Lifestyle

May Goals. 

Hey May, where did YOU spring up from?! April whizzed by in a whirr of birthdays and weddings, and this month ain’t gonna be any less busy. Here are some of my goals for the weeks ahead. 

1. Holiday Planning. After thinking we weren’t going away this year, James surprised me for my birthday with a trip to Dubrovnik. That means I’ve been scouring ASOS for all the holiday clothes. If you’ve got any recommendations for clothes as well as things to do / see / ear in Dubrovnik, hit a gal up!

2. Work Promotion. This week I got a surprise promotion at work which I’m not gonna lie, I’m dead proud of myself for getting! This month, I’ll be taking on loads more at work and I’m excited to get stuck in. Wish me luck!

3. Upping the Gym Game. I’ve got my gym routine down to a fine art but next week I’ve got myself booked in for a PT session. I’m excited to try something new, and get some new exercises added to my regime to help tone up. 

4. Blogging Routine. April was crazy busy and I neglected this lil ole space of mine on the web so this month I wanna get back into a blogging routine. If there’s anything you’d like me to write about, let me know!

What are your plans for this month?


Fitness, Lifestyle

Five Healthy Habits To Include In Your Week.

I’d like to think that I’m *quite* a healthy person.

I work out 5/6 times a week, eat pretty well, drink water and ya know, do all the stuff they tell you to do to stay “healthy”.

That doesn’t mean though, that I’m good all the time.

I find it really hard to say no to chocolate, love going out for food and am a real carb Queen.

For me, it’s all about trying to find a balance. Making small additions to my daily and weekly routines in order to keep as healthy as I can.

If, like me, you’re trying to stay on the wagon without only ever eating kale, here are five healthy habits to include in your week:

1. Move Every Day (Even Just a Bit!)

If like me your job involves a whole lot of sitting around (and then you do a whole lot more sitting around in the evenings!), you’ll probably have noticed how easy it is for those pounds to creep on.

I try and do *some* form of exercise everyday. I actually really enjoy gym classes so for me it’s not that difficult but I know not everyone feels the same.

Whether that’s a gym class in the evening, a walk on my lunch break, taking the stairs instead of the lift…just doing *something* that’s even just a little bit active is a great start.

2. Drink Up!

Is it just me that finds drinking 2 litres of water a day HARD?! I mean, it’s bad enough trying to fit that much water into my stomach, and don’t get me started on how much you need to pee…

Even so, as much of a cliche as it is, drinking more water is a really easy healthy habit to add to your week.

There *are* apps you can use to remind you to drink, but I prefer to keep a huge cup on my desk and make sure I drink at least 2 of those at work plus what I have at home and when working out.

3. Switch Up Your Snacks

Once it gets to 10:30/11am, I’m on the hunt for a snack to fill the void ’till lunch. And while I’d much rather a bar of Dairy Milk over a Nakd bar, it’s a healthy habit I’ve got into.

There’s nothing worse that starving yourself and being miserable so snacks are a must, but there are loads of ways you can switch them up and keep on track to being healthy.

I recently wrote an article for Boohoo.com’s Style Fix where I talked about some of my favourite healthy snacks. Have a peek if you like!

4. Perfect Some Healthy Meals

Confession time: my boyfriend does 90% of the cooking at home. But we’ve got about 8/9 core, healthy meals we rotate between.

It just makes it super easy in the evenings when we’re both tried from work to ha e some quick, easy and healthy meals.

From paella & quesadillas to one-pot casseroles packed with veg, we make sure to eat tasty – but healthy dinners MOST nights.

5. Enjoy Treats!

The biggest healthy habit to include into your weekly routine is enjoying treats. I try to be good 80% of the time and have a treat or cheat meal the other 20%.

As soon as I ban myself from having something, I crave it and am more likely to binge…and then guilt-trip myself.

It’s a cliche, but it’s all about balance!

What healthy habits do you include in your daily and weekly routine?

 

Lifestyle

April Goals.

The clocks have changed, the sun is finally shining, and April makes what is set to be the busiest month of 2017.

I’m turning 27, my cousin is getting married, and I don’t have a free day at ALL in the whole of April. It’s a crazy busy but super-exciting time, and while my feet aren’t really touching the ground this month there are some thing’s I’m hoping to tick off my to-do list…

01. As I mentioned, my cousin is getting married at the end of April and I’m one of her bridesmaids. I couldn’t BE more excited for her big day, and this month we have loads of exciting things happening in the run-up. There’s a bridal party spa day,  her second hen night, and plenty of beauty treatments ahead of the wedding. I can’t wait to see her walk down the aisle…tissues are very much needed!

