Learning to love the girl in the mirror*

I’m back! I recently took a bit of a blogging hiatus for no particular reason other than I simply didn’t have the motivation to write. I hate nothing more than having to force myself to put pen to paper – or fingers to keyboard in this case – so I simply don’t do it. Luckily for me, during my break I received a copy of Learning to love the girl in the mirror*. A self help book from actress Helena Grace Donald about she overcame her eating habits and mental health struggles.

The book made a great travel companion

About the book

For me, the book couldn’t have landed at a better time. I have/had been struggling mentally. Putting myself on cruel, punishing diets that left me both physically and mentally drained to the point where I resented every single thing about myself. Quite the antithesis to LOVING the girl in the mirror.

Whilst it’s clear the book is aimed at teenagers currently going through their problems it wasn’t difficult to make it relate to my now “adult” problems as well as remember exactly how I was suffering throughout my teenage years. It was emotional thinking back and the throwback social media challenge of looking back to 2012 nearly made it more difficult but it was a very constructive read.

What I love about this book is how female empowering it is. Every chapter starts with a quote from a female icon and the big sister notes honestly make you feel like you’re not alone. Finding people in your circle who can relate and understand is one of the hardest things. I try and explain how my dark days feel to Tom so he at least understands but being able to relate is impossible. Being able to find that feeling in a book is truly incredible and all hats off to Helen for that.

Whilst reading this book, for the first time ever I had my ‘light bulb’ epiphany moment of “I actually have my shit together.” I have a successful career, a creative hobby I love, a wonderful supportive boyfriend, I find time to go to the gym, I cook so I can eat relatively healthy and I live in London. All at 23. I can finally say I love me. My little miss critical will still try and find faults every time I’m in front of a mirror but each day she gets weaker because I get stronger. I no longer fear food/snacks but listen to my body so I can fuel it for my crazy lifestyle.

My favourite quote from the book

About the author

Helena Grace Donald was born in London and moved to LA to pursue her acting ambitions. Having overcome her own ‘Little Miss Critical’ from her teenage years, she founded Girl Unfiltered where she works to inspire girls and young women to learn to value themselves beyond their struggles. You can found out more about her mission and follow her through her website and social media channels:

www.girlunfiltered.com

www.instagram.com/girl_unfiltered

Are there any self-help books that you’ve been loving recently?

NG x

*I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for this review but all thoughts and opinion are my own

 

Where to mini golf in London

I’ve never been one for a “typical” date night. My dream date night is something different/exciting/active and mini golf is certainly up there with the best. My boyfriend actually plays golf so mini golf is the closest I can get to actually challenging him. So it’s fair to say we’ve been to a few so far in London. Here are our 3 faves:

Canary Wharf Mini Golf

Definitely one for the summer months this FREE mini golf has become a warm weather staple. Being so close to home, it’s the perfect excuse to get us out of the flat on a sunny day. It does open throughout the winter so if you can brave the cold you can get your mini golf fix and with a cafe right next door you can warm up with a coffee. It’s a great little course with tricky obstacles whilst still being perfect for families. There’s even some hole in one opportunities. Moreover, it is situated right next to the entrance to Canary Wharf tube station making it all the more accessible. Open 7 days a week until 4:30pm it’s certainly one way to get your mini golf fix.

Junkyard Mini Golf

If I had to pick a favourite it would be this one hands down. It is simply the most fun I’ve ever had playing mini golf. Located in the super cool Old Truman Brewery in Shoreditch it’s within easy distance from Liverpool Street Station and Shoreditch High Street. The cocktail menu is something to behold where classic cocktails are given a hip and old school twist – AT THE SAME TIME. Be sure to check out the “Hotline Ting” for additional popping candy and party rings (and yes I do mean the old school biscuit). With 4 courses in total it’s impossible to get bored. Check out ‘Gary’ the 90’s rave course for a unique sliding experience… Booking is nearly always required so plan your visit in advance.

