Limited time offer: Leopard print, glitter and more!

So as I said in the last post, now I have this stuff I’ve found that I want to share with you so even though I’m not ready to open a shop I’m going to make it available anyway. Between now and next Monday, 7 July, if I get enough people to order 15 pieces of the following items I’ll get them out to you. If we don’t get that many orders then nothing gets sold, so if you want something make sure you let me know and share this with other people who might want something too.

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Each item is £10 but again only if I get the orders. I can do this because I don’t actually have the cost of a web shop, but I do need to bulk order.

1 – Oversized skull tee

2 – Glitter panel leggings

3 – Leopard print skinny trousers

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4 – Pink t-shirt dress

5 – Multicoloured tunic

6 – Black t-shirt dress (limited sizes available already)

Again each item will be £10 between now and next Monday. If you or someone you know lives in Norwich we can probably figure out a convenient time and place to get them to you to avoid shipping costs, otherwise expect something like £2 – 4.00 depending on how many things you want. You don’t have to pay until Monday, and of course that’s only if we get enough orders. Just see my Facebook page and let me know in the pinned post what you want. Please feel free to tag people who may be interested and/or share the Facebook post, or this one.

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Life’s been hard

For weeks now, if not months, I’ve been planning to open a web shop. Partly I’d like it to help support my t-shirt design plans, but also I never wanted to stick with t-shirts anyway. True to form, I don’t dream small, I want to try everything! I’ve been planning this shop, in which I want to have quirky and sometimes trendy items of women’s clothing, I’ve been sourcing suppliers and trying to figure out how to create the website, and all the other plans that go along with putting a web shop business together. There’s a lot to think about.

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I love this stuff though, if I could make a living just helping people with their start up plans I would be a happy lady I think. However I am not a happy lady all the time because I have no time to do this and I find it such a constant stress. I work in an office 24 hours a week, come home to two small girls who need a mum, there’s at least a bare minimum of housework that needs doing of course, a husband and don’t forget my own mental health because sometimes its crying out for a break too. My 15 month old has been terrible about going to bed the past few weeks, she takes from one to two and a half hours and believe me that takes its toll on a persons resilience. It’s hard to come downstairs after that epic ready for a new challenge. Usually I feel down, depressed and exhausted. Last night I realised that quite clearly this is not the time to start an online shop that’s open 24/7.  I’m not sure I could keep up if it went well and I am really quite passionate about customer service. I used to be a restaurant server back home (as well as a restaurant owner for a short time) and my pay depended on good service so its practically in my blood now.

HOWEVER, I now have this stuff I’ve found that I want to share with you so what am I supposed to do?

I’ll tell you what I’m going to do; I’m going to make it available anyway, just not in the way that a shop would. Between now and next Monday, 7 July, if I get enough people to order 15 pieces of the following items (any combination) I’ll get them out to you. If we don’t get that many orders then nothing gets sold, so if you want something make sure you let me know and share this with other people who might want something.

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These three items above I have as I ordered them as a test and in all honesty I love them all. The skull shirt is a wide, oversized, comfy and soft t-shirt. The glitter panel leggings are nice and comfy as well; I’m between a 12 and 14 so ordered a large and I think I could have gotten away with a medium really. The leopard print trousers are like stretchy skinny jeans and I love them.

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Then we have the further selections which I don’t have:

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I don’t have these but I want to so thought some of you might too. If you’re interested see the next post and then my Facebook page to let me know what you want.

I have not been great about keeping up with the challenge, but I’ll get back to it asap and report back to you later.

How to personalise your workout plan

Having just finished my fifth workout on the 30 Day Body Weight Full Body Challenge I realised it doesn’t really look like the one I “prescribed” for everyone and that perhaps I should explain why and how you can change yours up to fit your needs too.

First, maybe I should apologise for giving you a plan that wasn’t so good for you. It wasn’t so good for me either. Really I want to apologise for not explaining better in the very beginning that this plan was actually meant to be whatever you want it to be for you.

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Can’t do 20 squats? Fine, do 10!

Can’t do lunges after squats? Don’t.

Can you do more than 15 seconds in the plank position? I sure as hell hope that you’re doing the longest plank you can manage!

It was always meant to be a starting position. The whole reason that I started this challenge was because all those other challenges are too prescriptive. The squat challenge starts you off at 50 squats? WTF? And you can’t build every day, you need more days off than those other challenges give. The only day really that you should work out 5 days a week is if you do different things each day: upper body Monday, core Tuesday, lower body Wednesday, etc etc. By the way, there may be lots of personal trainers disagreeing with me there; I may be simplifying to the point of being wrong as my husband would put it. The point is though you cannot do 50 squats on day one and add five per day! You will hurt yourself.

