May Favourites!

blog 3

I can’t believe it’s June already! Where’s this year going? Anyway, June means summer which I’m literally itching for (I always forget insects exist until the sun comes out) so I have a sort of summer-themed favourites post for you today. I’m no expert, but I just wanted to share a few things that have impressed me this month.

Yves Rocher Coconut Lip Balm and Anti-wrinkle Protection FPS 30

blog 2
The sun is out which means I was in desperate need of some suncream, especially facial suncream. Last summer was quite intense for my grey, British skin with an average 35°+ everyday so this year I vowed to start wearing suncream everyday.

I’ve only just got round to getting one, however, and have to say I’m impressed. Tbilisi isn’t adorned with many shops where one can buy good cosmetic or skincare stuff but Yves Rocher is thankfully one of them.

This suncream is quite heavy so feels really hydrating, but doesn’t make me greasy when worn under makeup. I give it about 10 minutes to settle in before I apply my makeup (I go very minimal in the summer so barely concealer or foundation or anything) and it lasts for a good few hours. It’s recommended to reapply several times throughout the day since you’ll sweat most of it off, but I like that you can still feel it there throughout the day.

I’m skeptical about anti-wrinkle creams, if you don’t want to get wrinkly don’t show emotion and stay out of the sun, but I have to admit that as soon as I applied this, my skin felt taut and firm. I haven’t applied it today, for the first time in a week or so, and my skin does feel significantly plumper, but that might just be thanks to all the fruit I’ve been eating. Anyway, highly recommended and you definitely need to grab yourself some sunscreen, even if it’s rainy!

The other Yves Rocher thing was the coconut lipbalm, which I just had to include because it smells incredible. I can pretend I’m on a Caribbean island. No, but really, my lips are much more hydrated than they are when I just use some Aloe Vera Vaseline, and I find it’s not as addictive because you still feel it on there several hours later. It doesn’t rub off so easily as Vaseline and feels quite moist still, without being sticky – perfect!

The third thing I have to mention is my strawberries – look how well they’re growing! They’re even starting to go red, I’m so excited. I can’t wait for all the berries, watermelon and kiwi that Georgia has to offer now, thanks to sub-tropical climates!

Denim Espadrilles, Zara

blog 1

Okay, so I know they’re not the prettiest shoes out there, but they’re by far the comfiest. I’ve been after some espadrilles for a while now because they seem so perfect and lightweight for summer, and I wasn’t wrong. These ones from Zara are great, because they have a subtle wedge heel too, which I find makes me stand straighter than I do with flats and also means I don’t put so much pressure onto my arch.

The denim material is a bit limited with what it can be worn with, since it’s quite casual to be worn with certain skirts and the colour is a little tricky too, but it’s an inconspicuous-enough colour and design that they’re not so eye-catching anyway. I love how thin the denim is, and was surprised at home comfortable the rope soles are too.

I’ve basically been living in them, and I’d recommend wearing pop socks or something with them since a lot of people say they get smelly easily with bare feet. So far mine are fine with pop socks, and if not they’re easy to throw into the washing machine too! Style goes out the window for me after 25°.

blog 4
I wanted to show you the skirt as well, despite being in my April Favourites too. The length is perfect, the material is practical (for a messy eater like me) and the colour is beautiful. Bear in mind that I’m 5’11” so it might be slightly long for others, but I’m sure that would look gorgeous too.

I can’t find the exact same top online, but it was also from Zara and I just love the cut. You can’t see it so well here but this one is a similar, loose style.

Finally, I wanted to mention a yoga mat I picked up recently, from a shop which I’m sure isn’t anywhere else except Tbilisi. Here’s a link to one that’s pretty similar, and the same pretty colour too. Said yoga mat is featured in my new vlog which you can see here:

That’s it for now, I have work to do and by work I mean swooning over the little chicks and goslings outside my window… What have been your favourite things this month? Can you recommend any body sunscreen for me? Have a beautiful day!

Hello Spring!

11014729_10204870551337631_792570738_n

Smoothies

I finally have a blender! I’ve wanted one for about 2 years now. This first smoothie is a combination of apple, pear, avocado, pumpkin seeds, honey and tropical juice.

