A Week In The Life Of #3


This week has been one for efficiency, things to do, places to go, people to see, deadlines to meet, I've had 0 time and I can only see it becoming 'worse'! Here are some randomly selected tidbits from this week: (of course saving some things that need their own posts!)

1. Beauty and the Beast Notebook (Liberty London): I am into notebooks at the moment and the whimsical, fairytale twang of this one has got me hooked. Hand bound and printed in Florence too, it just all adds to the romance.

2. Marina London Maddy Dress: Easy-to-wear, simple shapes in silk have been a commonly occurring wardrobe theme recently and Marina do them fabulously. Their fabric hangs beautifully and I love the muted colours and embellishment-free designs. 

3. Stella McCartney Low Block Heel Sandals: I am on the hunt for the perfect Barely There sandals with a low block heel (I have at least 3 pairs of high Barely There's and they're all black...) and came across these beauties. I'd really like some in black or tan though, so still on the hunt.

4. I found this gorgeously girly pasta at a Berkshire farm shop! All the colours are 100% natural too; spinach, squid ink, beetroot etc. It's definitely a novelty but would make any pasta lunch more exciting and 'happifying'.

5. Peanut butter on bananas and this deliciously naughty rhubarb crumble yoghurt. Full of sugar but reasonably low calorie, completely moreish and my latest brekkie addiction.

6. The weather recently has been absolutely glorious. I've spent an acceptable proportion of my time lazing around in 20 (or near) degree heat and soaking in some vitamin D! Found these seriously pretty daffodils in a field also but didn't have my camera with me! Thank goodness for iPhones. 

7. I've been feeling compelled to buy some kind of obnoxiously loud phone case, like these 2 from Skinny Dip, they're adorable! 

As for the weight loss journey, it's been slower then I'm used to but I've been doing strength training and working on building up some muscle (ha! this is so very unlike me..) Nevertheless I feel quite like these cats below. And whether you relate or not, who doesn't love a picture of a nice, fat cat. Enjoy:

Weight Loss Wednesdays Week 9


Albeit a day overdue, hello and bonsoir to week NINE (I can't believe I've kept this up for so long..) of Weight Loss Wednesdays.

I've most definitely noticed a reduction of pace in weight loss, but that may well be due to the 'muscle building' I've been doing and the lack of water weight I have left! I hit a bit of a plateau recently and instead of panicking or throwing in the towel, I rode it out and subtly tweaked a few things and hey presto, I'm now past the 2 stone mark without too much trauma. Plateaus = panic and demotivation so here are those 'tweaks' I made, hopefully they can help you!

- Calories. Counter intuitive perhaps but it's quite possible that you've been depriving your body of the calories it needs, after all, it doesn't know your good intentions, that more food will be coming. I actually doubled my calories for a couple of days and didn't put on a single lb.

- Carbohydrates. I'm not doing low carb, because I don't want to be one of those miserable people who eat lean meat and vegetables all day - that is no life to live! But I have been trying not to eat the very naughty carbs like donuts, crisps, biscuits and baguettes, which over the last 2 months has evolved into not really eating cereal bars and sugary yoghurts etc. Well I'm glad to report that I added things like the latter two back in, which has seemed to help.

- Dairy. Similar to the above, I stopped eating dairy for 6 weeks or so and I imagine it helped during that time, but I've since reintroduced milk and yoghurts and I'm back to losing weight.

- Water. Before you scream at me to change the record, it's failsafe! Drink more water, drink more green tea, try it for a few days, you'll be surprised.

- Exercise. 2 months in and it's perfectly reasonable to think that my body is getting used to the exercise and strain I subject it to. So I added a little more jogging to my walk, tried to do Jillian's dvds when I have the time (i.e. never), a very sad prospect for me but more effort = change.

In short, change things up. If it's calories, try going higher not lower. With exercise, change your workout or increase the intensity. These are the things I did to break my plateau and obviously may not work for everybody but I welcome you to try them if you so wish and hope they help!

A Small Beauty Haul


The delightful weather lately has coaxed me out of my warm, cosy house and consequently, I've ended up spending money somehow? Aka, I went shopping. Here's a few bits that I picked up:

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish: This and Bioderma (review here) have stuck with me for years now, I just keep replenishing whenever I run out without even really thinking! I picked up this cute 100ml pump for travelling purposes, it's a great size for travel/weekends away and isn't fragile when I inevitably throw it around in my bag or suitcase.

Chanel Inimitable Mascara (Waterproof): This and a couple of the Clinique mascaras are my all time faves. Like Cleanse and Polish, Chanel's Inimitable is something I just keep going back to. It holds a curl brilliantly for stubborn lashes like mine and lasts (sans smudging) all day, yet being easy to take off.

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation: First seen in this post, I may well have gone back to get another bottle... It's a great foundation with heavier coverage and no SPF so photo friendly.

Bare Minerals Matte Foundation: The No7 Mineral Perfection powder (review here) has been a favourite of mine for a long time, but walking past the Bare Minerals counter, I was lured in by temptation to try their mineral foundations and fell for the matte variety. Review most certainly to come.

No7 Stay Perfect Foundation: Oh look another foundation.. This one is supposed to rival the coveted Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua (which, might I say, I love) so how could I not pick it up?

Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter: This smells divine. And the 50ml pot is perfect for the handbag. That's all the justification I need!

What have you been buying lately? Have you tried any of these?

Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred etc | Weight Loss Wednesdays


Over 2 months into my overall weight loss journey and I'm embarking on a new jaunt, into the world of strength training. So I'm welcoming my old friend and butt-kicker Jillian back into my life, in an attempt to prevent becoming the dreaded 'skinny-fat', in the form of her cult classic workout dvds. 

