Monday, 30 March 2015

March Favourites 2015

Where has March gone? No, seriously, where? This year is seriously flying by too quickly, it’s freaking me out!

Panic. Panic.

OK, panic over. Let’s concentrate on my March favourites shall we?

The Body Shop Drops of Youth Serum £24 - I picked this up a while back at an in-store event, used it a few times then forgot about it. Since the start of the year I’ve been hell bent on using up what’s in my stash before buying new and eventually this little one found it’s way to the front of the drawer. I’ve been using it on my skin twice a day under my daytime and evening moisturiser and so far, so good. I’m not seeing huge results, maybe my skin is a little too young? It does however even out my skin tone a little and minimises my pores a touch. I’ll get to the bottom of the bottle and let you know!

Origins GinZing Revitalizing Mineral Make-Up £25 - I’ve been in the market for a new mineral foundation for some time now and after having a little play around with this one in-store moons ago, I went back and picked up a pot. I’m beyond impressed with this foundation. It evens skin tone, makes me look awake and refreshed, and blurs pores and imperfections. 

L’Occitane Pivoine Flora Beauty Cream £27 - I picked this up at the outlet for £13. It’s amazing. It smells like spring, absorbs easily into the skin without leaving and greasy residue and my skin is visible softer and smoother looking. I had some dodgy dry patches on my elbows and this has cleared them right up too! 

Jordans Porridge Oats - I usually always have porridge for breakfast, but it’s been a while since I tried a new brand other than Quaker Oats. Porridge is porridge really, it’s all about the toppings for me! Fruit, nuts, seeds, honey, even fudge makes it taste all the more amazing. The Jordans porridge makes for a really thick, not too creamy consistency which is just how I like it!

Cadburys Mini Eggs - Well, it is the season and all that! I love Mini Eggs, they’re my go-to treat for Easter, especially the really mini snack bags you can buy. They changed Cream Eggs too much for my liking so I’ll be doubling up on the Mini Eggs indulgence for at least a couple more weeks!

Nairns Oat Biscuits - Dark Chocolate - Light, crunchy and come in perfectly portioned little packets, what more can you ask for from an emergency biscuit? I always keep biscuits in my locker in work just incase I have to take an emergency tea break. Let’s face it, we’ve all been there, it’s late in the working day, the place is burning down all around you and you just need tea and biscuits, nothing else will put the fire out!

Trinity - Conn Iggulden - Second in the Wars of the Roses series, this has been my breakfast book for the last few weeks. I love historical fiction but usually, what I read is all about the ladies and the queens, the court drama, the romances and the scandals. Igguldens series focuses on the battles, the blood, the guts, the gore and the men. It’s a nice change and I’ve been really getting into it!

Map My Walk App (iPhone) - I used to go for walks on my lunch break. Then I stopped. In a bid to up my fitness game, I’ve started taking lunch time walks and I’ve been using this little app to track my walk, count my steps, how far I’ve gone and how many calories I’ve burnt. It’s great, it’s free and it does exactly what I need!

You’ve been loving…Rookwood Bar & Cue review

And I can’t say I blame you either! I put up a review of the fabulous Rookewood Bar & Cue this month and you guys have been drooling all over your keyboards over it! Their burgers are delicious, with innovative flavours and toppings. If you find yourself in the city then you need to stop by and try them for yourself!

What have you been loving this month?

Until next time, 

Sunday, 29 March 2015

#FitnessRevolution 40 Day Challenge - Week 6

Week 6

One week left folks! I cant believe it! It feels like we only started the challenge yesterday and now it’s all but coming to a close. We’ve got just one week left! I seriously don’t know what I’m going to do with myself without the daily exercise prompt, I need to start thinking about what comes next after the challenge is over!

Week 6 wasn’t my best week, I ended up buggering up my ankle then working a couple of late shifts that meant I couldn’t hit the gym or do as much as I wanted at home. I gave it the best with what I had so let’s see how I got on this week…

Day 34 - Stairs Only! - Working on the 4th floor and living on the 3rd floor means I have plenty of opportunity to take the stairs. More often than not, I jump in the lift so I’m trying to consciously head towards the stairs instead. No matter how many times I do take the stairs, it never seems to get any easier! But it’s better than not taking them, that’s for sure!

