Friday, 25 April 2014

Life | my tips for the gym!

I'm  not claiming to be a super fit gym freak (far from it) or know anything extensive about training programmes or diets. I hate the word diet in fact, they never work and just encourage guilt when you inevitably fall off the wagon on a Friday night. I have, however, stuck to a gym routine and a healthy eating lifestyle for a good couple of months now and I'm beginning to notice the change. I thought I'd share the things I've found helpful for staying motivated and sticking to it!

* Join a gym; a lot of gyms are offering really competitive, no contract memberships nowadays and they're definitely worth looking into if you've got the disposable cash! I had a Results with Lucy prescription for a few months and while the workouts where fun and did make me ache afterwards (always the sign of a good regime) I just found it so hard to stick to on my own at home! which leads nicely on to..

* Go with a friend; I arrange to meet my gym friend before and we go together, it stops me wimping out because I'm tired and she pushes me to do my best when we get there! I think I make a pretty good cheerleader for her too, and we keep each other entertained. Having a friend with me also makes me feel more comfortable navigating the weights room and the various machines. I know for a fact without her I'd never dare attempt anything too scary looking!

* Buy nice things to wear; I treated myself to some new trainers a month into my gym membership and it's funny how that made going feel worthwhile. With regards to clothes to wear at the gym, they needn't be expensive! most of mine come from either Tesco or Asda and do the job well! If I feel like I look good at the gym I find I work a lot harder than if I'm worrying about how these leggings make my bum look, or if that top is clinging to the wrong bit!

* Get a plan; a lot of gyms offer free personal training sessions as an incentive for joining up and you can ask the staff what kind of exercises you should be doing for certain results. I went one further and bought the LDN Muscle bikini guide because I wanted expert advice on how to change my body. I find that having a plan reassures me that I'm doing enough and also motivates me to go because hell, I've bought the bloody thing so I better go and use it! I find this one really hard work but I'm already seeing positive results and the instructions are clearly illustrated and actually aren't that scary once you get into it. I did have to give the eating plan pages a few reads but I'm on board with that too now! it's changed the whole way I look at going to the gym and has given me something to aim for!

* Change it up; if you go to the gym every day and sit on the bike  for 45 minutes then go home, not only are you going to get really bored really quickly, you're going to plateau and not benefit from that expensive membership! Try classes or a different activity every day, like swimming or running. That's another good thing about having a plan, my LDN Muscle one has A and B weeks and works different muscle groups on different days so I'm never bored.

I think the most important thing is don't beat yourself up if you have a bad day or just don't go. No-one is perfect and no-one never has a pizza. Everything in moderation! Being healthy should soon become a lifestyle; if it ever become a chore you're going to resent it and are more likely to sack it off pretty quickly. I  have loads of inspiration pictures on pinterest and places like that that I can look at if I ever get bored with it all!

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Life | OHMYGOD #blogfortrek WINNER

I am in a total state of shock, still. I woke up from a night shift this afternoon, about half 12 to see Trek America had tweeted they'd announced the winner of their #blog4trek competition. I sleepily checked the page to see which lucky girl had got it and when I saw my name, I couldn't believe it. It's such a cliché but I actually couldn't believe what I was reading. I've been squealing and dancing ever since; you know that total elation when something seems just too good to be true? that happy feeling in your tummy and the glow you seem to emit? I've got that today! it's like a happy warm furry cat constantly on my chest- such a lovely feeling.

Long story short, I've been totally buzzing all day, and haven't stopped talking about it to any one that will listen. I'm never, ever lucky with things like this and it's made me so happy! I keep finding myself on the Trek America page researching the Westerner 2 and imagining what it's going to be like.

I want to post a huge, huge thank you to the panellists; i'm honestly so, so grateful. You don't know what this means to me! A big thank you also to lovely PR lady Michelle, who's put  up with my excited garbled emails and hundred questions. Obviously thank you Trek America for opening up this opportunity for me and sending me on the trip of a life time!! and thank you to anyone that liked my photo in the second round, or read my first and third round entries. I'm truly lost for words with joy.

Commiserations to the other 4 girls who got through to round three with me, I honestly never expected it to be me who won. My blog is probably the smallest out of the lot, and their entries where all so fantastic!

