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I am a 'skinny bitch'.
I always have been and it's likely I will be for the foreseeable future.

My size has been referred to with this charming phrase, along with 'scrawny', 'chicken legs' (I kid you not) and childhood friends consistently commenting on how 'unfair' it was that I should have such a body when I ate so much. Not necessarily positive comments and also, rather judgemental of my eating habits. You can guarantee if I had responded with 'Oh, you look fat today' I would've been shunned from the playground or at the very least, punched in the face.

I'm now very comfortable and accepting of how I am built and how I look in - and out - of clothes. This only came through growing up and realising that society should not define what I look like. Oh, and the fact I can eat entire packets of biscuits and not worry because my metabolism is shit hot.

This is not a rant about how I agree/disagree with the Protein World campaign, although my views will become abundantly clear. I just wanted to mention how this recent 'body image' debacle has been enlightening for me.

I'm all for promoting a healthy body image and defending feminism as something that surprisingly, isn't an act of women wanting to take over the world. I don't chain myself to fences or burn my bras or complain if certain clothes are only made for those size 18+. Hopefully, my views are expressed in casual day-to-day acts of independence and I exude the confidence of somebody who is all for equality, not a dominant gender. 

Having said this, it is only after the Protein World advertising campaign (or more so, the backlash against it) that I truly realised the amount of people who still feel it is okay to insist on the mainstream, media portrayal of women. I was prancing about happily in my sort-of-average, slim-framed, small-boobed life and WHAM I am met with a wave of people whose views of women are as tarnished as they were an entire century ago.

Yes, everyone has an opinion but if I hear the phrase 'freedom of speech' one more bloody time in regards to this, my size 8 knickers will be extremely twisted. We're not telling you to be quiet or change your attitude, we're really just wondering: WHY don't you want women to be equal?

Coming across people who don't share any of the same values is refreshing to an over-opinionated person like myself and often, makes for a great friend. Coming across people who feel it is necessary to promote a healthy lifestyle with an image of a scantily clad woman and a weight loss programme? Well, that has thrown a spanner in the works for feminism.

Motivation in the gym should not revolve around losing weight. Granted, it is often a side effect to many people's gym regimes and by all means people should aim for that weight goal if they want to. The thing is in this case though, why do we have to lose weight to feel comfortable in a bikini? I spend every working day coming up with things that would motivate people to work out and inspire other people to get fit and it is absolutely possible to do it, without a half-naked woman and with a judgemental question beside her.

The reaction of a lot of people has been positive. Others have been downright disgusting, inclusive of those people behind the company mask. For me, I was genuinely shocked by the amount of points that were made not necessarily against the campaign, but against women's rights in general. How some of society can still see objectification and let it pass them by under the excuse 'this has been happening for years' has utterly astounded me.

Body image will still be debated for a long time to come, I predict. This is a shame because no child or adult should have to worry about being too skinny or too fat if society just wants them to be healthy. Life isn't about who looks good in a bikini, it's about enjoying the bloody beach.


What are your thoughts on the campaign/the retaliation/Feminism/your favourite bikini?




It's safe to say that I've had my fair share of experiences living with other people. People tend to only think about the shared houses of students but some of us are unlucky enough to still be living in this kind of situation, what a bloody joy.

I lived in halls at university - D Block 3rd Floor to be exact - with nine other students who I will always remember a little bit fondly, no matter how odd/annoying/loud some of them were.

And now here I am, in an old, converted care home with SIXTEEN other housemates, all 'young professionals' as they call us nowadays.

Here's what I've learnt from these experiences.

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1. Be prepared to share food...

...and cutlery. And crockery. Pretty much anything you leave in the shared kitchen space actually.

If it's available then it's extremely likely someone will use it, whether you know it or not. Using sticky notes to determine what food is yours in the fridge will only mean your housemates will talk about you and may even give you a nickname based on this (sorry, 'Sticker Steve' from 2010)

It's not all bad though. For instance, when you run out of coffee? Just help yourself to the nearest pot, everyone else does.

NOTE: Butter, milk and teabags will deplete the quickest.

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2. The washing up is THE biggest argument starter

You'd think as professionals, this sort of thing wouldn't happen anymore but nope, the kitchen sink is still something to be wary of. Some housemates will use what they need, wash it up and put it away immediately. Others, however, like to stack up every item they can until the next time you want to use a spoon, it becomes a game of 'washing up jenga'.

