Did I mentioned that I now work at Gymshark? 

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Okay, so maybe I might have mentioned it once or twice… 

Anyway, I have now finished my first fortnight working for my absolute DREAM company and I thought I would share with you guys how it was all going so far. We’ll start at the very beginning…

My First Day 

I wasn’t actually TOO nervous on my first day. Of course I had a few butterflies when I walked through the door, but I think this was more excitement than anything else (if you’ve seen GSHQ over on YouTube you will know why, it is UNBELIEVABLE).

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Go and check out some of the tours on YouTube – it’s incredible!

My interview had been so chilled and everyone was so lovely that I felt really at ease heading back to start working. I also wasn’t the only new starter and meeting people in the same boat straight away definitely helped with the nerves (not to mention I have a mutual friend with one of them, which was very strange!). 

Week One

Everything was great. For the first three days we had orientation where we got to know the different teams and the integral part they play in the Gymshark family. We then were introduced to our own teams, given our desk and a fancy laptop. I work in the Digital Comms. Team in the blog section, so I share my little area with my fellow bloggers. You can pretty much work wherever you want as the company has an agile working policy, but for now I am happy at my little desk. We had our polaroids taken and officially joined the Gymshark family!

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The first week went by so quickly and by the end of it I felt like I had worked there for months. At the end of the first week the Digital Comms. team hit Birmingham. We went to the escape rooms and then out for food and drinks at Digbeth Dining Club, which is quite possibly the coolest place ever – I would definitely recommend a visit!

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We escaped!

Week Two

By the second week I had really started to get into the swing of things. Orientation was all over and it was time to get stuck in. I have spent this week planning some killer content for my section (coming soon, don’t you worry!) and working on my table tennis and basket ball skills, which are embarrassingly bad…

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Me and my fellow newbies. 

I could not be happier in my job. Going to work really doesn’t feel like going to work at all. The HQ has the best atmosphere and is full of the kindest, most driven people I have ever met. Back in my first week we were given the GS Playbook and I was asked to write in the front why I chose to work at Gymshark. I looked back at what I wrote before starting this post. Gymshark has been such a huge part of my journey towards being a happier and healthier person. Even before starting the job I felt part of the family. I waited hours to see the athletes, I watched the tour of GSHQ on YouTube, I sat up waiting for new product realises – it is truly a brand that I adore. Securing a job here has been such a dream and I cannot wait to continue to help this company grow for many years to come. 

Jamie x 

 

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Hey guys and gals! How are we all doing today? 

For about a year now I have been seeing a meditation/reiki practitioner. The first couple of times I went I was very unconvinced by the whole thing but recently I have found myself really benefitted from the sessions and able to practise the skills learnt myself. In my last session a few months back we worked with crystals. She asked me to choose a crystal from her collection and hold it during the session. Erm, you what?

Anyway, an hour later I had finished the session and my crystal was boiling hot. Apparently my own energy and that of the crystals (again, you what?) had ‘infused’. Holding the crystal had allowed me to dissolve my negative energy and increase the flow of positive energy and vitality throughout my body. I fobbed it off a little but you can bet the next time I went into a shop selling crystals I picked one up and I have been using it since. I’m pleased to say that I have found having my own crystal incredibly helpful and so I thought today I would explore the idea of healing crystals and whether or not the benefits associated with them are rubbish or reality. 

Luna is definitely a fan! 

What are healing crystals?

The healing power of crystals has been celebrated throughout history, being traced back to the ancient Egyptians who once believed these gems had the power to restore health. Recently, these supposed ‘healing crystals’ have seen an increase in popularity as more and more of us are convinced that crystals have energy properties that can work within our own energy systems. Krista Mitchell, a crystal healing teacher and author of the book Change Your Energy: Healing Crystals for Health, Wealth, Love & Luck, has been teaching people how to heal themselves since 2004 and is convinced that these natural means of restoring energy are the way to a balanced body and mind. In theory this means that if your life and emotions are a little out of whack, say you’re starting a new job or have an exam, these rocks can help to restore a sense of emotional balance. ‘Crystal healing’ is a term that applies these ideas to a certain type of therapy. This involves placing gem stones on your body or in nearby places to help draw out negative energy.

