Thursday, 3 July 2014

USA Holiday Snaps!

Now that I have gotten over the post holiday blues I thought it was about damn time that I share some photos with you. We had such an amazing holiday, a once in a lifetime kinda trip. Matt and I spent 6 weeks in the USA in 2006 so it was great to not only revisit those places and see how things have changed but also experience places which we missed the first time around.

First up was an 11 hour long haul flight. We flew with Virgin Atlantic and they were really good, I ordered the vegan food option for the flight and to be fair, it wasn't that bad! So after a long flight and feeling quite tired we picked up the hire car then promptly exited the freeway much too soon and ended up in downtown San Francisco during rush hour. Oh so much fun! Not. Where we stayed in San Francisco we cheap and cheerful but pretty much close to everywhere we wanted to be. We walked so much in those three days we were in the city. Up and down those hills was a great workout!

Everywhere we went seemed to have a heatwave going on as well which was good for us. You can never complain at extra sunshine. During the midst of this heatwave we drove over to Yosemite National Park. I was so taken a back by this beautiful place that I got quite emotional at the top of Glacier Point. I cannot put into words just how breathtaking this place was.

We then headed back across to the coast and drove down to Santa Barbara via highway 1 and the Big Sur. This is such a gorgeous drive with amazing coastline.

Once we reached Santa Barbara I really felt that I had come home. I seriously could live there. You had the beach, the pier, lots of shops, fresh green juice and lots of yummy places to eat. I fell in love with Santa Barbara! 

We spent a day on the roller coasters of Magic Mountain before heading to Santa Monica to relax for a couple of days. Matt did a lot of driving! One of the highlights was riding the beach cruiser bikes from Santa Monica pier down to Venice Beach and back. even if I did get sunburnt! 

On such a gorgeous sunny day we headed to Newport Beach where we eat some delicious pancakes, walked on the beach and enjoyed the sunshine. 

After another 5 hour flight we ventured into New York City! Although the apartment we were staying in was small we were a lot more central than the last place we stayed in New York, only a few blocks away from Central Park and a short walk to my favourite coffee shop... Coffee Bean! 

Of course we had to sit on the met steps like Gossip Girl! We also went to see Chicago on Broadway. It was such a fun experience and we had surprisingly amazing seats! 

We did a lot in just two weeks and had a fun filled active holiday. I loved every minute and I am so grateful that I am able to travel to exciting places. 

All photos taken by Matt :)

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Life Lately // Yoga, Holidays, Kayla Itsines and the bump back down to reality

Hello everyone and happy Sunday! I have had the best snoozy, lazy Sunday morning for a while. My usual 8:45am Sunday yoga class was fully booked so I took the opportunity to sleep in a little and start the day slowly. It's good for the soul! Made even better when your boyfriend brings you freshly brewed coffee with almond milk in bed :)

This week has been tough. Just for the simple reason of getting back into the 'going to work' mode following an amazing time away in the USA. I will be bringing you some photos from my travel this coming week so watch out for that post. The good news is that I am now only two weeks away from starting my Yoga Teacher Training adventure. I am so nervous but so excited at the same time. It is a residential course so I will be in a yoga bubble for the whole three weeks. I am hoping to bring you updates as and when I can.

I started a new workout plan then decided it wasn't for me. I started following the Kayla Itsines works on Monday. Monday was a leg workout, they are basically hardcore circuit workouts. There are two circuits which you follow twice through for seven minutes each. Boy did it kill my legs! I was so so sore for two days afterwards. On Thursday I did the abs and arm workout... I am still sore now. Yesterday I decided that although the workout plan is VERY effective (hello abs after 5 days) it isn't for me. I can't afford to be sore for days after a workout when I have yoga to practice. So it's yoga, yoga, yoga for me for the next two weeks with some light cardio thrown in.

While we were out in the USA we spent a day cycling up and down the beaches from Santa Monica to Venice Beach. We hired some beach cruisers and I totally fell in love with cycling again! Since returning home I have been doing my research and hopefully a pretty beach cruiser (with gears!) will make it's way into my life this summer. I think it's a great way to get out in the lovely weather and it will be a good way for Matt and I to get some fun workouts in while enjoying the weekends.

Have a fun week everyone!

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Guest Post // My Path To Yoga

Hi there Miss Jayne Becca readers! I am so fortunate to be able to chat with you today as a guest post for Jayne. I blog over at Creative With Kristyn and wanted to share my journey to yoga with all of you.

Yoga came to me at a time when I needed it so very much in my life. I was very stressed out with my career and some personal things and had been eying up the local hot yoga studio for a month.

Finally, the first weekend of November in 2013, I decided I had waited long enough. I went on down and took my first heated vinyasa class. I had dabbled in yoga since I was in college, but nothing serious, and I had never done hot vinyasa before. I tried Bikram one time, and did not like it at all. So I was nervous and excited all at once for my first heated vinyasa class.

