Friday, 7 December 2012

One(sie) Love!

 Fancy dress is a massive part of any students life - well it is at mine anyway! Already this year I've had a ninja-turtle, animal, Halloween and pyjama fancy dress themes with cheer and there's guaranteed to be heaps more themes to come. This is why I jumped at the chance when Simply Fancy Dress asked if I wanted to review one of their fancy dress outfits!
It has to be seasonal and out of all of the outfits in the Christmas category, I thought I'd be able to use this cute sheep one the most. Plus its a onesie so me and my housemate have had plenty of opportunity to curl up on the sofa and watch Christmas films together!
The outfit itself is good quality and super comfy! They only come in one size but unless your super tall they should fit pretty much anyone. Mine has a cute little bell on it, and the fabric allows air to get to your body so you don't get too hot.
Robyn's crocodile onesie is also available to buy from Simply Fancy Dress and all of the outfits are reasonably priced so a great website to check out if you're looking for outfits!

Hope you're have a good weekend! I've been at the Clothes Show all day so be prepared for a monster video post tomorrow! :)

Monday, 3 December 2012

Healthy Eating: How to Stay Slim at Christmas

Christmas is definitely one of the hardest times for me to stay on top of my healthy eating and fitness, and from the responses I've had on Facebook, Twitter and from friends I think that a lot of people feel the same!
In my eyes, your attitude is definitely going to be the most important part to help you in your bid to stay slim. Just thinking of simple positive thoughts like "I will stay slim during Christmas" instead of the usual "Everyone puts on weight over Christmas, so it doesn't matter" can make all the difference in keeping a healthy mindset.
I don't want this post to be about denying yourself of the the things that you love during the festive season - no-one wants to feel miserable during Christmas! - but hopefully this will give you all a few tips to help keep you on the right track whilst still being able to treat yourself. Which brings me onto my first point. :)

Be Realistic.

Whilst it would be awesome to be able to say that you lost weight over Christmas, we have to be realistic in our goal-setting or we'll only become disheartened that we're not getting very far. So instead, set yourself a 'maintenance weight' - for example the weight you are currently at today, and aim to keep this weight during the festive period. If you end up weighing less than this at the end of it all then fantastic! - but for me personally, it's much more realistic for me to not put on any more pounds and get back to the serious weight-loss in the New Year!

Parties.

I don't know about you, but I am always rushed off my feet during Christmas with parties, meals and meeting up with friends and family to catch up, exchange pressies etc.

(source)
For me, parties are definitely the biggest temptation to snack on food - especially as half the time I don't even really need to eat. In a bid to counteract this, I've started eating a small meal before I go out. It doesn't have to be massive (don't want to look bloated in your new dress!) but just enough to fill you up and keep you going throughout the night. Try to eat something like a chicken sandwich or wholemeal pasta, which will have lots of complex carbs and protein which will give you energy and keep fill you up.
Drinking water between drinks will also help you keep fuller for longer AND keep hangovers at bay! Win-win right? Obviously not drinking alcohol at all will save your calories for more delicious treats - but if you do fancy a tipple, try to stick to vodka, rum or gin with a diet mixer or soda water to keep the calories lower. Champagne is also pretty low in calories so there's no need to turn down your complimentary glass on arrival! :)
Lastly for parties, don't be afraid to get on the dance floor! If your dancing for a couple of hours on a night out, that's more calories your potentially losing so go bust some moves! #cheese.com

Exercise.

Everyone's expected to be busier than usual in December, but that doesn't mean that exercise has to go completely out of the window - the trick is just planning ahead! Not sure what do to? Here's a few tips to help get you started. :)
If you already have a gym schedule in place, try your hardest to stick to it. More often than not, you won't be busy enough to have literally no time in the day to go, you just might have to be a little more organised with your plans. That said, don't be beaten down if you don't manage to go one day, just try and make up for it when you go next time!
I know a lot of students may have gym memberships at university, but might not have them at home. One of the best ways you can still get round this is to do Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. If you've never heard of it before, it's a home workout DVD that you do every day. Each workout only lasts 20 minutes so it's perfect for if you're short on time! There's three different stages to go through as well, so you won't get bored either. ;)

On The Day.

