Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Recipe... Whole meal savoury scones...

This recipe was actually passed on by my mum although I've adapted slightly by using whole meal flower and I used agrave syrup rather than sugar. They rose really nice but do have a very savoury taste. I personally would have them for breakfast or lunch rather than as a snack or dessert but I'm sure my kids would have them as a snack!

Here goes:
12oz whole meal plain flower or white plain flower
250g full fat Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons of baking powder
2 teaspoons of sugar/honey/maple syrup or agrave syrup

Sieve the flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl and add the sugar or sugar substitute
Slowly add the Greek yogurt and stir slowly then use hands to bind together into a dough.
Kneed this dough until it reaches a nice even consistency ... In other words not too floury
Roll onto a surface lightly dusted with flour to about 2.5cm thick and cut out circles using a cookie cutter or a rim if a glass. 
Place these onto a greased baking sheet or line it with grease proof paper to save washing up.
Cook on 200 for about 20 mins until nicely risen and do a test with a knife to ensure it comes out clean...
Enjoy xxx

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Breakfast/healthy snack easy banana energy bars

OThese are seriously the easiest, cheapest snack to make ever and are great for breakfasts, elevenses or basically anytime snacks really. 
4 mashed bananas
Handfuls of porridge oats
Two tea spoons of cinnamon 
Squeeze of honey (optional)
Optional fillings such as ground almonds, seeds, dried fruit, dried coconut, nuts, chocolate chips

Microwave the bananas for 1-2 mins (depending on their ripeness) so they are nice and soft
Mash the bananas like mad so to create a purée and add the cinnamon, honey and optional filling and stir 
Add the oats a handful at a time stirring until the mixture reaches a nice consistency that can be spooned into a pre greased baking tray
Bake on 200 for 10 mins (these in the photo are a little burned as I was rushing round cleaning and left them in a bit too long

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Simple Cooking on a budget- spiced turkey/chicken

This is another really simple recipe which is healthy and cheap to make. I like it because I can adapt it to feed myself and the kids.
Here goes:
Chicken or turkey breast fillet chopped
Fat free Greek yogurt
Selection of spices... I used turmeric and cumin but you could use tikka or tandoori  spices or Cajun spice

Mix the spices into the Greek yogurt then add in the raw chicken pieces and mix to coat them in the mixture. Leave in the fridge for upto 12 hours to marinate.

Lay the chicken on tin foil on a baking sheet. Bake on 200 in the oven for around 20/25 minutes turning half way.

Serve on a pita bread with salad to create a healthy kebab... My kids enjoy it like this. I have it usually with salad and no bread as I avoid bread. Today though I roasted some tomatoes and courgettes and had it with these.

I like it because I can take out enough for the kids tea while leaving mine marinating for myself to eat later as I prefer to eat later.

I made it with turkey today but I would say it is tastier with chicken... Although turkey is cheaper and is lower fat.

In the past I have made this into more of a curry by adding the cooked chicken breast to a pan and stirring through additional curry/yogurt mix to create a sauce. 

Eating healthy on a budget... Turkey and bean bolagnaise..

It's been a while since I did any freezer cooking but I believe it's always good to have some ore prepared meals in the freezer for the days when the fridge is empty and the cupboards are bare.
Today I whipped up this easy minimum preparation turkey bolagnaise. 
Here's how...
500g pack of turkey mince
1 pack of mushrooms (use pre chopped to save more time)
1 bag of ready chopped onions 
2 tins of chopped tomatoes 
1 tin of bortoli beans (or any canned pulse really)

Fry up the mince, mushrooms and onions until brown then add to either a slow cooker or casserole dish on a low heat along with the canned pulses and chopped tomatoes. Cook for around 6 hours if using a slow cooker or 2 on 180 if using a casserole dish. 
Remove and divide into freezer proof containers.

This is so easy to make and can be bulked out further with other
veg with less mince used (I got 500g for the price of 200g on an asda delivery substitution though)

Monday, 27 April 2015

More on my bargain makeup...

On my latest makeup spending spree as well as the Revolution palettes I also picked up a MUA under eye concealer and a Sleek Makeup highlighting kit.

The concealer was only £3.00 it comes in 3 shades. Being super pale I bought the lightest shade 'luminous' as I like to use a shade lighter than my foundation. 

