Free Desktop Calendars January 2017

Over the past few months, I've become a little addicted to updating my desktop wallpaper with a calendar which I've downloaded each time Charlotte of Berice Baby has shared them!

This month, I've branched out and done all the work myself (Charlotte is a little busy - go check out her blog and see what she is up to!) ...I did this mostly for myself but then it made sense to share it seen as I had already done all the work! I've only created desktop versions, but if they're popular (or requested) I'll be happy to sort some iPhone / iPad versions for February! Let me know!

Happy January peeps! Please pin and share them too so everyone can save themselves a little extra admin this month! 

Download: Desktop

Download: Desktop

Download: Desktop

Let me know if you use any of them or have any particular requests for February!

Until next month, 

Elle :) 

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JANUARY: New Year New You 30-day Challenge

Dear 2017, I've been thinking about 2016 a lot in order to make it work between us, right here right now; cos just because it's 2017, doesn't mean that 2016 doesn't matter anymore. Just like when we get our tomorrow, our yesterday still exists. What I learnt from the last year didn't change much from that of the one before - being in your thirties is a whole new ball game, my body goals are not the same as they used to be, comparison is the theif of joy, the mind is a powerful tool, no doesn't mean a thing and don't waste your precious time on things and people that don't deserve it! ...look forward to hanging out with you 2017 😉 #2016bestnine #keepitsimpElle #personaltrainer #fitnessprofessional #fitnessblogger #fitfamuk #befitfam #fitpackfam #runhappy #london #londonbloggers #sweatpink #fitfluential #30plusblogs #sweat
A photo posted by keep it simpElle (@ellelinton) on

Now don't worry peeps, I have not sold out to the whole New Year, New You BS. But I do need a little motivation to get back into the swing of things now that January is here, because, unlike most (or am I wrong?!) when Christmas came, I decided it was time to well and truly wind down while many were focusing on how to stay active over the period, 'FITmas' and all that jazz. Don't get me wrong, I didn't let myself go, but my eating habits and activity levels were on the lower side of moderate and I'm not sorry.

So now it's January, there are less than 4 weeks until the only race currently in my 2017 race calendar and it's time to buckle down. Therefore, I've set myself a few goals, a challenge per se to get me through the month and technically it kinda is a new me as I'm not known to be good at committing to training for races I enter.

To help me make it through the month, I've got myself a FitBit Blaze, a new pair of trainers and a new fit kit outfit every 10 days from the women's sports & leisure range at Debenhams to keep me on track. Cos, lets be honest, we all love some new tech, new trainers and shiny new kit right?!

Shock Absorber Bra, Loran Jane Tights, Sketchers Trainers

Let me get down to business and share with you my plans for January: 

1. Run 3x per week 
Of course I will be running each week at Winter Run Club but if I want to make my goal time for the London Winter Run then I need to put in a little more effort! In week 1 of January I managed to hit up parkrun on NYD, then Winter Run Club and parkrun again to end the week. So far, so good. The plan for week two is Adidas Runners, Winter Run Club and the newest parkrun on the block... specifically just one mile from my front door (finally!!) .

2. Start my journey back in the pool, ready for my 2017 goal...
Now I can't be super specific about this one but I'll be able to reveal all soon! At the end of 2016, I got back into the pool and it reminded me how much of a challenge it is, but how much I enjoy it. Therefore it's defo on my list for 2017 and I'm planning to make a start this January by getting reacquainted with the water ready to take on swimming again and make some more progress...

3. Add Indoor Cycling to my repertoire... 
I think I mentioned last November that I'm keen to put my Indoor Cycling qualification to good use as soon as possible so in January, I'm keen to get some practice in on the bike. I'm booked in the new Connect class at Gymbox this month (review will be on the blog after) and will also be attending a training session for a new indoor cycling concept at a brand new studio coming to London town... so watch this pace! ...and if you have any epic tracks to recommend for a indoor cycling playlist then please leave them in the comments / tweet me / email... just lemme know!


There you have it. Nothing major, right?! ...well, January is only one month, and these are all crucial to making a great start to my year. Keep an eye out this month to see how I get on with these goals...

What's your plan for January?! 

