Thursday, 18 September 2014

The Training Room; Personal Training Indoor Cycling Course

When we are younger we have big dreams, whether it's becoming an astronaut or a world famous dancer we have all had career ambitions.
 Sometimes regardless of what we set out to do we don't always achieve, this being said there are numerous options to learn later on and one is via The Training Room. 
The Training Room provides a great service for people to become personal trainers and one of those modules is becoming a indoor cycling instructor.
I was given the opportunity to test out this part of the course alongside some of my other blogging friends.  It was being hosted in London by one of The Training Room tutors with a full day of theory and practical activities.
The day began with the introductions and team interactions shortly before we vanished to the cycling studio.  The tutor took us through a class to give us a fresh look at what we would be doing over the course of the day.

Having a go at an indoor cycling before we really got going, was a good way to provide ideas of how we could teach when we took our practical.

Once we finished the practical we went back to the classroom to start some team work and theory based activities.

The tuition was all very clear, useful and faultless.  It was very easy to interact with the tutor and no question felt stupid. 

After health, safety and theory we broke for lunch, returning to start our practical session.  I was quite nervous to be honest as my confidence is sometimes a little problem, I may be confident in fitness abilities but not so much in teaching them.

As we went on teaching each other and going over required points to our assessor, my confidence started to grow. 
We took it in turns to teach a cycling track in front of the tutor to be assessed.  As all of us were nervous so made sure we encouraged each other - once we started doing this it actually made it lots of fun.

You'll be thrilled to know I passed! Hurray!
Completing the course really made me realise that perhaps life isn't set in stone.  If you are stuck in an office doing a 9-5 job and feeling totally unmotivated... make a change!

Most of our days are spent in our jobs so why not doing something new and exciting.  You might find you'd love your job....!!
The Training Room were fantastic and I'm almost tempted to look at doing the Personal Training course.  Find out more here.
I am all about positive changes at the moment... make sure you have a look!

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Competition time! The New F&F and Elle Sports Collaboration

Sports gear has come on leaps and bounds over the years with all the new technology, fun prints and exciting designs.  You will now find what you wear to get hot and sweaty in is just as important on the fashion chart as what you wear on a daily basis... I don't lie it's very true!  With this in mind I was really excited to discover that my lovely friends at F&F are embarking on a fitness collaboration with an online exclusive Elle Sports collection.

F&F already have their own affordable fitness clothes but they've now decided to take it one step further and collaborate with Elle Sport. Have a look here at what is currently available.
elle sport F&F
What I'm wearing
Joggers - Elle Sport Slim Joggers - £34.00
Bra - Elle Sports Support Bra - £24.00

Elle sports fitness clothes are usually quite fun and colourful but also very practical, I've previously used their basic black leggings for dance and pilates classes but not for my technical fitness wear for my triathlon training.  I think if I could describe Elle Sports wear in two words I'd say comfortable and fun. 
Elle sport and F&F 2014fitness wear
Usually for me and my training I tend to go for tight fitting items as I normally will be jumping about vigorously, however for yoga I don't really have anything loose fitting to make me feel relaxed.  

I recently went to Bude in Cornwall for a week to catch some waves surfing and to chillout.  After I'd had a rough day in the sea it was the perfect opportunity for some well needed stretching in a yoga session.  
Even though the tshirt and joggers are baggy the sports bra is very supportive, which for me can be quite a tough problem as I'm a 32D and need some decent support to feel comfortable - regardless of type of exercise. 
F&F fitness clothes
supportive fitness bra
I think having bright fun clothes to train in makes you feel good which makes you want to train better. Maybe that's just me?
fitness gear
 Overall I'd say the new range from Elle Sports on the F&F website are fun, fashionable and functionable.  The joggers are by far the most comfortable I've ever worn in a while, making them ideal for yoga, tai chi and pilates.
elle sport fitness band
To celebrate this amazing collaboration I have launched a fantastic competition.  I am giving away 10 Elle Sport running have these options for entering
  •  Follow me on twitter
  • Like me on Facebook 
  • Upload a gym/workout selfie on Twitter or Facebook and use the hashtag #elleofasweat

What are you waiting for!  Good luck!

