Staying Sober this Dry January with Fentimans


We're midway through January and for those taking part in Dry January, they are fast approaching the finish line. Dry January started in 2014 after an advertising campaign highlighted the dangers of drinking too much booze and four years later, it is a roaring success and a household date for many calendars. Over 3.1 million people have said to be taking part in Dry January this year in a bid to save money, lose weight and better their overall health. According to research by Deliveroo, 17th January is the date where most people are likely to break their Dry January promises, so today I've teamed up with Fentimans to help get you through the final hurdle by introducing you to their range of non-alcoholic drinks.


When it comes to non-alocholic drinks currently on the market, a large proportion of them are tailored towards younger people and many of them lack the flavour and sophistication that most adults desire when opting for a soft drink over an alcoholic beverage. Botantically brewed to get the best infusions of their natural ingrediants, Fentimans is a non-alcoholic drink that really packs a punch in the flavour department and with their retro inspired bottles and quirky names, they are loved by people of all ages. Those who are long time fans of Fentimans will remember that the smaller 125ml mixer bottles used to be green, but Fentimans has undergone a slight rebrand to give the bottles a linear design across the collection.

Fentimans pride themselves on being a premium brand that offers a twist on classic soft beverages such as the Victorian lemonade and their Curiosity Cola. There's also more unique flavours such as the  Madarin and Seville Orange Jigger and Sparkling Lime and Jasmin. 


Fentimans drinks are not only great for drinking on their own but making mocktails (and even cocktails if you prefer) too. Simply add 275ml Rose Lemonade, 20ml Hob Elderflower syrup, garnished with a sprig of mint for a refreshing afternoon drink or make yourself a non-alcoholic Ginger Beer mule by mixing sugar syrup, concentrated apple juice, Ginger Beer and fresh mint if you're looking for something fierier.

Have you tried Fentimans drinks before?

*Contains PR Samples



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Why I won't be dieting this January


Everywhere we look right now there are people tucking into their salads, skipping to the gym and feeling guilty about eating the remainder of their Christmas chocolates. The magazines are telling us their secrets to 'get slim quick' and Instagram is a plethora of 'clean eaters'. While I encourage healthy eating and exercise and I will be doing my best to not pile on the pounds during this long, gloomy month, I will not be joining the January diets this year and here's why.

January is the hardest month to get through

Six weeks until payday, no social life and going back to work after blissfully eating chocolates and dancing around a Christmas tree for two weeks,  January is the hardest month of the year. It's the time of year that a lot of people suffer the blues and it is incredibly hard to get the motivation to do the things many of us love. Although January represents a 'new year, new start',  I would much rather tuck into my favourite treats when it is still cold and windy outside and not feel guilty about the odd glass of wine after a hard day of work - you can keep your carrot sticks.

There's still a lot of temptation around

I don't know whether it is just me, but I have a lot of Christmas chocolates left over and I have no intention of throwing them out. I'm not going to be bingeing quite like I did over the Xmas period, but I'm not going to deny myself of my Christmas presents either. When there's a lot of temptation lying around, you're more likely to cave in from your diets so you're best waiting until they are out of the house.

Cheap January restaurant deals

With everyone cutting down their spending after splashing the cash throughout December, a lot of restaurants naturally see a dip in their customers during the beginning of the year. This has led to top quality restaurants offering lucrative deals to entice new customers, sometimes with up to 60% off or 2-4-1. If saving money is one of your New Year resolutions, it makes sense to get your money's worth of going out in January and consider becoming a hermit in February instead.

There's too much pressure

As soon as you confess that you're dieting to others who are looking to trim the pounds, it is like you suddenly enter a competition without realising. There's a lot of questions that arise from talking about your diet such as 'what did you eat last night' and then comments like 'I went to the gym last night, did you?' If you're someone that thrives off competition, this can be a good thing, but dieting can be a rather sensitive subject for others and at this time of year, there can be quite a lot of peer pressure.

