Sunday, 30 March 2014

Sunday weigh-in : The Heartache Diet

Well it's been a strange, stressful week. I've been tempted to weigh myself but I'm also determined not to. I feel good, I feel more toned and active - more muscular, which could mean I've gained a little more weight but this would be in muscle not fat so a plus that will pay off in the long run - it's still hard to be positive though, I know the rational reason, I have a rational way of eating yet I still have an irrational reaction to the number on the scales.

This week has gone well for exercise, my steps have been average, no real improvement there but my Polar FT7 came on Friday so I now have a correct reading for calories burned during exercise.

So why have I called this post The Heartache Diet? Well I had some terrible news on Friday and I've been thrown out emotionally. My darling cat, The Beast, whom we adopted only in December, after what appears to be most of his life on the street, hasn't been well. Earlier in the week he had a touch of diarrhoea, followed by a touch of sickness, not much, he wasn't off his food or inactive, just poorly. Mum booked an appointment at the vets which would be his first trip, we were waiting until spring to make it official as we are fully aware that he might just decide to rough it once the weather turned nice - a lot of people reassured me this wouldn't happen but the fear was still there so we waited. He had shown improvement on Thursday but we decided it would be best to take him anyway and well his first appointment nearly ended up being his last as the option was to put him down there and then.

We didn't, the vet agreed that was the right thing, we think the option was there as he knew he was a stray we had just taken in and not everyone would want to pay for an ailing, ageing cat but we do. We love him as if he had been with us since being a kitten. The news still isn't good, he has a lump, we knew this, he has had it since we first got a good feel of him early last year but we weren't too worried. Our old cat Tabby was with us until the age of 21 and 5 years previously they found a tumour, she had no treatment and lived until a great age and only struggled a few months towards the end. However the vet has suggested we would be lucky if he lasts another two months. I am heartbroken, even though he is still around I feel like it's a countdown even though it can't be precise so most of Friday and Saturday was spent in tears.

Now if he was struggling I would know it would be best but he is still a very active cat, he has a healthy appetite, likes to play a bit and loves to cuddle. In the months he has been with us he has added some weight, built up strength in his back legs and regained fur where once there were patches missing. We've seen a massive improvement and although I know I have to be prepared I just can't give up on him just yet. He had a steroid injection at the vets which seems to have reduced some swelling as he produced a hairball the size of a golf ball and proceeded to vomit bile for a couple of hours after but he has returned to his usual cheery self and by yesterday afternoon we took a walk around the garden.

Right now my emotions are everywhere and this has led to very faddy eating.

So the last few days I've been picking at food and working out like crazy, I haven't eaten enough calories back and have been netting too low for my height and weight. I pick, I eat a little then have a snack. Now the exercise is good but my diet isn't and I know I can't spend the next two months like this.

Although I'm very pleased with my Polar FT7 fitness watch, on Friday I used it but I didn't read the instruction so one session had 4 resets! Yesterday I spent 1 hour and 54 minutes on the cross trainer - although 24 minutes I would have been on and off checking The Beast who was in the same room, I managed to burn a jolly amount of calories which made up for the lack of steps yesterday.

Today I have done spot of yoga after lunch with my gran and mum. My focus for next week is The Beast but as he likes to lounge in the conservatory I'll be fitting in some cross trainer sessions. I also plan to make sure we have more fruit in the house for me to pick at.

Short Term Goals
Focus on the exercise, I can keep track of my heart rate which means I can push myself efficiently burning more calories in less time.

Long Term Goals
A holiday somewhere warm where I'm happy to have my photo taken at a distance although The Beast comes first. 

Friday, 28 March 2014

Ciaté Nail Varnish in Fade to Greige

Yet another Ciaté nail varnish and I can promise I'll be wearing yet another one within a day or two. I decided to go for something practical and smart, not that bright colours can't be but I like the idea of a colour that will go with anything I wear which is why I went for Fade to Greige.

Fade to Greige is a smart but fun violet grey, I find it has a hint of beige in there too and although it looks slightly dull in the pot it's still suitably vibrant. It's long lasting, I put on two coats plus a clear top coat which meant it lasted for 5 days with only the slightest bit of wear. It took me less than half an hour to apply and for it to dry which is good as I tend to do my nails just before I go to sleep.

