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! :)


Saturday, 4 August 2012

Workout of the Week: Beginners Kettlebell Workout



I had intended to post a workout from a different website this time round, but when Cassey uploaded this to Blogilates I knew it was going to be my workout of the week! I've always wanted to try a Kettlebell workout, as I've heard how good they are for full body workouts. However I've also heard that they can be quite high-risk with regards to injuries if they're not used correctly, so I haven't wanted to try them without being taught how first.

This workout is super simple and I did it with a light-ish kettlebell to make sure I could do it with the correct form first. It's a really good all-rounder and worked muscles in all areas so is great if you fancy something simple but don't have too much time available to you! It's definitely given me more of a taste for Kettlebell workouts, and will be a good starter workout for me until I can get booked onto a proper workshop at the gym.

Have any of you tried kettle bell classes? I'd love to hear of your experiences if you have! :)
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