26 Discoveries In My 26th Year

Welcome to my birthday post! I turned 27 at the weekend, so it’s time for ’26 Discoveries in my 26th Year’ 💖

A lot of bloggers do ‘__ things I’ve learned in __ years’, but last year I wanted to keep things a bit more light hearted for my birthday, so I posted ’25 Discoveries In My 25th Year’. And I enjoyed it so much, I though I’d make it an annual thing 😊 So, this post is a cocktail of lifestyle, beauty, fashion, food, drink, general musings and life lessons. Enjoy!

1. Tying the knot is THE MOST INCREDIBLE FEELING

IT IS HONESTLY THE MOST MAGICAL DAY OF YOUR LIFE. I struggle still to express in words how incredible the feeling is, and how you’ll feel like you could just burst with love! The entire day is amazing obviously, but that feeling of saying ‘I Do’ to your soul mate doesn’t compare to anything you’ll have felt before.

Lynette & Ed

2. Gym shark leggings are the best leggings

No arguments. They just are 🦈 Yes, you can get other leggings cheaper elsewhere, but I’ve never found another brand that does such gorgeous, flattering, high waisted, seamless leggings. And naturally, you have to get the matching sports bra too – because we feel like girl bosses when we’re all matchy matchy, right? 💪

3. Plants and flowers in the home really do help brighten and lift the mood

I saw Sophie do a blog post on this ages ago when we were still in the flat, and thought ‘ermmm okay…?’, and didn’t really get it. That is, until we moved into the house (1 year ago tomorrow!) and added a couple of plants. Because since then I just haven’t stopped! It makes the place brighter, fresher, and we can never have too many!

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4. Adding fried onion to scrambled egg is magic

YUMMMMM. Fry your onions first, and only when they’re done to perfection do you add your eggs. You’re welcome in advance 😇

5. Planning a wedding is SO STRESSFUL

I’ve written about it plenty of times before during The Wedding Series (click to get to the blog post which includes links to every post in the series) – so I’m not going to go into detail again. But OMG. It’s crazy. It makes me stressed to even think back to some of the problems we had to deal with!

Lynette & Ed

6. Moving house is SO STRESSFUL

Planning a wedding and moving house within 6 months was never going to be plain sailing, and bloomin heck did we have our fair share of stressful house problems too! It was worth it in the end, just as everyone promised, and we’ll be forever grateful to the fam, (our parents in particular), for your support and help during this time 😘 But WOW is it a stressful experience, I honestly don’t think I knew what stress was until we had to deal with the ins and outs of buying a house!

7. Vlogging is fun!

A week or so after Ed left for London, I had a sudden lightbulb moment, and decided to try my hand at vlogging. I already enjoy blogging and I’m familiar with editing on Premier Pro – so I thought, why not give it a go? It’d give me a project to focus on when I’m not working, and hopefully serve as a distraction when I feel lonely. And so far, it’s proved to do both those things, and I’ve loved it! If you’re interested, go check and the Life With Lynette Vlog out.

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8. Those people who you cut out last year? You don’t miss them one bit.

It was one of my 25 Discoveries in 25 Years. And I’m so glad I did it, coz a year on, I feel fresher and lighter from removing toxic people from my life. It’s such a good (and quite empowering) feeling.

9. Madeiran wine is hella tasty

Who knew?! Well, we do now after Madeira! It’s almost a sherry, a really sweet sherry, and it was so special to find a specific taste which we’ll forever associate with our honeymoon. I want to go back…

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10. TCM scar gel

I discovered this at the start of the year when I started panicking about wanting to have perfect skin for the wedding. I’ve always had problems with my skin, one of which being the red scar marks that stay with you forever after a breakout. Bio oil can be good for this, but it takes a long time to work, so when I saw TCM advertised on Facebook, I figured, why not give it a go? And OMG. It WORKS! It really works! Within a couple of weeks I saw massive improvements, and now, I wouldn’t be without it. I recommend it to anyone.

