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Money Matters

Okay, so the time has finally come. I’m equally excited, overwhelmed and kinda terrified… we are buying a house!! Yikes!
Well, that’s the goal, we’ve been saving for almost two years and now we need to apply for a mortgage. As a self-employed freelancer, I’ve been told by many people that getting a mortgage is a long and stressful process. It turns out that applying for a mortgage is yet another thing on my list of ‘ Stuff that I didn’t learn at school’. Other things on that list include, ‘How to complete a tax self-assessment’, ‘How to compare car insurance deals’, and ‘How to set up a pension’.

As a thirty-year-old, I’m not sure that I qualify as a millennial, but for the sake of this article I am happy to include myself within that group. Many millennial women are choosing to walk the less conventional career path. We are a generation of self-starters, entrepreneurs, and female founders. But the media still talk to women and men VERY differently when it comes to cash. Headlines targeting men are talking about business investments and raising capital, whilst women’s mags are talking about splurging on a pair of designer heels and how to stretch your cash until payday. It’s insulting.
Recent stats say that only 53% of millennial women are saving for retirement, compared with 71% of men.
Ladies, we need to get to grips with money matters!

So, first up you need to figure out if you are eligible to apply for a mortgage.

Your eligibility rating usually appears as a percentage. It shows how likely you are to be approved – the higher it is, the better your chances.

Find out the facts.

Experian are providing us the tools to take control and learn more about our financial data. They are helping people improve their lives and realise their life ambitions. I recently used the Experian site to find out my own credit score. It’s mega simple and don’t worry if your credit score isn’t great, their website also offers advice on how to improve your current Experian Credit Score.

I believe that it is really important for us to take responsibility for our own financial data. Once you get to grips with the basics, it’s actually not as bad as you think. A mortgage is probably going to be the biggest financial commitment that I ever make in my entire life, so I want to know what my options are, and I want as much info as possible.

74% of people do not check their credit report before applying for a mortgage, which means they could be missing out on the best deals2.

 

So, if you are thinking about buying a house in the next few years, make sure that you start off by finding out your credit score. Check out Experian.co.uk to find out absolutely everything you need to know about mortgage eligibility. I recently started following @ExperianExperts on Twitter too. They post great advice and links to really useful articles, so it’s worth giving them a follow.
FYI, I may still splurge on that pair of designer heels, but I’m gonna wear those shoes to march all the way to the bank! Let the house hunt commence!

 

This post is a partnership with Experian.

 

https://www.napa-net.org/news/managing-a-practice/industry-trends-and-research/the-generation-gap-also-has-gender-gaps/

* 2Source: Survey conducted by Onepoll based on 2000 UK homeowners. Date carried out: 15/06/2018 – 19/06/2018

 

11 Things That You Didn’t Know About Me.

Do you have any siblings?

Yes, I have an older sister (36), a younger sister (27) and a younger brother (23).

Do you have any tattoos?

No, not yet. I go through phases of looking at tattoo’s on Pinterest and saving all of my faves. I’m an all or nothing person and I have an addictive personality, so I’m sure that if I get one, I’ll end up getting loads!

What is something that everyone is obsessed with, but you just don’t get the point of?

Reality TV. I’ve never watched a single episode of Love Island, Made in Chelsea, or TOWIE. I just don’t get it. For a start, I can’t commit to watching a TV show that’s on at a specific time every week. To be honest, I don’t watch TV much at all. I find it so boring, I can’t sit still and not talk. If I lived alone, I wouldn’t even own a TV.

What one thing always makes your day better?

Voice-notes!  I love WhatsApp voice-notes, sending them, receiving them, I don’t remember my life before them. Oh and Pip & Nut Almond and Coconut butter! Damn. *Oops that’s two things.

Which social situation do you try to avoid the most?

