Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Fitness Gear I Love!

I work out 5 days a week, pretty much without fail. One of the things that keeps me motivated to work out is the fact that my fitness gear looks pretty darn good! Gone are the days where working out means pairing a mangy ill fitting t-shirt with a baggy pair of shorts, work-out gear is now not only fashionable but functional as well.

Today I thought I'd share with you some of my favourite stores which sell gorgeous work out gear which you'll actually be excited to wear! 

First up, is Gap and their Gapfit range which you can find HERE. This is a fairly new discovery for me and I've really been surprised by the quality of the bits and pieces of picked up. Gap sell everything from shorts, super soft t-shirts, sports bras and even cotton capris.
My favourite pieces are the Medium Impact Sports Bra which is only £22.95 and is made with a lovely breathable jersey which wicks sweat away from the body and is surprisingly supportive. I'll use for yoga and lighter workouts. On the left we have the gSprint Shorts which I've loved so much,, I've bought them in three different colours! These are only £19.95 and have a lovely relaxed fit which allows for lots of movement without feeling restrictive. 

Next up we have Sweaty Betty which is certainly a more high end store with a price to match! I've been lusting after numerous goodies from their collection but I've not quite had the courage to part with my cash just yet. What's great about Sweaty Betty is that they have work-out gear for everything from ballet to yoga and tennis to surfing, there's something for everyone.
My picks are the Chaturanga Yoga Vest which is a super stretchy camisole top with a gorgeous 5 strapped back and would set you back £60. It's specially designed for yoga so there'd be no awkward flashing while you're in downward dog position. I think this would look gorgeous paired with the Urdhva Yoga Leggings which are a rather hefty £85. Whilst this might seem a little bit steep, these aren't your ordinary leggings and are guaranteed to be 100% opaque as well as being totally reversible. I'd have no problems wearing this combo down the shops as it's so stylish!

My final store of choice is Fabletics which many of you may be familiar with owing to the fact that one of the founders is the gorgeous Kate Hudson. What's great about Fabletics is the first outfit will only set you back £22 which means you could save yourself an absolute fortune! Fabletics tend to work in outfits (although you can pick up pieces individually) and prices vary from outfit to outfit depending on the number of pieces.
My picks are the Summerland outfit which consists of the Taylor Tank with a gorgeous draping back, the Miramar shorts and the Koia medium impact sports bra for only £52. The sports bra on it's own is worth £22 so you can appreciate just how much of a saving you're in for. My other pick is the Kanpur outfit which is the perfect slouching at home set with the loose fitting Love hoodie, the Ko Jogger pants and the Kemi light support bra for £62. All of the outfits come in a range of colours so you customise them to suit you.

Now you've seen some of my top picks, there really is no excuse for looking frumpy while working out, invest in some gorgeous pieces so you can look fabulous while working yourself to breaking point!

Have you tried any of the above stores? What are you top fitness based picks? Where do you shop for workout gear?

Monday, May 25, 2015

Fun things to do in London this Summer - Hyper Japan

I've made no secret of the fact that I'm a little bit of a geek. I love to game with the other half (Final Fantasy is one of my favourites if you're wondering), I'm a sucker for foreign film, I enjoy cooking food with a few choice ingredients and I genuinely get a kick from doing something a little bit different.