I am planning lots of posts leading up to the trip, obviously during the trip and probably a sad little post during the come down afterwards! I hope you'll come along with me and it will inspire you to travel, even if it's just exploring your home town!

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I'm off to continue to dance round my room. I'm not sure I've annoyed my neighbours enough yet with my squealing!

Review | L'oreal L'extrordinaire colour riche lip colours.

It's not often I buy more than one colour of a product, but when I picked up two of these lip colours in Boots I absolutely had to go back and get more of the range! I can't believe I haven't seen more posts about them to be honest, at the moment they're my perfect lip product!
The L'oreal L'extrordinaire colours are the formula of a gloss, are soft like a balm and have the lasting power of a lipstick. In the deeper colours there's even the hint of a stain once the glossiness has worn off (3-4 hours without eating!) I've fallen head over heels for these, and plan on adding more to my collection come pay day. 

Shade 600 Nude Vibrato is probably my least favourite shade, its very similar to 101 but doesn't have the pink tones and can wash me out a bit.

Shade 204 Tangerine Sonate is a juicy orange that stains well.

Shade 201 Rose Symphony is a bright fuchsia that I love for a night out, or the statement lip colour on a dewy face for spring. This is one of the more vibrant colours I have that wear down to a stain.

Shade 101 Rose Melody is my favourite of all the shades I have and is a lovely pink toned nude that is perfect for wearing every day. Its a definite 'my lips but better' type colour that is easy to apply with no mirror.

Shade 500 Molto Mauve is a lovely berry toned pink that again has the staining quality. I love this for nights out.

I love the packaging of these lip colours, as well as the range and the formula! It feels a lot more luxurious than L'Oreal and puts me in  mind of something similar to YSL or Estee Lauder!

Have you tried the L'Oreal L'extrordinaire lip colours? Which is your favourite?

Monday, 21 April 2014

Tag | The beauty tag...

I've just seen this tag on Emma's Treasures and as I've never done one before I thought it might be a fun post to do. I'm trying my hardest to get back into blogging with a passion so do bear with whilst I get my arse into gear...

Q1. If you had £500 would you spend it on clothes or makeup?
If 'makeup' includes skincare aswell then definitely makeup; I'd love to splurge on the high end brands like Charlotte Tilbury and Tom Ford and skincare is my ultimate money sponge...I'm dying for a massive run round the beauty hall in selfridges just buying without a care! 

Q2. Bright nails or nude nails all year round? 
My job doesn't allow for nail varnish so when I can paint them I tend to go for something pretty bold! I love pastels at the minute, and a bright red nail is so'd definitely have to be brights! 

Q3. Describe your perfect mascara. Have you found one? 
Length, curl, volume and blackness...I don't know if I've found the one yet but I do love my 2000 calorie from max factor and I've heard excellent things about Clinique! 

Q4. What's your ideal coverage foundation? 
Medium-high, definitely. I pass over foundations that are a light-medium coverage without a second look. I have bad skin and bad scarring, I want something that covers it completely whilst not being cakey or thick. I haven't found my holy grail yet but Estée Lauder double wear and Laura Mercier silk creme come pretty darn close. 

Q5. Favourite high street/drugstore brand? 
I'm never disappointed by Bourjois or Max Factor! I've rediscovered my love for the Bourjois cream blushes recently and my favourite ever mascara (so far!) is definitely max factor! 

Q6. Favourite high end beauty brand? 
I've developed a burning need for a lot of Bobbi Brown in my life right now! Benefit seem to have the most regular and exciting releases and there's something so alluring about everything's too hard to choose just one! 

Q7. Is there any makeup you can't leave the house without wearing? 
Like I said earlier, my skin is my nemesis so I never leave the house without foundation and concealer! 

Q8. What is your most cherished beauty product? 
I love limited edition things so my recent purchase of higher YSL touché éclat with the leopard packaging is pretty special but I think overall it's my Estée Lauder zodiac compact that my mum and dad got me for my birthday; the powder inside is so-so but the compact itself is so luxurious I just love getting it out! 

Q9. Do you have a budget each month or do you spend freely?
A budget is such a good idea! I need to do that, at the minute I spend until my card gets declined and that's not a fun game to play. I definitely need to learn some self control but blog reading does not help that! 

Q10. How often do you shop for goodies? Online or in store? 
I much prefer shopping in store, I like the instant gratification of having the product there and then! I'll pop into boots or house of Fraser etc whenever I pass by. Literally uncontrollable. 

