Monday 23 February 2015

Slimming World: Is it for me?

Yes, another diet post. I’ve tried and failed numerous times since giving birth to Millie nearly 2 years ago and I just can’t stay to a regular ‘diet’. I’ve figured out that I need structure, motivation and a chance to eat whatever I want to eat but within reason and the only thing I have discovered that lets you do just this is Slimming World. I’ve known of so many people that have been with Slimming World and heard great things from everyone but you never quite know whether it’s going to work for you until you try it and so, last week, I decided I would join my local group and see if it would help me out and encourage me to loose the weight I put on whilst at Uni and when I was pregnant. 

It’s a little bit complex to start with but here’s a quick and easy run down of how it works... You’re allowed as many ‘free’ foods as you like, all day, whatever time it is and these free foods consist of Fruit, Veg, Meat, Fish, Dairy (within reason), Eggs, Rice, Pasta, Grains and Pulses. You’re then permitted a Healthy Extra A (measured portion of milks and cheeses) and a Healthy Extra B (measured portion of bread, cereals or dried/cooked fruit) per day which I tend to use up as cereal in the morning. And then, you have your ‘syns’ i.e., the GOOD stuff. Think of your syns as all the stuff a ‘regular’ diet wouldn’t let you have, things like chocolate, sweets, desserts, fizzy drinks etc. Each one of these has a syn value and you’re allowed between 5-15 syns per day, these are used up on chocolate for me as I can’t resist but they can also be used on pre-made sauces, dips and additions to your meals. 
Top left - 0.5 Syn Fry-up, Top right - Hex. B Weetabix muffins with Banana & Strawberry
Bottom - 2 Syn Chicken Kebabs with Rice & Salad 

Taking into consideration the 3 things that foods are grouped into with Slimming World, it’s important that you control what you’re eating which means cooking from scratch as much as you can and planning, prepping and portioning your foods. It’s hard to do if you’re busy and working a lot but it’s still achievable! The ways to over-come it is to batch cook foods i.e. bolognese, chilli, shepherds pie can all be cooked on the same night as they use similar ingredients and you can make 3/4 portions with 1 pack of mince or to make more than you need and box the rest up to freeze for another day! You can buy a set of 17 containers from eBay for £6.90 which are brilliant for meals and lunches along with snacks for the day too! 

I managed to get my head around the plan in the first week by experimenting with foods, cooking up some meals from scratch and varying snacks and I actually really like it. I’m enjoying the food, I’m never hungry and it’s so easy to stick to! There are so many instagram accounts that feature slimming world friendly meals too so you’re never eating the same thing, just search #slimmingworld or #synfree and you’ll find endless pictures of yummy foods to try yourself! I definitely have a few things on the list that I want to try such as Satay Chicken, Diet Coke Chicken and slow cooked Lamb Doner meat, yes, DONER MEAT! Like I said, you’re still entitled to eat treats but make sure you’re not over your 15 syns allowance for the day! 

My weigh in day is Monday (i.e. Today!) and in the first week, I lost 3.5lbs! I hope to loose 1 stone lbs by summer and want to up my exercise too but for now, I’m concentrating on getting my diet plan structured and then will focus on my exercise routine. If you’re looking for a diet plan but have failed on everything else then I really recommend searching for your nearest Slimming World group and seeing whether it’s for you! Check back this evening to find out how much I lost in my second week and let me know if you’d like to see some recipes of the things that I make in the week!

Week 1 -3.5lbs
Week 2 -0.5lbs
Week 3 -4lbs
Week 4 -0.5lbs
Week 5 +2lbs (weekend in Paris didn’t help)
Week 6 -0.5lbs
Week 7

Thursday 19 February 2015

Jeans with J Brand

Their aim was to create timeless, classic jeans that have complete emphasis on the fit. Jeff Rudes and Suzie Crippen decided to found ‘J BRAND’ in 2005 over in New York and now available world wide on Trilogy, you can shop their extensive collection of jeans to fit sizes 24 (size 6) - 34 (size 14). I love the look of each pair of these jeans, all completely different yet could be worn in so many different ways! The electric blue are definitely my favourite but along with denim, there are a few comfier pieces too like this gorgeous sweater that’s available in both blue and grey.

J Brand

Trilogy has quite a collection of designer garms and J Brand is just one of them. On the slightly higher end of the budget, prices starting from £180+ you’re bound to find the pair of jeans that will be a complete staple to your wardrobe and will be an item you’ll keep for years to come! What things can’t you wear with jeans anyway!? They go with pretty much everything! So, make sure you head over and check out J Brand’s Facebook and Twitter to stay updated with the latest news and items! 
(Featured post)

Monday 16 February 2015

OOTD: Black and Blue

Absolutely loving this outfit combination at the moment! It’s one of those that you can dress up or down and make it fit pretty much any occasion! I have a thing with roll necks too, if you didn’t notice from my Haul?! It’s filled with various high neck tops and dresses. I just think it’s quite a flattering style and teamed with high waisted skirts or jeans, it works so well! 

ASOS had an amazing sale after Christmas and these are 2 things that I picked up (I think the jumper was just before christmas actually...) and I have the skirt in yellow too - perfect for spring! I wore this on Saturday with a pair of black heels and a clutch bag and it looked so good and I felt so comfortable in it too! With my weight being the thing that makes me uncomfortable in most clothes at the moment, these skirts hide all my lumps and bumps yet show off the smallest part of me and make my boobs look massive, haha!
 ASOS *New Look* Black Rolled Neck Jumper - £6.50 (sold out online)
Necklace - Simply Be
Bracelet - Joshua James Jewellery 

Thursday 12 February 2015

Makeup Revolution Makeup Look

Makeup Revolution are still smashing out the new products and my current favourites have to be the Brand New Iconic Pro 2 Palette* and the Intense Lip Laquers*. Every single one of their products never fail to amaze me. The pigmentation and longevity of each eyeshadow and lipstick is brilliant and these two are no different! The Iconic Palette 1 & 2 are said to be Dupes for the Lorac palettes so keep your eyes peeled for more ‘dupe’ products from Makeup Revolution as a few of their earlier palettes look like they were based on other famous collections. 

