It’s that time again, for me to think about the five things I learned and loved the month before. May was a pretty busy month for me, so trimming the list down to just five things I learned and loved was pretty difficult, but here they are:

Florence Holidays

As some of you probably know, I went on a fantastic and relaxing trip to Florence in May, to get some sun, and get away from all the work/life stress I had been dealing with. All I did in Florence was explore the city (which is absolutely beautiful), eat a lot of food, and shop around for some gorgeous clothes.

I also bought a couple of beautiful art pieces near the Palazzo Vecchio (granted I really should have haggled a little but I decided they were worth the €60 I spent on them). I do find they brighten up my room and they remind me of my time in Florence, as they depict the green and gorgeous landscapes surrounding the city.

Florence Holidays

My New Gucci Purse

I decided (on an ever so slight but not full impulse) to invest in my very first designer purse by Gucci. Whilst I was in Florence I would walk past their main store on Via de’ Tornabuoni, and just stare at all the beautiful bags they had on display in the windows. I fell in love with the signature padlock shoulder bag (in red), and have vowed to save up to buy one as soon as I can.

In the meantime, however, I did decide to buy one of the purses from their newer collection, as I have had my trusty DKNY purse for quite a while now, and felt it was time for an upgrade. And what an upgrade it is! I bought one of the Gucci CG Blooms purses, because it has so many card slots. The sales assistant showed me one other option (which actually had even more slots with a slip-in card holder), however I didn’t like the option that much, and thought slipping the card-holder in and out of the purse would be a little awkward and annoying, so I stuck with this model.

Gucci Purse from Harrods

I am super happy with my choice, and feel quite protective of it as the design is so pretty, and the leather feels so fantastic, I don’t even want to get water on it! The service was pretty fantastic too. I went to Harrods, rather than a standalone Gucci store to purchase this, and it really is true that you get what you pay for in this world. Designer items come with a whole range of care advice, and contact details should there be any questions about the product, post purchase.

My Sister’s Visit and her Friend’s Wedding

My sister visited me towards the end of the month (on bank holiday weekend), for a friend’s wedding. The wedding was Sri Lankan style, and took place over two days (the ceremony on Saturday and the reception on Sunday). Unfortunately, due to lack of planning, we didn’t realise how far away the ceremony was actually going to be, so we were unable to attend. We ended up going for brunch at Tried and True and visiting the British Museum instead for the day, which was pretty entertaining.

We did, however, get to attend the reception, which was really amazing and, as you would expect, super colourful and vibrant. There was so much food (gorgeous canapés and mocktails, along with curries and wine for dinner, and some beautiful mango cheesecake, rice pudding, and chocolate mousse desserts). The bride looked stunning, and we spent the night dancing and ended up heading home at around 11.30pm (when the evening ended).

Re-starting the gym

I have been on and off with the gym for a few months now, and decided to re-start in May. I did get ill towards the beginning of June, however I have taken the time off to relax and then start again and ease back into a routine. I am trying to go for 3-4 gym sessions a week, whilst also doing a daily yoga session (longer sessions when I’m not going to the gym). I find doing yoga just before bed is fantastic at relaxing me, meaning I find it easier to fall asleep.

Ultimately, I’d like to do a few weeks of cardio and yoga, and then work my way up towards re-starting Kayla Itsines’s BBG workouts again, as these are so fantastic at tackling problem areas such as arms, tummy, bum and hips.

Evening Yoga Sessions

I have been suffering from both stress and back pain for quite some time, and I’ve been trying to find ways to remedy and ease both of these. At my workplace, we used to have yoga classes twice a week, however I never joined in as I thought tumbling around on the floor (due to lack of balance) wouldn’t be the best way to getting my colleagues to respect/like me. I have, however, recently come across a youtube channel dedicated to yoga, and decided to give it a try. There’s yoga for beginners, yoga to combat stress and anger, and of course yoga for different kinds of back pain, which is absolutely fantastic and tackles all of my problems!

I have been doing yoga for a couple of weeks now (even invested in a nice purple yoga mat and a foam roller for extra pain tackling), and I have to say I am beginning to feel a lot better.

Yoga Mat & Foam Roller

Yes, the pain is still there, especially when I am sitting for longer periods of time. Of course I still feel stressed at times as well, but I do find myself taking a couple of minutes when I begin to feel anxious, just to change my breathing pattern. I actually came across the alternate nostril breathing technique very recently, which is absolutely fantastic for tackling sudden bursts of stress (or even anger), to bounce back, calm down and let go.

As always, thank you for reading Coffee Guaranteed. x

Better late than never, I’ve finally gotten around to noting down the five things I learned and loved in April, so here they are:

My First Fashion Photo Shoot

You will have recently seen a brand new post about my plans for an expansion of categories, including fashion. To begin this expansion, I added my very first outfit post to my blog, which you can see here.