All sounds pretty good, right?

But what does science say?

Hate to be the one to break it to you, but science remains unconvinced. The truth is, there is zero scientific evidence that that crystals have any healing properties. In fact, the majority of scientists out there would probably fob it off as B.S. Let’s be honest, this probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise to you – it certainly didn’t to me – so why do I bother? Well, they might not heal your ailments, but they might soothe the soul.

My Experience and the Power of Placebo

When my mental health was at its very worst, crystals did nothing for me. I needed professional and medical support and there is no shame in that. Healing crystals are not going to suddenly heal your bumps and bruises, they are not going to cure depression, but healing crystals have worked wonders on helping my find a sense of calm. Now, I don’t want to sound all Eyal from Love Island but it’s true. As I have learnt how to control my emotions through support and a lot of hard work, crystal healing offers me the opportunity to be mindful and present and explore resources beyond present options.

It didn’t happen straight away and it took a lot of perseverance, imagination and acceptance. Just as with mindfulness, my healing crystal acts as a physical reminder to quieten the chaos going on in my mind and reconnect with the present. The crystal is not magic by any means, I know it is all coming from inside my own body and mind but I am convinced that through openness and a belief in the potential for calmness, I have found a way in which I can reconnect and enjoy life without the stresses of the outside world.

I keep my crystal next to my bed and when I attempt to practise meditation I will hold it in my hands. If I am feeling particularly stressed I will hold my crystal and take a moment to contemplate and reassess the situation. I have found this is what works best for me. Some people keep their under their bed, some have them in their bag or even in their bra so it is with them at all times! I like to keep mine in my bedroom in ‘my space’ as a way to literally and metaphorically escape.

Which crystal is for me? 

Depending on how deep you want to go, each crystal supposably has a different intent and you can therefore choose a crystal based upon your purpose. My crystal, for example, is Rose Quartz. This stone is known as the love stone and is meant to help to enhance your self love and positive energy, opening you up to all different forms of love. I just think it’s very pretty.

A few other examples are as follows:

  • Amethyst: It helps to control disruptive and addictive behaviours and allows you to enhance your intuition.
  • Citrine: This the stone of success and enhanced your individual power.
  • Soladite: This stone helps to clear up any confusion and maintain concentration.
  • Aventurine: This is known as the stone of luck – whether that be luck in love, fortune or your career.
  • Aquamarine: This beautiful stone helps us to brave the unknown and can lead to increased creativity.
  • Clear quartz: This stone is known for encouraging focus, balance, positivity and clarity.

If you’re wondering which might be best for you, you can take this quiz. Not sure how accurate these things are but it’s worth it just for a bit of fun! The Energy Muse blog is also full of loads of great information about crystals and their healing powers if you are interested – I would really recommend taking a look!

‘Everything in Life is Vibration’ – Albert Einstein

Whether simply placebo or natural healers, I believe that your thoughts are in line with the vibrations of that which you surround yourself with. Healing crystals have provided me with some sort of accountability to make time for myself and that’s good enough for me. 

Jamie x 

 

Sources: 

https://www.elle.com/uk/life-and-culture/culture/articles/a31572/what-are-healing-crystals-how-to-use-them/

https://www.hellomagazine.com/healthandbeauty/2018022346560/what-are-healing-crystals/

https://www.holisticshop.co.uk/articles/introduction-guide-crystals

https://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/a19934992/what-are-healing-crystals/

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/sonimacom/do-healing-crystals-reall_b_12117920.html?guccounter=1

Take This Crystal Quiz to Find the Healing Crystals For You

 

 

As you will know if you follow me on any form of social media, I have recently moved into my first little house. When I first announced that I was moving away from home into a property of my own I got a hell of a lot of messages – How did you afford it? How long did you have to save for?

