LEARNING TO LOVE YOUR BODY

LEARNING TO LOVE YOUR BODY

“WHAT WITH ASOS SHOWCASING THEIR BEAUTIFUL MODELS UNRETOUCHED & BLOGGERS BRINGING RELATABILITY TO THE GAME, YOU CAN’T HELP BUT CELEBRATE WHAT THE INDUSTRY IS BECOMING!”

No matter who you are, where you came from or how you are raised, I’m sure we all share this common attribute – that in some point in our lives, we’ve all perhaps encountered some issues surrounding body confidence and our feelings towards our bodies. It’s a delicate subject, one whereby if you don’t choose your words carefully, you could unintentionally cause offence. But it also has the power to unite, inspire and empower people all across the globe and that’s one thing worth focusing on! Social media, catwalks and magazines of course traditionally sometimes plant ideas in our minds that we should perhaps appear a certain way. That blemishes, stretch marks and scars should be erased and with that, sometimes ourselves.

 But what with the likes of ASOS embracing their beautiful models in their full, un-retouched glory and bloggers bringing some more reliability to the game (SO many gorgeous, unique and wonderful gals!) It can’t help but make you celebrate the changing times and wonderful diversity of the industry. There will always be downfalls, you could choose to focus on the negatives or embrace the beautiful thing it’s becoming and see the good. Let this post motivate and inspire you to love your beautiful selves and be confident in your skin! Here’s a few ways I like to build my confidence up and remind myself to love my body!

POWER DRESSING

Ahh the power of clothes. Not only are they pretty and fun but they also have the power to make you feel like a total boss. Dress how you like and love, not how you think you should dress. Everyone feels good in different things, some people feel like they can take over the work in heels and dresses and others in denim or a cosy knit. There’s no secret formula but don’t settle for clothes that don’t make you FEEL good. These Sweaty Betty leggings for example, the luxe material and unbeatable fit makes me feel absolutely amazing! Similarly my fave Topshop Jeans are always something I can rely on to boost my confidence. When shopping, spend time trying on different styles and sizes, you’ll know when its ‘the one’ because you won’t be able to pull yourself away without the item in tow 😉

NOURISH YOURSELF

I‘ve mentioned it before and I’ll say it again because I’ve found that nourishing yourself really is key. I’m not an expert, nor a nutritionist, but I do know that when I eat well, I feel damn good. When I feel good, I don’t feel like I need to look a certain way, because truly feeling good in yourself surpasses any other feeling for me. We know we should be eating fresh, wholesome and as natural as possible. I bloody love pizza, cheese and wine and there ain’t no way in hell I’m giving that up, not for all the abs in the world.

I won’t let myself feel too guilty because life is too short, however my body confidence does tend to plummet if I continually eat things that bloat me out, high in sugar or processed. Everything in moderation and if you try to keep the majority of your diet fresh and wonderful, you definitely should enjoy that prosecco and cake! Your body was built to look after your beautiful soul, so look after it 🙂

DO THINGS THAT MAKE YOU FEEL AMAZING!

Similarly to nourishing yourself, doing things that make you feel amazing do wonders for your self esteem. I’m not going to lie – I do feel guilty when I don’t exercise – of course I do. Our bodies were made to do amazing things so I try to get this butt moving whenever I can. However, in the same breath there’s no point beating yourself up when you don’t live up to that brutal workout regime you vowed to stick to at new years.

Some people adore the gym, others don’t. Find something that excited and motivates you! Brisk walks, boxing, swimming, dancing – get your body going, release endorphins and feel amazing and alive! If you go to the gym 4 times a week or none, go at your own pace, be kind to yourself and don’t compare – we are all amazing and unique!

SHOP MY FAVE WORK OUT PICKS

I hope you loved this one and that it inspired you to give yourself a little bit of love! I’d love to hear your body confidence tips & ways of making sure you always feel amazing!

I’ve also got so much Summer style & travel goodness coming to my channel, so make sure you’re subscribed! 

As always you can tweet me @stylepetalblog, catch up on all my posts over on BLOGLOVIN or see my latest beauty and fashion buys and vlogs over on my YouTube channel!

Photography by my babe Emma Spencer! 

