Shannon Michelle

Shannon Michelle

Beauty, fashion and lifestyle blogger from the UK..

Thursday, 20 April 2017

HOW TO MOTIVATE YOURSELF TO WORKOUT



I think we're all guilty of making a new years resolution to start working out more and eat healthier in the new year and suddenly before you know it, all good intentions are thrown out of the window after a few weeks / months and you end up stuck in a rut. Seriously we've all been there, don't feel bad about it. I've been really interested in looking into fitness and nutrition lately so please don't hate me too much for the huge pile of blog posts I have lined up around both subjects.. anywaaaay, I've been really getting back into exercise lately and I've been finding new workouts that I am loving, so I thought i'd share some tips with you lovely lot on how to motivate yourself to get up from that sofa and stay fit and healthy for good!

Create A Playlist - This is without fail one of the first things I do to motivate myself to work out again after having more time off than I should be having.. create a playlist that will make you feel like you want to get up and dance and you'll be good to go! I love throwing a bit of Beyonce and Kehlani into my playlist as they make me feel just that bit sassier and make me kick some butt when I workout. 10/10 would highly recommend.

Workout Gear - okay so I'm not telling you to splash out on any designer sports brands that will suddenly make you want to work out, but if you can get hold of any gym gear from high street shops like Primark or even if you have a pair of leggings and a baggy tshirt at home it will give you a bit more encouragement to work out. I always feel like as soon as I put on my workout gear I make myself feel like I HAVE to workout even if i'm feeling too lazy, I end up doing it anyway and end up feeling amazingly satisfied afterwards.

Motivation Quotes - 99.9% of us are probably guilty of scrolling through instagram and ending up on a model's page and feeling bad about ourselves, right? I know I'm sure as hell guilty of it every now and then. I think the biggest question is simply "why?" why do we allow ourselves to feel bad about our bodies just because we think someone else has the perfect abs or perfectly toned legs? We're all different, but we're all equally just as beautiful, but if you feel like you want to feel better about yourself then it's simply down to your own actions. put in the effort, put in the work and you'll feel fab in no time! scrolling through pinterest and seeing motivational quotes always help encourage me to work out even when I really don't feel like it.

The Food You Eat - If you're eating foods that you clearly know aren't doing your body any favours, switch them up for something that's going to give you energy and feel good! A healthy lifestyle is made up of 70% healthy eating and 30% exercising so remember that next time you think of reaching for that cheeky family size bar of chocolate. Think about the things you're eating and how it's going to treat your body. Love pizza? don't worry, you don't have to give it up. Just make your own with healthier alternative. Cut down on the amount of cheese you're adding to the base or don't add any at all (it's just as yummy I promise), add some colourful veggies and tomato puree and boom, healthy pizza complete. You can also find so many healthy snack ideas online, put the effort in and you'll get the results you want!

Remember Why You Started - Every time I feel like I can't motivate myself to get up and moving I remember why I started. I remember the times that I put on a pair of shorts and felt uncomfortable wearing them because they didn't look as good as I wished they would or I remember the feeling that I get whilst working out and how much I love it and suddenly I feel bad for not working out.

Challenge Yourself - No ones forcing you to spend hours at the gym straight away, start with beginners workouts and ease yourself into a routine. Maybe add something new to your workouts each week, challenge yourself to do another set if you're into circuit training, do 2 minutes extra of burpees or do a few extra squats. you got this!

shannon
x

Sunday, 2 April 2017

HOW I LOST 42lb

Just over a year ago I made the decision to change my eating habits and follow a vegan diet. I wrote a post a year ago called "A healthier, happier me" which is probably one of my favourite posts to look back on and think about the different person I've become. I've been wanting to write a post for months now about my vegan story I guess you could call it, but I've been putting it off for a while because I didn't know how to word it in a way that people wouldn't think I was shoving my opinions down their throat. Anyways, today I'm finally going to write about my vegan journey so if you carry on reading it would mean a lot.
photo from pinterest

