Hello Blogmas 2017

*Inserts we cannot believe it is already Christmas, how has this year gone to quickly already etc etc etc*

Welcome back to Blogmas 2017 we are so excited to be doing Blogmas again this year, we loved taking part last year and knew straight away we would be doing it again…so that’s bye bye social life hello blog 24/7.

This is only our second year of doing Blogmas, but we already feel way more prepared this year, we did start planning in August after all. We might be crazy but time literally goes so quickly and we knew if we waited any longer we would blink and it would be December 1st. Or it might just be that we are control freaks and like to have everything organised as its one less thing to worry about and after all good things take time and we wanted to make sure we produced good quality and useful posts.

Last year we tried to keep as many of our posts as possible Christmas related, so this year we are mixing things up and we won’t just be sharing Christmas related posts instead it will be a bit of everything. We made this decision because we didn’t want to be repetitive with our posts and we find so many people take part in Blogmas that the Blogesphere can become saturated with Christmas posts.

We have started a YouTube channel (which you can find here) where we will also be Vlogging as much as possible. We won’t be able to take part in Vlogmas as we both have full time jobs in different locations so it wouldn’t really work but we cannot wait to share our weekend adventures with you!

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7 Things We Have Learnt About Blogging

Wow we still cannot believe we have been blogging for two years now, the time has gone so quickly and we still think of ourselves as ‘new’ bloggers when in actual fact in the past two years we have learnt so much.

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There is obviously so much more that we have to learn and we are by no means experts at all but we feel like newer bloggers may be interested in reading about what we have learnt and what we wished we knew when we first started out with our blog.

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We recently reflected on our two years of blogging and celebrated our blogs birthday, is that really sad? Probably we made a cake and everything lol. We just wanted to celebrate the special occassion because our blog means so much to us, we would be lost without it. We genuinely cannot believe how quickly the past two years have gone it is like we have blinked and here we are.

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Network- you have probably heard this one thousand times before but honestly network your little butt off. Talk to people when you attend events, get involved on twitter, read and comment on people’s blogs. Basically do whatever you can and feel comfortable doing but make sure you network with like minded people.

Join in twitter chats- We hadn’t even heard of a blogger chat when we first started blogging and it wasn’t until about a year into our blogging journey that we actually started to use Twitter properly, don’t ask us why we just didn’t know it was a place for bloggers to connect. Now we are on twitter every day and try and join in Twitter chats as often as we can, it’s a great way to meet other bloggers. If you can also try and host a twitter chat they are so much fun and also you can decide the topic so it’s a great way to learn new things that you perhaps didn’t know about previously.

Be active and post regularly- be as active as you can across all social media channels and your blog, it will pay off and you will find your stats are improving every day. Who ever said you should have a blog schedule is wrong and we don’t agree with this, post blogs whenever you want because the more you post the more traffic you are likely to drive. We like to connect with people on Instagram by commenting on photos and starting up conversations, it is harder to form relationships on Instagram than on Twitter but keep at it and you will get there!

Good quality- quality is definitely better than quantity in the blogging world. We have learnt to post photos that are of a higher quality, looking back at our earlier Instagram posts is actually hilarious, we have actually archived some now because they were so tragic.

Use hashtags on Instagram- okay so the algorithm may have reduced the impact the hashtags used to have but we definitely still think they help. Not only for receiving likes on Instagram but because people also search for hashtags that they are interested in. We always search for hashtags on Instagram e.g. ParisBrunch or LondonFitness as it helps us find new places to go and try especially when we are going on holiday.

Approach brands- don’t be afraid to approach brands that you want to work with, we have approached so many brands in the past two years and although some may have turned us down because we don’t have over 10,000 followers others have given us so many opportunities.

Don’t say yes to everything- it can be hard at first to say yes to everything because as soon as opportunities come your way you don’t want to say no. If something doesn’t fit the direction you are going in or agree with then just say no. We have had a few brands contact us about detox teas etc. which isn’t something we agree with or want to share with our followers. Saying no doesn’t make you ungrateful for the opportunity it just means you are available to put more time and effort into things that you actually want to do with your blog.