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3. Flirt to your heart's content

A plus about living in shared houses or halls is meeting new people and it helps when those people are easy on the eye. At university especially, this is a given because everyone will be in the same, new, drunken boat. Often, no judgements are made if you happen to bring a different person home every night - not that I'd recommend it!

A multitude of new crushes around the place is great. Not so much when you've just woken up with greasy hair and a spotty forehead and you bump into the guy you fancy in the kitchen. Awkward.

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4. There is always something to do

Living with so many people means it highly likely there will always be somebody around to chat to when you need it. Spontaneous road trip? Sure. Quick game of COD? No problem. 6 hour game of beer pong? Why the hell not?

Life gets a bit lonely, particularly if you're venturing into a house full of strangers. However, you'll find solace in sharing this with the rest of your housemates and in turn, a friendship could blossom without you even realising whilst you're yelling at each other over a game of 'Ring of Fire.'

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5. Sex is an open subject

There's a likelihood that some of your new housemates will have other halves who come round and spend the night. It's also possible that #3 in this list can lead to a little bit more than flirting; shared houses seem to be a breeding ground (maybe literally) for new romances.

 It's always good to invest in some earplugs OR create a playlist of Marvin Gaye love songs and play it at top volume.

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6. It's okay to NOT be sociable sometimes

There will be times you are tempted into drinking till the early hours or spending too much time having Nerf gun fights when you should be doing some work. There will be other times when you want to do neither of these things. Whether you want to be productive for a change or even just spend some time watching Netflix by yourself, that is OKAY. You should never feel bad about turning down an invitation from your housemates if you want to go to bed early.

source: here
7. You make friends

Sometimes sharing a bathroom, kitchen, four walls becomes tiresome but one positive thing? You will always make friends. Granted, you come across those people with strange notions, drug problems or seem to be socially inept but others, if you're lucky, could be your friends for life.

Have you ever experienced any of these? Let me know in the comments!




If there's one tourist-y thing you're gonna do in Berlin, it should be the zoo.

NOTE: This post is going to be photo heavy. Obviously.

I've actually never been to a proper zoo before this trip so I was ridiculously excited - maybe more excited than a 22 year old should be - about seeing elephants and giraffes.

I mentioned the Welcome Card in my first post about Berlin here and this gave us a discounted entrance fee to the zoo which was a huge bonus. Now, Berlin Zoo is the biggest in Germany and has the biggest collection of species of any zoo in the world. These facts did not prepare me for the vastness of this place.

These orangutans were incredible. True crowd pleasers, and they loved it!

It was amazing. We spent a total of around 6 hours there (!) and every lap of the zoo meant coming across new exhibits, animals, buildings, landscape gardens and enclosures.

This sassy gorilla had an admirable attitude.

There's an aviary, aquarium and various performance areas which breaks up the long, long walk around the rest of the zoo pretty nicely. The aquarium was brilliant (the insect bit, not so much IMO) and there's a family cafe at the top for a much needed bratwurst break.

 How stunning are these stained glass aquarium windows.

The only animal that was missing was a Giant Panda but after a little googling, I understand that the last panda at the zoo actually died a few years ago and there have been none since :(

This is what I would recommend the MOST if you ever get the chance to visit Berlin. Great value for money, a fantastic day out and for the bloggers among you, some beautiful photograph opportunities.




Brighton always looks like it's THE place to be. And I've never been!

That changes next month though as I'm heading down to see some performances and events at the
Brighton Fringe Festival.

The festival runs from the 1st May to the 31st, featuring everything from a tour round the back streets of Brighton to lively swing music and dance-offs to performances by award-winning theatre companies and everything in between.
What more could you ask for from a famous seaside town?

There's a whole MONTH'S worth of events on the website to peruse to your heart's content and decide on your itinerary. Not only are there ticketed performances but a whole host of FREE events to choose from, ideal for families, groups of friends or taking your other half for an inexpensive, fun day out.

All fantastic photography from Dade Freeman.

If this sounds like it's your cup of tea - let's be honest, why wouldn't it be - you can even get yourself 2-for-1 tickets and VIP event invites by signing up for a 'Friends of Brighton Fringe' membership. I recommend this highly if, unlike myself, you find yourself visiting Brighton a lot because it also allows you to snap up discounts in hotels and restaurants in the area.

I'll be uploading more posts in relation to this event as it draws nearer, including some of the notable shows to see and more information on how to grab yourself a discount.

Have you been to Brighton Fringe before?