The only thing that I can think of is festivals. I know they are supposed to be mega fun and everyone talks about Glastonbury being the best weekend EVER! But I don’t enjoy being outside in the rain and the mud, and I won’t ever be drunk enough to use a festival loo.

What’s getting better as you’re getting older?

LIFE! and my self esteem. I feel a lot more confident and I no longer feel the need to change in an attempt to be liked, or to appease other people. As I’m getting older I am way more selective about who I spend my time with. I love each and every one of my friends, I don’t have time for fake or toxic relationships.

What do you spend a lot on? (but it’s totally worth it)

Skincare products. In my twenties I would never have dreamed of spending fifty pounds on a face serum. These days I invest into skin care products. I have face masks, eye creams, night serums, the works!

What job would you be terrible at?

I could never work in a hospital. I have so much respect for nurses and doctors but being in a hospital just freaks me out and makes me feel anxious. I really don’t understand how people what TV programs about A&E or hospital dramas.

How did you meet your husband?

We met in 2007. I was at drama school and Rob saw me performing on stage in my graduation show. After the show, Rob asked his brother (my singing teacher at the time) for my phone number. In 2007 there was no Instagram to Tinder. People actually used their phones to make phone calls. *gasp
Anyway, Rob called me and asked me out. We met for dinner on the Southbank in London, I was infatuated and and just two years later I was walking down the aisle!

What foods do you love  / hate?

I love pasta / hate cheese. People are always so shocked that I don’t like cheese. I’ve never liked it, I just don’t get it, and it stinks!

What’s one thing that you do every day?

Prayer. Every morning and every night. 

Could You Give Up Coffee?

Are you addicted to coffee? Many people confess to being addicted to their daily caffeine fix. They drink one or two cups of coffee every single day and to be honest, most people are genuinely shocked when I tell them that I don’t drink coffee. Now don’t get me wrong, I love coffee, in particular iced lattes, but I very rarely drink it and here’s why…

COST

If you live / work in London then chances are that you buy your coffee when you’re out. If you’re spending £5 each day on coffee, that’s over £100 per month. Say what!? Admittedly I probably spend the same amount, if not more, on juices and smoothies but hey we’re talking about coffee today. Ditch the coffee and save some cash.

SLEEP

This one is so obvious! It seems like everyone’s talking about sleep at the moment. (Shout out to Matthew Walker) We’re told that we need seven to eight hours of sleep each night, but it’s not just the quantity of sleep that you need to consider, but also the quality. Caffeine messes up out bodies sleep pattern. Even if you drink your coffee at lunch time, the caffeine will still be in your system at bedtime. The bottom line is, quit the coffee and you’ll improve the quality of your sleep.

STRESS LESS 

The caffeine in coffee increases catecholamines, your stress hormones. Personally, I am very sensitive to caffeine, I once had a really strong coffee at the hairdressers, and by the time I left, my hands were shaking, my heart was racing and I felt frantic. I know that not everyone has such an immediate reaction, but if you’re feeling stressed or feeling anxious then reducing your caffein intake could help.

GUT HEALTH

Coffee is bad for your gut. The acidity of coffee is associated with digestive discomfort, indigestion, heart burn and dysbiosis (imbalances in your gut flora). Give you gut a break and ditch that morning flat white.

So… if you do decide that you want to give up coffee, the initial withdrawal symptoms can be quite bad. (depending on how much coffee you currently drink). Here are some tips to make the process a little bit easier…

  • To avoid feeling mega tired and yawning all day, get to bed a bit earlier. Sleep is going to be very important for those first few caffeine free days.
  • Drink lots of water. This sounds so simple but make sure that you have a big refillable bottle with you at all times. Staying hydrated will help reduce the caffeine withdrawal headaches.
  • Take a vitamin C supplement to boost your energy levels. I take 1000mg of vitamin C five days a week.
  • Get moving. Exercising for thirty minutes each day will also help to boost your energy and your mood. Go out for a short walk and plug in your favourite podcast when you would usually have your coffee break.

