I love a bright pair of trainers! I’m not gunna lie, I always do a better work out if I feel confident in my workout gear – and a pair of stylish trainers can real make a gym outfit! I’m a big fan of nikes, but there are a lot of other brands out there with really gorgeous styles. I’ve made a ‘lust list’ of all my favourite trainers on the market which I wouldn’t hesitate to buy if I had the budget or the storage space!!


This bright pink beauty is a real showstopper! Not only is the four absolutely fabulous but it’s also great for pushing yourself in the gym; lightweight but also durable and with enough support to do your heavy stacked squats!

£45 from JD SPORTS


A little on the pricey side but how amazing are these? I love the colour. They are designed for running rather than gym work and give you all the high tech support, ventilation & ‘barefoot’ feel that runners need. I don’t really like running – but I still want these babies!

£130 from JD SPORTS


I just love the colour of these. If you do t fancy a psychedelic shade like the two above I think this is a really nice compromise. These are all about comfort; with an extra foam layer for shock absorption so would be a good all round training shoe. They are also in the Sports Direct sale at the moment – what’s not to love??

£62.99 from Sports Direct

Karrimor Duma 2 Ladies Running Shoes

Karrimor were the first trainers I ever owned and although they didn’t last as long as my current our of nikes – if you are looking for something that will do the job and not break the bank then these are great. These shoes come ina great choice of colours ranging from the very garish (which I would pick obvs.) to the subtle and plain, as well as having great grip and being an already fitness training shoe. I personally wouldn’t recommend karrimor for serious running; I once did a 10k in my old ones and they we were too heavy and didn’t have enough bounce.

Currently in the sale £24.99 from Sports Direct

Do you lust after fitness shoes like me? What are your favourites?

Since I got married and I have lost my fixed ‘goal’ in terms of something to work towards I have struggled with motivation slightly. In the last few weeks since we got back from Portugal and work has been really full on I have noticed my gym routine start to slip slightly.

SO this week, I am back with a vengeance. I have pledged to attend the gym 5 mornings before work at 6.30am and adding extra cardio after work too. I pretty much despise cardio but by committing to a very short blast of running outside (20 mins max) after work every day I can seem to cope with it.

I am feeling really inspired at the moment by the Olympics and the likes of Laura Trott and Jess Ennis. Their abs!! Seriously – goals.

My abs are getting there and you can juuuust about see them in the right light (!!!) but take a lot of work and dedication to maintain.

I’m feeling motivated and ready to get back on it and embrace those early morning gym sessions again and boss it!


I can’t put it off any longer, the culmination of any uni student’s degree and the result of years of work comes down to the dreaded dissertation.  Some of you may be horrified that I have left it this late to start, as many of my friends dissertations are due within the next few weeks, however as my course is a 2 year accelerated degree our term finishes much later and mine isn’t due until the 14th June! Phew.

However, that may seem like a long way off but it’s not: it’s less than 2 months. So this week I decided to get down to business and begin.

How to begin. It’s difficult. If you are a procrastinator and a last minute.com person like me then it’s exceptionally hard. However it’s important to understand that this piece of work is quite a large chunk of most degrees and I would be devastated to throw away my hard work by failing to plan effectively. So I have actually started this piece of work in advance to give myself the best chance of getting a good mark.

The worst thing about a dissertation is the thought of it.  At the beginning it seems enormous; a marathon that you’ll never finish. But once you begin it seems to shrink. My approach so far has been reading some books on my topic and making rough notes in a book and then at the end of each day typing the notes up. So far I have my introduction plus about 2000 words of my literature review, which I’m quite proud of! My dissertation is an educational research project, so I still have a long way to go conducting interviews and writing up the results.

My advice to any future students would be to start early, do a bit at a time and don’t let it take over your life. I know it sounds easy to say but I can tell you that it seems much more manageable to me now than certain essays which I have started the day before they’re due! Also, make use of your dissertation supervisor which will be much easier if you do start early, as they will be much more inclined to read through your work and offer advice if you give it to them in plenty of time. Lastly, choose a topic that you are genuinely interested in and at least have some experience of (I chose outdoor learning which is something that I have written 2 other essays on during my course) because it’s a lot less work as a lot of the literature is already read and I can recycle notes.

It’s not that scary so far. Ask me in a month’s time and I might feel differently! Wish me luck…


2016-04-19-blog- Jess Mann-B