5 Great Podcasts to Get Hooked On

How do you spend your morning commute? What do you do on your lunch break? Or perhaps you fancy a change from the office radio.

Dive into five great podcasts that will grip you from the very first second. Laced with humour, gripping facts or darkest evidence, give the following a listen!


Guys we f@#ked

GUYS WE F@#KED is a weekly self-produced podcast, produced by New York City-based stand-up comedians Corinne Fisher and Krystyna Hutchinson. The episodes see the two friends interview men they’ve slept with, titans in the comedy and sex industry, as well as discussing sexual taboos. Their aim? To create a sex-positive environment for their million plus listeners worldwide.

Serial

Where was Hae Min Lee for 21 minutes after school one day, before she was murdered in 1999?

SERIAL is a podcast that examines the death twenty-year-old murder case in intense detail. Sarah Keonig, the show’s host, discovered that the trial covered up a far more complicated story than the jury – or the public – ever got to hear. She makes it her mission to unveil to find answers.

Dear Sugars

“The universe has good news for the lost, lonely and heartsick.” DEAR SUGARS is the radical empathetic advice show hosted by Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond.

This podcast fields all your questions — no matter how deep or dark — and offers the best options to move forward and heal.

Who

Who even is Millie Bobby Brown? Ever wanted the low-down on A-Z list celebrities?

WHO is an essential podcast to decipher everything you need to know about pop culture’s greatest (and not-so-greatest) Whos and Thems.

 

Flash Forward

Mass famine! The end of coffee! World economic collapse! What would happen if honey bees went extinct? And how likely is a honeybee extinction anyway?

FLASH FORWARD is a podcast about the future. Each episode the possible (and not so possible) future scenarios are discussed in great depths. Super fascinating.

 

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Hottest Sunglasses for This Summer

As the daylight hours gradually get longer, hopefully the sun will be shining bright. One of the best accessories for summer are sunglasses. With styles taking you back to the 90s and sending you to the future, here are the best on-trend sunglasses you can buy.

Mini

The arrival of teeny-tiny sunglasses, in a variety of peculiar shapes and colours have become hugely popular both on and off the catwalk.

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Left, top to bottom: Le Specs, Revolve Kendall + Kylie, Quay. Right, top to bottom: Pared, Taylor Morris, Farfetch Saint Laurent.

Maxi

Whilst the Kardashians opt for little lenses, some of us have facial proportions that require oversized frames. The classic maxi is back, but with edgier and softer shapes to suit all faces.

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Left, top to bottom: Diff Eyewear, Pared, Le Specs. Right, top to bottom: Netaporter Rejina Pyo, Farfetch Celine, Sunglassesshop.co.uk Rayban.

Hardware

The industrial futurism is a new style of sunglasses. Chunky soft seventies styles and bold lines will define your face.

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Left, top to bottom: Topshop Quay, MyTheresa Acne Studios, Netaporter Dolce & Gabbana. Right, top to bottom: Illesteva, Chimi Eyewear, MyTheresa Saint Laurent.

Bejewelled and bejazzled

From assorted sparkling incarnations to glittering pineapples, for the wilder and bolder woman there is an abundance of aesthetic sunglasses.

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Left, top to bottom: Alan Mikli, Farfetch Moschino, Netaporter Freda Banana. Right, top to bottom: MyTheresa Gucci, Farfetch Jimmy Choo, Farfetch Saint Laurent.

All images are taken from the website linked, some sunglasses are taken from the brands SS18 collection look book and may not be available to purchase yet. 

Reserved: Review and Top Picks

After literally stumbling into Reserved’s Oxford Street store to take refuge from the snow,  this was the first time I had ever heard, been or shopped with this brand.

A Polish born brand, their flagship opened on Oxford Street just last year. Noticeably European, the huge variety of clothes available to purchase is outstanding.