Day 35 - Ingredient of the week; chilli powder - I’ve been adding chills to more and more of my home cooking, especially pasta dishes. More often than not, I add too much but I’ve either gotten used to the kick or burnt off the nerves on my tongue! 

Chillies are great for giving your metabolism a kick and can help you burn off a few more calories, but above all, they just make your for taste pretty great!

Day 36 - Intervals - I took myself off for a walk on my lunch break, a good 25 minute walk in the sunshine and fresh air. it’s something I used to do a lot but for some reason, stopped. I’ve recently downloaded the Map My Walk app to keep track of my lunchtime wandering workouts, I’m hoping to make this a thing as long as it’s not raining!

Powered through a 30 minute total body yoga session and managed to twist my ankle. I pushed too hard through pigeon pose and screwed it up! Yoga can be dangerous!

As for the intervals…see day 40!

Day 37 - 3x15 sets with 60 seconds rest in-between; modified press ups - I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, my body is not made for press ups, even modified ones! My wrists and shudders always start to complain whenever I try! I made it through two sets but that was it!

Day 38 - Plank: Time held: 1:40 Last week I held for 1:40 too. I twisted my ankle on Wednesday and it hurt like hell, I’m surprised I even held for this long. 

Day 39 - #SaturdayChallenge; 1:30 of the following;
Sit Ups: 45 (previously 33)
Star Jumps: 68 (previously 73)
Jump Squats: 40 (previously 41)

I missed last weeks challenge and this week, thanks to a buggered ankle, I was reluctant to really throw myself into the moves. OH and it turns out, my star jumps are not, I repeat not star jumps. Since the first Saturday challenge I’ve actually been doing jumping jacks and didn’t realise until Corinne asked me how I’d managed to do so many, after some YouTubing and beating my head against a brick wall, I realised I’d be doing the wrong bloody move the whole time! 

Day 40 - Rest! My ankle was feeling much better today so I headed to the gym for what was suppose to be a light workout! I set the treadmill to time me to 5k, the first full 5k run I’ve done since sometime last year! I managed to hit the 5k mark at 35:59. It’s a starting point I’m hoping to improve on. I also did a 15 minutes total body on the cross trainer!

How did you do this week? What are your plans for after the challenge?

Yes, I realise this post hits the 40 day mark but the days have fell funny or something so there's still one week to go people!

Until next time,

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Home Decorating: Bringing the outdoors - indoors

Outdoors Indoors living room decorating

One of the things I've loved most about moving into my own place is the decorating. When it comes to living in a rented place, you want to get your stamp on it as soon as you can to start making it feel a little more like 'yours'. I got cracking before we even moved in, picking up bits here and there. 
The living room is probably where we both spend the most time, together and separately so it's the room that's the closest to being complete. I wanted to keep everything bright and airy, we have a huge window which lets in some great natural light, so I wanted to maximise this. I also wanted to bring the outdoors - indoors. Living in a city centre apartment, we don't have our own garden so I wanted to bring a touch of greenery and life inside.

Outdoors Indoors living room decorating

Have you ever checked out the canvas prints and art work from Next? The picture in the header and the one above are just stunning, amazing quality and a great price. The one in the header in particular, was easily my best buy in the January sales. Originally £80, I bagged it for £25! The one above came in at £20. I’ve got my eye on a few on their website for other areas of out home too. As we rent, we don’t want to go messing up the walls, so we’ve hung everything using Command Strips and let me tell you, those things are strong!

Outdoors Indoors living room decorating

I spent months trying to figure out what to do with the windowsill. It’s a huge space and the ledge itself goes back pretty deep. Then plants happened. 

Outdoors Indoors living room decorating

The one in the grey pot (pots was from TK Maxx, £4). Was a house warming gift that I accidentally killed, but it’s slowly coming back to life now! The pink toned pot is actually older than me. A friend bought it for my Mum close to 30 years ago! She wasn’t using it so kindly leant it to me! Thanks Mum! The plant, I think was called a Flaming Katie and was from B&Q for £6. 

