25 April 2016

Summer Bodies Are Made In Spring

"The first real day of spring is like the first time a boy holds your hand. A flood of skin-tingling warmth consumes you, and everything shines with a fresh, colorful glow, making you forget that anything as cold and harsh as winter ever existed." - Richelle E. Goodrich

Tis the season for most women (and some men) to start prepping their 'beach bodies' ready for Summer holidays filled with polaroids of friends in bikinis jumping up in the air by the Spanish seaside. I have started prepping my beach body last month - and that is when I asked myself what exactly does a beach body means to me? Is it skinny? Is it a female sick pack? A thigh gap? I thought that's what a beach body meant after reading numerous press articles on the latest diets, and seeing one too many Instagram posts from my favourite travel bloggers. But after thinking about the topic of beach bodies, I finally decided what it means to me: a healthy body.

I teamed up with LighterLife Fast to get inspired with a healthy lifestyle and a healthy diet to get my body Summer ready. The team have kindly sent me a cute hamper filled with some essentials, and wished me luck on my ventures - thank you! I previously trialled the LighterLife Fast 5:2 diet (you can read all about the results in this post), but I was challenged even further this time - a 4:3 diet. The idea of this fasting diet is that you fast on 600 calories for 3 days, and eat normal but healthy for 4. The 3 fasting days don't have to all be in a row, but rather spread out. You see, back in our cavemen days we hunted for food and sometimes we had lots of food, but sometimes we had minimal scraps to eat. In the modern day, we overindulge in food and often have more than what we actually need. And when you're wanting to shed some weight, a fasting diet is the perfect compromise between healthy fresh food, calorie balance and an occasional naughty treat.

With a large variety of meals and snacks to choose from, LighterLife Fast provide a great range of options for your fasting days - the calories are clearly labeled so you can control your intake of 600 calories per day. What I love is that most of their foods are vegetarian, even the shepherds pie and spaghetti bolognese which contain a meat substitute. One of the things I decided to try in my quest for a healthier body is to really lower the amount of meat consumption. I am not going veggie, but what I am doing is using more fish for dinners, and vegetables and pulses for lunch. Meat isn't the easiest thing for our bodies to digest, which can sometimes leave me feeling bloated, heavy and lethargic - not to forget that meat sticks around on your hips more than an aubergine or a steamed salmon fillet would!

I love the FastPots from LighterLife Fast as these are the perfect lunchtime meal - tasty, filling and only 200 calories per pot! Super easy to make - just boil water and wait for 5 minutes. The Fragrant Thai Noodles with Lemongrass are one of my favourite pots. I also grab a crunchy bar for breakfast/snack and fill my tummy with green tea and plenty of water.

My weekly shopping usually consists of plenty of veggies, and a treat like a steak or an ice cream. This is the great thing about being on a 5:2 or 4:3 diet - you do have cheat days. Obviously don't go over the top and start your day with a McDonalds Breakfast, KFC lunch and a Dominoes for dinner - but you don't feel guilty about eating an ice cream or a Saturday night kebab on a rare occasion. 

I do my shopping once a week, and plan what I have for lunches/dinners on a Monday. One of my favourite things to cook in a big batch is the Hemsley and Hemsley beef ragu - but I replace beef with quorn, and then divide into portions to keep in the fridge which will last me for 3 days worth of lunches. I heard a brilliant saying the other day "Eat whatever you like, but cook it yourself" which is so true! I love cooking so everything in our house is homemade (unless it's a baked good, in which case I just simply cannot bake to save my life!). When you cook your own food, you know exactly what goes into the meal, and you can control your ingredients. It's terrifying how some shop bought pasta sauces contain 7 spoons of sugar!!

And I won't lie to you - sometimes I do crave a little bit of sugar or grease. When I do, I mix it up and get quality treats like my favourite gelato ice cream, but I have it with pineapple which is brilliant at burning weight and is full of vitamins.

I am getting prepped for a beach body - but this year it's all about balance and health, rather than watching the scales and getting upset about what I can and cannot eat. Balance for me is a good mixture of healthy food, being educated with what you're eating and also the occasional naughty treat. Like how could anyone live without a pizza? Mix a good diet with a little bit of exercise and you're on your way to a healthy, strong body - and a healthy mind.

What does a beach body mean to you? Is it about size, health, tan, or something different altogether? 

