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feixy

LDN, life, sugar and spice.

Oh la la la la la… (Frenching it up!)

tumblr_m84owxg8YD1rciw1zo1_500Anyone following me on instagram or friends with me personally on facebook will have seen the flurry of language-learning activity going on at the moment.

I have been so busy with work, studying law (yep, I’m doing the GDL now!), finishing my google squared digital marketing qualification and making some inroads into learning french that blogging about makeup and fashion and fun stuff has taken a bit of a backseat. Alors, je suis desolee. Kind of *sadface*. But also not sadface, because it’s actually really fun.Paris 3

You can hate me, if you like, because I think the french is going to hijack this blog a little. Language learning hacks, and
tracking my experience going from someone too terrified to speak (as I have to tell everyone, je peut lire et ecrire, mais j’ai peur de parler!), to someone who, last night, actually had an hour long conversation with a french speaker in Peru (!) and has weekly hour long sessions with a tutor and also a colleague, neither of whom allow me to speak any English during the sessions. And we’ve talked about the ridiculousness of the Daily Mail, the soap-opera-esque drama of my family life, what I was like at university, studying in France vs. the UK, studying in Peru vs. the UK, Disney movies, all kinds of random crap. Not just bonjour, j’ai besoin d’un verre du vin maintenant. Even though that’s probably relevant to every conversation ;)

So this is the first of my #frenchitup posts. If anyone else is learning french, or fancies joining me or practicing with me, let me know!

In the meantime, here are some resources I’m finding useful, and I’ll update with more soon :)

Paris 2Check out:

Radio France (practice listening and comprehension)

Italki.com (find a language learning buddy, chat to or write to them in your chosen language, and write pieces that get corrected within minutes by native speakers!) You can use it to learn french, chinese, korean, khmer, japenese, esperanto, you name it! And they have some cool grammar articles etc. on there too…

Youtube.com – Disney songs (This is silly, and ridiculous, but has helped me with some bits of vocab, and learning future tense and things like that!)Paris

Oui, c’est ca – a blog to help you learn and have a bit more fun than with a textbook!

And, of course, a useful French Dictionary.

A bientot :*

B xoxox

Lifehacks: Quick stress and anxiety relief tips

urlAmongst other things, I suffer badly from stress, anxiety, and panic attacks. These are all a) different things, so if you’re not sure of the difference do a little research or consult your medical professional if you think you need help, but b) quite difficult to handle, particularly if you work, for example, in an office environment where it’s embarassing to have a public panic attack, or you can’t afford to break down at your desk.

These don’t ever solve the problem, so if conditions like this are affecting your life in a big way, go and see a doctor and think about real treatments – therapy, medications, etc. etc.

Even these, though, often don’t make it completely go away, and so here are some little things you can do to help stress and anxiety.

  1. Meditation apps. I hate hippy dippy airy fairy stuff and was dubious, but sometimes this can calm me down. I use one called ‘Take a Break’, available on the app store, which is free, but there are lots of others you can try. Hole up for 5 – 10 minutes in a cubicle and calm down.
  2. Exercise. If you can do a quick 20 minute run or walk in your lunch break, the endorphins can really help dispel some of that nervous energy.
  3. Avoid caffeine. It makes you more jittery, and I DEFINITELY notice a difference if I’m already anxious and I have a coffee. I like to swap it for calming stuff like chamomile, peppermint or nettle tea.
  4. Change your environment. Obviously you can’t swan off to a desert island or sit by a waterfall every time you feel Beautiful-Waterfall-Images-High-Resolutionstressed or anxious when you have a job to hold down! But I like to change my desktop background to landscapes that relax me – at the moment it’s this waterfall, which I love. I’m also really loving apps which play sounds of the ocean, or streams, or rain. But you can get them to play any number of relaxing things, whatever floats your boat – windchimes, storms, crackling fires, hippy music…!
  5. Scent. Whether it’s a spritz of your favourite perfume (if that works for you!) or aromatherapy, scent is really powerful. Lavender is famous for being relaxing, although personally, on its own, I find it a bit old lady-ish. I like to mix 4 drops of lavender oil, 2 drops of lemon and 2 drops of clary sage on a tissue. The lavender and clary sage are quite soothing, while the lemon gives it a fresher and more optimistic boost.
  6. Get outside. Look up. There are miles and miles up there. A ton of planets and stars. And we’re scurrying around like ants, but it doesn’t matter. We’re super-tiny! A walk in a green space for a couple of minutes can stop it all getting to a point where you snap.
  7. Treat yourself. I indulge in retail therapy a bit too often, but something small like a new lipstick or purse or book can really help cheer me up when I’m having a shitty day. Obviously your problems don’t go away! But it helps to counterbalance the bad stuff.

