Little sunshine treats for me and mummy yesterday! Waitrose launched a new drinks menu and I thought I’d have a treat. The shake was a little rich for me so next time I’m going to try one of the fruity options instead. Has anyone tried them and what did you think?
Beautiful shoes hey? I loved these as soon as I saw them as there’s something special about an unusual shoe! I wore them for the first time to a fiftieth wedding anniversary celebration which had a garden party theme. Memorable shoes for a memorable day! They’re so pretty but functional too as my feet didn’t hurt once, I didn’t feel like I was wearing a heal which is definitely a huge bonus!
There’s a little pic of the whole outfit too even though the weather wasn’t great I thought what better time to wear florals than a garden party!
What have my readers been up to? Keep enjoying the sunny weather!
My little trip to John Lewis on Saturday really cheered me up. Feeling rather grim I didn’t really feel like venturing out but I had some bits I needed so I had to get on with it. Whilst stood looking at stationary a cheery slightly member of staff struck up a conversation with me, he had noticed I looked a little bit fed up. We ended up having a really interesting chat about retail businesses and customer service. Every time I go to John Lewis I have a great experience and the same at Waitrose. Other businesses could learn an awful lot from there approach. On my way round the store it got me thinking how fab John Lewis are as an employer. They don’t suddenly think that because people are over 50 they are ‘old’. We all know how quickly the years whizz by and one day we are going to be sat there at nearly 60 thinking flipping heck where did all them years go. We won’t feel any older inside it’s just our bodies will look and feel different. I learnt this years ago being lucky enough to have two great nana’s who were wonderful ladies who I had the honour of sharing some of my life with. John Lewis I have noted alongside a couple of other very good retailers isn’t ‘ageist’ and I am glad because slightly older people have more life experience, sometimes more to say and sometimes dare I say it better communication and customer service skills.
I could talk all day about my love of The John Lewis Partnership because the exceptional service means I always end up buying something. Yesterday I bought a beautiful cushion for the dressing of my bed. It looks really pretty in the middle in front of the pillows.
I saw so many things I wanted including lots of beautiful smelling candles and a shiny silver BBQ! Have you done any shopping this weekend and what did you buy?
I’m sad today as I was meant to take my dad out for fathers day to a restaurant I have wanted to go to for ages called ‘The Yew Tree.’ I’ve been poorly all week though so had to give it a miss and re arrange it which was such a shame.
As you can tell from this picture it is a really amazing place that I’ve heard a lot about.
The best thing about Cheshire is we have so many beautiful places to go. Gastro pubs, farm shops, National Trust locations and much more. We have great villages and towns such as Alderley Edge, Knutsford, Frodsham and many more. I also personally love that we are near to lots of cities – Manchester, Liverpool and Chester. Probably the worst thing about Cheshire is for someone allergic to grass there is a lot of it and seeing poor animals run over on our roads, at least once a day I see a dead rabbit, fox, squirrel or badger. It always reminds me of the animals of farthing wood growing up. and I get sad every time I see one. Have you ever been to Cheshire? If so drop me a comment about what you love and I will try it out soon!
A few weeks back in the midst of my house move I was sent a box of goodies to try these included some of my already favourite gym treats. I already love Ufit and Bio Synergy and drink their shakes after the gym. Before I got really into lifting weights as well as cardio I didn’t understand the need to drink protein shakes but I now realise it is a great way to get more protein into my diet and that they are great for feeding the muscles after exercise.
I also already adored the Bounce green protein ball which has cacao and mint in it. It is a really scrumptious non naughty treat and if you love sweet things like I do you will love these.
There were two fab books and I will tell you more about these another day when I have tried out more of the exercises.
I’ve used the roller ball in the past week and this is fab if you like the relaxing smell of aromatherapy oils you’ll really appreciate this as it has a really soothing fragrance. I’ve just started trying the Immulina and this is a really interesting product for me because it is meant to preserve the body’s natural resistance and maintains the function of immune system cells. It is contains bio active micro algae extracts and is scientifically tested. As with all vitamins it is difficult to know the positive effects a supplement is having unless it is really obvious but my body is responding well to my training so maybe this is helping.
One product I wish we could get in the UK is Arctic Zero ice cream it sounds AMAZING and comes in my favourite flavour cookie dough, fingers and toes crossed it will come soon as it is top of my health and fitness product wishlist.
Have you discovered any great health and fitness products? I would love to hear about them!
Here is a little pic of my protein shake with added coffee I mentioned in my last post! I have just discovered this protein from Body Power Expo and I really need to buy some more of it. Some chocolate protein powders don’t really taste like chocolate but this one really does and I LOVE it!
I’ve got a few different blenders but I love this one for ease as you then have a lid so you can literally take the top part of the blender with you which is so convenient! Or at the moment I am using this shaker also from Body Power because I love the fact that it is pink! Why aren’t there more pink (or sparkly) products for women that like the gym!!!
If you try adding Beanies to your protein shakes let me know what you think! I’m off to go and make one now!
I’ve patiently saved these beautiful coffee’s until I moved house. They were totally worth the wait! I’ve had one flavour before but there are tons I hadn’t tried before and they are all amazing. The best bit is they only have 2 calories per cup ridiculously low for something so tasty.
My favourite thing to do with them at the moment is add them to my protein shakes, tomorrow I will share a recipe for the one I made this morning it was PERFECTION and kept me full until lunch time alongside being really good for me it was packed full of flavour. I think you will be seeing a lot more of these in my recipe posts as I have so many ideas of what I can do with them.. have you tried flavoured coffee? Let me know if you have any other recommendations, I would love to hear them!
I heard something on the radio the other day talking about ‘Protein Princesses’ and I thought, that’s me! This name was for us ladies that like to train and understand the way to structure our food and the benefits of eating right! I thought I would bank the term and use it as it’s fab!
There was recently an event I couldn’t get too (gutted!) Because any opportunity to meet up with my fellow bloggers is always amazing but I was kindly sent some samples to try and I have also been using some bits and pieces from this brand since Body Power and I’m really impressed!
I fell off the wagon with the healthy eating the past few weeks, not in terms of the evening meals as they have all remained really healthy with either chicken, salmon or occasionally steak with vegetables or salad but during the day has been another story. I have been semi healthy often starting the day with mini Weetabix (the choc chip ones unfortunately) but then eating random bits at lunch. The sugar has crept back in a little.. I swear people that call sugar an addiction are correct!
So having these bits has been really great! Today I tried the mini rocky road bar and it was scrumptious! What I liked was that it didn’t have the stodgy protein texture some protein snacks have. Some protein products are so chewy you need a drink in order to eat them but this wasn’t like that at all – result!
I’ve also had the pre workout which really helped give me an energy boost to work harder in the gym, (a little advice never take a pre workout within a few hours of going to bed as it is like rocket fuel.) Also the protein powder is really tasty and not chalky like some flavours. I like to mix mine with ice and milk and it is just like a milkshake…
Visit Predator Nutrition to check out some of the great products I have been using.
Enjoy fit fam! Do you like BSN products or use Predator Nutrition? I would love to hear your thoughts!
So I have been a little quiet the past month or so I was in the process of buying a house. We are now in and I LOVE my new home!
