Lifestyle Choices Which Can Impact Your Fitness

Everyone cares about their body, and if they don’t then they should! How our body is functioning on inside is far more important that what it looks like on the outside! Of course you can work hard at the gym to help improve your overall health, but there might actually be some parts of your lifestyle that are impacting your bodily health and fitness.

SLEEP
Sleep is one of the most important parts for not only your physical health but your mental health as well. Not having enough sleep night after night isn’t a healthy way to live and there is only so much coffee that is gonna help! Digestion, growth, and even weight loss are just a handful of the areas which a lack of sleep can damage. Try putting your phone down before you go to bed to help you get little bit more sleep.

STRESS
No one wants to be stressed and there are some things in life that can cause a little bit of stress, maybe it’s your job or your finances. You might not think it at the time but the cause of stress is something you can have control of! Recognise what is making life hard and make changes where possible!

HYDRATION
Everyone knows how important it is to stay hydrated! Try and drink water throughout the day and only having fizzy drinks and fruit juices in between.

DIET
Your diet is also another important factor to ensuring you live a healthy lifestyle. There are so many tried and tested diets out there which yes some have proven to be successful, but we believe in eating a well balanced diet instead of going on a diet. If you are regularly going to the gym make sure you fuel yourself with the correct type of foods to ensure you have a fabulous workout!

There are a lot of substances which are becoming a normal part of human life, nowadays. Coffee, nicotine, and loads of other chemicals are used to make life feel just a little bit better, and this often isn’t too big of a problem (we love coffee). If you know anyone that has unfortunately moved onto harder substances they remember you can always speak to professions like people at https://www.rehabclinic.org.uk/

It can be very easy to set yourself back when you’re trying to improve your fitness. This part of life can be hard- remember not to deprive yourself of things you like because this will only result in bad habits resurfacing, enjoy things in moderation.

39 Steps Coffee Haus Review

39 Steps Coffee Haus is located in the heart Soho and the second branch is opening soon in Knightsbridge which we will have to visit.

The reason it is called 39 steps is because it takes exactly 39 steps from the bean on the bush to the cup in your hand! We thought this was really cool and have since read up on it, which you can also do if you are interested over on their website.

We visited at lunch time one Saturday and the coffee haus was heaving (in a good way). This sure was a sign that the coffee and food they served was good! You cannot book a table, you just have to walk in and see if there is one available.

It isn’t very big inside and there are two main tables in the middle that sit four and around the edge of the venue there are bar stalls which we opted to sit at. There are also a few smaller tables available as well. We chose the seats by the window so we could watch the world go by!

Upon sitting down as looked at the drinks menu as we had been told the cold press juices where to die for and we can indeed confirm they are DELICIOUS!

We decided to opt for two different juices/smoothies so we could try a couple of the flavours. The first cold press juice we chose was watermelon based and was delightfully refreshing and the perfect drink to enjoy on a warms summers day, which indeed it was.

We also ordered a smoothie which consisted of banana, mint and lots of other flavours it was the perfect consistency and the flavours really complimented each other. The juices come in 250ml bottles so they are perfect to take away or like us you can enjoy them in a glass with some ice.

Rachel ordered an iced latte with almond milk and Annie had an iced americano with a dash of soya milk. The coffee was incredible, it wasn’t to bitter which we loved but still nice and strong. We did also spot the cold coffee freakshake which we are intrigued to try so we will definitely have to visit again!

When we first walked into 39 Steps we noticed the pancakes and knew immediately that we would be ordering a stack. We ordered the peach jam pancakes to share which were served with whipped cream, fairtrade bananas and honey. We are glad we shared the pancakes because they were absolutely HUGE but oh my SO dam delicious! They only cost £9 which we think is a bargain considering the portion size, we will be dreaming about these pancakes for a while!

Upon leaving the manager asked us if we wanted to take away a couple of the cakes or muffins they had on display at the front counter. We opted for the vegan banana bread and a blueberry muffin. The vegan banana bread was really tasty and very moist which we like our banana bread to be! The blueberry muffin was huge and was bursting with fresh blueberries and was texture was light and fluffy so overall a very tasty muffin.

They had lots of sandwiches and cakes on display by the counter which we thought was a great idea especially for customers that are taking away! The juices are also at the counter stores in crushed ice.

39 Steps Coffee Haus gets a massive thumbs up from us! Everything from the service to the food and the drinks were incredible. We couldn’t recommend visiting this little establishment enough it filled us with joy and left us feeling very content.

The Hub Edinburgh Afternoon Tea

We were lucky enough to visit the Royal Mile Hub twice during our visit to Edinburgh. We visited the Royal Mile Hub for breakfast (Read our blog post here) and also for afternoon tea.

