Thursday, 22 September 2016

A Slim Boost Shot From Reviv, Leeds

I make no secret here on this blog of my love for food - I mean all you have to do is click on that little "Food & Drink" tab up there and you'll see some of the fabulousness I've had the pleasure of consuming over the years.

Food is simply amazing.

But then I also make no secret of expressing my struggles with trying to slim down, loose weight and stick to a healthy eating plan, especially since having Willow.

The two don't always go hand in hand and it can be really hard to find a balance that works.

It is especially difficult on the days when I've been up numerous times through the night with a grouchy, teething baby and then am actually "up-up" at 4.30am - seriously, by 8.30 a breakfast of overnight oats, a banana or a Mullerlight don't have quite the same "help me through this day" kick as a packet of chocolate digestives dunked in a bucket sized mug of coffee would have.

And then exercise - after days like the one above, a run would probably do me good...but all I want to do is squeeze in a hot bath between baby settling sessions and then clamber into bed.

Needless to say I'm finding being healthy harder than I used to and even when I think I've cracked it, when I think I'm "on it" - nope - here comes that takeaway order.


So when it does all fall into place and I'm back on plan, doing things properly, eating well and feeling good I really, really want to see a loss on the scales at my Thursday weigh in - just to keep me motivated for another week if nothing else.

And anything that helps me get this result is more than welcome.

So when Reviv in Leeds invited me along to their clinic to have a Slim Boost shot a few weeks ago I have to say I was really rather intrigued.

The Slim Boost shot is actually just one of many well being shots and IV hydration courses Reviv offer.

This particular injection contains a mix of vitamins, amino acids, B12 and fat burners - a combination which is put together to help boost energy levels, speed up the metabolism and, as well as make you feel better, when combined with a healthy diet and a regular exercise regime it could help with weight loss.

Hmmm, healthy eating and exercise - the two main components of Slimming World - this could actually really give me the boost I'm looking for...

And so, I arrived at the clinic...

...and was greeted by two very friendly and obviously very super health conscious members of staff who asked me to fill in a medical questionnaire and were then on hand to answer any questions that I had.

After this, I was taken into a small room and introduced to a lovely, very friendly nurse who would be the person giving me the injection.

She put my mind at ease straight away, clearing up any remaining queries I had before checking my blood pressure, enquiring about any allergies I had, explaining exactly where the injection would go - into the muscle at the top of my arm - and then making me aware of the potential side effects of the shot.

And then it was given.

And whilst it wasn't pleasant (what injections are) it didn't hurt too much really.

Then I left and that was that.

Until my side effects kicked in - nothing major let me quickly add - but my arm around the injection area was so sore and really achy for hours and hours after - it did fade eventually but the uncomfortable, heavy feeling lasted quite a while - longer than I was expecting anyway.

The next day that feeling had completely gone though and I found myself being extra aware of how I was feeling, looking for signs that the shot was working.

I can't say I noticed any sort of boost in my energy levels or anything but there were certainly times when after running up the stairs or from one room to another I could certainly feel my heart rate accelerating quicker than usual and I felt warmer a lot more too - things I can only put down to the shot working it's magic.

Admittedly my diet over the rest of that week wasn't particularly great but I actually still managed to loose a little bit of weight at my weigh in a few days later.

And I can't grumble with that.

I do wish I had eaten 100% to plan and worked out a little bit more now though, if for nothing else just to test the effects of the Slim Boost properly because if I had, I'm sure I would have seen even better results on the scales than I did - but I'm not complaining with what I got at all.

Like I said, anything that can help, even a little bit, certainly is a winner in my book.

I guess I now need to be on plan 100%, dust the exercise DVDs off and get a Slim Boost course booked in.

With all three combined, I wonder how fast I could get myself to my target weight...

* slim boost given free of charge - words, thoughts, pictures & opinions all my own 

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Fitness & Fashion Go Hand In Hand With BoohooFIT

Over the past few weeks - admittedly minus a few slip ups - I've slowly started to put a bit of effort back into my healthy eating/weight loss regime again.

I haven't lost a whole load of pounds on the scales as of yet but hopefully, with focus and dedication, that will come.


But whilst my eating is steadily getting back onto the track that I want it to be on I know I have a long way to go before my fitness levels reach anything near where they were pre-pregnancy.

At one point I was a two hour a night, six days a week gym bunny and then I moved onto street running...and then Spinning - I always did something.

However, whilst I've recently tried - and totally failed - at running again, the past nineteen months have included me taking part in next to no exercise at all.

And I really want to change this now.

I'm ready to do something about it.

I know I'm not going to step out tomorrow and run a marathon straight away - if anything, my confidence at the minute in my ability and my appearance wouldn't allow it anyway - so I've decided that I'm going to simply start off small, taking increasingly longer daily walks with the pram which I can then build up into jogs and then (hopefully) start to run again.

