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Thursday, 26 May 2016

Cliff Bar Energy Bar

Hey All

A few weeks ago L and I were contacted to see if we wanted to try out some Cliff Bars as they'd also launched a new flavour for spring Coconut Chocolate Chip. As we both love these type of bars as a treat or pre/post gym snack we couldn't wait to try them. I was especially excited as I've currently got a thing for coconut. 

Cliff Bar Review Healthy Snacks

These are different from the normal bars we have like trek and bounce balls as the texture was more cakey due to them being made out of rolled oats. We both love porridge in the mornings so really enjoyed this texture. It also makes it feel more like a cake treat which is always a bonus. 

Cliff bars are great for workouts as they are packed with protein (10 grams in the coconut one) and carbohydrates to help sustain energy during long extensive work outs or they're great for pre workout boost. I know L has especially liked having them in between work and the gym. They're also packed with vitamins that contribute to the release of energy in the body.

We were sent a selection to try pit and none of them disappointed. I'm especially a fan of the chocolate coconut flavour and it's also made using dairy free chocolate! I've mainly enjoyed having half a bar as a snack in the day to fill me up when I'm feeling especially peckish!!

Cliff Bar Review Healthy Snacks

Clif bars are available from lots of places on the highstreet now including boots (it's a snack in the meal deal as well), asda and tesco and they retail for £1.60 each. I've been and grabbed extras since as I need to try the white chocolate macadamia one.

Do you have energy bars as snacks or pre gym workouts?

Love M

xxx





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Thursday, 5 May 2016

Life Update


Well hello there!

It has been a reeeeeeeeeeeeeally long time since I've written a life update. There's been a lot going on but nothing too exciting.

Mostly things in my house have been breaking left right and centre - it has been a crazy expensive few weeks and I've used all of my savings to replace and fix things. So when I haven't been trying to sort that out I've been trying to do as many cheap things as possible!

Firstly, my step count on my Fitbit has been shocking. I've been trying to walk before work a few times a week and also on my lunch times to get my count up. Once I get out there I feel so much better, but it can be hard to get up early. The mornings when the weather looks like this really help!

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I've even picked up a snazzy new pair of trainers - my other ones were 2 years old and there wasn't any padding inside any more, just the plastic!

As well as this I've been eating as healthily as I can and have joined a new gym. The Vale Resort is a pretty popular place, it's also expensive! I've been going to the local leisure centre since moving to my house but really miss the classes from my old gym which was a members only.

After a 21 day trial I obviously loved it, and joined as a full member. It is expensive but in my eyes, spending £40 a month on a gym that I don't go to is more of a waste than £55 on a gym that I got to 4 times a week and has allllllllllllllllllllll the extras including a personal trainer, sauna and steam room and Les Mills classes.

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I've been trying to vary my food as much as possible and get as many veggies in, including trying out zoats. If you haven't heard of zoats before, they are basically zucchini (courgette) oats where you grate half or a full courgette into a bowl of oats and milk to get some extra vitamins into your meal.

I've also got into making rice out of vegetables, grating whatever I have in the fridge including cauliflower, courgette and carrot or even all three to make a bed for some chicken or salmon to go on.
I can't always make it to the gym but I can eat better, so this is a good start!

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But sneaking in the odd piece of cake when visiting Waterloo Tea Gardens is always welcome, and when it's a spinach and pistachio cake it barely counts right?!

As well as things breaking in my house, my car has had a bad month. I already had my tax, service and MOT due. After that my car then decided to roll down my drive and into my house as the brake caliper had got stuck and worn away the brakes, a passenger door lock broke, a wing mirror fell off and I also need a tyre! I can't begin to tell you how much it cost and how utterly broke I have been wit also needing to pay for my glastonbury ticket, but I've spent a lot of time at home watching netflix to save every penny and over the last two months have managed to save myself a lot.

It's the grim reality of being an adult but I need my car to get around so selling it isn't an option.

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I also had a weekend where my parents went away and I was dog sitting. It was a lush weekend and we had plenty of walks together, he's very active so needs 3 walks a day and loves playing in between. Chasing him around a table is one of his favourites so I was kept very busy! He's a pampered pooch!


Not much more to add than this really, hopefully the next few months will be a lot more exciting. I haven't even been anywhere with work and don't have any plans for the foreseeable future. Fingers crossed a trip comes up soon!


