Sunday, 31 August 2014

Clean9 Detox: My Results!

So here they are...the results! As you can probably tell, I didn't have an awful lot of weight/inches to lose but there are definitely subtle differences in the before and after photos.

I am really thrilled with the outcome, not only in what I've lost but also in what I've gained. I have the most beautiful skin at the moment. Honestly, the first time in a while I've been out all day without any foundation on! I also feel really energized and motivated to eat better. I'm not saying I'll never have anything unhealthy again, I mean you have to live right?! But I won't be having tons of junk food all the time like I had been doing!

I would definitely recommend the Clean9 to people who want a kickstart to an healthier lifestyle and want to shift a few lbs quickly as an head-start. Or to those wanting to feel less bloated and generally healthier. However I would say it's a plan that requires focus and will-power. It's not easy in the beginning and it needs you to stay determined.

If you want to know more about the Clean9 plan then please don't hesitate to contact me though! :)


NOTD: Essie's Fiesta

I decided to brighten up my nails after my last shade, you know, hanging on to summer and all that! ;)
I haven't had a nice pink colour for ages and considering it's my favourite I thought it was about time! 

I spotted Essie's Fiesta in the nail salon and liked how "Barbie" it was. Really pleased with the result!

What do you think?


Saturday, 30 August 2014

Day Nine #Clean9detox

Last day! Last day! Incredibly happy with the results!!! :)

I woke up early (7ish) and had Breakfast as normal: 

2x Forever Garcinia Plus capsules (20 mins before the aloe). 
120ml of Aloe Vera Gel + min 240ml of water. 
1 scoop or Forever Lite Ultra with 300ml of soya milk.

I then went to the sunbed place (yes I know it's not good for me!) before heading off to show rehearsals again. I snacked at 12:00- 2x Bee Pollen tablets + min 240ml of water. Again quite possibly did not drink enough!

At around 1pm I had lunch:

2x Forever Garcinia Plus capsules (20mins before the shake). 
1 scoop of Forever Lite Ultra + 300ml of soya milk. 
2x Forever Bee Pollen tablets + min 240ml of water. 

For my exercise today (recommended 20 mins), like yesterday, I used my rehearsing- lots of dancing and being active.

I then went to have my nails done. This made me later back than usual and I was quite hungry by the time I arrived home. At about 6:30pm I had dinner:

120ml of Aloe Vera Gel + min 240ml of water.
2x Forever Garcinia Plus capsules (20mins before the meal).  
My 600 calorie meal was pretty simple- chicken portions, beans and potato.
2 x Bee Pollen tablets.

Later in the evening I resisted my families leftover chinese takeaway! I'm very proud :)

I shall post my results tomorrow in a separate post!! ;)


Friday, 29 August 2014

Day Eight #Clean9detox


Right so Day Eight! I'll hold my hands up and say I messed up a bit this evening but I'll explain shortly why that was.

Breakfast was as normal (a bit later today though around 10am): 

2x Forever Garcinia Plus capsules (20 mins before the aloe). 
120ml of Aloe Vera Gel + min 240ml of water. 
1 scoop or Forever Lite Ultra with 300ml of soya milk.

And off I went to show rehearsals. I snacked at 12:30- 2x Bee Pollen tablets + min 240ml of water. Did I drink this much water? Probaby not. I was mega busy in rehearsals (my bad).

At around 1:30 I had lunch:

2x Forever Garcinia Plus capsules (20mins before the shake). 
1 scoop of Forever Lite Ultra + 300ml of soya milk. 
2x Forever Bee Pollen tablets + min 240ml of water. Again I'm not sure I drank enough!

For my exercise today (recommended 20 mins) I used my rehearsing- lots of dancing and being active.

I later took my little cousins to a Frozen party...yes a evening dedicated to the ever popular Disney film!The kids loved it but it meant I didn't arrive home until 8:30pm. I took a Forever Bee Pollen tablet during the party as I started to feel hungry, which helped, but I was really hungry when I got back. 

Consequently in my rush I forgot to consult my Clean9 diary and missed the 120ml of Aloe Vera Gel + min 240ml of water and 2x Forever Garcinia Plus capsules (20mins before the meal). 

Instead I tucked into my dinner of jacket potatoes and beans. I weighed it out and calculated the calories but during eating it I lost my appetite and had to leave a lot of the beans. I then realised I'd forgotten the first part of the plan and had to take the Garcinia Plus capsules 20 minutes before the Aloe Vera Gel!

So yes, not so successful! I've since had a banana to make up the calories and I'm going to eat a nectarine in a minute! But it's now 10:40pm! Today has flown!!

Last day of the plan tomorrow! I think I'll miss it!


