Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Favourite Things About Manchester!!

Left to Right: Platt Fields Park, Manchester Craft & Design Centre, The Manchester Museum, Salad From Fuel Withington, Home Manchester.

As I am moving away from Manchester this week I thought it would be nice to let you guys know some of my favourite things about Manchester. Here are some of the things I think makes it such a great city to live in and are the reasons I will miss it!

Green Spaces - One benefit of enduring such a rainy city is that it is overflowing with lush green spaces. You never have to go far in Manchester to find a park or green space just to sit in. Although we may not get to use them as much as we may like, its always been nice to know that they are there. My favourite is probably Fletcher Moss Park &Botanical Gardens in Didsbury which if you haven't been and live is Manchester you must! I frequently visited as a child and am still just as amazed by it today!

Museums & Cultural Spaces - Manchester has some of the best cultural spaces in the country and such a great variety of them. Whether it be films at Home (formerly The Cornerhouse), natural history at The Manchester Museum or sciences at MOSI Manchester to name a few, all your bases covered. There are also a number of amazing, less well known spaces such as The Portico Library and even The Peoples History Museum which I think everyone should know about!

Food - I am just a huge food lover in general and I think that is partly from growing up in Manchester. There is such a great selection of restaurants and places to eat that it is often hard to choose. I also have a lot of dietry requirements and restrictions and places like DoughV Revolution8th Day CafeFuelGreens, and even fast food places like Barburrito have made a mostly vegan and recently GF diet much easier to maintain.

Architecture - Manchester is such a diverse city in terms of architecture and considering how gentrified it has become it has done very well to keep so many architectural gems in tact. From preserving the past in places like the former fish market now the Manchester Craft and Design Centre  to the futuristic Spinningfields, Manchester is consistantly mixing the old and the new and looking damn good doing it.

Public Transport - I have always lived (in Manchester) right next to two 24 hour bus routes. When I have moved away before I have been a bit lost really. What do you mean I cannot get a bus home at 5.30am? Although I do think it could be improved it is still pretty good. It is also quite a bit cheaper than many other parts of the country, which considering its size is impressive.Being only a couple of hours away from London on the train is great and Manchester also has great airport links making travel a lot easier!

What are your favourite things about Manchester?

Let me know!


Sunday, 26 July 2015

Health || Easy Ways to Move More!

Easy Ways to Move More!!
If you are anything like me then you will hate exercise. I loath it. Its awful. Why do I have to do it? Although I feel all these things about it, whenever I have my shit together a little more and I am pushing myself to do some, it makes such a big difference to me. So why do we find it so hard to motivate ourselves? I had a bit of an epiphany a while ago that I had become so worked up about even the thought of exercise it would actually get me quite anxious. I decided to stop labelling things as 'exercise' so much and decided to just see them as different activities I could take part in. Ones that could be fun or at least not awful!

Badminton is such a great way to keep fit, without doing anything too extreme! You can pick up a set really cheaply for around £10 here that includes four rackets, a net and shuttlecocks and set it up in your garden or local park/green space. Although still good for you it is a lot more gentle than many sports but you are still constantly moving around. When the weather is warmer it can also be a great alternative to tennis as it is a little more laid back! It is also great as a social sport and a really nice way to spend your evenings with friends. It is also a bit easier than many sports to adapt it for people who may have some mobility issues (such as myself) as it is relatively slow and people of all abilities can happily play together.

If you are unsure about exercising outside the house Yoga with Adrienne is great! It's one of my favourite ways to stay a bit more active and is very good for taking things at your own pace as you can choose what videos you want. You can also try out yoga as a complete beginner with no kind of investment and without even leaving your own bedroom! Adrienne is also such a nice person to watch and I never find myself feeling lost or having and questions as she covers all the bases. Who knows, it may even motivate you to go to a class one day! You can find Adrienne's Youtube channel here!!

Go grab a camera! Especially now its the warmer months and nature is in full swing there are so many things to go and see! I don't know about you but I find taking photos really addictive and once I start I find it really hard to stop. Before I realise it I have done a half an hours walk and haven't even noticed my feet ache! Especially if you are a fellow blogger it can be a great way to motivate yourself for some new posts or like me, sometimes just to have some 'stock' photos ready!

Buying a bike may well be the best thing you have ever done! Having a bike to hand is also just great for practicality and much cheaper than driving or getting the bus. You dont even have to be road confident as most cities and lots of suburbs have amazing cycle paths that take you through really scenic, pretty places and can often help you discover more about the area you live in. If you do want to brush up on your road safety skills lots of councils offer free cycling proficiency lessons so you can even learn a new, life long skill. You can check out the Sustrans website here for UK cycle route maps and all things cycling!

What are your favourite ways to get a bit more active?

Let me know!


Monday, 20 July 2015

"I'd far rather be happy than right any day."

Do you tend to find yourself in very circular arguments with people? Ferociously fighting your corner in an argument, even though sometimes, you are not sure why any more? Me too. Something I have always found difficult is admitting when I am wrong or changing a belief about something. Even though it is such a simple concept, for me there is often more too it. Turning around to another person or even just yourself and saying 'maybe I was wrong about that'. I've always known that I am somewhat of a stubborn person but it's only really been in past year, I've really realised how damaging it can be.

