Isolation Fitness Tips from Vicki Anstey

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Hey everyone – how ya’ll doing out there?! I really hope you’re finding ways to stay sane and healthy during this time of social isolation and ‘lockdown’ – not something I ever thought I’d be writing about on this blog. Personally I am at home full-time currently, which is not ideal seeing as I was meant to be starting a new retail management job in March. That obviously had to be put on hold hence me being at home just now, but I realise that it could be a lot worse so I’m trying to make the most of my down time and enjoy it where I can. Like many people, I’ve been trying to fill some of my time with home workouts and getting fit and healthy as much as possible, so I am BEYOND excited to be able to bring you this post.

I have been sent some tips and tricks to share with you on fitness during these crazy times, and these tips come directly from the SAS Who Dares Wins and Barreworks bad ass Vicki Anstey. Vicki is the founder of the UK’s first barre workout studio Barreworks who offer the ballet style workouts from their studio in Richmond (usually, obvs not at the moment) and also offer online access to classes and videos via their website. I have done Barre workouts before and they are SO good for toning and building muscle, I’d highly recommend checking the Barreworks website out – I’ll link everything at the end of the post along with Instagram handles etc for you. You may also recognise Vicki Anstey from 2019’s series of Channel 4’s ‘SAS Who Dares Wins’, where she proved to viewers that women could be just as strong as men and made it all the way to the finals of the gruelling show. Businesswoman, fitness leader and Ted-talker? Yeah, I’m gonna listen to her advice, and here it is…

How to motivate yourself to workout at home
Set an alarm. Every two hours, get up and move around.Set yourself a 20 minute movement session 3 times a day, this will help break the day up and make limited resources (equipment) go further! Go up and down the stairs, use a box or ledge to perform step ups.

What types of workouts
HIIT, barre, pilates, yoga, animal flow, or if you have more budget, Peloton or The Mirror offer in-home high-tech fitness solutions. Or download a Tabata app or Sweat Deck to guide you and time your sequences.


What equipment
Sliders. A box for step ups, resistance bands, hand weights. You can even hire bigger pieces of equipment such as rowing machines or watt bikes. If you have a garden, try to get fresh air whilst your exercise. Knee ups, lateral bounds and jump lunges don’t require much space but will really get your heart-rate up.


Can you stay fit
Absolutely! Interval training can be a great way to maintain fitness – and you don’t need much space. Hill sprints, jump squats, burpees, skipping or fast push ups will have you sweating in no time.


Reducing anxiety over loss of fitness
It takes about seven to 14 days for your aerobic fitness to start declining. And what you lose initially is mostly the gains that you’ve made in the last several months of training. If you’ve been a life-long runner (for example) you will retain much of your aerobic fitness for several months. And there is plenty you can do to maintain strength with bodyweight exercises or using small equipment as outlined above.


How to move when you’re not doing steps
Necessity is the mother of invention, so they say, And if you are an avid outdoor fitness enthusiast or a gym addict who lives for their next 1 rep max, you are going to find this a testing time. But get creative, find inventive ways to get your heart rate up – work on smaller muscles groups if you cant get to the heavy weights. Change the stimulus – you can do A LOT with a resistance band, your own body weight or a skipping rope. Learn some new skills like double unders, handstands or see how long you can hold a wall sit. Work on your flexibility! Getting away from your usual environment and removing access to the gyms and equipment you may take for granted could open up a whole new world of potential!

 

Check Vicki and Barreworks out at…

 
 
I’d love to hear what you’re doing to keep fit at home, or if you aren’t doing anything and are using the time to chill I’d love to hear what you’re up to instead! We’re all doing what we can to get through this time and whatever that looks like for you, lots of love ❤
 

Just Hollie xox

 

Vive Wellness – Vitamins Delivered to Your Door

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When family-run vitamin company Vive Wellness reached out to me to ask if I’d like to try a month’s worth of personally selected supplements delivered to my door, it was a no brainer. I love to try a new health product and I always take vitamins and supplements of some sort, so I was keen to see how this company was different. It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with Vive, so I thought you’d like to hear about them too as I think a lot of you reading this will really love the product. Also I must add, has there ever been a better time to get vitamins delivered to your very doorstep? I think not (stay indoors please people!).

