Monday, 24 June 2013

Beauty | My Skincare Wishlist

Not going to lie, my skincare routine is rubbish and currently consists of washing my face when I get a shower and taking off makeup using makeup wipes. I occasionally apply moisturiser (more-so now that I use tinted moisturiser) and if I'm feeling particularly indulgent I'll slather on a face mask - although this normally only happens once in a blue moon! That's not to say I don't read skincare blogs - I'm well versed in quite a few of the rules such as NOT using makeup wipes and that you should always double-cleanse but thanks to a combination of having pretty food skin naturally and being pretty lazy as a result of this, I just find the whole routine thing a little overwhelming!
Thankfully though skincare guru Caroline Hirons has cleared it all up for me (literally!) with one of her recent cheat sheet posts on, you guess it, skincare routines! It really has helped me so much and I'm already beginning to build my skincare collection once more with all manner of skincare products which have previously either lay abandoned on my shelf (of which there are quite a lot!) or that I've never owned in the first place. What else is left for me to get? Here's my dream shopping list.

All of these products have been pretty hyped up lately in the blogging world, so I guess I'm well and truly jumping on the bandwagon once again. I'm not too fussed about becoming another addition to the expanding flock of sheep though because in my eyes if a product has been hyped that much - especially by gurus like Caroline - then who am I to completely disregard that?!
That said, the chances of my purchasing all of these products are slim-to-none thanks to the removal of a wad of cash from my bank account to pay for house deposits, rent, and other less luxurious expenses. So if you know of any more reasonably priced chemical exfoliators or SPF protection etc, then please let me know before I put my bank balance under any more stress!

So Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish in hand, I'm off to begin my first actual skincare routine, with hopefully some much healthier looking skin as a result! Do you abandon your skin at times or is your skincare routine set in stone?

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Feel Good Tuesday

The past couple of weeks have been horrendously stressful for me and to be honest its made me feel pretty down in the dumps with me not sleeping properly and constantly feeling on edge. Sometimes events and occurrences can get in the way of being able to enjoy life and instead makes you feel mega crappy. When these negative feelings strike it's so important to take a step back and really think of the good things which are going on it your life however small they may be! It actually took me quite a while to think of these, such was the dreary mood I was in, but I'm so glad that I did because sitting here writing it really helped cheer me up and put things in perspective!

Despite it being quite stressful with finding housing for the year as well as wrapping up my old student digs I actually have such an amazing opportunity ahead of me with my year internship at Intel and I have to remember that it'll all be worth it in the end! I'm so excited to have the chance to work for such a big company and I can't wait to get moved into my new house and start my new job - it's a whole new chapter of my life! And although there's a lot to sort out before I can leave Coventry behind in search of new, exciting adventures it is definitely something to feel good about!

Considering that in January my body-fat percentage was 25.4%, I'm so happy that its dropped down so much over the past six months since changing up my gym routine a couple of times. I may not have rock-hard abs yet but I'm over the moon to be getting closer to it by lowering my BFP. I'm also still holding my goal weight of 125lbs which I'm super happy about, although with me doing weight training my own body weight has never been something which I've obsessed over that much!
It may seem like a random picture to have, but this is my gorgeous cat, Dolly, who I had to leave behind when I moved into my student house! Now that I'm back home - albeit for a short period - I've been catching up on all of the fussing and cuddling and snuggling that I've been lacking over the past year. Whether she's missed me as much as I have I guess I'll never know. ;)
I am genuinely so happy to be back in the family home though. It's nice to not have to do everything for myself (as lazy as that sounds!) and have some of the funny banter with mum, dad and my little sis again. Even when I was younger I was never one to get homesick and I still don't, but living out this year has made me appreciate being at home more!

And there we have it - 3 things that I feel good about. It's surprising how much this has put me in a better mood and whilst I'll still have worries and frustrations in the back of my mind, it's nice to have some happier thoughts at the forefront of my thoughts for once!

What things do you have that are making you feel good this week? No matter how big or small let me know! :)

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

MyProtein Almond Butter | The Sweeter Nut

I've been wanting to post this for so long! But I've recently got a new camera which won't for the life of me connect to my laptop! It's such a nightmare because I was so excited to get it - hopefully it all gets sorted out soon so I can use my own images!