Ah, now the Hendricks and Belvanie bottles you see happened by accident. I love the bottles themselves and they were just too good to throw away so I thought I’d try them out as little faux flower pots. Seen as though Hendricks is my favourite drink and the Belvanie is Mr’s drink of choice, it was only right to keep them on display!

Outdoors Indoors living room decorating

The bark wrapped tall vase (£8) and matching candle holder (£6) are both from Next. I love the outdoors/indoors pieces they have in at the moment. Actually, I just love everything they have in their home section, I want it all!

Outdoors Indoors living room decorating

Candles, candles, everywhere! both the candle (2 for £16 at Asda), plate (Yankee Candle years ago!) and tea light holder (£1.25 Yankee Candle Outlet) are all from Yankee Candle. This Honey Suckle candle smells exactly like my Mums garden in the summer!

Outdoors Indoors living room decorating

The large glass vase (£10) is, from…can you guess? Next. It was one of the first things I bought from the house, and though you can’t tell from the picture, it has a pink/purple hue to it when the light hits it, very subtle!

I’ve got my eye on a few more bits, including a large plant for a very empty looking corner we have, and some sort of birdhouse/bird cage to complete the windowsill. I still have my heart set on creating a bar cart too!

What does your living room look like?

Until next time,

Monday, 23 March 2015

Bretta & Co - Liverpool

bretta & co liverpool review

With a bunch of hungry girls in tow, I found myself wandering up Bold Street looking for somewhere we could have a little catch up over brunch. Just off Bold Street, I saw this little glass fronted place with a few tables and chairs outside. We wandered over, not knowing what we would find. We found Bretta & Co

Priding itself on casual style, fine food and an attached deli selling brands and produce found nowhere else in Liverpool, Bretta is fast becoming the place to be. Everything about it is Liverpool, even the wood used to fit the place out has been recycled from old Liverpool schools and churches, giving it a beating heart in the centre of the city. 

bretta & co liverpool review

We were immediately seated and presented with menus. The dining side of Bretta is bright and beautiful and you can just see into the deli on the other side. It has that strong independent vibe, inspired by the Lower Eastside of New York. We quickly ordered some tea and coffee, as well as a traditional English Breakfast. You can pick the individual items on your breakfast so we all had something just a little different. I opted for the 7 item breakfast (£7); 2 rashers of smoked bacon, 2 sausage, mushroom, black pudding and a fried egg. Toast was included so I went for brown bread. I also ordered a pot of green tea and squealed with delight when it arrived. See, a few of us ordered pots of tea, but instead of coming in plain little traditional tea pots, they came in these:

bretta & co liverpool review

How cute! Each and every tea pot was different, the owners must have had so much fun picking out all the different vintage tea pots to use. It’s little touches like this that really make me warm to a place.

Our food all came out quickly, everyone getting their full english exactly how they asked for it. The toast was really thickly sliced, nicely toasted and seeded on top with a side of butter. We had two slices each. My breakfast was delicious. Everything was cooked perfectly, I couldn’t have asked for more and there wasn’t too much fat on the bacon either. I’d have liked a few more mushrooms but that’s me being greedy. I polished off the lot and washed it down with two pots of tea. 

bretta & co liverpool review

What I loved most about our little trip was how off the beaten track this place was, meaning it stayed pretty quiet but those who came in seemed to be regulars. The only thing I regret is not going into the deli as we had to be somewhere, but I plan on making a trip especially soon!

Bretta & Co are more than just fine food. They specialise in offering wine, whiskey and gin tasting evenings too, as well as fine dining nights, business lunch deals, a pre-theatre menu and afternoon tea. They’ve got a lot going on that’s for sure! Personally, I want to experience their gin tasting evening!
bretta & co liverpool review

You can follow Bretta & Co @Brettaandco for event updates, experience evening and just tasty tasty looking food pictures!