Here is how it looks on my hand...

As you can see it is quite pale. I have tried several under eye high lighters/ concealers including Dior, touché eclait, asda and Rimmel. Dior is my favourite but I would say this is a good budget comparison. I'd buy it over touché eclait or the asda one anyway.

Here you can see it under my eyes on a particularly tired Monday morning. It doesn't cover dark circles but it does brighten up the area.

On the above picture I have used my iconic 3 Revolution Pallete and must say I was really impressed... It lasted all day... Even survived a gym session after work (obviously only to be showered off afterwards)

Along with this I also used my Sleek highlighting kit. At £9.99 this was at the higher end of budget makeup and I was expecting it to be more of a contour kit (obviously I should have checked before buying what was inside) . It is however nice quality... Reminds me somewhat of benefit and their highlighters such as benetint and watts up.

The compact includes some ideas for where to apply each shade (below) which are handy. I followed these but also added a little of the lighter shade to the tear duct area. 

It's a nice little addition to my makeup kit as I don't have many highlighters and is something I would use on clients as well as myself. I feel it definitely made a difference to my makeup today and I felt I looked more radient and awake. 

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Revolution Makeup - mermaids vs unicorns

As mentioned in my previous post I treated myself to some new budget makeup from Superdrug at the weekend to experiment with and allow me to play around a bit with different colours. At just £4 each this and the previously discussed iconic 3 were a bargain not to be missed.
As you can see in the photo below the pigmentation is really good, however you do need to apply more than you would with a more expensive brand such as my favourite Urban Decay.

The greens and blues are the 'mermaid' half of the palette and the purple sand darker blues the 'unicorn' . I tend to stick to nudes and neutrals rather than colour but there are times I do fancy wearing a bit of colour so at just £4 this is worth it for experimenting and trying out different looks.

I've only had a quick go of it but in the look below, I applied the first green shade over the whole lid with a flat brush, then used a bullet shaped brush to blend the darker two greens into the outer triangle then finally blended the darker purple shade through the crease with a blending brush. 

The colours go on nicely and blend well but I would like to play around with them more and create dramatic looks with eyeliner and lashes x 

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Revolution Makeup-Iconic 3

Having read several blog posts about Revolution Makeup producing some excellent dupes for the Urban Decay eye shadow palates I was made up to discover my local Superdrug has started too stock them. Superdrug (as they often do) had a three for two offer on across all makeup so I had a bit of a splurge and picked up two Revolution Palates (Mermaids Vs Unicorns and Iconic 3), a Sleek Makeup highlighting kit, a MUA under eye concealer and two MUA lipsticks. This post will focus on the Iconic 3 palate though which has been created as a dupe for Urban Decay Naked 3

I am a huge fan of Urban Decay and already own Naked, Naked 2, Smoked and Pulp Fiction. I love them because of their excellent pigmentation, great blendability and range of shades. However they are expensive and I have not been able to justify buying Naked 3 so obviously I was keen to try this dupe.

Looking at the packaging it is no where near as eye catching as the Urban Decay palates but at the end of the day-is attractive packing really that important?

At first glance the shades look extremely similar. Below are what the Revolution shades look like on my skin:

 Unfortunately as I don't own the Naked 3 palate I can't directly compare but what I can say is that they have excellent pigmentation and in relation to my other Urban Decay Palates feel similar in texture and consistency and blend really nicely.

I have had a little play around with them creating my typical day look which I usually create with my Naked 2 Palate (light shade over the whole lid and darker shades blended into crease and outer corner. I used the first shade and second shade mixed together over the lid up to the brow bone and then blended the 6th, 9th and 12th shades into the outer 'triangle'. Its a quick day time look and only takes about 5 minutes and doesn't involve eye liner as I try and avoid eyeliner  as it damages my eye lash extensions and shortens the life of them.

I can certainly say I was really impressed with how easy it was to blend the shades together and they definitely did not feel cheap or chalky. I can't wait to get chance to play around with this palate and also mermaids vs unicorns (which contains colours rather than nudes, bronzes and browns) to create different looks.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Family day out... Apple Jack Adventure Park Review

After a recommendation from a friend I purchased a voucher on Group on for £16.95 ( normal price £29.95) for Apple Jacks in South Warrington. This voucher covers two adults and two children but as a family if one adult and two children it was still cheaper than paying on the door.  