So, I'm possibly moving. Again.

I'm not looking forward to packing everything up and changing the address on all my post again but one thing is exciting - I get to buy 'new flat' things! I've not had a haven of a bedroom for a long time so I've scoured Pinterest for some amazing ideas - find my room inspo here!

As a lot of inspiration was taken from Pinterest, there aren't direct links to buying all these things.

However, all bedding featured is from the current sale at House of Fraser which makes things even better, who doesn't want to save some money whilst making your room look incredible?
Have a look at the range for yourself here.

First and foremost, I adore brick walls and aztec prints. It's all very 'instagram' but you know what? I would double tap this every time.

This bedding is beautiful. With a brick background this would be transformed into an ideal, tumblr-worthy bedroom. Splashing out on decent bed linen is huge for me; people spend around a THIRD of their life sleeping and I'll be damned if I don't do it in the utmost comfort!

A wooden floor is nothing without a stunning rug on it and this one from UO does the trick.

Shabby chic furniture + brickwork + aztec prints. Done.

Keeping everything minimalist with a splash of one colour around the room is another perfect theme and right now, I'm loving lime.

These frames are so beautiful and the whole upcycling thing really gets my hippy senses tingling.

Simple, bright and cosy - that's exactly what I thought of this bedding from House of Fraser. It's so easy to make a bed look sophisticated by combining a bright duvet cover with a contrasting sheet and pillow cases. In this case, white, grey and green would go perfectly!

I don't even know how I'd go about having this in my home but I know I want it. It reminds me of hammocks at festivals but without the pain of actually trying to sleep in it. Lovely!

Neutrals and wood. Now this isn't necessarily going to be in my new place as it's very winter inspired - log fires, woolly jumpers etc. But it never hurts to plan in advance, right?

Woollen throw // Fireplace home // Bedding

How cosy do this throw look? And that knitted pouffe. And the matching cushion. Just give me it all.

There must be nothing better at Winter than coming in from the cold to a warm fire and THE cosiest bedroom to relax in with a cup of hot chocolate.

This is the best kind of bedding to accessorise with woolly cushion, blankets, you name it. And don't know if you noticed but it's reversible. Winner.

Do you use Pinterest to inspire your home?



This is a post featuring sponsored items. Please read my disclaimer for more information.


thank you for being the best hand model, gabby!
Last week, a group of Leeds bloggers including myself were invited to the White Rose Shopping Centre to see the new ranges from The Body Shop. I've used a lot of their products in the past as they're well known for doing their bit for the environment, fair trade and campaigning against animal testing. Oh, and I'm a sucker for a fruity body butter!

We had the wonderful Tom and Shannon showing us The Body Shop's new ranges including
Fuji Green Tea, Virgin Mojito and some makeup pieces, including Honey Bronze.

This post features a little bit about each range, lots of photos and details on which products I absolutely adored.

Also a huge thanks to Leah and her team for putting on such a lovely beauty event!

Fuji Green Tea
The focal recent release is the Fuji Tea bath products that encompass the luxury and quality of The Body Shop with natural tea extracts.

Fuji Green Tea 'Bath Tea' in action; leaves skin soft and smelling amazing.
As you can see, some of the products in this range are definitely a little bit different. A tea-strainer for your bath, I tell you! I actually really loved the idea of this product and if I had a bath (sigh) it would have been straight in my basket.

The smell of this entire range was incredibly fresh due to the green tea influence and we were even offered a cup of the good stuff whilst we tried out a few products. Green tea has amazing health benefits as well as being super for detoxing and reviving your skin. The Body Shop have utilised this and grow tea plants especially for this new range, meaning none of the environment is destroyed unnecessarily and we all get beautiful skin, win-win!

Read more about the range here.

Virgin Mojito
We were shown the Virgin Mojito range which certainly packed a punch when it came to scent! This has a variety of products to rejuvenate skin and it's perfect for a refreshing morning shower.

I'm going to be honest, I'm not the biggest fan of mint but it's undeniable that this range is going to be popular. We also heard a little something about the gift set that will be released along with this range and let's just say, who doesn't love a good cocktail...?

As you can see, The Body Shop extended this skincare range into some glorious 'mojito' inspired eyeshadows too. I find it difficult to get eyeshadows that last but with these being so pigmented, they could definitely be a winner. As Shannon suggested, the green can be mixed with other colours in their makeup range to create a lovely, summer look.

