Tuesday, 18 September 2018

NWSL Playoffs : Portland Thorns vs Seattle Regin

Photo credit to Portland Thorns FC
It can be really hard for me to watch NWSL games thanks to time difference, but that being said this year I have managed to watch more than ever and it is great how they have a link on the NWSL site for international fans to watch. I just wish the FAWSL would take note and stream more games. Portland are one of the teams I follow in this league as they have some of my favourite players on their roster.

Sometimes to watch Portland games I would have to stay up until the early hours in the morning or I would have to read the post match report. So I was over the moon when I saw coverage of the playoff game between them and Seattle started at 8.30pm UK time. 

Thorns and Reign have one of those rivalries that you just love to watch, you can see how much each team wants to beat the other and how they will put their bodies on the line. This was the first playoff meeting for these 2 teams and the game definitely didn't disappoint. 

Reign went ahead in the 29th minute with a Jasmyne Spencer goal, it was a goal you could see coming as the reign were really putting pressure on the Thorns back line from the get go. The goal came after Emily Sonnett really did put it all on the line to stop Jess Fishlock getting through on goal, she just unfortunately gave away a foul and picked up a yellow card for her troubles.

 For the Reign you had Allie Long wanting to prove herself (she was traded from the Thorns last year), Megan Rapinoe trying her best to get past young Ellie Carpenter who really stood her ground through the game, Jodie Taylor was desperate to get on the goal scoring sheet and Jess Fishlock desperate to break through the Thorns back line.

But then on the other side you had the Thorns, with the home field advantage, playing for the chance to go to back to back championship games and also wanting to beat their rivals. They looked threatening throughout the game but Reign keeper Lydia Aussie played brilliantly and made some excellent saves. It wasn't until he 43rd minute that the Thorns finally got one back, it was the one and only Tobin Heath who managed to score. 

After half time with the scores level the two teams really stepped up their game, things were already a little physical in the first half but in the second it stepped up once again, I couldn't believe some challenges the referee let go, but I guess he just wanted to keep the game flowing. Heath scored another which was actually wiped off the board, I couldn't believe how they called her offside when she was very clearly on and had beat her defender to the ball. Not long after this though the great Horan struck with another one of her deadly headers. It was the build up to this goal that was brilliant, Horan was initially fouled, which of course the ref wasn't interested in, then Heath was fouled, again it was ignored, then Christine Sinclair put in a wonderful ball that landed straight on the head of Horan who just got up from her foul and carried on playing. How often do you see this in the mens game? They would still be rolling around the floor. 

The game finished 2-1 to the Thorns and surprisingly finished with all 22 players on the pitch, there were quite a few instances where I thought someone was going to be off. You had a few harsh challenges coming in from players and quite a few players mouthing off at the ref.

Stand out players from the game for me were:
Tobin Heath (Thorns)
Ellie Carpenter (Thorns)
Emily Sonnett (Thorns)  
Lindsay Horan (Thorns)
Jasmyne Spencer (Reign)
Theresa Nielsen (Reign)
Megan Rapinoe (Reign)

Now just to see who the Thorns will be facing in Saturdays final will it be North Carolina Courage for 2nd year running or will it be Chicago Red Stars. I can't wait for the final already with it being at the Thorns home ground.

See you soon
Lucy
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Monday, 17 September 2018

Last Week #20


It was nice last week to not have to worry about doing DIY after work as we have decided to have a bit of time off from that. It has meant a few nights I got to play on some games or just chill out watching YouTube. We had one night where we went to the White Rose shopping but I didn't really get much as I couldn't find anything I liked clothing wise. I really need to start finding some warmer clothes. Saturday was perfect Liam was working in the morning so I got some chill time, I did a few jobs then we went to watch Bradford in the afternoon. The night was then topped off with a takeaway whilst I watched the Thorns vs Reign in the NWSL playoffs. Sunday was going well too until the ceiling decided to leak in the kitchen, luckily we managed to do a temporary fix and it shouldn't be too expensive to sort properly. So here is what I had....

Been Watching: I managed to watch the Thorns and Regin playoff game as it started at a decent time over here. Other than that I have watched a lot more YouTube and made a start on season 5 of Bojack Horseman.