L xxx


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Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Garmin Vivosmart HR Review

Hey All

It's been quite a while since I shared fitness related stuff on the blog. Lately I tend to just do kickboxing. It's what I love and I've just recently got to a senior grade in it. I love learning new kicks and punches and the workout it gives me but I'm also aware I need to up my general fitness as well. Around Christmas time I decided it was time to see what this whole fitness watch craze was about and after lots of research decided the Garmin Vivosmart HR was the one for me. There was a lot of debate between the Garmin Vivosmart HR and the Fitbit Charge HR (which L now has and I'm sure she'll share her thoughts on it with you).

I do think the fitbit looks better but I preferred some of the functionality of the Garmin (and in the end it was £10 cheaper than I could find the fitbit for!). The Garmin Vivosmart HR comes in three colours in regular size black, midnight blue and imperial purple (which I have) and in the extra large size comes in black.

Garmin Vivosmart HR Review

The display on it is quite large but I like that. It clearly displays the time and date and then when you swipe through shows you steps and what your target it, it does the same for floors climbed, it shows weekly active minutes and how many you should aim for, calories burnt, distance walked and heartrate as well as display average resting heartrate. When connected with a phone you can read new messages and notifications on your phone, control your music and see the weather. I love how many features you can access with just swiping through.


Garmin Vivosmart HR Review


Then by clicking the button which you can see on right of the photo above you access a new window where you can start a run, put the watch in sleep mode (so you don't receive notifications), see alarms set, sync it to your phone, access settings and a few other options.

Garmin Vivosmart HR Review

Here you can see the heartrate monitor. As I have nothing to compare it too as I've never monitored my heartbeat I can't judge how accurate it is but it recieves good reviews and I love that now having this when I exercise the calories I've burnt are now more accurately counted rather than going by what myfitness pal tells me. Another thing I love is that you can connect it to your myfitness pal as well as other apps and it then synchronises that information to what the watch has logged.

Garmin Vivosmart HR Review

The strap on it is secure and fastens like a normal watch. I usually wear it on the 4th or 5th whole from the top so it's a secure fit.

Garmin Vivosmart HR review App Screenshot

To get the most from the watch you connect it up to the app. The app allows you to see all previous data and addition information such as sleep and calories consumed. You can click on each of the options for more information on them too. You can see alarms through the app which I really like. The alarm feature if something I'm enjoying, I like waking up to a subtle vibrate on the wrist rather than loud alarm sounds. You can also make running and walking tracking more accurate by setting your stride distance. I'm yet to do this as I've not measured mine to know but as I walk it seems pretty accurate at calculating mine. You put in height and weight as you set it up so it goes on an average of those anyway. 

Other features I love is that it is waterproof so I don't have to worry about wearing it in the shower and it can track activities such as swimming as it's waterproof to 5 ATMs which I know some of the equivalent trackers aren't. 

Overall I love it so far, it's easy and very quick to charge. It lasts a good few days and I if it runs out mid day I charge it for an hour at my desk and I'm good to go again. It really does make me more conscious of how active I am and pushes me to do those extra steps on day's I've not quite made it.

Have you got a fitness tracker? How do you find it?

Love M

xxx


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Thursday, 17 March 2016

Wishlist


Hey there!

I've not written a wishlist for a ridiculous amount of time, which is quite funny as I can't afford to buy anything but still want everything.

So without further rambling, here is what's on my wishlist right now:



Lorna Jane - Everything!

Image from Active in Style

I've seen and heard a lot about Lorna Jane, one day I will own such beauties!

Above are the Storm Core Ankle Biter Tights, and they are wonderful. You can view them on the Active in Style site by clicking here for £63.

I've also got my eye on this bra:
Image from Active in Style
It's the Lumineer Sports Bra and comes in at £46.

I absolutely love the design with the subtle print and the cross back, its gorgeous and functional and I need it in my fitness bag. It might make me run faster right? Right.



Zoeva - Rose Golden Vol. 2 Brush Sets

Who doesn't love rose gold? And who doesn't love brush sets?

Which is why it is so hard to ignore these beauties, I picked two sets as I couldn't choose one!

Both of these sets cost £65 each which for brushes of this variety and quality is quite good. And they're pretty! I think i could always do with more brushes generally but the eye brush set is probably the number one priority for me, I never seem to have enough and there's such a good variety there I want to test them all out.

