Sunday, 25 May 2014

My Healthy Life Diary Week Two

I am a week in and feeling really proud of myself. It hasn't been a perfect week but I am still really pleased with some of my accomplishments.

My favourite part of the week has been keeping up with my exercise plans. I have stuck to the first week of the Race for Life plan with precision. Even on Wednesday, when my train was delayed for an hour, it took me two & half hours to get home from work, I was knackered, starving and fed up, and I still went out for my run when I got home. I know it sounds silly but I am so so proud of myself for this. That sort of thing is usually my downfall - I take any opportunity or excuse as a reason not to stick to my diet/exercise plans.

I have also been finding that sticking to my running schedule is helping me establish a work-life balance. I have a habit of staying late for the tiniest of reasons, and often miss trains because I just keep working. But now I have my running plan, if it's a running day I force myself out the door for the half five train so that I am home in time to run before dinner. Finally I am kinda chuffed with myself for having the confidence to get out there on my own. I have never run on my own before, I normally rely on my boyfriend to go with me but he has a bit of a dodgy knee and isn't sure whether to come or not. So I've been putting in my headphones and going out on my own - I actually quite enjoy it - it's 15 mins to myself and so nice to get the fresh air.

So to treat myself I bit the bullet and decided to get some running trainers today. My boyfriend was getting some to see if it improved things for his knee, so I bought some too. I got this pair from Decathlon in the sale for £25. They're not anything special but I didn't want to spend too much this early on - you know what my resolve is like. But I do love them - I love being someone who owns running trainers! Lets hope I keep it up!

So I guess what you're thinking is, OK so that's the exercise what about the food! Well the food hasn't been quite so good but has definately been much better than it has been. I got a bit screwed up with eating out twice this week. On Tuesday I was a bit gutted with how my meal out turned out. I had planned to go to Zizzi with a friend and had been really good - I went online, looked at the nutritional information for their menu and planned what I was going to eat in advance so I could stay within my diet. We then got to Zizzi and there wasn't a table available. We ended up at Cote Brasserie on their set menu - which sent me sky high above my calorie allowance! Now you know why I forced myself out on my run on Wednesday!

And finally Sunday wasn't too good either as we went out for chinese (I know eating out 2 times a week is not the best way to stay healthy) but we went out with my Grandmother. She has a favourite restaurant and we always go there, but mainly because the staff know her and are really good to her, so I don't mind going. I tried to limit my portion sizes but it still added a fair amount of calories - but I stayed true to myself and recorded it all in my Fitness Pal app. Overall I ended having an extra 1418 calories over the week which is over a day's extra calories. This isn't a great start but I am pleased with myself for keeping it all recorded rather than ignoring the bad days.

I did manage to lose 3 pounds this week (weighing myself before the chinese). I am really chuffed with this weight loss but am aware that this is probably a first week high. I will need to be a lot more controlled to keep an even weight loss.

Overall I am pleased with my first week, mainly on the exercise front. I need to try and get back on top of my food management. Will be hard tomorrow with a bank holiday bbq but we'll see how it goes.
Speak soon x

Sunday, 18 May 2014

My Healthy Life Diary Week One

So I have said it time and time again on this blog. I am going to get my life on track, I am going to lose weight, I am going to eat healthily yada yada yada...

Well here we go again. Only this time I am going to update you guys or the internet generally on a weekly basis. So I don't fail miserably on my blog again I am going to put a two week delay on my posts. So if you're reading this I am 2 weeks in - go me! 

Some healthy-ish snacks to get me started
So what is the reason for this sudden desire to be healthy? Well my clothes don't fit is the main reason. I had to buy some size 14 jeans last week just because I didn't have anything to wear. Now don't get me wrong there is nothing wrong with a size 14. There is however something wrong when a year ago I had slimmed down from a 14 to.a 8/10 and I've gone back the other way. Even ignoring the annoyance of working so hard to lose the weight, it's a pain in the butt having to re-buy bigger clothes having ceremoniously dumped them a year ago. 

Secondly, I know I have put quite a bit of weight on in the last 2 months. The weight had slowly been creeping back on since before Christmas, but in the last 2 months I have gained half a stone. This is mainly to do with a change in lifestyle - I took a temporary promotion for 2 months which turned out to be pretty full on! I was eating breakfast & lunch at my desk, snacking while I worked into the evening and going home for a later dinner - not a very healthy lifestyle at all! 

So now I am back in my old job, I'm expecting to have a much quieter life - not because the job is easy but by comparison it's not going to be nearly as intensive. I am therefore going to take the opportunity to gain a much better work-life balance - something I have never been very good at. 

To begin with I am focusing my aim on two things: healthy eating and doing more ANY exercise at all. To keep track on my eating I am going to be using the MyFitnessPal app. I've used this on and off before and intend to be quite strict with myself when I use it. For exercise, a colleague recommended using the training programmes on the Race for Life website - I am initially going to focus on the 5k jogging programme. Unfortunately, I won't be able to enter the Race for Life as we will be on holiday but maybe next year if I do manage to keep this up!

