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Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Wednesdays Workout| Tone It Up Frisky Fall Challenge


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It’s the start of a new season, my favourite one… Autumn! I love the change in weather, the crisp cool mornings, the changing colours of the leaves, the cosy evenings in front of a fire, and all the cute accessories… hello gloves, hats, scarves and boots!

Anyways, although this post isn’t a single workout as it normally is, it’s a whole workout plan and schedule free for you for the next 6 weeks! The Tone It Up girls have embraced the change of season and created a new Frisky Fall Challenge for their followers. Their challenges are basically a workout plan and schedule to follow with free workouts and tips, and the option of paying for their nutritional guide. I haven’t bought the guide but do love their workouts. But what I love most is the community they create. Those who participate in Tone It Up very often have Instagram and Twitter accounts solely for Tone It Up purposes, they “check in” each time they do a workout; so take pictures of their run or calories burnt, and share the meals they’ve eaten for that day. By searching the official hashtag on either Instagram or Twitter you can meet thousands of girls who are all supporting each other; it’s very motivating!

I attempted their Bikini Series Challenge during the summer, but didn’t do fantastically, which is why I’m going to give it my all during the #FriskyFall Challenge. The challenge is for 6 weeks and runs from Monday just passed to Halloween… so we’ll all look great in our fancy dress costumes!

To follow the challenge Tone It Up say you are to complete each workout challenge they give- everyday; check-in once you have completed it; journal your nutrition; and workout in the morning at least 4 times a week.  To keep us motivated the Tone It Up girls also hand out prizes to those who continually check-in.

I’m very much aiming for progress not perfection. It’s always about taking baby steps for me, as if I tackle too much I become overwhelmed and unmotivated when I fail. So I have set my goals for the next 6 weeks with this in mind. My goals are;

  • BootyCall Morning Workout at least 5 times a week
  • Complete the #100ByHalloween Challenge- Run 100 miles by Halloween.
  • Meal Prep every Sunday
  • Each completely clean 5 days out of 7 (Massive goal for me, who very often grazes on snacks/ treats I shouldn’t)

I’m joining in on the challenge and I imagine loyal Tone It Up girl Jayne Becca will be also. If you fancy it please let me know and we can support each other! If you’re unsure, give the hashtags #FriskyFall #100ByHalloween #ToneItUp #TIU a search on Instagram or Twitter and see how motivating challenges and communities such as these can be!

I hope you take up the challenge. It’s only for 6 weeks… imagine how good you will feel and how amazing you will look after 6 weeks commitment to a new workout schedule!

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Illamasqua Eyebrow Cake Review


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I’ve had this post lined up for some time now and have never actually got round to posting it! the photos are that old that I have actually moved house since! Anyways it’s always better than never!

So back in May Illamasqua had a special 50% off sale for one day only as a celebration for reaching 50,000 followers. As a result us beauty bloggers went a little mad and bought everything it seems! I bought the Illamasqua Eurydice Lipstick and this Illamasqua Eyebrow Cake.

As many of you will know I am loyal to my Soap and Glory Archery Eyebrow Pencil, in fact I loved it so much it was my first ever YouTube video. So I took a risk and decided to try out what Illamasqua had to offer in the way of eyebrow options as my Soap and Glory pencil was finally running out.

I went for the eyebrow pallete in a dark grey colour, no I do not have grey eyebrows but I do have black ones and thought that if I bought the black shade it may look too dramatic and I would be in danger of being in Scouse-Brow territory.

The formula of the Illamasqua Eyebrow Cake is very pigmented and has a good staying power. So much so that I have to be extra careful when applying it as it can be difficult to get off if I accidently go over my natural eyebrow. I apply it first thing in the morning and am pleased to say that it doesn’t fade or slip off my face throughout the day. It blends well into my black eyebrows and even Matt had commented saying that the Illamasqua Eyebrow Cakes looks more natural than my trusty Soap and Glory Archery Eyebrow Pencil. I am yet to decide which is my favourite, as I do love the Illamasqua Eyebrow Cake, however it is a little more pricey than the Soap and Glory Eyebrow Pencil. However I have had the Illamasqua Eyebrow Cake for over 5 months now and I’ve barely made a dint in it, so it is very long lasting!

