31.7.15

London Area Guides with Flexioffices

Earlier this year, I spent some time putting all my knowledge of Fitness & Wellbeing in London down on "paper" to help create some amazing London Area Guides in collaboration with Flexioffices!

Well, finally, I can share the fruits of our hard work!


The guides cover where to eat, fitness & wellbeing, shopping and hidden gems in a plethora of areas in London. Although I know a lot of places to work out, I still learnt and discovered a lot!



Here is where you can find all the insider information about things to do in London! But I'm sure there are a few more places that may have been missed off the radar!

Which of the areas is your favourite to hang out in?! I heard that Flexioffices ran a survey to find out Londoners’ favourite places to unwind after work in the capital and found that the answer was Covent Garden! Would Covent Garden get your vote?! 

Do you have any favourite spots in London?! Share with me in the comments and maybe I'll see you here?! 


Elle :) 

CreditsPhotos by @urbanpixxels

28.7.15

Elle: What I Eat In A Week

I'm not really sure where I got the inspiration for this post; I think it was a number of different posts elsewhere talking about how athletes eat, tips for meal prepping and then writing my blogiversary post where I talked about how much my eating habits have changed spurred me on to share what I actually eat on a day to day basis.

I'm currently contemplating doing another Whole30 but then a part of me just can't be bothered, if I'm honest. Then I thought, how about a Whole15; and to be honest, I still can't be bothered. Right now, anyway. I'm sure when the time is right, I will do another.

So here's a little overview of what's really been going on my plate...


Breakfast

Breakfast for me depends on how much time I have to prepare it. Over the last few weeks, typically I've had...

Rude Health Granola topped with fruit (usually blueberries), almond milk
Paleo Mint Chip Smoothie
- Cuckoo Bircher Muesli...


...which I got to try out for a whole week*! I tried the Apricot & Madagascan Vanilla, Choco Sour Cherry and Apple & Cinnamon Spice. They're made with jumbo oats and creamy West Country yoghurt which my stomach could tolerate! The ingredients are fresh which means they need to be kept chilled; hence why I didn't get to try all 5 flavours after a couple of them didn't survive the journey home on the Central Line! 



I loved how versatile they were though; I had one for breakfast, one as dessert and one as a snack! They retail for £1.99 which I think is pretty reasonable for such a fresh, tasty and satisfying product! If you wanna pick yourself up a pot, head over to Waitrose, Whole Foods or AMT Coffee!

On the weekends I'll go for the whole sha-bang;

- Eggs, bacon, tomato, avocado and whatever else is in the fridge that I can stuff on my plate
- Croissants, orange juice and granola with blended fruit
Smoothie Bowl with a whole variety of toppings!


Snacks

Here's a list of all the snack options I've grazed my way through in the past couple of weeks! I normally get hungry after breakfast, around 10 - 11am and on Friday's evenings when I don't get to eat until 8.15pm after work and teaching.

- Cashews
- 9bars*

- Graze box*
- Nakd bar
- Fruit (mostly plums in the last couple of weeks)
- Sushi from Itsu
- Rice cakes covered in dark chocolate from Pret a Manger
- Almond milk latte from Pure

I try really, really hard to always carry a healthy snack in my bag with me and sometimes, I just fancy something a bit sweet (hence the rice cakes with chocolate). There were two days in a row where I got breakfast from Pret (a granola pot) but also had a chocolate croissant. Then I thought it was getting out of hand so forbade myself any more chocolate croissants!

Lunch and Dinner 



Typically, I have the same meals for lunch as I do dinner; I usually cook enough of a meal for 2-3 portions which takes the pressure off me cooking the next day and means I have a healthy option to pack in my bag for lunch.

- Bolognese with gluten free pasta
- Vegan sausages with new potatoes and broccoli
- Salmon fillet with new potatoes and broccoli
- Sushi from Itsu
- Whole roast chicken (5 servings)
- Moroccan fish stew (Abel & Cole)
- Pork chops (pictured above - Abel & Cole)
- Chicken & noodle dish (Abel & Cole)

A few weeks ago, I ordered a recipe box from Abel and Cole. It contained the ingredients for 3 recipes (2 servings each) so lasted me for 5 meals (and the time my mum came for dinner!). I loved the recipes; I did think they were a little laborious (maybe just me being lazy after work?!) and thought the protein to carb ratio was way out (i.e the pork chop dish above, there was way too much rice and not enough meat on the one pork chop). I loved that every meal was organic and contained good servings of fruit and vegetables; something I don't find so easy to keep up with.

