Holly Stockport | Writer, YouTuber & Blogger

25 July 2016

Learning Tai Chi With Coca-Cola ParkLives

DISCLAIMER: I was paid by ParkLives to attend this event and write this post. In no way does that fact alter my opinion of the event I attended.

On the 23rd July, myself and Morgan went to Brynmill Park for a session of Tai Chi, being run by ParkLives from Coca-Cola. I was approached by Park Lives to try out one of their sessions that they are hosting all over the UK during the summer, to encourage people to get out and about with some fun activities. There are a wide range of activities going on during the summer period and Tai Chi For Beginners was one that I took an interest in. With Morgan as my plus one, we travelled down to Swansea to learn some Tai Chi.

I was very worried about two things; one, will the weather be good and two, were we going to be the only ones there. Thankfully, I was wrong on both of these thoughts; the weather was lovely and dry and there were quite a lot of us too.

"Chi Kung is a set of gentle exercises based on the theories of Chinese medicine, designed to work with the body, breath and mind to promote well being and a sense of relaxed alertness. All movements are performed  in a relaxed, flowing manner at your own pace. We will look at various Chi Kung patterns to help different organ systems, Silk Reeling to keep joints moving and methods to gather Chi and balance it with changing seasons. The Yang Cheng Fu form is a long, slow set of movements. Actually a very effective martial and healing art, it is mostly practised today for self-healing and stress reduction."

I have dabbled in doing various meditation things and I've done a bit of yoga too, but Tai Chi was something I'd not heard of until it was mentioned to me. I liked the concept of Tai Chi and how to helped to reduce stress and promote self-healing, something which was very interesting to me.

A lot of the moves that we learnt were a very basic introduction to the world of Tai Chi and revolved around opening up certain parts of the body and being aware of how your body feels internally. I found a lot of the moves rather relaxing and I can definitely see myself incorporating some of these moves into a cooldown routine at the gym, or if I just need to de-stress.

An aspect of Tai Chi that I really found interesting was the talk of the 5 Elements; Fire, Metal, Water, Earth and Wood. Each of the elements has a different healing effect on the body and we got to learn some of the moves to them, which I enjoyed doing. As we went through each move, I could feel myself getting more and more relaxed as the session went on, if a bit too warm with the sun on my back.

The one I found  resonated with the most was the Wood exercises, as we were told they were good for digestion, something I have been struggling with since I was diagnosed with IBS some time ago. I definitely felt calm and relaxed after the session, and a lot more in tune with my body too.

I really enjoyed the Tai Chi session and found it so interesting to learn about. I am definitely going to use some of the techniques in my gym routine, as I think they'd be a great way to cool down after a good workout. The ParkLives incentive is a great way for people of all ages to get out and about at their local park, and with so many activities on, the possibilities are endless for what you could get up to! It can also be a lovely way to make new friends and find activities that you end up pursuing in the future, as I am certainly going to do with my new found love for Tai Chi.

If you want to find out more about ParkLives and find any activities going on near you, visit the website for more information: https://www.parklives.com

Have you tried Tai Chi?
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21 July 2016

Skin Deep: Thumb Troubles

The previous post was taking about how proud I was of my fingers and how nail polish of all things, has helped with my recovery. My fingers are still in good condition, but my thumbs have taken a beating.

I haven't worn nail polish for a little while and I haven't been picking at my fingers (yay!) but my thumbs have been the victim of constant picking (nay!). My right thumb in particular has taken quite a beating, since skin hasn't healed properly and I had to trim the nail because it broke off a few days prior. Because of how close to my nail I had cut, skin got caught in the process and resulted in me picking. I imagine if I had painted my nails, this wouldn't have happened or it would't have happened not nearly as much.

My nails have been painted since I had them done for a fashion show I attended a while ago, but while they were painted, I noticed that I caught myself picking the nail polish off. Because I used a top coat that had lots of sparkles in it, they got caught easily on things and I ended up just peeling them off, which lead me to peeling a lot of it off. This resulted in my fingernails being slightly damaged because of the picking and I felt bad for it. In the future, I don't think I will be using a top coat with sparkles on it to save my poor nails the trouble of being picked. I suppose it's better than picking at my skin right?

