28/02/2016

Instagram Catch Up

I am so glad this week is over; it has been crazy busy! I have so much revision still to do, my workouts weren't too bad and I've also managed to clean out one of my wardrobes and donate a bag of clothes to charity! I'll also be starting to sell a few items online soon when I get the chance to take photos of them/upload them. Which one is better: eBay or Depop? Help me out, girls!

1. Sunday night motivation.
2. Workout selfie.
3. Misty Copeland is such an inspiration of mine!
4. Another workout selfie.
5. Yet another.
6. Saw this on Facebook and it made me giggle.
7. Selfie before travelling to college.
8. Demi's new song Stone Cold is my favourite off the album.

9. My latest Etsy spotlight post reviewing Oodlemadoodles.
10. Sweaty selfie!
11. My new way of organising my nail polishes. 

12. I try to fit in Blogilates when I can!
13. Friday's Primark haul post.
14. Lea Michele is another fitspo is mine!
Next week, I'm aiming to continue studying as much as possible and working out every single day (hopefully twice!). I've managed to pick up a couple of extra shifts at work so I'm really going to have to make use of my time as much as I can!
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26/02/2016

Primark Haul

I have a secret to tell you: I am well and truly skint. I'm only working Saturdays and am travelling to Sheffield a couple of times a week; with bills and everything, I have zero money at the end of the month. After getting some extra hours over Christmas, I thought I'd nip into my local Primark and see if I could find anything. I was surprised to find tonnes of items; they've really knocked it out of the park this time!

I've always had a love-hate relationship with the store as I've always thought the quality has got gradually worse. I was so thrilled to find loads of clothes in there! Here's a peek at my haul:

Jacket, £14.00
Tee, £2.80
Tee, £2.80
Tee, £3.00 
Tee, £4.00
Jumper, £10.00
Jumper, £10.00
Sweatshirt, £5.00
I bought a few extra bits and pieces (underwear, PJs) and spent around £70 in total. I was really impressed with the amount of choice there was in store and it was one of the best shopping experiences I've had in a while. The later in the day you go, the better it is. No queues, neat displays, friendlier staff, although I doubt I'll be visiting again for a while or else I'll have no money left!

What do you think of the items I picked up? Do you have any of them yourself? Have you had a shop in Primark lately? Leave me a comment below!
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24/02/2016

UK Etsy Spotlight: Ooodlemadoodles


The third business in my UK Etsy series is Oodlemadoodles. Grace, who runs the shop, produces such high quality stickers in beautiful colour schemes. 



These quote boxes come in a variety of sizes for both Erin Condren and the Happy Planner. I try to include one of these every week in the sidebar as my quote for the week. I love being able to see it several times a day and helps me focus if I'm feeling stressed or demotivated.




These stickers are part of the weekly kits but I just pick and chose which sheets I wanted. I already had some sheets in my sticker stash and these matched them perfectly. I love being able to pick the sheets I want or have the option of buying the full set!

Regular kits are between £5 and £7 depending on how many sheets are in with it; alternatively you can buy a monthly kit for £12.80 which is 8 sheets of stickers. I think these are amazing prices as you get over 175 stickers in a monthly kit!


This month's freebies are these super cute Easter eggs and chicks which means I can start planning up until then now!

I also got a free business card with a new discount code on it which is valid for the rest of the month.

Currently Grace has 10% off in her store if you use the code INSTAPLANNER.

Follow her on Etsy and Instagram right now for a look at new releases and discount codes!
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22/02/2016

Get To Know Me: Books


I love books. I have done since I was little and started to read. Not to be a big head, but I've always had advanced reading abilities. You know when you start reading in nursery, I skipped the first couple of levels because I could already string together full sentences! 

Nowadays, I don't have as much time to read, I wish I did, but I used to read on the train to and from college (now I have to spend that time revising). When I do read, I stick to the same few books that I know inside out and have read so much that they are falling apart.

