I absolutely love ‘what’s in my bag‘ posts. Maybe I’m a bit nosy but I love seeing what others keep in their bags. I’d love to do a ‘what’s in my handbag?’ post, but I’m afraid it’s in no fit state for it’s insides to be seen at the moment! It needs a real clear out and several hundred old receipts and sweet wrappers removed before I can start that one.

However, my gym bag is a lot more organised! Plus, handbags can be a bit samey, but what we keep in our workout kits can vary hugely from person to person. I go to the gym 5 mornings a week so it’s a big part of my life. I also go before work at silly-o-clock in the morning, so it’s important for me to keep what I take streamlined, organised and to make sure I have everything I need. I hope you find this interesting and it might give you an insight into me and my fitness lifestyle.

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Workout Essentials

Gym towel – total essential if you are going to work HARD and get SWEATY!

Nike gym gloves – also really important if you are lifting weights of any size; callouses are not nice.

Phillips Bluetooth headphones – I literally can’t work out without my music blaring in my ears and I can’t be dealing with wires they get in my way. I love that these are white too they look awesome.

USA Pro hair bands – the best hair elastics for workouts; they hold my ponytail for an entire workout without needing fussing or redoing, plus the patterns and colours are so cool.

Digital sports watch – for timing exercises, rest periods or just keeping an eye on the time, having a digital watch is pretty essential for me in the gym.

Beauty Bits

After my workout I usually have a quick shower and shoot off for work, I only carry a few beauty products but they all do their job and are perfect for beauty on-the-go.

Molton Brown mini shower gel – the most compact shower gels I’ve one across, and they smell divine.

Clarins satin smooth body lotion – winter dry skin BE GONE! I use this on my hands too.

Impulse body spray – much lighter and less bulky than a bottle of perfume but still keeps me smelling nice!

Liz Earle instant boost skin tonic spritz – essential for rejuvinating my skin and making me feel awake and ready to take the day!

The Body Shop Seaweed Oil moisturiser – a lightweight cream which works wonders on my skin.

Cotton Wool

Makeup

I hardly wear any makeup to work – I work with kids so it’s not like it would stay perfectly on my face anyway! And plus, I simply don’t have the time in the morning. But I do keep two things in my bag at all times just incase.

Bare Minerals liquid under eye concealer – for the tired eye days.

Burts Bees lip balm – this keeps my lips hydrated even in this weather.

Miscellaneous

Workout print out – I find deciding what workout I’m going to do in advance and having a print out of it helps me to focus in the gym and waste less time wandering around.

Pen- I like to write down my weights/ times on the workout sheet to try to improve next time.

Gym card

Phone – occasionally I feel the urge to take a gym selfie!

And that’s it! How about you? I’d love to know what’s in your gym bag!

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Do you know what? This is something that has been bugging me for a while now so I am going to write a blog post about it.

We, as women, are all blessed with difference. We have different hair, skin, eyes, faces and body types. Body type is something which is highly debated in the media and what is a ‘desirable’ body shape for a woman can change seemingly from day to day.

I used to really, really stress over my body. A few years ago I was feeling down about my weight and how I looked. So, I decided to change it. A combination of regular work outs and cleaning up my diet resulted in me losing two stone of body fat. HOWEVER, even though I had lost a fair amount of weight, I still did not have the leggy, slim, super model body I was dreaming about. This is when I realised that I was just not built for that kind of body. I am 5ft3, stocky and although I’m now fairly lean I’m definitely not what you’d call skinny. I’m just not built that way. The more I worked out the stronger I became.

Strength in women is something that comes with quite a stigma. I love progressing my weights every week at the gym and I get a real thrill out of lifting heavy, as I know many girls do. But I often get women (and men actually) asking me things like, ‘Aren’t you worried about getting too muscly?’ and ‘Oh, I don’t like really muscly women. It’s not attractive.’ Um, I don’t care. I don’t do it for you. I do it for me. I like being strong and I’m proud of my muscles. And also – would you say that to Jessica Ennis?? Or any of the other super inspirational and STRONG female athletes? No. Why does a woman have any less of a right to be and look strong than a man, based on what society believes to be ‘attractive.’

I am lucky enough to attend a gym which is bursting at the seams with super strong women who lift in the free weights area and put some of the guys to shame which is really inspiring. But I know a lot of gyms aren’t like this. I hate the stigma attached the women using the free weights or working out in the ‘men’s area’. What rubbish!

So, I guess the moral of this rant blog post is; LADIES, be proud of your strength.  Don’t let anyone, male or female, dictate what is or isn’t acceptable for you and LOVE YOURSELF tall, small, slim, curvy, muscles, no muscles, body builder WHATEVER. You’re amazing.

GIRL LOVE



I’m so excited to finally share this news because I’ve been keeping it secret for ages just incase. I’m so happy to finally confirm that our wedding was selected for the Real Weddings section of national magazine Wedding Ideas Mag! We are in the December issue which is on supermarket shelves now!