Another of my close friends is also going from Miss to Mrs this month and I can’t wait to catch up with her and some of our friends. It’s been far too long so I’m looking forward to dancing, drinking and generally being merry with them!

02. I’m turning 27 this month and to be honest I’m not sure how I feel about it. On one hand, I feel like I’m in a good place – I own my own home, have a new car, amazing boyfriend, great job etc – but can’t help feeling a bit…freaked out I guess, about hitting my late twenties. Should I not be feeling like an adult soon!?

03. In the last few weeks, I’ve really upped my skincare regime and am starting to see the difference. And with getting older too – sob – this is something I want to keep on top of this month. Especially with weddings and all the photos being taken!

I’ve switched up my cleanser, found a new holy grail toner, and am adding twice-weekly face masks – much to the horror of my boyfriend and cat – into my routine. I’ll be sharing what I’ve been doing soon if you’re interested!

04. I’ve felt pretty overwhelmed recently yet unable to switch off at all. When I’m busy, I want to do nothing. When I do nothing, I want to be busy. It’s a losing battle and one thing I want to do this month – where I can – is try and overcome this feeling of having too much to do. It’s great to be so busy, but I need to know when to switch off.

What about you? What are you up to this month?

Beauty, Fashion, Fitness, Lifestyle

March Monthly Faves.

And here it is! My first ever favourites post! I absolutely love reading what other people have been loving, so thought it was about time I shared a few of the things that have been rocking my world this March.

Some are new additions to my wardrobe / make-up bag / routine and others are “oldies but goodies” that I’ve gone back to or have never really fallen out of love with. So let’s get straight into it!

Midi Skirts: The weather is warming up and I’ve been braving bare legs (and blinding everyone at work with my pasty pins) a few times now. I always thought that being short I couldn’t pull off a midi skirt but recently I’ve fallen hook, line and sinker for them. They’re a huge part of my spring wardrobe and I can’t wait to swap ankle boots for cute loafers on the regular.

Metafit: After a few weeks of being ill, I was in need of a serious kick up the backside when it came to getting back on the fitness wagon. I’ve been going to metafit classes and my GOD are they hard. It’s 30 minutes of pure blood, sweat and tears but I’ve been feeling great after. Plus, I’m starting to tone up super-quick after adding these classes into my regime which is a winner.

Pixi Skincare:  I’ve already raved about this in a recent post so won’t repeat myself here but boy oh BOY have I been loving these little beauties. I recently got my hands on the Glow Mud Clenser and Mask and the infamous Glow Tonic and my skin is looking – and feeling – better than ever.

Dublin: At the beginning of March (it feels like a million years ago now!), I headed to Dublin for my cousin’s hen weekend. I’d been planning it for over a year with my fellow Chief Bridesmaid and other cousin and we all had a blast. I’d like to go back to Dublin and spend more time there – and less time trying to drink pints of Guinness like a lad.

My New Car: Last but not least, I’ve got to give a shout-out to the new man in my life, my Vauxhall Adam. I’ve never been a big “car person” but after my old car’s life was cut short prematurely, I bit the bullet and am SO glad I did. I’m so in love with my new spaceship of a car. L.O.V.E!