I saved these beautiful Vera Wang champagne flutes and Candle from my wedding day until I moved so we used the flutes for the first time on the Saturday evening. I also love this other candle it is Jo Malone white jasmine and mint. The fragrance is really fresh and uplifting and I wore it on my wedding day. Jo Malone fragrances are one of my favourites and I have a massive wish list (roll on my birthday!)
The Vera Wang Love knots range are so delicate and pretty. It was so special to use these for the first time in our new home. Our previous house always felt just like that like a base rather than a home so Saturday was an amazing day and a new beginning.
I’ve done quite a lot the past few months and not told you about it so lots of catch up posts in the coming weeks! More soon… xoxo
As you may have read or seen on my Instagram already I am a massive fan of my Polar pink watch so much so that when I got the heart rate band wet in my handbag and it wasn’t working I was on the verge of tears! I think it shows the great quality in that as soon as I dried it under the hand dryer at the gym it brought it back to life (yipeeee!) I need gadgets like this in my life (hard wearing) because as I carry lots of food and drink around there always seems to be the occasional mishap!
So imagine my joy at discovering there is in fact another fitness device that is equally as amazing! I have tried a number of fitness devices and used to be massively all about the Fit Bit. That was before I discovered Polar. The Fit Bit is great but there is nothing to look at on the device and this is where Polar fills that gap. Sometimes you just want to see your progress or get some data without logging on to anything and on the Polar device you can do this with just a tap to check your steps, calories and goals.
I love the fact that you can track sleep and see how well you have slept as well! The mind boggles as to where we will be in 10 years time with technology.. it’s very exciting.
Another plus of this device over others is that you can trim the band down to size so no trying to work out if you are a small or a medium etc in terms of band size and finally THE best bit is is soooo easy to use. As I said I have tried a number of devices now on my fitness journey and found some so over complicated (particularly ones by a certain company that do sat nav – I’m here to give my honest feedback.) So this one is a joy!
Let me know if you have a polar and what you think. I am also on my fitness pal if anyone fancies being friends. It might spur me on with my healthy eating and give me some new eating inspiration… mines Amanda Couzens-Davies..
Last weekend I went to the amazing Body Power event at the NEC. I totally loved it! I got to meet some of my fitness inspirations. Everyday on Instagram we tag in #fitfam and one of the best bits was meeting some of my fellow fit fam! It was such an honour to meet Amanda Latona (who liked my trainers!) I was super pleased with the compliment as they are new and black with a little wedge and sparkles on the front. I also met Michelle Brannan another fitness idol. Michelle Lewin couldn’t be there as there were visa complications which was a massive shame but I will definitely be back next year! I also couldn’t believe I didn’t know Nikki Blackketter was there as she is another person I look up to. I was thrilled to meet Amanda Finniee she is a ‘normal’ girl EG she has a day job and started training as a hobby but she is a major body inspiration and a totally lovely person it was a real honour to have a natter with her.
Body Power was so diverse and there was far more going on than I had even realised would be there. Including Parkour a form of movement where the athlete keeps momentum and it usually takes place in urban spaces. It was fascinating to watch.
There were so many of the top brands at the event and I sampled some AMAZING new fitness foods including these Pro oateins which were a protein flapjack, they are new though and I haven’t been able to find them anywhere so I am at present going to have to wait until next year for my next batch (sob!)
Next year I want to watch the pro show on the Saturday night and I was a bit sad I hadn’t planned to watch it this year.
Here is one of my pics and there will be lots more soon!!!
I am super excited for tomorrow night (tonight when this is live as I am writing it on Saturday night in front of Britain’s got talent.) It is the first of the VeraFlow classes in Cheshire a super unique amazing class and I can’t wait!!!
I will write again later in the week about it but I can tell already I am going to love it! When I don’t have things on a Sunday I love to do some form of exercise because it really sets me up for the week ahead. Sunday is usually zumba but now I am going to do VeraFlow first! I hope I am going to have time for both going forward as this looks sooooo much fun. It is a stretchy class fused with dance. I can’t think of anything better as I love pilates and yoga but sometimes find them a little slow. I love dancing as time goes really fast and so this is going to fuse the two together – yay!!!
The teacher at our local class also teaches zumba and pilates and is absolutely amazing so I already know this will be fab!
There are videos on You Tube explaining VeroFlow in case you are thinking of trying it!
I will write and tell you how I get on this week but if anyone is local and wants to give VeraFlow a try it is at 5pm at Cuddington Village Hall in Cheshire! See you there!
P.s If you can recommend any other types of dance / exercise I might enjoy I would love to hear about it!
This little guy hopped on to my wing mirror the other day at Cheshire Oaks and I thought I would share. He was so adorable and didn’t care that I was sat right next to him moving around in my car! It made my day! I heard something on the radio last week I can’t remember what I was listening too but it stuck with me, it said… ‘somewhere someone is taking their last breath so enjoy every moment’ how true! Have a great rest of the weekend everyone!
Sometimes it’s nice to add real fruit to my protein shakes and turn them into smoothies. I am also a fan of ice as for me they are then more creamy and colder and more like milkshakes. This one was totally delicious. Unfortunately the last part of mine is locked in my car at the gym as the car park closes early on a Sunday and I didn’t know so was stranded.
For the protein I am currently using this amazing skinny protein from Bio Synergy. These guys make a water that I always loved called ‘Skinny Water’. I didn’t use this as I thought drinking water I would suddenly wake up super model skinny but because I loved the taste. I recently discovered they also have a whole host of fitness products as well.
To my scoop of protein I added skimmed milk (just as I don’t like the taste of whole milk) strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. 6 Blocks of ice and whizz it all in your blender for 2 minutes. Pour, serve and enjoy! Let me know if you give this a go also check out the range on the Bio Synergy website!
Now I am kind of hoping writing this that I will have one of my readers pop up and tell me they also have a recommendation… fingers and toes crossed! I have tried soooo many protein flapjacks in the pursuit of ones that I really enjoy. So far after trying numerous ones I finally found two brands I really enjoy. Now there is not getting away from the fact that there is some sugar in the bars. It’s very hard to find any protein flapjack or bar with no sugar at all. Again if you know of something amazingly tasty with non please let me know!!
With these bars the sugar is fairly low but the taste is amazing!
So drum roll please these are my top bars…
Number one (and I keep checking all the time for new flavours) TREK. There are multiple flavours of these bars. The only one I don’t like is the banana one as I don’t like the flavour in any food. I love all of the others though! There is a super tasty one with raisins in it but I can only get that one online. Then there is also a plain one that’s nice and a scrummy one with chocolate on top and finally my absolute fave which is chocolate and coconut. It is the blue one and it is just dreamy! I have had to have a little break though as if I eat something too much I get bored and I was eating these loads.
Secondly the coconut flapjack in the Grenade range. There is also a fruit version but for me the coconut one is the best. both bars have a really truly flapjack texture unlike lots of other ones I have tried.
Give them a go and let me know what you think!
My Protein is such a wonderful brand! They do absolutely all sorts of fab treats to supplement my training and to make my diet as healthy as possible without feeling deprived. My latest haul can be seen here. The protein muffins are scrummy and I think they are actually nicer than a chocolate muffin usually is. They have a soft core, chocolate chunks and are really filling due to the protein.