We were fortunate enough to have chosen a really nice spring for our planned visit (although I did check the weather forcast in advance before booking).

Apple Jacks was easy to find... Just off the M6 junction 20 although personally I did use google maps. We arrived at 10.25; give minutes before opening time and there were already a few families queuing. A queue began to quickly form before the doors openned at 10.30 but nothing too excessive.

When we arrived we headed straight for the zip wire and obviously I was delighted to learn adults could also ride this. The ride was well staffed by friendly attendants with close attention to safety and queue etiquette.

Following this we headed for 'the eliminator' which is a kind of bouncy castle arrangement where you stand on an inflatable platform and swing a big punch ball to try and knock off your opponents. Again this attraction was well staffed ensuring that people queued fairly and no one went over their 3 minute time. Once again I was very happy I could join this activity with the kids.

We then decided to give the roller rink a go. My 7 year old found this hard but my 8 year old daughter got the hang of it and I felt like a 13 year old again wizzing round until my kids told me to stop showing off. After all this activity I was ready for a coffee so I grabbed one while the kids went on the inflatable pillow for a bounce. Sadly it was only instant coffee not my favourite costa or Starbucks but I suppose for £1.50 I can't complain! 

I must admit I did have a bit of a bounce on the inflatable pillow before the kids and I headed to the 'drop slide' an inflatable slide which looked like the kind you get in the town centre at school holidays. I asked if I could go on too... Obviously to make sure my 7 year old could manage it and was made up when they said I could. However I didn't realise it was a totally free fall drop! Not wanting to appear a wimp in front of the kids or attendant obviously I had to continue and go down it! What great fun!! 

Other attractions we enjoyed were the adventure playground, archery, tennis ball blasting, haystack mountain and fence maize. Sadly the huge maize maze was under construction but it looks great on the website. 

At the end of our visit we managed to get on the adventure hayride, a tractor and trailor ride around the park which was a good end to the trip! 

All in all it was a great day and the best thing was I joined in and got involved too rather than sitting on my phone or reading like I normally would at parks or play centres.

So here are some recommendations if you decide to visit:

1. Get there early so you can get on stuff before queues build up. Although to be fare there was never much queuing. We went on everything several times and didn't have to wait more than 5 minutes absolute maximum. It's worth getting there early to get a full day though

2.pick a nice day... Or at least a dry one as it is a fully outdoor park.

3. Take a picnic. There is only a small food area and it was predominately burgers, sausage etc with quite slow service 

4. If you are an adult get involved too... Go on everything! It's great fun!

5. Try and book via groupon to save money.

Here is what I loved best about the park 

1. Range of fun attractions for all the family

2. Nice location with plenty of open space

3. Very friendly staff with attention to safety and fair queuing systems 

4. Enough attractions to ensure minimal queuing

5. Once you get in everything is free. 

Here are the downfalls...

1. Rather long rough track to get to the park which isn't great to drive down.

2. Towards end of the day toilets were a bit grubby with rather dubious looking liquid on the floor in some cubicles 

3. Maize maze was not open and looked really good fun

4. Lack of choice in food hall although easy enough to bring a picnic 

So there we go. My first review. Would definitely recomed a visit . Here are some pictures ..

Friday, 17 April 2015

Curly Hair...


Having been blessed/cursed with naturally very curly hair I have spent a large amount of time searching for the perfect hair care products. I have tried many different ones from cheap own brand ones to expensive professional products but have always returned to John Frieda. 

While I like a number of his products, the two I cannot live without are Frizz Ease unwind curls and extra strength hair serum 

My routine with these products is pretty easy and simple as with my hair I have found the less I do with it the better it looks in it's curly state. I simply shampoo,  then condition (combing the conditioner through) my hair and then prior to drying I apply about three pumps of serum right through to the ends. I then wrap a towel round my hair while I get dried then simply comb my hair then apply the unwind cream with my fingers... No scrunching, I just run my fingers through with it on. Then I leave it. No hair dryer or anything as the dryer dries my hair right out.

This has been pretty much my hair care routine for the curly look since I stopped wearing it in a French plait or bun in my late teens! 