Here are my favourite go-to's when I get the time to read!:

The Harry Potter series- JK Rowling


If you don't like Harry Potter, we can't be friends. As much as I love the films, nothing beats the books. JK Rowling is such a fantastic human being in general but her descriptions of people and buildings are phenomenal. Also, shout out to Hermione for being strong, smart AND beautiful all at the same time!

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying- Marie Kondo


I got gifted this book from a charity a few months ago and love reading it before bed. After reading it once properly, I decided to read it again recently and made some notes of how to tidy properly so I can start the process hopefully this week! I love it mostly because the motto is: "If it doesn't spark joy, throw it away."

Life In Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina- Misty Copeland


Misty's story is one that I've only heard of in the past few months. As a dancer myself, I understand the pain and power you need to have to be a ballerina (I couldn't be a professional myself) so I appreciate her sharing her life with us. The book is beautifully written and shows the behind the scenes of the ballet world that appears to be so elegant and graceful.

The Catcher In The Rye- J.D. Salinger


I first read this book when I was in Year 10 at school. I originally wanted to be in the group reading Of Mice And Men but the head of the department didn't think I could get a high grade so put me in the group. I'm so glad she did that because I fell in love with this book and had one of the best teachers I've ever had. In the end, I got an A in English Lang and an A in Lit!

Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy- EL James


Let me explain this one. I don't think the books are genius or even well written but I love this story. I don't mean all of the eroticness going on, I mean the love story of two people bringing out the best in each other. Ana is an amazingly strong woman who knows her own boundaries and lets Christian push her but only with what feels comfortable. I love that she isn't scared to say no and tell him how she's feeling.

The Last Song- Nicholas Sparks


As much as I love the film, the book makes me cry. I love Nicholas Sparks films but this is the only book I've read of his and I want to add more to my collection!

The Perks of Being a Wallflower- Stephen Chbosky


The newer version of Catcher in the Rye. I adore the film but the book is phenomenal.

I Heart New York series- Lindsey Kelk


My favourite chick-lit series; I read these as often as I can! Something about a woman just following her heart that I admire so much!
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21/02/2016

Instagram Catch Up

What an odd week; I had planned on having an amazingly fit week and that soon failed. I haven't had a workout since Monday so I'm very disappointed at myself for that! I've done a lot of revising during the day and relaxing at night as I've not got enough money to be able to travel to Sheffield four days a week for college!

1. Valentine's week in my planner.
2. My Monday motivation for myself backfired quickly.
3. The one and only workout this week.
4. Queen Taylor accepting her Grammy for Best Album.

5. I had so much to do at home and this was my attire.
6. My Etsy spotlight blog post for this week!
7. My snazzy nails.

8. Night in planning and watching One Tree Hill.
9. #fbf to when I was skinny!
10. An amazingly quick Etsy dispatch from PlannerPeaceUK!
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19/02/2016

The AM-PM Routine Tag


After spending the morning on Bloglovin' (follow me the blog here), I came across Abi's AM/PM routine tag and you all know how much I love  tag post!

AM

1. What is your morning beauty routine?

I wake up and drink a glass of water first. If I have time, I'll just use a make-up wipe on my face, throw on my workout clothes and get active! If not, I will cleanse my face properly, get dressed and start my day off.

2. What's for breakfast?

I rarely eat breakfast. I tend to just have a drinking yoghurt and have a hot chocolate later on. If I'm chilling at home for the day, I'll have toast or crumpets mid-morning.

3. Coffee or tea?

I drink hot chocolate only.

4. How long does it take to get out the door?

I used to have to wake up at 5am and be out of the door for 5.45am so I can get ready pretty quickly. It only really takes me half an hour really and then I use the other 15 minutes to make a drink and pack my lunch.

5. What is your go-to makeup look on a fuss-free morning?

After moisturising, I use Rimmel Match Perfect Foundation and apply with a brush. Next I use concealer (I've forgotten what brand mine is!). Then I curl my eyelashes and use No 7 Stay Perfect Mascara and then usually pick a colourful lipstick. I'm not into high-end brands for make-up so for lipstick I am all over Wilko's Essence range!

