30Fifteen Meets 40ish-Love: Smash Hit Tennis Fashion

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the best dressed tennis player of them all?

Well, thanks to 30Fifteen, I am feeling pretty well dressed right now! They sent me a number of outfits from their new tennis fashion collection to review, and I have to say I am a big fan of this Cleo dress which comes in pink, blue, black and white.

30Fifteen Cleo Dress

My partner raised an eyebrow (or two) when I first put the dress on, as it is rather short at the back due to my not-insubstantial derrière (nicely cropped out of the photo above!)… So to ensure thoughts of overexposure wouldn’t distract me during play, I have been wearing the dresses with leggings, and I actually think they look very stylish. They also allow me to wear some of my thinner leggings that have, shall we say, ‘transparency issues’.

30Fifteen Cleo Dress

Another item from the latest 30Fifteen collection that has been accompanying me to many of my tennis and Pilates sessions is the Kara Match Jacket that comes in both black and white. It has a bomber jacket style and according to one of my Instagram followers, makes me look ‘sharp’. Enough said!

Let me know what you think of these looks below!

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Blogging Hel, I’ve Been Shortlisted!

Yes, that’s right, I have been shortlisted for a blogging award! To be more precise the Best European Blog at the That Protein and HBC Health Blog Awards 2017.

You may be wondering why my tennis-related blog is included in the Best European Blog category, rather than say, the Best Fitness Blog category. Let me explain. These health blog awards are for UK-based bloggers, but they have one category for a blogger that lives outside the UK. I’m originally from the UK (from Hertford, to be precise), but I’ve been living in Italy for the past 16 years (wow, has it really been that long?!…)

Now that my blog has been shortlisted (along with two others in this category) I need to get as many votes as I can by 1st August 2017 from my colleagues, friends, family, neighbours, blog readers, Instagram/Twitter followers, or really just anyone I can convince to spend 1 min to fill in the form. So before you read any further, please do click on the hyperlinked image below (or click here) and vote for me!badge_shortlisted-600x600

Now if you have come across this blog before, you will know that it documents my recent journey to becoming a stylish tennis player. One of the reasons I am so pleased to have been shortlisted for a health blog award is that I am hoping this will help raise slightly the profile of this blog, and in turn encourage more people to give tennis a try. Tennis has so many physical and mental health benefits. All that running around after the ball improves aerobic and anaerobic health – as Bjorn Borg once said, a tennis match is like thousands of little sprints. The more you play, the more you will improve your mental agility and reaction times, and you will have fun in the process. In my case it has even had a positive influence on my relationship – my partner and I enjoy having a shared passion, and we often train together or team up for a mixed doubles match.

Regardless of whether I end up winning the Best European Blog category or not, I am already so pleased to have been shortlisted. Sometimes it is difficult for me to keep up with blogging with all the other activities in my life (as I discussed in a recent post), but this recognition has helped me realise it is worth making the time.

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My Body Needs Exercise!

On Monday I finished a few weeks of intensive travel and my body was broken. My back was stiff, I couldn’t lean over and touch my toes, and I felt sluggish and pretty damn tired. Over those 2-3 weeks I had managed just one (slow) run and a few half-baked attempts at yoga/Pilates. And as I had predicted would happen at the beginning of this year, my work has started to take over and I haven’t been writing on this blog or posting much on Instagram, and I can’t even imagine putting together a video for YouTube!

I am back home for a week before my holiday to Sagres and I have been using it to get my body moving again. I have had 4 hours of tennis training and 2 hours of Pilates and I feel amazing! My body hurts, but in a good way. It has made me realise how important it is for me to be consistent with exercise: my body needs exercise! To think I spent years and years ignoring my body, and now after just 2 weeks I start to really miss the benefits of working out.

Whilst I am pleased that I managed to fit in tennis and Pilates despite all the work I am trying to complete before my holiday, I am still struggling to find the time for all my blogging hobbies. Hence I decided to write this short post, both to take a break from writing about seismic risk (that’s my job btw!) and because I was worried that the more I abandoned this blog, the more difficult it would become to get back into writing for it again. So this post is more for me than you, but I realise that’s probably the case with the majority of my posts! 😉

Is My Life Bidi Badu?

Apparently the Bidi Badu life is magical, slightly crazy, and always positive and authentic. Is my life Bidi Badu? My partner would definitely say I am slightly crazy (but who doesn’t talk to themselves in funny voices, sing songs from musicals in the shower and twerk whilst making dinner?!) and I try and be as positive and authentic as possible (also in this blog, which reminds me – I received some free clothing from Bidi Badu for this blog post, but I will, as always, give you my honest and unbiased opinion), but is my life magical? There have been, without question, a number of magical moments in my life, including trekking the Inca Trail for days to see Machu Picchu at dawn, sky diving over Fox’s Glacier in New Zealand, and snorkelling with sharks in Thailand. And I am sure I will continue to experience moments of magic in the future. So I think I can confidently say my life is Bidi Badu and I am thus well-placed to provide a review of their sports clothing 🙂

I received a LOT of clothing from Bidi Badu for this blog post: a dress, three tops and matching skorts/shorts, leggings, three t-shirts, and a lightweight jacket! The quality of all the pieces was extremely high, but there was such a wide range of colours and styles that, unsurprisingly, I found some of them suited me and were more to my taste than others. I have thus decided to select the outfits I liked best for this post.

My two favourite outfits come from the new Kilian Kerner collection: the Ambar Tech dress with its flirty white pleated skirt and longer shorts (much needed for such a short dress), and the Karin Tech Tank with its sexy black mesh back and matching Anna Tech Skort.

