divya

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My Fitness Routine

So I got told recently that I started working out at the wrong time because we are approaching winter, and apparently when the days get shorter, you’re supposed to stop trying to get fitter??? Sorry huns, I’m about to break it down for you.

PEOPLE CAN WORK OUT WHATEVER TIME OF THE YEAR.

Great, now that that’s over, let’s get on with the blog post?

I never thought I’d be one of those people who would get home from a long day at work, and that killer commute (to all my fellow Londoners, I feel your pain!), and want to go out for a run. I swear, I don’t even recognise myself!

I used to go to the gym, but I found myself going less and less, and I thought the £30 a month could go to better use (bottle of red wine anyone?).

So I started running. Yes, it really was that simple!

I really wanted to write this blog post more to just outline how easy it is to get into a fitness routine. Also I’m definitely not a fitness blogger and I’ve found that I have started to enjoy it more and more.

The first thing I did was research on what was the best way to get into running. I kept seeing the app ‘Couch to 5k’, and some of my favourite bloggers and Youtubers were using it too, so I really wanted to check it out. I kid you not, it is incredible. It basically starts off with you running for 1 min and then walking for a minute and half for around half an hour, which you aim to do around 3 times a week, and then it gradually increases. You also choose a trainer (I have Sanjeev Kohli, whose Scottish accent I find very motivating!), but there are some great choices, like Sarah Millican or Michael Johnson. There are 9 weeks of 3 sessions and you can do extra sessions but I’ve found myself actually enjoying going for a run now!

Another tip that I would give is to invest in some good fitness gear. They don’t have to be expensive, I get majority of my fitness clothing from Primark! But it’s important to buy a couple of outfits that fit you and make you feel good. I’ve basically bought a couple of good quality black and grey leggings, definitely some comfortable sports bra that fit well (no-one likes being boob-slapped whilst jogging), and some loose-fitting t-shirts. I usually buy thin t-shirts that are in the sports clothes area in Primark, they don’t feel as sweaty and are very good value for money! People often forget that as well as a sports bra, comfy underwear is also very necessary! I was so excited when I got sent this pair of SueMe knickers*, because in all honesty who runs with a thong on?! They are super comfortable and very affordable too, £20 for these cute shorts and I just know they’re gonna last for ages!

I mentioned previously that I haven’t been to the gym recently because I wasn’t going often enough and it was a waste of money. But I was invited by Fusion Lifestyle to try out a gym class at my local leisure centre, where I opted to try out a HIIT class which was just insane. I’ve never tried it before, but I really enjoyed it because it was short bursts of high intensity workouts so you don’t have that much time to think before you move on to the next workout. If you also wanted to try out a free class, today is your lucky day! Now the summer is over, Fusion Lifestyle’s new Autumn campaign ‘Focus on Fitness’ aims to encourage people to try something new to find the activities they love most.  With a huge range of facilities on offer, Fusion centres are the perfect place to do this.  To register for a free visit, just head over to: https://www.fusion-lifestyle.com/offers/free-pass.

One things I struggle with is what to eat before and after working out. I always come home after work either starving or I scoff a banana on the train and then I feel too sick to go running. It’s a bloody catch 22 this fitness stuff eh? Well, I got sent some cute little shots (unfortunately they don’t start with t- and end in -equila, but one can dream!), from Whitworths* and they seem bloody perfect for a workout. I got a selection of flavours to try out and I haven’t tried them all yet but the Toffee and Pecan, and the Berry and White Chocolate are screaming out at me as potential faves. Of course, fruit is still my favourite go-to but these alongside a banana would just be ideal!

Are you a fan of exercise? What kind of fitness tips do you live by?

Strictly Ballroom: A Review

I always feel very classy going to the theatre, I really should start dressing appropriately lols, I always walk in with my converse and ripped jeans so maybe if anyone reading this who goes to the theatre often could tell me what they wear?!

Anyways, I went to watch Strictly Ballroom at the theatre recently and it was just one of the most uplifting and colourful shows I’ve seen! Similar to Kinky Boots (read my review here), it is a musical based on the film of the same name. I was lucky enough to receive a complimentary ticket from London Box Office.

I hadn’t seen the film before watching the musical and I still understood the plot etc, so I don’t think it’s vital to watch the film beforehand (although if you get lost with plays then it may be worth it!). The cast were just amazing and I think it was just a feel-good show – one of my favourite kinds of shows!

The one thing (/person?!) that surprised me was Matt Cardle. I’d heard that he was going to be in the show, before him was Will Young who I would have loved to have watched, so many childhood memories! But I didn’t really think much of Matt Cardle. When he won X-Factor, it was when I was slowly going off the show anyways so I wasn’t as invested, and although I knew he was a good singer, I’d never really cared too much about him.

I was honestly blown away at how much I liked him. He was crazy good! I wouldn’t say that if he wasn’t performing, I would have hated it because the cast members were insanely good, but he was definitely cherry on top!

