Having worked in a gym for the past 5 years, I’d say I was a confident gym user, but lately I have been really struggling to motivate myself to get into the gym. My fitness levels have reduced and I don’t feel as good in myself, I knew I needed a new challenge to help with motivation. So I’ve entered the London Marathon Ballot.
Running isn’t a new thing for me, I use to train twice a week from the age of 12 to 16 but the furthest distance I ran was 800m. I absolutely loved running and have always regretted giving athletics up. But the idea of running more than 800m is terrifying. Luckily I have an amazing friend, Lorraine, who has 4 marathons and a half iron man (plus lots of other races) under her belt, who has volunteered to help me with training (thank goodness).
I don’t find out until October whether I’m successful or not in my ballot entry. But I’m aiming to do my first 5k Run in October with Lorraine. I’ll be using my blog and Instagram to track my training and also have some accountability. If anyone has any advice, you are more than welcome to contact me via the contact page.
What new challenge have you taken on or planning to take on?
From Rachel With Love x
Its official, I will be graduating in July with a 2.1 BSc Honours in Physiotherapy. I’m so over the moon that all the hard work over the last three years has paid off and in a couple of weeks time I’ll be a fully qualified physiotherapist.
I must admit, the three years have had their ups and downs. Firstly, I didn’t want to go to university, but had no choice as I knew I wanted to be a Physiotherapist. I also remember I absolutely hated my first week of uni, it wasn’t until I’d made some friends and settled into my lectures that I really began to enjoy it.
The hardest term for me, was the first term of my second year, I was really struggling with severe anxiety and depression, making it difficult to keep up with the workload. Once I admitted I was struggling, I received a great support from my uni, had some 1-2- sessions of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and still managed to pass my exams for that term. The hardest hurdle came when it was time to write my dissertation. I truly underestimated how hard it would be to write it. I don’t know how many times I cried the week of writing it, but with the support of friends and family, I completed it and achieved a good result, way above what I imagined I could do.
When I first started uni I would have been disappointed to finish with anything less that an 1st, but the combination of things I went through during the 3 years, I could’t be happier with a 2.1. I’ve learnt that you can achieve anything you want, as long as you put your mind to it and how much having a supportive network helps.
I wouldn’t have gotten through the last three years if it wasn’t for the friends I made at university; Lorraine, Becky, Laura and Maria, my personal tutor, lady from IDAPT services and of course my family. If you’re struggling with anything, at any point in your life, just ask for help. Doesn’t matter who it is, just ask.
From Rachel with love x
Here is a round up of my favourite things I have been using over the course of April.
Everything I know about love by Dolly Alderton – This is my favourite book I’ve read this year. It made me laugh, made me cry and question everything what I know about love. It was one of those book what me self reflect a lot, which is sometimes needed. I read it in about 4 days because I didn’t want to put it down, so I highly recommend it.
Black Opium Perfume– this perfume by Yves Saint Laurent, it smells divine and I have had so many compliments whilst wearing it. It also one of those fragrances that last all day, it has notes of coffee, white flowers and vanilla, all my favourite smells.
Glossier Generation G lipstick – Glossier is massive all over Instagram but wanted to see what the hype was about, I bought boy brow as well as the lipstick. I bought shade leo which is brown colour, but I love the subtly of the colour, perfect for natural make up look. Also as a matte lipstick is doesn’t dry my lips out and applies smoothly.
Body Yoghurt – These are a new release from the bodyshop, they are a fast absorbing moisturiser and that they are! After applying it, I only have wait a few minutes and I’m able to get dressed, without feeling sticky or struggling to get my trousers on. I bought the coconut one, so not only does it leave my skin feel silky and soft, it smells yummy too. Plus is vegan and cruelty free.
Yellow Bikini – I have a beach holiday coming up this year and haven’t bought new bikini for ages, so I went onto Shein and bought 2 bikini for £8.99 each. I bought them both in a small and they fit perfectly, I can’t wait to wear them this summer.
What your favourite things this month?
From Rachel with love x
Morning – I start my morning routine by using Tea Tree Toner by the Body Shop, I feel it really cleans by skin without drying it out. For moisturiser I am using L’Oreal Paris hydra genius, it’s quite light weight and leaves my skin soft. But I’m in the process of transition to only using cruelty free cosmetic brands, so if anyone could recommend a daily moisturiser from a cruelty free brand please? In the last few months I have started to used a daily sun protection, which has made a huge difference to the appearance of my skin, its taken it from dull and tired looking to much brighter and glowly. I have been using Body Shop ‘s Vitamin C Glow protection lotion. I then apply my make up, another post about my make routine is coming soon.
