in » WALLFLOWER «: September 2014

My Gym Clothing Essentials

Sunday, 14 September 2014

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Recently I've been on a bit of a health kick and trying to get myself back to a shape which I'm happy in (don't worry I don't want to lose weight, just tone up!) which has resulted in me joining my local gym. Since I've joined I've become more interested in what people wear to the gym and how to stay comfortable yet still look stylish or unique. This led me on a hunt for some gym gear that was practical yet still let me keep an element of individuality that I knew would encourage me to go and work out even more.

When searching for some suitable gym wear with my criteria in mind I came across Activate Apparel, an American company that sells comfy gym tops with catchy slogans and pop culture references. I had a browse through their website and ended up with a wishlist as long as my arm which I slowly narrowed down to a few items, and then chose my two favourites to place an order for. My order came to £33 for two tops and free shipping from America and my order arrived just over a week later which was incredibly fast when you consider it had to come 3000+ miles. All their products are printed on American Apparel tees and tanks which means you're guaranteed to get a high quality product that will last and not fall apart after one wash, something that was apparent as soon as I opened my parcel and felt how soft but strong the items were as I'm a big lover of quality over quantity. The first tank top that I went for was a Buffy the Vampire Slayer themed one as I'm a huge fan of Buffy and of course I needed something to make me feel as badass as her while I'm working out. The second is downright brilliant and I'm so pleased with it as everyone who knows me knows how much I love pizza but also how much I hate running, so this top is completely accurate when it says 'Will Run For Pizza' as that's pretty much the only thing I would ever run for!

Aside from the tops I also have my beloved pair of Nike Air Pegasus 28 trainers. I spotted these in a Nike outlet near me with £40 off (bargain!) and fell in love straight away. They're bright and eye-catching without being, well, a bit un-stylish basically which was the problem I had when trying to find some gym shoes. My love for these was only increased when I tried them on. Oh my god. They're the comfiest shoes I have ever worn. They fit snug on my feet without being too tight and every step I take in them literally resembles walking on pillows. Although as I stated above, I don't run, I can imagine running in these would be a dream and the comfort I feel when walking in them pushes me towards experimenting with running or jogging as I know they'll keep my feet and ankles secure when doing so and will only make it easier.

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My last gym wear essentials are simple, sports bra and a well fitted pair of leggings. I'm not too fussed about these two pieces so all I did was purchase another pair of my favourite leggings from H&M and pick up a standard sports bra in Primark. Even though I wasn't too bothered when buying them both of these items are well worth the money I spent as they keep me feeling safely tucked in so my wobbly parts aren't flapping around for everyone to see. I was especially surprised with the sports bra as I didn't expect it to fit as perfectly as it did nor feel anywhere near as comfortable. It's also incredibly flattering and teamed with one of my tank tops and my Nikes I definitely feel pretty damn good about myself when I go to the gym which only makes me more motivated!

In addition to what I'm usually wearing to the gym I also take with me a hoodie in case the walk home is chilly now that it's getting colder and a small tote bag in which I just stash some basic things like my house keys, body spray, water phone, headphones, iPod or a bikini and a towel if I'm going swimming afterwards. I hoped you enjoyed reading about my gym essentials, where do you get your gym clothing from or are you like me and just wear what you like? Don't forget to let me know!

Lush Review | The Comforter Bubble Bar

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

As I've not done a Lush review in months I decided to finally review my all time favourite product by them, the Comforter bubble bar. I can't remember what made me first buy this bubble bar but I'm forever glad that I did as it's now a staple when I want a super pampering bath. The Comforter retails at £4.50 which may seem steep but I usually get between 4 and 6 baths out of it and only use it when I really want to relax and unwind after a hard day so it's well worth the price for me. 






































The main thing that attracted me to the Comforter and also the reason why it's my top Lush product is hands down the amazing smell. It radiates blackcurranty goodness which is only enhanced when you crumble it into your bath and lingers on your skin for hours afterwards. It's sweet and fruity without being too overwhelming and I find that it really relaxes me in the evenings, a perfect opposite to a zesty fruit fragrance to wake you up in the mornings. Plus it smells exactly like the taste of my favourite ice lollies (does that even make sense?!). 

Even though I tend to use a fairly small amount of the bar for each bath it still results in beautiful cerise, bubbly and fruity water that's an absolute dream to bathe in and makes me feel like some kind of fairy princess! The only downside I have to this bar is that it doesn't have any added skin benefits such as moisturising it or helping with stiff muscles, but as long as you moisturise afterwards it's not really an issue and you're still left feeling calm and pampered.







All these factors have set me up repurchasing this bubble bar for life and if they ever decide to discontinue it I swear I will be camped outside their main store protesting until they bring it back! What's your all time favourite Lush product, or just your most loved bath product in general? I'm always open to new suggestions! 
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Trip to Brighton | Part I

Friday, 5 September 2014

A few weekends ago me and my mum took a trip to Brighton after being nearby for my Auntie's wedding. I've never been to Brighton but have wanted to go for so long now and I'm really glad I finally got a chance to as I loved every minute of it. It combines some of my favourite things which means it now has a very special place in my heart, vintage, antique and unique shops, the seaside, amazing places to eat, and a giant Urban Outfitters, what's not to love about that? The first day we were there it was extremely windy which resulted in a wild and uncontrollable sea. We had so much fun just sitting on the beach watching the waves go crazy as we live on the wrong side of England to be able to fully appreciate rough seas so when we get to see them it takes our breath away. 

