Achieving My Two Stone Award

When I restarted my Slimming World journey last August I had a weight I wanted to be in my head. I couldn’t vision being that weight at that point but I knew I had a lot of hard work ahead of me. I’ve never found it easy to lose weight but oh boy can I gain it, I suppose that’s just my body – we’re all different, right? Having not been happy in my own skin for years I knew something needed to be done. I got to my half stone award and was feeling good, not really noticing that much difference. Then I got my stone award which felt amazing, my clothes were beginning to feel better and I was getting more confident.

Then I got my stone and a half award and I knew that my two stone was next which was so exciting for me. In the middle of this I got my Club 10 award meaning that I had lost 10% of my starting weight which is something I was incredibly proud of and also the fact that getting that award meant loads of added health benefits. I was feeling so much fitter, I could walk for longer and faster and I felt great.

From getting that award my next half stone seemed to take forever and a day to come off but I still persisted and here I am now, just over two stone lighter and I feel fantastic. I have came to the realisation that it’s not always going to fall off straight away, sometimes these things take time and that’s fine. I am also really proud of myself, which isn’t something I say often but I am. I am turning 30 in September and I’m ready to leave my 20’s feeling fabulous and continue throughout my 30’s feeling the same way. I have gone up and down with my weight over the past 10 years and this time I’m convinced it will stay off. I have battled emotional eating and came out the other side so much stronger. Overall, I can’t thank Slimming World enough, it has changed my life for the better and now I am at the stage that people notice my loss. I can’t tell you how good that feels.

My target is about a stone and a half away, maybe a little less. Finally, target is feeling much more achievable. I know I can do it, I know I will do it and I can still having a life while doing it. So here’s to two stone gone forever and a bit more to come.

prestige luxury flowers

I am the kind of person that will always love having a bunch of fresh flowers in my home – I remember once my best friend bought be a lovely white rose bouquet which I kept for ages because they are my favourite flower and it was so thoughtful of her. There’s also nothing nicer than walking into a room and seeing a lovely bunch of fresh flowers especially as they usually give off a lovely smell and brighten up the room.

Even though the majority of the flowers in my home are actually artificial wooden roses, I still think that there’s nothing better than receiving a lovely bunch of flowers which is why I will quite often choose to send some to my Mum as a gift.

Over the years I have used various companies to order flowers and gifts for my Mum and friends and have found that some are better than others. One of my favourite places to order from over the last year or so has been Prestige Flowers, so when they offered to send me one of the bouquets they offer I jumped at the chance because I have always been a paying customer and know that their customer service and delivery service has always been great in the couple of years I have been using them.

prestige luxury flowersprestige luxury flowers 

This time the service and flowers I received were no exception to my previous experiences and I was lucky enough to be sent the beautiful Grandeur Bouquet which is in the luxury flower range that they offer as a gift package. This lovely bouquet was sent to me using the next day flower delivery service that they offer which is great when you need to send a last minute gift which I have done in the past.

Onto the bouquet itself, the Grandeur Bouquet is absolutely stunning and not like one I have ever sent or received before. Within this bouquet is a fantastic arrangement of beautiful avalanche red roses (which also give off a fantastic small), sea holly and finished with some lovely  bright green foliage.

This bouquet also came with a lovely pink vase and some Finest Belgian chocolates so I would say that this is a great gift. As for how long the flowers last, I am happy to report that they are still going strong two weeks later. I am once again happy with the service and flowers received from Prestige Flowers and will continue to be a happy customer. 

Do you like giving flowers as a gift? If so, what are your favourite flowers?

This post was in collaboration with Prestige Flowers but all opinions are my own.

May Roundup I am a bit late in rounding up May, but you know what they say, better late than never, right? I spent the first bank holiday weekend in Scotland looking after my Mum and I booked a day of annual leave to extend my bank holiday. My Mum had an operation to remove one of her bunions and straighten her hammer toe so I went to help out, look after her and help around the house where I could. That weekend went by really quickly but it was nice to be able to go and help my Mum.

It was also Gaz’s 35th birthday in May and to celebrate we decided to have a day out in London which was a beautiful day, and then to extend the celebrations we also had a meal out in Turtle Bay which was delicious.

I also decided to buy some baskets from Tesco and make my bookcase look a little nicer as for a long time all you could see were the books Gaz has which are all about history and war. The end of April and the start of May were quite stressful and I found myself not loving my blog as much.

I took a step back and decided that I would like to change the way I blog and find myself again along with making videos as well. Sometimes you have to find your blogging mojo, right? I think I’ve got it back now. Thanks to a Twitter widget reminding me that some of my older blog posts were corrupt, I made the decision to change my blog a little I decided to do some much needed blog admin which I regretted after a week of having to go through over 300 posts and sort them out. I am thankful that exercise is finished now but it was worth it and left me feeling a lot better about my little space on the internet.

