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Tuesday 24 April 2018

Learning to Love Myself

She's A Gentry

I never imagined I’d write a post such as this; having never felt like I could really offer any advice on feeling confident and loving yourself but here I am!

I've never been an overly confident person. To my close friends and family they know me as a bit shy with new people, I can stumble over my words when I’m nervous and not always feel like I can truly speak my mind but something this year has changed.

The physical

I mentioned in a post back in February that I was taking the time to look after myself in a few ways such as eating healthy and enjoy quiet time instead of booking myself up to the brim. The outcome of that has been relaxation and weight loss which I am so happy about. I’ve lost 1 and half stone very gradually since the beginning of the year but with losing weight I have gained so much confidence in myself and in turn I am falling back in love with my body. 

She's A Gentry

It took me a while to realise that food wasn’t making me feel happy anymore. What started out as treating myself had become an everyday occurrence and in turn I’d started to eat away at my sadness with food to only realise that it was making me feel worse. I've since re-trained myself to eat well and treat myself when its worth it and in turn my body is thanking me for it. 

I know weight loss isn’t for everyone- it won’t fix everyone’s body issues nor will it fix the rest of your life but for me the benefits have been small but mighty and really empowering. I finally feel comfortable in clothes and can wear clothes I want to that make me feel good about myself and dare I say it sometimes even sexy! I’m now cringing at saying the word sexy but being able to wear clothes I feel good in and that express who I am and portray me how I want to be portrayed has done nothing but wonders for my self confidence and esteem which in turn has made me come out of my shell with my personality and express that too! I wore a cropped top and trouser co-ord the other day and didn’t feel the need to tug at it or suck my tummy in for the first time in years and without meaning to sound boastful, I honestly can say that I love my body right now- my curves, my shape and I am happy. 

learning to love myself

The Mental 
Like practically everyone on the planet, I have had periods of struggling with different emotions over the years and in the last couple of years my self confidence had taken a real knock. I’d started to worry about having an opinion on all sorts of topics, with my main concern being that people would dislike me or I’d offend them for how I felt or what I believed in. My worst fear was they would say something mean or shout at me! I think with the birth of The Prosecco Sessions podcast and with feeling more comfortable in my own skin, I’ve let my guard down and realised that actually people aren’t going to scream at you for having an opinion. (Unless of course they’re totally mental and I tend to steer clear of those types of people!) If you’re speaking with friends, family or any decent type of human being they generally respect your opinion even if they don't necessarily agree with it. You’re allowed to have an opinion. This is all very self explanatory I know but in my mind I never had the confidence to speak out or be heard. Accepting that I have a right as a person to say and feel what I want to feel has given me a new found feeling of happiness and love for who I am and have become.

Loving Yourself 

This is the part I find really tricky to put into words. I think what I’m trying to say is that if you get back to basics and find out what makes you tick, what makes you happy, what makes you unhappy and allow yourself to be who you are- you will be much happier as a result and love yourself in turn. You’ll feel much more comfortable and confident in your skin and love your own little traits. No one is perfect and I'm not expecting anyone to love every single part of themselves, that's impossible but at least love the things you really think are awesome about yourself and embrace those aspects in every way, shape and form. I have been embracing my creativity, my love of listening and learning and looking after my body and mind.

love yourself

This is quite a waffley post.... I don’t really know what exactly it is that I’m trying to say but I wanted to put it out there and let you all know that loving yourself is important, it can be done and it's definitely a learning curve.

I'd love to know your thoughts below!

Tuesday 17 April 2018

Starting A Podcast | The Prosecco Sessions

The Prosecco Sessions

I thought I’d write a blog post on starting a podcast! A few people have been asking me about this topic over the past few weeks so I thought I’d share what I know so far on how to start one, why I started one myself and the tech/equipment I’m currently using. Now I’m by no means an expert, having only started this by I guess... fluke? So I’m still navigating my way around the podcast world but if you’re a total novice like me, maybe my tips will be helpful to help you start out too!

