Yes, yes, when I go to the gym, I’m usually getting around in last year’s runners and something I picked up on sale, but it’s nice to see what pretty and comfory things are out there!
The following is a sponsored guest post by ASOS
Sports fans are in for a real treat this year with huge events just around the corner. Spurred on by the constant bombardment of athletes in adverts now is a brilliant time to get fit and healthy. One of the silly little niggles that often stops us from heading straight to the gym is the fear that we will look just a tad out of place in a sweatband that hasn’t seen the light of day for a good few years now.
But don’t worry, “sports luxe” as the designers like to call it, is firmly back on the fashion radar so you will have no problem finding an outfit that you feel comfortable and stylish in, which will boost your confidence and most importantly spur you on to lose weight, get back in shape after having a baby or just keep fit.
The first thing we need to think about when heading back to the gym is our footwear. If trainers haven’t graced your wardrobe in a long while well now is the time to invest in a brand new pair as ill-fitting and unsupportive shoes can lead to a serious ankle injury, and that wouldn’t be the best idea to make a good impression now would it? The great news is that even our favourite sports brands are becoming more fashion forward and running trainers can now be found in gorgeous pastel colours that are a huge hit on designer catwalks everywhere. (You will probably want to wear them all the time!)
So, our feet are sorted but what about the rest of our outfit? The dilemma is do we want to wear leggings, sweatpants or shorts? If you are self-conscious of your legs sweatpants may be the ideal solution for you as they will cover you up and will skim over any lumps and bumps you would rather conceal. Leggings are great if you don’t want your legs covered but don’t want excess material flapping about on the treadmill. For leg confident ladies shorts are great as they will keep you cool and cycling shorts are particularly on trend. To really stand out from the crowd neon is bound to get you noticed.
Nearly there now, all that is left is what to wear on top? A cropped sweatshirt is great if you want to run outdoors and the weather is a little chilly, although you may need more than a little body confidence to pull it off. For a more classic look choose a simple polo shirt or a camisole and you have your fitness look sussed.
Once you have your confidence boosting get up you will be ready to hit the gym, or even just the park for a purse friendly jog (when the weather permits), so get to it and let’s start the new season in a healthy style.
The kids need to get to school on time, you have to run a thousand errands, and there just isn’t enough time in the day. Are you feeling stressed? Quite simply, you should be because life isn’t easy, especially when other people need your attention. The thing is because there aren’t enough hours in a day, it feels as if there is no time to relax. Even a Netflix binge at the end of a tough 24-hour is out of the question.
So, those things that other do to relieve stress aren’t going to be on your to-do list. Well, exercising or going for a massage might make the top ten, but you won’t tick them off anytime soon. No, what you need is to eradicate tension without leaving the confines of your home. Yep, it is the dream, and yes, it is possible.
Here are the six ways to make it happen. For a bonus, the following should work in five minutes or less.
Cook A Meal
As stressful as it sounds, preparing food is very relaxing once the heavy lifting is out of the way. In fact, lots of people find chopping onions and sautéing vegetables pretty cathartic. The trick is to turn up the volume on the radio, pour a glass of vino, and take your time. Yes, the dish has to be on the table when the kids get home from school, but you can leave it to simmer for hours if need be. Actually, slow cooking a piece of meat in a gravy sauce is as delicious as it is relaxing. All you have to do is use up the leftovers and throw them in a pan with some stock. Then, turn the heat down low and check on it every couple of hours to make sure. Voila! Does that sound like a tense day in the kitchen?
Grab A Quick Burst Of Energy
Sometimes, waiting for a meal to cook is too long. After all, a factor in the build-up of stress is a lack of energy. When the muscles and the brain don’t have enough fuel, cortisol begins to form. Once these levels reach a certain limit, it can feel as if your head is about to explode. Thankfully, some foods are readymade and contain the nutrients the vital organs need to work efficiently. You’re going to love this – chocolate is a prime example. Yep, the brown stuff you only like to eat sparingly is a nerve calmer. According to reports, it regulates the metabolism as well as the stress hormone we have previously mentioned. Always go for dark chocolate with over 70% cocoa for health reasons.