Have any of you watched Strictly Ballroom (the movie or the show)? Did you enjoy it as much as I did?

Travel Diaries | Bruges, Belgium

It must not be a big surprise, but I went on another city break! Hurrah!

This time, I visited the beautiful fairytale town of Bruges, Belgium.

Now I’ve visited Brussels before on a Law trip from when I was 17 from college, and it was mainly visiting the European Courts of Justice so it was basically a barrel of laughs.

Visiting Bruges however, was just a whole ‘nother story. I know that people say Bruges is boring, but it is just so very pretty. You could just walk here for hours and hours.

We travelled on the Eurostar from Kings Cross St Pancras to Brussels, where we took a train to Bruges. We had booked our hotel weeks ago and I tried not to look at too many reviews about it because I just end up worrying that it’s gonna be a shithole even though it very rarely is. The hotel ended up being amazing, it was very charming with high wooden ceilings and had a very Victorian feel about it. The management weren’t around as much as I would have liked though, as I have mentioned in all of my travel blog posts that I love to ask the hotel staff for their recommendations for places to eat and drink and visit, so it would have been nice to be able to do that.

Our hotel wasn’t too far from the main town square, so that was the first place we headed. The town square was buzzing with people and it was a such a good atmosphere. One of the main tourist attractions which is located in the town square is the Bellfry Tower, which you can climb up (366 steps!) and you’re greeted with a beautiful city view. The walk was certainly worth the view!

After that, we walked around the city for hours (I did 20,000 steps – go me!), and we soon realised that it doesn’t take too long to walk around the city and you sort of get to know the streets quite easily (something I really love doing – not only does it help you stop getting lost, it also makes you want to re-visit because you feel like you know the city).

We ended up going for dinner in the a beautiful little restaurant called Reliva, which turned out to be the most amazing little place. Even though we didn’t have a reservation, luckily there were tables available, but I would recommend calling ahead if you were to go during a busy season or a weekend. The food was amazing, it was well-presented and very fresh tasting. I think the menus change quite frequently which I think is really cool but if they have guinea fowl on the menu, I’d highly recommend it! From what I remember they also had a great choice for vegetarians/vegans too!

The next day, we decided to visit the beer factory. I’m not a huge beer lover (but when in Bruges and all that!), it did also actually turn out to be very interesting. I have also visited the Heineken Factory in Amsterdam, so I thought it might have been similar but every factory has a unique story so it was very cool. We also got a free beer at the end of the tour and even though I don’t really like beer, it was actually quite nice!

After the beer factory, we decided to do a lil’ canal tour just because it looked so cute (and we were bloody knackered, I barely do 10,000 steps in London!). We’d seen most of Bruges on foot, so it was actually quite nice to see the city from a different view!

We found the coziest restaurant way off the beaten track, not even sure how we ended up there but that’s why I love getting lost in strange cities! It was literally like being in my grandma’s kitchen, the restaurant is called Ganzespel, and the food was very homey and very cheap! I had the salmon pasta which was lovely and they also served soup as an entree which was included. It’s definitely somewhere unique to visit in Bruges.

Obvs picked up gifts for friends and family in the form of chocolates (can you imagine coming back from Belgium empty-handed?!), we decided to visit the Chocolate Factory, because why not? Similar to the beer factory, it was actually super interesting and included a bar of chocolate and free samples of chocolate buttons on every floor!

The Belgians are famous for so many things so I just had to try everything! Next on the list was the infamous Belgian waffle. There are hundreds of waffle places in Bruges as you’d imagine, but I did some research and I’d seen a few people speak about Oyya, which turned out to be a little waffle take-away place and it was just magic. I got the caramel waffle with vanilla ice-cream, and it was insane!

The last thing on my list was to visit the Lake of Love and Lovers Bridge (because I mean how could I not?). They say that if you walk over the bridge with your lover, and kiss your amour that you’re destined to live a long and happy life together, awwww! It was such a picturesque area, and a bit of a walk away from the main town square so it was nice seeing a different part of Bruges.

The last and final thing that I wanted to try was the famous Belgian fries! We went to a place called the Potato Bar, and it was bloody lovely! I ordered the bacon, cheese fries and they were beautiful.

So that was my trip to Bruges! If you are thinking of visiting, I would highly recommend it, and please let me know if you end up going to any of the same places I went to and how you found them 🙂

Kinky Boots: A Review

 

I don’t think I’m alone when I say I love the theatre. I just have so much there, it’s classy and it’s an escape. When you’ve had a long day at work, it’s truly one of my favourite after-work pastimes. So when London Box Office got in touch and asked if I wanted to review a show I’d been wanting to watch forever, I couldn’t say no!

The show that I was lucky enough to review (as you can probably guess from the title – duh), was Kinky Boots.

I’d heard mixed reviews about the show so I wasn’t really too sure what to expect. I had a quick read of the synopsis as I like knowing what the story is going to be about, but apart from that I was ready to be surprised.

