Friday, 15 April 2016

New in: Lena Menstrual Cup

Hello there folks!

It has been a while now so I hope you forgive my absence and I know I really do need to get round to doing an update on my Bikini Body Burn experience (which I will when I can do the post justice in terms of information and fully developed opinion) but today I received a new menstrual cup! 

Today I will be showing you the Lena Cup. 



First things first, I don't hate my Lunette Cup by any means. I stand by my positively radiant review of it. But you know when you just think "wow this is good, great in fact, but can it get any better?" Yeah. So I ordered the Lena Cup with plans to order more in the future. You see, I am a total convert to reusable menstrual products (RUMPs) and wonder what the hell I was doing before them in all honesty. I will be doing more reviews of them in the future so if you have any cups that you are dying to know more about then fling your requests my way! 

So why did I go for the Lena Cup next you ask? Well you're right it is a relatively new cup on the market but the reasons I went for the Lena next is because I thought my "goldilocks" cup would be one that is slightly firmer than the Lunette cup. If you are new to this, women with firm pelvic floor muscles sometimes find that softer cups don't open up well inside them or get crushed throughout the day and I was having to spend some time getting my Lunette to open for me. So I did my research (do not underestimate this!!! I was hours on the internet scouring the web for info on firmer cups). My research found that the Lena was a great firm cup without being a rock for lack of a better word. 

Also it is a tulip or bell shaped cup which I wanted to try in comparison to the V shape of the Lunette cup. Some shapes work better for different people. 



The only way I could get hold of it being in the EU was on Precious Stars Pads webshop where she sells cloth pads and other cups. She ships internationally which is fab but if you are a luck US babe then amazon is the place for you! 

When my cup arrived it was in two boxes, the first just a normal brown post box and then inside that the Lena Cup box. I was disappointed to see that the box was a bit damaged:


...but the seal wasn't broken so no real worries here. 

I got the Lena Cup size small as I have a light to moderate flow but in all honesty you should be okay with either size if you are that confused. Sometimes they judge it on your age and whether you've birthed a child but it really is down to preference and what works for you in the end.

I've heard some people say they hate the little cases the Lena Cup comes in because they look vile but mine is very pretty. It must just be luck of the draw but I am very pleased with my cup bag



Inside the box you get the cup, the case, the instruction manual and a little card where you can share a discount code which I will put at the end of the post. 

I have to say the instruction manual for the Lena Cup is brilliant they really have thought of everything. This is most likely down to the involvement of the Bryony from the Youtube channel Precious Stars Pads, the guru of RUMPs. 

Down to the actual cup I think I will really like it. Medical grade silicone just like the Lunette and other cups which is great. It is definitely firmer that my Lunette cup although I would say the firmness is more at the top of the cup and the base is slight more squishy in my opinion most likely making it easier to remove (some firm cups can hurt to take out or are hard to break the seal). It holds about 25ml much like other 'small' versions of cups who all hold around the 20 ish mark. 

The grip rings on both the stem and the base of the cup are extremely prominent even more so than the Lunette I would say. Without having tried it I think for me this is going to be a good thing as sometimes with the added lubrication of menstrual blood a good grip can be hard to achieve when removing menstrual cups. That being said, be aware if you are extremely sensitive down there are they seem like they could irritate menstrual cup users with this condition. 

The stem of the cup while very similar to the Lunette is actually less stretchy which is a definite plus. The amount of times I have pinged myself with the Lunette stem would make you cringe! As someone who keeps their stems on their cups this is a huge deal for me haha. The stem is still very flexible though for those wondering. 

I also notice that the air holes at the top are very nicely finished off. It looks to me as they are constructed as a part of the construction of the cup so they are extremely neat and perfected. The Lunette's air holes look like they are done in post-production so while they are pretty uniform on one of mine it looks slightly as though it is incompletely hammered through. This is pretty negligible however as my Lunette has always formed a good seal and I clean it very thoroughly. 