I'm a huge fan of the slow cooker too! I just throw the food in there overnight and wake up to a home cooked meal ready for lunch / dinner!

I feel like we've become a little judgmental of what others eat, and what philosophy they choose to follow. In my opinion, what works for others won't necessarily work for me so my main aim is to work out, meal by meal, what my body likes and doesn't. I do think that food is behind some of my issues (such as problem skin) and I'm determined to find out what exactly it is that's causing the issues!

So what's really been on your plate the last few weeks?! 

I'll be following up this post with my top tips for eating well! 


Elle :) 

p.s I got sent / given the items with a * to try and review; but all opinions are my own! Hell, I was even honest (and gutted) that I didn't get to try all 5 of the Cuckoo Bircher Muesli's! 

27.7.15

3 Trends For Summer Commuting

Technically it's summer here in London. Even on the days it's not too hot in the city, the underground seems to be sweltering. I even heard a rumour that temperatures can hit 50 degrees celsius which wouldn't surprise me at all!

With the risk of another tube strike coming our way too I thought I'd share ways to enjoy the beautiful days, avoid the stress of public transport and travel around the city (assuming you can get into the city first, right?!)!

1. Run / Walk


Number one on my list is to turn your commute into a run, run / walk or walk commute. Whether you choose to run or walk may also depend on facilities available at work once you arrive if you like to take a shower and freshen up. At one point I live just a 5km run from my workplace; running to work was so much more reliable than waiting for the bus and getting stuck in traffic. It also killed two birds with one stone and meant I got a workout in!


2. Scooter / Longboard


This seems to be a trend that is growing in the City of London  (envisage man in suit pushing himself along to meeting on scooter) and I'm on the verge of joining in! It seems that scooters and longboards are no longer just kids toys! I feel like it'll be a leg workout as well as some low intensity cardio built into your commute!


3. Cycle


Last but not least, either dust your own bike off or use a few quid to hire one in the City. There are pro's and cons to both options. If you take your own bike, you have to take a lock, find somewhere to lock it up and then you kinda have no choice but to cycle home too. If you hire a bike, you have to get to the pick up point, find a drop off point and hope there's a bike there when you want one but all you have to worry about is carrying a helmet (because we wear helmets).

Tell me, how do you beat public transport?! 


Elle :) 

24.7.15

#GetSpeedoFit Challenge 2015: The Halfway Point

Somewhere, I heard a statistic that it takes the average adult 20 hours of lessons to learn how to swim. I've probably just about hit that milestone in lessons so I guess that might technically mean I can swim? If I'm an average adult?!

We've just passed the halfway point of the 6 week #getspeedofit challenge - the point where it's basically do or die. Sink or swim. Literally.

Photo Credit: David Shepard

I have 3 short weeks to pull it out of the bag. Swim 3-4 times each week. Plus a little triathlon thrown in for good measure.

In the last 3 weeks, I've felt my confidence grow. There was a point though where I had a little crisis of confidence - I got into my head and started to panic about my capability in front crawl and was a little devastated that I would have no choice but to swim breaststroke in a triathlon I completed in May. On the day, it turned out that front crawl felt more comfortable for me - something that even surprised me a little!

It may sound stupid, but I felt a little self conscious before taking my training aids into the pool with me but now me and my fins (aka flippers) take charge of the lane!


In my most recent lesson with Speedo Coach Dan Bullock, we worked on drills to help my overall technique. This included ensuring I keep my front arm straight (and not push it down) when breathing, practising the position of my face when breathing and working on improving my kick through less bend in the knee.

You can download my 6 week training plan from the hub and give it a go!


...You'll know by know that I completed the challenge in addition to Windsor Triathlon. I wrote this post in real time but for some reason just didn't know how to finish it or how much to share. The full results of the 6 week challenge aren't out yet; we headed back to University of Bath to repeat the fitness testing. 

I haven't been in the pool as much since the challenge ended; I just needed some time out after dedicating more than 6 months to learning to swim and taking part in the triathlons. I miss it though and I'll be back. I still have one more triathlon to train for at the end of the season and I want to finish strong. 