24 April 2016

LFW Makeup Look: Pringle of Scotland ft Lord & Berry

During LFW AW16, Pringle of Scotland displayed dewy tones and bright lips on their runway - this makeup look was paired with their toned down colours like beige, charcoal, khaki shades and chocolate browns. I've always been a fan of Pringle and their classic styles of knitwear, and this time their makeup made an impact - the perfect combo of English Rose complexion, and a pop of colour.

20 April 2016

Restaurant Review: The Shears Inn, Collingbourne Ducis, Wiltshire

The Shears Inn Collingbourne Ducis, restaurant review, food bloggers, UK food blog, FashionFake blog

A few weeks ago, Liam suggested we go and check out a pub in the quaint village of Collingbourne Ducis which isn't too far away from where we live. He saw it on his way back from work one night - The Shears Inn, which looked impressive and so cosy settled on a quiet street was welcoming, and we really needed to get out of the house. So on a Sunday evening, we checked out the menu online and were really looking forward to heading out - and we weren't disappointed.

17 April 2016

1001 Remedies Good Night Sleep Relaxing Balm

1001 Remedies Good Night Sleep Relaxing Balm review, beauty bloggers, UK beauty blog, FashionFake blog

"Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night." - William Blake

Sleep is as important to a human as the food we eat, and the air we breathe. We simply cannot function without sleep - it is a well deserved break after a long hard day, and a way to escape whatever reality we're living to slip off into the land of dreams. Personally, I need my 8 hours of sleep otherwise I become a very unpleasant person to be around - snappy, emotional, and irrational. But after a good rest, I feel like I can take on the world! 

Being a pretty anxious person, and having a stressful job which really doesn't help with the anxiety, sometimes it can be tough to drift off to a nice healthy night of sleep. I find that my mind races with a million thoughts and I simply cannot shut down for the night. So I try lots of different methods to distract my mind, relax and welcome the Sandman. 

1001 Remedies Good Night Sleep Relaxing Balm review, beauty bloggers, UK beauty blog, FashionFake blog
1001 Remedies Good Night Sleep Relaxing Balm review, beauty bloggers, UK beauty blog, FashionFake blog

1001 Remedies was set up as a result of passion toward wellbeing and health, and it uses age old aromatherapy to help with the daily stresses of life. I was really interested in this brand when they reached out to me to work on a post and help spread the word about their magical products - I needed to know more about the brand, and their Good Night Sleep Relaxing Balm.

1001 Remedies use natural ingredients, do not test on animals, are vegan friendly and eco certified - pretty ethical, which always wins kudos in my books. They focus on aromatherapy to help their customers lead a less stressful and healthier life. I love aromatherapy and am a huge believer that scents can make a difference to your wellbeing - like citrus scents help lift your mood (orange is my favourite!), lavender calms your soul, and Melissa oil helps reduce stress and calm your nervous system. The Good Night balm is a natural product based on Melissa oil which helps users relax, drift off to sleep and stay sleeping through the night. It also reduces anxiety - the calming scents help relieve accumulated stress symptoms, leading to an overall better quality of life.
Melissa essential oil helps to relax the heart and nervous system, calming your mind and reducing anxiety as well as helping facilitate deep sleep; Neroli is well known for reducing stress and calming the nerves; and Chamomile oil helps bring you into a calm, sleepy state - it is well known for its sedative properties. This combination of anti-stress scents is a powerful, yet gentle, aid to help bring on sleep and reduce daily anxiety levels.

1001 Remedies Good Night Sleep Relaxing Balm review, beauty bloggers, UK beauty blog, FashionFake blog
1001 Remedies Good Night Sleep Relaxing Balm review, beauty bloggers, UK beauty blog, FashionFake blog

I have been using the 1001 Remedies Good Night Sleep Relaxing Balm for about 2 weeks now and I don't know how I lived without it. I love the scent, and the results are fantastic. I rub the balm into my wrists and also the hollow of my chest before bed and breathe in the gorgeous, calming aromas. It helps me relax and slow my heart down a little, reducing symptoms of my anxiety which have a tendency of rearing their ugly heads at night. I've been waking up feeling refreshed and less anxious about the day ahead - occasionally when I know I have a busy day ahead, I will rub the balm into my wrists in the morning so I can keep my nerves calm throughout the day.