So I've decided it's the Couch to 5k route I need to be going down - start off steady and build up gradually.

But I'm going to need help.

And what could be better in way of help than looking fab and fashionable whilst I'm sweating it out?

It will certainly be a step in the right confidence boosting direction that's for sure - I mean when doesn't looking good make everything seem a whole lot better?

So when the ever popular Boohoo team set me a bit of a challenge - to find a fashionable fitness outfit from their Boohoo FIT range I couldn't wait to begin.

To be honest though, the only "challenge" part of this task was deciding what not to pick.

The choices were endless but in the end I settled for three pieces...

~ The cropped trousers will be ideal to team with my neon yellow running jacket...when I'm back at that level that is

~ The legging type jogging bottoms are ideal for the beginning stages of my journey when I feel like I need to cover up a bit more but still want to fancy myself up a bit
(the side leg detail is really pretty and really flattering too)

~ The vest is perfect - slightly baggy and longer at the front to cover up my Mum Tum, whilst still being loose and comfy allowing me to breathe...and it has such a brilliant exercise friendly slogan emblazoned across it too

And all for £30 - amazing right?

Oh and if that wasn't enough, everything arrived in a fabulous and very useful pink tote bag complete with a drinks bottle and mega useful hair tie

~ I feel fabulous.

~ I feel fashionable.

~ I feel fitness ready.

Job well done Boohoo, job well done

* items provided free of charge - thoughts, words & images all my own

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

The Magnificent Cirque Du Soleil - Manchester

Have you ever had one of those totally amazing experiences where, no matter how much time passes, you just can't seem to get it out of your mind?

Literally no matter what you do throughout the day it is always there, replaying over and over again.

~ No?

~ Yes?

Well, either way, if you do ever want to experience something so fantastic then you simply have to take the opportunity to be swept away in the magic within a Cirque Du Soleil show.

I have always wanted to go to see one and have heard such brilliant things from people who have been before, but even those amazing stories couldn't prepare me for actually being there, watching a show myself as a member of the audience.

I was very lucky to be invited along to the intu centre at Manchester's Trafford Centre last week to attend the opening evening (get me, eh!) of the mesmerising Amaluna performance.

And I still can not get the sheer brilliance out of my mind.

The evening began under the Big White Top Tent...

...where we schmoozed with the rich and famous - Sally Webster was seated just a stones throw away from me don't ya know - we drank prosecco and (ah-mazing tasting) Three Rivers gin...

...we ate popcorn and candy floss and nibbled on delicious canapes before we, very excitedly, took our seats...

It was all so breathtaking right from the very second we sat down - I would have adored being able to take hundreds of snaps of the night but I think by not being allowed to meant that I had the opportunity to be completely focused and swept away within the story...

The whole thing was simply majestic and the pure talent of the acrobats had us all in complete awe.

I was so glad I had the opportunity to enjoy it with my family too, especially my Grandma who loved it so much...

But as amazing and "we shall stick in your mind forever" the performances were, there was so much more to enjoy, to take in and to appreciate too - everything was just put together perfectly...

~ the story telling, right down to simple facial expressions, was executed amazingly

~ the live music and instrument playing strengthened the importance of the scenes without flaw

~ the very lovable, more pantomime type characters were so funny, so entertaining and very clever in that they drew attention away from the stage onto themselves for short periods, allowing the performers opportunity to set up the next acts discreetly.

~ the audience were included in the fun side of the show giving everything a more personal, more emotion-filled feeling

And I have to mention it again, but the the sheer talent of the performers was beyond anything I was ever expecting - I mean the things these people make look effortless is more than my mind could take.

~ It was all out of this world amazing ~

And if you don't believe me, check out the official video and see what the celebs thought...

I'm certainly a huge fan now anyway and I think I may need to try and get myself (and Charlie who couldn't make this show) back again before Amaluna leaves Manchester on 9th October.

Cirque Du Soleil - you have me hooked

* tickets provided free of charge - thoughts, opinions & photographs are all my own

Monday, 12 September 2016

OnRoundhay, Leeds - The Fab Festival's Continue...

Well, as much as I didn't want it to - the blog's taken a bit of a backseat over the past week and I am totally holding my drilling-into-his-own-arm Husband accountable for the set back.
(Silly boy - he'll do anything to get out of the washing up that one...)

But never mind - new week, new start, a whole load of new intentions and lots of lovely things to be looking forward to.

One such thing is the amazing sounding OnRoundhay Festival which, I'm very pleased to say, we shall all be heading on over to Leeds this Saturday (17th September) for.

It really does sound like it's going to be a lot of fun...let's just hope the rain holds off...

