Monday, April 21, 2014

How I'm Getting Fitter & Healthier

At the start of March I decided to try and be kinder to myself and wrote about giving up being my own worst enemy, this turned into something of a lifestyle overhaul. At least it's in the process of being a lifestyle overhaul; I have been working on focusing on the positives through doing the #100happydays challenge, doing good deeds for myself and others, and also improving my diet and fitness regime. To be honest while I am an active/busy person up until turning over this new leaf I had no specific exercise regime. I wanted to try and improve my exercise regime for it's health and stress management benefits. I thought I would share my health and fitness journey with you so far and what's working for me. I'm not a heath or fitness expert, this is just what is working for me but everyone's different. 

My Simple Rules:

  1. Be active everyday; be it a light walk to the shop, moving the lawn, yoga, a run or full on cardio
  2. Get out in nature as often as I can: I love walking in the woods to get some peace and quiet
  3. Try different workouts every week: mixing it up makes it more fun
  4. Do some yoga during the working week: even if it's only for 10 mins
  5. Eat lots of different colour fruit and vegetables daily; enjoy some raw
  6. Get plenty of sleep: Chamomile tea helps me
  7. Moisturize
  8. Replace some treats with dark chocolate as it has more benefits
  9. Replace fizzy drinks and tea with herbal tea like peppermint and green tea
  10. Don't stress over how much exercise I do or how many sweets I eat; every good change I make is progress I don't have to be perfect.
Motivation & Inspiration:
To get motivated or find new ideas for workouts and healthy recipes pinterest and instagram are gold mines. Just type in anything from yoga, to workout routines to fitness inspiration into pinterest and you'll be entertained for hours. Some Instagram accounts that inspire me to be fit and healthy are: andiclausencamillamackintoshfreepeoplelindsayperryyoga_girlbillabongwomensgirlslove2run andmuffintoplessactiveyogi. For more see my following list on Instagram.

My Workout Routine:

My routine is not strict, the only routine part is I try to exercise most days for an hour after work. Weekdays my exercise consists of Youtube workouts or running outdoors. I'm also trying exercise classes to add variety and challenge, so far I've tried boxfit or boxercise. In these classes we do a mix of boxing with a partner and different exercises such as squats and burpees at a fast pace for an hour. At the weekend my exercise takes the more relaxed form of yoga or hiking/walking in nature with family.

My yoga kit from Aldi

For all workout routines I use Youtube videos I can do in the comfort of my own home: my favorite Youtube channel for workout videos is popsugartvfit. A example of a workout for me goes like this: Victoria's Secret Model Workout: 10-Minute Fat-Blasting Circuit, next 10 Minutes to Leaner, Longer Looking LegsJennifer Aniston Yoga Workout | Mandy Ingber's Yogalosophy, then for some relaxing yoga Yoga Workout For Happiness | Mandy Ingber Fitness and finally to stretch and prevent injury Full Body Stretching Exercises | Flexibility Workout. All these videos are from popsugarfitness and are really easy to follow and don't require any expensive kit. Some other good fitness Youtube channels include: Fitness BlenderXFitDaily and blogilates but there are loads out there. I just make a playlist of my favorite workout videos, put on some comfy workout clothes and away I go. The best part is that it's free and I can do it whenever I want.

My Workout Wardrobe:

I like to wear pretty and bright clothes when I exercise but I don't spend a fortune on them. Apart from one pair of Nike leggings and one pair of Adidas leggings everything else I wear is from Primark or Aldi and Lidl. It's important to have a comfortable pair of runners, I got my New Balance pair that feel like your walking on sponges (so comfy) on sale in Elverys Sports. Alot of Elverys stores offer gait analysis for free to help you find the best pair for you, I used this service as I didn't want to wear the wrong pair for me when I'm running. I remember reading that Camilla Mackintosh sometimes wears her exercise clothes on her days off to keep her focused on the goal. I really like this idea so I buy clothes that I would equally like to exercise and relax in.    

Healthy Diet:

As well as exercise I've been trying to clean up my diet a little as I'm quite the sweet addict. I never ever get tired of eating sweets. I'm trying to incorporate as many different colored fruit and veg as I can into my meals, I usually do this in a salad as I prefer my veggies raw. Instead of normal salad bags I been using spinach leafs as my lettuce leafs lately which I love. I've been replacing some of my red meat with fish. Instead of having fizzy drink everyday I'm only drinking it when I go out for meals as a treat and am just having water instead. Bringing a cute water bottle around with me encourages me to drink more water and use less plastic. I've also been replacing caffeinated tea with herbal ones like peppermint and green tea during the day and chamomile at night. I'm also learning to bake more things myself instead of just buying cakes and biscuits all the time as you know what's going into your food then. Having said all that I still love sweets and greasy food and I still treat myself but I'm trying to be healthier overall.