The Vive Wellness journey starts with a quiz, answering lots of questions about your current lifestyle and diet, and also questions about areas you’d like to see change. The quiz was a good length and I really felt they asked a lot of varied questions to get to the bottom of which vitamins were best for me – the questions varied from asking about my physical health, current diet, mental state and things such as any pre existing conditions or issues I may have. Once you’ve finished the quiz, you get a score out of 100% for how healthy you are in your lifestyle and also your diet – they also generate you a report which goes into detail about what you’re doing well at and details any issues or gaps it sees and suggests ways to be healthier. I’ll pop a screenshot of my results below – I’m fairly happy with 71% & 72%, however there is room for improvement in my health and wellbeing, and this is detailed in the reports for me. Continue reading

The Big Move; An Update on Life in Scotland

Just Hollie Enjoys the Winter Sun

Hello, you. It’s been a minute since I wrote my last blog post on my big move from Norfolk to Scotland (read here if you don’t know what I’m talking about) so I thought you might like to know how I’m getting on!

I cannot believe that it has been 3 months already, I don’t think a period of time has ever seemed to pass so quickly in my life – however if you’d have asked me at the beginning of February I would’ve said it felt like January lasted a year. I won’t pretend it’s been all sweetness and light since we’ve been here, because it hasn’t. December was a breeze, we moved in easily enough, got settled and the Christmas decorations went straight up making it feel instantly like home. I hadn’t started work yet so time was my own and I enjoyed walking into town most days and getting the usual things ready for the festive period. Christmas and New Year were lovely, with us spending the 25th of December on our own as a couple for the first time (it was odd, but nice!) and then travelling down to the Midlands to spend New Year with family. So far so good. Then January came, I started work, the temperature dropped and the lack of sunlight really started to hit me.

It may sound dramatic but I thrive on sunshine – I think I may have mentioned this before once or one hundred times – but it really is true. I didn’t realise before moving up North that they get even shorter days here in the winter, which was bad news for me as I already loathed that time of year back home in Norfolk. I think during December it was a bit of a novelty and I was distracted with the festivities, but January didn’t come easy. Nor did February come to think of it. I know the word gets flung around SO much these days, but I experienced the worst and very real anxiety of my life the last couple of months. Mental health isn’t something I would say I have struggled with much in my life, and I know I’m lucky in that respect, however for around 8 weeks I thought I was going mad and really started to worry. I had a Fiat 500 which I was attempting to drive in the worst rain and wind I’ve ever experienced and driving country roads daily which I’ve never liked; I’d convinced myself I was unsafe and started to dread stepping into my car to get to work. Luckily my husband is THE best man on earth, and quickly swapped out my tiny car for a Jeep Renegade – meaning I didn’t feel like I was going to take off into a field or skid to my death on black ice everyday. That may sound extreme, but I was honestly driving at 20 mph as I was convinced the roads were covered in ice (they weren’t). I was checking the weather on 4 (yes, 4!) different apps around 10 times a day to check if it was going to be icy or if snow was forecast – I was losing my mind over the weather, I’d become obsessed, checking and worrying about it constantly. I don’t know where this fear of the weather came from but I think it’s change related – I was in Scotland, so if snow was forecast obviously it’d be 5 foot and I wouldn’t be able to travel. If it was -1 degrees then obviously because I’m now in the Highlands it would mean the roads were dangerous and I was risking my life travelling. This was of course not the case and it’s simply the unknown, the change and my own head taking a thought and latching onto it in an unhealthy way. The driving fear coupled with a new job, where my office doesn’t have windows, was making my anxiety 100 times worse as I was convinced each day I was going to step out at 5pm to a winter wonderland. It was making me ill. It didn’t help that we’ve had two (or is it three?) named storms since we’ve been here too, making it the worst winter weather-wise for years. The wind whipped at our house, making noises we aren’t used to, all adding to my already frayed nerves. Continue reading

My Boden New Season Favourites

If you follow me on Instagram, you will know by now that I was lucky enough in October last year to be chosen to be an ambassador for the gorgeous British clothing brand, Boden. When I received the email inviting me to be a part of the #BodenBrandPartner clan I literally couldn’t believe it! I don’t have the biggest following on socials and wouldn’t really call myself an ‘influencer’ by any means, but actually it turns out this was exactly one of the reasons I found myself in the situation at all. Boden and also a PR company of sorts called Zyper (I’ll link them here if you’d like to know more) got together to find women who, like me, were true brand fans and actually had passion for their clothes – sounds simple really doesn’t it?! In a world where there are lots of people online promoting any products they can get for free, it was nice to be recognised as someone who genuinely wanted to share fab finds with their followers. Yes, we as brand ambassadors for Boden get to choose a few pieces for free once a month and that is beyond anything I ever hoped for when I started Just Hollie Blog, but actually, I would’ve bought half of it anyway…
So that’s what this post is really – me sharing my favourite pieces from the new season collection of my favourite brand Boden. Enjoy!

PS. I do have a personalised link which I’ll pop below, meaning you can get a discount on most things on the Boden website, and they’ll know you found them through me. I don’t get paid or anything like that – it just proves to them it’s worth giving me freebies each month I guess! Enjoy the discount and I hope you like the luxurious feeling of wearing Boden as much as I do.