I also stocked up on Super Omega 3 I always buy the super strength version as it was a tip from my personal trainer. The reason I have got this is for my clicky knees. I did a lot of dancing as a child and teenager and so it is to counteract the effect that has had.
L-Glutamine is something I have not explored before but it was also on my trainers list of healthy supplements. It is known to be a gentle yet effective supplement that is said to benefit many ailments and deficiencies. It enhances our body’s natural l-glutamine production. I got the impression that this may also help my muscles. I am going to be adding this to my protein shakes.
I’ve got my eye on sooooo many Myprotein products so there will be more haul posts soon! Top of my list to try next are the lemon muffins – yum!
What are you guys, my fit fam friends buying at the moment? I’d love to hear about anything you can recommend?
The blog has been a little neglected the past two weeks (sorryyyyy) I had multiple bits of bad news and was in hibernation with coffee and chocolate. However now I’m back bursting with absolutely tons to write about! First up DIY! We are currently looking at selling our house and whilst painting and prepping the lounge the ancient Venetian blind fell off the wall leaving the front room exposed to the street. Now who invented blinds with three cords. Fair enough the nice modern ones with two easy to work cords and the bit that you twizzle but this blind was a nightmare. After copious amount of pulling and even trying WD40 that dripped down into my hair, I won.. well sort of.. when the whole thing completely came away and hit me on the head.
So off to my local B&Q I went and was helped by a very wonderful store manager (I didn’t know Andy was the manager at the time.) Who took 40 minutes out of his day to not only help me pick a drill and all of the bits that I needed but show me how to use it all and give me step by step instructions if there was an A+++ for customer service then Andy and his store would of one it.
I head home newly enthused about drills, as out of character as can possibly be! An hour and a half later my new curtains are up and my room actually looks more modern and somehow bigger! I think the length emphasises the high ceilings of the house. I am super proud of myself! What has everyone else been up to this weekend?
There is nothing nicer than doing something completely random over a bank holiday! I had seen a fellow blogger had visited a farm a couple of weeks ago and seeing the micro pigs sounded amazing. They didn’t disappoint I wanted to take them all home. My favourite was the little lambs they were so soft and you could feel their little knashers brush against your hand when you fed them but they never once nipped. The big pigs were hilarious they had cottoned on that people were a bit concerned of getting bitten due to the signs so they opened there mouths and tipped their heads back so they could get fed also!
This was a super busy farm and the whether was awful so I dread to think what it is like on a summers day when the weather is lovely but a fabulous day out and something really different to do.
I still need to download some more of the pictures but here are a couple for now. This little lamb kept moving so I couldn’t get a great picture but he kept jumping up as he learnt that if he did I would feed him!
What did you do this Easter?
So back to my luxury roots this weekend! Yesterday was the most AMAZING day! I have been thinking about it ever since and day dreaming about diamonds. Yesterday I got to try on my most expensive diamond ever. £145,000 of pure beauty. It was the most sparkly diamond I have ever seen. As a self confessed magpie I was in heaven. The £145k diamond was yellow and I used to dream of having a yellow diamond. I used to stand outside a jewellers in the Victoria Quarter in Leeds and stare at a marquise diamond ring. This one was even more stunning. I also tried on the little sister ring that was £14k and found myself thinking it was a reasonable price well I suppose next to 145k it is! The yellow diamond can be seen on the Hancock’s website if you have a look let me know what you think. It weighs 4.69 carats. Check out the stunning jewellery on the Hancock’s site I want just about all of it!
My friend Karen Cheshire’s best stylist came along with me so we could have a catch up which was really lovely and a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. We had a lovely glass of champers and listened to a fascinating talk about the history of Hancock’s and also one of the brands they sell George Jensen. I have always loved the wave rings they are on my wish list so it was really interesting to hear the history of the brand. Hancock’s is privately owned and a real part of Manchester’s history having been at the current store for over 50 years. So here are my pictures of my diamond experience, what do you think of my dream diamond?
Mothers day was a lovely day we took my nana out for her lunch. We went to a lovely local restaurant we have been to a few times as it is a really convenient place in between our two villages. When it is Mr CD and I we don’t tend to go back to places when it comes to food as we like to try new things but when taking someone else out it’s nice to go somewhere that is consistently good as then there are no surprises. Writing this I am just thinking about I once suggested a restaurant a quiry venue in Manchester only to have the rudest, grumpiest waiter who when we asked for some sauce for someone else at the table he said ‘more sauce’!!!
This turned into a bit of a cheat meal for me although I did make myself have lots of veggies so it wasn’t really as bad as it looks! What did everyone else get up to for Mother’s Day?
This eye cream is a game changer! I adore it! My face shape means that in my opinion one of the first areas to look older was the eye area. This cream has dramatically reduced the fine lines I have from smiling under my eyes. I really want to try so many of the products as I have been beyond impressed! Next on my wish list is the collagen bomb because as you get older your skin loses its elasticity.
My eye cream has been described as eight hours sleep in a tube and I understand why. It felt like the skin was plumper and smoother. The dark circles also seemed reduced. I think my under eye skin has become more supple and I always think prevention is better than a cure hence why I love looking after my skin.
You need powerful ingredient to support the eye area and this moisturiser features potent peptides and powerful natural ingredients. Centella, along with peptides, helps boost skin’s micro-circulation and thicken thinning skin. Borage Oil has long been recognised for its anti-ageing properties, licorice extract targets dark circles, and Hydrolized Cornstarch produces an immediate tightening effect.
If you give any of this lovely range a go let me know how you get on!
Recently I stumbled across THE BEST gym bags EVER! With them I also found an array of fantastic accessories. I chose the ‘build your own fit kit’. The wonderful kit contains a gym bag, hair ties and gym towel. You select your favourite hair ties and the colour of gym towel along with a bag with your chosen slogan. They are all fab so you will probably struggle to chose! I like ‘House of Cardio’ and ‘Dance Like Everybody Is Watching’. For me though it had to be ‘Drop It Like A Squat’ as I am doing so many squats at the moment to strengthen my legs. (You can get them on a site called Hey Holla.)
Ibiza has a special place in my heart having worked there when I was a student and having met Mr CD there as well and so I had to have Ibizan sunset hair ties. They were so vibrant I couldn’t resist using one before I wrote about them. They are the first ever hair ties I have used where my hair doesn’t get a ridge and looks as good when I take them out as before – result!
My fluffy towel had to be pink, why? Because I LOVE pink!
This would be a wonderful gift as well so I think I will be back very soon! There is also 15% off if you sign up to the newsletter. Let me know if you love this site as much as me!
A couple of weeks ago I started incorporating the DW fitness challenge into my weekly workout schedule. I already do A LOT of exercise and am desperately trying to work out how I can cut down on my cardio when I love it so much to do more weights. I train nearly every day and have 1-2 rest days a week. As the DW personal trainer in this challenge says rest days are important to let muscles recover. What I have been really enjoying is that the challenges are pretty simple to work into your everyday routine. For examples the squats you can do them whilst drying your hair or watching TV – no excuses guys there is always time for fitness! I feel so much better since I got back into it and when I feel tired it gives me more energy working out! The start of this challenge accidentally coincided with my joining a new gym – DW and getting a PT so we have worked in some of the daily challenges below into my workouts!
