Sunday, October 08, 2017

BASIC INVITE REVIEW

Dear gorgeous person, you!


**Scroll down for video**

I absolutely love birthdays - it's that one time of the year when you have a legit excuse to dress up. Kids parties I find are the best too, you can get away with wearing anything! I designed some lovely invitation cards for my niece's birthday using the Basic Invite website and in this blog post, I'd love to share my experience of using this website with you. 

I also thought it would be a brilliant idea to make a video in addition to this post. This way, hopefully you can get a better idea of what the cards really look like. Scroll down to see the video below.


These were all samples as I wanted to test out what would work great for the theme of the party as well as get a good idea of what varieties Basic Invites have. 

I was very impressed with the packaging when they arrived... so beautiful and chic. How lovely are they you guys? I legit didn't want to open the envelope. I had read some good reviews online and I was expecting to be wowed by the cards but certainly not straight away by the packaging. As I mentioned in the video, it felt like it was packaged with love :) 



I really enjoyed the process of selecting the cards on the website. for starters, there are so many to select from and they all already look so beautiful in their template designs that you kinda don't wanna mess up the designs from having too much to choose from. 

I particularly love how much you can custom them... from changing the texts to adding borders to the fonts. You can also select the paper finish options - signature matte, smooth coated, luxe velvet, double thick matte etc. In addition, you can add designs to the back of the cards, I went for plain backs as I thought it worked well for the occasion. 

The possibilities are amazing and you can truly get unique cards that no one else would have! You can design cards for weddings, baby showers, graduations, baptisms, birthday parties, business cards, printables, stationaries etc.


The best thing about customising the cards is the variety of colours and how you can mix them up. You can choose more than just the colour of your fonts, you can choose specific colours for borders and so on. On the website, you get a fantastic idea anyway but they kindly sent me some free custom samples seen below. Watch the video to see the full sample as there are loads more at the back of the card. I'm such a visual person, very colour inclined and so I love a variety of colours.  


The envelopes omg, how amazing does this design look? As mentioned in my video, I only designed one envelope because people never keep them. I also don't mind plain envelopes but that's probably because I've never got an invite with such a gorgeous envelope before. With plain envelopes though, I feel like the cards/invites do all the talking and especially when your invites look like these... just saying! :) 

However, I did design one so I could show you an available option. I absolutely love this. Watch the video though to get a good idea of what this lovely looking gold bit on the inside feels like. In hindsight, I wish I designed more envelopes now!


As aforementioned, this was such an easy, enjoyable process. If you can use a smart phone, you'll definitely have no issues using the website at all. You don't even need to have a creative eye as such, most of that work has already been done for you. 

My experience with their staff has been fantastic. I also love the fact that they followed up right away. They sent me a personalised email to ask if I was happy with my delivery, that's exceptional customer service right there! I'm looking to design some new business cards and I will definitely use them again, for sure.

And for the video... please watch and let me know your thoughts. I hope you find it useful.




Let me know if you use Basic Invite for anything. Check out their website here. They're also on InstagramFacebook and Twitter. More specifically, on their website, you can find links for Custom Party Invites, First Birthday Invites and Birthday Party Invitations. Happy designing beautiful people.

Wishing you a joyful start to your week. No pun intended :P

Lots of love, 
Joy 


xo xo 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

JOIN MY FACEBOOK LIVE WORKOUTS #SWEATWITHJOY

Dear gorgeous person, you! 


Just over two months ago, I decided to start doing Facebook live workouts every Saturday at 9am (UK time). Much to my delight, our fitness family is slowly expanding with people from all walks of life -  mums doing my workouts with their kids, men and women of all ages and fitness levels - it's brilliant. I feel very grateful and get so excited every Saturday morning.

The workouts are so much fun. We're very body positive and it really has become our little hub of all things fitness. I started the hashtag #SweatWithJoy because you're not only sweating with me, you're sweating because you're happy, you're joyful, you're working out for fun, not abs!! Watch the video below to get a litle glimpse.

We do HIIT -High-Intensity Interval Training... wait for it... to Afrobeats... yes, Afrobeats!!! We have 30seconds to workout as intensely as we can and 30seconds to rest. The rest period is also an opportunity to dance, twerk and be silly, simply because we can. The workouts usually last about 30 - 40minutes. It really is a fun experience and every Saturday, we get new people joining in so why not come join us? It's completely free.

