Wednesday, 25 May 2016

3 More Creative Podcasts to Inspire You

So I'm back again with another podcast recommendation post because let's face it, I'm obsessed! At the moment I find myself trying to cram in as many podcasts a day as possible, whether that be to inspire me throughout my working day, entertain me whilst I'm driving or simply to chill out to in the evenings. I just find them a great way to fill any free time and a lot of the time I feel like I'm learning something too which is always a plus! Here are a few that I've been particularly loving recently.

ASOS Podcasts: My Big Idea
I only discovered this series last week but I have been seriously rattling through the episodes ever since! Interviewing some ridiculously interesting young women who are forging their own careers in areas such as the fashion, beauty and food industries and discovering what their big idea is. Some of my favourite episodes so far have been with the gals behind Career Girl Daily, Rachel and Joss from Wired PR and writer Gemma Styles. It was fascinating to find out how they took their ideas and transformed them into the businesses they have today.

Ctrl Alt Delete
I heard a lot of people talking about this podcast series especially after the Zoella epsiode aired so I tuned in to see what the fuss was about! Featuring some really inspiring chats all generally based around the idea of how the internet and social media has changed our lives some of the conversations can be really thought provoking. One of my favourite episodes has to be the one featuring Dawn O'Porter and not just because of the sneaky appearance from Chris O'Dowd!

The Lively Show
I've only listened to a couple of the episodes from The Lively Show but so far I am really loving them. Touching on subjects such as relationships, careers and simple daily life worries each episode puts a real positive spin on any issues and leaves you feeling seriously inspired and like you can take on the world! The stand out episodes I've listened to so far are Living Beyond the Social Media Expectations of the Modern Woman with Mica May and Curiosity, Epic Self Compassion & Creativity with Elizabeth Gilbert.

I just love these types of podcasts as I just find them SO inspiring and I always come away thinking that I want to do something exciting ASAP like set up my own business, go freelance or basically just become a massive #Girlboss! For now I'll have to keep on dreaming...but maybe one day!

Do you have any podcast recommendations? I'd love to hear them!

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Highlights From the Week

This week ended up turning into quite a busy one so I've made sure to make time for a good breakfast every day to fuel me for the day! 
I took a trip to the theatre with my brother and Dad which is something that I've not done in a very long time! We went to see An Inspector Calls which was really interesting, I definitely need to start going to the theatre more often!
I spotted this super cute little succulent from Tesco on my weekly shop which I just couldn't help putting in my basket, my cacti collection is growing fast!
This week I had Friday off work so I took the opportunity to have a bit of a chilled day, I caught up on some blogging, listened to some podcasts and had a good old browse on ASOS!

How has your week been, hope it was a gud'un!

Thursday, 19 May 2016

5 Tips for Training for a 10K

I've tried on several occasions over the past couple of years to get into running but without much success. Over the past couple of months though I have noticed a change, I've been going out two or three times a week and I'm pushing myself in terms of both distance and speed which I've never done before. So with this is mind, I have taken the plunge and signed up for my first ever 10K run. I've given myself four weeks to train, currently my furthest distance is 6K so I need to work on building up to the daunting 10K mark. Here's how I plan to do it!

Plan in Your Training
One way to make sure that I avoid getting home after work and sitting down on the sofa instead of heading out for a run is to plan in when I'm going to train. I mark it down in my diary which makes it feel like more of a solid plan that I need to stick to, after I've been I also mark down how far I ran just to add a touch of accomplishment. At the moment I tend to go out for a briefer run on a Monday and Wednesday evening and then a longer one on a Saturday morning.

Set Yourself Goals
My plan at the moment is to add on 1km on to my runs each week for the next month which will take me up to my target of 10K by race day. I've found that using the Nike running app which measures your distance and speed to be a really great motivator as I'm constantly trying to beat my time or run a further distance,

Stay Motivated
Whether that be with a really great playlist or an interesting podcast, I find distracting myself really helps to keep me motivated throughout a run. At the moment I'm really enjoying the Spotify Recommended for You playlist which measures the tempo you're running at and finds songs to match it based on what you usually tend to listen to. Not knowing what song going to be up next keeps me interested and spurs me on!