So I thought I would share the previous days of the challenge and then if you want to give it a go you can do to!
You could change up the days and start yours in the coming weeks obviously the hashtags are a little out dated then but you can still look for them on twitter and get some motivation from everyone else joining the fitness revolution! Enjoy and tell me about your progress…
PS since I started doing this my plank has gone from 1.5 minutes to 3 minutes so it shows it is definitely working!
40 DAYS OF FITNESS
Wednesday 18th February – #WednesdayWorkout
Lee: It only takes one step to get started. You’ve made that first step by joining in with our 40 Days of Fitness Challenge! Congratulations!
We’re throwing you in the deep end here, so don’t worry about pushing yourself too hard. Complete your chosen level of exercise for 20 minutes and see how far you can travel.
Thursday 19th February – 3 sets of squats with 60 second rest in between
Get as low as you can, but make sure your knees don’t travel too far over your toes, and keep your chin up and your back straight.
Expert- 30 (add 3kg weights if you don’t feel this is challenging enough!)
Friday 20th February – Planking
Lie on your front, resting on either your hands or elbows, and lift yourself up. Ensure that your bodyweight is spread out evenly, keeping your back straight and neck neutral. Time how long you can hold the plank, make a note and try to beat it next week!
Saturday 21st February – 3 minute (#SaturdayChallenge)
How many of each exercise can you do for 1 minute each? Make a note and get ready to beat it next week.
Sunday 22nd February – Rest day
Lee: Rest days are often overlooked, but it is important to incorporate them into your routine. Rest days allow your muscles chance to repair and grow. Without rest days you are at risk of overtraining, but this doesn’t mean you get to veg out all day! Keep moving at a low intensity and ensure you’re still eating healthily.
Try this great Thai Red Curry as a delicious alternative to Sunday roast (switch the chicken with tofu for a vegetarian option):
1tbsp vegetable oil
500g (1lb 2oz) skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into chunks
1 stalk fresh lemon grass, bashed with a rolling pin
2tsp grated fresh ginger
200ml coconut milk
1 chicken stock cube, dissolved in 150ml (¼ pint) hot water
2tbsp Thai red curry paste
1tbsp light soy sauce
2tbsp fresh coriander, chopped, plus extra for garnish
Cook the chicken, garlic and onion for 5 minutes, add all other ingredients, bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Once cooked, remove the lemongrass from the sauce and serve with rice or noodles.
Monday 23rd February – Tricep Dips
Lee: Whilst you might think that getting up early and hitting the gym is good for you, if it means that you’re missing out on valuable sleep, you’re probably doing more harm than good.
3 sets of tricep dips with 60 second rest in between
Beginner 10 with legs bent
Intermediate 10 with legs straight
Expert 20 with legs straight
Tuesday 24th February – Ingredient of the week: Substitute milk
Courtney: Dairy can be difficult for many people to digest. It can cause gas and bloating, and unless you eliminate it for a significant period of time you won’t know if it is the source of your discomfort. Unsweetened versions of milk alternatives also tend to have less calories, one cup of almond milk has around 30 calories, whilst skimmed milk has 90. Despite the reduction in calories, dairy alternatives often have similar percentages of vitamins and minerals.
Courtney suggests using coconut milk instead of eggs to fry up your French toast. You could also try coconut or rice milk in a smoothie, which gives your drink the consistency of a milkshake, helping you to feel fuller for longer.
Wednesday 25th February – 25 minutes
You did a really great job last week, now travel a little further for an extra five minutes. If you’re lacking in motivation, create a playlist of your favourite feel-good songs to listen to whilst you’re out and about.
Thursday 26th February – 3 sets of squats with 60 second rest in between
Lee: If you feel like your workout doesn’t challenge you, make an appointment with a personal trainer or join a class. You’ll get some great feedback on proper form and inspiration as to some new moves you can incorporate into your own workout.
We’ve increased your reps this week, you can do these during the adverts of your favourite TV show!
Friday 27th February – Plank
It’s Friday, so it’s time to plank. Look at your time to beat and see how much your fitness has increased in the space of a week!
Time to beat:
Saturday 28th February – 3 minute #SaturdayChallenge
It’s that time again! Time yourself doing the Saturday challenge and see if you can beat last week’s scores.
How many of each exercise can you do for 1 minute each?
Last week: Difference:
Last week: Difference:
Last week: Difference:
Sunday 1st March – Rest day
Take it easy today and do some gentle stretches. Try a few at home, or visit a yoga class for some real relaxation.
Lee: If you’re feeling sore from a workout, take a bath or do some simple stretches. A general ache in your muscles means that you’re working hard and your muscles are repairing. Any sharp pains that feel unusual, check with your doctor.
Step your right foot forward into a lunge, placing your fingers on top of your extended foot. Breathe in, and exhale as you gently straighten your right leg. Repeat on the other side.
Stand with your feet together and arms over your head. Exhale as you bend your upper body to the right. Inhale as you return to the centre and repeat on the left side.
Sit on the floor with the soles of your feet placed together, letting your knees fall to the side. Grasp your feet and stretch your chest upwards as you inhale. As you exhale, slowly lean forward from your hips without rounding your back.
Monday 2nd March – 3 sets of each exercise
Lee: According to our survey, only 1 in 5 women manage to stick to their fitness resolutions. Falling off the wagon is fine, as long as you can jump straight back on! More super good advice from DW because yesterday I had a couple of chocs and fizzy sweets and felt a bit guilty but back on it today starting the day with a green tea! Keep going guys it’s definitely worth it!
– 10 chair squats (sit and stand up with arms raised at a 90 degree angle)
– 10 modified press ups (use your knees)
– 15 step ups (Can use your stairs or sturdy box)
– 20 chair squats
– 10 press ups
– 30 step ups (can use stairs or sturdy box)
– 30 chair squats
– 20 press ups
– 30 jump ups (jump on and off the box/step)
Tuesday 3rd March – Ingredient of the week: Sweet Potato
I love, love, love sweet potato and have written about it before on the blog such an amazing good carb! Read the DW recipe below it tastes AMAZING!
Get creative this week with Sweet Potato. If you’re stuck for ideas, we’d suggest you wash them, slice into wedges, sprinkle with salt and paprika and roast in the over for around 40 minutes, or until crisp outside and soft inside. Alternatively, you could use Courtney’s recipe for Sweet Potato Pancakes!
One sweet potato cooked and mashed
One tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp baking soda
One tbsp flour your choice. Almond coconut rice or whole wheat flours work well
Any spice of your choice. If you’d like a sweet pancake, add in cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and one tbsp sugar. You can also use coconut, dates, or brown sugar.
Salty or savoury pancakes make a great choice for either lunch or dinner. Add in onion and garlic powder, and season with salt and pepper.
Mix all your ingredients together and drop the batter into a hot pan, lightly sprayed with cooking oil.
Wednesday 4th March – Intervals, continue for 20 minutes
Interval training helps to challenge your body and increase overall endurance.