What does your English breakfast look like?

Until next time, 

Sunday, 22 March 2015

#FitnessRevolution 40 Day Challenge - Week 5

Week 5

With week 5 now well and truly behind us, we have just two weeks left of the challenge! I can't believe how quickly it's flown by and how far we've all come! I was convinced I was going to fail this challenge somehow but now that we can see the finish line I'm more determined than ever to push myself and cross it with a bang!

Let's have a little look at week 5 then shall we?

Day 27: Weight Training 3x10 reps with 1.5kg (beginner); bicep curls, shoulder presses and tricep kickbacks. 

I really want to buy some home weights. I tried out the reps with a bag of flour but it wasn't completely full and I was convinced I was going to drop it and really didn't want to have to clean that mess up! I really need to start incorporating weights into my fitness routine as I have really weak upper body strength! 

Day 28: Avocado - I love avocado, but only in smoothies! I can't eat it, something about the texture just doesn't sit right in my mouth at all! I put together a new smoothie this week for St.Patricks day;

  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 mango
  • 1 kiwi
  • 1 banana
  • big handful of spinach
  • 1 cup coconut water
Blend till smooth, it's refreshing and delicious!

Day 29: 30 minutes interval training. I went to the gym last night and did my interval training, the usual run/speed walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes, with a 20 minute total body on the cross trainer thrown in too! 

Day 30: 3x15 sets with 60 seconds rest in-between (intermediate) ; lateral raises, back bows and donkey kickbacks. 

The lateral raises made me realise how much I neglect to do any upper body/arm/weight training exercises. I focus mostly on cardio and yoga and as great as they are, I'm not targeting every area of my body. They were hard and my neck wasn't too happy afterwards. Back bows were not much fun either and hurt my lower back but I survived the donkey kick backs!

Day 31: Plank. Time held: 1:40! Last week I held for 1:23 so it's a clear improvement. They say you should see at least 20 seconds improvement each week so hopefully I will surpass 2 minutes by the end of the challenge? That's my goal!

I also did a 30 minute total body yoga routine! It was a killer but I felt great afterwards, I even tried side planking but I'm not strong enough to hold myself up like that yet!

Day 32: #SaturdayChallenge. 1:30 of the following
Sit-ups: (33)
Star Jumps: (73)
Jump Squats: (41)

Fail. I was really busy all day on Saturday and completely forgot about the #SaturdayChallenge. 

Day 33: Rest!

I've been so tired all day today and feeling really under the weather. I was hoping to do my #SaturdayChallenge today but I had a late night last night and woke up with a really scratchy sore throat this morning. I did manage to do a 30 minute slow yoga/meditation video which was so soothing and relaxing, it was all I could manage!

Also, this week an amazing hamper was sent to me by DWFitness as a thank you for taking part in the challenge and to keep us going through the home stretch. It was filled to the brim with lots of fitness goodies that I can't wait to try!

#FitnessRevolution 40 days of fitness DWFitness

How did you do this week?

Until next time,

Friday, 20 March 2015

Lush Ultrabland Facial Cleanser

lush ultrabland facial cleanser for oily skin

Back in my February Favourites I mentioned the Lush Ultrabland Facial Cleanser. I was still on the fence when I wrote that post, but what side am I on now?

Ultrabland is one of those holy grail products I’m told is a must try by too many people to ignore. I’ve heard and seen some amazing results from this facial cleanser so I was pretty eager to give it a go.

Based on an Ancient Greek recipe for cold cream, Ultrabland is a simple yet effective formula that gentle removes excess dirt, make up and grime without damaging your skin. This ultra gentle facial cleanser with a rich, oily texture, is designed with all skin types in mind. It’s ingredients include rose water to calm and soothe, almond oil for hydration, beeswax to remove grime and make up, honey to treat spots and acne, and an aromatic iris extract. Sounds pretty delightful doesn’t it?

I love Lush, and I love how about 99% of their products smell, unfortunately Ultrabland falls into that tiny 1% of less than pleasant fragrances. Let’s not beat around the bush here, it smells like a mixture of over-used playdoh and stale beer.

