Thursday, 4 August 2016

How To Be Happy

Hey lovelies

To me, being happy is one of the most important things in the world. There are some pretty awful things going on in the world and whilst it is important to know about them, you also don't want them to get you down - there are awesome things happening too! I always try to make sure I do something that makes me happy everyday whether it's something small or something major, life is for living and enjoying. It's all about letting the negative things go and focusing on the positive! Today, I am sharing with you my top 10 ways to be happy; I hope you enjoy and agree with them :)

Laughter. They say that laughter is the best medicine and I truly believe it. Laughing and smiling are the two main indicators of happiness but they can also create it; smiling triggers the release of endorphins which is the chemical associated with happiness - your brain can't differentiate between a real or fake smile, it's all to do with the positioning of your facial muscles. It also reduces the amount of cortisol produced which is known as the stress chemical so smiling can actually reduce your stress levels. If you are having a bad day, smiling and laughing can make it so much better - try it!

Do the things you love. This is probably quite an obvious one, however, not everyone takes time out to do it. Whether it's reading a book, playing a game, getting a massage, sitting out in the sun or anything else, taking some time out for yourself to do the things you love is a great way to reduce your stress and increase your happiness. You can spend all your time trying to make other people happy and doing what other people want to do - and while that will probably lift your mood, it is unlikely to make you as truly happy as if you spend some time on yourself doing what you want to do.

Surround yourself with positive people. I have seen so many quotes on the internet about this and it really is important. If you are surrounded by people who are constantly negative, rude or bitchy it will drain your energy. To be the positive one amongst negativity is so tiring and it will not help your happiness levels. Instead, try to spend your time with people who make you smile, who make you laugh until you cry, who support your dreams and goals, who will stick by you through the good and the tough times and who only want the best for you. Surround yourself with people who have a positive impact on your life.

Enjoy the little things. My blog was originally called 'It's The Little Things' because it often is the little things in life that make the bigger difference. Yes an amazing day out or a big holiday would be fantastic, but sometimes you don't need that. There are days when I love nothing more than to just be with my friends/family/boyfriend (delete as appropriate) and just chat about anything. Equally, dancing round my room to my favourite playlist or belting out some songs are a surefire way to lift my mood! It's all about enjoying and appreciating the little things in life and recognising that some people aren't as lucky as you.

Think positive. I would definitely think of myself as a positive person in that I try to see the positive in every situation. This doesn't necessarily mean ignoring the negative things, but try to think of them as an opportunity. If something hasn't gone your way, don't dwell on it but instead look to see how you can make the most of it. 

Get active. If you have read some of my other posts (MotivationHealthyNuts Challenge and Exercise) you will know that I am pretty fitness focused. I exercise regularly and try to eat well, which is why I am quite passionate about this point. I don't think people realise how great exercise can make you feel (exercising releases more of those endorphins that we were talking about earlier). Find a sport, class or exercise that you enjoy and do it! I've done loads of different things throughout my life; different styles of dancing, tennis, gym, running, Zumba, netball and classes at the gym. I've always led a fairly active lifestyle so I appreciate it is easier for me, however, one thing that has always encouraged me is going with a friend or family member. If you want to start exercising then join a class with a friend. Just start moving more! This and more is covered in my post about motivation.

Sleep! Sleep is your body's reset button. Powering down for the night allows your cells to regenerate, your muscles to repair and your brain to sort through and organise your thoughts and memories from the day. Studies have shown that people who don't get enough sleep are more stressed, angry and irritable, while too much sleep can be a symptom of depression. It is generally agreed that adults require around 7-9 hours of sleep a night so I usually aim for a healthy middle of 8 hours of sleep. I can always tell when I haven't had enough sleep because I just feel drained and I feel so much more negative. Getting into a routine of going to bed at a decent time so you can get the right amount of sleep for you is such a good idea. Whilst on my placement year, I had to get up at 6am every weekday; in order for me to get enough sleep, I made sure that I was getting to bed before 10 every evening! 

Be kind to others. When you are kind to someone, not only does it make them feel good, it also makes you feel good about yourself. Being kind to others literally costs nothing, all it takes is a little compliment here and there, holding the door open for someone, doing a job for someone and just generally making someone else's life a little better. The more you are kind to people, the more you will feel it being reciprocated; if you go out of your way to help someone, chances are they will then go out of their way to help you. I'm not saying you should only be kind to people if you think you can get something out of it, I'm saying what goes around comes around; karma, if you believe in that.

