Monday, 10 October 2011

A Touch of the Green Eyed Monster

As most of you know I’m on a perpetual diet - a quick shifty through my old blog posts will tell you that much.  I’ve tried everything, from Slimming World to Slim Fast and calorie counting to cutting out carbs. Unfortunately I have the attention span of a goldfish so nothing ever lasts more than a couple of weeks at best. In August I decided that enough was enough. No more faddy diets, just sensible eating and unholy amounts of exercise. I even roped a couple of friends in for moral support, thinking that if we’re all in the same boat there will be fewer suggestions of a pub meal and a few drinks on Friday night, and cinema trips won’t have to come with a visit to the Ben and Jerry’s counter.


To my surprise it actually worked, we all signed up to My Fitness Pal and made a point of logging everything that passed our lips. This time nothing was negligible, not a cheeky midweek trip to Starbucks or a slab of cake that someone had brought into the office to celebrate a birthday. Everything was logged, everything. A cuppa in the morning? 11 calories. A gin and slimline tonic? 57 calories. The best (or worst) thing about the iPhone app is that it has a built barcode scanner, so I’d often find myself wandering round Sainsburys, scanning things and shouting “943 calories?!” and hastily replacing whatever I’d picked up. I’ll admit I got a few funny looks, but I bet most people in the vicinity thought twice before putting that pizza in their basket.


So far I’ve lost just over a stone by sticking religiously to my 1200 calories per day and taking up residence in the gym. A stone doesn’t sound much but I’ve been told time and time again that the best way to shed some timber is to lose it slowly – a pound of two a week is the way to lose it and keep it off. Now I was quite happy with this – I could feel my jeans becoming a bit looser and wasn’t as concerned that the buttons could pop on my work shirt at any given moment – until one of my friends started to drop two pounds a week, every week, without fail.


I should be happy for her (which I am), but at the same time its soul destroying when the needle on the scale just won’t shift. I know I should have taken measurements before I started, and I know weight isn’t everything but I’m jealous. There, I said it. I’m a terrible person. I go tot the gym 6 times a week for at least an hour at a time, I sweat like Homer Simpson in a Krispy Kreme shop at spinning twice a week and I log every last morsel and some weeks the scales just don’t move. I get up at 6 am to go to the gym for goodness sake – what kind of crazy person behaviour is that?!? My friend does a Zumba class once a week (if you’re lucky) and its absolutely falling off her. I just don’t know what I’m doing wrong. If one more person says “yeah but maybe [friend] has more weight to lose than you” I think I’ll scream.


The old me would deal with this by heading straight to KFC for a Wicked Zinger box meal, but not this time. This time I’m not giving up, I just really wish I could shake off this green eyed monster.


B xx


Monday, 5 September 2011

Product Rave: Molton Brown Protecting Vitamin Lipsaver

Hello lovelies

Hope you're all keeping well?

I've just got back from my jollies in Spain and I'm not acclimatising at all well to this horrible autumnal weather - I guess summer is now officially over!

I thought I'd share my latest favourite product with you all - Molton Brown's Protecting Vitamin Lip Saver. I honestly cannot say enough lovely things about this little tube of wonderfulness! My mum gave me a sample size that she got on a BA flight a few months ago and I was impressed from the first use. The tiny tube was packed with moisturising ingredients including beeswax, honey and vitamin E and is more of an intensive lip moisturiser than normal lip balms.

Before I used the Lip Saver, my lips were chapped to within an inch of their lives, but with one use (really, just one was all it took), they were soft and smooth. I'm not sure if its just me but my lips often become used to products after a while and they stop being as effective as they were to begin with, but this just hasn't happened with the lip saver, my lips feel as good after 6 months of religious use as they did after two uses.

I really like the fact that it comes in a tube as I'm not a fan of lip balms in pots for hygiene reasons. I'm also impressed at just how long it lasts - I apply it religiously and the tiny freebie tube (7ml) lasted me about 6 weeks. The full size (15ml) tube costs £10 and lasts me around 3 months with regular, liberal applications.

Prior to trying this out, my HG lip balm was always Clinique Superbalm, and though I'd definitely use Superbalm again (and regularly do), the Molton Brown product has just pipped it for everyday use. Price-wise they're much of a muchness, however this product differs from Superbalm in that it's not glossy but rather is a more traditional kind of lip balm, which is why I prefer it for everyday use - I don't wear a huge amount of make up at work so the matte look is a bit more in-keeping.

In short, I'd say that this is the best £10 I've ever spent and I'd recommend it to everyone!


(image courtesy of google - the tube didn't photograph very well)

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Desperate Times......

… call for desperate measures.


I'm not sure how its happened but my holiday has somehow crept up on me. It doesn’t seem 5 minutes since I was getting on a plane to Dubai so I have no idea where the last two months have gone! I've now got two weeks until I have to wear a bikini again, and the thought is filling me with dread to say the least. I was doing really well with the whole diet/fitness thing until a couple of weeks ago when I fell off the bandwagon in spectacular style. Since then I've persevered with the salads for lunch (only these salads have incorporated potato salad, pasta, pesto, cheese and lashings of Caesar dressing) and I've been going to the gym sporadically at best. If only one spinning class and one Zumba class a week was enough!