There are no measuring lines on the Lena which I would appreciate as I am always interested in measuring my flow but these lines can be hard to clean so it is understandable as to why they are absent. 

The silicone on the Lena feels glorious much like the Lunette. They both have a matte, grippy kind of silicone feel (if that makes any sense). 

All in all I am very excited to try out this cup! Some quick initial pros and cons for those of you dying to know...

+ Well made and great quality silicone
+ Firm for easy opening 
+ Folds up small very well for easy insertion
+ Prominent grip rings 
+ Less stretchy stem
+ Beautiful bag & beautiful cup
+ Brilliant instructions manual

– Might be too firm for sensitive people 
– Only comes in pink 
– No measuring lines
– I still might prefer a less flexible stem

Thank you for reading guys and I will update you on this cup in the near future!


Discount code for american customers: http://www.lenacup.com/share

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Review: Lush Solid Shampoo Bar - Seanik

Since getting my hair cut with more layers in it and since my obsessing over model and instagram sensation, Alexis Ren, my quest for beautiful beachy hair is seemingly endless.

I am well acquainted with salt sprays as you well know from a previous post but I do find that too many consecutive days of overloading my hair with spray leaves my hair getting greasier quicker. I also find that the current climate of the Netherlands being extremely cold, rainy and windy means my scalp is going overboard on the oil production. My normal shampoo just has not been cutting the mustard lately so I ventured into my local Lush store.

I'd heard about their solid shampoos before and at first wasn't interested in trying them. They looked like a total hassle and, me being like most of us here, I am a creature of habit. Venturing from liquid shampoos to the solid variety seemed to me like too much of a change and a weird thing to be doing when I have a perfectly functional normal detergent for my locks. However, recently I looked at what kind of crap was in my average shampoo and I was shocked!

I don't know if you've ever looked at just how many ingredients are in your average shampoo but there are a lot and I have an increasingly sensitive scalp. So when I looked into vegan alternatives for shampoos in order to get both an ethical alternative and one which would do well to combat grease I was pleasantly surprised to find Lush met both those requirements with a relatively simply made up shampoo bar.

Lush Seanik



I settled for trying Lush's Seanik to begin with as it has the most positive reviews. 

Things I loved:
  1. The smell is great! Almost citrusy and quite unisex for people that share shampoos across the sexes. 
  2. It lathers up extremely well and then washes away with NO residue. Incredible considering it's vegan I was convinced it would either be not foamy at all or too heavy. It was perfect. 
  3. While at first you think it dries your hair out it's actually very gentle. Quite good for a dry scalp although not entirely the best. It leaves your hair with plenty of volume which is great if you're after a beachy effect like I am. 
  4. The packaging is so small which is perfect for travelling. 
  5. If I'm travelling and don't want to take much I find this double up perfectly as a body soap for shaving. I have sensitive skin and this was no bother. 

Things I didn't love quite so much:
  1. Takes a while to dry the product after use. If you don't dry it, it sticks to its case and makes a bit of a mess. However, just leave it to dry in the lid of it's case for a couple hours and it's fine!
  2. Not as conditioning as some shampoos are. 
  3. While it is gentle enough on my dry scalp it could do more to banish flakiness. 

All in all I think this is a very good shampoo. It's perfect for everyday if you're into daily hair washing and it does the beachy job I was after. I would award it a 7.5/10


Have a good rest of the week folks!




Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Cutting Out Toxic Friends // My Experience

This post will be entirely different to the norm. It's about my experience with toxic friends. This explains why my posting is sporadic. This explains why right now I can't do outfit posts as I want to or do a room tour posts or Uni decor posts despite how much I want to. It may sound petty and like nothing but this was and still is a hard time to navigate through, one which is only just now coming to an end. I am posting this because I need to express it in some way. Please comment below if you have had a similar experience and how you dealt with it. I would really appreciate it. 