If you're like me, it might be worth you checking out Hyper Japan this summer. This summer it will be on from the 10th-12th July at the O2 and I believe that they will be touring again over Christmas as well if you're not about this time.
So, what is Hyper Japan? In a nutshell, it's an enormous celebration of  all things Japanese! So if you're a sucker for Japanese cuisine, you'll love this, think delicious food and drink ranging from a good old Katsu curry right through to bubble tea and even Saki tasting. How about Japanese culture? Then there will be martial arts demonstrations and the year I attended, there were also dance demo's and even some real Geisha!
There's also loads of weird and wonderful innovations for you to take in with artisans showing their wares and their skill such as with the mini-van above.
Of course, when you think Japan, the mind does wonder to Manga, and when Ad and I attended a couple of years ago, there were artists showing us their skills and producing some gorgeous sketches for visitors to have a peek at.
It was fascinating to watch these people at work! If you're a big fan of Manga and Anime then Hyper Japan will most definitely appeal to you. There will be stall upon stall laden with all sorts of goodies from books, figurines from your favourite shows and other paraphernalia which can often be hard to source in the UK.  
On top of this there will be live performances from many famous J-Pop stars such as May J. When Ad and I attended, the Japanese Version of the Blue Man Group Siro-A were performing. How they managed this in such huge hats, I have no frikken idea.
Naturally, the most exciting bit for me was the opportunity to dress up and embrace my love of cos-play! It's so much fun and in all honesty, you'll feel a little left out if you don't embrace the inner urge to dress up.
My costume was fairly basic considering, there were some serious cos-play enthusiasts and if you're looking to grow your costume collection, then you'd be in luck! This year there will be cos-player tables which allow you to pick up hints and tips such as sourcing materials for your costume from professional cos-players.
What was amazing was seeing just how much effort people put into their costumes. Don't worry if, like me, your outfit is cobbled together from bits and pieces or it's been hand sewn, there's such a sense of community that it's only the effort that counts (unless you're entering the cos-play competition of course, you've got to go all out if that's the case!).
If cos-play isn't your thing, then how about some kawaii Japanese fashions? Namely some serious j-style in the form of wigs, accessories, dresses and make-up. There are even stalls which will show you how to apply your make-up to embrace the trend. I'm not sure Amy would manage though!
If none of the above sounds like something you'd like, then perhaps you'd be better of sticking with the Game Park. In this area you'll have the opportunity to play some gaming gems and even some new releases which are yet to hit the high street!
If this sounds like something you'd enjoy, then please do make sure you grab a couple of tickets which you can get HERE. It really is such great fun and if you're a bit of a geek then this will be an absolute riot!

Have you been to Hyper Japan before? What's your favourite section? Did you dress up?

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Outfit Of The Day - The Rose Printed Dress

I've been a sucker for dresses this season as I'm sure you may have noticed. This little beauty from one of my favourite stores Joy, is no different.
The shirt style, the vivid blue rose print and the secret pockets are all features of this dress which make me swoon. The Louche Elisha Dress just ticks all the right boxes.
There's a fifties feel to this dress which really drew me in as I knew it'd suit my shape. It nips you in at just the right point without feeling restrictive. It also highlights my better features and skims over those bits of myself which I'd like to keep hidden if you catch my drift. If you don't, I shall elaborate, one is particularly fond of ones tiny waist and boobs and one isn't  that fond of ones tummy and thighs.
There, now that's out of the way, can we take a second to admire how graceful I am? It's hard trying to show off the fullness of the skirt by standing still I'll have you know!
Anywho, back to the outfit, I paired this with a tried and tested leather belt, cute sandals from Clarks and a super sweet rose gold feather necklace from Beaverbrooks. On the subject of which, my necklace was an absolute bargain by the way, their own range of jewellery is well worth checking out.
I actually donned this outfit for a day of shopping with Ad, it was easy to slip in and out of when I fancied trying bits and pieces on and, as I've said above, it was loose enough to not feel restrictive and comfortable to wear all day long. I even managed to do two rounds of bowling in this beauty!
Now if that doesn't make this dress a multi-tasking wonder then I don't know what does! Perhaps my super cute 'please pour me more wine' face?

Have you been into Joy this spring/summer? What do you make of their dress selection?

Monday, May 18, 2015

Go With The Lava Flow by OPI - A Review

Last week it was my birthday and I hit the ripe old age of 28! Naturally there were a few beauty bits I was after and my mother in law to be (waves!) kindly gifted me with a couple of nail varnishes from OPI's new Hawaii Collection.

The Hawaii Collection features a beautiful range of colours, some of which are designed to evoke the sun, sea, sand and sunsets which can be experienced from Hawaii's beautiful beaches while others are designed to resonate with the luscious greenery and sumptuous tropical flowers. Today, I'm talking about Go with the Lava Flow.

I've tried my best to capture the colour on camera, but in case you can't quite see it, Go with the Lava Flow is a gorgeous shimmering golden red.
It's not an 'in your face' true red by any means, it's quite orange in tone and almost a little bit creamy in colour.
It has a gorgeous golden shimmer running right the way through it which will make it an ideal shade for the spring and summer months, especially when it catches the sunlight! Orange and coral shades are super fashionable this season in case you hadn't noticed.
As with all OPI polishes, the quality is excellent. The colour applies smoothly, only takes two coats to get a good depth of colour and is long wearing even on me achieving around 4 days before chips start to set in.