Beginner 2 minute walk, 1 minute jog
Intermediate 2 minute jog, 1 minute run
Expert 2 minute run, 1 minute sprint
Thursday 5th March – 3 sets of press ups with 60 second rest in between
Beginner 10 modified press ups (use your knees)
Intermediate 15 modified press ups
Expert 20 full press ups
Friday 6th March – Plank
Lee: Ignore what it says on the scale. Focus on how your body is changing, and recognise the small victories. You’re more capable now than you were when you started!
Check your results from last week and try beat them this week.
Time to beat:
Saturday 7th March – 1 minute #SaturdayChallenge
Lee: Slow progress is still progress. If you’ve only managed two more jump squats than you did last week, it’s better than not improving at all!
Jump squats, star jumps and sit ups, beat last week’s reps and see how well you’re doing!
Last week: Difference:
Last week: Difference:
Last week: Difference:
Sunday 8th March – Rest day
Lee: It supposedly takes around 4 weeks of consistent training for you to notice results, 8 weeks for your family and friends, and 12 weeks for everybody else to notice your progress. Keep on moving when you feel like you’re not getting anywhere.
This is such good advice since upping my training after Christmas I am at the husband noticing I am trimmer stage but still got a long way on the journey until I am where I want to be so this is good advice to stick with it and keep going, if like me you are impatient and want results now just remember- Rome wasn’t built in a day!
Chez Jules is one of those remarkable restaurants you never forget. It was wonderful last time we visited and I had not thought it could get any better but with the launch of the cinema night it has! I can’t think of a more super idea than this. Chester doesn’t have a cinema which is a real shame but now it doesn’t need one. Chez Jules will show a different film each time they have the film night and I can’t wait to go back for another one. The line up for the next ‘meal and movie’ nights sound brilliant and include Leon a film I have always wanted to see!
The restaurant is so beautiful as you will see from the pictures. I had never been upstairs before and it was decorated with teems of black and white pictures and matching furniture. I wonder who did the décor as I found it incredibly sophisticated and I felt as though I was back in Paris, J’adore.
We started with some nibbles, soft white bread and olives and a glass of wine. I chose the salmon main and Mr CD chose the chicken. As usual we shared a little bit of each others and both were equally super. The vegetables were just perfect. My highlights- honey roast carrots (my all time favourite vegetables) and dauphinoise potatoes that melted in the mouth. Service was impeccable and after the main course there was a short break and then our sharing dessert trio of a chocolate ganache, banoffee pie and a creme brulee which was my favourite of the three. During the dessert the film ‘Midnight in Paris’ started and popcorn was distributed.
Thoroughly marvellous and far more exciting than a visit to the cinema. It won’t be long until we return as it was a wonderful evening. Enjoy the pictures and let me know what you think!
The lovely lady over at www.mybuddy-box.com has given me a code especially for my readers. The code AMANDA will give you free post and packing on an order.
In 8 months time there is a plastic bag tax coming into force and at present it isn’t known whether shoppers will be then charged for bags. So this company has come up with a fab solution to carry groceries in. When in Europe I love it when you can pick a box and have all of your goodies poking out the top and here in the UK we are about to follow. I already uses boxes at the farm shop and they make so much more sense. The best thing about this one is it folds from a folder size into a box. It’s super magic to watch. When I get time I will fold it back up and film it for you. Basically it unravels and has firm sides to hold up to 20 kg which is amazing!
Let me know if you get your very own buddy box!
Super easy to make and totally tasty you will love these! Make sure your blender can grind as this was my initial mistake! You need to be able to grind nuts. These are no bake so really fast to make as well. I am a big fan of simple recipes as I never have much spare time so here goes.. simples!
1 cup of raw cashews
1/2 cup of rolled oats (go for the ground ones as less blender work)
3 tbs honey
1 tbs maple syrup
1/4 cup semi or dark choc chips or if not making them mega healthy you can opt for milk choc or any other filling. I got mine from the cake decorating aisle and these included a lemon meringue one as I wanted mine to be treat protein balls. Coloured sprinkles also work well!
You mix in your blender your nuts and oats. Then slowly add the honey and maple syrup get the dough out and mould it to a ball. Pop it in the fridge for 10 mins to firm it up and then roll it into small balls rolling in your topping and filling of choice!
Easy peasey! Let me know if you give these a go!
Saturday I was feeling dreadful, my throat was as though I was swallowing razor blades (not that I have swallowed many in my time but it was mega stinging.) So after resorting to something recommended by daddy bear. Green nevertheless! Not just dark green but bright green! I will share a picture of that at a later date as it did have some effect for a short while but after a little bit it wore off.
So I turned to some goodies I had stocked up the cupboard with a couple of weeks ago from http://www.indigo-herbs.co.uk/
Having nipped to our local supermarket for some vege I blended everything I could get my hands on through my Jason Vale juicer (carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, plums, cherries, beetroot powder, spirulina, wheatgrass and organic protein powder!) Some combo! I had forgotten that it can seperate pips from the cherries so you can just throw them in how great is that! It wasn’t meant to taste beautiful but to make me feel better and that it did also it ended up pretty darn tasty because of the sweetness of the fruit and the beetroot.
After about half an hour I had so much more energy! The bundle of products I’m using are the sports bundle as it you read my blog regularly you will know I am doing lots of fitness based activities and love health and fitness!
This is the listing of products I am using and adding into my foods at the moment.
Organic Wheatgrass powder 100g
Organic Banana powder 100g
Organic Spirulina powder 200g
Organic Hemp protein powder 250g
Cordeceps CS4 powder 50g
Beetroot powder 250g
The biggest benefit I am finding about the supplements is that I can add them to my protein shakes and smoothies so easily! I have also added them to my yoghurt and muesli with honey and I will share some of those recipes with you on another day!
Next on my list of naturals things I want to try are bee pollen for it’s health benefits and charcoal but more on those another day! What natural ingredients do you recommend?
At present I am spending lots of time in my gym wear and loving it. However I wanted some pieces that are more unusual. I also don’t like to always wear clingy leggings sometimes it is nice to have a loose fitting trouser. My new gym kit ticks every box!
I have a baggy vest I throw on over my sports bra in black with my favourite gym saying ‘sweat like a pig feel like a fox!’ a stunning, vibrant pink hoody with ‘Doll’ on the back as every girl loves pink! Some super soft, amazing straight leg yoga pants that are totally comfy and say ‘Be Fierce’ down the leg and another long line hoody (I like my hoodies long) this one has a quote on it that I saw in a magazine ‘Gym in the AM party in the PM’. So far I’ve had loads of compliments on them.
