SS: Sunday Saves (#70)

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Good morning, afternoon or evening everyone and welcome back to another Sunday Saves! Another Sunday to choose three blog posts that I’ve read over the week and I want to share with my readers. Apologises for the blog being quiet this week, I have not had a minute to sit down and write some posts but fingers crossed, I’ll be back on my three posts a week schedule.

1) The Perks of Being Sharna (Essie Fall Collection 2017 – Review and Swatches)

I absolutely love nail polish! If I had to be without face make-up or nail polish, I would choose to be without face make-up every single time just because I feel more confident with nail polish on. I was in Boots yesterday and this was the first time I seen the new Essie collection and I feel in love with Girly Grunge! It’s such a lovely purple metallic and if you fancy looking at the rest of the collection, Sharna’s post is one to click on!

2) Thirteen Thoughts (Nighttime Anxiety)

I’ve featured Paula’s blog on my Sunday Saves quite a few times but I feel like I relate to so many of her posts that she’s always on my favourite bloggers list. The post I’ve chosen today talks about night time anxiety and over the last few months, this has affected me more than I would like. Not necessarily when I’m in bed, but when I’m about to get ready for bed, my anxiety would get quite high. Thinking about what I didn’t get done in that day, how much I have to do the next day and what else I want to do but I don’t have enough time to do. If you’re looking for tips to help you ease your night time anxiety, Paula’s post is one to read!

3) Andy by Design (Minimalism As A Choice In Life)

Minimalism is something I would love to strive towards but I hold onto too many memories and I find it hard to let go of things. In her post, Andy talks about her view on minimalism, what she’s been incorporating into her home and why there’s too many rules on minimalism. I love how in depth she goes too!

Thank you so much for reading today’s Sunday Saves! Remember to give these lovely bloggers a click to read their posts, they’re all really wonderful. Have a great day!

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SS: Sunday Saves (#69)

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Happy Sunday everyone and welcome back to the blog for another Sunday Saves! If you want to caught up on previous Sunday Saves posts, you’ll find them right here. In today’s post, I’ll be discussing busy lifestyles, a new positivity project and a work experience gone wrong.

1) Rockette Queen (The Pros and Cons To Being Busy All The Time)

This is something I struggle with on a DAILY basis. There is so much emphasis on being busy and if you’re not busy; you’re not enhancing your life, you’re not enriching your life and in turn, I tend to feel like I’m not being productive if my day isn’t packed with activities. On the opposite end of the scale, if I’m too busy; I get stressed and anxious, I can’t get everything done that I want to and I don’t get enough sleep. Aoife talks about whether she likes to stay busy or have more chilled out days and what her pros and cons are when it comes to a busy lifestyle.

2) Kara’s Closet (My Positivity Project: 7 Things I Love About My Face)

If you asked me to celebrate seven things about my face, I would find it very hard to just choose one, never mind seven; so that’s why I love Kara’s new positivity project. She’s chosen seven parts of her face that she’s celebrating and it’s another step towards positive body confidence especially for women (even though I’m not that great at it myself!)

3) Soinspo (What To Do When A Dream Opportunity Turns Into A Nightmare)

Imagine having the dream opportunity come along and it being completely ruined, even if it is only for one week! I think you should go over to Sophie’s post and read what happened during her work experience a few years ago. She doesn’t name the company and it’s a very honest post that must have been really hard for her (or anyone) to go through.

Thank you so much for reading today’s post! Remember to go give the posts a little read and support the blogging community. Have a great rest of your day!

Swim, Steam and Spa | Galgorm Resort and Spa

On Tuesday 12th September, I was very kindly invited to the Galgorm Resort and Spa by Juliet from Scarlett PR. I have never been to the Galgorm before but I have heard so many amazing reviews about it, I was sceptical and thought “Is it really that good? Is it really worth all the raving reviews I’ve heard about it?” Well, my little scepticism was proven very wrong!

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(We were invited to the Press Night to celebrate Spa September, a month of events exploring mindfulness, wellness and giving you some of your “me time” back.)