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Black and white stripe jumpsuit £39.99, green bag £24.99, earrings £2.99, oversized parka £44.99, t-shirt £5.99, mom jeans £19.99, heel sandals £24.99.

Customer Service

Considering there was loads of staff floating around, not many of them seemed to be working. Having to wait in a mile long queue at the tills to see a handful of employees standing around chatting – wasn’t too impressed. However – when in the changing rooms, I did request another size of trousers and the employee happily obliged to find me a pair.

Online Experience and Delivery

The website isn’t that easy to navigate around, and the filters are really basic. Disclaimer: I have not ordered any items from online and had them delivered to store or home. 

Range and Variety

There is also too much range and it’s a little confusing as to what their USP really is. With a wide range of basics, to smart office wear and even borderline ‘fashwun’ items, it’s no wonder it’s popular with every customer.

Pricing

Again, like their range their pricing varies too! From basic t-shirts cost a couple of quid to  offering coats with wool nearing one hundred pounds.

Sizing and Quality

Their sizing is true to fit and you pay for the quality. Cheap t-shirts, cheap quality.

Overall Rating – Good, but need more experience shopping there.

 

8 Luxe Activewear Brands You Need to Know About

It’s time to make a fitness fashion statement. 

Summer is just round the corner and what better way to amp up your motivation with some new activewear. Pretty pastels, striking colourful prints and technical cuts will not only make you look and feel good, but will improve fitness performance. Here are my top 8 luxe activewear brands that you need to add into your basket, right now.

Varley

Originally from USA, this brand is widely available online from Fashercise, The Sports Edit, and Active In Style to name a few alongside Varley direct. Their collections are a fusion of California active lifestyle and London’s cosmopolitan elegance.

NO KA’OI

“A high-fashion activewear experience,” NO KA’OI is inspired by “the powerful energy of Hawaii” captured with Italy’s superior design heritage. It’s foundations lies within the spirit of yoga, but see the transition from class to cafe and beyond. Their designs are totally ‘fashwun’ with super-fluorescent detailing, eye catching patterns and daring metallics that with turn heads no matter what compromising position yoga gets you in.

Olympia Activewear

Quality fitwear blended with sports chic, Olympia Activewear is for the minimalists who like their moves to do the talking. Timeless and beautiful cuts, natural colour palettes and versatile fabrics, they should be your go to gym brand if you’re after discretion.

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1 Varley, 2. Varley, 3. Lucas Hugh, 4. Olympia Activewear, 5. Tribe Sports, 6. The Sports Edit, 7. Tribe Sports, 8. NO KA’OI

Tribe Sports

With their aim to bring you “the ultimate running kit,” Tribe Sports do not compromise on style, comfort or technique when it comes to crafting their clothes. Their collection may be small, but their quality excellent. Using the latest technology, from “anatomical engineering, to flat seaming, lazer cutting and bonding technology” they guarantee the perfect fit and wear. Some pieces may be pricey, but worth it if your committed to your sport.

Lucas Hugh

“Designed for the woman who does not want to compromise on performance or style,”  the London born and bred Lucas Hugh sportswear, carries energy and sophistication beyond the gym. Bold investment pieces for those wanting to make a statement, married with high performance cuts ensure that nothing will stop you from performing your best.


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1 ASOS 4045, 2. Lucas Hugh, 3. NO KA’OI, 4. PE. Nation, 5. PE. Nation, 6. Tribe Sports, 7. Alo Yoga

ASOS

Watch out – “the online fashion giant just gave you one less excuse to get moving.” Following the company’s “More Reasons To Move” campaign, ASOS have just launched their 4045 activewear range for both men and women. With a range of rainbow-coloured prints and textures, every piece is made from high-performance fabrics as well the latest technology to ensure you get the very best for your fitness gear. All in one yoga outfits, reflective detailing on running jackets and even the odd item of ski gear is what you can find amongst this collection.

