Sunday, 24 August 2014

Juice Detox- Results

Morning beauties, 

It's nearly the weekend!!

If you're not all caught up on my juice detox check out these posts: intro, day 1, day 2, day 3. Done? ok Hi! 

So.. How was it?

Honestly, I feel a bit smug. I really thought I'd be starving hungry the entire time and be grumpy as a result and a bit mournful. I wasn't. I turned down tea, biscuits, jelly babies, the works. The worst side effect was a bad headache towards the end of each day but I had that after the detox too so maybe that's something else. 




I have lost some weight though I'm told the Wiifit isn't that accurate and I didn't weigh myself on proper scaled beforehand but I think I lost between 3-4lb. My stomach feels flatter and some of the extra fat I've been noticing recently has gone/shrunk (I tried to phrase that in the least gross way!). I still think I have a way to go. I'd like to lose between a stone- a stone in a half before I'm happy with my body again. 

My clothes seem to be fitting better, I think because my stomach is flatter and I'm less bloated. Jeans that were a bit of a struggle to get on are going on easier. But again, I'd like to be a solid size 8 before I'm celebrating too much.

I've got more energy. It's now 2pm on my day off and I haven't had or craved a single cup of tea (this is a miracle, honestly) although I did have a diet coke after aqua fit for the most part I'm drinking water, fruit tea and juices.

I definitely want to introduce juices as a daily routine either for breakfast or lunch. I don't think I'll ever manage a 7 day detox because I was desperate to chew something by the end of the day 3 but I'd definitely consider a juice for breakfast and lunch then a healthy meal in the evening. Sorry Andy, you'll have to get used to it! My eating habits have changed I genuinely haven't craved or wanted biscuits or anything even when they were offered at work on Tuesday. I'm trying to eat healthy salads for lunch (FYI Tesco's low fat Caesar dressing is not that nice) and ensure I'm eating (or drinking) fruit and veg every day. 

Otherwise, I am enjoying exercise and the benefits of it for the first time in forever. I'm not about to turn in to a muscle Mary or be the kind of person who tweets gym selfies. But my mum has kindly offered her Wii fit for me to borrow (Andy's mum isn't going to know what's hit her when I move in with a juicer and a Wii fit) and yesterday I attended my first Aqua Fit class (I'm sorry it will always be aerobics, especially when you still play 80s music) which I'm hoping to make a weekly thing. 

This isn't to say it's all healthy eating and exercise, I'm determined it wont become obsessive and obviously I'm going to have the odd bit of junk, especially as I have a ton of frozen food in my freezer to use up before I move! 

Here are my top tips if you consider a juice detox (and I personally think everyone should)

1. You will need a juicer and a blender- this sounds obvious but juicers can be expensive and I was going to do it without, but it would have been even more labour intensive and probably not as beneficial. Invest or find a deal, like I did!

2. It takes commitment- some juicers you can bung whole fruits in (obviously, within reason) mine had a smaller chute so it took a lot of prep and it also takes a lot of washing up after. it's no more than if you were making a meal from scratch but definitely more than ordering a takeaway or shoving something in the microwave

3. Exercise alongside helps- one, it helps you to focus on something other than food. Two, it energises you. Three, it helps with the weight loss some more. 

4. You will need a tape measure- This might sound ridiculous, but if you're following the Jason Vale plans (which I 100% recommend) a lot of the recipes ask for 2.5 cm of a cucumber, celery, lemon etc. Now you might be better than me and able to do this by sight but I ended up measuring everything!

5. Drink allll the water- As much as you can and want. This will further the detox, do wonders for just about every part of you and stop you feeling hungry. 

6. Download the app -  I would totally recommend Jason Vale's website, books and the app "3 day detox" for recipes, videos and FAQs. 

I think that's everything I can think of. Thank you for you all your lovely comments, shares and tweets as I embarked on this detox. Perhaps next time you'll join me?

Until next time... 

p.s. If you're in the North West don't forget the bloggers meet up this Saturday comment below for details 



Friday, 22 August 2014

Right Here Right now,,,

Hey Lovelies

I'm going to be linking up with Jenna from Dearest Love & Jenna from A Mamma Collective for their coffee date. So what better excuse for a good ole catch up? I'll put the kettle on, how do you take your tea?

