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

Empowerment and emotions

I’m not going to lie, I haven’t put a great deal of thought into this blog post, but I have to keep in the habit of posting at least once a week!

Problem is, right now, my brain is frazzled, with so much going on at home and with work being busier than ever, when I get home all I want to do is chill out and do nothing and yet instead here I am forcing myself to write. And why? Well actually, I wanted to share how I was feeling with you all as I’m sure that you guys must feel like this to from time to time and do you know what? That is totally okay!

Recently I’ve felt stressed and yet empowered all at the same time and on other days I can feel completely empty, not wanting to talk to anyone when I get home from work and instead just laying not doing anything. It’s alright though, these thoughts are normal and acceptable and should be accepted. I know that not feeling positive and with it all of the time has been an adjustment for me, but actually I think that my feelings are making me a better person. I am more introspective and self aware and understanding to others when they are down.

And besides I’m changing as a person, we all are all the time and if that person I’m changing to is more open with their emotions, then I’ll embrace that whole heartedly. I’m proud of my changes!

Lots of love, Leanne

Hair Transformation!

Hey everyone, I’m writing again and for more than once in a month! This really shouldn’t be something to celebrate, but you have to celebrate all the small successes right?!

I thought it was about time to share my hair journey. This year I feel like I’ve been all the colours imaginable! You can see them all on my Instagram! From black, to green to pink and eventhough some of them haven’t been exactly what I’ve anticipated, I’ve loved having them all. As well as colours, I’ve gone from the longest hair I’ve had in years to the big cut and I have to say the short hair is a firm fave of mine now 🙂

It’s fair to say the pics above the colours are all fairly light and I think this is my preference. I’ve had dark hair a few times and I’m not really sure if it suits me, plus I love the light hair and dark eyebrows combo too! However, I’m open minded and just want to try looks that are different, so now I’m trying to decide what the next step is in my hair journey.

And these are the most recent hair colours! I’m loving the current grey/white/blue vibes 🙂 I’ve wanted this colour for ages, especially after getting into iZombie and the hair colour in that series. I cannot do a blog post though without shouting out the best hairdresser I’ve ever had. I’m lucky enough to call Louisa one of my best friends too and hopefully she enjoys messing around with my hair as much as I enjoy being guinea pig 🙂 Make sure you go and follow her as well – her pics are so beautiful and I want everything she posts!

But what next? I was thinking yellow, orange kinda takes my fancy and blue does too! Or should I go darker for winter? Or get extensions?

Help me decide! Comment below what you think would look good and be fun to try – I’m open to most things (as you can tell) and would love to get your input 🙂

Lots of love, Leanne xx

Workout Wear

So as well as not finding the time to write blog posts for you all, I also haven’t been finding the time to eat right or exercise and it’s left me feeling really self conscious and uncomfortable. I’m not afraid to share that I currently weigh more than I would like and have lost all tone due to not working out, but it’s not going to put me off. Sometimes when you feel this way it’s easy to get into a bad cycle of not wanting to do anything about it, but I am going to go the other way. It’s spurred me on to nip it in the bud and change my routines to make sure I’m making time for my health and happiness. And after signing up to charity row for Cancer Research next May, I’m going to need to be the fittest I’ve ever been! No time like the present after all…

One way that I motivate myself to go to the gym is to pick a super cute workout outfit. I’m a big fan of patterned leggings as they add some fun to what could otherwise be a very functional outfit. And I think they are flattering for all body types too! I have pretty muscly legs from years and years of gymnastics and yet I love the way they show off the good bits and hide the bad all whilst showing off my personality 🙂

I would always say that if you are going tight with the bottoms though,  that a loose top works best (which is also great for covering my tummy which I’m not such a big fan of) so I usually pick either a plain black tee of if I’m wearing plainer bottoms, then a nice bright colour again to match my personality and motivate me to train harder (although some days I do love a good monochrome outfit like the one below, which looks good to be dressed up if you have to pop into town first!)

Take a look at some of the outfits I love best that I already own, as well as some inspiration  and soon to be additions to my wardrobe from Adore Me’s new workout range! Adore Me’s new workout range! I mean how cute is the promo shot!!!

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And when I get home from a workout, there is nothing I love better than a snuggly autumn outfit! Autumnal clothes can be oversized and sometimes shapeless, but that is no need to feel frumpy. A cute choker necklace, statement shoes and a bold lip always help bring a femininity back to an oversize outfit and cute undies also help to help put a feminine spring back in your step!

Stay tuned to find out how I style myself when I want to be comfy and cute in Autumn very soon!

Lots of love, Leanne xxx

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!)

 

Life lessons: Get organised, get happier!

Hey everyone, I have a feeling that this is going to be a good blog post and a very apt one too so I’m just going to jump right in.

This year has been the one which has seen some of the most substantial changes in my life happen all at once which naturally causes chaos temporarily. Except the one thing that I find is that actually sometimes chaos happens and then kind of stays with you, which can build up and up without you even realising. I’m not ashamed to say that happened to me in multiple areas of my life and instead of looking at the root cause, I just made excuses.

From not having time to work out, not having an organised house, forgetting things – the chaos was impacting my life in almost every aspect and I didn’t even see how it was connected. And then,  by chance, some alone time and some inspiration from those closest to me, I realised I could achieve whatever it is I want to achieve, but with some focus and organisation.

I can make excuses until I’m blue in the face that changing jobs has left me with less time, but actually I’ve gained time in other areas which I’m just not using  correctly.

I’m very much of the perspective that life is too short to worry or stress (YOLO and all that) but actually it’s eye-opening for me to experience first-hand that stress can creep up on you without you even realising until it is gone. And now my eyes have been opened it’s definitely time to maximise on my awareness and improve all aspects of my life…

For example, a pet stress in my household has always been that I’ve been known to be pretty untidy which can cause wasted time looking for things, or a mammoth cleaning session which takes a whole day. But now I have thrown away anything which doesn’t get use or is just taking up space and make sure to keep on top of everything doing a little every day so it’s never one big task – literally making everything manageable 🙂

Another place I have been slacking is the gym! Last year I was at the gym 3+ times a week and loving it, but after having to take an extended break I haven’t been able to get back into it and instead complain about gaining weight and losing tone whilst effectively doing nothing about it! But not anymore! I’ve started looking at my locations for the week ahead and planning in advance in my google diary when I’m going and for how long as well as looking for different activities I can do to keep my interest, including long walks. Another reason this is so important, is that actually me time at the gym helps relieve any built stresses and gives me an opportunity to get away from my phone and have time just me and my thoughts, which I think we all forget is actually really important.

From the simplest things like picking your weeks outfits on a Sunday evening or having a clear out of your handbags to the bigger things like emptying your loft, or spring cleaning your finances – all these individual steps are likely to have a positive domino effect into so many different aspects of your life, that if you do nothing else this August, set aside only a few hours to reflect, review and plan. As whilst you do only live once, you want to make sure the life you’re living is as happy as you can possibly make it be 🙂

I hope you enjoyed this post as I found this really cathartic to write! I’ll follow up over the coming weeks with my gym/food schedules and any updates on how I am moving forward with my planning and organisation!

Let me know in the comments below any life hacks you have that could also help, as I’m always looking to make my life as easy and happy as possible 🙂

Lots of love, Leanne xx

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