Sunday 28 June 2015

Health & Fitness Update 22/06/2015 to 28/06/2015

This week started poorly but has ended in a high. I really felt crappy this week, I cant even remember why I felt so bad because there has been a complete upturn in attitude and ability! As I felt so crappy I didn't really push myself but on Thursday some switched and I made an incredibly exciting decision.

My food has been okay, yogurt, blueberries and granola for breakfast most days along with the odd cooked breakfast at work, as I don't have meat it isn't too bad, beans, mushrooms, potatoes and eggs are usually what I go for, plus I like the idea of having my first two meals but and my evening meal light. As James is due to move out next Wednesday I think I'll make sure that is the norm rather than exception so that when I get in at night I'm just having some soup or beans on toast, depending on my activity.

My steps haven't really improved that much this week, apart from at the weekend which I'll get into in a moment. I still try and get away from my desk at work routinely to stretch my legs but it can depend on what I'm doing, sometimes I can't get away but I do try to visit people at their desks, or deliver items in person just to get the extra steps in.

Now because I was feeling rubbish and hot, I didn't do any exercise until the weekend. I started to feel a bit ropey for not doing any exercise, I do like it, I don't love it all the time but it isn't such an awful thing. Now Thursday afternoon I was in reception at work, the only place with mobile signal, and an offer came by text from my local swimming pool/gym, it was a rest of the month free, next month half price type deal. Now I've ignored these for a while but for some reason I felt motivated. My local pool/gym is really good value but I hadn't felt confident enough to join. Something has switched lately, my new partner, Jason, makes me really happy, and although James was great and encouraged me, he has never said that I'm ugly, fat, he always tried to help with how I felt, it just never worked with him. I suppose Jason makes me feel like nobody else exists and that has led to a new found confidence. So I went that day and joined!

There are many plus points to the gym and pool. Firstly the price is great, a corporate discount due to my work means I pay £27.20 a month. This is unlimited swimming, gym and lessons. It also means I get out of the house, working out at home is quite stressful (and super hot right now), my mum can come in and out, ask me awkward questions when I'm in a downward facing dog pose. I also don't get to see Jason very often so it's a nice to have something to distract me when I know I might not see him for a week or two. Now due to being a couple of staff members down I don't have my gym induction until this coming week but of course the swimming pool and lessons are things I can immediately get into. I've focussed on swimming, I use to swim an awful lot when I was younger so getting back into the pool was amazing. I picked up a new swimming costume Friday evening and went swimming Saturday morning and Sunday morning. My pool also has Swimtag which means I can monitor how many lengths I do which makes it all the more exciting (see results from today below). The other bonus is that as I'm walking there and back I'll end up doing around 3000 steps total when I do this. Now I plan to do both the gym and swim some nights and on days I don't feel like exercising I'll swim as swimming was a hobby I enjoyed for so long it just doesn't feel like I'm making any effort.

Saturday 27 June 2015

Astrid & Miyu Secret Box June 2015 Review

I received this box at the beginning of the month but it has taken me this long to get over the heartbreak of it being the final secret box on offer from Astrid & Miyu. Now there jewellery is still available to buy but they are canning their Secret Box - it's still available from their website but not for long. 

Now I believe the Astrid & Miyu secret box has received mainly positive reviews, from what I have read, but it does depend on your expectations and budget. I was already an A&M fan and had been stocking up on their pieces for a number of years so for me it was a way of getting more of their pieces for less. However, if you weren't already a fan it may not have felt worth your money. It was definitely more of a grown up subscription box at £39 every three months it was hardly pocket money, especially as you would usually receive just the 2-3 items. I still found it reasonable as I was used to spending £39 on just the one item. There are of course other similar style subscription boxes, cheaper and offering more items but I find Astrid & Miyu to be slightly more than costume jewellery, it just all depends on what you want.

I'm sad that the Secret Box has come to an end but it has finished on a high with two great pieces of jewellery. So what did I get?

Pretty Me Earrings in Rose Gold - these retail at £69.00, are cubic zirconia diamant√© and crystal pearl - so simulated pearl, which for me is good, I don't do real pearls. These are really beautiful, smart and classic, I may never have purchased them myself at the price but I'm overjoyed to have this pair and plan to make good use of them. 

The Rosy IT ring in blue - this ring retails at £44.00, I already have one of these rings in black so now I have a mini stack to wear to work. I really love these rings, they are dainty, pretty and look precious. This is rose gold plated brass so can need a clean every couple of months. They do manage to look more expensive than they cost so a perfect in-between piece, not quite costume, not quite fine.

I love my Astrid & Miyu jewellery, they're the reason for my love of rose gold and although I'm disappointed that their Secret Box has come to an end I will continue to buy jewellery from them, especially when they have a sale on! 

