What is FitStar? | Health and Fitness

If you follow me on Twitter, you may be aware of the fact I am attempting to loose weight and tone up my body, if you follow me you may also be aware of the fact I don't go to the gym and I do my exercise via an app FitStar and you may have noticed me publishing my daily exercise and how many calories I have burned. So today I thought I would talk to you a little bit more about the app and why it's perfect for those who are busy and don't have time to attend the gym or those who are too shy to attend, whatever your reason it's your perfect companion and it's FREE. So let me give you a little bit of an introduction to the app, it's a personal trainer app where you can either get a personalized work out or do the freestyle ones already available on the app. It's the perfect exercise buddy for those who don't know how to complete the moves and need to be taught as it shows you them and also does them with you, in my opinion the app is like a more modern fitness DVD. You can tell the app your fitness goals and e.g. mine is to loose weight whereas Lukes is to gain muscle so we have different workouts to do but it's still super fun to do together.

FitStar Workout

The app is great for challenging your friends and family as well which keeps me motivated, sometimes I challenge my best friend Soph and other times I challenge Luke and you can base it on a different number of things like sessions complete or calories burnt which is always fun. FitStar is a fab app for those who travel a lot, or who lead busy lives as the sessions can as little as 7 minutes, and if you fancy a long one up to 40 minutes, the great thing about them is they are split into sections within the minutes so you do intervals of different exercises e.g. a wall plank for 30 seconds and running for 1 minute 20. The freestyle section has a huge amount of different work outs based on the purpose of the workout as well the time you want to spend doing them, when you click on to the workout a session break down comes up which shows you how many seconds each exercise is.

FitStar Freestyle

Another amazing quality of the workouts is when you do the personalized workouts you are asked to rate each session based on how long you are able to keep up with each bit for and also how it made you feel, this is so the app can determine how your next work out will go (I can never do the plank for long than 20 seconds). In all honesty I am so happy I came across this app as it has changed my opinion on workouts and also on the way I do my fitness as it's so easy to fit into a part of your day without even leaving your front door. Although the app is free there is a premium offer available which gives you an unlimited amount of personal workouts and unlocks some of the freestyle work outs, but even without the app is great and I would highly recommend it.

Olivia Thristan

Lets talk Self Harm | Mental Health

I firstly want to start off this post with a trigger warning as this post may affect others and I in no way am promoting suicide or self harm, I am just sharing my own story with you to raise awareness.

I remember the first time I thought about taking my own life, I was fourteen and after enough day of constant bullying at school I decided I couldn't take it anymore, I took to the internet and looked at ways I could take my own life. I scrolled through web pages and looked for ways which were the easiest as well as the least painful. On this particular night I decided I would do something else rather than try to take my own life, something I had been reading about online for weeks and so far not had the guts to try, but everyone online said it made them feel better. Self Harm. There are so many different ways to self harm as you probably already know, I decided to take a blade from a razor in my bathroom and took it to my wrist. It was a week before I did it again, but after that it became something that I did on a daily basis. To me it was an addiction, and it was the only thing that helped me to keep my head above water, I'd get ridiculed all day and then go home and self harm. I joined a website, where a lot of other people did similar things and also things and it scares me now to think how many of those are still alive as some of them did seriously dangerous things.

I was suffering with bad acne at the time, and I had no idea how to get rid of it, the doctors tried so many different things but nothing worked this made me a prime target for bullies, along with my hairy arms and the fact I found it very hard to speak to people. The people that bullied me at high school, for the jokes- they ruined everything I was. Instead of going home and chatting to my friends, I'd go online and plan where I could self harm without anyone seeing, in a new place as all of the old places were full and how deep I could go. The scary thing is that many times I am very lucky I managed to not do any serious damage as I cut very close to my veins. The self harm was a secret from everyone, except my online friends who taught me new ways to do it, about a year after I started I was told I had to take my jumper off in P.E and despite me refusing several times the teacher made me, I tried to cover my arms but there was no way, Suddenly I heard a huge gasp and someone screamed pointing at my arms, and everyone looked. My secret was out. I thought this was where it would get better, but it actually got worse, I got labelled with attention seeker and emo from them on. The older I got in school the harder it was to ignore my feelings towards myself, and I have to admit I did attempt to take my own life, I took overdoses and ended up in hospital on occasion but this didn't stop me, it just made me more determined. I was forced to go to counselling but refused to talk and was eventually allowed to stop going.

I thought the longer I ignore it, the easier it would get. I was still self harming, having bad thoughts, and my anxiety was taking over my mind. At aged 16 I was diagnosed with depression and put on some anti-deperessants, although I saw this as a failure and started to hate myself even more. I refused to take them, and just went on as I was doing. I finally started college and met some nice people, and I felt safe for the first time in years I actually felt okay, I managed to keep my head above water, until I finally was ready to admit I needed help. It took until I was 19 to finally take the right steps into getting help, and although I have bad days and relapse I also have really good days, where I feel brave enough to fight the world. Now on the correct medication, and in therapy and along with some really good people in my life, I feel ready to tell my story.

Olivia Thristan

Things to consider when starting a blog | Lifestyle

I have noticed an increase of new bloggers around which makes me super happy, as it's always to read new blogs and talk to the bloggers behind them. A few of my friends I have recently asked me a few things about blogging and how to go about it, and anyone who asks me I'd tell them to do it. I love what it has done for my life and I know it can do the same to plenty of others. First off though, if you are considering starting a blog for the freebies, I wouldn't bother as they don't come overnight. So when starting a blog, my first start point would be to think of a name whether that comes to you tomorrow or in two months, you'll know when it's the right one and it's totally worth finding one out before you start everything up. I would totally advise buying your domain as soon as you start as a lot of companies now look for DA and if you want to work with companies, it's worth building it up as soon as possible.