So where am I at?




Well this week I officially moved out of my final year university house and I now officially live with Andy and his mum. Which is weird, because Andy isn't in the country. Right now our room is chaos! There are boxes and bags everywhere and I'm not sure exactly when I'll sort them all out or where everything is going to go. But I kind of love that I'm now sharing an address with the man I want to spend the rest of my life with. And in 9 days (yey single figures) he'll be back with me.


Monday, 18 August 2014

Blog Chat Tuesday- Twenties Chic

Hello Lovelies


How are we? It's Blog Chat Tuesday again. YEY! This week I'm with another Smart Twenties blogger, Jen from Twenties Chic. Jen is not only super smart and professional she's also incredibly good at blogging advice and really lovely. It is absolutely my favourite part of blogging, getting to meet and chat to some amazing people from all around the world. 


1) Can you tell me a bit about yourself?

My name is Jen. I'm 26 years old, live in South Florida, and love keeping busy. I'm a lawyer by day, blogger and Beachbody coach by night and sometimes the wee hours of the morning ;)
I'm left handed, run only in fun marathons, think Netflix should just cave and become an original content provider full-time already, and have a soft spot for all tropical foods, from coconuts to Cuban pastries. 

2) Can you tell me a little about your blog? (i.e. whats it about, how did it get started etc?)

My blog is called Twenties Chic, your guide to surviving and thriving in the terrible twenties!
Twenties Chic is a lifestyle blog for twenty-somethings who, like me, don't have it all figured out yet but are doing their best to fake it till they make it! I feature everything from clean eating recipes to humorous lists and videos and my weekly “Workday Wednesday” series for young professionals. 

3. What's your favourite thing about blogging?

Blogging gives you the ability to say what's on your mind, unabashedly, and reach a worldwide audience. I've been very pleasantly surprised by the reception I've gotten from the Internet community. It makes my day to see an email from someone who stumbled on the site and sees themselves in my posts. It's great to know that others can relate and that we're all in the same struggle together! I don't think I'll ever stop being amazed at how blogging allows people of all ethnicities and backgrounds to find common ground. 

4. What's your least favourite thing?

I'd say the hardest part of being a blogger is opening yourself up to criticism. Inevitably, the more popular a post becomes the more likely it is to get negative feedback in addition to praise. I've been trying to work on having thick skin and not take it personally, but it's easier said than done. In the meantime, I've decided to cope by using my experience as motivation for a future blog post. I'm thinking something along the lines of, “Haters Gonna Hate: How Not to Let Internet Trolls Slow Your Roll.”

5. If you could write any other type of blog what would it be?

Food, entertainment, or hotel review blog. Those people get paid to eat, go to shows, and travel. Sign me up!
6. Do you have any blogs that you'd recommend?

I'm a fan of Sam at Smart Twenties*, http://smart-twenties.com/, she found me when I was first getting started and has been really helpful along the way. Hers is another twenties lifestyle blog, check it out!
For travel, I like The Mochilera Diaries: http://themochileradiaries.com/.

For crafts, the Crafty Lumberjacks are absolutely adorable: http://craftylumberjacks.blogspot.com/ 
For recipes, I like Flavours and Frosting, http://flavoursandfrosting.blogspot.com/, and everything from Pure Grace Farms,http://puregracefarms.com/, because it all looks so yummy!

7. What three things would you say to wannabe bloggers?

Don't feel you have to put yourself into a niche or category.
Do put yourself out there, magic happens when you step outside your comfort zone!
Have fun with it! Do it because you enjoy it, not because you expect something from it. Blogging is purely a labor of love. 

8. Anything else you'd like to add.

Yes! I write for Elite Daily, you can find a full list of my pieces at www.elitedaily.com/author/jruiz. If you haven't checked them out in the past, they're the self-proclaimed “voice of Gen Y” and have a lot of interesting content--Forbes just deemed them the next Buzzfeed!




How great is she?? Seriously, check out some of Jen's stuff on Elite Daily it is very cool! Thanks so much for joining me today Jen and good luck with the beach body- perhaps I should join you?