Evening – My routine starts in the shower with a facial scrub called Let the good times roll by Lush. It’s a new product that came into my life about a month ago, after getting a free tester pot. It literally smells like popcorn is quite gentle on my skin but still leaves my skin feeling clean and super soft after each day. My skin is clearer and looks much brighter since using it. I use a make up remover from the body shop which get off all my mascara followed by a baby wipe to get off residue make up. I then finish off with a vitamin E oil, I like to use a heavier moisturiser at night, as it has time to settle into my skin as I sleep, leaving me with soft skin in the morning.
The Body Shop is one of my favourite companies for skin care, not only do they have a huge selection for different skin types, but they are also cruelty free. I didn’t realise how many cosmetic companies still tested their products on animals. I’m aware some of the products mentioned are not cutely free, but I bought these before making the changes and I don’t want to waste product. The body shop currently have a petition to stop animal testing, which can be signed here.
Cruelty Free Kitty is a great source for more information regarding animal testing and which brands are cruelty free.
Let me know what your skin care favourite are and if there is anything you recommend I try.
From Rachel with love x
Tea Tree Toner.
Vitamin C glow.
Let the good times roll.
Make up remover.
Vitamin E Oil.
As I’m nearing the end of my 3 year degree, I’ve been reflecting on my career so far. When I finished my A-levels at 18, I had no idea what I wanted to do, it was a very scary time realising my whole life was ahead of me without a clue where to start or how to fulfil it. I went through a rough patch, struggling with symptoms of depression, looking back I didn’t realise how low I felt at the time.
One of my 1st employed roles was working as a party host at a leisure centre where my sister worked. It wasn’t something I enjoyed at all, but it meant I started to gain experience and earn some money. My luck changed when I was looking at swimming pool times at local leisure centre where I used to swim regularly as a child. Thinking to myself, this seems like a nice place to work, I then found myself in the jobs section. There was an advert for a ‘Fitness Instructor Apprentice’, no qualifications or experience was required, so it was absolutely perfect for me. Originally after my interview I was phoned to say I was unsuccessful, but a couple a weeks later I got a call asking if I was still available for the job. The next week I was starting my 1st day!
Within the first 4 months, I’d passed my level 2 fitness instructor qualification. I went on to gain my level 3 personal training and indoor cycling instructor course. I was awarded employee of the year in 2014, which has been one of the proudest moments of my working life, it really highlighted how far I had come. The skills I learnt from working at Aspire are so invaluable and I wouldn’t be where I was today without them. I applied to university to study Physiotherapy in 2014, without the experience and confidence I had gained, I wouldn’t have been successful in my university application.
I have continued to work at Aspire part-time whilst studying university, which has helped financially and have continued to develop skills, which have helped throughout my uni course. I’m planning on utilising the skills I have learnt to grow an online Personal Training business.
I look forward to starting a new chapter in my career later this year, but will always be grateful for where it all started. It’s also a reminder that is okay if you don’t have it all figured out, just gain experience and take different paths, you’ll never know where they might lead. As they say it’s about the journey not the destination. Another blog post focusing on my uni experience will be coming soon.
From Rachel with love x
Sorry for the lack of post lately, I have been super stressed and struggling trying to write my dissertation. So here is a quick post with some random facts about me, after seeing the tag circulating around Instagram.
I’m a 3rd year physiotherapy student– I absolutely love the course and know I made the right decision to embark on a career in physiotherapy.
I’ve met the Queen – At the age of 3, the school where I attended nursery caught fire. My mum (a firefighter) was on duty and called to the fire. So when the school was re-opened by the queen I was selected to give her flowers. I can’t remember much of the day, apart from my knee-high socks were too long and uncomfortable. Luckily there is a video of the experience. I’m mixed race – My grandfather was from Barbados, he died when my Mum was two, so sadly I never met him. I also haven’t ever been to Barbados which is something I am hoping to change soon.
I wanted to be an Olympic athlete – I did athletics in particular 800m for 4 years but gave it up around the age of 16, It’s still one of my biggest regrets to this day.
I’m a Cancerian– I’m still dubious about astrology, I don’t read my horoscope regularly and I wouldn’t make life decisions based on it. However, if you read the personality traits of cancerian, it’s me down to a T!
So there you have 5 random facts about me, I’m always happy to answer any questions if you ever want to know more.
