Friday, 28 November 2014

Fitness Update


Afternoon folks!

I haven't written a fitness update in a little while nor any recipe posts, things have just been so busy with a new job that I haven't really had chance. My hours have changed (again!) with the new job so now I've had to change up my schedule again too. This isn't really a problem just more difficult to get into a new plan and make it a habit again.

I've been trying to get to at least one Body Pump class in the week as well as my normal Saturday morning class as it is definitely the most beneficial for me. My progress in it is slow but every week I push myself to go heavier in something different and squat lower, hold my plank longer and try not to have sneaky breaks in shoulder track! I hate working shoulders as it's such a weakness for me and the burn can sometimes end up being real pain. I'm working on it.......but it's hard.

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That said I've been making up my own routines as well as using my latest program from my trainer.


My latest program uses a ladder formation with a 15 minute recovery period on the cross trainer in between. She's got me doing squat jumps and burpees all the way from one each to ten of each, then all the way back down to one. I'm not going to lie, it's a killer but really good for an all over work out. I've felt a difference since doing them but in all honesty I've only ever made it up to 10 of each and haven't ever got as far as doing back down to one......yet. I think it's mostly an issue with time as it would take me so long to do and my evenings are limited but i also get quite dizzy sometimes too.

After the recovery period I then have to do press ups followed by an oblique crunch (bringing round one knee to your elbow at a time whilst still in press up position). These have also been good but the same problem still exists and I'm yet to make it back down from 10!


Aside from that here's my routine that I've been doing by myself, taken from instagram videos and other programs I've had in the past:

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It's an absolute killer and i repeat it twice with a bit of active recovery in between. It's a full body workout with almost everything I could think of thrown in to keep my body guessing and my abs and shoulders were definitely still feeling it a few days later. It was exactly what i needed and I'm going to do it a few more times and then switch it up and make a new one.


If you have any suggestions for things to add to my next workout leave them in the comments! If you try this workout let me know :)

Do you have a personal trainer? Do you follow any particular programs or get inspiration from any online sources? I'd love to know!


L xxx


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Essie Manicure



Essie is without a doubt the number one nail polish brand for nudes; you only have to spend one second in front of a stand to know that with the copious display of bottles.

I've previously posted about a few polishes and compared the likes of Ballet Slippers, Fiji and Sand Tropez (you can read this here)

Almost all three of these bottle are now coming to an end so with the 3 for 2 offer on in Boots I restocked my base and top coats and snapped up a new nude to try: Mademoiselle.

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I've never tried the First Base base coat from Essie so I was interested to see how the green/blue coloured polish would fare in comparison to others I've used that are cheaper.

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It contains a rubber adhesive to help bond polish to the nail surfaces creating a smooth base for application, helps resist chipping and against stains created by some stronger colours.

I always try and use a base to help against staining, there's nothing worse than weirdly coloured nails that look unhealthy when actually it's just an orange toned red polish that is the culprit!

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The base applied easily as expected with any Essie polish, the brush seems to fit my nail perfectly so I can just swipe it from base to tip and not manage to get too much all over my fingers.

It dried really fast and left a clear base with a good finish for colour application.

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So Mademoiselle is a sheer light pink, its like the sheerness of Ballet Slippers with the colour of Fiji.

I wasn't sure what colour this was going to turn out as, I can never tell but I couldn't test on my own nails as I'd just done them in a dark red and the name sounded familiar. Next time I buy one I will have to investigate further! Not that this colour isn't lovely but I have something similar already and would probably prefer something that doesn't require 4 coats for a more opaque finish.

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The photo above shows Mademoiselle after 2 coats. It doesn't quite cover the tips of the nails so you can see how translucent it is; I don't like my nails to look white but I do like the colour to show up.

I don't think I'm a sheer polish kind of person however at work nail polish seems to be a no no, especially as my new job requires lots of hands on work with spanners - no joke.

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Four coats seem to have done the trick and this is a much better colour for me. I've actually really liked wearing such a sheer colour on my nails this week and it seems to have been a welcome change for me.

As always Essie polishes are top notch in application and quality and the top coat is one of my favourites. The combination of all three polishes seem to have created a rock hard manicure that hasn't budged whatsoever, even with all my new found spanner and screwdriver skills. 

