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What's in my gym bag?

Since I've switched up my routine and started going to the gym before work rather than afterwards, I have to be super organised with packing my gym bag the night before.  It was pretty easy to just throw my gym kit in when I knew I was going when I finished work, but now it has to contain everything I need whilst at the gym, and then to be ready for the office immediately afterwards. Luckily I've got into a real routine now with packing my bag the night before - but I love having a nose at what's inside other people's gym bags (in blog posts, I don't go through the lockers at the gym, that would be weird and illegal) so I thought I'd share mine!  I keep a list of things I need to take in the Notes section of my iPhone and then the night before I just throw everything in and I'm ready for that early alarm!

I have a membership at the Pure Gym that's just across the road from my work.  It's actually about 40 minutes from where I live but it suits me better to be able to go the gym just before or after work - then at the weekends when I'm not near the gym I try and fit in something like a long walk, a run or a kettle bell routine in the garden. (Plus the gym membership is about £16 a month so if I only go a couple of times a week it's still totally worth it).

Holdall, Hype at Get The Label, £14.99

This holdall is perfect for the gym as it's just the right size to cram in all my work clothes and other bits, as well as being soft so it can be crammed into a locker.  The one I had previously was way too rigid and I always used to burn about 100 calories just trying to fit it in the tiny lockers at PureGym!

Gym gloves - Decathlon, £7.99

I wear a pair of gloves when I'm using any of the weights, whether it's free weights like bars and dumbbells or the weights machines.  It just stops you from getting blisters and the weights from slipping (which you don't want when you're throwing kettlebells around!)

Small toiletries bag with shampoo, conditioner and shower gel
Lush The Comforter (£4.95), Rehab Shampoo (£5.75), American Cream (£4.95)

I buy the Lush 100g bottles for the gym as they're perfect for stashing in my gym bag, plus I can just keep them in the bag rather than having to dig around for a shower gel when I'm packing my bag.  I keep these in a little bag that I can take in the shower with me at the gym, along with a beach towel (not a big fluffy one as it takes up too much space in my bag!)

Wireless Headphones, Panasonic, £99.99*

When I'm at the gym doing a workout I either listen to music, or I've just started a trial of the Skyfit app, which has routines that it walks you through that you can do whilst at the gym.  These Panasonic headphones are wireless so you don't have to battle with dangling cords (anyone else constantly panic they'll somehow get caught on the treadmill?) They're also sweat proof and waterproof so you can even run in the rain if, you know, that's your thing (fair-weather runner right here).

The sound on these is amazing so when I'm not using the Skyfit app I'm usually listening to my favourite gym playlists on Spotify on my phone, or on my iPod.  They also charge in 15 minutes, so if I only remember to charge them just as I'm getting ready in the morning, there's still enough time to whack them on charge and not have to be music-less at the gym (the absolute worst).

GHD Air Dryer, £74

The gym hair dryers are those awful little ones with the button you have to permanently press down - they take about an hour to dry my hair so I always pack my GHD hairdryer, it dries my hair so quickly and makes it feel really nice (it always looks much nicer than when I just get ready at home!) I also take my GHD straighteners with me - unfortunately my hair is much too thick to be able to just blow dry it so I have to tidy it up with straighteners afterwards.  I feel a bit over-enthusiastic getting a whole hairdresser's worth of tools out at the gym but it's worth it to not have to worry about my hair looking awful all day.

Jewellery Pouch - Gypsy Warrior - {similar pouch$12.80}

The one thing I constantly forget when I’m packing a change of clothes for the next day is jewellery – but I feel naked if I’m not wearing a watch, so I pack my watch and other jewellery in this pouch so that I can wear all my usual bits to work. I like separating everything in little pouches and bags, would hate to just throw in my necklaces and watch in with my shower gels and stuff, is that weird? 

Smart Shaker, £5.95

I always have either something small to eat (like a Nakd bar or Quest bar) on the way to the gym, and then a protein shake afterwards (I've learned my lesson from when I went to a Personal Trainer appointment on an empty stomach and nearly fell over doing lunges).  The Smart Shaker has different compartments so I can put the milk in the main bit and the protein powder in the screw on bit in the bottom (which you can't see as I've screwed it off already!) and then make up the protein shake whenever you like.

iPod Nano, £129*

The iPod Nano is the perfect size for throwing in your gym shorts and not having to worry about carrying your phone around.  This was a gift from the lovely people at Panasonic - they kindly had it engraved with a motivational phrase for me to help keep me going when I'm flagging on the treadmill!

Are you a pre-work or post-work gym-goer? What are your gym bag essentials? Ooh, and if you're considering taking out a gym membership but are new to fitness you might enjoy a post I wrote for the Get The Label blog - Tips for first time gym-goers.  Enjoy!

*Headphones gifted by Panasonic, all opinions my own

Duster and Nikes

I was sorting through my photos from France a few days ago and realised I took some outfit photos whilst we were in Biarritz and forgot to share them.  I pretty much lived in my Nikes whilst we were out there - I wear heels most days at work so it's nice to be able to have a break from tottering around when I'm on holiday and be able to embrace flip flops and trainers!

duster coat : poppy lux : £48.30
bag : bought in france
trainers: nike air max hyperfuse {similar at asos}
skinny jeans : new look : £24.99
top : missguided {similar at new look}

This might not be the most inspiring outfit in the world (soz) but I love the bright orange with my new green bag - I picked up the bag in a market in France and I'm so pleased I bought it, it's such a good size and the colour is really summer-y.  The duster coat is also perfect for this weather (well, maybe not the 25 degree heat, but when you only need a light jacket).

