Hay fever hacks – part 2

A couple of years ago I wrote this post sharing my top hay fever hacks aside from medication that will help to ease and prevent symptoms, and over the last few weeks it seems to have been read rather a lot more than usual! Less traffic and pollution clearly allows those pesky pollens to get through to us better than ever before in the 21st century, so I thought I would add a few more tips and tricks I’ve learnt since the last post to hopefully offer a bit of extra relief to fellow sufferers. I’ve found that they work best alongside taking a standard antihistamine first thing in the morning*

  • Wipe, wipe, wipe it down

If you’ve watched a decent amount Tik Tok as I have, you’ll be singing that as you read…cleaning the house more regularly will help get rid of any pollen that you bring in from outside as quickly as possibly and keep your home a safe haven. Don’t forget to pay close attention to places like sofas and chairs where you may sit in your outdoor clothing, of you can make sure you take off your day clothes as soon as you get home.

  • Garlic – for more than warding off vampires

I was surprised but delighted to learn that my favourite seasoning also acts as a super charged natural antihistamine. Pass me the garlic bread ASAP.

  • Get your (water) vape on

When you have a cold, one way to ease symptoms is to inhale vaporised steam underneath a towel, and the same idea can also apply to hay fever. Instead of vapour rub, add in essential oils like eucalyptus or lavender which will help clear your airways and make you feel relaxed (increased levels of stress are also said to increase the severity of hay fever symptoms).

  • I C you baby

Start your day off with a healthy dose of vitamin C and you’re adding in yet another natural antihistamine to your immune system. Berries are perfect for this and are super easy to add into a breakfast or snack.

  • Shower and hair wash last thing before bed

You’re removing any final pollen from your body before you get in bed so that it doesn’t transfer to your bedding/sleep clothes and continue to affect you in the night (not getting a good night’s sleep is also supposed to help reduce hay fever symptoms).

Between the two posts I hopenyou have some decent ammunition to help make your symptoms more bearable so that you can enjoy the summer.

Thanks for reading,

J xx


LIFESTYLE/ 5 Things for 2018: the home stretch

The final quarter of the year is officially in session…well THAT came around fast!

I haven’t posted in what feels like forever (in reality I think it’s been about 3 or 4 weeks, but in blog years that kind of is forever), there’s kind of every reason and no reason why I haven’t, but I can say it’s made me more than a little sad to have left it such a long time. But I’m posting now, so yay me, and here’s a bit f an update on how I’m getting in with my 5 things for 2018

Find a new home ๐Ÿก

As I said in my last update back in July, this is most definitely a goal achieved for the year. I’m in a home I really lovely, with a boy I really love, in an area I’m growing to love more all the time. Even though we’ve been in since May we’re only just getting around to starting on the decorating side of things – partly because because I was out of work for a little bit (more on that later), partly because a lot of the rooms are decorated to a very liveable standard, and partly because we’ve been a bit too lazy! I’ve made a start on a couple of the easier areas for now (like the hallway) but my first major project is going to be our bedroom, which I’m hoping to have done before Christmas.

Smash my new job ๐Ÿ’ป

I also shared in my last update that I’d left my job at end of June, however I’m really pleased to share that I’m now back in employment within a role that suits me far better. I’m getting to do more of the good stuff and less of the not so good stuff, I can’t really ask for any more than that. I’m looking forward to where this adventure may lead.

Get back to my happy weight โš–๏ธ

Definitely can’t tick this one off my list, definitely won’t be ticking it off before the end of year. I still feel like absolute s**t over how I look at the moment, but I’m learning to feel better about stuff and trying my hardest to concentrate on being in the moment and enjoying myself as much as possible. After a hectic few weeks I’m getting back into regular activity again and eating a lot better about 80% of the time, which is having the right results (albeit slowly) so I know I’ll end up somewhere I’m HAPPIER with even if it’s not the complete end goal.

Have eyebrows on fleek ๐Ÿ’‰

This summer I finished my final course of microblading treatment (which you can read about here) which has left me feeling much better about my brows, mainly the thickness and their overall shape. Since then, the ‘bulb’ areas have faded which is really annoying. I’m not sure if it’s the sun or just the fact that my skin didn’t seem to like the pigment too much, but it’s making me want to get a refresher treatment a lot sooner than before the recommended 12 months which isn’t ideal when you’ve spent the best part of ยฃ400. I’ll hold off until the new year before I start looking into this as it looks ok for now.

See more of the UK ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง

Does traveling around the country for work count? If so then I’ve so nailed this one! I’ve done a LOT of driving this year and have seen sights from the stunning North York Moors to the glamour of Farnborough and the M1! Now that I’ve used up all of my annual leave I’m unlikely to be heading anywhere too far away, but I’ll definitely be seeing where I can manage to get away to for a weekend break.