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Spain travel diary: A guide to the luxe side of Benidorm

Spain travel diary: A guide to the luxe side of Benidorm

A relaxed, luxe vibe or an adventurous and culture filled

break –  there is literally something for everyone! 

Spain; a country I had yet to visit until May and one I’m already avidly planning on going back to immediately (with the boyfriend in tow!) If you lovelies follow me over on my YouTube Channel you’ll know that I recently went to the beautiful Benidorm with a bunch of lovely bloggers and Jet2Holidays for a few, full on days of luxe, laughs, sight seeing and a lot of great food and wine! It really was an incredible place that is often underestimated, so it gives me huge happiness being able to share my experience with you guys!

From where to eat, stay, what to do and wear – I’m spilling it all and every detail that contributed to making this trip so special. Whether you fancy a more relaxed, luxe vibe or an adventurous and culture filled break –  there is literally something for everyone! Jet skiing, scuba diving, divine Tapas and champagne over looking the cliffs – read on to see my little, Spain travel diary and guide to the luxe side of Benidorm!

WHERE TO STAY

A 5 minute drive out of the town and you’ll find the Melia Villaitana, the most picturesque, Instagrammable, pinterest worthy and all round, damn photogenic place I’ve ever been! Our jaws literally dropped to the floor when we arrived, let alone once we saw our rooms – I felt like a total princess and fully made use of the huge bath and beautiful balcony to take in the views across Benidorm’s skyline and coast – at evening this was incredible with all of the twinkling lights! It was perfectly tucked away ever so slightly from the bustling streets, so perfect for a little escape at the end of the day! Ever corner welcomed you with a pastel, washed wall, blooming flowers and glistening pools meandering the whole resort.

We had the most relaxing flight and the bliss continued on arrival – even from a self confession nervous flier! We flew from Stansted, Jet2’s first London base. (I highly recommend grabbing a lounge pass to make use of the insane food and drink to get you in holiday mode!) I’ve always had very active holidays, however I feel like I need to come back to the Melia Villaitana just to purely stay there for a week and soak the tranquility up! There are so many buildings and restaurants (5 + a lounge to be precise!) a spa, golf course – I couldn’t begin to explore it all as it was so vast! Everything oozed luxe and the food and breakfast was absolutely incredible, with a huge variety for all diets and to take anyones fancy (fresh donuts and churro’s for breakfast anyone?!)

WHAT TO DO

This was where Benidorm really out did itself – such a huge variety of things to do and so many gorgeous spots to take in the views (and a few snaps!) Day 1 was spent electric mountain biking up the winding, mountainous roads (they were SO MUCH FUN and had us all in stiches trying to learn how to use them!) This was followed by a visit to The Old Town – a stunning picture of white, washed pillars and blue tiles, with steps floating down to the sea! Day 2 brought a morning of Sea based antics with jet skiing and my first scuba dive, followed by an amazing Tapas tour come evening time!

Our final day brought a Jeep tour, which totally blew us all away. We went on an adventure high up in the mountains, stopping on tiny little roads and wandering through little villages and into the markets (where I picked up that insane pom pom straw bag!) We then headed back to enjoy a bit of pool time and then got ready to visit The Cross of Benidorm, followed by a beautiful dinner and cocktails on a rooftop! Benidorm and the surrounding areas really are drenched in culture and beautiful spots, I really enjoyed immersing myself in everything!

WHERE TO EAT

Top Benidorm spots for luxe cuisine:

  • Ulia – A beautiful beachfront restaurant run by the loveliest people with a really unique array of dishes – wonderful paella too!
  • Llum De Mar – A seriously luxurious experience overlooking the waves crashing agains the shore below you. We had so many beautiful, fresh courses, each bursting with flavour and paired with delicious wine!
  • Son De Mar – Great for a spot of Lunch, again right by the beach with fabulous staff and the best sangria of the trip! Delicious vegetarian dishes and beautiful views across the coast!
  • Los Vascos – Our Tapas tour took us down the winding alleyways and into this delightful restaurant, a real taste of traditional Spanish Tapas, followed by a cheeky Limoncello to finish the evening!
  • Solotula – A quirky restaurant tucked away with beautiful fairy lights that glisten outside whilst you enjoy your food – yet again, the staff were wonderful and the food incredible! A great variety of dishes to suit everyone!

