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Why not try...

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Wednesday 26 February 2014

The life of: a pole fitness fan

(Image found at and edited by me)

I'm currently black and blue. I have more bruises than I care to count, my backpack rubs uncomfortably and my foot hurts when I walk. And I wouldn't change it for the World. Today I thought I'd dedicate an entire blog post to my newest love - pole fitness.

I already mentioned in my 100 happy days post (here) that I started pole fitness a few months ago. Since then my love for it has grown and I find myself wishing that I could practice every single day. Unfortunately lack of space in my house means this isn't possible, but that only makes me more impatient for the next class!

The circumstances surrounding me starting pole fitness were unusual. At the beginning of this uni year (September) my sister and I signed up to join the Archery club. We'd heard that it was good, and having tried it out a few times before we decided it'd be a fun skill to improve (I personally wanted to be like Merida from Disney's Brave). Unfortunately after about five weeks of training the club had to make some cuts as there were too many members. After trying our hardest, both my sister and I were asked to leave as we're in our last year of uni and so don't have the potential for improvement that the competitive club wanted. Slightly downhearted, we both agreed that we had to find something else to try. A visit to the Uni's societies website told us that a Pole Fitness society had literally just been created. It was like fate! After having wanted to try this out (more so than archery) for a long time, we immediately signed up for our first class and waited impatiently for the first lesson (note: my sister and I are not quite joined at the hip. We just both enjoy the same things!)

The first lesson arrived and it was as enjoyable as we had hoped. The teacher took us through a variety of Bronze moves (the lowest level of difficulty) and we even managed to kick upside down. With each class our ability and enthusiasm grew. Nowadays we spend most of the lessons completing Silver level moves, and the teacher has just started showing Jess and I how to complete doubles moves (one category in Pole competitions is Doubles, where two people share one pole to perform). I can't believe we've managed to improve so much in such a short space of time.

One of the first inverted moves I learnt (still need to work on my flexibility!)

Jess and I doing a doubles back drop

Starting pole has also given me the incentive to improve my body. I've started stretching every day and incorporating some exercises to improve my strength. Professional pole dancers have such incredible bodies, and even though I know I probably won't get to their level, I'm damn well determined to try.

If it hasn't already been made obvious throughout this post, I highly recommend pole fitness to anyone wanting to try something new. Classes which cater to every level of ability are available, and if you're passionate enough you will consistently see improvement (although there's certainly no pressure to move onto more difficult moves if you're not ready!). I haven't enjoyed anything so much since I quit figure skating. Just a note though, it hurts. Sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. When you start taking your hands off the pole the moves rely on the friction between your skin and the pole keeping you in position. But what do they say? No pain no gain. Sometimes I subject my body to two lessons a week, so it can't be that bad. And if I can deal with it, I assure you most everyone can.

So if this post excites you and you're willing to try something new, what are you waiting for? Go for it and potentially find a new passion just like I did.

Do you have a hobby that you love and highly recommend?

Thursday 20 February 2014

Lush Easter Collection 2014

Another blog post only one day after my last? Nope, I'm afraid I'm not becoming a daily blogger. I just couldn't resist sharing Lush's new Easter collection. The products look as amazing as always, and I can't wait to find out what they smell like.

(All pictures taken from Lush's facebook page found here).
Bunch of Carrots reusable bubble bars

The name of this one is a bit confusing. Will they be sold as a bunch or individually? And if they're sold as a bunch are they each really small or will this be an expensive purchase? I'm intrigued and can't wait to find out more. If the bunch of carrots are the same as Lush's previous carrot bubble bar then we can expect them to smell fruity, with a blackcurrant, lemon and bergamot scent.

Brightside bubble bar

This is a return of the Brightside bubble bar. It includes Sicilian mandarin, bergamot and tangerine essential oils, so is bound to smell amazing. I've not tried this one before so I can't wait to pick one up!

Fluffy Egg bath bomb

The Fluffy Egg bath bomb is again a re-release. This has a sweet, sugary scent and Lush recommend it for anyone mourning the absence of Snow Fairy. I'm not a big fan of sweet fragrances, but I may still be tempted to try this one out!

Golden Egg bath bomb melt

As far as I'm aware this is a completely new product from Lush. Again, the name is intriguing. Is it a bath bomb? Or a bath melt? With it looking so pretty in this picture, I'm almost certain I won't be able to leave the shop without this one. I hope it makes your bath as glittery as I'm imagining!

The Immaculate Eggception - Pink

The Immaculate Eggception - Yellow

The Immaculate Eggceptions are back! These giant bath bombs can be cracked open to reveal a hidden Easter-themed surprise! Based on the Love Locket from their Valentine's Collection (which can also be used in three parts), the Immaculate Eggceptions are likely to cost around £7, but using them in three makes them cheaper per bath than the regular bath bombs. The Eggceptions both have the same lemon, grapefruit and vanilla scent. I definitely want to pick up one or two of these!