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So I did 20 squats, 10 push ups, 20 lunges, a 45 second plank, 10 dumb bell rows and 30 jumping jacks to start. It felt hard but good.

Then I did exactly the same two days later and it felt much harder! Dieting down doesn’t help resistance improvement. I couldn’t even finish the lunges. So the third exercise day I dropped the squats and lunges down to 12, increased the dumb bell rows to 12 and it was all more manageable. I’ve done the exact same thing two more times though so I’ll have to increase something next time.

The idea really is to see where you are and then just try to improve from there. Just keep pushing yourself. Soon, I will give you suggestions about how to progress, because you can’t just go up to 250 squats. That’s ridiculous.

How I came to accept my body for what it is

A bit of “Love Yourself” motivation today. I set out to find these inspiring quotes because I know a lot of people who feel almost desperate to look more like the media messages tell us to. I remember this feeling, sometimes it creeps in a bit even now, but I do make an effort to look for the inspiring messages, which tell you that you are good enough, instead of the disparaging ones, which tell you that you are not, but you could be if only you lost a bit of weight or straightened your hair or used this foundation or that mascara.

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Getting pregnant with my first daughter in 2010 was the best thing that happened to me body image-wise. You see in 2006, still with my first husband, my marriage was falling apart, we had just sold a business that wasn’t working and were losing our house. I became quite anxious and just couldn’t eat most of the time. There were points I didn’t eat anything at all until 8:00 at night and then ate a bit of pasta and went to bed. Unsurprisingly I dropped about 30 pounds in a few months. It was not healthy, however I was now the “hottest” I’d ever looked in my life, I was model thin – you could see the ribs in my chest and everything. Well I obviously loved it and vowed to stay that way, which ushered in my disordered eating phase, where I would try to eat only 1000 calories a day. It didn’t always work and I didn’t know what I was doing so I was probably eating closer to 1500 a day but still, I did a lot of starving myself.

That was until I started to date my current husband; we went out to dinner a lot, I was happy a lot and I didn’t do as much walking. Obviously I gained some weight back. Then I moved here and stayed happy and added baking to my list of favorite hobbies. That did nothing good for my waistline at all let me tell you. I’m not one of those bakers who can eat one and give the rest away, I’m a bit lot greedier than that. All this time though I was trying to lose weight again. I would try crash diets (750 calories a day only protein for five weeks!) and more reasoned diets (lost 4 pounds in 6 weeks, WTF!), I ran and I lifted weights. I never got anywhere. I mean I would lose 10 or 15 pounds and then just as quickly it would come right back again. I remember feeling like I was actually going nuts because while I was trying to eat sensibly I had 4 or 5 insanely fattening and intricately delicious dinner ideas going on in my head. I was about to eat chicken breast and cottage cheese but I was imagining in great detail sausage lasagna and lobster pies! I’d created a feeling in my head and my body of complete deprivation even though I was unable to actually lose any weight (and keep it off). I remember lying there sobbing to my husband that it was just impossible for me to do and I would never be attractive again.

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Then, I got pregnant and had to just eat and not worry about how my body looked, because that was not important anymore. Eating wasn’t about me anymore, it was about my baby. Not only that, I was so sick I didn’t care and had to eat in order to feel a little less sick. It was lovely to eat again guilt free. I tried not to go overboard but also tried not to worry about it. It may have sometimes looked like me going overboard but I did the best I could.

Then I had my daughter and a lot of time and effort went into getting used to this new life we had. It took some time to even get to the point where I could notice but I recognised some time after I’d had my daughter that I didn’t feel deprived anymore. The insatiable, ravenous feeling was just gone. Even when I ate less, actually dieted to lose some baby weight, I didn’t feel it. To this day I get extremely creative when I’m on a diet, I texted my husband the other day to tell him I wanted mac & cheese burgers someday, but it’s not the same as the absolute hysteria I felt back then.

I just needed to eat.

No, I wasn’t managing weight loss but I was managing to make my body feel as though it was in a time of real stress and deprivation and like at any point the food would disappear and I’d just starve to death. I’m sure that’s how it would work in the jungle and my body doesn’t know it doesn’t live there.

