Embrace The Shake At BARRE:toned

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Who doesn’t love dancing, shaking and sweating to pumping music in a beautifully air-conditioned, light and dreamy boutique studio?!

And that right there was the reason I jumped at the chance to review BARRE:toned. After attending a Barrecore class, I knew what to expect, which made it a whole less awkward. I knew it would be intense, that I would be expected to wear tight gear such as leggings and wear socks, to relax, have fun and, more importantly, to go at your own pace.

Last weekend, on a relatively sunny, fresh, late morning I was finally able to review BARRE:toned. I hopped off the tube at Notting Hill Gate and 10 minutes later arrived at the boutique. I was greeted by a lovely lady who, as it was my first time at the studio, gave me a tour around. Bright daylight floods into the almost all white rooms. There’s a very friendly yet calming atmosphere, it feels like you’re hanging out at a friend’s house, the staff are wonderful and instantly put me at ease.

You can chill-out easily before your class, or after even after, with options to perch on the mini sofas with cushions, sip chilled bottles of water and read Woman’s Health mag. Downstairs are well catered and thoughtfully decorated changing rooms, showers and lockers, with cute quotes like “embrace the shake”. To ensure I wasn’t late and allowing enough time to change into my workout gear and quickly refresh, I arrived quite early. It gave me a chance to soak up everything before my class with Catherine at noon.

 

Entering the upstairs studio with daylight flooding in (the roof is half glass) was lovely – I detest artificial lighting! The studio itself was fairly small, not necessarily a bad thing, it provided an intimate setting, fitting around 15 or so women comfortably. Surrounded by mirrors and of course the barre, it brought back memories of when I did ballet regularly. This particular class involved use of the barre, the ball and straps. Heart rate was instantly up thanks to doing the plank, thighs were shaking to their limits and my body was put through its paces. I was thankful for the stretches which signalled the class was drawing to an end!

It was a brilliant class with an awesome instructor who motivated everyone and ensured every member was working out in the correct form, maintaining the right posture by helpfully, yet subtly adjusting to achieve maximum benefit. I think this is a really good indicator of separating a mediocre class from a great one. In my opinion, this is an obvious aspect of workouts and classes, yet it’s surprising just how many instructors neglect doing this or have a bad attitude. Especially for first timers who are unsure of whether they are doing a series of exercises correctly, this is massively important!

Now it’s not a case of if I’ll be back, but when! I highly recommend the class, instructor, the studio and the facilities. Oh, and Sunday morning my body felt the wonderful effects of the workout. I definitely want to make this a regular addition to my fitness regime. With consist attendance I bet after a few month you can easily expect to notice tangible improvements in flexibility and stamina and achieve an overall toned body.

Have you tried out classes or studios like this? What would you recommend?

 

Love Career Girl

 

 

 

*This opportunity was gifted to me for promotional purposes but thoughts are mine!

LFW palmer//harding with Glo&Ray

After having a lovely catch up with some blogger babes at the wonderful Blogosphere Valentines Tea Party and meeting the man behind the Glo&Ray makeup brand, I was kindly invited to the palmer//harding London Fashion Week presentation.

Now, although I wouldn’t say I’m a fashionista, I do love so many different aspects of fashion, from the history, to the designers, the models and the media frenzy. I find it so intriguing and so loved the chance to explore what it’s like from seeing the presentation to chillingbackstage.

I first discovered Glo&Ray as their orangey lipstick was featured in a rather dreamy Sheer Luxe & Latest in Beauty collaboration beauty box a few years back. The show solely used Glo&Ray cosmetics, such as their lipstick, eyeliner, etc. My current favourite, apart from their lipsticks, is their brow pencil, which also features a brush, perfect for shaping my eyebrows.

img_4680The model on the left is sporting the look created by Glo&Ray, influenced by the designers youth, aspects of goth with pop colour. Right is the lovely Nancy – go check out her blog!

Head to my Insta to watch a snippet of the show!

The presentation was a frenzy whirlwind. The creative installation was influenced by nature, the designer’s childhood, 80’s and 90’s rebellion and goth-glam. We were able to check out backstage, chat to some of the models and makeup artists, and catch the stylists preparing for the show. The actual presentation was set to a soundtrack of grungy trance with all the models snaking around the room. Unlike a catwalk, this presentation was super intimate, allowing you to get up close and admire all the details of the clothes.

Known as the ‘shirt boys’ the designers excel at creating shirts with a difference. In fact, shirts, dresses and coats were all beautifully cut and draped on the models effortlessly. Some items were cut simply, others had a more elaborate construction with gorgeous open back detailing. They were pieces I instantly fell in love with, would wear and they wouldn’t date. In my opinion, the style was androgynous with subtle hints of feminine qualities. The palette was timeless with easily wearable shades of white, nudes, and darker natural colours reflecting bark, grass and all forms of nature.

xxx

Thanks so much to the guys at Glow&Ray for having me and to Palmer for taking the time to chat about the presentation and inspiration!