My Story

I've mentioned before that I attend university in the Netherlands and being a brit that can be relatively challenging due to the language barrier. Thankfully for the most part I have been loving my time here and I'm a whole year and a half into my studies at Liberal Arts college. For the past 8 months, however, I haven't been truly happy with a certain part of my life here. That part is coming to a close now thankfully but I wanted to at least talk about it in case anyone else is feeling the same way. 

When I first moved here I moved into a shared house with 3 other guy students. My room was a cosy size and I did love it when it eventually looked my style and I felt at home there. The rest of the place that was communal was a complete tip but my room was my sanctuary. Then after a while I moved in with my closest friend into an apartment just for us. My room was the size of Harry Potter's cupboard under the stairs and didn't have its own lock but I didn't think anything of it at the time. The flat was beautiful and light and perfect with a lovely big living room, offsetting the fact that my room could fit only my bed in it. I thought I would be just lazing in the living room mostly with my lovely boyfriend and only using my room for sleeping in so I didn't have a care in the world. 

We moved in the weekend of my birthday in May and this is the point where everything went South. My Mum came to visit for the weekend of my birthday and took us both out for dinner and then just me. She helped me move my stuff and I had a wonderful time on my first birthday at Uni. The week after my Mum went home and I went back to spending my time at the library completing my readings and assignments during deadline time. At this point I received an angry message from my flatmate and friend saying we needed to chat. The chat was about how this past weekend and following days I had spent no time at home and that it had made her angry and I had to do something about it. I tried to explain that it had been my birthday but this chat wasn't about my explanations or my point of view. Just about her opinions of my behaviour which was having a nice birthday and studying at Uni. 

I tried to put it out of my mind and continued being happy but the flat became messier and messier and things of mine kept going missing. Then came a group project in which I worked with her and another friend. This was a nightmare. The first deadline she left me and the other friend in the lurch when she had done no referencing only for us to realise 20 minutes before deadline. Following this I found more and more that only my work in the paper was being "edited" to say the least. Huge chunks of writing were being deleted minutes after I had typed them with no explanation. Any contribution I had made to the paper was wrong. By the end of the project, not one sentence in that paper was my work. It got worse and worse until the day of the final deadline when finally it was over and I went home to get lunch only to find that she had eaten all my food and what she hadn't eaten was opened and thrown back in the cupboard. I was furious and after calming down sent a polite but sharp message asking her to ask me first before eating my food. After all it was the end of a term and like most I was running out of money. The reply I got back stated that she was hungry and so what. Consequently all my friends were told by her that I was over reacting and I needed to stop. I had only told a handful of my closest friends how upset I was. She then decided I had been bullying her and refused to practise for our paper presentation which was the next day. 

This passed and for a while things did get better. However, I was working my ass off cleaning up after her and still items of mine such as underwear were disappearing to the point that every 8 weeks when I went home I was buying a new set of underwear after only having a few left. Decorative items from my room would be taken out when I was out of the house and put in the living room or her room. I kept getting more irritated but bottling it up. I was spending a lot of time at the flat in order to escape criticism from her for not being there but staying there a lot I realised that her mood swings are out of control. She was moody when I wasn't there but when I was she was constantly angry storming around. I would be cooking and turn and see her standing there scowling at me. 

The living room became her space for all her stuff and only if she liked my stuff would it be allowed there. I was unable to control anything in the flat not even in my own room which she would enter as and when she pleased and go through my things. 

Unrelated to the incidents, I went vegetarian and then onto being vegan. This girl, I didn't realise before, is very anti veggie. I was getting teased for drinking almond milk and had all the common arguments where I get asked questions but when I answer them I'm "forcing my beliefs" even though I have no right to be all self-righteous when I used to eat meat too. She also became very anti-feminist claiming that equality isn't a norm we should strive for. It was an attempt at being reactionary I guess. She'd also claim that there was no such thing as right or wrong and then say Hitler was just misunderstood and one action doesn't make him a bad person. I stopped answering to a lot of these reactionary opinions. 

