or sensitive at all; top marks from me!

The Body Shop Drops of Youth Liquid Peel retails at £18 which I think is reasonable for a naturally active skin peel. It also is part of The Body Shop’s 100% vegan and cruelty free range which is even better! Overall, I was super impressed with the product and I’m very keen to try the rest of the range!

Have you tried this product? What did you think?

FOLLOW ME:

INSTAGRAM
TWITTER
YOUTUBE

As you all know, interior design is something I quite enjoy obsessing over. I think that we should all have some fun and make our houses look as amazing as can be. Not only does this make them more fashionable and luxurious, it usually means they’re better to live in too! There’s lots of interior design advice out there, but I find a lot of it tends to be relating to lovely, huge houses and apartments. If, like me, you live in a city like London it’s likely that you live in a home with a slightly smaller square footage! Therefore it’s important to make your small space feel bigger, airy and as bright as possible.

 

Image source.

These tips revolve around making every room in your house feel a lot bigger, without doing any rigorous building work. You don’t need to knock down your walls, but you will have to use them very cleverly. You see, your walls play a huge role in how a room looks and feels. Sometimes they can almost close in on a room and make it a lot smaller and darker than it might be. But, when you play your cards right, you can use your walls to open up every room and make it feel more spacious.

How? Well, I’m glad you asked as I have two simple and easy tips right here:

Fit Things Against Your Walls
An easy way to make a room feel more spacious is by ensuring a lot of the furniture goes up against the walls, this way everything seems more streamlined and takes up less space. The key is ensuring you use furniture that actually looks good against the wall and won’t stick out like a sore thumb. As you can see here www.thelongeststay.com/designer-furniture/cabinets-sideboards/designer-sideboards, there are plenty of side boards you can get your hands on that are tailor-made to go up against your walls. The benefit of furniture like this is that you don’t clog up space in the middle of the room. It’s a great alternative to having, say, a coffee table in the middle of your living room. You’ve got something to rest books on and other small ornaments, but a simple change in placement makes the room appear much bigger.

Use Mirrors To Give The Illusion Of Space
This is an old favourite. Mirrors have long been a great way to give the illusion of a spacious room. They’re perhaps most effective in the bathroom as you can hang huge mirrors on your walls and make even the tiniest bathroom look spacious. You’ll notice here https://www.homify.co.uk/rooms/bathroom that almost all the bathroom designs do just that. It can be incredibly effective as a lot of people don’t have large bathrooms. The bigger the mirror, the greater the effect will be. Also, you could use smaller mirrors in other rooms to help create the same spacious effect. I like to have mirrored wardrobe doors on my wardrobes to help my bedroom appear bigger and brighter.

Image source.

You might think these two tips will hardly make a difference, but you need to see it to believe it. Swap out certain pieces of furniture for items that fit nicely against your wall to free up space in the centre of your rooms. Try and use mirrors in areas of your home where they’ll look good such as the bathroom or hallways to give the illusion of space in confined areas and also brighten the room by reflecting the light. By paying attention to your walls, you can have a far more spacious home without having to extend it or do any meaningful renovations. Walls are really versatile in terms of design and used correctly can be a real space saver.

**This post was written in collaboration with homeware and furniture brands**