It's been such an amazing journey; it's opened up the conversation with so many people I know, and those I don't know. I've learnt that many of us are not strong swimmers and even if I've inspired just one person to learn to swim or take up improver lessons I would class that as a success. 

What's your swimming like?! Would you take on a triathlon?! 

Elle :) 

23.7.15

Elle About Town, July 2015

It's been a few months since I've shared an Elle About Town post; there were lots of products I loved and shared in Elle Love's but I hadn't been to that many events or new classes! Now my main triathlon and swimming training is out of the way, I have time to mix up what I do! 

Here's what I've been up to or plan on getting up to in and about London Town! 

Events: #LJInspired Event with SportStylist 

Lorna Jane just launched their new book; Inspired! SportStylist hosted an awesome celebration at the Laboratories Spa in North London. Unfortunately, I missed the class with Carly (LJ Ambassador) but I made it in time to catch up with some of the lovely ladies in attendance and chat to some of the brand representatives.


Keep an eye out on FB and the blog for my thoughts on the book! My coffee table won't be the same!


Events: Graze Pop Up Snack Bar 

Last week, Graze launched their #goodtogo range. If you know the brand, you'll know them for supplying their yummy snack boxes via mail order subscription; but now, you will be able to pick them up in selected stores like Boots, Sainsburys and WHSmiths!


Of the 12 varieties that will be available my favourites are Juicy Peach & Raspberry (the uber healthy, one of my 5 a day choice) and Chocolate Pretzel Dippers (as my indulgent yet only 141 calories option). I've had the pleasure of trying all 12, and quite honestly can say there is not one I wouldn't eat again! It's great to see some good 'ol favourites in there (I used to subscribe when they launched 7 years ago and I was based in an office) as well as some new recipes!

Classes: Groove Cycle Dance 


I finally made it to a class! SJ invited me to one of her GrooveCycle classes and I jumped at the chance! I signed up for the dance version due to my schedule and it turned out to be just what it said on the tin! We learnt a choreographed routine on the bike and it took me right back to being at theatre school every Saturday busting some moves!

I wasn't sure I was even gonna survive past the warm up; don't go thinking this isn't a workout! But I made it to the end and literally needed food and my bed by the time we were done 60 minutes later! I urgently recommend you check out the website and have a gander at the awesome videos!

Next time (because there will be a next time!) I would love to video the routine so you can see what the heck I looked like! I'm sure how I feel in my head doesn't quite translate to reality...

Events: London Bloggers Picnic in the Park 

The London Bloggers crew got together again for some summer sun in the park one Saturday afternoon! We chatted all things London and all things blogging whilst supping on prosecco and nibbling on all sorts of snacks.

Photo: Jessie_JCarlson on IG
I also caught up with some of the gang at the Olympus PEN Party; it was an evening with a talk from an Olympus sponsored blogger, the chance for us to get our photo taken by a top fashion photographer and a few drinks and nibbles!


Coming Up....

Photography - The 101 Workshop  
As if you don't already know that I've organised a workshop for bloggers and enthusiatists! Taking place on Sunday 16th August in London - check out the full details and book here at www.keepitsimpelle.com/workshops ...hope to see you there! #ThePhoto101 



I'll also be....

Running with Dame Kelly Holmes 

Attending the So Much More Industry Insider Event 

...and attending the Brooks Thank You Running Hour Event :) 

What fun stuff is coming up for you in the next month?! 


Elle :) x

21.7.15

Things I Wanna Learn From #ThePhoto101


I created the group London Bloggers last year when I realised that locally there was no resource for us to come together, share ideas and learn. We have lots of interesting conversations in the group and one regarding photography led to me organising this workshop. There's a personal interest in it for me as well as giving other bloggers and enthusiasts the opportunity to learn and be inspired.

Here's what I wanna get out of the workshop in August:


I remember being in conversation with a brand and they mentioned they liked the images I used on my blog. This was a major factor for them in choosing to work with me and providing me with their product to share. As the quote above says; images transcend words.

I've always been into photography. I had my first camera with film and everything so many years ago. Since digital cameras came about I have probably updated mine every 2 - 4 years before iPhones came along! I bought my last digital camera at the airport as I jetted off to Miami some 5 or 6 years ago and recently upgraded to the Olympus PEN E - PL7.