Focus on Your Breathing
This is one tip which I've only recently got the hang of, I've found that really focusing on regulating your breathing throughout a run helps you to maintain a steady speed and push your distance further.

Enjoy it!
Above all I really want to enjoy running, sometimes I half dread the thought of heading out after work but once I've got going it's never so bad. I'm looking forward to the sense of achievement from completing a 10K and hope to really enjoy the experience of the race day.

If you've done a 10K or are currently training for one I'd love to hear about your experience and if you have any top tips to share!

Monday, 16 May 2016

Highlights from the Week

Last week was a little bit of a mixed bag, it started off with some bad news that put a bit of a dampener of my day but then some good news came along which cheered me right back up! That's meant that I've started this week feeling pretty positive and motivated which is always a good thing!
The sun has been out again this week and there's only one scent that I wear when that happens, Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess! The most summery scent, it instantly lifts my mood and makes me feel all happy whenever I wear it!
Whilst perusing the magazines in my local Tesco I spotted the latest edition of Women's Health which features Caroline Flack looking incredible on the front cover. I've had a flick through over the weekend but I'm looking forward to setting aside some time to have a proper read of it this week, after all that summer bod isn't going to happen on it's own...
This weekend I was down in Nottingham so when the sun came out on Saturday we made sure to soak up every last ray. We headed out for a morning run around the lake before taking a trip into town for a spot of lunch at Jamie's Italian. There's a lovely garden at the back of the restaurant which is amazing to sit out in when the sun is shining. I treated myself to a yummy cocktail along with a chicken caesar salad which was delicious!

What did you get up to last week? Hope you had a good one!

Thursday, 12 May 2016

#EatPastaRunFaster at Vapiano, Manchester

Corn Exchange
M4 3TR

I've recently started getting into running and I'm currently contemplating signing up to my first ever 10K so when the lovely team at Vapiano got in touch and asked if I'd like to come and sample some of the dishes which were a part of their #EatPastaRunFaster campaign I jumped at the chance to learn more about the types of food I should be eating. I would definitely usually try to shy away from carbs if I was attempting to be super healthy but they are actually encouraged as part of the meal plans that have been put together along with the help of nutritionist Sarah Schenker. There are two different meal plans, one which focuses on regular runners of 5-10K (that's me!) and one which is tailored to long distance runners (not sure that will ever be me!). You can find out more about the campaign here.

So anyway, on with the food!

The interesting thing about Vapiano is that it is laid out in a self service kind of way, so you are able to go up to one of the various bar areas to order your food and it is made right there in front of your very eyes. Freshness at it's finest! I found that this gave the restaurant a real laid back, chilled out feel to it, especially mid-afternoon on a Saturday when it was a little on the quiet side.

On arrival you are presented with a Vapiano card which you then take up with you when ordering any food. Your card is scanned and your food order loaded on to it so when it comes to paying at the end of your meal it's incredibly easy to split the bill if you are with a big group as you simply pay for what you have eaten!
Whilst perusing the extensive menu we deicded to share a starter of brushetta which was piled high with delicious topping and served with your choice of cheese, we opted for the classic mozzarella.
After much deliberation over the mains (I was extremely close to being tempted by one of their delicious looking pizzas) I opted for the Gambretti E Spinaci and Adam chose the Rucola Ravioli. The beauty of Vapiano is that you are really able to tailor your meal to exactly how you like it, I was able to choose which type of pasta I wanted, how much chilli and garlic I wanted to add and if I wanted to top it with cheese. All of these options really give you the freedom to create your perfect pasta dish. 
Full to bursting on pasta we couldn't simply leave it there after seeing some of the delicious desserts that were on offer so we decided to add a touch more naughtiness to the meal with one to share. We chose the Bacio which consisted of chocolate and hazelnuts blended on a biscuit base, topped with hazelnuts. Pretty much my ideal dessert and it was absolutely delicious!

I really enjoyed the whole experience at Vapiano and will definitely look to pop in again whenever I'm having a shopping day in Manchester!

Vapiano very kindly treated us to lunch but as always all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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