Lifestyle

32 Things All ’90’s Girls Will Remember.

  1. Saving up your pocket money so you could buy ALL the stick-on earrings from Claire’s Accessories. One for every day of the week? Get. In.
  2. The pain of clip-on earrings. Nothing, and I mean nothing, hurt like those bad boys. Ouch!
  3. Finally being old enough to get your ears pierced for real and being a little bit terrified and excited at the same time.
  4. Feeling grown up af when you tuned into Newsround each night. It was actual news, but in a way you understood. Winner! It wasn’t the same after Lizo left though…
  5. Rushing home from school but then having to wait approx. 1758279235239 years for your mom to get off the phone so you could use the internet and talk to the people you’d be talking to all day at school on MSN.
  6. Spending hours perfecting the dance routines to the Spice Girls / S Club 7 ./ Steps / 5ive. Or, even better, making up your own. You probably forced your family to watch your performances too.
  7. Always being the same Spice Girl / member of Steps during said performances. Baby Spice 4eva ❤
  8. Living for the weekend so you could watch SM:TV with Ant, Dec and Cat.
  9. Forever wishing that you could not only be in C.H.U.M.S (because those three were #friendshipgoals) but also willing Dec and Cat to get together.
  10.  Going to Woolworths to buy the latest Britney Spears album on cassette and making your dad play it in the car way home.
  11. Going to Woolworths, getting pick ‘n’ mix and filling up the bag ’till it was nearly overflowing. Hello, sugar rush.
  12. Woolworths in general. That shop had EVERYTHING and was the one place you didn’t mind being dragged when you went shopping with your parents.
  13. Going shopping at MK One and Tammy Girl and feeling like a sassy 9 year old trying on crop tops with slogans like “Sexy Chick” on…even though you had no idea what it really meant.
  14. Dreaming of the day you’d be grown up enough to finally shop in Jane Norman so you could carry your belongings around in one of their colourful bags like all the cool, older girls did.
  15. Painting your nails in 10 garish colours…and then having to take it all off again for school on Monday.
  16. Wearing all of the butterfly clips in your hair and knowing that you looked cooler than everyone else.
  17. Having a collection of scrunchies that made all the other girls in your class jealous af.
  18. Wearing a headband with your name on, you know, just in case you or anyone you were with forgot your name.
  19. In fact, you probably had a rucksack / pencil case / anything with your name on.
  20. Going on holiday and having a braid put into your hair. It was the highlight of any ’90’s girls summer holiday.
  21. Collecting all of the Beanie Babies and displaying them proudly in your bedroom. You insisted on buying one EVERY WHERE you went too ‘coz you know, some places had ones you couldn’t get anywhere else.
  22. Rocking neon pink jelly shoes all summer.
  23. Using rubbers with YES and NO written on either side to tell if your best friend fancied the boy they sat next to in school.
  24. Learning the routine to the Macarana and Saturday Night and being so excited to show off your smooth moves at the school disco.
  25. Dairylea Lunchables. The lunchbox treat of champions.
  26. Buying gel pens in every single colour and getting far too excited when the scented ones came out.
  27. Looking after your Tamagotchi like it was a real, living thing. That is, before they got banned from school.
  28. Bang on the Door anything!
  29. Pretending that you totally didn’t care about Pokemon but secretly collecting the cards, playing the games and watching the TV show.
  30. Nickelodeon in it’s heyday. Power Puff Girls, Dexter’s Lab, Johnny Bravo…all of the classics!
  31. Those weird gelly alien things that were supposed to have a baby if you put two back-to-back. SPOILER ALERT: They didn’t. In fact, they didn’t do anything.
  32. Having a lava lamp in your bedroom and them taking forever to heat up and actually look any good.

 

 

 

Lifestyle

Why It’s Okay to Feel Lost in Your Twenties.

I first wrote this blog for Boohoo’s StyleFix.

Forget all those teenage hormones flying around, hitting your twenties is when things get hella complicated.

Whether it’s a break-up, finding your dream job or flying the nest for the first time, you might have found yourself desperately searching for the instruction manual – or at the very least a map – to show you how the heck you’re meant to navigate this decade.

But I’m here to tell you – hey, it’s okay to feel lost in your twenties.

Spoiler alert: NONE of us have got our sh*t together. NONE of us know what we’re doing or where we’re going and ALL of us ask “WTF?!” on a daily basis.

When I hit my mid-twenties, I finally understood what Britney meant when she sang “I’m not a girl, not yet a woman.” Sure I own my own house, have a good job and do all my own laundry…but I’m in no way a grown up. I still ring Mum to ask her how to get tea stains off the sofa and I still find myself dreaming of what I want to do when I’m a big girl.

And guess what? So do all my other twenty-something friends…

It’s okay to not know what job you want to do forever.

It’s okay to make mistakes (putting a red top in a white wash…happens to the best of us).

It’s okay to Google how to boil an egg.

It’s okay to not really know what you’re doing or where you’re going.

It’s okay to feel like a teenager one minute and an adult the next.
It’s okay to feel like you’re still finding your way in life.

‘Coz you are. Feeling lost is part and parcel of navigating your twenties. ‘Coz if you were never lost, how can you find yourself? And how can you come out the other side a bigger, better, stronger woman?

It’s okay that things don’t go to plan.

It’s okay to ask questions.

Where do you want to live? Work? Who’s the woman you want to be? Why do you suddenly have to make all these decisions? When did you get put in charge? N.B. it doesn’t help that all your relatives tell you they were married with children at “your age”. C’mon guys – those comments only ADD to our confusion.