The product itself is very thick, greasy and oily to the touch and stays so after applying it. It sits on the skin very thickly. To use, you apply the product, about a 10p piece sized blob, directly onto dry skin. I’d recommend you remove your make-up first as this barely budges my waterproof mascara. Apply in circular motions, massaging your face gently. I’ve found it’s gentle enough to use around my eyes too. Try not to pull too hard on your skin, I found I was doing that in the beginning so consciously went a little slower. Once you’ve massaged it around your face, take a hot cloth, preferably not a muslin cloth as it’s just not effective enough, use something more like a flannel. Soak and wring out the cloth, then remove in a circular motion. 

lush ultrabland facial cleanser for oily skin

I find that once I’ve removed the product from my face, I can still feel a sticky, thick residue left behind so I splash my face with 2-3 handfuls of cold water before patting dry.

I really can’t stand the feeling of this on my skin, sorry! It’s just too thick and oily. 

But, I have to forgive it. I have to.

I used Ultrabland for about 3 weeks every evening, then stopped for a week. Within two days my nice, clear skin, was not so nice and clear any more. I started to get spots along the jaw line, chin, cheek and nose. I also started to get redness around my nose again and more visible pores. It had nothing to do with hormones either.

I brought Ultrabland back into my routine and almost overnight I noticed a reduction in both redness and spot size. Within a week, my skin had gone back to it’s happy little Ultrabland cleansed self. 

I’ve been told by other bloggers than Ultrabland is one of those products you have to give time. I guess not many people actually like it that much for the first few uses. I’ve got to say, as much as I don’t like the consistency, texture or smell, I love the results I’ve been seeing, so the good far outweighs the bad!

Would I recommend it? Yes. Hold your nose as the smell, grit your teeth at the consistency and just bare with it. There’s a reason this is one of Lushs’ best sellers and all round desert island products. If you’re ready to drop the chemically created cleansers then Ultrabland is a good place to start!

You can purchase a 45g pot for £7.25.

Have you used Ultrabland? 

Until next time,

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Fallen Skies - Philippa Gregory

Fallen Skies - Philippa Gregory Review

Lilly Valances childhood was completely over shadowed by the events of World War 1. Going into her adult hood, she is determined to not be affected by Post war Britain. Britain has changed; it’s people, its ways, everything about the country is different and Lilly is ready to embrace that as she takes centre stage in the pursuit of stardom and fame. 

Captain Stephen Winters, haunted by the war and desperately clinging onto a Britain that no longer exists is desperate for an escape from the nightmares that plague him every time he closes his eyes. Lilly captivates him, her purity, her innocence and how totally untouched by the War she is, he knows she can save him.

Lilly is swept off her feet by the well-to-do, well mannered, handsomely decorated Captain but it isn’t love, no, her heart has been captured by music director Charlie, who lives with his own war-demons. He loves her but he can’t love her so he forces himself to stand in the shadows as Captain Winters pursues her feverishly. 

After a personal tragedy, Lilly finds herself suddenly married and forced into Stephens upperclass family with their upperclass ways. Though drawn to Stephens wealth and status, the man behind closed doors is not the man who pursued her through the dance halls of London, who wined her and dined her at The Ritz and promised her the world. Stephen wants one thing from Lilly, he wants to forget, and he will have her erase those painful war memories at whatever cost.

But it’s not only the war that plagues Stephen. His family home is silent, haunted by ghosts of the past, an invalid father upstairs and a grieving mother in the parlour. The house is very much set in its ways of being proper and sophisticated. In a bid to break free of the restraints of upperclass life, Lilly breathes life into the home, bringing with her, her lower class attitude and ways, he life loving laughter and pitch perfect singing voice. But the sun doesn’t shine for long over the Winters home and before long, the family is swept up in another tragedy as Stephens temper and nightmares grow out of control, the whole family are brought tumbling down as he wages war on them and their happiness.