Have you tried any colours from the new OPI Hawaii Collection? What's your favourite shade?

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Outfit of the Day - The Daisy Jumpsuit

I have to admit, I don't usually shop in Topshop. Their sizing doesn't really suit me or my proportions and their clothing is so high fashion I don't envisage wearing it enough to justify the price tag.
During a recent visit however, I spotted this cute daisy print culotte jumpsuit and took the plunge. Today, I'm wearing:

Jumpsuit: Topshop
Jacket: Oasis
Belt: Topshop
Shoes: Clarks
First of all, on the sizing front, Topshop are still way off for me. I tried on a 10 which, whilst I got it on and zipped up, it felt so snug around my boobs that I was concerned the stitching would pop at any moment!

The body was also so short in the 10 that bending over and attempting to do yoga was impossible. Of course, that's what people do in jumpsuits. But on a serious note, moving around was very uncomfortable and things were riding into nooks and crannies which really isn't cool.
As such, I opted for the 12 which, whilst much much better in the body, is a little loose around the bust region as you can see in the photo above (speaking of which, Ad captioned this "no jacket, get away from me!"). I tried to nip the jumpsuit in with a belt but it did mean there was a little bunching around the cut out sections in the side. It shouldn't cost too much to get in nipped in I reckon.
Moving back onto the positives, the cut out detailing is sweet and simple which matches the super cute daisy print dotted across the jumpsuit. The jumpsuit itself is lovely and loose and from the right angles it looks like I'm wearing a midi dress, LOVE!
I paired the outfit with a robust and fitted denim jacket and these gorgeous gladiator inspired sandals from Clarks. The leather is lovely and soft, the heel nice and dinky and, because they're Clarks, there is lots of padding around the base of the sandal to cushion the balls of your feet. This was the first time I'd worn these and they didn't rub at all.
To keep things young and fresh, my make-up, as always was really paired back and my hair was sleek and simple. I really wanted the focus to be on the jumpsuit as it's such a statement piece!
All in all, whilst Topshop still need to sort their sizing, I did love this piece. It was cute, playful, could be dressed up and down and felt lovely for spring! Once I've had things nipped in a little, I can see me wearing this a lot which is another tick in the RESULT box for me.

Have you tried Topshop jumpsuits before? How do you find their sizing? Are you enjoying the jumpsuit trend?

Monday, May 11, 2015

Josie Maran - Argan Colour Stick - Pink - A Review

Last year my parents visited Hawaii. While they were there, I asked that they pop into Sephora and grab me a couple of goodies from the Josie Maran range as I'd been really keen to try out some bits and pieces. Sadly, the make-up range is not easily available in the UK, hence my request that my parents grab some bits.
One of the bits they picked up for me was this Josie Maran Argan Colour Stick in the shade Pink. This is a dual purpose product which can be used to provide a wash of colour to both the lips and the cheeks.
As the name of the product suggests, the Colour Stick is infused with Argan oil which is full of all sorts of skin benefiting properties ranging from anti-ageing right through to helping with dehydration. Whilst the skin benefits are restricted with a make-up product (given its limited application), it does make me happy to know that I'm not putting any parabens or sulfates on my skin and am instead popping on a product full of vitamin E.
Here I have seriously swatched at intensity, but used correctly, the Colour Stick leaves the skin with a dewy and natural looking flush of colour. The above photo is taken by the window, so with natural light and the photo below is taken at a different angle so you get a better impression of how it looks.
I've been using it in most of my outfit posts as I'm a big fan of creamier products as it gets warmer as I feel they last longer on the skin and look much more natural than a powder based blush.
To apply, I've been dotting on my cheeks straight from the 'bullet' as it were and then buffing in with a buffing brush. The product is creamy enough that application is quick and easy without any tugging. Sadly I can't attest to use on the lips as I've not tried this yet, but as a blush I've found it to be wonderful, long lasting, and, as I've said about 6 times already, it's lovely and natural!