Bunny bubble bar

Another brand new product from Lush. It looks so cute! I'm imagining a sweet fragrance for this one. Bunnies wouldn't smell fruity, right? I can't wait to find out.

Carrot hand and body soap

And last but not least, a new soap! I'm hoping this one has a citrus scent because I think Spring is the perfect season for fresh fragrances! 

Lush's Easter collection is available tomorrow (21st of February) from 3pm.

Anyone else as excited as I am about the new collection?

Wednesday 19 February 2014

Liebster Award

I've been nominated for a Liebster Award! Thanks to the lovely Carly Kawaii for my nomination! I love her writing style and her posts are always fantastic to read. Go check out her blog here and give her some love.

I have to admit, I wasn't entirely sure on the rules of the Liebster Award. I did a little google search and found the generally excepted rules:
1. Write 11 facts about yourself
2. Answer the questions set by the person who nominated you
3. Choose 11 blogs with less than 200 followers
4. Think of 11 new questions for them to answer

I'm really excited to have been nominated and to be able to share some of my favourite blogs with everyone! Here goes!

11 facts about me:

This is going to be difficult as I just recently made a post all about me (here)! I'll try my hardest to think of new things.

1. For about the last 15 years I've only been able to get to sleep in one specific position, unless I'm really tired.
2. I've only ever travelled within Europe (only as far east as Italy) and to Florida.
3. I've always dreamt of living somewhere with a view. Preferably of the sea.
4. I'm not a typical student. I think I've been on 5 nights out since I started uni two and a half years ago.
5. I'd much rather spend money on other people than myself, and often go overboard when giving presents.
6. I've only ever had one pet: a syrian hamster called Liquorice.
7. I don't drink tea or coffee (except from the rare latte when drowning in uni work)
8. I hate being cold. One of my worst memories is being forced to jump into a sea pool and not being able to breathe until I'd swam a length and got back out again.
9. I have a weird phobia of dry things touching wet things. If I have a shower but don't wash my hair I have to make sure it doesn't touch my back otherwise it makes me cringe so much.
10. My idea of a perfect day is watching Disney and Studio Ghibli films wrapped in a duvet, with an unlimited supply of chocolate and cheese.
11. I'm rubbish at team sports.

Carly's questions:

1. What is your favourite cheese?
Carly! Why do you do this to me?! It'd be impossible to choose just one cheese, so I'll choose a few for different occasions:

In sandwiches: Brie
In a fancy restaurant: Camembert
On/with everything: Cheddar

2. Favourite country in the World
As I mentioned above, I'm not very well travelled so I couldn't say for sure what my favourite country is. Of the countries I've previously visited it'd have to be France. I love their language and culture, and to me it seems like a more relaxed version of England.

3. Name a famous person who inspires you
Okay, so I know she's not a philosopher or anything, but my first thought was Jennifer Lawrence. She's become famous in such a short space of time but she's still so humble and down to earth. And she's a brilliant role model for young girls who often see people doing whatever it takes to be famous. She refuses to change who she is, and for that I respect her. And her interviews are always the best thing to watch!

4. Three things you'd take to a desert island
Hmm this is a hard one. Assuming there's no signal on the desert island (thus negating the need for a phone), I'd take:

1. A torch and spare batteries (yeah I'm counting that as one). I'd hate to be alone somewhere in the middle of the night without being able to check my surroundings. It'd also be useful for exploring any caves I might come across, and could attract the attention of potential rescuers.
2. A spile (I think that's what it's called). Definitely got the idea from The Hunger Games. If there's trees on this desert island (there always is in films) then I should be able to get fresh water. Yay!
3. Lush Ultrabland. I would have chosen an infinite pile of food, but I don't think I'm allowed. So I'll choose this as I hate feeling dirty, and Ultrabland is so versatile.

I just thought: maybe a knife would be more useful. So I guess I'd choose a knife on sensible days, Ultrabland when I fancy a bit of luxury!

5. What's your greatest fear?
Again, this is too hard to narrow down to just one. I think I'm going to have to choose two.

1. Something happening to my family or friends. They mean everything to me and I'd be lost without them.
2. Being trapped in a small place. I'm alright in small places like crowds of people as long as I know I can get out. I've had one panic attack in my life which was when I was stuck in the middle of a bunch of strangers and couldn't find a way out.

6. Who would win in a fight between Chuck Norris and Mr T and why?
I hate to say it, but I actually don't know much at all about Chuck Norris. I've seen multiple memes about him but I'm not sure where they've come from and I've not seen him in action. So I'll have to reserve judgement on this one until I've been educated!