Tuesday 23 June 2015

What's in Samhain's Cat Hampurr? June 2015

It's been all go go go recently which is a minor explanation to why we didn't take a look at last months Cat Hampurr, it was fabulous as always. I have a very content, spoilt cat on my hands, I'm definitely one of those types of parents, my little man is living the life of luxury as I eat cold baked beans from a tin! Okay, not quite, I would always heat baked beans - the thought of eating cold beans immediately makes me think of eating them with swiss roll as served up in the 80s advert for the toy A La Carte Kitchen - it's funny the things you remember. Me rambling on in a funny way ties me to the theme of this box, Ye olde favourites.

Now the worry with this is that you could end up with duplicates of items you have already received but it is mainly old, favourite brands rather than the exact product from before. With the food we've had the brands before but not necessarily the product or at least flavour. With the toys they're all new to us although we've been receiving the box for a relatively short amount of time compared to thetime the box has been around

Anyway, enough chatter, here is what Samhain received....

Meowing Heads Complete Wet Food 2 x 85g
Samhain received one pot of Chicken and one of Salmon and Chicken. I believe Samhain wasn't that keen the first time we tried it but since his tastes have changed, he has been keen on softer food, more terrine and mousse like, which, from what I recall is what these are like. Now even if Samhain didn't like them the first time I at least liked the idea of them. They are taurine enriched, grain free, no GM ingredients, no artificial flavourings, colourings or preservatives. Not only that but they have the PeTA seal of approval. I'm just hoping that with his changing tastes he'll finally enjoy the Meowing Heads wet food as much as he likes their biscuits.

Thrive Freeze Dried Treats 15g
We've had these a couple of times I believe, they're always welcome though as these are his favourite snacks along with deli chews. The Thrive freeze dried treats are the type that he will sit-up and beg for, in fact I taught him to even high-five for them, I can rattle the tube and he will run from anywhere in the house. I can't remember if he has had the White Fish treats in a Cat Hampurr before but I have purchased them for him (the only ones he has never had are the prawn treats which I haven't seen for a while), to be honest he loves all of the flavours.

Demonstrating the hand tap which has spawned from being taught to high five for treats! 

Yarrah 100% organic Chew Sticks 15g
On top of the Thrive freeze dried treats his other favourite treats are deli chews. As I buy them locally we are usually limited to either Webbox, Sainsbury's own or Waitrose own - he loves all of these but I was excited to try a new brand of chews. Sadly he didn't really get on with these, unlike the other chews these are more stick like, they are harder and although the flavour appealed to him he couldn't quite get his teeth to chew the sticks as he should. Samhain is a rescue cat and when he came to us he had already lost quite a few teeth, he can eat fairly normally but can struggle on tougher items. I've not quite given up as there are three in the pack, if not I'm sure I can find another pussy to enjoy the final one.

Natural Pet Toy Company Catnip Toy
The first thing Samhain goes for in the boxes is whatever catnip toy or toys are in there. Nothing makes him happier than getting his tongue around a new toy, soaking it with saliva and then fading away into a blissful deep sleep with his new toy. This was a big hit and still is, it's a pretty simple toy but the nip is good quality and the design is adorable. I took many photos of the many emotions he went through with this toy, below is a small selection!

First comes the licking...
a lot of licking
before the rubbing, covering himself in the scent
then a touch of snoozing
then he becomes spaced out, totally spaced out
until he is completely gone, and fully poseable! 

Hem & Boo Cat Teaser Toy
Samhain loves to play and this toy is overloaded with good fun, we have stars, bells, feather and a ball. He loves the toy but it overwhelmed him at first because there is just so much stuff going on but he enjoys the heck out of it, he might be 10 (or not, that's just a guess they made) but he plays like a kitten so a good stock of toys is necessary as he can wear them out. This is good and sturdy, I personally like the short handle as I've managed to snap the longer ones whilst playing with him, I tell you, he's wild!

Applaws Complete Dry Food 50g
Applaws are one of his favourite brands. We have a large stock of the wet food (favourites being Ocean Fish, Chicken & Mango and Chicken & Tomato!) but, although I have a bag of the chicken biscuits for him I have yet to try them out on him. Now these are Chicken & Salmon, I want Samhain to have more fish so the idea of having them in biscuit form is ideal, I know I've said this before but it's true! Now just because I like the idea of them doesn't mean he will but fortunately he wolfed them down like they were a treat!

It's been a great box this month, for me revisiting their past meant Samhain received two items from our favourite brands, Thrive and Applaws. Samhain says roll on next month!