A weekend away with the girls last weekend pushed me over the edge. We did far too much eating and drinking, though a LOT of shopping was done and that counts as exercise, right??


Anyway, now that I have only two weeks to go, I've decided to take up the Special K challenge for the two weeks before I leave. You know the one, you have a bowl of Special K for brekkie, one for lunch and a normal dinner (obviously 'normal' doesn’t include a large Domino's pizza, mores the pity). Plus you can have two 100 calorie or less snacks per day. I'm not really a snacker so I think the snacks will be a massive bonus as they'll be like treats.


I'm not expecting miracles, but if I can shift about 7 pounds I'd be very happy. I know that this is not the healthiest way to lose weight, but I don't plan on being on the diet for longer than two weeks (…if I even last that long). When I get back I'll be going back to the good old myfitnesspal app and regular gym sessions, but I thought it only fair to warn you all that there will be a lot of whingy food-related tweets coming from my account - I won't be offended if you tell me to shut up!



Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Puppy Love Part Two: The Sequel

As if last week's puppy pics weren't achingly cute I'm back with more! Turns out my mum is just as much of a soft touch as I am, and when she went to visit Toby on Sunday she ended up agreeing to take another one too.

The puppies are Working Cocker Spaniels so mist of the litter are going on to be trained as gun dogs, but unfortunately one turned out to be gun-shy, so no-one wanted him, poor little sausage!

Luckily mum and dad couldn't resist, so ladies and gents, meet Bailey......

Monday, 25 July 2011

I don't like Mondays.....

.... but then again who does??

Why is it that Mondays are always so much harder when you've had a good weekend? This weekend has mostly been spent gambling (York Races), listening to music in the sun (Tramlines), and getting mushy over puppies!

Living in Sheffield we're very lucky that we have an amazing 3 day free festival in July called Tramlines. This year was its third birthday an its safe to say that its growing in size and variety every single year! Unfortunately I missed Saturday as I'd already been signed up for the races but I made Sunday and had a great day (as always)!

There's literally something for everyone, from folk to house and pop to hardcore and the festival showcases both local talent (from Toddla T to Rolo Tomassi) and also favourites from outside of South Yorkshire. There's even a buskers bus to ferry you round toen, which given Sheffield's famous hills ia definitely a fab idea. This year's headliners were Ash who were absolutely immense - it's been a fair few years since I've seen them and I can confirm that they're as good now as they were 10 years ago (saying that makes me feel REALLY old). The organisation and effort that goes into pulling such a huge event together is amazing and it really makes me proud to be a Sheffielder! I'd definitely recommend it to everyone so get yourselves down next year!

Luckily it's only a 4 day week and I have a weekend at the seaside with the girls coming up - is it wrong that I'm already packed??

Hope everyone has had a fabulous weekend and that this week isn't too painful!


Monday, 18 July 2011

Puppy Love

Hi everyone!

Meet the latest addition to the family, Toby....

Unfortunately he won't be coming to live with me as he's my mum's but still isn't he gorgeous??

All together now: Awwwwwwwww!!


Thursday, 12 May 2011

Mission: Possible

Hello Ladies and Gents!


I know, I know, I’ve been neglecting you again! Sorry about that but it’s been a horrendously hectic few months in Sunny Sheffield. I won’t bore you all with the deets because, well, it’s boring, but hopefully I’ve got past the worst of it so I’m back to ramble (for the foreseeable future at least).


Those of you who follow me on Twitter will know that I’ve set myself a little massive challenge – next year I’m going to run the Sheffield Half Marathon. Its not until May, but I figured that in a year I should be able to build up to run it in a (half) decent time so as not to embarrass myself.


I’m telling the world this so that there’s no way of me bottling it at the last minute, and also so that people can shout at me through Twitter if I fall off the wagon.


I like to think that I’m reasonably fit as I’m quite religious about going to the gym, but running is something that I’ve never quite got into. I thought that by setting a clear goal it might give me the push I need to actually get my backside into gear and do some training. Also, I vaguely remember someone somewhere telling me that running is the best thing for weight loss – whether it’s true or not remains to be seen, but I’m certainly going to give it a whirl!


Also, very luckily for me, this little challenge fits in beautifully with the latest phase of the Aussie Angels project I’m involved in – Aussie Lighter Self. The project isn’t necessarily to be taken literally (though that is the way that I’m choosing to interpret it as it’s the most applicable to me) and can cover anything from de-cluttering your life to de-stressing and getting healthy in time for the summer. I’d thoroughly recommend that you all hop along to Uncover Aussie and check out the three videos that have been posted to help you all lighten up!




Thursday, 17 March 2011

Aussie Angels - your chance to get involved!