Seventy-five glorious minutes later, I was hooked. It took one class to have my full attention and from then I knew a healthy addiction was going to form.

And form did it ever. I started going to class 3 to 4 times a week. I had favorite instructors. I was never intimidated by what others could do that I was not able to do yet in my practice. My teachers would always say that yoga is a lifelong journey and where it will take you is the beauty of the entire thing. Yoga isn't just a form of exercise for the body, it's exercise for the mind and is so much more than even that.

My stress and tensions with work started to calm down. When there were ups and downs, I was able to work through them better by stopping and breathing through it, just like we do in yoga.

Other things in my life that were causing stress started falling into place. I do not know why, but I strongly feel yoga had a positive effect on this and my calmness that I developed from yoga helped with these particular life things falling into place.

I have grown so much as a person since starting yoga and I cannot wait to see where this journey takes me. My best friend commented to me on a post I had written on my blog about how yoga has changed my life. She said to me that she can see the difference and the positive effect it has had on me and my life. Not that I was ever a bad person or was always negative, she just can see my whole outlook has changed. And now she has been joining me to classes.

My practice has come so far, and I can only imagine where it will take me. I would love to teach yoga one day. I have a passion for the practice and would really love the opportunity to take the teacher training course. I know that these opportunities will come and go and come again and that I will be able to follow those dreams when the time is right.

Yoga gave me the extra push I needed to complete and follow through with the dream of writing my first children's book, Seamore the Starfish. I could not be more grateful for yoga.

Yoga has taken me to a completely new world. It has opened my eyes up to new beginnings and new possibilities. Yoga is a lifelong journey. My heart and health are so glad I found yoga. Shanti, shanti, shanti: peace, peace, peace. Namaste.

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Sunday, 15 June 2014

Skincare // Simple Kind To Skin+

So I was thinking that quite often I write about higher end skincare but not so much about my favourite budget skincare brands. I was recently mooching around Boots (as you do!) looking for a new moisturiser have just scraped our every last scrap of my pot of Origins Ginzing when I came across the Simple Skincare stand. I wasn't looking to spend a huge amount of money and with summer coming along I wanted to pick up a lightweight moisturiser which I could pop on under a lightweight base. I have loved Simple skincare for a long time and there Simple Kind To Skin+ range was just what I was looking for. Of course Boots had their usual 3 for 2 offer on so of course I had to pick up three products. 

The first thing I picked up was the Illuminating Radiance Cream as I do love a radiant, dewy look to my skin so this sounded right up my street! It is lightweight on your skin which is perfect for summer (and holidays!) and the light reflecting particles in the cream give a subtle glow. I have been using it in the mornings under my make up or if I fancy a barefaced day at home it is perfect alone. It also has SPF 15 which is a bonus. 

I also picked up the Radiance Brightening Cleansing Wipes which although they do get a bad rep sometimes they do have their place. Travelling on a plane being one of them. Your skin tends to get so dehydrated from flying face wipes are a godsend for refreshing your skin. 

Lastly the Protecting Moisture Cream is a bargain of a product for £3.99. Usually if you are looking for a lightweight moisturiser with a higher SPF you are looking at about £50 for a bottle. It is great for combination skin leaving it feeling moisturised but not at all oily and it isn't 'heavy' at all on your skin. What I love about all the Simple products is that they are great for sensitive skin too. My skin is sometimes a little temperamental but I have noticed it seems to be clear and happier since I have brought these moisturisers into my routine.  

What are you favourite budget skincare products?

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Guest Post // Five Reasons Kettle-Bells are Amazing

Hello everyone, I’m Maya and I blog over at Superfoodbabe where I share my passion for fitness, fun, food and fashion. While Jayne is busy sunning herself in California (omg!) I am guest posting here on her awesome blog!

Today I am sharing five reasons why you should incorporate kettle-bells into your workouts!

They burn a ton of calories!
Training with kettle-bells has been shown to blast up to 20 calories A MINUTE. That means in just a 10 minute workout you can burn up to 200 calories. But best of all you will be a fat burning machine all day as kettle-bells help build muscle and can act as a form of HIIT training. 

You can incorporate super fun and functional exercises.
Exercises like the kettle-bell swing, goblet squat and kettle-bell deadlift are fantastic for improving your functional fitness making everyday tasks much easier. Also move like the wind-mill and Turkish get-up are so fun you won’t even feel like you are working out!

They provide an amazing workout in a short space of time.
Kettle-bells provide strength training, cardio, balance, flexibility and agility all in one fast paced workout so you are free to get on with your day.

Once you get one you have it for life.
Seriously those things are unbreakable.