 






















































We visited the Palace Pier first and it was incredibly beautiful. It had the tackiness of seaside tourist attractions that I adore, but the general architecture and especially the insides of the penny arcades were classic and beautifully designed. There's loads to do on the pier itself, from food stalls and restaurants to souvenir shops, penny arcades and even a fair with a few roller coasters at the very end. Eventually we ended up spending a few hours just exploring the pier without even realising how much time had gone then made our way into the centre of Brighton to look around even more and get something to eat.


















































Before we went into the shopping areas we came across the Royal Pavilion. It's a former royal residence that was built in 1787 for George IV as a seaside retreat in an Indian style that was increasingly popular from the end of the 1700s. The building is impressive to see as it's not a style that you'd expect to find in England, although parts of it were quite tatty and could do with a lick of paint and tidy up. We didn't get a chance to go inside but I may do that next time I go back to Brighton as I'd like to see more of the history around it and also find out about its use as a Military Hospital during World War One. 










































The actual shopping experience in Brighton was great, it had the range of somewhere like London with it's array of mainstream and vintage/individual shops but on a far smaller scale which made it doable and much to explore without being too overwhelming. It consists of the Lanes, the North Laine district and then the more modern shopping area with the general high street shops and shopping centres. The Lanes and North Laine were full of vintage/antique/unique stores and cute little cafes or restaurants. There was so much to choose from we were spoilt for choice and could hardly decide where to shop or eat, vintage style ice cream parlours or antique bookstores? It really was absolute heaven for me.




















































We ended up settling down for brunch in a 40's style teashop called 'That Little Teashop in the Lanes', I went for scrambled eggs and salmon on muffins and it was delicious, I always forget how much I love salmon until I have it with a muffin and egg! After we'd eaten we had a further look around the Lanes, popping in and out of shops if we fancied the look of them. Eventually we went to look around the high street area, mainly in the giant Urban Outfitters as I rarely purchase anything from them online but always find clothes that I love in store. I could have bought so much from there but unfortunately I didn't have much money and wanted to save it to buy a few thing for the boyfriend instead. After UO we ventured in to the indoor shopping centre and came across a Lego store. Straight away I knew that the perfect present for my boyfriend would be a mini build-your-own Lego figurine of himself (and of course one for me too). I was definitely the oldest person there but probably had way more fun than the kids did building myself and hunting around for the perfect hair or top!








































It was late afternoon by the time we were done shopping so we decided to go and check in to the hotel and have a lie down before we went out for dinner as I was absolutely shattered after a solid eight hours of walking around. We just stayed in a Travelodge as we were only there for one night and it was nothing special but fine for what we wanted and in a good location for the seafront and central Brighton. When we were feeling re-energised we stepped out again, this time to find somewhere to go for dinner.  


















































Brighton has a huge range of restaurants, cafes, ice cream parlours or whatever else may take your fancy, so it was such a tough decision to find somewhere we wanted to eat with so much to choose from. In the end we went for a fancy seafood restaurant that was a little out of our price range but smelt absolutely delicious and had a beautiful outside area which we were seated in. I chose mussels with fries whereas my mum had a crab platter but we ended up ordering some bread to mop up the sauce from the mussels with as it was absolutely incredible and we didn't want to waste it!


















































To finish off our first day in Brighton we went back to the Pier to do the penny arcades and see it with all the lights on at night. Before we did that however, we decided to have a ride on the Brighton Wheel. I'm so glad we did this as we had a beautiful view over Brighton, the Pier, and the surrounding areas for absolutely miles just as the sun was setting. As it was pretty windy that day the cars on the wheel were rocking as we got higher and seeing my mum freak out was so funny to watch as she's normally totally calm in situations like that. 















































When we were safely back on land we slowly made our way back along the pier, stopping occasionally to take in the view and watch Brighton and its residents get ready for the approaching night. In the penny arcade we had all our loose change swapped for copper pennies and went on a mission to see what we could win. Something that made the Pier's penny arcade even more fun than the usual ones was that you could win tickets which could be exchanged for little prizes, I definitely had my eye on a Despicable Me minion cuddly toy but as it was 200 tickets and I only ended up with 20 we decided to give up and passed our tickets on to a boy near us who had somehow ended up with hundreds! 

































We were both once again completely shattered when we had finished on the pier so just went back to the hotel to read our books before falling asleep as we had another busy day ahead of us. I'd definitely say our first day in Brighton was a success and although I barely purchased anything I'm already saving up for when I next go back so I can buy so much more and not want to cry when I can't afford anything in Urban Outfitters! So what do you all think about the things we got up to on our first day in Brighton? Can anyone recommend me certain shops or places to eat that I can check out for when I go back, feel free to share them with me whether it's in the comments or via my twitter, If you enjoyed this post make sure to keep your eyes out for Part II which will be up soon!

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