{Elle About} Mykonos Town

It's about time I rekindled my love of travel and no better way than to share a little about my recent trip to the Greek island of Mykonos which forms part of the Cyclades. Some rest and relaxation was long overdue and I view that as part of a balanced lifestyle so I'd love to take you along on my trip...

On day one, we went straight to Mykonos Town to get lost in the narrow winding streets with white washed buildings. The town is dotted with restaurants, cafes, bars and some sights to take in. It's perfect for ambling an afternoon or evening away especially as the entire town has been completely pedestrianised.

The Windmills Of Mykonos Town

Our first stop once we arrived in the town were the windmills. They were kinda hard to miss as they were located just a short walk from the bus station. The windmills are a popular tourist landmark even though they are no longer in use. Overlooking the sea, they look stunning and are the perfect backdrop for holiday snaps. 

Litte Venice

Just along the waters edge from the windmills you will find Little Venice on the western part of Mykonos Town with balconies overhanging the water, restaurants / bars with the perfect view of the evening sunset and ships on the horizon. 

You have to check out Scarpa Bar in the heart of Little venice for fruity cocktails and music. Also, Katerina's Bar for cocktails with stunning views from the balcony overhanging the water.

Then Venture Into The Narrow Streets 

After you've taken in the windmills and Little Venice, you have to venture away from the water into the narrow winding streets. There you will find even more bars, restaurants, cafes alongside plenty of shops where you can pick up all your Mykonos memorabilia (fridge magnets for me; I try to remember to pick one up in every city / town / place I visit!).

You then have to make a stop at Alley Cocktail Bar for an Espresso Martini. We spent the majority of our time at this bar laughing the night away. We've even been promised there will be a cocktail added to the menu which we named 'Flipping' 'El' - you heard it here first ;)

The average price of a cocktail in Mykonos Town seemed to be about €13 - €14 - lucky for me I'm not a huge drinker and especially not of cocktails due to the sugar content.

Places To Eat In Mykonos Town 

D'Angelo - we had dinner here one evening when I really fancied pizza. It has a sizeable menu of Italian, Mediterranean and Greek cuisine. It's located on your walk into town from the bus station so it's a stone's throw away from the hustle and bustle, but also the waterfront views. The staff were awesome and created a Hawaiian (ham and pineapple) pizza for me as it wasn't on the menu (isn't it the staple of a pizza menu, or just in the UK?!). A complimentary shot of limoncello after dinner was a nice touch too!

Nice N Easy - we ate here on our first evening as there was outdoor seating perfectly located on the waters edge to watch the sunset over dinner. I used the opportunity to try the greek dish Pastitsio (greek lasagne - pictured above) which did not disappoint. All the dishes in this restaurant are organic and locally sourced which was a great introduction to the islands cuisine.

Kalita - this restaurant was the most sophisticated of our trip. It came recommended to us by our favourite bartender on the island at Alley Cocktail Bar. We shared two main courses - one was a take on a beef burger and the other was sea bass - they were both delicious and presented immaculately.

I absolutely loved Mykonos Town; it didn't disappoint in that it looked every bit as beautiful when there as it does in the pictures you'll see here, on IG and Pinterest!

Have you been to Mykonos before?! ...I also have a post coming soon about Paraga, which is where we stayed on the island. Let me know what you think of this post too as it's the first time I've really covered my travels on the blog!

Where are you off to next on your travels?!

Elle :)

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Summer Running Goals [2016]

Back in July of 2012, my third ever post on this here blog was my write up of The British 10km! It was my first ever 10km race, and in actual fact probably around only the second or third tike I had run that far!

I then took on the race again in 2013 (Read: The British 10km #MyMoments) - since then, the race hasn't really been on my radar, because, lets be honest, it's not the cheapest race out there (currently £50). It's also now under the Vitality umbrella of races (along with Hackney Half Marathon, North London Half Marathon, Brighton Half Marathon and others I've yet to run!) 

After getting carried away last year booking races up to 12 months in advance, I kept my race schedule free for July and August allowing me to really think carefully about what I wanted to do, but also dependant on what shape I am in. I failed massively to commit to any training for my half marathons this year (but would still do it all over again!) so decided that 10km and less would be my distance of choice for the summer! 

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not going out there to PB! I'm just aiming to get back into the habit of training a little, enjoying running again and allowing myself the chance to take in the surroundings when I run - we will after all have the a huge bit of central london all to ourselves which doesn't happen often! 

