Friday, 28 February 2014

Fitness Fridays: Top Tips for Changing your Diet into a Lifestyle (1)


A different type of post for today's 'fitness friday' theme. You can see the other posts I've written with this theme so far on this link.

Sometimes when talking to other people about losing weight, eating healthily and trying to get fit there are a lot of things we set ourselves that make it completely unrealistic to achieve which means you fail and more often than not end up going back to square one or worse.

Over the last few years I've slowly changed my diet and lifestyle which is how I believe I've been successful in losing some weight, getting fitter and maintaining it. So I thought today's post might be helpful to list a few things that I've found have made a huge difference and you could maybe try adding a different one each week or try something that you haven't before to try and make a difference.
I'm no fitness coach or nutritionist but I've found these have helped me, and maybe they'll help you too. I've split this up so there's 5 this week and 5 next week so it's not like reading an essay!

1) Never skip breakfast. This is my biggest hate, when people moan they're not losing weight when in reality their body is in slow mode because they didn't kick start it in the morning. Eat a banana if that's the only thing you can do but I'm a person that hates breakfast and I manage to eat it every morning at 6am so no excuses that there's not enough time in the mornings! Make time!
You have to train yourself but start with a piece of fruit and add in a yogurt or toast until you can eat a decent sized breakfast. This won't make you put on weight (as long as its decent food) but will kickstart your metabolism in the morning for the rest of the day.

2) Try and resist a snack in the evenings. The last thing you want to do is be really good all day and then ruin it by attacking the ice cream, crisps or chocolate at 9pm when you've got minimal chance of burning it off so it will be stored as fat. If you've been to the gym late and are having your meal late then that's fair enough, or if you are genuinely hungry try and eat some greek yogurt or something with nutritional value rather than going straight to the sweet cupboard. If you've got a sweet tooth try having a hot chocolate instead, Options do one for 42 calories per cup. Or if in doubt, clean your teeth, it will help to take the taste of sweet foods away.

3) Emotional eating - we've all been there, long hard day at work, stuck in traffic, plans are cancelled because of bad weather and you just feel crappy so you go straight to the cookie jar.
I read a quote once that was something along the lines of 'do not reward yourself with food, you are not a dog'.
I'm pretty sure we all understand that quote, filling yourself with stodgy carbs and high fat will only make you feel worse health wise and you'll feel guilty which will probably mean that you'll also decide to give up and 'try again on Monday'. Diets do not only start on Monday's, appreciate the day has been a useless one and start again in the morning, that's why there is more than one day in the week.

4) Change one meal at a time - by this I mean change breakfast or start eating breakfast, swap your crisps for fruit, chips for vegetables. If you vow to change your diet overnight it will NEVER happen. Give yourself some time to change everything and it will become habit. Change one meal or snack each week and don't forget to have a cheat meal every week so you can have a bit of what you really want without ruining your efforts.

5) Sleep! Apparently a study has shown (cannot find the source sorry) that most repair happens between 10 and 12 midnight so to maximise your body's repair you need to be asleep at this time. Not sure how true that is but we all know that 8 hours a night is the optimum time for sleeping, no longer or you'll feel sluggish and no less or you won't have recovered from the day before. I have to be up early for work anyway so an early night is usually a standard thing, but even if you're in bed earlier relaxing then that's a start.

Hopefully some of these tips will help you, I will be continuing this post next week with the second 5 tips that I've found helpful.

What would your number one tip be for changing a diet into a lifestyle? Are you a breakfast lover or skipper?

L xxx


Philosophy: Birthday Girl set

Morning campers!

Ooh that sounded happy and chirpy didn't it!

Today's post is on a gift I had from my mum last year for my birthday (FYI almost a year ago....eek!) so I decided it was about time I got my act together and wrote about it as it's such a lovely set.


First of all, who doesn't love a Philosophy gift set? Everyone goes mad for them at Christmas, they have some stunning collections and I always see people going crazy for them in the sales afterwards too.

Their packaging design is unlike anyone else's and I think they're really pretty; the balloon pattern and the bow on top is so cute!



You can see on the side of the box the contents of the gift set; Vanilla Birthday Cake shower gel, bubble bath and shampoo; and Vanilla Birthday Cake lipgloss.