Until next time...

*Sam is amazing!! She will be joining Blog Chat Tuesday one day soon so keep checking back!

North West Blogger Meet Up

Morning Beauties

Happy Monday.

On Saturday I took a break from watching back-to-back episodes of Gossip Girl on Netflix for the first ever (as far as I know) North West Blogger meet up. Now, for various reasons there was just two of us: myself and Helen. But that's one of my favourite things about blogging: meeting new people and making new friends. Besides, there's plenty of opportunities in the future for it to be bigger. 





So what did we get up to? Helen joined me in Chester (forgetting it was race day!) and we had lunch at the Botanist - I wrote about a date night me and and Andy had there here. It didn't disappoint again this time! We ordered cocktails (mine was a  very refreshing cucumber and mint mojito) and mains: I ordered the hanging chicken kebab and Helen ordered the chicken and mushroom pie. 




The wait for drinks is a little longer than I'd normally want to wait but the servers are all so lovely (and stylish) you feel at ease the minute you walk in and the English country garden feel is so relaxing, it's such a lovely atmosphere! The food was amazinggggg! I've had the chicken pie previously so I knew Helen had made a great choice and my kebab was SO good, with the juiciest mushrooms, an amazing garlic & chilli oil glaze and the most beautifully seasoned chips. One day I'll leave room for dessert (or maybe just go for dessert!). It gave us such a good opportunity to talk and get to know each other- honestly, blogging barely got mentioned! I was kind of nervous about meeting Helen because she's a beauty blogger and I barely manage make up once a week but she is so friendly, lovely and down to earth that it didn't even matter- she looked beautiful as well. 


botanist chester


Botanist Chester


We then did a shopping tour of Chester! I bought a beautiful dress but I can't post pictures yet because it's for date night when Andy gets back.  Also how awesome is this T shirt from New Look? I was VERY tempted to buy it! Is there such a thing as too much blog advertising? 




Shopping is tiring work hey? So we stopped off at my other favourite place in Chester: The Tea Presse Cafe for tea, cake and more chatting! It was definitely my cheat day in terms of healthy eating. But again, this place has such a lovely atmosphere (although the staff seem permanently harassed!) and so much history in one small room, plus anywhere that rates tea over coffee is fine by me!


tea and cake afternoon tea


It was time to say goodbye then so Helen could catch her train but I really think i've made a new friend in Helen and hope there will be many more North West Blogger meets up in the future. 

Until next time...

If you would like to be involved in the next meet up please let me know by commenting below! I'd love to meet you!

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Robin Williams & Mental Health

I write this at 8pm on Tuesday evening today I was going to post the results of my juice detox but this just seemed more pressing. At 5am this morning I was woken by my phone and as is habit I checked facebook only to see my Dad had posted "RIP Robin Williams" What? Surely not? But the more I scrolled through and after a quick check of BBC news it was confirmed. Robin Williams had died of a suspected suicide.


Source: BBC

I felt genuinely disturbed. I try not to get too effected by the death of a celebrity, no more than I would a "normal" person. But something about this situation was just particularly devastating for the world to lose such a talented, funny man. I am not a film buff but I loved Aladdin, Mrs Doubtfire and Night at the Museum. 

But, what really touched me was the harrowing words of his widow, Susan Schneider: 


"As he is remembered, it is our hope that the focus will not be on Robin's death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions"

I intentionally haven't check the #RobinWilliams hashtag on twitter for fear of what I might read in my experience people can be so cruel when hidden behind a screen even following a death. If his devastated widow can be so gracious at this time then no one else has any right to judge. 

Suicide is so often described as a selfish act. But I don't believe it is. For most it is a final, desperate act. The moment when the "black dog" or whatever nickname we'd like to give depression just becomes enveloping and all encompassing. When the mind can no longer be compassionate for their loved ones, even for a second. The moment when there is nothing to do but give up. 

The problem is we don't talk about mental health enough. I'm guilty of that I've spoken of my depression perhaps three times maximum in the three and a half years I've been blogging because I'm scared people will accuse me of being dramatic or self pitying. But that's not the case. If we don't talk about it, if we hide away from it. Then how can we seek the help so needed? How can we battle through the dark waves when noone knows how much we're struggling? 