To join, all you need to do is like my facebook fitness page here and when I'm live on Saturdays at 9am (UK time), you can simply stream live and workout with me. It's that simple.

But seriously though, check out my absolute star of a pup. She's not actually mine unfortunately - I wish she was. How cute is she though? Her name is Ruby and she kinda sorta helped me make this video below.  

In this video below, I explain why I HIIT - the main things you need to know. Enjoy.





See you on Facebook this Saturday my loves.

Joy
xo xo 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

HEALTHY PANCAKE RECIPE

Dear gorgeous person, you! 


My last post was a brunch vs breakfast match where I declared brunch the ultimate winner. I have no regrets either but in order to balance things out, I thought I should be fair to breakfasts by sharing a breakfast recipe. I'm very proud to say it's my own recipe and so I hope you like. Enter my ultimate breakfast pancake - it's not for the faint hearted in that it's very hearty and although it looks extra, it's actually reasonably healthy.




INGREDIENTS 
1 egg.
1 cup Almond or cow's milk.
5 heaped tablespoons (& I mean heaps) of almond or plain flour.


HOW?
Get yourself a nutribullet (or blender) - it saves you time.
Put in your flour.
Add milk.
Add egg.
Blend for 1 minute. 
Fry on medium heat as thin or thick as you wish, using coconut oil. 
Serve and layer with Almond yoghurt, strawberries and blueberries.
Top with Sweet Freedom choc shot, liquid chocolate (only 13 kcal/tsp).




A FEW TIPS 

When blending, I usually stop the nutribulet half way through to manually shake the mixture so as to ensure all the flour is mixed in properly.
When frying, use a generous amount of oil but don't go crazy. Make sure the heat is not too high initially so your pancake can cook through. However once you're happy it's cooked, crank up the heat for that crispy taste we all love!  

This entire process from prep to chowing down only took 8 minutes and that's because I wanted small pancakes. My batter made me 5 thick ones of these! you could get 3 very big and thin pancakes which will take a lot less time to prepare.

If you do use this recipe, please let me know how you get on in the comments below. In the meantime, I am currently working on a video recipe for you on my youtube channel.

Lots of love
Joy xo xo 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

BRUNCH VS BREAKFAST?

Dear gorgeous person, you! 


Breakfast as they say is the most important meal of the day! However, I have to secretly confess that nowadays I'm loving having brunch more than I am breakfasts. Oh no she didn't!!! Oh yes, she did!!! 

Sorry guys :)

People who are into brunch know that there's a very specific time frame for it. You have to start eating after 11am and be finished by 1pm. Simples. Anything before that is breakfast and right after is lunch. 

I have always been into having brunch especially as it seems to be a London thing. It's the best time for meetings and hangouts with friends. However on most days, breakfast seems like the reasonable option when you have morning or lunch time workouts and a working schedule.

Since my holiday though, I've got into this routine of starting work very early and then nipping into the gym for a late-ish morning fasted workout which then inevitably throws me into brunch time for my first meal and honestly, I can't explain to you how much I'm loving it. It's pretty amazing for a few reasons: 

1. By the time I'm eating my first meal, I've already burnt a few calories.

2. I feel more in control of my body i.e consuming energy when I need it rather than simply because I'm awake (which is kinda what breakfast is).

3. My body knows just how much food I need which means I actually eat more at the time. It's a perfect way to fuel your body with the right amount you need - great for weight loss.

4. It means having a late lunch rather than an early one and helps me escape the afternoon lull which causes you to be completely sleepy after a lunch meal. Anyone else?

I really could go on.

Most days, I make brunch myself as I love cooking but sometimes I treat myself too. A few weeks ago, I was in Forest Hill for a lovely brunch with E and we popped into St David Coffee House for this scrumptious meal. 





St David is right opposite Forest Hill rail station and is slightly hidden. It's a really good find. Quite small but it makes it seem somewhat exclusive. It was slightly pricey for what you got but the food was really good. I always treat myself to a naughty cake like dessert when I'm out for brunch and this was no different. 

When you're next in SE London, you should totally give St David a try. In the meantime, catch them on Instagram

What do you think about the breakfast and lunch versus brunch debate? What do you most have? If you're more of a bruncher - what's your favourite thing to have? Let me know in the comments below.

Lots of love,
J xo xo 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

BTS CALUM McSWIGGAN PHOTOSHOOT

Dear gorgeous person, you! 