PE. Nation

Perhaps my favourite luxe activewear brand, PE. Nation oozes coolness. Described as “the ultimate activewear concept,” the brand – established in Sydney – has made an epic impact here. Technical activewear, retro-inspired streetwear, additional denim capsules and international collaborations in the pipeline, this brand will be reaching new heights.

It’s understated, urban style meets uncompromising performance wear.

Alo Yoga

Inspired to make the “best yoga clothing in the world,” Alo Yoga is for all the ‘yogis’ out there. Boasting the ‘more toes on the mat movement,’ their innovative cuts and designs, sculpt, lift and supports you during your downward dog.


(All images are copyright of their original owners. Product images have been taken from the brands website.)

 

5 Ways to Improve Brain Health

We’ve all heard about the importance of a healthy body and lifestyle. But, what exactly is a healthy brain?

According to Medical Daily and the advisory published in the AHA’s journal Stroke, it’s defined as “one that’s able to pay attention, solve problems, communicate, make decisions, and regulate emotions.”

Maintaining good brain health is vital, especially considering dementia cases across the globe are rapidly rising. Currently, about 47 million people live with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, and this number is expected to nearly triple by 2050, according to the World Health Organization.

And a study concluded that “combining activities that benefit body and soul, reduces the risk of dementia.” So what can you do to improve your brain health?

Did you know? On average, your brain weighs three pounds (1.36 kg) of ever-active tissue. 


Learning

According to Health Harvard Publishing, “a higher level of education is associated with better mental functioning in old age.”

Stretching your brain in this way will improve your mental sharpness and it might fight off some of the negative effects that ageing has on your brain, helping you stay brain fit as you age.

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Credit: Pixels

But the key to any new challenge is to make sure it’s a fun and enjoyable experience; so don’t push the dial too far into the red and get stressed. Your brain won’t thank you for that.

“Mental stimulation is the secret ingredient to staying young in mind.” Hello Brain

You could learn a language, develop computer skills, even join a club.

Anything new that you learn helps to bolster brain connections and also lays down new tracks in your brain building your reserve, in turn enriching your brain network.


Socialisation

The Guardian concluded that Dutch research revealed, people with feelings of loneliness more likely to suffer from mental deterioration and dementia. One way to prevent loneliness is socialisation.

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Credit: Pexels

There has been accumulating evidence that socialising is good for your brain health. People who connect with others generally perform better on tests of memory and other cognitive skills. And, in the long run, people with active social lives are less likely to develop dementia than those who are more socially isolated.

Hello Brain refers social interaction to a pungent fertiliser for your brain. It will stimulate your brain cells to grow new connections and strengthens those already formed. New cells also help with memory.


Exercise

Much like plant food makes plants grow faster and lusher, the chemical known as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), stimulates the growth and proliferation of brain cells.

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Credit: Pixels

This is especially true in the hippocampus, the brain region that is largely responsible for memory and which is particularly vulnerable to age-related decline. It’s simple really, the more you exercise, the more BDNF you produce.

“Movement is medicine for the mind.” Reader’s Digest

Exercise performed on a routine basis may not only reduce the risk of neurodegenerative disease, but also may help to slow the course of an existing disease, such as Alzheimer’s.

Through working out our energy levels improve, along with our sense of well-being, sleep, and brain health. Engaging in regular exercise also reduces the risk of depression and anxiety, as well as happy endorphins!


Diet

We’ve all been taught that eating fuels our body, but it also provides nutritious energy to power our brains.

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Credit: Pixels

It’s no secret that that the Mediterranean style diet has been suggested to hep with brain function. The diet emphasises fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, unsaturated oils (olive oil) and plant sources of proteins, are less likely to develop cognitive impairment and dementia.

From superfoods to brain boosting oxidants, there has been research to suggest that eating certain quantities of food types and vitamins in your diet can help with brain function. Check out these ten foods that can boost brainpower.