Don't worry, I'm not going to demand that you go to the gym on Christmas Day! Nor am I going to say that you have to sit their munching on carrot sticks whilst everyone gets stuck into their Christmas Dinner - all I'm going to say is to enjoy yourself and be sensible!
(source)
Christmas dinner has the potential to actually be a pretty healthy meal if it's done right. Turkey is one of the leanest, most protein-filled meats you can eat, so don't be afraid to pile it on your plate! The same goes for all that nutrient-packed veg - especially if it's steamed. :)
While I normally try to stay away from potatoes in my every day life, I can't resist having a couple of roasties on Christmas Day! I'll normally only put a couple on my plate so I can still get the enjoyment without gorging on them! And perhaps the best tip of all - use a smaller plate! Research has shown that people feel fuller quicker by eating from a smaller plate, because it tricks you into thinking you're eating more even though the plate is smaller than the one you usually have. (Am I making sense? I think I'm rambling a little!) And to top it all off, if you want a bit of pudding then have it, but try to have a little serving so you get the flavour without all the calories!

And that's about it for my initial 'How To Stay Slim at Christmas' Post! Do you have any tips or ideas on how you guys keep the weight off at Christmas? If I can get enough, I'll make a compilation post with all of your tips and links to your blogs/Twitter! :)
Have a good December! <3

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Recipe: Super Healthy Banana Cookies


I found this recipe on my favourite fitness fanatic, Cassey Ho's instagram yesterday and knew I had to make them as soon as possible! So after getting in from after a Sports Club Meeting and a gym session I mashed a banana and some oats together, threw some dried fruit into the mix and bunged it in the oven for 15 minutes and voila! Yummy snacks that are super healthy.
I love finding quick, simple things like this to add a bit of variety to my meals and because of how little they cost to make as well, they're perfect for those on a budget! I'm definitely going to be making these little nibbles more often to have with my lunch if I'm at work or university all day - or as a little pick me up after training.

So just to make sure you know how to make them, here's the recipe :)
Ingredients:

  • 1 large banana
  • 1 cup oats
  • Any extra bits you fancy adding!
Literally all you need to do is mash the banana and oats together, and add anything eles you fancy whether it's dried fruit, nuts or chocolate chips! Then pop them on a tray in a pre-heated oven for 10-15 minutes at 180 degrees centigrade. :)
If you decide to make them, email or tweet me a picture with your creation and I'll put them all in a blog post!
Hope you're having a good week! :)

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Healthy Eating: Where to Start

I think the thing that a lot of people struggle with when trying to lose weight is what to eat. I'm a strong believer that diets just don't work in the long term as they're often completely unsustainable (I'm looking at you Atkins!) and that eating simple, healthy food is a million times better. I found this infographic on one of the fitness Tumblrs and it pretty much sums up where anyone looking to improve their diet should start!
Clean eating has been at the root of all of my success in fitness so far. Even if I haven't been able to exercise much that week, I have still been able to lose weight (or at least not put any on) just by making sure any rubbish doesn't find its way into my diet! Making little changes such as not drinking fizzy drinks, and switching to wholemeal pasta can make all the difference to getting on the Healthy Eating Express to Slimsville.

You can follow this infographic week-by-week if you want (I find putting things like this as my laptop background work really well as reminders!), you could incorporate a couple of stages in one go, or you could go all out and take them all on from the vey beginning! The most important thing is that you wean your way into it in a way that won't be too much too soon.

And remember, if you slip up with one meal, don't let the whole day go to pot! Just make a note of what you ate and why, and start a-fresh with your next meal. :)

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Mind Over Matter.

With the masses of coursework I've had to be doing since the start of uni (talk about throwing us back in at the deep end!), the gym and fitness in general has definitely taken a bit of a back seat. I haven't been able to go as much as I'd have liked recently and my motivation has definitely been lacking.
Luckily we've been having extra training sessions at cheer lately including one dedicated purely to fitness and flexibility so I've still been exercising at least three times a week, but it's definitely not what I'm used to!
Thankfully, I've found a solution to my motivation problem - new gym clothes! Whilst I haven't splurged on masses of shorts and vest tops, the bright orange Nike crop top which arrived today has been the boost I needed to get me back to the gym. I'm also hoping to enter a 10k race on the 18th November which I haven't really started training for yet so it arrived just in time!
Do you have anything that helps get you motivated to do things when you least want to? I'd be intrigued to see what other people do to get that motivational boost! :)

I've decided to open up my sidebar poll again on  to find out what you guys want to see more of on my blog - especially seeing as I've been a little bit absent of late! So please vote so I can tailor what I write to what people actually want to hear, it'll be so much help to me. :)
Hope you're all okay anyways, it's nice to be able to have the time to post again, you have no idea how much I've missed it! Got another one lined up for the next day or so, so keep a look out! :)

Friday, 12 October 2012

Models Own Haul!