Thursday, 28 August 2014

Day Seven #Clean9detox

Another busy day for me rehearsing for my show and taking part in my regular gym classes! I have only literally just sat down at now (10:38pm!) but I did have a fab day! :)

So Day Seven follows the same format as days 3-9 but I shall give you a proper outline of what this means, unlike on yesterday's blog post when I was lazy! :P

I had breakfast (around 9am):

2x Forever Garcinia Plus capsules (20 mins before the aloe). 
120ml of Aloe Vera Gel + min 240ml of water. 
1 scoop or Forever Lite Ultra with 300ml of soya milk.

I then left for rehearsals and at around 12ish I had my snack of 2x Bee Pollen tablets + min 240ml of water. Not because I was hungry made I add, but because it recommends you take these.

I came home for lunch (1:30ish) and decided to have my 600-cal meal, again at this point in the day. You can choose to have this either at lunch time or dinner time, whichever suits you best. So I had:

2x Garcinia Plus capsules (20 mins before the meal)
600 calorie meal. For this I opted for chicken, baked beans and a small jacket potato. Again I weighed this out and used the MyFitnessPal app to check calories. I purposely ensured the meal was 80ish calories short to make way for my banana which I'll get to later! 

2x Bee Pollen tablets + min 240ml of water. 

Back to rehearsals I went. I finished that around 4pm and the car journey home made me sleepy. This always happens after a busy day which isn't great considering I'm behind the wheel! So I opted for a 20 min power nap. 

I felt fresh as a daisy when I woke up and had my dinner around 5pm:

120ml of Aloe Vera Gel + min 240ml of water. 
2x Forever Garcinia Plus capsules (20 mins before the shake).
1 scoop or Forever Lite Ultra with 300ml of soya milk.
2x Bee Pollen tablets.

I then swiftly headed off to my exercise classes. First up an hour of Boot Camp, followed by an hour of Megamix which involves a variety of different exercises. I felt really quite good during these despite them being quite difficult tonight. As I've stressed before, the plan recommends about 20 mins of exercise a day so don't think you have to do as much as me! Fitness is just my passion so I've continued with my life as normal :)

After my workout I had a banana just to ensure I was putting something back into my body after all those lost calories. However I must say I wasn't particularly hungry!

All in all I'm really enjoying the plan. It has just become normal for me now and I still really like the vanilla shake so I look forward to having them. As for the gel, my holding the nose method seems to be working perfectly well and I have no issues taking it!

Nearly there now! 


Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Day Six #Clean9detox

Hey so I'll keep this post ready short because it's pretty late and I'm off to bed!

Today I weighed and measured myself again as recommended in the plan and was chuffed with the results. In total so far I've lost 7lbs and a big 3.5 inches around my waist! I've also lost in other areas such as arms, thighs and hips! So pleased with how the plan is achieving great results and really feeling healthy and good!

If you want to know what the plan states for breakfast, lunch and dinner please see yesterday's for a full account of what you have. (In fact days 3-9 of the plan is the same diet). 

However today I had my 600 calorie meal for lunch instead of dinner as it fitted in better with my busy schedule. The plan does say you can switch this around so I wasn't breaking any rules or anything! I had a fairly large amount of brown pasta with tuna, cucumber and tomato. I finished my meal with a banana for pudding. 

Felt very full today and not at all hungry. The plan seems to be getting easier every day! :)


Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Day Five #Clean9detox

Ok so I've had the busiest day ever today but I've managed the plan fine. In fact I think the set meals actually helped me time-wise, so in a weird way I was glad to be on Clean9! :)

I started my day at an earlier time of 7:30am and let me tell you it was a shock to the system! God help me when my work alarm returns next week! I got ready and had my breakfast:

2x Forever Garcinia Plus capsules (20 mins before the aloe). 
120ml of Aloe Vera Gel + min 240ml of water. 
1 scoop or Forever Lite Ultra with 300ml of soya milk (again definitely prefer soya over skimmed). 

I then set off for school. Although it's still the holidays, today I backed 9 of my classroom walls (you wouldn't believe the effort and sweat that goes into making a 5-year olds classroom look like one!) I did have the help of my lovely TA though thank god! Around 11ish I took my snack of 2x Bee Pollen tablets + min 240ml of water. 

After spending 4 hours sorting out my classroom I left to have lunch (1:30pm) before setting off for show rehearsals for the musical I'm in in September! I had:

2x Garcinia Plus capsules (20 mins before the shake). 
1 scoop or Forever Lite Ultra with 300ml of soya milk. I actually had this in my car at a petrol station on my way to rehearsals as my fuel light was on red and I was in a rush!
2x Bee Pollen tablets + min 240ml of water. 

