Lifestyle Blogger.

Minty Coco Review ...






Minty Coco is a coconut oil pulling product, used to help whiten teeth and freshen breath. Anyone who knows me knows that I have spent the last few years being very paranoid about my teeth, so after some major reconstruction this product has come in really handy to help brighten my smile. I’ve been using the product every morning as personally I feel like that worked better for me, and left my mouth feeling fresh for the rest of the day.

Oil pulling is pretty on trend at the moment along with other whitening techniques, I mean who doesn’t want a crystal white smile. So the instruction for Minty Coco were to swill your mouth and teeth with the product for 5-15 minutes. I found pulling the product through my teeth very cleansing. At first the texture is really strange but after a couple of minutes you get used to it. I have previously tried oil pulling before and I must say I much prefer Minty Coco to normal coconut oil, mainly because of the lovely fresh flavour, it makes such a difference.


After the first day of trying Minty Coco I felt a huge difference in freshness, I am a coffee fanatic, so being able to drink gallons and still have a fresh feeling in my mouth was great. It took a couple of days to see the whitening effect but it was definitely there, after using it for around 10 days the change became very obvious. I will definitely be continuing to use the product, and will be purchasing my next box this weekend. If anyone has ever thought about trying the product, honestly go for it, there is nothing better than a fresh white smile. It’s such a simple process that I believe will make a huge difference to some people, at the end of the day a beautiful smile is the most stunning feature a person can have, in my opinion.

Checking in ....














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These photos were taken at Eggleston Abbey, a mile away from my home. I'm so lucky to live in such a beautiful area. I took advantage of spending a lovely few hours here reflecting on everything that's going on at the moment._______________________________________________________________

I thought I would use this post to touch base with you all a little bit, its been awhile since I've done a post mainly about myself. When you write a blog you start to build relations with your followers, there are some people I know read each and everyone of my posts and some that just visit my page now and then, for me I feel so lucky that anyone passes through my page for a browse.  So I thought I would just let you know what's been going on. Back when I first started this blog I never thought it would last, and I certainly never thought I would gain the followers that I have. So for the older followers this post is just keeping your on track of whats going on in my life at the moment, and for the new followers this will give you a rough idea of how much I try to cram into my everyday life.

Where I'm at right now mentally?

Recently, I've had to take some time to really look at how I deal with situations, this is in home life and in work life. I've always been someone who shows stress really easily, and I normally took it out on the closest person to me. It has been such a challenge for me to change this, I am so passionate about everything that I do but it got very obvious that I was dealing with these things the wrong way, and the stress really started to show. Recently I've learnt to stop and think before saying anything, this is something my mum has been telling me to do from such a young age. I can't quite believe how much a difference it has made, over the last few months. I used to come home from work stressed to death, there were numerous nights I sat in floods of tears to my mum because everything was getting too much for me. I let all my stress at work start to effect my home life and relationship, it's only now I realised how much of an impact that was actually having. I would block myself off from my close ones because I knew I wasn't nice to be around when I was stressed. I was leaving work not wanting to return the next day, which was such a shame because I love my job.
It's only since somebody sat down and gave me a little bit of feedback that I feel like my whole approach to stress has completely changed. I'm not the kind of person to normally take criticism well, I would normally get really defensive and full of attitude. However this time it was different, I sat back and took in what was said to me, and since I've looked at different ways I can improve my coping mechanisms. Don't get me wrong, I still get stressed that will never change, but now I've learnt to breath and count to 10. This was said to me as a child so much, and I just thought people were being patronising. But next time someone says something aggravating, stop, breath and count to 10. And guaranteed your response to them will be completely different to what it would have been if you had spontaneously responded. If that doesn't work, walk away from the situation. There isn't enough time in the day for negativity.
I suppose after these last few weeks the main thing  I've realised is that there is only so much one person can do, and by pushing myself to do everything I was actually making myself even more stressed. I know I am working to my best ability. And that is good enough, sometimes we are just too hard on ourselves.