The event will actually be the first of it's kind - a festival dedicated to live music, food and family entertainment - to ever hit the park and it will be the first time in a whopping ten years that Roundhay have seen any form of live music at all.

One certainly not to be missed then.

OnRoundhay have managed to gather a very amazing mix of live talent for the event - there will be James, Primal Scream and Wolf Alice in attendance (to name just a few) and then, alongside these amazing acts, there will be a whole host of yummy delights courtesy of the John Lewis Food Court too.

~ Fabulous ~

And for myself, attending the event with two kiddies in tow (one who will be more interested in the grub than anything else!) having something around to keep them entertained is always going to be a winner.

There will be famous Puffin book character favourites dotted around, a few familiar CBeebies stars waving "Hello" and even sports day style races, lots of prizes and I think we may even see Spot The Dog walking about...

...I can't wait to see Willow's face when I try to take advantage of that photo opportunity...

The whole day looks brilliant and could possibly be the perfect end to a brilliant summer.

There are still tickets available for the day too if you're interested...
(find them here)

...oh, and under 12's go free!

Let me know if you plan to pop along - it would be great to say "Hi"

* a ticket will be given to me for letting you know about this event - words are my own. Images are not

Friday, 9 September 2016

Baby Baker Friday - Kidly & TOMS Are A Fabulous Combination

So as you know, I decided that Friday's on the blog would be dedicated to my pregnancy and my status of "Mum".

I know it's not something everyone wants to read about but it is something that I really wanted to do - so I'm doing it - after all, being pregnant and having two beautiful children is huge and I really wanted to share bits and pieces of what is going on in my life amongst these pages.

So here we go

~ Baby Baker Friday ~

Having little ones, there's never a day, an hour, a minute, even a second that passes by when you aren't worrying about something.

~ Are they eating enough?

~Are they eating too much?

~ Are they OK at school?

~ Are they making friends?

Anything and everything goes through your mind.

Even right down to thinking about their tiny little toes and worrying if they are getting all squished up inside of their shoes.
(Trust me, this is a huge worry for me - we don't want Willow's cute baby toes turning out "just like Daddy's"...eek...hehe!)

Seriously it is worry after worry a lot of the time, but that's what we are there to do us parents, we are the ones to pick apart each and every "problem", doing our very best to get rid of it with our little lovelies being none the wiser.

And this is why, at almost 11 months old, Willow doesn't really "do" shoes yet.

...that and the fact that I love seeing her tiny toes and fat, chubby feet as much as I possibly can of course.

But I know this whole baby barefoot thing isn't going to last especially with one of her next milestones to conquer being walking.

* introduces a very welcome, fabulous delivery from Kidly consisting of cute, baby footwear *

...a very lovely black crocheted piece of footwear, all detailed with lovely silver glitter at that...

...AND from TOMS too no less.

They are absolutely adorable - the oooh's & ahhh's when I opened the teeny box were at a crazy level let me tell you.

They are just so tiny.

It did take a few attempts to actually get them onto Willow's feet I must say but she had no idea what I was doing at first and once they were on she really seemed to love them...

There were no faces pulled or cries and struggles to pull them off which shows me that they felt comfortable to her - which is great - and as they have a velcro fastening it meant they were very easy to slip on and off - brilliant for me.

We really do love theses shoes and I feel they may have now started a little shoe collecting hobby within us...

But I suppose they aren't a bad way to start a collection off now are they

* item provided free of charge - thoughts, opinions & images all my own

Friday, 26 August 2016

Baby Baker Friday - Holidaying & A Bit Of Fleecey Comfort

So as you know, I decided that Friday's on the blog would be dedicated to my pregnancy and my status of "Mum".

I know it's not something everyone wants to read about but it is something that I really wanted to do - so I'm doing it - after all, being pregnant and having two beautiful children is huge and I really wanted to share bits and pieces of what is going on in my life amongst these pages.

So here we go

~ Baby Baker Friday ~

As you may have seen, we recently headed over to a very sunny and very warm Hornsea for our first holiday as a family of four.

It was really nice to do something different but I reckon before we went I had a way too positive and slightly unrealistic perception of what travelling with a little one would be like.

Don't get me wrong, having quality family time was really lovely but ooooh, being away from home with a small baby is a lot more hard work than I remembered.
(But all of that is a post for a later date!)

Or maybe it's just me being fussy - I am a person who likes to have all of her essentials close to hand.

But either way, something that I did find really helpful - just for my own sanity if nothing else - was having Willow well rested at night time after those long, busy days spent out and about.

I'm not entirely sure how I would have coped if she hadn't been able to have had a proper nights sleep.

And whilst I am very grateful to the owners of the cottage where we stayed for leaving us a travel cot to use (one which looked brand new too) to me, travel cots - the ones I have experienced anyway - never look like the most comfortable of things to be spending vast amounts of time in.