You'd have thought that around 2 months a go I didn't own a single Models Own nail polish whatsoever. Now, after my latest splurge I own 12! If it wasn't for my spending ban, I'm pretty sure I'd own every nail varnish in their collection by now. I'd already agreed to myself pre-spending ban that if Models Own did have their 100,000 likes sale, I would allow myself to indulge in a few and so when they reached it I was on their website quicker than a really quick thing! #descriptionfail.

(from left to right: Pearly Queen, Beth's Blue, Pink Punch, Pink Fizz & Jade Stone)
There was a £25 minimum spend to get the half price discount, so I picked a few shades which I'd been after for a while and topped them up with some others that caught my eye. Jade Stone and Beth's Blue have been on my wish list for ages as I absolutely adore the Ice Cream Sundae range! I love pastel shades at the minute, and now have the full collection so I can have pretty pastel nails until my heart's content. Yayyy <3
Pink Punch was another one I'd always picked up in Boots but never actually bought! As soon as my mini-haul arrived this was the first one that I slapped on my nails and it is definitely my favourite one out of the five.  It's such a vibrant neon pink that it instantly brightens up my day whenever I look down at my hands!
(from left to right: Jade Stone, Pearly Queen, Pink Fizz, Beth's Blue & Pink Punch)
Pink Fizz and Pearly Queen looked like gorgeous shades when I saw them online and after seeing them in real life I love them even more! I've had a bit of a thing for glitter nail polishes ever since I bought Disco Mix from their Hed Kandi range, and seeing as I'd already bought Juicy Joules, this was the perfect addition to my collection of sparkly lacquers.
After talking about all of the others it seems like Pearly Queen is a bit of an odd ball but I could resist picking it because of it's iridescent nudeness! It'll look so pretty under the likes of Juicy Joules to make it look all snow-like and Christmasy. :)

Did you indulge in the Models Own sale? What are your favourite polishes? Let me know! :)

Thursday, 20 September 2012

First Impressions: Origins Out of Trouble Face Mask

Wow this week really has flown by! I was half expecting it to drag seeing as I haven't had work so far this week, but it's gone surprisingly quickly. That said, I have been out and about every day doing bits and pieces so I guess I didn't get as bored as I thought I was going to be. :)

I bought this Origins Face Mask at the end of August when I got paid as a little treat to myself before I embarked on my 100 Day Challenge. My skin has been up and down for the past few months and I'm kind of enjoying trying out different products to see what works well with my skin and what doesn't. As awesome-a job as my Avon Cleanser has done in getting my skin to a near respectable standard, there are still a few niggly spots and blemishes left which I've given the Origins Out of Trouble Mask (and the hoard of samples that came with it) the task of finishing off the last few resilient ones.


First off, the smell. I'm not going to lie and say it smells awesome because it doesn't. It smells a little bit like Body Shop's Hemp Hand Protector, and reminds me a little of moss (?!). It's not a strong smell though, and once applied you can't really smell it anyway. Application is nice and simple, just smooth it onto your face and throat in a nice even layer. Unlike cheaper brands I've tried, a little seems to go a long way with this face mask - I feel as though I've barely used any!

Once applied I left it for 10 minutes (clue's in the name there I guess!) and then washed it off with a face cloth and warm water. I have to admit it didn't look as though it had made much of a difference straight off, but then again I'm not sure if it's meant to. In the morning however my skin did feel quite a bit softer, and quite a lot of the redness had gone down.

