Work off those mince pies! || Christmas fitness tips

unnamedDecember is the one time of year when the gym generally looks like a ghost town. When all caution is thrown to the wind as you try to get into a more comfortable position before eating your 40th Ferrero Rocher. I’ve been there.

Luckily, this doesn’t have to be the case. Start exercising now – and take your habit with you into the New Year. This way, you can avoid a potentially defeating uphill struggle in January when you look despairingly at the scales.

You don’t have to be hitting the gym everyday and attending Body Pump classes if you don’t want to, either. Start off walking! Walking may not be as energetic as running, but studies suggest it can still benefit our health, weight and fitness – and boost our moods too. Research from the University of East Anglia found group walking cut people’s risk of life-threatening conditions – lowering average blood pressure, resting heart rate, body fat, weight, and cholesterol.

And what’s better than a lovely bracing walk after Christmas lunch to work off that turkey!?

Here are six steps to help you walk your way to Christmas, and take you closer to your New Year resolution fitness goals:

  1. Use it as stepping-stone
    Aim for the NHS-recommended 10,000 steps a day, walking for at least ten minutes a time. That’s about five miles in total, which when you add up a day’s walking isn’t as much as it sounds, especially if you’re commuting or trawling the shops for gifts. You could even ask Santa for a pedometer for Christmas to track this!
  2. When you’re too busy…
    If work, festive season shopping and socialising are getting in the way of your usual workout, then perhaps you could build some walking into your day. Walk instead of taking the bus, take a walk after lunch and run up the stairs rather than using the escalators at the Tube station.
  3. Make a tradition of it
    As mentioned above, one of the joys of the holiday period is that it’s a chance to slow down, eat indulgent food and get together at home with loved ones. But that needn’t mean giving up on exercise altogether! Try and get out for a walk every day – and make walking with friends and family one of your festive traditions.
  4. Use it as a mood booster
    Christmas can be a time of heightened emotions – and not all them good. Coping with loss, family differences, separation or loneliness can be tough when everyone around you seems in celebratory mood. But as well as keeping you healthy and fit, a walk in the fresh air can really boost your mood. So step outdoors and walk yourself to a better place.
  5. Like a challenge?
    If you want to try something more structured, try Vavista Life’s 10K Anyway. It’s suitable for almost anyone from total couch potato to honed athlete – and by signing up in December you’ll be well on your way to your fitness goals in 2016.

And if you fancy exercising in style, how about these absolutely BEAUTIFUL bicycles from Mango Bikes?

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These ladies bikes come in five different, gorgeous colours: cream, green, blue, raspberry and black, along with a wicker basket on the front and a matching tan saddle. The perfect investment for a girl about town! Unfortunately, I’ve nowhere to keep a bike at the moment, but as I’m moving house in the New Year – and at only £299 (there is a Winter Sale on – now £250!), I’m hoping to be able to invest in one of these beauties. Exercise has never looked so good!

What are you waiting for?

Ladies-Classic-Bike-Pastel-Green RRP £299.99

Christmas gift guide for him || 2015

Following my Christmas gift guide for the special lady in your life, here’s one for the lad in your life too. I must keep my other half away from this blog post until after Christmas – I’ve bought him most of the things on this list! Suitable for husbands, boyfriends, dads and brothers, there’s something for everyone here.

Christmas

From left to right: Fallout 4 / Game of Thrones Monopoly / Shit I Gotta Fucking Get Done NotebookPersonalised Wooden Beard And Moustache Comb1001 Movies Book / Nandos Table Trio / Paco Rabanne Invictus Eau De Toilette / Mono Twist Cable Knit Jumper / I Heart Biscuits Mug

Christmas gift guide for her || 2015

It’s coming around quick! There’s only a couple of weeks to go before Christmas, so I’ve put together a quick gift guide of things I wouldn’t mind finding under the tree – I’m sure you or the lady in your life would love them too!