 Blogging does take a lot of time up, so if you are very busy person (not to say busy people can't blog) it may not be for you. Blogging consists of photos, writing, editing, blogger chats, events etc, which are very time consuming and a lot of people struggle to keep up with everything which is going on, so sometimes a busy schedule blocks you from blogging. My next piece of advice would be, you don't have to have a niche, people make out that you need to know exactly what type of blog you're going to run e.g. beauty, but honestly I don't think people know for a while what they plan on doing, I started out beauty focused and now I am more lifestyle than anything, sometimes blogging itself helps with that. I will confess that when I started my blog I was hoping for a huge following within weeks, and lots of views and it doesn't work that way, it takes time, but that's okay and it's totally worth it. A blog layout is well worth investing your money into, you may have the best writing in the world, but if your layout is off, people will be turned off reading, boo. So to fix that problem, get a nice and clear blog layout ready for reading.

If you stop loving blogging, just take a break, people assume taking a break means you're not passionate about blogging anymore, but it totally doesn't mean that at all, it just means that you need a break which is totally okay. I think it's important to have inspirations and admire to be like them but do not copy that person, you won't be that person and copying won't get you anywhere, be yourself, everyone else is already taken. Last of all, have fun with it! It's your space on the internet to do whatever you want to do with it, why not make it into something awesome.
Olivia Thristan

Halloween Looks EVERYONE can do | Lifestyle

I can't believe how quickly October has gone and we are now approaching Halloween if you haven't already planned your costume, or don't have the budget to get one or even if you are just terrible at Halloween looks I think this post will suit you. One Monday morning I took to the white face paint and got out some make-up which I didn't mind trashing including a few red lipsticks, an eyeshadow palette and of course black liner. At first I was going with a look which I failed to create so I decided to turn it into the joker and it went from there, and I would like to state I am not saying these looks are at all amazing or even good in the slightest, but I had fun creating them and that's all that counts right? I hope you lovelies enjoy my looks and have a fabulous Halloween.

The Joker: 
As I mentioned earlier, this look was supposed to be something completely different than what it turned out to be, but despite the length of time it took to get off of my face I am super happy with the end result. The way I created it was with a lot of black eyeliner and eyeshadow, some white face paint for the base and a hell load of red lipstick, and ta daaaaa.

A cat: 
Of course you can do this look how every you want as it's a pretty simple one, but I fancied doing some face make-up if I was to do this on Halloween I may of used white face paint also but as I did my previous look using it and it took forever to get off I decided against using it for this one. For this I used eyeliner on my nose (weird I know) eyeshadow on my eyes, eyeliner again for my whiskers and then a red lipsticks for the lips, I maybe should of done a pink nose but I love the effect of the black so I am happy with how this turned out. I also used eyeliner on my eyebrows as I didn't have a black eyebrow pencil or mascara and I wanted it to be black.

A skull: 
Again the white face paint would of been used, but I didn't fancy applying it again. For this I just decided to keep it simple by using black liner on the nose again (which needed more coverage as I can now see) and also for the lips, I decided to go for the sealed mouth look as I think it looks better and then similar to the joker go around my eyes with black eyeshadow. 

What is your favourite easy Halloween look to do? 
Olivia Thristan

#HiddenGems of Birmingham: The Custard Factory | Travel

I was recently contacted by the lovely people of Talented Talkers in regards to their latest campaign with Travelodge sharing all of the hidden gems within Birmingham. As I live about 25 minutes out of from Birmingham it has always been my go to place to shop, eat and even hang out (when I was 15) and I've also attended many events there too. When I was asked to think of a hidden gem in Birmingham it came to me immediately:

The Custard Factory. If you haven't been before you are seriously missing out, full of quirky buildings and shops it's a place you need to visit at least once. There is lots of benches and I remember sitting by the waterfall they used to have 'back in the day', I like The Custard Factory because it's filled with independent shops and the outside is SO bright and instantly puts a smile on my face. As it's hidden away from the centre of Birmingham it's a little walk, but it's totally worth it and you'll know once you've arrived as it's stands out!

The history of the Custard Factory is pretty self explanatory as far as the custard factory part comes from, in 1837 Alfred Bird created a custard which was free from eggs and yeast as his wife was allergic, after feeding the custard to his customers who loved it he realized he could start a business and hired thousands to help make his creation and he ended up supplying to the British Soldiers at the end of WW1. After the war the factory falls derelict, although the factory no longer produces Custard it has kept it's unique and fun charm for all of these years and now is the UKs most creative business spaces.

The Custard Factory is full to the brim with creativity and has a lot of amazing art to offer, if you think this is the place for you, it's totally worth a visit and if you fancy visiting Birmingham Travelodge have 13 hotels to offer you.

Picture taken from The Custard Factory website- this photo does not belong to me.
Olivia Thristan

Joules Design Your Own Welly Comp | Lifestyle

I'm not usually one for sharing competitions but this one was too good to miss, the lovely people at Joules are currently running an amazing competition to design your own welly, so let me explain a little bit more. As we all know it's finally Autumn which means it's finally time to dig out all of the boots and scarfs and most importantly the wellies. All you have to do for this competition is design a welly, and the winning one will go on sale with all proceeds going to the Joules charity, Charitably Joules. As well as the welly being on sale, the winner also wins a luxurious break worth £5000, not too shabby if you ask me, as well as 10 runners up winning a £250 giftcard for their website. If you fancy your hand at designing all you need to do is get creative and you can do this here.

Good luck and let me know if you designed a pair! 
Olivia Thristan

Bloggers Come Dine With Me | Lifestyle

Recently I was asked to participate in one of the most fun campaigns I am yet to do with the lovely Think Money Group and that campaign was a Come Dine With Me styled meal. The way in which it was done was I was supplied with a budget to sort out food and entertainment just like the show and I had to host a meal for my friends. I instantly had ideas buzzing around my head, and as me and one of the guests I was inviting is vegetarian I decided to base the menu off of that. As my guests aren't huge eaters bar one I decided I wouldn't make a starter instead I would go for some crisps and dips ready to nibble on.