Been reading : I have my Carli Lloyd book at the side of my bed ready to get started on but I have been that tired I haven't managed to just yet. I am looking forward to diving into it though.

Been listening to : I don't know what it is but for some reason every day I had a Disney playlist on whilst walking to and from work and in all honesty that is all I listened to all week.

Bought : A lot of bits to get me started on something I have been needing to do, which are all coming up in a post this week. I also managed to get tickets to England vs Sweden in the women's football. 

Plans for this week : My main aim this week is to loose some weight, I have been up and down in weight these past few weeks but now I really want to get going in my journey. I want to try declutter my bathroom cupboard too as it is a total mess. I also want to do some more updates on the blog for new categories etc and just get some general admin done.

Last weeks posts : Last Week #19, What I got for my birthday 2018, Fashion inspo : Kelley O'Hara. 

So there you have it that was my week. What have you guys been up to?

See you soon
Lucy
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Thursday, 13 September 2018

Fashion Inspo : Kelley O'Hara

Next up on my fashion inspo series is the absolutely brilliant Kelley O'Hara. Star of the Utah Royals and the USWNT, Kelley is one of the world cup winners in 2015 and has been one of my favourites for a very long time. Not only do I love Kelley for what she can do on the field, whether it is as a defender or a forward she really gives 100% , but I also love Kelley for the fun interviews she puts out and how down to earth she seems. Kelley also has a brilliant sense of style whether it is a casual look or a smart look for an awards show or event. So here are a few of the looks of Kelley's that I absolutely love and would love to try put my own spin on one day.


 Kelley is on the left here and this is a super casual look I love for just lounging around or doing those quick jobs that you don't need to dress up for. This would be perfect for nipping to the supermarket, sitting at home playing games in or even after a workout in the gym. I seem to live in my slides these days whether it is going out in the garden or nipping for a McDonald's, but I am trying to cut back on the fast food and actually get working out again, so I would team my slides up with a pair of skinny joggers and a loose fitting t-shirt to go home from the gym in.  I just need to get myself some skinny joggers now that aren't ones I would wear for an outdoor workout and that are easy just to through on. 


 Kelley does a lot of work for Under Armour as she is sponsored by them, which really brought Under Armour to my attention. I hadn't really considered trying any of their products until I saw Kelley wear them as the products look brilliant. If I am aiming to get back into the gym I need to invest in some quality items and Under Armour seems like it could really tick the boxes. The above look is one of my favourites as it is a coordinated outfit and looks super comfortable for working out in. I wouldn't dream of wearing anything like this at the moment as I really wouldn't want to show any skin like this, however as I get rid of the weight and tone up I think I will get more and more confident and would dare to give this a go. The good thing is Under Armour also do some really nice shorts and leggings as well as t-shirts so there definitely is an option there for me.


Again Kelley is on the left of this image, and this look is one I definitely want to try out this autumn. I love the shirt under the jumper and team this up with some nice skinny jeans or possibly chinos and some nice trainers or boots, I would be good to go. Also if it dropped colder a smart jacket would look perfect over this. I think I love this look as it isn't masculine and is pushing on the feminine side a little. The perfect look for a tomboy, or someone going for a smart casual look. I am more of a flannel shirt kind of girl when the weather changes but this year I want to try something new.


 This look is one of my favourites especially as an everyday look.An oversized jumper with a top underneath, teamed up with some skinny pants and fresh shoes and a beanie, you are good to go. This would be perfect on a coffee run, shopping trip or a nice walk in the autumn leaves. Kelley seems to pull off this look so effortlessly and to be honest she does with anything she wears. I love how she has the beanie to match the sweatshirt and how everything just seems to flow so well. 

Kelley seems to be able to work a number of different outfits, whether she has just finished a training session, during a training session, having a casual day off or going to an event. I just hope one day I can build a wardrobe like hers and totally own what I wear. 

As Kelley is one of the people I look up to a lot this definitely won't be the last you see of her on here. I have a few more ideas for posts including Kelley so keep an eye on those.

See you soon
Lucy.