Go outside. Fresh air is literally amazing, it always makes me feel so much better than being cooped up inside. Go outside and enjoy the scenery, listen to the birds, watch the animals, stretch your legs and just be away from social media/the internet for a while. I appreciate that this is a lot easier to do in the countryside, but even sitting outside a cafe and watching the world go by can make you feel so much calmer and better and happier.

Learn something new. To try new things is so exciting and it can be anything. Learn a new instrument, a new language, a new sport, a new makeup technique, a new game, or even take it back to education by watching a documentary or researching something different. Your brain wants to learn new things and I promise all the hard work and practice will pay off. I used to play the piano and the feeling when I finally mastered a new piece was incredible.

Happiness is one of the most important things in life and I urge you to make time for the people and things that truly make you happy :)

Jess xx

Jumpsuit: In The Style

Shoes: Public Desire


Thursday, 14 July 2016

A Little Life Update

Hey lovelies

I am aware that I have been very absent from the blogging world and indeed the internet too so I just wanted to update you on everything that is going on in my life at the moment and to let you know where my head is at.

Last Friday, I finished my years work placement which I was ever so happy/relieved/excited about. It has been one of the longest and toughest years of my life and I definitely could not have got through it without my family and my boyfriend - safe to say, I know which industry and role I do NOT want to go into in the future! As a generally positive person, I will always look to make the best out of any experience, plus, as a (supposed) adult I am trying to look at it all in a mature way. Yes it was difficult, no I didn't enjoy it and yes I may have lost some friends along the way. However, I've made it out the other side, I feel like I have grown up a lot, my relationship with my boyfriend is so much stronger and my CV will look a lot better, thus helping me in later life. Plus I feel like I appreciate the smaller things a lot more.

I also moved out of my house on Friday, had to load up my car and my Dad's and cart it all back home. I was left with all the cleaning and tidying of the house and the garden which took me a very long time, but it looked a lot better once I was finished with it. Once I got back home, I then had to unload the cars and unpack all my stuff which has taken a few days and my room is still currently a mess - does anyone else get stressed out when there is mess everywhere?! I have also been feeling really ill since getting home; I think all the stress and exhaustion has finally caught up with my body and I just need to take some time to rest and enjoy my time off.

With all of this going on, I haven't had time to even think about blogging, let alone take the pictures and actually sit and write! That being said, I have several ideas for blog posts and plenty of time to do them so sit tight for more words of wisdom (ha-ha), recipes and clothes.

My plan for this summer (until the end of September when I go back to Uni for my final year!) is to blog more, exercise more and spend more time with friends and family. I also want to try different types of blog posts, different exercises and not just the gym and meet up with my friends more regularly. When I return from America (just under a month until we fly out!!), I will have plenty to blog about with so many photos.

I hope you are all doing fantastically well and thank you for hanging on in there while I sort my life out!

All outfit links below.

Jess xx

Jumpsuit: In The Style

Heels: La Moda


Sunday, 12 June 2016

How to Stay Motivated

Hey lovelies

Today I thought I would talk all about motivation. I'm mainly talking in terms of working out, however, it can definitely be transferred into other parts of your life. Motivation plays a massive part in keeping on track, at the gym and staying healthy - as mentioned in my previous post 5 Steps to Healthy and there's really no way that I could manage everything in my life if I did not have motivation to keep going! I go through stages of being super motivated and wanting to be in the gym loads, to being really not bothered and just wanting to sit on the sofa all day eating pizza and cake. These tips really help me out so I thought it was only fair that I shared them, enjoy!

Surround yourself with likeminded people - In all aspects of your life, it is great to spend it with people who are on the same page as you. Who I am with massively influences what I eat and do so try to find other people who are as motivated, or more, to eat well and work out. My boyfriend keeps me motivated to go to the gym every week and it definitely helps that we do very similar workouts (his weights are obviously massively heavier than mine!). Working out with a friend is the best way to motivate you to keep going, you can cheer each other on, share your goals and help each other to reach those goals. Plus you get to chat whilst you are there! Another great help is eating with other people who eat well. When I am surrounded by people eating cakes, biscuits and take-aways, I am much more inclined to cave and go for something unhealthy, however, when cooking with people who are conscious of the food they are putting in their body and know what they should be eating I tend to eat much better. The people you spend your time with have so much influence over your life, more than you probably realise, so choose wisely!