20170912_185510-01(Thank you to Victoria for getting the photograph for me!)

I arrived earlier than I expected so I changed into my complimentary robe and slippers and took a quick wander around the Thermal Village so I had a little dip in the pool and a quick sauna session before heading to the Orangery to listen to a talk by the team from Bio Effect to hear more about their skincare treatments.

20170912_191818-01(An introduction to the Bio Effect skin treatment brand.)

I’d never heard of the brand before so it was really interesting to find out more about them including their history and where they’re from. Being from Iceland, they talked us through the process of how their ingredients are sourced including Icelandic micro-crystalline lava so you know you have a special product when you can have lava in your exfoliator! Laura was the lucky girl who got the full skin facial experience while the team answered a few questions about the brand, and the spa have exclusive rights to three of the brands new products is quite something!

Next, we were onto the spa cafe, and this wasn’t just any cafe, it was such an aesthetically pleasing dome. We were shown a demonstration on making a perfect gin cocktail, but not being a drinker, it didn’t appeal to me but according to the girls I was sitting with, it was quite a perfect cocktail. Food was announced when we were told what everything was by the chef Duncan; when I go to blog events, I don’t expect to get food even if I’m told there is food there. This is due to having the intolerances and being plant based, I don’t expect places to cater to this but surprisingly they had a quinoa salad that sounded like it was gluten free, soya free, potato and carrot free and vegan so we were onto a winner! Their desserts looked incredible, I couldn’t have any, but they looked like little mini masterpieces!

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(A salad was just what I needed when I was sitting in a bikini!)

We got handed the warmest towels and we were free to roam the village for an hour and a half! I was heading for the heated hot tub and I’m not a bath girl, but I could honestly spend all day in there. It was so cosy but it had started to rain and I never realised how tropical it felt being in a toasty hot tub in the rain.

20170912_213145-01(This pool was heavenly. The perfect height for a little 5’2 person like me!)

I wandered around to a number of the steam rooms because one of the best experiences after swimming is the sauna but I just find going for a swimming and a sauna in a normal leisure centre is too expensive on a regular basis, so I took full advantage. My favourite steam room was the Celtic Sauna because you got to look outside at the lights and trees, and because it was so dark outside, you got to look at the bright green lights with the trees looking like they were inside the room; it was quite a nice effect! (And of course I didn’t get a damn good photograph of the hot tub or steam rooms, doh!)

20170912_183905-01(Dipping my toes into the water at the start of the evening!)

20170912_213623-01(Who forgot to bring their make-up remover and went into the saunas anyway? This girl!)

I ended my stay in the Thermal Village with a little swim in the indoor pool and a steam in the sauna before heading back to the changing rooms to get changed for the evening. The evening ended with a very lovely goodie bag containing a special Galgorm wine and two little chocolate oat clusters (which I’ll be happily passing along to someone else), a spa candle, a box of sample sizes of the Bio Effect products and a special offer for our readers and followers to use at the Spa.

IMG_20170912_195743-01(I already want to come back to laze about the village all day!)

Before I sign off, the Galgorm were very lovely to give us an offer for readers of the blog: if you book any 90 minute signature treatment, you can enjoy a complimentary glass of Prosecco and a spa gift to take home for yourself! All you need to do is email Louise on lnicholl@galgorm.com and quote “Spa September”. This offer is valid Monday to Thursday throughout October and November 2017.

I just want to say another big thank you to Juliet from Scarlett PR as well as Tina and all the Galgorm team for making us all feel so welcome. I felt quite intimidated going to the Spa because I know it’s very fancy but they made you feel more than welcome, and it was such a lovely night. Thank you all so much!

SS: Sunday Saves (#68)

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Happy Sunday evening everyone (or whenever you read this!) I’ve had such a busy weekend that the evening of my Sunday Saves was the only free time I had to write my post. I’ve just taken part in the #UKRunChat over on Twitter (it takes place every Wednesday and Sunday at 8pm) and I’ve came across a number of running blog posts during that so I thought it would be quite nice to talk about those.