I did a bit of dancing, singing and acting before heading home for dinner:

120ml of Aloe Vera Gel + min 240ml of water. 
2x Forever Garcinia Plus capsules (20 mins before the meal)
600 calorie meal. 
2x Bee Pollen tablets 

However as Tuesdays are always particulary energetic for me ( I do back-to-back exercise classes in the evening) I decided I would partially split my 600 calorie meal. Therefore I had the chicken, veg and potatoes around 5ish before I did spin class and Zumba. Later when I got home I had the mini fruit salad made up of banana, strawberries and apricot. 

Now, strictly speaking I don't suppose you're meant to split up the meal into two. And strictly speaking you're only supposed to do about 20 minutes of exercise a day also. However being the gym junkie I am, this was never going to happen. I love exercise and I wanted to stick to my routine as best as possible (to be fair I have done less workouts this week due to bank holiday anyway!) So nevertheless, I decided to do Day 5 this way as I wanted to ensure I wasn't being unsafe and making myself poorly. I burnt a hell of a lot of calories tonight and I'm aware probably more than my meals worth!

It's about 10:15pm and I'm very full and content. Bring on Day 6 and also the next weigh-in/results! 


Monday, 25 August 2014

Day Four #Clean9detox

What a positive day Day Four has been for me. Today I have found the plan easy peasy! 

I gave myself a nice lie-in today and woke up around 10am (it is bank holiday Monday afterall!). I wasn't at all hungry and so I allowed myself to wake up a bit before having breakfast. So around 11ish I had:

2x Forever Garcinia Plus capsules (20mins before the aloe). 
120ml of Aloe Vera Gel + min 240ml of water. 
1 scoop of Forever Lite Ultra + 300ml of either skimmed or soya milk. I combined the two today. 

After breakfast I was full- not that I had been particularly hungry in the first place! Due to a later start and my lack of appetite I forgot to take 2x Forever Bee Pollen tablets for a snack before lunch. (I had the tablets in the evening instead). 

For lunch I had: 2x Forever Garcinia Plus capsules (20mins before the shake). 
1 scoop of Forever Lite Ultra + 300ml of soya milk. (Definitely prefer the shake with soya milk rather than skimmed, it's less sweet). 
2x Forever Bee Pollen tablets + min 240ml of water. 

I counted shopping as my exercise today as I did a fair amount of walking. Also if you're into clothes shopping you'll know it can be more energetic and tiring than a workout sometimes. Blog post to come on my purchases later!

Finally dinner. By which point I was quite hungry (around 5:30pm). 

120ml of Aloe Vera Gel + min 240ml of water. 
2x Forever Garcinia Plus capsules (20mins before the meal). 
A 600 calorie meal (processed food nor recommended). 
2x Forever Bee Pollen tablets

As you can guess from the picture, I again had pork. Not because I didn't know what else to eat, but simply for the fact that it was a spare chop leftover from yesterday and it's quite possibly my favourite meat. I only had the one this time though, and instead had two small baked potatoes, 1 tomato and a chopped cucumber. I also added a teaspoon of butter and halved it onto my potatoes. This gave my meal more flavour and I really enjoyed every mouthful. For pudding I made myself a mini fruit salad containing an apple, strawberries and an apricot. Yum yum!

( Like yesterday, I used food scales to weigh out my food and the MyFitnessPal app to calculate the calories). 

Around 8pm I took my earlier forgotten Bee Pollen tablets. 

It's now just gone 11pm and I'm about to get into bed. Feeling really good about today and I'm very confident I will complete the Clean9 plan :)


Sunday, 24 August 2014

Day Three #Clean9detox

Hello! Today was Day Three in my nine day detox and I can tell you it has been so much easier than yesterday! AND I was very impressed with my results so far. 

Before I tell you about how my day went, I'll tell you how the plan has worked for me so far and reveal my results. 

Drum roll....

Surprisingly I have in fact lost 2kg in weight and even more shockingly a whole 2 inches around my waist! I was stunned at these readings because being pretty thin and toned already I wasn't really expecting to see any physical results- more just a energy boost and feeling less sluggish I guess! So yes, very happy so far!

So, what did I eat today?

I woke up at around 9am feeling very hungry. The type of hunger where you feel a bit sick! So I quickly opted for breakfast. Today this consisted of: 

2x Forever Garcinia Plus capsules (20 mins before the aloe). 
120ml of the Aloe Vera Gel + min 240ml of water. 
1 scoop of Forever Lite Ultra with 300ml of soya milk (or you can do skimmed milk). 

Let me tell you I was super pleased about the addition of the vanilla shake for breakfast as I do really enjoy them. In fact I aim to continue having them after a hard gym session post finishing the clean9 plan. 

As the shake tends to do, my hunger was relieved shortly after having it and I felt fine. I did a little bit of this and that before taking my snack of 2x Bee Pollen tablets + min 240ml of water around 11ish. 