I was diagnosed just before my fifteenth birthday although I think it was a long time coming. Again, please don't confuse teenage angst with depression or assume it's an illness that only affects adults. Since then I have worked through set backs and medication, counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy, issues of self harm and self hatred, rage and disappointment. I have had people who have stood by me and understood, challenged me when I've needed challenging and come alongside me at my lowest.  On the flip side, I have had people make horrendous public jokes on twitter about it. I am blessed that I'm in a position right now where I have an incredible support network and I'm able to recognise the signs.

This is not to say Robin Williams didn't, no one can know his final thoughts or reasoning. All I know is that whatever he was going through, we can learn from. Speak up, speak out. And if it's not you that is suffering, please support those that can in the best way you can. 

Mental illness is exactly that, an illness and it needs the proper treatment, research and in response. 

Rest in Peace Robin Williams. May your legacy by in your films, the enjoyment they bought, in your family and their future, may it be in the response. May we walk together to further understand depression and mental illness.

A friend of mine chose to respond by donating money to Mind, a charity which works to ensure: everyone experiencing a mental health problem 
gets support and respect. I personally cannot think of a better way to respond. So I would like to encourage you to respond as you see best but if you would like to join me in donating you can do so here

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Blog Chat Tuesday- Channel Island Blog

Morning Lovelies,

By the time you read this I'll have tucked in to my healthy cereal and be loving chewing!! But today I'm chatting with a really good blogger friend of mine. Emma was actually the inspiration behind my juice detox. Remember when I did #BEDM? Well so did Emma, she writes over at Channel Island Blog and has such a way with words! Also, every time I read her blog I want to hop on a ferry to Jersey. But I won't say anymore and I'll let Emma do the talking: 

1. Can you tell me a bit about yourself? 

Hello, my name is Emma. I live on Jersey, which is one of the channel islands and actually closer to France than England, it is also about the size of a postage stamp. I have only been living in Jersey for a year and before that I lived in lovely Yorkshire near Leeds. I am now a stay at home Mum to my two lovely girls who are 1 and 5
 and wife to the very lovely and patient Mr C. I start a masters in Creative Writing in September. This is an attempt to keep my brain cells! Before moving to Jersey I was a teacher. I love cooking, writing poetry and reading lots of novels! I think Caitlin Moran is marvellous and I have a little bit of a crush on Price Harry. My favourite programme has to be 'The Great British Bake Off'




 
2. Can you tell me a little about your blog? (i.e. whats it about, how did it get started etc?)

I started my blog after reading one of my friend�s blog in which she documented her travels. It seemed like a really fun thing to do and I had a yearning to write and get creative. This was quite a step for me as I am not on Facebook and I normally a very private person. I have only recently got the hang of twitter and I have just joined instagram but can�t work that one out. Someone please tell me how instagram works! I am also on bloglovin but again - clueless. I intended on using my blog as a way of letting friends in England see what I am up to but that hasn�t quite worked as I have been too embarrassed to tell most of my friends-whoops! I would say that my blog is a miss-mash of my thoughts and interests, which are always changing. It is probably a somewhat chaotic blog. At the moment I have become obsessed with juicing and healthy eating and as a result that is what I seem to be blogging about. I also blog about family life.


 
 
3. What's your favourite thing about blogging?

I just love so many things about blogging but one of the best things has to be the blogging community. Moving to Jersey has meant that at times I have felt a little lonely which is why becoming a member of the blogging community has been so fantastic as everyone is so friendly and supportive. I also just love it when someone takes the time to comment on my blog or leave me a like. I also like to use my blog as a positive outlet, so even if I have had a rubbish day I will always try to find something positive to blog about and as a result you end up feeling much better. I also like reading positive blogs that make me smile and laugh.

 
4. What's your least favourite thing?

I don�t think there has been anything yet. I have been very lucky and haven�t experienced any negativity so far.