PM

6. What is your evening beauty routine?

I remove my make-up with a face wipe first before cleansing, toning and double moisturising. If I'm getting a shower, I'll exfoliate or use a face mask.

7. Snack time! What's in the bowl?

Anything sweet. I've tried to stop snacking after tea but when it doesn't work, I reach for anything chocolate or gummy sweets!

8. How do you wind down and prep for bed?

I love to read before bed; ever since I was little, reading before bed has helped me to get a better night's sleep.

9. Cozy up! What are you wearing to sleep?

I tend to wear a matching top and shorts/bottoms because my house is pretty cold most of the time!

10. What are some things you must do before hitting the hay?

I always make a to-do list before I go to sleep so I know what I have to do the following day. I lay out my outfit and my workout gear and I put my phone on charge.
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17/02/2016

UK Etsy Spotlight: Plan With Jade

Next up in my Etsy spotlight for UK shops is Plan With Jade. I am such a fan and this is my fourth order with Jade since September 2015! This last order took around a week to dispatch as I know how busy she has been. Jade's designs are worth the wait!





It costs £7.50 for a full set which for the quality of Jade's designs is well worth it. My favourite thing is that if you're not a fan of buying a full set, you can buy all of the sheets in the full set individually, which are a max of £2.50.


I love that every order includes a mini set of stickers too; these always come in handy with various colour schemes! There are constantly new designs being produced and there are always various discount codes being displayed on her Instagram.

Currently Jade has a discount code oeperating: LOVE30 with no minimum spend! This won't be on forever though so be quick!

Check her out on Instagram and Etsy now!
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15/02/2016

Tone It Up: UK Style!

The latest TIU Challenge!
Female fitness is taking the world by storm with women wanting to exercise more than ever. Whilst some women slog it out at the gym, others prefer to workout at home. Following a programme can be one of the easiest ways to do this. Tone It Up is an online workout and nutritional plan created by the amazing Karena Dawn and Katrina Hodgson; the women are best friends and set up the website ToneItUp.com to share all of their knowledge when it comes to food, fitness and fashion. Most fitness programmes are rigid and demotivating; Karena and Katrina bring the fun factor to exercise and engage with their fans on social media constantly.

With the women being based in the USA, I wanted to get the views of some UK fans. Although K&K appreciate our following, there is a very small community over here than there is in the States. I asked three girls about their experiences with Tone It Up and added in my own experiences too!

How did you find out about Tone It Up (TIU)?
Toni (Instagram: @fiddlestickstoni), 26, Berkshire: I found it through another blog, Wholeheartedly Healthy I think!
Kirsty (Instagram: @klt_fitfun) 32, Wrexham: I discovered TIU via my twin sister Lindsey (@latbeautyaddict). She had started doing the TIU workouts and Kayla Itsines, so encouraged me to start too.
Haidee (Instagram: @haideetiu), 23, Liverpool: I was on my uni year abroad in France and had a lot more spare time than I was used to. I started googling fitness/nutrition programmes and was hooked on Tone It Up as soon as I found it! I remember thinking the recipes actually looked like food I wanted to eat and not diet food!
Me: I was looking for a plan online about two years ago and literally stumbled across the TIU website!

What makes TIU different to other programmes?
Toni: The membership one-time fee is good, there are lots of different products to buy and they don't discourage you from using other companies. The different challenges and series are interesting and keep it varied. The way it is filmed is professional compared to others I do that are just like a home video.
Kirsty: TIU is interesting with their new and different challenge they launch; every week they change it up to keep you motivated.  They have made their programmes accessible to all; if you can't afford to subscribe to their full subscription, you can follow along with their free routines and recipes. Karena and Katrina come across as lovely trainers who care and are interested in every member which is great!
Haidee: Tone It Up doesn't focus on negativity: losing weight, being skinnier, competing against other women. It focuses on women building each other up. The TIU community is amazing and you're constantly surrounded by motivation and positivity to keep you going. I also love the focus on other aspects of your life as well as fitness.
Me: If you just follow the basic programme, you get a lot of great content for free! I've bought only the extra workouts but they are not a necessity. The girls send you an email daily with great tips and recipes. For me, I love the community feel. All of the girls who follow TIU (wherever they are from) are so encouraging and we all boost each other up as often as we can!