I’m a huge Gregory fan and always excited when I come across one of her books I’ve not read. Fallen Skies was on offer a while back on the Kindle store so I downloaded a copy and delved deep into the roaring twenties. The book had me hooked from the start, Lilly is a young but determined character who starts out so naive, as she should be for her age and sheltered upbringing. Like her mother, we want what’s best for her, we’ve had a glimpse into what Stephen is really like and we desperately want her to run, we know what she’s getting into but she is blinded by his wealth and her own grief to see so clearly. 

The plot moves a long nicely, with flashbacks to Stephens time in Belgium and the terrible things he saw during the war. Though he’s the antagonist, we can’t help but feel sorry for him. A childhood overshadowed by a ‘perfect’ older brother, Stephen has always been outcasted by his family. Forced to go and fight in a war he had no interest in, he wanted simple things from life but his families status, ideas and later grief meant all his own personal dreams were simply pushed aside. You want to hate him for the things he does throughout the course of the novel but at times it’s hard, he is simply a product of his upbringing an experiences and cannot help himself at times.

Lilly grows through the book from a naive little poppet to a strong, independent woman desperate to break free of social constraints. She’s headstrong, knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to break rules and defy her husband to get there. She was just a little too perfect for me, but I can forgive that.

I’ve read a lot of comments on the pacing of the novel and have to say, while it moves along swiftly, it does drop off somewhere in the middle and wades around for some time. It picks up again towards the end but spends a little too much time on repetitive scenes and conversations when you just want the action to keep moving forward. The ending was expected and pretty poignant, I knew early on how it would likely end but that didn’t spoil it for me. I would have really liked an epilogue though. 

What I love most about Gregorys work are the details She brings to life the 1920s with period references and touches, you can always tell the time period she is writing about has been thoroughly researched and it’s gives great insight into that period of time. 

Have you read any novels by Phillipa Gregory?

Until next time,

Monday, 16 March 2015

Rookwood Bar & Cue - Liverpool

Rookwood Bar & Cue Liverpool Review

Last September The Bro and I went to the Liverpool Food & Drink Festival. One of the best stalls we visited on the day was Rookwood Bar & Cue. The 4oz flat iron steak with mushrooms was delicious and from that point on we both vowed to go to the actual restaurant and get more than just a taster. OK, it took us close to 6 months to get there, but we did! A couple of weeks ago on a rainy Sunday afternoon Mr and I took The Bro off to Rookwood Bar & Cue for an early birthday treat.

Hidden just off Bold Street (behind The Fact), Rookwood Bar & Cue prides itself on offering not only drool-worthy dishes, but all of their offerings are made from locally sourced meat and produce. They have strict rules when it comes to their steaks for example, all their steaks are from free range grass fed cattle from farms within 30 miles. All their beef is rare-breed and dry-aged for 28 days in a Himalayan salt chamber - the only one that actually exists in Britain. 

These are not your average steaks and burgers, that’s for sure!

Rookwood Bar & Cue Liverpool Review

I went for the Bacon’Bad, their signature Walter White tribute burger; cheese burger with homemade BBQ sauce, extra mature cheddar, crispy onions and bacon. The burger itself was huge. After much Yoga-ing of the mouth to fit it in there (oh behave!), I finally took a bite and damn, it was good! The burger was cooked medium and filled with burger dripping and juices that were so full of flavour. Cooked on a grill it had that unmistakable smokey favour, with a hint sweetness that was only amplified by the homemade BBQ sauce. Every bite was better than the last. The brioche bun was fresh, lightly toasted and the burger salad was crisp, no limp lettuce here! Even the side of fries had something special going on. They were thick but crispy, just how I like them, and cooked in beef dripping -  no, I’ve never heard of that either but it works, and they weren’t even greasy!

Rookwood Bar & Cue Liverpool Review

The boys both went for the Fat Spanish Waiter; beef burger topped with chorizo sausage, Manchego cheese, Serrano ham, crispy onions and a smoked garlic and chipotle mayonnaise. Again, there was no skimping on the portion sizes and theirs were just as big, if not bigger than my burger. Both boys devoured their burgers without even looking up until the tray was clean. I had the tiniest bite of one and it was just as good as mine, if not better. I love chorizo with burgers and it complemented the smokiness of the burger perfectly.