Hotline Ting (c) classic cocktails with an old school twist

Plonk Mini Golf

With 5 locations across London, Plonk is quickly establishing itself as the mini golfing hot spot. From putt in the park to puzzle putt, Plonk has variety. We recently paid a visit to Plonk Dalston with friends for a Saturday double date. After some difficulty finding it (it’s inside a bar and not very well sign posted) we got ourselves two rounds of mini golf for £12 each. At peak times these do have to be played consecutively but you can go for bar breaks in between. Efes bar itself was nothing to write home about but actually the golf was very good. The capitalisation on space is extremely impressive and nearly every hole had various ways to play it of varying degrees of difficulty. If all the others are this good then I’m excited to continue to explore all that Plonk has to offer.

My skincare saviours

I have not been blessed with perfect skin. I never have and I probably never will. So skincare is my life. As a teenager I had VERY problematic skin (didn’t we all.) As an adult I have the definition of combination skin. An oily t-zone that just doesn’t hold foundation whilst everything else is incredibly dry. Add into the mix an occasional outbreak and you can see the issues. I’ve probably tried 90% of the skincare brands out there and still experimenting but I’m finally switching it up. I’m swapping high end, animal-testing brands for more animal friendly, easier on the pocket brands. I’m also vowing to stop being the laziest beauty person ever and setting myself a routine I can stick to.

Make-up removal

In case you’ve been living under a rock, let me give you this advice now. Make-up wipes are trash. I know they seem easy, and cheap but trust me. They. Are. Not. Worth. It. Switch to micellar water instead. My favourite is the Bioderma – I have tried Nivea as well but it feels a touch more drying then the Bioderma. I use this with the large cotton wool pads for the easiest make up removal and so much better than wipes. I take a bottle everywhere with me and keep one in my gym bag for when I’m finishing work and heading straight to the gym. I’m vowing never to use a single make-up wipe again.

My holy grail micellar watee

Evening

My evening vs morning routine whilst similar, is still somewhat different. When the news first broke about the micro-bead exfoliator scandal, I ditched any exfoliator I was currently using and went straight to The Body Shop and purchased their seaweed scrub. I haven’t looked back since and so this makes up the first part of my evening routine. It’s the perfect scrub that’s gentle enough for daily use whilst still buffing away the nasties. I tend to only use this in the evening as I like the idea of my skin working it’s own magic during sleep so the last thing I would want to do is buff all that magic away. My next step is cleansing. I mix up my cleanser routine depending on the condition of my skin. If i’m a little bit more on the blemish-y side I’ll use the foaming tea tree wash from The Body Shop but if I’m blemish free, it’s the Vitamin E cleanser. Next is the tea tree daily solution. This light liquid is perfect just to keep blemishes under control/at bay and soothes the skin in preparation for moisturiser. Finally, moisturise. Exactly the same with cleansing I switch it up depending on my skin. If I have some spots to fight it’s all about tea tree based moisturisers. If I’m on the dryer side then it’s the vitamin E aqua boost sorbet.

Morning

After what I hope is a good night’s sleep and skin recovery; as I’ve already mentioned I bypass exfoliation and try to keep it as gentle as possible. This usually means the Vitamin E cleanser, the tea tree drops and a trusty moisturiser. If my skin is really dry I’ll use something as intense as Nivea Soft but I’ll also use this to replace my make-up primer. If it’s less intensive I’ll top up with my Vitamin E aqua boost sorbet and apply a normal primer. Quick, simple, effective.

Vitamin E cleanser, tea tree drops and my choice of moisturiser

Make-up

I am the foundation queen. Not because I know my stuff, because I own SO MANY. I’m currently working with 5 of varying degrees of coverage/consistency/skin type to get me through my different skin days and I still don’t have my holy grail. For breakout days it has to be Vichy Dermablend 3D. The foundation contains salicylic acid to fight breakouts whilst you’re wearing it. If I’m having a mixed skincare day I use this almost like a concealer and combine it with other foundations. Where I can I try and wear as little face make up as possible and let my skincare work away. My biggest qualm with foundation at the minute is everything is clinging to my dry patches. As a serial blemish–proned sufferer this is completely new territory. My only other advice for skincare is wash your make-up brushes weekly at worst. I know it’s a chore and nobody likes doing it but your skin will thank you. I mean think about it, if you have bacteria build up causing blemishes why would you want to continually wipe that all over your face?