Now there are a lot of fun colours out there this season but this is a really nice, sensible, staple colour that should be part of everyone's nail varnish collection.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Lipstick Queen Chinatown Glossy Pencil in Pink Bluff

Another new lipstick for me and another brand I haven't tried before. I'd had a few of their gift sets on my wish list at Christmas, sadly I didn't receive any. It was on my trip to Manchester (that I still need to post about) that I had the chance to pick up one item from the range, no easy task, thankfully I think I made a wise choice.

I usually make the mistake of going for a dark lipstick, I mean I love a dark lipstick but it means I have stacks of lipsticks I might wear a couple of days a week. This time I went for a lipstick I can wear everyday, I also went for a lip pencil instead of the usual lipstick - I love lip pencils, they're slowly but surely taking over my make-up bags!

I chose Pink Bluff, it's a beautiful natural pink shade that sits lightly over my natural lip colour. It's a glossy, moisturising pencil making it perfect for everyday use. The pencil itself comes with its own pencil sharpener which helps justify the £22 price tag and not that its important but the packaging itself is beautiful, modern and exquisite making it a gorgeous present for someone. It's relatively long lasting although like most light shades it doesn't stain so reapplication is necessary throughout the day.

The quality is superb so I can happily say I'll be picking up a few more from this brand later in the year. 

Monday, 24 March 2014

Sunday Weigh-In: Fitness Fanatic

Yet another week avoiding the scales, it still frightens me but at the same time it's having an incredibly positive effect. I know it could swing either way, avoiding the scales could mean not caring about what exercise I do and what I eat as I don't have the dial telling me if I've been good or bad - not that it always lines up that way. Instead I'm more cautionary, I work-out harder and have been watching what I eat even more carefully, basically I play it safe.

So another week judging how I did with no official statistics, well apart from my step counting. I had a really good week, I worked out on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday plus I didn't feel too tired on Sunday, I was even looking forward to my next workout. I hope to add another day next week I only plan for that to be either yoga or standing pilates.

This focus on exercise has meant that I log my calories slightly differently, I've always believed you should eat your exercise calories back as much as possible. This is really down to using the My Fitness Pal system, you are given total calories for the day excluding exercise calories so you should be eating them back although I know some people avoid.

So I now log calories from exercise but only by using half what they suggest I would have burned. I always remember when I first started on My Fitness Pal, everyone always mentioned how inaccurate the total they give for calories from exercise, I found them not to be that far off but I only discovered this when I bought myself a heart rate monitor. This heart rate monitor was cheap but good although it is now broken after at least 12 months of heavy use which is why I'm playing it safe and only logging half of what MFP suggests as it doesn't know the effort I'm making as I could log 30 minutes on my cross trainer and that wouldn't take into account how much work I'm putting into it. Which is why I've decided that now I'm back to exercising regularly I should treat myself to something a bit more robust, which I have, hopefully this time next week I will be using the Polar FT7. Not only will I be able to log my calories from exercise more accurately but I'll also be able to focus on improving my training to optimise weight loss - very major.

I've found that now I've focused on exercise the healthy eating has improved. I'm eating more in a way but spread throughout the day. I've carried on eating breakfast at work as I found no matter what I was eating at home I was always hungry by 10am but never really hungry when I first woke up. I've also managed to sort out my 5/6pm hunger attack, I've done this just by planning to have a little something when I get home, so now I have a nice amount of snacks here and there to keep me going.

Thanks to James for taking the photo and always putting together my lunch for me!
I'm also still in love with the lunch I've been taking to work each day, see above, I usually have some salad leaves, sweet peppers, cucumber, tomatoes with a 50g portion of durum wheat cooked in some reduced salt vegetable bouillon - I also have a hard boiled free range egg so that I have a little bit of protein. As I don't have meat or fish I can find it hard to make my salad interesting at lunch but this wheat is keeping me entertained and if I feel myself getting slightly bored I can always have a small portion of pasta instead for a while. On top of this I have a nice mixture of food throughout the day so I'm not feeling hungry, tired or bored - I hope I always feel this way!

Short Term Goals
Focus on the exercise, that is my priority. Continuing to keep my calories on target and discovering new interesting food to eat for lunch that transports well and doesn't make my salad soggy/smell so that I never get bored of my lunch at work. I want to really strengthen myself and build on my exercise routine. Even though I still have some pain from the surgery it is feeling better and right now I feel working on my stomach muscles can only help.

