Doubts & concerns. A normal part of growing up.

6 months is a long time and yet it seems to go so quickly! That is how long it has been since I last wrote on here and I feel so awful for the fact I haven’t been keeping in touch more, but life has been busy both in and out of work and to be honest, I’m not going to beat myself up for enjoying myself a little.

For a while I thought about taking the blog down as I didn’t have the time I used to to devote to something which I created from scratch. Also, people change. The plans I had when this blog was started are so different now and I think that if anything my blog just needs a refresh. The most helpful posts for me have always been ones which are really open and real so instead of talking about fashion and beauty quite so much, I’ll be focussing more on real life. Of course, I still love all that stuff and that will feature, but think of this as a real insight into the life of your very average 20-something woman!

So what has been on my mind lately? For me it has been about whether I am good enough. What do I mean by that? Well some of the things which feature:

  • Am I being a good enough friend/girlfriend?
  • Could I be doing more at work/professionally?
  • Am I too fat and should I be working out more?
  • Am I too hard on myself and worrying about nothing?

The list goes on and on, but you get the picture. The worst part is, I know I am not alone in these thoughts as these are fears a lot of people I know also share in one way or another.

I work so hard and put my all into everything that I do and sometimes it just doesn’t seem enough. Sometimes I can’t be bothered to go for a run or a bike ride, sometimes I would rather just stay in all weekend rather than going out. Luckily, as someone who tries to look at everything from an optimistic point of view, I don’t get stuck in that slump for too long, but it does happen. Take the blog as a perfect example, I started something which I feel like I haven’t been able to finish. At one point it was something which felt like it defined me and now it’s not so great.

And why do we feel like this from time to time? The answer is that we compare ourselves to others!

When you compare yourself to others it is so easy to get in a rut. No two stories are the same, so how can you properly compare? Someone else may seem to have more in one aspect, but without a doubt they look at you and see something that they would like to have just as much.  Instead of focussing on what everyone else has that you wish you did, write a little list of the things you know you do well or have in your life to be positive about. It doesn’t have to be a long list, but the more you can add the better, even small things like smiling at strangers as that goes a long way for some!

I’d love to hear how you feel about this post! What are you biggest fears and concerns? Do you think you are too hard on yourself? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

Lots of love, Leanne xx

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Fashion feature: Embroidery

It’s been a while since I’ve written a fashion post and I’m loving being able to do this again. I see items and trends all the time that I love but then just never make time to write about them, but today I am making sure that I do.

And the trend we are focusing on today is the embroidery trend. It’s been around for a while, but seems to be getting bigger and better and is definitely the hot trend for Spring/Summer. From casual to evening and everything in between, there are pieces to suit every occasion and every body type and I want to go through some of my top embroidered picks from New Look.

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Embroidered Boots – with a low heel and a flattering cut above the ankle these boots are both stylish and practical. They can be worn by any body shape and would dress up any outfit in a flash. A sensible addition to any wardrobe and a bargain at under £35!

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Embroidered Skirt – Perfect for the transition from Winter to Spring, team with tights and above the knee boots for a dressed up but comfortable look. Even ideal for work!

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Embroidered T-shirt – Not sure how to dress up the comfiest of all your outfits, jeans and a tee? A statement slouchy cut-out tee with some embroidered features, is the perfect way to keep you looking stylish and effortlessly cool and a bargain at under £10.

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Embroidered Dress – Looking for an update to the classic LBD? Add embroidery of course! Combined with the mesh trend, this is a stunning yet simple addition to your wardrobe and can be dressed up with metallic heels and accessories or dressed down with tights and boots.

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Embroidered Jeans –  Another twist on the comfy outfit is the embroidered jeans. Wear with a plain slouchy t-shirt or a vest and your favourite skinny jeans are automatically updated ready for all seasons and occasions.

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Embroidered Jacket – Everyone should have a leather jacket in their wardrobe, but sometimes they can seem too harsh. Make it more feminine by picking up a leather jacket with embroidery to help make you stand out from the crowd.

Top tips though: remember not to combine your embroidered items. It may be tempting to wear your jeans, boots, tee and jacket together, but that would be overkill! Stick with one piece and make that your centrepiece.