 
5. If you could write any other type of blog what would it be?

I would love to be able to write a proper lifestyle blog with beautiful photos, something like Cider with Rosie as she just has the most enviable life, with her lovely fianc�, amazing cooking skills, beautiful house, fantastic dress sense and cute dog and it also helps that she is photogenic and has rapunzel type hair that I could only dream off. I wouldn�t be able to write a blog like this as our family tend to look like they have been dragged through a bush backwards, my food is not photogenic (as readers of my blog will know), my house is a tip, I have dubious dress sense, no dog and lego hair
Hi
 
6. Do you have any blogs that you'd recommend?
I have recently become obsessed with deliciouslyella.com It is written by Ella and is full of gluten free, sugar free, dairy free, meat free recipes. She follows a whole plant based food plan and cured herself of her illness through healthy eating. It is a very empowering and positive blog full of the most fantastic recipes and I am working my way through them at the moment. It was her blog that inspired me to start clean eating.
 
 
7. What three things would you say to wannabe bloggers?

1) Enjoy it, blogging is fun don�t let it become a chore. If it starts to feel like this then take a break for as long as you need it.

2) Keep a notebook for when blogging ideas strike

3) Be Yourself!

8. Anything else you'd like to add. 

Thank you very much for inviting me to answer your question and please if anyone can explain instragram to me I would love to know ;-) 


Ok folks! Best Instgram tutorial commented below wins some sweeties! 

How awesome is Emma? I love the blogging community for the diverse group of people you make friends with! Thanks so much for joining me, Emma.

Until next time... 


Monday, 11 August 2014

Juice Detox - Day 3

Hello Lovelies

This is posted slightly later and not a live update because today I had work and carried on my juice detox. 

I'd set an alarm for this morning thinking I'd get some exercise done but whatever bounds of energy people who do this detox have spoken about hasn't yet come to me and bed won! I did have my breakfast juice though (I drunk the sludgy one at home to save embarrassment) then grabbed all my others and headed to work.

Resisting tea was especially hard particularly as I had one made for me! But I stayed strong with my hot water and lemon. I didn't get hungry until at least 12 when I decided I should probably have my extra mid morning juice and then obviously had my lunch juice. Again, I wasn't feel especially hungry and was more the fact that I'd made them up and I was supposed to take a lunch break.

I did get hungry around 4 ish but had a juice on hand and that tided me over. I managed to go shopping and even then not feel especially tempted. I can't lie though I'm excited to actually eat something solid tomorrow. I feel like I've missed chewing!

I made up double of my dinner juice which was meant to be halved for tomorrow morning but honestly it was so good that I just drunk it all.. I know, such a luxury! 

So again.. today I haven't felt massively hungry, I've felt a bit tired but no more than a normal Monday and I do still have a headache which is on and off. I also did some Wiifit which I'm really enjoying and kind of upset that I won't be living in the same house as one from tomorrow- it might be an investment I need to make! 

On Wednesday I'm going to write a final post of the results i.e. weight loss, general feeling and consequences of doing the fast. But I will say it's been easier than I expected it to be and it's definitely something I'd recommend to people to do. But I am excited for something solid tomorrow even if it is a salad!

Click here to catch up on juice detox: introductionday one and day two.

Until next time.... 

p.s. a very happy birthday to the beautiful Esther from Dear Friend London

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Juice detox- day 2- live blog

9.30 am - writing this from my phone because I'm in a bit of a rush. So sorry for any rubbish formatting I'll sort it out later. Last night as soon as I said I wasn't hungry I started feeling hungry so I had my final smoothie "beyond detox" which had parsley and spinach in as well as apples, beetroot,cucumber and avocado.
I went to bed around 11 with a bad headache but slept right through.
Woke up feeling a bit panicked because church is earlier today but I've now got 30 mins to drink my hot lemon water and my juice so loads of time. I feel fine this morning,no different to any Sunday. I'd like to stay tucked up in bed with weather like this!
Today's juice is a berry and pineapple juice smoothie. My berries weren't looking very fresh this morning but I just picked the best ones. It tastes pretty good, very yoghurty! And because I've only juiced the pineapple I feel like I can leave the cleaning up until later! How's your day looking?