Weekly treats

Whilst i’m ‘generally’ lazy with my skincare there’s one thing I never skip. Pamper Sundays. I’ve got myself into the perfect little self-care routine on a Sunday which always involves a face mask. Every week, like clockwork. Since re-discovering 7th Heaven face masks I’ve become obsessed. I always used them as a kid at sleepovers because they were so easy to get hold of at any local supermarket but I didn’t appreciate what a fantastic brand they are. They’re completely cruelty free, have supported animal welfare for 30 years and have a mask for everyone. So if I’m more blemish-proned I love a clay or mud mask. Pores my concern? It’s a charcoal or seaweed peel off. In a rush, then it’s all about the 5 minute tea tree sheet mask. Now my skin is on the drier side I’m going to give some of their moisturising masks a go. Like I said, something for everyone.

Fluffy socks and a face mask – pamper perfection

Easing on the purse

Prior to switching to all things The Body Shop, I swore by Clinique anti-blemish solutions and moisture surge. Here, the average price of each product is roughly £20. Compare this with The Body Shop at an average price of £10 and the savings are there to be made. Also, factor in the reward schemes I spoke about recently (link here) and the free £5 vouchers = saving big bucks. What’s more, o2 priority customers can regularly get discounts such as 30% in store or online and £5 off a £25 spend in store and online. 7th Heaven face masks are already an absolute steal at roughly £1 each but I try and be extra savvy and buy them in bulk when I’m back in Yorkshire where you can pick them up from Body Care at 89p. Whilst it’s only 11p, that’s essentially 11p per week making it what a fiver a year? Not exactly a monster saving but a saving all the same.

My beauty wish list

So where do I take my beauty to next? Well first on the list is nailing this dryness and foundation situation. I’m hoping it’s a serious case of winter dryness but with a skiing trip in March it clearly isn’t resolving itself soon. I’ve heard so many amazing things about The Ordinary for both foundation and hydrating products so they’ve jumped straight to the top of my list. I’m also interested in trying more from The Body Shop.

Do you have any recommendations that you think might benefit me? Why not leave me a comment with some of your beauty saviours?

NG x

You can shop all my Body Shop faves here

Pizza, a DJ and Dalston

This weekend I payed a visit to the fantastic Pizza Union in Dalston with Tom and some friends. It’s the only pizza place I’ve ever visited with a resident DJ and where you can get 2 pizzas and a bottle of wine for under £30 (in London). Here’s how my experience went down.

The location

I have to admit Dalston isn’t an area of London I’m particularly familiar with and it wasn’t an area we actually intended to find ourselves in. We were aiming to visit Draughts, the board game cafe up the road in Haggerston but with a 2 hour wait for a table we quickly decided to source a new plan. So we ended up in Dalston. We actually dropped by Pizza Union after a couple of rounds of mini golf at Plonk. It’s within easy walking distance from both Dalston Junction and Dalston and Kingsland – both on the London Overground. A small venue, seating is adequate with larger benches and smaller, intimate tables. The pizza making and HUGE pizza oven all take place in front of you and the eclectic neon makes it feel like a cool venue. Not to mention the fact it has a resident DJ. It was such an incredibly unique and exciting place to spend a Saturday evening eating pizza and listening to the tunes and I could see it being an excellent warm up venue for a night out.

The menu

Pizzas start from as little as £3.95 for a margherita with options to add toppings or make your pizza gluten free for £1 extra. For such a small venue the pizza menu is impressive with many pizzas and ingredients completely new to me and different to anything I’d ever seen before. They have a variety of drinks both alcoholic and non-alcoholic with the option to purchase full bottles of red, white and sparkling wine. They offer sides of olives, sauces and dips to add to your order. Not content with just pizza they offer salads and one desert option. A dough ring filled with Nutella and mascarpone. As a pizza bar it sits in between a self-service/table service venue. Once ordered you collect the pizza yourself but the plate/tray is cleared for you.