Following this I decided I would make a Quorn shepherds pie served with mixed veg and for dessert I went for a gorgeous cheesecake. I invited my guests to arrive for 7:30pm where waiting for them was the crisps and dip, I put music on whilst I made the final touches to dinner and dished it up, by 8:00pm everyone was tucking into my food which I got high ratings on as my friends didn't actually believe I could cook. Before dessert I decided to crack out the entertainment which was a game of Trivial Pursuits (which I had previously bought the day before) which lasted for a good hour, following this I served dessert with whipped cream and we had some drinks. Overall I think the night went amazingly well, and I somehow managed not to mess anything up *it's a miracle* I would happily host a dinner party as it gets everyone together and eating is one of my favourite things to do!

If you want to read about the other bloggers experiences here you are more than welcome to. 

Olivia Thristan

Gadgets I'd Have In My House If Money Was No Object | Lifestyle

A bit of a fun post on my blog today, and I am super excited to share it with you lovelies, I know that my wishlist styled posts tend to go down quite well so I am hoping this is another which you will enjoy. I was having thoughts about money and this idea popped into my head, of gadgets I'd have in my house if money was no object and it was fun to dream and create this for you guys to see what I'd have, I'd love to see some of your wishlists and choices so do leave your link below if you do the same post!

A 4K TV: 
Being a film student, I hear 4K mentioned a lot and the reason for this is, it is the future of TV and film. 4K is an outta this world experience where it is 4x the definition of HD, meaning it has such in depth quality. Panasonic have a super useful source on their website sharing the true meaning of 4K take a look here. I'd love one of these in my house as I'd never have to go to the cinema again (unless I wanted to watch a brand new film of course!)

An Ice Cream Maker: 
An actual machine that makes proper Ice Cream in the comfort of your own home, is actually beyond cool! I am a huge Ice Cream addict so I think this would be perfect for myself and also my ice cream loving friends and also I could make my favourite flavour on tap! (Bubblegum)

A Crazy Expensive Coffee Machine: 
A coffee machine which actually grinds up the beans for you, and it reminds me a little of the one they have in Starbucks, I think having a coffee machine itself is pretty amazing but this one is just perfect for the unlimited money at $600!

A Robotic Bar Tender: 
A super cool idea which every person clearly needs in their house and if it didn't cost 25 thousand dollars I am pretty sure most people would have them, this amazing machine makes any drink you fancy in a matter of minutes, which saves you doing all of the confusing measurements and mixing!

What gadgets would you buy? 

* In collaboration with Panasonic. 

Olivia Thristan

5 things people should talk about more | Lifestyle

I am writing this post to share with you, five things I think people should be able to talk about more openly and often. This are the sort of taboo topics that people are still too scared to address yet them happening to a lot of us, and even if it isn't personally happening to you I think it still needs to be talked about. I think these are issues that would help so many people if they are openly talked about rather than frowned upon. People are afraid to tell people personal things, and I obviously don't mean go to tell the person you sit next to on the bus your life story, but what about your friends and family? Why don't people talk about these issues with their friends and family. I am personally trying to break the stigma with the issues, talking very openly about them on my blog as well as with friends and family as I feel it is something that needs to change and people need to face are real issues and talk about them. So I thought I would share with you my five top subjects which everyone should talk about and not be ashamed.

1. Money
With this topic I don't literally mean go tell everyone the contents of your bank accounts or how much savings you have. I mean talk to people if you're struggling with money, tell them you don't know what to do, ask for tips on how they save. I know for many this is a huge pride thing why money isn't discussed but it shouldn't be, people shouldn't be embarrassed, not everyone has a high paid job, and that's ok. This reminds me of the episode of friends where Joey, Rachel and Phoebe have no money but won't open up about it and it leads to an argument. Sometimes it's okay to tell your friends the reason you can't hang out is because you're broke and not because your aunt who you haven't seen in five years is sick.

2. Sex
Yeah I said the S word.. and not that S word. Sex, is something that NEEDS to be spoke about, whether your 12 or 30 it should be spoke about. There is nothing wrong sitting down with your children and telling them about sex, in fact it's really important that they know the facts and what is okay and what isn't. I think it's key growing up to be open about it and not make it a frowned upon subject, because lets face it it happens, everyone does it and it's a real thing you can't hide away from! As adults I think it's okay to open about your sex life, it's normally seen as more of a female thing to do but people would be surprised about how little people talk about it in general.

3. Mental Health 
If you know me, you knew this one was going to be on here as a I am huge fan of being open about mental health and sharing with others as in my opinion sharing your story and your worries with others can help others, and it's nothing to be ashamed of. One day I hope people will realize it's an illness that can happen to anyone and it's not self inflict, if you're suffering don't suffer in silence, ask for help! Tell your friends and family, you're not feeling okay, let them help you. You don't need to be strong all of the time.

4. Sexual Abuse
This one is more of a sentive subject which does need to be approached with care, but I think it needs to be spoke about with people growing up, the rights and wrongs and that no means no. Also people need to be able to feel like they can talk to their friends if something like this happens, it's something to be ashamed of and it's not your fault, I hope people one day will be able to share their story and talk about this without being judged.

5. Sexuality 
In 2015, more accepted than ever but still something a lot of people are scared to talk about, I know people who are scared of coming out to their families in case of the reaction. Luckily it's a lot more accepted and common so the reactions are usually good ones, but if people are unsure about their sexuality they should be able to talk about it with people without being judged, it's okay to be unsure of who you are and your sexual orientation a lot of people are more confused than they admit.

What do you think needs to be talked about more? 
Olivia Thristan

#HQscare Halloween Treats | Lifestyle

I recently sent a lovely box of goodies from HQ Hair a brand who specialize is beauty and fashion and have the very best brands on their site such as Benefit, Nars and Ghd. As part of the Halloween campaign #HQscare they sent out some boxes of treats to bloggers. I was very excited and overwhelmed with the amount of amazing goodies inside, including a very cute selection of chocolate, DVDs and even some makeup bits.