The food was absolutely out of this world! Every morning we dined at our hotel for breakfast, with something for everyone (including champs for the all important bucks fizz!) and sat outside on the decking for a stunning view across the pool. We also tried lunch at one of the restaurants at the hotel – with everything being beautifully fresh. One thing I was really impressed by was the sheer selection and the fact that us vegetarians were really well catered for too, something I forget the importance of until I go away! Everything was also super healthy, fresh and delicious, meaning that you didn’t feel like you needed to hit the gym immediately upon return back to England!

WHAT TO WEAR

You want to be able to tackle all terrains even after a few glasses of Sangria.

I wrote here about the importance of tailoring your holiday wardrobe to what you’re doing to save yourself many stresses! Benidorm had so many varied actitives to choose from, so we needed everything from trainers and denim to floaty dresses and bikinis! Your fave shorts, a tee and loose blouse will become staples and often underwear will be replaced by bikini’s, so pack a few!

Maxi dresses effortlessly take you from day to night whilst keeping you cool and comfortable, I made sure to pack a couple of those too! This Next one was my ultimate fave and got SO MANY compliments – I genuinely felt like the dancing emoji! Forget the heels, you want to be comfortable, at ease and be able to tackle all terrains even after a few glasses of Sangria. Converse, slides, pretty sandals and block heels will be your best friends. Oh and sunglasses, lots of sunglasses and a sassy slogan hat chucked in!

SHOP MY FAVE, HOLIDAY WARDROBE PICKS

I hope you guys loved my little guide to the alternative side to Benidorm – it really was such an incredible, whirlwind 3 days of luxury, food, beautiful people and wonderful views! You guys over on Instagram couldn’t believe where I was! Massive thank you again to the fabulous guys from Jet2Holidays and Visit Benidorm for an unforgettable trip – I’m already planning my return! Where’s your ultimate holiday destination my loves – are you a beach babe or a city lover?

As always you can tweet me @stylepetalblog, catch up on all my posts over on BLOGLOVIN or see my latest beauty and fashion buys and vlogs over on my YouTube channel!

Photography by myself and the lovely Emma from The Emasphere!

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A Luxury English escape: What to do in The Cotswolds

A Luxury English escape: What to do in The Cotswolds

“There were pool parties, moustaches, sombreros, lots of food, Prosecco and Pimms!”

If you lovelies are subscribed to my Youtube Channel or follow along on Insta you’ll know that last week we were whisked off to The Cotswolds by the wonderful guys at The Blogger Programme and Kate and Toms for a few days of luxury and relaxation! There were pool parties, moustaches, sombreros, lots of food, Prosecco and Pimms! We were all taken aback by the sheer beauty and kind of felt like we were in Hogwarts with the tall, stoned walls, ivy climbing every crevice and history around every corner!

I wrote about the importance of taking a break and my little London staycation here, but this time we headed off somewhere a little bit rural and off the grid! Wherever it is you’re staying, and whoever with, I thought I’d put together a little mini guide to the ultimate Luxury, English escape and what to do The Cotswolds! From were we stayed, what we ate to what we did, as well as showing you around our beautiful Mansion for a few days and what you can expect from a little retreat away from the world!

Where to stay

 

As much as I love hotels, for me, a countryside retreat wouldn’t be complete without staying in one of the many, stunning manor houses they have to offer – I’m obsessed with finding out the history behind them too! If you’ve watched the vlog you’ll notice me and Emma questioning the slightly eery hanging portraits! Kate and Toms have SO MANY properties on their books, this is just the selection to choose from inThe Cotswolds! We stayed in the incredible Marsden Manor  in Rendcomb which has a whopping 10 bedrooms and sleeps 20! I feel like somewhere like this would be perfect for a milestone birthday or celebration away!

It was a bloggers paradise and we ALL made sure to make use of the marble walled bathrooms, deep blue pool and immaculately manicured lawns for some photos opps! It had such a homely, cosy feel and we all agreed that it would be so, insanely magical at Christmas time too to stay somewhere like this! The bed in my room was the comfiest I had ever slept in, I literally sank in and woke to the birds chirping outside my window – bliss!