I've had the PEN a few weeks now and take it everywhere with me; I read somewhere that you should take pictures everyday so I try.


I want to...

...Be able to make the most out of my camera and move away from auto mode. When I speak to photography friends and tell them I use auto mode, I feel like a little part of their soul dies. But it's only easy when you know how, right?!

...have time to get my head around things! The last workshop I attended gave out notebooks at the end so it meant I couldn't remember a thing to write down (I like to write; that's my learning style!) and it lasted just 30 minutes. At #ThePhoto101 we have 3 hours with Eulanda and our peers! I'm hoping to get notebooks so no one need worry about not having anything to write on!

...have the opportunity to ask questions and also hear questions from others that I didn't even know I needed the answer to!

...share what I know, get new ideas from others and meet people who have a shared interest!

...maybe arrange meet ups after the workshop for "mini shoots" where we can take those outfit / outdoor pictures of each other that we've been meaning to take for months and get to put our new found knowledge and skills to work!

Are you looking to improve your photography skills?! If you're in London on Sunday 16th August, please book your ticket {here} and join us for #ThePhoto101

What's your top photography tip?! 

Elle :) 

20.7.15

RECIPE: Paleo Mint Chip Smoothie

I'm in the middle of writing a post about what I typically eat in a week when I realise I've never shared this smoothie recipe that I practically live on! I sometimes have it on it's own if I don't have time to stop and eat or have it in addition to some cooked food. It's perfect for those who are doing Whole30 or follow the paleo way of eating! 


Ingredients: 


1 cup almond milk
1 scoop of paleo protein powder 
1 tbs cacao nibs
1 frozen banana
1 tbs mint leaves
1 cup of fresh / frozen greens (kale / spinach)

Method: 


Place all ingredients in your blender and blitz until smooth :)

Do you have a favourite go to smoothie recipe?! 


Elle :) 

17.7.15

3rd #BLOGIVERSARY: Elle's Top 3 Posts

In honour of my 3rd Blogiversary, I've picked 3 of my personal favourite posts to share with you!

{BLOG} Le Tour De Teisseire

A day out in Paris, sampling perfumes, fine food, matching wines and of course, Teisseire Sirops!


{BLOG} Who Are You When You Work Out?

After realising who I was being when I worked out, I shared a few other common characters that I have seen over the years teaching! Got any to add?! 
{BLOG} 10 Lessons From An Honestly Healthy Week 

My first foray into eating well and nourishing my body! I learnt a lot in one week and have this book to thank for sparking my journey into loving food!


Picking just 3 posts was difficult; I certainly hope you have some favourites too!

Let's stay connected on Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

Elle :) 

16.7.15

5 Things No One Tells You As A New Swimmer

Six months down the line from taking up the challenge to swim and I've learnt a few lessons which I wanna share with you here! None of this is necessarily a secret, just things that you forget about when you're used to swimming and it all comes to you automatically!

1. Look After Your Feet

When I started swimming, I thought it would require less kit, less prep and less to do after my session. I couldn't have been further from the truth. I have a bag jam packed with a costume, towel, learning aids and products for my skin and hair.

I learnt one particular lesson the hard way; in a bid to get dressed as quickly as possible I obviously didn't dry my feet well enough. This meant that the skin under one of my toes got so soft that it split. Ouch. Now, I take extra time to dry under and between my toes, then moisturise.


I've been testing out Scholl Dry Skin Recovery Cream for the past few weeks. I have "this thing" where I literally can't sleep if my feet feel dry! So I've used the cream each and every evening before I go to bed, along with socks to keep my feet feeling soft! To me, Scholl is to feet what Speedo is to swimming!

I also used some of their Fresh Step Shoe Spray to freshen up my trainers which are stored in the bottom of my wardrobe! It helped to neutralise odours that already existed and then I also now use it when I take off my trainers to stop odour occurring.

Anyway, enough about feet!

2. Coconut Oil For Everything

After feet, comes hair and skin. One thing I learnt is that coconut oil can be used for both which means I have to carry less! I use a cheap version from Superdrug for this rather than my pricey tub of Vitacoco coconut oil to moisturise my skin and also to moisturise my hair to combat the drying effects of chlorine.