I've always struggled with liking myself ever since I was around 12 years old, I was always one of the bigger kids at school because of my height and going through puberty at a young age I grew boobs faster than a lot of girls my age and piled on a few pounds quickly, so yeah I was very insecure. Ever since I was 14 I was trying all sorts of diets to help me lose a few pounds so I could feel better about myself, but I would only ever put the weight back on again. I tried fad diet after fad diet and even if I lost 9lb I still wasn't happy and as soon as the number on the scales would stop moving down, I would give up. I became obsessed with trying to lose weight that I wondered when I would actually start to feel good about myself. I remember stopping fad diets all together and just began eating whatever I felt like eating, good food and bad food, I got to a point where I just didn't care even though I knew I wasn't doing any favours to my body and I would regret eating sugar in the long run.

On February 28th 2016 I was out shopping on my sisters birthday, I remember walking into Topshop and seeing my reflection in a full length mirror and I felt so disgusted with myself that I could of cried right there and then. I knew that I needed to make a change so when I got home I started talking to my friend who had already decided to go vegan a month before, I asked her for advice and the reasons why she decided to make that change, but then she told me to watch a video called "101 reasons to go vegan" (highly recommend watching it, it's brilliant) which was an hour long presentation explaining logical reasons about why we think it's okay to eat animals and the nutrients you can get from other foods. I watched that video late at night and suddenly the next day I cut out all things meat and dairy from my diet, it was simple and so much easier than I ever expected it to be.

When I told my family about not eating meat or dairy products anymore they were supportive and only asked questions like why it would make a difference. I got comments from some people laughing and saying "yeah right, like that's going to last" and since then I've only proved them wrong. A year and 2 months later here I am, still following a vegan diet and feeling better than I've ever felt in my life. You don't realise how much of a difference a vegan diet makes until you follow it yourself, but I haven't missed meat or dairy at all throughout the year, I just don't think about it anymore. I lost weight gradually throughout the year and although it was a pretty slow process it was completely worth it. You get so used to eating really healthy food that you stop thinking about it as a diet, you think of it as a lifestyle change. I didn't ONLY follow a vegan diet because of my weight, I did it for the cruelty of animals. I absolutely adore animals, pigs being my favourite. I was in denial about how cruel farmers are towards animals and how many animals have to be killed every single day just so you can enjoy one meal. It's pretty disgusting when you really think about it. When I changed my eating habits my sister told me "I could never cut out meat, I eat it too much" and a few months later she became vegetarian. It is SO simple to cut out meat from your diet and I promise you that it is 100% worth the change. I am now 42lb lighter and am the lowest weight I've been in a very very long time. I try to work out as often as I can to help feel healthier and better about myself and I feel amazing. I know that I will never go back to eating meat or dairy as I know that neither things are actually good for our bodies and the many many vegan recipes that are out there are just so yummy that I would never even think of looking back into eating such dull foods again. Since becoming vegan I have discovered a huge love for making my own vegan recipes and cooking great food packed full of nutrients. Following a plant based diet reduces the risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and cancer so I couldn't recommend following this diet not only to save animals but for your health.

A lot of people go vegan after following a vegetarian diet for a few months or years as they believe that you'll last longer on a vegan diet this way, but I've coped just fine with going straight into following this lifestyle. You can find endless amounts of information about the reasons you should become vegan and the list of benefits you can get from it. I have found that not only did I lose weight since I started, but I always have that boost of energy that I never had before, as well as my skin feeling so much healthier. Even after a year, I still get people asking me what the point in veganism is, other people saying that we need meat to live (I'm constantly trying not to roll my eyes at this comment) and other people just give me a judgemental look as if i'm crazy for cutting out animal products from my diet. It's quite funny how many people get offended when you tell them you're vegan, like why does it matter to them? it's my body.

Veganism is becoming more and more popular and more supermarkets are stocking up on vegan friendly foods (there's already so many options anyway), but if you're from the UK you'll notice that a lot of local supermarkets have a "free from" section which has a lot of vegan goodies. You don't have to totally cut out everything from your diet at once if you do decide to go vegan, it's just something I did, but take baby steps if you feel you can't do it all at once. A lot of foods you eat already are probably vegan friendly, you just didn't know. Like hello, oreos? get in my belly. I still eat vegan junk food sometimes when I have movie nights with my boyfriend. I just try not to make it a habit as I know it's not doing any good to my body and I don't want to gain the weight I lost as it's been quite the journey.

