Sunday, 1 February 2015

What I've Been Eating: 1

Each weekend I'll be sharing a few of the meals I have eaten with you. You'll find a lot of these photos on my Instagram too. I am always looking for inspiration for meal times so please do share your foodie photos too, that way we'll all be munching on delicious grub all week long!

Thai Red Curry

Egg Noodles, Spinach, Salmon and Avocado

Warburtons Wholemeal Thins, Wilted Spinach and Poached Eggs

McDonald's Chicken Selects!

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Fitbit Flex: The story so far

For those of you that aren't aware, the FitBit Flex is a band that you wear on your wrist to keep track of your activity levels. Specifically, the Flex tracks your steps - however it can also track your sleep patterns, as well as your very active minutes.

Double tapping on the Flex will show you how close you are to your personal step goal - each light represents 20%. All of your tracked data can be seen by downloading the FitBit app (which I believe is supported by most phones - I have mine on my Android phone).

I have had my Flex since just after Christmas, and I love it! The charge lasts for around 5 days, and it's also waterproof, meaning I can wear it pretty much all of the time. I have found that it really does help to motivate me to achieve my step goal for the day, and as a result I have become more active. It is deeply satisfying seeing all of the little lights blink when you've reached your target! The sleep tracking feature is also really useful, and means I can take measures to prevent a bad nights sleep. If you are looking to increase your activity levels, and generally just get a better picture of your overall well-being, I would certainly recommend investing in a FitBit!

The FitBit Flex is sold is loads of outlets, but mine was bought from PCWorld

Do you have a FitBit Flex, or even a Surge or Charge? Are you considering investing in one?

Monday, 19 January 2015

Macro Photography

Good afternoon and Welcome! If you're into photography and I'm sure most of you are if your gorgeous blog photos are anything to go by, then you will know how extortionate macro lenses can be (at least £150). Unfortunately my budget won't quite stretch to that just yet so, I went on the hunt for an alternative ... and here it is!

These filters cost me around £8 on ebay, brand new and in the case. I won't bore you with all of the technical details, but quite simply these screw onto your existing lens and allow you to get much closer to your subject; et voila! Macro photography on a budget. See below for a couple of photos I have taken using these filters...

What do you think of these macro lens filters? Do you have any other tips for achieving macro photography on the cheap?

Friday, 16 January 2015

The #KerralinaListProject: Things To Look Forward To

I'm joining in with the #KerralinaListProject - click here for more details. This week's topic is 'Things to look forward to', so here goes!

- Spending a week with my sister and nieces in Bulford - her husband is in the Army so he is often away. In June he is taking off to Canada for the week, which means Stacey and I (and the kids, of course) will get to spend some quality time together in the countryside.

- Being able to run 5K - One of my New Year's Resolution's was to learn to run, and the target I'm aiming for is 5K. It's going well so far but I've still got a long way to go. Nevertheless I am super excited to reach this milestone!

- ...and the Blacklight Run in March - it is basically a huge running event, in the dark, where you get covered in colourful UV glowing powder. Need I say more?

- Pay rise at the end of the month - the company I work for have very kindly agreed to give me a pay rise, and my first pay to reflect it will be at the end of January. After the first month I am planning to save the extra money each month, but will be celebrating with my first pay check!

- Romantic meal out with the boyfriend - paid for by said pay rise. We're going to a lovely little restaurant where we live called The Church Restaurant. As the name suggests, it is a converted church, so the decor is beautiful. I hear the food is really tasty, too. I can't wait.

- Potential snow this weekend! I am a huge fan of snow, however where we live it is pretty rare that we actually get any. We have been forcasted it for this weekend so you never know, we may just get lucky!

If you'd like to get stuck in with the project, just make a list of the things you are looking forward to on your blog, and use the hashtag #KerralinaListProject. Have fun!

Thursday, 15 January 2015

The Princess and the Tea


Now that I've got that out of my system, let's move on. I am a huge tea fan, and could spend hours in Holland & Barrett drooling over the assortment of herbal blends on offer. It was my Birthday last weekend, and I was bought a variety of different teas to try, as well as a gorgeous glass teapot. So let's have a look at what I've been sampling lately...