Onto the main star of the show! The Vanilla Birthday Cake is a 240ml bottle of a multi purpose product. Philosophy are famous for this and their design. I love that the front of the bottle contains a recipe for a vanilla birthday cake, its so simple but fun and I'd love to know if it actually works!



This smells really luxurious and sweet, it has a very warm and comforting smell like warm cake from the oven does. It is very creamy and rich and so a little does go a long way, but I did find it hard to get the product out of the bottle as it was quite stiff and as the product is so thick it doesn't move very fast!



The lip gloss is a nice touch to add to a Birthday themed gift; who doesn't love a shiny lip on their birthday!

This looks to be a gold glittery gloss but actually comes out as a clear shimmery gloss. It is perfect to wear on its own and over other lipsticks and will give any look that little something extra.
It is SUPER shiny and I really love wearing it over a red lip like MAC's Russian Red or Kate Moss 107.

This was a lush present to recieve and I've since recommended my mum get it for many other people she knows and they've all loved it too.
This gift retails for £18 and can be found on their website here or at Boots. As I said previously they have updated the packaging to a more grown up blue and yellow design which is just as pretty.

Have you tried many Philosophy products? Which is your favourite?

L xxx


Thursday, 27 February 2014

Antipodes Spree....Round 2

Morning chums!

I wrote about my Antipodes spree a few weeks ago in this post. I'm completely hooked and won't bang on about them as a brand too much but basically they're blooming good!

My second order from them involved another 2 raved about products and another freebie which I sent to the lovely Sasha from Ramblings from a Beauty Bird as she missed the deal.


I ordered the much raved about Aura Manuka Honey Mask and I'm a huge fan of Facial Exfoliators so snapped up Reincarnation too.


Reincarnation Pure Facial Exfoliator is an EXTREMELY gentle face scrub, the particles are so tiny that really its like rubbing a cleanser with the tinest amount of powder in. It's probably the most non-abrasive exfoliator I've ever used.

It contains avocado oil and jojoba oil to remove lifeless skin, Calendula oil to repair and carrot seed the revitalise the skins surface. Not only that but it also contains a range of essential oils to soothe the skin's surface, what a combo!



I've used this a few times over the last few weeks and can honestly say it is one of my favourites. I am a firm fan of Origin's Modern Friction and whilst the effects from both are the same, the Reincarnation exfoliator is definitely less abrasive so it all depends on what you yourself are looking for in what is essentially a facial scrub.
This retails at £20.99 and whilst this may be expensive for some the ingredients are of top quality and a little goes a very long way.

Not to mention that i love the packaging of these products, the tubes make it easy to dispense as little or as much as you want and ensures there is nothing left at the end as you can squeeze every little drop out of it!


The Aura Manuka Honey Mask has been raved about all over the bloggersphere and I knew I had to pick it up months ago but unfortunately buying a car had delayed my ability to purchase anything!

Now i know why it was raved about and how much i will always need to repurchase this!

Applied to clean and dry skin the mask not only utilises Manuka Honey (an ingredient from NZ that is famed around the world and which we always keep in our kitchen cupboards) to increase moisture it also has fragrances of vanilla pod and mandarin to balance your 'Aura'.



After my first use I was hooked. I was astonished how a hydrating mask could not only alleviate my dehydrated and drab looking skin but also reduce the size if not completely eliminate some pesky spots i had and reduce the redness. Unbelievable!

This mask retails at £21.99 and comes in the very same tubes, easy to squeeze out every last drop and I can assure I will be there squeezing until my next one arrives. I cannot ever be without it and I apologise to humanity for not buying it sooner, maybe you wouldn't have to put up with my 'pizza face' for so long eh?

Have you tried Antipodes before? Which product is your favourite? Are you a manuka honey fan?

My wishlist for Antipodes is growing at an alarming rate, but I'd love to get my hands on the Joyous Night Replenish Serum, the Kiwi Seed Eye Cream and their Immortal Moisturiser.

No doubt when I'm closer to being debt free I'll be snapping up everything I can get my mitts on!

L xxx


Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Life Lately!


I came on here with the intention of sharing with you a mascara I've been loving lately but my head just isn't feeling like wanting to write it and I feel more like a life post!