I'm so happy and proud of myself for making that change and if you are struggling to find a diet that suits you, I couldn't recommend trying to go vegan enough, even if it is just for a week! See how you find it. I used to hate vegetables and now I eat them every single day, plus you can make vegan food really fun and colourful by trying out different things. See for yourself, you might love it!

I'm also trying to focus on buying only cruelty free makeup products, even though i'm still in the process of using up old makeup that I know isn't cruelty free. There are tons of brands out there that are vegan / cruelty free such as Tarte, Too Faced, Jeffree Star Cosmetics and Kat Von D beauty.

I think that's everything covered, I feel like I've been rambling a bit, but hey-ho whatever I guess.

Would you ever go vegan?

shannon

Saturday, 25 March 2017

MY 6 FAVOURITE CRUELTY FREE SKINCARE FINDS

Who doesn't love a pamper night or a lazy sunday where you can relax and make yourself feel totally gorgeous? I am a huge lover of piling my skin up with a bunch of beautiful ingredients and I swear I own more skincare products than I do makeup, I know, unbelievable right? My favourite skincare products list could take forever to get through so I thought i'd round up just a few of my absolute favourites that I will always repurchase and share them with you today. I 100% recommend trying any of these products as they are all super affordable and do wonders for your skin.

Scrub Love "coconut affair" coffee scrub
There's no denying that I am crazy for coffee scrubs, the scent, the texture of them, the feeling of freshness afterwards. They're just perfect. For some reason this coconut coffee scrub reminds me of summer which makes me love it twice as much. I highly recommend this brand to anyone who loves a good body scrub or has yet to try one! You can read my full review of this product here.

Lush "african paradise" body conditioner 
Honestly, who doesn't love Lush? all of their products are cruelty free and incredible. This body conditioner is made up of almond and moringa oils, shea butter, fresh mango juice which is used to brighten the skin and aloe to cool and soothe. At first I was unsure about the scent as I don't usually like the smell of almond, but it grew on me a lot and I before I knew it I was suddenly obsessed, oops.

The Body Shop nutriganics refreshing toner
I bought a mini version of this toner as it was the first time trying it out, but I now regret not getting the bigger bottle! It leaves my skin feeling hydrated and smooth and is also perfect for my slightly sensitive skin. I use this in my usual morning and night routine so will definitley be repurchasing as soon as i'm out of it.

The Body Shop Seaweed mattifying day cream
I bought this day cream the same day I brought the nutriganics toner and again, bought the trial size as it was my first time trying the product. I absolutely love the fresh scent that this cream has and leaves my skin feeling beautiful throughout the day. I couldn't recommend this enough!

The Body Shop spa of the world Japanese Camellia Cream
Are you noticing The Body Shop pattern yet.. I'm not exaggerating at all, but this body cream is the best to ever exist, oh my. I had my eye on their spa of the world range for quite some time before I actually got this particular cream. For ages I was opting between the Japanese or the Hawaiian cream as both of the scents were so dreamy. The scent lasts all day on your body and I can't wait to start using it throughout the summer as it will leave me feeling more refreshed. Please do your skin a favour and buy this velvet-like body cream.

Lush "twilight" bath bomb 
Twilight has always been my go - to bath bomb from lush for years and my bath is constantly calling it's name. This is the perfect bath bomb to use in the evening when you want to wind down and close your eyes at the end of a long day. The lavender scent makes you feel sleepy and ready for a good nights rest, perfect for if you've been feeling stressed. Not only does this form the prettiest patterns and colours in your bath, but it soothes your skin like no other.

Have you tried any of these products?

Shannon
x

Friday, 24 March 2017

MY GO-TO HOMEMADE VEGAN GRANOLA

I've been meaning to introduce some vegan recipes onto my blog for a while now and thought what better way to kick it off than to share my favourite go-to breakfast, that being granola. my very own granola. the granola from the gods. the vegan gods. Yeah anyway, moving on.. this recipe is super easy yet incredibly yummy so I recommend you try it out whenever you may get the chance.