15 April 2016

Pieces With A Story

How to style vintage clothing, FashionFake blog, UK fashion blog, fashion bloggers, vintage clothing
How to style vintage clothing, FashionFake blog, UK fashion blog, fashion bloggers, vintage clothing
How to style vintage clothing, FashionFake blog, UK fashion blog, fashion bloggers, vintage clothing
How to style vintage clothing, FashionFake blog, UK fashion blog, fashion bloggers, vintage clothing
How to style vintage clothing, FashionFake blog, UK fashion blog, fashion bloggers, vintage clothing
How to style vintage clothing, FashionFake blog, UK fashion blog, fashion bloggers, vintage clothing
How to style vintage clothing, FashionFake blog, UK fashion blog, fashion bloggers, vintage clothing
How to style vintage clothing, FashionFake blog, UK fashion blog, fashion bloggers, vintage clothing
How to style vintage clothing, FashionFake blog, UK fashion blog, fashion bloggers, vintage clothing
How to style vintage clothing, FashionFake blog, UK fashion blog, fashion bloggers, vintage clothing
what i'm wearing: handmade vintage midi dress // vintage turban // belt River Island // bag* George at ASDA // shoes Primark // watch* Jord

I love vintage clothing - but it wasn't always like this. When I was a teen I used to think vintage clothing was 'trash' and would rather spend my money on the same piece as every other girl was wearing in my school. But as I got older, I fell in love with buying pieces with a story - there's something so enticing about thinking who wore these clothes, where they have been, how they were made. Hunting for vintage pieces is part of the fun, and I love making a day of going around vintage and charity shops to find bargains and gems. 

One of the positives about vintage clothing is that you can buy quality items, that won't be worn by another 3 people on your street, for a low price. Of course, if you shop in vintage city boutiques the price will be higher because these are businesses that are ran on the markup they make from buying their stock (like any other shop). But if you go to charity shops, or antique stores where they occasionally have clothing and accessories, you are sure to pick up a bargain. I found this dress, which was handmade in the 1970's by an award winning dress maker, in the sale rail of Beulah's Vintage Attic - a vintage and antique store which is located in Shipton Bellinger, a little village in Hampshire. The dress cost me £8, and the turban was £5 - BARGAIN! 

Because of my love for vintage clothing, I decided to open my own online vintage boutique which is called Dalry Rose and it will be launching soon - I'm currently working with a team of my lovely creative friends to get the final pushes and I can't wait to announce the launch date to you guys soon!

11 April 2016

Back From The Break

I'm back from a little creative break - you may have noticed that for the past two weeks, I haven't really been around on my blog (but always present on my Twitter and Instagram channels!). I needed to take that break simply because I was overworking myself, and pushing myself to the edge of a breakdown.
I don't use that word lightly, but ever since I started my career I have been known to get ill from the amount of pressure I singlehandedly put on myself and this time I could see that I was approaching breaking point. I paint pictures in my mind of how my life, job and the world that I revolve in should be - and get affected when my expectations don't match reality. For example, I've had a lot of comments from my friends and readers who think it's pretty great that I can manage a full time blog, full time job, am starting my own business and have added planning a wedding to that list. It is pretty great - but things aren't really going to plan, and it's thrown me in a frenzy of panic and darkness. I blog 5 times a week - that's a hefty schedule for which I give up most of my weekend; during the week, I simply don't have time because I work for a fast paced agency and have a horrendous commute. Those two were hard enough to juggle, then I decided that I am finally going to pursue my dream of opening up a vintage boutique - a third act to throw into the mix. Then, I manically rushed around planning wedding venue viewings and other important things we had to make decisions on before my fiancé left for Canada for 3 and a half months.
In the end, he couldn't make any of the viewings I have worked so hard to arrange which made me really upset and angry (because of my fiancés job, he hasn't lived at home since January so I'm pretty pissed about that), I wasn't having any luck finding stock for my shop and making money to launch it (if you're interested, I'm selling a lot of fashion items on Depop to make some money for the launch of Dalry Rose!), my job just got way too much and I was finding it hard not to burst into tears at my desk, and naturally my blog suffered too.

I was having anxiety attacks, and during one week I actually started having chest pains (which went away after a couple of weeks, thank the lord) - that's when I knew somethings go to change. I was getting really down about everything, wasn't happy with anything and simply lost interest in the activities that brought me pleasure. It wasn't a nice time, and it made me feel really crap/sad/like I was in a hole that I couldn't climb out of. I didn't want to spend time with anyone, I just wanted to spend my days in joggers and t-shirts, and I just kind of lost who I was. Although I tried to get myself back, I just couldn't shift this feeling of doom and gloom. On top of everything else, I have discovered that I actually find comfort in eating and have been stuffing my face with all sorts of sugary foods.

