My Lazy Weekend “Morning Routine”

So my weekend starts with a sleep in followed by a cup of tea usually something fruity: todays choice being Twinings Blueberry and Apple, a contender for my current favourite. I snuggle down into my faux fur blanket on the sofa, sip my tea and write my list of things to do for the day and goals for the week.

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Morning tea: Blueberry and Apple Twinings.

When this is done I juggle between playing with cat or working out and more often than not playing with cat wins out; well until she gets annoyed with me or I mentally talk myself into the latter. Working out really depends on the level of energy I wish to spend but it’s either 30-60 minutes on the treadmill or a light body weight workout, today I chose light body weight. Usually to cool down after the workout I read a few chapters of my latest book or catch up on a few episodes of whatever show I’m watching, finish my tea then I ready myself for whatever I have planned that day. This means shower, moisturise, sort the mess I call hair, apply the face paint and get dressed (all whilst dealing with the many interruptions from my adorable little fuzzball).

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The face of evil is cute and cuddly

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My Big Decision: Cutting out toxic habits

So it’s coming the end of the month and as always I’m looking back at my progress, thinking to myself “wow I really could have done better”. Reflection is a big part of understanding how to better ourselves so what I discovered this month was a little disheartening to my fitness goals. So it came as no surprise to myself when I made the decision to give up on soda, fizzy drinks and energy drinks. (Energy drinks being the big one as I’m pretty sure I’m addicted.)

soda

*

So to put things into perspective I was drinking 1-2 cans of energy drink a day and maybe a litre of soda a week, probably not very good for me. And I could tell that I wasn’t losing the weight I wanted although my workouts were the same. This lead me to do some research* and found a few things out of many that made me certain I wanted to give it up.

Here are the main ones that swayed me:

  1. HEART: A survey in 2011 and in 2012 showed an increased risk of chronic heart disease and also raising your blood pressure.
  2. BRAIN: Another study showed long-term consumption can lead to impaired memory, learning and behaviour.
  3. KIDNEY: Drinking soda can increase risk of kidney disease and decrease the function of the liver.
  4. REPRODUCTIVE ORGANS: Some studies indicate a link from drinking soda to premature puberty, infertility, metabolic disorders, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers.
  5. WEIGHT LOSS and lastly but not the most important reducing how much you drink by one large drink a day reduces your overall calorie intake by roughly 200,000 a year. Not to mention reducing the sugar in your diet is known to have better effects on your body.

These aren’t the only negative health effects that they can have on the body but just the ones that really scared me or hit close to home. So for the next month I won’t be touching them, or at least trying not to. And in a months time I will be reporting how I felt, any physical/emotional changes and how it affected my daily life and fitness.

main research

*image is free stock image

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Fitness: My top 5

I don’t claim to be in any way a “fitness expert” but I do enjoy working out every now and again. It can sometimes be hard to figure out what you want to do but worse still finding something that you’ll enjoy doing again and again. Here are my favourite 5 ways of working out:

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Skipping: As a child I loved skipping, it made me feel free and energetic. This is something I’ve taken with me into adulthood; except nowadays I use weighted ropes. I prefer to do it in intervals: 5 minutes skipping 1 minute break. Doing that for however long I feel upto, usually a minimum of 30 minutes.

Treadmill/Running: My next is running. Now I used to run in the park at least twice a week but after some unfortunate incidents that changed, which was sad. However I’m now lucky to own a treadmill which means that I attempt to run (usually interval) for at least an hour a few times a week.

Resistance: Okay so I’m a little late to this I’ll admit but once my treadmill arrived it came with an added bonus of a resistance band. After some research I started working out with it everyday except Wednesdays. It’s great for quick portable workouts, you can work all parts of your body, they come in different “weights” and you really feel the effects the next day (which I personally love).

Kettlebells: Kettlebells are something you need to get used to I did not like them when I first started. They made me tired after the first few minutes, something I wasn’t used to. However after a month or so, and different techniques I found one I liked doing: Pyramid Training – “ a pyramid is a basic structure that you create when arranging your sets and reps of a given exercise. It entails starting out light and stepping up the weight you use on successive sets. As you keep adding weight, the number of reps you can do goes down,*”

Youtube videos: Now my utmost favourite way to workout is to follow workouts put in front of me in video form. The two Youtube channels I work out with/to the most are Cassie Ho – Blogilates and Scola Dondo. Blogilates’ workouts are based on pilates and Scola works a lot with HIIT (high intensity interval training) and dance workouts. They’re both great fun and there’s always something new and different which is why I enjoy them so much.

*Pyramid Training

*Blogilates YouTube

*Scola Dondo YouTube

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MUA LUXE Liquid Lipstick Review

mua lippies

So as a self-proclaimed liquid to matte lipstick or liquid lipsticks in general junkie, it’s safe to say that I’m obsessed with them. Now I must be honest I’ve only ever ventured into the Sleek Matte Me range and although I love them sometimes you have the urge to try another brand. When browsing online I saw a video by *NinkComPoop talking about the MUA LIP LAQUERS  and I it’s safe to say my interest was piqued. I went to their website and was overwhelmed by their range of colours but to play it safe I chose four: 2 metallic and 2 matte.

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[In order: Blaze, Luster, Symphonic and Potency]

So lets start with the metallics: the colour payoff was incredible and no matter the light you could clearly see the shimmer, but it wasn’t overwhelming which is something I worry about with metallic lipsticks. The formula was creamy but slightly sticky almost lipgloss like (with the shade Blaze at least), however it was wearable and didn’t dry your lips out. They wipe off easily at the end of the day for simple clean up however downside is that they do come off fairly easily when eating or drinking.