7. Your favourite musical artist/band and your favourite song by them?
Hardest question so far! I'm someone who will listen to pretty much everything except heavy metal, and I quite often have no idea which songs I'm listening to! My favourite song also changes on an almost daily basis. Artists whose albums I can listen to over and over are Coldplay, Adele and Ed Sheeran. I also love Ludovico Einaudi's music when I need to relax. Although right now my go-to album is the Frozen soundtrack, and my favourite song is Let It Go. It's a great song which signifies a major turning point in the film.

8. Cat or dog person?
This is an easy one. I'm allergic to cats, so I'm going to have to say dog. Although if I wasn't allergic I think I would choose cats as they're easier to look after and I worry that I'll always be too busy for a dog.

9. Do you believe in Love at first sight?
I wouldn't say I believe in love at first sight. I'm a strong believer that it's what's inside that counts, and someone's looks do not reflect the person they are. But I do believe that you can develop a really strong connection with someone in a short space of time. So maybe love at first conversation is possible!

10. Your proudest achievement... big yourself up!
I think my proudest achievements so far are my grades at GCSE (mostly A*s) and A level (straight As) and consequently getting into the uni of my choice. Of course I don't think that someone's worth should be based on their grades, but I've been thinking about this question for a while and I can't think of anything I've done so far that makes me prouder. I've put in as much effort as possible throughout my education and I'm glad that I have something to show for it.

My nominees:

Now I have to nominate some other blogs with under 200 followers I think you guys would like. I hereby nominate:

Natasha over at All in the 'verse (
Amber of Bambi Bell (
Bess over at Bess Blog (
Vanessa of Collecting Asylum (
EllieMae of EllieMae's Beauty Blog (
Tanya of goldsheepbowl (
Tessa over at Holly Sparkle (
Imogen of Imogen's Typewriter (
Summer over at Orion The Witch And The Wardrobe (
Haydy of Squibb Vicious (
Sadie of Life and Rags... (

I love having these guys' blogs in my bloglovin' feed and often find inspiration for new posts from them. Go check them out because I'm sure you'll enjoy reading their blogs too!

My questions:

Here are my questions for you all:

1. Winter or Summer Olympics? Which sport is your favourite to watch?
2. If you had to make an entire cooked meal with just five ingredients what would it be?
3. What's the last film you watched at the cinema? Would you recommend it?
4. What's your favourite book?
5. When on holiday do you prefer exploring or relaxing?
6. What's your favourite thing to do in your home city?
7. If someone gave you £100 to live without your phone for a month could you do it?
8. What's your earliest memory?
9. When you feel like spending money where's the first place you go?
10. Which animal would your Patronus be?
11. Why/when did you decide to start blogging?

Have fun everyone, and I'm sorry if you've already been nominated!

Saturday 15 February 2014

100 Happy Days: Part 1

It's so long since I've blogged! A particularly busy few weeks at uni took priority. I have quite a few posts planned, so hopefully there won't be another two week hiatus for a while.

On the 14th of January I became aware of The idea behind the website is to make yourself aware of what truly makes you happy. Nowadays the sad truth is that people find the most happiness in material things. Whilst taking part in this challenge I've tried to concentrate on recognising happiness through experiences or events, although admittedly most of my photos are materialistic as I'm busier than I would like and so don't have the chance to get out and about. That's something I'm looking to change once uni is finished in a couple of months.

The 100 happy days challenge involves posting a picture daily on a social platform of your choice (I chose Instagram). You can make your submissions as private or public as you like (it's inspiring to look through the #100happydays tag on Instagram), but it's just a way of making an account of what you felt were your happiest moments. I'm now over a quarter of the way through my 100 happy days, and thought it was a good time for an update! Below are a selection of my happy things (I'll link my instagram at the end if you'd like to see them all).

Day 2: galaxy print bringing Black Milk clothing fans together 

I fell in love with this galaxy backpack due to its similarity to my favourite Black Milk print, galaxy blue (you can see my post about Black Milk clothing here if you'd like to know more). My boyfriend gifted it to me for Christmas, and it has since been my uni bag. Exactly one month ago I started a new course at uni and sat next to a girl that I'd never spoken to before. As I was leaving, she recognised the print as similar to Black Milk and said that she also owned some Black Milk clothes. I was very surprised and happy to find another Black Milk fan at Uni, as its production in Australia means that it's not too well known over here!

Day 7: first day back at pole fitness after the Christmas holidays

I started pole fitness about four months ago, and it has since been the highlight of my week (I love it so much, that I decided to take two lessons last week and have the bruises to show for it). I know that I have a long way to go until I'll be happy with my ability, but the teacher shows us new moves practically every week and it's so satisfying to feel yourself making progress. I kind of wish I was at uni for another year so that I could carry on learning for longer. As that's unfortunately not the case, I really hope I can find classes somewhere else!

