Summer is here! Hurrah!

The weather here in London is glorious at the moment an I’m absolutely loving it. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m much more of a ‘summer fashion’ gal than an autumn/winter person, and I like nothing better than a pretty, summery dress. A few weeks ago I was passing the window of my absolute favourite shop in the world Oliver Bonas (literally, I could style my entire life from this store, there is not a thing in there I don’t like!) and I saw the most perfect dress I had ever seen in my life! I had a couple of events coming up; birthday parties, garden parties and that sort of thing, and I was looking for something colourful with just the right balance between smart/casual while at the same time being pretty. This dress is perfect in every way for every occasion.

I really like the top part of it which is soft cotton and a casual, grey T-Shirt style which makes the dress really comfortable and keeps the top half relatively casual. It’s also been really cool as last week I wore it to an event in temperatures approaching 30 degrees and was perfectly comfortable. The understated design also means you can style the dress with some chunky statement jewellery. I didn’t on this occasion but when I wore the dress to a birthday party I wore a statement, brightly-coloured necklace to brighten up the top.

 

The skirt was what drew my attention to the dress in the first place and it’s my favourite part. Not only is it made up of all my favourite pastel coloured but it is also made from the most gorgeous, high quality floaty fabric which is so cool and comfortable and just falls in the most pretty and flattering way. I honestly feel fabulous in it! It’s also a great length for me; just below the knee which kind of gives it a more formal feel but still helps me feel a bit taller especially when I paired it with my cork wedges. The way it is pleated is also a beautiful design which is so flattering and makes me feel slimmer and taller.

The dress costs £75 which is more than I usually spend on one piece but so far this season I have already worn it on three occasions and I feel like it is perfect because it can be dressed up or down for any event! I would wear this outfit to a wedding, a meal or even a night out! It’s definitely got the perfect blend of style and pure comfort. Currently it’s my favourite item in my wardrobe.

Check out Oliver Bonas fashion here.

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Hey guys,

So, if you follow my blog you may have read my post a few weeks back about yoga ‘as a non-yogi’ and what you can expect – which is the unexpected! Taking up yoga on a regular basis has challenged me in ways I didn’t expect, both physically and mentally, but I can safely say I am now 100% addicted! I have now progressed to an intermediate class and I love everything that yoga has brought to my life. In this post I’ll take you through some of the ways yoga has changed my life for the better and the benefits of taking it up yourself.

Improved flexibility

This is something that takes a bit of time and won’t come overnight after your first yoga class. However, yoga is an amazing way of stretttttchinf out every muscle and ligament in your entire body! And it feels amazing afterwards! Sometimes I don’t think we realise how our lives and daily stresses and strains can cause our bodies to get all crumpled up and a good stretch can do the world of good.

Increased core strength

Yoga is all about the core and some of the poses literally pummel your abs without you even realising. I’ve definitely noticed that my core strength has improved which has in turn made my balance a lot better. 

Better posture

This is a biggie. Do you ever catch yourself hunched over your computer at work? Same! It’s one of my worst habits. Since I’ve been doing yoga regularly I have noticed I’ve been sitting up straighter and taller as well as standing straighter, without even really noticing or making a conscious effort to alter anything. Yoga works on all the ‘little muscles’ in your back which don’t usually get much attention in the gym, but quite literally hold you up! It’s worked wonders for my hunched shoulders.

Better sleep quality

I have written before about things like getting up earlier and using ASMR and music to help my insomnia but yoga and, specifically, the meditation session at the end of yoga class has had a noticeable impact on my sleep. Not only do I fall asleep quicker but my sleep quality is a lot better, for example I sleep longer and find my sleeps more settled with less waking up in the night.

Calmer mind

My day to day life and job can be pretty stressful at times and sometimes just using some breathing techniques or simple stretching from yoga helps me to clear my  mind and feel calmer almost straight away. Our lives can be stressful and it’s important to take some time out of the day to just breathe. I can go to a yoga class with my head full of the day I’ve had and leave feeling peaceful and like my mind is almost empty; totally clear of whatever has happened. There is literally nothing a yoga class can’t fix!