Make sure to like, comment, share and subscribe! Please leave links or pics of your favourite embroidered items in the comments below 🙂

Lots of love, Leanne

Review: Thai Square Spa

I had all but given up on blogging recently with time being a complete squeeze, but then one email reminded me that I was a good writer and even more than that, I really loved it too.

Not only was I going to a spa (which was well needed) but I would have an excuse to discipline myself to sit down and write and really remind myself what it is I loved about this in the first place. I love writing, but not finding the time to do it is certainly easier than finding it, but perhaps I just needed a little reset and zen time to remember this!

So off I went to Thai Square Spa in Northumberland Avenue for an afternoon in the Sen Space and for a Himalayan Salt Massage!

It was one of the hottest days of the year, the tube was uncomfortable and I was feeling like I’d rather sunbathe in Hyde Park all afternoon, but I went along hopeful (although slightly grumpy!) but luckily the team immediately had me at ease. Speaking in soothing tones, dressed chicly in black and with sparkly marble everywhere, I felt like I was exactly where I should have been (even if my smudged makeup, rushed up do and slovenly attire made me feel just a tad uncomfortable).

I was taken into the changing rooms, provided with my robe, slippers and a locker and then took some time to look around. The changing rooms were so clean, the lockers were big (and free!) and everywhere you looked was a lovely combination of sparkly red and black – it felt so decadent and even better that the slippers actually fit and the robes were soft unlike other spas I have been to.

Then I was taken into the dark and quiet downstairs, quite a difference to upstairs, which was decorated in stone, white and black with tiny Buddha’s holding tea lights everywhere you looked which gave the most amazing finish. An array of curved beds were situated in several areas, with enough room for your own space without being too far from friends and family. In the corner of one of the most relaxing places I have ever been was the Sen Space. Filled with a Jacuzzi, Sauna, Steam Room and an amazing ice funnel/dispenser thing, I was spoilt for choice! The Sen Space is unisex which I was warned about up front. I was sharing the Sen Space with a group of guys which although slightly intimidating at first as I was on my own, was easy to work around. After 30-40 minutes in the Sauna and Jacuzzi (which was amazing by the way!) I made my way to the beds to cool down ready for my massage.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect as I’ve only ever had a pretty standard half body massage before, but when a lovely softly spoken girl came to meet me I was very intrigued! The spa had such a calming yet mysterious feel! She took me into a treatment room and provided me with a speciality Thai tea which I should have taken the name of as it was beautiful, all whilst receiving a foot soak/massage pedicure treatment. After this it was massage time! Sometimes massages can be uncomfortable, as you can hear the therapist clattering around, making idle chit chat and being naked doesn’t help either, but this wasn’t the case at all here! The therapist (whose name I cannot remember sadly) was so quiet, kept making sure I was comfortable but was still very thorough.

The treatment started off with a hot flannel treatment, before a massage on my feet and legs, then arms and lastly back and shoulders. I carry a lot of tension in my feet and shoulders due to sports injuries and she made sure that every last knot was removed, which although painful, was also hugely relaxing. I wish I could remember more of it to describe in more detail but I had to fight the urge to fall asleep for the full hour as I was just so relaxed. After some lovely smelling oils and lotions I was then rolled onto my back to continue the massage on arms and legs before finishing with a very relaxing face and head massage.

I left the treatment in a lovely little bubble of relaxation which even on a hot tube home stayed with me for days.

I would seriously recommend for anyone to go and I’m already looking to go back for more treatments as the standard of the one I had was so high. It isn’t the cheapest of spas to attend, but I would say that it is so worth the money as it is by far the best experience I have ever had. (I have to point I didn’t have to pay for this treatment in return for a review, however if I hadn’t have enjoyed the experience I definitely would be truthful in my review. Luckily for you all it really was incredible though!)

 

How time flies…

Wow, I cannot believe that it was the 2nd birthday of my blog this week.

I completely forgot to do anything to commemorate it as it has been one crazy week! Travelling around so much with work, my mums birthday, a major op for a close family member and planning for my last sessions of coaching have taken up all my time and attention.