CLICK HERE TO USE MY DISCOUNT LINK

And without further babbling from me, these are my favourites for the next couple of months. Transition pieces if you will.

Norwich Button Back Jumper – Milkshake 

Norwich Boden Jumper in Milkshake

I have this jumper and there are a couple of reasons I love it:
– It’s called the Norwich jumper. Need I say more, I am truly representing my roots up here in the highlands.
– It’s pink, and pink is everywhere right now. I’ve never actually worn pink too much despite being a very feminine person, however this hue is so perfect for Spring (which in my head is only a few weeks away LOL).
– The detail. I love a jumper with large cuffs like this, I find it very flattering. The back has really nice gold button detailing at the neck too which is a bit fancy.

You will be seeing this on the ‘gram v.soon! Also comes in mustard and navy and is £70 before discount.

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New Year, New Goals – Looking ahead to 2020

 

Happy New Year/Decade everybody! Doesn’t it feel special when not only do we creep into a new year but also a different decade? 2020 – how the heck did that happen? It doesn’t seem two minutes ago I was raising a glass of Lambrini with my Nan to see in the Millennium (I was 8 and felt trés chic with a glass of bubbles!) but when in fact that was 20 years ago, time really does fly when you’re having fun.

I always reflect like hell at the turn of the year and this one isn’t any different – if you haven’t read any of my previous posts you may not know I am a proud New Year’s Resolution maker, but this year I wanted to put together a list of goals rather than a single resolution. The idea being that I can look back in a year’s time and see if my plans worked, if they varied somewhat or if something drastically different happened. This past year has taught me that life throws surprises at you which you could never predict, so all we can do is set the best intentions but if you get a chance to do something which was never even on your radar, that’s equally as bloody brilliant (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you may want to read my last post on moving from Norfolk to Scotland). So without further dragging it out and blabbering on, here are my goals for the year of 2020.

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Finish my Creative Writing Level 3 course, and begin my Level 4 Proofreading qualification.

I don’t think I’ve spoken about my home studies on the blog before, but they do exist! You probably wouldn’t know that I’m a keen writer in a capacity outside of this blog and plan to launch my own freelance business in the New Year (alongside my 9-5 unfortunately until it can pay the bills!). I plan to offer SEO optimised blog posts for businesses without the capacity or skills to do it themselves, I’m putting together social media courses for beginners, I’m offering written website content, articles for print, press releases and social captions – basically if it can be written, I want to be able to offer it as a service. Hence where my home study courses come in; I’ve nearly finished my Creative Writing Diploma which has been a lot of fun as well as helping me develop my skills- it has meant writing fiction and poetry as well as non-fiction genres and I haven’t done that since school! When that is finished I plan to enrol straight away on the Proofreading course, meaning this too can then be offered on a freelance basis, expanding my services. Realistically I won’t finish both courses by the end of the year but if I can be nearly there, I’ll be chuffed. Home study isn’t for everyone but personally I love learning, and as a writer I think the more you do and the more you expose yourself to different mediums, the better you get. I don’t think I’ll ever stop wanting to add to my skill set, which is something I’m proud of.

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Moving to Scotland – A New Chapter for Just Hollie

Merry Christmas one and all! Can you believe that it’s the 24th of December as I write this – where has this year gone?! If you read my blog post about my recent wedding you’ll already know there has been a lot of change in my life, but I have more to tell you about, so grab a cuppa (or mulled wine) and let’s catch up.

Just Hollie, moving home

I’ll start from the beginning; around this time last year my husband started travelling up to Glasgow for work around once a month, sometimes less. I won’t tell you exactly who he works for and where for obvious reasons, but he’s in the corporate world where travelling for work isn’t uncommon so we didn’t think too much about it at the time. He was enjoying his work and liked going up on the odd occasion to Glasgow and that was that really. Fast forward a couple of months to around the March/April time and there I was cooking dinner for us both one weekday evening, when Hubby comes home from work with a rather unexpected question. ‘You know I’ve been working with the team in Glasgow a lot recently and going up there for work, well how would you feel about moving to Scotland together permanently?’ – he’d been offered a job in the office he’d been visiting and wanted to take it. It was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up and would be great for his career – the only hurdle for him was convincing me! To be honest, it wasn’t completely out of the blue or a huge surprise, we had a feeling his job was heading that way but all of a sudden it felt real and actually, really bloody exciting. I had no hesitation in saying yes to the move because I had felt that my 9-5 wasn’t right for me any longer for a while and I was really ready for a life shake up too. So that was that, it had been decided quite easily and we were moving to Scotland! I don’t think he could believe how easily I had said yes and that I was willing to move to a different country for him, but we were getting married and I love him to bits – it was a good move for both of us and a chance for us to carve out our own little piece of the world away from where we grew up. Continue reading

Book review: Reader, I Married Me!