11. I’m much better at managing my anxiety

It’s not something that’s disappeared completely, but I’m so much better at managing my anxiety these days. Compared to a year ago, yes, but even MORE so compared to 4 years ago. There’s been a few occasions over the last year where I’ve said yes to doing things (both work related and social), that I know I couldn’t have done before. It makes me sad that it took hold of my life as much as it did when I was in London, and potentially spoiled a few friendships…but that can’t be helped, and the fact that things have improved so much is amazing.

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12. Schwartz carbonara mix

I mean, I’m sure there’s thousands of yummy carbonara recipes out there, but when I get home late 5 or 6 times a week because of work and/or rehearsals, I just can’t be bothered to cook properly. So when I already have lardons in the fridge (part of Adult Life Hacks Part III!), all I need to do is add the mix to semi skimmed milk, and chuck it in a pan with the cooked lardons and mushrooms. BOOM.

13. The love for your friends grows so much more when dealing with adult problems (as opposed to small high school dramas)

I don’t think there’s anything to explain, it just does. And I want to thank my closest friends for being so amazing, supportive and understanding (as always), but particularly since Ed’s been away. You all know who you are, and I can never thank you enough. 

Lynette & Ed

14. My cardio’s rubbish

I mean, as dancers (and especially as a teacher), it’s rare to spend more than a couple of minutes prancing around without stopping. But with all the Musical Theatre that’s been in my life recently, I’ve had to get used to full out routines whilst singing again…which has been interesting, because I haven’t done it for a few years – I’m a bit out of practice! 😂  I’ve been having such a stagey time recently and it’s wonderful, but it’s just highlighted how unfit I am, and how reliant I am on my anaerobic life!

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15. Spotify’s Chillstep playlist is perfect for any mood

Credit to Ed for discovering this. If I want some chilled background music playing whilst I’m cleaning the house, doing my makeup, or just need to chill out (and I’m not feeling my Ludovico Einaudi playlist), Chillstep is the way to go. And it’s now a playlist I associate with my Bish, our house, and our wonderful honeymoon ❤️

16. Unicorn Shimmer

They have so many colours, you can put them in ANY drink, and it’s just a bit of fun if you want pretty drinks for a party, special occasion…or because it’s Tuesday and you fancy it 😂

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17. Lipcote

After all my years in theatre, I can’t believe I didn’t know about this before this year! And my main reason for falling in love with it, is that I struggled for (literally) months trying to find my wedding day lipstick – I just couldn’t find the perfect shade that was long lasting. If you aren’t familiar with Lipcote, you sweep it onto your lips once you’ve lipstick’d and blotted and it’ll hold your lipstick in place, regardless of whether you’re eating, drinking (or kissing)! The only drawback is that after a few hours it can become a bit flaky, but you can just wipe your lips off, start again, and you’re all set.

18. Gardening is really satisfying

I think it’s for a combination of reasons, starting with the fact that it’s a good distraction (I spent my entire day in the garden the day Ed left). Getting rid of weeds, moss and grass growing between the paving slabs feels so satisfying, particularly when the root comes out really easily. And when you stand back at the end of the session, whether you’ve been weeding, planting flowers, rearranging, or adding fresh stones to your border – you feel good. You can admire your beautiful garden, knowing that you were the one who made it look like this, which makes the feeling even sweeter.

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19. Pink clay mask

Again, I got this at the beginning of the year when I had a freak out about my wedding skin. The pores on my nose just love to say hello to the world and I hate how friendly they are. There’s a well known brand that does these pink clay masks, but I couldn’t justify spending that amount of money when a more affordable brand might do the job just as well. And this does! My pores shrunk and redness was massively reduced. It’s effectiveness has been highlighted even more since forgetting to use it…because those pores have started being friendly again recently 🙄

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20. How to turn off the gas…

We’re not going to go into detail, but Handy Andy was round, we were trying to mount a TV bracket on the wall, and there was an argument between a gas pipe and a drill. I’ve never run so quick in my life, but I know how to turn off the gas the new house 🙈 Safe to say, we gave up on the TV bracket idea and went for a unit instead…

21. Wide leg trousers are a wardrobe staple

It was back before the wedding when I was trying to work out what to wear on our flight to Madeira – I wanted something that was suitable for a cool Yorkshire morning, comfortable for a flight, and not too warm for a hot country. A pair of wide leg trousers in the sale from Boohoo were the answer, and I loved them! So much so, they turned into a go-to outfit during summer, and I invested in a couple of other pairs, one of which I wore round the pool…

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22. Candy Crush

I know it’s been around for years, but I didn’t download it until a couple of months back. And now I’m wondering why I never had it in my life before!

