Love Life Eats: 28.02.16

Wow this year is flying by – can you believe February is almost done! I decided this month, it was time to get fitter 🙂


I love the end of the month. That chance just to sit down and recap on what’s been going on…

Love:

 

Maybe all the red of Valentine’s Day, I’ve been loving the Clinque Cherry Pop lipstick. It has a lovely pink undertone.

I decided Feb half term was the time to get back down to the gym. We have free gym at the apartment and Primark started doing pink gym gear; never a greater sign from above to get motivated been seen. Well, what better way to start getting fitter by getting some new gym wear…

Life:

February brought the much-need half term break 🙂 A lovely chance for a wind down. My brother and his girlfriend came down to London for Valentines weekend, so we had a nice catch up. I did a more ram-packed half term week post (here).

Otherwise, I don’t know if it’s the weather, but we’ve been going to the cinema quite a bit this month. We’ve even considered getting an unlimited Cineworld pass. It is just too easy to pop to the O2 – cinema, food, a sly glass of pinot… all under one roof :). Here is a little summary of what we’ve been watching and what we thought if you are pondering watching any of them:

  • Starlight: A perhaps controversial film based on a true story. It was really well acted and we hope it gets some of the recognition it deserves.
  • Dad’s Army: Now, I am not a Dad’s Army fan; I have only seen the odd few episodes, whereas Dan is a huge fan. I thought it was funny, but not as funny as I expected given Blake Harrison Keenan (Neil from the Inbetweeners) is in it. Dan was a bit disappointed – I guess it is so hard to recreate a classic.
  • Grimsby: This is an absolutely hilarious film following Nobby (Sacha Baron Cohen), who after searching for his brother for 28 years, discovers him in the least expected circumstances. The film then follows the two in an action packed, suspense and sometimes quite violent situations. We watched this in the D-Box seats – the seat moves/vibrates with the action in the scene. You can actually feel the earth move 😉

 

Eats:



We eat out quite a bit, as we both enjoy our food 🙂 I’m obsessed with pizza (oops, don’t judge). However, on my quest to start the health-kick, I went for the All Bar One Superfood Salad. OMG this is amazing!! Mixed leaves, giant couscous, beetroot,pomegranate and lentil tabbouleh and butternut squash. Topped with roasted seeds and served with a fat-free pineapple, lemongrass and ginger dressing. You can get it with grilled halloumi and I think it was chicken (sorry veggie problems I don’t notice meat alternatives).

 

 

How was your February? 


 


 
Lots of love, 

 

Hels xoxo 


Improving Your Blog Images

One of my blogging goals for 2016 was to try to improve the quality of my images.


Here are some ideas I have put together to help me focus on improving the images I post on my blog and other platforms, such as Instagram.

1. Lighting: The good old British weather doesn’t help this one in winter! Especially, as I work long hours, so it is dark when I get home from work. I bought some lights a few months back (I did a review here). You can’t beat natural lighting though for quality images.

2. Camera: This is one area I want to change this year; I want to invest in a good quality camera to take photos. At the moment I use the Cannon S110 and my iPhone. The quality of the iPhone means you can take good quality photos on the go.

3. Editing: How you edit the photos really helps the quality of the images. I have Photoshop, but invariably I will use picmonkey, which is a free online photo editor. If I take the image on my phone I will usually adjust the lighting and contrast colours on the photo and/or using apps such as afterlight.

4. Background: My boyfriend’s flat is very Instagram/blog post friendly. The two top photos were taken on his dressing table. Whereas my flat is quite cramped with dark work surfaces, so it doesn’t always make for great photo opportunities. I picked up the wallpaper sample for free at Wilkos, which I find is good when I want clear shots for make-up pics.

5. Get images for free: Certain websites allow you to download images for free, without infringing copyright laws. My personal favourites are Picjumbo and Pixabay and All The Free Stock.

 

What are your top tips for the perfect image?
 