Cat Hampurr costs Bi-Monthly Box £6 month, Monthly Hampurr £11.95 month or Double Helpings £21.90 month

Sunday 21 June 2015

Midweek Health & Fitness Update 08/06/2015 to 21/06/2015

Well not only is it not midweek but it has also been an age since I posted, pretty much anything! I did plan on updating on Wednesday but my time is pretty much taken up at the moment but I'm here now which is the main thing. 

It has been a busy couple of weeks, it's been a busy month with dating added to the mix - something that is very much a positive in my life. Now this is slightly long distance as he is north of Manchester and I am south, so two connections around around 2 hours of public transport. Now I plan to be down at his every other weekend and he will visit me once a week in the evening, we speak a lot and it is all going very well. I still try to have a routine but there is less time, plus on the weekends I'm with him I'm not exercising or walking much.


I have been trying to keep on top of things around this though, in a week the least amount of times I'll exercise is three, the most five. I aim to do yogalates twice a week, HIIT style the other days. I took today off to tidy up somewhat, my ex still lives with me but is due to move a week on Wednesday so I decided to help by sorting out the clothes in our old bedroom. I can't wait for this room to have more, well, room, as currently we have a mattress propped up at the end of the bed and our own mattress on the bed which he will be taking and I will once again have daylight in the room. 

I think a lot will change in my routine once James has moved, we still eat together most nights so that dictates what I eat. On nights where we aren't my pattern has changed slightly, I'll have a proper meal at lunch and then something light in the evening. We will see though, everything is up in the air at the moment.

Things had been okay and I had been on schedule apart from early this week. I have been taking metformin for PCOS for over a year until I cut down late last summer when I was trying to control the amount of medication I was taking, it was all making me ill. I had been gradually starting to take this again but last week was the first week that I also took it with my breakfast. I had already been increasing the dose over the month, starting with taking it with my evening meal for a couple of weeks, then lunch and it has been okay but having it with breakfast made me really ill. It made me go from feeling incredibly nauseous to extremely hungry and shaking, I couldn't control my appetite and it made my stomach off. So I've had a shocking week after quite a few weeks of really excellent routine and behaviour.

I've also not been paying attention to my steps! I really need to get on top of everything but mainly diet. I don't want the tablets to make me crave carb or any types of food, I just want a reasonable diet and slow, reasonable weight loss.

On the plus side my new smaller jeans still fit! Once life is clearer I will regroup my thoughts and focus! 

Monday 15 June 2015

NARS Zakynthos Nail Polish Review

I received this nail polish for my birthday back in March but it has taken me a couple of months to try it out. It's sad to think that the reason I asked for it was because the weather was so variable, some days nice, others miserable, the same can be said now. At least this makes it a practical, year round shade.

I was after the perfect non-nude nude, the obvious nude, the opaque nude, this fits the bill. Described as a beige, this is a beautiful milky coffee brown. Incredibly smart and perfect for work. I love NARS nail polish as it lasts for such a long time, applies smoothly and incredibly evenly. I'm wearing two coats in the photo but one coat can be perfectly even. The nail polish dries relatively quickly, touch dry within 15 minutes and lasts a good few days without a top coat before chipping, five days with.

At £15.00 it isn't the cheapest nail polish but the quality makes up for it, plus it's worth the investment for such a classic shade. 

Sunday 7 June 2015

Midweek Health & Fitness Update 25/05/2015 to 07/06/2015

This is two weeks worth of updates as I've been rather busy, which is okay in general but not good for my blog.

My diet has been lacking, through being busy I've been eating less and less, now this is okay for losing weight but isn't ideal long term. I don't want to feel exhausted during the day so I need to get back to three square meals rather than two.

I have been supplementing my day with diet drinks for a snack, I say diet drinks but its basically a protein drink that is low carb. I have that with a banana in the afternoon which helps before a workout. My lunch has been lacking in durum wheat for a while so instead I've had eggs, carrots, cucumber and fruit which really isn't enough.

My new goal is to have routine with my eating. I need to start cooking more too, it's difficult cooking for one but it is doable. I can always make a batch of veggie chilli and freeze some.

Now my steps have been down this week mainly due to a migraine on Monday and Tuesday, this left me lacking in energy so I didn't manage to get my steps up. I did make sure I went back to my normal routine on Tuesday this week, despite the migraine, and managed to do some exercise. I have stupidly been forgetting to log all my exercise but I'll get on top of that. I have started to see my new partner every other weekend and we're looking at seeing each other on a Wednesday so that will cause a little disruption to my exercise routine but hopefully it will be worth it.

This week I want to keep my exercise up and get my steps back on track.

I did pick up a pair of jeans in a smaller size last week, I'm feeling slightly more toned in general but I just need to lose a little more weight.