27 March 2016

Quitting the Gym | Lifestyle

I have to be honest, this wasn't really my choice, I never wanted to quit the gym in fact I had planned a whole new goal and meal plan for this year about half way through last year, but then I got a new job and everything was turned up side down, in a wonderful way might I add!!

I did however make an active decision to not join a gym when I moved out to Florence though and this was a shock to everyone because they knew I had such a strict regime they just assumed I would continue out here! It's a tough one for me because I thrive on routine, I genuinely do, I perform at my best when I know what's coming and how I can build my life around things! The only problem I have is that I do have an addictive personality, if I say I'm going to do something it's all or nothing! If I said I was going to the gym that evening I would, I would schedule plans around the gym and monitor what I eat while I was out etc! I knew that when I moved to Florence I wanted to embrace everything and that if I joined a gym, my addictive personality trait would hinder some of my experiences out here because I wouldn't be able to say no to the gym and the food so I would say no to the lifestyle!

I just wanted to talk more about how quitting the gym has effected my body and mentality because I have noticed the biggest difference in my well being! So if we just talk about the physicality first, so my body is softer and flabbier than what it used to be, I did a lot of weights and had very strong muscles underneath a layer of (healthy) fat especially in my thighs, butt, shoulders and back but now not so much, it actually a little depressing because I have lost some of my physique! Also, as I am eating more carbs my belly is bigger, the standard bloating you get from eating carbs!

One of the major things I have noticed is though that I am constantly tired, if I was back in England and feeling this tired I would put it down to needing a break from the gym! To put it into perspective for you guys:-

Lifestyle in England
2 hour journey into work
1 hour work out
8 hours of work
1 hour work out
2 hour journey back
5 - 6 hours sleep (max)
Food - Specific set meals I would follow

Lifestyle in Florence
20 minute walk to work
8 hours of work
20 minute walk home
7- 8 hours sleep
Food - random and whatever I want

And yet I am more exhausted then what I was when I was back in England, it doesn't make sense! 

The more I thought about it the more I started to consider that my body is really struggling to adapt to my new lifestyle so much so it almost feels like it's shutting down because I am tired frequently, I think my body has got so used to using energy in a different way in England that it's a bit of a shock to the system now and it doesn't like it! I'm trying to pin point exactly what it is that is causing the lethargy so I have also decided to keep a food journal to monitor what I'm eating and whether that could have an effect! I also make sure that at the weekend I go on long hilly walks to get my heart rate up again and I'm considering starting jogging whilst out here just to incorporate some exercise into my lifestyle to see the impact that has on my body!

I would say that I have always been very good at listening to my body, especially when I was back in England, I knew how far to push it and I knew the fuel I needed to feed it and now I'm in Florence and having such a wonderful time I feel like I may have stopped listening but it's clearly trying to tell me something!

Do you go to the gym or have you recently quit the gym, if so, what has the impact been on your overall health?
20 March 2016

Trip to Paris | Travel

I'm a lucky thing aren't I? Berlin in January and then Paris in March, I know!

Paris again is somewhere I have never been before, but always wanted to go, I feel like it is on most people's hit list. Basically I went there because I had 2 days worth of meetings but decided that I would actually stay the weekend and someone from back home in England came out to join me, which was amazing because it meant I would actually explore and go sightseeing whilst I was there.

The first thing I noticed about Paris is that it's just so big, even looking on the map you see  all of the places you want to visit are at opposite ends of city! I'm used to the vast size of London but since moving to Florence where everything is but a mere 20 minute walk I guess I've kinda got used to that now! I won't bore you with what I got up to on the two days of working, so I'll just focus on the fun stuff we did do! I also must point out it was bloody flippin' cold, almost too cold, I should have really checked the weather before packing but what can I do!

Being the type of person I am, I would walk anywhere, I really don't mind how long it takes because I think you can see some utterly beautiful things when you are just walking down the street! We kept most of our sightseeing to Saturday and when I say that I literally mean we walked miles going from A to B! We went up the Eiffel Tower which was pretty cool but because there was snow on the top it meant we could only go to the 2nd floor which is about half way up, the view was still great but I was a little gutted that I couldn't go all the way up!

We also went to the Louvre, we didn't go in but it was quite striking because the surrounding buildings are grand and are traditional with their design and yet right in the centre was this structure like a shard of glass nestled between them so it was really beautiful! We also walked along the Champs Elysees, which had a real luxurious buzz about it, all of the designer shops, all of the people which such chic fashion sense, it did almost remind me of London and you know how much I love London! This then lead to the Arc de Triomphe , another beautiful piece of architecture and massive! We also stumbled across some other places but I really love how European countries pay attention to detail, even when you look up and see the cast iron railings on the balconies of people's homes, just stunning!

I ate a lot of food out there, I mean, French there anything better? Basically no! But what I found with most restaurants is they are catered towards the tourists in the sense that regardless of what restaurant you go into the menus are very similar, burger option, steak option, duck option, pasta option but this could just be the places we ended up, I'm sure there are some great niche places that really showcased the French cuisine! In one place we had a cold meats platter that also had pate, but I must admit I really didn't like it, I think Italy has spoiled me when it comes to cold meats! But the bread, the French really know how to do, I could eat the bread all day long! I guess I do have to mention the price of things, Paris is expensive, especially the drink/alcohol, I was pretty surprised how much a drink costs and for the actual quantity, it's pretty bad! I think if you're coming out to Paris, expect to pay more!

The language is a little tricky, like I never experienced anybody being rude to me because I didn't speak French but I definitely feel there is an expectation to speak the language which is understandable but quite hard! I would definitely say that Paris is big enough to have something for everyone, whether it's Irish pubs you're into, restaurants, sight seeing or even metal music!