Making changes to your daily habits is always hard but after a few days you’ll get used to it, you’ll be saving cash, feeling more energised and sleeping like a baby!

As always you can hit me up on social media @adrienne_ldn Let me know if you give it a go.

Berlin Marathon

It’s been less than 24 hours since I arrived home from Berlin and I wasn’t sure whether to write this post or not. I kinda just want to forget about the weekend, but I always think it’s important to remember this feeling.

On Sunday, I stood at the start line of the iconic Berlin Marathon. This race has been the focus of my training for this entire summer. Back in May, I created a twenty week training plan, and then I stuck to it. I did the early morning runs, the long slow runs and the speedy interval runs. I ran up and down the mountains in France on holiday, whilst Rob and Jude were still sleeping. I even ran on the beach in Mexico. I have never trained so consistently for a race before. I felt much faster and fitter than last year, the hard work was paying off.

After a week holiday in Mexico, we can home and was keen to back out on the road. My first run was a slow six miles and it felt easy. That weekend was my last scheduled long run before the race, eighteen miles. I set off with my Terrex backpack loaded with energy gels and water. I got thought that run and I was feeling pretty good. It gave me a confidence boost and I planned to focus on speed work for the last few weeks of training. Everything was going great until the next morning when I woke up, I stepped out of bed and I felt a sharp pain in the sole of my right foot. It was so painful that I couldn’t put my foot flat on the floor. But to be honest, I wasn’t too concerned at first, after running eighteen miles you can expect to have a few aches and pains the next day right? I just thought that after a few days it would be gone. Unfortunately, the pain didn’t go. I started icing it everyday, (I’m still not sure if that was a good or bad thing to do) I went to see a physiotherapist. He told me to completely rest until the race. No running at all. So that is what I did.

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Fast forward to race day…

I stood at the start line feeling nervous. I started having flashbacks of running the London marathon last year. I started thinking about the pain of those last few miles. But then I started to think about all of the training that I had done this year. All those miles. I knew that I had put the time in so I told myself that I was ready. I thought that my foot would no doubt be hurting by the end, but I did not think for one second that I wouldn’t be able to finish the race.

Standing in a crowd of forty seven thousand runners is pretty incredible! As I ran across the start line, I was buzzing! I had spotted a pacer and decided to stick with him until the half way point. I started talking to another AR runner who was also following the same pacer. We decided we’d stick together.

The race course is epic! The crowd was cheering us on and the sun was lighting up the streets. As we came past the 4 mile sign, I was already starting to feel pain in my foot.

In my mind the race was split up into three sections. Miles 1-10 warm up, 11-20 hard work & 20-26 survival. I tried to relax and I told myself this is just the warm up. By the time I reached mile 10, the pain in my foot was constant, it was hurting with every single step. Looking back, I know this is the point that I should have stopped. This is when I knew that I might not make it to the finish line. BUT, instead of stopping I let me ego take over. I was telling myself that it was going to be mind over matter. I tried to forget about the pain and I put my headphones in and turned the music up. I walked through the next water station, and made a deal with myself. As I looked up at the 20K sign I thought, if you can make it to 30K you can finish this race. I set off running again.

I reached the 25K sign and the pain was unbearable. I was running on my toes because it hurt too much to put my heel down. That’s when I had to stop. I knew I couldn’t finish like that, I still had another 19K to go. I felt so angry and frustrated! I stood at the side of the road and watched hundreds of runners run past. I limped over to the medics, I took my phone out and sent a text to Rob. ‘I’m out’.

After two hours in hospital, I saw a brilliant Dr who examined my foot. FYI when you’re running a race, you’re not carrying your purse with you. I had no ID, no proof of address and no cash. I had to text Rob to get his credit card info. (You can then claim the money back from your travel insurance.) The whole situation was a drama and not the way that I had imagined the day going at all! Anyway, the Dr strapped my foot very tightly to stop anymore swelling, gave me a strip of painkillers and the address for a clinic to go and collect a set of crutches.