Then, they asked if we wanted dessert. ‘Just a look’ I said, my stomach already pretty full, but after seeing what was on offer, well, I managed to find a little room to squeeze in some dessert. I went for the Redberry & Lemon Eaton Mess, and The Bro picked the Dark Chocolate, Orange and Walnut brownie. When it comes to who won, it was easily a tie!

Rookwood Bar & Cue Liverpool Review

My Eaton Mess was easily one of the best I’ve had. SO much cream, meringue chunks, lots of berries and lashings of sauce as well as a side of vanilla ice cream, all presented on a slate tile. I finished every last crumb of meringue, it would have been rude to leave anything behind. It was rich in flavour but light on my stomach and the berries tasted cool and fresh. 

Rookwood Bar & Cue Liverpool Review

Of course, in the interest of blogging, I had to have a bite of The Bros brownie too and one bite just wasn't enough! I adore chocolate orange anything and this was just divine. The brownie was firm on the outside but soft in the middle, bursting with flavour and extremely rich. 

For a Sunday afternoon, the place was pretty quiet but it had such a relaxed and chilled atmosphere, with soul favourites playing in the background, not too loud so we could chat and catch-up. The place has that distinct ‘pop-up’ feel, with exposed brick, hanging bulbs, bare boards and storage containers, it’s such a laid back, comfortable place. They have a great selection behind the bar, including lots of locally brewed beers and ales from the Liverpool Organic Brewery. They have an impressive selection of cocktails too that I need to go back and sample, in the interest of blogging of course!

Whats the most unusual burger you’ve ever had?

Until next time,

Sunday, 15 March 2015

#FitnessRevolution 40 Day Challenge - Week 4

Week 4. 

Blimey when did that happen? We’re officially past the half way point in the #FitnessRevolution challenge! Yay us! I mentioned last week that I’d fell off the wagon somewhat but I’m happy to report that I’ve jumped right back on the track and this week has actually been pretty good! I’ve done a couple of gym sessions, and been working out much more at home too! Let’s crack on and see how week 4 went then shall we?

Day 20: Stairs only! (Minimum 10 flights) - I admit I didn’t take the stairs every chance I got today. I live on the third floor and work on the 4th floor, and today was the day I chose to wear new shoes to work. I also have to walk 20 minutes up hill to get to work in the first place. My feet were ruined from the start, blistered, rubbed raw and killing me, so much so I couldn’t even go to my Zumba class. Lesson learnt: break the shoes in first! I took the stairs a few times, mostly once I was home and could take those damn torture devices off! 

Day 21: Quinoa - Never tried it! I was suppose to add it to the shopping this week and completely forgot! I’ve seen lots of lovely Pinterest meals involving quinoa, though I have no idea what it tastes like, it looks pretty photogenic. 

I went to the gym tonight. 20 minute glut blaster on the cross trainer, then 30 minutes interval on the treadmill, walking at 3.5mph and running at 6mph, both for a minute each. 

Day 22: 30 minute interval training - See yesterday! I like going to the gym on my set days as it keeps me in a routine, so I did a 30 minute interval last night! 

Day 23: Ab Challenge; 10 sit ups, 10 crunches, 10 bicycle crunches and 20 Russian twists. - I love crunches. I used to be addicted to them years ago, crunching out 200+ a day but I was deterred when I saw zero results. I didn’t know diet and regular exercise went hand in hand back then, ah if only I knew, i could have a 12 pack by now!

I didn’t struggle too much with the crunches but the Russian twists were pretty intense! I’ve also started doing 10 crunches during the ad breaks if I’m watching tv.

Tonight I went to the gym! 20 minute total body on the cross trainer, working at level 5, then a 30 minute interval session on the treadmill; 3.6mph walking, 6.1mph running at 1 minute each. I set my incline to 1.5% too. 