I was delighted when they wanted to feature some of our photography and even more delighted when they asked me to write the article that accompanied the photos- seeing my words in print for the first time is truly special and has spurred me on even more to continue with my writing.

When we got the email confirming that our issue was released we rushed down to the supermarket right away and bought a few copies. I could barely contain my excitement as I ripped one open and saw our name on the contents page! Maybe it sounds vain but I was so excited to see us in a magazine. I hope that all the information and ideas that we provided will give some inspiration to other couples thinking of a relaxed beach wedding.

So – that’s my exciting news! Big thanks to Wedding Ideas Magazine for choosing us and here’s to much more writing in magazines in the future!!! Fingers crossed.

Would you ever send your wedding pictures to a magazine?

Want to see more of our wedding? Follow my insta or Facebook page for wedding photos.

 

We all love our holidays; hot or cold, far or near our holidays are our saviours in a world where we are always working. I love going abroad and exploring new places, however, in recent years with the rise of the ‘stay-cation’ it has come to my attention that there are plenty of beautiful and well worthy places to visit in the UK. I mean we are seriously blessed with stunning coastline, rolling green hills and absolutely picture perfect countryside. If not always the weather to go with it – but hey ho! So, my husband and I seem to have found ourselves partaking in the fast growing trend of ‘glamping’ for some of our holidays.

So what is glamping?

Well, essentially it’s glam camping. Hence the name. All the beauty and wildness of camping – but with a few luxuries thrown in. The luxury element can vary – sometimes you could stay in a fully heated yurt or bell tent with a full sized double bed, or it could mean a tree house in the forest with a compost loo. The facilities are not what makes it glamping – it’s the fact that it’s camping, with a difference. Something a bit special that sets the experience apart from the rest.

I’d like to share one of our favourite glamping experiences with you. We use the website ‘Canopy and Stars’ to choose our trips and they are fantastic. They can be expensive but they only advertise the best, most different, vintage, kitch and crazy glamping opportunities out there. Eco treehouses, camping pods, lodges and even a bedroom in a sphere suspended in the middle of a forest in Cornwall are all among their offerings. There are other sites but I have found them to be the best and their write ups of the sites are very detailed and accurate. You know what you’re getting into!

Ges the Horsebox – £135 per night

‘Ges’ (coincidently pronounced Jess) is a traditional horse box and pony trap situated in the Surrey countryside; a combination of staying in a retro, up cycled vehicle and camping in total isolation and peace. Ges is sitting in a field, in the middle of another field, which can only be reached by driving down a deserted country road in the most rural part of surrey. To my delight, apart from the staff in co op when buying out supplies for the weekend, we didn’t see another human for the entire weekend. Pure escapism. Seriously, the interior was gorgeous, and to say that the owners had thought of everything was an understatement.

The little pony trap was converted into a stunning modern bathroom with luxury toiletries. There was a picnic set, board games, colouring books, fairy lights, hot water bottle. The back porch was complete with bunting and a tambourine! I felt like I had wondered into a 1960’s hippy festival daydream.

I’m a huge advocate of the ‘digital detox’ – even as a blogger! I think it’s really important to step back from our devices and reconnect with nature once in a while, whether that be as a person, as a couple or as a family. It’s so nice to have no TV or distractions, just each other. Time to talk, laugh and truly enjoy each other’s company. We had no electricity, no signal, a gas stove to boil a traditional kettle or grill some toast and a BBQ which we used have burgers for dinner. Other than that we munched on the home made cake and bread which was provided in our gorgeous hamper when we arrived, along with milk, water and a few other essentials. It was blissful. I’d recommend this glamping trip without a doubt.

You can view Ges & other amazing glamping experiences on the canopy & stars website.

Have you ever been glamping??

Let’s face it – sometimes we just cannot get to the gym. This is something that I’m contending with a fair bit at the moment. If you read my Midweek Motivation last week I talked about falling off the wagon with a new routine and the fact that I can’t workout in the mornings anymore due to my early commute to work. I still go Saturday & Sunday and I make myself go at least one evening midweek too. The rest of the time, though, between planning, paperwork, dinner, spending time with my husband and actually having an hour to sit down and rest it’s not easy to get down the gym much more than that.

So, it’s really helpful to be able to set up and work through a little circuit at home. Nothing too long or labourious, just a quick burst while I’m watching TV to get my heart rate up and keep myself active.

Last night we did a little circuit of 30 press up/ 30 sit ups / 30 mountain climbers (inspired by Alex Crockford’s Crockfit HIIT sessions) and it took less than 10 minutes.

Although it’s not as good as a full strength and conditoning workout a little burst of cardio/high intensity interval training makes me feel much fitter and generally better about myself! Put it this way – I don’t feel like I’ve slacked quite so much!!!

Ideas for things you can do at home without equipment:

Burpees//squats//sit ups//plank//push ups//mountain climbers//jumping jacks


That’s all for today! Remember to come back every Wednesday for motivation to get you through the week!

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