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Say Goodbye To The Summer Blues

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We have already started to wave goodbye to the care free warm summer nights where evenings were spent in the garden catching some rays and sipping on a cold beverage hoping and wishing the hot weather would last forever. Unfortunately it didn’t and as we say hello to September we can already feel autumn in the air. We are already mentally preparing ourselves for the cosy evenings spent by a fire watching The X Factor and eating our body weight in chocolate (yes supermarkets are already selling chocolate tins swear it gets earlier and earlier every year).

Now don’t get us wrong we love autumn, well in fact we love all the seasons in the UK we just wished that the cold months didn’t last as long and that we actually had a proper summer and not just a hot day here and there. Living in the UK though means we are going to have to get over this though unless we migrate to another country where summer is there to stay for the majority of the year… dreams.

Just because summer is coming to an end in the UK as much as we don’t want to admit or believe it it doesn’t mean our moods have to as well. We have collated a list of top tips to help you get over the summer blues, if you have any others then please do share them with us!

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1). Keep living your summer life- why is it that everyone goes into hibernation during the winter months and cannot be bothered to socialise? This year we are going to keep living our summer social lives well into the winter months, okay so a glass of Pimms may be swapped for a mulled wine and a pair of sunglasses for a bobble hat but that’s okay we can deal with that.

2). Book a getaway- why not book a getaway so you have something to look forward to. It doesn’t even have to be in a hot country it could be a ‘staycation’ after all aren’t these the new ‘vacation’? We are going to make sure we have lots of fun things crammed into our diaries at the weekends so we have lots of things to look forward to.

4). Start a new hobby- why not start a new hobby during the week after work so you have things to look forward to after work. We all remember that horrible feeling of going to work in the dark and leaving work in the dark, so make sure you have something to look forward to in your spare time. We are going to try some new fitness classes in London this winter to help keep us motivated.

5). Get outside- just because its winter doesn’t mean you have to stay inside, wrap up warm, show off your new winter coat and get outside. We love walking in the winter and always like to visit new national trust places, the UK is just as beautiful in the winter as it is in the summer.

6). Get a good night’s sleep- make sure you get enough sleep, it will leave your body and mind feeling refreshed, revitalized and motivated to beat the summer blues!

 

 

5 Ways to get a better night sleep 

Sleeping plays a vital role in your health and well being, ensuring you get enough sleep can help your physical and mental health. Sleep deprivation can result in poor thinking, reacting, learning and working all of which are skills we need to use on a daily basis.

Having a busy schedule can sometimes result in not getting enough good quality sleep. We have started to incorporate the below into our lives to ensure we are getting the best quality sleep we possibly can.

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Cut the caffeine- Each person’s tolerance to caffeine is different, but it is a known fact caffeine gets your body geared up for activity and leaves you feeling energised. We tend to stop drinking caffeine after lunch time unless we are really struggling to stay awake. Drinking caffeine too late in the day will more than likely disrupt your night’s sleep. If you are used to drinking caffeine in the evening why not try swapping it for a decaf coffee or a herbal tea.

Put down the Technology- This one can be really tough especially if you are so used to getting into bed and catching up on social media etc. Checking your phone or watching TV is probably part of your night time routine but studies have shown that the light emitted from electoral devices can disturb our sleep. Try and put your phone down 30 minutes before going to sleep and make sure you don’t sleep with your phone too close to you.

Stick to a routine- Try to give yourself a ‘bed time’, we all set alarms to wake up in the morning so why don’t we give ourselves a time to go to bed. Our bodies love routine and sticking to a similar routine each night should help you wind down. We love getting into bed early but we do find it a lot easier in the winter months, we try and get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep a night.

Avoid drinking too much before bed- There is nothing cosier than sitting in front of the fire on a cold autumnal evening, sipping on a hot beverage. Although it may be lush at the time you may not thank yourself when you are woken for the toilet on several occasions. We would suggest having your hot evening drink a little bit earlier to reduce the risk of this happening.