I can hand-on-heart say that it was one of the most amazing shows I’ve ever seen in London.

It was bright, it was in your face and it left me feeling uplifted.

I won’t give away the entire story but it truly is a feel-good watch, it made me feel so happy and I laughed a lot, the one-liners are truly hilarious. The characters are complex and the songs are super catchy. It’s very rare for me to leave the theatre humming and ready to break out in dance, but if any show is going to do it, it’s going to be this one for sure.

It’s currently playing in Adelphi Theatre and will be running until 12th January 2019, so go and book your tickets ASAP!

Summer Cocktail Ideas

I’ll be the first to admit it, I bloody love a cocktail. If you read my Christmas Cocktails post, then you’ll know that I also love making them. It’s a chance to get a little bit creative and I just have so much fun inventing new cocktails to try. As per my Christmas cocktail blog post, I realise that not everybody drinks alcohol, so in each recipe I will highlight any substitutes you can make in order to make mocktails.

 Blueberry Sex on the Beach

I love this original cocktail a lot. It’s so easy to make and it always tastes amazing! It always reminds me of summer, and even though sometimes it can be quite sweet, I feel like it’s one of those cocktails that you could make a jug of, for a BBQ or any kind of summer gathering! Also I friggin’ love this cute lightbulb-shaped mason jar, how cute is it?!

Ingredients

  • Fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 ounces of simple syrup (1:1 ratio water and sugar)
  • 120 ml cranberry juice
  • 120 ml orange juice
  • 50 ml blueberry schnapps // replace with blueberry puree for mocktails //

Method

  1. Crush blueberries in the bottom of the glass using a muddler or a wooden spoon and add the simple syrup.
  2. Mix the cranberry juice and orange juice in a jug and stir with a spoon.
  3. Add the blueberry schnapps.
  4. Mix thoroughly and pour into tumblers (or cool mason jars).

Cranberry Apple Fizz

I was very lucky to receive some bottles of Toffee Apple ciders from Brother’s (which is very delish btw), and I wanted to include it in this blog post, because I don’t drink cider a lot during the year but during summer it’s just a go-to drink!

Ingredients

  • 2 bottles of Toffee Apple Cider // replace with lemonade for mocktails //
  • 1 carton cranberry juice
  • Apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon.

Method

  1. Add 2/3 apple slices to a flute.
  2. Add cranberry juice.
  3. Top with toffee apple cider.

Apple and Blueberry Gin & Tonic

A cool, elegant, refreshing serve. You can add more ‘bite’ with a dash of lemon juice, if you like. I just love gin and tonics, especially in the summer when they are so much more refreshing. I feel like the apple and blueberry gives a fruity twist.

Ingredients

  • 50ml elderflower flavoured gin // leave out for mocktails //
  • Two sprigs of fresh mint
  • Handful of blueberries
  • 100ml chilled tonic
  • Rimming sugar

Method

1. Place the gin, mint and bluberries in the bottom of a cocktail shaker or glass jug, and stir for a minute, squashing down the mint and cucumber with the back of a spoon.

2. Strain into a tall thin tumbler containing a couple of ice cubes, and top up with tonic.

3. Garnish with mint.

Cranberry Refresher

Possibly the easiest cocktail to make in the world, but you know what, it tastes damn good and that’s all that matters! I love easy but tasty cocktails because I’m lazy and this is just perfect.

Ingredients

  • 100ml cranberry juice
  • 100ml lemonade
  • 50ml vodka // leave out for mocktails //
  • Few sprigs of mint
  • Lemon slices to garnish

Method

1. Mix cranberry juice and lemonade with the vodka in a tumbler.

2. Serve over ice and garnish with lemon slices.

Toffee Apple & Cinnamon Rum Punch

As I mentioned earlier, the guys over at Brother’s Ciders sent me over some of their toffee apple cider, which tasted incredible. I loved the idea of making a rum punch because to me, it just screams summer! It would also be perfect for a BBQ and to pretend you’re in the Caribbean… Maybe that’s just me ha!

Ingredients

  • 3 bottles of toffee apple cider // use lemonade for mocktails //
  • 100 ml of rum // leave out for mocktails //
  • Splash of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder

Method

1. Mix the cider, rum, lemon juice and cinnamon powder in a cocktail dispenser and use a large stirrer or wooden spoon to mix well.

2. Drink up and enjoy the sun!

So that was it for my summer cocktail ideas! I hope this has inspired you to make some summery drinks for when you have BBQs, or even if you just want a chilled day at home with some friends and family. I’d love to see you re-create any of these drinks, so if you do make any of these, please post them on Instagram and tag me @thedizzyingheights – and do give me a follow whilst you’re there too (cheeky little plug!)

*THIS POST CONTAINS PR SAMPLES, BUT AS ALWAYS ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN – PLEASE SEE MY DISCLAIMER FOR MORE INFO