It’s okay to have a love/hate relationship with social media.

One glance at Twitter or Instagram is enough to leave any lost twenty-something feeling like the only girl her age who doesn’t have her shit together. But, that’s okay. Those girls on Twitter and Instagram? It’s all an act.

Just like your awkward teenage years passed, so do your years spent feeling lost. You’ll come out with some serious sass and amazing stories from those years and they’ll all be worth it. If you don’t feel lost, you can’t find your way.

So don’t sweat if you feel a little lost. We all do.

No road-trip is fun if you follow the map, so rip it up and make up your own path. You’ll enjoy the drive a lot more.

Lifestyle

7 Things I Wish I’d Known in My Teens. 

1. Don’t be like the rest of them, darling. Trying to fit in and be the same as everyone else isn’t going to make you happy. You’re you and that’s more than enough. Don’t be afraid to be different. Life’s much more exciting when you’re you. 

2. Drink more water and look after your skin. Step away from the fizzy pop and drink water – lots of it – every day. Not only is is healthier, your skin will thank you when you hit your mid and late 20’s. 

3. Dress for the figure you have, not just what’s in “fashion”. You’ll look back at pictures when you’re in your 20’s and cringe. Don’t wear things just because they’re fashionable. Wear things that flatter your figure. You’ll look – and feel – much better when you do. 

4. Follow your dreams, despite what everyone says. You love writing, so follow that dream. Go to uni, write all the time, and persue the career you want. People will tell you that it’s a “Micky Mouse” degree or you’ll never make any money. Don’t listen. It’s not and you will. 

5. Save money. As tempting as it is, don’t blow all your money in New Look on a Saturday. Save little and often. It’ll help you buy your first house. Which is way better than some cheap heels you can’t walk in. 

6. Be nicer to yourself. You are and always will be your harshest critic but go easier on yourself. You’re enough. You’re MORE than enough. Stop looking in the mirror and hating everything. It’s not healthy. 

7. Enjoy every adventure. As soon as you start saying “Yes”, life gets interesting. Step out of your comfort zone, go to those places, meet new people & find yourself. Life’s an adventure, get out there and enjoy it. 

Lifestyle

38 Things All Twenty-Something Women Are Guilty Of.

  1. Saying “Shall we grab a coffee?” when you don’t drink it. Tea 4 eva!
  2. Forcing ourselves to drink fancy coffees (skinny though, obvs!) just for the Instagram photo.
  3. Buying copper and rose gold everything. Yes, I DO need that copper cutlery set…
  4. Checking ASOS’s New In pages daily.
  5. Making approximately 41942857 ASOS orders a week and being on first-name terms with your delivery driver.
  6. Eating Nakd bars ’cause they totally taste like chocolate but are healthy
  7. Calling anyone younger than  you a “baby”. 19 years old? Practically still in nappies.
  8. Getting into the latest fitness fads. Bikram-spin-with-yoga-and zumba? Sure!
  9. Buying candles. All the candles.
  10. Girl crushing on Lauren Conrad and forever wishing you could cry that single mascara tear.
  11. Looking at holidays to super-exotic places but never booking them ’cause LOL that mortgage won’t pay itself.
  12. Buying and wearing ankle boots. They go with everything AND they have a “sensible” heel. I’ll take one in every colour.
  13. Feeling nostalgic about the ’90s. And then feeling old when you remember just how long ago they were!
  14. Saying “Let’s go for cocktails!”, when really you’d rather say at home with a cuppa and your cat.
  15. Facebook stalking people you went to senior school with and realising that most of them now have kids.
  16. Calling yourself a “career woman” but still not having a clue what you want to be when you grow up.
  17. Lusting over everything in Oliver Bonas. Serious home wear goals.
  18. Being just a little too mean and critical of yourself. Whether it’s ’cause you skipped the gym, or are having a bad hair day. You’re a bit meaner to yourself than you should be.
  19. Finding yourself buying “sensible” clothes, actually liking them, and wondering who you are anymoe!
  20. Deciding you want a drastic new hair cut, and then crying all the way home ’cause you hate it.
  21. Knowing EXACTLY what Britney was on about when she sang “I’m not a girl, not yet a woman”. Preach it, Spears!
  22. Having no idea what “bae” and “en fleek” mean and suddenly feeling like a granny.
  23. Suddenly finding your signature style (in fashion and makeup) after years of dressing how you thought you should.
  24. Picking on your flaws instead of embracing the things you do like.
  25. Crying at Moulin Rouge even though you’ve seen it 175197 times.
  26. Sweating the small stuff. Even though you know you shouldn’t.
  27. Getting far more excited than is acceptable when your favourite blast-from-the-past band reunites. Hello, Busted. Oh how I missed you and your songs about fancying teachers and air hostesses.
  28. Ordering a gin and slimline tonic and feeling classy AF.
  29. Taking a selfie on a good make-up day, and then asking yourself if you’re too old to be taking selfies.
  30. Spending your last £20 on a Charlotte Tilbury lipstick ‘coz who needs to do the food shop anyway?!
  31. Being super-healthy in the week but as soon as it’s Friday, yaaaas chocolate, oh how I’ve missed you.
  32. Still calling your mom when you need help with anything remotely adult.
  33. Not seeing your girlfriends as much as you’d like, but drinking all the prosecco and chatting for hours when you do.
  34. Shouting out “Not another one!” when someone ELSE on your Facebook page gets engaged. When did we get to that age?!
  35. But being secretly happy about it ‘coz it’s an excuse to buy a new dress!
  36. Checking Instagram on the sly at work and waiting for someone to tell you off.
  37. Feeling like you’re more secure in your own skin than ever before, but not really knowing what’s next…
  38. …And being bloody excited and terrified by the thought!
Lifestyle