Limit napping- Daytime naps might be tempting (if you have the time) but they can make it harder for you to go to sleep at night. We would suggest limiting your naps to 15 minutes and setting an alarm so you don’t sleep any longer.

Why you should visit Wembley Park

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We decided to visit the designer outlet at Wembley Park one Saturday. As it was a super sunny day we thought we would make the day of it. The London Designer Outlet (LDO) in Wembley Park is so easy to get to via train, we both just hopped on the Metropolitan Line from our homes but you can also easily visit here from Central London and take the Metropolitan Line from Baker Street to Wembley Park Station. It was such a beautiful day when we stepped off the train, the sun was shining and it was warm enough to take our jackets off. We couldn’t wait to make the most of our day at LDO.

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LDO is a short walk from the station and you get to walk past the stadium giving you the chance to see the iconic arch up close. When we arrived at LDO we headed straight for a coffee at one of the many coffee shops LDO has to offer. This time though we opted for Neros as we noticed there was outside seating. There is also two Starbucks & Pret a manger. We both had an iced soya latte with a shot of sugar free vanilla syrup. We also decided to share a berry crumble slice and a piece of cappuccino cake both of which were delicious. We made our way outside and found a little table in the sunshine, it was amazing to be sat outside in the sunshine watching the world go by.

Once we had finished at Neros we headed straight to H&M as there were massive signs on the shop windows that said there was an extra 20% off all items. We both bought the same jumper for our Easter photo shoot as it was only £5 you can’t really complain! We also spotted a super cute grey hooded jumper that we both just had to buy again this was only £5.

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There are so many sports outlets in LDO that we decided to head to the sports shops straight after H&M. We were definitely not disappointed there was so much choice and it was all so cheap, if you love fitness activewear then this would be your idea of heaven. There is a Nike, adidas, New Balance and Aasics to name a few.

The first sports shop we went to was Nike and we were really happy with the collections they had on offer! We picked up a pair of black running shorts which cost us £19 which some might say is expensive for a pair of running shorts but trust us when we say it is worth spending the money as the materials they use are breathable which is great when training in the summer. We also purchased a red t-shirt from the kids section which was actually boys. You wouldn’t even know it wasn’t female and with it only costing £10 we couldn’t say no!

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Next up was Adidas which is one of our favourite sports brands! We didn’t know where to start looking when we entered the store, the collections on sale were beautiful and all the colours were incredibly vibrant it made us so excited to add some more vibrant colours to our active wear collection. We both spotted a lime green sports bra that we immediately fell in love with and was an absolute bargain as it only cost us £15. Our favourite purchase of the day was definitely some amazing atzec pattered shorts which only cost us £11! We will be shooting in when we go to Paris on the 29th April so keep an eye out for those photos!

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We were having so much fun shopping (it’s not often we spend a full day shopping) that time flew away and before we knew it it was 3oclock and we hadn’t eaten lunch. There are so many restaurants at LDO you will be spoilt for choice when deciding where to go. We opted for Nando’s as you can’t go wrong with chicken. There was a 20 minute wait, but we wanted to sit outside so we were seated straight away, It was so warm we wanted to make the most of the sunny weather. We started with humous and pitta and of course had bottomless drinks. Then for the main we went MEGA! We shared a whole chicken with four regular sides (spicy rice, chips, macho peas and super grains) we then also ordered sweet potato mash and halloumi! It was delicious and sadly we couldn’t squeeze in a pudding.

At 4:30pm we started to make our way back to the station, we were both grinning from ear to ear as we were so chuffed with our purchases. We had such a fun day at Wembley that the following week we decided to return and were fortunate enough to get tickets to Craig David concert at The SSE Arena, Wembley to re live our childhood! We had seen Craig David at the Summertime Ball last year at Wembley Stadium and he was amazing, so we knew we were in for a treat!

On the afternoon of the concert we arrived and headed to Pret a Manger for a fresh smoothie, it was such a hot Sunday we sat outside and watched the world go by, everyone was in high spirits drinking before the concert and enjoying the glorious weather.