Is it me or is this year speeding by! It's started well for me and I hope it just keeps getting better. A week ago I was lucky to be invited to an event in London for the launch of a new Lauren's way tan. We got to meet the Lauren who couldn't be nicer or more friendly. We were totally spoiled with cocktails, cakes and goodie bags and it was such a good night. I will be sharing the tan with you guys soon. I'm already a huge fan of the darker than dark lotion.





Last Wednesday I was tired and bored and decided to be impulsive and get another piercing (the 4th since last July!). It's becoming addictive. I finally got my nose pierced after wanting it for ages. I thought I'd hate the big bar but I actually quite like it and I'm in no hurry to change it now. It wasn't painful but did make my eyes water!


Lots of coffee and catching up with friends has been happening which I love doing. It's great to gossip over starbucks! I'm such an addict. Hello gold membership and free shots and syrups.

I'm also totally hooked on a new series! Game of Thrones has literally taken over since I started watching the TV series with a friend last Monday. In just over a week I'm 300 pages into the 1st book and 3 episodes down. For me I find it really slow to read but it's really good. I think it was much easier to watch a few episodes then read the book!


I've been absolutely loving playing with my Naked 3 palette that I couldn't resist treating myself too. It's got such gorgeous colours and is so wearable. I also can't believe how long lasting it is. This photo was after it had been on for 18 hours!


I've enjoyed playing around with make up lately and trying new looks even if it's not wearable! Sometimes it's fun to just pile it on.


On Friday I went out with my lovely housemates for drinks and to watch the rugby! I love watching rugby and it was such a great atmosphere in Cardiff. It was a great weekend for rugby especially with England winning too!

I keep day dreaming in work at moment. I'm lucky I work at the top of a hill and have the most amazing views across Cardiff! I can see right across the city centre and the landmarks. On a nice day it's so distracting to just stare out of some of the lab windows!



The most amazing dessert place from Red Hot Buffet! I love red hot buffet for when I want to pig out!


I finished off that evening with Mia wine! It had mine now on and was sparkling so would be rude not too!

It seems I've also finally got my fitness motivation back which is well overdue. I've been riding, kickboxing, pump classes, pilates, running, weights, HIIT and punch bag training. In 3 days I've done about 5 hours. If I can move in the morning I'll be surprised haha. 6 months till tough mudder!

That's my past week and a bit! I hope you've all had good weeks. Here's to the next one being better. L is coming round tomorrow and I'm cooking. Can't wait for a girly gossip!

Love M



Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Makebelieve Enhance Sunbeam Bronzer and Brush!

Hey All

Happy Tuesday! It's definitely the worse day of the week for me and always the one that drags! I'm hoping to get another gym session in tonight to hopefully distract me!

Anyway onto today's review. Apologies for the messy packaging but at least you can see it's well loved. Lately I've been trying to shop my stash and found this gem from the Bristol Bloggers meet around a year ago. We had such amazing goodie bags I've been working my way through them.

Makebelieve isn't a brand I've tried much off but after getting my hands on this and falling in love when I eventually tried it I think I need to get my hands on the fake tan!


A matte bronzer is a daily must have for me. My cheeks get contoured everyday. Anyone who has read the blog for a while may know I'm a huge fan of the Liz Earle bronzer and that bad boy didn't leave my face for well over a year!! Since trying this one it's been replaced!


The packaging I don't love as it is cardboard and gets really messy and covered in my mucky finger prints. But saying that it has held together well. First impressive thing the the amazing kabuki brush it comes with. Usually brushes that come with products aren't that great! This bad boy is so soft. I can't believe I left it untouched for so long! It's also the perfect size to fill in my cheek bones.

The bronzer itself has great pigmentation and not much is needed. As you can see from the picture after about 3 months use it still has the embossed mark visible.


A good matte bronzer isn't the easiest to find. It has to be non orange, non muddy looking and non shimmer. In the pan I thought this would be slightly too orange for my pale skin but after trying it I was totally hooked and it's become an everyday staple for me.


Natural skin


With bronzer applied under the cheek bones.

I love using this to add shape to my face! I really like the colour it comes out on my skin. It adds a natural colour and really lasts well. I like to flatten the kabuki brush so it fits perfectly into my cheek bones. I then use it as is to sweep colour around my temples to give me a glow!

I'm totally converted from my Liz Earle and I hadn't expected that. This is a great quality product with an amazing brush. It's perfect for make up application in a hurry as the brush is always there.