23. Gin. All the gin.

Yep, I wasn’t a gin drinker until 2018. I tried a G&T yearsssss back and didn’t like the taste, but last year realised it’s actually the taste of tonic that I don’t like. So, I use lemonade as my mixer instead! Which is quite dangerous, because now I can drink ALLLLLL the gin 😉 Current favourites are Parma Violet, and Rhubarb & Ginger. I love the nice, sweet, flavoursome gins, so if anyone has any more to recommend, drop me a comment!

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24. Shazaming TV shows backing music is genius for routines

I wouldn’t be without the Shazam app, and this is the main reason why. I can’t believe that my big ‘Montagues and Capulets’ piece came from Love Island, but (for those who know it) it was worth it, right?! #LetTheGamesBegin. And this year I did ‘Deeds Not Words’ with my Saturday Academy kids, part of which I heard on the ‘Suffragette’ film 💪

25. Britney is my fave daytime perfume

I can’t believe that out of all the perfumes I tried in Boots and Superdrug, our favourite new smell for me is Britney Spears. Although, it’s worked out quite nicely – it’s much more afforable which is good for an every day smell that gets spritzed every few hours. If I were doing that with my two Versace perfumes I’d be burning a massive hole in my pocket 😂

 

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26. I need to believe in myself more

I’m not sure whether I will, but I know that I should.

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Bring on 27 💪

Lynette x (3)

#DancerProbs Part II

Something a little different for you today…

Back when I was just dabbling with blogging a couple of years ago, I posted ‘#DancerProbs Part I’ – a post with my first 5 problems that dancers encounter in everyday life. And with so many #dancerprobs out there, it seemed only right to do another post…this may even turn into a little series, you never know! And shout out to Graham Hebron for the images – they’re a couple of years old now, but he wanted a dancer project in his portfolio and I had a studio so… 🙊

6. Choreographing to Every Song On Your Phone

The best time to create is when you’re NOT TRYING to plan something, so often for me that happens when I’m out on a walk. Or driving to work. The latter is much more annoying – has anyone else tried voguing whilst driving on winding country roads? Don’t. 🙈

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7. Bad pirouette days

It’s totally a thing. I don’t know why, but it is! Sometimes you just can’t turn well, regardless of the amount of effort you put into your technique , or the amount of times you try to correct/alter what you’re doing. And it can be INFURIATING! 

8. Dancing Down Supermarket Aisles

I have to say I haven’t found myself doing it as much recently, perhaps because I’m the sensible one in our relationship and have to keep Ed in check when HE skips down the aisles, salad bag and shower gel swinging in hand. I did it a lot when I was at college though. And often, I wasn’t alone, it was an entire group effort – yes, sometimes we got in people’s way or our trollies accidentally collided – but I’m sure a bit of entertainment by the frozen veg is exactly what the people of Sidcup wanted, right? 😂 

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Photo Credit: Bob McLennan
One of the few images of Ed and I together on stage in Rock of Ages last year 🤘🏻❤️

9. Waking Up With Mysterious bruises 

Again, less common for me now – I teach more therefore I dance less, so any bruises I DO get, I have a pretty good idea where they come from. But back in the day, you’ll wake up to bruises on strange parts of your body with no idea where they came from. The most juicy, recent bruise I had (a few months back now) was on the shoulder…and I wasn’t the only one. Sorry gals. Bring your pillows next time we try shoulder freezes 😂

10. Relaxing Your Smile When You Turn Away From the Audience

It makes me feel bad, but sometimes it’s necessary! If you’ve never tried smiling for a long period of time, try it. It’s painful! On stage, after months of grueling rehearsals the pain in your face can be a good distraction from the pain in your arms or quads or calves perhaps, especially when your cheeks start shaking from being fixed in that position for so long. But that doesn’t mean it’s pleasant! I don’t like dropping character on stage, even if I AM facing the backdrop, but if it’s between that and getting facial twitches (they happen if it’s fixed for too long) mid kick line…

Stay tuned, there’ll be more dancer probs posts to come, as well as some ‘new home’ and wedding planning posts!