Photo: Stance Run East London Tour
I'm even more excited about everything that goes with running! Firstly, I'm expecting a kit drop from Brooks with items I picked out from their FW16 range. Included in this are some new running shoes which I chose based on their 'Run Signature', a new, more intuitive categorisation of footwear that take into account running experiences and support. When I run, I love the sensation of being on clouds so I chose Launch from the Energise Category.

Next on my to do list is to create myself a little 10km training plan - if it's any good I'll share it on the blog too! I have just about 7 full weeks to get in a little training so I'll be hitting up Best's Bootcamp in Charing Cross, London amongst other places!

I also got my hands on a TomTom Runner 2 Cardio+Music - a GPS watch which also stores music allowing you to have your tunes on your run via bluetooth headphones. As well as being a GPS and storing your music, it also features wrist based heart rate monitoring which I've become even more of a fan of recently!

So keep an eye out on the blog for my training updates as well as the run down on race day itself (which is Sunday 10th July). Maybe even see you on the start line?!

What are your summer running goals?!

Elle :) 

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5 Myths I've Busted About Embracing My Natural Hair

For anyone who doesn't know me, I am Elle. AKA, the girl who relaxed (straightened) her hair for around 20 years and has been 'natural' for the past 3.5 years. 

Some years ago, a friend & colleague told me that "going natural" was like becoming a mother. And she was right. I regularly get all the same questions like - how long (have you been transitioning)? or when (did you have the big chop)? - it's kinda like a club it seems, with appreciative nods, and an opening for conversations started by strangers on the tube who are also natural. I kinda like it though, it's another chance to learn. 

There have been countless articles recently where black women have been deemed as unprofessional if they have their hair natural. Then comes the rebukes; stories of women embracing their natural hair, like this one posted by ASOS. But when I actually read it, it wasn't what I was expecting. It left me a little angry / upset to be honest so I decided to finally write about a topic that's been on my list for years now. My hair. And I'm using the ASOS post as a template. 

1. It Takes A While For Other People To Talk You Into It 
Another friend and colleague used to literally bug me all the time saying "you should go natural", "you'd look awesome with natural hair", "why don't you go natural?". Said friend was not black. After her relentlessness, and me being fed up of the process of relaxing my hair I decided to give it a go. I decided I would stop relaxing my hair to allow the straight bits to grow out. I even donned extensions for the first time in my life while I transitioned. When I did indeed chop the majority of my hair off, it was was so short. The shortest it had ever been in my life. And not for one moment did I consider not leaving the house. 

2. The Wash & Go Is Real 
Weekends were for wash day when my hair was relaxed. Now, 99% of the time is a wash and go for me. After the gym. After swimming. When I want to change up my style. It's an extra ten minutes in the shower. I still detangle (mostly with my fingers), I only use conditioner, and I don't own a hair dryer or any other heated appliance so it's air drying through and through. 

3. It's True, What Works For Someone Else Doesn't Necessarily Work For You, But, I Mean, How Else Will You Find Out What Works For You
This one, I'll give her. Except for the fact that how else do we find out what works for us?! I used youtube and blogs so much to find information and learn about products that I could potentially try. Now I focus on using products which are as natural as possible which will moisturise my hair (as afro hair is typically very very dry). The product I use the most is Coconut Oil so it either comes out of my food shopping (thanks VitaCoco) or I buy a cheaper version from Superdrug to carry with me to the gym / pool / holiday. 

4. Edges, Really?! 
The last time I "tamed my edges" I was 15. And we don't need to go an dig out those photos! I'm also yet to visit Paks in Dalston. I don't think I've ever been to Dalston. Exhausting is not a word I need to use to describe any task related to my hair. What's exhausting is reading negativity about afro hair, from black women. 

4. (Apparently There Are 2 Fours?!) Getting Rained On Doesn't Phase Me 
Don't we all carry an umbrella anyway?! If getting rained on was an issue then swimming would be a no go. My hair has swam through the River Thames. Yes. If you look after your hair  it can handle it. Imagine that I only learnt to swim properly at aged 30 because in the 20 years previous my hair was too much of a headache to get wet. 

Google 'black hair' and 'shrinkage'. And you'll see that black hair likes moisture. The moisture gets all up in it, and the kinks and curls come alive. And yes, your hair gets shorter. But do we need to prove to anyone how long our hair is when it's straight?! 