This is the only picture I could find but that is pretty much my curly look.

I do at times like a change so in order to achieve straight hair I follow the same routine, let my hair dry naturally, apply a heat protecting spray and use my GHDs
I recently purchased a hair extension piece (syn half wig in blondette) from hair rehab London which I like to use to add volume and length. I always clip bits back though and back comb them just a little as my face is quite thin so having it all down drags my face down and makes it look even longer.

Finally a third look I like to do is to use my curling tongs to achieve waves (that's right I straighten only to recurl again). I use some really cheap Nicky Clark Tongs I got off eBay about 7 years ago but they do the job. All I do is curl sections and clip a bit back then put on a ton of hair spray,! 

So these are my three main hair looks. Most of the time however it does get scraped back into a pony tail or bun in between washes! 

To anyone with curly hair... I would certainly recommend these two John Frieda products x

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Keep on Running...

In my last post I mentioned that I have started to run on the treadmill at the gym. This is actually going quite well. I am able to now begin with a 5 minute warm up walk on a slight incline and then continue with a run to 5k and have started to add a few bursts of sprinting into the mix. My goal is to run 5k in 30 minutes comfortably. I would also like to build up to 10k but I will have to do this by varying walk/run/walk etc. I am not sure this will be so easy as I find once I go back down to a walk its hard to get running again which is why I simply push myself to run for 5k rather than try for a slower pace but longer distance.

I do however spend at least 20 minutes on the cross trainer in addition to my treadmill workout. I would like to introduce more regular weight based exercises too to develop my muscle tone but I have put on a few pounds over Easter so cardio and fat burning is my priority at the moment.

In addition I have been trying to do Charlotte's belly blast when I can and I am telling you, 'it is hard!'. I like it as it is broken down into three minute routines so you never feel like a routine is dragging on and they go cardio, resistance, cardio etc... The times I have done the DVD five 3 minute work outs have done me right in. Honestly it is harder than 30 minutes running or cross trainer work-not sure how it compares in terms of burning calories though. I have added an app to my phone called 7 minute workout which I try and squeeze in as and when I can as 7 minutes is nothing really.

The weather is improving so I am also going to make a conscious effort to get out more and simply walk more with the kids as at the end of the day walking is a free activity and we are fortunate to live in an area with plenty of parks and decent country side.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

another gym update

It has been almost 3 months since I embarked on my New Years gym resolution. I'm pretty pleased with myself that not a week has gone by in 2015 that I have not managed at least 3 visits a week.
I'm not really on a mission to lose weight so my goal weight wise is to stay under 9st 6. My weight varies by about 3lbs throughout the week anyway. More importantly though my aim is to develop muscle tone and gain in strength and fitness.
I have been doing the same routine for a while now and while I feel I am quite fit in terms of cardio vascular exercise; as soon as anything requires any strength I struggle. I am so jealous when I see people doing squats and lunges with weights and press ups and burpees.
So I have decided to change my workout a bit. As the weather improves I want to replace gym workouts without door running so In preparation I will do 25 minutes on the treadmill (plus 5 warm up and 5 cool down) gradually increasing the length of time I can run for. Today I began by 5 minutes run, 2 minute walk on a low incline 5 minutes run etc.... Following this I will be using arm and leg machines then finally abdominal work.
I have ordered a DVD too... Charlotte Crosby 3 minute belly blast so on my non gym days I will do a couple of workouts from this. 

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Healthy biscuits

These are pretty much my own concoction of various healthy ingredients thrown together. The dough was delicious raw and they are pretty yummy when cooked too. 
Here we go:

100g whole meal self raising flower
1 teaspoon cinnamon, 
teaspoon of cocao powder 
3 tablespoons of melted coconut oil,
3 table spoons of honey or maple syrup, 25g designated coconut, 
splash of coconut or almond milk if it's a bit dry
Dried fruit and chopped nuts (to decorate)

Simply mix and push the ingredients together until they form a ball of dough
Roll out the dough and cut out shapes and place them on a baking tray lined with grease proof paper. Decorate if you wish with dried fruit and chopped nuts
Bake at 200 in the oven for 10 minutes x

Friday, 27 February 2015

Healthy baking...