3. Well Fitting Cap and Goggles

...make the world of difference. When they fit well, they don't distract you; you can focus on actually swimming. I remember the day on Pinterest when I saw one of those funny posts - something like, "when non swimmers think a swimming cap is to keep your hair dry". Hmmmm. Well, I don't think that anymore after seeing that! But if the cap fits well, it will keep your hair pretty dry and in emergency circumstances can mean you only need to rinse the edges of your hair.

4. Relax Your Shoulders

This may sound stupid if you're a experienced or confident swimmer! As a newbie, as the stress and nerves went to my shoulders. Being so rigid in the water just works against everything you are trying to do. If you have real issues with this, practice the upper body part of your stroke stationary at the edge of the pool to get used to the "feeling" and allow yourself some time to relax in the water. Just relax full stop.


5. Breathe Through Your Nose. Then Don't Breathe At All.

These were the two things I had to work on the most. The breathing out through my nose thing only really happened for me about a week before my second triathlon. It was a pretty amazing feeling to be honest - I was literally just splashing about in the "warm" pool at the gym when it happened. I then tried swimming to see if I could continue to breathe out through my nose and I could! I literally was so scared I would "forget" how to do it! It makes swimming feel so much less exhausting because my breathing is more relaxed and less forced.

Then, practice holding your breath. When I started swimming, I could only hold my breath for about 8-12 seconds! Now I'm up to about 26 seconds with a little practice and some altitude training. In my mind, it's allowed my body to get used to the feeling of reduced oxygen and not become tense with fear. It also means I have more time to find the right moment to breathe if I lose my rhythm.

What simpElle lessons have you learnt or would like to share?! 


Elle :) 

14.7.15

#ThePhoto101: Meet Eulanda


Photography - The 101 Workshop is all set to take place on Sunday August 16th! We're all gonna learn the "need to know" photography techniques, from basic DSLR settings to lighting, angles, and shooting super flat lays! ...But, we want know a bit about the lady who's gonna be imparting all this knowledge on us right?! 

Whether you've booked your ticket yet or not, read on...

Elle: Hey Eulanda! So I’m really looking forward to the workshop you’re leading in August! Tell us a bit about your photography background…

Eulanda: You know, I can't remember a time when I didn't have a camera in my hands. I was a child of the 80's, and I had one of those Fisher Price cameras that took 110 film. However, I was so fascinated by the "big people's" camera, that I begged my parents to use their Canon SLR camera. They weren't too keen on me playing around with it, but finally let me use it in a photography workshop I took when I was ten.


It was always a hobby that I was absolutely in love with until my friends began asking me to shoot their weddings, modeling portfolios, etc. My first wedding was a disaster (2001). I'm so embarrassed that I even charged her anything. I didn't know enough about lighting. It was an utter failure, however, it pushed me to start learning the more technical components of photography. Fast forward fourteen years later, I've had a history of exhibitions, publications, and of course epic photo failures, but I'm still in love with the art form! It's all about seeking to learn new things, exploring the world through my lens, and refining my photographic practice.

Elle: And what do you enjoy doing outside of photography?

Eulanda: I'm a total foodie, and major wanderlust. My husband and I love to travel and shamelessly eat our way around the world. I also love to dance! I used to teach and compete in Latin dance for fifteen years. Then after moving to the UK and finishing grad school, I made a major career move which led me to pursuing photography full time. This move has given me more time to travel, eat (of course), and now dance for fun! I also have a dance fitness business back in the U.S., that I travel back and forth to train and work with some amazing women there!


Elle: What’s your favourite “thing” to photograph?

Eulanda: Hmmmm, that is a difficult question! I guess I'd say I most enjoy travel photography, mostly because of the people it has introduced into my life. You learn so much about yourself, and your environment whenever you stop trying to get the perfect landscape photo, and just treat your camera as another guest on the trip; engaging with everything, and everyone around you!


Elle: Do you always use a DSLR?? What do you use if/when you don’t use your pro kit?

Eulanda: Funny enough, I went back to shooting film this year, so when I travel, I take the very first camera I bought in 1996. It's a Canon AE-1. It's my little clunker! Well, actually I should clarify ...it's pretty light, sturdy, and shoots beautiful images with an old 50mm lens. For pro gigs I shoot with my Sony a77, and Canon 1v. I tend to move around alot, so the lighter the better! I have my eyes on the mirrorless cameras, so that will be my next digital upgrade next year ;)

Elle: What’s your top tip for those of us who are looking to improve their photography skills?