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Tuesday, 11 September 2018

What I Got For My Birthday 2018

Sunday was my birthday and it was my first one in my new home. It felt weird hosting my own party the day before in my own house, but it was amazing waking up next to Liam, spending my whole birthday with him then settling down in our home knowing that this was now a permanent thing and that unfortunately he is stuck with me. I was lucky enough to be very spoilt by everyone and here is what I got.


 Liam surprised me with a bunch of flowers, teddy and a box of chocolates ( I forgot to take pictures of these though) and then didn't let me spend a penny whilst in Leeds. He treated me to my dinner and got me this super cute glittery stitch figure for me to add to my collection. He also treated me to a few bits from Victoria secret, I love the stuff in there but only buy things when I have been to Leeds as I hate buying online. Whilst in there I saw some lovely clothing that I really need to loose weight and then buy. He also treated me to a few bits in Lush, the turtle and the avobath bath bombs. He was disappointed I only picked out 2 items as he apparently wanted to get me more.


 My sister got me this cute little Marvel stationary set which is perfect as I love stationary but somehow keep loosing all mine. She also got me a garden gnome which will look perfect by the side of our pond when we get it done, it is a bit of a long standing joke that I am a t-rex due to my little arms so I am guessing she thought this would be a perfect fit. My auntie and uncle got me this Crep Protect cure set, I am hoping this will make me clean my trainers instead of me just going out and buying new. 


 Another Marvel item I received was from my parents and it is this really cute tech case. I will probably put spare batteries in here or power banks and cables then put it in the dinosaur make up bag they also got me which will probably end up being used as a bigger tech bag as I do have quite a bit. They also got me this Barney water bottle, I used to be obsessed with the show so apparently once they saw it they had to get me it. They also got me these trinket dishes which I am going to leave in the packaging until I get my dressing room sorted out. 


Liam's dad got me a set of mini pink gins which I really can't wait to get tucked into. His mum also got me 2 fancy little bottles which I am sure wont last very long. Gin seems to be one of my favourites lately and the best part is I can drink it without getting a hangover. My nanna and grandad also got me a new bottle of Sailor Jerry, this is definitely one of my favourite rums at the moment. 


My auntie and uncle also got me one of the mini candles, and a matching hand wash. I have the other 3 scents and they are amazing so I am excited to try this one out. I think these will finally be going into the bathroom.


 Umbro is slowly creeping back into my wardrobe, they are really doing some nice pieces, I am hoping their collab with Ashlyn Harris comes to the UK too. My auntie and uncle got me this jacket which is a collab with Sneaker Freak. I fell in love with the colour of this and the detailing on the sleeves, along with the bold print on the back. I may have to do a styling piece on this soon.


They also got me this super cool tiger jumper. I wanted one of these as it is a bit of a smarter take on the Kenzo one I have had my eye on and was a lot cheaper. It is really good quality and looks like it is going to keep me nice and warm, plus it is a perfect fit. I am sure I will also have a styling piece on this too as I have the perfect look in mind.  


The same as they do every year my parents got me the new City shirt. I had to go for the away shirt this year as I just love the colour of it, I have found it is better quality this year and a lot better fit. I am excited to wear this Saturday. I also got £60 from family members which is getting put away to go towards my PC fund.

So there you have it that is what I got for my birthday. I cant wait to try these new gins and wear my new clothing.

See you soon.
Lucy
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Monday, 10 September 2018

Last Week #19


Last week included my birthday and the first party held at mine and Liam's. This meant all week we were running around getting bits for the party along with trying to get the house ready for people to visit. It was a lot of hard work but we eventually got it done. It was really nice just having family round and have a few drinks and food. Sunday was not only my birthday but it also marked 6th month since we got the house. I got to a stage where I thought things weren't taking place but when I have taken a step back and had a proper look we have got so much done and honestly there is only a few final touches needed to the rooms we have started, then the dressing room can be started on, hopefully this will all be done by Christmas. Then next year all we have to do is save for the bathroom, hallway and loft doing. It really is starting to feel like ours now. On my actual birthday we managed to get in a trip to Leeds, just me and Liam, it was brilliant we went to the sports bar for food and a drink and did a bit of shopping. So here is what I had...

