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Thursday, 31 October 2013

Share the love| Meet my October Sponsors


What a strange month it has been. I have been busy with my job and life, however unlike usual, blogging was put on the back burner. I wasn’t really feeling inspired to blog and never like to force myself to write as that’s not what blogging is about for me. So I took a step back and had a little break. I am back now, however I don’t think I will be posting 4 times a week like I was, but still expect it at least twice!  Anyways enough about me and my troubles. I may not have blogged much this month, but my lovely sponsors have! They all have blogs rammed full of interesting blog posts on fitness, health, beauty, fashion, food and life… so grab a cup of tea and take a look through each of them… I would definitely recommend it!



"Hello beauties! I'm Natalie from The Blonde Ethos. Like Cat, I share my honest thoughts on fitness, health and beauty, as I love finding something that does a really great job, be it supplements, skincare, an amazing app or a sweaty new workout. However, I will never post about fad diets or quick fixes as I believe that being healthy is about your whole lifestyle and is a continuous journey, not just a destination. I blog to share what I have learned as well as to track my own progress (I can be quite competitive with myself!) as I strive for a better body, inside and out. My ethos is to make the best of things. And that includes yourself!

I love hearing what my readers think too, so if you've tried a great new fitness class that you think I'd enjoy, or know how I could tweak my diet to see better results, I'm always excited to hear from you. Even if you're just dropping by, be sure to say hello!"”


beauty in things blog button advert

“Hello. I am Jemma, the blogger behind Beauty In Things. I am no stranger to beauty blogging - in 2010 I started my first blog The Beautiful News, before stopping in 2012.

I love beauty products, particularly eyeshadows & mascaras, skincare products, and hair care, and loved blogging about products and sharing reviews with the beauty blogging community.

I returned to blogging, and started Beauty In Things, which is a slightly different blog to The Beautiful News - it feels more mature and I feel I can post more personal posts than I did previously.

My blog not only features reviews of products I have tried and tested, but also is a place where I post my daily ramblings, and share my photos - I am a bit of a keen photographer and love posting my Silent Sunday photo posts each week (one photo, no words).

I also share recipes that I love, and lifestyle related posts, as well as book reviews. I also moved into my first home (without parents!) in 2012, so love posting home & garden inspiration posts as well.

I do hope you will hop over and check out my blog, and follow along if you enjoy it!”



another girly blog button advert

"Hey everyone! I am Gaby from a little beauty and lifestyle blog where I post every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. On my blog you will find honest product reviews (the good, the bad and the ugly), plenty of cheeky hauls, makeup tutorials and some random general life stuff mixed in.

I started my blog after spending hours reading blogs and watching youtube videos and I really love writing posts and seeing your reactions to my posts. I am still not really sure what I'm doing most of the time but I would really love you to visit! You can also find me on twitter and Instagram @anothergirlyblg"



teeth whitening leeds

“Celebrity Smiles LED Teeth Whitening are specialists in instant teeth whitening procedures. Their treatments are revolutionary and have been tried and tested across the globe. They are proud to have a long line of happy customers who have recommended us to their friends and families. Treatment only takes 1 hour and results are instant!
Special Offer!! Book now for only £99 Normally £249”


Be sure to give them all a read, I guarantee that you won’t regret it! If you are interested in being featured on my side bar then visit my advertising page for all the details.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Monday’s Meal| Low Fat Peanut Butter Bars

low fat peanut butter bar
As you may or may not know (I do talk about it a lot) I have a big sweet tooth! My biggest weakness is chocolate; which is not only full of calories but full of saturated fat! So when I found the simple recipe above in my beloved Women’s Health Magazine I knew I had to try it!

The recipe is for a “Low-Fat Peanut Butter Bar” and tastes like a snickers bar. What drew me to the recipe was that it would satisfy my sweet tooth, but mainly because it is home-made so I know there a no hidden nastys in it, plus it can be eaten in a number of ways.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Wednesday’s Workout| How to workout when you don’t want to!

how to workout when you dont want to

We’ve all been there, sitting on the couch in the morning in your pjs thinking you would rather stay put and watch Saturday Kitchen than put on your gym gear and workout, or sat in the car on the way home having the argument in your head about whether you are going to workout when you get home…. recently I’ve been doing it more often thanks to the dark mornings and evenings!

So how do you workout when it is the last thing you want to do?

Well firstly, if you have exercised hard and a lot recently then you probably deserve a break, so don’t pressure yourself and take that break. However for everyone else who hasn’t worked out recently, and this is perhaps the second day of skipping your workout you need to really get back on the band wagon otherwise it will leave you behind and you won’t be reaching your personal goals anytime soon. To encourage yourself is possibly one of the hardest things to do, so I thought I would share my tips with you.