Excuse the blurry photos! I hope you liked this post, let me know your thoughts in the comments,

Career Girl xo

 

Jamie Oliver’s Cooking School: Japanese Food

Massive thanks to Lauren, otherwise I wouldn’t have known this amazing place exists!

So last weekend I attended the fabulous Jamie Oliver Cooking School, at their Westfield Shepard bush venue. As a fan of the way Jamie Oliver cooks and from watching his programmes I was really intrigued to find out more about this experience.

Beforehand, the only thing I knew was that we were cooking Japanese food, although there are many other different exciting types of food to cook, from Italian to Mexican food!

On arrival we were greeted by the lovely staff members who offered us prosecco and a chance to relax. We were then instructed to wash our hands and put aprons on. I was really impressed by how everything was thought out. Our Chef for the day was a hilarious guy who really knew his stuff and made use feel right at home. We watched a few demos of how to make the dishes, were able to ask questions, receive guidance; and we were able to try a few of the ingredients, many of which I have never heard off, before using them in our cooking.

All the food and cooking prep was done before we arrived, all laid out and well organised, which made everything a whole lot easier.

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So what did we make? Well I think Jamie Oliver will be super impressed by our fab cooking skills! We managed to rustle up pork stuffed gyoza with a tasty toasted sesame seed sauce, miso soup, ponzu dipping sauce and a lovely, healthy chicken teriyaki stir fry with sticky, fragrant rice and vegetables.

The experience was wonderful, the food, staff and venue were excellent and would definitely recommend. I couldn’t fault it. The experience would make a perfect gift for someone who wants to try something different and for couples or a group of friends!

Find out more by heading to the website – which class would you pick?

Hope you enjoyed reading,

Love Career Girl xo

 

 

 

Best Workout Classes You Need To Try!

Gym bunny? High five! With a background in dance and a self-confessed, amateur Yogi and Pilates lover, there is nothing I love more than kicking stress in the butt with killer workouts and seriously getting my sweat on!

The classes mentioned below are some of the best workout experiences, with some being completely free and others nearly breaking the bank, but, are guaranteed to make you work hard. I can’t recommend them enough! Whether you are a newbie to fitness or an avid gym-goer, these classes are fun and pretty intense too! This post is long overdue. I attended all these classes over the course of 2016, so let’s get started!

Breathe Studios – Farnham & Lululemon

There was a massive amount of buzz around the opening of this gym earlier this year and I was super eager to find out why. It’s considered a boutique gym based in the heart of Farnham. It doesn’t feel like a Gym in the sense it’s very open plan and cool. It’s hard to explain unless you see it! There’s also a super tasty onsite eatery ‘Nourish’ and snazzy showers, plus changing rooms. The classes are centred on essentially these 3 concepts, Move, Sculpt & Ride – the latter I am SO keen to try out!

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A while back I was lucky to attend the free Glowga event with the lovely ladies from Lululemon, held at Breathe Studios. Lululemon is a Canadian fitness brand which, in addition to making the best workout gear, also offer and organise free events for and within the community. Glowga (A glow in the dark yoga rave – pretty rad, right?!) was a blast! Lululemon organised shuttle buses to and from the event. As we arrived we were greeted by the instructors and Claire from Good Vibrations Yoga led the class – it was so much fun, a complete sell out! Afterwards, we were given free cocktails from The Botanist and dinner supplied by Nourish. If you want to start yoga or even running, in a relaxed fun environment, Lululemon offer free classes, which is a great way to try something new without a huge expense if you don’t enjoy it!

Red Hot Yoga

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Red Hot Yoga – (taken from website)

My co-worker, an avid red hot yoga goer, raved about these classes and how beneficial they were, especially if you want to improve your flexibility. *ping*On my birthday I receive an email from Red Hot Yoga, to try a FREE class of my choice. Normally prices are approx. £13/15 so I jumped at the opportunity. All I knew was that yoga would be held in a very hot room.

I took a small towel with me (idiot, the receptionist took pity on me and brought me a huge towel… FWI bring a full size towel!). Held in a room at approx. 38 – 42C it was seriously hot, in fact, as soon as you walk into the room you practically sweat! I found this class a very intense, hard class, but felt the benefits almost instantly. It was like having a mini detox, my skin felt better and my body was able to stretch more, yet definitely not for the fainthearted!

Barrecore – High St. Kensington

I had vaguely heard of Barrecore but wrongly presumed it would be just like ballet, (in ballet there’s elements of Barre work) but in actual fact, it’s a dance based workout using your body as resistance. The boutique Gym is beautiful! Complete with soft carpet (you wear socks to class) free use of lovely showers and air conditioning. Thankfully, because ten minutes in I was close to quitting!