The company I worked with have a fantastic design department that can do anything you like and they are super fast at coming back to you with concepts and then delivering the items. They also do work wear if you had a business and wanted to kit out your staff in a super cool uniform. Check them out at http://www.buytshirtsonline.co.uk
This weekend has been a weekend of pampering. Alongside the usual crazy running round ticking things off a big ‘to do’ list of course! Now usually by this time we have taken our first flight of the year and gone somewhere wonderful but we are in the midst of buying a house so exotic adventures have been replaced with lots of weekends catching up with friends and being generally chilled! So this weekend I thought I would get and try some of the products I have been meaning to use for ages! First up I had a play with Cocoa Brown fake tan already a massive hit in Ireland. I haven’t used a tanning mouse for ages but this one is really super. It has a light fruity smell and doesn’t have that biscuit smell that so many have. It went on really easily and was completely patch free apart from one little area that silly me forgot to rub in properly. I sorted that out with this nifty little mit from tan eraser. It has one side for gentle buffing and the other side is for if you need to be more vigorous. It really got rid of the stubborn little mark so I will definitely be taking this on my hols later in the year. There is nothing worse when you have a fake tan for your holiday and it starts to wear off in an non even way.
The last product I’ve tried this weekend for the first time is a hair care brand called Osmo. I’ve got their mask to try as well and I’m saving that one for next weekend. My hairdresser has been telling me for ages to try oils on my hair as it has been very dry in the past from dying it. Also hair extensions have made some of the back knotty so I gave this light oil spray a try. Wowza! It’s totally light, non greasy and smells amazing. My hair also looked refreshed like when I use dry shampoo so really the opposite of what I had imagined from an oil- result!
Have you tried any new wonder products? I’d love to hear your tips! Have a great Sunday and make it count!
I don’t know what it is but my beautiful Wild Flower Company flowers remind me of an enchanted wild garden. I think it’s the combination of delicate blooms with wonderful foliage and the unusual combinations. These are literally one of the most stunning bouquets I’ve ever received. This super pretty bunch lasted for 3 weeks! How amazing is that! You never ever get more than a week out of shop bought flowers. I thought I would share a little pic as they are just too pretty not to share! I was gutted when I put them in the bin this morning. Enjoy your weekend!
Insanity has been another 2015 discovery. I love it but I hate it at the same time! I’ve tried two difference classes now the class at my gym and a class run by a local fitness company. The first class is for an hour which was just way too long for this type of crazy workout and in my opinion is better for men. Also I think the general premise of insanity is that it is short interval bursts but the hour long class felt like it was just tough all the way through. The half hour class although making me sweat just as much (I know it’s gross but it’s a fact of life if your getting fit!) but has small rounds of lower cardio toning moves so you can just about get through it! Also half an hour means you don’t feel like you are giving up your whole evening. You also feel AMAZING after you have done it but hate it whilst you are doing it!
There are some weeks I love more than others as there are lots of different rounds and movement combinations. I would say if you are looking to really feel like you have worked and want an all over body workout then Insanity is for you!
Let me know if you give it a go and what you think of it!
Regulars will know my weekends are always crazy! This one was no exception… I managed a personal trainer appointment, zumba, getting ready to move and much more. As usual I felt the weekend whizzed by and I was busy every second. To me though that’s a good thing as life moves far to fast and goes far too quickly. Now I had thought I had written before about our favourite place in Cheshire for coffee but when I look back I can’t see a post. Maybe I presumed because I’ve instagrammed so many pictures from there that I had written about it. The venue in question is a lovely restaurant just outside of Cuddington. It’s a fabulous place with a great name ‘The Lounge’ it’s a gorgeous little home from home. You will find wonderful staff, divine food and a warm environment where you will be happy to sit and relax with the papers. We nipped in for a quick drink in the afternoon and it was super tempting to have lunch but we just about resisted! Let me know if you give it a go or love it too! Here’s a little picture of my skimmed milk hot choc treat I thought I deserved one as it’s the weekend! Mmmmmm…
Since new year I have been on a complete health kick and everything is starting to get firmer, woo hoo! I’ve become a little bit addicted to zumba! I love the fact I can jump around, dance, sweat and actually enjoy it! An hour goes soooo much faster than it does at the gym. I can tell I am definitely getting fitter as well. My skin is better and I have far more energy. Zumba is super fun and if you haven’t done it before you will love it. My one bit of advise is if you find it quite difficult to get the moves at first then stick with it because as the weeks go on it gets easier to coordinate everything.
Zumba was created in the 1990’s and mixes dance with aerobic elements. The choreography fuses several different dance types. Zumba fitness the company that owns the licence for the zumba program don’t charge gyms or businesses a licence fee to teach. I think this is a wonderful mentality because generosity and this approach can grow global brands. It has obviously worked as 15 million people world wide take zumba classes!
Let me know if you have a go and join the party!
Now unless you have been hiding under a rock you will have seen celebs doing waist training. This involves wearing a corset for up to 10 hours a day. Thinking back to the Victorian’s all of their dresses had a tucked in corset waist and they all had super slim midriffs so there must be something scientific in it! Now those of you that have very little free time to fit in a full on fitness regime will probably be quite excited by the concept (me included!) So I started with this just over a week ago. As I want it tighter I think I will have to get it fastened for me as I can only get it to a certain level of tightness myself but to be honest at the moment if it was any tighter I wouldn’t be able to breathe! When you take it off you definitely feel more toned and like it has had a positive effect on your shape and it is really helping my posture. So far I am giving this a big thumbs up! I will keep you posted! My waist trainer in pretty pink (my favourite colour) is from @Hiddenbeautysecrets it’s an absolute bargain and worth every penny!
As I’m sure you know sometimes I like to let the pictures tell the story… I think these scrummy fruit pics express what my Sunday was about. I live tweeted and instagrammed most of my Sunday afternoon so you can catch a little more on social media in terms of the pictures. I had a fantastic day networking with other bloggers. Most were lifestyle, health or nutrition bloggers and it was really great to catch up with familiar faces and make lots of new friends.
My group started with a ‘Rocket’ yoga session that was really fluid and enjoyable. I liked the pace of rocket yoga and even though it was only a short session due to just being a taster session I really felt like I had worked out at the end. If I lived nearer I would definitely attend the classes that Hayley the leader runs.
The venue was a really cool clothes shop with a bar and events space upstairs near to the river in a trendy part of Leeds. Many years ago I lived in Leeds for a while and I still adore the city. It’s still a little odd going back to somewhere you once lived and seeing it change each time you visit. Most of the places I went to are still there but lots have changed name. After yoga we got to play with the juicers. So super easy to use and able to juice ANYTHING and I mean anything. We even added ginger and it could get through it! The great part of the afternoon was that whilst we were doing an activity there was time to chat and network and I got a vast list of new bloggers to check out. My favourite part of the day apart from yoga was a nutritionist taking us through the different types of juice you could make and seeds and super foods you could add for energy (chia seeds.)
Lunch was a delicious soup and gluten free bread and our day ended with crazy smoothie making where we picked the ingredients and a bar man demonstrated and served.
I left absolutely bouncing with energy and surely that highlights the benefits of juicing. Soon I will be showing you all of my favourite juice recipes! Please let me know if you have any suggestions you have made before?
You can see more of the event on the Curry’s website – http://techtalk.currys.co.uk/cooking-home-appliances/currysintrojuicing-20-the-leeds-detox/
Thank you Curry’s / Joe Blog’s network for a wonderful day!