It's been around 6 weeks since I've started making changes and I'm starting to see some progress. I'm sleeping better, my body feels stronger and looks more toned. I definitely feel the stress relieving benefits of exercise every time I workout and the yoga moves are becoming a little bit more natural. It's a process though and I have so much change to still do and hopefully lots more benefits to see. If you'd like to follow my journey see my instagram and twitter. If your trying to get fitter and healthier I'd love to know how you're getting on!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Liebster Award

Rachael from golden clutter kindly nominated me for the Liebster award. The idea behind it is to acknowledge and promote new/lesser known blogs out there in the crazy big world of blogging. Each nominee answers 11 questions from the person who nominated them and then also writes eleven random facts about themselves so their followers can get to know them better. They then nominate 11 bloggers for the award (with under 200 followers) and give new questions for them to answer. I'm delighted to be included and I hope you enjoy my answers and little facts about me. Firstly here are the questions Rachael gave me to answer:

1. What is top of your wishlist right now?
I've gotten really into fitness lately, so pretty, neon and comfy fitness gear is right up the top of my wish list like these Nike Lunarglide runners for heading out for summer runs in. Their pricey but oh so pretty. 
2. What's your one desert island beauty product?
 Always, Always would be dry shampoo, I could live without any other beauty product really. 
3. If you were given 24 hours to live what would you do?
Tell everyone dear to me I love them and spend every moment I have left with them, break all the rules and chocolate! 
4. What's your best talent? 
I'm not one of those very musical or athletic people, I'm artistic but I think my greatest talent is not giving up ever, I know that's not so much a talent but I am talented at it!
5. What was the last song you listened to?
John legend All of Me, my current favorite song. 
6. Who do you admire the most?
My family and boyfriend because of their strengths, humor and love, they inspire me to be my best and kindest, I try to anyway! 
7. If you were invisible for a day, what would you do?
I would sneak aboard a flight and travel somewhere amazing and luxurious without paying a thing.   
8. What's your biggest pet peeve?
Constant messiness
9. Cats or dogs?
Pugs (and pigs)
10. What's your favorite breakfast?
Pancakes with maple syrup and bacon with a cup of tea. 
11. Where's your favourite place to holiday?
I just love going on holidays so it doesn't have to be one place in particular but I do love visiting Italy, it never gets boring.

11 random facts about me:
  1. I love reading the Daily mail online everyday
  2. I'm addicted to sugar, no sweets are too many sweets for me
  3. I collect everything pig themed
  4. I'm happiest in bed or in nature
  5. I love reality TV, I binged watched all of Lindsay Lohan's documentary series yesterday
  6. My favorite person to visit is my Grandad
  7. I want a tattoo of a feather
  8. I hate brushing my hair
  9. I love crisp sandwiches with mayo on white bread
  10. Made In Chelsea is my favourite programme right now
  11. I think hot water bottles solve aliment

My nominees are:

Here are my questions:

  1. What's your favorite thing about blogging?
  2. What's your favorite blog?
  3. Where would be your dream travel destination?
  4. What's your favorite food?
  5. What's your guilty pleasure?
  6. What are the words you live by?
  7. Where do you get your blogging inspiration?
  8. What makes you laugh?
  9. What is your favorite beauty product?
  10. What is your go to wardrobe stable?
  11. What is your biggest dream?

Let me know if you give the questions a try

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Sunday Catch up #4

 Health & Fitness
 Delicious Food

It's been 4 weeks since I blogged about deciding to give up being my own worst enemy and I have made so many changes since then. What started off as a little challenge has really began to blossom into a lifestyle overhaul. 2014 began as a very stressful year for me but it's starting to change for the better, I'm working on improving my lifestyle and it feels great. Lately I've embraced lots of changes that I thought I didn't have time for or where too cliched to actually work. I've gotten into fitness in a big way for me; I've started boxfit, running, youtube workouts and yoga. I'm improving my diet, spending more time in nature and treating myself. I've also taken up doing a good deed everyday, gratitude diary and the #100happyday challenge. 2014 will be a year of getting fitter and healthier, having fun and adventures, and surrounding myself with pretty things and positivity. Today I worked out for half an hour, did yoga, spent time with family and sketched for the first time in at least a year. In the next few months I'll be doing a series of posts on how I'm working on getting: Fitter, Healthier, Happier and Less Stressed to share my progress and what's working for me. Starting a new project like this is surprisingly fun and I'm pinteresting ideas like crazy! Anyways, I thought I'd share some instagram pics of my month since I began my little project hope you like them.