I got back to my hotel room feeling very sorry for myself. I couldn’t actually believe that I had flown all the way to Germany to do a race and I didn’t even finish. I really wished that my flight was booked for that night so I could just go home. I knew that all of my friends were out partying to celebrate and I was stuck in my hotel room on my own, eating a massive bar of chocolate. Thank God for chocolate!

So, two days later I am back home and I’ve finally written back to everyone that had sent me a message. It turns out people really don’t care if you cross that finish line or not. Every single message has been so encouraging! I’ve stopped feeling upset that I didn’t finish, I am proud that I laced up, I took on that brutal race and I gave it everything that I had. Injury or not, anything can happen on race day. Running a marathon is no joke.

I’ve done it before and I know that I will do it again. Who knows, I might even head back to Berlin next year. But for now I am going to focus on rest. The whole summer of training has been tough. It’s been a huge time commitment too. I’m also going to try not to complain about not being able to run for the next few weeks. I am going to respect my body and be grateful that it will heal. I know that health is a luxury that unfortunately isn’t given to everyone.

For anyone else who is injured at the moment, let me know what you’re doing to recover? I’m booked into a Cryotherapy session next week. I’ve never tried it before but I’ve heard good things.

As always you can hit me up on social @adrienne_ldn Stay tuned, I’m already plotting my comeback!

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The Latest…

This summer has been crazy fun & mega busy! Hence I haven’t updated my blog in a while…

So , here’s what I’ve been up to lately…

TEDx Talk

At the start of this year, I wrote down a list of goals for 2018. I also wrote down my ten year goals. (yes I am that person! I blood love goal setting) One of the things on my list was to speak at a TEDx event. Well sometimes, opportunities come up a lot sooner than we expect them to! I was waiting to board a flight at Heathrow airport one morning in February, and I got an email asking if I would speak at TEDxMauerpark in Berlin. I was absolutely buzzing! I boarded the flight and then had twelve hours to think about what my talk would be about. I decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to share both my mission and my own story.

My TEDx talk is now live on YouTube…

Tresemme

Over the last few months I have been working with Tresemme as part of their ‘Be Your Own Pro’ campaign. I love this campaign message as it is all about mastering a skill and becoming a pro. As you know, I am huge believer in the power of neuro-plasticity and our ability to acquire any skill, if we firstly believe that we can do it, then are wiling to work incredibly hard for it!

It was great to be a part of this campaign. It was the first time I’ve ever been a part of a hair campaign. It was even featured in Marie Claire magazine! Huge thank you for Tresemme for including me in this campaign. Representing for the curly girl crew!

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Marie Claire

As well as the hair feature, this month I was also featured in Marie Claires ‘Power With Purpose‘ list! I was named as one of the women using social media to have a positive impact. Many of the other women named on the list, are women that I really look up to and admire, so it was incredibly flattering to be featured! Thanks Marie Claire. You absolutely made my day! Go check out some of these fab women …
@FreddieHarrel @ZannaVanDijk @StyleMeSunday @CarlyRowena @Mre.Soeur

Urban Decay

After spending the last six months working on my public speaking and writing over twenty different talks. I was SO happy when Urban Decay reached out and invited me to deliver a talk at their annual company summit. I spoke to over seven hundred people about confidence and individuality. I then interviewed, model and body positivity activist, Felicity Hayward. It was such an amazing experience and it just confirmed to me that I want to use my voice and my passion to host more talk this year. Watch this space!

Get To Know

This summer, unfortunately our schedules have been so busy! Hayley, AJ and I, have barely been on the same continent for long. However, we’ll be back very soon I promise! I’ve met so many inspiring women this year, I will be enlisting them to share their magic with our Get To Know community as soon as possible.