Have you ever tried the Illamasqua Eyebrow Cake? Or are you also loyal to the Soap and Glory Archery Pencil? What other eyebrow products would you recommend?

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Life #3


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What a busy two weeks I have had! As you will all know by now I have recently changed jobs and moved to a whole new area. So as with all change, life always feel a little up in the air for some time, however now that Matt and I have been in our house for a week tomorrow, we are starting to feel a bit more settled.

Last week was an exciting week for me as it was my first little business trip with my new job. I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to southern England and visit a number of hotels the company I work for own. I feel very much like I have had a crash course in the business I work for, as my first month has been very busy. It was great to get out of Head Office and get to know the hotels and staff that I will be working for.   The top four photos detail my trip; hotels rooms, conference rooms and incredible food (not great for the waistline)!

I had a very rare free day last weekend so had a great BootCamp session in the morning and took the train up to Carlisle to visit my family. It was great to spend even a little time with them and get up to date with them and the dog.

This past Monday was moving day. We managed to cram all our belongings into a van and our car and travelled the 50 miles south to our new home. Moving didn’t go without a few mishaps; we did buy a brand new three piece suit which wouldn’t fit into our Living Room which resulted in me having a mini breakdown. However after some gentle persuasion from my mum we decided to make the Living Room the Dining Room and the Dining Room the Living Room, which meant the three piece suite could stay. After moving in I have spent the past few days pinning everything and anything I want for my house. I don’t think my Pinterest has ever been so active!

I am also glad to be back in some kind of routine. With no commuting and no business trips this week, I have been able to get back on board with my meal planning. I have still been exercising but diet is more hard to control when you are on the move and not able to prepare all your meals. So now I am back in a routine I am spending today planning all my meals for the week ahead and making a fresh go at my health and fitness to get back on track for my Christmas Countdown.

Photo 11 of the t-shirt had to be included as I love it! this very much signifies my running technique… I’m not the quickest but at least I’m running. Some days I can run forever, others I struggle with even 200 metres. However now I am in a new area I have been lacing up my trainers and exploring my new town the best way you can; by pounding the pavement. I am a strange runner as I much prefer to run on a cooler evening than a warm day…. the cool breeze on my face and crisp air means I don’t over heat and perform better… anyone else agree with me?

Friday, 20 September 2013

Fitness Friday| 100 Days Until Christmas


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The title of this blog post is 100 days until Christmas, however it is in fact 97 days till Christmas, but with such a big mile stone it really is the perfect time to reassess where you are and make plans so that you are where you want to be come the big day!

For me Christmas 2013 is my big goal for my health and fitness, it has come around a lot quicker than I thought it would, however this gives me the perfect excuse to kick it up a notch! I want to feel (and look) the best I can for Christmas, so starting this week I have been making a more conscious effort to eat healthier and workout more smartly. A few of you have asked what exactly are my plans, so I thought I would share them with you.

Fitness Plan

Workout twice a day 5-6 times a week; Cardio in the morning and toning/strength in the evening.

For cardio I aim to run for at least 30 minutes or skip for 15. Cardio is perfect for the morning as it not only wakes you up but it also kick starts your metabolism meaning you burn more calories throughout the day compared to if you haven’t worked out… who doesn’t love burning calories while sitting on your bum!

For strength and toning I use trusty YouTube and DVD’s since I’m a none gym goer. I spend quite a bit of time searching YouTube for workouts to do during the week. This next week I plan attempting to complete at least 2 of the workouts below, if not all three each day. However make sure you listen to your body and don’t strain yourself!