Honey Bronze
The final section included a variety of new makeup and tanning products due to be in stores mid-May and I am honestly SO excited to purchase a few bits from this range.

The above image just doesn't capture how lovely the highlighter in focus is. Honey Bronze includes various bronzers but my absolute favourite was this one. It's so easy to apply, has just the right amount of shimmer and portrays the perfect sun-kissed glow.

I'm not one for fake tanning but this range also includes some wash-off tan oil, which Tom made look ridiculously easy to apply and blend. With the weather being wonderfully sunny recently, I'm definitely inspired to give it a go when the range is released next month.

The Body Shop seemed to have a lot of focus on eye makeup, particularly finding that perfect eyeliner look.

These eyeliners look so amazing, exactly the sort of product to use for a good smokey eye so I'll be splurging on these when I have a bit more money! For now though, I picked up their new 'skinny' liner which has been a godsend for my standard eyeliner flick (review to come).

Overall, I had a great time and learnt so much thanks to The Body Shop team in Leeds. It was also fantastic to finally meet some of you bloggers in person, you were all as beautiful as your twitter icon makes you out to be ;) MOJITOS, ANYONE?




I don't often use any seasonal products from LUSH Cosmetics, aside from the Snow Fairy shower gel, so I was excited to try out some of the Easter range my lovely mum bought me.

The first product I used was one of the reusable 'Bunch of Carrots' bubble bars.

Each carrot can be broken into pieces and crumbled under running water to fill your bath with bubbles, meaning they're reusable and should last a while. I've used some of the bubble bars before like this - including the Magic Wand which I adored - but I've got to be honest, this one didn't meet their usual standards.

I found the texture to be difficult to crumble properly, meaning I was left with lumpy bits of orange in the bath afterwards. I also expected a much stronger scent but was disappointed, it isn't very powerful and I love the products that smell a lot sweeter.

It didn't do much for my skin but the bits that did crumble properly provided a whole lot of bubbles. However I've found other products much easier to use and provide the same result.

Overall, I wouldn't purchase these again but all my other experiences of the bubble bars have been much more positive. I'm still holding out hope for others!

Have you tried any of the LUSH Easter range? What did you think?




I LOVE the seaside and I LOVE Yankee Candles so naturally, I grabbed this as soon as I saw it in the ASDA Simply Home range. These sampler size candles are perfect for trying out a scent without committing to the £13 price tag of a large one.

Yankee Candle - Salty Sea // ASDA £1

It's really fresh and reminds me very much of summer but it's not necessarily as strong as I'd expect of the name. There isn't much more of an impact when lit than in the packaging either and during the summer, I normally prefer stronger scents as they last when I don't burn candles as often.

On the other hand I really like the scent, no matter how subtle, so I guess this summer I can make an exception and burn this one more often! I'm sticking a large one of these on my birthday wish list, that's for sure!



EASTER WEEKEND // Mini Happies

Inspired by Louise AKA Sprinkle of Glitter, who I've been a fan of for a while, I've decided to put together a few little things that have happened during this Easter weekend that have made me smile. It's also a bit of a #instaweekend because I got a bit Instagram happy. There were just too many photo opportunities!

Follow me @leannediaries

mini happies #1 - easter weekend

1. Shooting an arrow for the first time and it hitting the wooden beam above the target. Everyone laughed, it was a good ice breaker and just pretty hilarious.


2. David going round the same roundabout twice because he missed the turning, taking the turning then celebrating, then realising it was the wrong turning anyway.

3. Taking pictures of flowers with my swanky camera and them actually turning out beautifully.

4. THE SUNSHINE! And being able to whip my Ray Ban's out.

5. Trekking around the park for hours and watching David try to get up the muddiest of hills in his posh leather brogue boots.

6. Finally uploading my Berlin posts. Well, two of them anyway.

7. Waking up to sex, then both of us on our gadgets in silence for a while. It's nice to feel like we're living together again. Even though we're not.

8. Walking around York in the sun.

9. Lovely Easter treats from my mum, she got me an egg AND lush bath things AND gave me some money in a card. Catholics know how to do Easter.

10. Driving to McDonalds in the sunshine with the windows down and his sun roof (who even has these anymore?!) open because we're obsessed with McDonalds Monopoly stickers.

What are your mini happies from this weekend?




There were three things I wanted to do throughout our trip.

1. Get some pictures by the East Side Gallery
2. Visit Berlin Zoo
3. See the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (Holocaust Memorial)

So as our hotel was right next door to number one, we went there first!