Closes 3rd October 2014 

Monday, 15 September 2014

Covent Garden Weekend Tips #GetUpAndGo

Sometimes life gets in the way of having time with our friends.  We all have less and less time as we get older to indulge in spending time with those we love to be around. After seeing the Travelodge television advert for #GetUpAndGo I decided to throw caution to the wind and book a spontaneous girls weekend in London.

The other weekend (many of you may have spotted on twitter and instagram) me and my old stool uni buddy Jodes ventured for a girls weekend in London.  She is leaving me and moving abroad so I thought to myself how can I make this London weekend absolutely amazing.

Often we will meet up with friends and hardly spend time actually doing anything, now I know it isn't always about how much you do as it should be about enjoying each other company... But adding some fun make it all the more exciting!

When me and Jodes met up we had a mixture of activities from quite chilled out to painting the town red.

The chill

Always good to take the pace down so for example if you are both travelling in from different points take the time to chill that night.  It's the ideal opportunity to go out for so e delicious food and maybe have a cheeky vino before getting. Good nights rest.  We  were based in Covent Garden at the Travelodge Covent Garden hotel.  
cheap covent garden hotels review
Travelodge London Covent Garden
This hotel was bliss perfectly nuzzled in amongst the action, so we could easily walk to St Martins Courtyard and found a place called Bills for some extremely tasty (and reasonable food).
breakfast at Travelodgebedrooms covent garden travelodge
In the morning we indulged in a tasty breakfast from the tasty buffet with cereals, cooked breakfast, juice, tea, coffee and a selection of pastries. 

The staff were friendly and accommodating, including one gentleman offering to take my bags for me.  It was very easy to check in and check out of the hotel and it was a short walk from the main area of Covent Garden.

The fun

You can do a number of items in the day but went for the obvious choice in shopping... You have to in London but then decided as we would be painting the town red we would get our hair done.  The places are endless that offer a blow dry style but we really liked The Parlour London.
The Parlour London review
best hair salons london
Having your hair styled before a night out is an affordable way to feel pampered without breaking the bank.  You won't lose a significant amount of time as most updos take around 20 minutes check out my detail review of The Parlour London
London blowdry salon review
The Parlour review

Paint the town red

In Covent garden there are a number of bars to go to but I really recommend Dirty Martini Covent Garden branch for the hot spot to go to. I have been before for some delicious nibbles and a cheeky cocktail but not been for just a nice drink.  The staff were fantastic last time and once again made us feel special from the moment we walked in.  The cocktail list can be quite a challenge as deciding what you want to drink does take a significant amount of time!
dirty martini review london
London hot spots to drink
Cocktail bars London review
London cocktails dirty martini
We are big fans of the martini cocktails especially chocolate martini and my favourite, french martini. There is another Dirty Martini in London but the Covent Garden one is situation in amongst all the action. 

Covent Garden is an ideal location for a girls weekend, all the hot spots are on your doorstep which also means you don't need to get taxis or last trains home.  

Have fun with you girls weekend and let me know what you decide to do!


Monday, 8 September 2014

Wedding Guest Style in Blue

The wedding style summer 2014
I haven't been to many weddings this year, actually in fact I've not been to any apart from one most recently.  It was a pretty big celebration as well due to the fact my fianc├ęs sister was the one getting hitched. 

We all have numerous items we could potentially pull out of the wardrobe to wear to such an occasions, many of us even dig through our clothing archives to find something but I'm a firm believer in having a backup.  The horrendous feeling when you slip on a dress that perhaps feels slightly more snug than it did last summer, when you showcased it at an old friends wedding in order to make old school friends jealous of your beautiful figure... Sounding familiar? We've all been there.  
For this particular wedding I didn't need to impress anyone I was confident my dress would fit (even though I didn't feel my best on the day) and was pretty much sorted... Apart from the fact so much had been going on in my life I hadn't even thought about what to wear with my gorgeous blue Chi Chi dress.  School girl error it seem

I spent the best part of the month running about hunting for items to go with this beautiful dress, so as a backup I went for nude items to match that tone hinted on the chest of the dress.  The great thing about investing in such colours is that they practically go with everything 
My famous Kurt Geiger platforms made an appearance and thankfully they didn't kill my feet - even after a few guzzles of bubbles and dancing about the place.