From Rachel with Love x
I have always loved a suit, they are such versatile pieces which you can create multiple outfits from. My favourite thing is the way I feel when wearing one, I feel sassy, confident and that I could take on anything. I currently own one suit and this is definitely an area of my wardrobe I would like to expand on. There is also massive variation in the style of suit, ranging from slim fitting and super structured or slouchy for a more androgynous feel. Not to mention the colours and patterns they come in, there is really something out there for everyone. I have a bottle green slim fitting suit from Topshop which I have styled in 3 ways. Unfortunately this suit is no longer available so I have linked to some alternatives below.
The 1st look is more of a casual one. I have teamed it a Blondie band tee and pink brogues from office. I wore this for an evening at a Matthew Bourne Ballet in Sadlers Wells. If I was wearing this outfit during the day, I would swap the brogues for trainers to make the look even more casual.
For the second look, I have gone a bit more risqué. I have used a lace bodysuit from Boohoo, but you could also wear a bralet if you are feeling extra confident. I’ve gone for some killer heels to elongate the legs and the dress the suit up for an evening out
The final look is the most causal of the three. I have paired the blazer with a white tee and skinny jeans. Adding a blazer to such a causal outfit makes me feel more put together and that I have put some more thought into my outfit.
From Rachel with love x
Green Striped Suit – Topshop.
Check Double breasted suit – Topshop.
Grey cropped blazer and grey textured trousers – Ted Baker.
Terracotta single breasted blazer and Terracotta taper trousers – Next.
Fashion is something I am really passionate about, I love the individuality of it and how it can be used to express something, almost like an art form. I love creating outfits, sometimes they can be slightly quirky. My most prized possession is a pair of sliver boots from office, I was heckled by a homeless man in New York who shouted “Girl, you’ve got your own style”, still one of my favourite compliments to date. Sometimes when I struggling with what to wear, I look to Instagram, so here our my favourites…
Megan Ellaby – I first came across Megan when she worked as Stylist at ASOS, I was initially drawn to her as we have a similar style mostly inspired by the 60s/70s. Megan is one of my favourite people whom I’ve never met and since following her, I have been able to embrace my own personal fashion tastes and wear items with such confidence. She puts lots of effort into her blog, youtube and Instagram content, if you ever need some style inspiration she is the girl to go to. We also share a birthday and I couldn’t think of a nicer person to share a birthday with.
Fashion Influx – Lydia Rose is new on my radar but her style is just to die for, as is her Instagram page. My favourite thing about Lydia is her use of high street stores, nothing worse when you see a killer outfit that is nowhere near your price range. Her blog also has links to all the outfits from her Instagram post, so you can rock your favourite looks too. I also love the variation of her outfits, always feel inspired after visiting her page.
In the Frow – I followed Victoria Magrath, on recommendation from Megan and wondered why I hadn’t followed her sooner. Victoria, is so educated about fashion, she even has a PHD and her styling is just beautiful. She has a mix of designer to high street, so there is something for everyone. The quality of her photos on Instagram are just stunning, and you can see the effort she puts in. I’m excited to see whats to come in 2018.
If you are looking for a dose of style inspiration, I would recommend giving these lovelies a follow. Also comment below with your favourites.
From Rachel With love x
whilst browsing on Topshop’s website, I saw they have a personal styling service and after feeling like I’m stuck in a rut with my fashion/styling choices, I decided to do some research. After reading a few blog posts and information provided on the Topshop website, I thought why not.
It’s a complimentary service and there is no obligation to buy anything. You start by selecting the type of session you wish i.e Complete wardrobe overhaul or the birthday, I choose “newer than now”, it’s a 60 minute session which gives you items for the upcoming trends. You complete a small questionnaire online then select a stylist of your choice depending on your selected store. I selected Sophie Antropik at Topshop Oxford Circus.
I arrived at my appointment early, so waited on a lovely velvet sofa, until Sophie greeted me and took me into a changing room with a selection of outfits hanging on rail. She had selected around 10 outfits for me, which we chatted through. The outfits selected suited my style down to a tee. There were some pieces I wouldn’t usually go for, but absolutely loved. Sophie was lovely and so helpful, she popped in and out of my changing room to see how I was getting out, got me different sizes or styles if I needed them. The hardest part of the session was deciding the pieces to take home. In the end I bought a pair of jeans, a blazer and 2 skirts, if I was in a different financial situation, I would have bought it all!
If any of you fancy adding some new pieces to your wardrobe or a complete change of style, I recommend booking yourself a Topshop personal shopping service.
From Rachel With Love x