Get yourself some new kit - I always find that when I have a new outfit, I just cannot wait to wear it - surely I can't be the only one?! I don't exactly go to the gym to look good (my red sweaty face says it all!), however, kitting myself out in some fresh new items makes me feel so much better. There are a few brands that I always rely on to have exactly what I need but I am more than happy to try loads of new ones - my favourites are below:
Gymshark can be a little pricey but their clothing never disappoints. Their leggings have the power to make your bum look amazing and everything I have tried is super comfy and breathable.
Nike is probably the most obvious one. I once went through a stage of only wearing Nike gym kit! They have a large range to choose from and you can find them on loads of different clothing sites.
Forever 21 have a lot of similar items as the more expensive brands but at half the price. Again, they have loads to choose from and are lovely and comfy.

Create yourself a killer playlist - The music is going to be one of the main things keeping you going whilst working out so you want this to be upbeat and positive. The best songs are ones that make you feel bad-ass and like you can conquer the world; Beyonce is great for that! There are also plenty of playlists already created, I like going through the ones on Spotify as they have such an array of songs, depending on your music taste. 

#inspo - For the times you feel your motivation lacking, find yourself some inspiration! I find that following a load of fit people on Instagram really helps because you see how they look and what they eat to look like that. Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube are also great. Watching workout videos means you can see how to perform different moves and you can also see what the more successful athletes do. If ever I'm feeling lazy and don't feel like going to the gym, I look through Instagram and watch a couple of videos and I'm feeling motivated in no time. My favourites are below:
Instagram Nikki BlackketterEm SheldonJazmine Garcia
YouTube Nikki BlackketterEm SheldonHeidi Somers

Eat well - When you eat better, you feel better and when you feel better, you are more likely to work out and vice versa! I always find that on the days that I go to the gym, I am so much more likely to eat really well for the rest of the day, however, the days that I don't, I always crave unhealthy food. Putting the best possible foods into your body gives it the fuel it needs to perform every day tasks, as well as working out. A great idea is to read about what the best and worst kinds of foods are and find some new and exciting recipes. I am thinking of sharing a few good recipes with you, but there are plenty out there already so get reading!

Mix it up - Life is to be lived so you don't want to be stuck doing a boring workout because then you are more likely to give up! Mix it up, change things around, try something new and keep things exciting! I am constantly making changes and introducing new things to my workouts. I don't want to get stuck in a rut so this is where the inspiration comes into play; see what moves other people are doing and give it a go. You want to do the best thing for you, so if you would rather do a class at the gym then do it. If running is your thing then get running etc etc. Find what works best for you and what you enjoy most and go for it. I love the quote 'Believe you can and you're halfway there' and that's so true. The hardest part of a workout is getting yourself to do one!

If your are enjoying what you are doing then it is so much easier to get up and do it.

Jess xx

Sports bra: Ivy Park at Topshop

Shoes: Nike


Monday, 6 June 2016

5 Steps to Healthy

Hey lovelies,

Following this gorgeous weather we have had this weekend I wanted to discuss how to make your life a lot healthier! As the temperature increases and clothing decreases, I know that a lot of people get a push of motivation to tone up and eat more healthily so I thought I would share with you, 5 ways to make you healthier!


1. Drink more water
By now, with all the articles and posts of people banging on about how great water is, I'm sure you are all aware that you need to drink more of it. I could probably create a whole blog post with all the benefits drinking more water has, it is literally amazing - and free in most places. I usually aim for about 2-3 litres of water a day. Plus a litre when I workout. And often more in the summer - you sweat loads more in the summer (obvs!) so you need to keep hydrated. I make sure that I always fill up my water bottle before I go to bed so I can down a whole load in the morning to wake me up. I find carrying a decent sized water bottle around with me at all times helps so I always have access to it and it means fewer trips to the tap. I also often set times throughout the day to refill my water bottle, in which I have to have finished the current lot. Basically, just make sure that wherever you are, you can get to water as easily as possible and drinking more will seem so much simpler! If you want to 'spice' up your water, try putting lemons, limes, strawberries etc in it - fruit infused water is delicious and actually really good for you!


2. Eat healthier
Okay so I know this is a very broad one so I am just going to go over the basics and maybe write a full post on this another time? (Let me know what you think) When I say eat healthier,  I don't mean find the latest fad diet - Em Sheldon has written a post on why she doesn't believe in diets and it literally puts all my feelings about diets into one post, you should seriously give it a read HERE! What I mean by eat healthier, is clean it up. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Don't be scared of carbs, you need them for energy, but try to buy wholefoods such as brown pasta and rice, sweet potatoes, quinoa and couscous. Try to cook at home more, so you can control exactly what you are putting into your body. If you can, eat more (good foods) frequently throughout the day but reduce your portion sizes, you want to keep your body fuelled for the day. 


