health · Lifestyle

2017 – June Favourites!

I’ve never gotten round to doing one of these before…. You could say i’m cutting it quite close with it being the last day of the month but hey there’s still time we’re still in June. Here are a selection of some of the things that i’ve enjoyed using/doing this past month!

1. LA Muscle 700ml Shaker

I know it’s a picture of a gym bottle – a very basic one at that but it’s been a really big help to me this past month. I used to buy bottles like this, think I was going to use them all the time and then it’ll end up somewhere abandoned in the kitchen or elsewhere. However this time, in attempt to drink more water, I bought this bottle and I was ready to start drinking more water – knowing how I am, the whole 2L a day was definitely a bit of a stretch but I was keen to at least drink a litre a day which I have, so far been successful at doing. The most handiest thing about the bottle is that it’s marked with the amount of ml it holds (700ml) so I pretty much know whether i’m on or off target. One thing I  do have to mention is if you do want to embark on this water journey, you’ll mostly definitely be making trips to a toilet at least 6 or 7 times a day. Only criticism is the logo smudges after a couple of uses.


Every time I go to France I always leave having picked up a few new words and phrases, even having studied the language at university, my cousins are always armed with a slew of verlans (slang words) or general words that I haven’t learnt to confuse and make me question whether I really know and understand the French language. So I just wanted to share with you some of the phrases I managed to note down whilst I was there. If you’re learning or interested in French you might want to jot these into a memo or into your notebook 😉

  • Reuf slang word for Frère – which means Brother / Bro
    In a sentence: Mon petit reuf – My little brother
  • Ringarde meaning Cheesy / Cheesiest
    In a sentence:
    C’est un film ringarde – It’s a cheesy film
  • Astuce meaning Tip or Hack (but mostly tip)
    In a sentence: 5 astuces pour un joli blog – 5 tips for a pretty blog
  • Merdique meaning Crappy
    In a sentence: Quel temps merdique ! – What crappy weather!


3. Tea Tree Mattifying Lotion

It’s Summer and if you experienced the scorching week long Summer the UK experienced last week then i’m sure you were walking around with a slightly shinier face than normal. Regardless, if your skin like mine gets oilier the warmer the weather gets, I would highly recommend you give this a try. For a 50ml tube it is a little on the pricier side but I will say, for its size it has managed to last me over three, nearly four months so far. I generally only use it on the parts of my face that tend to get most oily throughout the day, so for me that’s my nose, cheekbones and glabella (the space between your eyebrows). I prefer to put some on before I apply a face moisturiser but you can put it on afterwards – whichever works best for you. It’s also very light and you definitely won’t feel it on your skin, the smell is pleasant but pretty much disappears after you apply a moisturiser. Oh and a pea-size amount each time is enough to do job.


4. Resistance Loop Bands – Heavy 

In my last post I mentioned i’d been going to the gym more frequently, as of late because of the way my schedule works out, I’ve found it more useful to do a couple of workouts at home. You can of course take this to the gym with you but when I don’t have heavier weights available at home, this with the addition of lighter weights I do have access to has been a great combination where i’m still able to feel a good burn during and after a workout. I typically use this band for ab and glute exercises, most of which I picked up after watching a few YouTube videos and fitness websites – I recommend you do the same, just so your workouts don’t become repetitive. In terms of durability, I’ve had it for just over three weeks and been using it a couple of times a week and so far so good. I’ll update if anything changes. You can get bands in different sizes: Light, Medium, Heavy or X-Heavy depending on what level you’re at.


I’ll be back with July favourites next month!!


Food · Lifestyle · Uncategorized

Breakfast is Definitely the Most Important Meal of the Day!

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I admit it, I used to skip breakfast – Being a mature and responsible adult meant that I no longer had my parents nagging me about having something to eat before I left the house and honestly getting that extra 20 minutes in bed was far more important than anything else that anyone then could tell me. I’d love to say that my new-found love for breakfasts came about a long while ago, but really, it’s only been around 4-5 months. Toward the end of last year I began going to the gym more regularly and after feeling like I was going to pass out half way through my workouts, I quickly learnt that eating only cereal bars or only two bananas or apples before a workout just wasn’t enough to sustain my body. So I did what every person does when they’re looking for a quick fix, I went on Google.