12.30 So far today i've face two detox trials. The first was whether or not to take communion! That sounds silly but it is still alcohol and solid food (ok the teeniest piece of bread) but does that count as cheating? and if I had a taste of bread would I want more? (I think I've been scared by the bread story in the 7lb in 7 days juice book!) - So there you go Jason Vale, there's a question... can I take communion and still be on detox? I decided to just take a blessing! Jesus understand, I'm sure! There was also tea and coffee after the service (with croissants) which I actually found quite easy to bypass.

I picked Andy's grandpa up to take him to Andy's mums, she'd invited me to lunch which I obviously had to decline- and I wasn't quite up for explaining why! Although the juicer will be moving in to her kitchen in 2 weeks time! But the food did smell amazing! I look forward to a roast dinner next week instead! I haven't had any real cravings for anything just the occasional "ooh that would be nice" the most reoccuring being baked beans, which is strange!

I've just made my lunch time juice: "dreamy detox" which is apple, cucumber, celery, ginger and lemon. Again, it's nice (I blended it with loads of ice too). There has yet to be any juices that I've really not enjoyed but this green juice is a nice changed to the beetroot or berry ones I've been drinking the last 24 hours.

No sides effects as yet, I'm mopey for other reasons but going to try and combat that with some wiifit and packing!

9pm Today has been uneventful. I had my afternoon juice around 4.30 which was nice but I wasn't that hungry and I just sipped at it until it was finished. I wanted to go swimming this afternoon but the local pool closed at 5. So instead I walked to mine (I'm rabbit sitting at the moment) and did some sorting of the house- even being around food didn't really bother me. I walked back and went to make my dinner juice and start on pre making juices for tomorrow only to realise shock horror... middle class problem.. not enough avocados  and Tesco Express didn't have any! So I made do with what I had (and I'll get some extra bits tomorrow) I decided to have a hot n'spicy tonight which is just hot apple juice and cinnamon (I used ginger..) and is part of the 7lb in 7 days plan- I honestly haven't felt that hungry but though it was better to have something and keep my blood sugar levels up. 

I then embarked on the mammoth task of making four juices for tomorrow: one detox special, two detox H20s and a dreamy detox. Again, some ingredients were running low and so I had to be a bit creative with what I did have (other ingredients I seem to have in abundance). I've got them al ready for breakfast, mid morning, lunch and afternoon for tomorrow. But my afternoon juice has wound up a brown colour compared to yesterdays pink (I really will upload photos soon) so I think I might end up drinking that for breakfast and taking the less offensive looking one to work!

According to the Wiifit I've lost 3lb but that was weighing myself at different times in the day. I haven't felt any side effects today and haven't felt hungry. So all in all, a good day!

Until next time...

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Juice Detox- Live Blog- Day 1

Morning Beauties

If you haven't read my juice detox intro blog then go now . Are you back? Ok I'll begin! 
Since I will have a lot of spare time over the next two days I decided that at least for Saturday & Sunday's juice blog update I would try and live blog. So you can either keep checking back throughout the day or check back at the end of the day/three days to see how I've got on!

10am I slept pretty badly last night- stayed awake to talk to Andy until about 3 am and then battled sleep. Was woken up at 8.30 by.. guess who? Yes, my lovely (drunk) boyfriend ringing me on viber all the way from Colorado. It was a pretty good wake up. But I tried to sleep some more until someone, somewhere in the block of flats I'm staying in decided to start drilling. So I gave up! The guide says to sleep when you want to sleep and since I never need an excuse for napping I think that's what my afternoon will look like. So I got up and weighed myself on the Wii fit- I won't say how much but I will say I'm not happy with it! and I will report back on loss when I finish. Now i'm drinking my hot water and lemon and I'm about to watch the coaching video. 
Obviously, right now I'm no hungrier than any normal Saturday morning but it feels odd that I won't be having a cooked brekkie or toasted tea cakes!



Juice Detox - Intro

Hi lovelies
Happy Saturday! What are you up to this weekend?

I am.. Juice detoxing! I've been looking in to it for a while and then Emma did get 7 day detox and I decided to bite the bullet so I'm following Jason Vale's "Keeping it Simple" 3 day juice detox!
I'm pretty excited right now, honestly!  I bought all my produce on Thursday (not my cheapest shopping trip!) and I've got my app ready to go!

More fruit and veg than you can shake a stick at


Why am I doing it? 