At 12 noon I decided to go for a swim. The plan recommends 20 minutes of daily light exercise such as a walk, run, cycle or swim. It is also recommended that you don't do too much exercise as this could possibly affect your results with building muscle etc. However, considering I'm referred to as a fitness freak or gym junkie...I could go on...I figured I may aswell live as I normally do and do the same exercise routine. Based on the fact I always do similar amounts of exercise each week I'm guessing aswell that I won't be shocking my body and building muscle fast, in fact I reckon I've pretty much built all the muscle I can for now! 

So, I swam for around 40 minutes. A nice leisurely lane swim and I really enjoyed it. I don't know if this is just me but whenever I go swimming I always feel starving shortly after leaving the pool. Indeed I started to get hungry and I headed home for my lunch (around 2ish)which was:

2x Forever Garcinia Plus capsules (20 mins before the shake). 
1 scoop of Forever Lite Ultra with 300ml of soya milk. 
2x Bee Pollen tablets + min 240ml of water. 

Again I really enjoyed the shake and I was pleased that there was no Aloe Vera Gel in this meal because, whilst it's good for you and a key part to the plan, it's not pleasant tasting and I have to hold my nose and shot it quickly. 

After that I was busy doing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and that entertained me for a while :) Then at around 6pm it was dinner time! I was so excited! Actual FOOD! However before I could eat a proper meal I had to have:

120ml of the Aloe Vera Gel + min 240ml of water, followed by
2x Forever Garcinia Plus capsules (20 mins before a meal). 
Then I could have a meal equivalent to 600 calories. *Please note that this meal should not contain processed foods. 
2x Bee Pollen tablets. 

As you probably saw above in the photo, I decided to have 2 small pork loin chops, a small baked potato, boiled carrots and boiled mushrooms. I added in a slice of honey dew melon for dessert. I calculated the calories by weighing the food and using the MyFitnessPal app on my iPhone to roughly work out what was what. 

Technically I could have been a little bit naughty and put on a couple of spoons of instant gravy, however I decided I wasn't that desperate and would prefer to try and follow the plan strictly. Regardless, I fully enjoyed every mouthful! It's funny how when you haven't eaten for so long it makes you appreciate food so much more. Delicious! 

Since then I've been drinking water like the plan suggests and I have to say I've remained full. It's just gone 9:25pm now and I'm getting ready to relax and catch-up on last nights' Dr Who! <3

Feeling much more positive after having had some real food today and getting some great results already

Day Three, done!


My ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

So I got nominated and it's a really great cause, so click the picture to see my Ice Bucket Challenge video!

Donate by texting ICED55 to 70070


Elemis Tan Accelerator

Hello. So I cannot believe I haven't blogged about this before! It's Elemis' Tan Accelerator lotion and it's amazing. It's without question one of my most used and loved products of all time. 

So what is it? ... Well, as it says in its name, it does indeed accelerate a tan. It's pretty good for that actually. However this is not the reason I first purchased the product. 

When I was younger I'd often go on a couple of abroad holidays each year and whilst I enjoyed going away, my skin didn't. More often than not I'd break out in awful pricky heat rashes. If you've ever experienced prickly heat yourself, you'll know how unpleasant and uncomfortable it is. 

May 2011, Greece. I developed the most severe prickly heat rash on my stomach that I had ever experienced and to be honest it ruined my holiday. I was miserable! However during that time my friend told me about this 'tan accelerator thing' that helps to prevent prickly heat and sunburn. I was certainly interested. 

So prior to my holiday in Septemeber 2011 to Gran Canaria, I bought myself a bottle of the Elemis Tan Accelerator. It recommends it's best to apply the lotion about one to two weeks prior to your holiday to help prep your skin. I used the lotion like I would a body moisturiser and applied it all over my body once a day for about 14 days. 

The result: A fantastic holiday in the sun, without any rashes or sunburn! Amazing. Obviously, as a then pale skinned person, I was also using high factor sun cream, but I didn't experience any sunburn. Usually I would still burn a bit, with or without sun cream as my skin was that sensitive! 

I enjoyed using the product so much that after my holiday I decided to continue using the lotion and bought another bottle. Why?
1) The smell. It's delicious. I can't quite describe the scent but I really love it. I suppose it reminds me of holidays.
2) Good skin moisturiser. It's very easy to rub in and instantly sinks into your skin. I don't find it sticky and it does lightly tint your skin.
3) Great for sunbed use. Yes, I know, sunbeds are BAD. However I do enjoy a quick sess every so often and find the lotion really helps to protect your skin whilst accelerating the tan as it were!
4) I figured if I ever go abroad again, my skin will already be prepped and ready for the heat.
I've been using this on a weekly basic ever since...So, wow, pretty much 3 years!
At £22 from the likes of John Lewis, it's not particularly cheap but the fact that I continually repurchase speaks volumes in my eyes! It depends on how often you use it and how much you apply, but on average I get through a bottle about every 5-6weeks. If however you want it prior to a holiday and you're applying all over your body everyday, then I'd say a bottle (125ml) would last you 10-14 days depending on how liberally you apply.
All in all I'd give this product 10/10 and would recommend it to anyone, especially the fairer-skinned population! 