Been Watching: I don't know what it is but this week I have got back into watching a bit of the Big Bang Theory. I have also watched a lot of cleaning videos on YouTube once again.

Been reading : I finally completed my Under the lights and into the dark book. This book was amazing and really gives you more of an insight into the world of women's football. 

Been listening to : Hayley Kiyoko and Camila Cabello have been on repeat but for some reason so has One Direction.

Bought : I bought a lot of bits for my birthday party through out the week but also managed to treat myself to some Man City joggers and a new north face t-shirt.

Plans for this week : We have decided we are having a week off from decorating the house, mainly because we are at a stage where we are waiting on others as they are bigger jobs. Thanks to us having a week off I may be able to get more done for the blog, more reading done and hopefully some time to just relax.

Last weeks posts : Last Week #18, R+Co Dallas Thickening Spray, Thoughts On Women's Football.

So there you have it that was my week. What have you guys been up to?

See you soon
Lucy
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Friday, 7 September 2018

Thoughts On Women's Football


The only books I have read recently have been football related, I have completed Alex Morgan's and Abby Wambach's books but most recently I have finished Under the lights and in the dark. What I have noticed throughout these books is the struggle the female players have to go through from finding teams as in some places girls teams are hard to come by, to trying to find a wage they can live off. Under the lights was a real eye opener to me as it has so many different stories from different perspectives. 

You have Allie Long star of Seattle Reign and a player for the USWNT who actually played in an underground mens league for numerous years where it helped her perfect her game. You have Fara Williams who although homeless hides this from teammates and represents her country. You have numerous African players who fight through the stigma of women don't play football women stay home. But all this player kept on battling through and have gone to have wonderful careers, other players haven't been as lucky and have given up the sport all together.

I started playing at a young age and when I got to around 13/14 that was it there were no teams for my age group in my area, so I just played when we had chance at school. I then went to college where I played for the college team but when I left college to enter my apprenticeship that was it I had no team again. I missed playing and I just watched on at Bradford City mens where I had started attending games. It wasn't until I was 20 I actually found an open age team and played a few games before suffering an injury. Then that was it I have been sidelined since, I am working on getting back into the game but I have to start over again on the search for a team.

Luckily they are trying in the UK to get more girls involved in grassroots football and introducing them at a young age, with the success of the 2015 world cup the  England Lionesses have been brought further into the light and young girls are starting to look up to players such as Steph Houghton and Lucy Bronze. 

My biggest issue is still the lack of TV support for both the leagues and international competitions. BT sport show the league games but it is only just starting to be well advertised, and they only really show the same big teams. I want to see the second division or cup games showing lower teams, not just the same Man City, Chelsea and Arsenal. I myself follow Man City Women and a few times now I have had a ticket to the game but it has ended up kicking off earlier or been changed to another day just to get it shown on the TV, which is all well and good as it is showing it to a wider audience but I travel a fair bit to the game and usually book a train to get there so I don't want to waste money on something I have to rebuy or can't make at all.

Just this week we have had the England vs Kazakhstan game advertised as being on the red button but got pulled due to technical issues with a third party stream. How often do you see this in the mens game? Not many because they will do everything they can to show those games. How do they expect fans to be brought into the world of women's football, when it is impossible for them to watch, at some point people will get fed up and give it up as a bad job. 1.4 million tuned in Friday for England vs Wales, yet we couldn't even get any better than the red button. Something needs to change.

Then there is the obvious pay gaps as teams don't get the backing mens teams do. You don't see women's players on the same wage as people such as Rooney or Ronaldo, teams don't bring in the money the men do is what you hear when discussing the pay. But how are they meant to when they aren't televised or advertised as often. The big name players will bring most of their money in through endorsements and sponsorship. You have Tobin Heath one of the biggest American players advertising contact lenses, Kelley O'Hara advertising chocolate milk, I know you get men advertising products but honestly for the women this can be one of their main sources of income. 