I am loving purple at the moment so today decided to create a deep, plum eye with a bold lip to spice things up a little. There are so many ways you can use the colours in this palette with half being shimmers and half being mattes, there is going to be something for everyone! Take a look to see how I used the colours to create a smokey sort of eye...

Iconic 2 palette

Purple lipstick

lorac dupe

makeup revolution iconic pro

You can grab the Iconic 1 & 2 palettes for £6.99 and the Intense Lip Laquers are £3.00 each 

I’m so overwhelmed by the amazing quality of all the Makeup Revolution products and their social media team are just as good! Make sure you head over and give them a follow on twitter and also on instagram, you’ll spot a familiar face on there ;)

Slimming World Eats: Homemade Lamb Burgers

Are you getting closer to your goal weight or have you given yourself a bit of a treat!? Do you need a simple recipe that is still on plan but feels like you're being a bit naughty? 
What you’ll need: 
500g Lamb Mince (the best stuff you can find as it’s lower in fat)
1/2 onion very finely chopped
1 tbsp Cumin
1 tbsp Ginger (powdered or nail sized piece chopped) 
Salt & Pepper to taste 
1 tbsp Garlic (or 1 clove chopped)
Wholemeal buns (optional / HEx B) 
Sweet potato (1 will give enough chips for 1 person)
Few sprays of Fry Light
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 tbsp Paprika (optional) 
1 carrot grated
1/2 onion grated
1/4 (about 3 inch) cucumber grated (only the outside as the middle is too watery)
2 tbsp Mint Sauce (syns) or Fresh mint chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste 
(I used a food processor to mix everything as it gives a less meaty looking texture and more of a dough but you can use a normal mixing bowl and your hands)
Combine mince, onion, cumin, ginger, garlic together and mix until well blended.
Add salt and pepper as you feel the need.
 Roll into balls and flatten into patties and cover in cling film.
 Leave in the fridge until ready to cook. Cook in a hot frying pan with until golden brown.
Serve in or out of bun. 
Chips: Wash the Sweet potato thoroughly. Leave skin on and slice into thin chips (cut in half, then half again and then into chips from 1/4’s).
 Put into a bowl or plate, add oil, salt & pepper and paprika and mix so that they’re evenly coated. Place on a foiled/greaseproof tray for 20 minutes on 200 degrees, turning half way through. 
Coleslaw: (Using a food processor or grater) Grate carrot, onion and cucumber onto a board or plate, leave for 10 minutes and sprinkle salt over each - this will absorb the water so it doesn’t become watery.
Put grated ingredients into a bowl and squeeze out any excess water using fingers.
 Add mint sauce and salt & pepper and mix well.
Serve on burgers or as a side salad! 
Slimming World Lamb Burger
Slimming World sweet potato fries

Monday 9 February 2015

Huge ASOS and H&M Haul

(valid until 9:00am 16th February)

It’s coming to the end of all the sales and I have to say that this year, I think they’ve been pretty good! I’ve treated myself to a fair bit over the last month and when I won a £150 ASOS Voucher 2 weeks ago, it meant I could go crazy even more in the sales. There isn’t much left in many sizes but I managed to get my hands on a couple of things that I’ve had my eye on for a few weeks, yay! 

I also thing that H&M are the best place for basics so just plain t-shirts, jumpers etc and so I stocked up on a few bits too as I wanted to get some new things for Paris! Take a look at what I got over the last month or so, all links will be at the bottom (if still available). 

ASOS Plimsolls

ASOS warehouse bag

H&M Cream Roll neck Jumper £5.00
ASOS Green Oversized Jumper (sold out) £7.00
H&M Tights and Holographic Bag £5.99 and £2.00
ASOS Stripey colour block Dress 
H&M Basic Long sleeved Dress £9.99
H&M Striped 3/4 length sleeve Top £6.99
ASOS Cream Asymmetric hem Dress (sold out) £7.00
ASOS Striped Jumper (sold out) £5.00
H&M Green Jeune et Belle Jumper (in store) £5.99
ASOS Holographic Plimsolls (sold out) £10.00

Wednesday 4 February 2015

OOTD: Capes away

I can never get the hang of how this bloody cape works - is it a shawl? Do I wear it as a massive scarf? Do I have to have it continuously falling off my shoulders or getting stuck in the car doors?! I’ve decided that I do love it but not enough to deal with daily and so it may end up being sold. But, isn’t it gorgeous? I bought it before christmas and haven’t really got much use out of it because it’s so fiddly and annoying to wear! These Ladies long Boots on the other hand are perfect. So comfy and fit as snug as a bug in a rug. Yep, just like that. There are lots more over on Online Avenue too so head over and take a look! 

I just hope that the weather improves over the next few weeks, I’m really enjoying wearing skirts at the moment and with mid calf boots and long boots, it looks so edgy - a little 60’s too, don’t you think?! 
Boots - Online Avenue*
Skirt - H&M 
Top (psst, it’s a playsuit) - Misguided
Cape - Boohoo 

*part of the e-tail PR network