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

Northern Girl on… The Barbican Conservatory

One of London’s more secret attractions, not many people know that The Barbican centre has a conservatory that is open to the public and free to visit. Located on the third floor, the conservatory is home to some of the most amazing plants, fish and even turtles.

The plants wind through the conservatory past the fish ponds where you can take in all the varieties from pepper trees to banana plants and even the papaya plant. It then takes you up the stairs for beautiful views of the whole conservatory where you get to see the two varieties of turtles en route to the cactus room. 

If you get chance afternoon tea is a must. The food looked absolutely amazing and you’ll be hard pressed to find afternoon tea in a more picturesque and unique environment. 

Or if you’re on a budget, pack your own sandwiches and take them out to the stunning ground floor courtyard where you can sit by the water and soak up the sunshine.

The conservatory is open every Sunday 12pm-5pm (last entry 4:30) until the end of September with the exception of the 20th August and 10th September where it is closed for private events. Full information and afternoon tea booking can be found at

NG x


Northern Girl on… Ways to make more money (without getting a second job)

Adulting is hard. No matter what you do for a living you never seem to have enough money. Even if its just to keep up the clothes/beauty/Starbucks addiction the paycheck never seems to quite make it and even more so in London! Luckily I’ve found a few ways of making a bit of extra cash even while working full time.

One of those ways is market research. Since moving to London I’ve made a little extra cash in various market research projects. So how do you get involved?

There are various companies who offer market research projects:

Podengo – This is where I’ve probably had most of my market research projects come from. You can find out their projects from their Facebook page and by joining their mailing list. They have projects all over the country and there really is something for everyone. The projects vary and can include online communities, uploading pictures/videos or attending group discussions. Some will be paid with money and others might be rewarded in Amazon vouchers. You have to sign up for each project individually but if you meet the criteria they’ll call you to book you in on one of the sessions.

Angelfish – Similar to podengo they have a wide range of projects all over the country. Each project has its own register questionnaire so unlike podengo you know straight away if you haven’t quite made the criteria. They also offer a refer a friend scheme so if you don’t make the selection but you recommend someone who does you’ll receive an amazon voucher as a thank you. You can access their projects from their Facebook page and by email referrals.

A recent project involved blind tasting 6 alcoholic beverages

Market force – probably the smallest monetary value for market research but they have a lot of projects in shops/restaurants where they will reimburse you the value of the purchase and pay you a bit more for completing the task. Its probably the easiest form to complete to sign up as you often just have to read the assignment notes and answer a few questions but some will require you to watch videos. Once you’ve completed the visit you often have to complete a short questionnaire and photograph your receipt but that’s it. It pays to provide high quality information though as you get a point score. The higher the score, the more projects you get access to. They also have a great feature where you can tell them when you’ll be travelling as they have a lot of projects in airports that require you to be airside in order to complete them.

Brainsights – Originally Canadian based, this company have branched out to London. It’s a little bit more secretive than other projects as I’m still not entirely sure where the data goes but you can get paid for attending a central London location and watching 45 minutes of content whilst wearing a brain scanner it really is that easy! They regularly run the sessions so once you’re registered with them they’ll email you inviting you to more sessions.

Universities – A lot of the universities offer small incentives to go in and test out a product or feature. Yet to carry this out myself, I’ve heard of stories of being paid £10 for going in and tasting a chocolate and writing what you thought about it. Most of the universities use the same SONA system so just search SONA + your local university.

Fiverr / Fivesquid – perfect for those who are really good with tech etc. Its basically a “service” selling website for pretty much anything. Excellent Donald Trump impersonator? You can make money from that. SEO whizz? You can make money from that. Nutrition expert? Well you get the picture. You’re responsible for setting your own budget and you grow your profile through reviews from people who have used your services. Again not something I’ve actually tried out myself but I’m certainly hoping to in the not so distant future. 

YouGov – I actually only discovered this recently following a post published on the 10  ways Facebook page (check out the post here on why they’re a Facebook timeline staple) but YouGov conduct surveys on various topics such as politics, entertainment, public figures etc. The info is usually used on shows where they’ve asked a sample of people. You get survey requests emailed to you and they take around 10 minutes to complete. For each survey you get points until you have enough for £50. It’s been known to take quite a long time to earn enough points for the money but if you don’t mind the time it’s a very easy way to make £50.

UK Transcription – If you fancy yourself as a dab hand at transcribing you could get involved in UK transcription. They’re the go to place for people wanting their audio files transcribed. You’ll be put through a couple of tests and trials to ensure you’re up to scratch but once you’re through you’ll be able to select work that works around you. Just head to the transcription jobs page on their website.

Do you have any tips for making some extra cash? Leave me a comment and let me know NG x