We had booked afternoon tea for 2PM but arrived slightly early at 1:30PM, the staff were absolutely fine about this and took us to a table right away. The afternoon tea usually runs from 3PM-5PM but they had an event going on the day we were visiting so we were booked in slightly earlier than usual.

We were sat in the window seat looking out onto the courtyard unfortunately the sun was not shining upon arrival so we didn’t ask to sit outside, we wish we had though as the sun came out just as our afternoon tea was served.

To start we both ordered a drink, the manager bought us a box of teas across so we could smell the different flavours. Rach went for a peppermint tea and Annie had a flat white with soya milk instead of a tea. We were also provided with a jug of water.

We were also offered the prosecco which costs £7.80 for person which we thought was a good price considering the bottle was a good size and gave us each 2 glasses of prosecco. It was chilled to perfection and really refreshing and we liked that it was served with a strawberry.

The afternoon tea consisted of a selection of sandwiches which were served on white and brown bread. It included the usual; smoked salmon, cucumber & Ham. They were really tasty and we didn’t have any trouble finishing the plate.

Scones and jam were also served and if we are 100% honest which as you know we always are we were a little let down by the size of the scones. The scones were incredibly small and we only received one scone each, we are used to getting a couple of scones each especially when they were as small as they were. Regardless of the size though they did taste incredible and it left us wanting more!

The top layer was the cakes of course which included a mini Lemon meringue, salted caramel macaroon and a strawberry and cream waffle. Oh my gosh the salted caramel macaron was just incredible! The manager told us they outsource the macaroons from Mademmoiselle Macaron as they are the best macarons in Edinburgh- we would definitely recommend a visit if you are in Edinburgh.

The afternoon tea is priced at £25 for two people which is only £12.50 per person, that is super good value (especially as we are used to London prices)! We didn’t leave the brunch feeling uncomfortably full either which was a nice surprise.

A Solo Travel Guide to Florida Keys

Traveling by yourself can be invigorating, exciting and a little bit scary! We have wanted to visit the America again for quite some time and the Florida Keys are definitely one of the things that is close to the top of our list of places we want to visit.

We have heard there is plenty of things to do in Florida Keys when travelling solo! Just always make sure that you have your wits about you and you have put a few safety precautions in place (including where you are going to stay!) and you’ll love it! Who wouldn’t it looks like paradise!

Staying Safe

One of the biggest concerns about girls/women traveling alone is obviously safety. In addition to the usual obstacles women face!The Florida Keys also have the added issues of wildlife and weather (although this is a risk for anyone not just women)!

In particular, you’ll need to be careful when you’re swimming in the ocean, as there are two kinds of fish that can cause you problems. The barracuda has sharp edges that are known to cause cuts and gashes if you get too close. Even worse is the man-of-war jellyfish (we are terrified of jellyfish)! These can give you a painful sting. To avoid these mishaps, swim only in marked areas, such as public beaches. Additionally, make sure there’s a lifeguard nearby in case you need a little assistance getting out of the water.

Weather can also be a concern, especially during hurricane season. This occurs yearly between June 1 to November 30, so we would definitely try to schedule our trip outside of this time. Since there’s only one way off the islands we have read that traffic can get crazy if there’s an evacuation, so it’s probably better to avoid the area entirely if there are any looming threats.

Items to Pack

The Keys are hot and humid, so you’ll need to pack items to accommodate this. Make sure you have a variety of clothes for the different activities you chose to participate in! We will definitely be packing our sun cream as well! A top tip about packing would be to roll your clothes instead of folding them, it saves so much space!

Where to Stay

The Florida Keys aren’t just a single island; they are made up of dozens of small and large areas where you can stay (we would probably move around a bit so we could experience all areas) Some of the main destinations include Key West, the Lower Keys, Marathon, Islamorada, and Key Largo. Any of these locations look like a good place for a relaxing vacation.

However, if you want to be close to the action, then you might want to consider booking Key Largo hotels using Hotel Planner. It’s just an hour drive from the airport on the mainland and gives you access to two state parks, a marine sanctuary, a national park, and more.

What to Do

Snorkeling, swimming, boating, and diving abound freely throughout the Keys, and all of these activities sound incredible. In Key West, we would like to visit the Hellings House Museum, which is also the home of the Key West Woman’s Club. Check out the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo, or catch a show at the Theater of the Sea in Islamorada.

