Have you ditched the New Year’s resolution yet?

We’ve all been there… year after year we make a resolution that for one day we are so determined we will complete. Whether it’s giving up smoking, tackling a Dry January or changing your lifestyle in the aim of having a body like a Victoria’s Secret Angel. Bye bye 2015!

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“New Year New You”

January 1st is the day I feel most motivated to complete it and I really persuade myself and all my friends that I will. But I feel all of your pain when the struggle hits and you feel like you can’t go on any longer.

This main struggle supposedly happens every year on January 17- National Failure Day. The day we stress and bought our first 2016 pack of cigarettes, ate the WHOLE of the Cadburys Milk Tray and chucked back shots after shots of tequila.

Read more: Happy New Year! My highlights of 2015 and some 2016 ideas for you

If that’s you, I hope you still gave it a good bash until the 17th. If not 2016, maybe next year? And for those of you still powering through to Feb… Well done you! I’m very proud to say I am one of the contenders this year.

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How to keep your New Year’s Resolution?

Make it fun! 

It will be so much easier if it is something you know will enjoy doing or actually get some sense of reward out of i.e. learning a new skill or fulfilling something you’ve been wanting to do for ages.

When you’re pressurising yourself to lose weight for example and getting angry when you are too tired for the gym, it will just make you want that chocolate biscuit you’ve been craving even more! When you go to the gym and try classes that suit you and your timetable it is more fun and easier to turn into a lifestyle change. Don’t bother with the 5 am run if it’s not for you!!

Just ease into it. Don’t think about the end product of some celebrity’s body, because 1. it is probably impossible to achieve and 2. it will stress you out more.

That is exactly what I have done this year, I’ve ditched the ‘Get fit’ and ‘Learn to cook‘ resolutions. I hate exercising excessively- I just can’t deal with the aches and pains, and I don’t particularly enjoy cooking! But I do believe I gave it my best bash in 2015! I just will always prefer to be the dinner party guest.

Read more: Recipes for sweat treats, eating healthy and snacking lightly

For me 2016 is a year for doing more and seeing more of London- the capital city I have now lived in for two years… yet barely even seen any of it!

I’ve made myself a bucket list of things to do, yes the typical tourist hot spots but also things my work colleagues have been raving on about and things I’ve always wanted to do but never got a chance!

So it’s time to actually appreciate my home city and tick off this checklist:

  • Cahoots bar √
  • Secret cinema
  • Secret bars
  • Climb O2
  • Sky Garden √
  • Sea Life
  • London DungeonsGo inside Buckingham Palace
  • China Town √
  • Hampton Court Palace
  • Beigel Bake
  • Kew Gardens
  • Hampstead Heath
  • Royal Ascot √

So far this month I have drunk Vera Lynn cocktails in a 1940s bar, drunk prosecco on the rooftop of the Walkie Talkie building and munched on crispy duck pancakes in China Town.

Things to do in London

After living and visiting London all this time I am still so shocked I’ve never even seen China Town or walked through it. I obviously knew it existed somewhere central but I didn’t realise the whole streets were actually kitted out with special themed architecture! Love it! Bet it’s wicked there on Chinese New Year.

If you haven’t been already Sky Garden is awesome. The 360 view of London from the top of the Walkie Talkie is absolutely amazing, giving you visual hot spots of The Shard, London Bridge, Canary Wharf and the London Eye. Plus you get to have a play around in the indoor jungle garden. Yes we acted like kids getting pictures in the bushes.

One of the things I love about London is all of the quirky bars you hear people saying they’ve visited and the opportunity to get a delicious cocktail within probably just a 20 minute walk from wherever you are standing! Cahoots is one of the best bars I’ve been to. Hidden in Kingly Court just off Carnaby street, you follow the Underground sign to take you down into the secret hotspot, where you feel like you’ve gone back in time.

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Not only are all the staff fully dressed in 1940s get ups but they are all in character too, putting on accents whenever they talk to you! The drinking den has reverted back to its roots as an air-raid shelter and everything in there- from the bathroom’s radio station to the stack sof sandbags- is reminiscent of post-war London. I definitely recommend having a visit.

Woo and more good news! Tickets are finally booked for mine and Effie’s 2-year discussion of wanting to go to the Royal Ascot Ladies Day Races. Yes it would be cool to see the queen but really we are much more excited about the hats!!

Read more: Why I loved London Fashion Weekend

Let’s hope February is another fun month of experiencing more of London and ticking that checklist of!