I had a great time in Paris, for several reasons just wish I had an extra day!

Have you been to Paris?
16 March 2016

FloraQueen International Flower Delivery | Lifestyle

Who doesn't love a bunch of flowers and let's face it there are literally hundreds of companies that you can purchase and send flowers from but who do you choose?

I was reached out to recently by FloraQueen* because they wanted to send me some flowers. The interesting thing about this Florist is that they send flowers to over 90 different countries, which is pretty massive! One really nice thing about this site is that the bouquets differ when you select the different countries to deliver to, so when I selected the UK I was presented with a different variety to that of another country for example. They have such a vast range of bouquets it is a little hard to choose! I would say the prices range from mid to high but I think as you can see from the pictures they really are beautiful!

I decided that I would have mine sent to England for my mother in time for Mother's Day and she was thrilled when they arrived! I asked her all the standard questions about whether there were any dead of damaged flowers, how were they delivered etc, and was told they arrived perfectly. I've known many cases where large international florists deliver flowers and some are dead or they don't look anything like the picture, in fact I have actually been put off from sending flowers purely because I haven't seen them beforehand so it's definitely a risk. However I am very pleased to say that these ones definitely met my expectations. My mother said the first thing she noticed was the scent, I know sometimes I have bought flowers in the past where you can't really smell anything but apparently these smelled amazing. 

This bouquet is the Passion and Devotion  bouquet which is a little different in terms of colours to what arrived but guys, this is always gonna happen due to seasonality and stuff like that but you can clearly see this was an utter gorgeous bouquet anyway! The flowers lasted just over a week, by that i mean the majority of the roses had died but some of the other flower still looked brand new which I think is pretty standard. 

I think for me, being so far away from my family it's companies like this that help bridge the gap a little and because I've had a very good experience with them, I would recommend them and use FloraQueen again for sure. 

Do you have loved ones in other countries? Why don't you brighten their day a little with some flowers to let them know you're thinking of them. 

*sent for review, all views my own
13 March 2016

Instagram Themes | Blogging

It's always been a bit of a hot topic hasn't it, Instagram Themes? Bloggers love a bit of marble background and love a good theme! And I admit  I'm the first person to swoon when the pictures all have the same filters and shades, the little OCD person inside me is soothed when everything has the same perfect border but that's the thing though, it's all a bit too perfect isn't it?

I'll be honest, I have struggled to gain my Instagram following and I think their are a couple of reasons for this, first being that I don't post enough, I'm rubbish and sometimes go for days without posting pictures at all and I think if there is one thing we have all learned through blogging, it's that followers like consistency! The other problem I think is because I just don't have THAT theme, I don't have the style of pictures that everyone loves! When I lived in England I feel like I was kind of getting an Instagram theme or at least creating content that people could easily tell was mine, things had a very similar background and were always brighten slightly so it was a kind of consistent but my problem is, I like taking pictures of everything!

When I moved out to Italy I no longer had my light pretty background and the lighting was all different to what I was used to, on the other hand I did find a new surface to take pictures on which definitely added a different look and feel to my blog and my Instagram but for those followers who likes the light and bright images, they went, they just disappeared! I found myself not wanting to post pictures because I couldn't apply the same filters as I did before which is ridiculous! So I just started posting them anyway and at first it looked a little weird because they were my images but they didn't feel very "Honeypot Blogs" if you get what I mean and think this also lead me to the decision to change direction of my blog! The way I see it is if I like the pictures then why should it matter?

I have also seen when the need for a theme goes a bit far in the sense that pictures are brightened and highlighted so much you loose all aspects of the picture, beauty products look a completely different shade and bodies blend into the white wall behind them and somethings also disappear entirely but they have so many followers because that's what people want! I have been guilty of looking on someone's Instagram at the first 9 pictures and see that if the pictures are stages nice I just follow blindly, just because it is so pretty!

I know it's all down to personal preference and I get that, but sometimes I have to ask myself when does having a theme come before the quality of the content?

Do you have an Instagram theme? If so, do you find it hard to maintain or do you love the creativity of it all?
6 March 2016

Blog life vs Real life | Lifestyle

When I started my blog 2 years ago, I decided right from day one that my blog would be completely separate from my personal life, I took ages to start telling people that I had a blog just because I was scared of people's feedback!

I created a different Instagram account, a different twitter account and never even spoke about it on Facebook! For me it was the only way I would be able to just write whatever I want and say what ever I want without judgement! OK so I know what you're thinking, I write about bloody make up who cares it's hardly ground breaking stuff but for me it was a very different angle to what I had always liked! Another fear was that the people knew I has a degree in Journalism, would they be judging every small little mistake I can and will make! It was too much, so I thought I would just keep it as my own little private space of the internet! I kinda feel that a lot of other bloggers do this as well, I know so many people who kept theirs quiet to start with because I just think it's easier.

As time went by I pretty much stopped using my personal account and just stuck to my blog one under my little Honeypot Blogs title but as time goes on I feel like I'm getting prouder of my blog, all the time and effort I have put into it, it's tiny and but a mere drop in the ocean of all the blogs out there but I don't think I have done a bad job! I have worked with some great brands in the UK and all because I like writing but now as my lifestyle changed I kinda want bring a little more of my blog into my personal life, I've even changed my Instagram name to read my actual name as opposed to just my blog name! I'm even starting to post pictures from my Instagram account onto my Facebook as well though I don't actually link them together, not yet but it's a start!

I feel that because my blog is changing slightly and going towards a more lifestyle route I want to share all of my experiences that I am sharing with you guys but also share them with my "real life" pals as well, I don't expect all of them to read my blog bit it does feel good when they do!

Have you kept you blog and your life separate?