What are your top three health/fitness tips?
Toni: Plan and prep food/workouts, find a partner/group to keep motivated and keep trying different routines to stop getting bored!
Kirsty: It's not a diet, it's a lifestyle change, keep trying and you will get there and don't overdo it (rest days are important!)
Haidee: Get your morning booty call in, make breakfast the night before and don't let one bad day, one bad meal or one skipped workout ruin the rest of the day/week (accept it, enjoy it, don't feel guilty and move on!)
Me: Plan your workouts and meals every Sunday night, lay out your workout clothes every night ready for the following morning and if you fall off track and miss a workout, just catch up when you can!

Whether you pay to follow the nutrition plan or just follow the free online workout schedule, Karena and Katrina's brand is growing and these women are unstoppable!
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14/02/2016

My Week In Pictures

Half term week off college and my week off work! I'm so annoyed with myself this week. I was meant to be focusing on my fitness plan and my college work but I failed at both. I started off the week great, fitting in my workouts and getting my work done but after my exam on Thursday, I just chilled out all weekend.

1. The fabulous Bella Twins in all of their glamour.
2. Pre-bedtime selfie. #cleavage
3. Beginning Week 6 on the Tone It Up challenge.
4. Last week's planner spread.

5. Inspired by the Bella Twins (see photo 1).
6. My sanctuary.
7. Continuing with the workouts.
8. Reviews of Etsy shops is my new series (see the first post here).

9. Another workout collage.
10. How beautiful is Grant Gustin?!
11. My Valentine's Day realness. Career over men.
This week, I'm back at college for a couple of days a week, I've got a revision plan sorted for my resits, I've got my workouts planned out too and I'm hoping to get some extra hours at work in the next few weeks!

I'm definitely motivated this week to get s**t done and work my arse off to lose a few lbs.
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12/02/2016

Film Review: Dad's Army

Source: https://i.ytimg.com/vi/CA_74-IOI_0/maxresdefault.jpg

Walmington-on-Sea gets a new Home Guard as the cast of the new Dad's Army release their latest revamp. Sticking with the same characters but with new actors to replace them, the plot sees the cast hunting down a German spy as they aim to contribute to winning the war. 

The cast is full of respected names within the British film industry but not all of them deliver. For me, the star of the show was Michael Gambon's Godfrey; as much as I loved Arnold Ridley in the original series, Gambon plays the character perfectly but in his own way. I also appreciated Toby Jones as Captain Mainwaring. Although I didn't like him to begin with, I felt that he tried to play a character rather than emulate Arthur Lowe.

I appreciate I'm probably not in the target audience of this film as I wasn't even born when the original series was out but as a fan of the series because of my dad, I thought the delivery of the comedy was good. I liked that they used the catchphrases but didn't overkill them throughout.

However, I really did not like Catherine Zeta-Jones in this. The idea that the producers and directors wanted her in the film and made up a character for her is a credit to her craft but for me, it really didn't work. I just found it hard to believe that she could be an undercover German spy!

What will please fans of the series are the cameos from some f the original cast members. Ian Lavender appears as a brigadier and the original vicar Frank Williams reprises his role. 

My favourite part of the entire film were the strong female other halves. In the original series, we never saw Captain Mainwaring's wife and the other female roles got less screen time than their male counterparts.
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10/02/2016

UK Etsy Spotlight: Half of Everything

Another new weekly series for you all. If you follow me on Instagram, you will know that I am a planner addict. I bought a Happy Planner (see it on Amazon here) in September and have used it daily since. I'm obsessed with being organised and this is my number one way of being able to do that.