As the title suggests, this blog post is only a first impression of it, I'm going to continue using it (they suggest once a week) and then come back to you in a month or so with a more solid review for you to have a gander at. :)

Have you tried this face mask or any other Origins products? What's your favourite? :)

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Makeup Inspired By: Jade Thirlwall

I'm not going to lie and say I'm a huge Little Mix fan, but I do enjoy listening to their music - I think that they're lovely girls and I'm glad they won the X Factor last year out of all of the finalists. Whilst I'm not an avid follower of theirs I couldn't help but want to try and replicate their makeup from their latest photo shoot with Fiasco magazine when it cropped up on one of my lengthy browsing sessions!
All of their makeup is gorgeous, but my favourite has to be Jade Thirlwall's. Even though it looks super simple, I can't help but be drawn to her eyes. I love the way the lashes have been separated - no doubt achieved by false lashes  - and I'm a sucker for simple makeup so I thought I'd give it a try anyway.
Face: Chanel Perfection Lumiere in Beige 30 ~ Eyeko 3in1 Cream with Extra Glow ~ Soap & Glory Concealer in Medium ~ Boots 17 Eye-Brightening Concealer in Light ~ No7 Blush in Soft Damson
Eyes: Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Liner in Black ~ L'Oreal Paris Volume Million Mascara in Black ~ Urban Decay Eyeshadows in Virgin, Naked & Dark Horse ~ Collection 2000 Eyebrow Definer in Blonde
Lips: Collection 200 Lip Liner in Pink Heaven ~ Barry M Lipstick in 154

Jade's skin looks super flawless in this, so I used my Chanel Perfection Lumiere foundation as well as my Soap & Glory concealer to try and recreate the perfect base for my look. This concealer can be quite heavy on the skin, so I used a little at a time and made sure it was blended in properly before building in up. Even though it's in black and white, you can tell that a lighter shade has been used underneath the eyes to draw your attention to them more, so I used my Boot 17 eye-brightening concealer on top of the S&G concealer to make my eyes seem brighter and create a more 'healthy' look.

Moving onto the contouring, I've used a darker blush colour than what I would normally go for and have swept it just below my cheekbones to sculpt my face a little more, before adding my Eyeko Extra Glow highlighter on my cheekbones and my cupids bow so that it catches nicely in the light. I also added some highlighter to the inner corners of my eye to make my eyes look a little brighter!

For the rest of the eyes, I used Naked from my Urban Decay Naked Palette, and then blended Dark Horse over the top of the eyelid crease.  I opted to only use my gel liner over where my lashes are to make them seem fuller instead of all along the waterline, as I didn't have any false lashes to had, before coating my upper and lower lashes in a couple of coats of mascara.
The lips look pretty natural in the photo so I went for Barry M's lipstick in 154 which is my favourite nude lipstick at the minute, and popped it over the top of a Collection 2000 lip liner.

Have you seen Little Mixes photo shoot? Don't they all look gorgeous! Let me know what you think of this type of feature, and I may do it again some time! :)

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Fending For Myself

Okay so I know that most people probably cook their own food every day and for them this post may seem a little silly and irrelevant to them, but when the parents and my sister went away for a few days last week, it was the first time I truly had to organise my own meals completely. (This is opposed to picking and choosing which of my mum's meals I would eat, and when I would make my own!).
I really wanted to use this time to test out potential meals ready for when I move out next week (double eek!) and wanted to try and not spend any money on eating food out - especially Boots Meal Deals which always result in extra money being spent on things I don't need!
So here's a sample of some of the things I made myself during the week. :)
Cod in Parsley Sauce with Broccoli and Peas (cost: approx £1.50)
I bought a 4-pack of boil-in-the-bag Cod Steaks that are in a Parsley Sauce for £3.99 and this is the simplest meal to get ready! Literally just leave the bag in boiling water for 20 mins and whack some frozen veg in the microwave - BOOM.

Graze Box (£3.89 per box)
I probably mentioned this before, but Graze boxes really are a saviour to me when I'm trying to eat healthily. The four punnets you get per box are always really varied so you never get bored, and I love that the take away the hassle of getting a wide selection of fruit and nut mixtures without getting bored. Some may think they're a little expensive, but personally I love them! This week's favourite was the Chocolate Orange Granola - yummy! :)

Low-Fat Greek Yogurt with Strawberries & Toasted Muesli (cost: approx £1.20)
Sometimes I don't really fancy a massive breakfast in the morning, and this is perfect for those occasions. It's so nice and summery, and Sainsbury's had a punnet of strawberries for £1 so I could resist buying some! Greek yogurt has heaps of protein and hardly any fat, so it's great for keeping you feeling fuller for longer without the calories. For an added crunch I toasted some Jordan's Muesli in a dry frying pan which made it even better!