Many people assumed I had bought my own home. Now, whilst that would have been lovely, I am not Rockefeller and so buying a property was never an option. I did think, however, that sharing my experience so far of ‘flying the nest’ might still come in handy so I thought I would share with you a bit about the process and how I am finding it so far. 

Getting Started.

First things first, as soon as I find out I had secured the job, I had some housing decisions to make (well, first things first was to crack open a bottle of wine and celebrate but you get the point). Apart from student accommodation, I had never had to look for a property before and I had always been lucky enough at University to get enough of a grant to not have to worry too much about the price. Now, however, my search was very different. I had to consider what I was going to be able to afford based on my wage, where I was going to live (made all the more challenging by the fact I don’t drive and so commuting options also had to be considered) and what I actually wanted from my new home. With the help of my lovely family, I decided on my budget and a rough location that was near to bus stops and train lines.

I was actually pleasantly surprised at what my budget could get me. Having mentally planned that I was going to be moving to London, Solihull property was far more affordable and certainly gave me more for my money. I narrowed my options down to a few different properties that I had found of various sites (the one I eventually went for I found on sparerooms.com). Some were flats for one and some were house shares. After 3 years at University I was pretty relaxed about what the living situation was going to be – as long as it was clean, affordable and in a good location and I was a happy bunny. Deep down though, I wasn’t sure about living completely alone – having people around me seemed a lot more up my street.

We arranged a few viewings and headed down to Solihull. Even before I got there I had set my heart on a shared house that myself and 5 others now call home. It was newly renovated and decorated to the highest standard I had seen (I went from not caring about decor to the next Kelly Hoppen in the space of about a week!). It was fully furnished and all my bills would be included in the cost. Although the house is stunning and in the ideal location, it was the landlord and lady that really sold the property to me.

They were (and of course, still are) the loveliest people – it was them who showed me round the house, skyped me prior to the viewing and helped me through the whole process. Straight away I felt at ease and safe! A top renting tip I picked up was if you get the chance to meet and chat with the landlord then definitely do it – a lot of the time you will go through an estate agent and probably never meet who you are actually renting from. The chance to build a rapport and ask questions was invaluable and really put my mind at ease.

A colour scheme even Kelly would approve of.

Now for the question everyone has been asking…

 What About Finances? 

Now, I’m anything but loaded. I struggled a little at University but secured a grant that helped me through and my Mum helped me out whenever she could. I was earning very little from my PT work and so the 3 years had pretty much bled my savings dry. I knew I was going to be earning a decent wage but until I got that I was pretty much brassic – not ideal when you have a deposit and a months worth of rent to pay before your first pay cheque. Perhaps naively, until it came to looking for a property this was something I had literally never considered. It seemed to me that once I had a job money was going to be no issue, but the reality is a lot different.

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I bought flowers. Am I an adult now?

I wish I could tell you that I paid for these myself but, the truth is, this was not going to happen – I simply did not have the money and given the fact I went straight from University and into a job, I had no time to replenish the funds that had paid for my degree. Thankfully, my Mum was able to help. It has been tough and I know this has not left us in the most ideal financial situation, but I know that in time I will be able to repay her.

Going straight from University into work was an absolutely stroke of luck and I adore my job but relocating without any funds is not only hard, it’s impossible. I am incredibly grateful that my Mum has been able to help me pay the deposit for this house and although things are okay, let’s just say I am eagerly awaiting my first pay cheque.

The bedroom I chose on viewing day.

The Move. 

After we had worked out how everything was going to work financially and after I had been through a lot of paper work and screening processes that I was (again naively) completely unaware of, it was time for the move.

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My little room on moving day… 

The move itself was fairly stress free. I have been lucky enough to secure myself a house that is totally furnished and so I basically just had to bring myself, clothes and a few personal bits and bobs just to make it more homely. Checking in took about an hour and a half and then that was that! My top tip would be to make sure you have read all of the documentation prior to check in as this saves a load of time and you can address any issues prior to packing your suitcases.