For a while our house was out of action and we were forced to stay with other people for a few weeks. I stayed with my boyfriend and she stayed with a mutual friend. She told all my friends I was forcing her out of the flat we shared and I was getting reprimanded by friends all the time. Even after our flat was back in action I was staying mostly with my boyfriend. At this point I had been keeping what was happening to myself and my boyfriend and I hadn't told anyone else. She on the other hand did not offer the same courtesy. 

I found after this I was being invited out less and less and yet still being asked by her and others why I wasn't going out or why I barely hang out with them anymore. Some of my friends didn't realise I just hadn't been invited. When I was invited out she and another friend would always leave early most of the time without telling me with me wondering where they were. I tried time and time again to keep up with it all organising times to hang out or go out. On one of these occasions she and the other friend said they were too tired to go out but still I got sent snapchats that night of them laced at a party. 

At uni or when hanging out all three of us I was the easy target to be picked on and in response I gave as good as I got turning me bitter and argumentative for a while until I decided to let it go. All the talk was about grades and having good exam scores, an extremely neoliberal belief in education I detest. All the time there was constant competition. As an extremely uncompetitive person I was isolated. I ended up only having my boyfriend as my friend for a while. 

After a lot of stress and upset I decided with the help of my boyfriend and Mum supporting me that I didn't need to try and keep up with them. I could make new friends despite this being a year into the course. In trying to do so I decided to detach myself from such a poisonous mix. This has been working slightly. I have been practising ways to relax my mind because as a result of being exposed to such a tense environment I have become very anxious and cannot spend the night in my own flat. I believe I had other health effects due to too much stress and being on the pill and since coming off it I have been trying to right my body and avoid stress. 

Recently I decided it was time to move as the contract for the flat is almost up. I decided fully when recently she told me I needed to pick whether I wanted to stay or leave and that it would be better for her if I stayed in the contract so that she could live in the flat while I stayed at my boyfriends. I realised then just how selfish she was and decided to start looking for another place. This has prompted her talking to random people at uni telling them that I'm bullying her for no reason and that it's come really by surprise when I was her closest friend. Of course I hear about it all. I recently made new friends and I am enjoying myself a lot more now but I still get anxious about going back to the flat. She tells people she thinks I am an intruder when I go to the flat despite me having my own key. 

Fast forward to now. I am still looking for a place. She is looking for a new flatmate and if she can't find one she too will be moving out. I am trying to detach myself even more from her and the mutual friends we have that more or less took her side as I was unwilling to talk about her to a larger group of people. I feel much better but still not 100%. I will post more on my relaxation techniques and when I move I will be doing more fun posts on my new room and stuff like that. Please comment below if you too have had to cut out toxic friends or if you are struggling right now and we can start a dialogue going on how to help each other out. You don't have to think you're over reacting or you're wrong. If you aren't happy in a friendship then you are perfectly free to end it and I believe you should. What I have explained today with my story is only what I can remember or what I feel really contributed to it but it really is only the half of it. This is not to suggest that my flatmate is an entirely bad person. Obviously at one point she was a good friend or I would never have moved in with her. But just because someone is kind or generous at times does not discount how shit they can make you feel all the other times. 

Thank you for reading. 



Friday, 11 March 2016

Bikini Inbox // Coulbourne Bikini Review

Hey there!

Yeah I know I haven't really spoken much. Uni deadlines, general laziness blah blah. 

The important thing is I'm back with a new post! And this one is a doozy. 

I mentioned a few posts back that I ordered a Coulbourne Bikini and it FINALLY arrived. 

A little while ago the bikini I wanted went out of stock in my size in both colours much to my dismay but a week after they were back on preorder and I wasn't going to hesitate this time. I went for it and it said it would ship in 3 weeks which is a long ass time but it went by pretty quickly. 

Firstly, the delivery is so fast! I've mentioned before I live in the Netherlands and I was expecting an order from the U.S to take a while, but all the way from L.A to me took 2 days total. Absolutely fantastic. Also you get a tracking number so it ticks all the boxes for me in terms of delivery. 