Long Term Goals
I want to go on holiday and wear a bathing suit,  not even a bikini just a swimming costume, At the moment I couldn't imagine doing so but I still have this gorgeous swimming costume I won last year to try out, if this year isn't the year then 2015 has to be. My Joseph trousers and vintage dresses need to be worn again also. On top of that I want to be super fit, I want to be super fit, toned and muscular.

Even though I'm not weighing myself at the moment I feel the need to proudly display the badge showing how much weight I've lost since 2011 - certainly not to be sniffed at and just slightly over half way there!

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Barry M Silk Nail Effects in Heather and Meadow

Barry M Silk Nail Effects in Heather and Meadow £3.99 each

Barry M have always had a wide variety of choice when it comes to nail varnish but they've really expanded further with their effects ranges giving them a competitive edge and making them on a par with some of the luxury ranges out there. Yet you can still pick up a pot for under a fiver, perfect.

I had to pick myself up a few new nail varnishes with my birthday money, I was excited about the beautiful Silk range so it was only fair that I picked up a couple to try. I went for Heather a beautiful purple shade like a cross between periwinkle and wisteria and Meadow a beautiful spring green with a tiny hint of blue. Both are perfect spring pastels. This varnish is a matte sheen effect the hint of sparkle is perfect and subtle leaving my nails looking suitably pretty.

I'm always impressed by the quality of Barry M nail varnish, as usual this doesn't disappoint. It glides on easily, I only needed a couple of shades for full coverage and it dried remarkably quickly. With a good top coat you won't have the varnish chipping for a good while although I tend to change my nail varnish after a few days, I know a long lasting nail varnish is less hassle but with so many fantastic colours out there I always feel the need to change them after only a few days.

I'm yet to be disappointed with Barry M, it isn't just because they're cheap but they are really good quality and perfect if, like me, you like to change your nails regularly.  

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar in Black Dahlia

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar in Black Dahlia £14.00 (from Cult Beauty)

It feels like I've been waiting for ages to try a product from Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics , 100% vegan and cruelty free, my kind of brand . Yet I've only just picked up two of their Lip Tars, one natural and one I'll be talking about today, Black Dahlia.

I'm first to admit I'm sometimes swayed by some obscure reason to pick a product, well it's true I usually pick two colours at opposite ends of the spectrum which is what has happened here. Although if I was just to choose one I would have gone for this, with the name Black Dahlia I can't help but think about one of the most fascinating unsolved crimes in history, that of the murder of Elizabeth Short AKA The Black Dahlia in 1947, the slaying of a glamorous woman hoping to make it big in Hollywood. I'm not really a true crime expert but I find this crime, the aftermath and her life before intriguing. Yet a silly reason to choose a shade of lip colour.

Back to the product in question. I love the little kit, a brush is necessary to use this product which makes it a pain to carry around, well it would be without the little kit which includes a mini brush, perfect to throw in your handbag. Following the instructions I started on the inside and worked my way out using just a tiny dab. It's really important to follow the instructions, a little bit goes an awful long way, plus it is best to use the brush, using your fingers will mean you'll end up with it over your face and everywhere else. I just added a tiny little in the photo of my lips above, slightly less than is shown on my hand, it was super easy to apply, the brush is perfect for this product and I could get good, even coverage. It stains instantly making it easy to build up colour rather than just smudging it around.  Afterwards I  blotted to increase the longevity which worked perfectly - It remained as dark as when first blotted for at least 4 hours after.

The colour itself is super dark, it's really quite hard to get a good photo of the tube in daylight because of this but you get a good idea from the photo above - it does look like a tube of blood though. Black Dahlia is a dramatic dark red shade with a slight hint of purple. Although I think my dad summed it up best when he said it looked like I'd been eating cherries - it then struck me how much this reminded me of Rimmel Black Cherry - a product that appears to have been discontinued, I spent last year looking for a replacement product and although I found a few nice ones I think this colour is a better replacement.

I love this little kit and at £14.00 it's not exactly budget but it's also not going to break the bank, for the amount you need to use I'd say this is completely worth the money. 