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Day two #Clean9detox

Day two and alive and well! :)

*Please note that the plan for Day Two is the same as Day One's so if I speak about breakfast, lunch and dinner and you're interested in what this entails then please read Day One. 

I woke up a little hungry this morning at around 8:45am. I proceeded with breakfast and this helped to relieve the hunger, however I did have a ever so slight headache at this point. Nothing to warrant pills or anything but there was definitely a niggle there. 

I snacked on the Foever Bee Pollen tablets (x2) around 10:30am, at which point the headache seemed to go away. At 12:15pm I felt quite hungry but just drank water for a little while before helping myself to lunch. However rather than the skimmed milk I opted for unsweetened soya milk in my vanilla shake today. I really enjoyed this and liked it more than the skimmed milk as it was less sweet and not sickly at all (which I know some people complain about). 

I then went for a steady 1.5 hour walk with a friend. I felt good and it took my mind off of food. However around 4:30pm I got really hungry and had to try really hard to fight the urge to eat something. I just drank some more water and tried to distract myself. 

At about 6:30pm I had my dinner/tea and surprisingly felt quite full after having this. A few hours later I took my final dose of the Aloe Gel along with more water. 

Now at 11:20pm I feel quite good. I'm quite tired but I'm glad I didn't feel the need to nap today. Maybe if I'd have been at home then I might have had a little sleep but because I stayed busy it wasn't a problem. 

I would guess at this point that Day Two is quite possibly the hardest of all the nine days because on
Day One you had eaten real food the day before and it's new and exciting and in Day Three you get to eat a 600cal meal of real food again. So Day Two is hard because you're hungry from Day One and you're missing the concept of eating food, chewing and tasting etc. 

Bring on Day Three! :D


Friday, 22 August 2014

Day one #Clean9detox

Hello. So I've made it through day one and it hasn't been too bad! :)

I woke up feeling really positive about the detox but a little scared I'd be too hungry and have to give in and eat something. BUT I managed to follow the plan to a tea today so if you're interested in what Day One looks like then keep reading!

For breakfast (8:45am) I had 2 of the Forever Garcinia Plus capsules. It recommends you take these 20 minutes before the next step, so I got myself ready for the day before taking 120ml of the Aloe Vera Gel + 240ml of water. (Let me tell you, the gel isn't very pleasant tasting at all so I held my nose and drank it fast which seemed to work pretty well!) 

It then says to incorporate 20 minutes of exercise. As I went to show rehearsals (I'm in a musical) I counted that as my exercise. 

Around 11am I went ahead and had my allowed snack of 2x Forever Bee Pollen tablets + 240ml of water- the water is a minimum recommendation btw, so I've been drinking 250ml bottles each time. 

At about 12 noon I started to feel a bit peckish. This slight hunger continued until 1pm when I went for lunch/dinner, whatever you call it! For this I had 2x Forever Garcinia Plus capsules 20 mins prior to another helping of 120ml of the Aloe Vera Gel + 240ml of water. I was then very pleased to have a vanilla shake (you get a choice of chocolate or vanilla when you order the plan). The shake was made up of one scoop of powder and 300ml of skimmed milk. This was like heaven. It tasted so nice after not having had any food and only drinking water and was the closest thing to a meal I guess. I then took 2x Forever Bee Pollen tablets. 

After lunch I felt a lot more revived and not hungry at all. I then set off for a dentist appointment and after leaving the practice at around 2:30pm I did start to feel a bit tired. The long drive home didn't help and I felt really sleepy by the time I got in. Often I'll have a power nap if I have chance, so taking a nap wasn't something I did specially because of the plan. However I did sleep for around 2 hours- a little longer than I would usually!

For dinner/tea (6:30ish) I took 2x Forever Garcinia Plus capsules 20 mins prior to another helping of 120ml of the Aloe Vera Gel + 240ml of water. Then I had 2 more Forever Bee Pollen tablets, before leaving for a pamper party. 

Whilst at the party I had a really good time trying beauty products etc and didn't even think about food. I just drank water which wasn't a issue because I was driving anyway. 

I arrived home at around 10:30pm and had my final dose of 120ml of the Aloe Vera Gel + 240ml of water. 