Players say they love seeing people with their names on the back of shirts, but that can be a hassle in itself. Every time I want a new Man City shirt with a player on the back they try charge me per letter and number even though it says a players name and number is a set price. Why is it when you go into the official club shop and ask for Houghton on the shirt they say it is your last name and they don't realise you are in fact talking about the club captain. It has been so nice in the build up to this season seeing some of the women included in kit launches but unless you educated the shop staff what is the point? If you are going to include the women then educate people to stop the fans getting annoyed. 
Don't even get me started on the USWNT jerseys. I got one last year but don't know if it is legit, there was literally only 1 site I could get one from for a reasonable price, if not the closest thing you can get in the UK is a USMNT jersey on the Nike site, but why would I want that? It doesn't showcase the 3 stars the USWNT have earnt through winning the world cup.

If a woman wants to go watch a mens game the big downside to me is the facilities there is always massive queues for the toilets at the mens ground and why is that? A lack of female ones, the ones we get are usually disgusting too. You want to bring women to the games up your hygiene a little and provide us with more toilets, I actually avoid going as much as possible whenever I go to the mens games as they are awful. You want to make women included? Then take into consideration their needs.

One thing I have noticed within the women's game is it seems to be a lot more LGBT friendly, a lot of the female players are openly gay and aren't afraid to voice their opinions and how they really feel. It is also like a safe zone for fans just look at the Riveters at Portland Thorns, their huge rainbow flags at games. How often do you see that at the mens games? Bradford mens have an LGBT club but you don't really hear about it, they have the flag but it just waves away in the distance. You have the USWNT who play with rainbow numbers every now and again then auction off the jerseys. They also do a lot of campaigning throughout their NWSL season which is lovely to see. In my opinion more countries and teams need to get on board with this so more people feel included.

It is about time it stopped been all talk and a little more action was taken to get women involved within the game and more things were generally brought to peoples attention throughout the mens and women's games. But all in all I am looking forward to the new FA WSL season and the playoffs for the NWSL. Also bring on the World Cup next year, hopefully I could get to a game or hopefully watch them online. Trust me this wont be the last you see of football on the blog so keep your eye out for more.


See you soon.

Lucy.
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Thursday, 6 September 2018

R+Co Dallas Thickening Spray


I came across this thickening spray thanks to the wonderful Kyle Krieger YouTube video. I got my hair cut similarly to Ashlyn's a while back so I was searching videos where it showed how to get her style and I found Kyle doing Ashlyn's hair. So I sat and watched the video, in fact I think I have watched it about 20 times now, I took note of the techniques and products Kyle used and then I went out and bought this spray. My hair has always been really thin so anything that will help thicken it is greatly appreciated. So here is what I thought of the spray.

Packaging
This spray is very pricey so I thought the packaging may have been a little better. It is basically just a plastic spray bottle with a label stuck to it. Although the label does look amazing with the black and white image on it. The bottle is very durable too as it has gone on plenty of trips with me and hasn't been damaged and the lid always stays on. I guess that a plus side to this clear plastic bottle is you can see exactly how much product you have left, so I know when I am running low.

Scent
I am quite glad that this spray doesn't really have a scent because the rest of my hair products do so when this is added it doesn't make a difference and doesn't make the hair smell too over powering. I think if this plus all the other items I used all had the different scents it would just be far too much.

Texture & Application
Application of this is really easy, once I get out of the bath/shower I towel dry my hair then give this a good spray all over my hair. I mainly use this when I actually blow dry my hair and I will dry it in sections to get the full effect of the product. The first time I used the spray it left my hair very tacky but then I realised I had used far too much. Since using the correct amount I have noticed you can't feel it and can't see any left over bits of the spray.

Effect
With the spray you can't see any bits of the product left over giving my hair a natural look still. But you can clearly tell when the spray has been used as my hair as it definitely looks a lot thicker especially when used alongside my volumising mousse. My hair goes from looking really think and slicked back to looking a lot thicker and a lot fuller.

Overall
Granted this spray is quite costly at £22.95 for the bottle however, it does last quite a while so you get a lot for your money. Plus it does its job and to be quite honest I would pay this over and over again for my hair to look thicker and a lot better. If you get the chance to pick a bottle of this up and try it for yourself  I would highly recommend you give this ago. Thank you very much to Kyle Krieger for the video showing how to get Ashlyn's style and bringing this product to my attention.

See you soon,
Lucy
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