Thursday, 20 March 2014

What's In My Glossybox? - March 2014

I never get bored of receiving beauty boxes but the last few Glossyboxes haven't quite lived up to the excitement of when I first started to receive them. This happens to be another month where I have mixed feelings on the contents there are a couple of items I'm really over the moon about so for now I won't cancel my subscription just yet but with so many different ones on the market it is tempting to swap.

This is a rather nice month though, I received three full sized items, one very generous sized product and one sachet. What exactly are they? All revealed after the cut.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Birthday Goodies 2014

Last Saturday (8th March) I triumphed at turning 32, the following days adjusting were more traumatic and I have decided next year we will definitely be going away a day or two after my birthday for a week as each year that gets added is becoming more horrific.

Don't get me wrong, I had a lovely time, I saw friends the night before and spent time with family on the day. I'm just at that time in life where I panic, I do want children but James and I are living with my parents with no money, I don't think I could bring a child into this world with all the stress going on. We really could do with a lottery win. Anyhow I'm putting away a large chunk of my wages each month along with a little put aside for some shopping and some take-away's, neither James nor I go out much and we have no vices so we need a little treat. So each birthday reminds me that I'm a year older which is rather stressful.

The one thing I don't find stressful on my birthday is receiving presents which really is what this post is about.

Presents from my parents*

Hollywood 1940-2008, Kiko Color Fever Must Have Palette 02 Elegant Tones. Kiko Laser Nail Lacquer in 435 Venom Teal, and OPI Liquid Sand Silent Stars Go By & What Wizardry Is This?
Although I'm not a fan of big blockbuster, Hollywood movies of today I am obsessed with the golden era of Hollywood and specifically how it went from being pretty much a wasteland to the capital of film production overnight. So I love to look at how buildings shot up and how they've changed throughout the decades. Making this photo book the perfect gift.
Mum really treated me here, she knows my newly found love of KIKO cosmetics, fortunately they have a KIKO store near my parents place in Portugal so I get the odd gift every so often but this palette really is special. I'm not sure when she picked it up but I'm so happy to have it as it doesn't appear to be available directly any longer.
A selection of nail varnishes, KIKO nail lacquer in Venom Teal, this is an iridescent varnish with hints of greens and blue. Unfortunately this isn't available any longer, the whole range seems to be gone as I also had a purple version. Two OPI liquid sands, Silent Stars Go By which I already have but have already half used up which is unlike me and What Wizardry Is This? an interesting shade from the OZ collection, like a glittery bronze, certainly nothing like anything I've had before which is always nice. I'm thinking these will look great on my toes paired with a beige on my fingernails.

*technically these are presents from just my mum as my dad won't have had a hand in thinking about it or buying me things. Well he did last thing in the morning and I ended up with a £20 wrapped up - luckily I opened it carefully!

My mum also picked me up another bra from Victoria's Secret but as I've already been wearing it for a month I thought it would be best not to photograph.

Presents from James;

I'm not going to go left to right here as it is all a bit of a mess, hopefully an obvious mess.

A mug from Pylones - I can't decide whether to use it as an actual mug or as a storage pot! One dvd and one blu-ray, The Bride Wore Black (1968) on dvd and The Witches (1966) on blu-ray. A Minecraft hanger and three My Little Pony blind bags - I do love a surprise. Cats tee by Tee & Cake - I do get an awful lot of Tee & Cake tees which is good! The new Alien perfume Extraordinaire and as he pointed out he went for the big bottle! Plus two Ciaté collections, Dragonfly which is 6 full size bottles (further details here) and The Dolls House collection which is 5 minis (further details here). They have since released a full size set of The Doll House collection but I'm rather happy with the minis as unlike the Dragonfly collection they all feel quite similar. I love them both though, I love the variety in the Dragonfly collection and love the similarity in the Dolls House collection along with the packaging. James bangs on about how many nail varnishes I have so it is nice to see that he'll still buy them me when I really love them :)

Rebecca Floral Printed Robe - Cyberjammies - £27.00

Last but not least a dressing gown. Amazingly James nearly remembered this when I mentioned it whilst out shopping in Manchester (I still need to post my buys), I say nearly as he came and checked with me before he ordered. I've never once used a dressing gown in spring/summer, I rely on thick dressing gowns in winter but don't bother when the weather gets warmer however I always aim to sleep in something that is still suitable to answer the door in which usually means I overheat somewhat so this is the perfect and very much gorgeous solution. Hopefully within a month it will be warm enough to warrant me taking it out of the wrapper.