Sunday- LEGS-

The Podium Effect 2 Min Glute Workout  &    Tone Up-30Day Butt Lift   Love Your Legs Workout

Monday- ARMS-

 The Podium Effect 1 Min Arm Workout   &   Bridal Babe Workout    Toned Arms Workout

Tuesday- ABS-

The Ultimate Fashion Blogger Workout   &  The Podium Effect 2 Min Abs Workout   Jessica Alba Ab Workout

Wednesday- LEGS-

MaliBooty Workout    Tabata Butt 10 Min Workout    How To Get Legs Like Jennifer Lawrence

Thursday- REST

Friday- ABS & ARMS-

Rapid Abs Workout     Strong & Sexy Upper Body 20min Circuit Workout

Eating Plan

Eating is always where I struggle, sometimes my willpower isn’t strong enough to battle my cravings, so I always eat every couple of hours to ensure I am never hungry. I find that if I am hungry I tend to binge on unhealthy food. So everyday I have three small meals and two snacks. A typical day will look as below;

Breakfast- Greek Yoghurt with banana, chia seeds, coconut & honey or Overnight Oats or Two Ingredient Pancakes

Snack- Nuts or Nakd Bar or Green Smoothie

Lunch- Tomato & Mozzarella Salad or Tuna/Chicken Salad or Sweet Potato with Tuna or Humous and Carrot Sticks

Snacks- Protein Milk or Nuts or Fruit

Dinner- Chicken and Vegetables or Fish and Vegetables

Occasional Extra Snack- Greek yoghurt with honey or Meringue Cookies or Banana and Nutella

I hope this post gives you some idea of my routine over the next few months. It is by no means a suggestion that this would work for you, I am not an expert so cannot advice you personally, only give you an example of what works for me.

How are you planning to meet your goals in 100 days times? If you want to feel your best for Christmas and New Year you need to start now!

Be sure to check out Becci’s gorgeous blog; Only Becci- full of yummy food, amazing recipes, beauty and life.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Wednesday’s Workout| Killer Bum and Leg Workout


bum and leg day workout

After what seems like a millions years (it was only a week) I am back to blogging, and back with a bang. If you follow me on instagram or Twitter you will of seen me talking about my little business trip last week. As exciting and fun as it was, it isn’t ideal for those who plan their workouts and food as religiously as I normally do, so it was a struggle to ensure I kept on track. I admit that my nutrition went out of the window… I ate well for breakfast and lunch, however dinner was the works… I’m talking two to three courses of prawns, chicken, chips, onion rings, pasta, and even a burger! But oh my word the food was amazing (take a peek at the menus), and seems I’m in charge of content for my company, I need to ensure I know what I’m talking about (that’s my excuse!)

Anyways while away I worked out in the gym one morning, however tiredness and a mini hangover meant that a 6am wakeup call before giving a 4 hour long workshop didn't happen the other mornings, so I resorted to working out in my hotel room. This may seem weird when there was a fully equipped gym downstairs, however I knew that it would be very busy and I wanted to spend my workout time concentrating on me, not trying to find free exercise machines. So I used trusty YouTube for workout videos and came up with the following leg and bum workout.

This leg and bum workout it short, but effective! I really felt it the next day! I don’t know about you but I love leg day, as I can really feel and see the difference in my legs when I work on them, plus its quite humorous not being able to sit down properly the next day! I did each video once through. Give it a go and let me know if you enjoy them!

Aside from squats what are your favourite leg and bum toning moves? What are your favourite Youtube leg and bum workouts… link me up!

Be sure to check out Becci’s gorgeous blog; Only Becci- full of yummy food, amazing recipes, beauty and life.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Monday’s Meals| Healthy Meringues| Healthy Sweet Snacks


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I don’t know about you but I have a massive sweet tooth and am always on the look our for healthy sweet snacks. I don’t really mind what it is, but a I do prefer a chocolate flavoured sweet snack over any other. So when I came across a picture of little healthy meringue cookies on tumblr, I realised that healthy meringues could be something that would satisfy my sweet tooth.

Now I have fond memories of meringue from my Granddad’s famous Pavlova, however the mound of cream involved with them does not make it the healthiest dessert. So unfortunately these healthy meringues do not include cream, but I assure you they are a great healthy sweet snack, and very easy to make with only three  ingredients.

