29/03/2015

Playlist #25

Since my last playlist I've had the privilege of seeing George Ezra and Rag'n'Bone Man - both gigs were bloody brilliant so I'm very bias towards these two artists at the moment. As I'm now the proud owner of a 1999 purple, sparkly Ford Fiesta (called Purple Devil) I've also been purchasing more physical CD's to listen to whilst I drive off into the sunset. This month I've purchased James Bay's 'Chaos and the Calm' and also George Ezra's 'Wanted On Voyage' - both of which I highly recommend. 

Rag'n'Bone Man ~ Perfume

The Wombats ~ Give Me A Try

Marina And The Diamonds ~ Froot

NONONO ~ Pumpin Blood

Of Monsters and Men ~ Crystals

Alex Adair ~ Say You Love Me (original by Jessie Ware)

James Bay ~ FourFiveSeconds (starts at 0:11)

George Ezra ~ I Try (starts at 0:13)

09/03/2015

Healthier Choices - exercise, vegetable spiralizers & no more meat




B A C K G R O U N D

I used to avoid 'healthy lifestyle' posts like the plague. I didn't see people's fascination with clean living and quite frankly, I couldn't care less - or maybe I just didn't want to be reminded that I had to do something about my own life. Let's cut right back to basics and talk size and dimensions. Now I know a figure on the scales is just a number, it should be how you feel, look and how clothes fit. There is no rhyme or reason as to how much someone weighs so let's not get too het up on that. However, I am 5ft 1 and a half and currently weigh 8st 13. This is the lightest I've weighed since I was about 15/16 and at my heaviest I was about 9st 7. This is surprising considering I lived a very sedentary lifestyle, the only reason I wasn't very overweight is because I was just too lazy to over-eat.

P C O S 

As someone with PCOS, I was told that in order to regulate my periods, I needed to lower my BMI - even if I wasn't technically overweight. That didn't really shock me into doing anything about it but slowly over time I dropped a few pounds until it plateaued off for quite a while. My mum always encouraged me to exercise more and I would agree but then didn't really do anything about it. I'm very impatient and I'm someone who likes to see quick results - but unless I actually started, I wasn't going to get anywhere. I took GCSE PE but thought I was someone who enjoyed playing sport but not exercising. After I'd finished, I never wanted to run again - and still probably don't. 

G E T T I N G  S T A R T E D 

I started going swimming once a week and felt slightly better about myself. I knew it wasn't enough but I didn't feel like such a lazy mofo after it. I considered getting a swimming membership but since I now have more expenses to pay for (i.e a car - which illuminated the walking I had been doing) I couldn't really afford it. I saw more and more of my friends starting to workout, get gym memberships and personal trainers and I thought, what the fuck am I doing? At first I was worried people would look at me and think 'why's that chubster suddenly interested in exercising and healthy living' but I had to start somewhere. My brother started the 30 Day Ab Challenge and I decided to give it a go too. I bought myself a new pair of trainers - do it, you'll want to wear them - a good sports bra to strap the melons to my chest and a ~swanky~ outfit. Invest in something nice to wear to whilst exercising and it'll act as a way of motivation. You don't need to buy expensive trainers and Primark are really on top of their activewear game right now.

E X E R C I S E

To my amazement, I finished the 30 Day Ab Challenge and saw a little bit of improvement in my body. About a quarter of the way through I began to incorporate exercises that used the whole of my body, not just my abs. The last few days were pretty brutal and I don't know anybody who'd keep that up forever, so I decided to use what I'd learnt and make up my own routine. I was worried that as soon as I stopped working out as intensely as I was, the velocity in which I saw results would decrease, but this was something that I wanted to carry on forever so I needed to construct a workout that was achievable and I didn't dread doing. I watched a few different videos on YouTube, picked up various exercises here and there and eventually came up with a workout that works my whole body and at the right level of intensity, meaning I can do it on a regular basis. I've been working out at least every other day and have been following this routine for the past few weeks so soon it'll be time to change things up as to not get used to it. 