5. I Don't Own A Headscarf 
Hmmmm. I think I own a headscarf. I even had two, but my mum commandeered one. I own silk pillowcases too. Cos I read I should. The flattened afro is sometimes my thing but I just use a dash and a splash of my friend water to bring it alive again! 

So in the words of our friend Debbie; All in all, I'm nuff glad I stepped out of the comfort of my relaxer - this natural hair life isn't bad after all. And that's 3.5 years in. 

You can ask me anything. 

Elle :) 

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Running In Hot Weather || Hackney Race Weekender [2016]

For the third year in a row, I ran the Hackney Half Marathon. If there is one thing that is evident, it's that this race is cursed with hot weather. Hot weather that hasn't graced us with it's presence for training, so come race day when it's 27 degrees, we can't really cope.

In a bid to keep this post interesting (i.e save me from copy and pasting 2014 and 2015 reviews) I thought I'd share with you my strategies for coping with running in hot weather...

Kit Bag: After running the 5km on the Saturday, I made a last minute kit bag swap for shorts and a sports bra. Last year, I spent half the race faffing about with my top, then decided to take it off so I thought I'd just skip one this year seen as I knew it was gonna be hot. This particular sports bra has pockets on the front which are perfect for stashing my shotbloks, nuun hydration tablets and mobile phone. I also took along a bottle of water with me in this cute Swell Bottle which keeps your water cold for something like 12 hours! Do you know how good a cold sip of water tastes after running for two and half hours in the heat?!

Tip: pack vaseline to rub on areas prone to chaffing! #ouch ...or like I learned (thanks to Bethan), St John's Ambulance staff have a stash on them and they seemed to be located close to all the water stations!

Pre Race: My new morning routine for a short while now has been to drink a glass of water before I do anything else and race morning was no exception. After my water, I had some Pimped Up Overnight Oats for fuel - I mean, I was gonna be running for over 2 hours!

Tip: Don't forget to pop on your suncream before you head out! While you're making or eating your breakfast is a great opportunity!

On The Course: There were 7 water stations situated on the course and I told myself I would just drink at the ones I needed to. This totalled all 7 and even some Lucozade from one of their stations! I have also never been so grateful for people with hoses in their front gardens dousing us (as the ones provided by the race really, really didn't do anything regardless of how good the next photo looks!). There were also some spectators / locals handing out cups of water so in fact that was 8.5 stations for me during the race!

I was lucky enough to run with Bethan (of A Pretty Place To Play) and our friend Kiera. From day dot (well at least on the day! lol), we decided it would be our once regular #PartyPace ... a mix of chatting, laughing, catching up and no GPS.

Read: Bethan's Post - Run Hackney, Run Happy

Post Race: Coming through the finish line, I was so focused on getting my medal, I missed the bananas. But the goody bag had a few treats in it which helped to stave off my hunger for a little while longer. Talking of the medal, can you see how unimpressed I am?! This. This is my bling shot, cos you don't wanna see it too close up, believe me!

Full props to the organisers though. You can never really plan for the weather so they did an awesome job of looking after us all (oh, bar the commentator screaming at us to get in the pens cos the race was about to start then us standing there for 20 minutes in the already hot sun. I wish I could convey my raised eyebrows when typing.)

This race wasn't quite a Personal Worst (PW) for me, that was North London Half Marathon earlier this year! But it is high on the list for Personal Best in terms of the amount of fun I had, the course and the community feel! London can learn a lot from this here half marathon ;)

How do you cope running in hot weather?! 

Elle :) 

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p.s And Thanks to Vitality Run Hackney for my place. All opinions are my own :) some photos though are not, credit to Run Hackney


Behind The Screen: April 2016 Report & Future Plans

You may or may not have noticed recently that I haven't been blogging as much, or as regularly as in times gone by. I went along to a conference a few weeks back where adventurer and blogger Sophie Radcliffe gave a talk about her experiences with blogging. Something really resonated with me in what she said.

Keep it simpElle is going to be 4 years old in July of 2016 and entering it's 5th year in existence! These are exciting times for the blog and myself! But what Sophie's talk made me realise is that if I do really want excitement and adventure, I have to go out there and create it. I can't sit at home waiting for emails to land in my inbox offering amazing opportunities! I'm sure that will happen but at the same time, I need to create opportunities for myself too!

For April, I'm gonna take the opportunity again to take you Behind The Screen and also to share a little more of my thoughts and ideas about the future! 