So you may be wondering how the podcast came about? Well for me this was never intended to happen but I’m so glad it did! I wanted to start a Youtube series involving chatting to people I love within the bloggersphere and my personal life discussing a variety of topics whilst being a bit sloshed... yup! I don’t know about you but I feel more at ease having a chat about important topics when having a glass or two of fizz and the conversation just flows- as does the bubbles! So that’s where Pippa and Laura come into it. I had them over one evening to start my Youtube series and after it went out we all admitted we’d sat and listened to rather than watched it whilst working, driving etc and then it dawned on us- why not make it into a podcast!? The three of us are all massive podcast lovers, listening to ones such as The Guilty Feminist, Estee Lalonde’s The Heart of it and many more so the idea of starting our own really excited us! Before long I’d converted what was video into audio and The Prosecco Sessions podcast was born with episode 1 being all about internet dating.

how to start a podcast for beginngers

Since then we have been working hard to try and figure out the best ways to record the episodes and admittedly had a few hiccoughs along the way! So as the first episode was filmed/recorded all in the same room, the audio levels were great and we were all the same volume. The difficulty came when we wanted to record online. With Pippa being a London lass and us all having busy schedules, meeting in person isn’t always going to be ideal. Skype was the first thing that sprung to mind- having heard a lot of other podcasts use this but in the end we have gone with using a program called Discord. It’s fundamentally used by gamers to chat and video stream whilst playing their games but is fantastic for us too. We then use an external programme which then records us through Discord and so far it is working rather well!

When it comes to equipment, we have been using a mix of things- Pippa on her iphone headphones and mic, Laura using a Blue Ice Snowball mic which is super fancy, looks cool and makes her sound quality ace! I thought I’d try out a little cheapy mic from eBay but it’s not quite up to scratch. Whether I need to tinker with the sound levels or I got what I paid for- I don’t know but it’s a work in progress and I always have my iphone headphones to fall back on. As I say, Pippa’s audio is through her iphone headphones and it sounds great!

We all have our roles within the podcast production which I think is a fab way to work. Laura is the show notes queen- yes we have show notes people! It helps keep us on track with the subject we’re discussing and a rough guide on what we want to cover. She is also the one behind the Discord discovery and has been teaching us the ropes with that. I’m the show’s editor I guess! I love editing youtube videos so was happy to take on the role of editing the audio as its very similar and I really enjoy it. I love adding the sound effects, the jingle and everything else that goes with the editing side of things. Pippa is the brains behind the uploading to soundcloud and iTunes and did her research on getting an RSS feed-something I know zilch about so I’ll leave that topic parked here! And then between us we all come up with topics, statistics and promoting the podcast via our social medias. The collaborative process works so well and takes out the stress that could be associated with doing it all yourself!

The Prosecco Sessions Podcast

So what tips would I have on starting a podcast? Well firstly I think anything goes. You can create a podcast on anything these days. From food to fashion, films and more! The thing I struggle with the most is learning when to speak and when to just STFU. Not having one another in the room can sometimes prove tricky when knowing when to speak but thanks to Discord our profiles turn green when one of us starts to talk so it helps me personally to know when is a good time to talk but worst case and we do accidentally butt in, we start our sentence again so it’s a better listen for people. We also are trying to get into the habit of calling each other by name in our sentences. It feels a bit odd but it will help listeners identify who is who throughout an episode. Other than that I would just say enjoy it! I am so passionate about what the three of us are creating and it genuinely excites me which to me is a clear indicator that I am enjoying what we do. We are still learning a lot ourselves so I’m sure in months and weeks to come we will have more tips to share with you.

So that is how I started a podcast! I hope its been interesting and hopefully helpful to anyone that is starting out too and if you have any questions or tips of your own I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!

And finally, thank you so much to everyone who has listened so far. We are so so chuffed that people are enjoying it and hope that you continue to do so!

Big love!