I like to make this cereal in a big batch so I can eat it throughout the week and it can also be stored in an airtight container for up to two - three weeks! I tend to drown a bowl of this in coconut / almond milk and top it off with frozen raspberries and maybe a few cacao nibs if i'm feeling it. You could literally use any toppings such as fresh fruit and coconut yogurt or any extra dried fruit and seeds.

Ingredients:
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 2 cups raw nuts (I usually like to use pecans and almonds but had to sub the almonds for cashews instead because I was all out, how sad), roughly chopped
- 2 1/2 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 cup dried fruit (I use cranberries and raisins)
- 1 cup desiccated coconut
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 4 tbsp coconut oil

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 170 C.
  2. Stir together oats, nuts and coconut sugar in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add maple syrup and coconut oil to a small saucepan over medium heat for around 2 minutes until fully combined.
  4.  Immediately pour the maple and coconut mixture over the dry ingredients and stir together until everything is completley coated. 
  5. Line a baking tray with baking paper and pour out the ingredients from the bowl, making sure it's all spread out in an even layer. 
  6. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown. 
  7. Remove from oven and stir in the dessicated coconut and dried fruit. Bake for a further 5 minutes until it turns an even deeper golden brown, be careful as it can burn easily. 
  8. Finally remove it from the oven and leave to cool for around 15 minutes before storing in a large airtight container or snack on it whenever you feel like! 
See how easy?! Let me know if you plan on trying this recipe, it's delicious, healthy and satisfying so it fills all your breakfast needs, woo!

shannon
x

Sunday, 19 March 2017

WARDROBE WISH LIST | FLORALS IN SPRING

WARDROBE WISH LIST

Now that spring has finally arrived and I'm craving a major shopping trip, I thought it would only be right to do a spring favourite picks post! but seriously, I love having a good nose at other people's wish lists and writing my own, plus they're also my most popular read posts, so it's a win win really. I've been looking at online stores for a couple of hours and dreaming about so many items being in my wardrobe and how great they would look with other things I already own or what I know I need to buy. In the end I rounded up my top 8 favourite items and they are all so stunning. I mean look at those crystallized trainers, how could you possibly tell me you're not in love with them?!

Okay, so I know we can't all afford to splash out £108 on a denim jacket, but just look at how beautiful it is. I've never actually owned a denim jacket before which i'm slightly confused about, since i've wanted one forever. I like them to look slightly oversized so this one seems perfect. Denim jackets are probably my favourite spring wardrobe staple since they look great thrown on over anything from casual floral dresses to more dressed up chic looks with leather trousers and a cute crop top. Obviously you can find denim jackets around literally everywhere this time of year much cheaper than this one. but when I saw this on Free People I knew i had to add it to the list.

I absolutely adore maxi dresses during the warmer months and I instantly fell in love with this one from Forever 21. The colours aren't too bright, but still look spring / summery. This dress would look perfect paired with a denim / leather jacket, heeled sandals, a small tasseled shoulder bag and a bunch of bohemian styled accessories. 

Boohoo is a perfect website to find really affordable yet simple fashion pieces that are in trend. I've seen a cross body bag just like this one but in denim on a website before that was priced about £200 more, so this cute velvet cross body from boohoo is definitley a great steal.

Everything about this bralette is just wow, from the delicate embroidery on the front, to the crocheted side ties. Not only are bralettes 100x comfier than the average bra, but they are also stunning enough to show off in spring / summer time with shorts or a real pretty skirt. Although this ones a little bit on the pricey side, I loved it too much to leave out of my wish list.

This bodysuit is so affordable! and my wardrobe is literally calling it's name I swear. Style this with some flowy trousers, a leather jacket, some heeled booties and minimalistic accessories and you're good to go.

oh wow oh wow oh wow where to start with these. I'm not really one to find many things that I like from Mango, but as soon as I saw these little babies, I was in awe. They would be the perfect addition to any basic outfit as they would just make the entire look pop with colour and a gorgeous pattern. They seem completely worth the amount of money to be honest. 