What to do

We had a wonderful packed couple of days but just enough time left to take in the beautiful views, tranquility and atmosphere of The Cotswolds! I thoroughly recommend making wonderful food plans whilst you’re away – it’s such a lovely sociable time and a great way to get to know people and have amazing conversations into the night! Get outdoors too – rain or shine! Go for a jog, a walk up the hills, check out nearby horse riding, cycling or whack your yoga matt out on the lawn! We also had a super cosy room filled to the brim with blankets for movies and boardgames!

It would also be rude NOT to have a pool party when you have a heated outdoor pool too (because when are pools EVER warm in England!) Complete with inflatable donuts, unicorns and pimms for the perfect sunny afternoon! No Pool? Find a nearby river and have a paddle and a picnic! We also had the lovelies from Blossom & Jasmine come and treat us all to a pamper session with Massages and Manicures which was total bliss! There’s so many hidden Gems in The Cotswolds, immerse yourself in the local culture and things to do – we went for a Brewery Tour before dinner which was so much fun! 

What to eat

Whether you’re self catering and whipping up a delicious meal for your friends and family, getting someone else to come and cook for you or dining at a restaurant – it’s always an occasion to look forward to! Dining is hugely sociable and I love dinner party conversations and sitting around a table with a good bottle of wine! We had an insane collection of wines from freshly bottled Bellini’s to fine reds from Sporting Wine, which well and truly kept us hydrated throughout our stay 😉 On our last evening we all sat around the table after we’d finished eating and talked about everything and anything until late, it’s these kind of occasions that I love! Breakfast and lunch were delicious and fresh, a beautiful spread put on by The Blogger Programme girlies – freshly bakes croissants, strawberries, avocado, granola – eating your breakfast outside in the sunshine is a must in the Cotswolds!

For our first dinner we had a full on Mexican party (complete with furry moustaches and sombreros if you’ve seen the vlog 😉 ) an amazing feast from Hello Fresh. (you can actually grab a cheeky discount with the code ‘primrose50’ 😉 ) Mexican is my absolute fave, so to say I was excited would be an understatement! Then for our final evening we had the incredible guys from Las Tapitas cook us an incredible and authentic array of Spanish Tapas – this was such a treat and I highly recommend if you’re self catering for a night off! They explained every dish, the origin and even labelled things so we knew what was GF, vegan, etc! If you’re staying really rural and far from any eateries, self catering is such a lovely way to have fun with cooking whilst being sociable – hello summer BBQ and Pimms!

 

Shop my fave, summer escape picks

 

I hope you guys enjoyed having a little peek at what we got up to – such a wonderful way to kick start summer! Remember you can catch the vlog below (to see my stupidity in all its glory!) so make sure you’re subscribed loves!

As always you can tweet me @stylepetalblog, catch up on all my posts over on BLOGLOVIN or see my latest beauty and fashion buys and vlogs over on my YouTube channel!

Photography by myself and the wonderful Emma – you can catch her blog post here!


Once again a ginormous thank you to The Blogger Programme & Kate and Toms for the wonderful experience, Hello fresh & Las Tapitas for the DELISH food and Blossom & Jasmine for our little (well needed) pamper sesh!

Also a big old thank you to Thomas Sabo, Charlotte Tilbury, Soak and Sleep, White Glo and Ice watches for our wonderful goodies!

Watch the vlog!

Dressing for your holiday destination (and what to pack!)

Dressing for your holiday destination (and what to pack!)

“I wanted to insure I packed a suitcase that would see me through (stylishly!) every twist and turn of our journey!”

If you guys have been following along on the old Instagram, you would have seen, been holiday spammed and saw that last month I jetted off to sunny Spain, to explore the alternative side of Benidorm with Jet2Holidays! You guys wouldn’t believe the beautiful views and scenery and I am BEYOND excited to share the travel vlog with you soon on my channel – what a whirlwind 3 days! We ate at wonderful restaurants, drank copious amounts of sangria and took in the most breathtaking views over Benidorm and the Spanish Coast! With that in mind, I wanted to insure I packed a suitcase that would see me through (stylishly!) every twist and turn of our journey!