10258139_10204730190428696_3804766379783466080_n

Shota and I in Gudauri a few weeks ago. This fluffy hat from Accessorize served me well!

Spring is my favourite time of year. Everything is fresh, positive and smells amazing. Winter here hasn’t been as harsh as I anticipated. It got very cold but none of that post-apocalyptic, ‘when will this end?’ feeling. In the U.K. winter feels very long and draining. Day after day of grey skies and windy weather are the worst. I was preparing myself for a stereotypical Moscow-esque winter where it’s so cold and snowy everything looks black and white. Instead I was presented with generally dry, sunny weather but that doesn’t mean I missed out on a fluffy hat. It’s faux fur, although real fur is easier to find here, it’s awful. Actually we visited a shop the other day and I noticed a bolero jacket that looked so elegant, only to be told that it was real fur. The girl in the shop looked so offended when I recoiled in horror and said in Georgian how it was terrible. Ugh.

Anyway, after recently receiving my residency permit (a post will follow about that ordeal) I can finally get on with my plans here without fear of deportation. Alongside work and planning, I’ve decided from today that I’ll start a new healthy eating regime and a workout plan to build strength and tone up a bit. I don’t want to lose weight, I’m happy with my body and since I’m tall, losing weight looks quite dramatic on me and I don’t want to look ill. I was fortunate enough to have good genetics and inherit an hourglass figure (I’m 37 – 26 – 39) which I’d like to maintain although that means that weight around my bum and legs is hard to shift. Therefore I focus my workouts on lower-body toning generally. I started this HIIT training recently which was really effective and it’s great for those of us who get bored quickly since it gives you new moves every day.

I first heard of HIIT on Deliciously Ella‘s blog where her instructor explains HIIT in a simple way: HIIT is the process of bringing the heart rate up to a high % of your maximum, for a very short period e.g. 30 seconds, and then allowing it to drop by resting it for a similar amount of time. This strengthens the heart as a muscle. The stronger the heart the less times it has to beat to send the same amount of blood around your body. A heart that is strong, like most muscles, will be less likely to injure. HIIT also helps to reduce body fat levels, relieving vital organs of a huge burden. The great thing about HIIT is that it can be tailored to any fitness level. It’s about doing anything that gets your heart pumping! For some that may be speed walking, others sprinting. You adjust it to your fitness level. Heart Rate monitors can be a great way to check you’re pushing yourself hard enough.”

From today, I want to start this Ballet Beautiful workout twice a week because if I can exercise whilst laying down, I will. I’ve read some reviews and apparently it’s much more difficult than she makes it look, but it seems more relaxing for those days when I don’t want to jump around too much (it also means I don’t have to struggle with my sports bra!). Then around that I intend to do continue some HIIT since it’s so quick, and hopefully some jogging now the weather is improving.

As for a diet, I don’t diet. I love food and eat quite well anyway. It’s even easier to eat well here since fresh fruit and veg at the bazaars are so cheap and seasonal produce forces me to experiment with new ingredients too. I don’t eat much meat, if any at all. I’ve never particularly liked it but I am in a relationship with a bear, so he needs it occasionally. Also, when invited to friends’ houses for dinner/a supra meat is usually the focus, and veg is more to make the table look pretty. I like to try new foods but there’s only so much khinkali a girl can eat without exploding. I generally eat well when it comes to my meals but snacking is my issue. I have a major sweet tooth and can’t resist a Bounty here and there whilst wandering around. I don’t always want khachapuri and it’s hard to find something lighter (Itsu I miss you!). So because of this lack of willpower I have when it comes to eating an entire packet of biscuits or a whole tray of brownies, I’ve started using My Fitness Pal to visualise what I’m eating. I’ve been against calorie counting for as long as I can remember but this one is tailored to what is healthy for you and doesn’t let you log if you’re starving yourself. It also reminds you to drink water more which is always useful! I’ve set mine to not lose any weight so it still recommends me the amount of calories I’ll need to maintain my weight, just with an exercise log on top.

So wish me luck! I’ll be starting soon, straight after making these amazing brownies.