Healthy eating should be all year round, not just thirty-one days

Healthy eating should be all year long and not just thirty-one days. In January we put too much pressure on ourselves to lose weight in such a quick timeframe and when some of us don't achieve our goals, it can be disheartening and leaves us feeling defeated. This can put us off dieting in the long run and lead to a 'what is the point' attitude. I would much rather adopt a 'balanced' approach all year round than having one month of crash dieting - you're more likely to keep the weight off in the long run and have a healthier outlook moving forward.

Are you dieting this January?
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How to succeed this Veganuary


At the start of January, a lot people like to embrace their 'New Year, New Me' mantras with many opting to diet, hit the gym and cut back on the booze. As each year passes, not everyone manages to suceed with their resolutions, so to help keep us on our toes, the likes of Vegnuary and Dry January has been invented so that we can all make a collective effort to stick to our goal, help our bodies and even save environment during the hardest thirty days of the month.

Veganuary is a 30 Day vegan challenge, where participants are asked to consume only plant based foods and take an ethical standpoint throughout the first month of the year. The animal rights charity's mission is show how easy it can be to go vegan, raise awareness of animal suffering and highlight the impact the dairy and meat industry is having on the environment. 

Three months ago I made the big decision to go completely plant based after almost fifteen years of being vegetarian and I haven't looked back. I didn't expect to it to be as easy as it has been and the results have been incredible - I'm more energised, I've lost almost two stone in weight and for the first time in years my stomach issues seem under control.  Every person is different and not everyone will have these type of results, but veganism is great for those looking to inject additional plant nutrients into their diet and experiment more with healthy eating. Below are just a few of my top tips on how to suceed this Veganuary. 


Look for subsitutes of your favourite dishes 

So, what do vegans eat? Well, pretty much the meat free equivalent of everyone else's dishes. With veganism being so popular, supermarket shelves are now full of juicy meat free alternatives to the nations favourite dishes and there's very little that you can't get a replacement for.  Just becareful with some Linda McCartney and Quorn products as not all of them are vegan, but many are.

Follow social media

Utilise social media by following your favourite vegan brands, Instagrammers and bloggers. The majority of my food inspiration comes from there and there's so many unique ideas that you cannot always find in recipe books. One of my favourite discoveries is ackee and how much is resembles scrambled egg!

Download vegan apps

There's so many apps available on both Android and IOS dedicated to helping make vegans lives a little bit easier. Sometimes it is hard looking for a vegan restaurant in somewhere you don't know and reading labels can be troublesome when you don't know what all the E numbers mean. Happy Cow and Vanilla Bean are both great for recommendations and Is it vegan is a handy app that enables you to scan products to check, as the name suggests, if it is vegan.

Look for Veganuary restaurant offers

Zizzi, Las Inguanas and Bella Italia are just three of many high street chains that are offering deals this Veganuary to those taking part in the challenge so they can see how easy it is to eat out.  Why not book a meal out with some friends to give each other motivation and discover new food?

Get experimental with your food

One of the best things about being vegan is discovering new ways of cooking with the most basic of ingrediants. If you live off the likes of Quorn and chips, you are likely to get bored quite easily. Invest in a good recipe book or browse online and get creative in the kitchen.

Don't be too hard on yourself

Every vegan will have made some mistake in the early stages, don't be too hard on yourself if you do. Each day that you're not consuming meat or dairy is a triumph and can make quite a big impact, if you do slip up, just take it as a lesson learnt and pick yourself back up again - don't admit defeat.


Are you taking part in Veganuary?





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How to be the best you can be in 2018



A new year is on the horizon and it is almost that time again that many people start thinking about their goals for the next 12 months. For some people it is a change in career or saving up towards something big such a holiday or driving lessons, for others it is the simple differences they want to want in their lives to help them get ahead or make their life run a little bit more smoothly. I've been quite vocal about saving for a house for the last few months and buying a house is still one of my main priorities, however, I really want to focus on my own self-development next year by learning new things and above all, boosting my confidence. I want to be the best I can be and learn to love and respect myself. I'm getting the point where I'm almost in my late twenties and if I don't start appreciating myself before the big three-o, I don't know if I ever will.

Today I thought I would put together a few motivational tips to help me start on my journey to confidence and to hopefully inspire you to join me on the way too.