Sunday 15 April 2018

The Prosecco Sessions Epsiode 2: Body Image

The Prosecco Sessions is back ladies and gents! This time i'm talking all about Body Confidence with my two favourite women- the mothership Julie and the younger sibling Becca,

You may be thinking...hold on.... this is a podcast no? Don't worry you're not mistakened and actually there's an episode on Body Confidence going live today but we are discussing it from a different angle.

This topic is something I feel rather passionate about; having never been a  skinny size but generally always happy in my shape. I wish everyone would learn to embrace their bodies for that and how they are so see how I do that within myself via this video!

If this video isn't enough for your body image hit, then I would highly suggest a) subscribing to the podcast and b) leaving a review! We love your feedback and its nice to know that people enjoy our ramblings.

In the meantime, what would you like to see next on my channel? I'd love to know!

Big love to you all,

Monday 9 April 2018

The Brow Wiz dupe- NYX Micro Brow Pencil

I’ve not always been the biggest fan of NYX products up until now. You may have read my post a couple of years ago called “Is NYX a Fix?” This was my first experience of NYX products and unfortunately it was a negative one, having bought two of the lip crèmes that seemed to be the exact same colour. Nevertheless I thought I’d give them the benefit of the doubt, after so many of my friends having a good experience with their products.

NYX Micro Brow Pencil review

I thought I’d try the Micro Brow Pencil out for size and ohhh mama this has redeemed NYX for me! It is the perfect dupe for the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz and just a fraction of the cost.

Everything about it is extremely similar to the Anastasia version from the pencil size to the spooly and makes doing my brows a sheer treat! I love a pencil personally and find it gives the definition and hair like strokes I desire compared to a powder or pomade. The nib of the pencil is micro like the name suggests and gets into little areas with precision. The pencil also isn’t too soft or waxy so you can apply pressure where you need to for areas needing a bit more filling in and lightly brush in hairs towards the front to look subtle and natural. As you can see, I'm a fan of a natural brow rather than a polished perfectly cut brow.

NYX Micro Brow Pencil review

The fact that its just £8 in Boots blows my mind when compared to £22 for Brow Wiz at places like Cult Beauty and there are plenty of shades to choose from too. I went for taupe but it was god to see a blonde shade in their for fair haired ladies as well as darker ones for you brunette babes. To me it’s a no brainer to go for the NYX version and save myself £14 to use on other products (or towards the ever increasing shoe collection).

Anastacia Beverley Hills Brow Wiz Dupe

What d’you reckon to the Micro Brow Pencil? Are you a fan? And if you’re a NYX lover, I’d love to hear what products you like and would recommend!

Monday 2 April 2018

Bill's Resturarant, Cambridge

photo of She's A Gentry at Bill's restaurant

Bills is one of those places that you know you’re going to get served good grub and feel relaxed in the process so when I got asked to review their Cambridge restaurant I jumped at the chance! Located on Green street in the heart of the city, its the perfect location to escape the hustle and bustle for a beautiful meal.

Bill's restaurant, Cambridge

Bill's restaurant, Cambridge

Bill's restaurant, Cambridge

Bill's restaurant, Cambridge

The interior boasts relaxed dining chairs, unapologetic chandeliers and produce from wall to wall- which until now I didn’t realise you could actually buy! Call me thick but it looks so pretty that I just thought it were decoration before it’s used within the recipes. Nope! You can buy those big beautiful olives by the tin which happens to be what me and my dining companion Pippa snacked on whilst perusing the menu and supping a cocktail in the process.

Bill's restaurant, Cambridge

Bill's restaurant, Cambridge

Talking of the cocktails, the selection is fantastic and I had a hard trouble choosing which to have first! Finally my inner gin lover was tempted to the Raspberry and Rosehip Collins – A blend of dry gin, raspberry and rosehip infused with pink grapefruit cordial and Bill’s very own pink lemonade. It was so delicious and pretty, so much so that it didn’t last me very long-whoops! Meanwhile Pippa enjoyed an English Country Garden which was the prettiest drink with its delicate floral garnish.