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These days I don’t feel so desperate. I’d like to lose those 20 pounds but equally, it’s not worth my mental health or any extra stress on the family. If I can’t manage it right now, maybe later. If not later, that’s ok; I’m busy with some other things anyway. Health is important, but we are already healthy. I want to teach my kids to value intelligence and compassion more than beauty and vanity, so I try hard not to let them hear us talk much about calories and weight loss.

I would like for you to know that if you’ve been trying to lose weight for a long time and you’re feeling desperate and hopeless, maybe the most important thing that you could do for your long term happiness is to take a break from it all. Find the book Overcome Overeating and read it and then take a break. Skinniness is not worth your happiness, your sanity or even very much of your time.

But hey, some more high profile people have something to say as well:

‘I have a crumble baby belly, boobs are worse for wear after two kids…I’m doing all right. I’m 33. I don’t look in the mirror and go, “Oh, I look fantastic!” Of course I don’t. Nobody is perfect. I just don’t believe in perfection. But I do believe in saying, “This is who I am and look at me not being perfect!”. I’m proud of that.’ Kate Winslet katewinslet2

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“How much time have I wasted on diets and what I look like? Take your time and your talent and figure out what you have to contribute to this world. And get over what the hell your butt looks like in those jeans!” America Ferreira americaferr

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‘I’m never going to starve myself for a part. I don’t want little girls to be like, “Oh, I want to look like Katniss” (her character in The Hunger Games), so I’m going to skip dinner. That’s something I was really conscious of during training, when you’re trying to get your body to look exactly right. I was trying to get my body to look fit and strong, not thin and underfed.’ Jennifer Lawrence jenlaw

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‘As a child, I never heard one woman say to me, “I love my body”. Not my mother, my elder sister, my best friend. No one woman has ever said, “I am so proud of my body.” So I make sure to say it to Mia [her daughter], because a positive physical outlook has to start at an early age.’ Kate Winslet katewinslet

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“I am allowed to look sexy, feel sexy, and be in love. I am worthy of all of those things, and so are you. Own your good and bad, and all the scary parts that you’ve been covering up because it is yours and no amount of judgement can tell you how to love your body.  You are magic.” Mary Lambert mary-lambert-630-80

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You are magic, and don’t ever let anyone make you feel less than that. Least of all media and marketing people.

xox

30 Day Body weight Challenge; Day 3

Obviously I missed day one because it was Fathers Day, but I thought you might want to know how I’ve done since then. I started Monday with both going hungry eating more reasonably and the exercise routine.

I did this series twice:

20 squats
10 push ups – from my knees
20 lunges, each leg – but I didn’t manage all 20 the second time around
10 dumb bell rows – the weight I used was too light
Plank – I managed 45 seconds the first round and 30 the second time
30 star jumps

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It was more difficult than it looks so I’m hoping that I will improve quickly as usually happens when you begin after some time off. I needed a 60 second break between and at the end I was actually out of breath; so that’s good at least I’m getting a challenge!

The next day I was quite achy in my legs and glutes, a little in my core and very slightly in my arms and back. Very very slightly. So the plan for today is to try to do push ups normally or if I can’t and have to do them from my knees I’ll go slower and more deliberately and make sure to go down as low as possible. I’ll use a full milk jug for the dumb bell rows and try to do the  plank for 60 seconds both times.

Edit: I just did it and it was hard! I didn’t manage the lunges the second time around at all. Calorie deficit does indeedy affect your energy and stamina guys! Friday I will be hoping to accomplish a bit better than today and if not I’ll have to think about an extra snack on exercise days!

As far as food, I’ve managed to go without a sandwich so I’ll have one tomorrow. Here’s what I’ve eaten:

Day 1

Breakfast : Greek yogurt with strawberries and blueberries

lunch: a can of soup and an apple

Dinner: left over beef with mac & cheese (can’t let that go to waste!)

Hot cocoa for late night early evening snack

Day 2

Breakfast: Greek yogurt with strawberries & blueberries

lunch: falafel salad and can of soup

Dinner: chicken curry and two mini naans

Hot cocoa for early evening snack

Day 3

Breakfast: Greek yogurt with strawberries & blueberries

Lunch: raw veg with low fat hummous

Dinner: Spaghetti Bolognaise

Hot cocoa for early evening snack

So I’ve actually done really well so far and will reward myself with a slice of pizza for lunch tomorrow! Yum yum! I shall post a nice pic for you all.

Are you surprised? I can easily eat a slice of pizza and stay on target, even if only occasionally. Do you treat yourself when you’re on a diet?

