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Styling up sportswear: Fila baseball t-shirt and leggings

When I was about 13 I was a total Fila devotee.  It was the cool brand to be seen in, and I eschewed the Adidas popper trousers that the other kids wore at the weekends in favour of some ultra cool Fila tracksuit bottoms. Even cooler were some Fila hi-top basketball shoes I wore religiously (I even joined the basketball team so I would have more opportunities to wear them).  So it was of great disappointment when Fila seemed to disappear some years later, not to be spotted on the racks of the local sports shops or packed in my PE bag.

Imagine my excitement then, when I spotted some seriously awesome Fila products on the JD Sports website.  Especially with a line that includes ultra cool baseball t-shirts and slouchy sweatshirts (my favourite).  Sportswear can be a tricky thing to style up, and whilst my lazy temptation is always to go full 'gym outfit' and team it with other sportswear, I prefer an outfit that still gives me an excuse to not immediately go for a run (ha).

top: fila baseball t-shirt, jd sports, £35* / jeans: new look {similar £24.99}
adidas gazelles, asos, £75 / bag: kate spade {similar £140}
coat: poppy lux, £48

Of course I wore my new Fila top with jeans (what else), my favourite duster coat and my new Adidas Gazelles.  I don't know why I resisted adding Gazelles to my trainer collection for so long; they are ridiculously comfy and go with anything (particularly jeans, which is lucky for me).

I also wanted to find a way to bring my new Fila leggings into my weekend casual wear.  Again, I'm always tempted to team leggings with a slouchy crew neck or something else ultra casual, but this time I thought I'd try them with my new favourite H&M knitwear and my much loved camel coat.

fila leggings: jd sports, £28* / bag: primark {old} / jumper: h&m, £14.99
shoes: converse chuck taylors, asos, £45 / necklace: anthropologie {old}
coat: zara {similar: £149}

Not sure I've quite nailed the sports luxe trend - but I'm in favour of any attempt to wear gym wear at the weekends.  Are you a lover of sports wear, or do you keep it just for your gym bag?

Sunday Reads and Favourite Things

I can't believe it's Sunday evening already - hope you're all having fab weekends whatever you're doing.  I've spent most of today with a hot water bottle strapped to my stomach, a stack of magazines and a constantly supply of Paramol due to 'shark week' which is not an ideal Sunday, but it was nice to have some lazy time at least.  Here's a round-up of what else I've been reading and enjoying this week:

001. 'Why self-help guru James Altucher only owns 15 things' - I really enjoyed this article and have added his book to my 'to read' list.  I'd like to establish my own daily practice - he has some great advice in there which encapsulate his four tenets of happiness, which are the physical (eat well, try to go to sleep by 9 p.m. and rise by 5 a.m., break a sweat for at least 10 minutes a day), emotional (be around people you love, who love you), mental (write a list of 10 ideas each day to exercise the “idea muscle” before it atrophies) and spiritual (feel gratitude every day).  This is great for a little dose of inspiration.

002. I've made these Raw Vegan Donut Holes twice now and they are so yummy and perfect for a post-work snack.  They really do taste like cake! (I promise).

003. I always love Kristabel's blog but her post on mistakes she made when she started blogging full time was super interesting - there are some real lessons about marketing yourself and working with Agencies.  It's not my plan to blog full-time but there's some great lessons in there for all bloggers who want to maximise their blogging impact.

004. Another blog I'm totally obsessed with is One Pleasant Day by Carrie (not to mention her totally stunning instagram account).  I've bookmarked her cinnamon butterfly cakes as a must-make this Autumn.  (Isn't her photography to die for?)

img credit: onepleasantday.com

005. I've been doing lots of pinning of pretty pictures on my Autumn Pinterest board and on my tumblr.  The Grace Upon Grace tumblr is just like diving into a perfect Autumnal scene, I could lose days just scrolling through all of the loveliness!

img credit: ajoyfuljourney

006. I've been thinking a lot about 'mantras' recently and how I can stop some of the negative self-talk in my head by repeating some more positive statements to myself.  I also listened to McKel Hill (of Nutrition Stripped) on the One Part Podcast and she spoke about using mantras whilst running or at the gym and I thought that was a great idea - I really enjoyed this article on Sonima with some suggested mantras to use depending on whether you need confidence, gratitude, love or happiness.