Happy Sunday xox   

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Dinner Date

For my boyfriends birthday we went out for a fancy pancy meal.  I threw on my cheery red Primark jacket, a huge Zara scarf to keep warm on the way and my new Alex and Ani bangles. We headed out to a new Mediterranean restaurant Bistro53 and we ate to our hearts content. When I set down I gobbled up the tasty bread they give you while you pursue the menu, not a great idea for me as I can never eat my dinner after that! I started with the Crostini with tomatoes, rocket and Parmesan, he had tiger prawns.

For mains he had Surf'n'Turf which was delicious and I helped myself to chicken wrapped in bacon with some sneaky garlic bread as an extra side. For desert we shared my favorite desert; a cheese plate, how I love cheese plates... It wasn't exactly the best cheese plate I ever came across in my life but it looked so pretty I can forgive that! Also honey goes strangely well with cheese and crackers, that's a new one for me but I definitely like it. Eating out is one of my favorite treats in life and probably one of the things I spend too much money on but it's nice to treat yourself on occasion. 

I'm already on day 10 of my #100happydays, I've a long way to go but I'm very determined to succeed and hopefully learn alot from it. I'm going to do a progress post when I reach 2 weeks to see what affect it's having for me. If you want to keep track you can on my twitter and also my instagram. Let me know if your giving it a go!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Brunch Time

My favorite thing to do when I have a day off work is to have a lazy lie in and then head out for a tasty brunch. My bf and I did this lately and indulged by getting two different things each from the menu, while your having brunch you might as well go all out. I ordered a cream cheese and bacon bagel alongside my favorite breakfast in the world; pancakes with maple syrup, I could eat it everyday for eternity. He got poached eggs and french toast. Needless to say we left happy food campers. As part of my giving up being my own worst enemy which you can read about here I've decided to take up the #100 happy days challenge  starting tomorrow, which you'll be able to follow on my twitter and instagram. I really hope I succeed, let me know if your taking part and how your getting on.  

bizarre excited for pancakes face
Boots-River Island
Laptop cover-Cath Kidson


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Mint Jeans & Love Pink

Jumper-Victoria Secret
Vest-Borrowed from sister

The St. Patrick's bank holiday weekend is upon us, which means a 3 day weekend and no work tomorrow, rejoice. I'm going to sleep so much more soundly knowing tomorrow is still the weekend. Also that means next week will only be a 4 day working week, why can't we get more of those? So today was spent rambling in the woods with family among the daffodils and fallen trees from our recent storms. Obviously I didn't wear studded red shoes in the woods, I threw on some hiking boots and a snugly fleece to be more appropriately dressed for exercise. If the weather is nice tomorrow I'm thinking forest with a little picnic of rolls and tea, I just can't get enough of the outdoors. Whenever I'm stressed or under the weather nothing improves how I'm feeling better than being out in the open air away from crowds and noise.  

Anyway, on to my outfit for Sunday. As the daffodils are out and things are looking decidedly springy, I decided to wear my mint H&M jeans I got last summer for €15, they always make me smile with their bright color. Although it's sunny it definitely isn't warm so I threw on my Love Pink Victoria Secret jumper on top that I got while in Pittsburgh last year, I would buy everything from that label if I had the money so comfy and girly.  
Anyone any plans for Paddy's Day tomorrow?

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Alex and Ani + energy

This week my boyfriend treated me to some beautiful Alex and Ani bangles; a feather bangle, lotus peace petals and the perfect pair bangles. The bangles are expandable so it's easy to get the perfect fit. They make unique meaningful jewlery that is artisan crafted in the US with sustainable materials. Their jewlery feautures a huge variety of symbols that have different meanings, be they spirtiual, related to intentions or of sentimental meaning. Mixing and matching the symbols and styles means you can create a collection all your own with a unique meaning. It's a different twist on the jewlery worlds love of stacking and I am a huge fan, can't wait to collect more!
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