Build a community

When my alarm goes off at 6.00am in the morning and I can hear the rain hitting the bedroom window, I grab my phone switch off my alarm and head straight to Instagram or Tumblr. On Instagram I search for #FriskyFall #Toneitup #Fitspo for photos and posts of everyone else working out, eating healthy, posting their results. My tumblr dashboard is full of over 600 “fitspo” blogd that post tips, motivation, recipes and workouts. I then spend a maximum of ten minutes reading through these inspirational blog posts or photos to really gage my mind into WHY I am going to get out of bed and workout. This community is really one of the only things that helps me wake up before (what feels like) the rest of the world and workout.

Set Realistic Goals

Set goals but make them realistic!  Yes everyone will have an ulitmate goal, but by setting your bar too high to start with you can demotivate yourself. Set mini goals that will help you towards your ulitmate goal; be that “do 4 morning workouts this week”, “eat clean on weekdays”, or “get 8 solid hours sleep 4 nights out of 7” all these goals will ultimately become habit after time, and once its habit your ulitmate goal will be within reach!

Have a “Cheat” workout

I have a “Cheat” workout; this is what I call a workout which isn’t massively demanding, one I enjoy, and one I can do anywhere as long as I have YouTube. On days when I REALLY don’t want to workout but know I should I begrudgingly put on my workout gear switch on YouTube and do the workouts below. The workout isn’t very long, it’s not massively demanding BUT it’s better than no workout at all! Doing a mini workout will help me towards my goal more than sitting on the couch thinking about it!

Reward yourself

This is the best part! Reward yourself… NOT with food… you are not a dog! Only dogs are rewarded for good behaviour with food. Celebrate your mini wins with mini rewards; if you’ve done 5 morning workouts that week, give yourself a lazy Sunday morning in bed. If you have eaten clean for all the weekdays give yourself a glass of fizz on the Friday night, if you loose a few inches buy yourself a new top. Every achievement deserves recognition!

I hope my tips help some of you keep on track through the dark and wet winter that is coming! I would love to know what you do to ensure you do a workout even when you don’t want to!

Go check out Jemma’s  wonder blog; Beauty In Things, filled with beauty, fashion and life. A beautiful beauty blog!

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Life #4


lifestyle blog 4-tile

I am currently sat on my couch, watching XFactor, surrounded by tissues; no it’s not upsetting me, I have a horrendous cold and I am unfortunately one of those people who are very pathetic when they are ill. I am hoping that I will wake up tomorrow and it will have disappeared so I can get on with my workouts and (what seems like) none stop day-to-day life.

The past two weeks have actually been a little less hectic than the previous month, which is great as I am starting to feel more settled. It has also allowed me to really get back into my fitness and health. I have been joining in with the Tone It Up Frisky Fall Challenge, so have been preparing all my meals, eating as clean as possible, and working out twice a day. One of my workouts is always a run and I am starting to enjoy them even more so thanks to my new wireless headphones from Jabra; literally one of my favourite workout gadgets along with my Polar HRM. As a result of the challenge I am already feeling a difference so am looking forward to seeing results on Halloween! I have also added the extra challenge of “October-Fast” which means I won’t be eating any sweets or chocolate until Halloween…. a massive challenge for my sweet tooth!

The other week I went on a brewery tour at my new place of work, which was a great night; I even managed a pint of ale which is a biggy for champagne loving me! Speaking of work; my colleagues found the little kitten above running around near the main road. They rescued him, but the vets have been unable to find out who owns it, so at the moment it’s homeless, so if you are in the Lancashire area and fancy a little feline friend, let me know! We’re desperate to give it a home!

There are a few pictures of my gorgeous puppy George above as I spent last weekend dog sitting at my mums. It was lovely to get back up to Cumbria and to spend some time with my two four-legged friends. I also started my Christmas shopping last weekend. Yes, September is early to get it done, but I get so excited about it and have so many presents to buy I like to start early! I also received a little present from work; an iPad mini. It’s not exclusively mine, but it’s still exciting to get a new toy that I can play with and take on meetings and workshops.

Finally mine and Matt’s new home is having its many benefits; we’ve been spending a few evenings in Manchester seems it’s only 50 minutes on the train. We can jump on the 5 o’clock train and be in a bar sipping on cocktails come 6. It’s great to be in the (kind of) countryside, but still be so close to so many restaurants and bars. We actually spent yesterday in Manchester as Matt had some rather posh executive tickets for the Rugby League Final at Old Trafford; so I managed to battle my cold for the day to enjoy a few glasses of fizz.

Be sure to check out Natalie’s wonderful blog; The Blonde Ethos -  full of beauty, fitness and fashion. If you enjoy my blog you will LOVE hers!