The food

I have to say it’s beyond good. I’d always like to hope that my local pub offers the best pizzas in London but I think I’ve now found a pretty close rival. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever had a pizza that’s quite so crisp. It’s a perfect 12 inch, thin and crispy pizza that I simply couldn’t fault. I almost feel guilty for not doing Pizza Union justice and only ordering a Margherita pizza. I’m not one to return to food places in London – since there are just so many – but if I was back in Dalston/Aldgate/Kings Cross/Spitalfields and I fancied a pizza, this is where I’d be heading.

You can find more information about Pizza Union through their website or by visiting them on social media.

https://www.pizzaunion.com/

@pizzaunion

 

The store loyalty cards you need in your life

It seems like every shop you ever visit wants to offer you their latest, exclusive discount/store card. So which actually carry the best rewards? I’ve put together the ultimate guide to my favourite reward cards and exactly what they have to offer.

Beauty
  • The Body Shop – With their “love your body club” card you get 10 points per £1 you spend. 500 points = a £5 voucher with an extra £5 on your birthday. You also get exclusive invites to in-store events and discounts are on offer. I really love this reward scheme as they instantly tie it to your account so when you buy online you don’t actually need to input the card details (providing you use the some account you registered with).
  • Boots – the Boots advantage card is the absolutely classic of all the ‘reward’ cards, established in 1997 it’s easy to see why it has survived the test of time. You get 4 points per £1 when you spend and each point is equivalent to 1p to spend back in store. They regularly hold exclusive ‘point’ events offering up to 10 points per £1 spend and they will mail point booster vouchers every quarter. Boots have also recently launched an app which allows you to easily see your point balance as well as load further point boosting offers straight to your card to redeem in store. My only slight niggle about the Boots card is that you have to pay the full amount in points, you can’t part pay in cash.
  • Debenhams – If you’re a regular Debenhams shopper then they Debenhams Beauty Club card is perfect. It offers 3 points per £1 spend. 500 points = a £5 voucher and an extra £5 voucher for your birthday. Other advantages include being the first in the know for new samples and a complimentary Benefit eyebrow wax/Elizabeth Arden facial for your birthday. They also offer free Click and Collect delivery for Beauty Club members.

A recent body shop haul, saving £5 with the loyalty card

Fashion
  • John Lewis – My favourite feature about the John Lewis card is that you can get a free regular hot drink and cake in their cafes. One of the most unique features of the John Lewis rewards is the option for the ‘Kitchen Drawer.’ This means that you can store all your receipts to your phone making it easy access for items under warranty. You also get exclusive invites and offers such as early access to clearance events.
  • Boux Avenue – The Boux Avenue VIP card gives you points per £1 spent to redeem on future purchases. Each point is worth 3p so 300 points = £3. Points can be used in full or as part payment and further benefits include exclusive VIP events and sale previews.
  • ASOS – everyone’s favourite site, ASOS offers their A-list scheme. Every £1 spent = 5 points. 500 points = a £5 voucher valid for 6 months. With 4 A-list “levels”, additional perks include extra points days and 48 hour preview access to sales.

Some of the featured cards including my Boux avenue card!