Q11. Do you always use the same skincare routine or do you oh like to switch it up?
I used to swap and change all over the place but it did my skin no good so now I've found a sort of successful one I'm sticking with it. It's hard because I want instant results but you have to use a skincare product for a while before you can gauge its effectiveness! 

Q12. If you could only buy one makeup brand for the rest of your life what would it be?
Oh god, this is hard! Probably Estée Lauder because I need that double wear in my life! 

Q13. What brand has your favourite packaging?
I love the luxury and feel of Chanel, there's something about those two c's that put hearts in my eyes! I think Benefit always have really fun packaging but MAC and Bobbi Brown hit me where it hurts with their sleek black packaging, so it's a tie between all four! 

Q14. What do you apply first, concealer or foundation? 
I put concealer on my bad areas first with a small brush, then blend with my foundation. Often I'll touch up the concealer over that and then set with a powder. 

Q15. What skin type do you have? 
I think normal-oily. Defnitely not dry. 

Q16. Name a makeup crime you hate.
Foundation too orange that leaves those awful tide marks or eyebrows too fierce that take over the face! 

Quick fire:
Blush or bronzer? Bronzer- I need cheekbones! 
Lipgloss or lipstick? Lipstick, it lasts longer.
Foundation or concealer? Foundation
Brushes or sponges? Brushes! Haven't used a sponge in years
OPI or Essie? Essie, much cheaper.
Lotion or body butter? Neither because I'm a terrible person, but lotion if I do bother.

Thank you Emma for bringing this to my attention! I tag anyone reading this to do me to your posts if you do it! 

Friday, 11 April 2014

Competition | Third round of #blog4trek entry!

Guys, I can't believe it either but this photo got me through to the third round of the Trek America #blog4trek competition! It was so much fun to put together; I took my paper cut of the iconic Statue of Liberty and went to a local American Diner that actually I'd never been to before. It turns out they do the best pancakes ever (and I was never a fan!) and have a really cool interior, which was perfect for my pictures. I'll definitely be heading back because those pancakes were a dream.
How cool that Trek America are already helping me discover new places, ones that sit right under my nose in my home town! 

For the third (and final...eeeek!) round of the competition we have to write a piece on why we should become Trek America's next top blogger (enter Naomi Campbell looking fierce and saying something scathing  about my outfit...gulp. Just kidding. I hope?) so here it goes, and let's keep our fingers crossed! I was inspired by this quote that I love...

So let me tell stories :)

Why should I become Trek America's next top blogger? 


There once was a girl, ginger and pale, 
Who loved nothing more than to be on a trail.
A travelling girl, she flew up up and away
to Vegas and back all in one day.
This travelling girl, so nimble and quick
soared over San Francisco and Hollywood in a tick. 
From state to state she hopped on her way,
seeing sights, iconic landmarks- but never could she stay.
for this travelling girl was imagining these trips
Devouring books, blogs, souvenirs and pictures.

All in her head.
On the train, at work, in the car, and in bed
these dreams taunted our traveller constantly who instead
had grown up, trapped, in a small town by the sea 
in cold England and it was not where she wanted to be. 
She spent hours and hours deciding where she would first want to see
Or even live. Maybe love. 
To dance and eat, dip her toes in foreign sands, get blisters on her feet
from walking so far. Through those dreams of hers, for real this time.
"Those photos could be mine!" 
She wanted to see, and really feel, the energy of these places, to smell them for real
To decipher accents and create memories galore,
Her life was just fine without travel, but she wanted more
For life is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
And nothing scares our traveller more than an unfinished story. The world is her stage!
So let her play on, bring back stories and tales,
Take her on this two week trek and let her see what it entails
To take on the Westerner 2, and she'll bring home with her 
poems and memories and not a few pictures
Which she'll put on her blog for all to read, 
In the hope that her travels will indeed
Inspire at least one to go forth and conquer,
Create new dreams, and something she longs for-
To encourage new travels, and therefore new tales. 
"Tell them stories" she was told "they need wind for their sails" 
She'll never forget, never stop spreading the word
Of how travelling with Trek America will set you free as a bird.

So "why should we pick you" I hear you ask?
Because I'm the one who will make this trip last :)