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FIIT

I am now the Master Trainer at FIIT, aka the newest fitness app, on a mission to make fitness more accessible, affordable and effective. FIIT only launched a few months ago but they already have thousands of users. It’s been great to work with some of London’s best fitness trainers. So far, I have created over one hundred workouts for the app. Click here for all the info. 

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Marathon Training

I started my marathon training this year with fierce determination. I learnt a lot from my first marathon in London last year and this time around, I began to see the rewards of sticking to a training plan consistently. I prioritised both running and sleep like never before and the results have been MEGA!! Sleep has been the real game changer. As a morning runner, shout out to the 6am crew!, I became committed to going to bed before 10pm every night. It might sound boring, but do you know what is even more boring than that? Listening to someone complain about how tired they are all the time. We all know those people! So after two months of solid training in June and July, things changed quite a lot in August. We had not one, but two family holidays. The first was to France and the second was to Mexico. I know how insanely lucky we are! Traveling and making memories with Rob and Jude is literally at the top of my priority list. Nothing makes me happier!

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Yesterday, I completed my last long training run. Before I went out, I was a little nervous that I would suffer as a result of my two weeks off. (I have no regrets, those Mexican Pina  Coladas were insane!) I was planning on running 16 miles but I managed 18. It’s only three weeks until race day. I’m equally excited and terrified! I know how hard running a marathon really is. For the next few weeks I will be focusing on speed training, lots of shorter speed runs and interval training. I plan to run three or four times each week and I’ll be going to bed early as much as possible.

My current obsessions ;

Podcast – This week my podcast has been replaced by audio books. I’m currently listening to Kevin Hart’s book, ‘ I can’t make this up’. It’s both hilarious and moving. I’m only four hours in to the 18 hour book narration. If you don’t yet have the audible app. Download it today. I’m getting through loads of books that I don’t have time to read.
Food – I’ve re-discovered bagels recently. OMG I’d forgotten how good they are. Who knew a bagel and a cup of tea could bring me so much joy!
Travel – Tonight, I’m editing a vlog for YouTube of our family Mexico trip. What a place! I can’t recommend it enough. The food, weather & the people were all amazing.
Races – After Berlin, I already have my next race lined up. I’m running the Royal Parks Half Marathon in London in October.
Guilty Pleasure – Scrolling on Right Move. We are currently saving to buy a house, so I scroll through the Right Move app for inspo. Oh and the World Cup! I’m not into football at all but this summer I totally got behind the England team and I loved it. It was Jude’s highlight of the summer for sure.

So … that’s life lately.

Any Q’s? Hit me up on Instagram & Twitter @adrienne_ldn  #TheLatest

Why Consistency Works

I often talk about consistency and about creating habits for success. A habit is essentially a behaviour that we repeat regularly. Over time our conscious choices become our daily habits. Eventually, our habits become subconscious, we might do the same thing each morning when we wake up, eat the same foods, drive the same route to work etc.

We can of course change our habits and our behaviour, initially this requires an intentional act. For example, let’s say you want to get fitter. You buy a pair of running shoes and you go out for a run. The intentional act is done. But one run doesn’t make you fit. So this is where consistency comes in, if you then continue to run three times each week, running becomes a part of your routine, it becomes a habit.

Single acts of intention do absolutely nothing without the act of consistency. One small daily habit like brushing your teeth for two minutes twice each day, ensures you have good oral health, BUT, only because you do it every single day. This small act alone doesn’t achieve much but add constancy and suddenly the impact is huge.

So, here’s the bad news… 

Once you achieve a goal, it’s not enough to say ‘Okay I’ve achieved it, that’s done.’ You must continue to do it in order to maintain your success. Consistency really is the key. You need to build these habits into your life so that they become a part of your DNA. They become non negotiable. They begin to form your identity.