April 2016

Advertising Income: £4.22

Affiliate Income: £10.24 

Collaborative & Sponsored Posts: £55

Other Work & Consulting: £0   

Costs / Outgoings: £unrecorded 

Total March Page Views: 4,255


In April, I shared just 10 posts but fortunately it didn't damage my stats. I really tried to focus on valuable content which would be a resource in the future (i.e The Hydration Guide & How To recover After A Tough Workout). Then there was the Ivy Park post which I stayed up till gone midnight writing so it would be timely and published the morning of the launch! 

Plans For The Future 

Photography - I've been loving Instagram (you can follow me here) as I've always been a keen photographer. I recently found the biggest box of photos in a suitcase from my days at University. I updated my bio a little as I really want to focus on the professional side of things. 

I get wildly annoyed at the amount of people who follow you and then unfollow you, using those apps. I always endeavour to communicate with those who follow me to get to know them so I can enjoy their posts too!

Talking of the professional side of things, I decided I would like to teach more classes on an ad hoc basis. So I've been actively trying to attend trainings for class concepts at Gymbox and most recently got trained up in Ripped & Stripped (the cool relative of Body Pump!). I post all of the classes I teach and events I take part in on the Train With Elle Page

Travel - in 2014 and previous years, I was known to travel a fair bit. I loved the opportunity to see new places, spend time with people, eat good food and generally put a stake in the ground allowing me to return rested and ready to get back into things again. My last official holiday was in September of 2014 and quite frankly, something had to be done about that! So rather than continuing to say I needed a holiday, I booked a holiday! I'm jetting off for four nights really soon and I'm super excited! I'm most excited about all the pretty pictures I can take and getting to wear some normal clothes (well, some of the time anyway, cos I am following my own advice for Holiday Fitness Tips).

Live Video - Recently I posted a few live Facebook videos {check out the KISE page here} and the response was pretty positive. I love the fact that it's in the moment, meaning that I can, and no doubt will, fluff up! It's makes it authentic and genuine; two things which I always aspire to be at all times. And then, although I'm generally a confident person, I get a little shy when it comes to talking to my phone or camera when out in public. But Adrienne (of That's My Mum) basically told me to get over it through her post on Body Confidence which I actually had the pleasure of her reading (she said preaching) to me, in person one afternoon! So I'm endeavouring to get on the snapchat train - here is my thingy if you wanna add me?! Is that how you do it?!

Focus - last (for now), but not least! I need to focus on staying organised and doing what I say I am going to do, when I said I would do it. That is very much in respect to my current business venture, Borrow My // Blender - I have to finish my business plan and officially launch through The Princes Trust so I can then focus on raising brand awareness and getting out there to work with the brands and people that I love! 

So, have you got any new goals for the rest of 2016?! ... anything I've missed that you'd be interested to know?!

Elle :) 

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Elle About Town: Best's Bootcamp, London

All photo's credit: Marcel Grabowski Photography

There's a new kid on the block when it comes to studios in London. I mean, we're not exactly short of places to workout, right?! For me personally. I choose studios based on location (on the central line or  close to work), then the instructors, the actual workout and what I am training for. Pretty much in that order too. 

Best's Bootcamp has opened in Charing Cross (you can also call it Trafalgar Square and it's within walking distance of Embankment, Leicester Square and Covent Garden). I feel like it's what everyone is thinking, so I'll just say it too. It's the next in line for the Barry's Bootcamp format. Y'know, treadmills and floor based stuff in each session. The main differences I found were that the treadmills are epic. Yes, epic! They have the most responsive belt I have ever run on making it seem easier to run faster speeds. These treadmills (which might I add, are the only ones in Europe) also have a 3% decline on them, allowing you to run downhill, indoors. 

The floor exercises also vary somewhat. There is a wealth of equipment starting with the custom made "benches" which you centre your floor work around. In the preview class I attended we also used kettlebells and dumbbells. I loved the mix of exercise including core work, plyometrics and weights. 

Then there is the trainer cam. Dotted around the rooms are huge screens on which you can view the instructor demonstrating each and every exercise; so there is no excuse to not know what you're doing, right?! 

So peeps, go check out this awesome studio! You get your first class complimentary so again, no excuses?! 

If you do decide to pop along, let me know what you think! 

What studios / classes or workouts have you been loving recently?! 