What would you do if you took your dog for a walk and he unceremoniously shit out another woman’s g-string? I personally would’ve throttled my boyfriend with it and had a quarter-life meltdown, but then probably would’ve picked myself right back up and cracked on with my life, probably lunging into another relationship within weeks because I have always been a ‘boyfriend person’. Obviously, I’m happily married now so it has worked well for me, but my first thought when it came to reviewing Sophie Tanner’s fabulous book ‘Reader, I Married Me’, was that I never really was single after getting my first boyfriend in high school. Chloe Usher, the main character in the fantastically feminist plot, didn’t do the obvious. Instead, she married herself on Brighton beach in a kitsch ceremony full of self-worth and happiness – sounds pretty out there, no?

Reader, I Married Me!
In her semi-biographical debut novel, Sophie Tanner writes about the story of a young woman called Chloe who has had enough of men, had enough of the seemingly perfect couples who think anything other than the ‘normal’ family set up is obviously not what a woman wants and she had certainly had enough of people telling her what she could and couldn’t do.  I found ‘Reader, I Married Me’ a funny and charming way to put the microscope over the way we live our lives, obsessed with finding the perfect partner and almost always losing a piece of ourselves in that process. The book makes you want to celebrate YOU in all of your glory but not only that, it reminds you of the importance of friendship as a form of love and that it is one we should value just as much as romantic love. Continue reading

Reclaiming Interiors

The end of a job, a wedding, and an imminent move – it’s safe to say that I’ve had quite a lot happening in the past few weeks and there aren’t any signs of it slowing down. It’s likely that I will have relocated from Norfolk to Scotland by the end of the year (if you don’t follow me on Instagram you may not know this, but we are moving North for my husband’s job). I’m one of those people who really embrace change, and I’m really excited to begin this new chapter in our lives. And that is what this is, a brand new chapter as husband and wife, out in the world by ourselves making a completely new life just for the two of us. Preparation for this new life for me is not only practical things such as bills, finding a new job and anything else a big move entails but sorting out my possessions too, and thinking to myself ‘what do I want the new Hollie to own’? I don’t know the reason why but I really feel like shaking life up and using this as a chance to be the person I really want to be – a new and improved version of Just Hollie if you like. I’ve always known how I want my life to look but now I really have had a kick up the bum to not settle for less.

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Wedding series, 4: THE WEDDING!

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Credit to a wedding guest – our photographer is doing her thing in the background!

Hi, hello, bonjour. Just me, Hollie, a married woman here. Yes, you read that right – I GOT MARRIEDDDDDD!!!!!!
To say I’m still not over it is an understatement, newlywed highs are 100% a thing. I thought I better round off my wedding series by letting you all know how the day went and I also really wanted to give a shout out to my amazing local suppliers – so if you live in Norfolk/Suffolk and are getting married I hope you find this helpful (list and links at bottom of post).

I’ll begin with a little play by play of the day, because we were the luckiest couple ever and everything went perfectly. This includes the weather as the very next day it absolutely TIPPED it down – I’m sure you saw the reports of flooding last Sunday and probably had a back garden like a pond yourself. Could you imagine if that was the weather on your wedding day, someone was definitely looking down on me for sure!
I got ready at my home with my mum and my best friend who was also my bridesmaid – I had one adult and two gorgeous nieces walk down the aisle with me, the little ones met me at the church as my sister in law is an absolute legend and got them ready for me. The morning was chilled and calm, with me surprisingly a lot less nervous than I had anticipated being, I think when it came to the day I was actually just really excited to get going and see Daniel at the church. They won’t thank me for saying it but I think my mum and bridesmaid had more nerves than me – I found myself trying to assure them that it was going to be a fabulous day and nothing to worry about! I feel honoured that so many people close to me cared enough to have such strong emotions about our day, something I will never forget. Continue reading

Bee Natural Wax Melts, Suffolk

I had absolutely no idea what a wax melt was until the start of this year, but then I started following Mrs Hinch on Instagram; Like many others, I instantly went out and bought a burner, I was hooked. I bought a couple of Yankee Candle melts to begin with and I also purchased some of the infamous Ava May Aromas melts, both lovely but I really am trying to buy local where possible, and knew there were a few small companies in the area making gorgeous wax melts. Like some sort of internet magic, one night whilst scrolling through the ‘gram, I came across Bee Natural Wax Melts. Bee Natural instantly drew me in, they made a product I wanted, were local (Lowestoft) and their branding is absolutely a bit of me!

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