Sunday, 19 November 2017

christmas: gifting fragrance

Fragrance Direct Fragrance Direct Fragrance Direct
CHLOƉ signature eau de parfum and BOSS bottled tonic eau de toilette*

It's time guys, it's nearly Christmas and time to be inundated with gift guides! I'm particularly unbothered by the festive season this year, which is extremely unlike me but alas I do have people that I need to buy for. Cue Fragrance Direct getting in touch re:their gift edit and of course I jumped at the chance to work on the project - who doesn't like a new fragrance to try and it's potentially the perfect gift for everyone, ever.

I am hard to please when it comes to a new scent, so I rarely choose one without testing it or knowing someone that wears it. That being said, a lot of the fragrance's in FD's gift edit are classics and you'll no doubt know someone who wore it, or it'll be nostalgic for another reason and therefore a great present idea. I'm thinking to pop Marc Jacobs' Daisy on my Christmas list too as it's so timeless.

I decided to pick up Chloe's signature scent as a gift for myself as I remembered my Mum wearing it when I was little, plus the bottle and box are beautiful. It's really feminine and floral, and a very nice addition to my fragrance collection.

Gifting myself aside, I decided that a new scent would be a great gift for my Dad this year. He's been away for the past seven years so I've not had to buy him a Christmas present so I'm a bit out of practice! That and he's so not your typical socks/tie Dad. He's a cool Dad (hi, I know you'll be reading). I know that he's a fan of Boss fragrance in general so I opted for the Bottled Tonic as the sound of citrus notes sold me. It genuinely smells lovely, I'm not going to try and explain it because that'll be hilarious but either way - it's fresh and manly. Two things you probably want in a men's fragrance.

Essentially, and sorry if you're reading family, but they're all going to be getting fragrance this year. I've always been a bit of a sceptic re:buying scent as it's such a personal thing but with how descriptive the information on the site is, as well as the fact some are just so classic, you can't go wrong. Plus, it's nice to try something new once in a while!
Post in collaboration with Fragrance Direct, but fragrance love and picks are all mine!

lots of love xxx
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Thursday, 16 November 2017

making positive changes

So Shape Positive Changes Positive Changes Positive Changes Positive Changes So Shape
Following on from my post where I spoke about trying to make myself happier, I decided it was time for a bit of a lifestyle overhaul. While I'm usually fairly healthy by my own accord, I'm sure you all understand how hard it is to get back into a routine when you're in a negative place.
With that in mind, and motivation at an all time low, I decided on a few small things in order to make some positive changes to my lifestyle! I started with something as simple as picking up some new stationary from Kikki.K - they're all super cute and filled with inspirational quotes and good ideas to pick yourself up. 
Next up, my diet. I have a naturally slim build and luckily I can go through phases of eating what I like and not suffering too many repercussions. That being said, I know that I need to wise-up a little bit in terms of making sure I'm getting enough nutrients and vitamins - this is especially important as my CFS always takes a dive when I eat terribly. I've found that whenever I'm miserable I eat awfully, as I'm sure so many of us do. So when So Shape approached me and asked if I'd be interested in trying out their challenge, I jumped at the chance. The concept is, you choose how long you wish to eat the Smart Meals for, and then order accordingly. There's about one billion different flavours to choose from (or 22 to be precise), but me being me, I went for all the sweet options in the hope they'd be like drinking a milkshake. They're easy to prepare with water and the bottle you get when you order and pretty simple to have on the go. I've been having one in the morning then two regular meals for lunch and dinner. I've been trying to up my vegetable intake and eating loads of grains etc alongside. After 14 days I would say that I've noticed my energy levels peak slightly (as far as mine can...) and my stomach feels a lot flatter - notably because I've cut a lot of the rubbish out that was constantly bloating me. I didn't really have any excess weight to lose, so that wasn't why I did it but I have noticed I feel a lot less sluggish. You can read more about the challenge and smart meals here
Speaking of my CFS, it leads on well to my need of more sleep. I have a terrible routine of going to bed ridiculously late and replying to emails at 1am, so that needed to stop. I picked up Lush's Sleepy cream after reading so many good things about it and have been using it every night religiously. I'm not sure if it's just a placebo effect, but it seems to be actually helping with falling and staying asleep so it's a yes from me.
Lastly, exercise. Now, I have the fitness levels of an elderly sloth so I needed something that wouldn't be too taxing, nor exhaust me too much - calling yoga. I downloaded the Daily Yoga app and have been doing their challenges which I find so much harder than I should haha. I really struggle with getting my breathing right and by the time I've nailed it, it's onto the next pose! Either way, I'm slowly getting there and it feels refreshing to just be actually doing something to be honest. I'm thinking once I've got a little bit more confident with it, I'll try and find a local class and convince a friend to come with me. 
I mainly accredit all of these things to building a routine - it's so much easier to stick to things you do daily without too much thought than it is to find time randomly. Now I've finished the So Shape challenge, I've been able to fill the meal replacements with healthy smoothies and keep up the 5/6 a day that I was managing whilst drinking them. I'm also into the swing of getting yoga into my daily (or every other day at least) routine and putting my Sleepy cream on every night before bed. Simple things and yet they all make such a difference.

Post in collaboration with So Shape, but as always, all opinions and words are my own!

lots of love xxx
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Sunday, 12 November 2017

thoughts on los angeles

Shot on 35mm, Olympus mju-ii

Another bunch of film - this time from my really recent trip to LA in September/October. So, why was I there? I found fairly cheap flights on Norwegian and slowly gave Olivia no choice but to come with.

I visited the same time last year, and must say I left not really feeling anything for the city. I was suffering with fairly bad anxiety at the time, and I think that hindered my trip a lot. I nearly didn't get on the plane, so that kinda says it all. I also desperately wanted to love it so putting that kind of pressure on the trip was a bit stupid too.

Anyway, this time I went back armed with loads of things to do and a new mindset. I think being with one of my favourite people really helped too. We ate loads of In'n'Out, drank far too many cocktails and laughed at mean boys the whole time. We also had a car this time around, and spent a lot of time just driving around and exploring. We visited Culver City, Santa Monica, DTLA, Malibu and loads of other places. I think Culver and Venice are two of my favourite areas, both really laid back and chilled. We also road tripped to Vegas in the middle for two nights which was fun. I love driving in America - the roads are wide and there's so much to see in the middle of nowhere. The little towns never cease to amaze me and leave me asking "what if they need a hospital?" or "where do they do their food shop and buy their clothes?"

It's got a weird vibe, parts are fancy and expensive (yah, Beverly Hills) and then other parts scream of sadness, with lots of homeless people and visible drug use. Then there's the beachy areas - just a short drive from places like Downtown which has a big city feel. It's all over the place, but I think it's cool that you can dart around depending on how you're feeling.

LA definitely got me this time around. It still doesn't compare to NY for me, but it's a close second. I'd love to do a month here, followed by a month in New York (and find a nice, bearded American man to marry...) but anyway, there's my two cents on Los Angeles! I really hope to head back soon so keep your eyes peeled...

lots of love xxx
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© Georgia Luisa Meramo// UK fashion, travel & lifestyle blog

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