Be yourself

Firstly, always remember to be yourself. It's cliche, but Kurt Cobain's quote 'I'd rather be hated for who I am than loved for someone I'm not' is what we should all live by. There's a lot of pressure from social media, our careers and friendships someones to try to pretend to be someone we just could never be, but the truth is, if you're having to put on an act, they're never going to like you in the end. It's better to focus on the people who genuinely care about you and for that one person who you don't quite get on with, there will be 10 more than appreciate and love you for who you are.

Know what you want

Knowing what you want in life is easier said than done - not everyone knows exactly where they want to be in ten years time. However, as a general rule, it is helpful to think ahead and get an idea of the smaller things that you want that could tick off one step at a time and contribute to the wider picture in your future.

Dress to impress

The way we dress can have a huge impact on our productivity levels and the way we generally feel about ourselves - I always feel the most productive and confident when I've got my favourite lipstick and dress on. Get up that little bit earlier in a morning and try a new style or put on an outfit that you know will make you feel good. The dress that gives me the most confidence right now is the one above from Caris Closet- it has a beautiful feminine shape and looks sophisticated, yet stylish. Teamed up with a blazer, it makes a great 'power dress' outfit and can be worn for lunchtime meetings straight through to the evening.

Get rid of any negativity

Having negativity in your life will only drag you down and weigh heavily on your mental health. Take steps to phase out the people or an aspect of your life that you feel is making you lose sleep or get stressed out on a night. It may hurt in the short term, but in the long term, it will help you build a better, brighter future.

Embrace your passions
We're always at our happiest with we're discussing something that we love, so embrace your passion and make it a bigger part of your life. You can try to incorporate it into your career, start a new blog, join a group or meet with friends who have like-minded views.


Don't be afraid of failure

Always look at failure as a learning curve - address where and if you went wrong and what you're the plan of action is so that you don't do it again. Failure is, unfortunately, a big part of life, but if you don't let it get to you too much, it can, in the end, make you strong and a better person for it.

What are your tips for success in 2018?
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My 2018 Travel Bucket List



When I was growing up, travel was never the first thing on my mind. In my teenage years and even early twenties, all I cared about was more superficial things in life such as my next designer handbag or makeup collection. In fact, I hadn't stteped on a plane in almost 10 years until my 21st birthday and that was the time when most of my friends were on gap years or going on girls holidays. Looking back I was young and naive and to be fair, aren't we all at some point? Over the last few years I've been making more of a concious effort to see more of the world and the UK and I managed to cram quite a lot of places in. However, changes in circumstances meant that I've had to spend most of 2017 saving for a house rather than an exotic holiday and my travel plans went temporarily on hold. 

Although early next year will be dedicated to setting up my base, I'm hoping that towards the end of 2018 I will be able to reward myself after twelve months of saving with one or two little breaks. Today I've decided to put together a little bucket list on places that I would like to visit next year and hopefully give you a little bit of inspiration on the way.



Japan

Last year Japan was high up on my bucket list and we began saving up for it, but house hunting became more of a priority and our plans fell through. I'm hoping that next year will finally be the year I get to see Tokyo as it has been a lifelong dream of mine to visit and I've heard it is such an amazing place to visit.


Thailand

Prices to Thailand are coming down each year and it is becoming a really affordable destination to travel to with great deals on websites like Destination2. The cost of food, drink and even accommodation is very little compared to other places to visit, hence why it is so popular with backpackers. I visited Thailand back in 2015 and I would love to return with my husband and show him everything I fell in love with about this country.


Venice

Venice is another place that I've always said that I wanted to visit, but never got the chance. Although I've heard it is expensive when you get there, you get now get some great deals on accomodation and flights online and it would make a superb mini break. I've also heard that despite all the rich italian food, Venice has quite a lot of vegan hidden gems.


Greece

Greece has been on my bucket list for a considerable amount of time and I still can't believe I haven't been here yet. There's nothing I love more than learning about history, but also being close to the sea and feeling the heat, so Greece would be a perfect choice for me. Compared to some of my other dream destinations, 

Where would you like to visit next year?


*Collaborative post
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