This teapot is my absolute favourite, and I love nothing more than brewing a pot whilst listening to some chill out music and sniffing my Salted Caramel Yankee Candle - Heaven. It's perfect if you prefer your tea brewed to a certain strength, as you can watch it and take the teabag out when it is just right. The size is also perfect; you'll easily get three cups of tea (perhaps even four) so it's good for when you want a natter with your friend, or a quiet evening alone with Cosmo magazine. The only issue I've had with it, is that the lid is made of metal, which means it conducts the heat and can burn your fingers if you're not careful.

Taylors of Harrogate Lemongrass & Ginger Tea - Personally, I am not a huge fan of lemon and ginger teas, as I tend to have them when I'm feeling nauseous so they always remind me of that! However the taste is really subtle and not overpowering at all, which I find some teas of this flavour can be. It is really fresh and a great pick-me-up when you feel like you're flagging (precisely what I need come mid afternoon in the office!)

Yogi Tea Women's Energy Tea - Before being bought this, I had not heard of Yogi Tea, but now I have tried one I definitely want to taste some of their other flavours. The Women's Energy teas are supposed to restore balance from within. Now I don't know about that, but I do know that this flavour has a really complex taste - a little bit fruity, but also rather herby and very warming. And even better, when you first pour boiling water onto the teabag, the water goes a lovely bright green, and then changes to the orange/brown colour you see on the box - it's very soothing to watch. The tags on the teabags all have their own little quote on, which is very cute. What I love most about this tea, is that it is an experience, not just a beverage.

That's all the teas I have tried so far this week, but I'll be sure to put up some new ones next week once I've had a chance to taste them!

P.S. I'm not a Princess (sorry to disappoint)

Are you a fan of herbal/fruit teas? If so which ones would you recommend?

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

About the Author

I'm pretty new to blogging, which means that I don't know you and you don't know me. Hopefully I will begin getting to know some of you soon. In the meantime, I thought I'd give you a little insight into who I am by answering some questions, so here we go!

What is your middle name?: Louise
What was favourite subject at school?: Definitely Art!
What is your favourite drink?: I love caffeine-free green tea (I can only have green tea with caffeine if I've eaten recently, otherwise it makes me feel sick?)
What is your favourite song at the moment?: I'm loving Uptown Funk - Uptown funk you up, uptown funk you up!
What is your favourite food?: Mmmmm food ... I really do love most types of food, and really enjoy trying new food and brands. Not a particular food type, but I like really really good quality food - my boyfriend took me to Maze (a fine dining restaurant by Gordan Ramsey) for a birthday, and it was honestly some of the best food I have ever eaten.
What is the last thing you bought?: Food from Pizza Hut. Oops.
Favourite book of all time?: I'm not a huge reader to be honest, if I do read I like reading factual books that I can learn from, such as How To Do Just About Everything
Favourite Colour?: Pink
Do you have any pets?: I have a dog called Busta, he's a Jack Russell/Border Terrier and he's a little bit special. I also used to have two Giant African Lands Snails called Gregory and Gertrude. Gertrude died, then Gregory followed not long after (cause of death: heartbreak).
Favourite Perfume?: Lady Gaga - it intrigues me that it is a black liquid!
Favourite Holiday?: I've been really lucky to have been on lots of holidays, but I loved going to Crete a few years ago with Daniel (that's my boyfriend). It was our first holiday abroad together.
Are you married?: Nope
Have you ever been out of the country, if so how many times?: Yes, quite a few times
Do you speak any other language?: As much as I wish I could, no.
How many siblings do you have?: Three. Two sisters and a brother, and we all have about 2 years between us which is pretty nice.
What is your favourite shop?: This is weird, but I love Tesco! It's convenient and they have everything you could ever need, including some lovely clothing and a nice beauty section.
Favourite restaurant?: So far, definitely Maze in London
When was the last time you cried?: I can't actually remember, which is quite nice!
Favourite Blog?: I like Kerralina - Kerry is Daniel's sister so I'm always interested to hear what she has to say.
Favourite Movie?: Oooo that's very tough. I watched Wolf of Wall Street for the first time today and was literally on the edge of my seat the whole time, so I'll pick that!
Favourite TV show?: It would have to be Breaking Bad. The only problem is that I watched it on Netflix which plays through entire series, so before I know it I've watched 5 hours' worth and it's well past my bedtime.
PC or Mac?: PC - though Mac's are so pretty so I'd love one purely for that reason.
What phone do you have?: An LG G2 
How tall are you?: 5' 5" ?
Can you cook?: I can indeed, but can be quite lazy when it comes to cooking.