May Roundup Slimming World wise I got to my next goal of achieving my two stone award (more on that soon) and for getting that, Gaz bought me a Longchamp rucksack that I have wanted for ages. It’s quite a small rucksack but perfect for a day out. I also decided to change things up on the Slimming World front and change the fruit I’m eating to make sure they are all speed. It has definitely helped along the way. June has been great so far, although we’re almost half way through already.

How was your May?

L'Oreal Nude Magique Cushion FoundationI remember when I first saw the ‘tap tap’ advert for this foundation and I was curious because I’d never seen anything like it. I was kindly sent this to review from L’Oreal and to me, this base is a new revolution and is essentially liquid foundation pressed in a sponge. The idea is that you tap the foundation with the applicator sponge and tap it on to your face to build up coverage so that you can go from light to medium coverage, whatever your preference is really. As a side note, I have this foundation in the shade 01.

L'Oreal Nude Magique Cushion FoundationThe L’Oreal Cushion comes in a lovely compact perfect for taking on holiday with you. When you open the compact you can see where the sponge sits in straight away and then you open up the rest of the compact and that reveals the foundation along with a mirror.

L'Oreal Nude Magique Cushion Foundation L'Oreal Nude Magique Cushion FoundationAs you will be able to see from the photo below, the L’Oreal Cushion delivers a very natural looking coverage and is very skin like. After application I noticed that the tone of my skin is much more even. I am a big fan of the softly dewy finish my face has after applying this foundation and the best part is that you can easily build to the coverage you need so it would be suitable for all. Although you have a sponge which you can use for application I still tend to prefer taking my buffing brush and tapping it into the product and applying directly to my face.

L'Oreal Nude Magique Cushion FoundationOverall I was really impressed with this product, it’s perfect for your handbag or travel makeup. My only reservation is that there doesn’t seem to be a lot of product as it’s soaked up in the sponge. I can’t see that it will last as long as a regular bottle of foundation but only time will tell so I could be wrong.

All in all, I think it’s great and if you want light to medium coverage with a healthy glow finish, this is definitely one to try. The L’Oreal Nude Magique Cushion Foundation is available for £9.99 here.

This post contains a PR Sample or gifted item but all opinions are my own.

Slimming World : A Few Days On SP

For a month now I have been a couple of lbs away from my two stone award and I have to say that it’s driving me INSANE. I want that award but I know that putting pressure on myself just isn’t going to work so I thought I would try something different. I had heard a lot of good things about the Extra Easy SP plan. It’s a plan designed to use for a couple of days to speed your weight loss along.

For those that don’t know, the SP plan is a plan designed to be used for a few days to boost your weight loss by eating as much Speed and Protein foods as possible. The meals you eat should consist of at least 50% Speed (most fruit and vegetables which you can find in your Food Optimising Book) and the rest are food labelled as Protein (a lot of lean meat, fish, eggs etc) and trying to reach for more Speed foods to snack on in between meals. You still have your syns and you can have two healthy extra b options. When I first heard about this plan I didn’t think I would ever want to do it as I love pasta too much and you can’t have them on this plan.

After thinking about it and getting increasingly wound up at myself I decided it was time to try it for a few days, just to see if I enjoyed it. Seen as you can have two healthy b choices I decided to have oats so I could make some baked oats and then I decided to have an Alpen Light bar as speed and a healthy extra. I also decided to get a lot of fresh berries in and loads of nice speedy vegetables. The meals I chose were turkey chilli with cauliflower rice, diet pepsi chicken with speedy stir fry and bolognese mince packed with speed food and served with courgetti. I was really impressed by all of the meals I made and really enjoyed eating the cauliflower rice so much so that I’m having it again this week with turkey chilli again.

I have to say that I found the Extra Easy SP plan quite easy to stick to and funnily enough, for those few days I didn’t miss pasta, rice or potatoes which was an amazing feeling knowing I could do this plan quite easily. Having done the SP plan for a few days and looking into it a bit more, I can see that there are so many other meal options available and I can easily incorporate the meals I already have into the SP days. If you’re a Slimming World member, there is also a 7 day meal plan on their website.

Overall, I was really surprised with this plan and would definitely give it a go again. Have you tried the Extra Easy SP plan? Would you recommend it?

A Day In LondonIt’s been a couple of years since I’ve been to London, so when Gaz asked if we could go for a day out this year for his birthday I looked at the trains and jumped at the chance – hello £12 return!

