Thursday, 25 April 2013

On Yer Bike.

Today I went to (and survived!) my first spinning class! I've been toying with the idea of getting involved in Spinning for SO. LONG but I've always chickened out after hearing the instructors shouting at the people in the classes whenever I walk past the room haha. I don't know why I've put up such a mental block with it, because when I actually got into the room and onto a bike I was absolutely fine!

If you hadn't heard of Spinning, it is a cardio-based class that uses Resistance Bikes (my gym uses ones made by LiveStrong) to get your heart rate up, and boy is it a killer! My class lasted half an hour although I know that some may last longer and would obviously burn a lot more calories - that said, half an hour was a good starting point for me! There are a few different positions on the bike which are combined together to create the workout, such as hill climbing ones which involve standing up, and sprinting ones which involve getting as low as you can with your head down, cycling for dear life! I had hoped to find an infographic or something which has an actual picture of each of the position instead of having me waffling on but alas - I'm sure one of the staff at Pure Gym will give me a hand create my own to show you another day! :)

If you were considering taking up a Spinning class or two, and wanted a couple of tips, then here are some that I've taken from my first ever class!:
    Literally I was so nervous about doing one that I didn't get the balls to for months and months and months, and I really needn't have because the instructor was lovely and whilst I may have died a little by the end, there is literally no need to worry whatsoever! And with regards to them shouting? They have to so they can be heard over the music! What didn't I think of that beforehand?!
  • Take water with you!
    Or at least some form of cold drink. The room is FULL of hot, sweaty people and so the room temperature can be pretty high, let alone your own body temperature. Try and get your drink as cold as possible beforehand (maybe freezing it the day before?) so that you can use the bottle to cool your face down as well as using it to re-hydrate I was literally boiling throughout the whole class and being able to hold something cool against my head was an absolute dream!
  • Don't wear shorts!
    I made this mistake today, and man did the insides of my legs chaff! I' definitely going to be wearing leggings or something imstead, and just put up with being a little hotter because the chaffing was ridiculous! (sorry for that but I just had to warn you haha)
  • Don't worry if you're struggling to keep up
    The people who took part in my class were of all different fitness levels, so if the instructor's told you to ramp up the resistance but you're really struggling to keep up, then don't be afraid to turn it down a fraction. That said, don't have the resistance really low just because you can't be bothered to work hard - you're only cheating yourself out of a good workout if you do!
  • Can't walk properly by the end of it? That's a good thing!
    My favourite part of any workout is the wobbly legs/arm feeling that I get afterwards (I don't know if that's weird or not!) because that to me means that I've worked my absolute hardest and that my muscles are well and truly tired. Luckily I didn't have to be anywhere in a rush afterwards so I just took my time getting changed and stuff afterwards before heading home. 
Do you do Spinning classes? Or are you super anxious like I was? If you have any tips that you think I should add on in another post then just let me know!! :)

Monday, 22 April 2013

First Day of the Green Smoothie Challenge + New Goals!!

The past couple of days have been absolutely outstanding for me. I woke up one morning a few days ago the a HUGE amount of motivation to up my game in the food and fitness stakes, and since then I don't think I can remember eating as healthily with the amount of temptation which I've had around me!
So far I've turned down cream tea, pizza, cake, rockie road, brownies and I've just turned down a Chinese takeaway! I'm putting my latest burst of extra enthusiasm to me starting the 7 day green smoothie challenge which I started a day early to test out a couple of flavours.

Yesterday I went for a raspberry, strawberry and pineapple green smoothie which I added some MyProtein Elle True Diet in Vanilla to, and also some spinach to give it that lovely green colour! Today's was a little different with my going for pineapple and banana, but I'm hoping to up the creativity and try some of the more 'whacky' combinations which I've been seeing on Katherine's blog - Am I ready to add things like beetroot and carrot? I'm not sure just yet!