Now it's 11:15pm and I'm feeling fine. Perhaps a little bit peckish but I'll be off to bed shortly so tomorrow is a new day! My friends who have done the Clean9 plan said the first two days were the hardest but by day three you can have real food again! Looking forward to Day three haha :)

Wish me luck! 


Thursday, 21 August 2014

Clean9 Cleanse

Hello. So tomorrow I'm starting a 9-day cleanse, following the Clean9 plan. 

You may have perhaps heard of it? If not, then basically it's a plan to help get rid of the toxins and nasty stuff that'd built up in your body. 

Many people lose weight, shed inches around their body, tone up and define. The increase in energy and feeling better in yourself is also made note of. 

So, I thought I'd give it a go!

I shall be doing an update on how I'm getting on following the plan with a series of blog posts everyday using #clean9. In those posts I will also give more information on exactly what the plan entails. 

Wish me luck!!! :)

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside...

Hello. So I'm a little behind with this post as it's already mid-week but I wanted to quickly share my weekend with you. I headed down to sunny Skegness- sadly not so sunny! However despite the overcast weather it was very enjoyable. 

As a kid I would often go down to Skegness with my family as a mini getaway. With it being around a 2 hour drive from my house, I believe it's my nearest beach and hence I'd love going to the seaside! 

My friend Abi, also a primary teacher and whom I met whilst at Uni, just so happens to live there! I hadn't seen in her over a year (how time flies!!!) and so we arranged for me to stay the weekend and have a good old catch-up :) 

We did a bit of shopping when I arrived and I bought some fab shoes which I will later blog about as I simply love them!...
But of course when at the seaside you just have to visit the beach. So on Saturday we had a lovely beach day with her friend Erica along with 3 kids (relatives). It was rather windy but pleasant and not particularly cold, although I did wear my coat and jeans. We had a lot of difficulty putting up the windbreak on the beach (haha how I still laugh about our efforts, bashing a rock on the poles and what not) but we did half successfully put it up eventually!

There's a lovely water play area for children not too far from the beach too. I couldn't get any pictures as I thought it might be inappropriate with other children about but our 3 kids really enjoyed paddling and splashing about despite the not particularly warm weather. I can imagine it to be a very popular place when the sun's out though! 

Another unwritten rule whilst at the seaside: ice cream! I need no excuse to get a Mr Whippy let me tell you. They're one of my favourite treats. The strawberry sauce and flake simply topped it off :p yum yum! I have to say a big well done to Abi as she managed to resist a ice cream in aid of being healthy and sticking to her diet plan! Very proud! :)

Usually when I go to Skeg I would say there's also a law where you have to have fish and chips. Honestly fish and chips at its finest. However on this occasion Abi's mum made us the best roast dinner ever!! It was so nice! 

Saturday night Abi's friend invited us to play bingo at a local hall. I could tell she was worried I'd find it boring or something but I've always wanted to give bingo a go so I was more than up for it. I started the game really excited and convinced my numbers would come out...however sadly neither of us won anything haha. Nevertheless I really enjoyed playing and I definitely want to seek out a bingo place near me because I want to play again! :)

I had a fab weekend visiting Skeg and catching up with one of my loveliest friends! I'd definitely recommend giving it a visit if you've never been. It's always a fun trip out. 

As with any tourist place, there are loads of souvenir and gift shops. I usually like to treat myself to a sugar dummy or a keyring or something. However this time, after already purchasing my shoes from New Look, I bought a friend a cute little fridge magnet. The cool ice cream design really stood out and as she collects them, I couldn't resist!

Thanks to Abi for being a great host! I really had a brilliant weekend. 

What did you guys get up to?


Saturday, 16 August 2014

OPI's Manicurist of Seville

Hello! I thought I'd do a quick post showing you my latest nail choice. Since September I've been having my nails done regularly with gel overlay to ensure my nails stay strong whilst I'm working in the classroom. 

Towards the end of the school year the underneath of my nails were pretty gross and stained from face paint! Joys of teaching lol. So I had my nails cut off and had tips applied instead- so no, I can't claim these to be my own nails!

Prior to this I had a bright lime colour (for the purpose of matching my super bright bikini). So I opted for a nice change with Opi's manicurist of Seville polish. 

I love the deep plum shading and with some clear varnish on top, my nails are really shiny. 

I've had several compliments on my nails already, and whilst I feel this would properly be a better winter colour I think it's nice regardless! :)

What do you think? 

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Acne cure! My Roaccutane experience.

Hello. Ok so this wasn't an easy thing for me to post. Did I want to show everyone how horrid my skin was?...No. 

BUT I did want to show how the medication drug, Roacctune, got rid of my awful skin and transformed my life. So regardless of how embarrassed I feel about showing the most unflattering selfies ever, I am doing it in the hope that this post might help others currently suffering with spots or acne. 