Elle :) 

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RECIPE: Aero Mint Chocolate Cups

Aero Mint Chocolate Cups
45 minutes | Serves 6 - 8



1. Add 1 (25g) scoop of Muscle Mousse to 75ml of water in a shaker and shake for 20 - 30 seconds until combined. Pour into a bowl and pop in fridge to set.

2. Melt the coconut oil over a gentle heat in a small saucepan. Add the tbsp of almond butter and blend it in (this gives the chocolate a softer, creamier texture). 

3. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cacao powder until smooth. Add the honey / maple syrup when the mixture is a little cooler.

4. Fill the bottoms of 6 - 8 cupcake cases with a tablespoon of the chocolate mixture and place them in the freezer for 5 -10 minutes.

5. Check the bases are set, then dollop a teaspoon of the Muscle Mousse into the centre of each one. 

6. Use the rest of the chocolate mixture to cover the Muscle Mousse centre and refreeze for 5-10 mins, until set. 


So, I'm not gonna sit here and tell you these are "healthy" but they certainly are healthier than shop bought chocolate which is packed full of refined sugars. This recipe does however contain good fats which can aid fat loss, reduce cholesterol levels and aid digestion. 

I tried Muscle Mousse back in the summer of 2015 and didn't love it. I decided to give it another go after I heard they had updated their recipe, and try a different flavour (I'm a fan of aero mint chocolate you see!). I had no problem 'nomming' the entire serving this time and immediately started thinking up a million ways to use it to create new recipes! It packs a punch with 30g of protein per serving, is low in fat and has no added sugar!

So sometimes, it's worth giving stuff a second chance, eh?! Have you tried Muscle Mousse before?! Love it or Loathe it?! 

Elle :) 

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3 Race Day Breakfasts That I Swear By

My next Half Marathon is fast approaching and as per usual I'm following my 6 Day Countdown Guide To Race Preparation to get me ready for Sunday morning!

I recently expanded on one of the days tasks - Hydration - in a post sharing my thoughts for running, training and post exercise so next I thought I would share some of my favourite and fail safe breakfasts for race day (...oh and not just race day... like, any day!)

Avocado On Toast

2 slices High Protein Bread 
1/2 ripe avocado
1/2 lemon
black pepper
chilli flakes

Optional sides / toppings: chorizo, smoked salmon or streaky bacon

Simple As: toast the bread until golden and crispy on both sides; whilst you're doing that peel and de-stone your avocado. you can either smash it in a bowl by hand or sometimes I use a stick (hand held) mixer. Season your smashed avocado with the juice of 1/2 a lemon and a dash of black pepper. Spread your smashed avocado over your toast and sprinkle on chilli flakes. Add bacon, chorizo or smoked salmon if you're having it!

Smoked Salmon, Scrambled Eggs & Avocado

2 eggs
2tbsp almond milk
1/2 tsp coconut oil
1/2 avocado
150g - 200g smoked salmon

...with a side of toast?!

(optional) 2 slices High Protein Bread 

Simple As: add coconut oil to frying pan and heat gently till melted. Add almond milk to eggs and whisk with fork then season with salt & pepper. Pour eggs into frying pan and stir continuously until cooked to desired dryness (haha! I like mine really dry!!). Add eggs to plate, along with smoked salmon and 1/2 avocado sliced or diced! Serve with High Protein Bread to help keep you fuller for longer!

Pimped Up Porridge

50g jumbo rolled oats
270ml almond milk
1 scoop chocolate whey protein (or vegan alternative)
a generous drizzle of  sugar free Chocolate Syrup
1 tbsp Almond Butter
Organic Raw Cacao Nibs

Optional toppings: any fruit you have in the fridge!

Simple As: Add oats to bowl, and add milk. Heat up as per instructions (usually 3 mins in the microwave for mine!). Once done, stir in protein powder until perfectly smooth again (add a little more milk if needed at this point). Dollop on your nut butter, sprinkle on your cacao nibs and then (if you can be bothered and / or need a pic for IG) arrange your beautifully sliced fruit on top!

...it's all literally, simple as! ...I use these recipes regularly throughout the week so then I can make them on auto pilot! It's also the best idea to test out your breakfast before race day. As with kit, don't try anything new on race morning.

Try and wake up with enough time to eat your breakfast and then allow it to digest a little. I'm lucky in that I can literally eat on the start line and feel fine!

There are so many other options out there too so if you have any firm favourites please share them with me in the comments below!

If you're running this weekend, GOOD LUCK & ENJOY!!

See you on the start line! 

Elle :) 

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