Bill's restaurant, Cambridge

Bill's restaurant, Cambridge

So onto the menu. What does Bill's offer? If you’re a lover of European cuisine, you’re in for a real treat and a filling one too! Available from 11:45am, the main menu has something to offer for everyone. There were so many different things to choose and both Pippa and I were hungry so opted to go all out on three courses, starting with the vegetarian MEZZE. 

Bill's restaurant, Cambridge

Neither Pippa or I are vegetarian nor are we adverse to it either but this sounded delicious! The platter came with spiced white corn tortillas, grilled garlic mushrooms, crumbed halloumi sticks, chickpea and parsley falafels, olives, Pico de Gallo salsa, tomato hummus, tzatziki and smoky tomatoes. The salsa was fresh and tangy, accompanying the hummus and falafel beautifully whilst the halloumi was the perfect temperature for oozing goodness under the crunch of the breadcrumbs. The garlic mushrooms were juicy and divine and in a very short space of time we'd cleared the plate of its delicious contents. 

Bill's restaurant, Cambridge

For our mains we decided we'd pick things we wouldn't usually choose. We both know that Bill's burgers are just epic so there is no need to review that part of the menu. Instead we went for things we'd never normally have at home or in a restaurant so I chose the Chicken Milanese with a side of cauliflower cheese and Pippa went for the Rustic Butternut squash stew. 

Bill's restaurant, Cambridge

Okay can I just say that this chicken milanese dish was everything I love and want in a meal! The crispy chicken escalope came out smelling amazing; topped with a cherry and smoky tomato, radicchio, olive and red onion salad and Gran Moravia cheese. Chicken and cheese? What a winning combo and the olive and red onion salad went beautifully with it.Talking of cheese I ordered a side of cauliflower cheese and this also did not disappoint...

Bill's restaurant, Cambridge

This dish was warmth and comfort in a bowl and tasted every bit as delicious as it looks.

Bill's restaurant, Cambridge

Pippa's butternut squash dish was comprised of wonderfully tender butternut squash, chargrilled red peppers and onions, freekeh grain, kale and toasted pistachios. I couldn't resist a little taste (don't worry Pippa invited me to try some, I didn't just grab her fork haha) and it was gorgeous- a big bowl of love that would be perfect to have after a long days shopping and to get rid of a chill. We also later realised that this dish is vegan, making Bill's a brilliant place to dine with our vegan friends.

Now after all this amazing food we were stuffed but like the true pros we are, we somehow found a small space in our tums for dessert! Our waitress Poppy wouldn't let us leave until we tried Bill's doughnuts. Again this isn't something I'd usually choose as a dessert but in the spirit of trying new things, we took her advice and went for it.

Bill's restaurant, Cambridge

Oh my god those doughnuts were dangerous. I mean seriously, they were SO GOOD!! With fresh strawberries and warm chocolate and salted caramel dipping sauces, there was nothing not to love about these doughnuts. I had to question why I wouldn't have chosen them before!? Needless to say on my next visit to Bill's they will definitely be getting picked for pudding again.

Bill's restaurant, Cambridge

If I weren't so full I'd have devoured them all but alas my jeans and stomach were telling me I had to stop. Thankfully, you can get a takeaway box to go if you can't manage your meal so these bad boys were not wasted and the coffee was the perfect pick me up post meal so I could head to my next event not wanting to snuggle down and go to sleep.

Bill's was just amazing and reviewing their awesome menu has got me planning in meals with family and friends over the upcoming weeks. I even got to take some goodies home in the form of champagne truffles, pink lemonade and raspberry jam so I can enjoy some of the Bill's experience at home!

Bill's restaurant, Cambridge

Thank you to Bill's for letting me review their menu and reaffirming my love for their epic olives and moreish cocktails whilst discovering some new favourites. I also want to say thank you to Poppy our waitress who was awesome! Will you be heading to Bill's in Cambridge soon?

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