Friday, 10 August 2018

5 Tips for Calorie Counting Diets

If you’re anything like me and struggle to ‘diet’ because of your love of food, you may have taken to the calorie counting way of eating and are beginning to just start taking more notice of the foods you’re eating, rather than starving yourself daily and binge eating at the weekends! Calorie counting works for me because I know that I’m in control of the food I eat and it means that if I still want a doughnut, then I’ll plan it into that days’ calories and take a hit on everything else I plan on having and make better choices for the rest of my meals (usually filling up on vegetables at dinner instead of potatoes or pasta). 

Of course, calorie counting isn’t for everyone and sometimes, calorie counting alone isn’t going to help you lose weight or achieve fat loss, everyone should be doing some form of exercise to increase their weight-loss and overall general health and of course, if you are, you’ll see the difference a lot quicker than you would without the exercise. So, if you’re looking into a calorie controlled diet or you’re doing it already and just want some tips, then carry on reading! 


1 - Get a calorie tracker if you haven’t already! App’s like MyFitnessPal and Lose it! make it really easy to keep track of your calories and macros (if you’re tracking those too) and means that you can input regular meals so that it’s easier in the long run to see what you’re consuming.  

2 - Make everything from scratch instead of buying pre-made meals. Even though buying pre-made meals may seem like the easiest way to track your calories, you won’t be getting the goodness from the pre-made stuff that you would if you were to make things from scratch. Vegetables and Fruit don’t have that many calories in and so you know you can eat pretty much as much of these as you like without going too far over your calories but using sauces or jars that are pre-made will up your calories significantly! Be savvy when you can and cook things at home! 

3 - Be cautious of eating out; Most places should have a nutritional guide to hand for anyone who requires the dietry information of the meals, places like Wetherspoons have their calorie information actually on the menu so if you’re heading out, either look on the net first to see if their nutritional info is on there or ask as soon as you arrive to know what is open to you. You don’t have to go without, just be mindful of what you’re eating. 

4 - Try not to ‘drink’ your calories; A lot of people won’t realise when it comes to calorie counting that they may well be going over their allowance just by drinking their calories. Drinks such as pre-made smoothies, juices, fizzy drinks, energy drinks and Coffees will be packed full of calories without you realising. If you’re looking to drink smoothies then make them yourself at home using water and low-fat milk to save on the calories and use a juicer or smoothie maker to make your own. You can get some fab deals on MyJuicer so if you browse online and take a look, doing this won’t only save your calories but will save your pennies too! 

5 - Don’t be too hard on yourself. Dieting is tough and we all fall off the wagon every now and again but it’s important to know that everything is fine in moderation. If you want a pizza on Friday, have a pizza but remember to be mindful of what you eat for the rest of the weekend and don’t overindulge too much - you aren't going to put half a stone on just from one meal. Dieting is a hard task for most of us and it’s all about mindset, once you get that balance between thinking and eating then you’ll start to see amazing results! 


The above image shows you just what 100 calories looks like an how deceiving it can be to think that you know what certain foods contain but if you’re looking for low-calorie snacks, I wrote a post including some of my favourites and you can read it here. 

One of the most important things to remember when it comes to any diet, but especially calorie counting, is that the thing that always works is following the calories in vs. calories out module. As long as you’re burning off more than what you’re consuming, you’ll be on track to lose weight, this is why exercise is important. The average person will burn around 1600 calories a day regardless of what they do but if you add an hours exercise on top of that, you’ll be looking at burning an additional 400-700 calories which means you’re burning off more than you’re eating. It’s a hard thing to understand so make sure you’re tracking your calories as well as you can and everything else will follow. 
(Sponsored post)

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Leesa Mattress Review + Discount code

*Sponsored post - I was kindly gifted this mattress by Leesa*

If you’re a sleep lover like me, you’ll know that the moment you get into bed is one of the best moments of the day! We’ve been desperate for a new mattress for about 3 years now, since moving out of the flat into a smaller house and then again a year later, it was evident that we really needed a new bed not just for comfort but because it had been a good 7 years since we got our old one! It’s had a lot of use, not to mention all the bouncing Millie has done over the last 4 years... There are tonnes of mattresses out there so why choose Leesa? 

Leesa approached the problem of sleep, or lack of for some people, and wondered how they could change this with the mattress being the main focus. The Leesa mattresses are a completely redesigned mattress, not your normal memory foam or spring, it is made with ‘Universal Adaptive Feel’ that helps the mattress to adapt to everyone - all body sizes and shapes and better still, it’s great for couples as it adapts to each partner and their needs! For Me and Adam this is perfect as I’m a side sleeper and he’s a back sleeper so it means I’m not rolling into him during the night! 




The connivence of buying the Leesa mattress is amazing and there is no hassle at all, as they are an online only company, their customer service is impeccable and they offer everyone a 100 night guarantee so you can really try out the mattress for your own needs and if you don’t feel like it’s right for you, simply send it back and get your money back! The mattress is delivered straight to your door too, quite literally! I came home one day and it was sat at our back door waiting for me, perfect! It comes vacuum packed and boxed ready to setup so simply take it to the bedroom and do your thing...

I managed to get the box upstairs on my own and had it setup in minutes so don’t worry about the weight of it if you live alone, if I can do it then anyone can! Just open it up, lay the mattress on the bed frame an open the plastic with scissors! You’ll soon notice that it starts to expand and it’ll fill your bed frame within a few hours. It’s encouraged that you don’t lie on it for at least an hour to let it expand fully but we left ours for a few hours before we tested it out! 