You might be aware that I double up as a photographer - a real hobby/obsession of mine that has now turned into somewhat of a profession. In today's post, I wanted to share this amazing video I made (if I might say so myself) of what goes on behind the scenes at some of my shoots. 

All the shots from this shoot (and more of my work) are on my photography website 
You can book me for photography (and blogging collabs) by emailing my amazing manager Rae: rae@raerosecommunications.com 



Let me know what you think about the video :) I'm very proud of this one.

Lots of love,
Jxx

Thursday, July 27, 2017

EVENTS PHOTOGRAPHY

Dear gorgeous person, you! 

Gosh, it sorta feels like my entire life was put on hold for a month in preparation for my birthday! I turned 30 this week shhh!!! It was kinda a big deal, celebrating with 120 people back home. We had lots to plan and sort out before the day and as a result of this, I've been partly MIA - away from you mostly here and on youtube - I'm soooo SORRY! Instead I've kept in touch on  Instagram and Facebook

Side note, I do free Facebook live workouts every Saturday at 9am London time. If you miss them live, the videos are available to watch back and workout to at your convenience, see them here. Anyways, as much fun as birthday shenanigans were, it definitely feels fantastic to be fully back with you now yay!!!!


In today's post, I wanted to share with you some exciting and well overdue news following my video below with the gorgeous Hilary Rowland (my woman crush aka Co-founder and Creative Director of Boom Cycle). It really is amazing to think a lot has happened since we made this video just eight weeks ago. Read my last post to find out more about Hilary and Boom Cycle here



Since the video, they've launched a blog and have an active wear line in the making but the most exciting thing being that the Boom Cycle Hammersmith studio is now open and oh my lawwddd! It's freaking amazing! It's absolutely beautiful and just beyond stunning (I know, same thing! Sorry, excited). I was fortunate enough to attend a morning ride taught by Hilary a few weeks ago and no words, simply no words. 


The studio is conveniently only 2 minutes walk from Hammersmith station. As you approach the building, it starts to dawn on you that Boom Cycle have stepped up their game BIG TIME! The side of the almost 4000 sq ft building has a huge sign with the Boom Cycle logo, Bikes, Beats and Boom written all over it. It immediately gives you the impression you're about to be wowed. You kinda feel like you're part of something special even before you step in.


...And as you walk in, you really are wowed! I was literally walking in with my mouth open and my eye brows going OMG! Is it weird to say that I was overcome with a feeling of pride, considering I had zero part to play in it? Hahaha. I was just really happy for co-founders Hilary & her hubby Robert Rowland as well as the BC team, knowing how hard they've all worked. This has been a long time coming too as Hilary had filled me in, saying they first scouted this building in 2015, lost it to a restaurant and then eventually got it back. Read more about what Robert had to say about some of the difficulties they faced and how they overcame them.

Y'all fitness buddies will appreciate how important location is when you run a boutique studio, even from a consumers perspective. For the owners though, the location alone can make you so ahead of the game but of course, as it is Boom Cycle, this coupled with their super friendly staff, their fun approach to fitness, crazy energy and pretty awesome classes - they are already way ahead of the competition without a shadow of a doubt.



As a consumer who also happens to be a photographer and a woman, the very first thing that appeals to me is the ample natural lighting. Boom Cyclers know that Holborn is underground (I believe Shoreditch is too but I haven't been yet as Holborn was my first love and I didn't want to cheat on her heehee!). 

The Hammersmith reception has such high ceilings and simply feels like it goes on forever. You somehow get the feeling that you're meant to be there. I need to stop sounding so deep! :) Right ahead of you is the huge Boom Cycle logo proudly sitting over the reception area - also perfect for taking those post workout selfies. To your left is a seating area, outside lockers and the changing rooms whilst to your right is the bar and a staircase that leads you to the fantastic looking studios.

Did I also mention the beautiful outside seating area you have just walked past to get into the studio? So you could go to a class, have a shower, a lovely post workout shake and then sit outside (or inside) and work on your laptop? Mhm, count me in!


Then there's the lovely changing room space. The number of times I go somewhere to kill a good workout but then have to get on the tube with my sweaty and wet clothes, simply because I can't bring myself to use their showers lol. No, not here. Aside from the obviously spacious, very clean and tidy changing rooms, showers and toilets, I love that they practically provide everything for you. Sweat & shower towels - tick, tampons - tick, GHDs - tick, waaaiit - dyson hair dryers - seriously? Tick! Hair pins, deodorants, the lot! 