It's no surprise that I am obsessed with Free People since I've mentioned them in many many previous posts and wish lists, but these top everything i've ever talked about when it comes down to their items. I've never really been one to obsess over the latest trainers and sports brands, it just never appeals to me too much. but these. oh my. The sheer mesh sides and crystal detailing is everything.

Finally, this beauty from Urban outfitters made it to my list of favourites. I never tend to see this style of dress around, but it's effortlessly beautiful and the colour makes it even better. This is definitley the best dress on my list to wear in spring time as it gives off a fresh yet pretty vibe. I love it!

There were many more items I wanted to add to my list, but it would have been almost endless by the time I added everything I liked, so I hope you enjoyed my current favourites. 


what is your favourite spring wardrobe staple?

Shannon
x

Saturday, 4 March 2017

30 SMALL STEPS TOWARDS SELF CARE

Having time to focus on self care is essential and with things like social media sometimes we forget about having that time to ourselves that we all need. I thought i'd share with all of you my top 30 small steps towards self care with things as simple as cozying up with your blanket. You should never be afraid to take time out and concentrate on your own mind and do things for yourself. Taking time out to focus on self care isn't an act of selfishness, you just start to realise things and set standards for how you want to be treated by others and how you should learn to treat yourself. 

  1. light your favourite candle.
  2. go for a long walk
  3. have a mini declutter session.
  4. paint something expressing your mood.
  5. bake cookies.
  6. run a bath with your favourite bath oil / bath bomb.
  7. wake up early and sit outside with a big blanket and a cup of coffee.
  8. read your favourite book for the 100th time.
  9. take a nap.
  10. cuddle your cat or dog.
  11. do yoga.
  12. make your favourite cup of herbal tea.
  13. set yourself goals  - long term or short term.
  14. create a vision board for yourself.
  15. try to stay off of social media for a day every week.
  16. lay on your bed and listen to your favourite music and just chill.
  17. eat more veggies.
  18. drink more water.
  19. apply a face mask.
  20. buy yourself some flowers.
  21. go to an art gallery.
  22. have a "me" day.
  23. write a list of things you love.
  24. try new recipes.
  25. binge watch your favourite tv show.
  26. order take out and have a movie night with friends.
  27. properly cleanse your face and moisturise.
  28. take time to work out.
  29. organize your wardrobe.
  30. explore new places often.

The White Company "Spa Relax Luxury bath oil" - £30
Estee Lauder "Advanced Night Repair" - £72
Topshop "Floral Detail Pajama Teddy" - £35
The Body Shop "Japanese Camellia cream" - £25
Bath and Body Works "Cinnamon Spiced Vanilla candle" - $14.50
The White Company "Markham Throw" - £130 

Shannon
x


Saturday, 18 February 2017

GET TO KNOW ME TAG

I was scrolling through tumblr the other day when I stumbled across a post full of questions that you should ask yourself or other people, some unusual questions and some pretty basic, but  I thought I would turn it into a "get to know me" challenge type thing since I feel I haven't really written many posts with little facts you may or may not already know about me. I love reading these types of posts as I feel I can get to know the person behind the computer screen a little better (in a non creepy way obviously). So feel free to share these 50 questions with your friends or do this challenge yourself
because why not?