Thornton's Summer Collection Limited Edition Chocolates (not sure about cost as they were a prize!)
This was definitely my little guilty pleasure for the week. Our Area Manager came to our store today for a little surprise visit to check how we're getting on during Back To School, and he awarded me with a little bag of choccys because he was impressed with my customer service skills, the sales targets I was achieving, and because I got a customer compliment whilst he was there! I always try so hard to give the best service possible, and it's so lovely to have been recognised by the Area Manager for it! :)

Strawberries with YooMoo Frozen Yogurt (cost: approx £1.50)
I feel that I should mention that this wasn't eaten on the same day as the Thorntons! ;) i'm not even going to get started on my love for YooMoo's Fro-Yo - lets just say that it's awesome. Who wouldn't love strawberries and ice-cream without the guilt of the ice-cream?!

Turkey Stir Fry (cost: approx £2.50)
So quick and simple to make! I decided to use the really thin egg noodles over the thicker ones in it, simply because they're healthier. I also had a scan of the nutritional content of the sauces and opted for a Ginger Teriyaki Sauce as it seemed the best for me. :)

Sweet Chili & Lime Tuna Steak Salad (approx £2.30)
I was super intrigued when I saw a pack of John West Tuna Steak in Sweet Chilli and Lime Sauce on the shelf in Sainsbury's - because it was microwavable! Even though it was more expensive than just a bog standard tin of tuna, I couldn't resist trying it out, and it was another awesomely quick dish that I could whack in the microwave for 30 seconds and throw on top of a salad. It also tasted absolutely delicious which makes it even better! Tuna is an expensive food to buy, so I will have to be looking out for deals on multipacks to make it cheaper in the long run.

Obviously I did eat other things as well - like I had porridge for breakfast some of the days - but I doubt a photo of porridge would make an interesting photo. ;)
The main purpose of testing out a few recipe ideas and working out the costs was a success though, I spent just over £15 on food for the 4 days they were away, and there's still plenty of food left over meaning that it would probably do me for a whole week. Things like frozen veg would probably last me a couple of weeks as well so I guess even if I spend more than I've budgeted one week, it'll probably balance out by not needing to spend as much the next week. :)

Hope you all found it interesting, if you have any healthy recipes that are relatively cheap to make let me know! :) I'm also looking for people to share their healthy eating/diet and exercise stories with me for a monthly feature I want to run so if you're interested in taking part, don't hesitate to get in touch at thebarbelle@gmail.com :)

There's only a few days left to vote in my sidebar poll with what you want to see more of on The Barbelle, so check it out if you haven't voted yet to have your say! :)

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

River Island A/W 12 Collection: Behind The Scenes!


When River Island got in touch with me asking if I would post their Behind The Scenes Video for their Autumn/Winter collection, I couldn't resist saying yes. I'm a big lover of River Island's clothes and accessories - they are always bang on trend, but give their pieces something that little bit different to put them apart from other high street stores. I've seen a few pictures of the coming collection on some of the 'bigger' blogs, and I can't wait for it to start coming into my local shop! I'm a huge fan of leathers, burgundy, lace etc and this season seems as though it'll be packed with it - YAY!. :)

Are you excited for Autumn/Winter 2012? What trends are you most excited to see? :)

Friday, 24 August 2012

Breakfast Recipe: Blueberry Protein Pancakes

I know a few of my lad mates who read my blog every now and then have been awaiting this recipe - and now here it is! I got this from ProteinPow, an awesome website for tasty recipes using protein powders whether they be whey, soy, vegan - you name it! :)
Here's the original recipe, although I made some tweaks to it so it would fit in with what I already had at home. I've been making this quite a lot when I don't have work, and it's such a nice treat to myself without all of the guilt that normally comes with super-tasty food!
Ingredients:
1/2 cup Vanilla Protein Powder
3/4 cup oats
3 egg whites
a handful blueberries
First whack all of the ingredients in a bowl. The oats I used were just cheap porridge oats I found in B&M but it has seeds in it which makes them even healthier! Yummy. After that it's literally a case of using a hand blender or a food processor to make the pancake batter.
I always use Fry-Light whenever I have to use a frying pan. It's a 1 calorie spray and is a great alternative to frying things without so much fat from oil. Spray the bottom of the pan a couple of times, and put the hob on a low heat - too high and they'll cook too quickly and be soggy on the inside!
Once they've cooked just add some fat free greek yogurt and some strawberries and blueberries and voila! With the ladle I used, the mixture only made two pancakes, but you could probably get three or four smaller ones out of it! :)

You could probably miss out the protein powder if you didn't have any, and replace it with more oats although I haven't tested it out so you'll have to let me know if you do! :)

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Firsts.

