5.2.16

Behind The Screen: January 2016 Report

Somehow, we're already into February, so it's my opportunity to take you Behind The Screen to see what tools I use to create my content and what's been going on during the month preceding this report.

I'm also using this post as an opportunity to discus a topical issue in blogging each month and this month, I'm talking about bloggers being offered "exposure" as payment!

January 2016


Advertising Income: £7.07 

Affiliate Income: £5.92 

Collaborative & Sponsored Posts: £0 

Other Work & Consulting: £80 

Costs / Outgoings: £unrecorded 

Total January Page Views: 4784

Yay for January! Although I was in a crazy place re exercise (read: Dear 2016), I managed to keep up with the blog posting 13 times and hitting my goal of 3x per week. I put a lot of thought into what I wanted to share, the imagery I was using and the added value of my posts.

All of my stats and total page views saw an increase from December (see Decembers report here) which I think may be due to social sharing and the value of the posts. 

One post I shared was Your 6 Day Countdown Guide To Pre Race Preparation - which is actually a post I wrote a couple years back but I changed the format and updated the imagery. I also posted it just in time for the London Winter Run and it's a post that is applicable for any and every race in our calendars. This post gave me content to share each an every day with the related tasks and I myself really enjoyed the format! 


I was lucky enough in January to be able to collaborate with Next for the launch of their new sportswear range (read: Sport'n Style: New Year, New Gear with NX Sport) which they kindly shared on Twitter and Instagram. They also shared my post of tips for starting a new blog on their bloggers network. 

The top post for the month had to be my review of The Body Coach's new Book - Lean in 15. I picked up the book on Amazon and loved it! I shared a quick and easy read round up of my thoughts on his recipes and at just £7 for the book I think (and hope?!) I helped a few people to make a decision either way! 

Topical: Is "exposure" a fair payment for bloggers?

Probably once per day, an email lands in my inbox which asks me to write a blog post about "X" in return for "Y" brand sharing my post on their social media channels. These people, then demand to know the stats of my blog (which are actually available through my media kit or these monthly posts if they bothered to check) and never actually disclose what they are offering me! ...I saw an image recently about dancers being asked to work for free so I adapted it for bloggers...

I'm currently (technically) a full time personal trainer / blogger so my time is precious! It seems that sometimes it's even difficult to get travel expenses out of those who want you to travel in, around and out of London to events. Over the past months, I've learnt to say no when what I'm being offered is not acceptable - 2 spin classes for a ton of IG posts, tweets and a blog post?! No siree! 

This was one of the reasons I started the London Bloggers Community - to allow us to be able to communicate with each other, share opportunities and openly know whats going on to help keep things fair and ensure we are valued (and know our own value!). 

What's your take on "exposure" as payment?! 

So... anything I've missed that you'd be interested to know?! 

Do you track your stats monthly?! 


Elle :) 


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3.2.16

3 Lessons I Learnt Again During The London Winter Run 2016 #MyMoments

The London Winter Run has been in my diary for the best part of 12 months. Yet, somehow, I have failed to run outdoors for over 6 months, haven't run the distance in longer and none of this once spurred me on (enough) to get training. 


On the morning of Sunday 31st January, I woke up around 6am and had all the best reasons to stay in bed. My tubes were not working so travel consisted of rail replacement buses, trains and multiple tubes. I had a sore throat. My feet were tired after 8 hours standing on them for work the previous day. I was tired. But you know what, I made a commitment, and I'm a woman of my word (or at last trying to be!). 

Lesson 1: The Long Term Reward Is Much Greater Than Instant Gratification 

In this case, my instant gratification came each time I chose not to run outdoors and enjoyed an evening tucked up warm indoors. Those moments felt great when they took place but they didn't benefit me on race day. I've been here so many times, where I spend a lot of time in the moment (of the race) kicking myself about not having put the training in. I know how good it feels to run with weeks or months of training behind me...

The Solution: Put your training schedule in your diary. Even if you don't stick to it 100% do something. Something could be just 1km or a run round the block ...then chances are you'll continue for longer seeing as you're in the swing of things. Results will come after you practice just "showing up". 

Lesson 2: Mind Over Matter 

It's so cliche, but oh so true! I put mind over matter for the race and opted to go GPS free and follow how my body felt. I used the mantra "one foot in front of the other" to keep myself going. I walked when I needed to, I sped up when I could. 

The Solution: Remember why you are running. If you're aiming for a PB, write down your target pace for each milestone and track yourself using a GPS. If you're running for fun, make sure you do just that! Ditch the music, ditch the GPS and soak up the atmosphere! 


Lesson 3: The Power Of The People 

I ran the first 3km or so with Lily of Lily Lipstick; then I felt I had a little more in the tank so I picked up the pace as much as I could. Once I got to 7km though, it was feeling tough (expectedly so, huh, with no training!). At that point, a guy ran up next to me (I'm walking) and said "keep going, we've only got 3km to go!" ...he literally was all I needed! I got back into my stride and ended up next to him... I liked his pace too, so I stuck with him. Then he said to me "I like your pace!" and I said "I'm sticking to your pace!" ...so we realised we were sticking together to the end! Chatting to Richard (don't quote me on his name!) for the next 3km was enough to take my mind off the challenge of finishing the race... We talked about everything - previous running, races, future races, travelling to the races, training, not training, friends... and before I knew it, WE WERE DONE!! 