Finding two minutes to reflect, the 2nd year of my blog hasn’t gone as well as the first and the blame lies completely with me. I haven’t been able to put as much in so naturally I’ll get less from it, but I’m not disheartened. Sometimes life changes your plans and I think that every change or challenge should be viewed as an opportunity. So far this year advancing my career whilst bettering the bonds with my friends and family have been the most important things to me, so lacking a little here has been worth it 🙂

Next week will be very emotional for me as I am leaving gymnastics after 20 years of being involved in the sport, 7 of those in coaching. Dropping one commitment does mean I should be able to find time to write in the week though as well as taking better care of myself, so I’m focusing all my attention on the good that will come from making such a heart-wrenching decision.

More important than looking back though is to continue to look forward. I want to thank you all for your support so far and let you all know I cannot wait to be able to invest more time with you as I am sure then only good things will happen! LifestyleforLess HQ really is a no negative vibes kinda place 🙂

Stick with me!

Lots of love, Leanne xx

 

Review: Makeup Revolution Golden Sugar Ultra Blush Palette

Hey everyone, it’s been a while since I have done any posts, let alone a review but instead of doing a review of something new I thought I would actually do a review of something I have owned for quite a while and that gets used daily by me! Apologies for the absence, I feel like I’m only just starting to formulate some kind of routine after starting my new job. I’m really having to make time to write and get online to post/edit so will be posting again but only once a week until I am completely settled 🙂 I’m trying though, honest!

It’s my blush palette from Makeup Revolution at Superdrug which I bought when the Makeup Revolution collection dropped at Superdrug and is still going strong. Obviously after such vigorous use I feel I’m pretty well equipped to review on it so I hope you enjoy reading this one as much as I love the product 🙂

So this product has 8 shades all for the price of £6! All have a lovely finish and vary from very lightly pigmented and sparkly to heavily pigmented which is ideal for the look you are going for. All are metal toned shades with hints of gold and silver. I find there are shades there for a more subtle bronzer, a super pumped up highlighter as well as a blush shade too so it really is multi-purpose and can be used day to night 🙂

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The palette (sans lid as I lost it) and the brush I use to apply my highlighter

If you don’t believe how much I have used this product check out the picture below which shows just how much I love the highlighter, how messy the palette has become with daily use and the fact that I lost the lid for the palette a while ago too 😦

My favourite of this collection is definitely the silver highlighter which although it looks really garish when blended can look really natural and is easily buildable. Second favourite is definitely the shimmery pink/purple blush!

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Darkest shade at bottom with highlighters on top (nearest wrist) Have lost the top of this palette so cannot remember their names, soz!

If you are unsure what palette to go for and want max versatility I would definitely go for this one, it is by far the best choice of shades of all the blush palettes I have from Makeup Revolution and for £6 how can you go wrong?

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Me with the highlighter and blush on. Giving a really natural sheen and cheek colour perfect for the day 🙂

So the key question would I buy it again and what is my rating? This gets 8 out of 10 for me and definitely will be repurchased if this palette ever runs out 🙂

What are your favourite palettes and highlighters? I would love to know so comment them below!

Lots of love, Leanne xx

It’s okay to feel flat, fat and fed up sometimes

Hey everyone,

I know I have been rubbish at posting blogs lately, life has been busy in general and after coming down with a horrible chesty infection a few weeks ago, going away on holiday and then having to deal with Andy’s broken wrist since being back it’s all been a bit much! However, I am slowing down a bit to commit to writing some more. Even when I don’t get to post written pieces though, there are always new pictures on Instagram so make sure you stay tuned there if you aren’t already!

This post is a little different for me. I’m focussing on feelings, emotion and life instead of fashion and beauty purely because my blog is like my little online diary. I’ve had a few conversations with people recently where they have confessed they haven’t been feeling so good but seemed so reluctant to talk about it and after hearing that some of their favourite posts of mine were the ones where I was really honest and myself, I was inspired. People several times a day ask “Hey, how are you?” However the only answer it seems okay to give is “fine thanks” which is a shame because if things aren’t fine it’s crucial to talk about it as it really does help! It isn’t something we really talk about, but why shouldn’t it be? So here I am doing my little piece to break down some barriers and to hopefully help start some conversations 🙂

I don’t know if any of you had the same perception as I did when you were younger? At 16 years old I felt being 24 was so grown up and that everyone seemed like they had it all together and yet now I’m here, I don’t feel that way at all. I don’t feel grown up or like a proper adult and I definitely don’t feel like I have my life together at all! Don’t get me wrong, I have a lovely life filled with many wonderful people and experiences and I’m always really happy and grateful, however this is not how I pictured I would be at 24.