The first things I found in the box were two DVDS which had kindly been supplied by Zavvi and these were Zombeavers and Dracula, and I haven't seen either of them so bonus! Zombeavers sounds like my perfect kind of film as it sounds like a rom com with an element of horror and gore, which would be perfect to watch on Halloween itself and with the door knocks it'll give it that extra element of spookiness. Next I came across two nail varnishes from a brand I am very familiar with and it is Orly, I was beyond excited with the colour choices bright orange and glittery black, perfect for Halloween and I think it took me less than hour until both of my hands and toes were painted in the lovely orange. Following this I came across a lovely eyeshadow stick from NARS who are one of my favourite brands, and I opened the box to find it was a lovely grey colour, perfect for creating smoky eye looks not just for Halloween but for all year round which suits me well as I am a huge fan of a good ole smokey eye.

After the NARS, I came across some Label.m texturising volume spray which I already know from owning it previously that it is a great product and an amazing way to create volume without damaging our hair *rolls eyes* back-combing anyone?! The spray will be perfect for creating big voluminous hair whether that be on Halloween or any other day of the year, it suits me well. Next I came across an awesome under eye concealer from Maybelline, which I know again from past experience that is an amazing product, not sure what I can do with it for Halloween though, but it's still awesome all the same.  Second to last I came across a box which says Lipstick Queen on, who are a brand I have heard of but have never tried, and when I opened the box I got an awesome surprise as the lip gloss is actually BLUE! I was not expecting it at all, but it made me smile as it's going to be awesome to use at Halloween time and instantly I was planning make up looks which I could create with the lipgloss. The final products in the box were some chocolate coins and balls with Halloween items on them and it's safe to say they didn't last long under my watch.

Thank you so much HQhair for sending me one of these awesome boxes! 
Olivia Thristan

Hugo Boss Runaway Edition Review | Beauty

One of my favourite things ever is being featured on the blog today, perfume. I love perfume and I own so many from bottles, to body sprays I love them all.  Today I thought I would review the Hugo Boss Runaway Edition perfumes for you lovelies just so you can get a feel for them and see if you'd purchase them yourselves. With there being three perfumes, it gives you a variety of choice from within the collection and the bottles also made me drawn to them as they're different styled women on the bottles and also on the packaging. The three perfumes from the Runaway edition are Nuit, Jour and Ma Vie. I hope you enjoy my review, and find yourself a new favourite perfume. 

Hugo Boss Runaway Edition

As soon as I smelt this perfume it reminded me of an evening out and sophistication, it's a lovely dominant perfume which is perfect for wearing on a night out. I love the fact it smells girly and classy as well as the beautiful bottle I think also draws more class to it. I would happily wear this perfume all of the time and it is my favourite out of the three. The fragrance is made from the sweet smells of a bouquet like Jasmine and also has a fruity feel to it. The perfume is long lasting and has you covered for the long night ahead.

Nuit Hugo Boss Runaway Edition

Ma Vie:
I love Ma Vie and was addiction from the first smell, it reminds me a of a very girly scent and one that smells lush and upmarket. The fragrance is made from rose and blossom which is a perfect girly mix and amazing for those who love a strong fragrance, this is the sort of fragrance I would wear on a day to day basis and reminds me of the smell which you are greeted with when you ponder into a perfume shop. If you are a fan of sweet smelling perfumes this one is definitely the one for you.

Ma Vie Hugo Boss Runaway Edition

To me Jour reminds me of a less dominant version of Nuit which to me seems perfect for just your average day perfume, I think once applied it leaves a gorgeous scent throughout the day and it's one that isn't overbearing so it's perfect for those who like a more subtle perfume. The perfume is made up of sparking citrus with a hint of blossom which is where the lovely relaxing smell comes from, this perfume is claimed to create the perfect mood for your day ahead and I have to agree.

Jour Hugo Boss Runaway Edition

The only thing I would say about this range of perfume is  I think Jour and Ma Vie should be swapped with their packaging as I feel they are more suited to the other packaging as that's what the scent reminds me of, other than that I am a huge fan of this collection and would advice it as the perfect present for a loved one (or even yourself)

Would you purchase any Hugo Boss perfumes? 
Olivia Thristan

Yankee Candle Christmas Edition | Review

As you may know from previous posts, I am a huge fan of Yankee Candle and have written various reviews of their collections in the past (if you fancy a read of those you can read about the Out in Africa range here and the Pure Essence collection here) I am super excited about their latest range which is all about their Christmas Candles which not only means Winter is in the near future it also means it's near Christmas YAY! I love Christmas and everything about it, from wrapping presents, to the food, it's my favourite time of year and I was so happy when I was sent their Christmas candles allowing me to get into the spirit early. As I usually do when I review candles, I shall write a bit about each under their picture so you get to know a bit more about the scent and it gives you a bit more info about them in case you fancy a sneaky purchase yourself. 

Cosy By The Fire: 
On first smell I'd say this candle smells like cola which is strange as I am not sure what it has to do with being by the fire but when the candle is actually lit you get the smell of burning wood along with a deep smell of ginger along with orange which smells lush and definitely takes you to a day of burning logs on the wood fire. Although this isn't my kind of scent I think it is perfect for those who like quite a strong smell.

Cosy by the fire 2015 winter collection Yankee Candle

Berry Trifle: 
Hands down my favourite fragrance out of the four and the candle itself is lush, with a glittery red coloured candle and the picture on the front takes me to another place, so pretty. The candle smells strongly of berries mixed with vanilla and is the perfect candle for those who love sweet scents, I would happily repurchase this one throughout the winter period as it's my perfect candle.