 

I would seriously recommend practising yoga and meditation to anybody, no matter whether you are a beginner or more experienced, trust me, you’ll see the benefits in no time!

Fancy taking up yoga but not sure if you can fit it in to your busy life? Why not try Desk Yogi? 

Their mission is to help people experience the wellness of yoga and meditation in their workplace, even at their desks! The programme provides wellness plans including 5 minute meditation videos to help you relax and get the benefits of yoga at work. Check out their website for more details about how you can get involved!

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It was a good few months ago now that we went on our sneaky Easter minibreak escape to Montenegro and I’m ashamed that I haven’t had a chance to publish a travel post about it yet! So, before we go on our summer holiday (2 weeks and counting!) I thought it only fair to give our trip a little write up and share our photographs seeing as it was so stunning.

The first question most people asked us when we mentioned where we were going was.. well.. why Montenegro? It’s a fair question. Up to this point we are the only people we know out of all of our friends and extended family that have ever been! Scores of people seem to flood to Croatia these days, so I find the lack of the same enthusiasm for it’s neighbour odd, as Montenegro shares a similar vibe, climate and even looks similar! Plus, it’s still a pretty undiscovered gem, so perfect for a quiet, secret escape!

Our holiday

As it was a quick ‘let’s get out of here’ last minute holiday affair, we decided to go inexpensive and simple. Out of season (early April) the climate in Montenegro looked good and we found a great value all inclusive deal at a five star hotel in the holiday beach resort of Budva. All inclusive is not usually something we would go for our main holiday because we like to cook for ourselves and eat out in different places, but for the type of super relaxing short break we wanted we decided to go for it.

The hotel was called the Iberostar Bellevue and it was absolutely stunning. I was blown away when we first got there. Mainly because I’ve never seen a beachfront hotel over looking the sea which is also surrounded by spectacular mountains on the other side! The landscape was just something that you would never see in your normal Spain/ Portugal holidays and I couldn’t get over it! I was super happy to take loads of gorgeous photos with the stunning backdrop. Our room was fine, perfectly comfortable and functional with a lovely big balcony and a sea view which we weren’t expecting and was a lovely surprise. We could actually hear the sound of the waves at night which was amazing.

The Iberostar Belleview hotel

The weather we had was mixed. A bit of rain on the first two days so we took the opportunity to explore the local historic town of Budva and the montain city of Kotor to get some culture and sightseeing in. Due to it being out of season, Budva was a bit dead with a lot of shops and restaurants closed, but Kotor was much more lively and seemed to have a lot of tourists visiting despite the weather. Budva would definitely be worth a day trip particularly the old town to see the historic architecture, and the harbour which had some pretty pricey looking sun seekers! There were also some nice craft shops and cute restaurants.

Budva harbour

Budva old town

The city of Kotor was about an hour bus ride away and it was a whole other level of beautiful! If I had visualised a perfect, quaint Eastern European town then this was it. You can climb up some mountains at the back towards a church and get a load of this crazy stunning view.

The holiday was perfect for what we wanted, a ‘do-nothing’, relaxing break with a bit of sunshine.

 

I would thoroughly recommend considering Montenegro for your next holiday. It’s got great summer weather, beautiful safe beaches and stunning landscapes. Kotor is a stunning historic city and well worth a visit, as it’s a pretty small country most of it is accessible with a short car or bus journey. Although it was a bit quiet when we were there, you could tell that they were gearing up for a busy summer season so there would be no shortage of things to do there.

Have you been to Montenegro? Would you consider it?

 

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I’m back!

I know I’ve been a bit absent lately; I’ve had A LOT of work stuff going on recently which is not something that I really talk about in my blog, which I think leads a lot of people to think this is my full time career! I wish it was, but sadly, I also have a full time job. One that has been extremely stressful lately and has taken over most aspects of my life! I’ve really missed blogging.

Anyway, I’m out of the woods and back on my A game! Luckily, I have lots of things to write about and fill you in on! Last weekend was mine and Paul’s first wedding anniversary weekend and we had the most INCREDIBLE time I’ve been so excited to share it! I can’t believe it’s been a year it’s gone so fast!