So I'll check in next week and let you know how I've been getting on. If you want to join me on this journey feel free to comment below, I'd love to have some company and we can support each other. 
Speak soon x

Monday, 3 March 2014

Getting back on track - join me for the next fortnight

So I haven't been around for a while. I decided to concentrate on getting my life organised and created a new blog to track my journey: The Red Head Organiser

But whilst I am slowley organising my house, my work and my life, my healthy eating has gone well out of the window. To the point that I put on nearly a stone over the winter and have done very little so far to lose it. Well in two weeks I am going for a spa weekend and am currently not prepared to wear my bikini.

So back to my blogging, I intend (and no promises I actually manage to keep up with this), to document my healthy living attempts for the next two weeks. So here goes....

I have been using the the MyFitnessPal app on my smartphone to track my food and exercise. Sometimes it is just depressing, other times it feels me with a very smug glow!

So today's entry into my kind of online diet diary is:

Food: Total 1532 calories (my Fitness Pal recommendation is 1380 calories)

Confessions: I bought some mini honeycomb chocolate squares from Marks and Spencer to have as a treat, unfortunately I ended up staying so late at work that I ended up having a second. Also by the time I got home from work I ended up having a glass of wine to unwind.

Exercise: As I left work so late I missed one of the direct trains home, so I ended up walking to a tube station a bit further away. In total I walked about 20min in heels - ouch do my feet hurt but according to my app I did at least burn 78 calories, which undoes some of my badness!

So there you have it, Day One, not a perfect day, but not too terrible either. Lets try again tomorrow, hopefully see you then xx

Monday, 26 August 2013

A fresh start

I need to get out in the countryside and take some time to relax while it's still sunny!
It’s time to start a fresh in my house. Our whole lives have been in disarray recently as we have got really busy at work etc. But we have just got back from holiday and we start again tomorrow. 

For me I have lots I want to get organised, one of these things is my blog. I’ve decided to make this blog more organised and intend to try to create a series of posts, rather than random posts here and there. 

With that in mind I thought I might do a weekly update, probably every Sunday of how our new organised lives are going, particularly my new intentions for my health and beauty regimes. 

So here we go, these are my aims for the next few months:

Get my weight loss back on track. Between July 2012 and April this year I lost two stone in weight, at which point I stopped and intended to maintain my weight. Since then I have put on at least 3 pounds (I say at least because I haven’t weighed myself post-holiday yet!). 

Resume our healthy eating habits. To get my weight back on track I am not going to be dieting per se but will be taking a healthy approach to our food and meal planning to get us organised. 

Relax more. This one is important, I am someone who throws myself completely into my work and my job is currently quite stressful. I need to learn to switch off and take the time I do have off to relax more. More walking, chilling out with a movie and long bubble baths are in order I think. 

To accomplish my goals I think I might need to tackle this a week at a time so here are this week’s goals:

  • Eat healthily this week
  •  Meal plan for the week and go shopping for healthy goodness tomorrow morning. 

Do you ever get to those times when you feel you need a kick-start? What is your best tip for getting back on track?

Keep Well

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Bicester Village Haul - July 2013

This week my mum and I went for a girl's day out to Bicester Village, a discount outlet shopping village in Oxfordshire - north west of London.

Bicester Village has high end designer stores such as Dior, Jimmy Choo, Mulberry, Prada as well as the higher end high street stores such as LK Bennett, Reiss, French Connection and Hobbs. There are some really good bargains to be had and lots of shops to browse.

I really do love the carrier bags...

Today I thought I'd do a simple haul blog post to show you the pieces I picked up and how much I saved at Bicester Village. This will hopefully be useful to some people and give you a good idea of what you can get at Bicester Village, how much you will pay and more importantly how much you will save!!

My first stop was Jaegar. I wanted to purchase a plain white top to wear with skirts for work. I paid £20 reduced from £50.

Staying with clothing I also picked up this jacket from Reiss. The tag had been taken off but I paid £53 reduced from about £150.


In Hobbs I managed to pick up two pairs of court shoes. They are the exact same design, one in a nude colour the other in a patent black. They should have been £165 each but I paid just £50 each.

In DKNY they had a selection of these handbags by the front door at a bargain price of £35, reduced from £130. Unfortunately, the cashier got a new one from their stock room wrapped in plastic and it wasn't until I got home that I realised there was a security tag attached in side.

In Michael Kors I picked up some sunglasses for £59 reduced from £90, which included your choice of either a hard or soft case.

And finally in Mulberry I picked up a Tillie French Purse in silky snake print. I paid £135, it was reduced from £270.

In total I saved over £600 at Bicester Village and picked up some gorgeous pieces at the same time. Of course they do not have current season stock, but I tend to stick to staples when I shop at Bicester Village. There are some bargains to be had and it's a lovely place to shop and have a day out.

Have you picked up any beautiful bargains recently?
Keep well

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Mulberry Somerset Tote

This is the last of my recently acquired handbags, although I'm heading to Bicester Village next week so we shall see how long that lasts.