Berry Triffle Winter Collection 2015

Bundle Up:
The name of this candle just takes me to a Christmas-sy place, where everyone is wrapped up warm after playing in the snow, sounds like a dream. I like the fact it is a green candle also as it ties very well into the Christmas theme. To me the candle smells like fresh washing, like when you just take it out of the machine and I am happy with that smell so this is perfect. It smells very fresh and quite a light scent which is perfect for all day burning.

Bundle Up Yankee Candle 2015

Winter Glow:
I love white candles as I am instantly taken to a happy place, as it reminds me of snow and clouds. This candle is refreshing and always leaves me wanting more of it, the smell reminds me of being outside and of snow and it's really hard to explain what it actually smells like. So if you like refreshing scents I'd recommend this one to you, and as it's a wintery one it's perfect for those cold evenings and on the run up to Christmas.

Winter Glow Yankee Candle 2015

Are you going to buy any of the Winter collection? 

*PR samples, all opinions 100% honest
Olivia Thristan

Healthy Snacks #2 | Health and Fitness

If you've been following my twitter you'll know I am currently trying to loose weight as well as doing more regular exercise, one of my biggest problems when it comes to weightloss is snacking I am forever popping downstairs and picking up a bag of crisps, or some chocolate which of course one isn't a great snack and two is not healthy nor is it going to help me with my weight loss. I was recently sent some lovely Pistachio nuts from Wonderful Pistachios and they're in many different flavours which is awesome as it's like a bag of crisps in nut form and they also provide other things which crisps don't like a good source of protein which being a vegetarian who is fussy I am probably lacking a lot of protein in my diet so this is amazing for me.

So the Pistachios come in the following flavours: Salted and Pepper, Roasted & Salted, Roasted No Salt and finally Sweet Chilli. If you know me well you'll know there is no way on this earth I was trying the Sweet Chill ones so I handed them over to Luke who demolished them in one serving and said they were amazing, I wanted to try the salted and pepper ones as they reminded me the most of a crisp flavour and I was pleasantly surprised, I was expecting them to possibly taste a bit boring but they tasted amazing! Not too salty nor too much pepper the taste was one I was happy with and I feel it could satisfy my crisp needs. Next I tried the salted ones on their own, to me they just tasted like anything which you have just salted like Ready Salted crisps, and although it's good on crisps I think the pepper makes the nuts and prefer the Salt and Pepper ones. Finally I tried the the no salted ones, which to me was just like the normal pistachios which are good for just a late night snack or when you fancy something plain. Overall I enjoyed these and would happily switch them up for my crisp habit, now just to find something to replace the chocolate with...

Do you like Pistachios? 
Olivia Thristan

Vitalfootprint Mindful Eating | Health

Some of you may know, yesterday I started Slimming World which I am over the moon about as it's about time I started to take control of my food choices to enable myself to have a happier and a healthier life (no more Dominos!) I have heard many amazing things about Slimming World as opposed to other 'diets' and you never go hungry so I am excited to get into this and will be posting weekly updates of my food and also my weight loss achievements. With this said today I have a guest post for you, about Mindful Eating from Vitalfootprint and the article is so helpful and a great read, so I hope you enjoy.

More and more people are becoming conscious consumers. We are moving away from an endless stream of ready meals and takeaway coffees towards a heightened sense of awareness about the origin, contents and quality of the food we eat. In a recent survey by Allegra Food service and The Sustainable Restaurant Association, 95% of respondents stated that they want a healthier lifestyle. In addition, 87% want the issue of food waste to be addressed and almost two-thirds want their food to be locally sourced. This goes to show that health and nutrition, responsible sourcing and sustainability are high on people’s list of priorities when it comes to the food they eat.

Conscious and mindful eating are not the same thing, but share similar principles. A conscious consumer wants to know where their food is coming from and rejects unnatural products. A mindful eater retrains their mind to consider the benefits of food as they consume it, leading to better diet choices. To get the most from your food, you can combine the two ideas and redefine the way you eat. By doing so, you can enjoy the following benefits:

- It can help prevent type 2 diabetes. In a study, fast eating was found to aid the development of type 2 diabetes. Mindful eating slows you down and makes you question your eating style.

 -It prevents binge eating. Conscious, mindful eating helps stop binge eating,  a habit that can lead to obesity — in its tracks.

-It helps avoid overeating in restaurants. Mindfulness from a consumer perspective can reduce feelings of guilt and bloating too.

-You’ll stay trim. Eating when you’re hungry — a key principle of mindful eating — helps you stay lean. Researchers in New Zealand studied 1,600 women and found that those who ate only when hungry were healthier than those who paid little attention to hunger cues.

 -It prevents dietary complications. If you avoid binge eating and select your food carefully, you’ll know where your food comes from and be able to recognise your own allergies. You can select healthy options that will leave you feeling satisfied and energised.

 In an age of sensibility, individuals should be up to date with conscious trends so they can benefit from better eating habits. Try incorporating the following questions into your lifestyle: It is easy to eat food without considering what you’re putting into your body. In many cases, packaged and processed food is full of ingredients you’ve never heard of — most likely artificial. To get started: Begin by selecting food with less than five ingredients in it. This will limit the potential for unhealthy, unnatural additives. As you grow used to filtering out additives and unnatural ingredients, you can make a more permanent shift towards avoiding packaged meals entirely.

Generally speaking, food that comes directly from nature is far healthier than processed food. While there is a wider argument surrounding the passing of energy in natural food, you can get by with a simple thought exercise — would you rather eat something that grows in the wild as part of a natural eco-system, or something that has been manually designed by humans and uses artificial ingredients? To get started: Visit local markets and fresh produce sections in supermarkets to gradually cut down and eliminate processed meals from your diet.