There’s no reason to stress out about your solo trip to the Florida Keys. Just use these tips to plan your journey, and you’ll create lasting memories you’ll never forget! 🙂

Visiting Mathew Watt Hair Salon In Edinburgh

Life is so fast paced and we are the worst for making sure our diaries are completely jam packed, we are running here there and everywhere trying to cram as much into a day as possible. We have so many shared notes (best invention ever) flying around on things we need to do, outfits we need to pack, deadlines we have to meet and the list really could go on and on. We both have full time jobs so our blog has to fit around our work commitments which means we are just non-stop all the time that we often forget to just sit down and rest.

Admitting to yourself that you need some ‘me’ time is completely okay and if you don’t look after your body and you keep burning the candle at both ends you will eventually crash and burn and nobody wants that. It doesn’t even have to be an entire day that you put aside for self-care it could be something as small as painting your nails, or watching your favourite TV programme or having a bath.  It’s just putting time aside for you to do the things that make you relaxed, because we all know the hustle and bustle of London is far from relaxed.

That is why we decided that starting off our Edinburgh trip with a hair cut would be the perfect treat and something we will need after a long week at work. We had a hair appointment scheduled in at 9 o’clock at Mathew Watt Salon.

The salon was located in the centre of Edinburgh, so of course in the true TB style we set off from our hotel and walked the 3 miles into the city. For some this would sound like hell but we love walking, especially in the morning so this in itself was a form of self-care.

Upon arriving at the salon we were greeted by Matt who was so lovely and welcoming. We had a chat about what we wanted done and he started right away.

Mathew got us both a hot drink as well to enjoy whilst we had our hair cut. Rachel went for a peppermint tea and Annie had a lemon and ginger YUM!

Rachel was up first, she wanted her hair cut and a few layers added in to add a bit of volume and that is exactly what Mathew did. He then went on a blow dried it before adding in lots of curls which is what Rach wanted as she usually wear her hair straight. We loved the curling wand Mathew used you could set a timer to last for 10 seconds so you didn’t under or over curl the hair.

It was then Annie’s turn, she was a little nervous as she has only had her hair cut by the same hairdresser for about 10 years but Mathew was great at his job and after seeing Rachel’s hair cut I felt much more at ease. Mathew trimmed my hair as I am trying to grow it a little bit for the summer, I never have layers put in my hair because it is incredibly thick! Mathew then decided it would be best to put some beachy waves through my hair which I absolutely loved.

We had such a great morning at the Salon, we got on really well with Mathew he was lovely and there certainly was no ‘awkward’ hairdresser chat. If you are in the Edinburgh area and want your hair cut or coloured we couldn’t recommend Mathew enough.

Before and after photos:

We did of course also have a cheeky photo shoot post hair cut in Mathews salon! It was such a laugh!

Follow Your Heart, have you ever thought about moving abroad?

Travelling, exploring and seeing new parts of the world as a tourist is one thing, but have you ever visited somewhere and thought I really want to live here!? But then doubt comes into your mind because you don’t know where to start with the process and you are scared. Whether the idea you have it for a few months a pendant move or just an extended holiday the idea can be incredibly daunting.

Rachel moved to America one summer and also lived in Australia for a couple of months. With careful preparation it is possible and it is less daunting than you think once you have everything you need in place.

Below are some of the essential steps you might need to consider taking before making your move abroad to make sure it is as stress free as possible.

SAVE UP
As soon as you think of going abroad, start to put money away into a high-interest savings account. The more you can set aside each month, the better. You may be planning to work once you get to your destination country, but you will still need some savings. Make a list of all the things you’ll need to fund before you start earning – there are visa applications, the cost of flights and other transport, international shipments, potential medical costs. And of course you’ll need somewhere to stay. And while you may be searching to find that hdb rental price on an apartment you like, you’ll also need somewhere to stay immediately.

You should do some research on the cost of living and the average rent price so that you can come up with a monthly budget plan to guide your way while you find your feet. If you can manage to have six months of costs saved up it is likely to be less stressful! You will then have the luxury of a little more choice rather than having to rush into things from a cost perspective.

VALID PASSPORT
The last thing you want to do is get to the final weeks before departure, only to find that you needed to renew your passport. Some countries have a legal requirement that you need at least six months validity on your passport after your final travel date, so check carefully to make sure that you meet this requirement and if not, leave plenty of time to renew and get your documents back.

VISA REQUIREMENTS
Rules and regulations around visas can vary massively from country to country, so make sure that you understand what they are in your chosen destination. The best place to start is by visiting the government website for the country you’re planning to live in. There should be a section of advice for travellers and immigrants that will explain what the visa requirements are and what documents you need. Destinations such as the United States may also require you to make a separate appointment to submit biometric information – such as fingerprints and a photograph. Know in advance and you can make the right arrangements.