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Barrecore – Kensington (photo taken from website)

This was by far THE MOST INTENSE class ever! Honestly. The instructors are great, friendly and really work you hard! You will be glad of the 5 minutes relaxation at the end. This class will guarantee every inch of your body aches the next day. Thighs especially will be on FIRE – you will seriously feel the burn! I highly recommend trying but classes are expensive, the first introductory class is £25!

 

Equinox ‘Bootcamp’ at The Mondrian

I booked myself in for this one off Equinox bootcamp class held at the stunning 5 star hotel’s Rumpus Room complete with insane views of London, overlooking the river Thames. The Equinox summer residency included, Boxing, Barre Burn & Bootcamp, the latter which I attended. The £35 ticket for the Bootcamp included a buffet style breakfast which was divine! The workout itself was great, a mix of mat workouts and crawling! The best thing though was doing the plank and squats with the most glorious, early morning view of London!

Next on my hit list is to try Frame studios and my goal is to get invited to the Skinny Bitch Collective classes. I’ll keep dreaming….

Let me know if you have tried any of these classes and if you have any insane fitness classes in London please let me know!

Love Career Girl,

xo

#BloggersBall Shenanigans!

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#BloggersBall at DSTRK LDN

So where to start! Massive thanks to the lovely Scarlett London for managing to pull off such a fantastic blogging event!

I am still very new to the whole blogging game and this event was my second blogging event and to say I was nervous would be a definite understatement! The day started off with me manically running around London trying to get my bearings (I’m often in London but still find tubes so freaking confusing!) I was stressing out about what I was going to wear and not getting lost etc etc.

Luckily a lovely group of bloggers organised Pizza Express before the event which was so what I needed. Going to a big blogger event is surprisingly quite intimidating so it was great to meet a slightly smaller group to eat, drink and chat about blogging in a relaxed environment. We were all keen beans & arrived at DSTRK in Piccadilly Circus early and took the opportunity to take a load of outfit photos. Met the beautiful Scarlett and entered the building…

I was absolutely blown away with how busy, gorgeous, interesting and insightful the event was! Often nightclubs look odd once the lights were up but it was a fantastic event with the majority of brands in one section and the other section having a more chilled out vibe with places to sit – thank god because my heels were hurting! There were plenty of opportunities to mingle with other bloggers, brands and get involved with activities and chances to win prizes. For once I actually won a beautiful, colourful scarf!

The 2 and a half hours flew by and a few bloggers stayed on and we ended up having dinner and cocktails, reflecting on the perfect day!

It was a struggle to say the least trying to lug around all the goodies we all received round London and back home, but totally worth it! Everyone was so inviting and lovely, the blogging community is just amazing!

 

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Vatika Naturals Coconut Hair Mask, Shampoo & Face Wash*

First up are the Vatika Naturals hair and skincare products. I have never heard of the products before but apparently are in stores such as Superdrug. Now I have seriously lack lustre hair and so have been recommended these products which supposedly are great for ‘rejuvenating limp, lifeless hair’. They are enriched with coconut, I was given the shampoo and hairmask to try. Yet to use the hairmask but the shampoo… so far so good! It certainly made my already thick hair incredibly volumised. What’s your hair like? Whatever your type, find out which would work best for you here. I used the ‘Dermoviva Honey’ moisture boost face wash with honey, almond and aloe vera along with my trusty Foreo Luna Play facial brush and it works wonders, making my skin feel supple, smooth and hydrated.

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Rose Gold Ring & Bracelet – Jewellery Box. Silver Bracelet – BohoBetty*

Next up the beautiful Jewellery Box. I have seen all these stunning pieces all over social media and was intrigued. At the stall I tried on the Rose Gold arrow ring and it fitted my tiny finger yay! I find it so tricky to find rings that fit! So I was over the moon to find inside the box the exact rose gold ring that I tried – I can’t stop wearing it! Unfortunately the rose gold bracelet doesn’t fit my wrist and falls off which is such a shame! The twinkly silver wrap around bracelet from Boho Betty fits though! This is perfect in summer and especially when it’s sunny as the beads and metal sparkle in the sunlight!

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Seed & Bean Chocolate*

Lastly, Seed & Bean! I tasted the Sweet Orange & Thyme, which sounds a strange mix yet as soon as it hit my mouth the taste sensation was insane! It tastes so freaking good! And if you are headed to Glastonbury I think they will have a stall there! Alternatively to go there website to see all stores which stock these incredible products! They are Organic, Vegan, Fairtrade chocolate bars which are produced in an ethical and sustainable manner, which I think are SO important!

 

 

Love Career Girl,

xo

 

 

*All products marked were gifted to me.