The mattresses are obviously made for ease of storage and foldability with comfort taking a slight backseat and I actually have no idea how any little one could manage a good nights sleep on one.

Luckily for me then, before we went away I was sent this Travel Cot Liner from The Junior Fine Bedding Company (fancy pants eh) to take along with me.

The Fine Bedding Company are known for providing some pritty super luxurious bedding items and have now decided that the little ones deserve some of this at bedtime too.

~ Fabulous ~

And after using it I don't think I can stress enough just how much the added luxuriousness helped us out.

The cot liner arrived all packaged up in it's own easy clean, easy carry case and was small, light and fit really easily into the car - I can't see how taking it abroad would be an issue either really, it's that portable.

And because of how compact it looked I was actually quite surprised with just how soft and fluffy it was when I opened it up...

Both sides of the cot liner are made from contrasting materials - the bottom is waterproof, non-slip and textured helping the liner stay fixed in place, whilst the top layer is a super soft, mega comfy polyester fleece.

It is absolutely perfect for adding some comfy cushioning to an otherwise fairly un-padded mattress.

And trust me, it worked like a charm.

Despite being in a strange place, in a strange room, in a strange bed, once I put Willow down for the night she slept soundly and I have to put the majority of this sheer magic down to her feeling super comfy and super cosy - she doesn't even sleep like that in her own bed at home.

Full thanks going straight to the cot liner for this.

It will certainly be coming with us on our travels in the future without a doubt - it's fab.

But if I had to find a negative - if that's what you would call it - I have to mention that the liner was a tad smaller than the cot we used so it didn't fully cover the whole of the mattress.

I placed it in the centre of the cot and once the bed sheet was covering it there was a slight dip at both the top and bottom of the mattress where the liner didn't quite reach.

Hardly the problem of the year and obviously it wouldn't even be present at all if the travel cot used was smaller and had the same 66cm x 99cm dimensions as the cot liner.

But even with this "issue" present, I found that Willow tended to stay on the comfy section throughout the night anyway - she's not daft that one.

This aside I have to say that the cot liner was pritty much perfect and it certainly did it's job for us.

I will be telling anyone I know travelling with teeny ones to pop this on their "Must Buy" list that's for sure and I'm going to be stocking up on a few of the other available baby bedtime items to use at home too...

A peaceful nights sleep is worth it's weight in gold after all

* item sent for review - all words, thoughts & opinions 100% my own

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Celebrating All Things Summer With Cotton Traders - #CTSummerDays

Although it's all too fleeting in it's presence these days, summer never fails to be amazing.

I always find that a little bit of warmth always makes everything seem just that little bit better.

And even if there only ever is a few of these lovely, hot days. one thing we sure know how to do here in Britain is to make the most of it.

There's plenty of garden-lazing, barbecue firing and ice-cream eating to be enjoyed - and enjoy it we do - probably because we never actually know when we will get another opportunity to do it - may as well jump in feet first and get as much out of it as we can.

And it seems that Britons throughout the years have always loved to throw themselves full force into the enjoyment when the lovely sunshine makes an appearance.

Cotton Traders carried out a little bit of research (full details here) and looked at the vastly differing summer traditions people had throughout the decades.

Whilst now, us, sat here in the present day may pop along to the races or have a barbecue at home, for people living in the 1950's it was a very different summer situation.

Picnics were the food of choice and everyone was very much in the post-war spirit with businesses beginning to flourish - in fact it was at this time that Butlin's was created, with over one million people holidaying there in the '50's.

And if you happened to be a '70's kid it is highly likely that you would have spent your summer months in the Mediterranean for the first time...watching the (then - not now!) highly fashionable Speedo being flaunted about...

~ Yikes ~

And so to really celebrate all of these differences and bring them together with what they really show - that we love to enjoy our summer days no matter the era we were born into - I was recently invited along, by The Cotton Traders, to Lambert's Yard in Leeds for a #CTSummerDays event with the rest of my family in tow.

The day was so much fun and the focus was very much on getting the kiddies involved in as many of the traditional summer fun things as possible.

We had a little bit of...

~ Hook-a-Duck...

~ deck chair lounging...

~ Kite making...

~ Hoola-Hooping & Bean Bag throwing...

~ yummy barbecue style food eating...

~ ice-cream making (& eating!)...

It was fabulous - a really lovely, fun day was had by all and there were smiles all round...

And whilst I brought along the oldest and the youngest children within the group, everyone was included - Willow enjoyed eating the duckies whilst Charlie enjoyed being all responsible and helping out...

The whole day was a real testament to the fact that the best and only way to really enjoy the summer that we do have is to get out there and have some good, "old-fashioned" fun with all of the family.

Nothing quite beats it

* event put on on behalf of Cotton Traders - all words & images 100% my own
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