1) Two Legs One Beard (My First Parkrun)

Reading Richard’s blog post about his first parkrun reminds me of my first parkrun last year (even though I started getting into them properly just a few weeks ago). He’ll give you some advice on what to expect from the Saturday morning run and he also talks about his experience.

2) Honest Fitness (I’m back. Running, blogging and moaning!)

Kev has just started up his blog again and he talks through some of the life changes he has gone through over the last few years. He talks about mental health and taking part in a 10K along with his little boy, so lots covered in just one post.

3) The Run Blog (Winning The Mental Battle)

The mental battle when running is something that I still struggle with and if you haven’t read my blog post on it, I’ll link it here. I love Paula’s honesty around running and how it used to make her feel versus where she currently is now. It’s definitely a relatable post for anyone who feels “off” when they run.

And we’re done for the evening! I hope you all enjoyed my chosen posts and remember to give them a little read and maybe a comment, it always means so much. Have a great weekend everyone!

Three Intentions For Me (#2)

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Happy September everyone! If you read August’s post (which I’ll link here) I talked about having a monthly intentions list where I would choose three things that I wanted to achieve by the end of the month. They don’t have to be life changing activities by any means, it’s just something that motivates me throughout the month. So before I get into this month’s intentions, let’s look at last months: 

❤ Read one fiction and one non-fiction, and finish them both.

●  I was quite disappointed I didn’t complete this one. I started my non-fiction and right now, I’m still only half way through it and haven’t even started the second book. I’ll continue on until I finish the non-fiction one because it is a really good book, but I think I was just too relaxed with it and didn’t start reading until half way through the month.

❤ Take part in two Twitter chats.

● I only took part in one which can be quite hard to believe because there are SO MANY Twitter chats taking place each week. I participated in #UKRunChat on Sunday’s at 8pm and it was the day after my 5K race so I felt like I had something to talk about too.

❤ Complete the 5K I have signed up for.

● If you’ve been following the blog, I’ve been documenting my 5K Race Training and I specifically wrote a post about the race (which I’ll link here). If you read the post, you’ll read how I found it tough for parts of the race but overall, I was just really proud to finish it.

One out of three isn’t so bad right? I can’t really hide my disappointment with my monthly intentions because even though they’re not serious things, I don’t like to let myself down. Now it’s on to this month’s intentions!

❤ Take part in two Park Runs.

In an ideal world, I would like to take part every Saturday but sometimes that’s just not possible so I think if I took part in two over the month, I’d be very happy.

❤ Get back in meal prep mode.

I used to be SO good at this! I would make my curry for my weekly lunches and I would make either sweet potato brownies or almond energy bites so I need to start preparing for my work lunches again because I felt so much more organised for the week when I did.

❤ Take my library book back.

I’m ashamed to say that I have a borrowed library book from last October. Yes, I have a book borrowed from a year ago and this is quite clearly the push I need to take it back with my tail between my legs…

Make sure to check back at the start of next month to see how I got on and to see what I’ll be making a top priority in October. Have a lovely week! ☀️

SS: Sunday Saves (#67)

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Good morning, happy Sunday and welcome back to another Sunday Saves! I hope you’re all having a great weekend so far! Today I’ll be talking about running, growing with your blog and a new face mask.

1) The Running Bug (Why Running a 5K is a Big Deal)

When I first started blogging about my 5K training (which you can read here!) I was worried that people would think “It’s only 5K, why do you feel the need to train for it?” even though if someone I knew was training for the same distance, I would be so supportive. I came across this blog talking about why running 5K is a big deal and it’s so motivating for someone who has either built up to 5K or is about to start. The calorie burn, your own dedication and even being less likely to hurt yourself. If you’re lacking running motivation, give it a read.

2) Elleanor Wears (5 Growing Stages Bloggers Go Through)

As bloggers, we go through many stages including embarrassment, writers’ block, having too many ideas and even feeling like you’re not good enough. Eleanor’s post goes through five stages that, as bloggers, we face at one point or another so if you’re doubting yourself or think you’re alone in not feeling in love with the blogging world, read her post, I think you’ll see that it’s not just you that feels like that.