This had meant to be a more detailed post but I found out Ryan was coming home last night so I rushed out and didn't have time to finish it! The lucky man is off to Reading Festival this year (without me!) and has a course afterwards so this is the last I'll see of him for a week or so. We didn't do much in all honesty, but it's always nice to spend time with those you love. :)

This week has been full of exercise firsts! I went to my first Boxercise class at my gym on Tuesday which I had finally managed to get a place on and was really excited to go to. Unfortunately I left it feeling a little underwhelmed if I'm honest as I didn't find it very hard-going whatsoever... Apparently it was the instructors first session at our gym though so I might give it another go! I also tried out an NFL Cheerleader's Workout which I found on Shape. Now THIS is a crazy workout, and you don't need any equipment either so you can do it sans gym - no excuse now ladies! It's probably the first workout I've found for a long while which is going to find a permanent place in my routine.

Other than the gym it's literally just been working at Clarks that's keeping me busy - I have found myself something to keep me occupied though! All will be revealed when it's been organised more, don't worry. ;) One thing I will ask of you lovely people though is if you could find 5 minutes to answer my quick survey - I can't get any further in my research until I get at least 70 people to answer it unfortunately :( Please share it round if you can! :)

I'm off to catch up on some blogs and relax after a hard day at work! Hope you're all having a good week, I'll be back tomorrow with another blog post! :)

Monday, 20 August 2012

Indulgence Options: Cheesecake

I know I've missed a couple of these posts lately, but I'm back on the ball and have moved away from more chocolaty treats, to focus on one of my biggest guilty pleasures - THE CHEESECAKE. I didn't even like these when I was little (cheese AND cake? What's that all about?) but now I'm an absolute fiend for it!

The Trouble-Maker
Oh God just looking at it makes my mouth water! Because of the cheese, the sugar and the buttery biscuit base, cheesecake really is the devil of all desserts.The average slice of vanilla cheesecake has around 257 calories according to LiveStrong, with 162 of them coming from fat! Ouch.

The Healthy Option: 15 Calorie Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries
I saw this recipe on SkinnyMom and thought it looked perfect! Truth be told, I haven't actually tried making them yet, but who wouldn't love strawberries with cheesecake in??! And because they're only 15 calories they'd be a lovely light dessert for the summer, without so much of the guilt. ;) They'd also be awesome for if you were having any garden parties this summer - lovely! To get the recipe so you can give them a go yourself, click here.

If You Really Can't Resist: ASDA Chosen By You Vanilla & Mascarpone Cheesecake
A great example of how cheap doesn't necessarily mean bad for you! Out of all of the vanilla cheesecakes I looked through, this one from ASDA works out to be the healthiest per 100g. It's still crazy high in calories, fat and carbohydrates but if you really can't stay away from the cheesecake, this would probably be your best bet! :)

Is cheesecake your dessert weakness? Let me know your guilty pleasures! :)

Disclaimer: Because of a limited time span I was only able to look at foods from the top three supermarkets in the UK (Asda, Tesco & Sainsbury's). I looked at nutritional values per 100g to make it fair, as I am aware that serving sizes can be different through various brands. The method used was to award points for the highest protein, lowest fat, lowest carbohydrate and sugar, and the lowest sodium content as well as calorie content.
This is a light-hearted look at the food industry where I give alternative food options, and should in no way be taken as being scientifically proven. 