First up, year one is paper and Paul took it upon himself (cutie that he is) to organise a surprise weekend for me seeing as I was so bogged down with work. Paper being the theme – he prepared 5 paper envelopes for me to open at different times over the weekend, each containing a different surprise activity! Such a cute idea I loved it.

On Saturday (the day before our actual anniversary) when at 9am I was instructed to get up, dressed (smart/casual and comfy!) and pack an overnight bag! Eeeeeek! The first envelope contained lunch reservations at The Urban Meadow Café & Bar, Bayswater; a gorgeous West London restaurant overlooking Hyde Park. I was so impressed with the food there and we pigged out on a three course meal. The puddings in particular were spectacular – check out the fruit crumble I had!

The second envelope contained our booking at La Suite West Hyde Park, our hotel for the evening! It was at this point I realised we were staying in central London for the night so I was super excited trying to guess what we would be doing that evening! We went to check in to the boutique hotel which was absolutely beautiful, all marble bathroom, pure white sheets and a HUGE bed! What is it about nice hotels always having the comfiest beds in the world?! Seriously, it was like lying on a marshmallow.

We had a couple of hours to ‘kill’ before the next envelope, but in that part of London it’s never really killing time as there is so much to do! We wandered around Hype Park for a bit, and despite the dismal forecast the rain held off for us and it was quite warm (more on that later!!). We walked up to Portobello Road market, one of my favourite parts of the city, and enjoyed listening to live music and people watching, perfectly poised in the window of the Electric Diner Notting Hill sipping delicious gin cocktails. We had so much fun and what with me being so busy and stressed out lately it was so so nice to spend some quality time together without distractions.

At 5pm it was back to the hotel and the third envelope contained dinner reservations at the hotel restaurant; a raw and vegan only restaurant! Paul had pre booked the set menu and it was really interesting to try some vegan food as it’s not something I’ve had much experience with in the past! I know he won’t mind me saying (as he agreed!!) that it wasn’t my favourite food in the world – I think it’s safe to say we are both hard-core carnivores! But it was great to do something different. Before I knew it we were in a taxi and it was time for the fourth envelope as we made our way across town.

I was so excited to find out that the evening surprise was tickets to On The Town at the Open Air Theatre in Regents Park! I had a sneaky suspicion it might be the theatre (Paul was adamant the taxi picked us up at 7pm on the dot!) but I never thought he would have remembered that I’d said ages ago that I’d like to see it! I love open air theatre, something about being outside makes it magical, plus the fact that On The Town stars Danny Mac; my Strictly Come Dancing fave!! The theatre itself was amazing, all done up with twinkly fairy lights and an outdoor bar. We made our way to our excellent seats with a bottle of red wine ready for the show to start, and promptly it began to pour with torrential rain! Luckily, Paul had been prepared and asked me to bring a raincoat, even more luckily the theatre were clearly used to this – they waited for the rain to pass and about 10 minutes later they towelled down the stage and the show began! We were lucky – if the rain had been persistent I expect it would have been cancelled as there is so much leaping about in the choreography I don’t think it would be safe! But after one short spell of downpour we were in for a warm and pleasant evening.

The production was fantastic! Dancing, singing and acting all brilliant, wonderful costumes, the play was funny and moving with enough of a nod to the traditional ‘cheesy’ aspect of it but also with new contemporary styling thrown in. And with the natural light going from light, to dusk, to dark and being surrounded by nature made it extra magical for me. I would thoroughly recommend it.

After we stayed the night in the stunning La Suite West Paul said we were going home in the morning (our actual anniversary) so we went home and chilled out for a bit before opening the final envelope which was the best of them all!! Tickets to see Little Mix at their Summer Shout Out tour that evening! I literally jumped around the room when he told me I was SO EXCITED! I’ve been wanting to see them for so long.

And they did not disappoint! WOW those girls have sass and such incredible bods! I could really use some of their confidence!  They really put on a show and sang and danced literally non stop every single hit they sang it – finishing with Shout Out To My Ex and everyone was jumping and singing along it was incred! The weather played nice as well we had beautiful late evening sunshine, I felt like I was loving life at a festival! Seriously girls, you killed it.