HEALTHCARE
Much like visa arrangements, healthcare provision is very different from country to country, so make sure that you understand how it works at your destination and also that you have appropriate arrangements in place to cover you. We don’t like to think about accidents that can happen or becoming ill but these things do happen! If you have healthcare insurance now, it’s worth asking your provider about policies and provisions they can offer overseas.

SHIP, STORE or SELL
If you are planning on moving away for a long period of time and setting up a home in your new destination it might be worth shipping some of your belongings overseas. If like us where most of your belongings are clothes then you might be lucky enough to be able to leave some of them back home (especially if you still live with your family). There is of course also the option of selling some of your belongings which could also be another way of raising some funds! There are so many platforms where you can sell your belongings including eBay and Gumtree as well as a Facebook local selling pages.

BANKING
We have always been advised to keep our current bank account so we can maintain a good credit score in our native country. Research banks in the destination you are travelling to so you can check out the requirements before arriving and trying to open a bank account.

Bills Secret Garden Opening & Meeting Bill

So you may remember our blog post from a couple of months ago where we were lucky enough to be invited to see the newly renovated Bills in St Albans and to also sample the new menu (which by the way is incredible)!

We were fortunate to be invited back to see their new secret garden which is situated at the back of the restaurant in St Albans.

We did not know what to expect but it was a beautiful Thursday evening and the sun was (thankfully) shining! We arrived and were told to make our way to the back where we were greeted with delicious summer cocktails.

The garden/courtyard is the perfect size that fits about 5 tables and a couple of umbrellas. Surprisingly the whole courtyard is surrounded by residential flats (which means the garden has to shut by 9). There is the most lovely rustic feel in the garden and because they are not allowed to hang anything on the walls instead they had big mirrors, fairy lights and foliage lent against the walls.

The secret garden seats up to 24 guests and we were both discussing how popular weekend brunch is going to be in the secret garden on a beautiful sunny morning. We know we will definitely be visiting, not only to enjoy the beautiful secret garden but to eat the delicious brunch Bills has on the menu.

We spent the evening mingling and first met the Chief Operating Officer of Bills, he was great and we all shared a love for the brownies and sticky toffee pudding which is on the new dessert menu! then we met Bill himself. The restaurant chain is named after him and he is still so involved in the restaurants and it’s so amazing to see. Despite having 83 restaurants Bill still wants to get stuck in and even had his own vision for the secret garden at the St Albans brand and helped with the gardening too!

For us this makes going to Bills an even more enjoyable experience as we could see how much Bill still cares about his restaurants and the staff too, which is very very important to us.

We had a lovely evening enjoying canapés and peach iced tea and also met some lovely bloggers too.

We didn’t leave empty handed either as they were very kindly handing out goody bags which had some of Bills products in; Pink Lemonade, Lemon Curd, Cookies and Tea.

We are so excited to see the Bills restaurants around the country slowly change and are hoping it will be the Watford branch next!

If you want to visit one of these new Bills they are in St Albans, Covent Garden and Westfield White City!

The Best Travel Hacks Out There

We love a good hack especially when it saves us money! We go on lots of weekends away and therefore never really need to pay for a suitcase in the hols! Read our travel hacks below and see if they help save you a little extra cash! That money you were spending could even be put towards another weekend break!

It doesn’t matter where in the world you heading off to, these travel hacks are total game changers (well they have been for us).

FORGET ABOUT FOLDING
Did you know that folding your clothes actually takes up far more space than rolling your clothes, oh and it also reduces crease marks! You can thank us later. Were possible we always carry our bags with us instead of putting them in the hold, you can actually take on a relatively big bag as well so there is no need to spend the extra money. So the next time you go away try and roll-up your clothes or if you are feeling particularly snazzy vacuum-pack them.

READ ON KINDLES
Gone are the days where you have to choose only two books to take on holiday! We read SO much on holiday two books just aren’t enough and we end up not know what to do when we are on holiday! Well you don’t have to Kindles (other e-readers are available) are a great way of saving space, saving on weight and, best of all, reading while on a lilo without a worry in the world. Yup.. the latest models also tend to be waterproof (so cool)!

FIND CHEAP FLIGHTS
Sites like Skyscanner have so many cheap flights and there are also subscription services out there which will find cheap flights for you. Sure, going down this route doesn’t allow you to search for your bucket list destinations, from Brisbane to LA, but it will convince you to go-go-go when your destinations come up.

CITY CAR RENTALS ONLY
We’ve all been to airports and seen that row of car rental booths and there is no denying that car rentals are a great way to see the country you are visiting but just don’t hire from the airport as they up the prices so wait until you reach your destination instead.