Eulanda: Try to invest in a few workshops a year in subjects you want to learn. Youtube is wonderful, but there is so much to sort through, so take your time. Also, I've found taking 1on1's with photographers I'd like to learn from very beneficial. Online courses with critical critique and weekly photo projects that are skill and composition based are also really great! Lastly, shoot something everyday. Seriously, it helps!

Elle: Tell us a little bit about what we’ll get out of The 101 Workshop...

Eulanda: I tend to go pretty hard in workshops, so prepare to absorb loads of info! I want participants to go away with much more knowledge of how to get the best out of their cameras (from camera phones to dslrs). This really comes to getting out of shooting in auto mode.

Instagram & Pinterest have given us great tools to imitate composition, but I want participants to go away armed with confidence that they can compose and capture images with a higher level of technical knowledge. Also, I don't believe in "secrets of the trade." Knowledge is meant to be shared, so I will be giving loads of insider tips from great software to speed up editing, to cutting down on your workflow! And of course, in my classic style, I always have a few fun surprises up my sleeve! Can't wait to see many of you there!

Follow Eulanda: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

{BOOK HERE}

Keep up with the conversation and all the behind the scenes info on Twitter & Instagram using #ThePhoto101 

Elle :) 

Booked your place? 

I just booked my place on Photography - The 101 Workshop! Find out more & book your place here: www.keepitsimpElle.com/workshops [tweet this].

13.7.15

#GetSpeedoFit - Train and Race Team Speedo

It's 8am on a Sunday morning and I'm not gonna lie, I would rather stay in bed than do anything else. But, this isn't just any Sunday. It's the day that I get to head to the London Aquatics Centre (where the 2012 Olympics took place) and train with Team Speedo. Once in a lifetime opportunity, right?!

Olympic medal winner and current star of British swimming, Michael Jamieson joined Jazz Carlin, Siobhan O’Connor and James Guy to form Speedo’s UK swimming team up against the #getspeedofit challengers for 2015; David, Alex, Amy and I.


We started off the session with some dry land training. The drill we did actually made sense; they warmed up the joints and activated muscles we would be using when swimming.




It was soon time for our training to hit the water. Our Coach, Maria, started us working from bottom to top. We practised our streamline position while focusing on our kick. Then shoulders, working to keep our heads still as shoulders rotated.

Then, as you do; we raced. First up were the girls. We moved over to the 3m deep, 50m competition pool and I kid you not, I was nervous. I begged for the lane next to the pool edge and chose to start in the pool as I'm yet to ever jump into a vat of water. Us amateurs were given a little head start and off we all went! James was at the side of the pool encouraging me to keep going; I swam about 75% of the 50m front crawl then did what I now call my "Ibiza chill out" breaststroke to the end! ...It's not everyday you get Olympic and Commonwealth athletes as your cheerleaders, eh?!

I opted to be a cheerleader for the relay (I would've done it if I'd taken my fins - note to self - take fins everywhere!) but I still got my podium finish!


Huge Thanks to Speedo for a brilliant morning! 


Elle :) 

10.7.15

Behind The Screen: June 2015 Report

It's that time of the month again; where I talk all things blogging and statistics! 

Statistics; June 2015 

Google Analytics



June 1st - June 30th 
Google Analytics (GA) statistics seem to be the benchmark for blog statistics so I'm moving away from trusting what Blogger says and using these statistics going forward. It' s great to see month on month growth (also for April to May) and to know that I'm reaching a wider audience every time.

May vs June

Users 2,109 vs 2,284  (+175) 
Page Views 4,385 vs 4,733 (+348) 

FB page likes - 560 vs 593 (+33)
IG followers - 894 vs  938 (+44)
Pinterest followers - 503 vs 507 (+4)
Twitter followers - 2226 vs 2300 (+74)
BlogLovin' followers - 211

Amazon Associates
- 1st June - 30th June
- £0.40
- unpaid

I signed up to Amazon Affiliates (AF) around the middle of April. I'm still getting to grips with it and how it will work best. This month I replaced the sidebar advert, removed it, and it replaced it again with a different version! There seems to be no rhyme or reason behind people clicking the adverts so I'll just leave it where it is for now - featuring a few of my favourite products!