Here is the new addition to my bikini family: The Coulbourne Bond Bikini


I know. It's awesome. 

The top is a utility-style crop bralet while the bottoms are – let's be honest – a thong. Believe me my ever pale butt cheeks are cringing right now but with the right tan and maybe a few squats, this swimsuit is going to be all business in the front, party in the back. 

Let's have a closer look: Bottoms


These bottoms are very sleek. They aren't seamless which may put some people off but I think given the style of the top and the set as a whole that being seamless isn't a necessity and these bottoms really do feel like they with stay put if a wave hits at the wrong angle. They actually offer quite modest coverage in the front and they aren't cut too high on the sides so they feel very safe and secure and I don't think they will be flashing anything untoward on the beach. 

The bottoms feature a cross on the back:


Here comes some bikini politics so feel free to skip ahead!
One thing Coulbourne have drawn criticism about recently is that while their original Bond style suits were made in the Philippines and featured a stitched cross on the back of the bottoms, they switched their manufacturers to be in L.A. and a second batch was produced with a printed cross on the back. This second batch was reportedly not as good quality as the newer suits and I guess due to some comments they have switched back their manufacturers to the Philippines which means the stitches are back. YAY. 

Top


The top, however, doesn't have a cross anywhere on it and as said before features a zip down the front which does come fully undone so watch out for that. Having said that the zip is secure so I don't think it'll come undone of its own accord. 
It is also double lined which adds support and some extra coverage in case you're worried about nipples showing through or anything like that. 
It definitely is suited more to smaller chested people so please keep this in mind! It kind of squishes and compresses the girls so they are definitely held right in place much like a sports bra so some women may feel they are being flattened. I really don't mind this though as I'm not about maximising chest size. 

Sizing

Here is the important stuff for you guys. 

In U.S sizing I'm almost always a size 0-2 and I pretty much always get an XS whenever I buy bottoms. However, I didn't order the XS as I had heard that Coulbourne run small and I would agree. On bottoms I would suggest perhaps ordering a size up from normal as you may find the sides dig in on your hips or your tummy which is never fun. I ordered the S in bottoms and they are honestly perfect on me. If you are really stuck on sizing, measure the point on your hips where you want the bottoms to sit and then ask for the exact measurements from customer service. 

For the top their size chart don't make any sense when it comes to actual women's sizing so I will try to be exact. I almost ordered an XS but I am really glad I didn't. I ended up going with the S and that just fits perfectly but any more boob and it really wouldn't. I am a 30C bra size in the UK and occasionally a 32B if I can't find a 30. A 32C/34B on the small side is your absolute limit in my opinion with this top unless you want a 4 boob effect or breathing problems – and even a small 32C will find there is a definite sports bra like push up effect in a S. AA & A cups will have no trouble with this size or the XS it will just depend on your band size. It is quite stretchy so with band sizes it's quite straight forward, it's just when you have larger melons going in it gets a bit tricky. 

Larger chested ie 32DD-E + women probably will have a hard time getting any of the sizes to fit I'm afraid but there is an alternative from ASOS which is very similar in the 'fuller bust' range shown below:

ASOS Fuller bust bikini top. 

I adore my bikini from Coulbourne. It's so badass and despite being expensive I would buy from them again. I often find a lot of bikinis are not my style and really type cast women into wearing florals and pastel shades and neon when that isn't every woman's thing. With this bikini I feel like Lara Croft on holiday or like a Bond girl – very fitting with the name of the bikini. 

With that, I leave you folks! I hope you enjoy your week. 
Comment below what you think or any questions! x


Friday, 26 February 2016

The Best Swimsuit Style For Your Body Shape!

Nothing angers me more than the above sentence. 

Why are writers for magazines such as Cosmo and the like heralded as the gospel when it comes to advice on what swimsuit to buy this coming season? 