Bidi Badu tennis fashion

Bidi Badu tennis fashion

The black Lori Tech Capri leggings are super comfortable and come with a tennis ball holder, so they can be used for both training and matches. The two t-shirts I have matched with the leggings have such a cool fit that I would wear them both on and off the court. I have discussed in previous blog posts my desire to cover up more when playing tennis in the summer, to avoid overexposing my skin to the midday sun, and these leggings and the lightweight pink t-shirt will be great for that purpose.

Bidi Badu tennis fashion

Bidi Badu tennis fashion

Bidi Badu tennis fashion

The final look I selected is the coral Bella Tech V-Neck Tee (which just happens to match my nail colour right now) and the Nica Tech 2 in 1 Shorts in the same coral and navy blue. In the height of the Italian summer I wear shorts for anything from running, to fitness training, to tennis lessons, so I am sure to put these to good use.

Bidi Badu tennis fashion

Bidi Badu tennis fashion

I’d love to hear what you think about these outfits in the comments below. And if you are interested to see how these outfits perform on the tennis court, then make sure you follow my Instagram account as I’ll be posting some videos there soon.

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Improving Work-Life Balance & Playing Tennis in Jordan

Last week I had my first taste of feeling like a professional tennis player that travels the world and plays tennis in hot climates. Of course, no one had actually asked me to travel to play tennis, but as I was accompanying my partner to a conference in Amman (Jordan), I decided that this would be a good time to start playing tennis in all the places I visit around the world.

I have actually already been to Jordan twice in the past, for work conferences and meetings, but this was the first time I went with a plan to actually enjoy myself and get to know the country a bit better. This is all part of my newly improved work-life balance that I have developed over the past 18 months. Previously I would always put work first, and would often only see the airports and hotels of the places I travelled to for workshops and conferences. Now, I always make sure I make time to do some sightseeing and have some downtime, to go for a run (which is a great way to visit a city), visit the hotel gym/pool or (in this case) play some tennis.

So my partner and I packed our tennis rackets, clothing and shoes (we took an extra suitcase exclusively for our activewear!) and flew to Amman. On the way there we transported our precious tennis rackets with us on the plane as hand luggage. However, on the way back, we were told by the Jordanian security staff that we could use them as weapons on the plane (?!) and so they had to be checked in. The tennis bag we had didn’t really provide much support to our rackets and so I will need to get a proper tennis bag for future travel – finally an excuse to treat myself to an Epirus London weekend bag?!

When I got off the plane the first thing I noticed was the smell – a spicy, exotic aroma that got me thinking that this is the one thing that you will never fully appreciate from reading travel blogs or watching YouTube videos (until they add smell-o-vision, that is). We arrived after midnight, but the air was warm and it turned out summer had arrived in Jordan with us. The following day was one of the hottest days so far this year, and so we decided to book the hotel tennis court (which we could see from our hotel room) for the evening.

Landmark_Hotel_Amman_Tennis.JPG

Landmark_Hotel_Amman_Tennis2.JPG

The tennis court had a great view over the city of Amman. The air was hot, humid and dusty, and we soon realised that playing tennis in Jordan was going to be a lot more difficult than back home in Italy. In addition to the heat, the surface of the court was very hard, and we struggled to get used to the fast pace and high balls. So I asked my Instagram friends for tips, and I got a lot of advice that I tried to put into practice over the few days we were there, and I think by the end of the trip I had certainly improved.

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• Hard and High • No tennis yesterday but we did go to the Dead Sea and today we are off to Petra (more on my Insta stories!). I found the time to put together this short clip of our tennis date from the other day – the court is hard and the balls sometimes go so high I hardly reach them, and sometimes they just fly through what appears to be a hole in my racket! Btw, is it wrong to go for a winner when playing a friendly rally?! 🤔 Am I the only one that does this?.. 😊 #tennis #tennistraining #tennispractice #tennisvideo #tennisdate #tennisaddict #tennisgirl #tennislife #tenniscourt #tennispassion #instatennis #instatennisgram #tennislove #lovetennis #tennisday #tennistime #tennisfashion #tennisstyle Wearing: see previous post!

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On the last night we played at the Royal Automobile Club of Jordan (that is where I was in the sweaty photo at the top of this post), which has some amazing tennis facilities. As we had lost two of our balls during our attempts to play at the Landmark Hotel tennis court (despite the very, very high nets!) we were given some balls to play with. We soon realised that they were a bit flat, but this was exactly what we needed to recreate the slower surface situation we were used to! We did feel like we were cheating a bit, but we were able to do some great rallies (and I managed some winners which is always a bonus!).

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• Take That! • My partner and I don't argue, we take all our frustrations out on the court! 👊🏼 Ah, how satisfying it is to wack a ball at him and see him run! 🏃🏻😂 This clip is from our last night in Jordan. We were invited by a friend to the Royal Automobile Club to play tennis – an amazing tennis club in Amman. We did feel we were cheating a little as the balls were a bit flat which, with the hard surface, created just the right conditions for us! 🙄 #tennis #tennispractice #tennisrally #tennisvideo #tennistraining #tennisgirl #tennislove #tenniscourt #tennisanyone #tennislife #tennispassion #lovetennis #instatennis #instatennisgram #tennisnight #tennisdate #tennisfitness #tennisfight #forehand #winner

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The week wasn’t all just about playing tennis in Jordan though, and we also “swam” in the Dead Sea (in inverted commas as you can’t actually do any swimming as the high saline content means that getting any water in your eyes is a killer!), ate lots and lots of flatbread, hummus, falafel, and Tabbouleh (which did cause a bit too much bloating, but it was worth it!), and visited Petra, the archeological city that is half built/carved into the red standstone rock (and where they filmed parts of Indiana Jones). So overall I would say we managed to add a fair bit of weight to the “life” side of the scales and can consider our work-life balance much improved!

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