Affiliate Windows
- £6.97
- unpaid


Currently I'm signed up to MyProtein, Planet Organic, Simply Supplements and LessBounce affiliate schemes. I still haven't had the time to effectively share affiliate links and I think the brands could do more to work with their affiliates.

I recently added some code to my blog which will automatically turn product links into affiliate links (when appropriate) so I wouldn't have to go and build the links myself. I'm yet to try out this functionality as I just don't use all that many product links! {you can join here}

Other Advertising
- last 28 days
- £1.93
- unpaid

Kayla Itsines Affiliate Program
- $0

Kayla came to London in the last month but I wasn't able to attend the event :( so I didn't have anything to authentically share about the programme which was a shame. I still plan on trying the programme for myself as soon as possible.

Collaborative & Sponsored Posts
- £100
- paid

After reading {this blog post} about sponsored posts, I renamed this section. The posts I have so far included in this section have all been written by me therefore the compensation has been for my time.

This month I wrote a post about some of my favourite workout tracks. I will be judging a competition in collaboration with PureGym so have been compensated for my time. I've put this money towards buying a new camera as improving the photography on my blog is a goal of mine for 2015!

Other work and consulting
- £0

I've not done any other work this month that has been paid. I am currently working on an event for bloggers - The 101 Workshop on Photography. If you're interested in coming along, all the information can be found on the {Facebook Event page}.


Costs / Outgoings
- iCloud storage upgrade; £0.79
- Facebook Advertising Fee's; £3.07
- Twitter Advertising Fee's; £1.40

What Worked Well Last Month
This month, I updated my contact page. Before, when someone used it, the information would go through to a spreadsheet on Google Drive meaning I got no notifications. It meant that I would have to remember to check in every now again and my responses would not be in a timely fashion. 

I found put that blogger created a widget that sent the information straight to your email but it was only for your sidebar. But we know that google has the answer to everything and I eventually found out how to add it to a new page! 

Now I get instant notifications via my contact page! 

What I Did New This Month
- Twitter Advertising 
- Created my Media Kit 
- Turned my PayPal account into a Business Account 
- Integrated PayPal into blog 
- Used a custom redirect 
- Bought a new camera 

Check Out These Awesome Posts For Blog Inspiration
- Photography Tips for Bloggers
- The Changing Face of Blogging  
- Check your grammar! 

What I Will Try Next Month
- Running my first event for bloggers, I'll be looking into promoting the event to ensure it is fully booked and can cover costs

Goals For Next Month

GOAL - clean up labels on blog posts (complete 2015 at a minimum) - carried over from last month

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

Do you have blog goals that you are working towards?! Have you blogged about blogging?! Share your posts with me too! 


Elle :) 


Added to: 
A Cornish Mum

9.7.15

Third #BLOGIVERSARY: How Have Things Changed in These 3 Years?

5th July marked 3 whole years since the first time I ever clicked "post" right here on keep it simpElle (KISE). If you've been on this journey with me the entire time, you'll have seen all the changes that I've made and if you're newer to this journey you may have read about some of the changes; I'm pretty open and honest about everything that goes on behind the screen and on the screen!

I've dedicated this #blogiversary post to sharing some of the major changes that have gone on over the three years with KISE and I as a source of inspiration for the future!


What's Changed: Blog Design
When I started blogging, I barely had any idea what a blog was! I used a free blogger template, designed a little logo in photoshop and got on with things. I learnt as I went along, usually finding answers I needed on Google.

Late 2014 was when KISE went through the biggest design change. I used some money I earned through the blog to purchase a custom made theme. It allowed me to optimise everything the way I wanted it to be; my main goal was to be able to post larger images and that has happened! I'm now working on my photography skills having recently upgraded my camera!

What Hasn't Changed: Blog Design
The focus of KISE hasn't really changed all that much! The blog still covers fitness, health, wellbeing, running, food, sport'n style and events! And that will probably never change!


What's Changed: Social Media
Social Media changed all by itself and it's your choice whether you go with the flow or get left behind! Social Media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have made it increasingly difficult for brands (read bloggers) to promote themselves without paying to do so. On some occasions I've done that with the hope of it having a long term impact for KISE.

The newest social media sites around that you can find KISE on are Periscope (via Twitter) and Pinterest. My personal favourites are Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

What Hasn't Changed: Social Media
Social Media is a great way to communicate with people and brands all over the world. It opens up conversations and serves the latest and greatest news straight to you! Many of the opportunities I have come across have been through sites such as Twitter!