Love Leeanna xo

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Happy New Year! My highlights of 2015 and some 2016 ideas for you

So the new year started with a bang… from what I have heard. Unfortunately I can’t actually remember the first few hours of 2016 as I may have got a little too excited about the festivities. I did drink a third of a bottle of champagne before I’d even put my sparkly dress on!

I can’t believe how fast 2015 went, it just flew by but I have had one of my favourite years so far and these are definitely my highlights:

2015 has been great… especially my trips to Newcastle, Cambridge, Ibiza, Sunny Beach and Bruge!! And despite turning 20 this year I’m glad I have still embraced my inner child riding all of the rides at Thorpe Park, ridding Harry’s broom and flying Ron’s car at Harry Potter world and visiting Hertfordshire Zoo and London Zoo.

Read more: Summer Time Healthy Dinner Inspiration

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New things I’ve done this year that I would love to do again and definitely recommend is a partying at a silent disco, having yourself a go at punting and seeing the Angel of the North in Newcastle.

Read more: Beat The January BluesWith some Bargain Buys

London life

Things I have loved about my second year living in the city… watching my fave chick flick, Mean Girls, on a sunny rooftop in Fulham Broadway, scaring all of the tourists when I dressed up as a petrifying Cheshire Cat for Halloween and partying at Notting Hill Carnival for the first time where I tried Caribbean jerk chicken. Mmm mm Summer in London this year was wicked!

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Winter

But I can’t work out if Christmas in London was even better… my favourite winter moments were  sipping a cocktail from a frozen glass in the Ice Bar, while wearing a huge igloo cape, and typically being a regular at Winter Wonderland and its German Bar.  But this year I got to embarrass myself going down the Magical Ice Kingdom slide and also watch Cirque Berserk, which was absolutely incred! This Christmas we did ice skating at Somerset House and I’m so glad we did because it is just one of prettiest places i’ve seen in London especially when it’s all Christmasy.

Read more: London Fashion Weekend at Somerset House

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Read more: A Guide to 2015’s Winter Coats

Music

I have seen some of my favourite DJs, bands and artists play live this year and my highlights have got to be…

Chase & Status at Amnesia in Ibiza. This might even be one of the highlights of the life. I saw Chase & Status about three years ago at Reading festival and ever since I’ve been desperate to see them again! And omg there were even better abroad… probably because I dancing on the podium the all night grabbing strobe lights straight apposite the DJ set.

Rudimental at Ally Pally in North London. I loved this night even more because Alexandra Palace is such an amazing venue… You would actually feel like a Princess in a place if you were wearing a ball gown. I definitely recommend going to a gig there! I’ve seen Rudimental three times and they’ve never failed to impress… I loved it this year because their guest singers were flawless and I still can’t stop playing ‘Lay it on me’ all the time!

BESTIVAL. I know I go every year, so it’s no surprise this was one of my highlights!

Bestival - Day 4

NEWPORT, ISLE OF WIGHT – SEPTEMBER 13: Tito Jackson, Jackie Jackson, Marlon Jackson, Jermain Jackson of The Jacksons performs on day 4 of Bestival at Robin Hill Country Park. (Photo by Joseph Okpako/Getty Images,)

I’ve got to say though this year my faves were defs The Jacksons (can you believe they’re actually grown ups now?!), Duke Dumont, sweating it out in the Bollywood tent for Shy Fx, dancing in the pouring rain with the girls squeezing under one rain cape for Mark Ronson and of course Annie Mac at the port- she’s amazing every year!

Read more: Festival Fashion Fever

If you haven’t tried any of my 2015 highlights then make sure you do this year!!

Love Leeanna xo

London Fashion Weekend

As a cheeky treat I bought my sister and I tickets to the Saturday event of London Fashion Weekend and we loved every minute of our girly and glamorous day.

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The venue was Somerset House in London and we headed there for 1.30pm. I have to admit, even just the building looked lush let alone all the fashionistas that were there- pink lights filled the arch way ceilings as you walked through the entrance. It was v.cute.

 

ImageWhat I wore:                                                                                                            

  • Floral Dress Topshop                                                                              
  • Cream Waistbelt New Look                                                        
  • Black Fur Coat Topshop                                                                                   
  • Bowler Hat River Island                                                                  
  • Black Ankle Boots Debenhams                                                                             

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What my sis wore:             

  • Cream Coat New Look
  • Black Leotard Boohoo
  • Black Leather Skirt H&M
  • Leopard Print Scarf Accesorize
  • Black Pumps Primark

 

 

 

 

The first thing we did was of course SHOP. There so many little pop-up shops for independent boutiques, designers and creatives. There was jewlerry, denim, Levis, fur, coats, hats, steam pressers, Maybelline, Toni & Guy hair salon, OH and you can’t forget the Bueno lounge of massages and free choc. We couldn’t resist grabbing a freebie white Bueno- yummy!