Leesa mattress coming out of box on the bed

With sizes that go right upto Super King, there’s definitely something for everyone and they even do duvet sets too which also come with a 75 night trial guarantee and better still, when you buy the Leesa sheet set a portion of each sale also goes to 42nd Street, a charity that supports young people with their mental health and emotional wellbeing - Leesa gives back to those who need it most, not just those who need a decent night sleep! 

Stats recently have shown that approximately 3500 people sleep rough every day in England, so Leesa donate one custom-made mattress to organisations for every ten that are sold and they help and support the homeless and vulnerable men, women and children. With over 30,000 mattresses donated already, you can support their work and help to make up another bundle of 10 so that 1 can be donated. 




We’ve never really had problems with sleeping but I do have issues with my back and the Leesa mattress has definitely helped with my back pain an has made sleeping so much more comfy, with the help of a lighter duvet cover too, the way the mattress moulds rather than sinks like spring mattresses makes getting comfy at night quicker and easier! With bed invaders in the morning too, it means that once Mylo and Millie have claimed their space, we’re not all bouncing around trying to stay still and get comfy, the mattress supports us all and even means we can get another 5 minutes of shut eye! 

The Grey and White design of the mattress is flawless and chic, it’s modern without being too over the top and the quality is amazing! I’ve never had a mattress like this and I know that I won’t ever have one the same (until we get a new Leesa in 8 years time) but it really does pay for what you’re getting! Some people may worry about the cost of a mattress like this but with different payment options and plans, it means that it’s available to everyone and is easy on the bank balance too! You can also get £100 off your Leesa mattress using my unique code NOTYOURAVERAGE 

Theres no better feeling than knowing youre going to get a good night sleep but youre also helping someone else get one too! 

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

In The Night Garden LIVE! Review

If you have children, the name Iggle Piggle will be very familiar to you and you might even wince when you hear them however, Iggle Piggle is much loved in our house by both kids and even so, by us! Many a nights where it has come to 6:30pm and we’re literally counting down the minutes until bedtime, ‘In the Night Garden’ has saved us and given us the last 10 minutes of sanity needed until it’s time to go to sleep! 

In the Night Garden LIVE is a live, character filled showing of the much loved TV programme, with all the kids’ favourites including Makka Pakka, The Tomliboos and even Iggle Piggle and Upsy Daisy right there in front of you - 2018 sees the last of these shows though so if you want to go, you need to be quick and get your tickets fast! There are still tickets available for the Manchester shows until 19th August 2018! 

In the Night Garden LIVE


We went to the Birmingham shows that were held in Cannon Hill Park, the show itself is set in a huge Showdome which has snacks and drinks available to buy, a buggy part and an area for meet and greets after the show! It’s a layered theatre and seats are tiered benches meaning kids have enough room to crawl and walk about if they get bored. It’s fully air-conditioned too so don’t worry about getting too hot and there’s lots of shade to hide under when you’re waiting to go in. 

The show lasts for an hour with a quick start so that the children don’t get bored. There are sing-a-longs and stories told throughout and you can choose between a few different showings depending on who your favourite characters are! We went for ‘Makka Pakka washes faces!’ and Mylo loved it! 

In the Night Garden LIVE


The characters themselves are used in different ways so there are life sized characters including Makka Pakka, Iggle Piggle and Upsy Daisy and then there is also a puppet version of Makka Pakka, The Tomliboos and The Pontipines to give the comparison of sizes between them all (something I never quite understood when watching the TV programme). The puppets and controlled by helpers (as seen below) and is actually done really well! 

The kids loved seeing the life sized versions of the characters and even the parents did too! There was lots of cheers and clapping every time a new character came on set and it was fun to see the interaction between them all! 



Even though Mylo is only 1, he really enjoyed it! He was bouncing up and down and dancing to the music and songs and was engrossed by all of the lights that were projected onto the roof before and during the performance. The length of the show made it really easy to keep children entertained and Millie really loved it too! 

With standard tickets starting from £14.50, it’s a great price to pay for a morning out and for the kids to see some of their favourite characters! There are still lots of tickets left for the Manchester show and don’t forget, this is the last year you’ll be able to catch In the Night Garden LIVE! so make sure you don’t miss out! 




Disclaimer: (I was kindly gifted tickets in exchange for a review of the show)


Saturday, 30 June 2018

Making your Car Summer Ready

We were all part of the hype that was the Royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and how it has created a huge and wonderful occasion over the last few weeks! It's a wonderful time to see more of the UK in its full, patriotic state!
We love UK holidays and even weekend trips to London, even more so when it's in its prime with flags flying and the sun is shining! But, before you can travel and venture anywhere, peoples attention needs to be diverted towards the importance of car servicing and maintenance; you can book your MOT test at Fife Autocentre website and essentially, be given the Royal Treatment too!
 
It's so important to ensure that if you drive, your car is fully functioning and safe and you have everything you need sorted for a road trip or holiday in the UK. MOT tests on cars should be carried out yearly with services alongside these usually every 10-12,000 miles! Making sure your tyres are within the legal tread limits (1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tyre) and that all oil and water measures are full, if you were to ever breakdown or need assist traveling, knowing that you have done the basics will make it easier for a recovery service to help you get back on the road!
We're heading to Cornwall this summer and a few things that I find help ease any issues if they occur are kept in a little 'recovery kit' in the boot of our car, meaning that if we are ever caught out, or even stuck in shed loads of traffic, we know we have some basics to see us through!
- Make sure you have a blanket/spare coat just in case you break down and it's cold/raining
- Have some sort of light/torch always accessible
- Have a fully charged phone/phone number written down for emergencies
- Always have some biscuits and water in the boot for emergency breakdowns
So, make sure that if you're heading on a long journey this summer, that you take the time to check everything over before you leave and give your car the pamper that most of us give ourselves! You won't get very far if you don't...