These presents did make turning another year older a little easier, next year I think I'll need a holiday. 

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Sunday Weigh-In: Change of Attitude

Now I've titled this post of change of attitude, it was originally going to be change of plan but I felt it sounded too strict. The whole focus on diets is to be strict, most tell you to eat certain things at certain times of the day, to do this exercise not that exercise and I hate that, it's silly, it's trading one unhealthy way of being for another. Diets shouldn't be about restricting as many calories as possible and doing as much exercise as you can its about balance, it should make you happy which is why I've changed my attitude.

Trying to keep up with 10,000 steps at the weekend is making me miserable, it's absorbing all my time and I feel like a failure when I can't make it. The worst thing is I'm omitting actual exercise in favour of trying to hit my step target but now I've decided to be happy to be a failure. I'm still aiming to do 70,000 a week but without the pressure.

Don't get me wrong, the fitbit is great and will still be a handy tool in my lifestyle but the figure that shows up is just for information. At the weekend whatever steps I do is good, I know I make more of the effort to get up and do things at the weekend than I used to, my steps have improved. However I love to exercise, I would much prefer to do 90 minutes on a Saturday and Sunday doing something I enjoy than just trying to get my steps up so things have changed.

So I'm trading the left for the right, instead of walking around the house getting my steps up in my joggers I'm back to focusing on the exercise and this is how it will stay. Although I will be spending some of my time slobbing about doing jigsaws in my joggers!

I did 42 minutes on the cross trainer yesterday and 40 minutes of yoga. I'm not pushing it as hard as I used to, I'm still sore and on painkillers so I'm not trying to exacerbate my pain I just need to remind myself that whatever I'm doing now is 10x what I was doing this time last year when I was bed-bound.

I'm lucky as I have a cross trainer with a seat so I mix it up, I stand and sit, swapping between the two, stand for as long as possible then sit down for a bit. It's also great as I can read, watch and listen, as you can see from the photo above I have a stack of magazines (nothing too taxing, I can't concentrate on a proper book for some reason when I exercise) plus I catch up on old radio shows some live ones too and on the odd occasion watch something on Netflix - well, usually Orange is the New Black.

The 40 minutes of basic yoga I did yesterday was the first yoga session since the surgery. I have tried but just lying on my front caused great pain, now it isn't so bad so things must be improving.

I've also stopped looking at the scales. It scares me a little, almost as if when I don't look at the scales they'll zoom up but I actually feel more trim and have a little more energy than I do last week so that is a bonus.

Food wise I've had as little more control along with a few treats. I still haven't worked out why I'm super hungry when I get home from work, even if I've had something to eat before I set off home, I've noticed even at the weekend I get hungry at this time. I also need to start taking my metformin again, I take this for symptoms of PCOS, I stopped when I was trying to reduce my pain medication (I wanted to make sure any kidney pain wasn't down to tablets I was taking). I'm worried as the side effects can make me quite ill but I really think it did help.

Short Term Goals & Long Term Goals

For now I'm just going to see how the next couple of weeks go. I'm going to try and exercise 4 days a week and rest 3 days. It would be good to get up to 70,000 steps each week but it isn't the most important element.

Anyway, enough of my whining. I'm feeling positive this week and I hope everyone else is too!

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Ciaté Apple and Custard Nail Varnish

Ciaté Apple and Custard Nail Varnish £9.00

Another week, another new nail varnish. Actually this is one of many as James also bought me the Dragonfly collection and the Dolls House minis from Ciaté. It really was their wonderful advent calendar that sent me over the edge with my addiction to this brand. Before James bought me the two collections for my birthday I picked up a couple for myself, the one I'll be going on about now is Apple and Custard.

Green is my favourite colour so I have a tendency to pick up a lot of green items, no matter if they're in or not I just love the colour green. Apple and Custard is a perfect, pale but not quite pastel, vintage green very similar to laurel green. It actually reminds me of my favourite car, Nissan Figaro, in emerald green. I find this colour highly versatile, suitable for work, rest and play.

I was amazed by how quickly the nail varnish dried, I applied two coats and a clear top coat - it was touch dry within minutes which was handy as I applied it just before bed. In the morning I woke up to find not one single smudge - unbelievably perfect! I wore it at work and found myself doing lots of little fiddly bits with tiny pieces of equipment, I expected a chip or two but my nails are perfectly fine. You're looking at least 4 days worth of wear possibly more depending on what you do with your hands!