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After our shopping spree and trying on and awing over lots of beautiful jewlerry and clothes we went off to watch the catwalk of Julien Macdonald’s Autumn/Winter 2014 collection. WOW. So much sparkle! The garments definitely dazzled me- I just wanted to rip the outfits of the models, well no not quite rip they were way to perfect to ruin, but just gently and sneakily steal them.

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The amazing Julien Macdonald was the designer of the striking and dazzling dresses Ellie Goulding has worn on X-factor and to the Brit Awards just last week. Aren’t they just fab?!

Not only did we see the live catwalks but we got to attend fashion event talks in the Vodafone Live Lounge too.

The first talk was with the winner of Women In the Making, which is a competition for women who are creatives and designers who are looking to start/or have opened their own business. The winner of the competition receives money to support their business and make it grow, OH and they get to be mentored by famous female fashion designers, chefs, models and inspirations. Very very cool.

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The last talk we went to was with the amazing fashion journalist Hillary Alexander OBE. It was so interesting hearing her experience of starting out in journalism years ago when everyone was writing on typewriters compared to today’s generation of everybody tweeting wherever they go. She told us all about her favorite catwalks, designers who inspire her, and about her life as a fashion journalist. That lady has had one very cool life.

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Before we left we just had to have the #CanonFashion experience! These were the images taken to create a 3D video picture that was emailed to us looking like my sister and I were flying cheerleaders. We loved it!

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Overall we had such a lush day, I’d definitely go back again- just look at my goodie bag! Inside our Julien Macdonald tote we grabbed Elle magazine, a Kinder Bueno, a Muller light yogurt and just because I was on Vodafone I got a red nail varnish for free. Not too bad eh?!

It’s raining, it’s flooding, there’s tube strikes…

So let’s all just chill out and have a cosy night in. No rain, no trains, no hassle. 

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This is exactly what I need tonight to help me relax after the hectic few days of rushing about, catching buses that won’t finish their routes, queuing in the rain and walking long distances in the cold and darkness.

Time for Ted, a milky coffee and some bedtime reading of Look magazine. You cannot resist picking up a mag with Queen Bey as the gorgeous cover star! Ted is one of my favorite films and I just had to watch it because it never fails to make me laugh! 

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Oh and it’s definitely time to get into your comfy pj bottoms and cosy slipper socks!

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Let’s hope with the tube strikes over tomorrow the weekend ends the week on a high note! 

Love Leeanna xxx

#Motivational Monday

#Motivational Monday

When I knew I was moving to London I was dead scared that I would completely loose motivation to exercise because I thought joining any gym in London would be way way way too expensive.

Fortunately at £19.99 a month a fitforless gym was only a five minute walk from my home, and with FREE unlimited classes! So I was very happy to join up!

I do miss the classes I did back at my gym in Romsey because I would go with my sister or friends but I have found a class to do almost every night after work to keep me fit in London too.

Catching the tube does do the trick for exercise though! Walking up and down (sometimes over 200) flights of stairs should definitely tone my legs up by the end of the year.

Anyways I am loving my fitness timetable:

Monday- Zumba
Tuesday- Legs, bums and tums
Wednesday- Box fit
Friday- Body pump
Saturday- Zumba

How do you guys excercise?

Love Leeanna x

Statement necklace heaven!

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Since moving to London I’ve been doing a hell of a lot of shopping. If you are looking for a statement necklace or have an addiction to them like myself, then have a look around Spitalfields Market in Shoreditch- so many lovely fashion and accessory items to add to your wardrobes.

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My first week at ITN studios working with ITV News

On January 13 I pretty much grew up. I am now living in the big city of London and am working as a Digital Journalist for the ITV News website. I was so lucky to have been offered the apprenticeship for the year and apparently out of about 1000 people, what is that all about?

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A cute studio on Holloway Road is where i’m currently living, and yes that is the road where a couple of scenes in Luther were filmed. Remember, in that weird shaped modern-looking building? I say this because I was quite excited when I found out. I got pretty addicted to the programme and ended up finishing all three of the Luther series in one week! With my new job, maybe I could grab an interview with the director and beg him to make a fourth series.

I’ve already met some lovely people, got my own desk in the newsroom, found stories and published some reports for the site. I still can’t quite get my head around the fact that some of the copy I’ve written is actually on the ITV News website.

I am so excited for the year ahead!

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Oh and my director, Tom Hill, from uptospeed had a lovely message for me on his own uptospeed blog.