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BODYSHAMING OR BEACH READY?

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, throw tampons at men or burn my bras. 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 of all shapes and sizes 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've spent a lot of my working life as a designer for the fitness industry, coming up with ideas that would motivate people to work out and inspire other people to get fit. 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.

#EachBodysReady

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

leanne

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BERLIN #3 // BERLIN ZOO


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.


leanne

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BEDROOM INSPIRATION //

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?


leanne

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

THE BODY SHOP // NEW SEASON RANGE

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.

Makeup
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?

leanne

x

LUSH COSMETICS 'BUNCH OF CARROTS' // REVIEW


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?

leanne

x

BERLIN // EAST SIDE GALLERY

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!































leanne



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BERLIN // INNSIDE MELIA HOTEL

Writing about my trip to Berlin last month has been put on hold for way too long, so here's the first post about the day we arrived!

the travel

After a drive to East Midlands airport at 4am (yawn) we sat down to a full english because y'know, it's custom to do that before a morning flight.

I'm such a fan of airports; David hates them. For me, getting to the airport is the very beginning of my holiday. How can you not enjoy duty free shopping, alcohol at ANY time of the day and a good - albeit expensive - breakfast?


We bought a couple of Welcome Cards - which are 3 day travel tickets for tourists - and they really are worth the money. They cover 72 hours travel from the time you have them validated, you get a handy travel map and a guide with discounts to hundreds of sightseeing spots and museums. If you're going to be acting the tourist, it's worth getting one of these.

NOTE: buy your Welcome Card at the airport, validate it on the train/s-bahn platform (don't mistakenly queue up for the huge ticket machines like we did, sigh) in a TINY red box.

the hotel

We did a fair bit of research about where to stay in Berlin and quite frankly, I don't think we could have chosen better. The Innside Melia Berlin is next door to Ostbahnof station, which is a transport hub that we found extremely easy to get to anywhere in Berlin from.

The hotel itself was lovely. The staff were helpful and friendly all weekend, particularly when we ventured down to the hotel bar for a couple of drinks and to reception with WiFi queries!

I LOVED the bathroom. It had a floor to ceiling window from the bathroom to the bedroom which personally, I didn't mind and I'm pretty sure my boyfriend didn't either ;) I imagine it would definitely be awkward if we hadn't been a couple though! I wasn't feeling particularly well all weekend so I did make use of the gorgeous bath to make myself feel a bit better.

The only qualm I had was with the beds, which were twin singles pushed together rather than a double. I find it often the case with other hotels but at a hotel of this standard I expected more.

Otherwise, we had a lovely experience whilst staying here and I'd definitely recommend it for a city break. Find out more here.




coat | pull&bear
boots | missguided
scarf | primark


leanne
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