Day 10: my happy place

As I'm in my last semester of my final year of Uni, my bed is quickly becoming one of my favourite places. Nowadays quite a few people view sleep as a luxury, and are willing to cut down on it in order to complete necessary tasks. I admit that I'm guilty of this, although I'm trying to regulate my sleeping hours using my motivational chart (see further down). These days finally getting into bed is one of the best feelings in the World.

Day 15: my first (kind of) successful fishtail braid

I've been admiring fishtail braids on others for a long time, and have tried numerous times to learn how to do one. Every time I tried my hair would either unravel before I'd finished or look a complete mess. After watching a Challenge Jim and Zoe (here) in which Jim manages a better fishtail than I have ever been able to, I decided to try again. And it worked! This time I held the strands of hair more tightly at the top and made sure to take equal sections from each side. Since figuring out the correct technique this has since become my go-to hairstyle on days where I have a bit more time to get ready.

Day 22: motivating myself for uni

I recently noticed that my motivation for uni work had decreased dramatically. As I'm determined to graduate with a 2:1 I decided I needed to make a change. I came up with the idea of a motivational chart (to be filled in using shiny star stickers for extra motivation), where I can keep track of tasks that I have completed, and reward myself accordingly. My rewards include being allowed to go shopping or post a new blog post. It's working to an extent (some days I just run out of time to do everything), so it's definitely an improvement on my pre-chart days.

Day 24: he's finally here!

On the 6th of February my boyfriend's baby brother was born. He was over two weeks overdue and so we were all really excited when he finally made an appearance! I was lucky enough to be able to meet him two days later and he is the cutest baby ever. I can't wait until after I've finished uni, when I'll be able to spend more time with him.

Day 28: my Regal Rose order arrived

I was really excited to place my first order with Regal Rose after having admired their jewellery for a long time. I purchased a necklace, ring and hair rings (review post coming up), and just couldn't wait to experiment with the hair rings. I'd never seen this anywhere else, and think they're a great way of making a simple hairstyle look more impressive!

Day 32: Valentine's day gift

My boyfriend got me this Vanilla Frosting Yankee Candle for Valentine's day and it smells amazing. It fills the room with a delicious cakey scent, and makes you wish it was possible to eat the air. We had it burning for over four hours and hardly made a dent in the level of the wax. I can't wait to burn this again and again and again.

And that's it for my little update! All of the other days can be found on my Instagram here. Even though I've missed a few days (due to not doing anything out of the ordinary), I'm quite pleased with how many things I've been able to recognise as increasing my happiness. I'm looking forwards to continuing the challenge for the next 67 days, and think this account of my happiness will be a great think to look back on in years to come.

Have you heard of the 100 happy days challenge before? Do you think challenges like this are a good idea?

Sunday 2 February 2014

Lush Ultrabland Review

Lush Ultrabland: my miracle skincare product. If I was only allowed to use one thing on my skin for the rest of my life, this would be my choice. As someone who had suffered from acne for over six years, this could not have come any sooner. And quite seriously, it has changed my life.

The Lush website describes this cleanser as: 'A rich, gentle cleansing cream that leaves skin clean, soft and cared for.'

Ultrabland is a moderately thick, creamy cleanser
Upon reading this description you might believe that 'gentle' could also mean ineffective. And could an effective cleanser be made from almost 100% natural ingredients?

Before wandering into Lush I had tried most anti-blemish products on the market, including a topical cream from the doctor. The only visible result of using these was dried out skin, and no change at all in the appearance of new spots. I don't think most high street brands have realised that not all troublesome skin is overly oily!

Since using this cleanser every evening (using Ultrabland in the morning isn't suggested if you want to apply makeup as it can leave a small amount of moisturising residue) my combination skin has been converted to 'normal' skin. My oily areas have become less oily, and my dry cheeks are gone. My skin tone has evened out, my pores are smaller and I rarely get a new spot. And if I do, Ultrabland will sort it out within a few days. At last I have achieved skin that I don't feel the need to cover, and that even feel proud of on occasion.

The only disadvantage I have found with Ultrabland is the smell. It has quite a high beeswax content, and the smell is not my favourite. The beeswax is also impossible to remove with water alone, which means that a muslin cloth or some cotton pads are required.

Ultrabland is massaged into the skin and then removed using a cloth and hot water
However there's nothing that could keep me from using this cleanser. My skin is as close as it's ever been to perfect and my self esteem has improved immensely. This is one product I will be repurchasing indefinitely!

Ultrabland is available in stores or here from £6.95 for 45g.

What's your miracle skincare product?

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