 I don't consider myself a close minded person but holding onto my stubbornness and a need to prove that I am right would close me off to a lot of things. Making me someone who would say 'no' far more than 'yes'. I would sometimes realise after a discussion with someone, in which I fought an opposing position and refused to accept their points, that actually I agreed with them. Maybe not always fully but I could have taken many more of their opinions on board. That it was more my stubbornness talking than me. This would shut me off to so many ideas and just made me cling to that 'i'm right, i'm right' instinct my brain has. It would also take away opportunities to learn and try new things as I would convince myself and others that I hated it. Sometimes I would never even have tried it. 

It took me a long time to really pick up on this and admit it to myself. It took me a long time to realise that actually is was kind of damaging behaviour. After really noticing it though, every time I would pick up on it I would honestly feel pretty stupid. Change can often be hard but I find this particularly challenging. To look someone in the eye and admit that you might be wrong is not just hard but feels so unnatural for me. I feel like I am going against every instinct I have. I can feel so much resistance. It often takes me a long time to change even a small opinion and really accept it but I think it is important to voice it outloud sometimes. It can really help you accept something easier and even give you a chance to discuss it and learn more. It can also help communication with others and foster better relationships. I know that the combative, stubborn, indignant side of me is not a favourite amongst people in my life. Whilst I will still stick to my guns regarding things I feel passionate about, opening up more or even just letting go off things that are less important has actually been a bit of a relief. Addressing this need to prove I am right and trying to let go of it has really made me more relaxed and at ease. Whilst it isn't easy and does take a fair amount of mindfulness it has definitely been worth it.

For a long time (and still now sometimes) I kind of had to fake it. I tried biting my tongue a little more, allowing me to listen better to others and even sometimes changing my mind, even if I didn't fully feel it. Obviously only when appropriate, like in an argument with my partner regarding something small and insignificant. It really wasn't about sacrificing opinions or beliefs, just being a little less tightly wound and being better able to hear someone elses point. Stepping back from your own opinion can allow some clarity and release of some potential bias. Saying 'I might be wrong about that' occasionally, allowed me to stop fighting for something that was often very petty or insignificant anyway. I would often feel really awkward and embarrassed and unnatural whilst doing it. Really having to grit my teeth and force the words out feeling very forced.

But you know what? After a minute or two, when the initial shock has worn off, it feels so good. Slowly, relief washes over me and takes away the embarrassment (which nobody should have to feel). I feel so much lighter and a little proud of myself. I have been able to open up to so many new ideas and say 'YES!' a little more in my day to day conversations. There are so many more occasions where I learn new things because I have been able to accept advice and information and been able to better listen to other peoples points. Learning to listen to them rather than just hearing them so I can defend my own argument against them! I finally realised I'd far rather be happy than right any day.

Do you find it hard to let go and listen a bit more?

Let me know!


Friday, 3 July 2015

June Favourites!

This is a post about my favourite June Beauty Products.
Clockwise: Maybelline Brow Drama in Medium Brown, Bourjois Little Blush Pot in No. 48 Rose Brune, Maybelline Master Sculpt in Light/Medium, Naked Style Little Miracle Leave in Conditioner & The Body Shop Peppermint Cooling Foot Lotion.

The first product this month is a very old favourite. The Naked Style Little Miracle Leave in Conditioner. I used to use this product all the time when I was first starting to embrace my curls and loved it. For some reason it kind of fell off my radar but it is back with a vengeance! It is such a simple, affordable product and I think it began to seem a little boring. Although, I have always been  searching for something better and never have. I re-discovered it though and remembered why I loved it in the first place. Because it is simple! It's nourishing and great to use under styling products, keeping my curls hydrated. Sadly there has been talk for a while that it is being discontinued and I think it may finally have been as it is no longer available online so my hunt for a new leave in, will have to continue!

This month has been a maybelline month. Maybelline are not usually a brand I go for but this month has changed that! I seem to have hit the jackpot with their products that I discovered during my 'I'm Sad Haul' earlier this month. Firstly I have been loving the Age Rewind Eraser Eye Concealer. It is one of those products that everyone raves about for a reason. Great shade match, great coverage, blends amazingly, need I say more?
The second product is the Maybelline Brow Drama, which I am very grateful for! I usually spend at least 10 minutes on my eyebrows. I really struggle with them and I have just never found a product I find easy to use. The Maybelline Brow Drama in Medium Brown! It is just so quick and easy meaning I can spend under a minute on my eyebrows. It is also really natural looking but also holds my brows in place really nicely!
 The final product was the Maybelline Face Master Sculpt. It is a sculpting powder and highlighter, designed for contouring. What I love about it is that it is really light and gives such a natural, easy contour. It is completely matte and very build able, giving greater control of how much contour you would like. It also comes with a pretty good brush and a mirror and is a great little kit to travel with.

I have also been really loving my Little Round Pot Blusher in No.48 Rose Brune from Bourjois, again. I know it is such an old product and I am pretty sure I wrote about it last month but it is just such a great colour for my skin tone, long lasting and I can't get enough of it!

The Body Shop Peppermint Cooling Foot Lotion. Summer always takes a toll on my feet as I am usually a little more active and my footwear isn't always quite as practical. They also often feel a little gross in the hot weather and as someone who has to wear numerous foot orthosis and braces they can get very warm! The Body Shop Peppermint Cooling Foot Lotion is actually something my mum used to buy when I was a child, so when I noticed that they still made it a little while ago, I knew I had to get it! It was exactly as I remembered it. Really moisturising and just a great foot cream but because of the peppermint it is kinda tingly, super refreshing and smells amazing!

Have you got any June Favourites?

Let me know!

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