3) Emer D Blog (Beauty Review: My Body Shop Must Haves)

Emer was one of the lovely bloggers that was also at the Body Shop event a few weeks ago and in her post, she talks about what Body Shop products she’s been loving. I also love her review on the face mask because I haven’t tried mine yet, but if her review is anything to go by, my skin will be glowing in no time!

Again, thank you for reading today’s post; remember to go and read them too because it’s always nice to support fellow bloggers in any way we can. Have a great day!

Let’s Look After And Love Our Gut!

As a blogger who has recently started talking about fitness and in the past, has spoken about a few health problems I have due to intolerances, I thought today’s post would be fit perfectly alongside those.

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Love Your Gut Week 2017 is being celebrated from Monday 4th September until Sunday 10th September and it’s raising awareness for your gut health, which according to a recent Love Your Gut Survey, 81% of us aren’t sure about the health signs that are gut could be telling us. As shocking as this figure is, it doesn’t surprise me because even I don’t know what’s going on with my tummy most of the time.

I’m no expert so I’m not going to sit here and tell you all the signs you should look out for when it comes to your gut, because the only person who should be telling you that is a qualified doctor. Love Your Gut Week comes with one of the best informative websites I’ve seen. In my job outside the blog, we get sent quite a number of press releases around awareness weeks and for research, I would use the websites mentioned in these press releases to a lot to draw up questions, so to say I’m impressed, would be an understatement. They have everything from frequently asked questions, free advice packs, how to raise awareness and even advice on how to talk to your own doctor about the issues you might be having.

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To start, here’s five of the most surprising facts that I found out about our gut health (from the Love Your Gut Week website):

1) There are more than twenty five different conditions related to the digestive system.
2) Men don’t produce smellier farts than women.
3) The gut has its own brain that contains five hundred million nerve cells.
4) Using plant based or lactose free milks can be easier to digest than lactose milks and more tolerate by sensitive guts.
5) If you need to fart, don’t hold it in!

pexels-photo-96974(Original Source Image)

My body has been talking to me for quite a few years (hear me out!); from little gurgles throughout the day, stomach cramps after certain foods, questionable bowel movements and further problems when it comes to periods. Now I’m not going to sit here and tell you about my bowel movements but it does bring me to a very important topic: being comfortable talking about the unsocial norms.

We have to admit that our bodily functions are something that isn’t talked about enough but quite frankly, should be. If something isn’t right and yes, we’re going to talk about poop because it’s a good example; if your poop doesn’t look healthy or it has a clear sign that something is wrong, there is definitely a conversation that needs to be had. Now, I’m not suggesting that you go and tell your next door neighbour or your local lollipop man, but go to someone you trust that will take you seriously and possibly offer you advice. Your body doesn’t lie, it shows you what is wrong but it won’t tell you. That’s perhaps the most frustrating problem with our bodies is that, yes they’ve given you this sign but what on earth does it mean? Not going to get help about a problem can only delay the issue and unfortunately some leave it too late. “I wish I’d went to see about it sooner” or “We caught it quickly because I went to see someone about it” You’ve probably heard quotes like these before and obviously sometimes there are cases where you can go to the doctor and they can’t diagnosis your problem for weeks, months or even years. It’s difficult one to balance especially when some people don’t feel comfortable or even trust their doctors (I may or may not be one of these people, sorry!) but we need to speak out. This is our body, we need to be happy and healthy in it, and we need to speak out when something is wrong. If you’re dismissed, go to another doctor or another professional; it’s your body and you have to live it so don’t let anyone tell you “Oh you’ll be fine, I’m sure it’s nothing”.

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Thank you for reading today’s post! I know it’s not your normal post that you’d see from me but I think it’s such an important issue to address so if you’d like any more information on the awareness week, please visit www.loveyourgutweek.com ❤ 
Have a lovely week!