For my first outfit I chose a city chic look, a look I would choose to wear to a client meeting or a professional event, and I featured some of my favourite accessories in the post as well:

Fashion Shoot: 5 Things I Learned & Loved

My First Birchbox

In April, I decided to sign up for Birchbox as I want to experiment more with beauty products and buy new things, however inspiration (and knowledge) is often lacking on my part! I thought Birchbox would be a fantastic idea to try out new things and find products I was interested in and which would actually work for me and my skin type/tone.

So far, I am absolutely loving it. I have found a couple of products which I will be investing in (namely the Kueshi Foot Care Cream). I’ve recently received my May Birchbox, so do keep your eyes peeled for a post about the gorgeous and exciting products I found in there!

Brunch at All Bar One Waterloo

I was recently invited to a brunch at All Bar One (at a location of my choice). I chose to have this brunch with my best friend, at the Waterloo location just by Southbank. I had a smoked salmon & poached egg breakfast (called the protein power up), with a mimosa alongside it and a coffee to finish. My friend had a boost breakfast, which consisted of a poached egg (given to me as she is vegan), hummus, grilled Portobello mushrooms, avocado and rye bread. Her breakfast was also accompanied by a mimosa, and a coffee to finish. As a cute little side, the coffees came with shots of smarties.

All in all, the location was extremely busy (as it was the queen’s birthday weekend), but the service was great and the waiter (although a little stressed) was really nice. I would definitely recommend dining here again!

Beginning to Read Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

I will be doing a book review on this one soon, so watch this space, but I began reading Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg last month, and I’ve got to say this is an absolute eye-opener! I would recommend any female looking to have a prosperous career to read this book, and any male looking to improve equality to have a read of it too.

Five Things Learned & Loved: Lean In

The book has been written in a documentary format, and is an account of real-life stories as well as general advice in terms of how women tend to act in the workplace, and what women must get better at doing in order to progress and further their skills.

Building the Final Pieces of Furniture for my Room

Last on the list of things I learned and loved in April, I finally got around to building the final pieces of furniture for my room, which is so exciting as I’ve managed to store all of my things, and my room looks so much more tidy!

Room Decorations: Candles

I’ve also added a few bits of decoration, such as these cute little candles (from Debenhams), and these typography pieces (Debenhams and John Lewis):

Room Decorations: Colourful Candle Holders  Typography: Room Decorations

There are a number of additional pieces of art which I need to add, which I bought on my recent trip to Florence. I am currently scoping out some framing places to get these up on the wall as soon as possible to brighten up my room! Any tips on good framing shops would be so handy!

As always, thank you for reading Coffee Guaranteed. x

It has come to that time again, where I tell you the five things I learned and loved the previous month. March was a pretty busy one, what with fully settling into the new flat, Easter, lots of work, and improving on my social media performance, so here we go:

Easter

Easter in itself was pretty chilled for me, as none of my family live near me and I did not have the spare money to visit anyone (Florence holiday coming up and all). My flatmate went home for a short while, so I just relaxed and recuperated from a nasty flu that I’d been battling. I’m still not back to 100% now, but getting there day by day.

Either way, my easter egg from Hotel Chocolat was fantastic! I opted for a dark chocolate (70% cocoa) one, which I’ve not even finished eating yet (see Lent Challenge Section)! I loved the little pralines that came with it, so obviously I’ve eaten all of those:

 Five Things I Learned and Loved: Easter Egg

Completing the Lent Challenge

As some of you may know, I undertook a challenge for lent this year, to see if I could last without eating sugar for 40 days. Of course this came with some caveats, so I did still eat certain kinds of sugar, but most of the bad stuff was cut out.

All-in-all I’m quite proud of myself for managing to do so well, as I did go through the entire 40-day period without having any of the sugars I was not allowed to have! Now, after completing the challenge, I feel better, I’ve lost a bit of weight and best of all, I don’t have any ridiculous sugar cravings. I am actually able to eat small pieces of cake without wanting to eat the whole thing! There’s an easter egg in my room which I have yet to finish eating as I just don’t fancy it that much. I would recommend for anyone to undertake a challenge like this (even if it’s not for lent, but just a general 40 day period), it really resets your body and helps you feel much better!

Samsung NX500

I recently purchased a new camera (the Samsung NX500), and sold my old DSLR (a Nikon D3200). The reason for this is that I wanted a compact system camera as it would be much easier to carry around than a big bulky DSLR. Additionally, the megapixels on the Samsung are much higher, and the camera performs much better.