My First Week.

The first week has been weird. I’m loving my new home but it is definitely taking some getting used to. Being away at University and living with people for the past three years has prepared me to some extent, but this is very different. Everyone is so lovely and I am really starting to get the hang of adult life but I would be lying if I said it hasn’t been a little difficult from time to time. Of course I am missing home but for the most part my job is keeping me busy enough to not have too long to over think.

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Of course I found a coffee shop in less than 24 hours. 

I am loving living in my little house and going to work and actually ‘adulting’ but it has not been without its challenges. I am very VERY poor at the moment and I am still waiting for my first pay cheque so we are working on a very tight budget. It also does get a little lonely sometimes but I am learning to appreciate time alone as well as time with others (a skill I have learnt is very important in adulthood). The past few months have posed many challenges but I am loving embarking on my new adventure and learning more and more about myself, life and Birmingham. 

Jamie x 

I am honoured (and also a little but shocked) to have been nominated for another blogging award. Since beginning to get more and more involved with the blogging community I have met some online ANGELS and I feel so lucky to be sat writing this post today. I was nominated for The Real Neat Blogger award by the lovely Imogen. She is an excellent blogger and has such a big heart so go and check her out. 

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As with the last time I did one of these, there are certain rules. These are as follows:

The first rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight Club is… wait wrong thing. 

RULES:

  1. Thank & link the blogger who tagged you
  2. Answer the 7 questions they asked you
  3. Nominate 7 bloggers for this award
  4. Ask 7 questions for your nominees

That’s better. 

Now for the questions the lovely Imogen asked me:

Why did you start your blog?

I have always loved writing (cliched blogger opener right there!) and I was looking for a creative outlet to share my ideas and thoughts. It started off as a predominantly fitness blog, which I try and make sure I still write about often, to help others on their journey to a healthy body and mind. When I started I was a complete fitness newbie. The gym had been recommended to me by the Doctor to help deal with anxiety and depression. I guess my blog became a way of making me accountable. As more and more people joined my journey and told me how much it was helping them I became more and more inspired. I grew in confidence in all aspects of my life, conquered my demons and made friends for life along the way.

What is your best tip to newbie bloggers?

Don’t be too harsh on yourself. It is really easy to compare yourself to other bloggers and feel like you HAVE to fit into a certain mould or criteria, which I promise you is not the case. Enjoy it and allow yourself breathing space if you need it. I have always found that when I enjoy my writing other people enjoy it more too!

What has helped you grow and progress the most?

My Mum. When I think about the person I was a little over a year ago to the person I am now I am unrecognisable. For a long time I was a difficult person to be around and pushed people away despite needed them more than ever. My Mum stuck by my side through every single moment and thanks to her I ma the happiest I have ever been.

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If you could have any three course meal what would it consist of?

Ooh this is a good one!

For starter I would have to go for something with prawns. I absolutely LOVE seafood and so if it’s on the menu it’s going to be in my belly.

My main course would probably be something like a surf and turf with sweet potato fries and a delicious, cheesy sauce.

And finally for dessert I am a little torn. I love a cheesecake but I also love brownies and donuts and pretty much every single dessert that has ever existed EVER. Wagamama does an excellent white chocolate and ginger cheesecake, which would certainly be up there BUT if I could guarantee a gooey chocolate brownie that would probably take it. I’ll pick up some Krispy Kremes on the way home…

Health. 

What’s your favourite colour and why?

This depends a lot on my mood and what the colour is there for. If it’s clothes it is very different to if it’s decor. If I had to pick just one colour though it would have to be rose gold. I know, I know, it’s about as #basic as you can possibly get but it is so SO PRETTY. If a thing comes in rose gold you can guarantee I’ll have it in rose gold.

If swimming is good for your shape, why do whales look the way they do?

WHALES ARE BEAUTIFUL.

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Have you ever broken any bones?

