Doing It For The Girls…

For a long time now I’ve been looking for and following women I find inspirational. Whether that be their blog, their Twitter or their Instagram. I think it’s really important for women to support each other; in the workplace, at home and in public.

We’re working towards equality but we’re a long way from it. Women need to stand together, not tear each other down. Now, more than ever we need to empower each other and show solidarity. To have a voice and actually use it can be scary, we live in a society where judgements are made and made quickly. No longer are they made in private for no-one to hear, they are shouted loud and often and increasingly directly at the individual. We need to remember that we are all human, all have feelings and however thick a skin we have we can all be affected negatively by such things.

That’s why I decided to do this post. I wanted to share some of the women I find inspirational, who I seek out on a regular basis, who support other women and who are standing up to those who try to bring them down. Here is my power list of women, I hope you enjoy!

Chessie King

I first came across Chessie on Instagram about 6 months ago. I follow her mainly because  of her realness. She’s gone on quite a journey with her fitness and I find her workout videos and posts really inspirational. She lifts the lid on all those picture tricks people use and cuts through all the bullshit. She is all about making women feel good about themselves which I love. I struggle with body confidence issues and she never fails to make me smile, and also work on loving myself a bit more. She is forever positive and in my opinion the kind of role model that young women should be looking up to. Basically a complete BABE! Check out her Instagram for some serious gym inspo and everyday smiles.

Sarah Ashcroft

Saraha Ashcroft, also known as ‘That Pommie Girl’ is all kinds of goals. I think I’ve been reading her blog for about 2 years now (maybe longer), long enough that I can’t remember how I first came across her. I started by watching her make-up tutorials on youtube – my god that girl knows how to slay. Then I started looking at her clothes and had serious wardrobe envy. Then I started following her fitness journey, she was beautiful before but is now really toned and strong too…another goal. I think what I like about her most is that she seems real, unchanged since finding huge success and incredibly grateful for all of her fortunes. If you’re into fashion or beauty in particular you need to give this girl a follow, have a look at her Instagram.

Shay Mitchell

She’ll be a familiar name to many of you, especially any of you who have been partial to an episode or two of Pretty Little Liars (*cough* watched every season religiously *cough*). Ok where to start? First of all she’s funny and goofy on her Insta and Snapchat stories – she is always mucking about with her friends and team and they all seem to be like one big family…something I think is great for someone who is so successful. Secondly, she works hard, REAL hard. Anyone who is familiar with her will see that she never lets up, she gets that workout in, she does those long hours on set, she makes time to see her friends. Mostly I just like how humble she is, she isn’t flashy about all the nice things she has and she seems like the kind of girl I’d love to have as my friend. Big love for Shay.

Lauryn Evarts Bosstick

Ok, so I may have saved my favourite for last. Lauryn Evarts Bosstick or The Skinny Confidential as she might be better known. I have been following this blog and woman for about 5 years now and I never cease to love the content she creates and the realness she brings. Her and her husband Michael are a power team of dreams…yes they bicker, yes they take the piss out of each other but most importantly they work TOGETHER, they SUPPORT each other, they RESPECT each other and they build each other UP. Lauryn is a boss and she is unapologetic in being so. I love her honesty, her quirky ways, her tips, tricks and hacks, her willingness to share and most importantly how she supports other women. You NEED to go and check her out, like, now. We could learn a lot from her on perseverance, chasing your dreams and taking that leap when you might be scared shitless. Trust me I’m taking notes from this lady.

I’ve only included four women in this post, but I could include many many more. Maybe I’ll make this a regular thing, practice what I preach and all that. I hope you like these ladies as much as I do. It’s refreshing to find some healthy role models in a society that is constantly trying to tell us what the ‘ideal’ is. Let’s stand together :-).

F x

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Weighing On My Mind…

So I've shared a little with you about my fitness journey…and more importantly how I'm struggling with my weight.

I'm by no means fat but I'm not comfortable with the weight I've gained. I got weighed at the doctors the other day and the number that jumped out of me was a shock.

I'm finding it really difficult to have control with my food and to balance my diet. Getting on the scales at the doctors made me realise I need to make a change and only I can be the one to do that.

I've started having sessions once a week with my old personal trainer, this is motivation number 1. Secondly I will be reigning in my sweet tooth and love of carbs…I need more variety in my diet and that needs to include a lot more fruit and vegetables. Thirdly I'm taking inspiration from my mum, she's been steadily losing weight over the last few months and is doing it through exercise and good diet. I'm going to take her lead and really try.

Do any of you have tips for making this work? Any habits I should try ditching or should start following? I need your help!

This has been short but sweet I'm afraid. Trying to get the frequency of my posts up…something else I'm trying to achieve!