However, blank white pages look a bit dull so I add washi tape and lots of stickers to make it colourful. I tend to stick with a theme too. The first place I go to for stickers is Etsy. I mostly buy from independent UK-based shops (probably because I hate paying obscene amounts for postage) and I thought I'd introduce you all to some of my favourites.


This week is a shop I've recently discovered through Instagram because it was only set up a couple of weeks ago by the lovely Christine Moorhouse. As a new shop, there are not pages and pages of products to choose from but there is still plenty of choice.

Because I'd had a bit of a general haul on Etsy, I didn't get to spend as much as I wanted to in the shop but I came away with these:



I love these 'Little Things' boxes as they are great to layer up at the bottom of the day when I have smaller tasks to undertake. I bought them in baby pink and a beigey colour because I have some weekly kits in these colours and they would match perfectly!


Another obsession of mine is PLL. I've been trying to find stickers specifically for the TV show but I only found a couple of American stores printing them. Then I came across these ones and was over the moon!

Because it is Valentine's Week, Christine has reduced the prices of her items with a full kit only costing £5 and these three all only costing £1 each! Great for everyone, annoying for me because I paid full price. But for these, I do not mind! The quality is fantastic and the boxes have all been cut perfectly.

If you want to check out the shop, check out Etsy or Instagram and use the code 'InstaPal' for 15% off when you spend £15 or more!
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08/02/2016

Get To Know Me: TV

I'm introducing a new series on Mondays with a 'Get To Know Me' feature. I don't know about you but I am very nosy. I love bloggers' posts that are personal and these general posts are my favourites!

When I have spare time, I love watching TV. It's rare that I watch actual TV; I tend to watch box sets and binge watch! There's nothing more I love than spending the day off surfing the web and watching my favourite box sets!

1. The O.C.


By far, my favourite TV show of all time. I was so sad when it got cancelled but I have to admit I didn't really like the final season anyway. As much as I didn't always like her, the last scene of Season 3 when Ryan is carrying a dead Marissa down that dark road makes me cry every single time! I'm hoping for a reunion (they seem to be doing it for every other TV show) but I think Mischa Barton is ruining it for everyone!
Favourite character: Summer

2. One Tree Hill


 I'm currently watching this on DVD from the beginning; the storylines are relatable as are the characters. I'm only up to season two but I have seen most episodes and definitely prefer the earlier series. I love that it incorporates sports too, which is a huge part of my life.
Favourite character: Brooke

3. Gossip Girl


The TV show I was most obsessed with when it came out. I may have gone to school wearing headbands for a long period of time. I followed this show from beginning to end and once again, I prefer the first couple of series. Once the characters went to college, the outfits stayed on point but the storylines went downhill.
Favourite character: Blair

4. Glee


When you're having a bad day, just stick Glee on, sing along and you will forget why you were in a crap mood! I went through phases when it was on TV as I kept forgetting what day/time it was on. I ended up just buying all the box sets instead and love every season! The cast are so insanely talented as well.
Favourite character: Rachel

5. Pretty Little Liars


I've only got properly into this show last year and I love it. I saw the first series on MTV when it first started and then it seemed to disappear off TV! I found the first series cheap on Amazon one day and was hooked. Now I own all 5 series on DVD and signed up to Netflix so I can watch the new episodes every single week! However, I'm very impatient and need new episodes urgently!
Favourite character: Aria or Spencer

I don't know if you've seen a pattern emerging, I gravitate towards the brunette lead females. I think if you merged all of my favourite characters into one, you would get me. I like characters that resemble me (my mum says that I have the personality of Blair Waldorf but look like Aria Montgomery).

Do you agree? What are your favourite characters from these TV shows? What are your favourite TV shows? Leave a comment below or tweet me!

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