I broke my little finger once. I was playing netball at school and someone threw me the ball and me, being the athletic child I was, caught it on the tip of my little finger. It puffed up to about 4 times its size but there wasn’t a lot to hospital can do because, well… it’s a little finger.

So that’s enough waffling from me. Now for the bloggers I want to nominate: Ruth, Emily, Sophie, Mia, Clem, Soph, Samantha

MY 7 QUESTIONS:

  1. If you were a biscuit what biscuit would you be and why?
  2. What motivates you to keep blogging?
  3. What is your biggest pet peeve and why?
  4. If you won £1 million what would you do first?
  5. What achievement are you most proud of?
  6. Which one place in the world do you want to visit most and why?
  7. You’re on a night out: what are you drinking and what song are you requesting?

These bloggers are such inspirations to me and I cannot wait to read their answers. Thank you so much for reading this and a huge thank you again to Imogen for nominating me. Until next time guys! 

Jamie x  

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Hey guys, how are we all?

It’s time for my favourites of the month again. I’m loving writing these posts and sharing what I’ve been loving – it is a great chance to reflect on the month (and also to judge myself in hindsight for how much money I have spent on new beauty bits and bobs – not quite as fun!). I have been super excited for this one as I always find I get a lot more experimental with my beauty, skincare and fitness regime during the summer months – must be the warm weather inspiring me! This month has been no exception and a lot of categories have actually got an overall winner and a runner up in them.

  I have a lot to share this month so I’ll get straight into it. 

Fashion

My fashion favourites are usually something that I have been wearing a lot, however, this month is a little different for two reasons. First, July saw me chilling by the side of the pool in my scruffs a hell of a lot (I am definitely not one to be seen in heels and jewellery by the side of the pool) and as much as ‘oversized, ugly t shirt’ is a staple part of my wardrobe, it doesn’t exactly scream fashion. Second, I have been eyeing these trends for a long time but I have also just moved into my first ever house and so funds are a little short to say the least! I did still want to share them with you guys because I think they’re really cool!

Ever since I saw Dani Dyer rocking that denim jacket/skirt coord I have been seriously lusting after one! It also just so happens that after Dani Dyer rocked that denim jacket/skirt coord that they popped up literally everywhere – what are the chances, ey? I have been searching the internet and one of my favourites is this Red Contrast Stitch cropped denim jacket and denim skirt. I am a huge fan of wearing red and this coord from MissGuided is such a beauty! For both it would come in at £57, which is okay…I guess. 

Image from missguided.co.uk

If you don’t fancy red, head over to PrettyLittleThing and check out their gorgeous pink one! This one comes in at £50 so with the £7 you save you could buy yourself… well, not a lot but still. They also have one in white, leopard print, pale pink check (very ‘Clueless’) and a questionable blue one. Each to their own I guess…

Image from PRETTYLITTLETHING

Make Up 

Although I tend to wear less make up during the summer months, I have actually been experimenting with a lot of products throughout July. This months winner is a little bit of a surprise to me. I’ve actually had it for a long time but I have always avoided it due to the fact I cannot stand the packaging! However, I decided to give it a go and the product itself is stunning. The Benefit Sugarbomb Blush has been my go to blusher this month and even featured in my graduation day make up look. It’s a stunning mix of four shimmering shades of peach, bronze/plum, pink and rose together and so acts as a bronzer (and even highlighter) and well as a blush. It’s described as giving an ‘instant sugary flush’ and it really does do just that. It is packed with subtle, beautiful shimmers and the shade range is super versatile.

Look at that peachy glow! 

I’ve used this product almost every single day this month, whether I am wanting a soft glow to compliment a ‘no make up’ make up day or whether I am heading on a night out. If you’re loving peachy summer glowsI would seriously recommend picking this up. You know,if you can get past the packaging…

Although Benefit have stolen the show for me this month, Laritzy Cosmetics came in a close second and so has bagged itself a spot as my runner up. I received their NUE nude eyeshadow collection in lasts months The Pip Box and I knew straight away I was going to love it. For starters the palette is vegan, which is great! It is also full of super pretty, neutral shades that are so wearable. As I mentioned over on my Instagram, it is not the most highly pigmented palette (one of the reasons it did not bag first place) but it is easy to build up and it leaves next to no fallout, which is great. The neutral browns and coppers are great for everyday where and you can actually get quite a lot of different looks.