When the weather is bleak, your stuck inside and it’s dreary and cold there is nothing more beautiful than a bunch of flowers. I love wild flowers they’re so effortless. My regular readers know I love brands that have great values and stand for similar things to myself. The Wild Flower company has fabulous ethics. They believe in high quality and sustainable flowers. One of my favourite things about these flowers is there is no air miles used. They are grown in Britain and cut the day before they are sent. You can’t get fresher flowers than those! I’ve recently been eating organic and as clean as possible and I’m trying to incorporate more ethical purchasing into my world. Receiving these flowers has made me realise I need to address my convenience buying of flowers for friends from the local supermarkets. Lets all support wonderful businesses like this!
I remember reading one of the celebs husbands used to send her weekly flowers (how beautiful is that!) Now not everyone can afford to do that but the flower company allows you to send either a one off arrangement or a regular bunch of flowers to your favourite person with a variety of different subscriptions!
The arrangements are led by seasonal and market availability. By buying and preparing flowers upon orders, shelf time is reduced and the flowers last longer than if purchased from other companies. I loved how they arrived housed in really safe secure packaging and such a wonderful out of box experience.
Surprise flowers are something we all need in January!!!
Check out the Wild Flowers company and let me know what you think, I think you will probably love them as much as I do! (Pics of my bunch to follow tomorrow)
I am very thrilled to share with you my prediction that was recently featured in a guide by Hillary’s Blinds!
You can have a look at the guide here – http://www.hillarys.co.uk/inspiration/2014/12/bloggers-predict-interiors-2015/
Do you have any fab home predictions for 2015 I would love to hear them?!!
He he :-) I saw this on a poster yesterday on my way into Manchester and thought it reminded me of myself in the gym! I thought it may of been a sports brand but I looked at who the ad was from and it was actually by ‘Sport England’. Apparently 2 million more men than women workout. It says the biggest reason we don’t (as women) is fear of judgement. Now I am a size 8-10 so by no means big if you look at the average size women in the UK but when I got back into training at the gym and not just going to classes I felt nervous going in. So if you were bigger it would take some nerve to take that step back into a gym. I like to think if I met anyone at a class or in the gym who was looking nervous I’d strike up a conversation and make them feel at ease as someone did with me on Thursday at Kettercise (which by the way is hardcore and my legs are still stiff!) Anyway I thought I would share this on the blog because it caught my eye and is a super clever campaign!
Since I had my extensions out two weeks ago I’ve needed to give my poor hair some TLC. I’m currently using the Phil Smith range. It’s working wonders on my knotty locks. I’ve got a couple of the shampoos and a fab shampoo. My favourite combo for super soft hair is the Argan oil shampoo and SOS conditioner. It smells lush and washes out really well! I’ve got some f the styling products to try so more about those soon when my current products run out! What’s everyone using at the moment? Let me know if you’ve got a favourite I should try?
Well since I started this big health kick I have been doing really well. My body shape is definitely starting to firm up yipeeee! The pounds aren’t falling off but I think it will take time. I’ve lost a couple of pounds over the last 2 weeks so that’s a start and I think it will just take time. The best thing is I am really enjoying working out and finding it really good fun. My energy level is also much higher.
The other day I was reading on one of the dieting sites about the idea of a fakeaway so this was what I made for our dinner Sunday night. I recently bought a device off ebay that creates chips from your potatoes. I LOVE it! It shoots the potato through cut into strands. Well all apart from my sweet potatoes that I stupidly had in the fridge and are rock hard! A light coating of oil. We use healthy olive oils. Then chicken and a jar sauce. I also bought shop bought poppadoms that were so much healthier than the takeaway alternative.
So try your own fakeaway this weekend and let me know how you get on. I didn’t take any pics but will do next time!
How much do these look like scones? Well they are in fact made from completely healthy ingredients with NO SUGAR! They were really tasty and Mr CD really liked them too.
All you need is 3 ripe bananas that you mash.
1/3 of a cup of apple sauce.
2 cups of oats.
1/4 cup of almond milk.
1/3 cup of optional raisins (I also used currents and cherries.)
1 tea spoon of vanilla essence.
1 tea spoon of cinnamon.
Depending on your oven and how hot it gets bake at 180 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
These are such a healthy treat if you have a sweet tooth but are trying to avoid sugar.
Regular readers will have already heard about my health kick. Being a scorpion we are a little all or nothing and I have a packed agenda of classes and gym sessions to bust the fat ready for summer! The best thing about social media and our crazy internet based world is there is tons of inspiration for getting healthy! I think I must be maturing but it is no longer about being super skinny but about being really firm and fit. Since I started my new regime I have been making healthier choices and have lost interest in as many fizzy diet drinks that although not full of sugar are full of chemicals.
So this is my current tipple of choice and my skin is already looking clearer! Just place cucumber, mint, lime and lemon in mineral water and leave in the fridge overnight. It’s actually really tasty and reminds me of pimms in the summer (but without the pimms obviously!) I think it is the mint and cucumber which I always add to my pitchers for summer BBQ’s.
It got me thinking that I am going to flavour some water with some different fruits rather than adding something non natural. Keep an eye out as I am going to try strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and pineapple over the next few weeks! Any more fruity ideas then let me know! Have a fab Wednesday! Amanda xXx
As you know I love online shopping (in fact scrap that I love all shopping!) I’m always browsing online looking for beautiful fashion. I end up with lots of wishlists and then the things that I really can’t stop thinking about I eventually buy. Whilst on one of these internet missions I came across the most beautiful website. There are some sites that you instantly feel like if you wore there clothes nobody else would have the same and this is one of those. Check it out for yourself here: http://www.avenue32.com/
There are a couple of other high end fashion sites that sell some of the same brands but this site stood out to me because there is a more exclusive, luxurious feel to the site. Avenue 32 also seem to support more up and coming and unique designers and this is the best thing about this type of fashion. You can discover them before the masses and use a site like this to really keep your finger on the pulse.
Whilst browsing I found two designers that I absolutely adore and they shot right up the wishlist! BLK DNM and J.W. Anderson. The first has amazing rock chick pieces that have a real edgy high end all saints and Kate Moss feel.
The jeans, t-shirt and jacket below are all by this brand. also the perfume which I imagine to smell divine. I would describe the pieces as rock chick staples with an edge!
The other amazing brand has work wear with a real twist! This brand J.W. Anderson had lots of great knot details and twisted fabric and were reminiscent of Vivienne Westwood for me. The white shirt and stunning bag were my favourites of their pieces and can be found below. I have put together a couple of outfits from the brand that I would wear below and I think they look super cool together. Have a look and let me know what your favourite pieces are!
So now I’ve finally found the little pink camera that has been hiding with the memory card I needed in it here are the pics of my dinner at Chime! It was perfect! The staff are warm and welcoming, observant yet not over the top like they can be in some restaurants. Chime is a restaurant bar combo and I’ve since been back again with my girlfriends for drinks and nibbles. It’s perfect for a glam night out or a midweek meal and only 5 minutes to Northwich and 15 minutes to Tarporley, Knutsford and lots of other cool Cheshire villages to carry on the fun! However it’s the kind of place where once you see the cocktail list you can easily while away the hours without needing to move in to somewhere else.
Next up on my must try list is breakfast at Chime and then milkshakes in summer as they’re my guilty pleasure!