Monday, 13 August 2012

Day View: Clean Eating

Thought I'd give you an insight into the types of meals that I have on a typical day. Obviously it depends on what I'm doing on that day, to what sort of food I eat - but I always make every effort to eat as 'clean' and fresh as possible so I'm eating foods with good nutritional values instead of munching on junk food! :)
Breakfast: Poached Eggs on Wholemeal Toast with a Light Dairylea Triangle and Green Beans
In the Winter I usually stick to things like porridge with various fruits or Peanut Butter in it to get the day started However in the warmer summer months I've definitely been preferring the slightly lighter option of poached eggs on toast for breakfast. All in all this comes to around 400 calories and is packed full of good nutrients to keep you healthy and full. I always use light Dairylea Triangles instead of butter as in my opinion it tastes better, and has less calories and fat than butter!
Lunch: Tuna Salad with Spinach & Avocado
Tuna is an amazing food for people eating clean! The vast majority of foods we consume are normally packed with carbs - even the ones that are known to be more healthy - as some companies replace the fat in their lower fat products with simple carbohydrates instead. Tuna is really low in carbs, so is a great food to have if you think you've had a little too much bread or pasta lately! Spinach is packed full of nutrients, and the avocado has lots of good fats in it which help improve satiety (help you feel fuller longer). All round its a lovely meal for the summer that I'm constantly whipping up! :)
Dinner: Chilli, Lime & Ginger Mackerel with Chilli Lime Rice
This meal only costs me £2 and tastes absolutely delicious! The mackerel fillet was £1 from Tesco's fish counter, and already had the lime, chilli and ginger on it, so all I had to do was whack it in the oven for about 5 minutes. The rice was also about a quid and was one of the Tilda microwave ones, so was literally a five minute meal - perfect if you're in a rush! Why eat mackerel? It's got heaps of those good fats again, including Omega-3 which will help keep your brain in top form, and keep your joints healthy! :)
 
Post-Workout Snack: Mattessons Fridge Raiders & MyProtein Elle Vanilla Protein Shake
After a workout I'm always starving, and if I don't eat soon after exercising I always suffer from horrible energy slumps later in the day. Normally I have a banana with my protein shake, but ever now and then its nice to change it up a little - plus it's extra protein I guess!
A lot of girls are intimidated of supplements like protein shakes, but you really needn't be. Some think they would make them get 'big and bulky' but I can promise you it's not true! Protein is essential for helping your muscles repair themselves, and if you do a lot of exercise your body may not be getting the protein it needs, which is where protein shakes come in. All they do is help you top up your protein intake to help your muscles heal after exercise - and protein also improves satiety so it's a double win haha. :)
Afternoon Snack: Graze Natural Vanilla Seeds
I've been getting Graze boxes for about three weeks now and they're a godsend! They have an awesome variety of snacks and they save me from munching on junk food when I'm peckish. Buying things such as nuts and seeds can be so expensive, and Graze boxes just take all of the effort from it AND taste awesome! Especially their guilt-free high tea <3

So that's it - a day in food! If you have any questions on food or diet, just let me know - I'll be happy to answer them as best I can! :)
Do any of you get Graze boxes? What's your favourite snack? If you don't get them but want to give them a go, enter code F9R222C and you'll get your first box free! Once you start getting them, you really won't be able to manage without them, I know I can't! :)

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Olympic Photo Diary!

After a week that seems as though it's gone on for an eternity, it's finally Sunday night. I've had my ritual relaxing bath, and I'm now sat in front of the telebox watching the Closing Ceremony and painting my nails (Models Own Lemon Meringue on the fingers and Fuzzy Peach on the toes since you asked). ;)

Can't believe the Olympics are actually over! I've absolutely loved watching them, and have been lucky enough to work some of the football matches as well which has been an amazing experience it itself! I had planned to do a Day View-style post for a typical day of what it's like working at an Olympic venue, but I never got round to it as I was always so knackered after a shift all I wanted to do was sleep haha. And then - when I wasn't working at the football stadium - I was working at Clarks! No rest for the wicked eh? ;)

Anyway, back to the post! Seeing as I couldn't do what I originally planned, I thought the least I could do would be to share some photos which I took during the games! :)
First view of the stadium on my walk up to work | Some of the country flags | Canada's winning goal in the ladies Bronze Medal match! | The families of some of the New Zealand ladies team.... | ...and them again when New Zealand won! |  The funniest Brazilian man ever | Some of the Coventry Olympic Ambassadors | Me and mumma-bear - she was a Coventry Ambassador! | Me in my work attire
In case you didn't know, I was part of the Safety Team at the City of Coventry Stadium meaning that I was the person on the other side of the turnstile as soon as you walked in! Everyone that I met was super friendly and even though they had to go through all the security measures to even get into the stadium, they were so happy and bubbly which was lovely. There was literally people from every corner of the earth - from Venezuela to America, Japan to New Zealand, and it was awesome to see the World come together for something so positive and happy!