F x

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Summer Loving

Anyone who knows me will know that I love the winter. I love knitwear, snuggling up by fires and costing up in layer upon layer of clothing. I also don’t really do colour…ever. I live in jeans and jumpers are one of my favourite things. Not so great when in the middle of a heatwave in London.

Not saying I’m anti-summer, I just don’t love it here. BUT, to try and get into the spirit of things I’ve picked out some of my favourite summer pieces this month.

Red Gingham Smock Dress
Red Gingham Smock Dress

I love this asos dress, it’s summery without showing too much skin or figure hugging…something which I’m not a fan of when it’s hot.

Blue Striped Sleeveless Top
Blue Striped Sleeveless Top

This little Zara number is a great work piece that can be dressed both up and down. I like that it’s slightly structured but again not tight. I need this in my wardrobe!

Adidas Blue & White Sliders
Adidas Blue & White Sliders

I actually have a pair go black and white Ivy Park sliders but I’m planning on getting myself a pair of these this summer. I like the classes style of these Adidas ones and you can wear them with SO many things…jeans, jean shorts, dresses at the beach. The list goes on. BIG fan.

New Era 9Forty NY Navy Cap
New Era 9Forty NY Navy Cap

I’m really fair skinned so a hat is 100% a must for me on holiday. I catch the sun really easily and I’ve burnt my scalp more times than it’s cool too. You can’t go wrong with a baseball cap and I don’t think you’ll find many people who don’t like the classic new era caps.

Ok, so nothing ground-breaking but this is how a winter loving girl styles out summer. I like quite classic looks that are effortless but stylish too. Let’s see if I can push myself out of my comfort zone this summer and wear more dresses!

F x

Tired, oh so tired

I’m not sure what has been going on with me recently but I am tired, so so tired all of the time. I sit at my desk at work fighting the urge to curl up and go to sleep. Today I even had to take a 20 minute power nap on my lunch break. What is going on!?

So as most people would do I took to Google and searched ‘chronic fatigue’ and here is what I found…

The NHS lists 10 medical reasons why you might feel extreme tiredness and a couple of these ring true for me. I’ve been tested in the past for iron deficiency, thyroid problems all of which came back clear. I’m also not someone to take advice from sites that aren’t verified or from trustworthy sources…I’ll stick with NHS and WebMD thanks!

Two things that were on that list I can relate to are stress and anxiety. I feel both of these on a regular basis. My job can be quite stressful at time, I work to deadlines often, I work across several departments and there is often a lot of change/last minute changes. I’m someone who likes structure and organisation so this can be difficult for me…something I have been working on for several years. I also feel anxious a lot, I go through stages of not being able to sleep, worrying excessively and being irritable.

All of the above can lead to feelings of extreme tiredness and exhaustion. Question is, what do I do about it? For me exercise makes me feel better, and it’s definitely something I’ve not been doing enough of. I’ve already schedule workouts into my diary for the next two weeks. Avoiding alcohol. Again I’ve been drinking too much recently and it’s showing both on my skin and how I feel. I’m aiming to only have alcohol one day a week for the foreseeable and not to get drunk. I’m also trying to get back into practising mindfulness. I’m listening to sleep stories every night, I find these really help me sleep without having a programme play on my iPad. I’m also going to start using my diffuser more and colouring books…both of which help me to relax.

I’ll let you know how I get on in the next couple of weeks!

F x

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Digital Detox

Smartphones, tablets, laptops…they’re all great things that enhance our lives in many ways. They mean we have a world of information literally at our finger- tips, we can keep in touch with family across the world easier than we ever could before, they provide a platform for us to have a voice, we can find out news instantaneously and can share memories with all those we know at the touch of a button.

But sometimes, we need a break from the digital world we live in. It can be suffocating, stress inducing and stop us from enjoying the moment and living in the here and now. This is something I learnt when I travelled to Kenya just after Christmas in December 2016. I spent just over two weeks without any internet access, no Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or work emails. Just me, my friends and the amazing memories we made.

I can’t explain how good it felt to disconnect from the rest of the world. It was probably the first time since I left university and started working that I had not checked my work emails once on holiday, worried about something that was happening back at home or not having my mind on two things at once.

I came back from that holiday feeling completely refreshed and ready to get back into the swing of things. It made me realise that I needed to put my phone down more and worry a little less. I now make a conscious effort to not heck work emails on my days off or when I’m spending time with my family. I try not to sit in bed at night for an extra half an hour after I decided I’d go to sleep checking my Instagram or reading articles on my phone.

If you haven’t already, try it. You’ll be surprised how much better you feel for it. The world won’t stop because you have.

F x

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Jewels + Gems

Everybody loves a bit of jewellery right? Whether you’re into full on glam, dripping in chains and rings or your prefer something a little more subtle, I think jewellery can really enhance an outfit and make it feel…complete.