So our food… Garlic flatbread to start, divine, melts in your mouth and not too heavy if you want a light bite or non stodgy starter. Mum had the soup of the day which was delicious and came with some fluffy fresh bread, fabulous! For our mains I had my usual naughty main a burger and mum was healthier and went for a chicken salad. The salad was only a starter size but was still huge and plenty of chicken. Don’t you usually find as a women when you order a starter as a main it’s usually a little stingray on the meat well we definitely didn’t find this problem at Chime… Alas no room for dessert but next time definitely as I am sure I will be back time and time again!
Thank you to the wonderful, warm staff and the excellent chefs, five out of five!
I recently told you about attending the opening of a stunning new venue in Hartford, Cheshire called Chime! It’s a beautiful restaurant and cocktail bar nestled in a quaint village called Hartford. Here are some pictures from the opening and later today I will share with you my review of the delicious food! I can’t look at food pics right now as I’m starving and it’s lunch time! Panacea used to be my little home from home but I think Chime will be where I am found from now on! Check out the really unusual beautiful rose bellini’s below with real petals and the warm inviting décor…the cupcakes on opening night were made of melt in the mouth gorgeousness! Mum had black forest and I had lemon!.. Enjoy…
Monday I returned to zumba! I forgot how much I love this type of exercise! It is just soooooo much fun! I am going to try and go a couple of times a week because it is definitely more fun (for me anyway) than the gym! Tonight (Thursday) I did Insanity O-M-G it is hardcore! It is only for half an hourbut so tough. One of the ladies gave me a tip at the start which was don’t go too hard in the first seven minutes. This was very good advice as it gets A LOT harder! Also for the first seven minutes you can’t drink and have to stick with it. This is how I imagine boot camp to be and it is a definitely a ‘go hard or go home’ workout. Now I have done it I feel great but I didn’t at the time.
Working out and being back on track with my training is definitely making me eat better! For the first time in ages I am nearly getting and sometimes hitting my five a day which is great. Here is a little pic of the meal I made Sunday. This is a Jamie Oliver recipe. Thyme, Paprika, Garlic, Peppers, Chicken thighs, Olive oil and if you follow the official recipe much more! I did my own version so I only used the above ingredients. Here is a picture of my version and below it the official recipe.
4 large ripe tomatoes
2 red onions
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
6 skinless, boneless free-range chicken thighs
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 bunch of fresh thyme
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
This is the official recipe as I altered it a little to suit my ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Quarter the tomatoes and place them in a large baking dish or roasting tray (roughly 25cm x 30cm). Peel the onions and cut into large wedges, then de seed and roughly chop the peppers. Add all these to the tray along with the chicken thighs.
Squash the unpeeled garlic cloves with the back of your knife and add to the tray, then pick over the thyme leaves and sprinkle over the paprika. Add the oil, balsamic and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Toss everything together really well to coat, then spread across the tray, making sure the chicken isn’t covered by the vegetables. Roast for around 1 hour, or until the chicken is golden and cooked through, turning and basting it a couple of times during cooking with the juices from the tray.
Serve the tray bake with a lovely green salad on the side. You could also buddy it up with a little rice, polenta or a loaf of crusty bread to mop up the juices.
Fourth day at the gym today! So I am eating healthy so all of that training pays off! Tonight for dinner I did salmon with sweet chilli and sweet potato fries. I discovered these at Christmas when my friends mum made them. They are AMAZING! Tonight whilst out shopping I had a quick look online and one of the first posts on how to cook sweet potato fries was a blog (which is always good news as I love my fellow bloggers!)
The original recipe I used was on a site called ‘instructables’.
Happy New Year everyone! I took an accidental break for the past 10 days and now have soooo much to write about! I am back at the gym and feeling great. I have been three times this week already and definitely feeling more energetic for it. I am definitely keeping it up in the new year. I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas? This week I will be getting Raffle-copter to pick the competition winner for December and I will be writing about my crazy busy Christmas! This is just a quick post to say hello but more from me soon! xXx
Isn’t Christmas just fab?! However what makes it so flaming marvellous is that it is once a year. It’s a highlight. We have just watched a programme about two wacky people. One who loves gingerbread so much her whole house has been painted to look like a gingerbread home and she has a massive vat of ginger that she gets from a wholesaler to add to everything she cooks! The other a man who celebrates Christmas EVERY SINGLE DAY! Cooking a full roast dinner and even gifting himself! (I wouldn’t of minded the Mercedes he awarded himself!) It got me thinking about my dream Christmas!
I love the glamour of Christmas but it is also a time to relax and unwind after all of the pace of the weeks running up to it. I’d wake up on Christmas morning in a large sleigh shaped bed (my favourite bed shape and not because of Christmas!) And have bucks fizz in bed!
I’d sit in my snuggly pyjamas to open my beautifully wrapped gifts! I’d dress up in something sparkly for dinner and then after everybody had left I would put my silky pj’s back on and curl up in front of the fire to watch TV with a glass of champers and some chocs! Bliss!
Whilst dreaming about my perfect Christmas day I caught up on some of the Christmas ads I hadn’t yet watched.
I already love Boux Avennue for nightwear and they’ve done a fab Christmas ad that really showcases a glamorous Christmas more than any of the other Christmas adverts. This ad also captures elements of my dream Christmas. You can see the ad below:
Now as you know I tried Vera Flow a few weeks ago and I haven’t yet told you what I think. I really enjoyed it! It is so different to any other exercise forms. You basically do a variety of stretches that flow into each other. I found it faster than yoga and more challenging. I like any exercise that’s pacey so I really enjoyed it. I hope I will be able to get to some more of the classes. My challenge is always time! I get invited to a lot of things on a Sunday and so it is often difficult to get back as this is when Vera Flow and one of my Zumba classes are but I am going to do my best to get out to some more of the classes. It is definitely a class I am glad I have tried and really enjoyed. It would be really good to do it regularly and watch flexibility increase over time. Let me know if you try Vera Flow and what you think!
I’ve always loved Estee Lauder! I always wear their foundation as it is just so long wearing. Today I got myself a little treat to cheer myself up after my stupid clutch on my car went…
The foundation is amazing and stays on all day it is super long wearing, the product I wear is ‘Double Wear’ I tend to mix ivory beige and wheat.
I also needed a new pinky lip stick so I went for pink sand which is from the signature range. I have had this before and I love it as it is so subtle. Because I had purchased two products (one being skin care) I got a little goody bag with all kinds of treats including a day wear moisturiser, make up remover, lip gloss, mascara and a couple of other little sample size products. I’ve just used the moisturiser and it smelt divine! This little batch of lovelies was from the Estee Lauder counter in Boots. What’s your favourite make up range?
How perfect is my new necklace from Nude Jewellery?! I love it so much. Simple silver, modern jewellery is my favourite and this ticks all of my boxes of the most perfect necklace. The gold ball is really unusual and I haven’t seen anything like it before. It’s so delicate but really stands out when I wear it. There are so many pieces on the Nude site that I want.. I think I will do wish list post next week and share some of my other favourite pieces. As regular readers know I love my independent brands and small boutiques and this site has lots of designers featured and these are my favourite types of sites and stores! Have you bought anything from a wonderful full independent recently? Let me know! Check out Nude jewellery and let me know what you think!