A big principle in mindful eating is to ask yourself why you’re eating. This helps identify food habits. Are you binging on a takeaway because you feel upset? Are you craving carbs after a hard workout, or shovelling spinach down your throat to preserve that post-exercise happiness? Eating as an event is another issue for most individuals. For example, arranging to meet a friend usually involves dining out. When you’re eating, try to consider the purpose of the meal. There’s nothing wrong with eating for pleasure but try to limit the bad stuff. To get started: Assess your hunger levels before you eat. Rate yourself on a scale of 1-10, where 1 means you’re not hungry at all and 10 means you’re full. If you’re less than a five, you’re probably eating for a reason other than hunger. A food diary is a great way to keep track of how you feel before you eat too.

 Mindful and conscious eating is largely a mental activity. Before you eat, you should consider how the food is going to make you feel. Be realistic — will sugary foods provide a quick boost before making you feel guilty, sluggish and bloated? If you’re honest with this question, you can avoid many poor food choices. This is also a good way to discover food allergies, as you’ll be able to identify which food makes you feel unwell. To get started: Keep track of how food makes you feel. Note down any feelings you have after eating and consult your notes before you next eat. You can then work with a doctor or dietician to eliminate the foods that are harming you. The above questions are simply starting points for slowing down your eating habits. If you can answer these with integrity, you’ve taken the first step to practicing mindful and healthy eating habits. Prepare your food mindfully and you’ll be eating better than ever before without resorting to restrictive diets.
Olivia Thristan

What is it like living with Anxiety disorder? | Mental Health

Another week, means another set of pills, I hate that I have to put this stuff into my body to make me be able to function like a normal person, but it has to be done. After going to the doctors and needing to have my dose increased again, I thought I would take to the internet to share my story with those who might be going through the same thing as me. Anxiety disorder is on the rise, and it concerns me as to why. It also bothers me the fact that I've heard people in the past say that they want the disorder, and I can promise you, you really don't. In the last few years I've seen anxiety be turned into a fashion statement, young girls claiming they have it to get attention and I've also seen several fashion brands use it as a t-shirt slogan?

 Are we seriously at the point of where a disorder can be used as a fashion tee now? I am sick of serious disorders being glamorized, because for those of us who are really suffering it is anything but. I can't go into a new situation without sweating so much I am dripping wet, I can't go out on my own in the dark without having a panic attack, the thought of meeting new people makes me physically sick, when I get anxious about something my mind thinks every single thing over and over, and this is mainly at night which keeps me awake. Standing by the main road, and wondering if you are going to be able to cross without falling to the floor and hitting your face for no reason whatsoever, walking into a lecture and imagining that you are going to trip down the stairs and that everyone will laugh is just something I have to face on a daily. 

Having a panic attack makes me cry so much I can't breathe, I feel like I cannot get any air despite that obviously not being true. When people tell you just to breathe it's so annoying, I want to breathe, I want it to stop but I can't stop it? I hate how much I have to plan in my head what I am going to say simply before I am going to talk to a cashier, I think of all of the possible questions they may ask me and how I would answer and then I still get freaked out and want to hide. The worst part, is wanting to do something more than ANYTHING in the world, e.g. go to a blogger meet, but getting so worked up about it, staying in bed and not doing anything is the only way to make it go away. 

The thing that bugs me the most is people comparing it to being nervous, I am not nervous, it's not just a case of being nervous- I really wish it was! It's not just a feeling that will pass with time, it's something I am stuck with, and I want to get it under control I really do, and I am trying it's just harder than it looks, seven months ago I couldn't even go out of the house without someone by my side, so I am advancing and I am getting better each day. I hate having anxiety disorder and I have no idea why so many people seem to want such an awful thing to happen to them, but trust me anxiety is not something you EVER want. 
Olivia Thristan

20 Reasons Why Britain Is Great! | Travel

I promised you more travel based things on the blog, so I have something kind of travel related for you today (it's more travel for people outside of the UK, but it's still travel none the less.) Today's post is 20 reasons why Britain is great, and I can imagine a fair few people laughed when they read that, but I am being serious and with all of the things going on around the world at the moment, I think it is important to share some love for our homeland also remember some of the good things about living in England, come on we have 48,000 pubs and fish and chips, yum! I hope you enjoy the infographic from Citybase Apartments below and remember some of the reasons why we all love Britain: 

* In Collabaration With Citybase Apartments
Olivia Thristan

American Candy Haul 4 With Taffy Mail | Reviews

It's been four months and my candy hauls are still going strong, yay, for the next few months I have teamed up with the lovely people from Taffy Mail who are the UK's only Amercian Candy subscription box. They offer an amazing subscription box where you can pick the size of yours based on the amount of money you want to pay, which I think is great as some people want to pay less than others. I am currently reviewing their classic box which has 10-14 amazing items including a can of pop and lots of other yummy goodies. As there as so many goodies in the box I decided not to include individual pics of each, just some that looked cool from their packaging, but everything is pictured below if you fancy, taking a look what was inside my box.

Hershey's Cookies n Creme: 
This has been a favourite of mine for some time, as it's simpler to get in the UK now and you will find it around a lot of shops, the flavour to me tastes like Oreo which is perfect, as I love Oreo, you get a seriously big bar as well and it's not even that high in calories. I am a huge fan of this and I shall be rating it 9/10.

Warheads Sour Chewy Cubes: 
When I bit into these, I expected pure sourness and was a little disappointed as they're not really sour at all, they're juicy and taste amazing but as they're not sour that ruins the product for me 4/10.

Sour Patch Kids:
These are something you can get in the UK, but from the states they come in a cool box and there appears to be more. Another product which claims it is sour and it's really not, but flavour wise these had a ton more flavour to them and I did enjoy them more so they get a higher rating than the chewy cubes! 6/10 for these.

Butterscotch Smoothie Peanut Butter Cups: 
So these taste like a cup of peanut butter, and I don't think they measure up to Reeces but I did find that they were bigger in size so you got more a peanut butter cup and I like the packaging I think the font is adorable. 6/10.