What else has been happening?

I went to Santorini ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ท

If you follow me on Instagram then you can’t fail to have missed that fact that I spent a week on this stunning Greek island this summer! I did a few posts on this of you fancy going back for a read – a guide to the island, a few things you should definitely do, what I wore and a guide to Greek food.

I helped to launch HEY Bloggers ๐Ÿ

This is one of the biggest and most exciting things I’ve done this year, and the response it has gotten so far has been amazing. Between myself and five other fabulous babes, we have launched a community that aims to unite bloggers and creatives in the Hull and East Yorkshire. We held a launch event at Hull Monster which went really well and are currently planning a great Christmas party, so make sure you head to the HEY Bloggers social media pages to find out more about this and everything else we’re doing.

I went to London ๐Ÿน

I didn’t include this in the ‘see more of the UK’ section because that’s for places I haven’t visited much or at all around the country, and I’ve been to London dozens of times. However, I have written a blog post on this particular visit, which I’ll be sharing soon.

I saw Joe Lycett live ๐Ÿ˜‚

One of my current fave comedians came to Hull as part of his ‘I’m about to lose control and I think Joe Lycett’ tour (he has great names for his live sets – the last was ‘That’s the way a-ha a-ha, Joe Lycett’). I really wanted to to write a review post on it, but I left it far too long and was worried I wouldn’t remember it well so it would be a bit boring. I promise you it was absolutely hilarious though, and you should definitely pop along and see him if he’s somewhere local you you.

So that’s what I’ve been up to since we last spoke, pretty quiet eh! Hehe. I’m hoping to get some more lifestyle, travel and fashion posts in over the emit couple of months before I try my hand at #blogmas 2018, which I’ve already started planning.

Also – I’m currently taking part in the Positive Insta Challenge throughout October (as are HEY Bloggers) so head over to my Instagram to check that out.

Thanks for reading,

J xx


LIFESTYLE/ I tried Boom Bod, and this is what happened…

My name is Jenny Chat and I’ll buy things I see online with very little thought other than “ooh wow, yes please!”

My latest impulse purchase came in the form of the latest ‘weight loss aid’ Boom Bod, promoted by reality stars and US Instagram stars. For 7 days you take a small ‘shot’ (blackcurrant flavoured powder mixed with water) 30 minutes before each main meal, this is suppose to help you both beat the bloat and feel fuller so you don’t want to snack or overeat, and therefore lose weight.

As someone who has packed on the lbs over the last 18mths and has a larger than normal appetite, I thought this may be worth a punt. Having tried things like Boo Tea before I was skeptical; they make me feel better inside, but lose weight? Hmm..

The 7 day plan was on a BOGOF, so I got 2 in case the Mr wanted to join me (spoiler: he didn’t) or I wanted to do a second round of the plan later on.

Day 1 (Wednesday)

I had to take the powder shot about an hour before food as I had to get it on the way to work. It tastes gross, a bit like medicine, and even after a decent sized brekkie I’m still starving. Have a jacket potato for lunch and use all my willpower not to grab a sweet treat for afters…proud of myself but still hungry. Finish with a huge plate of pasta and meatballs for dinner which I ate slowly to try and let the fullness kick in. Guess what? STILL FRICKIN HUNGRY. Is there something wrong with me?

Day 2 (Thursday)

The shot still tastes gross, but I’ve reasoned that a lot of shots do and this one may have a better result. I did take it half and an hour before food and had toast with honey with green tea (staving off the Hayfever symptoms) and am still hungry when I get to work over an hour later. Feeling hormonal, I treat myself to a jacket potato with cheese and coleslaw for lunch. I managed to last until just after 7pm for dinner without being ravenous, which is rare for me, and only ate half because I didn’t really like it and felt full enough to leave and not get something else. Maybe this thing is working?

Day 3 (Friday)

No brekkie again at home so I take the shot (still gross) about an hour before food, and make sure I eat it slowly. I managed to stay full without any hungry feelings until about midday and then had a healthy chicken salad sarnie.

Dinner was a bit more of a home cooked stodgy affair (pie, mash and veg, probably not ideal for a weight loss crusade but the in-laws were round for food and that’s what they like) I had my shot and seemed to be decently full after eating.

Day 4 (Saturday)

This morning I noticed my jeans seemed a little big – is this the Boom Bod effect, or the fact I’ve been making lifestyle changes anyway, or both?

I had my shot before having breakfast at the gym (I trick myself into believing it’s fasted cardio if I can’t be bothered to eat before I go) before tucking into an epic avo toast and eggs dish. I felt pretty full afterwards and stayed that way until lunch. Maybe this thing is kicking in?