But not just any old rubbish. No, only the best will do for those of you who need to calm down within the next 300 minutes. There is a reason the poms drink it like it’s going out of fashion! That motivation is called L-Theanine, a chemical which does something remarkable. Studies prove this element helps to relieve anger and reduce the possibility of mood swings. So, instead of going purple with rage, you can go green with relaxation instead. Sure, it’s not the colour of stress relief – what is? – but L-Theanine is found in green tea and herbal remedies. Therefore, a cup of this emerald coloured goodness should make you feel at ease instantly. If you use a teabag, leave it in the mug so that the chemicals continue to absorb into the water. Herbal drinkers should pour out the bits before taking a sip.
Play An Instrument
Letting your fingers tickle the ivories or strum a set of guitar strings is incredibly relaxing. As soon as the tones begin to sound from the instrument, the mind drifts off into another world. Plus, experienced players can jam on autopilot so there is no need to concentrate. All you have to do is let the equipment do the work and follow the notes on a musical journey. If that’s too pretentious, just let your hands do as they please and see it where it takes you! For the people who are saying “but I can’t play”, you can learn. Guitar lessons are very affordable these days, as are most musical lessons, and the instructor will come to your home. Remember the immortal words of fake Jim Morrison in Wayne’s World 2: “Book them, and they will come.”
Okay, so you may not be inside all of the time, but you’ll still be on the property! Wandering out into the garden is a great way to gain perspective for many reasons. Firstly, staying inside all day can encourage negative thoughts because you’re cooped up and feel suffocated. So, getting some fresh air feels like a form of relief. Secondly, stress usually builds up when the brain harbours negative thoughts. Going out into the Great Outdoors helps to reverse the process as there is a lot of natural light. Without light, it’s easy to feel down in the dumps and depressed.
There’s no need to hit the gym to release tension when you can do it from the comfort of your bedroom. In truth, you can do it from any room in the house as long as there is plenty of space. Please don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have to flog your body to feel the benefit. Often, the best form of exercise is the low-intensity form because it targets excess fat. Running, for example, as opposed to walking, burns carbs. If you don’t know where to begin, there are plenty of home workout routines online. Or, you can build up a sweat by scaling the stairs throughout the day. Anyone that wants a less active method should consider meditation. By sitting down and focusing on nothing in particular, you can forget about the rigours of life. Yoga is an excellent way to mix both exercise and meditation.
What do you think? Are you willing to give them a try?
We’ve all been there: the bedroom is light and airy, the kitchen is bigger than you could have expected and the living room has big double doors opening out onto a gorgeous garden. The only problem is the bathroom.
If you are looking at a repossessed property, it’s likely that you will be okay with the idea of putting some hard work in to make the bathroom as beautiful as the rest of the house. In fact, where most repossessed houses just need a mighty good scrub and a few cosmetic details, the bathroom is almost always in a bit of a sorry state and needs some real work going into it.
Why is it so mouldy in here?
Bathrooms are often allowed to go quite mouldy. Mostly this is because of the amount of steam that is allowed to settle in the room, causing mildew and staining the tiles or walls. One of the first things you should do is check for any leaks. There are a few clear signs like the sound of dripping or walls that are damp to the touch but many leaks can go unnoticed for a while before causing complete chaos just after the last new tile has been laid.
To be certain, acoustic leak detection is the perfect way to find hidden leaks. This method uses the subtle sounds made by the leak to detect exactly where it is, even when you can’t hear a thing. Once detected, you or your plumber will know exactly where the fix needs to be and can isolate that area, rather than have to break open the walls or floors to hunt it down.
What should I prioritise next?
Once you are happy that the plumbing is all fine, you should think about the fittings you would like to have. If you are planning to sell the property on, go for simple white standard fittings and make sure that the layout is sensible for people to move around in. However, if this is to be your home, you might like to do something a bit wilder (black bathrooms are popular in 2018 if you fancy an experiment!)