Lynette x (3)

The New Year Post: 2018


We managed to get through the random limbo week between Christmas and New Year, and 2018 is here!

An excellent time for reflection, to take count of what you have, what you’ve accomplished, and also maybe what you haven’t accomplished yet.

Lynette-Dance-55Credit: Graham Hebron Photography

I said it last year, but I don’t like to make resolutions. They feel very formal and easily breakable – perhaps we set ourselves too big a challenge, expect too much from ourselves in a short period of time. I’m no expert, I’m just going on personal experience. Instead, I like to decide upon something I’d like to try to alter slightly…

12 months ago, I said I wanted to spend less of my time on social media, especially as I use it for work. And dyou know what, I’m quite proud of myself, because I managed to do that. I’m not saying I stayed off it completely, not at all. But I spent less of my free time mindlessly scrolling.

This year, I want to keep that up, plus I have a new ‘want’.

To say I’m a dancer/dance teacher with a Musical Theatre degree – I’m shocking at going to see shows. In 2017, I think I only went to the theatre 5 or 6 times, 3 of which happened in December, and one show I saw twice! (Obviously I’m not counting being in the theatre for work). That’s pretty bad. It’s a tricky one to be honest with you, because of work having such anti social hours – particularly for theatre visits! But I really want to make the effort to see more. Because I love it. And if I love it, I need to do it, right?

IMG_8677Image captured during Queen and Adam Lambert’s gig at Leeds First Direct Arena, December 2017

The other thing is just to make sure I find time for myself. This job can become incredibly consuming if you let it, which I did for a section of last year – it was near impossible to find free time, and I felt a little suffocated. I’ve been better in the last couple of months, and I will always commit 110% to whatever I’m doing at the time. I just think it’s so important to allow yourself the down time – learn when to say yes or no. And that yes or no can be applied either to work, social life or activities. None of us want to let people down, it’s just learning (for the sake of our own sanity), when we need to take the day off from running round like a headless chicken, and sit down by ourselves with a book and a cuppa. OR, when we need to say yes; to allow someone or something the ability to distract us and let our minds chill out for a while!

I was incredibly lucky to have the best year of my life. I got myself a couple of new jobs and classes that I love, I got to work with new, amazingly talented people, I made friends with some genuinely good souls, I learned to drive, passed my test and got a car, and I got the guy. My best friend of 8 years and the most incredible person. On reflection of 2017, I can’t recall a time I was this happy.

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I wish you all the very best for 2018, and I’ll do my best to keep my blog up to date – I know I’ve been terrible recently at keeping a flow going. I’m now up to 6 days of work per week so I don’t know how I’ll be fixed for free time to dedicate to this…but I’ll try 😊

Lynette x

Aches & Pains…


I sit writing this in a random wonky position on the sofa that relieves pressure on my back, with a heat pack wrapped round my neck and ice on my knees. Yep. HSAP rehearsals have officially started and the opening number of Rock of Ages is set! Absolutely LOVING life, it’s my fave show and completely my style of dance, I guess I just wasn’t expecting as many head bangs and knee slides. Within the first half hour I turned round to Roxx and said ‘my neck’s gone’, and had to be careful for the rest of the rehearsal (‘: So I’ll be spending the rest of the day at 2 miles an hour, thank god it’s my day off. At least now we know for next time what body parts need warming up…

45b56f48This image of ‘Mean Girls’ Regina George is totally appropriate for how I feel right now

I’m not gonna lie though, despite the fact I’m struggling with life today, I HAVE missed this feeling. I still dance as a teacher obviously, but not as full on or as intensely as I did when I was training. 2 1/2 hours last night of full out feeling was the first time in 8 months, and whilst it’s not nice to feel so broken, it’s a confirmation of hard work. The same as when you ache the day after the gym; it’s not totally pleasant but you embrace it because you know you’ve worked your body hard and made changes. I’ve missed it.