 
Lots of love, 
Hels xoxo

 

Five Random Facts About Me

Hi, I’m Helen. Haha that sounds a bit cheesy…, but thought I didn’t have any kind of “facts about me”, so I wracked my brains to come up with a few random facts. Here goes…

I LOVE pizza. I would eat it all day, every day if that was possible. Obviously, without dying of some kind of malnutrition. Cheese and crisps don’t fall far behind. I can’t buy multipacks of crisps without eating more than I should in one sitting!

I am OCD about hygiene, but can get into total clutter and disorganised chaos. I’m working on not hoarding ‘back up items’!

I love making lists. If it is not written down, then it tends not to get done. Great excuse for a shiny new notepad…

The minute I get home, I get straight into my comfy clothes. I don’t even think about it anymore; it is just what I do as soon as I come through the door. Oh and hair up into a messy bun! Anyone with me on that one?

I love learning. If I could, I would be a student for the rest of my days if that were at all possible. I love learning new things and of course, buying new stationery.

Well, that’s all I can think about for now. Hope you got to know me a little bit better.
Thanks for reading, 
Lots of love, 
Helen xoxo 

Thoughts: 5 Benefits of Spending Time Alone

I love spending time by myself every once in a while. What benefits does that quality woo saa down time give you?


I don’t know whether it was starting out life as an only child (my brother is 10 years younger than me), or I am just one of those peeps who doesn’t need other people around to be happy. I would rather say I prefer to choose to have the special people in my life, rather than needing them.

The benefits I find to be alone…

1. Relax and clear your mind: Run a lovely bubble bath, light some candles and just let your mind clear. Whether it be reading your favourite book, or a cheesy film, your can just please yourself, have a good old woo saa and emerge generally feeling better about the world.

2. Allows you to find yourself: If you don’t know your own strengths and limits, without anyone else are you ever going to truly know yourself?


3. Resets your priorities: Life moves so fast; it is so easy to feel like you’re on some kind of perpetual hamster wheel, not knowing how you ended up where you are. I think this is especially so with relationships and careers. Sometimes, just having that time to sit down and think: Is this what I really want? No, then what can I do about it?


4. Allows you to gain self-confidence: The fact I am independent, means I am not afraid to do things on my own. Whether it be getting the train to somewhere new to explore, and of course take photographs! Or just go and sit in a coffee shop and read a book. This then translates into my life. I decided at 36 I wanted to move to London and change careers. Of course, that took lots of soul-searching that it was the right decision, but I had the confidence to do it.


5. Improves your relationships: Having time alone and apart from each other, can often help improve your relationship because you will appreciate the time you spend together. Plus you will never run out of anything to talk about 🙂

Do you love a bit of quality me time? 

Lots of love, 
Hels xoxo

*Hand Love Heart by the Sea photo – picjumbo image courtesy of Viktor Hanacek

5 ways to stay happy at work

The evenings are getting lighter, we are feeling brighter, but for some reason work remains a constant stress. Here are a few ideas for making the working day feel that much better…

1. Keep yourself organised: A clear mind starts with a clear plan of the tasks ahead. Write down your tasks properly and prioritise. Just pop it on a ‘to do’ list and get tick happy.

2. Clear the clutter: File it or bin it, then wipe down your desk. Start again with a clear work space.

3. Work out your optimum productivity time: Ok so this may be dictated to by your working hours, but even then you can make it work for you. I’m productively more of a morning person; when the boxes get ticked for more mundane tasks. Whereas, for more creative tasks, I’m an evening person. Work out what works best for you. 

4. Have something to look forward to: Wherher it be lunch with friends, the gym, or a sneaky treat. Whatever makes you feel good or provides a goal. 
Make  time to get away from your desk and have lunch, stretch or get out for some fresh air. To make it even more enjoyable, find a designated colleague-buddy to do this with!

5. Learn to switch off: Have a set shut off time where you will no longer reply to emails or work. Let colleagues/clients know this so they know where they stand.
What’s your way of staying happy?

Thanks for reading, 
Lots of love, 
Helen xoxo