The Solution: There's always that one person who seems to hold a steady pace so just stick to them! ...or as I've done in the past, get a friend (miss you Bethan!) to pace you to a particular time! 


The Finer Details: The route changed significantly from 2015; they most definitely would've mentioned it, I just didn't read any of the pre race bumph. The route no longer took in the river Thames (which I kinda missed) and instead went through the City after starting at Trafalgar Square. No idea how the waves worked in reality - I started in wave two I think and this may have affected the amount of "snow" on the course. Supporter numbers were low, but who would wanna be out there when it was cold and raining?! The supporters that were on the route were full of energy though and I high fived numerous tiny people! 

One water station at approx 4km ...another would've been just perfect (as per last year). I didn't need the toilet but I didn't notice any queues at the portaloos on the route. Everyone running was super friendly, not a moany sod in sight! Lots of extra polar bears and penguins on the course and at the finish ...but not enough snow, snow zones... nothing that stood out. I did however see pictures of photo op areas etc which I missed!

The end lacked countdown signs, bar one 500m to go sign which felt like a mile! 

But eventually, after crossing the finish line, I got my bling... (and some water / coconut water but not a banana or snack in sight?!) ...oh and then the walk from the finish line to the bag drop area... it was so long, I became disorientated and couldn't even work out where I was!! 


Did you run the London Winter Run?! How did you find it?! 

Elle :) 

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p.s Huge Thanks to Human Race for my place in the London Winter Run. Also a shout out to to Nuffield Health Covent Garden for putting us up before and after the race.  All opinions are my own :) some photos though are not - they are from SportCam! 

29.1.16

Kitchen Empties #2 - The Snack Edition

I follow a few beauty bloggers / make up artists and one of my favourite style of posts they do is their "empties" where they chat about all the products that have finished in their beauty cabinet. I'm not a beauty blogger, and even so, I don't have enough "smellies" to create such a post ...but what I do, do, is eat a lot of food. A LOT. So I decided to save some my my kitchen empties and share them with you if I especially loved them. Here is #2... also known as the bottom of my gym bag. 


Wild Thing Organic Paleo Bars* 
So these bars carry the tag of being organic, gluten free, paleo, vegan and raw. That's a lot to live up to when you add tasty, right?! But they did. They come in 4 different flavours -  Berries and Seeds, Coconut and Chia, Cacao and Almond or Nuts and Seeds with Coconut and Chia being my personal favourite. I used them as mid morning / mid afternoon snacks on days I was feeling particularly ravenous! They all come in under 200kcal and as a Whole30 fan, I would keep these on hand! 


Aduna Baobab / Moringa Bars* 
I was lucky enough to spend an evening with Aduna a couple weeks ago when they launched their new Super Cacao. In my goody bag, amongst other things, I got these two bars made using Baobab and Moringa. These bars are also 100% organic and raw! I loved the tanginess of the Baobab bar as it was mixed with pineapple, apple juice, almonds, dates and raisins. I'm currently busy getting creative in the kitchen using their Super Cacaoit's the first cacao powder with an EU-approved claim for heart health!

Squirrel Sisters Cacao Brownies* 
I was lucky enough to meet the Squirrel Sisters themselves at the same Aduna event I mentioned above and received a packet of their Cacao Brownies in my goody bag. I opened them out of curiosity one evening and found the packet contained two bars. I thought to myself, I'll just eat one to try it, and when I did, it was so damn good, I ate the other! I now need to get my hands on the two other just as delightful sounding flavours to try.... You can find them at Planet Organic here (and they're on offer at the moment!)


The Protein Works Luxe Flapjack* 
This one is a treat, no matter how much protein you put in it! A square of oaty, chewy milk chocolate pistachio yumminess. But you need to remember it's still 273kcal / 18.4g protein / 34.2g carbs. So realistically, this isn't an eat every day kinda treat. I do however love all the protein snacks you can find on TPW site (and you would've seen a few featured here on KISE).


FireStar Energy* 
These little sachets contain a crystal form of caffeine to provide you with energy to keep yourself alert whatever it is you might be doing! You literally just tear open the sachet and pour it onto your tongue! I tried a cherry favour and a mint flavour with both tasting like sweets yet only being 10kcal! There are also two types - 2 hours and 4 hours - the amount of time they sustain you for. What I like about them is that I never felt "high" nor did I have any "come downs" (yes, caffeine is a drug in my life!). I used a 4 hour sachet when I was falling asleep after eating lunch and sitting in lectures; it made the world of difference. I also used them before classes, taking them 30 minutes in advance to allow myself to feel the benefits! If you want to find out more info, you can check out their website - http://www.firestarenergy.com/

What snacks have been keeping you fuelled lately?! 