All you need are two egg whites, 1/2 cup of caster sugar and 1 tablespoon of Nutella. Simply beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks, then mix in the caster sugar a little at a time until it forms glossy stiff peaks. Finally add the Nutella and mix it all together. Next pipe out your meringues onto baking parchment, I managed to make 24 with my mixture, then place them in a preheated oven of around 100-110 degrees and cook for around 30 minutes. Take them out of the oven when they are done and leave them too cool.

Et voila! You have 24 little healthy meringue cookies that will satisfy your sweet tooth. You could try different flavours by swapping Nutella for jam, or try adding your meringues to Greek Yoghurt for an extra yummy healthy dessert!

Nutritional content per cookie- 21 calories, 4.6g carbs, 0.25g fat, 0.3g protein

Have you ever tired meringue cookies as an alternative to the real thing? Do you have any other heather sweet snacks that you make regularly to keep you from nibbling on cake and chocolate?

Visit Megan’s blog Emmiegee for fashion, beauty and lifestyle posts. Full of reviews, outfits and recipes.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Life #2

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What a two weeks I have had! If you read my blog regularly, follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you will know I have started a new job. As exciting as this job is, the hour commute morning and night is very tiring and obviously takes up a lot of time in your day! Thankfully Matt and I have secured a house in the area, and will be moving a week tomorrow! This is very quick and not the best timing as I am away on a business trip for the majority of this next week, so we have been quickly packing this past weekend, and poor Matt is being left to do the rest himself until I come back on Friday.

Aside from being busy in my new job the past two weeks have also been filled with family and friends. Two weekends ago Matts parents came and visited us and we spent the Bank Holiday weekend wandering around Lake Windermere and drinking in the pubs in Kendal… the way a bank holiday should be spent!

Last weekend was a girly weekend. I visited Manchester for my boyfriends mum’s 50th Birthday, along with a group of her friends and my best friend (who conveniently goes out with my boyfriends brother.) We went on the Friday, and spent the day drinking in bars before a gorgeous dinner at The Alchemist. We then came back to the hotel, changed into our glad rags and spent the night drinking too many cocktails… hello Porn Star Martinis and dancing. A few sore heads were present the next day, so we headed to Leeds and spent the evening eating takeaway and watching X Factor.

After an over indulgent few days, Sunday morning Matt and I were up early and out running. We had a great 4 mile run in the park and I finished it off with some of my favourite YouTube workouts. I have actually been struggling to get my workouts in as I have been so exhausted thanks to the long commute, but thankfully this next week I’m staying in hotels so will get a small lie in, then the week after I will of moved so will be able to get into more of a routine and explore my new area with some long runs around the park and streets.

I don’t know about you but I’m enjoying the change of seasons. The misty morning picture above makes me excited about crisp mornings, colourful trees, boots, scarves and hats! I have actually started my Christmas shopping, so Autumn is definitely underway in my house!

So after a busy few weeks, and a busy week ahead. Matt and I have spent today cuddled up on the sofa after a few too many drinks last night. Matt’s been nursing a sore head and I’ve been busy packing for my week of workshops and presentations down south, and blogging!

Visit Megan’s blog Emmiegee for fashion, beauty and lifestyle posts. Full of reviews, outfits and recipes.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Fitness Friday| Maxinutrition Protein Milk Review


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You may or may not know I am a massive fan of protein. No I am not a body builder, nor am I looking to bulk up… in fact I am after the opposite… I want to lose weight and gain toned muscles. However I know that protein is perfect for those wanting to do this also, it’s not just for body builders…. protein is important for not only muscles but your bones, skin and hair! Protein should be one of the most important food groups in your diet, like carbs they are great for filling you up, however they don’t have the negatives, it has less sugar and doesn’t make you bloat like carbs do for some people like me.

I try to get protein in every single meal of mine, I don’t over do it, as there is no benefit in over eating protein, but I find that little and often is best for me. On a typical day I will have spinach in my breakfast smoothie, nuts for snacks, eggs in my salad, peanut butter on everything and anything and I eat chicken pretty much every day.