This is definitely a colour I would recommend for those who love all nudes and sheer finishes. I'm sure I'll pick up more in future, Essie is just too irresistible!


What's your favourite Essie polish? Do you prefer sheer or opaque polishes?


L xxx



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Thursday, 27 November 2014

25 Pills You Should Run a Mile from



Hello there!

It's that time of year when we all hear about another round of the flu stalking the office or the school or your family or friends have all got it. My first reaction is to avoid them like the plague and run to the local shop and pick up some Beroccas. nothing helps me like they do, even if it's all psychological and a boost can't do any harm, though i do only use them for when I'm feeling run down.

However I read an article the other day in Women's Health about the pills you should and shouldn't be swallowing and I found it really interesting. So interesting in fact that I've decided to pretty much copy it straight into a blog post for you to read and see which pills you really shouldn't waste your money on.

We've all been there in a store reading how the latest vitamin can help shift those last few pounds, how something can rev up your metabolism and draw out toxins and they can be very appealing. But after reading this list i was surprised that most are completely pointless and can do more harm than good.

So let's just be clear, I'm copying this from November's edition of Women's Health and it's not my own research or hard work really, aside from typing it up in my own words, but I thought it was worthy of knowing so you don't waste your money or do yourself some harm:



1) Raspberry Ketones - one I'm sure we've all heard of and al of the weightloss claims it has. Actually, there's no scientific evidence to confirm they promote weightloss in humans at all. Save your money!

2) Korean or Panax Ginseng - I've never heard of these and don't know what they claim to do but they do speed up your heart rate and affect your oestrogen levels....sounds terrifying. Save your health by avoiding this one.

3) Guarana - found in sports drinks and although it does give you energy, it's because it contains caffeine so you might as well save your money by sticking with something more natural and also guarana can leave you feeling jittery and nervous...save your sanity in this case!

4) Bio-identical Hormones - Again no idea what these are supposed to do for you or why you would voluntarily take them but they are prescription only and therefore should only be given to you by your doctor, scary stuff! 

5) Soy Isoflavones - Derives from a plant however they have a serious effect on your hormones that nobody has quite worked out how yet, that should be enough to scare you off too.

6) Chitosan - allegedly a fat binder though it drags all fats out and doesn't discriminate between the ones we need and the ones we don't. Save your health and your money.

7) High doses of Vitamin C - totally pointless and no evidence to show that anything over 1g is helpful at all. Save your cash as these can be quite expensive!

8) Bentonite Clay - another one to allegedly draw out toxins. Don't think there's any evidence to support these claims but regardless, it wouldn't draw out the toxins fast enough if you had a bad diet so it's no excuse. 

9) Acai - totally pointless unless in the original fruit form which you can't get as it would go off by the time it reached the UK....sigh

10) Senna - taking laxatives is never a good way to help you lose weight but even as a helping hand when things get sluggish it can make your own digestive system lazy. My family have always said that orange juice is a much better antidote which I've no idea if it's true but chia seeds most definitely work to get things going again.

11) DMAA - had to look this one up......essentially it has killed people who have taken it and can still be found in some online pills for fat burning. It's really not worth the risk!

12) Garcinia Cambogia - So many people talk about Garcinia  the internet, Facebook adverts are the worse for scams like these sending them to you for a few pounds but still no scientific evidence.

13) Evening Primrose - borage is the key ingredient in this and is found in much higher doses in Starflower Oil so skip buying this one.

14) Vitamin E - famed for helping with skincare issues it can actually give you thrombosis and blood clots when you take too much of it. Save yourself!

15) Vitamin A - if you've ever used My Fitness Pal to log your daily intake of food and checked out the vitamins section it's likely you will have exceeded in your does of Vitamin A as it is in so many fruits and vegetables. you certainly don't need to take extra when it's that easy to find and high levels with damage your liver - again, terrifying.

16) Thermogenic supplements - I've been caught by this one, was so excited to think that they would work whilst eating clean and working out as much as possible. Funnily enough, they never worked and there's no scientific evidence for them either. Waste of cash!

17) St John's Wort - claims the be a mood enhancer but can actually increase the metabolism of any prescribed drugs that you can take and therefore make them less effective which could be extremely dangerous. Get into the gym to get your endorphins going and enhance your mood the natural way!