Apart from the pigmentation, another reason this palette did not bag first place is the price. I did not pay retail price for this product but if you did it would come in at £35.99, which I think is a little pricey. The colours are nice and I have worn it a lot over the month but I still find myself reaching for last month’s favourite, the MUA eyeshadow palette in Burning Embers. This palette has 25 gorgeous shades and are so much more versatile and affordable (it’s only £8). Neither come with a mirror, which I don’t mind when it’s £8, but I would have liked to have seen a mirror and slightly more sophisticated packaging on the Laritzy palette. This is not to say this palette isn’t good (it did make it to runner up for heavens sake!) but these are just some of the reasons it was pipped to the post.

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Still my go to eye shadow palette! 

Image from www.superdrug.com

Exercise 

Whilst at University I spent a lot of time in exercise classes but now I have come back I’ve had to wave goodbye to Les Mills (at least for now anyway) and go back to my home gym. This has meant a serious change to my exercise regime, which has worked wonders in shocking my body and helping me to start seeing results again. Throughout July I did a lot of HIIT and functional training at home (climbing in and out of wholes, lifting logs and all that jazz) and resistance training at the gym. Whilst I have been really enjoying both of them and every single session has been different and pushed my body in new and challenging ways, the winner for July is functional training.

If you’ve not heard of functional training before and are wondering why in gods name I am jumping in and out of holes, don’t worry! Functional training is basically adapting training to mimic everyday actions. Basically moving fitness outside of the gym. You’re still building strength, power and mobility but in a way that is more suited to ‘real world’ fitness requirements. There’s a lot of bending, sitting, reaching, balancing and unilateral training! It’s challenging but really good fun and has helped me see some serious results over the past month or so.

For more information on functional training and how you can incorporate it into your work out, check out this post. It’s full of top tips, advice and videos to help make your training more functional.

Music 

Leaving University has meant many things. My working weeks now consist of a lot more than 9 hours, I can’t afford to recklessly go for 5 coffees a day to avoid the library and I’m no longer on the radio every week. The latter has seriously impacted my knowledge of new music. As you might remember from a few months back, my music taste is very much that of a 50 year old man. I have, however, been loving a very recent album that I think you should all be listening to!

 

Image from Wikipedia 

High as Hope is the newest album from Florence and The Machine (you know, dog days are over and all of that!) and it is truly beautiful – I swear it actually gave me goosebumps! I always loved her music and find her voice so haunting and soothing. The album has some wonderful songs on it – you might have already heard Hunger, one of my favourites on the album. If you enjoy indie rock and older songs from Florence then I’m sure you will love this album.

Skin Care 

My July favourite when it comes to skincare is an oldie but a goldie. I have very fair, sensitive skin and I don’t really tan. I kind of tend to go a nice shade of salmon covered in little spots instead – get in line boys. The Dove Summer Revived, however, is my go to gradual tan and moisturiser as it gives me a nice, healthy glow and means you can look at my legs without having to protect your eyes from the glaring white.

It’s super easy to apply and, even with my lazy application style (splurt on, rub it in a bit and hope for the best), has never left me looking streaky unlike other false tans. It’s super affordable, super moisturising and super natural! I was using this for the whole of July and every evening when I was away on my holiday to keep my skin healthy and smooth. I like to think I will continue to use this throughout the year to keep up the glow all year round but, who knows, I’m pretty lazy…

So there you have it, some of my July favourites. What do you think? Were you loving last months The Pip Box? The warmer weather got you loving going out for walks rather than hitting up the gym? Can’t get past the Benefit blusher packaging to purchase sugarbomb?

Let me know and, as always, I also want to know what you guys have been loving this month. 

Jamie x