Elle :) 

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7 Must Have Accessories To Personalise Your Olympus PEN EPL7 / EPL8

You guuuuys, it's been so long since I've even mentioned my favourite blogging tool - The Olympus PEN EPL-7; after I had to send it away in the summer for more than a month, I kinda lost my passion. Well, just a little bit! I don't think it helps that we're now in the depths of Winter and the light is bad which makes taking a good photo that much harder. I'm also not a huge fan of the "standing there" after a workout shot so since my Narrative Clip bit the dust (that's a story in itself!) I've not had too many action shots from sweating to share in IG.

Anyway, 2017 is a new year and I'm pretty sure a few of you got the PEN from Santa after months of lusting after it right?! I've had mine for over a year now so I'm familiar with what accessories work really well with your new (or not so new) piece of kit...

Here are a few of my must haves...

Start Top Left (clockwise) 

Fish Eye Lens ||  I got to have a little play around with this at an Olympus Bloggers workshop in the summer (I think!). I added it straight to my wishlist on amazon. This particular model is the 9mm f8 - it can capture a whole room in one image without having to lodge yourself in the corner of the room on the highest possible surface! The quality is decent enough however in low light conditions it may not work so well. The lens also doubles up as a lens cap with it's own closing mechanism which is an added bonus.

Tripod Adaptor || If you're gonna jump on the video bandwagon for 2017 (it's set to get even bigger) then this is worth getting. At less than a fiver from Amazon, it allows you to use a tripod and be able to view your screen flipped down / yourself talking for recording your vlogs.

The 45mm Lens || Now, I made this purchase just a couple months after buying the camera itself and for a long time I loved it. The reason I loved it was because it was just so easy to take a good photo. As time went on and I learnt a little more about photography I came to be able to also take good photos with the 17-42mm kit lens so the usage split is now a lot more even. You can pick it up in black from John Lewis or silver from Amazon.

Camera & Lens Pouches || ...now if you're lucky enough to have a £300 - 400 camera and maybe a £180 lens you might want to look after them right?! Mine are usually at the bottom of my handbag and have been subject to abuse from water bottles (and the actual water in them), food and pens. I absolutely loved the handbags come camera bags but generally I need a bag that holds a lot more than the camera itself. So I opted for a pouch for my camera body itself as it's padded and protects it from dirt, along with one for any lenses I will carry at the same time. They look super stylish and aren't priced too badly - check them out from the Olympus Store.

Leather Wrist Strap || For at least the first year of having the PEN, I used the shoulder strap that came with it. I found it got in the way a lot so not too long ago I purchased the leather wrist strap which works a lot better for me. There are a range of colours you can get it in (check it out on John Lewis website here) or you can get pink like I did from Amazon!

Jody Hybrid Tripod || This is the most recent accessory purchase I have made and one of my favourites! I have a regular tripod (check out this post on my blogging toolkit) but it's just a little too big and conspicuous to carry around on a daily basis. The Joby Hybrid Tripod is perfect for the size and weight of the PEN (I know from experience as I had the original version and it would just fall over when I tried to use my PEN with it!) and is so quick and simple to set up and use. I recently used it to take some shots while I attended my session at The Running School (check out my IG post) - I used the custom settings to put it on a 10 second delay, to take 4 shots at 3 second intervals.

So hands up who got the PEN for xmas?! ...any other must have accessories you would recommend for the PEN or photography in general?! 

Elle :) 

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5 More Ways To Stay On Track With Your Fitness Over The Holidays

The big day is right around the corner now and I dunno about you, but I've not been holding back! I've eaten anything I've wanted, anytime I fancied it but I found solace in the fact that I have actually still been training regularly! ...every cloud and all that!

Before I fell down the abyss of holiday eating, I had reached out to some friends to find out what their strategies were for staying on track with their fitness over the holidays. Then I went way off track with blogging (I blame my shoulder injury; did I tell you I tore my rotator cuff?! ...and then a horrid head cold for almost two weeks). Anyway, I'm back, and just in time to share what they told me with you...

Here are five more ways to stay on track with your fitness over the holidays...


Photo Credit: Lolography

Make It Fun; Don't Put Too Much Pressure On Yourself
Sometimes we can become a little too focused on "eating clean" and avoid treats etc.  As Tess, of FitBits told me, "It's Christmas, and Christmas is for indulging! Just be consistent as you can and get outside for a run, walk or ride when you can. I *LOVE* my Christmas day run, it's always a bitterly cold, crisp winter's day - and the post-run reward of Christmas dinner, chocolate and booze is more than worth it!". 