Goo Gum:
This product is from toxic waste and takes me back to being a young child again, with the outside being normal bubble gum flavour (yummy!) and the inside being a green slime which on the packet says it's sour and it actually is! Shock horror. I am not a fan of the sour middle though, not sure it goes well with bubble gum but a high rating for saying what it is on the packet. 7/10.

Chewy Lemonhead Redrific:
You may of seen in previous hauls (here) I LOVE lemonhead they have so many amazing products and they all taste amazing, and remind me of more cool flavoured jelly beans. I love the redirfic selection as I am one of those people who always goes for the red sweets within the packet so this is like a dream for me! 10/10.

Blue Razz Blow Lollies:
Okay this lolly is AMAZING and I wish I had of had a whole box filled with them, I love the overall flavour of them and how it turns your tongue blue *being 5 a again* and when you eat your way through the lolly you make it to an amazing chewy bubble gum centre, which to me is my fave and it makes the bubblegum taste like a lovely raspberry flavour. 9/10.

100 Grand: 
This is very similar to the a toffee crisp, and if you are a fan of them you will love this. I am not a fan of them, but my boyfriend loves them so I gave this to him, and he rates an 8/10 as he said it tastes like a less chocolately toffee crisp. I do like the name of this product though as I feel it gives it a luxurious feel.

A chocolate bar filled with amazing sweet and buttery toffee, what more can you ask from a chocolate bar? I loved this and if I found it around I would totally repurchase! 7/10.

I think Taffy Mail, have provided an amazing selection of goodies for this months box, and I think if you're looking for your American candy fix get on to their site. 
Olivia Thristan

My Week In Pictures #1 | Lifestyle

I have to admit it is not often that I can do one of these posts as I don't tend to do much in the week apart from go to university as I tend to have periods of time where I feel unable to go out. But as I've had a pretty busy week, and taken a fair few pretty pictures I thought I would share with you what I have been up to this week. 

Where have I been? 
This week I have attended an awesome event at Next in Birmingham with more information in a new post to follow, which is where the cute pic of food in the top right hand corner came from as well as the bra in the bottom line of pics. I found out some super interesting info about bras and how important it is to get fitted regularly. After this me and Luke went out for some food at Bella Italia where we had these adorable little warm bread battons and garlic dip as well as a huge ice cream sundae which we both loved. On Friday my lush order also came filled with amazing Christmas goodies which I am super excited to dig into, as well as this I have a giveaway for you lovelies to win some amazing lush goodies which you can enter here. 

What have I been doing? 

As well as this I have been to university where I have learnt some pretty interesting stuff and I have to create my own app (well design one anyways) and create a promo video for it, I also had an awesome business lecture learning about the different ways to market online which is totally down my street. I also have ordered a Dominoes Pizza which was lush and some of their amazing cookies as well as eating a ton of chocolate for certain reasons haha and also trying to increase how much water I drink as well as re-dying my dip dyed hair a bright pink yay. 

I hope you've had a fab week and I would love to know what you've been up to! 
Olivia Thristan

Prairie Charms Luau Party | Review

I was recently sent a box of lovely goodies from the adorable company who you may of heard of as they are around twitter a lot Prairie Charms. if you haven't they are a company who make everything lovely from super cute bespoke headbands to adorable hair bows. They have recently started selling subscription boxes and the most recent one was a Luau party and the box came with some adorable things inside. First off, it came with a bag of purple glitter which to me is just amazing, I'd love to cover my room in glitter but I don't think my boyfriend would like it too much. The second thing I noticed was the gorgeous bespoke headband which is so bright and pretty, I am not too sure I could personally pull it off, but I am sure one of my friends could! Also within the box was some super cute straws, and if you know me well you'll know I actually collection paper straws, yep I'm weird so I added these straight to the collection! The other items which were in the box included, a mini Hershey's bar, a shell hair clip, a super cute anklet, toasted coconut marshmallows, two hair bands and a balloon which came with a huge amount of cute confetti to fill it with! I think Prairie Charms have got this box nailed, as I haven't seen any other subscription box like it. They also sell their pieces singular on their website and if you fancy a look check it out here! 

Olivia Thristan

Men have issues too! | Lifestyle

*Warning* This post has a TW so if you feel you may be triggered by this post, I suggest avoiding it. You totally read this title right, and I am writing a post which is about being a man despite myself being a female. But it's something I keep seeing pop up on Facebook and other forms of social media and it's bugging me a little (a lot) when I keep seeing pictures like 'women go through this' and the list includes things like cheating, being heartbroken, anxiety, rape, abuse etc. This angers me, I am not sure what younger girls are taught but men can go through all of those things as well. Men suffer with anxiety and depression which is nowhere near as talked about as women.

I think this comes from the stigma of men have to be tough, and men need to be manly and grow some balls but that's not cool, men have issues too. I was happy in a way when Coronation Street decided to cover the story of a man going through abuse, noone believe that it was in fact his wife that was putting him through the abuse, people laughed that a man could get beaten up by a woman. But it happens, men do suffer abuse from their partners, and even sometimes their family. I am a woman and I am lucky that when I have been through mental health issues it's been a lot more okay for me to open up about it.

Sometimes I do think the fact that women have to go through pregnancy and a lot of women end up as single parents gets thrown back at men, but what about those men who are also single parents, and have to raise their children, although it may be more rare it still happens, and drives me insane that it's not shown, just because they don't carry the baby personally doesn't mean that they can't deal with similar issues. The final point of this post is men being heartbroken and cheated on, just because SOME men cheat on women doesn't mean ALL men are cheats. Men suffer heartbreak, get dumped, get left it happens. Just because women are more vocal about and men tend to keep to themselves it gives them more of a bad name, I have had a several of my male friends of whom this is happened to, but it kind of gets laughed off or ignored, why can't men get the same support the females get?