My hair was next on the agenda with my home hairdresser, Emma Claire working her magic.  Not in a million years could even come close to creating what she did.  I'd actually had a migraine for three days before the wedding and feeling fabulous was right at the bottom of my to do list, but feeling like my hair was at least sorted I could feel good... Does that sound odd?

There are a number of dresses for weddings that could be taken from Chi Chi clothing, including the beautiful dress I wore on my engagement night and this Chi Chi Madison Dress. They all tend to be a very flattering shape, good enough for eating more than you should and covering your cake bloat and for twirling about on the dance floor without flashing your underwear... Always handy
Just to flag up if anything is back to front (text wise) in this document I'm typing whilst in Egypt and everything on my screen is in Arabic... good times
What do you think of my wedding guest outfit

Friday, 5 September 2014

COMPETITION TIME! Win a years supply of Febreze Car #drivehappy

We love to take a road trip and as I've just been on one down to Cornwall, (Hi from my beach cottage!) I felt I'd share my experience.  I'm nearly 30 and have never been to Cornwall so as a family getaway we rented a cottage in Bude near Widemouth Bay.
We have been on a string of driving adventures (including a spontaneous drive to Paris for the Tour De France) and my Nick is the main driver with me the navigator and food provider. I lost y driving license I'm 2012 after being diagnosed with Epilepsy which as you can imagine was rather frustrating, but soon after Nick passed his test and the rest is just history.
We were actually heading straight from Cornwall to catch a flight abroad, so two holidays back to back... You should of seen the car it was rammed to the roof of stuff so leg room was limited to say the least.
One thing I can't stand about road trips (apart from limited leg room) is driving through a mass amount of smells... And not good ones.  I always find you will get tyre smells, cow presents and hot bodies after being in the car too long. Yuck.
For this journey my lovely friends at Febreze sent us a car air fresher to see if it made our trip better.  Now before I go any further I'd like to point out hat normally I can't stand car freshness as they always smell the equivalent of a bad perfume or aftershave, which both ultimately leave me feeling sick and with. Headache... Not ideal if travelling for hours in confined space.

The one Febreze sent us was called blossom & breeze. It's quite small in size and slides onto the chosen air vent of your choice. Very light smell that isn't over powering and certainly helps keep the car smelling fresh for a long journey.

  Preparing for a roadtrip
If you're driving somewhere for a vast amount of time chances are boredom is going to set in.  If it's only two of you then you can't nod off, (been told that's not fair) you have to keep the driver entertained and trucking on.  

Top tips for the passenger
Bottles of water
Percy pigs (other sweets are optional but you can't beat a Percy Pig) 
Cheesy driving tunes

Wear comfy joggers 
Lose tshirt
Big socks 
Iced coffee (you will often need a coffee stop along the way) 
A map just in case the SAT NAV dies or has a paddy
Phone charger as these tap dancing phones never seem to last
Some easy engaging driving gaps... eye spy 

As part of the Febreze #drivehappy campaign I'm doing a giveaway for you lucky readers... a whole year’s supply of Febreze CAR!
For a chance to win all you need to do is watch the youtube video below and answer the following question...

Where was the final stop on the Febreze Roadtrip?

Simply post your answer by posting a comment below along with you twitter handle after you follow @missanniebean.

CLOSING DATE 30th September 2014
Happy road tripping!


Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Bridesmaid Dress Personal Shopping at Debenhams

Can you believe I got engaged?! No me neither but it's flown by since my engagement in June and I'm now fully into wedding planning mode.
The lovely people at Debenhams invited me to try out a personal shopping experience for myself and one of my bridesmaids.  I'd already figured out my bridesmaids so me and Jodes went to see what they had.

I vaguely recall seeing a huge section of the oxford street Debenhams but had always had this preconception that off the high street was a no go.

Alas I decided to stop being such a snob and really start looking at my options, after a visit to the big Oxford Street Debenhams I was astounded by all I was seeing.  The more I looked, the more I found.