Aside from healthy eating, I've also picked up the pace a bit more with my exercise regime as I've added the extra goal of deciding to enter my first 10K race! It isn't until October due to me having to have to relocate for the year when I start my work placement so I have plenty of time to prepare, but I'm really excited at the prospect of putting myself to the test to see how far I've come. :)

I have so so many posts in the pipeworks, I'm really glad that my coursework is now over for the year (handed in my last three pieces of coursework today!) so I can get down to some serious blogging - I hate it when I can't post regularly!
Let me know if you've ran any races and leave any training tips for me below! I only run 2 miles at the minute so I have a lot of work to do haha :)

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

7 Day Green Smoothie Challenge!

I saw this last year, and after experimenting with lots of different flavour combinations I've decided to take part in The Real Food Runner's 2013 Spring Green Smoothie Challenge!
A green smoothie is essentially a healthy smoothie which has had either kale or spinach added to it to make it green! The challenge is to add at least one green smoothie to your daily eats every day for 7 consecutive days, and hopes to show that eating healthy isn't boring and can be super fun with some amazing flavours being created! My favourite last year was raspberry and chocolate but I can't wait to give some new ones a go and find a new favourite. :)

If you want to find out more about the challenge (and even sign up yourself if you're interested!) then click here to find out more!

Will you be taking part in the Green Smoothie Challenge? Comment below if you are!! :)

Monday, 15 April 2013

The #NottsBBMeet!

I'm sure you've seen plenty of posts on it already but in case you didn't know, Saturday was the Nottingham Beauty Blogger Meetup! It was the first time that I'd ever been to a blogger meetup and I was super nervous - but everyone was so so friendly that I don't know what I was worried for! I traveled down on the train with the lovely Charlotte from littlemisschickas and Gemma from Button's Blog - such amazing people by the way, check them out if you haven't already!! - and met up with the rest of the bloggers in Nottingham town centre.
Sophia had it all planned down to a T and made sure - with the help of Aiimee, Jessie and Sophie (I think that's everyone!?) - that we were all okay and that we got everywhere on time. The day consisted of shopping in Nottingham city centre and also a trip to Kiehl's for champagne, cupcakes and a skin consultation! I'd never actually had a skin consultation so it was really interesting to find out exactly what my skin type was (normal-combination, thanks to super dry cheeks and a slightly oilier t-zone!) and also to have a try of some of Kiehl's products. I now reaaaaalllllllyyyyyyyyyyy want their Midnight Recovery Concentrate!

After a long day shopping (and with our bank balances being considerably lighter!) we headed up to TGI Friday's for the meal. As with the day, Sophia has planned everything to perfection and we were all greeted with absolutely MASSIVE gift bags full or products as well as a separate Liz Earle good bag too! I was particularly excited for the Liz Earle products as I've been after their Cleanse and Polish for a long time now! All of the brands that were involved have been so so generous and I can't wait to try all of the products out!
Sophia had also taken the time out of her day to make us all little nail polish bottle and lipstick biscuits which were so yummy that I completely forgot to photograph them - she really is a lady of many talents! Everything about the meals was super personalised which was a lovely touch - she gave us our own little place cards and wrote us all a thank you card which she put in the press packs that she had put together to go with our gift bags. I don't know how much time that must have taken her to do but I'm so grateful of the time and effort she put into making the even a success, and I know everyone else is too!

As well as all of the amazing things that I've mentioned so far, there were also giveaways during the meals where our place cards were put into a bowl and picked out at random to win a lovely variety of products. I was lucky enough to win this lovely Rosehip Face Lifting Serum from Lulu & Boo which I've used every night since getting it, and have well and truly fallen in love with it!
Since getting home I've been able to have a good rummage through the goody bags and here are a few products which I am particularly excited about! I'd already mentioned before that I was super excited about trying out the Liz Earle products at last, but I'm also astounded at what amazing brands were lovely enough to get involved. I've been on the hunt for a shampoo and conditioner to love and I've heard so many positive things about Neal & Wolf so I'm really excited to give their Daily Ritual Cleansing Shampoo a try. And a full-sized bottle of Benefit's Porefessional?! There were definitely a few squeaks when people pulled that out of their bag!

Anyway, I'm sure you've seen enough #NottsBBMeet posts to last you a lifetime so I'll save you having to read any more. It was so lovely to meet everyone and I feel like I've made some really good friends that I'll hopefully stay in touch with! Thanks again to Sophia and everyone else who helped organise it - you've all done an amazing job and I can't wait to see you all again soon!