Friday, 4 October 2013

Fitness Friday| Jabra Sport Wireless Plus Headphones Review


jabra sport wireless plus headphones reviewjabra sport wireless plus headphones review 2-horzjabra sport wireless plus headphones review 1jabra sport wireless plus headphones review 8-horz

Any runners will probably have experienced the following; earphones refusing to stay in your ears, having to swiftly turn your head to cross the road resulting in them being painfully ripped out of your ear, struggling with tangled wires, trying to decided whether to tuck them into your top and be uncomfortable or leave them flying around on front of you and be irritated by them etc. etc. Surprisingly I never really thought there was an alternative and had resulted to a life of being irritated by them flying around in front of me. That is until Jabra contacted me and asked whether I would be interested in trying their Sport Wireless Plus Headphones as part of their #SetSoudFree campaign; obviously I jumped at the chance.

I waited in anticipation for them, as they took a little while to be shipped over from the US, however they were definitely worth the wait. Firstly I’m a sucker for great packaging, and the Jabra Sport Wireless Plus Headphones* packaging is sleek and very much reminds me of Apple packaging; its all part of the product. It also remind me of Apple as they let the product do the talking. There is not much sale spiel, just a simple get started guide.

After reading the simple guide I was ready to try the headphones out within a few minutes… which is pretty good for me as I am not very savvy with technology! The headphones work via bluetooth, so you simply turn on your bluetooth on your phone and connect it to the headphones. The headphones are now ready to play music, take calls, or as mine do, tell me how slow I’m running and how much further I have to run!

The Jabra Sport Wireless Plus Headphones did come with a wide variety of ear-gels so you can choose the one which is most comfortable for you, from ones that fit right in your ear, or ones that don’t… they came in all shapes and sizes!

So after connecting the headphones up to my phone, choosing the correct ear-gel for me, and tightening the fit clip around the back of my head I took off on my run. At first the headphones didn’t feel very secure, and one slipped off my ear, however I realised that you can sort of mold the headphone around your ear making it tighter and definitely secure. I ran for 30 minutes and after securing the headphones I didn't have to touch or rearrange them once. I’ve worn them in the rain and they work perfectly, which they should as they are sold as being weather and shock proof.

Thy headphones are endorsed by Craig Alexander; a 5 times Ironman world champion and they are sold as being US military shock proof, and after wearing them everyday for the week I am pretty certain that they are tough and longwearing.

Overall I am very impressed. They are very comfortable,  very secure, can withstand the heavy Lancashire rain, and the sound quality is great! I’ve been enjoying my runs a lot more, as I no longer have to battle with annoying wires. I am definitely a convert, and much like I couldn’t imagine a run without my Polar HRM Monitor Watch, I now could not imagine a run without my Jabra Sport Wireless Plus Headphones… so long crappy apple headphones!

Do you have the same headphone problems as I did when running? Have you every tried the Jabra Sport Wireless Plus Headphones, or any other wireless headphones?

Be sure to check out Natalie’s wonderful blog; The Blonde Ethos -  full of beauty, fitness and fashion. If you enjoy my blog you will LOVE hers!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Wednesday’s Workout| The Podium Effect Workout


The podium effect louise hazel

I’m sure you have all heard of Lucy Mecklenburgh’s health and fitness plan; Results With Lucy, however there is a new girl on the block… Louise Hazel. You may or may not of heard of Louise, but I’m sure you will have seen her. Louise is an Olympic Hepthathlete turned personal trainer.

Much like Lucy’s Health and Fitness plan, Louise has created her own workouts and nutrition guide for those who need the extra push or support to live a healthier life or to get fitter. Her programme; The Podium Effect is a continuous 60 day fitness and nutritional plan based online, that allows you to stream workout videos and download nutritional plans in order to achieve dramatic weight-loss results in the comfort of your own home.

Now much like Results with Lucy, The Podium Effect is not free and costs £9.99 a month; which is in fact cheaper than Results with Lucy, and not too pricey at all compared to a gym membership. However Louise has uploaded three short workouts to her Youtube channel to give you an idea of the type of workouts you receive in her programme and the effort she expects from you to gain the results she promises. The Workouts are the 2 Minute Abs Workout, The 1 Minute Arm Workout and the 2 Minute Glute Workout. Now I thought about just sharing the videos with you so you can gain a free workout, however I found that they moved far too quickly to be able to get a effective workout, so I have created some mini circuits based on the moves shown in the video. This way to can gain a good, effective, short workout and have the video to show you how to do the move.

The Podium Effect 2 Minute Abs Workout – VideoThe podium effect ab workout

The Podium Effect 1 Minute Arm Workout – Video

the podium effect arm workout

The Podium Effect 2 Minute Glute Workout – Video

the podium effect leg workout

I love circuits like this, as they as fast and effective! How about you? Do you enjoy short circuits you can do at home? Would you give Louise’s workout ago? Let me know if you try these workouts.

Be sure to check out Natalie’s wonderful blog; The Blonde Ethos -  full of beauty, fitness and fashion. If you enjoy my blog you will LOVE hers!