Hope you're all having fab Mondays (that sometimes is a thing, right?) I had the day off to hang out with my friend who is over visiting from the US, so I'm currently sat sorting a few blog posts, drinking peppermint tea and listening to Iron and Wine - bliss! Why isn't every Monday like this?

Latitude Festival 2016

I’ve only really scratched the surface of UK festivals, having been to Reading Festival twice and End of the Road three times (as well as some smaller ones like Festibelly and Redfest) but I’ve always had my eye on Latitude Festival. With its range of artists and offerings (from poetry and literature, to cabaret, to comedy to a real range of music) it seemed to capture the essence of what I love about End of The Road whilst also being a large enough festival to draw in some great headline acts. Rocket Dog footwear kindly invited me along to Latitude Festival last weekend to experience what it has to offer as well as road test their footwear for stomping around festivals (luckily with no muddy puddles included as part of the experiment!)

The night before the festival we loaded up the van with cider, our comfiest quilt, sausages and bacon for the perfect festival breakfast and a Boots baby aisle’s worth of baby wipes. “How long will it take us to get there?” asked Tom casually. “A couple of hours I think,” I answered vaguely, discreetly typing the postcode into Google Maps. “Suffolk is just past London, right?” Google Maps apparently disagreed with my grasp of UK geography, and we hopped in the van the following morning at 09.30, not realising that this wasn’t quite early enough for me to get there in time for Lapsley’s 14.00 set, nor Madeleine Shaw’s 15.00 talk in the Literature tent (turns out, Southwold is a little bit further on than London).

festival outfit dungarees
shoes: rocket dog* | dungarees: primark {old} 
jumper: topshop {old} | hat: h&m {old}

We arrived about 15.30 (to be fair, we also stopped en route to raid Tesco for prosecco and kettle chips, as well as to drop Bodhi at his best pal Henry’s house for the weekend) to roll up to the Campervan Field to be greeted by a burly security guard who had one question for us - “Have you got any glass bottles with you?” I glanced around at the two bottles of prosecco, eight bottles of cider and ten bottles of beer and opened my mouth to explain that we had strictly ‘cans and plastic bottles only’ before Tom jumped in with a “Yes. Lots. Our whole fridge is full of them.” That boy is too honest. 

After a lot of decanting and what turned out to be a very understanding and helpful security guard, we finally put up the awning, opened a cider and strolled into the festival site around 17.30. We wandered past stalls selling all manner of different foods and festival accessories before we made it into the main area. We headed straight to the Blixen pop up restaurant for a glass of prosecco and to sit by the river and take in some of the sights. We had booked in to their pop-up restaurant for dinner after a suggestion via Twitter and it felt like a real novelty to sit at a table and eat with proper cutlery (at a festival I mean, I do have that luxury at home). After a really yummy meal and another glass of prosecco we went for an explore around the site. Most of the acts we wanted to see were on the Saturday and Sunday so we spent most of Friday evening just generally exploring, popping into the smaller tents to see what was on, and soaking up the festival atmosphere.

We woke up early on Saturday morning (the perils of sleeping in a camper van - or indeed a tent) and filled up on sausage sandwiches before heading into the festival. Despite the fact that we lazed around the campsite for several hours that morning I still managed to miss the first person I wanted to see on the Saturday in the Comedy Tent! (The camper van field was probably about a mile and a half from the main area and I totally underestimated the walk!) We watched a talk on mindfulness, watched a little bit of Robin Ince (but the tent he was in was tiny and we couldn’t really hear from outside), and then headed to the main stage to see Daughter. Daughter are one of my favourite bands and they didn’t disappoint. It’s such an amazing feeling to see a band live who you’ve listened to for a really long time; particularly one whose music and lyrics really resonate with you. We managed to get pretty much right up at to the barrier at the front so we were really able to take in the show. We then headed to the BBC Radio 6 Introducing stage to see another one of my favourite bands, Half Moon Run. They are amazing live and I hugely recommend checking out their Live Lounge set - the singer’s voice is incredible and they are sickeningly talented.

boots: Rocket Dog, £65* | shorts: primary {instore, current}
vest: primark {inshore, current} | hat, as above

One of the really lovely things about Latitude is that there's a river that runs through the centre of the festival site, so there's a waterfront stage where you can watch the bands play right on the riverside, and you can even swim in the river (Fat Face had set up a little cabin where you could buy towels and trunks, and there were organised river swims and even swim treks every day).

Sunday morning was an absolute scorcher so we spent another morning just at the campsite watching the world go by and planning who to go and see for the day.  My haphazard packing the night before we left meant that I packed several jumpers and jeans but only one vest and no t-shirts, so I basically had to buy a vest in one of the vintage stalls (needs must).  Again, the hot, sticky heat and three days of dry shampoo also called for hair up - sweaty festival hair is absolutely not the one.

mini welly boots: Rocket Dog at Schuh* | shorts: primark {instore, current stock}
sunglasses: the little deer £17 | vest: vintage

We spent most of the morning watching comedy - Stuart Goldsmith and Daniel Sloss were both really funny and Bill Bailey was (as expected) absolutely hilarious - I laughed particularly hard at his comments about Brexit and how we should all just ‘move to the woods at Latitude, listen to poetry and eat quinoa’.  We then went on to watch Roots Manuva at the BBC Radio 6 tent and they were incredible and had everyone dancing - seeing everyone go totally bonkers when they played Witness The Fitness was quite a sight! We watched a bit of Lumineers and listened to M83 whilst tucking into dinner but after a while the effects of being out in the sun all day and drinking cider took their toll and we toddled back to the van, with achy feet and happy bellies (full of the most delicious quesadillas I've ever tasted).

Overall Latitude was a lot of fun and I'm enormously grateful to Rocket Dog for inviting me.  Have you ever been to Latitude? What's your favourite UK festival?