When I am in the market for a new bikini and I pick up a magazine or open a blog post, the one thing I don't want to read is that I can't wear something as a result of my body type. 

I want to hear that big, bold patterns are in this season or that crochet is your new friend for looking bang on trend. Or perhaps that colours are out and monochrome is in or that yellow is the new black. 
Instead we are bombarded like this:


Followed by some "rules" to follow depending on what your body type is. YUCK!

Enough is enough. 

I'm sick of reading that so called "apple" body types should hide their stomachs or downplay their larger breasts in proportion to their smaller hips. I am sick of reading that in general women who are larger might want to not wear bikinis at all. It is a travesty that we tell smaller chested women to downplay their hips and wear overly embellished and ruffles bikini tops, most likely containing more push up than space to put said breasts, in order to create more bust. What if these women like their small bust or their small hips or their larger body type or the fact that their proportions aren't "balanced". Some women do have the hourglass figure these magazines want us to aim for but some women to not want to obtain them. 

I understand we all have our parts of our body we wish were bigger or smaller or not there or there. But to then preach to all women that they are lacking something in order to be more attractive is crazy.

My breasts are small and I am going to be rocking some bikini tops that don't do anything to enhance them this summer because I don't think there is anything wrong with them. 

My friend is nowhere near toned and she is going to wear those tiny, thong-butt bikini bottoms when it hits July because she damn well can and she looks great in them too!

If you feel that your stomach is the kind that these magazines would have you cover up go and try on that gorgeous two-piece swimsuit you have always wanted to buy and wear and you might surprise yourself and realise that you don't need to cover up to feel more confident.  

The one thing I cannot abide is this preaching of a certain body type when above all else we should be preaching health and self love. Yes work out and eat healthy, but don't feel ashamed of your body if you don't. 

It doesn't help that a lot of the luxe swimsuit brands that are extremely trendy, yes the ones I talk about, have little diversity in sizes. Even if they do carry larger sizes the majority of the bikinis run on the smaller side so size L comes up more of a medium than large. This doesn't affect me as I pretty much am an XS and S in most things but I feel that women who do require a larger size are not catered for in the cool trendy bikini scene and it just amplifies this "are you in the cool crowd?" vibe that should have been left at high school. Do not let these brands forget that they are excluding a huge section of their demographic. 

The point I am trying to make is never feel that you have to disguise or camouflage your body just because some magazine tells you that you are out of proportion or "too [insert insult]". 

Go try on that bikini. Do not feel ashamed. Don't let magazines be mean to you. 





Sunday, 21 February 2016

UPDATE// Ramble, ramble, ramble

There have been some things going on...

1. You may notice I have changed my name from GuavaGirlie to Nixxha. I do have my reasons I promise. For one I felt that guavagirlie, while I love fruit, didn't encapsulate me as a person. In my real life I am mature and thoughtful. I initially chose the first name because I don't really want to be found immediately by people I know just yet. I have switched to Nixxha because it kind of looks like my real name and is more mature yet also more open and in short is just more me :) I have changed my name on all my social media now to be the same so it is also more cohesive. 

2. I deleted my youtube channel and made a new one. Once I started this blog I completely neglected my youtube channel and deleted a load of my videos that I was no longer happy with. Then yesterday I took the plunge to completely start again. I deleted my remaining video and came up with a fresh channel. I love creating videos and I love being able to talk to a camera and I also love editing so I don't want to give it up entirely. You guys on my blog will be the first to hear about it when I do, but very soon I will begin uploading again to my new youtube channel. 
I wont be uploading to a schedule. At least not until I know I can do it because I do not want to make false promises. I want to upload videos that I am happy with and document my life and not be pressured by the YT status quo to be a certain way. On my youtube I am going to be entirely me and if you would like to get to know me on a slightly more personal sense then you are welcome to go and check me out. I will still be blogging here and the topics on which I create youtube videos and then blog will differ from each other slightly. On my youtube I want to do hauls and fashion videos but ones that are really my style and book videos and vlogs and storytimes and stuff that I want to rewatch in the future. On here I will do reviews of bikini brands and other summer related products I don't want to include on my YT I will do opinion blog posts on here and most likely not on my Youtube. I am going to find a balance that suits me most importantly. I really don't want to be labelled into beauty guru, fashion guru, daily vlogger. I want to be doing my own thing and a mix of everything like a friend you just happen to watch videos instead of call and chat. 

