Putting a Spring in Your Step this Season

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So it’s come to that time of year again, where we’re thinking about our holidays, sunbathing by the pool or a beach, and keeping our fingers (and toes) crossed that the British weather will be kind to us this summer. I say it’s come to that time of year again, as it happens in January too – spurs of motivation to get fit, whether it’s for the new year, or to reach your dream beach bod for your holiday. The snapchats, the hashtags and the grimace that forms on your face when you force yourself to order a caesar salad over a burger. Yep, I’m guilty too.

So in light of this, I’m going to show you my favourite athleisure must-haves and essentials that I keep inside my gym bag this season…

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Sportswear

I’m not incredibly fussy when it comes to sportswear, however I am always drawn to brightly coloured and patterned details when it comes to choosing my workout clothes. I tend to go for something that I feel comfortable in, both literally and physically. Both of the black gym bottoms I purchased from New Look, and the green coloured one is 3/4 length, and blue detailed one is full length – always nice to have a bit of variety.

Although I love patterns, I tend to keep it to one patterned item at a time. For example, patterned leggings, and a plain top, or a patterned top, and plain leggings. If you want to check out some patterned sportswear, check out Adore Me‘s collection, and if you’ve not got the time to mix and match patterned outfits, they even have patterned althleisure sets! The only choosing you’ll have to do is deciding which weights you’re going to lift this session!

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Footwear

Footwear is one of the most important things to consider when searching for your gym gear – they need to be flexible, comfortable and supporting, especially if you’re going to be doing a lot of cardio or running exercises. I have always been partial to Nike trainers, just because I know I am guaranteed all of these three things. I live in my Nike Flyknit Roshes, as they are not only the most comfortable shoes I own at the gym, they are also my favourite driving shoes! I would suggest investing in a good pair of trainers if you’re thinking of starting the gym or exercise, as it’s not only important to be comfortable, but if you exercise in flimsy (or the opposite – too hard) shoes, you can result in injuries.

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Gym-Bag-Essentials

One thing I cannot go to the gym without is music. Once my headphones go in and I press the play button, I am instantly in the zone. Even on those sluggish days. Keep going till the end of the chorus… you’ve got this far, might as well smash this set until the end of the song. Music is my mini PT (Personal Trainer) cheering me on. Perhaps try this type of motivation if you’ve not challenged yourself before, or find it hard to motivate yourself during a set. You’ll be surprised at how you actually can finish the set if you put your mind to it.

Another gym bag essential I always bring with me is my padlock. The gym I use, padlocks are the only way you can use a locker, so this is an absolute must!

Towels are an essential, whether it’s a sweat towel to carry around with me in between sets, or an actual body towel for my post-workout shower (my favourite bit!).

Water. If you don’t drink during or after a gym session, then shame on you! Losing sweat at the gym, it is vital that you put back the water you have lost from your body to avoid becoming dehydrated and feeling lethargic. Depending on how much cardio I perform, I usually tend to drink 1 litre of water per gym session.

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Photography by Charlotte Jackson and Rachel Jefferies

Olympus Pen E-PL8, 45mm

BOOK BARN INTERNATIONAL

The other week I had a few days off of work and I decided to take a trip to the Book Barn International on Wells Road in Bristol/Avon. The sun was shining and I had such a tranquil afternoon, browsing through the thousands of books and endless shelves. I went alone because I love exploring new books alone, having quiet time to myself to engross myself in potential new reads. I sat down in the vintage cafe that is located in the Book Barn, where I ordered some crumpets and a cup of afternoon tea. I read a few pages of the books that I had picked up and put in my basket, deciding whether the books were suitable/interesting enough to purchase. The cafe even included computers where you can search up a specific book you may be looking for, and you can request them to look for it in their warehouse if it comes up on the computer. I came away from the Book Barn almost four hours after arriving, feeling pleasantly relaxed and a carrier bag with thirteen new books to add to my full bookshelf at home. I would definitely recommend the Book Barn International for second-hand books (and they even have some brand new books) for just £1 each. Bargain if you ask me! An afternoon well spent.

WHAT WENT DOWN? FOALS IS WHAT WENT DOWN

Be known to some of you (perhaps all), but I am a HUGE fan of indie/rock band, Foals, and Friday 28th August 2015, they released their fourth album, What Went Down. I have loved Foals for years now, and the first time I heard their beautifully tranquil, Spanish Sahara, it has been my favourite song ever since. I am seeing them play on their tour in Cardiff in November and excited is an understatement. So the day, What Went Down came out, I especially went to HMV and bought my own copy. What a phenomenon is all I have to say to sum up the incredible new album.

“this is only the beginning for Foals”


The group of five; Yannis, Jimmy, Jack, Walter and Edwin formed in Oxford, England, releasing their debut album Antidotes in 2008. The band have come a long way since their first record and through various interviews, singer and guitarist, Yannis Philippakis voices that this is only the beginning of Foals.

Foals claim that their new album’s music is a step up from their previous I albums, and their “pop” songs will be “poppier” and their “heavy” songs will be “heavier” (as quoted by Yannis Philippakis). And indeed, he is right. Tracks, Snake Oil and eponymous What Went Down are definitely the heaviest tracks on the album, parallel to heavier tracks Inhaler and Providence from previous album of WWD, Holy Fire. I am impressed with the amount of tranquil tracks also, including Give It All, London Thunder and A Knife In The Ocean, tracks that sound even more beautiful at 3am in the morning. And last but not least to mention their groovy Foals-esque-trademark-type of music with their playful guitar riffs and bouncy bass in the background, Birch Tree, Albatross, Night Swimmers and Lonely Hunter, parallel to tracks such as My Number (Holy Fire album), Miami and Total Life Forever (both from Total Life Forever album).


Foals also played a secret-not-so-secret set at Reading and Leeds festivals 2015, playing six songs, some from their new album. Crowds went crazy for the five-piece band, their set looked insane. I am particularly looking forward to their concert in November that has completely sold out, Foals have yet again made us Foals fans extremely proud.


Check out Foals on www.foals.co.uk

BEERWOLF BOOK PUB

Cornwall might as well be be in the dictionary as a synonym for relaxing, because it is a place particularly attracted by slow-moving coast-loving holiday makers, dipping in and out of unique, vintage shops (like me!). Last year I discovered a cosy little pub hidden behind the buzzing town of Falmouth, Cornwall, which is not like any old pub. This pub is the most perfect pub I have ever come across; a library book pub. A room with shelves full of books, available for customers to buy or just read during their tranquil visit. Quiet music fills the quirkily peaceful home (heaven) to book-lovers just like myself. And seeing as I come to Cornwall every summer, I was surprised that I hadn’t discovered it before. I am currently sat in the chilled atmospheric pub with a cup of tea, Cornish pastries and my head buried inside of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl (a brilliant read so far), escapism at its finest. Gutted that places like this don’t exist in my hometown, Bristol, so spending all day in here alone on my family holiday seems slightly more justified (however does reading and drinking tea even need to be justified?!)


  
  

CORNWALL LOVIN’

I’m on holiday at Cornwall, England, at the moment. Yesterday we travelled to Fowey Harbour where we sat in the cutest little coffee shop and ironically had tea and cake. Here’s some pictures of the beautiful streets of South England.
Fowey Tea and Cake

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We headed to St. Ives on the Monday, where we caught the train into the harbour quay, a beautiful scenic ride. Unsuprisingly, the weather was grim and raining, however later on in the afternoon the sunshine perked up, glistening the clear sea, allowing visitors of St. Ives to paddle and surf the low tide.

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