2018: The Year of Opportunity

Happy 2018 everyone (Can I even say that anymore...screw it I'm going to anyway), welcome back to my blog! 

I'm sat in a coffee shop (after revisiting this post time and time again), thinking, what did I accomplish in 2017? So I had a look back at my first post of 2017, #Unlocking Potential. If I try to think back to how I felt while writing that post... I was pumped! I'd joined different blogger communities, signed up to new events, courses and had planned to push my photography as far as I could. I'd jumped in with two feet. No armbands, no lessons, no nothing. Just pure excitement!

Boy, did I get a punch in the face!

To be honest with you, 2017 was not a good year at all. A year where my love for my day job dropped for various reasons and put a halt on everything I did. My training, this blog, my photography. There was a day in August 2017, where I walked in and almost said "I quit! I'm done!". Through the year, my emotions from work had steered me in the wrong direction and I'd gradually forgotten why I'd created my blog in the first place. So a couple of posts after my Lets have a chat about confidence post, I decided to stop the blog for a little bit and really try to remember why I created it in the first place (which I most definitely think I have said before).    

This time, took the pressure off. By focusing just an ounce of self awareness I slowly was able to dismiss all the little things that were affecting me day to day and remember the bigger picture. The time helped me reflect on why the year turned out the way it had. Don't get me wrong, I'm still on the road to truly figuring that out, but I'm on the right path. I got back into my photography, shooting things that I enjoy as a release and a form of relaxation. Unfortunately this was a journey my camera did not survive (RIP Mr M3). But I took the plunge and invested in my dream camera! I haven't looked back since. By Mid November my personal training day job had finally sorted itself out and I was emotionally back on the right track. For this I have to thank my closest friends and colleagues and my family. But especially my girlfriend Helen. For putting up with my moods, always being positive and for supporting me in anything I decide to do.

Now on to 2018! A year where I promise to push myself and finish it without any regrets. Starting with entering the #Gymshark66 2018 challenge. 66 days to change your life. I'll speak about this in more details in another post. This year has also brought a photography side to my business (which I still cannot believe), so be sure to keep an eye on the Portfolio section of the blog. You'll also now notice that these posts will now be my journal. The journal of my passions, to hopefully inspire people to be great, both physically and mentally (dressing well along the way of course).

Until next time,  live & enjoy life.

Ash x

Ash Recommends: BIRD

With the Summer now officially over (although, September can be ok sometimes), I feel the need to turn our focus from Summer sun, to Autumn eats. So on the bank holiday just gone, I went out with Helen and our friend Sarah and headed to Camden Town, to enjoy the last of the sunshine. I took my camera because I've gotten out of the habit of not carrying it around with me (See my confidence post here). If i'm truly honest I wasn't that inspired by the surroundings that day, but, what I did photograph, was our trip to Bird, a fried chicken shop on Chalk Farm Road.

Don't worry, up until about a week before, I hadn't heard of it either, but my oh my, is this place amazing! Forget your run of the mill chicken shops after a night on the town, this place is different. Serving free range fried chicken, with batter that melts in your mouth and has an amazing crunch to it. 

I decided to go for the Waffle Burger and it was officially, the best burger I've ever had. Now, I'm kind of bias because I'm a big fan of chicken and waffles. It's genuinely the first thing that I'd go for as a 'cheat meal' - thats code for a meal where calories don't matter or containing 'YOLO MACROS', which I've seemed to be following a lot recently, hence the drastic weight gain over the last however many months. But this place...was fully worth it. Great service. Friendly and accommodating staff, who obviously have a love for the place. Delicious food. What more can you ask for...how about donuts and cocktails?! They have those too. I've not tried them, but it's the perfect excuse to go back!

Name: Bird

Location: Camden, Chalk Farm Road

Price Range: Waffle burger £14, fries with gravy £5

What do you think? Where is your favourite chicken and waffle place?

Until next time, live & enjoy life.

Ash x

Chimi Glasses and Chilled Outfits

 Photograph by @helenrusselll

Photograph by @helenrusselll

Hey, what's up everyone? Hope you're all having a good week! I just wanted to say a quick thank you for all of the amazing feedback on my last post! It means so much to me that so many of you engaged with my post. It's really helped to build my confidence in what i'm trying to do. So on to the next one!

So, I wanted to throw out another style post for you guys. I know all the good weather is coming to an end, so i'm clinging on to all the summer vibes. That said, I thought I'd talk to you about the newest addition to my sunglasses collection.

I've been following a brand called Chimi Eyewear for a while now and I finally caved to in to one of there beautiful pieces (Quick disclaimer: this is not a paid endorsement)! Those of you that watch my Instagram Stories (follow here) will have seen me in them. They are a cool brand run out of Stockholm, Sweden and they produce affordable eyewear in nine different colours, in three classic models. When I first saw the guava colour, I literally dropped everything and ordered a pair. As I've mentioned in previous posts, I'm definitely not afraid of a little bit of colour, especially pink. Takes a real man wear pink I say.

 Photograph by @helenrusselll

Photograph by @helenrusselll

The model for me is definitely the 001. A strong, classic style, with a masculine edge to it, perfect for pretty much any head or face shape. They do run a little bit small but they are totally worth it if that doesn't bother you. I also love the hashtag the brand use, #onepairisnotenough! It's something that I live by when it comes to my wardrobe.

 Photograph by @helenrusselll

Photograph by @helenrusselll

 Photograph by @helenrusselll

Photograph by @helenrusselll

 Photograph by @helenrusselll

Photograph by @helenrusselll

 Photograph by @helenrusselll

Photograph by @helenrusselll

 Photograph by @helenrusselll

Photograph by @helenrusselll

I decided to style these with a relaxed look.  Just so you know, you can find all of the pieces linked above, starting with my off white tie dye layered t-shirt, powder pink cropped jogger style trousers from Bershka (similar linked above) and my all white 'Old Skool' style Vans. I decided to accessorise the look with an Eastpak hip bag, my limited edition Tom Sayers watch from The Camden Watch Company (link here) and an anklet that I found on Etsy (linked here, alternative above). 

20170829-IMG_6701-2.jpg

Thanks, for giving this a read. I hope you enjoyed it. If you do pick up a pair of Chimi's, let me know in the comments below. Would love to hear from you. 

Until next time, live and enjoy life.

Ash x