If you have any other burning questions for me, feel free to comment below and I'll be sure to answer! Why not answer these questions on your blog and let your audience get to know you a little better?

Sunday, 11 January 2015

You've had a binge - Now what?

We've all done it; you eat really well all week, but come the weekend you're invited out for dinner and all your resolve goes out the window. Next thing you know, you've taken 'all you can eat' to a whole new level and you're soon sat on your sofa in a food coma seriously regretting that mountain of food you so easily munched your way through.

I have had one hell of a binge this weekend. It was my birthday on Saturday (22, yay!) so my whole weekend has been filled with meals out and cocktails aplenty. I'm currently in the 'regretting' stage - I've not long got back from Pizza Hut and I am STUFFED. So, how do you limit the amount of damage you've done, and get back to your less-calorific ways of living? I've put together some tips below:

STOP! It is so easy to carry on eating junk once you start, but I know from experience that doing so will only make it ten times harder when you do decide to stop. Eat your burger for dinner (and enjoy it), but just remember to get straight back on the protein shake the following morning!

Plan in some additional exercise - not only will it help you to burn off some of those pesky calories, but it will also aid you in getting back on track mentally after your binge.

Drink water - it will really help to flush out the toxins that you've put into your body. If you've gone heavy on the alcohol, this tip is particularly important as you'll need to re-hydrate after a night of drinking. 

And finally ... stop dwelling! You are only human and will slip up occasionally. Life is far too short to spend your time worrying about the unusually large amount of chocolate you managed to scoff in one sitting. This is the time to dust yourself off and get back on the saddle!

What do you do to get back on track when you fall off of the diet wagon? Leave your comments below.

Shelley x

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Health kick: Day 4

In a bid to rid myself of the pounds I have gained over the Christmas Period, like most of the UK, I have been embarking on a healthy eating/exercise mission!

Generally I like to think of myself as a pretty healthy person - I tend to eat lots of vegetables, drink tons of water and get my sweat on a few times a week. However I really did let myself go over Christmas (I'm talking Buck's Fizz for breakfast and cheese boards for dinner), but that's what the festive season is all about so I'm trying not to get too down about it.

So this week, I have been focusing on eating cleaner, more balanced meals (not cheese boards) and increasing my physical activity. For Christmas I received a Fitbit Flex, so I've been using this to track my activity and motivate myself to reach my step target everyday.

And how am I doing? So far so good! The Fitbit is really aiding me in increasing my activity levels, and the cleaner eating is making me feel a million times better already. It is not easy, and yes it takes more preparation and planning ahead than eating rubbish - but for me, it is worth it to feel great.

.... and for those that are interested, I've lost 3lbs so far :)

Have you changed your diet/exercise since Christmas? What plan are you following? I'd love to hear from you, please feel free to leave your comments below.

Shelley x

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Soap & Glory - No Clog Allowed!

This is one of my favourite face masks, in terms of it's effectiveness - The Soap & Glory 'No Clogs Allowed!' Deep Pore Detox Mask. According to the tube, it is a 'super self-heating deep cleansing treatment for greasy or blackhead-prone skin'. It has a fresh, minty scent and  a creamy, slightly gritty texture. As with all of Soap & Glory's product, the packaging is quirky and pink which I love.

To use, you apply the mask all over your face, then wet your hands and rub in a circular motion until the mask turns blue - you can then either wash it off straight away, or leave it on for a few minutes for a deeper clean. The mask feels really fresh on your skin; the particles exfoliate well, but not to the point where it becomes uncomfortable.

I am always impressed by this Soap & Glory mask - it's thickness, colour-changing ability and beautiful smell make it feel oh-so luxurious. Best of all - it actually worked! My face felt fresh, my pores appeared smaller, and my skin felt smooth (though I did feel I needed a slick of moisturiser on top). I paid £9 when it was on offer in Boots (RRP £11), and have had 4 uses from the tube so far and it's still going strong! Personally I think this was a great buy, and definitely worth purchasing if you suffer from enlarged/blocked pores or dull skin.

What is your favourite face mask for skin problems? Have you tried any Soap & Glory face products?