Packing can be both super fun and excite you even more for your time away, but also super stressful! I like to think I’m quite skilled in the packing department, my inner Monica Bing from friends definitely comes out, as well as countless checklists! So I’m sharing a few tips which have helped myself, as well as hopefully help you guys stylishly make the most of your holiday, whether it’s a weekend staycation in the UK or hitting the beaches of California!

“Be a savvy traveller and check out the climates before you jet off as well as tailoring your wardrobe to you activities!”

First of all, and probably most obviously – check out the climates for the time of year you’re going! A week or a few days before – check the temperatures – will you need jackets, raincoats or boots? A little fan to help with the heat? My fave for keeping my cool is a nice, water face mist (SO refreshing in humidity!) I knew Spain at this time of year was lovely and warm but I’m also prone to being pretty cold, so made sure to bring a jacket or two for the evenings! The amount of holiday’s that I’ve gone on in the past and not worn 80% of what I’ve packed because it just wasn’t practical or I didn’t think it through properly! Dresses on a ski holiday? I’m definitely not that ambitious and would rather stay in cosy jumpers and boots! Think realistically about what you’d wear – remember you want to be comfy too!

Also try and tailor your wardrobe to what you’re doing – relaxed beach holiday? Lots of ‘kini’s! Action packed break? Make sure to take your converse and some shorts! We had a full itinerary varying from scuba diving and jet skiing through to bike tours up the mountains and a tapas tour – so I had to carefully plan each outfit before hand, what would work through day until night to save a packing overload! I must admit any last minute worries about having an over weight bag were subdued by the pretty damn generous 22kg allowance with Jet2.com – literally the most generous airline I’ve flown on in terms of luggage – they let me have 2 pieces of hand luggage!

“The hotel was the most instagrammable, bloggers dream – pastel washed walls, pools and palm trees!”

I can’t recommend building a little capsule wardrobe enough to save you much stress and time! Before I went, as well as factoring in what we were doing and what I’d need to bring, I had an evening of pairing things together and sorting through outfits so I had a rough idea of what I was going to be wearing. The key is to make everything work in conjunction with each other, so that no matter would you sling on – it’ll all fit perfectly with everything else! Pack your dresses and make everything else flexible – shorts, tee’s, shirts, bags and shoes should all go together to save you the stress of last minute outfit panics! This floaty, dress fitted in so well with our surroundings and was so comfortable and breathable – if you’ve read this recent post you’ll know I’m loving indulging in some colourful pieces this season!

The fun part came with researching the hotel! Being a blogger I wanted to make every moment a beautiful, photo opportunity! (because looking back at holiday snaps is the best!) Knowing the setting of our stay and our hotel meant that I could incorporate the colours of my surroundings into my outfits, to make the two compliment each other. The Hotel  was HANDS DOWN one of the most beautiful places I have ever stayed! I’ve already decided I’m going back, so much to do, incredible food and also a total, bloggers dream with pastel washed walls, pools and palm trees around every corner! Wait until you see the room tour in my vlog! 

Shop my top, summer holiday picks!

Shop the look

I hope you guys loved the first little instalment of my Benidorm series – I’m so excited to share all of the video content and posts with you – what we did, what we ate, where we stayed and what I wore! I’d love to hear your top, travel tips and your little packing hacks! 

I’ve also got so much Spring style & travel, goodness coming to my channel, so make sure you’re subscribed! 

As always you can tweet me @stylepetalblog, catch up on all my posts over on BLOGLOVIN or see my latest beauty and fashion buys and vlogs over on my YouTube channel!

Photography by the beautiful Emma! 

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The importance of taking a break

The importance of taking a break


Work, life, relationships – it can all totally and overwhelming get on top of us at times. Sometimes you just need to take a step back, take time out, breath and refresh your mind. That’s definitely easier said than done; we all vow to do more of this, less of that, see more of the world, spend time on ourselves, when really, we probably become even more stressed trying to actually plan the time out. When I sit still for too long, I get agitated, I want to work ALL. THE. DAMN. TIME. Any day I’m not conjuring up plans or drafting ideas in my head, I feel like I’m missing opportunities and that scares the hell out of me. Whilst my friends are off travelling, I felt like ‘that just isn’t for me’ because I want to be working on my career 24/7 and I just can’t afford to take time out, because that’s another opportunity out the door.This is definitely not true and made me realise I was a shameless, workaholic and something needed to change, because life’s all about balance and there is so much importance in taking a break. The perfect opportunity arose when CitizenM asked me to pop in and check out one of their 3 London hotels. I am so glad I said yes, I think the view alone speaks for itself.