Personally I like to err on the side of subtlety. I wear very little jewellery, partly because that’s what I like and partly because I got burgled last year and they stole 95% of all the jewellery I owned.

I’m going to give you a little run through of what I like to wear on a daily basis. For my 18th birthday my nan gave me her ruby and diamond ring set in a gold band (pretty much all the jewellery I wear is gold). I was too scared to wear it whilst at uni but for the last 4 or 5 years I can’t remember a day where I went without it. I wear this on my right hand along with my mums eternity ring. My dad replaced hers so she gave me the old one. On my left hand I just wear a little infinity knot gold pinky finger ring.

I also wear a couple of bangles on my left wrist but I want to replace these soon. I also wear a little cubic zirconia stud earring in my left triages – I love this piercing. And that pretty much sums up what I wear. I told you it was minimalist!

Below I’m going to share some of the pieces I’m loving at the moment and want to add to my collection. I hope you like!

Lucy Williams X Missoma Large Horn Pendant Necklace
Lucy Williams X Missoma Large Horn Pendant Necklace £139.00

I love this necklace. I actually bought this for myself about a month ago, I’m going to buy some smaller chains to layer it with

Lucy Williams X Missoma Shark Tooth Pendant Necklace
Lucy Williams X Missoma Shark Tooth Pendant Necklace £89.00

I actually got an email today saying that Missoma were bringing back some of the Lucy Williams collection for summer. I love this little shark tooth pendant. Perfect to layer up with other chains for a day time or night look

Gold 'F' Necklace from Orelia
Gold ‘F’ Pendant Necklace from Orelia £15.00

I love how delicate this little chain is. I’m planning to buy it and then layer with the above Missoma necklace

Gold Stacking Rings from Orelia
Gold Stacking Rings Set from Orelia £20.00

I love pinky rings and as I already wear a couple of rings on my right hand I love delicate ones like the above for my other hand. Subtle but beautiful.

Gold Fiji Friendship Bracelet from Monica Vindar
Gold Fiji Friendship Bracelet from Monica Vinader £125.00

I bought this for myself after we got burgled and had the word ‘positivity’ engraved on the bar. I love Monica Vinader products, I could buy so much from this website!

These are the things I’m loving at the moment, will update with some more soon!

F x

The Gym. A Love Hate Relationship

Ok girls. Let’s get real, who here also has a love hate relationship with the gym? I find it hard to get the motivation to go but as soon as I do I feel so much better for it. I sleep better, I’m less stressed, I feel better about my body.

The only issue is, I seem to fall in and out of love with the gym in waves. I can’t seem to sustain my it. The last week is a classic example…I had a big weekend, ruined all my hard work from the week before and as a result haven’t been to the gym all week. The result? Feeling pretty shitty about myself and that then leads to me eating more and having a ‘what’s the point mentality?’.

I need to reset and I need to do it asap. I’m off to a friends wedding in July and the last think I want to be feeling is hideous in my nice pretty dress. I don’t want to be insecure anymore and I don’t want to keep moaning about it.

Here are some rules I’m going to set myself so that I don’t fall back into old ways…ways that don’t involved regular gym sessions.

  1. MAKE THE TIME. No more excuses, if I can’t go in the evening get an early night and go early in the morning.
  2. Don’t go more than two days without exercising. The longer you take a break the easier it is to give up.
  3. Plan ahead. Both when I will go to the gym and what I’ll do.
  4. Stop hating on my body.
  5. Eat healthy, cut the crap out. Diet (as in WHAT you eat, not extreme fad ‘miracle’ diets) is everything.

And that’s that ladies! I’d love to hear any tips or advice you have to help.

F x

Real Talk…I’ve Fallen Out of Love with My Body

Let’s be real, are there many girls who can say they truly love themselves, their body, 100%? I certainly don’t know many who do. I’ve fell out of love with my body a long time ago. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I looked in the mirror and didn’t pick some fault in what I saw.

Since uni I’ve slowly been gaining weight…over a stone of it since 2012. And I can’t seem to make it budge. At uni I weighed anywhere between 8 and 8 ½ stone and was very happy with my body. I walk dup to uni every day, I danced for about 8 hours a week (me and my friends ran the dance society) and I went running on top of that. I’m now sitting around 9 ½ stone on my 5ft2 frame…and I don’t feel comfortable.

My clothes are a little tight…I don’t feel confident, well in pretty much anything. All I see when I look in the mirror is my stomach pooch, broad shoulders, cellulite on my thighs/butt and big legs. This is not a healthy image to have of myself, and one I know is probably blown way out of proportion in my head. Nonetheless, I’ve decided something needs to change, and only I can do it.