So I took a week off work and used that week to get some much needed rest, de-stress and spend some cosy time underneath my duvet (which is all I wanted to do all this time I was down). This week was enough to get me away from the busy environment of work, but I was still feeling like I was stuck in an emotional hole - so I extended the break to my personal life: I laid off the blog, put a little break on the shop and all the wedding plans got placed on hold until the return of my fiancé in July (of course, I'm still having a little nosey around for ideas and inspiration!!). This extra week gave me time to breathe and get my head straight about what makes me happy, and how I can be that happy person again. What I figured out is that it's simple really: I need to stop putting this immense, ridiculous pressure on myself, and focus more on taking time to appreciate what I already have in my life. Here are a few things which will help me on my journey to getting me back:

- Worry less: easier said that done, but I have already started worrying less about non life-threatening things which have been giving me anxiety. The moment I can feel my brain panic about something, I walk away and turn my attention to this questions: is there anything I can do about it - yes, or no? If it's a yes, then focus on sorting the problem - if it's a no, just walk away.
- Meditate: daily meditation has proven to help your brain focus on things that really matter (like your life goals) and positive thoughts which make you feel good.
- Spend more time with my animals: I have read studies which show that spending time cuddling your animals can actually help reduce stress - that and also the fact they make me really happy just by being all cute and snuggly!
- Eat healthier: cutting out sugars and artificial ingredients can only be good for your health, and I have changed my diet to include more veg, fruits, pulses and organic meat/sustainable fish. This should help my energy levels peak, and level my mood.
- Take things one step at a time: instead of going full speed ahead at 100mph whilst juggling one too many things, I am going to make sure I do these projects with love and perfection (I need to cut that word out of my vocabulary because let's face it - perfection doesn't exist and shouldn't be encouraged). I have decided to go back to posting 3/4 times a week on my blog but be really happy with the campaigns I work on and the content I bring to my readers, and not rush the stores launch date but rather ensure I am 100% happy with the content and stock.
- Take time to myself. Make decisions that benefit me, get time to rest without feeling guilty that I'm not spending time with someone, pamper myself weekly, and dress like I'm on a permanent catwalk.

Things are looking up - my moods are slowly lifting, I feel happier and like I have more energy to put into exciting projects, and I feel in control of my life. I was heading off the edge of a cliff but I managed to stop, and now am backing up into the road which will take me where I want to be. Eventually.
I'm back from the break now though - back to planning posts (I've taken so many pictures last weekend that I am super excited to share new content with you!), back to hunting for vintage pieces and working on Dalry Rose, and back to smiling.

I guess it really is all about perspective. So what if it takes me a little longer to launch my store - at least it will be exactly how I want it to be. So what if I don't reply to an email within 24hrs - no one is going to get hurt or die. So what if my post is a day late - I don't work on projects with a very tight deadline specifically because I want to be flexible with timings. And in terms of my personal life, I'm a huge believer that everything happens for a reason and things will fall into place. Eventually.


4 April 2016

Weleda Almond Range Review

Let's talk Weleda: I have been using their Skin Food for years because it's an awesome moisturiser and the only thing that calms my dry skin after shaving my legs. But after talking to Weleda representatives at the Pegasus Beauty showcase some time ago, I got absolutely obsessed with the brand.

Weleda started off in Germany all the way back in 1921 with the ethos of being a natural brand, and they didn't stray from their beliefs. The brand prides themselves on being natural and spiritual, connecting nature and people in harmony. Weleda products are 'more' than organic too - sounds strange and too good to be true? Listen up why they are more than just pure and natural:
- Weleda use raw materials in any way possible by gaining their ingredients from certified wild collection OR bio-dynamic cultivation (a very similar process to how organic materials are sourced). The brand also take pride in being responsible by thinking of the environment, and practicing sustainability, fair trade and protection of species and resources. Can these guys do any wrong?? Let's carry on: Weleda promise no synthetic preservatives, fragrances, chemicals - there is nothing synthetic in their products AT ALL! No toxins, additives or raw materials from mineral oils either. These guys are certified by NATRUE Standards which recognises the authenticity of natural and organic products by awarding natural, natural & organic and organic certification categories.

Now that we have fallen completely head over heels with Weleda, let's explore their almond skincare range. Rich in oil and nutrients, almond is a delicate yet effective skin saviour when it comes to soothing irritating skin by helping it form a protective layer. High in vitamin E, almond helps skin look and feel younger for longer, as well as protecting it from daily pollution.