Since I have been trying to stop eating so much pre prepared convenience food I have been trying out some clean eating baking.
My total favourite is banana bread. It is absolutely yummy and I make about 3 loaves a week. Me and the kids eat it for breakfast and I give it them for supper too. I cannot in anyway take credit for it so here is the link

I have been experimenting to try and make some kind if healthy cereal bar. I tried one concoction with loads of mashed banana and oats but it didn't turn out very well. 

I therefore decided it needed something to bind it together more so I increased the amount of coconut milk, honey and coconut oil and it's actually turned out rather nice. I didn't weigh the ingredients but kind if added what I thought best to achieve a nice consistency. Basically I used:
Oats probably about 150g
Small amount of granola (as this does have added sugar)
Desinated coconut (again small amount as it's high in fat)
Honey (about 75ml)
Coconut oil (about 75ml)
Splash of coconut milk
Dried fruit (handful)
1 mashed banana 

I melted the honey and coconut oil in the microwave then added into the other ingredients in a mixing bowl, smushed them all together and spooned into a baking tray, flattening them out and baked at 200 for 15 mins. 
They taste really yummy :)

Thursday, 26 February 2015

It's official

At last I have received my certificate for my Level 2 Beauty Specialist Diploma. I completed my practicals and submitted my portfolio a few months ago but fir various reasons it's taken a while for my certificate to actually come through! 
Anyway I am delighted to have finally received it. It's funny because I have A levels and a degree but I actually think I worked harder for this than I did for either of those not only because I fitted it in with children and a job but because I really really wanted this. 
I am half way through my level 3 beauty massage award and about to embark on a nail qualification tomorrow and of course I have my makeup qualification. My dream would be to combine all these qualifications, my life experiences  plus aspects of my psychology degree, counselling qualification, teaching qualification and passion about nutrition and fitness. I'm just not quite sure how I would do this yet but being a firm believer in fate maybe one day this will all fall into place 

Keeping motivated

I'm feeling quite pleased with myself. Since I went back to work after Christmas on January 5th I've managed to keep up my three times a week gym visits. I don't do loads as mentioned in a previous post (although I've now started to include the stationary bike too as it's so easy to just add in to burn some extra calories). 
Anyway here are a few things that have helped me keep at it:
1. Always do the first session of the week - my first work out session is on a Monday after work and I think if I missed that then I would probably miss my other sessions too and soon get out of my routine. 
2. Never miss a session for no reason- I've changed my gym times around some weeks because of my childcare or work commitments but I think once I start missing to simply lounge around or go shopping then the gym turns into something negative. It's the same really with any commitment though like my college course. If I started to skive I would see it to be something negative
3. Motivational music - it helps to have some of my favourite songs to listen to on my iPhone and if I'm feeling a bit demotivated I will treat myself to a couple if new songs
4. Positive mantra- my fav is 'you'll never regret going for a work out' and I also like to check out Instagram for positive quotes and motivational images
5. Eating good food- working out means I can eat more which is good as I love eating . Although now I've started to eat less chocolate and crap and my regards are things like banana bread or a feta cheese omlette. 
6. Being realistic- I hate running so instead I walk on a steep incline on the treadmill which when I have my music on passes quickly. If I was running with my boobs bouncing up and down I'm sure the time would go much slower!!!
7. A nice shower-doesn't sound much but my own shower can only be likened to an old man weeing on my head so a washing my hair under a hot power shower is bliss. Plus it's saving my electricity bill and my time cleaning my shower and bathroom after I've washed my hair in there!

That's it so far... Even though 7 is a rather odd number to end on but here is a picture of my slowly developing six pack 

Friday, 23 January 2015

Gym update ...

Well after vowing to get back to the gym in the new year I've just finished my 4th week of thrice weekly visits.
Its starting to feel less and less like torture so I think next weeki will up my routine a bit. Although it's when I do too much it starts to put me off going. 
I'm pretty busy with work, my kids and college so it is hard fitting it in but by making sure I fit it in during my child free time instead of moping about or spending unnecessary money in shops I'm doing ok.

At the moment my routine is pretty low level. I warm up for 5 mins walk on the treadmill then do 25 mins of uphill walking on a 10.5 incline. I do it without holing on for three minutes then hold on for two and so on.
Then I do 3 sets of 60 crunches and 3 30. Second planks. If I have time I then go on some weights machines for arms and the leg press.
I have lost about 3lbs through this and healthy eating but my main goal is to tone up and build some lean muscle xxx

Monday, 19 January 2015

Changes I'm making to my diet...