Supermarkets
  • Tesco – another point per £ offer, each point is then worth 1p so 150 points = £1.50. Every 3 months Tesco will send you vouchers based on your points value which you can spend in store, online or with one of their partners. These can include anything from cinema tickets, to meals out and even Uber credit. One of the best feature about Tesco is there are so many ways to collect. They even give you two handy key fobs so you don’t have to carry your card and since you can redeem points on Esso fuel it really helps remembering to collect those points.
  • Sainsbury’s – the classic nectar card. You can pick up your card in store or online, you can link an additional card holder to your account and you can collect points in SO MANY PLACES. Travel on Virgin Trains? You can collect nectar points on that. Bank with Sainsbury’s bank? Get nectar points. Shop at Argos a lot? Well you get the picture. They’re the largest loyalty scheme in the UK with over 16 million users regularly shopping at Sainsbury’s. 1 point per £1 is on offer with them direct on groceries and this increases depending on partner. Points can be spent just as easily as they are earned with redemption available on huge brands such as EasyJet, Vue Cinemas and Pizza Express. Failing that you can always use them on your next Sainsbury’s shop where 500 points = £2.50 off.
  • Waitrose – if you live anywhere south of the northern border you’ll know that Waitrose is a major deal. In terms of locality Waitrose is my second closest supermarket at home and probably my closest at work. Whilst they’re not the cheapest I have to say I’m impressed by their loyalty scheme rewards. It’s less of a point collector and more of a get stuff for free. Benefits include a free hot drink whilst you shop, free access online to the good food guide and 10% discount at the Waitrose Cookery School.

Are there any store cards I’ve missed that you love? Why not leave me a comment with some of your faves.

NG x

A weekend in Leeds

Since moving to London, every visit home feels like it’s own mini stay-cation. Even more so when everything seems to be changing and developing in Yorkshire. This weekend we was back visiting Leeds/Wakefield and this is what we got up to.

Friday

Most of our visits seem to be flying visits with only a day or two to spare so we endured to make the most of having an extra day home. The main reason we travelled this weekend was in the hope of getting tickets to a local football derby. As that was unsuccessful we opted to head into Leeds to Shooters Sports Bar. I also combined this with seeing my girls so managed to grab a few drinks in the slug and lettuce first.

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Enjoying my 2-4-1 Pink Gin Spritz!

As we had reserved our table for Shooters we had a set menu to choose from. Our choice, priced at £20 per head included 2 cans of either cider or beer and a burger and fries. From there we sat back, relaxed and enjoyed the match on sofas in front of the huge screen.

After the match we even stayed back a little bit to have a go on the shuffleboard table. Needless to say I made up part of the winning team!

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Shuffleboard champions

Saturday

As it’s Tom’s birthday next week I also decided to treat him to an early birthday present. For years I’ve wanted to visit the Kitty Cafe in Nottingham so the second I saw that they had opened one in Leeds I booked us in for this weekend.

We decided to head into town a little early as I also wanted to take Tom to George’s British Kitchen. I had first come across this bar on Facebook, paid it a visit when I was in Leeds last May and instantly fell in love. They offer so many incredible amazing cocktails, 5 of which are themed after classic sweets. Some of their cocktails come garnished with candy floss and they have 4 pages of gins to their menu!

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Enjoying a refresher cocktail at George’s

After this we headed up to the Kitty Cafe. Upon entry we were given a set of rules to read and adhere to and we payed the £6 welfare fee per person. All the cats/kittens in the cafe are rescue and available for adoption. The £6 helps to ensure that they are thoroughly looked after, micro-chipped, neutered etc. as they charge nothing for adoption.

We were then shown to our table, given the menus and given a few moments to choose the food. For a venue that isn’t technically all about food the menu is impressive. With over 12 cakes to choose from, gluten free and vegan options and food such as pizza, panninis and baked potatoes, the options are a-plenty. Once you’ve placed your order you’re free to roam the cafe as you wish.

The space has been kitted out impeccably. There’s so much for the kittens to get up to. The staff are always on hand to point out who is who as well as tell you loads of information about the place. Just from talking to one of the waitresses we were able to find out that the cats have a special “quiet zone” they can go to if it gets too much where they have specialist trained cat handlers. This is also the space they go to eat/sleep so if you see any of them disappearing to the back this is where they are headed. Pumpkin was our personal favourite, a tiny ginger kitten who had a particular penchant for Tom’s shoe laces!

Kitten chaos in the Kitty Cafe

Do you have any favourite places in Leeds or you home town?

NG x

Shooters Sports Bar

George’s British Kitchen

The Kitty Cafe

Finding my personality in my underwear?*

If there’s one thing I love, it’s discovering new brands and supporting them. So when Scrumpies of Mayfair offered me the chance to sample their product I was delighted. Even more so for the fact that they are a local (London) based brand.