Tiles are the next consideration and, again, if you are planning to sell, simple white tiles on the floor and walls are probably the best solution. While you could use a waterproof carpet, tiles are much more efficient for cleaning up and won’t feel spongy underneath wet feet.
Which plants will do best in here?
Plants are a huge interior fashion trend right now and with good reason. They are the best air filter the world has to offer and the provide instant life and colour to every room. In the bathroom, plants like orchids will be very happy as the steam will be enough to keep them hydrated.
You could also think about adding succulents that also need very little care – just watch out for the spikes and don’t place them where anything delicate could get caught. Try putting trailing plants on high shelves to add some drama to the room too.
There are certain staples that every woman should have in her closet at all times because they build the foundations of a fantastic wardrobe. When you have them, no matter what the occasion, or what kind of look you’re going for, you’ll be able to make it happen without having to rush out and buy a completely new outfit (unless you really want to, that is). So, if you don’t already have the following items in your closet in good condition, now might be the perfect time to change that…
A Black Blazer
Never out of style, a simple black blazer can be used in so many ways, Pair it with jeans and heels for a smart casual look that’s also pretty sexy, wear it with a fitted skirt and blouse for a simple professional look or wear it with torn jeans and a band t-shirt for a laid-back rocker look – the options are quite literally endless. So, make sure you have at least one black blazer hanging in your wardrobe at all times.
Speaking of jeans, you should always have at least one good pair – a pair that fits you perfectly and makes your butt look amazing in your closet. Why? Because jeans are pretty much the one staple that most people wear all of the time and which you can quite literally pair with almost any kind of top and shoes to create a look that works.
A Crisp White Shirt
The white button-down shirt is another classic. It works great in professional settings when you want to look professional and clean cut, but pair it with a humble pair of jeans and Converse hi-tops and you’ll look effortlessly casual. Ideally, your white button down should be made from natural fibres, and you should buy the most expensive one you can afford because this is one item of clothing where it really is easy to spot quality.
A good quality pair of black heels, the likes of which you will find at Billini Shoes are, of course, essential for any woman’s wardrobe. Why? Because black will go with pretty much any other colour and because a good pair of heels will make your legs appear more shapely and again because heels can be dressed up or down – wear with jeans and t-shirt for a casual look or a perfect fitting LBD for a smart, sexy and sophisticated look.
A Little Black Dress
Speaking of the LBD, you know that your wardrobe needs one. Try to go for a classic shape, like a shift or skater, because it’s unlikely to go out of fashion, and consider having it tailored so that it fits you completely. Then, whenever a formal occasion calls, you’ll have a go to. You can make it look different by adding brooches or a statement piece of jewellery, adding a cardigan or switching up your shoes, for example, as long as you have the foundation of the LBD, there are millions of ways you can wear it.
How many of these pieces do you already have in your closet?
Whether you would like to refresh your wardrobe for the new season or want to try a new hairstyle for the warm weather that suits your tan and your mood, you should look through the latest trends for inspiration. From color choices to hairstyles and shoes, there are several things you need to pay attention to when it comes to planning your looks for the spring. If you would like to find out more about the new trends that are likely to be in this year, check out the below list.
From lilac to other pastel colors, you can now shop again for feminine items in your local department stores. Some of the colors will be tricky, depending on your hair color and skin tone. Those with dark hair can wear almost all pastel colors, while if you have a light complexion, you might want to add some contrast, such as dark purple, navy, or black. Lilac is likely to be the main color of spring 2018, so make sure that you invest in a pair of pants and a dress that you can combine with your existing wardrobe items.
The Return of the Trench Coat
We always start guessing around February what type of spring coat to get. If you already own a trench coat, you are in luck. Any light colored version with a tie and large, bold buttons will be considered “in” this year. If you don’t yet own one, you can look through your local fashion store for inspiration. Light gray or purple, olive green are likely to be the best choice, and they can be worn over your dark jeans or black smart trousers, too.
Pink on Red
If you are one of the people who chooses their outfit based on the best match of color combinations, you might have a lot to forget. Nothing is too brave in spring 2018, and if you happen to put on a red blouse with a pink skirt, you will not be considered a rebel, but fashionable. Green with blue, red and purple, brown and blue; you can get away with any combination, given it is brave and bold.