As I have mentioned in a previous post, my main goal for the new year is to over haul my eating habits having got into the habbit, particularly on busy days of relying on caffeine and sugary snacks rather than proper meals. Another issue is that my diet consisted of a lot of ready meals and also doing things like buying lunch at subway or Starbucks when in out and about... Could be worse I know but the issue there is more the unnecessary cost.
I'm not necessarily trying to lose weight just become more healthy in terms of evening out my energy levels and appetite. So here are a few changes I've been making:

1. Drinking bottles mineral water rather than tap water as I have read tap water which is unfiltered contains chemicals 

2. No diet drinks - these contain artificial sweeteners and aspartame and offer no nutritional value at all

3. Adding nuts, seeds and even cheese to my salads. I've always been a salad fan for my work lunches. However originally I would only add chicken and a handful of lettuce leaves. Yes this is low calorie but the problem was it was unsatisfying so I would end up snacking mid afternoon on chocolate, cereal bars or cakes. By adding things like seeds, nuts and feta cheese I'm making my salads more satisfying and getting calories from a healthy source 

4.cutting down on caffeine... As mentioned I have cut out the diet coke. I can't give up tea and coffee entirely but I'm trying to limit myself to one coffee per day and 2 cups of tea at the most. Instead I've been experimenting with various herbal teas. There are some good ones . I'm enjoying licorice tea, lemon and ginger, peppermint or nettle teas most.

5. Cutting back on alcohol- like caffeine this is something I couldn't cut out altogether but I'm now limiting myself to only having it at a weekend... No glasses of wine through the week. It's full of sugar, empty calories and disrupts sleep

6. Increasing fruit and vegetable intake- as you will see from my previous post I've invested in a smoothie maker... This will allow me to take in more fruit, milk (I'll be using almond or coconut rather than cows as I don't like the taste if cow milk in anything other than tea or coffee) and super food powder. In order to increase my veg I take I will be making more meals from scratch for the freezer and using veg and pulses to bulk them out 

7. Cutting go back refined sugar- again I can't cut out sugar altogether but I'm trying to cut out things which don't satisfy hunger like cereal bars and biscuits. 

8. Replacing normal bread with rye bread - this bread is actually nicer tasting and is particularly nice with cashew butter

9.Making my meals from scratch- instead of ready meals I intend to batch cook things like casseroles, bolognaise and curry for the freezer or making things like omelettes if I'm pushed for time

10. Eating more antioxidant rich foods ... Such as blueberries, tomatoes, superfood powders like wheatgrass and barley grass and sweet potatoes 

I have been doing this since the start ofJanuary  and am feeling less spikes if hunger and a little more energy. I'd love to see more positive changes in things like my skin and cellulite too.


My New Purchase

After seeing lots of recommendations and pictures on instagram I decided to invest in this Breville active Smoothie maker. I bought it from Very(£24.99) in order to pay in installments but it can be bought cheaper from places like Argos or Asda.

As I am always rushing around and pushed for time what attracted me to it most was the lack of mess and cleaning-the smoothie can simply be blended in its storage flask so all you need to wash after making it is the blender bit (then obviously the flask after drinking it.

It only came today but I have made myself a banana, coconut milk, kiwi, apple, blue berry and grape blend with honey and wheatgrass in. I hope it will keep ok in the fridge over night!

My only concern is the cost of the fruit-I'm lazy so I have been buying ready prepared stuff. However, I guess I am now spending less on things like wine, coffee and cakes and am trying to take my lunch to work every day and eat in the house with the kids rather than grabbing lunch out and about.

I'll post an update on how its going but I think it will be a great way to introduce more fruit into my diet as well as some super food powders like wheat grass and barley grass


Saturday, 10 January 2015

A couple of healthy meals...