This is my first Mulberry handbag and because I am a very lucky girl this was a birthday present from my Mum and Dad. I had no idea what my parents had bought me and my mum was quite mean when it came to wrapping - she decided it didn't need wrapping paper as the Mulberry carrier bag was sufficient (I have been obsessed with bags, including carrier bags since I was little!). Instead she put the Mulberry bag inside a giant Primark carrier bag and presented me with that instead.

When I opened it I was so shocked I had no way expected such an amazing gift. My dad, who was in a meeting at the time, got a rather garbled thank you voicemail message as a result!

So here it is, my first ever Mulberry... the Somerset Tote in Pebbled leather in Black.

It is in fact gorgeous. I love the shape because I can match it with a casual jeans and t-shirt but it sits equally well with a suit, blouse and high heels. It has silver hardware, which is fantastic - all my other black handbags have gold detailing. The handles are the right length to wear over your shoulder, even with a coat or suit jacket, or it sits equally comfortably in the crook of your arm.

The size of the bag is brilliant it fits so much in, it isn't quite a big as my Love Moschino (review here), but this is more of a handbag style and throw it all in type bag. It still fits quite a bit, I usually carry my Filofax, Kindle, big LK Bennett purse, my handbag kit, a water bottle, an umbrella, my makeup, my travel and building passes and my keys. It also has an adjustable strap on the sides to provide a bit more room, I have mine set on the middle setting.

The bag also has two pockets, one larger zipped pocket on the inside and one smaller zip pocket on the front of the bag. I haven't really used these yet but I'm sure they will come in useful if I ever use this for travelling, for keeping my passport safe for example.

Although it was a birthday present, I do know the price as it was on the tags which I always keep. My parents purchased this bag at the Mulberry store at Bicester Village at the beginning of April for £385, the original retail price of this bag was £550. This bag is definitely an investment piece, but you can tell the quality of the bag just by looking at it. It is by far the best quality bag I have ever owned and will easily last years. I can see that this will be a bag I hand down one day to my daughter/niece/granddaughter and will tell them how lucky I was to have wonderful parents like mine.

What was your favorite birthday present this year or do you have something on your wishlist?
Keep well

Sunday, 30 June 2013

DKNY Saffiano Quilted Black Tote Bag & Black Card Holder

Today's blog post is about the second of my new bags - a DKNY evening bag and matching purse. For those of you who don't know I am trying to build up a new collection of higher end bags. I decided I wanted to create a good solid collection that can meet all my needs without having to rush out to Primarni to find something for an outfit that evening. In building this collection I decided to use higher end products that would last and could maybe one day be passed onto someone special. Plus I'm enjoying my ever growing collection of dustbags!

When planning for a weekend away that would involve an evening out with friends, I realised I needed a simple evening bag that I could also throw in a suitcase. I wanted a small black bag that I could throw on my shoulder but also use as a clutch. I found the DKNY Saffiano Quilted Black Tote in the House of Fraser near my office.

It has two removable straps which allow you to use it as a clutch, a little shoulder bag and bonus a cross body bag too! Multifunctional items like this one are an excellent way to build up a collection to meet all your needs.

With the shoulder strap the bag fits neatly under my arm and I feel comfortable that the bag is secure, particularly in a overcrowded bar. With the longer strap the bag offers two options either as a long shoulder bag or a cross body bag. I haven't used the bag in these ways yet but I can see that it would come in handy at perhaps a friend's party where you need both hands free for your food and drink or would look elegant with a fancy outfit for a night out at the theatre perhaps.

The design is simple and elegant. The plain but beautiful black means it will go with everything and the gold hardware is a kind of muted colour, meaning I think you could get away with wearing this with silver jewellery without it being too obviously mismatched.There is a small DKNY logo on the front which is far from in your face but a quick designer name drop if you like that kind of thing (yes I admit I do!). The attached DKNY key chain is a bit more obvious but this is removable.

The size of the bag is just what you would expect from an evening bag with ample room inside for your evening necessities. To make a bit more room for myself I picked up the matching DKNY Saffiano Black Card Holder, also from House of Fraser, to use on evenings out. It can hold up to 5 cards and some cash - I carry my ID, a debit and credit card plus some cash and it all fits in fine. The clear card holder on the back is a great place to fit your ID so you can easily flash it if needed (an occasion that is happening less frequently for me now - not sure if this is good (less hassle) or bad (I'm looking older)). It's also nice to carry a matching purse and bag set.

Other than the purse I can fit my keys, my travel pass, a lipstick, powder and mascara. Not sure you need much else on a night out so it's a perfect fit. There is also a slip pocket on the back but I haven't really found a use for this yet.

Finally the price was not cheap but nor was it astronomically expensive. The handbag cost £89 and the purse £35. Whilst there are cheaper evening bags in the shops, I think this has the added benefit of having multiple options for wearing it. The bag also feels and is good quality and will definitely last for many years.

Do you have a go to bag for a night out or do you prefer to find a new one for each outfit?
Keep well
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