18) Brindleberry - never heard of this one but the US claims its an appetite suppressant but when compared with a placebo there wasn't any change whatsoever.

19) Beta Carotene - claims to help against cancer, but actually has no effect in supplement form. Stick to eating the real deal from orange foods like carrots and pumpkins.

20) Calcium - it seems you just cannot beat having things in its natural form. Milk is fine, the supplements appear to increase risk of cardiovascular disease.

21) Glucosamine - can alleviate stiffness if you suffer from arthritis but is no help whatsoever in preventing you from getting it like previously thought.

22) Milk Thistle - doesn't help against binge drinking. I know many people who take this on nights out and have said it works for them but it is possible that maybe it's just because you drink water taking it? Either way, if it does help your hangover it definitely doesn't help your liver recover.

23) Chlorophyll - the chemical that makes plants green has been claimed to help with detoxification. There's no evidence to suggest this is correct so you might as well stick you drinking lots of free water instead, it's the best way to flush out anything from your system.

24) Fat Binders - another one I tried and had no results from. 'Obesity' found that over the course of a day only 10 calories were bound and removed, TEN! Might as well just skip on that extra biscuit or crisps and save yourself 200.

25) Capsaicin - The chemical in chillies that helps you burn fat. You might as well just eat the chilli's for exactly the same effect and probably a cheaper alternative too!



So there we have it, 25 pills you should run a mile from.

What do you think? Have you tried many of these? Were there any that surprised you?

It's scary to think you can buy so many of them on the internet even though they are prescription drugs and can be extremely harmful, some even causing death!

Let's just stick to the real things in life and get them from a healthy diet right??


L xxx



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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Nip and Fab Glycolic Fix Cleanser


Happy hump day!

Another week down and it's now less than a month until Christmas! Is this time to panic or time to get ridiculously excited and start singing carols and eating mince pies again - I just can't decide!

Nip and Fab have really caught my attention recently with some super products that have already become firm favourites in my collection and are also great value for money being in an affordable price range along with the amazing offers from Boots and Superdrug as well as points. You just can't go wrong!

The Glycolic range is something that I wish they had brought out a long time ago. Glycolic acid is great for helping with a massive range of skin ailments and if I had only known about it in my teenage years I think life would have been very different, if only for having lass breakouts and scarring.

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The Glycolic Fix Cleanser is a liquid cleanser that you only need a tiny bit of to froth up and apply to your damp face before rinsing off. It's a foaming cleanser that not only contains 2% glycolic acid but also apple amino acids to cleanse and purify your skin.

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The 150ml bottle costs just under £10 which is pretty good for a cleanser of this quality not to mention it's normally involved in an offer. The cleanser also contains olive oil to help hydrate your skin whilst the glycolic acid works its magic.

I've been uisng this recently to help with some skin issues I've been having. After an allergic reaction that went on for 2 months I was left with some marks on my skin where the reaction had turned into acne and left me with red lumps. After waiting for the reaction to subside I then set myself the task of working my way through my products to help make these marks fade and slowly reduce from sight. I still to cover these up for occasions but for every day things like work I now don't need to worry about people staring at them.

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The great thing about this cleanser is that you need so little of it to foam up and cover your entire face. I usually use another cleanser previous to this to remove as much grime and products from my face from the day and then use this so that I can get the full effects.

It also smells really good, it has a really light fragrance which is important for me as strong scents make me feel sick! If I'm in the shower using this cleanser I also leave it on my skin for a while to give it some time to work a little extra magic and it has been working really well for me and I've also not had any further reactions which is definitely a massive bonus. (I even had an allergic reaction to my sock the other day, it's getting a little out of hand!)

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I know I've probably been raving on about the serums and creams from Nip and Fab for months now but this is the first cleanser I have tried and I've been really impressed.

I'd recommend this to anyone having skincare issues and anyone who wants a bit more of a glow in their skin as I've found that mine has felt so clean and invigorated after the last few weeks of usage.
I don't use this every day just in case it is too strong for my skin but you can if you like, I tend to use it 4 days a week and that way I'm also being a bit thrifty!


Have you tried the Glycolic Fix Cleanser? Do you think glycolic acid is as amazing as I think it is?
What's your favourite type of cleanser?


L xxx


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