Have you tried any Josie Maran make-up? What do you recommend I try out next? 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Outfit of the Day - The Boho Dress

Unless you've been hiding under a rock, you can't have missed the fact that this season, as with many before it, the boho look is very much in vogue. Hippy-esque details, pretty colours, floaty fabrics and gorgeous peasant style sleeves come and go with the festival season and the sunshine.
Keen to get in on the trend, I decided that Sunday was as good a day as any to don this pretty floral boho style dress.
Today I'm wearing:

Dress: Next
Belt: New Look
Boots: Aldo

What I love about the dress is the unusual square neckline. I think the three quarter sleeves give things a laid back feel and stop things from being too formal.
The print is pretty and feminine and the floaty layers add a lovely sense of whimsy which are essential when attempting to channel some laid back vibes.
The bust section of the dress is nice and stretchy (good for us bigger busted ladies) and the belt nips you in where you need it thus meaning you can a hide a food baby if need be! Don't look at me like that, I know you're all foodies as well with a tendency to over indulge.
All in all, simple and effective. A big thanks to Ad for taking my photos as per usual, the man does have a knack for capturing me at my most natural.

Have you sampled the boho trend? What pieces have you been styling this month? 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Monday Munchies - The Chocolate Cake Batter Smoothie

Long time readers of my blog will know that I used to do a post every Tuesday called Tuesday Tasties whereby I would share recipes and reviews of some of my favourite places to eat. Whilst I don't tend to do those posts nowadays, ever so often I'll discover something wonderful which I'll want to share and as I now post on Mondays and Saturdays I thought Monday Munchies was a more apropos name. I hope you like it!

Anywho, moving swiftly on, today I'm sharing a chocolate cake batter smoothie which is not only delicious, but it's actually good for you! Sounds too good to be true right? But wait, it get's better, it's also sugar free and gluten free as well. If you have a nut allergy, you can substitute in coconut milk if you like.  

To make enough for two smoothies you'll need the following bits and pieces.

  • 1 whole avocado
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 6 pitted medjool dates
  • 500ml of almond milk
  • Icecubes
All you need to do is plonk everything into a blender and blitz away, if your mixture is a little thicker than you'd like, just add more almond milk.
I quite like mine pretty thick, it makes it feel more indulgent and as though I really am drinking cake batter, you might need a spoon to scoop out any leftovers! It really is delicious and in the cup, it almost looks like chocolate mousse.
This is a great weekend treat and the combination of avocado, almond milk and dates means it'll keep you full, the cocoa will help satisfy any chocolate cravings and the vanilla and date combo should also satisfy your sweet tooth.

All in all, this is a great treat and I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do!

Please let me know if you try this recipe and whether you agree if it tastes like cake batter!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Outfit Of The Day - The Shirt Dress

I'm hoping to keep this post fairly short and sweet, we'll see how that pans out below I suppose. Today's post actually features some photos from a trip Ad and I took Amsterdam in 2013. The reason I'm using such old photos, as I'm sure you've gathered is because of what I'm wearing.
Whilst I appreciate you can't see my shoes, I can assure you that as I'm on a city break, they're super comfy. If I remember rightly they're my mannish style boots from M&S which have featured on the blog many a time and sadly, as of last night have become best of friends with my bin. They've bitten the dust and now have a huge gaping hole in them. But, I digress, today I'm wearing:

Dress: Louche at Joy
Belt: Primark
Shoes (not seen): Marks & Spencer
I have to say, when I first lay eyes on this dress, I wasn't 100% convinced it was for me. First of all, it's pink and at the time, I had absolutely no pink in my wardrobe whatsoever! It's still a colour which is fairly scarce in my wardrobe but I'm slowly starting to embrace it.
Secondly, the way it had been styled in the store wasn't super flattering, the sleeves were rolled right down making it look, well like a bag and the belt actually matched the fabric of the dress, things weren't looking good. Ad convinced me to try it on as the oriental style print was totally up my street with it's blues and golds.
I took the belt out of my jeans and stuffed it through the belt loops on the dress, rolled the sleeves up to give a more relaxed feel and slipped into my boots before stepping out of the fitting room. The rest, as they say is history.  This dress has become something of a warm weather staple owing to the summery colours and smart/casual vibe. It can be dressed down for running around the city or paired with heels for the perfect office outfit. 

This was actually the start of a big style change for me and has since lead to the purchase of many dresses, skirts and pieces which are outside of my comfort zone. It's good to try something new every once in a while, you never know, you could surprise yourself.

Do you own any shirt dresses? Do you agree they're a warm weather staple? Would you like to see more pictures from our Amsterdam trip?
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