Where my blogs at?

If you had told me 6 months ago that my hobby of writing down my opinions and ideas would have me working with some big companies and lots of collaborations, I would probably have laughed at you. I never thought I would be this successful with PLGA.
PLGA started after a tipsy chat with one of my closest friends in one of our favourite bars. I remember Lauren from http://www.whatlaurenlovess.co.uk/ chatting to me about how she had been invited to her first ever bloggers event, I believe it was the bandage dress one. I could see how excited she was about it all, and I loved that something so personal was making her so happy. Back then we both cared way too much about other peoples opinions and we always asked ourselves what others would think before we did things. It's safe to say a hell of a lot has changed since then, I believe we have both gained so much confidence from blogging that we no longer look for the negativity. I remember when it all started I would have a mini heart attack if someone I knew followed my blog instagram account. Automatically I would think why have they added me? do they like what they are reading? are they judging me?. Now all of that seems a little stupid to me, if somebody wants to follow me that's great, at the end of the day we all love seeing our followers go up. If that person doesn't like what I post all they have to do is unfollow me, it's no loss of mine.
So there is quite alot going on recently on my blog and I'm really looking forward to sharing it all with you over the coming months. You'll have to keep updated this weekend as me and Lauren are heading to London Fashion Weekend so I can promise you there will be plenty of content coming from there. I've also got a few collaborations coming up too, so keep checking in for new posts.
I promise I will get a schedule up and running at some point, but at the minute life is so busy I don't want to commit to something that probably wont work out right now.

What I'm up to?

So like I said earlier me and Lauren are heading to London Fashion Weekend on Friday, it's safe to say I'm pretty excited for that. It'll be my first time attending LFW, I know fashion isn't something that I post about but from this trip I hope to learn alot. Fashion does play a part in some of my lifestyle posts, but I feel this weekend isn't all about the fashion. It has huge potential for some amazing shots, and content. Aswell as the fact I get to visit London, I've only ever been like 3 times before. We have so much planned I just hope we get chance to cram it all in.
However, before we head to London we are going on a double date, how cute. I'm really looking forward to this as mine and Lauren's partners have never met, which I suppose is a little mad considering we have both been in these relationships for over 5 year, and we have been friends for nearly 20 years. So on Friday night we are heading out to Las Iguanas for a meal and drinks, its going to be lovely to have some different company for a change. 
And then of course we are off to London on Saturday and returning on Sunday for the Lush event at Meadowhall, Sheffield, so it's safe to say we are gonna have a very busy weekend.
More exciting news is that the weekend after all of the girls are home, I'm sure people wont understand why this is exciting, but for us this never happens. Somebody is always busy with something else whenever we try and meet up. So to be able to indulge in food and cocktails with my 3 closest friends is actually really exciting for me, us four have been friends since we were 4 year old, we have been through everything together. The best thing is we can not catch up for months, and as soon as we get back together it's like they've never been away.
And then the week after that myself & Sean are jetting off to St Anton, Austria, for a week skiing. We are so ready for a holiday and well overdue some quality time together, don't worry I'll be keeping you all updated with photos over on my instagram.@prettylittlegymaddict
So this month is super busy already, and I'm also hoping to attend a couple more of events aswell, so there is no doubt that there will be lots of blog posts in March.

I hope you've enjoyed catching up with me, don't forget to check in over March to see lots of new content.




Feeling nourished ...

















Last night I was really lucky to be able attend the Nourish Spring Menu blogger event in Leeds. Nourish is a healthy fast food restaurant currently open in Sheffield and Leeds, soon to be expanding. Within each restaurant you have the option to eat in or take out. From my experience in Leeds, I can't stop raving about the decor, as much as its so simplistic it almost felt like I was in a local park, with the wooden benches and carpet like grass. I loved the laidback feel, somewhere I would definitely go to dine alone or with friends. 