What's Changed: My Workout Routine
When I first started this blog, I had just begun {my running journey}, I was totally into Nike Training Club and I dabbled in yoga every now and again! I had also done a lot of Pole Fitness which I absolutely loved at the time even having my own pole installed at home!

These days, you'll find me swimming (after having learnt this year), cycling, at a CrossFit box, hitting up all sorts of classes from Rave, to spin to ...yeah that's kinda honestly it at the moment! I'm also hoping to get back into yoga to keep strong and flexible.

A couple years ago, I had to get a Guest Post for Tough Mudder, but in late 2014 I took part in my own obstacle course race - Men's Health Survival of the Fittest!

What Hasn't Changed: My Workout Routine
I'm still active! This is after all, my lifestyle! 

I stuck with running though which is massive! I started off running my first 10km and since then I've worked my way up to running half marathons (4 in total just for 2015). I started a run club to help me stay consistent and used KISE as a way to be accountable. Believe me, running has its good days an bad days but either way, it all counts! 


What's Changed: How I Eat
This has to be THE biggest change in the last three years. In the first year of blogging, I shared a few of my favourite recipes from BBC Good Food. Then I tried Honestly Healthy in January of 2014 and never looked back! I learnt about eating the alkaline way, added more veg to my diet and moved on to learning about Paleo and Whole30.

Since those humble days of not eating the best diet, I've become creative and even shared recipes that I created myself! I've also had two friends regularly share their amazing recipes right here on KISE.

What Hasn't Changed: How I Eat 
I still LOVE food. In fact, I probably love it more!



What's Changed: My Wardrobe
I used to own "normal" clothes. Now, I don't so much. When I actively try not to look like I'm going to the gym, a builder shouts to me and says "take me to the gym with you!". #fail

I think I may have forgotten how to wear normal clothes. My best efforts still include lycra. But who I am to fight who I am?! Anyway, wearing sportswear is basically a fashion all in its own right. I just clearly was ahead of the pack.

What Hasn't Changed: My Wardrobe 
Erm, this is the hardest one! I still wear underwear?! Seriously, that's the best I can come up with!

Thanks for being a part of my little corner of the internet! ...and here's to many more years and much more change!

What's been your most exciting (blogging or non blogging) change in the past 3 years?! 


Elle :) 

7.7.15

Race Recap Link Up {11}

Welcome back peeps! I haven't raced in a few weeks; not since the Nike Women's 10km, and that has been intentional. I decided I just wanted to take the summer easy, no major commitments, just training and running when I felt like it! But that doesn't mean I'm not thinking about my next race but it gives me time to read and enjoy all your race recaps...

I love writing up my races and reading about the experience of others. No one race is the same when we all have different points of view. So in the spirit of being a ra back seat racer at the moment,  I want you to relive your race and share your insight with me. The training miles, the race day jitters, the glory of crossing the finish line. the good - the bad - the ugly We want to hear it all….

So without further ado...

Welcome to the 11th Race Recap Link-Up!!


Meet the hosts...


collage jul 7

Jessica at The Silvah Lining: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Bloglovin'
Elle at keep it simpElle: Facebook| Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Bloglovin'
Lauren at Breathe Deeply and Smile: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Google+ | Bloglovin'

We'd love it if you'd follow us on all social media & let us know you've shared a post.


Featured post from last week...


IMG_1078

 The Fairfield Half Marathon recap by The Kooky Runner.

About this link up...


It is active every Tuesday - Friday.

Link up your most recent recaps, or throwback to an old favorite. *If your post is unrelated to the theme, it will be deleted.

One recap will be featured on the next link up! 

Read at least 3 other posts and leave them some love.

The more the merrier… share on your social media so others can link-up. #TuesdayTales

Grab the code to the link-up image below on your post or somewhere on your blog.

The Silvah Lining
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.thesilvahlining.wordpress.com" title="The Silvah Lining"><img src="http://i1017.photobucket.com/albums/af296/jsilva814/race%20recap_zpsky3snowg.jpg" alt="The Silvah Lining" style="border:none;" /></a></div>


Thanks for joining in all the fun and I'm looking forward to reading all your posts! 


Elle :) x
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