I’ve taken it out on a few occasions, but haven’t gotten very many good pictures (due to lack of opportunity as opposed to camera issues) but here is one shot I quite liked:

Five Things I Learned and Loved: Samsung Camera

New Reading Material

I recently purchased 4 different books from Amazon, if you remember as part of my post on organising your life I had a section on educating the mind. I therefore bought the following:

  • Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
  • It by Alexa Chung
  • #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso
  • How to be Parisian: Wherever You Are by Anne Berest

So far, I’m about 90% through How to Be Parisian: Wherever You Are, and I’m loving it. It is a small glimpse into the life of a Parisienne, and it does give some great tips in terms of how a Parisienne should (or does) behave, and the reasons behind it. If you ever wanted to uncover the mystery that is the Parisienne, I suggest giving this whitty little book a read, it is pretty good (and perfect for a long commute)!Five Things I Learned and Loved: Books

Shopping Spree

Last month was a really stressful one for me, work has been crazy and I found out some things in my personal life which left me feeling less than happy. As a result, I figured I needed a nice big shopping spree to take my mind off of the other areas in my life, and to inject some life into my wardrobe.

I added a pair of pointy, black kitten heels from Zara to my wardrobe, along with a cute high-waisted and knee length skirt with blue and black stripes, a black waterfall jacked with faux leather sleeves, a couple of pairs of cropped jeggings, a denim dress, some long necklaces, and few few long-sleeved and short-sleeved shirts. I’m now one happy lady! I have not yet worn all of my new clothes, however the bits I have worn have actually gotten some compliments (especially the little denim dress). Much like every other woman, I do love a little confidence boost every once in a while, so that definitely hit the spot!

As always, thank you for reading Coffee Guaranteed! x

It’s that time of the month again, where I share with you the five things I learned and loved the month before. This past month has been particularly busy, and there were more than five things which I learned and loved, however I have picked my top five to share with you all.

Homeware Shopping

As you already know, due to moving house recently, I’ve been doing a lot of homeware shopping! I’m taking a whole lot of pride in my new home, to make it look nice and elegant and, of course, grown up! To start off, I got some cute little wall hangings with sayings on them (I am looking to get a couple more):

5 Things I Learned & Loved in February: Wall Hanging

I also got some black, embossed and sparkly wall-paper to fill the glass panes looking out onto the corridor in our flat. These will later be covered with some gorgeous pictures of nice cities I have been (and also want to go) to.

Unfortunately, due to a little incident, one of my homeware orders (including my dressing table and chest of drawers), was delayed, meaning I won’t get this until next weekend! Despite it all being a little frustrating, I can cope for now, and have built my new bookshelf instead, to at least put away some more things.

The Chinese Magical Lantern Festival

In addition to the copious amounts of homewhare shopping done in February, I went to this awesome festival at Chiswick House and Gardens a couple of weeks ago, on a Friday evening. It is called the Chinese Magical Lantern Festival, and stretches across the garden grounds for a total of a 75 minute walk. Unfortunately, today is the last day to attend, and I imagine it is already sold out, but should the opportunity ever arise again, tickets are only £16.64 for adults, and it was totally worth it.

The park was decked out in humongous lanterns, with an animal kingdom and Chinese New Year theme, and everything looked absolutely magical. Not sure whether to believe me? See for yourselves:

Chinese Lantern: Poinsettia Flower Chinese Lantern Festival: Elephants Lantern Festival Chiswick

House-Warming

My housemate and I decided to have a house-warming party (just a little get-together), a couple of weeks ago, to celebrate our new flat. We had a small group of people around (my housemate’s friends, as none of mine could make it, unfortunately), and it was all very nice and civilised with lots of Gin & Tonics, and Prosecco. We decided to splurge on a £28 bottle of Sipsmith Dry Gin, which was totally worth it as you could easily drink it straight! All in all, I had a good time drinking far too much and chatting lots, and I met some lovely new people.

Polar Watch

I made a number of purchases last month, one of which was a new Polar Watch! I’d been toying around with buying a sports watch for some time, as I really needed the motivation to get back into gear and exercise after moving house, as I hadn’t been to the gym since before then. The Polar watch is absolutely brilliant as it helps me track all of my exercise and keep tabs on whether I’ve done enough for the day (so I can ramp it up if I see that I’ve not reached my goal). It alerts me when I’ve been sitting down for too long, meaning I can make sure I get up as frequently as I need to, to stay healthy. Best of all, it syncs up with an App on my phone to track all of my exercise (and even sleeping) patterns.

The one down-side I am finding, however, is that it will not sync with myfitnesspal on Android, which is a real shame as Android has a much larger market share than Apple (with which it does sync). Luckily I do have an old iPhone, so I may consider syncing everything up with that if I do decide to take things a step further.