Jodes came in with me to look for bridesmaids dresses and of course one of my first stops was Coast.  I've always been a big fan of the brand since I was younger and bought my first prom dress from there, but the lively thing is we've all seen it evolve into a fashionable brand.
I didn't really and still don't for that matter, know exactly what colour scheme I want but I knew I don't like oranges or reds and a definitely didn't want maxi dresses.

We arrived  and were greeted by the wonderful personal shopping assistant Alan.  He gave us a quick chat (and supplied me with tea and biscuits) by introducing himself and what this whole experience is about. I was surprised that if you do book a personal shopping experience you aren't obligated or made to feel like you need to make a purchase - a big weight was lifted off my shoulders.  Whenever we think of personal shopping you can't help but feel you would feel somewhat forced to make a transaction, which would ultimately leaving you feeling very sour about the company.
We had a nice chat about what I was looking for, a bit about me and my person preferences and off Alan went to seek bridesmaids dresses for Jodes and... Wedding dresses for me!

It suddenly dawned on me that me... Annie was going to be getting married! I promise I'm not lying but I have never been one of these girls who knows what dress she wants, in all honesty I haven't even the slightest clue where I would even start.  This is good that I'm open minded but my decision making skills are diabolical and therefore could be a long process!
Alan came back with a selection of dresses for Jodes to try and one in particular caught my eye.  It was a maxi dress.  Could you believe it? I'd already gone back on my word.
Jodes tried the selection on and each I would of never of selected for myself but like I was told sometimes things look better off the hanger.  The rich blue dress Jodes had on was from Coast and my goodness I loved it.  
Bridesmaid Maxis

We did go on to look at wedding dresses but to be honest for the pure fact my other half reads my blog, (Hi Nick) I don't want to post any incase I go back and buy one! However let me just say this, that when you think of 'highstreet' wedding dresses you immediately associate them with being 'frumpy', well these were far from what you would imagine anything highstreet to be. 

The wedding dresses came in all kinds of shapes and sizes... after trying one in particular on I nearly bought it and it was only £295.00.  Bargain.  

I was honestly stunned at how cheap the dresses were and how much they cost.  I didn't buy anything but I would certainly be back, my Mum really needs to be with me to enjoy all this so it felt a bit wrong buying a dress without her.  I did buy my wedding shoes though!  I fell in love with a pair of Jenny Packham heels which did managed to worm their way home with me... when you know about shoes... you know! 

I will be testing out all things wedding related at Debenhams so make sure you pop back to take a peak! 


Monday, 1 September 2014

Brogues Brogues Brogues!

I can't quite get over how quick the summer is slipping through our fingers.  Only the other day I went hunting for a bikini for a late summer getaway and the shops are replacing all beachwear with ponchos, woollen jumpers and an army of clothing fit for AW14. It all looks wonderful with rich tones and fabrics but what am I to do in the meantime... it's official we've hit the in between season stage. 

The other day I ventured off to London for a Next blogging event where I was going to be running about London and of course catching up with my friends.  I had spotted some brogues in a gorgeous colour from Clarks and wondered if I could pull them off.

Brogues have been an item I've picked and put back down on numerous occasions, I sometimes feel they look a bit too masculine or that they will cut off my legs and make me look chunky.  However I decided I'd try to be daring and purchased these little stunners from Clarks.

The inbetweeners AW14

5. H&M Wool Black Hat - £12.99
8. Aldo Laraewen Bangles - £12.00

Like a glove.  They felt amazing on and I can happily say that I did do the silly thing of wearing new shoes whilst having a day walking about in London, but I can certainly say there was no pain at all and my feet were content all day.  I did used to have this preconception that Clarks shoes were quite 'frumpy' but I was quite surprised when I took a nosey the other day. 

Obviously there is old lady style footwear but there are a lot of shoes that you would think were from somewhere else and are super stylish.... especially all there ranges of womens brogues.  
Can you believe the ones I've put above are all from Clarks?!  I know!  I'm a huge fan of the side buckle flats and the patent tassel flats too, both ideal for work and with thick tights and a dress or jeans.  

Have you gone into Clarks recently?  Honestly (in danger of sounding old) I will be buying more shoes from there as I know I'm going to be able to walk in them without being in lots of pain and you're not damaging your feet! 



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