3. Workout more
And don't say you don't have time, you have to make time! I go to the gym at least four times a week and once I am back at home, I will be playing tennis and going for runs on top of that. It's all about doing what you can, when you can. I don't have one, but those FitBits and AppleWatches etc that count your steps do actually encourage you to get off you butt and do something. Find a sport or workout programme that you enjoy, or try lots of different ones. I enjoy doing a class at the gym every now and then, it's nice to mix it up and try something new. I'm considering doing a series of blog posts dedicated to my favourite workouts for different things so stay tuned!


4. Go outside
Super simple, but the fresh air is so so good for you in so many ways. I love going out for walks whenever I can as it is a great way to clear your head, do some thinking and feel refreshed. I also find it to be quite a good hangover cure - grab a drink (and put on suncream if it is sunny) and go for a walk. Walking round my village in the sun is one of my favourite things to do, whether its on my own, with friends or my family, its such a lovely way to spend the day.


5. Keep at it!
Stay motivated and make it a habit! At the start, you may have to think about what you are doing and the motivation alone can keep you on track. A little further down the line when you don't feel 100% or its raining or you just can't be bothered, hopefully you will have created a habit so you keep going through it all. Going to the gym three, or even two times a week seemed like such a chore for me before, but now I have made a habit out of it, I can easily go at least four times a week. Find little things to keep you motivated: find yourself a workout buddy so you can encourage each other, plus you can have a chat whilst you're doing it. Get the people that you live with or spend your time with to eat cleaner too and it will seem so much easier. Sign up to a challenge to give yourself something to work towards! I've signed up to do The Nuts Challenge again (see my previous post here) so I am super motivated to beat my previous time!

You don't need to make massive, drastic changes in your life; if you just change a few little things, you will notice the difference. To me, healthy = happy so it is a no-brainer!

Jess xx

Let me know what you think of this kind of post! Do you want more health and fitness related ones?

Monday, 30 May 2016

Why it's important to take a break

Hey lovelies

I'm back! I had to take a little break for myself, but now I have returned and I have so many ideas for blog posts! During my time out, I had a big think about where my blog is now, and where I want to take it in the coming months, and I have decided that I would quite like to branch out and try different styles of blogging. Although my blog is primarily focussed on fashion at the moment, it did actually start out as a beauty blog; and I think I would quite like to return to more #bblogging

I have a couple of holidays planned for this summer - including one to America - so I will definitely be writing about that, and there will be hundreds of pictures no doubt, so plenty of things to show! A big part of my life, even though I don't talk much about it, is health and fitness. I did post about it here and here when I first got into it, but now three years down the line, I have learnt so much more and have so much more to share, I think this will have to become a permanent feature on my blog!

And finally to lifestyle. I already include a little bit of life in my posts, but this is something that I want to do more of. It's time to dip my toes into the beautiful sea of lifestyle blogging!

So to kick my "new" blog off, I thought I would discuss something very relevant; why it's important to take a break.

1. It's supposed to be fun
I started my blog out as a little hobby and something to do on the side and over the years, it has stayed that way. My blog is not my job and currently I am trying to juggle a full time job with a hell of a lot of driving, gymming, seeing the boyfriend and visiting family. Whilst I love blogging, sometimes it just gets a bit much and I feel like I have to write a blog post, rather than actually have things to say. Blogging is something that I want to enjoy so as soon as it turns into a chore, I know I have to stop.

2. To rebuild ideas
For the past two years, I pretty much had a new blog post going up every week. It's great to be consistent, however, I often find myself running out of ideas and not quite knowing what to say. My posts have also pretty much all been fashion posts which is what I love to talk about, but I have so much more going on in my life that in taking a break, I have built up a list of possible ideas in different areas. I am very aware that my content is all so similar and I am saying the same or similar things about my outfits. I read a lot of other blogs and I am constantly in awe of the high quality content that they produce time and time again - I know blogging is their job so they have a lot more time to regularly create the content they are happy with.