I've also had a pretty decent time with the spots on my face, until I woke up one night with a giant pus filled spot right on the side of my nose which was horrendous. Thankfully, it's gone down since then, and I believe it is thanks to something I've wanted for ages...a cleansing brush! The one I have is from No7 and was on offer for £15. Since I had a bunch of Boots points on my card sitting around, I decided to treat myself and get the brush, since I'd head so many good things about cleansing brushes. Lots of people have high end brand brushes like Magitone and Clarisonic, but No7's was more in my price range and so far, I love it! It's already making a difference in my skin and I'm hoping regular use can help fade some acne scars I have too. I'm going to do a full review on my blog and youtube once I've used it for a while!

That's all for this time (I feel like this is way shorter than previous posts, sorry!). Progress photos are below!

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18 July 2016

FeD Cardiff's Super Summer Menu

DISCLAIMER: I was allowed to dine at FeD for free in exchange for a review. This does not affect or alter my opinion.

Being a self confessed food lover, buffet restaurants are my favourite thing ever. There's always something for everyone. I first discovered FeD a few months ago when I went there for a birthday meal with my friend Leanne and I loved everything they had to offer. When I found out that they had brought out a super summer menu, I jumped at the chance to go and have a nose (and a taste!)

What first stuck me before even entering FeD is how ideal it is as a orime eating location. The Motorpoint Arena is opposite, and Cineworld is right next door, with the St david's Shopping Centre a few doors down too. You could have a grand day out in Cardiff Central and then have a pit stop at FeD, making for a great day out.

I took Morgan as my plus one with me and on arrival, we were greeted by Anand, who gave us an explanation as to how everything worked and let us get on with trying all the food. I love the design of the restaurant, it really gives off a quirky feel and a fun, energetic vibe.

What I love about FeD is the amount of variety they have with their food options; there literally is something for everyone's taste. Being me though, I obviously had to get copious amounts of garlic naam bread, garlic pizza, garlic chicken korma...do you guys see a pattern emerging? Morgan was also very impressed with the selection of food, and even dabbled in trying new things, which is something that was very enjoyable to experience.

One of the big aspects of the summer menu is the cocktails and mocktails. Me and Morgan tried out some of the mocktails on offer and as I sit here typing this, I wish I had that mocktail still. My mocktail of choice was the Fruit Crush, while Morgan got a Papa Smurf. The Fruit Crush is a beautiful blend of apple juice, strawberry syrup, various fruits and lemonade; it's such a sweet, refreshing drink and packs a punch with the fizzy lemonade mixed in. I'm not one for fizzy drinks usually, but I enjoyed every sip of my mocktail. Morgan's Papa Smurf mocktail featured Monin Blue Curaco, orange juice and lemonade, which he really enjoyed. I also found funny that Morgan had a tall glass, while I had a short one; it summed us up pretty well unintentionally! We didn't sample any cocktails since Morgan was driving and I don't drink alcohol that much, but they had all of my favourite ones on the menu, which made me very happy.

Something that FeD does which I've not seen other buffet restaurants do before, is that they offer a service where you can order food to be cooked and brought to your table. I experienced something similar when I went abroad to Tunisia, but nothing like this back home. I ordered a sirloin steak, while Morgan got some very spicy chicken satay and it was such a lovely little service to have on offer. It saves us standing around waiting for food to be cooked and we can enjoy other little things while we wait.

The desserts that were on offer were equally as delicious as the main courses. In particular, I found myself being drawn to an absolutely gorgeous brownie pudding. I even went back and took a photo of it because it looked so pretty and tasted absolutely amazing. There were also a wide range of desert options such as ice cream, popcorn, jelly, cakes and lots more.

I am always spoilt for choice when it comes to eating out in Cardiff, but FeD have well and truly stolen my heart (and stomach) as one of my favourite restaurants to eat at. There's something that everybody can enjoy and for the price, you can't go wrong. If you're looking to get a good meal with a lot of choice, then FeD is definitely a place you need to check out.

FeD's Website
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