Meditation

Stress is a key trigger that ages the brain. Learning to keep stress at bay, will not only benefit your physical health, but also your brain fitness and overall memory performance.

It is worth remembering that a certain amount of stress is a normal part of everyone’s day and in small doses it can be good for us, by motivating us to do better. 

In a past study documented by the New York Times, previous research suggests that worriers – those who get stressed easily and are prone to anxiety and depression – are more likely to develop dementia later in life. And that’s where meditation comes in.

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Credit: Pixels

It’s extremely common to hear meditation being linked to mental health problems. But instead of curing a problems or disease, what if we could prevent it in the first place?

Meditation can also help us to understand our own mind. We can learn how to transform our mind from negative to positive, from disturbed to peaceful, from unhappy to happy. And there are so many forms and variation of meditation that you can try.

Ever tried yoga? Not only will it benefit your flexibility and strength muscles, it can have a calming focused effect on your brain. Simple breathing for a number of counts contributes to meditation. Perhaps you’re a little more digital – try out these apps for meditating.

If you’re keen to get your brain healthy, try these 10 exercises that boost memory.


Feature image credit: Pexels

£20 and Under: Spring Staples

One colour trend for spring is pastels, soft creamy textures to gradually warm us up to the brights predicted for summer. I’ve pulled together some of my favourite pieces available to buy now, that are great transitional staples to wear into spring. Essential sunglasses to keep the strobing spring sunlight away from your eyes, a slogan tee and oversized or flowing cuts to hide the summer body in progress. The best part is, everything is £20 or under – super affordable and pieces you can coordinate with into summer.

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Click on the number below to be taken straight to the brands page. 

1. Sunglasses – Accessorize 

2. Earrings – Topshop

3. Heels – Boohoo

4. Skirt – Bershka

5. T-shirt – Missguided

6. Bag – Groupon

7. T-shirt – H&M

8.  Dress – Nasty Gal 

9. Top – Newlook 

10. Trousers – Bershka

Book review: Jay Crownover – Marked Men Series

For the last two months my commute from South Ealing to Piccadilly Circus has been made almost bearable.

Unfortunately it’s not to do with glorious sunshine that’s replaced the wet dog smell usually lingering around my nostrils. Or because there are less tanned post-holiday-goers ramming their suitcases into my shins during rush hour.

It’s all because of a few novels. The Marked Men is a series of books that I haven’t been able to get my head out of. And those precious 40 minutes of valuable tube time has been utilised to it’s full potential. Instead of eyeing up potential suitors, turning pages so fast I’m picking up speed to compete with the tube itself.

Rated 4.5 stars on goodreads.com these are the first books written by Jay Crownover. Six books in total in the Marked Men series, the story beings with Rule, followed by Jet, Rome, Nash, Rowdy and Asa. Each book is set around an individual character and their own story, with the others continued through, as well as more characters being introduced as the stories intertwine and take different directions. Every character progresses and develops.

Based around a group of tattooed individuals that have found their way to becoming a family, they are connected on a deeper level through abandonment, loss, heartbreak and love that ultimately unites them.

The first four books I was impatient with, drinking in the words day and night anticipating the endings. You are thrown into the messed up lives of the men and their women, furious at their reactions as they learn to heal and love, not just each other but themselves. You are annoyed with Crownover for writing the storylines in such ways, but when you truly digest the events, you realise that the steps the characters take are very much realistic to that of anyone’s lives and can be justified.

Rowdy and Asa however I was disappointed with. The similarity in the way each book ends, almost sets you up to let you down. Having read the other four first, a clever reader will guess how the characters lives turn out, without the finer details.

Full attention is needed with these books, sometimes a family tree would be helpful too! Characters lines can get confusing, with similar names and intertwining story threads, full focus is required.

Overall I would rate this series 4 stars. Started off really well, gripped me from the beginning. But reoccurring similar themes with each character left me unsurprised and underwhelmed. A classic case of, not every character needs a whole book to tell their story.