Last night we were invited to try out the new Spring Takeaway Menu that is soon to be launched. The new menu has so much choice, whether it be a quick snack, something for on the go, or something substantial, they have a choice for everyone. I was tempted with pretty much every item on the menu, as you know from my blog I love to eat healthy, and the items on the menu were so appealing to me. From sweet potato and turkey meatballs to smashed avocado with chipotle sauce, there wasn't much I wouldn't like. I know I will definitely be returning to try some of the desserts, especially the sweet potato brownies and chocolate avocade moose.

Last night we got chance to sample:

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Smoothie
Berry Kombucha Smoothie

Mediterranean Sun Box Salad
Pea & Falafel Salad
Lift Yourself Box Salad
Duck 'BangBang' Salad

Beef Rendang
Chicken & Red Pepper Tagine
Nourish Italian Meatballs

If I was to have to choose a favourite it would have to be the Duck Bang Bang Salad, I am a huge lover of  Duck but would have never thought to mix it up like this. Both the smoothies were delicious, and so fresh. Saying that the Italian Meatballs were really close in the running, the tasted amazing on top of a sweet potato jacket potato.
My favourite ingredient of the evening was definitely the Kale Pesto, and after speaking to one of the chefs I'll definitely be giving it a go at home. 

All of these items contained no added sugar or salt, which really sold it to me, it's so good to see somewhere that doesn't add unnecessary items to food. Another great thing is that the food content is shown clearly on the menu, as well as nutrition values, which makes it so easy if your log your macros like myself.

A huge thank you to Eve and the team, I can't wait to visit again.



Top Benefits of HIIT Training

I'd like to welcome Amy Goldsmith to PLGA, I'm loving having Amy collaborating on my blog. Amy is from Melbourne, and is an experience personal trainer, has a degree in nutrition, as well as being a biology graduate. We choose a topic that I feel is very in trend at the moment and that is HIIT training. HIIT training has become really popular over the last 18 months, especially as people can gain great results in much shorter workouts than they are normally used to. 

So here's over to Amy to tell you guys what she believes are the top benefits of HIIT training...

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HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is actually a type of workout in which you give one hundred percent effort through intense and quick bursts of exercise that are followed by short recovery periods. Such training is indeed highly beneficial, starting from getting you into shape, keeping your heart rate up and burning fat and calories in short sessions. Stay with us and find out which are the top benefits of HIIT workout.

1. Time Efficient

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If you think that you don’t have time for such a workout – think again! HIIT workouts are highly beneficial at so many levels, particularly because they can be done basically everywhere – in a park, at your home, at a gym etc. What is especially groundbreaking about this training is the fact that most sessions last for 30 minutes or even less. That is really insignificant amount of time when you think of it per se, however, it is beyond useful when it comes to getting your body into shape. This training is ideal for people with busy schedule. Just try it and you will not regret it.

2. No Special Equipment Necessary

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HIIT workouts do not require fancy gym outfits or expensive equipment. All you need is a pair of appropriate gym shoes that will optimize your workout. For example, I use and recommend Ryder Wear sportswear which provides stability and helps you perform optimally. As for equipment, your own body weight will provide all the resistance you need. All of those burpees, lunges, squat thrusts and push-ups will definitely get your blood flowing. Some trainers say that you should use the body you have to create the body you want, and this is completely true when it comes to HIIT workouts. There are so many simple moves you can do in up to 30 seconds, which will provide the dynamic training for the ultimate performance and results.

3. Exercise for a Healthier Heart

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Many people are afraid of taking part in high-intensity interval training simply because it can get too intense. Such a workout can make them feel like their heart is pounding so hard that it will actually jump out of their chest. However, the truth is that this training indeed produces extreme results. It will boost your overall cardiovascular fitness, just be careful with the intensity. It is very important to gradually build up your training program, so that you don’t overdo it at the very beginning.