30 Day Shred is arguably the most famous/popular and for good reason. There are 3 levels, all of which involve a couple of hand weights and a mat, and Jillian pushing you along with stern words of encouragement. The great things? It's really tough. You feel like you're working hard (mainly because you are working hard..) and it's all over in 20 minutes.

Ripped in 30 is a similar concept. 4 levels, or weeks, of different exercises, in the same 3-2-1 (minutes of strength, cardio, abs) system as the 30 Day Shred. Again, 20 minutes long and again, tough!

Extreme Shed and Shred departs slightly from the other two. 2 levels, 45 minutes each, of a 'fusion style workout', combining yoga, strength, martial arts and kickboxing. Jillian suggests trying them back to back and holey moley, I'd only recommend it for the extremely brave and/or fit!

Jillian's dvds have been lurking for a couple of years in the depths on my bedroom storage but I am determined this time to finish a programme! I picked mine up on Amazon for a few pounds, and downloaded Ripped in 30 onto my iPad (I believe you can get them all on iTunes) which means I really have no excuse!

Have you tried any of Jillian's workouts?

Neutrogena Pore and Shine Review


Us self confessed beauty obsessives spend our money in different ways; some of us favour makeup, others skincare for example. I am most definitely guilty of the latter and immersing myself amongst high end skincare products does bring me relative joy!

But there are a select few drugstore brands that have consistently stuck with me throughout the years, and Neutrogena is one of them. For me, most of their products just work, and are as cheap as chips which is a very handy bonus.

My latest favourite thing is their Visibly Clear Pore and Shine Daily Scrub. For under a fiver, you really can't go wrong. Now.. if you've been with me a little while, you'll know I detest scrubbing exfoliators. I am acid/chemical all the way; take the Clarins Exfoliating Toner, Cure's Natural Aqua Gel (review here) and Pixi's Glow Tonic. But for this unassuming green tube, I make one exception. Which already says a lot.

The packaging is perfectly practical. A simple, water or shower proof, clear plastic tube that's great to through in your washbag. (An equally practical Cath Kidson vinyl in my case)

The product comes out as a white cream, flecked with teensy, green beads and smells delicious. There is promise of tangerine and lime but I feel it's much better than that; fruity and refreshing, I just want to inhale the bottle!

In terms of usage and results, rub a small blob onto wet skin and gently massage in for a few seconds before rinsing off with water; it couldn't be simpler. And results? Fantastic. This is a great one if you want your skin to look, be and feel clean. Shine gone and pores under control, it's no wonder it's become a new favourite.

Weight Loss Wednesdays: Week 8


I can't quite believe I've been doing this for 2 months. I usually get extremely fed up long before this kind of timescale and give in.

I've lost around 6lbs since my last update (which was rather naughtily 2 weeks ago instead of 1) but lately the scales have been behaving very stubbornly and sticking on 1 figure, although quite possibly due to the fact I have had extremely long days for the last fortnight and no time to do a single jot of exercise...

So after 2 months (check out my Weight Loss Journey post to see how much weight I've lost so far) I think it's about time I start thinking about toning up, having a look at my body fat ratio and getting rid of some of the flab I still most definitely have; hence a delve in the world of strength training.

There are hundreds of websites and resources out there to help and it can soon become overwhelming choosing what to do. So here are some possible plans of action:

1. If you're a member of a gym, pop in and ask your favourite trainer to show you a strength or resistance circuit/workout that you can do. If you tell them your woes, they'll be happy to make up a programme for your needs.

2. Get yourself some workout dvds. P90x, Jillian Michaels, Kettlebells, whatever takes your fancy, you only have to Google them to see before and after results and decide what would work for you. 

3. Decide on the parts of your body you'd like to work on most, whether that be your back, underarms, stomach, legs, and Google something along the lines of "back toning exercises" etc. Go through the links on the first page of results and make a note of the exercises you like the sound of/those that come up most often. 

4. Check out Youtube for some body toning routines. There are dozens of great videos, I like the ones by FitnessBlender and the Tone It Up girls, and as a bonus, they're free.

In terms of food and drink, here are some things I've been loving this week:

Chilli chicken with Barenaked noodles, tomatoes and spinach.

This dish tastes so far from healthy. It's similar to my Chilli Chicken Wraps (recipe here). A university lunch favourite of mine was Zizzi's Casareccia Pollo Picante, and after managing to get the recipe for that, I tweaked it a little to make it healthier and ended up with this; it still tastes the same! (Let me know if you'd like me to post the recipe for either!)

Herbal teas.

I've always been a fan but these are some of my latest favourites.

The Slim Me tea by the English Tea Shop is organic and naturally sweet. I wouldn't buy it for any slimming properties but it tastes lovely; a mix of green tea, ginseng, cinnamon, ginger and acai berries. The packaging is really quite pretty too, each teabag comes in it's own little cellophane wrapper.

Green tea and jasmine is my all time favourite, particularly Harrods' Jasmine Dragon Pearls but they're hardly a sustainable purchase (£25) so I've managed to find some cheaper, but just as tasty, alternatives: Taylor's Green Tea with Jasmine and the same flavour by Tesco's Finest.

Lastly, I bought this book, I Quit Sugar by Sarah Wilson, the other day on a whim and although I've not yet had a chance to read it properly, I had a little flick through and was pleased to see lots of interesting and different recipes including fresh, homemade Rooibos Chai and Raspberry Ripple dessert, yumyum.

If you have any great resistance exercises/workouts then do let me know, if not, then the very best of luck on your journeys and until next week!

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