Those who regularly read my blog know that since the start of the year I've gained some weight and gone up a dress size. Whilst I'm still a British size 10 I've been unhappy with my body for some time. I've been trying to eat healthier but I'm hoping that the detox will kick start some weight loss it'll also, I hope kick start better habits and also make me feel healthier. I've struggled recently with reoccurring stomach problems and I think that does boil down to what I'm eating. I will be weighing myself this morning and Tuesday to see if there are any changes but it's more about being happier with how I look and feel. 
Apparently the amount of fruit and veg that will be consumed over the three days is more than most people in Britain consume over a month- which I totally get. I definitely don't get my 5 a day (or whatever it is you're told to get now) and I definitely want to improve upon that!
I decided to only do 3 days instead of the 5 or 7 day option as a taster to see how manageable it is and what effects it has. Also so it doesn't interfere too much with work!


Thursday, 7 August 2014

Top Travel Tips- Packing



Hi Lovelies, how are you?

I am happily watching Great British Bake Off (eee) and eating Roule & water crackers (SOOO good). 

So thank you for all your lovely comments on my last top travel tips, you are all sooo sweet!

Today I'm talking packing: (pretty much all of these are based on mistakes I made for American packing)


Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Blog Chat Tuesday- Moving In With a Boy

Hello Lovelies

I'm a bit earlier on the blogging front today. If you missed the post I put up kind of late last night you can check it out here: Money Talks Monday. Also a shout out to my best friend, Bella for her excellent "no mope" list- any other tips gratefully received.

So today I'm talking with.... Lucy of "Moving in With a Boy" fame. Lucy only started blogging in May and she's super, super awesome. She has a wicked sense of humour, is super friendly and an all round star. In fact I regularly give her the title of best blogger friend. Oh and she's finalllyyyyy moved in with the boy. 
Want to know more?

1. Can you tell me a bit about yourself? 
I am a music teacher in Bradford, and live in Leeds. I love teaching, and have been doing it for 5 years now (eek hard to believe!) In my spare time I love to be Musical Director for musicals - this involves teaching all the songs and conducting the final show. It's exhausting after a long day at work but really exhilarating! I think I'm quite funny, which probably means I'm not...and I'm just about to start weight watchers in an effort to be more healthy - no doubt I'll be blogging every step of the way! 

2. Can you tell me a little about your blog? (i.e. whats it about, how did it get started etc?)

The reason I started blogging was because of my friend Emma, of www.channelislandsblog.wordpress.com fame. She inspired me to have a go! My blog is all about moving in with a boy for the first time. Pedro is the lucky man, and we've just moved into our new home complete with his cat, Whiskeroo! I try to make my posts positive and humorous, but I do have my bad days and have a rant now and again. Unbelievably my recent post on teaching was read by over 40,000 people all over the world which as a blogger who is usually lucky to get 100 views a day was a real shock!

3. What's your favourite thing about blogging?

All the fantastic people I have met through it - including you Laura! Everyone has been so supportive and kind. I really feel like I'm starting to become part of the community. I love discovering and reading new blogs, and I'm really looking forward to doing more of that now that I'm on holiday! I would urge all bloggers to read and comment on others - it helps build up your network, and more importantly you will make some brilliant friends! 

4. What's your least favourite thing?

Honestly? The fact that I can't stop checking my stats. I probably check them several times a day. Not only does it interfere with everyday life, it also takes away from why I am really blogging - to share my life and thoughts with anyone who is kind enough to read! 

5. If you could write any other type of blog what would it be?

I would love to be able to take the beautiful photos I see on other blogs. My blog so far has been very word heavy. I'm unable to take a good photo - not only with the lack of decent equipment (I know - a poor workman always blames his tools!) but also because I don't seem to have 'the eye'. 

6. Do you have any blogs that you'd recommend?

Definitely! My favourite blog is from my friend Emma, who I know I've already mentioned, but it was the first one I've ever read and it means a lot to be able to keep up with her life. It's at www.channelislandsblog.wordpress.com
I also really like Lorna's blog - www.thismetanoia.blogspot.com as it covers all sorts of topics and I always like a good read.
For a really sweet and different perspective on parenthood, try Nick's blog www.dinnerbydad.co.uk - his letters to his son Isaac are lovely! (read my blog chat with Nick here


7. What three things would you say to wannabe bloggers?
 
1. Blog about what interests you - that way you'll keep writing, and if you have a passion for your subject you'll make others want to read your posts! 