Earn Your Dinner
Helen (HelsBels) suggests that we "Go to Christmas day parkrun! It's free, it's fun and it'll give you loads of energy for the rest of the day plus you'll really enjoy that Christmas dinner after" ...Personally, I don't have a car so access to park run is limited for me but I may lace up and do a mile or two at least in celebration of the big day. A couple years ago, I was lucky enough to be staying in the centre of London enabling me to run along the River Thames on Christmas Day which was simply glorious (barely any traffic, and barely any people!); this doesn't happen often, if ever in London.

Photo Credit: Lolography

Drink Plenty Of Water To Stay Fuller For Longer
"It'll help you feel fuller so you're not as tempted to eat lots of holiday treats!" Laura of Fat 2 Fit told me. "And if you do want to have a treat just be mindful... eat because you're hungry and not just because it's there!". Now this is good advice! I start every day with a glass of water before breakfast; it was a small change I introduced in the hope of it becoming a good habit (which it now is). As well as aiding with hunger, it's also crucial for hydration as we can often forget about consuming water in the colder months. 

Get Social / Workout With Friends / Commit To A Challenge
Johanna told me... "In terms of workout I schedule sessions with a partner as they are less likely to be cancelled". This was the main reason for me starting Winter Run Club; it serves as a chance to socialise and also ensures I show up once per week and actually run! Having the London Winter Run in juts 6 weeks is also a great motivator as I'm looking to get back into 10km shape (run a sub 60 minute race) or even PB but I have a whole post coming about that!

Bex (The Art of Healthy Living) suggested that we "Get the family involved! Hikes in the countryside, geocaching - sooo good, especially for kids, treasure hunts, fun runs with kids. The key is to make it fun so it doesn't feel like you're forcing yourself into exercise. Fresh air is proven to increase those feel good endorphins and when you're happy you're far less likely to emotionally eat or to grab all that naughty stuff."

Hayley (Break The Loop) said "I always join in with a virtual challenge, something like strava's Festive 500... You bike 500km between Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve... It has to be outside so it can be a bit brutal but I certainly don't feel guilty about over indulging over Christmas AND I know I'm starting the New Year with loads of miles in my legs!"

Mona (The Heavy Blog) shared.... "My friend is having a massive engagement party in January so I've bought a dress for it and the goal is to fit into it comfortably by then!"

I've been creating a little (well, rather long now) list of things I wanna do in 2017 and the Rapha500 Challenge that Hayley mentioned may well be something I aim to tackle this time next year! I'm hoping by then I will have plenty of winter cycling gear so I can keep my bike from hibernating when the sun decides to duck out on us!

Photo Credit: Lolography

Keep your workouts short and sweet / get it done at the start of your day
"The Christmas holidays are usually quite busy for most of us socially speaking, so it can be really tricky to fit in a proper workout/run. So my key advice is to do streaks - short but intense workouts that really get your heart pumping. 15-20 minutes a day could help people keep their fitness levels up! Doing a little but frequently is easily manageable and is more than doing nothing at all- every little helps. It could be a dash around the block or a HIIT style home workout whilst the turkey is cooking." Timea (of Train Strong, Live Strong)

Ellen (of Tale of Two Runs) suggested to "Get your workout/run in at the beginning of the day! Best thing I ever did was to convert to a morning runner/workout person.It runs my whole day and sets a very productive pace for me."

I'm still working on being a morning person but the few times I have gotten my work out in before anything else, it feels kinda epic!

Do you have any other tips for staying on track with your fitness over the holidays and into the New Year?! 

Elle :) 

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And Relax... The Luxe Side of Loungewear

You guys. I swear I've spent the whole of December reading about active advents, and merry fitmas when all I've wanted to do is reeeeeeelax! 

When you live, breathe and sleep fitness maybe at this time of year you just wanna let go and chill out! Now I'm not saying to do nothing cos we all know where nothing gets us, but it certainly is a good time to lessen our sweat schedules, catch up with friends and attend all the social events! 

So when this email from Topshop landed in my inbox about luxe loungewear, I just envisioned me wearing it all on Christmas day (and all the days up till January 3rd approx) and wanted to share that with you! 

Hope you're enjoying a well earned break too! 

Elle :)

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Image Credits: Topshop
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