Next up is what I was most looking forward to: MUA LUXE Velvet Lip Laquers. The two colours I chose were Symphonic – a matte lilac/lavender shade and Potency – a matte black. First the formula is as it states once dry they feel soft to the touch and don’t feel like they’re sapping the moisture out of your lips. [HELPFUL TIP: I personally put chapstick on for at least 10mins before applying matte lipsticks.]

Now then these are liquid to matte lipsticks so are expected to last a lot longer than a creamy/glossy lipstick so it is to be expected that they would be a lot harder to remove. I had to rub my lips quite a bit with a wet wipe for about five minutes to get these off, but plus side they stayed put all day. Another downside I found is that with Potency is took about 3 layers before the colour was completely opaque; I had to apply, wait for it to dry then reapply three times. So from my experience that colour at least is one to wear if you’ve got a little extra time in the day to apply. However all in all a great experience and I definitely recommend and for only £3 each they’re a bargain.

*NinkComPoop review

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Peculiar Children Trilogy Review

riggs books

Ransom Riggs Peculiar Children trilogy follows young Jacob as he discovers that his grandfathers wild fantastical stories he was told as a child might not be stories after all and his adventures after meeting the ‘peculiar children‘.

 

So it took me a month total to finish all three installments of the Peculiar Children series; the idea of using found photography to create a narrative grabbed my attention to buy the series and it did not disappoint.

Each storyline, back story and detail meticulously matched what you saw in the images creating a unique bond between story and image. You felt yourself being drawn further into this weird time loop war ravaged world because you not only imagined the story and characters in your mind but the inclusion of the photographs made it feel like there was some sort of inkling of reality behind it. There were plot twists that were unexpected but pleasant as they made the story more enjoyable. The menagerie of characters left you wishing you knew them even if some had some personality “flaws” that in real life you would shy away from but in the end it added to their depth. Because of the way Riggs portrayed his characters it was easy to see yourself relating to them (more so if you have powers you’re keeping from the world) as people.

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A must read for those who enjoy fantasy with a slight hint of realism; in my opinion best enjoyed wrapped in a blanket with a warm beverage.

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Starbucks Teavana Review

teavana

So summer sun beckons an icy refreshing drink and usually my go to Starbucks drink is a Vanilla Chai Tea frappuchino with a shot of espresso, however when entering my local Starbucks I saw an advertisement for Teavana Shaken Iced Tea. Now I love iced tea so the curious kitten in me needed to try it.

Out of the 4 available teas I played it safe and ordered the Iced Shaken Hibiscus Tea.

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[Pictured: Front – Hibiscus Shaken Iced Tea. Back – Strawberries and Cream Frappuchino]

So starting on Flava … sorry *coughs* I mean flavour: this was a plain Hibiscus iced tea but to my palette it had a hint of blueberry. This was a pleasant surprise and highly enjoyable on the somewhat hot day here in the UK. It was filling, flavourful and refreshing. My only issue was that the ice as it melted watered down the flavour of the tea, something that cannot be helped of course but if I were to order it again (which I probably will) I can just request less ice. A definite recommendation for those wanting to try something cold from Starbucks and if you don’t like Hibiscus there’s Green Tea, Black Tea or Peach and some other Teavana teas to try. So grab and enjoy =^.^=

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Recipe for life? A Healthy Start?

smoothie bowl

So there I was coffee in hand, hungry staring into a fridge filled with fruits and veggies: the start to my heathy eating kick. And it dawned on me … I didn’t know what to eat. I looked into healthy starts to the day and came across something new to me. Smoothie bowls. Now don’t get me wrong I enjoy a good smoothie and indulge in them often, an easy way to get your 5 a day in and they taste delicious but I never considered pouring them into a bowl, probably due to the liquid consistency.

Looking into it I found a lot of recipes using frozen fruits and very little liquid base. So I experimented. The one I ended up really enjoying consisted of:

  • 2 small bananas
  • handful of frozen forest fruits and berries
  • 30ml rice milk

Blended together it’s consistency was like that of partially melted ice cream. I topped it with oats and fresh blueberries and tucked in. It was filling, delicious and felt more like a dessert than breakfast therefore I found I enjoyed it much more. Will definitely be trying this again with different smoothie recipes and toppings. I recommend trying it, I think even kids would enjoy it too (especially if they get to choose what toppings just like with ice cream).smoothie bowl2.jpg

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Travel: Relax, Relearn

Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.- Henry David Thoreau

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[Benidorm 2016 – view is Peacock Island]

On my journey to reawaken my creative side it was lucky that I was booked in for a holiday abroad. I have always found travel a great chance for exploration: not just of the country but of oneself. Surrounding oneself in new things, food, people, views rekindles a creative spark at least in myself I have found.

Whilst in Benidorm I found myself pleasantly surprised. You hear horror stories of rowdy drunken hen and stag dos, but knowing my reasons for being there I kept a clear head, drinking in moderation and instead took to sightseeing.

guadalest village

[Guadalest village]

Sightseeing took me to a quaint little village called Guadalest, nestled in the mountains the views were breathtaking as well as the history. What I learnt from my trip and the reason behind the name of this blog is simple: travelling can be an opportunity to relax but also relearn.

guadalest view

[Guadalest view from top on hill]

In short the lessons learnt are don’t stress about the little things, take time for yourself and do what makes you happy (within reason of course). I find the best ways to keep yourself motivated, creative and inspired is to do something different at least once everytime you feel yourself becoming unmotivated or uninspired.

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