2. Don't check your stats all the time (I know - I should practice what I preach!) you should check your comments though, these give good feedback on how to improve and also someone has taken a lot of time to read and remark on your post so make sure you value it! 

3. Thank everyone who likes, comments or shares your blog - with the number of blogs out there to do this to, they chose yours! 

8. Anything else you'd like to add. 

Thank you Laura for inviting me to do this - your blog is one I always enjoy as you are so positive!



Isn't she the sweetest? Thank you for joining me today, Lucy! I think the advice to not obsess over stats but to check comments is really valuable advice for any blogger, so thank you so much!


Until next time... 

Monday, 4 August 2014

Money Talks Monday - August

Hi Beauties

Happy Monday.

Andy left yesterday and I'll admit I've been a bit tearful since but I'm trying not to mope. So if anyone would like to contribute to my list of "Things to do instead of moping" please comment below or tweet me, all suggestions welcome!

So those eagle eyed readers amongst you may have noticed I didn't do a Money Monday for the last 2 weeks. That is because I decided I had tooo many other things I wanted to post about and therefore I decided just to post a Money Monday on the first Monday of each month.

So how was July?

I definitely made some savings- we started doing the bulk of our food shopping in Aldi which made a noticeable difference and I definitely bought less "in between food" since for the most part I took a packed lunch to work and therefore wasn't spending money on "meal deals". I also didn't buy any clothes .. I don't think!! But there were a few random purchases: meals out etc. That need to be curbed.

The good news/bad news story is that I sold my car, after she failed her MOT (this story has a silver lining)- although I was sad to let her go, since she was my first car & like my baby, it did mean that the money I got for her as scrap and the return on the insurance (plus, I would suggest some generosity from my mum) wiped out my debt to my mum and therefore around £600 of debt! 

So where would I like to improve? Less impulse buying especially when it comes to deciding to eat out/get a takeaway out of laziness. I also want to cut out buying diet coke because although I've cut down it's definitely an expense. Food generally is a huge expense even shopping at Aldi it's very easy to pick up lots of little extra.

Also I NEEED to note EVERYTHING down that I spend. So I can be more accountable and see exactly where every penny is going. The app I got was rubbish it told me I was in negative figures when all I'd touched was cash and not my card so I'm on the lookout for a better one.. suggestions welcome.

I also think I'm paying for phone insurance for a phone I no longer have so I desperately need to cancel that! 

So.. The stats for August:

Remaining debt: (approx)
£1500 - Overdraft
£1500- Credit card


What I got paid? 
£712 - Main Job (3 weeks of work) 
£150 (still to come)- PT/Evening youth work job. 

Total Income: £862 

To spend:
£150- overdraft
£100- credit card
£50- Phone bill
£18- Opticians
£80- Food
£160- Petrol (i'm driving Andy's car whilst he's away.. this is the worst case budget I really don't want to spend this much) 

Total necessary outgoing: £558
Remainder: £304

So where is that remainder going? So far this weekend I've spent £55 on a round of cocktails, a present for my best friend and a rain mac. 

It's also Andy's birthday this month so I know I'm going to be spending a bit preparing for that (although I won't be able to say exactly what until after belated birthday celebrations)

I can also pay for my graduation outfit from today which is an extra, unusual expense.
I'm also juice dieting next weekend (more on that later in the week) which might cost more than a usual weekends shop. But hoping to keep costs low. 

Finally, I know that I need to keep busy this month which tends to involve some extra expense... so.. any budget savvy socialising tips always useful. 

There is one positive which might make a difference I'm house/rabbit sitting for some friends who are usually generous enough to leave some money for food which should cover a weeks worth. 

So my two top budget goals for this month:
1. write down every thing I spend
2. Ensure money is put towards paying off overdraft/credit card (I've actually already transferred some money to put aside for my overdraft)  

What's your budget friendly socialising tip?

Until next time....


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