I guess looking back I didn’t really ever stop to think how I expected to feel as I got older. And it’s not that I’m scared of getting older as actually I quite like the increasing wisdom and respect which comes with age, however I don’t feel grounded, I don’t feel anywhere near being fully accomplished and I certainly am not at the point where I feel content.

When you are at school people say those are the best years of your lives, when you are in your twenties people are saying the same thing so you begin to wonder “what actually is the best time of your life?” Will you ever have a moment where you wake up one day and think “yeah, I’m happy I have it all together, I know what I wanted and now I’ve got it”?

I actually think that being in your twenties is one of the toughest times of your life. In your teens, people don’t expect much from you except that you will make mistakes and probably be a bit angsty and hormonal and yet in your twenties you’re an adult and people expect you to act like one, eventhough you are still muddling your way through except at the same time working full time, or battling to find a job after uni and probably having to look after yourself at home too. As you approach your mid twenties, questions about when you are going to get married and have kids become more frequent and if, like me, you aren’t sure whether marriage and babies is your thing the response is always “you’ll change your mind, you’re only young”! I’m lucky as I’m pretty self assured and outspoken and luckily supported in all I do by my family, but even I sometimes hear these responses and wonder if I’m normal. But in my logical mind, I want to remind you that we actually don’t know what normal is. Who defines normality? Who defines what is an acceptable way to think and feel.

So I guess all I want to say is, don’t worry and don’t hide how you are feeling. Don’t worry if sometimes you feel fat and frumpy and yet still want to eat every item of food within reach and not go to the gym, don’t worry if you aren’t sure what you want to do or achieve in life or if your views are different to those around you. Just do you – You’re the only one that can and so you should make the most of it!

I hope you liked this post and that it helped if you were feeling at all confused, down or just fed up!

Lots of love, Leanne xx

 

Summer holiday style

I’m back! I have missed you all whilst I have been away but I had the most amazing time in Lanzarote with friends and family 🙂 It was a much needed break, but I am very glad to be back and I can assure you that I thought about you all and my blog so much whilst I was away, which is why I have decided to do a post all about my summer holiday style 🙂

I should probably start off by saying Primark and New Look were my two key contributors to my holiday wardrobe! They did a massive range of summer clothes at fantastic prices, so any new stuff I got mostly came from these two stores. If you are about to jet off and you are looking for clothes, check them out (and quickly as the new stock is coming in for pre-autumn already!) 

So what outfits and pieces am I suggesting for the summer sun?

For me it’s all about light clothing with brilliant patterns and colours – fitting the sunny background of your destination and making your suitcase a bit lighter! I picked up a few Bardot style patterned bodycon dresses from Primark for £5 each and they were perfect to dress up in the evening.

  
For the day time I recommend high waisted shorts and vests or camis which look stylish, keep you cool and are easy to wear! I would definitely suggest steering clear of the shorts which are too short though as these don’t look chic! 

Maxi dresses and jumpsuits are also staples for evening wear so make sure you have a few of these packed! They often come in jersey  materials making them lightweight to pack and wear and patterns on jumpsuits and maxi dresses are often bold, perfect for summer!

And obviously essential are accessories and swimsuits: kaftans, block wedges, flower crowns and body chains all add to your summery look and really change an outfit from day to night! I’m a huge fan of my flower crown from Primark! And check out New Looks mix and match swimsuit collection – they have so many different colours and designs and are really affordable 🙂

  

So I hope this helped you get your summer suitcase ready if it wasn’t already 🙂 Let me know what looks you are loving at the moment in the comments below and make sure you follow, like and share here and on Twitter and Instagram!

Lots of love, Leanne xx