It's unlikely I will ever buy these for myself so I think it's safe to say they will be staying on my wishlist for a while, but if some money does come my way some time soon I will be running to Beauty Bay to snap them up.
You can view the collection on Beauty Bay by clicking here.


Rebecca Stella Squad Palette

Rebecca Stella hasn't really popped up on my radar before, but with my new found love for YouTube I saw the Squad Palette on 'Meg Says' and wow isn't it the dream??

I love the matte colours and can see they would be used a lot for day wear. There's even one with a slight shimmer for a highlight and the best part?

This brand is totally cruelty free! M has been super conscious of this now she has her bunnies and it is always better to buy from a brand that doesn't test on animals so we are actively trying to learn more.

When brands like this produce lovely palettes like this why would you get anything that had been tested on an animal?!

You can browse Rebecca Stella on her website here, the Squad Palette is £32 (They also have a contour palette.....eeek!)



Nike - LunarGlide 7 MP - £115

There's not really much to be said about these absolutely gorgeous and super wonderful running trainers.....apart from, drool with me.



L xxx



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Friday, 11 September 2015

Snacking Organic

Hey All

We were recently sent some snacks to try as part of a Organic September. Both L and I try to eat healthy as much as possible and organic is something my other half and I have been recently trying to buy. We recently made the decision to start up Riverford veg boxes which is a company that delivers in season organic fruit and veg! We are loving these so far and it definitely seems to taste better.  We also had a lot of hello fresh boxes which some of the products were organic (I'm not sure if it all was or not, you can read about those here).

Organic snacking isn't something I've really thought to look into, especially not teas. I love teapigs and some of them are organic but not all. 

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As soon as the parcel arrived I couldn't wait to taste everything. I'm a fan of different teas and rooibos is a favourite. I've had the oatcakes a lot before as my mum was wheatfree for a while.

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Kromland Farm Organic Rooibos Caramel Tea* retails for £2.49 for 40. For herbal teas I think it's a pretty standard price and not much more than normal herbal teas. For me I will definitely be repurchasing this. For a while I've been trying to reduce my caffeine intake. I have one of the giant sports direct mugs (tacky I know but as a tea lover the bigger the better, size matters!!) in work and I was drinking about 5 mugs of tea , green tea or coffee and more at home. Rooibos is naturally caffeine free and the natural caramel flavours adds a touch of sweetness to a rich tea. I like to drink this without milk. I've been swapping out about 3 of my massive mugs of tea for this instead so hopefully I'll be weaned off caffeine again soon except for my morning cuppa! I'm pretty evil without that! 



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Next up is the Ombar Buttons Coco Mylk * which retail for £1.49. I was really dubious about these. I instantly assumed dairy free would then be some sort of fake chocolate and just not taste good or it would taste overly sweet. I was so pleasantly surprised by them. They get there flavour from Raw Cacao and coconut palm sugar. These are so good, they have a great natural chocolate flavour which is still creamy and not excessively sweet and a perfect taste of coconut that isn't overly fake. I also love that the ingredient list is pretty small, when I know most of the ingredients on something it does make me more intrigued to eat it. As well as being dairy free they are suitable for vegans!

Not the healthiest of snacks but both L and I would rather get out sweet treats in this way then a normal bar of chocolate.

Clearspring Snack Organic Tamari Roasted Sicilian Almonds

Clearspring Snack Organic Tamari Roasted Sicilian Almonds

Clearspring Snack Organic Tamari Roasted Sicilian Almonds* retail for £1.49. These were the clear winner in the snack we got to try. L is much better at snacking on nuts than I am. I don't tend to buy them much and I really should as they are a great source of fat and protein. To me unless I fancy it nuts seems a bit boring but these have got a great taste to them. It's hard to explain, slightly sweet, sour and just good really! (there is a reason I'll never be a food blogger I struggle beyond it tastes good, it tastes bad!!). I loved these so much I've already ordered more. They are great to keep at my desk for when I want a savoury snack.

Nairns Organic Oatcakes

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Nairns Organic Oatcakes* retail for £1.09. I've had these a lot before as I mentioned above my mum used to follow a wheatfree diet so got these instead of bread. I'll start with what annoys me with them. I wish they came in 6 packs of 4 oatcakes rather than 4 pack of 6. When there is 6 in a pack I eat them all but would have been satisfied at 4. I really like these and always have. I find them pretty tasty and snack on them dry as they are most of the time. Or if I'm having them for lunch will have something like tuna or avocado and salmon. They do seem to go with everything and are a great way to start to introduce organic foods into your diet. I would have normally picked up non organic without thinking but would always grab the organic ones instead now.