1. What's your full name?  - Shannon Michelle Skinner
2. What colour are your eyes? - Green
3. Favourite social media account? - I'm really getting back into instagram again so you should hmu @sh.annonxo (shameless self promo oops)
4. How tall are you? - 5"9
5. What's your favourite candle scent? - anything with hints of vanilla or something that makes me think of being all warm and cuddly with my blanket and a cup of coffee.
6. Favourite actor? - Ahh this is a tricky one but it would have to be between Mark Ruffalo and James Marsden, but I also really love Eddie Redmayne.. oh wow I can't choose.
7. Favourite Actress? - Amanda Seyfried or Julia Roberts.
8. Favourite Movie? - Love, Rosie.
9. Top 10 favourite songs? -
  • Coffee - Grace
  • Beverly Hills - Weezer
  • Paris - The 1975
  • Like We Used To - A Rocket To The Moon
  • Love Your Friends, Die Laughing - Man Overboard
  • Million Reasons - Lady Gaga
  • Your Guardian Angel - The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
  • La Vie En Rose - Louis Armstrong
  • Drown - Front Porch Step
  • Imagination - Shawn Mendes
10. Person you last texted? - My boyfriend.
11. Worst Habit? - Overthinking. It's so bad how much I can overthink a situation especially when it's not something to worry about at all.
12. Favourite food? - This is going to sound so basic, but hummus. It's so damn good and you can eat it with so many things, it's fab, don't judge.
13. What are you in love with? - the ocean, my family, my boyfriend, art, fashion, poetry, vegan food, warm weather, listening to music at night, candles, coffee.
14. Favourite snapchat filter? - The lil bunny one is so adorable! when snapchat get rid of it i'll probably shed a few tears.
15. Favourite Makeup Brands? - Tarte, Too Faced, Jeffree Star, The Body Shop, Kat Von D.
16. 3 Favourite boy names? - Cody, Isaac and Kai.
17. 3 Favourite girl names? - Eden, Peyton and Hope.
18. How many kids do you want? - 4.
19. What's your favourite book? - Lately i've been pretty obsessed with "Milk and Honey" by Rupi Kaur.
20. What is your biggest pet peeve? - LOUD EATERS.
21. Summer or Winter? - Summer for sure, I hate being cold. There's nothing better than going on cute walks by the beach when it's sunny.
22. What was the last thing you ate? - Noodles, tofu and veggies. yum.
23. What is your zodiac sign? - Sagittarius.
24. Regular Oreos or Golden Oreos? - Regular, of course.
25. Favourite smells? - Coffee and Vanilla, but vanilla coffee is just on a whole new level of wow.
26. What's the first thing you notice about people? - Their smile.
27. Reasons to smile? - omg the list is endless! adventure, animals, long car rides, lazy sunday mornings, reading, bath bombs, flowers, art, clean bed sheets, sunsets, late night talks with your bestfriend, the simple things.
28. Song last listened to? I was here - Beyonce
29. Number of siblings? - 4 sisters and 1 brother.
30. Current time? - 01:50 am
31. Biggest fear? - Rejection. lol
32. What hair colour do you have? - well I'm naturally brunette, but then I dyed it blonde and now the blonde is fading and its sort of turning an auburn colour. I don't even know. I'm thinking about dying it lilac.
33. Favourite colour? - turquoise.
34. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be and why? Bali. It just seems so chill and so incredibly beautiful.
35. Favourite tv show? - Right now I'm loving Shameless and How To Get Away With Murder, but I love love love The Vampire Diaries.
36. What qualities do you admire in a person? - Sense of humour.
37. What makes you happy when you're feeling down? - cuddles. many many cuddles.
38. What Harry Potter House are you? - Slytherin.
39. When you were younger, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up? - An author.
40. Favourite blog? -milkbubbletea and weardaisywent are probably at the top of my list right now.
41. Favourite youtuber? - I absolutely love Kalyn Nicholson and RemLife.
42. Tea or coffee? - coffee all the way.
43. What's your favourite quote? - "wake up early. drink coffee. work hard. be ambitious. keep your priorities straight, your mind right and your head up. do well, live well and dress really well. do what you love, love what you do. it's time to start living."
44. What movie do you watch when you're feeling down? - 10 things I hate about you.
45. Are you excited about anything? - I'm really excited to go and see Hamilton the musical in London although I have to wait until January. I'm also really excited to see Lady Gaga in October.
46. Favourite hobbies? - I love to paint, draw, sing, write and read.
47. Favourite artist? - I have so so many, but i'm in love with James Bay and Hozier.
48. Favourite fruit? - pineapple !!
49. When did you start blogging? - September 2014.
50. Dream job? - personal stylist.

I tag anyone who is reading this right now to answer all of these questions and leave a comment so I can go read it!

Shannon
x