3. I finally caved and bought the Coulbourne Bond bikini in black... I know. I know. It is on pre-order right now in case you were also disheartened at many sizes selling out fast. It should arrive some time in March and when that happens I will be sure to blog about it for you all! 

4. As you know from my latest post I bought Bikini Body Burn and I will be doing update posts on that as soon as I have been following the programme for a while and have developed some thoughts on the actual working out. 
If you read my previous post you'll know that I didn't quite agree with the nutritional advice so I will also be including my own food diaries/food options if you don't want to eat meat or you want to still eat plenty of simple carbohydrates and complex ones throughout the day. 

I hope this ramble wasn't too boring but I had all this stuff on my mind that I needed to get out there. Have a great Sunday! 



Friday, 19 February 2016

Bikni Body Burn // First impressions

Hi there guys!

Many of you by now will have heard of the brand Moana Bikini through one way or another.


(From Doedesigns.com)

Founded in 2011 by Karina Irby, the designer of the most gorgeous patterns that adorn this swimwear, the brand has been making a name for itself in the hot list. A testimony to that is that for many of the restock drops they have many of their most wanted styles sell out in minutes.
I have yet to get my hands on a full Moana Bikini but right now I do have my eye on a pair of rather lovely runch bottoms which look a little something like this...

I must say I love the bracelet the model is wearing in that photo... but onto the main topic of discussion. 

Moana Bikini doesn't just sell itself as a bikini brand but now also a lifestyle. Everyone wants to look like those Moana girls – and also the creator herself who looks pretty fine too. Well, now you can! With the bikini body guide known as Bikini Body Burn. 

(From Moana Bikini. com)

This is a 12 week plan packed with nutrition tips and workout plans that will take your body from what it is now to it's full potential which will be stronger, healthier and toned. 

I have been eyeing up this guide for about two weeks now, pretty reluctant to purchase it for a number of reasons. The first being that the guide is around the €20 ish mark (AUD$34), and since I have already planned myself a regime I didn't want to go through the expense. BUT, around a week ago I found myself demotivated from working out and I had ordered takeout more times that week than I care to admit. I began looking at free workout plans and other options such as Kayla Itsines' Bikini Body guide. To say the words out loud: I was lost! And I needed a guide. 

When I evaluated the options out there for me I realised that the free options were lacking in a kind of plan or system that was easy to follow and in researching Kayla Itsines' programme I found that to be insanely expensive for someone on a student budget. especially someone with a new found expensive bikini addiction. So the only option I kept coming back to was Karina Irby's Bikini Body Burn. So I took the plunge and bought it. 

(From Karina Irby's Instagram)

This blog post is going to be on my first impressions having just bought it and then I will be doing updates after every section of the guide. It is important to note that I will not be posting pictures of the pages of the guide. It is not fair to those that have worked hard producing it so if you are here for a freebie of it I am afraid you will be disappointed. 

The first thing I note is that it is EXTREMELY colourful. I know you are not meant to judge a book by it's cover but to hell with that. It is gorgeous and with some beautiful pictures of the woman herself, Karina, it is the perfect selling point. Now the first lot of pages are info on how they formulated the guide and explanation that any advice is not personal etc. 

Lets get into what I loved and questioned about this guide upon a first look:

I love that it has advice for the reader as well as what Karina did. The trainer who collaborated on this guide is Karina's personal trainer and it is almost as if we are getting a sneak peak into her personal routines. The goals are very strength and confidence oriented too and make a clear point of not promoting weight loss as a goal. Instead the body measurements are based on photos and actually using a tape measure rather than a weight on a scale. 