What do you do to help combat stress and anxiety?

B xoxo

Life Hacks: Coconut Oil

shutterstock_257285275I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts lalala…

I’ve been banging on about coconut oil as a substitute for olive oil etc. for ages, because of its alleged fat-burn-boosting properties (Miranda Kerr apparently eats/drinks a teaspoon full of the stuff every day to keep slim), but this weekend I discovered something A. MAY. ZING. That is potentially going to save me hundreds / thousands over my lifetime.

It can be used for:

1. Lip balm (add essential oils for scented versions!)

2. Hair mask

3. Makeup remover

4. Under eye lotion

5. Anti-frizz serum for the ends of your hair

7. Leg shaving lotion – this is one of my favourites. OHMYGOD do they end up smooth!

8. DIY body scrubs – just mix with rock salt

6. And obviously cooking!

When I think about how much I shell out on things like hair masks and under-eye cream, when I can now just have an all-purpose jar in the bathroom cupboard (and a separate one in the kitchen for cooking, duh!)

You can get it from places like Wholefoods and Holland and Barrett but there’s no need and I think it’s actually cheaper in places like Sainsbury’s and Waitrose.

I <3 my lovely jar of coconuts.

What do you use it for?!

B xoxo

Dark Side

The Boy once said to me that whatever I do with my hair, I’ll always be a redhead. Which is probably true. But given the drama of this last year, I wanted to enter my head into the Witness Protection Programme and shake the red off altogether… at least for now.

4 hours, 2 hairdressers, 2 glasses of rosé and much worrying (!) later, I was transformed from this…

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To this…

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It was a bit of a shock and a totally different look, but I’m really enjoying feeling like a different person… just getting used to needing to use a new makeup palette now!

I think I’m a lot braver now about radical transformations, and I already have my next one lined up for if I ever get bored of being dark!

What’s your most radical hair transformation? Do you use haircuts to make you feel like you’ve changed your life?!

B

CampNaNoWriMo – July 2015

11144455_10153476769384571_8684067458843882756_oIt’s that time of year again.

CampNaNoWriMo is 30 days of writing intensively so that you come out with a sketchy first draft of a novel at the end. Click for a Map to the Month to help get you started : )

This pic is the cover sketch for the project I’m working on this time around. It was really nice to get something finished when I took part in April, so I wanted to get another first draft done for July.

Anyone else taking part this time around?!

I don’t think I’m going to be able to do it in November as I’m going to be studying law alongside my full time job then, so I can’t definitely commit to doing it then.

If you need a bit of inspiration, I love listening to and looking at this while I write:

Campfire video and sounds

B xoxo

Liebster Award

liebster-awardThank you to the lovely Ella of Rogue Vogue who nominated feixy for a Liebster award here.

My nominations

Before I answer the tagged q&a, I am going to nominate these fabulous ladies for the award:

1. Whimsical mumblings

2. Katie Jane online

3. Beauty Queen UK

So for my Liebster, I was tagged to answer the following questions…

Stranded on a desert Island? Three things you’d have with you?

Definitely my phone. I’m never anywhere without it. A good book. And earl grey teabags! Can’t live without them!

What is your favorite plant/flower?

Ummmmmmmm…. I like orchids. Or the really dark red roses. I quite like lilies too, maybe because they’re death flowers, ha. I’m quite morbid sometimes! Although peonies and sweetpeas are cute too. I dunno. I used to not be into this stuff at all but since I’ve moved into a white fairly minimalist styled flat I like them to brighten things up.

Why is that your favorite?

Orchids seem exotic-y and remind me of holidays. Dark red roses are just gorgeous, smell amazing, are my favourite colour, and remind me of dark things and passion and crazy and stuffffs. Also I used to be allowed to grow roses when I was little. (I’m not greenfingered now though ha!) And peonies and sweetpeas, like I said, add colour to my fairly blank canvas flat!

What do you read blogs for?

I started mostly as a way of getting makeup tutorials and fitness tips, but now I really like them for loads of things – recipes, decor and craft ideas, other peoples’ creative writing and experiences… Cheaper than magazines ;)

What is your go-to product?

Can I have two? Pleaaaase? Kate Moss Rimmel London lipstick in 107. And bobbi brown illuminating eye brightner concealer in light bisque.

I’m also obsessed with my black gel liner from H&M right now. But I guess three is cheating…?

Why did you start your blog?

It just spun out from me always having written different stuff, talking rubbish… random, really.

Your ultimate goal in life?

To finish and publish my novels. And to find some kind of balance where depression, BDD and mild BPD don’t affect my day to day life too negatively.