Friday, 12 April 2013

#NottsBBMeet Wishlist!!

The #NottsBBMeet is this tomorrow (it's come around so quickly!!) and I’m super excited to meet everyone! I’ve never been to a Blogger’s Meet before – I’m so nervous it’s unbelievable haha.
I’ve seen quite a few Wish List posts popping up on my blog feed over the past few days and whilst I don’t post about makeup much, I absolutely love the stuff! I’m not the sort of person who has hoards of makeup in my room as I prefer to try and keep it to products that I will love and use regularly. That’s not to say that I don’t have a little wish list of my own in the pipe-works with a few products which I fully intend to add to my collection!
2. Rimmel London Matte Finish Nail Varnish

Being the poor student that I am (hurry up student loan!!) I'm trying to be sensible with my purchases although I'm easily persuadable so it's more than likely that other bits and pieces will accidentally make it through the till!

The first to make it onto the list is Revlon’s Nearly Naked foundation. I’m a big lover of natural makeup and since my Chanel Perfection Lumiere is almost finished I’m on the lookout for a more purse-friendly foundation that gives a natural finish and is a little friendlier on the bank balance. I’ve been reading review after review of this product to make sure it fits the bill and it’s looking promising so far, so hopefully I manage to pick one up!
Next up is Rimmel's Matte Top Coat. This is another product I've heard quite a lot of good things about, with people saying it's helped stop their nails from chipping as well as creating that lovely matte finish to your chosen colour.
I'm absolutely loving bring coral-red/orange colours at the minute and have already bought a dress and a cover-up for holiday in a few varieties of the colour. Next on my holiday/summer/work clothing list is this simple double strapped vest top from New Look. I have a lovely monochrome high-waisted pencil skirt which this would look amazing tucked into with some cute flats when I start my internship in July. It'll also go perfectly with some denim shorts when I go on holiday next month so I'm definitely going to get my money's worth!

There are other bits that I'm going to be looking to pick up tomorrow such as a new concealer and a face wash, but I haven't actually decided what brand/product I want to buy yet so if any of you have any suggestions then let me know as I'm a bit of a loss at the minute! :)

Are any of you guys going to the #NottsBBMeet? Let me know if you are, I'm so excited I can't wait to meet everyone!! :)

Monday, 8 April 2013

Diary Entry | Gettin' Old (Well, 20 anyway!)

It seems like I haven't blog in forever - I can't believe it's only been a few days! That said, I'm glad to be back; I have millions of ideas in the pipeworks with draft after draft in word documents dotted around my desktop.
In case you didn't know, it was my 20th birthday on Friday!! Although I didn't do anything spectacular (one of the joys of getting older I expect!) it was a lovely day nonetheless. I was left to my own devices during the day so I spent it tucked up on my sofa in my onesie doing bits of university work and watching Disney films, before my parents and sister arrived home and we went out for a Quiz and Curry night which was in aid of the MacMillan Cancer Support Charity. I think we came second from last in the quiz (no surprise unless everyone knows what a Bullace is?!) but it was all part of the fun and it was a nice evening out.
I won't go much into what I received for my birthday as despite the face that I greatly enjoy reading them myself, I always feel a little awkward writing one up! My mum did however make me an absolutely awesome cake which I have no shame in saying that it has set my clean eating back a little - but hey it was my birthday so who's counting?? I also went for a super yummy meal at Pizza Express with some friends a couple of days before where I had one of their Leggaro pizzas which has a lot less calories than their others but still tastes just as amazing!

Hope you've all had a lovely weekend! Normal posting will be resuming as of today! :)

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Clear Skies, Clear Mind

In true Rhiannon style, the day where I set goals is also the day that I get started on achieving them. I'm never one to hang around in starting something new once I've got the idea in my head - although whether it's enthusiasm or impatience that fuels my eagerness for new things I don't think I'll ever know!
Not an hour after writing yesterday's April Aims blog post, I had already donned my running trainers and my Zaggora Hot Pants, and was outside in the most lovely weather I think we've had all year. It was the perfect conditions for me when running - beautifully sunny with clear skies and a cold breeze to stop me from getting too hot and bothered. It was probably the best run of my life - I could feel that it was probably one of my faster time and I also decided to step up the mileage a little, opting to try for 2 miles instead of my usual 1.5 mile route. Unfortunately I'll never really know thanks to my running app cocking up (#runnerproblems much?!) but I know it was under 20 minutes so at least I have something to go by, even if it's not a lot!

