31 October 2014
From tomorrow I'm going to hopefully be posting every other day for the whole of November! I've got a couple of posts ready to go so fingers crossed you should be seeing a lot more content for this next coming month.
As well as posting more during November, I'm currently planning a little series for December which I'm excited about happening, so keep your eyes peeled for updates about what that could be!
30 October 2014
My film camera has been on the side of the my desk waiting to be used again. After I developed my first roll of film (some of the photos from that you can see here and here) I put a black and white roll of film in. It hasn't been touched since then. I haven't taken my film camera out with me anywhere, preferring my DSLR instead. But with a whole roll just sitting, waiting to be used, it's time to take it out and give film photography another go.
One thing that's both great and not so great about taking photographs on film in you're limited to shots. There is no delete button. You have 36 frames to take your photographs and once that's finished up with, it's done. You have to take the time to think about the shots, compose them, and work out if you actually want to take that shot. It's not just composing the shot but also setting up the camera. No auto mode here, you control your aperture and shutter speed. You have to think about it and that makes the process much more fun.
If you've thought about getting one, I'd really recommend starting out by seeing if anyone in your family has one lying around. I brought mine off eBay, there are lots available online, but the prices can be high. Also, check out charity shops or a camera shops if you have one near you. In terms of film there is a lot of different options out there. The colour film I used was a roll of Fujifilm that I got off eBay in a pack of 3 for around £10. My current roll is from Ilford which is slightly higher in price. There are a lot of different options to suit anyone's budget.
Have you shot using film before? If you have, I'd love to know what film & you use camera you use. And if you haven't , let me know if you plan to in the future or tweet me @afloralcrown.
28 October 2014
23 October 2014
When you follow a bunch of people on Twitter who are into their fitness and have amazing blogs (I'm looking at you Charlie, Sophie & Leah - to name just a teeny handful!), you soon start to build a list of events that you REALLY REALLY want to participate in. This is where I've found myself at the moment. With more than I have fingers (and nearly toes) of events that I want to give a go in 2015- here is just a few that are top of my list.
In terms of half marathons (a distance I seem to have fallen in love with after only completing two so far) I'm looking at both Plymouth and the Eden Project again. They're both ones I raced this year and two I thoroughly enjoyed, so hopefully I'm definitely looking at entering both of those.
For shorter distances the first race I'm looking at falls the day before my 21st birthday. You know you love running when you are actually disappointed you can't celebrate your 21st doing a race as it falls on a Monday! So Sunday 1st February sees the first Cancer Research Winter 10k race in London being held. Now, I love London. I love running. And 10k is a lovely distance. Plus, it's the day before my birthday and I know quite a few people doing it. This race is top of my bookmarks at the moment and I'm edging ever closer to booking that place to run!
For another 10k event I am seriously hoping that ELLE & Nike run We Own The Night again in 2015. I LOVED this race (you can check my recap here). It was a great experience and an event I want to do again next year!
I'm also looking at a duathlon, the Adidas Thunder Run (a24 hour race), Tough Mudder, Reebok Spartan Race, Men's Health assualt course and the London Rat Race!
If you have any suggestions of events or races that I NEED to have on my list and enter then please do let me know or tweet me @afloralcrown.
21 October 2014
On Sunday 19th October I ran my second half marathon. It was at the Eden Project in Cornwall and I really really enjoyed it. I had signed up with three weeks until race day, as a spur of the moment decision as I was craving running another half marathon. After looking at the hill profile I headed into the race with an aim of matching my first half marathon time. I knew the hills would be tough so I wasn't particularly expect a fast course. I was incredibly happy indeed when I noticed my pace throughout would mean I would actually achieve a PB!
I would highly recommend this course. Although the hills were tough (I actually ended up walking part of most of them) I very much fell in love with it. The scenery was lovely and I loved the trail aspect to it, running through the woods and past rivers. The weather definitely helped, it was beautifully sunny with no wind. These sorts of conditions would have meant a challenging hot race in the summer, but due to the cooler Autumn months it meant it was pretty much idea weather. Racing the last mile, pretty much all downhill, into the Eden Project itself was pretty spectacular. It was a fantastic setting for a finishing line and who doesn't love a downward hill to the finish?!
Signing up with three weeks to go until race day meant I was feeling fairly under prepared, with the furthest distance that I ran in "training" being 7.5 miles (just over half of the distance I would need to run on the day). Because of this and challenging looking course I was slightly worried about what my time would be. I wanted to beat my Plymouth time but knew that it realistically might not be possible.
Rather than going into the race worrying about the time, I decided to change my outlook on the it. Although I wanted to aim for a good time my main thought was that I wanted to enjoy it. If I beat my time, I beat it. If not then, I've still just ran a half marathon and had fun doing it. This attitude definitely helped. Sometimes forgetting about beating a time (though this definitely was still in my mind) and simply taking the time to enjoy the run can mean so much more. I don't know whether it was because I'm fitter now than I was in April or if it was the positive attitude I had (it was probably a mixture of both) but I came away with a personal best and a new time to beat.