My 2017 Goals.

Okay so I know we’re already nearly half way through February (I mean seriously, WHEN did that happen?!), but I thought it would make sense to christen my blog with a post all about my goals and aims for the next 11 or so months.

I’m seriously excited about 2017. There are some amazing things happening and I’ve got something big planned for every month until November. It’s going to be mad busy (and expensive) but I can’t wait to see what’s 2017 has in store for me.

On to my goals for this year then…

1. Travel

This year, I want to travel. And travel to places I’ve never been to before. I’ve already got two trips to two new places planned for a couple of Hen Weekends but I really want to book in at least one other trip. Dubrovnik is high on my list as it New York but with the crazy year I’ve got planned, NYC may have to wait *sobs*.

2. Mind-Set

My boyfriend, James, will be the first to tell you that I am THE most stressy, highly-strung person in the world. I’m a huge worrier and always sweat the small stuff. This year, I want to take more time to step back and focus on my mind set. It’s time to stop finding things to stress over, and just enjoy the exciting things this year has to offer.

3. Switch Off

I work as a Social Media Manager so spend all day on Facebook. I then come home and scroll through Twitter and Instagram ALL night. A huge goal for this year is to switch off – literally – in the evenings. After dinner, put our phones away and curl up with a film (or Pokemon which we’re currently binge watching on Netflix – sorry not sorry). This is something that I think will definitely help with mind set too.

4. Friendships

When you hit a certain age (hello, Grandma), it can be so hard to maintain your relationships. The girls you spent your uni days with are now, like you, high-flying career women who’re loved up and own their own homes. I’m super proud of all my friends, but this year I want to make more time for them. Life and jobs get in the way sometimes, but I want to dedicate plenty of time to my girls.

5. Live!

This year we have seven weddings to go to and a whole load of other amazing things in the pipeline. My main goal for 2017 is just to enjoy every. single. second. I want to take make some amazing memories and look back on this year as the best one ever.

Those are my goals for this year. What are yours?

Clare x

Lifestyle

Hello.

As I type this, I’m currently sipping a lukewarm mocha on a train to London for a work event. Some of the team missed the train (thanks for always being on time, London Midland) so I’m flying solo.

The train WiFi is pants so all my grand plans of spending the two hour trip from Birmingham to London to get some work done is out the window. Plus, I used all my WiFi quota to set up that blog I’ve been meaning to set up forever. Oops.

Why a blog? Why now?

Well if I’m honest, it’s because I love writing. And I love shopping. So why not use this little space on the Internet to share my love of both, with (hopefully) some people who share my interests.

And also because my friend Amy has been on at me forever to start a blog. So here I am Amy!

Who am I?

I’m Clare. A 26-year-old Social Media Manager from Birmingham. I live with my boyfriend and our cat. I have a slight – okay huge – ASOS shopping problem, and spend more time than is probably normal looking at trips to New York and not booking them.

This is my blog where I can’t promise I’ll write anything that’ll change the world. In fact, I can’t promise I’ll write all that often. But let’s see what happens shall we?