Love M



Monday, 24 February 2014

Ginvera Green Tea Nude Cover BB Cream

Hey all

Hope you had a great weekend! My weekend was spent with lots of rugby, drinking, catch ups and gossips and ended with game of thrones marathon! A pretty good one.

Today I wanted to share a product review on a product I've loved for a while and just haven't gotten around to posting. I first tried this BB in a she said beauty box ages ago and loved it straight away. Being someone with oily skin I've not found many high street ones which really agreed with my skin and gave me the coverage I felt comfortable with.


Ginvera originated in Singapore and has spread through Asia as well as Europe and America now. Some of the best BB creams originated in Asia and I couldn't wait to try one of the originals as the one's from the western market hadn't lived up to my expectations. BB creams, beauty balms or blemish balms claim to be light on the skin while given better coverage than tinted moisturiser.


A product that claims to suit all skin tones always concerns me. I'm naturally super pale with freckly skin and find products that claim to be suitable for all skin tones have to much of an orange tone to them. I was really surprised to try this and find it was too dark on my hand but does blend out for a perfect match. I like that it is a squeezy bottle so the right amount can be easily dispensed.


I love that it has a high SPF as lighter foundation is something I want in the summer and the fact this gives the protection to is great. It claims to be non greasy, even skin tone, moisturise and brighten. That's a lot of promise from one product!


Ginvera BB does have a slight grey tone to it. But for me I think this helps it work as a product to suit multiple skin tones as it doesn't have the dreaded orange tint. I did worry it would make my skin look dull.


Natural Skin


Just Ginvera BB Cream

As you can see from the photos it really covers up redness, evens skin tone and has the natural matte finish. It has even done a pretty good job at neutralising some pretty bad spots! It leaves my skin looking healthy and not like a mask. I like that some of my freckles can still be seen.

As someone with oily skin I do use a powder but I always do. With a powder it lasts me all day!

This is my go to foundation now for lazy days as it's easily applied and blends out perfectly with the fingers. It leaves me skin feeling so light! No other BB creams have come near for me.

Have you tried Ginvera or other BB creams?

Love M



Sunday, 23 February 2014

Urban Decay B6 Vitamin Infused Complexion Prep Spray


Hope you're all not suffering too much after a night out, fingers crossed the weather won't be too bad today either!

A few weeks ago we attended a product showcase for Urban Decay and you can see our post on it here.
We were totally overwhelmed when we were given a goodie bag with the following contents:


So many things I've been lusting after for so long and I am eternally thankful for the chance to review it all!

We'd both heard a lot about the B6 Prep Spray and having used it at the product showcase we both knew how much we wanted it. It was such a fine mist and cooling on the skin leaving it feeling revived.



The B6 Spray contains the first stabilised form of Vitamin B6 which absorbs oil, minimises pores and reduces redness. It also contains Vitamin E providing anitoxidants and also willow bark which is rich in salicylic acid to help cell turnover.
There were many studies carried out on this spray which found that 81% had a measurable reduction in oil and shine, 78% had more radiant skin with fewer blemishes and redness and most had a measurable reduction in pore size.

The directions involve spraying directly onto clean skin before moisturiser, any time to refresh skin throughout the day and also at night before any treatment. Spray onto your skin from 8-10 inches away several times for the full effect.


The spray feels cooling on your skin and I genuinely enjoy applying it. As someone who isn't especially a toner or thermal water etc an I wasn't sure I'd like it at first but I can honestly say it lives on my bed side table now. It does feel cooling and I do think my skin has improved after using it though I cannot specifically say how. It's odd but my skin is less red and my pores have improved in appearance.

I enjoy applying this although I do think that the mist is a little too generous sometimes. I find there's a lot of fallout onto whatever I am wearing at the time of application which is a shame as I tend to think of this as gold dust now!

The Prep Spray can be purchased for £21.50 which I think considering the rate I've been using it and the amount that's left is a pretty good price! Especially when bought at Debenhams....cannot forget to collect those Beauty Card points ladies!

What do you think of Prep Sprays? Will you be testing this one out?

L xxx

Hey all

I'm the opposite of L and I absolutely love toners and facial sprays. I love the refreshing feel of them and as someone with oily skin I really feel they make a difference.