So that's 2 miles completed out of the 50 that I gave as my goal - I do have a little catching up to do as I started it a day late so I need to make sure I keep doing a minimum of 2 miles per day for a while to stop me from going off track.
2 miles might not sound like a lot for the those of you who are more seasoned runners, but considering I could barely run 1 a few months ago, I'm pretty pleased with myself! You could make a cardio bunny of me yet. ;)

Hope you're all okay anyway, it may be cold but at least it's still sunny! Fingers crossed it's a sign of better things to come eh? Hope you all have an amazing week - see you all soon! :)

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

April Fitness Aims

This has been completely hi-jacked from the lovely Katie's blog, Cakes Vs. Scales, but with me leaving the cheerleading world for at least the next year (if not forever!) it is such an awesome idea so that I can start to find new goals to measure my progress against - so thanks Katie! :)

Katie's statistics for March really are phenomenal, and I could never hope to aim for the mileage that she's planning to clock up during April in my first month - so I'm going to aim for a respectable 50 miles worth of running this month - which works out at roughly 1.5 miles per day. Definitely manageable as long as I don't take too many days off!

I'm also going to use this month to try and find other methods of keeping fit which I haven't really delved into before such as swimming, spinning and maybe even some other sort of team sport. I really want to try and reduce my body fat percentage as well (something which is definitely proving to be harder than I first thought!) so I'm going to be working super hard at my clean eating and fitting in plenty of cardio and high intensity resistance training to try and drop that percentage!

I do want to say thanks again to everyone who follows my blog - you have no idea how much it means to me! I love reading all of your comments and hearing your opinions, so for over 100 of you amazing people to take the time out of your day to read what I have to say really does warm my heart! Thank you! :)

Do you have any goals for this month? Let me know in the comments below!! :)

Monday, 1 April 2013

Diary Entry: Moving Forward + Giveaway Winner!

So BCA University Nationals is finally over after a long week that consisted of 13 hour days and taking whatever food I could shovel down my throat during breaks between sessions. I'm not going to lie and say it was all lovely, healthy food because it most certainly wasn't - but for the amount of exercise I was doing I think I'm going to let it slide, although I am a little disappointed in myself for not planning ahead more!

Because I'm going to be doing a placement year, the chances of me going back to cheerleading when I return to uni in 2014 are slim - mainly due to it being my final year so I'll have university work to focus on, and also because there aren't any cheerleading teams anywhere near where I will be living during my internship. This has left a massive hole in my exercise regime as I usually test how much progress I'm making in the gym by how I'm progressing in training with cheer - so I'm now on the lookout for something else that I can measure my progress against! The most obvious would be running and seeing if I can work up to a half marathon or something along those lines, but if anyone has any other ideas which are a bit more social then please let me know!! :)

I guess it is also about time that I announce the winner of my Zaggora Hot Pant Giveaway!! I had an astonishing amount of entries and I'm not surprised - this bit of kit is amazing for anyone who wants to go running in these cold spring winter-like weather, I know that it's been an absolute god-send for me!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congrats to Meredith, you've won a pair of Zaggora's Hot Pants! If you email me your size and postal address, I'll pass them onto Zaggora so they can send you your prize! :)

In other news Game of Thrones is back!! I'm sure I'm not the only one who is thrilled for it to be on the tele-machine again. The first thing I did this morning was search for a way of watching it! Anyone else as excited as I am for GoT to be back on screen?
Hope you all had a great Easter and didn't end up in too much of a chocolate-induced coma! I also want to say a big thank you to everyone! My lovely little piece of the internet surpassed 100 followers last week, but with me being so busy I haven't had the time to say thanks! I'm so amazed that even 1 person would want to read my ramblings, so I'm over the moon that over 100 of you do! THANK YOU! :)
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