Lunch

Dinner is a pared down treat meal of veggie burgers and chips (rosemary and sea salt seasoning – if you’ve never tried I’d thoroughly recommend). Chased with a chocolate cookie to satisfy a hormonal craving, but didn’t have hunger pangs for anything else.

Day 5 (Sunday)

I decided to do another little jeans test today – I put on the same jeans style in the same size but a different colour to see if they felt as big on me. They don’t. I’m not sure what that means exactly!

Completely missed my lunchtime shot as I was running around doing jobs and forgot – not sure if that has a knock on effect for the whole plan or just that day, should I forget about it move on or take it another time? I decided to keep and double up tomorrow.

Dinner was a yummy bit bit of pasta, one of my faves. Had my usual, slightly larger than you’re supposed to have portion, and felt satisfied afterwards.

Day 6 (Monday)

Had my shot and chased it with some green tea, melon and yoghurt. Usually I would be ravenous again by about 9.30, but I managed to last until about 1145 which I thought was decent for me. I had a double shot before lunch – yesterday and today’s – an enjoyed a yummy chicken salad sarnie (not being sarcastic, it was genuinely very nice) I realised during a mid afternoon meeting that I still felt particularly full, which never happens.

Get home at 6pm, usually desperate for food but feeling not too bad. Took my shot but didn’t get around to deciding what to eat or cooking for about an hour afterwards, when I was only just starting to feel hungry.

Day 7 (Tuesday)

Last day of the plan, and I still detest the taste of it! Same brekkie and lunch as yesterday, hunger kicked in around the same time. Got home around 5.30pm and ate dinner around 6. Felt decently full until about 8pm, but after a cup of green tea I staved off the urge to eat more.

Verdict

I don’t think this is really for me. It didn’t seem to work that well for me in any way – I didn’t really feel any fuller most of the time, I still had cravings and I didn’t notice any weight loss. For the fact I found the product icky tasting, I’m kind of disappointed, but I can’t help but wonder if I did something wrong…I know I took a couple of the shots not at the exact times, but that’s life right?

As I have a second box that came free I think I’ll probably try it again but perhaps seek advice on what other people have done to make this work so much better for them that perhaps I haven’t done. If this is something you’ve tried, or have seen others try, leave any tips you have in the comments for me. I’ll be sure to do a follow up post with any changes to the results from this time.

Thanks for reading,

J xx


FESTIVE/ Alternative sweet treats for Easter

I like chocolate. A LOT. Sadly for me, if I eat too much it affects my skin and waistline which makes me unhappy. So for those like me who are looking for #easter themed goodies this year away from the traditional egg, I have a couple of suggestions for you. Read on…

Bluebird Tea co Easter themed teas

This year I’m doin Tea-ster! 

Don’t want to eat Easter treats? Drinking them could be the next best alternative. I was introduced to Bluebird last year and enjoyed trying some of their festive products, so have been egg-cited (sorry!) to try these. 

They smell uh-may-zing! Uber chocolatey and wonderful warming spices just make you feel sooooo good. It’s also nice to have a flavoured tea that can be enjoyed with or without milk, like your regular brew with a difference.

I got the regular packaging, but if you’re really committing there’s some fab themed gifts to pick up – think tea wrapped in carrots and Easter eggs (a bit like Lush, they really commit to the season with the packaging). 

Palmolive Gourmet chocolate shower cream

I’ve been using this for a few months, and it’s rich scent reminds me of a really chocolate-y milkshake. You’d think that may make you feel hungry or crave chocolate, but for me I find it kinda soothing. 

In the same range you can also pick up strawberry, vanilla or mint too. Not egg-actly (again, sorry!) Easter themed but they will be amazing to smell during the summer.

I hope these suggestions help some of you out in seeking some #april treats! If you try any of these or have any other suggestions for me I’d really like to hear them.

Thanks for reading, Stay stylish (and craving choccy a bit less)

J ๐Ÿ˜˜xx


2017 Week 3- The tomato red, sweaty face of determinationย 

This post was named based on how I looked when I caught sight of myself in the mirror in the middle of an exercise class – wobbling away, trying to get the moves right, trying not to pass out from exhaustion. My face was so red that I couldn’t understand how I hadn’t passed out, or why I wasn’t getting funny looks from anyone in the room, it was a truly unnatural colour for a human to be!

The reason I was putting myself through my colour changing paces? See below…

Trying new forms of exercise 

The next step in feeling good for 2017 was to try out some different forms of exercise (hence my less than graceful appearance at dancercise). I’ve previously gone for regular, gentle cardio, but since being in an office job that’s become impossible for me to maintain so I’ve had to consider other options.