Do you purchase any organic food? Would you now consider it?

Love M

xxx


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Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Tough Mudder South West 2015

Hey All

Last weekend I completed my second tough mudder. (me and L did it last year, you can see last years post here!). This year was much harder than last year due to a lot of rain. Who knew when we booked an August one it would be such crappy weather.




The before and after!






Tough mudder is an obstacle course set over 10-12 miles. The South West course when held at Cirenchester seems to be 11 miles. This year again I was wishing for 10 miles. This year we also completed the course on Sunday and although it was still full in our warm up when it was time to set up we didn't have to deal with any of the really long queues we encountered last year on the Saturday. Sunday's are also cheaper!




The guy below me gave me a boost after this photo was taken as I realised I was stuck ha!

It's not the cheapest thing to do, (if you're considering one definitely sign up sooner rather than later as it gets progressively more expensive!) the one thing that pulls me back to tough mudder as a challenge is that it's not a race and is all about team work. Everyone on the day helps everyone and all around the course it's like that!





This year some obstacles were changed to make them harder. Here is Mud Mile. Last year it was dry whilst we were running, this year between the humps was filled with water!



The favourites like Arctic Enema and Electroshock were still there as well as some new ones's to try! Round the course I struggled this year due to the amount of rain that had left almost the whole 11 miles as running though mud which meant falling over lots and more pressure on my knees!


 (clearly I'd just been hit by the electric shock here ha!!)


I'd really recommend tough mudder to anyone. Get your friends joined up as it really is great fun! And not many other races give you a pint as you cross the finish line!

I love that they mix it up each year and add to it. I definitely want to do more. Plus the motivation of a new coloured headband keeps me going!

Have you done a tough mudder before? Would you?

Love M xxx





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Friday, 12 June 2015

Fitness Friday: Tone It Up 28 Days to Fit, Fierce and Fabulous


Good morning!

Today I have a Fitness Friday post ( a week later than planned...) on the wonderful 28 Days to Fit Fierce and Fabulous from Tone It Up!

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If you haven't heard of Katrina Scott and Karena Dawn, also known as the Tone It Up Girls, then you have been truly living under a rock.
They have an absolutely massive following in America and now worldwide and its easy to see why. They are absolutely beautiful with toned abs and winning smiles - I'd like to find any individual who doesn't want to look like them!
Not only that but they are truly genuinely THAT nice - you just need to add them on snapchat to see how happy and fun they are.

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They have therefore brought out a book, full of recipes, tips, tricks, workout ideas and general life advice. It's a bible of sorts - I have loved reading it from start to finish and can't wait until all of my house moving stuff has finished so I can get on with my 28 day challenge!

I was gutted to weigh myself the other day and find that I have put on 'more than a few pounds' so I'm planning on stepping it up a gear at the gym and reigning in my eating. It is so hard when trying to be sociable but keeping your diet in check, even at work there is a constant supply of cake and 'Friday treats' that I am sometimes force fed!

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With recipes and images that look like this how can you possibly not want to eat and drink healthy things like this?!
I love the recipes and cannot wait to try them all out, what I really liked most was that most days there are suggestions rather than a super strict menu plan that you have to follow - it's great to have that flexibility in your life.

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Each day has a particular food and recipe to try (only if you want to) and also a mantra and fitness challenge. This doesn't only feed your body and challenge your muscles but also addresses any self esteem issues by getting you to build up your confidence.

I always think you should treat the body as a whole package and balance mind body and soul so this book is perfect for that.
There's also a HUGE section at the back with seemingly endless workouts that I cannot wait to try out, they all have pictures and guides for doing it properly so you know you are in safe hands.

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This book is currently £14.88 for the paperback version that I have above, but it also comes in the kindle version for £9.49


What do you think of the Tone It Up 28 Days to Fit, Fierce and Fabulous book?

Do you love fitness plans like this? Do you need a plan to follow and tips and tricks to guide you?

I definitely need to put some structure back into my fitness regime and come up with some new diet ideas to keep me on the right track. These girls always look happy so it would be rude not to be infected by their happiness and zest for life wouldn't it??/

Hopefully in a few weeks I can get started and I'll come back with a full on review and progress report!


L xxx


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