I'm going to keep the write-up of this short and sweet as I have talked at length about my background and my findings of this drug over on my YouTube channel. If you wish to check that out then please do so here

If not, long story short, I was put on the prescription-only drug, Roaccutane (Isotretinoin). The drug is specifically for suffers of acne and other severe skin problems and does come with a warning of a fair few side effects. 

I failed to mention in my video about the dangers regarding depression. The drug has been linked to causing depression and in some cases suicide, however I don't believe any firm evidence of this has ever been recognised. 

I would say that I was possibly more depressed and feeling low when my skin was at its worse, rather than whilst taking this medication. But if you suffer with depression and anxiety etc then this may be something to consider and discuss with your doctor prior to taking the drug. 

Not surprisingly, I only ever took 2 photographs of my bare face whilst I was suffering with a form of cystic acne. These photographs show how sore and irritated my skin was and from this point on it only continued to develop and get worse. I didn't take a picture of my skin at its most extreme point but you can grasp the idea.

Everyday I would wake up to new yellow-headed monstrosities that would be sore and painful. They would explode, oozing out grossness, if I didn't pop them first! So my daily task was to squeeze out the liquid before going about soothing the essentially open wound. Then I would set on with job of concealing my face so the world wouldn't have to see the horrible sight I saw every day! 

It would take me roughly 20 minutes to conceal, foundation and powder my face. Luckily I got quite good at it and if I told people how bad my skin was they would say "no you're skin is fine, doesn't look bad at all". Little did they know. 

And ahhh the itching! Boy did it itch. It would drive me up the wall some days and I couldn't often scratch it anyway in fear of my makeup coming off!

And so along came... ROACCUTANE

Again, check out my video for more detail about my experience with the drug, but wow it worked well. 

I was taking Roaccutane for 6 months in total and having now been off the drug for 6 months, here is my skin today in the picture above. I must say I'm not a fan of these no-makeup-selfies but I wanted to show you what my skin was like today without any products. 

I'm so impressed with how the drug simply got rid of my itchy painful skin and I only encountered 3 side effects along the way. The latter 2 of which I loved!

1) Extremely dry lips. This is the most common side effect of Roacctune but very easy to manage with a good lip balm. I found the cherry Carmex worked a treat. 
2) Drier skin. I used a nice body moisturiser as normal and found no real issues. As for my face, I loved getting rid of my usually very oily skin. Again I just used a good moisturiser. 
3) Drier hair. Again not an issue. I could last up to 5 days without needing to wash my hair! It was brilliant. 

Main effect: GOODBYE ACNE. Winner. 

I hope you find this useful. Please don't hesitate to ask me any questions you might have about the medication or general skin related issues. 


Wednesday, 13 August 2014

I love this drink: Vita Coco

Hello just a quick post about a drink I am seriously enjoying at the minute! It's the Vita Coco coconut water. 

I've always been a massive fan of the milk you get out of a fresh coconut and stumbled across this drink at the NEC Clothes Show Live a few years ago. I tried and buyed as it were and enjoyed my purchase. But then I never saw the drink again to buy and forgot about it. 

When I saw this in my local Morrisons recently I had to retry it. I bought a 330ml size for £1.79. And yes I guess whilst that is pretty pricey I'd say the taste more than makes up for it. It's hard to describe but not only is it very much like fresh coconut milk it has a hydrating quality that I haven't experienced before. It's more refreshing than water. 

As you can see, nutritionally it isn't too bad. And based on the price (I think 1litre is currently on offer at Morrisons for £3) it's not a drink that you would consume masses off. 

I particularly like this drink as a nice refreshing treat or after a good workout to help put back in some energy without lots of sugar. 

Anyway if you happen to try this let me know what you think :) 

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

A spa afternoon at the Nottingham Belfry hotel

Yesterday me and my friend Lucy decided to check out the Nottingham Belfry spa. Having not long since returned from Center Parcs I love a good relaxing spa day, so when my mum's friend said she had a voucher she wasn't going to use I jumped at the chance! 

As this was a free gift to me, I'm unsure on pricing but I'm pretty certain a few web searches or a telephone call would provide you with this info. 

Upon ringing up to book my spa slot and day (we went for the 2-7 time rather than the 9-2 one) the guy on the phone informed me that we'd get a towel on arrival. Sure enough we did and lockers were the usual set up whereby you put in a £1 coin and receive it back at the end. 

Spoilt by Center Parcs and the Bannatyne spa, I did rather expect there to be an option of buying some spa type slippers, you know the white cloth spongey ones?! At Center Parcs they charged £1 for some. However we weren't told about any so assumed this wasn't an option. 

As for treatments, I was told on the phone when I booked the spa day that it was best to book them prior to arriving as they do go fast. Us being us we never got around to ringing up to book any, so when we arrived and asked if any were available they were all gone! To be honest I didn't think it would be that busy on a Monday but serves me right really for chancing it! I would have liked a massage but hey ho. 