4. Burn More Calories

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Many people have hard time understanding that a shorter high-intensity interval workout is actually more beneficial than longer, yet slower cardio sessions in terms of burned calories. This is exactly the case with HIIT training. After your workout, a process known as EPOC (Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption) that is referred to as the afterburn effect begins in your body. It is a process of increased oxygen intake in order to correct the body’s ‘oxygen debt’ that was brought by exercising. Basically, your body increases oxygen consumption to restore itself to a resting state. After the HIIT workouts the EPOC effect can still be found up to 38 hours after exercising, which means that your body is burning fat and calories to fuel the restorative processes for 38 hours after the workout!

5. Increase Your Metabolism

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Besides burning fat and preserving muscle, HIIT workouts stimulate production of human growth hormone (HGH) that is responsible for increased caloric burn. During HIIT, you will consume more oxygen than in slower, distance exercise, which will increase post-exercise metabolism. Besides that, it also slows down the aging process, which will certainly make you feel rejuvenated, both inside and out.
As you can see, HIIT workouts indeed have multiple benefits that will provide you with fantastic results, both when it comes to your physical and mental well-being. One of its major advantages is that it is ideal for doing at home, plus the fact that it will take you no more than 30 minutes per session. Give it a try, you definitely won’t regret it!

About the author

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Amy Mia Goldsmith is a biology graduate from Melbourne and a fitness enthusiast. You can contact Amy on her Facebook page and Twitter.

Ti Amo .. Our Italian Valentines ...












Last night Sean and I celebrated Valentines weekend by visiting Da Vinci's Italian restaurant in Yarm. I felt I had to share with you our experience as I believe it to have been one of my favourite meals to date. The service couldn't be faulted, and the food was delicious, along with great wine & great company, it was a Valentines evening I will remember for a long time. 
This little Italian was quite hidden on the main street of Yarm, it was set back from the other restaurants and bar, which added a little mystery to what we should expect. When entering, we found that the restaurant was rather small and seated around 15 tables. The bit I loved the most was that the restaurant had an open kitchen, I loved being able to see our food being made, it was also nice to see the high standards the chefs worked in.
The restaurant had put on a special Valentines menu, as shown above. I found it cute that they had a sharing dish for each course, such a shame that Sean's not a massive fan of seafood or steak else I would have definitely tried all 3. This menu was alongside the normal menu, which Sean seemed to stick to as he's abit of a plain jane when it comes to food.
As you can see by my photos, the food was presented lovely, and I can vouch that it tasted amazing aswell. 

I went for the ..
Oven baked Sardinian Cheese wrapped in Parma ham and served with Ratatouille.
Pigeon breast, Potato fondant, baby spinach, charred onions and a Blackberry Jus.
& we shared...
The Chocolate Assiette, which included white chocolate rice pudding, warm chocolate brownies, dark chocolate truffles, triple chocolate ice-cream, white chocolate & raspberry icecream & some caramel flavoured white chocolate pieces.

I would definitely rate this place 10/10, if you live locally you have to give this place a try. 

Get the London look ...

This post is very different to anything I would normally post, however at the end of the month I'm heading down to London Fashion Weekend with Lauren from www.whatlaurenlovess.co.uk. And I am having an absolute nightmare at choosing outfits, so I thought I would put a few ideas together and hopefully you guys might be able to help me.
I have spent hours scrolling through clothing websites and going through bloggers latest outfit posts, just to get some ideas. My problem is I get an idea in my head, but can then never find the items in the shops. The outfit i'm struggling with the most is what to wear to the actual event, this is a situation where if I wear the wrong thing I would look majorly under dressed.
The look I'm hoping to go for is something pretty smart but not overly dressy, I was looking to mix the tailored trend with a touch of lace. I have searched high and low for outfits to a point that I've now seen so many lace crops and bodysuits and tailored trousers, that I don't know which to go for.
I'm going to list some of the outfit choices below in hope that you guys can help me decide.
Much love x





Outfit #1
All items from Zara.


                    




Outfit #2
All items from Missguided.


                       




Outfit #3
All items from Topshop.



    
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