D I E T  &  G I V I N G  U P  M E A T

I use the term 'diet' to refer to what I'm eating, I'm not actually on a 'diet' and don't recommend anyone to go on one. Make consistent, healthy choices from the off and you will see results. Fad diets have quick but temporary results - as soon as you start eating how you were prior to the diet, the results will be reversed. I stopped eating meat in January which was something that I had been thinking about for a long time. My parents weren't keen on the idea so I knew that when I moved away to uni I'd give it a try. However, my parents went on holiday and without realising, I stopped eating meat and haven't touched it since. I was having a massive ethical debate with myself but when it comes to restrictive dietary plans, there is no black and white answer. It is very subjective and as long as you are aware of where your food comes from and what you're putting in your body, you don't need to justify your choices to anyone. There is a lot of pros and cons to not eating meat and at first I wasn't sure if I'd made the right decision, but right now, I'm happy. I'm still eating fish as a source of protein and a lot of beans. I have also been eating meat substitutes such as Quorn but I know a lot of people say to avoid it completely. Although I'm not restricting myself of anything else, since I have stopped eating meat I have become a lot more conscious of what I'm eating and have also influenced my family to cut back on their meat consumption and only eat organic meat.  My favourite purchase has been my vegetable spiralizer. I bought a cheap one on Amazon for about £20 but it's doing the job. Courgetti is the trendy little health food of the moment and is supposed to be a lighter replication of spaghetti. It's very quick to make and although I'm still experimenting with recipes, I'd recommend it. The spiralizer comes with different adaptions for altering thickness of spaghetti/ribbons - I tried making vegetable crisps but they were a bit of a flop, literally. 

R E S U L T S

Despite my earlier claim that I like to see quick results, that isn't always the case when living a healthier lifestyle. Unfortunately, slow and steady wins the race and although I did see an improvement in my body within the first few days/weeks of regular exercise, it wasn't instant. The scales definitely show that I have lost weight and I hope to continue to lose a few more pounds and work on toning my body. Other people have commented on how my appearance has changed but I can't always see it. The way I look at living a healthy lifestyle is that you should find happiness in the fact that you're fuelling you body with the right foods and that you're treating it the best you can. If you drop a few pounds in the mean time, then that's a bonus. Continual work will eventually lead to results, it can be very disheartening but patience is a virtue. I have shocked myself that I have gone from someone who didn't really move much to someone who is enjoying learning about food and exercise. 

20/02/2015

Homeware Wishlist - new home ideas


 

As of September I'm going to be saying goodbye to the 2 hour commute to uni as I'm moving to London. Since the age of about 13, my room has been been very monochrome. Don't get me wrong, I love monochrome and I think it's timeless but nonetheless, I am looking forward to making a new space my own later this year. Since I currently have a fairly strict colour scheme, I can't wait to have a room that's very 'mix and match' - I say this now but I wonder how much my organised brain likes it after a few months. I love the geometric trend and the industrial feel of uncovered lightbulbs and metal chairs. I also adore the scenic aesthetic of succulent plants, especially when displayed in hanging terrariums. Above are a few pieces that I'm going to look back on for inspiration in the months leading up to my move.

A lot of these can be replicated at home or cheaper alternatives can be found elsewhere online. I've seen tons of DIY's on Pinterest where fish bowls have been used as terrariums. I'm not massively keen on cork pin boards but I love the idea of a peg board - the one above is from Urban Outfitters but peg boards can be found at any DIY store or eBay for a fraction of the price. (Watch this video for inspiration!) As for the industrial lightbulb? Try buying a retro style lightbulb and hanging it from an existing wire.

I'm really looking forward to an upcoming trip to Ikea where I fill a yellow bag with things I probably don't need. No delicious Swedish meatballs for me though as I've stopped eating meat - more on this in a future post.

16/02/2015

Coffee Table Books #2 - So You Think You're A Hipster?

I would be lying if I said I remembered I started this little series up but flicking through some past blog posts jogged my memory. It's been a fair few months since I wrote this post but I really like how it turned out so might as well share another of my favourite 'Coffe Table Books'.


So You Think You're A Hipster? features illustrations by Paul Parker and is a brilliant attempt to explain the phenomenon that's taking over our cities. Its a quirky and humorous case studies poke fun at this modern trend and helps identify your inner (or outer) hipster stereotype. My particular favourites include The Urban Hunter (pg. 10), Barista (pg. 54) and, how can I not mention, The Blogger (pg. 98). The book also features helpful tips to complete your hipster, look such as the right breed of dog, style of glasses and design of tattoo.
This book was a gift to me a couple of years ago and since starting art college, I can now successfully identify the hipster archetype of nearly every student there.