We were kindly pointed in the right direction and headed for the changing rooms. These were really nice. Very clean and modern and had a station with a couple of hair dryers, which I later used. 

We had a quick look around and headed for the pool first. It was a fairly nice size and they had designed it so you could chat on one side or choose to swim on the longer side of the pool. I thought this was a nice touch because there's nothing worse than going to do some serious swimming to find people are messing around and in your way (this happened to me at my local pool last week and gosh was I annoyed).

Along with the pool there were two small rooms. On the left was a steam room and on the right a sauna. Next to these rooms were a shower, which my friend Lucy enjoyed using after being in the rooms to cool off. 

The steam room had a nice smell about it and was funnily enough very steamy! Haha. Funny that?! The seats were comfortable but I found it best to sit in the corners because I kept sliding off the middle seats. 

The sauna was possibly my favourite of the two. I like that dry heat smell and sort of taste, if you follow what I mean by that. Inside there was a sand timer which I thought was pretty cool so you could turn it to see how long you had been in there for. We generally couldn't hack anymore than 10 minutes. I was incredibly thirsty! Luckily there was a water fountain just outside. 

I was pleased to see that there was a jacuzzi. I'm not sure why but I just find them to be quite a novelty! The temperature was lovely and warm- they always remind me of baths :) In places the bubbles were quite vicious to say the least but in the right spot it could be relaxing. 

After spending a couple of hours enjoying chilling and relaxing we decided to get dry and go and get some food. We were starving! 

I ordered a mango and caramelised onion chicken wrap which was really delicious and the pot of coleslaw it came with was lovely. Lucy had a goats cheese and beetroot wrap which looked great and she too said it was really nice. We ordered a side of cheesy chips to share and this was a great choice. They were so tasty...could eat them right now actually :)

The prices weren't too bad, with our wraps and fizzy drinks coming to around £10 and the side was something like £4. So not extortionate at all and it was quality food too. 

Upon arrival we received a complimentary voucher enabling use to get a hot drink/cordial and a Danish pastry free (part of my mum's friend's voucher's deal I think). They had Costa drinks on site so I had a cappuccino and Lucy had a latte. These again were very nice and the pastries went down a treat too.

I should mention that they also had a gym however on this occasion I didn't check it out. I figured that because I essentially spend the majority of my time in one and had only just done a LBT class that morning, that I'd give my body a rest and go for a relaxing time instead!

All in all I had a great afternoon and would definitely recommend visiting here if you're looking for a nice chilled time at a place with clean facilities and nice food. 

Monday, 11 August 2014

Morning LBT in Nike Shorts

Good morning! Nothing better than to start off the week with a good workout! :)

So having just devoured my post-workout breakfast after a good LBT (legs, bums and tums) class, I thought I'd share with you my current favourite gym shorts. 

They're Nike branded and my particular ones are black with a stamp of bright coral. The colours are actually the first thing that stood out to me. Another cool feature is the Lycra material built into the shorts, so essentially shorts within shorts.

The Lycra means that putting the shorts on is uber soft, comfortable and they fit tight like a glove. I'm guessing this feature is designed to help with sweat control and chaffing, and I have to say I've never had any aggravation whilst wearing them. 

I also like the writing on the waistband that says 'just do it' ...I do like my fitness motos :)

I've worn them many a time now to different classes. I even wear them to boot camp which often involves a fair amount of running and they've still remained comfortable.

I have a feeling I paid a little more than £20 but you can get them here for that price. So, if you're looking into getting some new gym shorts, or thinking of being brave and actually buying your first pair of shorts to workout in, I'd recommend these with their great support system and comfort. 

Sunday, 10 August 2014

I miss blogging!


So please excuse the Tinkerbell hoodie, messy hair and non-makeup'd face...but I'm sat here thinking shall I go back to blogging/vlogging? 

Should I? Shan't I? 

Time? Job? Life? 

But I miss it! ... So here I am. Doing my first blog in over a year. Wow time really does fly! 

So what's been happening? Long story short, I survived my first year of primary teaching and actually enjoyed most of it! Sure there were days when I'd think is it actually worth all of this stress, but then one of my little cuties would say something adorable like "you're beautiful" or "I love you Miss Cooper". And then suddenly it'd all be worth it! :)

So school's out for the summer!

Of course the year has not been without a vast amount of make-up purchases and a heavy dose of exercising so I have lots of product reviews and tips etc coming up for you! 

I'm also going to re-enter the YouTube world, so keep an eye out for videos too!

Feel free to say hello and welcome me back to the beautiful blogging world! What have I missed?! Any holy grail products? ;)