I’m trying to think now whether there’s any specific story I can tell you from training about a particularly bad experience, but I can’t. There were plenty of equally sore ones. I was lucky enough to never have to sit out or take time off because of injury – in 4 years I’m not sure how I managed that, I feel quite lucky, but the aches and pains were still there. 

From experience, the worst is probably your neck. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, you’re guaranteed not to be able to do it properly. Today, my example is my water. Ordinarily, I’d just turn my head to the left to see where it is and pick it up (I’m sure you’re all familiar with how to pick up a glass). I’m having to turn my whole body to find it, then doing a hinge kind of back bend to drink because I can’t tilt my head. To quote one of my bezzies from Bird, ‘woe is me!’ :’) I’m just glad there’s no one around to laugh.FullSizeRender (1)

It’s a wet rainy day so I’m going to wallow in sore-ness, keep icing and heating and get the foam roller out when I find the energy to move from the sofa. Thank god rehearsal tonight is just a singing call. A shout-out to my gorgeous fellow cast members for such a SICK rehearsal last night – we can take it in turns passing round the heat packs tonight!

image1 (1)First (part) cast photo mid-run of ‘Just Like Paradise’
OMG I just sneezed. That was NOT a good idea, my body’s screaming at me now 😂

Lynette x

#DancerProbs Part I


There are so many, you can’t put them all into one post. Hence the title, ‘Part I’… there will be many more to come in the future (‘:

Before I delve in, I’m going to explain what a ‘Dancer Problem’ is. When you take dancing seriously, it becomes a massive part of your life, and even when you’re not in the studio training, you can’t escape it. Sometimes a ‘problem’ is something big that you’re aware that you’re doing. Sometimes it’s something small that you don’t notice you do until someone else brings it up. Here we go. Maybe examples will make more sense…

1. Daydreaming about choreography. It can happen wherever you are, at any time of the day or night – especially when you’re listening to music. Sat on the sofa, chilling in the bath (sometimes literally if it’s that long the water gets cold), walking to work, out shopping, sat in the car… Sometimes you daydream about a piece you’ve been learning and working on in class, sometimes it’s choreographing in your head. I’m pretty sure my eyes must glaze over – but it makes time pass quickly if you’re bored!

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2. Finishing a pirouette on perfect balance and no one seeing it. When you finish a perfect double or triple, facing the front, on balance, holding your position for a couple of seconds – it’s such a feeling of accomplishment, feeling that strength and technique there. It doesn’t always happen, which is why it’s so exciting when it does! I remember back in my college days, if this happened when you were practicing individually, you’d turn around quickly to see if anyone saw. BECAUSE we all understood what an achievement it was, even if someone was stood at the other side of the room, they’d yell at you ‘I SAW THAT!’. And of course, you return the favour too if you see it. It just sucks when it happens and no one sees so you have no proof (‘:

3. You can’t get into jeans without dancing. First thing – doing multiple grande plies to stretch them out. Second thing – doing the highest jumps you can as you yank on the belt loops to pull them up. That’s on the rare occasion you’re actually wearing jeans and not dance wear…

4. Your body is never happy with temperature of the studio. It’s either freezing cold or boiling hot. There’s rarely a happy medium. And at this time of year, with the weather unable to make up it’s mind – it can be too hot one day, and too cold the next!

 

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Bird College 2014, Year 2 Degree 1 Ladies pre-ballet lesson in the ice box

5. Clicking and cracking around ‘muggles’. (In this context, muggles are non-dance folk). You need to click and crack various parts of your body multiple times a day. Those who know you, are used to it. But if you do it around people who don’t expect it, you can get some REALLY funny looks. These vary from confusion to utter disgust (‘:

I’m gonna leave it there for today. Feel free to comment if you’ve experienced some of these, or let me know if there’s some #dancerprobs of your own that you want me to include in my next instalment – ‘#DancerProbs Part II’!

Until next time…

Lynette x