 


 

Understanding that taking in a break was in fact, not a weakness but a strength was a massive turning point for me and allowed me to totally refresh my mindset. I came back feeling so inspired, bursting full of ideas and had a fresh perspective on things and what I wanted to achieve.”

 


 


I can probably count the amount of times I’ve stayed in a hotel on both hands, possibly even one. Growing up I did see quite a lot of the world, which I think is why I’m vowing to travel more this year and try and enjoy some time out now and again. It’s so easy to get caught up in ‘grown up life’ sometimes (Holy crap, I’m a grown up!?) that we forget the importance of breaks and holidays, which kept us sane at school. When we holidayed, we usually stayed with family, in chalets or self catered villas, meaning that whenever I stay in hotel I am literally like an over excited, annoying kid at Christmas. I LOVE staying in hotels, it’s just one of those things that makes me really happy and excited. I’ve never been on an all inclusive holiday (kinda happy about that because I’d probably come back a fat and very drunk!) If you follow me on Insta stories @stylepetal or snap chat, you would have experienced my excitement over our room at CitizenM Tower of London – I also vlogged this trip, which will be up on my channel soon, so fear not if you missed me showing you the bloody mind blowing gadgetry of this room!


 


Eeverything about this hotel made us smile, which made us feel so at ease during a really busy time. It allowed me to stand back, appreciate things, enjoy myself and reflect on what I wanted to do next. When I have a really good experience, I want to shout about it and tell everyone! You’ll probably get this idea when you see the vlog! Walking in (straight off the tube I might add – The CitizenM Tower of London hotel is literally right next to the tube!) we were immediately warmly welcomed and shown exactly what to do (great for a hotel novice like me!) In fact, all of the staff went out of their way to make you feel comfortable, which personally for me, makes a good experience a great one – you could have stunning hotel but if the staff let it down then you feel a bit deflated – in this case we felt so valued and literally both didn’t want to leave!


 


“After our event, we had a late night glass of vino on the 7th floor sky bar and you know when you go somewhere and feel emotionally overwhelmed with happiness, great fullness and just pure amazement? Yeah, we had that. We stood outside the glass walled bar looking over the London skyline and both said we NEED to come back here, it’s definitely now a happy place of ours, that we plan on running back to ASAP.”



One thing worth noting: this hotel is EXTREMELY instagrammable (hey bloggers paradise!) The bed was hands down the comfiest I’ve ever slept on (also, I didn’t even know they made beds that big!) and we tipsily jumped in the watch a marathon of late night films. There’s automatic, black out blinds (Like the ones from Cameron Diaz’s place on The Holiday!) but we kept them open and woke up to the sun rising over The Tower of London, which was a pinch me moment, being someone who has dreamed of waking up to a view like that one day. I Jumped into the rain shower (complete with iPad controlled lighting!), popped down stairs and had the most AMAZING breakfast and coffee. I’m a vegetarian and never had I had such an amazing choice! You all know I bloody love a good brunch and am a huge coffee whore, so I was in my element. They also have a fab coffee bar at the front of the Hotel, which is amazing for people watching – I definitely plan on having a date with myself and my laptop when I’m next in the area! 



Are you guilty of over working yourself? How do you know when to take some time out? I’d also love to know if you guys have ever stayed at CitizenM – I literally have recommended it no ends to everyone! Truly is one of my favourite hotels to date that I’ve stayed in – next I’m planning on visiting their Paris or New York hotels!

You can snap me ‘Style Petal’ or tweet me @stylepetalblog
Remember you can also follow all my posts over on BLOGLOVIN and see my rambles, hauls and favourites on my Youtube Channel!


Photography by Ben Kapur

Big thanks to the lovely guys at CitizenM for our wonderful stay! This was a collaborative post, however creative direction, thoughts, etc are all my own!