Out of all the breakfast foods I saw, the one that required the least amount of prep and was also readily available in my kitchen cupboard were porridge oats. Quaker Oats So Simple (Big Bowl) is my choice of brand, obviously because they’re so simple. When i’m in a rush, i’ll usually just whip up a bowl in the microwave for 2 1/2 minutes (with some soy or almond milk – shout-out to my lactose intolerant people out there – the struggle is real!), and then have a banana or apple on the go. If i don’t feel like porridge i’ll usually op for some granola or bran flakes and again have a piece of fruit on the go.

When I have a little more time and because I want to pack on some extra calories to keep me fuller, I like to add toppings. The options are endless but I generally go for:

fruit, breakfast

• Granola
• Peanut butter (Melted in a microwave)
• Fruit – (a sliced banana, apple or strawberries)
• Crushed nuts
• Cinnamon

You can mix and match as you like and to your taste but I find when I have a good amount of toppings I can work-out and go by my day so much better.

Speaking of my day, another reason why having a good breakfast every morning, means that I don’t spend the rest of my day snacking on junk foods – I’ve eaten half a pack of chocolate digestives, a Snickers/Cadbury/Twix bar, brownies, Oreos, Custard Creams etc. as substitutes for breakfasts I’ve missed. It’s kind of embarrassing when I think about it. And then because I’ve already got a pack of almost finished biscuits with me, guess what I do for the rest of the day? – I continue snacking on those because i’ve bought them and hey why not.

Now that I’ve mentioned, it the money I could have saved! Because of the logistics of where I live, it’s about a 20 minute walk to my tube station and by the time I get to the platform and onto the tube – probably standing, my stomach is already preparing for an epic session of obnoxious grumbling. I’m sure you’ve all been there before… having a stomach that sounds like you’ve hidden a baby dinosaur under your shirt, in a quiet office or classroom isn’t how anybody expects to start their day. And to avoid this, guess where I would be? Yep. In the nearest supermarket buying snacks that I would pass off as my ‘breakfast’.

Moral of the story, eat breakfast!

*A moments silence for all the sleep I’ve sacrificed to be a half functioning and responsible human being.*

Book Reviews · books · Literature · Uncategorized

Review: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein – ‘All is not as it seems’


Fun-Fact: Did you know the word Scientist didn’t exist when Frankenstein was first published in 1818. Before the word was coined in 1833 by William Whewell, Scientists would have been referred to as Natural Philosophers, who were studiers of nature and the physical universe.

Gothic literature isn’t my go-to genre but it caught my attention when I had to read a book called, The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole (1764) for a module I was taking at university. The book also happens to be the first gothic novel and became a source of inspiration for future gothic writers. When I think about it, I don’t actually like Gothic or horror movies at all, i’ve dabbled a bit but after watching Nosferatu (1922) as a kid when I was supposed to be asleep, I pretty much stayed away from the genre up until a couple of years ago where again I had to watch a number of gothic films for a module.


When you hear the word Frankenstein, I’m sure some version of the image to the right comes to mind, comes to mind – along with the indistinct groans, the out-stretched arms and every Halloween costume sold during the month of October. However, all was not as it seemed… When I began reading the book, two things became very clear:

1 – Frankenstein is not the name of the monster; but the name of his creator.

2 – The monster is not a mindless creature in a blazer but is in fact, an intellectual, compassionate, conscious being who speaks as if he’s a character taken straight from one of Shakespeare’s plays. He craves human interaction, to the point where he is so lonely that he begs his creator to create another being like himself, after he is rejected by human beings. Who would have thought it?

Victor Frankenstein spends the majority of the story becoming increasingly deranged after he creates the monster’ and the rest trying to avoid then search and destroy his creature. The two main narratives make for sympathetic characters which enables the reader to gain enough of an understanding as to why both characters make the decisions they do. Ultimately the story becomes one of revenge, remorse and regret. It’s interesting, had the story been written solely from the perspective of Victor, I probably would have shared his opinions about the monster but as the story progressed and I learned the drastic reasons behind his motivations, the scary ‘Frankenstein’ monster many of us imagine upon hearing the name, began to steadily disappear.

Overall, I rather enjoyed reading Frankenstein, it wasn’t the story I expected when I started reading and I definitely didn’t expect to feel sympathy for the monster. Moreover, the questions it raises about creation, evolution and humanity become very intriguing, particularly when you consider the time the novel was published in.

Would I recommend reading this novel? Absolutely! The story was compelling, it’s an easy-read and I feel, a good introduction to the monster side of the gothic genre. And for you English-lit buffs out there, I think one of the better (Western) literary canons.

4.1 / 5