We headed to TGI Fridays for some dinner before the concert, where we both enjoyed delicious meals and great atmosphere. After dinner we decided to quickly head to Treats which is a dessert bar. We love dessert so a place dedicated to desserts is amazing! We both got mango lassis, which tasted incredible. We also shared a apple & blackberry crumble with custard and a chocolate brownie sundae….. ooo naughty!

We then headed to The SSE Arena, Wembley to boogy the night away with Craig David,  sorry the photos below are not great quality its hard to get decent photos when its so dark inside!

We are so fortunate to live so close to Wembley Park to make the most of the amenities, however its so easy to get to by train that we would recommend a visit to the shops or restaurants, or see you can get tickets to an event at The SSE Arena Wembley  or Wembley Stadium. We are hoping the Summertime Ball is at the Stadium again this year because we definitely want to go again in the summer!

Don’t forget to watch our  vlog all about our day shopping too!

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Our running goals

We have been running regularly for over a year, we have got to the point where we can happily run 7.5 miles but have not pushed ourselves to run either further. This year we have decided to challenge and push ourselves to go even further and we have decided to double the distance to 15 miles. If we managed to get to 7.5 miles in one year then what is to say we cannot get to 15 miles this year.

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We absolutely love running. It’s a great time to reflect or to just completely switch off from the world. We love running together; we make so many decisions when running about our blog, jobs, weekend plans and our future aspirations.

We have decided to set ourselves this challenge because we think it’s important to have goals that we can work towards together in 2017. We loving setting ourselves fitness goals to ensure we challenge and push ourselves so we can see continuous progress in our fitness levels.

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We will be running together once a week and as the evenings get lighter we will be making our runs longer. During the winter months we run 5 miles during the week on the road. In the summer however, we like to run in the woods deep into the Hertfordshire countryside watching the sun set. We will also be running on our own maybe at the weekend trying to push ourselves to run further each time we run.

We will also be running shorter runs of 5K as we know it is important to vary your running lengths in order to see progress and to give your body a break.  We both like to run in our lunch breaks as it is the perfect amount of time for a quick 5K.

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We hope to also enter a couple of runs this year to keep us motivated and to have something to work towards. We wanted to take part in the 10 mile London parks run last year so maybe that will be on the cards this year.

We will be documenting our running progress over the next year so watch out for more running posts!

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BLOGMAS Day 16-How to keep active at Christmas

The festive period has started and we couldn’t be happier! Christmas is a time to celebrate with the people you love and whilst doing so you are probably going to be eating a few more calories than normal. If you are going to stuff your face with all the Turkey, Mince Pies, Chocolate and anything else you can get your hands on (we know we will be) then it might be a good idea to get up and get moving. The majority of people tend to gain a few additional pounds at Christmas due to excessive eating but this doesn’t have to be the case.

We would never suggest you sacrifice treats at Christmas but you should ask yourself before you open your mouth for another mince pie, do I really want it, or am I just eating it because it’s there?

Staying active during the festive period is so simple, you don’t have to go running every day or even step foot in the gym if you don’t want to, but doing small amount of exercise will help you maintain your weight.

Christmas shopping is a great way to keep active (unless you do it all online). You walk a lot further than you think when shopping and its fun as well so that is just an added bonus.

If you have a spare 15/20 minutes during the day (not Christmas day) why don’t you do a The Body Coach workout? These workouts are all available on Youtube and they really do make you sweat.

Christmas usually involves a lot of dancing which is also a great way to stay active. If you have several Christmas parties booked in then just be mindful of the drinks you are drinking, we like to have Vodka, soda and fresh lime.

Why don’t you suggest going for a walk with your family or friends, we don’t think you can beat a nice wintery walk. It’s the perfect time to wear your new bobble hat or coat you got for Christmas. Every year our families go on a walk on Christmas morning (even if it does end in the pub) and we absolutely love it!

Don’t stress yourself out too much though, after all Christmas is a time to relax and de stress.