The Weleda Almond Sensitive Skin Hand Cream is the perfect daily hand cream to soothe dry and irritated skin - super fast absorbent, it builds a protective shell around your skin but keeping in all the moisture. I'm a huge fan of this cream, and sometimes use it on my elbows, knees and heels too!

Weleda Almond Soothing Facial Oil is a rich, nourishing moisture boost for sensitive skin. Fragrance free and light, it delivers a intensive care whilst seeping into skin quickly and not leaving a greasy residue. You can use this oil when your skin needs a little pamper, a moisture boost for dry skin or to remove makeup.


3 April 2016

Avocado Skincare From Antipodes

Benefits of avocado oil in skincare, Antipodes skincare review, beauty bloggers, UK beauty blog, FashionFake blog

Coconut oil has graced the throne of the beauty world for a while now, but there is a competitor on the block: avocado oil. Avocado fruit is the best friend of anyone who looks after their diet and loves Mexican (homemade guacamole is the BEST!) - these superfruits can help loose weight as avocados make you feel fuller for longer; they can help stabilise blood sugar; lower the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol; and are a good food to eat to help reduce acne.

This delicious fruit is becoming increasingly popular in skincare - natural oils are topping the shopping lists of beauty addicts all over the world, and avocado oil is on the rise. Avocado oil is a great source of nourishment and moisture for dry skin types, it is rich in vitamin E which is a well known antioxidant and actually hydrates as much, if not more, than coconut oil.

I have been trialling some cult products from Antipodes which contain avocado oil and wanted to share with you how my skin feels after a month of continuous Antipodes avo oil regime.

Benefits of avocado oil in skincare, Antipodes skincare review, beauty bloggers, UK beauty blog, FashionFake blog

Let's start with the Antipodes Joyful Hand & Body Cream* - a deep moisturiser which comes in a pretty purple tube. The main ingredients in this moisturiser are avocado oil, wild blackcurrant berry and hibiscus flower - the product delivers a mega boost of moisture and nourishment to dry and tired skin, leaving it soft, smooth and deliciously scented. I found this moisturiser sinks in really quickly and doesn't leave a greasy residue - plus the smell is gorgeous and natural!
This moisturiser is pretty pricey at £28.99, but us it worth the splurge? Yes. Mainly because like with so many other Antipodes products, the tiniest amount of product goes a long way, and the natural ingredients really heal stressed skin.
I love massaging this moisturiser into my elbows, knees and feet to keep my skin feeling super soft and smooth.

Benefits of avocado oil in skincare, Antipodes skincare review, beauty bloggers, UK beauty blog, FashionFake blog

Moving on to facial skincare, I have previously shared my thoughts on the Antipodes Vanilla Pod Hydrating Day Cream and Avocado Pear Nourishing Night Cream - you guys know these are my absolute go to products when it comes to daily skincare routine. I have been using these creams for over a year now, and my skin always feels soft, smooth and nourished - plus, both of these moisturisers smell delicious!

What I have discovered recently is the Antipodes Divine Face Oil* which is my absolute favourite product to go to when I need a hefty moisture boost. Recently with the weather changes, I have experienced some dry patches on my skin, and also dark spots. I use the Divine Face after a deep cleanse in the evening, followed by the Avocado Pear Nourishing Night Cream.
Antipodes Divine Face Oil is an award winning, certified organic product which is made with 100% pure avocado oil, sweet orange rind and jasmine petal. It sinks into your skin, leaving it feeling super soft and not greasy - perfect midweek treat for tired and stressed skin.

My verdict on avocado oil in skincare? I love it. I think I love it more than coconut oil - the moisturising properties, the musky sweet scented products I mentioned above and the quick absorption into my skin has made me fall head over heels for avocado oil in skincare.


1 April 2016

I've Got A Pocket Full Of Sunshine

How to wear a camel coat, fashionFake blog, fashion bloggers, UK fashion blog, antique shops in Andover

I took a week off work during Easter holidays (including blogging, so if you haven't heard from me it's because I've been getting some well deserved rest) and enjoyed some wonderful days discovering really cool antique stores in my area. I think that shopping for antiques and upholstered furniture is like a bug - once you get it, you can't stop. Every piece is so different and there is something about having individual items in your home that makes it extra special. I'm thinking of writing a post about the studio shops in my area - there's so many wonderful discoveries to be made!
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