 

SO after an amazing and exhausting weekend I can’t believe how lucky I am to have such an amazing husband who knows me inside out. Not just with presents but with the everyday things that really matter, I can’t believe how lucky I am to be married to someone like Paul who makes my life complete. Love you x

 

 

Hey there lovelies!

Today I wanted to tell you about a very exciting launch event that I attended last week. I was absolutely delighted to be asked by Danielle, the lovely founder of ground breaking new skincare product OhMySkin (OMS) to attend the event as a model to demonstrate the product and tell the audience about how my skin felt afterwards. I was super excited about not only being invited to such a brilliant launch event but also to try a product I had heard so many amazing things about!

 

The launch night was held in Walton on Thames, at Bridgeman’s luxury furniture showroom; the perfect backdrop for such an elegant event. When I arrived I was blown away by how beautiful the set up looked and the amazing decorations. The product was displayed pride of place of course which looked absolutely fantastic.

 

 

So what is the product?

OhMySkin is a new and exciting skincare brand which has burst onto the scene with it’s revolutionary Exfoliating and Resurfacing Mask for all skin types. The unique formula contains natural ingredients and active enzymes which remove dead skin cells and brighten the skin in a non-harmful way without using any microbeads or acids which are so often found in high street products. The mask is really flexible in terms of use and can be applied and removed as a ‘flash mask’ or left on for half an hour. One of the things that I find so unique about the product is Danielle’s inspiring vision for it. She told her guests at the event that she came up with the idea when, when she was working full time, she didn’t have the time to attend salons for expensive exfoliation treatments; the idea of creating a product which can give you professional results in the comfort of your own home was born! If you think you’d miss the pampering aspect of a salon – Danielle has thought of that too! The mask is sold with a luxurious Derma Cloth to remove the mask and maximise results as well as a salon headband to pamper yourself! It also comes with a 10x magnifying mirror (yes – you heard that right! And believe me what I saw in there was pretty shocking!!) which is so important to really see your skin and identify problem areas, and then to follow your journey with OMS and see the results for yourself!

 

 

Also, how gorgeous is the branding?! I am in love with that amazing green colour. So eye catching.

 

What I thought

Using the product for the first time on the evening of the launch event I was genuinely so impressed with it for several reasons. Firstly, I have very sensitive skin and I often find that exfoliation masks feel slightly ‘stingy’ on my face but OMS was gentle and worked wonders for my sensitivity. The only sensation was a slight warming feel which was really nice. Danielle applied the mask to my skin during the event to demonstrate how easy it is to apply and lots of people commented how, as it was clear, you actually couldn’t tell I had it on! Having left the mask on for 30 minutes and spritzing it with water to reactivate the enzymes I washed the mask off using the Derma cloth. I was really impressed with this too, the cloth is a really interesting texture which has a thick weave to it, it’s brilliant as it gave my skin that ‘super clean’ feeling which I love!  After removing the mask I could see that my skin was glowing softer and looked brighter, after just one application of the product I was really amazed with the immediate impact!

Something else that I was really impressed by was how Danielle has put a lot of thought into making her product eco-friendly. Microbeads and other ingredients found in many products can have a negative impact on the environment and OMS avoids all of this as well reducing packaging wastage by being totally refillable!

I was lucky enough to receive an OMS pack to take home and I have been using the mask on a weekly basis since the event a few weeks ago. I am so pleased to report that it really works and the results for me have been amazing! I am so pleased to have found this product was delighted to be part of the exciting launch!

 

The launch event was an amazing success and everyone loved the product – I got such a buzz from just being there! I was honoured to share my opinions and first impressions of the product with the guests which was easy – it’s not difficult to talk about something that you like so much! Danielle also spoke about her product with such passion it was really inspiring for me. I had a brilliant time and met some really lovely and interesting local ladies.

 

 

To see the results and my first impressions on the day keep your eyes peeled for my video coming to my YouTube channel very soon! If you would like to find out more about OhMySkin or purchase the product to see the results for yourself you can visit their website here.

Big thank you to Ingrid Weel for the gorgeous images.