Here are a few habits that I am practicing, I find it far easier to implement and stick to some more than others…

  1. Going to bed before 10pm.
    I have a long list of reasons for doing this, but essentially, I live a very active lifestyle. I prioritise sleep to rest, recover and fully recharge. I avoid caffeine in an attempt to improve the quality of my sleep. I get up early everyday and I don’t want to feel tired when my alarm goes off. Sleep is when your body regulates your hormones, appetite and immune system.  I could go on…
    I have to be incredibly disciplined to go to bed before 10pm, sometimes it is a real challenge, but I know how much it will affect my productivity, my mood, my work and my training.
  2. Getting up at 5:45am everyday.
    This is a habit that overtime I have grown to love. It has become a non negotiable. This is the single habit that has had the biggest impact on my life. To read more about it, click here 
  3. Not Eating Sugary Treats.
    This is the habit the I struggle with the MOST. I love sugar! I can go with a lot of things, alcohol, meat, dairy products, sure thing. But when it comes to sugar, I appear to have very little self control. It’s incredibly frustrating and something that I’m working on. If I figure out an effective solution, I will of course share it and no doubt become a millionaire for helping the world to break free from those sweet sweet shackles.
  4. Exercising 5 days a week.
    This varies from running, body weight training, resistance training, stretching and walking. (Yes, walking counts as exercise too) Again, there is a huge list of benefits and reasons that I do this. Regular exercise enhances your cognitive function, reduces stress and anxiety, improves your health, boosts your immune system, etc
    It has become a habit that I don’t even really think about much anymore. It’s just a part of my day.  I try to constantly challenge myself physically by taking on challenges, this year it’s the Berlin marathon. I do this to ensure that I do not become complacent and also to actually practice what I teach. I never want to stand on my soap box and tell others what they should do, so I attempt to lead by example instead.
  5. Learning.
    I currently dedicate two hours of each day to learning. This is mostly by reading or listening to podcasts and writing notes. I also watch keynotes, lectures and TedTalks online. Knowledge is powerful. I recognise that I am incredibly lucky to have access to so much information and resources, FOR FREE! I wish I’d had the passion for learning that I have today, when I was at school. I guess the difference is, now I’m learning about the things I am totally fascinated by, I still don’t care about Henry VII’s wives.
    I encourage you to spend more time learning. Whatever you wanna learn more about… coding, business, psychology, the stock market !? You can literally learn anything and everything online these days. Make the most of it.

What are your daily / weekly habits? Good and bad? What things do you repeat consistently? People say change is hard. I disagree. I think initial change is easy, but maintaining that change consistently is the hard part. People want to believe that change is hard as it validates us for not doing so.

I’d love to know your thoughts, you can hit me up on social media @adrienne_ldn.

 

 

Summer Juice with Truenopal

How great is this heatwave!  I am totally loving it, but training for a marathon in 30 degree heat has been tough! I’m doing my best to stay hydrated by drinking lots before, during and after exercise. I’m also not drinking alcohol at the moment, due to my early morning running routine. Try to take on a ten mile training run with a hangover is not fun at all!

So, what am I drinking instead? Well, I’ve been experimenting in my kitchen with Truenopal Cactus Water, to create my own hydrating summer juice. So far I’ve tried all sorts of flavour combinations. I’ve adding slices of fresh oranges and lemons, watermelon, basil, mint & chilli. This combo was my favourite…

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  • Fresh Mint
  • Lemon
  • Fresh Ginger
  • Apple
  • Ice
  • Cactus Water

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If you’ve never tried cactus water before? Here’s all the info …

Truenopal cactus water comes from the fruit prickly pear, that grows on the cactus plant in the sonoran dessert. It is 100% natural, has no added sugar or artificial flavourings, no sodium, and is suitable for vegans. I have partnered with Truenopal this summer as part of their TrueYou campaign. I absolutely love their message as it is encouraging us to always be our true-selves. Check out the hashtag #TrueYou on Instagram to see other people sharing what this message means to them.

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As always you can hit me up on Instagram & Twitter @adrienne_ldn