I joined a gym back in October and have floated around doing a bit of swimming, a bit of treadmill, maybe some time on the bike, meaning to try out some classes but not quite making it happen. Cue the cliche of mass booking everything in January!

I got some really cool Ivy Park workout clothes for Christmas and in the sales (including the black tank above) their new season stuff is absolutely killing it too so if you’re looking from some sassy #ootd gym gear then it’s definitely worth checking out.

Back to meal planning I was great at meal planning before, but I’m also great at being lazy so that also fell by the wayside last year when some weird working patterns and regular office buffets started to become all too familiar. No more!

I’m still not nailing it every day; there have been a few times that I’ve forgotten to bring my lunch from home and had to make do in the canteen, or throw together a last minute brekkie because I forgot to prep the night before, but eating healthier food that’s yummy reminds me of why I want to get back in to it. Lookimg in the mirror, however, reminds me of why I NEED to!

I’ll keep you posted on my progress, in the meantime if you have any motivational tips or meal prep ideas feel free to shout ’em out.

Stay Stylish,

J ๐Ÿ˜˜xx


FOOD/ A Taste of the Mountains by Ski Total

It’s New Year, so why not add some new recipes to the repertoire! 

I was challenged by Ski Total to try out one of these breakfast recipes from a ski destination in a lil’ blogger competition face off…bring it! Honestly, they all sound delicious don’t they? But the lazy gal in me won out so I picked the one that took the least time to cook…not the only reason! I thought I could tweak things slightly to make the dish even healthier for January.  This is is recipe below – I swapped the oil for sunflower Fry Light, and I tried to choose the leanest bacon I could find (though you’ll notice there’s still some fat on this) To get the potatoes nice and crispy in the outside, I left the skins on and oven cooked them for 25mins   

The end result…..  

 I think it looks pretty good! You’ll also notice that I’ve swapped the fried egg for poached… 

 But VERY delicious all the same, I’ll definitely be making this again! 

Let me know if you decide to try this (and you should)

Stay Stylish (but not hungry)

J ๐Ÿ˜˜xx


MONDAY LIFESTYLE/ Boo (ya) Teaย 

 Like my #MeanGirls reference? Kind of feel like I’m cheering on Clueless with it though! 

As I’ve mentioned previously I’ve been feeling a bit bloated and generally not my best lately, so a work colleague recommended this as a good way to ‘flush it all out and start again’. Just what I need!

I went for the 14 as if heard a couple of horror stories about toilet issues, shall we say, but I didn’t get any of that at all. It’s a very easy detox tea that slotted right into my normal routine andhelped me to gel less bloated and generally more ‘well’. 

I ate reasonably healthily alongside the teatox but I didn’t take any measurements to know if I’d lost anything, but my clothes felt like they fitted better which is always a good sign! I’d definitely do it again to help feel better about myself. 

I purchased my Boo Tea from Holland & Barrett and my cute initial mug is by The Hull Shop at Eden.

Thanks for reading

Stay Stylish (and healthy!)

J ๐Ÿ˜˜xx


FOOD & LIFESTYLE/ Say Whaaat…?? B fresh, b healthy

There’s a saying that I heard a few years ago that I often live by now “when a person receives good service, they tell someone about it, however if they receive bad service, they’ll tell EVERYONE they know” Which social media makes super easy to achieve. So for once, I thought I’d flip that on its head a bit…

Last week the lovely people at B fresh sent me a box of their juices to celebrate the company’s first birthday. I was particularly pleased by this because they didn’t send it to me because I’m a blogger- they sent it because they had seen that I’m one of their customers and wanted to thank me (and a few of their other customers too, if you check out their Twitter feed) for my support. 

I’m a massive believer in excellent customer service and rewarding brand loyalty (even though it’s nice to try new things as well) so I wanted to write a post to highlight how a fairly small gesture can really make a customer feel valued. THIS is how clever marketing is done!  

I’m a longtime fan of juices and have spent the last few years trying different types – what I’ve learnt is that I want something that ‘feels’ as healthy to consume as it looks; not loads of hidden extra fruit to bulk it out. B fresh is literally like drinking your salad (unlike other juices it’s usually sold next to the salad in the supermarket) which doesn’t leave that immediate bloated feeling that smoothies can sometimes leave. It’s an ideal compliment to a meal or on the go in between, which is particularly helpful since I’ve been trying to get my groove back with healthy eating and generally wellbeing (you may have seen this engined in previous posts)

Thanks B fresh for the kind gesture!

Stay Stylish (healthy and fresh)

J ๐Ÿ˜˜xx