I'm starting to become aware that I'm rambling slightly now - partially because I'm exhausted, and also because I get a little over-excited when I talk about the Olympics aha :) Hope you've all had a great week! I promise I'll be more on form with my blogging this week - I didn't do my Indulgence Options post last week so that'll be first on my list. Let me know your guilty pleasures foodwise! :)



Saturday, 11 August 2012

Awesome Nail Polish Storage

After being relegated from my old, more spacious bedroom into the considerably smaller box room which belonged to my sister ahead of me moving out next month, I was in desperate need of some new storage. In particular, I needed somewhere to keep my ever-expanding collection of nail varnishes.
I really wanted them to be on display so that it makes it easier to pick different colours, as I have a tendency to always end up going for the same ones over and over, and I'd seen on other blogs of people having little display stands for them, so promptly set about trying to find my own one to house my growing nail polish family. After a little hunting I found this one for a mind-blowingly good price of just £8.50! Add onto that £2.36 postage and packing and you have some gorgeously simple storage for just over a tenner - perfect.

Needless to say I snapped it up within seconds - and to make things even better, despite me only ordering it yesterday, it now stands pride of place on top of my make-up storage today! If only some of these larger companies could take a leaf out of this guys book and have delivery this quick *cough* H&M *cough*.
If you fancy a bit of extra storage for showing off your nail polishes, I 100% recommend buying from this seller. Such fast delivery and great value - plus they're a small family business so it would be great if we could support them! The stand holds 30 nail varnishes, but they do stock larger ones if your collection is a little larger than mine. ;)
I'm going to have to buy another one some point soon as I've already filled this one up (totally didn't realise how many polishes I had!), and I will certainly be purchasing it from this seller! :)

How do you store your makeup and nail varnishes? I'd love to hear from you!


P.S. This isn't a sponsored post or anything, I'm just super super impressed by how quick the delivery was, and of how good the quality of the stand is that I just had to come on here to rave about it!

Monday, 6 August 2012

Open Gym with MKCA!

 Early yesterday morning, me and my awesomely bright pink gym bag made a journey over to Milton Keynes for MKCA's Open Gym session! I met some of my fellow cheerleaders at Coventry Train Station (check out the Olympic decor on it!) and then joined the rest of the Cougars at the other end.
I was super excited as I haven't done any cheer practice since our last competition back in April and I've missed it so much! When we arrived at the gymnastics centre, there were already so many cheerleaders there from all over the place and I've met so many new people and learnt so much! As well as practicing what I already knew, I also improved my round-offs and even tried flying. I had planned on uploading a video of my first attempt at being the one in the air as opposed to be the one chucking people around - but I thought I'd save myself the embarrassment/you having to change your underwear from laughing so hard! ;)

Unfortunately I now have a serious case of body-envy from some of the cheerleaders that were there, and will be hitting the gym first thing tomorrow morning to try and get myself closer to the rock-hard abs most of them were showing off haha. Bread seems to be my downfall diet-wise at the minute, so I might have to get the mother to hide the Hovis from me for a while. ;)

The rest of yesterday and the whole of today was spent relaxing with the boyf. By some miracle he was given today off from the Olympics, which meant lots of lounging around his house watching the Olympics from the comfort of the sofa, and only leaving the house to get some food. It was lovely after my hectic 7-hour training session the day before, and I always miss him when he's away so it was nice to just spend some quality down-time together for once!

 All good this must come to and end though I guess, and boy was the train ride home chaos! Luckily I had a couple of magazines, a granola bar, and some Vitamin Water to help me survive the two and a half hour journey back to Coventry. It was only meant to be an hour on the train and then a 10 minute bus ride, but after the train being 10 minutes late, I then had to wait for half an hour one stop later for the next train after mine broke down! NIGHTMARE.
I did however get an unexpected Yu! freebie in my magazines which cheered me up a little. They're like little jelly strawberries but made entirely from natural ingredients and they tasted yummy! Hopefully I can find them in the supermarket! :)

Hope you all had a lovely weekend! I'm off to have a bath to help sooth my poor achy body! :)


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