Hi lovelies


I'm sure that you're all aware of Aussie Hair products (if you aren't - why not??), and most of you will be aware of the Aussie Angels. If you aren't click here and be enlightened! To celebrate the fact that spring has sprung, Aussie are offering 10 of you lovely bloggers the chance to join in the fun at an Aussie event. So far the events have included Australia Day parties, Aussie to the Rescue evenings, (where a crack team of make up artists, stylists and hairstrylists whipped us angels into shape), and an awesome Blogger's market which the snow ruined for me (boo). I can vouch for the events being not only heaps of fun but also a great chance to meet other bloggers and pick up lots of tips!


To be in with a chance of attending an event, all you need to do is answer the following question on your blog: “Put a spring in your spring! Tell us, how would you lighten up your life? #AussieLight” and tweet a link to the post to @yummyhair - couldn’t be simpler really could it??


Winners will be chosen by the lovely Uncover Aussie team and they're looking for something creative so think outside the box!  The competiton closes at Midnight on Sunday 20th March 2011 and winners will be chosen based on the most creative response that reflects the Aussie spirit. This means videos, pictures, stories or even songs can be their blog post entry


Full T’s & C’s can be found here.





Thursday, 10 March 2011

REWIEW: China Glaze Nail Strengthener & Growth Formula

Hello Lovelies!



As you will be aware from a previous post (found here), I'm a complete Nail Envy junkie. Unfortunately, last time I went to Sally's to stock up they were completely sold out of Nail Envy of all descriptions. Before I descended into a complete state of panic, the Sales Assistant pointed out China Glaze's alternative to Nail Envy , the snappily titled "Nail Strengthener & Growth Formula". I've previously been impressed with the China Glaze product range and decided to give it a whirl. The packaging is nice enough, and I definitely prefer the bottle to the Nail Envy bottle as I like that its frosted and I find it’s often a bit of a pain getting the dregs out of the Nail Envy bottle.  I think that I paid about £6 for it (with my trade card), but I've helpfully thrown out the receipt so I can't be more precise I'm afraid.


I've been using this product for the last few weeks, and I'm sorry to report that the results aren't great. I often used Nail Envy as a basecoat for other polishes, however the box of the China Glaze product explicitly states that it should NOT be used under polishes. "When I read this I didn’t pay much attention and thought "Meh, what's the worst that can happen?" How naive was. It turns out that the reason it shouldn’t be used as a basecoat is because it peels, and not just a little bit - so far I haven't survived a day with my nails intact!


The directions also state: "Apply two coats to clean, bare nails every other day (good luck with it lasting that long) for four weeks. For best results, use with Orange Cuticle Oil". Now I'm a bit lazy at best, and this sounds like FAR too much of a palaver. Especially when I'm used to the Nail Envy Way of thinking (2 coats, then one coat a day for a week. Repeat). Confession time: I'm not one for taking off my nail polish every other day, and I often 'rock' chipped nails (I know, I know, for some of you that is a cardinal sin, but to be quite frank, if it's good enough for Juliette Lewis, it's good enough for me).


There are a couple of good things about this product: it certainly makes my nails really hard (for the time it lasts) and its (slightly) cheaper than Nail Envy, but I'm afraid that it comes nowhere near knocking Nail Envy off its pedestal.


(image courtesy of Google - I still can't find that pesky camera lead!)


B x



Sunday, 30 January 2011

Fringe Benefits


Can you believe that I schedule ONE post and it doesn’t work?! Typical.

For those of you who don’t follow me on Twitter and missed my post-drastic-cut-wobbles, between Christmas and New Year I was feeling particularly ‘meh’ about my hair so I decided it was high time that I went for the chop. I was planning on going back to my trusty chin-length bob but somehow my hairdresser managed to convince me that a fringe was the way to go. Considering the fact that I haven’t had a fringe for about 12 years I was surprisingly easily led and a 40 minutes later there was no going back.

I wasn’t entirely sure about it to start with but I think I’m just about getting used to it now, so much so that instead of growing it out immediately as I originally intended, I’ve become quite attached to it!


Here We Go Again…

Well where did January go? Seriously, it seems to have absolutely flown by. One minute its New Years Eve, the next its (almost) payday. I should start by wishing everyone a rather belated Happy New Year – I hope 2011 has got off to a great start for everyone. Secondly, I should apologise for being MIA….again. I’ve not really got an excuse this time, I just didn't have anything to say and rather than boring you all to death I thought I may as well keep schtum. Anyway, I’m hoping that 2011 will be a good one so I’ll have plenty to say this year!

All has been quiet on the beauty front recently, mainly because I’ve been trying to use up the stockpiles I have before buying anything else, firstly because my dressing room can’t take any more, and secondly because I’m determined to stop spending money on things I just don’t need so that I can spend it on more exciting things (like holidays).

Usually January is my cue to jump on some diet bandwagon but this year is different. Instead of trying (and failing) to stick to some rigid plan and depriving myself of all the things I love I’m trying to re-educate myself and make myself more aware of what I eat so that I make better choices by keeping a food diary. So far so good! As well as this,  I’m seriously stepping up my gym game too, so brace yourself for lots of incredibly boring gym / fitness / diet posts in preparation for the wedding season – three invites this year all ready, is there something in the water?!

Here’s to a fabulous 2011!


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