 The rate of which men are taking their own lives is raising, doesn't that show something to people? That they are struggling too! I feel that men having anxiety is over looked, men have the same mental health issues which females have but usually don't talk about it, which leaves them in a lot worse place, which is awful. I am edging people today, to talk to a male in their life and respect that they have the same issues as females, when I wrote this post I am not blaming all females some females are great and understand men do have issues, but some overlook this. Please take the time to understand men are human too and suffer like we do.
Olivia Thristan

My Favourite Places To Eat In Florida | Travel.

I promised more travel posts on my blog, so here they are! I decided to start with a bit of a post which is also related to my favourite thing, FOOD! I decided to do a bit of a list of places which everyone should try when in Florida (if you are planning on visiting the states in the next few months). I thought I would start by saying the pictures in this post don't belong to me as I wasn't clever enough to take any last year when I went for a visit.

My all time favourite place to eat when I am in the states, so much yummy grub at Denny's and I am sitting here in a pile of my own drool at the thought of eating there once again. I remember having eggs, toast and a stack of pancakes for my breakfast everyday and despite the fact if I lived there and would gain about 50 stone if I did that everyday, it sounds SO good. Although I did occasionally eat there in the evenings it's not my kinda place for dinner food.

Now this is my kind of dinner place, Sweet Tomatoes is perfect for vegetarians like me, it's basically a restaurant with a HUGE salad bar and you pay on your way in for unlimited salad and you can just keep going which is pretty impressive and it's amazing for those who want a healthier option. There is also bread and cake too, which is always a bonus.

BEST PLACE EVER and that is a fact. I love pancakes and in IHOP (international house of pancakes) you can eat a ton of pancakes with lots of syrup on, which is my perfect meal anytime of the day, followed by a gorgeous strawberry shake, topped with cream. They are also the best pancakes around, don't miss out on such awesomeness.

I am a sucker when it comes to Italian food so it was a no brainer when it came to visiting Olive Garden, I love pasta and anything which has garlic sticks with it. The portions are huge and well worth the money, and it was a change to actually find something which wasn't piled with meat.

The main words I would use to describe this is hell on earth, in a good way? Despite being super duper busy, the amount of food options there are to choose from is insane! I was very impressed with the dessert area where it was piled with various cakes, candy floss and ice cream. As well as unlimited food in other areas including salad again yay! Also chips, and other friend things which I love, can't go wrong.
Olivia Thristan

Shopping for Energy| Lifestyle

When moving into a student house I had no idea about prices of which bills cost and where is the best place to go. There are new providers popping up in every direction and everyone has the best deal for us, but which one really does have the best deal? Confusing right? Being a student can make me quite naive to what prices are worth while and which are totally out of order. After searching around and finding a company who offers to do your bills for you and you just pay them a set amount a month and thinking that was an amazing deal, but after speaking to our landlord who actually turned around and said they were ripping us off big time, it was back to the drawing board.

Being students money is usually tight as we are all on our student loans so finding the best deals is key, we found out the bill which was costing us the most is electricity so we looked decided to shop around and see what deals were out there, after taking to several money comparison sites and remembering that a free stuffed animal toy wasn't what was important we actually came across a website called Go Energy Shopping which is full of useful tips and guides to finding the best provider and tells you the best ways to get the cheapest deal out there. This is helpful for people like myself and other university students who are pretty much clueless when it comes to paying the best deal for your bills. What I enjoyed about the site is the fact it is bright and broken down into more easy to understand sections and it even has a glossary of words which are helpful to understand I mean what even is a "dead tariff"?! If you are interested in reading the site you can do here (students, do it, do it now). One of my favourite features about the site is the fact that there is a page just for finding comparison sites which I found useful as I only know about two and I am pretty sure they're same two everyone knows, click here for a list of comparison sites.

Moving into your new place with your friends is a bunch of fun but it is important to sort out your bills and make sure that everything is in place as I know people who have ended up paying £1000s on their electric for not looking around properly which is not what you want when money is tight! Although it seems like a pain now, you'll totally thank yourself in the long run of things when your money is good and you are on top of all of the bills!

* In Collaboration With Go Energy Shopping
Olivia Thristan

Bed Head TIGI Resurrection Range Review | Beauty

I am in love hair products at the moment, I happen to be buying more for my hair than for my face which is strange for me as I am forever picking up new beauty products. I recently ran out of my expensive shampoo that I was using so it seemed like the right time to get some more, as I like to vary the different products I try and use different ones dependant on my mood / the mood of my hair! Bed Head by TIGI has been a brand I've been aware of for a long time, I have purchased their products in the past as you can get HUGE bottles in TKmaxx and also buy them on Feel Unique and I have never been disappointed by one of their products as they are always long lasting, leave my hair feeling amazing and also smell lush. 

I have recently been dying my hair a lot, so it was perfect timing to try a deep conditioner which I picked up from the TIGI Resurrection Range. Bleaching and dying your hair can be damaging to your hair, along with using heat (which I tend to do most days, oops) so a good deep conditioning is great for your hair. I love this product because it's easy to apply, when in the shower I scoop out a fair bit in the centre of my hand (I have long and thick hair by the way) and run it through the ends of my hair, never my fringe or top of my hair as it leaves it feeling greasy for weeks. Then do something else in the shower, like shave or cleanse my face whilst I give it 5-10 minutes to be in my hair which tends to do the trick, I like to do this on a weekly basis as it gives me soft and lovely smelling hair for days. When I don't use this I tend to just use a normal conditioner or there is another daily one from the same range if you are looking for something just as good.

Along with the deep conditioner, I purchased a new shampoo from the same range my hope for this product is that it makes my hair stronger after all of the things I've done to it lately, as well giving a good clean and leave me feeling fresh. I am super happy with this product, within a matter of days my hair started to feel better and stronger making it easier to style and also helps keep it clean for a lot longer than other shampoos which I have tried in the past, so yay! I would totally purchase this range over and over as it leaves my hair feeling happy and me even happier.  

Olivia Thristan