For now, the watch is motivating me to do more exercise, and once I’ve gotten over my current bout of flu, I will be getting back on the BBG training, to get nice and healthy and avoid future flus as much as possible!

Pancake Day

Pancake day is always a super exciting day, as I get to stuff my face with lots of sugary goodness. This year I decided, however, that Pancake Day was going to be the last day before Easter, that I would be allowed to eat refined sugars. Okay, so this does come with a few caveats, as I am allowed to eat (all within reason, of course):

  • Protein Bars
  • Dark Chocolate

However bar the two above caveats, I have managed not to eat the following for the past few weeks:

  • Ice Cream (aside from the homemade, non-sugar kind)
  • Cakes
  • Sweets & Candy
  • Milk Chocolate

I am super proud of the progress I’ve made, and despite a number of people trying to entice me, I have not caved. I even feel better for it (aside from the flu I’m currently battling of course). I’ve had less (in fact almost no) pain during my monthlies, I’ve felt more energetic and I’ve even lost some weight due to both giving up sugar and investing in my Polar watch.

All In all, February has been a super great investment in myself and my new body, and I very much hope to keep this up!

As always, thank you for reading Coffee Guaranteed. x

It’s that time of the month again, where I’m noting down the five things I learned and loved the previous month. January in particular, was a big month of change for me. From a promotion at work, to moving to a new flat and going on my first date since my breakup last year, everything happened at once.

New Flat

I was served notice for my old flat at the beginning of November last year, and whilst I was slightly panicking about the prospect of having to find a new flat during the Christmas season, I was also feeling super excited about getting out of my gloomy old flat. I had a long look around and even did some viewings whilst my housemate was on holiday during Christmas, however neither of us found something which was suitable.

I ended up setting up a bunch of viewings for a Saturday afternoon, however again, nothing was found. My housemate and I therefore decided to go to a few estate agents to see if any of them had any newer properties in their databases which we had not been informed about via email. This proved to be very fruitful as we ended up finding a gorgeous flat on a quiet suburban road, 10 minutes from where my old flat is situated. My new flat has high ceilings, a lot of windows (meaning it’s very bright), and wooden floors. The bathroom is super modern and has a bath in it, and the best part is, the bed in my room is King-size with a shoe rack at the back, which extends outwards (pictures to follow soon).

Both my housemate and I have a very specific and similar vision of how we’d like to decorate the flat, and we are both super excited to go shopping for homeware and decoration pieces to improve the look and feel of our flat.

Promotion at Work

I have not been at my company for a long time (just over 10 months as I am writing this), however I have enjoyed every minute of my job as it is both challenging yet fun for me at the same time. I’ve met some really nice people and been given some great projects to work on. I was told a few months ago that my hard work (to date) had paid off and I was going to be promoted. The promotion came into effect in January, and whilst it has been a lot more hard work, I’m feeling even more challenged (despite the occasional stressful moment) am enjoying work even more now.

Starting with BBG

I had of course had a New Year’s resolution of keeping up with my healthy lifestyle, and as you will have read recently, I began working out with the Kayla Itsines BBG guides which work a number of different body parts and incorporate resistance training, HIIT and LISS. The workouts have proven super challenging on some days, as they are circuit based, however I really feel like I am making a difference to my body one day at a time. My best friend came to visit me the other day and mentioned she could see the difference, saying it was working for me (which made me feel super happy).

I am about to continue week 3 (I have had a week off due to moving, however as I’ve been moving a lot of things by foot I’ve still kept fit pretty much every day of the week that I’ve had off). Progress pictures will be taken on Wednesday, and I cannot wait to look at the comparison between the two pictures to see how I’ve done and how far I have yet to go on my journey.

As I’ve now moved into my new flat, I also feel a lot more excited about cooking more (especially because I’ve moved further away from the high street and its pubs, restaurants and fast food chains). I am finding that I am walking more every day (1 hour total), as the train/tube stations are further away. I am also getting an earlier start to the day, because the train stations are further away and because I have found that starting slightly earlier gives me more time to have my morning tea to wake me up before getting on a packed train. I am getting into work feeling a lot more relaxed and put together, which is great.

January Competition

I also ran my first giveaway (congrats to Amy who won this!), which entailed winning a complete H&M sportswear outfit. If you would like to be in with a chance of winning something in the future, watch this space as there is a lot more coming your way soon!

My first date since October

So here’s the big one: I went on my first date since my breakup in October and I can safely say, I was not ready. The guy was perfectly nice (albeit not my type), but the whole thing just reminded me of the ex. I therefore decided that me and my happiness are far more important at the moment. I’m going to continue focusing on my new flat, my job and of course my body for the time being. The man will come when I’m happy with myself after all!

Thanks for reading Coffee Guaranteed!