The day we got our goodie bags I was very ill (suffering from the worlds worst hangover!) so my skin was suffering and I was very dehydrated. As soon as I got home I was spraying this on my face!


I love the packaging. It's almost got a slightly rubberised feel to it and the nozzle sprays the finest mist meaning it can be applied over make up when the skin needs a pick me up without ruining the foundation. As L said I do need to be careful that it's aimed just at the centre of the face though as the mist is so fine is does go everywhere otherwise.


After a few too many nights out, bad meals and sleeping in make up twice a week my skin is understandably not behaving at the moment so I've been switching up my skincare and this has been a very welcome new addition.

Using this in conjunction with a new toner has helped reduce the amount of spots I have, improve my oily skin and the redness left over from spots seems to heal quickly. I tend to use it morning and night and if I'm going out after work I spritz it on then for a little face pick me up!

I can see this fast becoming a skin care staple. I think the price point is reasonable and is around the price of the setting sprays (which I absolutely love!). You do get a lot of product and I can see it lasting ages.

If you're having problem skin or just want it to be a bit brighter I'd really recommend it! Plus it's currently triple points at Debenhams!

Love M



Saturday, 22 February 2014

Life Update

Happy Saturday morning to you all!

I would be ridiculously glad that its the weekend...but instead I have to work Saturday this week as well so I've decided to flash a few photos of my life over the last few weeks instead of a beauty post.

First up? This beauty. Apologies for the shadowed photo, lighting isn't my priority when dealing with my fave LKB and I was so excited that my mum had bought me this!
One of my Christmas presents had to go back as it didn't fit me so instead she bought me this beautiful black patent make up bag. I was very impressed with the quality and how beautiful and shiny it was anyway, (magpie anyone?) but it even came in a dust bag! I've never owned anything posh enough to warrant a dust bag before. Day. Made.


Next up is this beauty, a snap I took whilst stuck in my car on the way to work. What should have been a 45 minute journey ended up taking me 3.5 hours and I even missed a meeting at work...oops.

Nice to see some snow in amongst all the endless rain though!


Me and M had a lush night out the other week with a uni friend who came down for the rugby and then we went out afterwards. I wore a black crepe shift dress with leather panels on from M&S Limited Collection that I bought a few years ago. I've only worn it once before when I first bought it as its quite a tight dress due to the fabric and can even be hard to walk in but I decided there's no point it living in my wardrobe all year round!



Here's the three of us all glammed up and ready for the night!

I also picked up these shoes for the night out as my previous VERY trusty pair of shoes (the usual peep toe black shoe boot style) have finally given up with all the wear and tear!
I decided to replace them with these beautiful cut out shoes boots also from New Look which felt quite comfortable initially....they don't rub which is a relief but just general foot ache!


After that I've spent a lot of time eating the last few weeks. Not all that badly ( I do gym 5 times a week to combat it!) but nevertheless there has been a lot of food. For example:

Untitled Untitled

Afternoon tea with M at a spa day we went to, not over the top amount of cakes and some decent sandwiches, yum.

The second picture shows my mums homemade 'sticky chicken' which is 1 or 2 syns on slimming world and honestly makes every problem go away. I promise to write a post about this in future as to be perfectly honest everyone needs this recipe in their lives! Perfect for chicken and salmon, for lunch or tea, for yourself or for a meal with friends its just AMAZING.


Another meal with M was at Nando's. M can get discount and so we often get the platter with the chicken and 2 sides with 2 drinks for a really good price. We do tend to stuff ourselves and however much we want to get salad we always end up getting chips to share too! Oh well.

Aside from all the amazing food I've been trying to get back into the gym. Although i go regularly my running has been suffering considerably because of the weather and persistent traffic I keep getting stuck in. I'm trying to keep it up on weekends but now I've lost my running partner to a dodgy ankle I'm flagging a bit!

I think a few quiet weeks with workouts, good food and a few good books are what I need to recover myself and my bank balance.

I've been having a hard time at work lately and sometimes find it hard to think about anything other than that and my constant lack of money. but I'm trying to be more positive about things and quotes like this one (from my beloved HP!) can help to put a smile on my face.


What have you been up to lately? Do you like my dress that I wore out?
How have you been coping with the awful weather we've been having?

L xxx

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