Christmas

From left to right: Bold Metals Collection by Real Techniques Triangle Foundation BrushScunci InstaTwist Braiding Styler / NARS Killer Heels Mini Lipstick Set / Essie Winter Baby Its Cold Outside Quad Box / NARS One Shocking Moment Cheek Studio Palette52 Small Changes For The Mind Book / Michael Kors Selma Black Tote BagThe Happiness Planner / Jimmy Choo ILLICIT Eau de Parfum

 

 

 

 

Barry M Matte Nail Paint

I’ve admired the matte nail varnish look from afar for a while, but hadn’t got round to buying any to try it out for myself. I like the look, stylish and clean with a bit of grunge. My friend was wearing some grey marl matte in the pub the other day and I kept stealing glances (yeah, I’m a polish pervert…). So, this weekend I decided to invest in a couple of bottles from Barry M.

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I am currently wearing Barry M Matte Nail Paint in Espresso.

I hate to say it, but I’m not keen. The nail varnish itself is absolutely great. I put it on on top of a Sally Hansen Maximum Strength base coat. Barry M goes on smoothly and dries in minutes. It didn’t chip for ages which is a god send, chipping is the bane of my life when typing for hours at work, so some major positives here. Mattes have a bad rap for chipping more quickly than regular polish but Barry M held well.

However, I just don’t think it works for me. I kept having the feeling that they weren’t quite done and having the urge to throw a shiny top coat on – which I have now done, by the way. I could also see a lot more clearly for some reason, any little mistakes I had made whilst painting. This absolutely drives me mad in general so to have the mistakes amplified was even worse. Not sure why, maybe something something shiny top coat reflects light to make mistakes harder to spot something something, who knows.

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Not a fan, I’m afraid! They’ll not go to waste though, I’ll find another home for them.

I think I’m just going to carry on admiring matte from afar – just like bright clothes and big dangly earrings. They look wonderful on other people but they’re not quite me. And why not? Be yourself always, I say.

By the way, if you spend over £6.00 on Barry M cosmetics at Superdrug at the moment, you get a free Sparkling Gelly Hi Shine Nail Paint! I chose the red one – absolutely perfect for Christmas. There’s a purple one too which is very pretty. I’m going to be taking off the matte tomorrow to try out the red and am looking forward to it.

Sorry matte!

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John Frieda Beach Blonde Detangling Conditioner || LOVE

I am extremely disloyal to conditioner brands, always have been.Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 20.32.44

I’m always very open to trying something new but there are a few things I stick to because I know they work best for me. Garnier Cleansing Wipes to remove my make up for example, or NARS Sheer Glow Foundation. If it ain’t broke, why fix it?

For love nor money, I can’t stick to a conditioner. Every time I need to replace one I scour the aisles for the next best thing. I’ve tried all the hype brands for my hair – Aussie, Bed Head, Kerátase. Remember when Horse Shampoo was a thing? Yeah.

There’s always something a bit off. I’ve got very fine hair, but a lot of it. Since I cut five inches off in the Summer, it’s already in a much better condition. However, conditioners often leave my hair dry as a bone or on the flip side, greasy as heeeell. Either stuck to my head or flying all over the place with static. There’s no in-between. The closest I’ve got to a good conditioner that really works for me is Herbal Essence’s Fresh Balance (luv u babes).

BUT I’VE FOUND SOMETHING. John Frieda Beach Blonde Smooth Seas Detangling Conditioner.

I picked a mini travel bottle of this up at Gatwick when we went to Amsterdam. There wasn’t much choice and I didn’t care anyway (I mean, we were going to Amsterdam!). However, I used it once on holiday and used it until it ran out when I got home. I don’t even care to admit that I used a cotton bud to get the last bit out.

I have never really liked ‘blonde’ shampoos, often finding they make my hair dry – but not this one. Aside from its namesake detangling properties, it gives my hair a sheen, and I don’t have to wash my hair for a couple of days whereas usually my hair would get very greasy (seriously – I could keep Batiste in the stock market single-handedly). My hair never usually holds on to scent either, but this conditioner smells fresh, like mint but not quite – and clings to my hair steadfastly. I LOVE it.

Everyone needs a change now and then – but I don’t mind settling down with John Frieda for a while!

£5.99 full size, or £1.99 for the travel size. Buy it now instore or online.