About the brand

A life long dream of a husband and wife Ian and Vicki, they retired from their work as corporate lawyers to live out their dream, creating unique and truly stunning underwear designed to be more like works of art. The name is derived from “to scrump” the mischievous British tradition of stealing apples from the orchard – as if you even needed more proof of their British heritage. That isn’t where the apple reference ends. Each pair of Scrumpies is named after a brand of apple; pink lady, gala, golden delicious, well you get the idea. Each pair also has it’s own “personality” to help you choose your best fit.

The packaging

Each pair of Scrumpies comes in the most beautiful box in a shade of blue that can only be compared to a well known jewellery brand. Luxurious indeed. Perhaps one of the even more unique features of your Scrumpies is the adorable apple charm that comes with it. The charm can be worn on the underwear themselves or you could perhaps even add it to your key ring. This combined with the luxury packaging and included invitation really help make you feel like you’re part of an exclusive club. Which is exactly what you are – you’re now a Scrumpies Girl.

The underwear

I personally went for the Northern Lights design. Iceland is the top of my travel list so naturally these jumped out at me. They’re a french kicker style which I love and the blending blue and green colours are simply captivating. They’re made with a silk chiffon and have three crystal buttons as an opening on the side. They feel incredible to the touch and the tiny crystals on them simply add to the mystical magic – perfectly suiting the northern lights theme. The accompanying charm is made from sparkling Czech crystals in a beautiful blue sapphire. I opted for these simply for my Iceland travel goals but I could have happily chosen any of the pairs on offer! They have an extensive sizing guide on the website to ensure you get the perfect fit for you.

A proud Scrumpies Girl with my charm on my keys

 

It’s needless to say, Ian and Vicki have excelled at creating exactly what they set out to do. Every pair of Scrumpies is a true work of art and feel so unique. It feels great to be a Scrumpies Girl! Whether you’re like me and dream of Iceland or you want some new underwear with a personality to match yours, Scrumpies of Mayfair have you covered.

You can also follow their social media @ScrumpiesLDN

NG x

*The item in this post was gifted to me for free in exchange for this post. All opinions are honest and my own. 

6 places to get in the Christmas spirit in London

The first snowflake has officially fallen and the advent calendar windows are starting to be opened but if after all of that you’re still missing some Christmas magic, here are some of my favourite FREE places in London to help get you in the Christmas spirit:

Regent Street

Once again Regent Street have their beautiful angel Christmas lights that sparkle and glow magnificently. Nothing makes me feel more in the Christmas spirit. For true Christmas magic  follow the angels all the way to Hamleys and tap into your inner child (it is Christmas after all).

Carnaby Street

Just tucked behind Regent Street is the magnificent Carnaby Street where you can experience a different kind of Christmas. This year they have opted for a Christmas carnival theme. With birds of paradise and all the bright colours you could imagine. Pay the spectacular Choccy Woccy Doo-Dah a visit and get some Christmas chocolate inspiration. Or if beauty is your thing, get lost in the likes of Benefit, Urban Decay, Mac and Too Faced for all your Christmas wish-list dreams.

 

Liberty London

Also just off Carnaby street is Liberty London. Founded over 142 years ago it is one of the oldest and most spectacular department stores in the country. With its mock-Tudor exterior and dramatic window display it’s enough to get that warm fuzzy feeling and that’s before you’ve even visited the 4th floor. Take the lift to their Christmas shop for unique Liberty gifts and stunning tree decorations. They have everything. Think personalised baubles for your pet to stunning peacock tree decorations. It’s near impossible to resist them all.

Leicester Square Christmas Market

Whilst it may not be the largest Christmas market in London, year on year it becomes one of my favourites. At any time of year there is something special about Leicester square, so add some Christmas magic and you have a truly beautiful mix. Be sure to check out the craft stalls and the mini pancakes to feel truly Christmassy.