Kettle-bells have been shown to improve posture, lower resting heart rate, increase insulin sensitivity and much more.   
There are tons of studies you can check out online but basically kettle-bells have been shown to improve all sorts of risk factors for disease so you will be standing tall, loving life and being healthy for many long years of your life to come.

Hope you enjoyed finding out more about kettle-bells and be sure to check out my blog for more fitness and healthy food musings!

Have you ever incorporated kettle-bells into your fitness routine? 

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Guest Post // Yogic Beginnings

Firstly, thanks Jayne for hosting me on your blog! I’m Tash, I blog over at Ballet, Dance & Fitness about healthy living, fitness and dance. I’m also a relatively new yogi, and that’s partly due to the lovely Jayne herself!

I think my first ever yoga class was on a cruise ship holiday 7 or 8 years ago. I remember signing up for Pilates classes on board but one day, not realising that the ship had sailed through a time zone overnight, turned up at the wrong time and ended up in yoga, much to my confusion! I enjoyed it none-the-less, but decided for whatever reason, not to explore it much further.

Over the years since, yoga occasionally appeared in my life, mainly in the odd class at dance college or my attempt at bikram yoga via a groupon voucher. I considered taking it up more regularly, but something else always got in the way...until now.

When I started blogging I read as many fitness blogs as possible and started to follow my favourite blogs and instagram accounts. Among these were blogs about running, weight-lifting, and of course, yoga... Miss Jayne Becca being one of them. I found that on instagram, I was most inspired by the photos of yogis, not only for their seemingly constant positive outlook on life, but for the enviable strength that some possessed. One account that I was most drawn to was Jayne’s. With her sunny disposition, funky leggings and her progress being tracked through her instagram feed, I saw that her determination and dedication was the key getting into yoga. At the same time, Women’s Health Magazine set a 21-days-of-yoga challenge, and I got a voucher for Yotopia in Covent Garden. That was me set, I was about to become a yogi.

Now I know that yoga is not supposed to be competitive and ‘look what I can do’ but I come from a competitive dance background, and I’m not gonna lie, I wanted to attempt some of those postures too! Being a dancer, I’m flexible and have pretty good balance, all this of course helps in yoga classes, but it certainly doesn’t make it easy. I realised that you need strength, focus and most importantly, breath control, all things that I find tricky. Yes I tried all the fancy postures, but yoga is so much more that that.

I’m now obsessed. I’ve tried Vinyasa, hot Vinyasa, Dharma, Yin, Hot Hatha and Forrest yoga and have enjoyed each one for different reasons. I want to explore the spiritual side more, work on getting deeper into each pose and attempt to switch of my constant brain chatter, or at least focus momentarily on my body and my body only. I try to practise a little every day, and enjoy the instagram yoga photo challenges, even if they are a bit pose-focused.

I didn’t think I’d become a yogi, but 2 months down the line, I am fast becoming one, and I partly have Jayne, and many more #yogisofinstagram to thank for that.

How did you get into yoga? Pop by Ballet, Dance & Fitness and tell me your story. Maybe I’ll meet some of you on the mat one day.


Instagram: @balletdancefitness Twitter: @balletdancefit

Sunday, 8 June 2014

How to stay Healthy while Travelling

While I am off on an adventure around California and New York City I thought that I would share with you my tips for staying healthy while travelling. I know many of you will be off on your own travels this summer so I hope you find them useful.

Before you fly ~ Flying can take it's toll on the body, especially long haul flights so before you travel make sure to drink a lot of water before you fly as your body can get dehydrated during the flight. It also helps with jet lag. 

Try to eat a good healthy meal with plenty of greens as we all know airplane food is not the best! I also tend to suffer from travel sickness so it's best for me to eat beforehand as I know I won't eat a huge amount during the flight. 

+ During the flight ~ Keep up with your hydration, guzzle that water! Also on the theme of hydration I like to whip all my make up off during the flight to try and keep my skin happy. If you have a facial oil then you can use it to protect your skin from drying out during the flight. 

Try to sleep as it will help your body adjust to your new time zone and lets face it, is a good way to kill time during a long flight! I like to pop in my headphones and put on my eye mask to help me drift off. 

Stretch! Yes I am one of those people who stretches everywhere, I love a good stretch while at my desk at work so while flying is no different. Move around as and when you can to get the blood flowing. 

+ When you land ~ Hydrate again. Yep you may make many trips to the bathroom but trust me, your body will thank you for me. Also grab a green juice if you can as your body will need the nutrients, it will also help with your digestion. 

+ My Airplane essentials ~ Burts Bees grapefruit lip balm, Pai Skincare Rosehip Oil, notebook and pen, Spirulina and Magnesium tablets, headphones, kindle, current yoga reading, Nakd Bar, Simple Cleansing Wipes, sun glasses, hair clips and snacks :)

Happy flying!

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