Deep And Dark As Sammy J Hot Cocoa Recipe

Tomorrow is the first day of my 30 Day Challenge and I hope some of you are going to play along! Don’t feel like you have to keep up to do so though. Do what you can and be proud of yourself for it! I for one will be doing just that.

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Of course tomorrow is Father’s Day so we’re going to be gorging ourselves on roast beef, macaroni & cheese and probably ice cream sundaes! But the calorie control starts Monday. In truth I’ve been attempting calorie control all week, maybe a little longer but it’s not been working out at all. I can’t bring myself to not have a sandwich for lunch. I don’t know what it is but that one little thing seems so important to me right now. So maybe I won’t try to cut out the sandwiches, maybe I will make them healthier sandwiches first. We’ll change the chicken mayo sandwich or the brie and tomato sandwich into a chicken and salad or roast beef sandwich this week. Greek yogurt and fruit for breakfast and something sensible for dinner. I’m not trying to go too low because going really low while also introducing a new exercise routine is a bit dumb. I’ve been a bit sloppy lately and I need to edge my way into it.

Tonight we’re having some of that dark hot cocoa I told you about. We went shopping and picked up a liter of milk and then came home to realise we now have three containers of milk in the fridge! So cocoa it is. This cocoa is a life saver for me. Last year while losing weight I allocated the calories (230ish) for an end of day treat. Every. Day. Well any day that we did well and stayed on target we would have these. If we didn’t and had an ice cream at a fayre or something we would skip it and not feel guilty for the small ice cream during a day of walking around. It was awesome.

This is a really dark, not-too-sweet cocoa. You may prefer less cocoa and/or more sugar. Play with it, that’s how we ended up with this recipe ourselves.

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As-Deep-and-Dark-as-Samuel-L-Jackson Hot Cocoa

makes 2 servings

600 ml milk
30 g cocoa
30 g sugar

Pour the milk into a measuring jug.

Measure the cocoa into a small cup, add some of the milk (60ish mil)

Heat the milk in microwave or on stovetop (we nuke for 3 minutes, stir then 2 more)

Make a paste with the cocoa and milk

Measure out the sugar and add to heated milk. Stir.

Add cocoa paste and stir.

Heat again for another minute if you’re like my husband who hates to actually drink his cocoa right away. He prefers to stare at it and smell it for a while. I don’t know why. (He does other stuff that makes up for it which is why I put up with this.)

Wait for optimal temperature. Sniff, it’s divine!

DRINK!

Let me know if you try this what you think but don’t forget I warned you its dark!

Get #bbloggers & #fbloggers t-shirts now!

So, quietly when I’m not doing anything else I’ve been working on this idea for a line of tee shirts and thinking about a way to fund them through Indiegogo or Kickstarter and the best way to get the word out about them. I want to get the minimum order funded and then release one every month, kind of like a tee shirt of the month club except you don’t have to accept every design. Maybe. Or it may work differently. Anyway I’ve been thinking a lot about tee shirts.

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Then I was on Twitter looking at #bbloggers when it hit me! Why not have #bbloggers and #fbloggers tee shirts!? Nothing too fancy just a simple, clean design that says “I’m a part of this!” I think it would be awesome. However I don’t want to add it to my line because this is different than the others. I just want this to be it’s own little project. Lets just get ourselves some t-shirts and not worry about the rest.

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I already have a supplier that sources ethically produced shirts and prints here in the UK so that’s sorted. All I need is the orders as I don’t have the capital to speculate with. As a matter of fact, I’m only going to buy what you order, so if you want one don’t put it off. Look how gorgeous these are. You can choose between white, leaf green or raspberry pink and the lettering will be a deep purple. They will be amazing!

Get your t-shirts here!

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Iridescence.co.uk

The Giveaway

The other thing I want to tell you about is a blogger giveaway I’m going to do. All I want you to do is write a blog post telling people about the campaign (maybe that you’ve ordered one and are excited lol), link to it and let me know. If the campaign is successful and the goal is reached I will have a rafflecopter widget that you can use to enter my Amazing Thank You Jewelry and Make Up Giveaway. The blog post will be worth a majority of the entries, along with follows as usual and the winner will receive a haul worth £100! You will get £50 to spend with Iridescence my absolutely fave jewelry shop, and £50 to spend on Urban Decay products!

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Urbandecay.co.uk

 I’m really excited about this. I want the t-shirts but I also really want to see the amazing haul post or video by one of you amazing ladies. Please share this opportunity with any bloggers who might be interested! I will be sooo appreciative!