I don't know about you but I'm a huge lover of nuts - but out of all the nuts on the earth, I have to admit that peanuts are probably one of my least favourites meaning that whilst I do use peanut butter, it's never quite hit the spot for me. They're just so boring! I'm much more of a lover of brazil nuts and almonds, which is why when MyProtein asked if I would like to try one of their products from their sister website, ProBikeKit I just couldn't say no when I saw that their Almond Butter was on there!

Almond Butter is, for one, a lot sweeter than peanut butter which is perfect for me as I can have quite a sweet tooth at times! MyProtein's is also 100% natural meaning that you don't get any of the nasty chemicals and additives that can be found in shop-bought nut butters.
I've really enjoyed using it as a dip with apples, or as a way to bulk up smoothies and shakes that I have for breakfast sometimes. It is quite high in calories but as Jayne said in her review of their Cashew Butter, it's super rich so a little really does go a long way!
Would I recommend their Almond Butter? 100%! Although if you're not a fan of almonds in their usual nutty form, then I probably wouldn't recommend it haha. :) Trying this has made me so intrigued about their other nut butters - I'd love to see how their 100% Natural Peanut Butter compares to the ones that are shop bought because as far as I'm aware there aren't really any 100% natural peanut butters around!
ProBikeKit have heaps of offers on at the minute as well, so whether you're into cycling or participate in more endurance-based sports such as marathons or triathlons then check them out!

Sunday, 2 June 2013

The #FitFam Tag!


The lovely Cantara from Gymbags & Gladrags tagged me in her #fitfam blog post, so I thought that I might as well give it a go myself to tell you a little bit more about my blog and myself! :) The tag itself was created by Chrissy from ChrissyLilly and is something a little bit different from all of the beauty and fashion tags which seem to be floating around the blogosphere at the moment. I'm so lucky to have found such lovely, like-minded people through blogging and I've really enjoyed reading everyone's answers to the questions, so without further ado, here's the answers that I gave! :)
If you want to do this tag then here are the rules: 1) State that it was made by ChrissyLilly and link back to her. 2) Answer all of the questions. 3) Tag 5 of your favourite fitness bloggers and let them know they've been tagged. 4) Share the tag on Twitter using the #fitfam hashtag! So, here are my answers...

1. Why and when did you start your blog?

I started my blog almost a year ago with the aim of sharing my journey to a healthy lifestyle as well as hoping to be able to inspire others to ditch the dieting and make food choices which are more sustainable over the long term!

2. Do you feel like having a blog has helped you stay accountable and motivated?

Definitely! It's really pushed me to find new recipes to try and given me that extra incentive when I don't feel in the mood to go to the gym/workout. I love writing posts when I've succeeded in hitting a particular milestone, or when I find a recipe that I love!

3. What are your overall goals when it comes to health and fitness?

Originally it was to get stronger and more flexible for cheerleading, however because I'm going to be on a placement year I've decided to give up the sport and move onto something new. This means that my goals for my workouts are going to change quite a bit and I haven't decided quite what direction to go in with my exercise yet!
I  do really want to complete a Tough Mudder or The Wolf Run at some point over the next year or so I guess my goals will probably be centred around that! :)
My general health goals are really simple in that I just want to be the healthiest and fittest that I can possibly be! I'm a big lover of clean eating and have cooking meals and nutrition is definitely becoming a passion of mine.

4. Who are your "fitspirations", if any?

I don't have any specific 'fitspirations' if I'm honest - they tend to come from all aspects of health and fitness. For example I'll really admire the amount of weight a female powerlifter might be able to squat or deadlift which will spur me on with my weight-training, but I'll be in awe of a long distance runners stamina and endurance in completing a marathon which will make me want to push harder with my cardio.

5. How often do you work out?

Probably about 5 times a week although it depends how busy I am that week as no matter how hard I try, life can definitely get in the way at times! I do try to be active in some way, shape or form every day though, even if it's walking to the shops instead of driving. :)

6. Do you take supplements?

I currently use protein powder as well as taking multivitamins and cod liver oil capsules. Depending on what I have coming up (holidays etc) I also take Thermopure and BCAAs, reviews of which you can find here.