DUTY FREE BAG
This is a hack we only recently discovered and we LOVE it! We hate that all the different airlines have different rules on hand baggage some you can only take one bag others you can take 2 bags (1 small wheelie suitcase and a hand bag). This make travelling much more complicated, especially if you fly somewhere with one airline and back with another. However we have a sneaky solution, all airlines also allow a duty free bag. So why not head to duty free buy something small and ask for a large carrier bag, you can then put your hand bag in here and not have to worry about stuffing it into you suitcase….. genius!

Laughing At Bloggers

Kindest doesn’t cost a thing, so why are many people so unkind?

This is something we have wanted to write about for quite some time but have put it off as it isn’t the most positive of topics. But you know what we want to be real and with that sometimes comes a bit of negativity.

We both work full time during the week so the weekends are the only opportunity we get to create as much content as possible for our blog and Instagram.

Last Saturday we visited a coffee shop in Shoreditch and ordered our first iced coffee of the summer (exciting times), we stepped outside and decided to photograph our coffees, true blogger style of course!

We will set the scene; Rach was holding the coffee in the air as we wanted to get the shop sign in shot, when we noticed a group of friends pointing and laughing at us from inside the cafe. They were doing it in such a way that they actually wanted us to see, it was incredibly rude and made us feel really self-conscious. I asked one of them if they had a problem with what we were doing, to which one of them deliberately tried to get into shot trying to make it impossible for us to get a photograph without him in it. He was laughing hysterically covering his mouth and pretending to spit out his drink, did he not have anything better to do with his Saturday?

We eventually gave up and sat down on the outside seating area angry and upset with what had just happened, we were discussing the situation with one another when the girl sitting beside us who was also friends with this guy turned around and said ‘this is a public place’, we are not really too sure what she meant by this but surely with it being a public place your friend should have a bit of respect and shouldn’t be so rude?  Would he find it funny if we turned up to his job and started laughing at his work?

We don’t mind if people want to laugh about what we do but when you are deliberately being so unkind about us in front of our faces it’s just not very nice at all. We felt like we were back in the school playground and felt so awkward with the situation we had to leave. We wouldn’t have the audacity to be so cruel to someone, how do these people live a life like that? We would feel awful for being so unkind.

This isn’t the first time it has happened either, if happens every single weekend without a shadow of a doubt we will have at least one person point and laugh, sometimes we ignore it, sometimes we wave at them to which they usually look incredibly embarrassed and run away and other times it really gets us down.

We can’t be the only ones this happens to? When are people going to realise that it’s not that weird being a blogger? Especially not in London!

Jazz Apples Overnight Oats

We love oats they are our go to breakfast almost every day, they keep us fuller for longer and they are so versatile so we never get bored.

In the winter we love a warming bowl of porridge whereas in the summer we always reach for overnight oats.

We love overnight oats they are delicious and super convenient as you can make them the night before in a jam jar and take them with you to work you the next day. We especially love adding fruit into our oats during the summer months and Jazz apples seemed like the perfect choice.

Jazz Apples were our Apples of choice, if you haven’t heard of Jazz apples before they are a funky fusion of a Braeburn and a Royal Gala, they are tangy-sweet and refreshingly crunchy. The great thing about Jazz apples is that they have a fruit bowl life of up to four weeks.

Jazz Apples are grown all year round in the UK, New Zealand, France, Italy, USA, Chile, Switzerland, Austria and Australia. You can purchase Jazz apples in all major supermarkets in the UK; Aldi, Asda, Co-op. Lidl, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsburys, Tesco and Waitrose.

You can find our delicious overnight oats recipe below which we have enjoyed on several occasions either outside in the sunshine whilst having a summer breakfast picnic or when we need a quick and easy breakfast during the week which we can enjoy dining al desko.

Ingredients (serves 2)
80g oats
100ml milk (we used soya milk)
150g Greek Yoghurt
1.5 tsp Cinnamon
1tbsp Maple Syrup
1 Grated Apple
1 Sliced Apple

Method

Grate the apple into a medium sized mixing bowl

Add the oats, milk, yoghurt, Cinnamon & Maple Syrup and mix with a wooden spoon until well combined

Leave to sit on the side and slice the 2nd Apple

Place 2 slices at the bottom of each Jam jar and top with a table spoon of oats- continue to do this until your jam jar is full.

Chop two of the slices up and use as a topping as well as a sprinkle of cinnamon

Put the lid on the jam jar and put them in the fridge overnight or for a couple of hours

When you are ready to eat remove from the fridge and enjoy!

This was a sponsored post, all views are our own.