Running for the fun of it and experiencing a new course, scenery and a new challenge is one of the best things, and something I love, about running. It also means when you do surprise yourself and achieve a great new result, that feeling is something completely amazing! I ran this race with such a high and it was a great feeling seeing my time progress so much since my first half marathon. I completed this half marathon in 2:09:35 a whole 17 minutes than my first attempt at this distance in April! My aim now is to hopefully match, if not potentially beat, this time when I race the Plymouth Half Marathon next year in April. If I do, I do and if I don't? I keep entering ones and improving my training, technique and speed until I do, and enjoy every minute of doing so.
I have definitely fallen in love with those 13.1 miles of running and can't wait for my next one.
15 October 2014
Holiday blues are never fun. Boarding the plane and leaving a suspended reality where you have really no responsibilities, no job to worry about and just enjoying the experience of the "now". When you arrive back home that holiday feeling quickly vanishes as you return back to reality and the memories created fade soon start to fade. Holiday blues are something that I experienced a great deal when I returned from a holiday I had in December 2012.
From the moment I landed at JFK, albeit extremely tired & ready for sleep, never has there been a moment in my life when I have had such a humongous grin on my face. The months & weeks of waiting in anticipation had ended. I had boarded a plane, flown across the Atlantic and landed in a city I had wished to visit for so many years. I was in New York City and I couldn't have been more excited. The days quickly whizzed past though and before I knew it I had landed back in London. It feels like only yesterday I was strolling through Central Park, heading up to the top of the Empire State Building on Christmas Day and experiencing the magic of snow whilst walking through Times Square. It was truly amazing place and I couldn't recommend it enough.
I was lucky enough to have spent a number of days in New York over the Christmas period of 2012 and since then, pretty much everyday without fail, I've wanted to go back. I saw SO MUCH whilst I was there but there is still a whole lot more I want to see. Fingers crossed that next year in 2015 I can get the chance to head back to the city I fell in love with. In terms of places I want to visit if/when I head back there it includes; the High-Line, the Rockefeller Center and exploring many many more areas of Central Park.
What place has left you with that feeling that you know you HAVE to go back there one day or is there a place you've had on your bucket list for an age? Let me know or tweet me @afloralcrown!
13 October 2014
Top row: Chocolate Cookies 'n' Cream Protein Bars, Superfood Chocolate Brownies, Strawberry Protein Cheesecake (similar recipe here)
Bottom row: Fast, easy pumpkin & lentil curry, Chocolate Mocha Protein Cheesecake, Pea Broccoli & Cashew PestoMeet Samantha Hadadi; a freelance journalist, nutritionist, co-creator of The Saintly Kitchen & the blog I Am Into This, as well as a master protein baker! I've followed Sam on Twitter for a while now and she by far someone I could talk hours on end about nutrition and fitness.
What first caught my eye were here AMAZING creations on both her Instagram and Twitter. Never have I wanted so many things to eat. The best bit about her recipes? They offer healthier alternatives and recipe ideas to traditional foods. Avocado fries? Yes please. Chocolate cake made from natural ingredients that looks delightful? Heck yeh!
It's not just protein she works wonder with though, her savory food is just as delicious looking and eye catching as the sweet stuff. Her pea, broccoli and cashew pesto is at the top of my list of things I want to try at the moment. It doesn't stop at her Instagram and Twitter though. The blog she runs with Teresa is FILLED with incredible recipes, so if you're looking for some meal inspiration I am sure there will be something there to try out. Have a piece of paper handy though as you will pick up plenty of ideas!
If you're craving something sweet, but still trying to make healthier decisions, then I couldn't recommend checking out Sam enough! Not only is she a whizz in the kitchen but she is a delight to talk to on a daily basis!
Make sure to check out: The Saintly Kitchen (which she runs with Teresa Barnes) as well as her Instagram and Twitter!
10 October 2014
Need a new website to spend many an hour on exploring great articles, finding new recipe ideas and lusting over some amazingly fashionable fitness clothing? Then say hello to Fashercise, the brain child of Camille Roegiers and Alex Vanthournout.
Your new one stop shop for healthy eating, beauty, well being, fitness and of course fashion. With articles ranging from "10 ways to eat quinoa for breakfast" to the latest in tech; you need to check this site out. The shop sections sports high end independent brands such as Lexie Sport and Monreal London. It's the perfect place to discover new fashionable clothing that will definitely raise your fashion stakes whilst providing super comfortable work out gear.
Whilst I could go on and on about why this site is brilliant, check it out for yourself and see what you think!
The other links - Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.