Day 24: Plank! Time held: 1:23! Last week I held for 1:04. Finally some progress! After the #FitnessRevolution challenge is over I think I'm going to try and do a 30 day plank challenge to really build on my time. During the #FitnessRevolution chat this week someone said the record for a plank was 4 hours! Right now I'd be over the moon if I could hold for 4 minutes!

Day 25: #SaturdayChallenge 1 minute challenge;

Jump Squats: 41! Blimey I think that's a fluke! (32 last week)
Sit ups: 33, I seem to have reached a peak with my sit ups! (33 last week)
Star Jumps: 73, it's more than last week so I'm happy with that! I was aiming for 80. (71 last week)

Day 26: Rest Day! I do plan on doing some Yoga tonight, just a slow 20 minutes or so, but at the time this post went live, I'd had a pretty restful day; I baked cookies!

How did you all do this week? Have you started to see an noticeable difference in your fitness levels or physique? 

Until next time,

Friday, 13 March 2015

Stackers Jewellery Box by LC Designs

stackers jewellery box review

Chances are you’re going to be heading into town tomorrow to pick up a last minute Mothers day gift, hey, don’t feel bad, we’ve all been there! Mothers day just seems to creep up out of nowhere and suddenly you’re queuing to get into Pandora, fighting over the last bunch of Tulips and spending half an hour in Thorntons wondering if Mum will prefer the milk collection or the dark. 

My mum prefers their fudge selection if you must know.

Mothers day. The day we get to give our mums, or those special women who are like a mum to us, an extra hug, maybe make them a brew, offer to cook tea and even do the washing up afterwards. We want to make a fuss of these special ladies, and so we should! I know I’d be lost on a daily basis if it wasn’t for my mum! She’s my rock, my conscience, my anchor and above all else, she’s my mum. I only get one, I only want one and I love her to bits. (Hey Mum, I get brownie points for getting all cheesy don’t I? I know you’re reading this!)

With all of that in mind, may I present to you my one idea for a last minute Mothers Day gift that is sure to put a smile on her face.

stackers jewellery box review

Stackers. How often do you buy your Mum something shiny and sparkly for Mothers day? Christmas? Her birthday? Is her jewellery collection rapidly expanding as the grandkids start to buy her sentimental charm bracelet beads that she can’t possible wear all at once as much as she wishes she could?

Stackers has the answer. For the ever growing, size varying jewellery collection, only an expandable, customisable, personable jewellery box will do. Stackers allows you to build your jewellery box from the ground up, picking compartments that suit the need of the user perfectly.

Take mine for example. Mr bought me a Stackers collection for Christmas and, knowing I had lots of earrings, glasses and no safe place to keep my charm bracelets, he chose the right compartments to house my small shiny collection. 


stackers jewellery box review

On the bottom I have my glasses stored all neat and safe in these three deep wells. These are also perfect for larger pieces, i.e bangles or watches, as well as pieces that you want to keep in their boxes.


stackers jewellery box review

Up a level and we come to the earrings! I love studs, they’re the only earrings I wear, but I’m forever loosing one or a back. This middle section is split into 25 individual sections so each pair of earrings not only has it’s own home, but I can see them all clearly and it makes picking a pair out so much quicker and easier!


stackers jewellery box review

The top section also includes the lid to complete the finished look. Inside, there’s two long slimline sections for necklaces and 5 square spaces, perfect for wrap bracelets or those with a little less rigidity to them. To finish it off, there’s a cushioned ring section that could easily fit 8-12 rings depending on your size and style. 

There are multiple colour combinations to choose from so you’re easily going to find one that matches your Mums dresser and taste, and varying sizes too for the bigger or small collections. I adore the travel Stackers, perfect if you’re Mum likes to take her jewellery away on holiday! They also have additional pieces like bars you can fit to display excess charms from charm bracelets, or you can purchase a Stackers system that’s for nothing but charms! I know my Mum could do with that particular system!   

You can purchase Stackers from John Lewis - they sell them in-store so you won't have to worry about it not arriving in time for Mothers Day! Check them out online here first!

stackers jewellery box review

What will you be buying your Mum this Mothers Day? 

Until next time,