Great shade, love the bottle, love how easy and quick it is to apply and at £9.00 it is high quality without having the high price tag. 

Friday, 14 March 2014

What's in My Birchbox? March 2014

Now March brings us the extra special Lulu Guinness collaboration with Birchbox, an extra excitement to what is an always exciting beauty box. I have to say this month is extra EXTRA interesting, I always like to look in the box before I read the card so this month saw a bit of a puzzled look from myself, if you also received this item you'll know what I mean, if not, well the contents of my box is revealed after the break.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Illamasqua Glamore Lipstick in Glissade

Illamasqua Glamore Lipstick in Glissade £16.50

Another week, another new lipstick, picked up on my trip to Manchester I couldn't resist picking up a thing (or two) from the new Illamasqua Glamore collection.

A bit of a departure from their other lipsticks, this has a satin finish rather than matte. It glides on smoothly leaving the lips feeling hydrated. It is highly pigmented meaning a quick glide of the lippy leaves a strong coat of vibrant colour.

It also tastes gorgeous, not that I recommend eating it but it does taste like raspberries which is also what the lipstick in the pot reminds me of. I should say I only know why it tastes like raspberries as I was doing the old licking the lips before having a swig of my drink to avoid leaving a print on my glass, which works with this lipstick, even better once blotted it will last through copious amounts of eating, drinking, talking laughing. I still had a nice even splattering of colour after a 3 course, 3 drink meal! Long lasting is not always a quality found when it comes to bright lipsticks but count this one in.

There are three shades on offer in this collection so if this one isn't for you there are two others to choose from, Soaked - a bright orange and Luster an incredibly light, bright neon pink.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Sunday Weigh-In: Can We Skip to Next Week, Please?!

Another nowhere week, I feel completely grotty and rubbish. I haven't gained but I'm rather bloated, it feels like it's that time of the month but I really can't remember when my last was! I have incredibly irregular periods again, I need to start taking my tablets to help with that again.

I haven't been as active but that was all planned, it was my birthday on Saturday (see here) and the last day and a half of freedom before my parents came back on Friday so we made the most of our film night. I hate it when I'm busy but not busy in a way that I'm walking a lot. Instead I wore myself out without the exercise.

From good to bad, time to switch it around

I didn't hit 10,000 steps a single day last week but I'm feeling more motivated this week and even though I had a lot of things on I did make the effort - like walking home from my birthday lunch on Saturday followed by playing out in the garden with my cousins - we were playing a weird hybrid of catch/football/rounders/badminton so incredibly exhaustive. I could have just said screw it I'm not doing any exercise at all last week but I did do some. I'm already at 9,922 steps today without that much extra effort.

Short term

Exercise - Get my weekly step total to around 70,000 again - still stands
Food - Better distribution of calories throughout the day, I've started this already so I try to eat more in the day and less at night
Goals - Exercise, exercise, exercise! 

Long term

Exercise - I want to take up kettlebells and start to use the gym at work - still applies. 
Food -  Control some of my urges, spread my calories more evenly throughout the day - again, same. 
Goals - I have a pair of trousers from Joseph that I used to wear all the time when I was in my early twenties, I still have them and love them so I would like to fit back in them along with all the gorgeous dresses I have. Still the same! Plus I want to enjoy trying things on in changing rooms rather than feeling like its a hassle. I want to feel comfortable in a swimming costume again!

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Excuse the Lack of Weekend Posting - It's Birthday Time!

I know I haven't been posting as much as I should recently anyway but I have a proper excuse today, it's my birthday. I'm 32, sadly my 7 year old cousin Michael said he thought I was 35 - which is worse than him thinking I was a 100! He did also say how cool it was to have a grown up cousin and the I love you he shouted after singing Happy Birthday was adorable, my other cousin Zoe was also being super sweet and we all made the effort to walk home, well, James, myself and my cousins did!

I'm now tucked up in bed wearing my joggers and Totoro hoodie, watching the Ideal box set followed by a film or two but first of all time to open these:

Happy Weekend everyone!