I’m going to work my ass off to lose the weight I’ve gained and fall back in love with my body. This time I’m not giving up. By writing it here, I’m accountable. I can’t just say ‘Oh, I’ll start again on Monday’. It’s written here, and it’s out there in the wonderful world of the internet.

It’s time for me to fall back in love with the gym, and back in love with my body.

Check back in for progress updates.

F x

My Skin Story

Some girls and guys go through life with no skin problems at all. You know those people who have perfectly porcelain skin, no visible pores, not oily, no irregular skin-tone and of course…no blemishes. I am not one of those people and since I was about 17 (I’m now 26) have really struggled to get my spots under control.

Anyone who has experienced acne – yes I’m going to say the word however much I hate it – will know how crippling the effects can be. At first my skin was pretty much like any other teenagers, I’d get the odd spot here and there but then I started to get them more often and they were bigger, more angry, more painful and took so much longer to go away.

I tried all the over counter products you could think of and eventually decided to go to the doctor when my skin didn’t show any improvements. The list of medications I’ve tried is vast; Duac, Oxytetracycline, Zineryt, Tetracycline, Lymecycline, many variations of the contraceptive pill, even laser treatment – you name it I tried it. Nothing really helped. I did experience one year of randomly clear skin at uni but then, you guessed it the spots returned and this time with vengeance.

To give you an idea of how this made me feel, I would cry daily. Mostly in private but often on the phone to my mum about how my skin made me feel. I would endlessly search for the next ‘miracle cure’ acne treatment hoping that it would make a difference. I would often do my make-up, feel it hadn’t covered my spots enough take it off and completely start again. I panicked whenever I thought I might be caught without my make-up on. I avoided staying over at friends houses for this exact reason, I even hated being make-up free in front of my best friend. I avoided mirrors when my face was bare as I would obsess over how many spots I had, panic when I saw a new one and hate what was staring back at me.

To my friends I think I hid my upset pretty well, I did talk about my skin but I was never completely honest with how horrendous it made me feel. They’d all tell me it ‘wasn’t that bad’ and ‘would clear up’ but to me it felt like empty words. It didn’t help with the situation right there and then.

After uni I moved to London and decided to visit my doctor back home in Suffolk where my parents lived. I hadn’t spoken to him about my skin as my parents had moved there from Surrey whilst I was at uni and I would often just visit the medical centre on campus if I needed anything. He was the first doctor that took me seriously, that seemed to understand how much acne can effect someones mood and he referred me to a Dermatologist.

I remember sitting in the waiting room at the hospital, I refused to take my make-up off in there. I cried when I had to remove it in the consultation room. I cried again when I was told I wouldn’t be able to start a course of Isotretrinoin (more commonly known as Roaccutane) for another month because I wasn’t on the pill. It can be really harmful to unborn babies so it’s important you are on the contraceptive pill.

I completed a 6 month treatment and at the end of it my skin was completely clear. Now let’s get it straight – roaccutane is not an easy ride. There can be some pretty drastic side effects but luckily I only suffered with very dry skin and cracked lips.  This was it. I thought my acne was going to be cured forever…it was a miracle!

Hmmmm not quite. Some people only ever need one course of roaccutane and there skin stays clear forever. Unfortunately I was not one of those people. Panic set in when my spots started to come back, what was I going to do!!!!???

Then I found out about acne.org and my life changed. I read (and this is no joke) HUNDREDS of testimonials about their products. It’s only stocked in the U.S so it wasn’t going to be cheap if this was the route I was going to head down. With that in mind I wanted to be 100% sure.

I ordered the full treatment; cleanser, benzoyl peroxide, moisturiser and glycolic acid. The way you apply these is really specific, and you must stick to it. Everything is explained in detail and it’s really important you don’t cut corners, especially when you first start using the products.

I was patient and in-time my skin started to improve. Then it really started to clear up. Then my scars started to fade until I got to the point where I felt confident enough not to wear make-up at the weekend, or at the gym, or if I was popping down the road to pick something up from the supermarket.

This stuff changed my life. No dramatics, no over exaggeration, no lies. It’s expensive, it’s time-consuming but my god it works and the sacrifices both financially and in time are so worth it. I honestly can’t recommend acne.org highly enough. It was my last resort and I’m so glad I took the plunge.

The confidence I have in my skin is now better than it has ever been. I no longer cry about how it looks without make-up or panic if I get caught without any on. I actually ENJOY taking my make-up off at the end of the day and going whole weekends without putting any on. If you’re looking for something that works and works long term, you have to give this a go.

Thank you acne.org for giving me back my skin confidence.

Fay x

p.s. I really want to share pictures of what my skin looked like before but I’m a little nervous. You may have to bear with me on this one until I am ready to do that.