What is your favorite genre of music?

Ridiculous question. I love loads – jazz, classical, prog rock, alternative, indie, folk… you name it.

What’s your pet hate in terms of other humans’ bad habits?

People who chew with their mouths open! And people who are late, or don’t RSVP. Common courtesy kids. 

Those responding to Liebster tag:

  • Link back to the blogger that nominated you
  • Answer the questions
  • Nominate other new blogs
  • Create your own questions to be answered
  • Notify your nominees when published

Your questions:

If you had 5 minutes left to live, who would you call to say goodbye?

Where is your favourite place you have visited?

Favourite colour?

Why?

Love or romance?

Adventure or contentment?

If you were an animal, what would you be?

What’s your favourite album and why?

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

What did you have for breakfast this morning?

Enjoy.

B xoxo

Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide Review – Weeks 1-3

So you have probably heard me banging on (and on, and ON) about Kayla Itsines recently.

My boyfriend and colleagues are sick of it.

But being a little bit crazy and having spent years on every fad diet ever, time as a bulimic as a teenager and being thin with no muscle to being curvy/chunkier now and hating on it, plus living with BDD for 14+ years if not longer, it’s nice to have a productive routine to focus on that is 1) healthy and 2) gets results, but most importantly FITS around actually having a job and a life and not spending a fortune on crazy equipment / supplements / whatever.

Enter Kayla. Am I obsessed? Yes. Is it for everybody? Possibly not. But here’s my review over the last 3 weeks so you can see for yo’self if you want to…

Weeks 1 and 2, I was ALL OVER the Kayla Istines Bikini Body programme. Week 3 and I’ve slacked off. Here’s hoping I get on it a lot more next week. But yeah. Anyway. Here’s my review so far!

B xoxo

Life Lately

11108395_10153428464654571_3620475956465935668_nIt’s been a bit of a mad month – my medicine is finally kicking in, and coupled with a truck load of vitamin supplements that I swear by (D, E and B12 if you’re interested) plus doing my Kayla Itsines workouts throughout the week (full review and vlog for these coming soon!) I’m doing pretty well, all things considered!

I went to a family wedding back in Somerset which was amazing – I hadn’t realised how much I missed my family really, and the Glastonbury lot are amazing. Meeting my niece Isabella has turned me crazy broody!

I had a hair panic before the wedding and learned to do the waterfall twist with this tutorial, and then just fishtailed the side. I think I learned to fishtail from Zoella here.

Now the best bit… so much cuteness!

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And as if BabyBell wasn’t gorgeous enough, I crashed with my sister from another mister Julia and my almost-brother-in-law, and they’ve got themselves the most adorable kitten… he literally spider cat jumped me, hanging off my dress with his claws out! Painful but still cute.

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I’m now at the end of week 2 of Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide and LOVING it. It’s hard work, but definitely worth it, physically and mentally.

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And today (Sunday) I did my LISS from Kayla’s programme, had a nice relaxing stretch session and foam roll, and The Boy and I have had a lazy day. Lots of Tomb Raider x-boxing, watching Buffy, shopping for shoes for him on Jermyn St, St James’s, picking up a couple of pressies for me in Waterstones (#bookgeek)

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My Kayla vlog should be up this week sometime, so watch this space :)

B xoxo

The Bikini Edit

I absolutely love bikinis. Which is hilarious and somewhat unfair given that I look rubbish in one. Admittedly bikinis and BDD don’t mix very well… but I’m working on week 2 of my Kayla Itsines workout programme right now, so who knows? Maybe this will change, and I can reward myself with a new bikini at the end. Not that it really matters blah blah blah. It’s how you feel and all that jazz.

Either way, I am completely obsessed with different bikini styles and actually (no lie) have links to my favourites saved on my favourites bar. I browse them ALL the time.

My FAVOURITE bikini is a really simple one that I bought 2 years ago from Kimberley London – the Brazil, for £65. It’s still available here.

Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 20.03.52

(Yup – that’s me in it below with my arm up on a company holiday… woop woop)

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The new Kimberley London I’m coveting this year is the Barcelona, below:

Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 20.04.19

For more of a budget bikini, but still really nice, I quite like Boux Avenue (and they currently have 25% off selected swimwear [on the day of writing!] so get yo’ asses over there!) I wore my Boux Avenue bikini with blue anchors and stuff on it on my recent Mexico trip, but I’ve had to throw it out now – suncream has destroyed it haha! Beware if you’re fair skinned and wearing a pale bikini is all I’ll say!

The Boux Avenue bikinis I want this year are below:

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And finally, for your inner bikini slut… Victoria’s Secret. Obvs. I want both of these!!!! Sadly the leopard one wouldn’t work on me since I’m paper white. So much envy for you tanned girls right now!

Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 20.07.15 Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 20.07.55

Nastygal has some decent stuff too, while we’re importing from the US… Definitely a fan of these, and love that the one piece isn’t the usual boring thing.

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Bikinis – where do you get yours? If you have any tips I would LOVE to hear as I genuinely can’t get enough. And I am going to treat myself for my new health regime soon, so help me out :)

B xoxox

Starting Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide & Top 5 Weight Loss Tips

11401338_10153406915724571_2019740909207103397_nAt the moment, I am on a kick to sort myself out. I’m very all or nothing; when I was training to teach fitness I was crazy on it, super clean eating etc, but for the last year or so life has just taken over. It happens.

To get me back on track, I’ve started the Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide. I’ll review this more fully later as I’m only on week 1 at the moment, but for a whole week before that I decided to go sugar free and alcohol free. I’m aiming to keep this up for a month, although I bloody miss G&Ts, especially in this sunny weather!

This post, before I review Kayla Itsines in a week or so, covers the quick and easy habits you can incorporate so that if you don’t want to commit to a specific programme, you can still start your weight loss journey.

#1. Take some time to reset your body

You may not like this one, as it’s the toughest one (so let’s get it over with first). There aren’t any shortcuts. But sugar is like a drug. I saw a documentary (BBC I think) which showed that sugar was more addictive than cocaine when they tested on rats. My week of being totally alcohol free and sugar free (yes, even 11228504_10153414398569571_3565569890404548665_nfructose – no fruit for 7 days either! Lots of veggies!) gave me some time to clean out my system, and even though it really sucks, it helps you break the ‘just one won’t hurt’ mentality that is a slippery (fatty!) slope. Maybe you’re not as extreme and don’t want to give up fruit, but cut out all processed food and alcohol. Which brings me to…

#2. To drink or not to drink? That is the question…

I LOVE alcohol. Champagne, gin, red wine, white wine, vodka, martini, cosmopolitan… you name it. Sadly in the UK it’s hugely ingrained in our social culture too, so the psychological associations of wanting or needing a drink to socialise or celebrate are hard to shake. BUT. It is FULL OF SUGAR, it is essentially EMPTY CALORIES and IT LOWERS YOUR INHIBITIONS making you MORE LIKELY TO OVER INDULGE (or order that cheeky kebab on the way home!)

There’s another catch too. It makes you 76% less efficient at burning fat. Yup. It actually SLOWS DOWN YOUR METABOLISM. A fact I learned from god knows where, but it stuck with me.

So, while you’re shifting your weight, it’s best to give up alcohol as much as possible.

11393058_10153394997464571_6198377023022902421_nIF you can’t leave it entirely, than make sensible substitutions. Spirits are only 50 kcals per shot. Don’t drink them with diet mixers, as these can oddly make you gain weight, and don’t drink them with high sugar sodas like Coke either – that’s just more shit in your body! Things like vodka soda are best.

Also, fun fact… prosecco and sparkling wines have fewer calories (about 80) compared with their non sparkling vino sisters (about 180 – 250).

#3. Water, water everywhere

Down a glass of water before each meal. It will aid digestion, help you feel fuller, and if you can drink ice cold water bonus points – your body has to work harder to warm up, and so it burns more calories!

#4. Work out!

You might not have hours to pound a treadmill in the gym, but short bursts of HIIT (high intensity interval training) can be just as effective. You don’t even have to get a trainer or buy programmes like Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide – youtubers like Cassey Ho of Blogilates and Karena and Katrina of Tone it Up post free workout videos – have a look (Blogilates here, Tone it Up here).

I’m not a morning person so I feel your pain if an early start sounds unappealing, but there are huuuuuuuge advantages to this. Firstly, you get it over with, and then your evenings are free for fun after work! Secondly, if you do it before eating, your blood sugar is lower, meaning instead of using up carbs for energy, your body will be forced to use your fat as fuel instead. BOOM.

#5. A little bit of what you fancy…

One cheat meal a week can stop you going crazy. Life’s too short to never have pizza again, right? Just follow Kayla Itsines and Cassey Ho’s advice – make sure it’s just one meal, not one day!

You might want to consider ways you can improve even these cheat meals slightly, so that you’re still having something that’s a ‘treat’ but won’t feel as guilty! If you have to have a desert, try switching fatty ice-cream for frozen yoghurt with fresh fruit, for example.

For more fitspiration check out my Bikini Series Vision Board on Pinterest (from last year’s Tone it Up phase!) or my Health & Fitness inspiration board here.

What are your top tips for weightloss? Any youtube workouts you can recommend? Let me know!

B xoxox

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