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Urban Decay Naked Ultra Nourishing Lipgloss in Liar

Urban Decay Naked Ultra Nourishing Lipgloss in Liar £14.00

This might be a bit of a shock but I don't own a single one of the Urban Decay Naked palettes, I haven't even tried one in a shop. It isn't that I'm not interested I just haven't got around to trying one out.
This didn't stop me from plunging straight in to try the lipgloss though, I can't even remember the original reason I was visiting the site as I was drawn in to this product instead.

I usually go for colours on the darker side when trying a product out for the first time but in the past year I really have been getting into the light, natural shades and liar struck me as a perfect spring pink, something to suit my shade.
It feels lovely on, it is described as both a gloss and a balm. There is a slight gloopy quality to it typical of lipglosses which means the product is felt on the lips although this fades rather rapidly possibly because there also seems to be some kind of minty coolness to the gloss which I'm presuming is the reason I felt a slight tingle to the lips. That is just speculation of course but here are some of the impressive ingredients, Hyaluronic Filling Spheres™, vitamin E, avocado oil, shea butter and rosehip oil - plenty of items to keep the lips nourished.

I can't type this without mentioning the packaging, it is one of the most beautiful cases for a lip gloss I have ever seen, on a par with the Ellis Faas wands. It may sound daft but I think I would pay £14 for the case itself! The wand is also beautiful, thin and long - perfect for application.

It really is a beautiful natural gloss, one of a set of nine shades varying from lighter pinks, browns and bright pink. Hopefully something for everyone and if you have one of Naked eye palettes to match it with even better.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Sleek MakeUP True Colour Lipstick in Liqueur

Sleek MakeUP True Colour Lipstick in Liqueur £4.99

Sleek MakeUP has to be one of my favourite budget brands, I haven't tried anything I haven't liked. Which is why I've gone a bit mad picking up lipsticks from them another new one to my collection is Liqueur.

Liqueur is a sheen champagne pink shade, it manages to be both light whilst also giving great coverage over uneven lips. It's a very soft, moisturising lipstick, it contains vitamin e and really does feel light on the lips, my lips also feel in great condition after wearing it. I'd say it lasts an average amount of time, but at £4.99 I don't think you could expect more than to need to reply it a few times a day.

Yet another lipstick to compete with the MAC Creme D'Nude. 

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Sunday Weigh-In: Minus the Scales

This is going to be a very quick post. As the title suggest I haven't actually weighed myself today nor this week. As I don't have an event in mind I'm concentrating on fitness rather than weight - I know losing weight will help overall but my main goal has to be getting myself as fit/fitter than I was before I became ill. Sometimes it feels like big things have to happen before you can change your fitness but it isn't true, a week of walking around more and I was striding up the hill, little things make a big difference and with turning 32 around the corner I will instead be concentrating on having a bit of fun this next week starting with last week....

My first night out in ages, my first stay in a hotel in ages, my first night away from home in forever (Stepping Hill Hospital does not count) I had so much fun, we had an amazing time. We went to the cinema (Only Lovers Left Alive), watched a band I adore (Goblin) and stayed in a wonderful hotel (The Midland, Manchester) the next day we went shopping, proper feet blistering shopping - I will post what I bought some point this week although I've already started with the Illamasqua nail varnish, marquise - too gorgeous to resist. I didn't count the calories but after doing this for two years I'm fully aware of my calories which makes it easier to balance - add to that I was more active than I have been in a long time I wasn't really worried.

I have to reflect here though, I was extremely active over the two days away, Wednesday I racked up 12,175 steps and Thursday 16,237 which is an impressive amount I had a doctors appointment on Friday and my plan had been to keep it up but I just couldn't, I was exhausted, I needed to take more painkillers and I'm still feeling shattered. Friday I managed a pretty meagre (by my usualy standards) 7,522 which at the time felt on the low side but not compared to the weekend Saturday just over 5,000 and today, well I haven't even hit 2,000.  Part of me is slightly disappointed but there are a few things I need to remember;

  • This time last year I could not even move out of bed, I wouldn't have even hit 2,000 steps any day and this was before the surgery - I've come a long way in a short amount of time. 
  • Everyone has commitments, we can't always keep full energy and activity up, breaks are acceptable.
but finally;

  • This hasn't broken any chain of event, just as eating slightly over one day won't stop anything, it doesn't mean a diet is over, there is no need to start again, shit happens, shit eating happens, it isn't a bad thing it is just one or even two days. The same has to be applied to exercise, not reaching my mark one day doesn't undo all the good work I've done. I managed to keep most of the muscle tone I did have that I work on after the embolisation before becoming ill again, and when I did became ill and couldn't work out I raised my calories to maintenance which meant I kept most of the muscle tone so really these three days are nothing compared to 9 months in bed. 
Okay so I'm under my steps for this week but it isn't like I haven't done much at all, Thursday was a long day that came after a long evening of standing, breaks like this have to be expected until I'm completely well again. 