The mirrors have such good lighting to do your makeup in and even the hand wash and lotions are Ren which retail about £16-18 per 300ml bottle! The taps are Dyson Ariblades which also double up as hand dryers and retail for about £1379 each! wooahh! Essentially, Robert and Hilary mean business! Boom have definitely not cut back on quality and it's this level of attention to such small detail that makes you realise that although they seem to have mastered the ride experience with their other studios, they have taken it one (big and expensive) step further and  carefully considered the consumer experience too.

One of my pet peeves is when you have to dry your hands with bloody dryers that essentially spread the water from your hands all over the floor. It's annoying trying to change in a changing room with wet floor - eww! Is that just me? With these Dyson dryers, everything stays in the sink! Someone at Boom Cycle literally thought about that! BOOM! *clapping emoji*




 I couldn't possibly describe the studios in such a way that will do them justice hence you will have to attend to experience it for yourself but seriously omg! 

A few days on from my first ride at Hammersmith, I was invited back to the official launch party as their photographer, which was such a privilege. However, I took these photos knowing that there is no way in the world photos could do this place any justice. You simply must visit.


The launch party was amazing. I met some incredible people and I kinda feel like an unofficial member of the Boom Cycle family now lol. So, Hammersmith is officially open. Go experience it for yourself. Book a class here. If it is your first time, Boom Cycle still have the intro offer £29 for 3 rides which would be crazy not to snap up. If you do go, be sure to let them know I sent you :) and let me know how it goes! Here are some more photos I took at the party. Feel free to check out more of my photography on www.joyogudehotography.com 










What an absolute pleasure it was working with Boom Cycle on this mini project and I'm definitely looking forward to working with them again soon. To book me for photography, simply use the contact form on my photography website or email my manager rae@raerosecommunications.com.

Have you been to Boom Cycle Hammersmith yet? Or perhaps you're planning on going? If you have been, be sure to let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Lots of love, 
Joy
xo xo 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

LERATO'S SUPPER CLUB

Dear gorgeous person, you! 


This summer has been the most amazing yet. Perhaps because I decided to approach the year with a positive boss attitude, despite all my setbacks. Perhaps it's because the weather has been absolutely amazing or maybe because I'm surrounded my amazingly positive people. Perhaps it's a combination of everything. The end result is that not only am I extremely happy and starting to feel like me again, I am also able to fearlessly throw myself into projects, events and simply just being available for my friends and family. Yay!


You might know that I'm also a photographer and of course when my gorgeous friend Lerato decided to cook her supper club guests an African roast, I was determined to go all out with the pictures. Lerato is an international chef and food writer whose food is inspired by rich African traditions but with a modern, contemporary twist. Naturally, her food is colourful, teasingly spicy and very tasty. So of course I felt the vibrance of the pictures had to match Lerato's bright looking summer menu. You can learn more about Lerato here 



Lerato organises regular supper clubs and her food is obviously very popular. Who doesn't like good food hey? This supper club was held at the top of a really lovely pub in Angel called The Joker. It was a very bright and airy private space large enough for all the guests to sit at the table or socialise around the room without feeling either claustrophobic or consumed. As it was such a beautiful day, it was also perfect for natural light pictures which made me very happy. I have only shared a few photos here but please visit my photography website to see the rest of these beautiful pictures in all their glory.





Lerato's menu on the day featured various things that made my tummy extremely happy such as jollof quinoa, an amazing mango and scotch bonnet puree which casted soooo good I had to take some home (so Nigerian lol), lamb, chicken, aubergines, plantains and suya! OMG yes - suya!!! I particularly loved how she managed to find a happy medium between teasing heat and beyond spicy. There were people who had never had African food before and would of course not want to go from eating no spice to heat that's guaranteed to blow your head off. However, people like myself who are used to the heat were still able to enjoy Lerato's food. To be honest, heat that's overwhelming can put you off anyway. As a result, she made sure there was something for everyone.



You definitely have to attend one of Lerato's supper clubs. She currently does them in London and Brighton/Sussex. Her supper club was also featured in Timeout as the number one thing to do last weekend.. See here for Leratos upcoming events. If you do go, be sure to tell her Joy sent you, you might even get mates rates haha. In the meantime, you can find Lerato on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Love you babies! 
Joy xo xo 

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