If you are planning on attending a party or a social event this year, ditch the simple little black or red dress and add some sequins. The more the better. Shiny silver sequins on a short gray dress and sparkly shoes are likely to impress fashionistas this year. If you would rather take a step back, get a sequin bag instead and stay fashionable with a sequin hair band.
When it comes to smart casual, you might want to invest in a few very dark denim pants and shorts. You can get a skinny or superskinny version, provided that it is closer to black than blue in shade. Wide ankle dark denim trousers are also likely to be worn with boho style tops and fringed blouses.
Fringes are not only going to be dominating skirts and tops, but also hairstyles. You will have to think about a new hairstyle that involves bold and beautiful bangs. Straight bangs are the best for people with an oval face, but if you have a round one, you might want to get creative and talk to your hair stylist about the fringe that suits you the most.
Loose Fitting Trousers
We’ve had skinny for many years, and loose fitting, oversized baggy trousers with wide ankles are likely to return in the spring of 2018. You can make a statement choosing a bold shiny belt, and adding a bit of contrast. Wear a navy blue pant with a pastel pink top and a sequined belt, and add a sparkly shoe.
White in Accessories
Before you head out to buy your new handbags for 2018, make sure you look for white and pastel color ones first. Bags, belts, and even shoes in white will be your perfect companion throughout the spring and summer of 2018. Add a white hoop earring, and a headband, and you are ready to go out to the most exclusive cafe to meet and impress your friends.
A must-have item for handbag-lovers in 2018 is a bucket bag. You might need to learn how to squeeze in everything and find them after, but they are definitely the new thing this year. A leather bucket bag in the same color as your jacket and a contrasting draw string will help you make a statement everywhere you go.
Off Shoulder Dresses
There is, of course, something for feminine fashionistas, as well. Off shoulder dresses with pastel colors and floral patterns are likely to have a comeback. The looser fitting the dress is and the lighter the material is the better. Fringes are a must-have; either on the shoulders or the bottom of the skirt. You can combine your off shoulder dress with a white sandal with a wedge heel or a canvas shoe in the same pastel color. Shop now for summer and spring fashion and get inspired by the 70s. Add a few flowers in your hair, and you have the perfect look.
Bold Hair Colors
When it comes to hair colors, the more you have the better in 2018. Vivid shades, such as the burgundy hair color will have a comeback in the spring and throughout the year. To complement your light and pastel shades, you might want to opt for darker shades with plenty of life. Even Selena Gomez has experimented with reddish shades, and made them her signature look. If you have a lighter complexion, it might be time to get a tan before you try darker shades, or you will no be able to make the most out of your new look. When it comes to length and style, almost anything is allowed.
The Return of the Messy Hair
The good news for people who had enough of straightening their hair every morning is that you can not get away with any amount of waves in your hair. Not all hair has to be in the right place, and you can create a messy hairstyle using a half-updo or a simple bun. Hairs are less controlled and you can look natural and romantic at the same time. Uneven fringes are great, as well as layered or asymmetrical hairstyles.
Embrace Your Curves
One of the good news in 2018 is that you don’t need to squeeze yourself in skin-tight clothes and can use loose fitting clothes to emphasize your femininity. You can get a long maxi dress with no belt, or an A-cut dress for a night out. No matter which part of your body you are unhappy with, you can hide it from the view. The long skirts, loose fitting pants, and romantic dresses will help you embrace your curves and look more feminine in the new season. Don’t be afraid of expressing yourself using floral patterns, pastel colors, and bold geometric patterns.
If you like being prepared for the arrival of the new season, you might want to visit the latest fashion blogs for inspiration that will help you create your spring 2018 looks. Choose the items that help you express your personality. Leave the bold colors for contrast and your hair, and go for white accessories and pastel colors. Love lilac? Get a few tops in the color, a hat for the spring, and – of course – one for your vacations. Let your hair down, and set yourself free.