The biggest issue of mine was my desire to find a suitable protein drink or shake. I had previously tried the Maxitone Sculptress Powder but wasn’t happy with the huge list of ingredients in it as I like to eat as clean as possible, so when Maxinutrition got in contact and ask if I would like to try their Maxinutrition Protein Milk* I jumped at the chance. This pre-packed, premade protein drink was exactly what I was after; something I can grab on the go, have as a snack and use to refuel after my evening workouts.

Maxinutrition says that “Protein Milk is packed full of protein to keep your muscles in tip top shape. It contains a blend of skimmed milk proteins and is virtually fat free with no added sugar. It’s a great option for an on the go refreshing drink. Perfect for anyone looking to meet their general protein needs.”

I absolutely love Maxinutrition’s Protein Milk! I have been having it at different times during the day as it really is a great go to snack. I have one in my bag at all times and a couple in my desk drawer. As you don’t need to refrigerate them they really are very versatile and the perfect go to drink. I usually have mine after my workout to repair my muscles and with only 135 calories per drink it is completely guilt free! However they are ideally suited for a quick breakfast paired with a banana or a snack during the day. I could not recommend these enough!

Have you ever tried Maxinutrition Protein Milk? What other quick and easy protein drinks would you recommend?

Visit Megan’s blog Emmiegee for fashion, beauty and lifestyle posts. Full of reviews, outfits and recipes.

Monday, 2 September 2013

The importance of preparing your meals for weight loss


prepare your meals-horzmulti section lunch box tupperwearmulti section lunch box tupperwear 1-horzprepare your meals for weightloss-horz

If you follow me on Instagram you will of seen my excitement last week about my new lunch box. To many, new lunch box excitement is something you left behind when you left school, however for myself and others who still prepare our meals each day the humble lunch box is still important, so when you find one as cute as the one above, it’s exciting!

I decided to create this blog post to help those who have no idea about the importance of preparing your meals. For those with will power preparing your meals may not be as important, but for those of you who are like me, I cannot stress enough the importance of preparing your meals in advance. I am very organised and actually have a recipe book full of magazine clippings of recipes that I use regularly, and every weekend Matt and I chose which meals we will be having for the week, so that when we do our weekly shop we buy only the ingredients needed for the healthy meals we have planned. This help me as it save walking aimlessly around the supermarket picking up naughty nibbles that I really don't need. As a result I always have a fridge full of healthy food that won’t go to waste as it is all allocated for specific days.

The first image on the left is one taken from tumblr that shows preparation in the extreme. I very rarely prepare more than one day in advance as I like to make sure my food is as fresh as possible, and I think preparing salads for the entire week would cause them to go a bit limp. So personally I set aside 20 minutes each evening to prepare my breakfast, snacks and lunch for the next day.  This is why my lunchbox excites me as it has numerous compartments; my lunch goes in the large bottom compartment then I fill the three smaller top compartments with snacks such as carrots and humous, nuts, raisons, fruit etc. I bought my lunchbox from Asda for only £4 and am very impressed with it. It does come in various other colour for those who don’t fancy the bright pink!

So why is preparing your meals important for weight loss? Well it saves you from grabbing the nearest thing when you are hungry! How many times have you prepared only your lunch, but become hungry at 3/4 o clock in the afternoon and grabbed a bag of crisps, or given into the temptation of the office cakes and biscuits? These sly snacks can completely sabotage your efforts at healthy eating. So if you prepare each of your meals in advance and always have healthy snacks to hand there is NO EXCUSE to not eat healthily! Plus by preparing your lunch each day you will save yourself so much money! Yes the salads from Marks and Spencer or Pret A Manger are very yummy, but they not only come at a cost but you don’t really know the contents unless you study the ingredients list religiously. If you make your own meals you know exactly what you are eating!

Below is an idea of simple snacks you could prepare for your lunchbox;

Do you prepare your lunches each day? Or do you struggle to know what to prepare? What are your favourite healthy snacks?

Visit Megan’s blog Emmiegee for fashion, beauty and lifestyle posts. Full of reviews, outfits and recipes.