3. To take some time out
Possibly the most obvious one; to simply have some time off, whether it's to spend some time with friends/family, to do different things, or to just have a break. I work a full time job where I spend about 40 hours a week, I live 30 miles from that job so I spend around an hour and a half every week day driving to and from work. I also go to the gym 4 days a week, and then when you add in sleeping and eating, that doesn't leave much time to myself. Factor in visiting home and seeing the boyfriend at the weekends as well and I honestly don't know how I manage to fit in taking blog pictures and writing the posts!

4. To get organised
In having such a busy lifestyle, it is so important to be organised and that is one thing that I have always tried to be; I write lists for everything and try to plan ahead. This isn't so easy to do when you have limited time to yourself so I needed to take some time out to catch up, sort my life out and start afresh.

I hope you will agree that this break from blogging has been a good thing and that, if you need it, will take a break every now and then too.

Jess xx

Two Piece: MissPap

Heels: Sold out from Public Desire


Monday, 2 May 2016

Ivy Park

Hey lovelies

I hope you are all having a wonderful bank holiday weekend! I took Friday off and I've come back home so I get a lovely long weekend, which I have absolutely needed; and of course, I have made some time to take pictures of a few outfits that I am absolutely loving at the moment.

I'm sure for many of you Beyonce is a massive inspiration, she sure is one of my major girl crushes - she just seems to have it all; amazing voice, stunning body, and the perfect life. It is, therefore, sometimes easy to forget just how hard she has worked, and continues to work for it all!

In a promotional video for the Ivy Park range, she describes how she used to go to Ivy Park as a young girl, and how it still inspires her today. "I remember wanting to stop but I would push myself to keep going". Words that the Queen Bey, herself, seems to live by; having not only released an entire clothing range and beginning her Formation World Tour, she has also dropped a surprise new album 'Lemonade'. And a visual album no less! (I strongly advise you watch it as it truly is incredible.)

She also states "There are many things I am still afraid of. When I have to conquer them, I go back to that park" and 'The park became a state of mind". These phrases mean to me, that 'Ivy Park' is a place that she grew, and a place where she became what she is today. It is a symbol of hope, of empowerment and of her success, whilst not overlooking the fear and hard work that she has experienced. 

The video finished off with her asking "Where's your park?", wanting us to think of a place that inspires us to keep going, and encourages us to dream and work hard. There is nothing that we cannot achieve if we put our minds to it.

If I was inspired by Queen Bey before, I am certainly in awe of her now!

The Ivy Park collection itself is designed to empower women through sport, no matter what their sporting ability or shape. It is an activewear and athleisure brand mixing high performance technical sportswear with fashion-led casual wear.

Today's outfit focuses on this bodysuit from the Ivy Park range. I am sure I'm not the only one to have completely Ivy Parked themselves up since it was released a couple of weeks ago, and this bodysuit was probably the fastest selling out of everything!  It sold out online pretty much straight away, and I had to go into at least 2 different Topshops to find one in my size - but lo and behold, I managed to get my claws on it.

This bodysuit is the perfect combination of style and comfort so it is extremely versatile; team it with some joggers and a hoodie and you have a wonderfully comfy outfit, but swap the joggers for some jeans and finish it off with a pair of heels, you are ready for a night out!

It fits so well too, as I have quite a long body, I do sometimes struggle with bodysuits pulling on my shoulders or ending up with a wedgie(!) but I had no trouble with this one.

The colour is also a great choice because it means it can go with practically anything - adding to the versatility. I went for some skinny black jeans and trainers to create the ultimate smart-casual look.

All links below, and remember, you have as many hours in the day as Beyonce!

Jess xx

Bodysuit: Topshop

Jeans: Miss Pap

Trainers: ASOS


Saturday, 23 April 2016

The Choker Dress

Hey lovelies

I feel like I'm probably really late to the bandwagon with this one, but one of the big styles out there at the moment is the choker.  Making a comeback from the 90s, this cool yet elegant accessory has been filling the shops in lots of different styles and colours. I didn't quite feel brave enough to go for a full choker, so I went for something a little easier; the choker dress, and Missguided have such an amazing range! 

I really love this dress because it's such a flattering shape and the high neck/plunge neckline makes it look so elegant, it's hard to not look good in it. I also really like the pastel mauve colour which makes it perfect for this time of year.

Because I wanted to keep the whole colour scheme really light, I went for these gorgeous white heels. I have featured them on my blog before because I just love them so much, they are the ideal spring/summer heel.

All links below.

Jess xx

Dress: Missguided

Heels: Missguided

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