7. What would be your advice for someone who wants to lose weight but is lacking motivation?

Find something that you love! Whether it's trying out new recipes or finding a sport or fitness activity that you really enjoy doing, it really does make all the difference! Cheerleading was what started it all off for me, but even now that I've stopped training I've still got the good habits to keep me motivated to keep my healthy lifestyle!

8. What's your favourite part of #fitfam?

The community within the #fitfam is absolutely amazing! Everyone is so supportive of each other and I've gotten to know some lovely people. It's nice to know that even if you're having a bad day there'll be someone who can push you through it, and there's always great tips floating around to take on board! :)

9. Do you set little goals for yourself and give yourself rewards when you reach them?

Haha I have to admit that I do! I'm a simple mind and the thought of something pretty or shiny at the end of the road is a great motivator for me to push myself that little bit further. I haven't quite decided what I want to treat myself with when I do finally fit my 50 miles in a month goal but I'm sure you'll be the first to know when I do!

10. What has been the hardest part of your weightloss journey so far?

Consistency! Sometimes I can let life get in the way far to easily and can end up not going to the gym or going for a run when I really should have. I'm trying really hard to treat it more like a job/something that is an appointment that I have to go to, but I haven't had much success so far! Luckily I have an amazing boyfriend who is also really into fitness who keeps me on the straight and narrow when I'm feeling lazy. :P

11. Do you prefer to do set workouts like Insanity, 30 Day Shred, TurboFire, Tone it Up etc. or do you like making up your own workouts?

I'd love to be able to get into workouts that I could do at home (it would save so much money in gym membership!) but I just can't get the motivation that I need to do them! I've tried doing the Blongilates workout calendar but doing exercise in my living room or bedroom really doesn't put me in the mindset that I need to do exercise. It's a shame because I'd love to be able to do something like Tone It Up but I need to remvoe myself from all distractions and put myself in that exercise-orientated atmosphere.
Thanks again to Cantara for tagging me, it's actually been really useful for me to answer all the questions and think about why I do what I do etc. There isn't actually anyone I can tag who hasn't already done this tag if I'm honest, so I'm opening it up and tagging everyone (cop out I know). If you do decide to do the #fitfam tag, post a link to it in the comments below and I'll check it out! :)

Saturday, 1 June 2013

June Fitness Aims

May has been yet another month that seems to have finished before it has barely begun. It's been super eventful with me working much more than I thought, with the boyfriend getting back from his deployment (cue the obilgatory trips to see family and friends combined with going everywhere and anywhere to spend time with each other), and then going on holiday in between extra shifts at work.
Needless to say, I've found it a bit of a struggle to do all I set out to do in my May Fitness Aims, and I've made a promise to myself to make my aims a bit more realistic/think about them a little more with the hope that I stand more of a chance of achieving them!

I saw on Twitter that Nic from Nic's Nutrition has created the hashtag #eatcleanjune, which I am most certainly going to be ALL OVER. Whilst I did watch what I ate on holiday I was most certainly not perfect so I'm definitely going to be using it to get back on the cleaning-eating bandwagon, and really focus on my nutrition again! I'm hoping to be able to update you all on some of the things that I've been eating in weekly blog posts so keep an eye out for those, as well as the new posting schedule which I'm planning on implementing the start of next week! If you're looking for some great tips, then you have to follow Nic on Twitter - her tweets are always a great source of motivation for me when they appear on my Twitter feed! :)

Exercise-wise, my main aim is to finalise my new workout routine so I can throw myself into in on Monday! I'm also going to be continuing in my mission to run 50 miles in one month. Yes I know that I've had this as my goal for the past couple of months, but I was a lot closer this month compared to the month before and I can see that I've improved so much distance and time-wise - I just need to put that into practice now to hit my goal!

Hope you're all having a lovely weekend so far and that you're all having fun in the sun! What are your fitness goals for this month?
If you're taking part in #eatcleanjune then let me know! :)
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