Another thing I appreciate is how "tough love" this guide is. It wont sugar coat it for you, toning and strength building is hard work. But, we should learn to love the hard work and love what our body can do. 

One thing that I think is great for girls that are very concerned about weight gain is that it does explain that gaining in certain areas is a really good thing and that muscle does weigh more than fat. If you are slender to begin with, like me, then gaining weight will probably happen and there is no shame in that. 

It then goes on to give nutritional guidance. Now, I always knew I would be taking this area with a pinch of salt (pun intended). Being a new vegan and with no mind to give up this lifestyle I knew there would be recommendations to eat animal proteins which I would be passing up on. However the meat thing aside, I have noticed that this book seems to promote an exclusively protein dominant diet for the beginning section. I understand that this is to make gains in muscle and a high protein diet will do that for you but carbohydrates seem to be entirely lacking apart from in an evening meal and when they are present they are in minute quantities. Protein rich, yes for making muscle gains, but carbohydrate lacking I am not sure I agree with. There is an explanation that even with simple carbohydrates such as fruit and more complex ones such as potatoes and pastas and bread, if you are not eating these at the right times then you will store it as fat. 

I do understand this thought process and it does make a lot of sense if that is only what you hear, however with the kind of intense exercise suggested I highly doubt that will be an issue. The only reason I can see why this would be suggested is so that results can be seen quickly and because a lot of calories are coming from animal protein products such as yoghurts and beef and eggs. I really don't mind about seeing quick results since I am already slender I just need to be toned, plus I am in this for the LONG TERM. So for that reason I will for sure be having lots of fruits in the morning and a heap of pasta (why is pasta not allowed?) in the evening with lots of proteins coming from plant based foods (-i.e lentils, chickpeas, tofu, dark leafy greens and veggies and quinoa.)

That being said, by all means follow the nutrition plan because clearly people are seeing results from it. I know that even though I will not be following the nutrition 100%, I will still be taking lots of the info from it on food content and I know that I already eat healthy for me. IF HOWEVER, you eat lots of unhealthy crap food and don't feel that you can turn vegan over night then follow the Bikini body Burn plan as it is tough love and doesn't have the tolerance for you to eat crappy food ;) 

Onto the fitness aspect. 

Yes! it has a work out dictionary with incredibly informative pictures! This I LOVE. Finally I know what people who speak in fitness jargon are going on about. I suggest you give the dictionary a read through before you start the plan so you know what you will be doing and then before you start the workout, read through what is expected so you aren't stopping and starting too much when you don't need to be although it also has the pictures of the exercises within the workout plan also just to be extra amazing. 

This workout plan looks great. It has put in rest times, all the material you need plus substitutes for some equipment that you may not be able to get. It also assumes that you wont be doing this in the gym which is fantastic since I personally cannot stand the gym. I like my workouts to be just be there in my own space so I can not feel intimidated. Plus, from having done one day of the plan it seems to be done in sections of intensity. You can work up to your bikini body. The first section is ready in which you are kind of laying the grounds and getting your body up to speed. I like to think of this as briefing my body of what is soon going to happen to it. After two weeks the section changes to set in which you are really putting the work into changing and toning your body and creating this new and fitter shape and you do this for four weeks. Then the last phase is booty which lasts 6 weeks and we can all guess what happens there. 

Considering it is only a 12 week guide there is a lot of diversity in work outs and I am sure I wont get bored. 

I can't say too much on the workouts since I have literally just started and this is a first impressions but so far this is looking like a great little booty bible to have on hand for my workouts. As I said before, I will be posting updates on this guide along with my progress and after the 12 weeks I will give a full comprehensive review. After the 12 weeks I will most likely continue to use this to guide my workouts but we shall see. I am looking forward to reporting back!




© Summer Seeker
Maira Gall