Elle :) 


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p.s products with a *, I received complimentary either for review or just by chance (like in a goody bag, which I probably have said!) but as always all opinions are my very own! ...and the biggest testament to these products are that I ate them and finished them! lol ;) x

27.1.16

Elle About Town, January 2016

People! Welcome to January!! ...what I can only describe as a month full of ups and down, physically, mentally and weather wise! 

Here's what I've been getting up to recently around "Landan Tawn"! 

Events / Classes: The Gym Is Everywhere with Reebok 


I got my butt whipped at the launch of this Reebok Campaign on the weekend! 

“For Reebok, the Gym is Everywhere. We encourage people to break free of their routines and use their surroundings to work out; whatever the apparatus or environment, your gym can be anywhere that you’re willing to put the work in."

I say, damn right! I had so much fun completing an AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) workout in my team! Just 20 minutes of intense work, and I could feel the burn for days following! You can catch me doing the tyre flip over on IG too...

Events / Classes: Runble with Sweaty Betty and 1Rebel 


Sweaty Betty have teamed up with the London studio, 1Rebel to create their latest Get Fit 4 Free campaign - a weekly class led instore as well as an online workout which can be done at home. I got to head down to the SB Head Office for the laugh and try out the workout myself; it was a tough one - a mixx of MMA (mixed martial arts), boxing and other exercises in rounds lasting 3-5 minutes. The music was loud, the moves were intense and the energy was high. 

Check out the video {here} and get your sweat on! #ItsAKnockout 

Food: VitaMojo  


If you work in the Bank / St Pauls area in London, you have to check out the newest food venue on the block! It seems that Vita Mojo is a new concept in food... you can either order a "box" which is a combo of foods or customise the box yourself. I went for a customised box of chicken, sweet potato mash, red cabbage, kale, a tiny piece of polenta and a spicy thai dressing. When you choose which foods you want you can also adjust the quantity (y'know, so it fits your macros!). Mine came in at 595kcal, 35g fat, 37g protein and 33g carbs. You also choose a collection time when you order online and just pop along to get your food. 

The food tasted AH-MAZING. I literally got to sample the ENTIRE menu for the day and have no favourite! ...it was all so flavoursome (food without flavour is my worst nightmare!). 

Coming Up....

The London Winter Run, the launch of a new studio FitMiBody, Urban Movement with Pure Gym ( a day packed with different types of workouts), getting back into cycling ...and February. Basically, it's February already. How.


What's on your agenda in the next month or so?! ...been to any good classes / events?! 

Elle :) x

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25.1.16

Sport'n Style || New Year, New Gear with NX Sport

Waiting for January payday seems to be so painful. Every year. Reading all the posts about how to find your fitness motivation again and they're telling me new kit will get me back in the gym. I know this. But they clearly haven't seen my bank balance lately! Ha! ...So right now. I'm all about some affordable new kit for the new year to help me feel great.... and I think I've found just that at Next with their updated sportswear range, NX Sport, for 2016.


Kit For My First 2016 Miles 

I have no shame in being honest about the fact that I haven't run outdoors in probably more than 6 months. I've done interval training now and then at classes but with my first race for the year coming up, it was time to get outdoors and remind my legs what they need to do! I picked the perfect outfit from Next to get outside... 




All the pieces are made from moisture wicking fabrics and have the essential features (i.e a back pocket in the leggings and jacket, mesh panelling). The leg length is perfect for me (29" and I'm 5' 5"). The vest is super long, as you can see in the images but you can pull it up or down to a length that suits you! In this dull weather, there's nothing a little neon can't put right! 





Way back in the day, when I had all the fitness qualifications (science-y ones) but not really any of the active experience, the Next catalogue was my go to for workout gear! They've always had a great selection and I am loving the fact that you only have to order before midnight to have your pieces delivered the very next day! No excuses now, eh?! They also sell all your typical big brands if you need a swoosh or 3 stripes ;) 

It only made sense then, that when I started blogging, I joined the Next Bloggers Network. Not being a fashion, home decoration or overly lifestyle (other than fitness lifestyle) blogger means I don't get to share too often but this time, Fitness is at the top of the agenda (...erm, it is January, THE month that everyone declares they will get fit!). 

If you're searching for your running mojo too, switch up the game! How about you...

...ditch the music for podcasts! I've blogged about 3 series you should download, right now

...get back on track with a little treadmill masterclass

...add some yoga to your routine with these 6 poses for runners

With the mild weather back (for only a short time I'm sure), there's no time like the present to get back to pounding the pavement! I'll be at the London Winter Run on Sunday 31st January, getting prepped with my 6 day countdown guide which effectively starts today! 

What new kit have you bought recently?! How have you motivated yourself to get back into running?!

Elle :) 

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p.s incase you're wondering, this post is not sponsored / I was not paid but I was provided with the kit. But you know me, all opinions are my very own ;) 

p.p.s Before I go, just wanna say thank you to Georgina of Fitcetera who took all the awesome photo's in this post! 
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