007. I love Carly Rowena's YouTube channel and tonight's video on meal prepping your breakfasts is so helpful - I'm definitely trying all three but that Superfuel Granola in particular looks so yummy!

008. The instagram eyebrow, and beauty in the age of social media. "As we spend more and more time online, the person you appear to be on Instagram or Facebook could soon be more relevant to you, and more real to other people, than whomever you are offline—if indeed you are ever really offline."

009. I got a lovely little package from Penguin Random House this week - some cosy socks, a face mask, peppermint tea and a book about Hygge! Hygge - The Danish Art Of Happiness is a beautiful book with lots of tips and ideas for how to bring hygge into your life.  Marie says that hygge is 'a Danish word for finding happiness in the little things in life... and finding magic in the ordinary'.  Sounds pretty perfect, right? 

010. Really enjoyed this article on Seasons in Colour on 'the best flat-lay tips ever' - so many awesome tips and major instagram inspiration! I'm really trying to improve my instagram and flat-lays is something I've never managed to make look good so I'm definitely going to use all of these tips (starting with the marble contact paper, much cheaper than a marble coffee table!)

What have you been reading and enjoying this week?


Health and Fitness Update and plans for October

It's been a few months since I shared a health and fitness update on here - and since then I've had a summer which was a mix of both really disciplined eating and exercising, and then much more relaxed periods on holiday and since I've been back.

I managed to get into fairly good shape before my trip through a mix of personal training sessions and gym visits coupled with really strict eating and avoiding of treats.  Needless to say, by the time I got to Mexico I was ready to nose dive into a bucket of prosecco and all you can eat tacos.  Since I've been back I've been much more balanced with my eating and fitness, and things have been so busy that I haven't been going to the gym as much as I would like.

I'm a member of a gym near my work and pay about £15 for my membership, which means I can afford to pay for personal trainer appointments.  This works out best for me as it gets me into the gym at least once a week and it also means I have a routine to stick to when I'm in the gym rather than floundering around wondering what exercise to do next.  But it truly is a cheap and cheerful option (I have to wear flip flops in the shower as I don't trust bare feet in the changing rooms!) and I've been longing for something a bit more upmarket - with a pool so that I can swim, and preferably a jacuzzi to relax in! I had a quick nose on Pay As U Gym and I can get a membership that gives access to a local spa near me as well as the pool down the road from my work (and over 1000 other gyms) for £54 a month.  I think I'm definitely going to go for this, it would be so nice to be able to relax in the sauna or steam room after a hard day at work (was really surprised to see my local Macdonald spa hotel on there too; I think the membership for the spa alone is £50 a month so it's definitely worth it.)

img credit: barrandwray.com

As well as wanting to get back into swimming I also really want to get back into running this month. For some reason I seem to be able to get back into a routine with running in the colder, darker months - there's something I really like about getting up early and pounding the pavements when everyone else is still tucked up in bed! My plan is to go to the gym 2-3 times a week, and run at least once.  That should really help me get rid of the holiday (and post-holiday - oops!) weight and keep my fitness levels up.

Along with my regular gym sessions I've also taken up playing football regularly.  I've been playing five-aside on and off since about June but I enjoy it so much that I decided to try training with a local ladies football team.  I went to training the week before last and last Sunday I played my first match for them which was so nerve-racking! I also played for my work team in another match on Wednesday and I'm feeling more confident the more I play.  I'm really trying to get over this feeling of being 'rubbish' and worrying I'm going to let the team down as I know it will take time to get better.  

If I can carry on going to training on Wednesdays and then playing on Sundays I feel like it will really help my fitness improve, as well as helping me learn to get better at football.  I'm really enjoying having a new hobby to get stuck into.  It makes such a difference doing something that's active and that you enjoy - I don't think of football as 'fitness' but just as something I do for fun.

Of course, with Autumn here now I also don't want to overdo it - October will definitely have an equal dose of relaxing and getting cosy as well as the fitness and football.  Fitting in 2-3 gym sessions, a run and some football is aspirational but I'm not going to be hard on myself if I decide to skip a morning run for an extra half an hour in bed now and then - sometimes your body needs it!  What are your health and fitness plans for October?

*post contains a collaborative link