We decided we’d make a day of it and thought that by booking a day out in May, we’d get good weather. So on Saturday we got up and were happy to see that the sun was shining and we jumped on a train at 7:48am and headed down to London. We arrived in Euston which has changed quite a bit since I was last there and then went straight to the underground and headed to Elephant & Castle so that we could go to the Imperial War Museum. I’d never been before but Gaz had when he was younger so he was really looking forward to it. It was really interesting to walk around and we spent quite a bit of time walking around looking at the galleries and exhibitions. They also had some planes and tanks on display which of course Gaz enjoyed looking at and reading about in more depth.

A Day In LondonOnce we had finished at the Imperial War Museum we decided to head to London Bridge and have a walk around as it was such a nice day. We were going to have a walk along the bridge to find somewhere for lunch but Gaz saw that the HMS Belfast was there and he asked if we could go on to have a look around, so we did. We had to pay £16 but it was well worth it, you could go all over the ship and take a look at all of the rooms which was fantastic – you could see the boiler room, the laundry, the butcher and potato store and so much more. We were able to go up to the decks, see the captain and admiral cabins and look out towards London Bridge for some great views – the photos really didn’t do it justice but it was well worth the money we spent visiting and I would definitely recommend going if you haven’t been already.

We then went for lunch at Cote Brasserie which wasn’t far away from the ship, and then headed to London Bridge itself which we walked over but couldn’t take too many photos as it was really busy with tourists walking over it with their selfie sticks. We then decided to take a walk on that side of the river and walk back over the bridge we originally walked over which was nice as it was such a lovely, sunny day.

Once we had our walk, we decided to head towards central London and went to the Covent Garden tube station where we walked up ALL OF THE STAIRS to get to the top. I must remember not go to that station, I always forget the ridiculous staircase. We spent our last couple of hours walking around Covent Garden, having a look in shops, having a drink in a cafe and enjoying the sunshine. Once we had finished it was time to head home and we arrived back to Coventry at 7:30pm so we’d been out for 12 hours in the end.

I had my FitBit on that day and as you can see, I did a lot of Body Magic.

A Day In London

We had a great day out and enjoyed a little bit of sight seeing we did and I’m looking forward to spending the weekend there later on this year with one of my best friends as we go away for a girls weekend.

Have you been to London? What do you like to do there?

Keema Mince

For a long time I’ve tried making various curry dishes but they never taste right and for some reason they always taste kind of bland and the spices don’t taste the way I think they should. When I found this keema mince dish and tried it for the first time I was so impressed, it has just the right spice kick and is perfect with some home-made mint fat-free yogurt and rice. What is your favourite curry dish?

INGREDIENTS
Frylight
450g extra lean beef mince (5% fat or less)
1 onion, diced
1 garlic clove or 1 tsp of lazy garlic
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp chilli powder (you can alter this to your taste)
1 tsp garam masala
1 400g can chopped plum tomatoes
200g frozen peas
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt

METHOD
Spray a non-stick frying pan with low calorie cooking spray and brown the mince with onion and garlic. Add salt, turmeric, chilli powder, garam masala, and stir in.
Add tin of tomatoes and stir well. Half fill the tomato can with water and add this to the pan. Add the peas and stir well.
Bring to boil and simmer for about 45 minutes. Add more water if necessary.
Remove from heat. Add ground coriander and stir.

Enchilada Style Lasagne Enchilada Style Lasagne

This may not look like the most appetising meal you have ever seen but honestly, it’s amazing. This recipe is based on my love for Mexican food and so easy to make and if you’re following Slimming World it is syn free and using a healthy extra. You could easily serve this with wedges but I had mine with loads of cut up cucumber (it’s my favourite, don’t know why!)

INGREDIENTS
For The Lasagne:
2 chicken breasts cut up into bite sized pieces
Lasagne sheets (enough to cover your dish)
Fry light
2 peppers (I used red and yellow)
1 Onion
1 Tin Old El Paso Refried Beans
Spices : 2 tsp schwartz fajita spice, 1 tsp cumin, 2 tsp paprika
Cheddar cheese (I used 80g reduced fat for my topping)

Sauce:
1 Carton of passata
Pinch of sweetener
Salt & pepper

METHOD
First of all make sure to preheat your oven to 200 degrees.
Meanwhile, in a pan add in your carton of passata, pinch of sweetener, salt and pepper and simmer until it thickens down.
In a frying pan fry your fry light and add in your chicken, onion and peppers.
Once they are cooked then add your spices to your mix and your refried beans.
Once your chicken mix has thickened add a little bit of the passata mix but not enough to thin your sauce down.
Once your chicken mix has thickened down simply place into an oven proof dish and add on your lasagne.
Finally, add your passata mix to the top ensuring the lasagne sheets are covered and then add your cheese.
Cook for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and serve with salad, vegetables or wedges.