 

 

WinterVille – Clapham junction

Think of it as almost a mini winter wonderland. Whilst not as spectacular, it’s certainly cheaper and far less crowded. With a bouncing beer tent, ice skating and alcoholic hot chocolate on offer it is certainly not one to be missed.

And finally…

Oxford Street

For me, it’s the epitome of Christmas in London. There is no greater feeling than stepping off the tube at Bond street station and seeing beautiful lights wherever you look. Year on year the window displays set it apart from your normal London shopping street. Be sure to check out “Moz” in John Lewis and the neon “with love” at Selfridges for a true feeling of Christmas.

10 Things I’ve learnt after a year in London

  1. Cheesy chips and gravy? Not a thing. *GASP* I know. Chips and gravy can be a struggle and cheesy chips are still a novelty in some places. Save this for home/returning to the North – especially if you’re aware of The Pie Shop.
  2. That bag you’re seeing EVERYWHERE? It’s a Longchamp tote.
  3. There will never be a good time to shop on Oxford Street so don’t try it. Try one of the Westfield centres instead or even better, the shopping centre at Canary Wharf – bliss.
  4. Build up your alcohol tolerance as you’ll need it. Get used to weekend day drinking starting with boozy brunches, weekend evening drinking, mid-week drinks, Prosecco Thursdays. That no drinking on a school night idea? Gone by week 2.

    Less than a week living in LDN and already exploring bars

  5. Tiger is the greatest shop on earth.
  6. Become a RTC (reduced to clear) ninja so you can pounce at the supermarket. Get to know the RTC staff if you have to so you know when the good stuff goes out or you’ll be left with a single yoghurt and some flavoured cottage cheese.
  7. Learn to pronounce stations. There’s nothing worse than a Londoner looking down on you ’cause you say Hol-Born.
  8. The number of Prets outweigh Greggs 2:1 so savour your sausage rolls when you do find them.
  9. You’ll flock to fellow northerners like a homing beacon – getting exceptionally excited when you hear another northern accent.
  10. As much as The North seems miles away, you wouldn’t trade living in The City.

        A beautiful view from Greenwich Hill

NG x

Northern Girl on… my body image story – Update 4

It’s that time again! Another whole month since I last updated you on my body positivity and my mental health. 

So what’s new since my last update 

1. I’ve started an exercise plan that I’m sticking to and enjoying.

2. I’ve started tracking meals which is forcing me to make conscious decisions about my food (and also saying f*ck it occasionally since it’s allowed).

3. I’ve started a nutrition and health qualification which has helped me understand what my body needs.

4. I invested in the skinny coffee club – Don’t judge. I had my reasons.

5. I’ve turned pescatarian.

But it hasn’t exactly been plain sailing. It’s been another up and down month. As part of my new exercise programme I decided to treat myself to some new exercise leggings and cropped top. I was on such a high when I bought a size 8 bottom and they actually felt baggy! I’d gotten so used to buying size 10 jeans that this was huge. Then in the same moment I’d be mid HIIT workout disgusted at the fat rolls that would appear mid v-sit or that would hang during other exercises.

New gym gear that I love

I wore a crop top to work and felt great. Then I saw my reflection in a dlr train and literally hated myself. I spent the 10 minute walk home cursing myself for thinking I could do such a thing. All I could think about was how many people must have seen me and thought to themselves “she shouldn’t be wearing a crop top.” Would I have thought the same if I’d seen me? The chances are that nobody thought that, but I couldn’t let it go. I couldn’t wait to get out of these clothes and put on a baggy t-shirt and escape those horrible thoughts.

Generally I’ve definitely spent more of this month feeling low about my body and I definitely can’t really recall many highs. It’s been exhausting but I have to say in a lot of other aspects I’ve been on a high. I’m probably the happiest I’ve been in a long time. My health is in the best place it’s been in a while thanks to going back pescatarian and I’m finally having regular scans to get the diagnosis I need. Here’s to hoping I can just work on the body positivity a bit more.

Post HIIT home work out. Taking my fitness seriously 

Until next month! Ng x