Plus I had plans, my parents are away so James and I are in sleepover mode, the mattress is downstairs and we've had a film marathon which will be followed by another film marathon next week, Wednesday night until Friday morning. It's my birthday next Saturday so I want to do the things I enjoy - next week will be slightly different, I'll make sure I'll get up more, jog on the spot for 5 minutes every hour so I'm not completely inactive plus I'll do my bit on the cross trainer. This will be easier as it isn't following two active days.

Hopefully The Beast will be joining us for the film marathon again. He loves climbing on me, sleeping on me -possibly as I don't toss and turn as much as James does in the night. I was lying on my side but he still insisted on precariously lying on my side. Bless him, I love him so much!

I know many people would suggest getting a dog as I great way to become more active but having a needy, loving cat works just as well, he has several small meals a day and requires smelling the fresh air on the conservatory step at leasts twenty times an hour, plus he sometimes needs escorting around the garden like yesterday when I took these photos in the glorious unexpected sunshine.

another photo of him this time lying on my leg to get a good view of the film.

Time to wrap this up!
Short term

Exercise - Get my weekly step total to around 70,000 again although next week if I'm at 65,000 whilst having a film marathon I'll be happy.
Food - The plan is to eat our tea as soon as we get in before exercise, hopefully this will help - still want to try this out properly this week, I really think it will make a big difference.
Goals - Have a nice birthday, think about how I might look next birthday rather than worrying how I look this one. 

Long term

Exercise - I want to take up kettlebells and start to use the gym at work - still applies. 
Food -  Control some of my urges, spread my calories more evenly throughout the day - again, same. 
Goals - I have a pair of trousers from Joseph that I used to wear all the time when I was in my early twenties, I still have them and love them so I would like to fit back in them along with all the gorgeous dresses I have. Still the same! Plus I want to enjoy trying things on in changing rooms rather than feeling like its a hassle. 

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Illamasqua Shattered Star Nail Varnish in Marquise

No flash on either but photo of nails taken by the window
Illamasqua Shattered Star Nail Varnish in Marquise £15.00

Now this is the first of many items I picked up shopping this week. I was too excited to wait to try it out so half way through my film marathon I've come away to try it.

Marquise is one of the new shades of nail varnish in the Illamasqua Glamore collection, the Glamore collection promises more colour, more texture and more beauty, boy does it deliver. Although I wanted to pick up everything from the collection I resisted and chose wisely simply picking this and a lipstick (which I will be trying very soon). I feel like the Marquise is nothing like my other nail varnish, sure I have some similar shades and similar textures but not a combination of the both.

The Marquise is vivid, bright, bold but to put it basically it is an orange glitter, of course is it is more than that the orange is a bright, luminous tangerine and the glitter is multi-dimensional (reminiscent of the OPI Liquid Sand varnishes) it is a sensational colour AND effect. This colour is a great leap into spring/summer, even if the weather is still being miserable and unpredictable this shade is certainly one to make you feel like you are at the height of summer.

It is £15.00 a pot, I know it isn't the cheapest nail varnish but I find it to be completely worth it. The quality is there, it dries remarkably quickly and sets hard. Some effect nail varnishes I find incredibly easy to slide off even a couple of hours after applying but these are set solid in 30 minutes but I'm also able to start to do things after only 5 minutes (I only know this for sure as The Beast demanded feeding half way through my application of this). Another reason I find the cost completely justifiable is the strength of colour, I could wear one coat of this and it would still be even and fairly strong, two coats gets me a full on, in your face nails -kapow!

I LOVE Illamasqua, they never let me down, I'm tempted to get the other two in this collection, Trilliant and Fire Rose, the only reason I didn't was because I have some similar shades by OPI however Illamasqua totally pip on the quality so I think another shopping trip is called for.