Well one of my goals for the new year was to start eating better, including more foods in their natural form in my diet and eating less processed foods, refined sugar and salt. Hopefully gradually I will introduce this way of eating to my kids. However, my son is a fussy eater and very underweight for his height so sometimes it's just a case of giving him anything he will eat. Anyway, I have made a few healthy things this week so I thought I would share on here: 
1. Cajun chicken pitta:

Ingredients: diced chicken breast or mini chicken goujons, natural Greek yogurt or fromage frais (fat free if watching your weight) , Cajun spice mix or similar .

Directions: mix together the yogurt, chicken and spices in a dish, cover with tinfoil and leave in the fridge or at least a few hours. 
When ready place on a tinfoil lined baking tray in a pre heated oven or under the grill (mine is rubbish so I used the oven) until cooked right through.
Serve in pittas with lots of salad!

2. Turkey, sweet potato and butter-bean curry...
Ingredients (I won't put the amounts as this varies on how much you wish to make): pack of diced turkey breast, pack of chopped red onion (or chop a few yourself if they don't make you cry!), at least one sweet potato peeled and diced, cinnamon stick, can of butter-beans, can of chopped tomatoes, spices if your choice such as chilli powder, turmeric, garam masala, tandoori spice...
Directions: heat some oil in a frying pan and once it gets hot add in the onions. When they start to get a bit brown chuck in the cinnamon stick and the other spices and continue to fry. When they start to get browner still and smell lovely chuck in the turkey, sweet potato and butter beans and fry a little longer so they get coated in the spices. Finally add in the tomatoes . Now you have a choice. If you are pushed for time tip into a large pan and cooked on the hob for 20- 30 minutes. Alternatively you can put this into a slow cooker. In fact if you are in a rush in a morning you could just omit the frying stage and chuck it all straight in the slow cooker. I do prefer to brown it all first by frying though and seal in the flavour!

3. Super smoothie ; 
Ingredients: 10g wheatgrass powder, one banana , a handful of blueberries, 3/4 of a glass your choice of milk (I chose coconut but you might like almond, soya, oat, hazelnut or just plain old cow milk) a squirt of squeezy honey (optional)
Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend or if like me you don't have a proper blender, put it all in a jug and use a hand blender 

Enjoy xxx

Friday, 9 January 2015

The relationship with exercise..

I think I first joined a gym in about 2001 when I was a student. I joined a pay and go gym at the local college which was linked with the university I was studying at (allowing me discounted membership). I went three times a week for about 4 weeks and then lost interest and never set foot in their again. A couple of years later, I joined the same gym again and followed the same pattern.

A year or so later I had one child and then another 18 months later so I clearly had no time to exercise at a gym. I did, however purchase a Wii and Wii fit board. I religiously used this for, yep you guessed it, about 4 weeks before losing interest! I then decided that swimming could in fact be my thing especially with the promise of a dip in the Jacuzzi after. I think I actually kept up the swimming routine at a local private gym with a pool on and off for about 6 months. It was actually nice to go there in the evening as a break from putting the children to bed  after I had put my children to bed as my then husband would never have agreed do something like put his own children to bed. After the mandatory 6 month period however, I let my membership lapse as we were in the process of moving house.

In January 2012 I joined slimming world as I had had enough of being about a stone and a half over weight. Once I started losing weight each week I felt motivated to start doing some exercise again. One of the mums from my daughter's nursery who I had began to get friendly with (who is actually now my very best friend) invited me on a guest pass to her gym. I ended up joining up for the gym and stuck to it for longer than ever. With the exercise along with healthy slimming world diet and the stress of being in an unhappy marriage I managed to lose 2 stone. The problem was however that my friend and I decided that it was far more enjoyable to go for our tea after work than slog it out in the gym.

When I changed jobs in 2013 I decided that it would be a good idea to join the gym opposite my new work place as one of the demotivating things putting me off was the 45 minute rush hour drive to the gym after finishing work. Once again though I had weeks where I was really motivated and would go all the time and then leave it for a few weeks and be back to the drawing board of unfitness.

When my year's gym membership expired I decided to join a cheaper gym due to my sporadic visits. This is the gym I am still a member of now and I am still following the same pattern. The problem is my life is pretty busy so at times when I am really rushed for time, the gym is the first thing that suffers.

Currently I have set myself the goal to go at least twice a week and to do some exercises at home in between from my book. Anyway-maybe blogging about my progress might inspire me to stick at it!! Watch this space anyway x x x

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Happy New Year.

Well on my last post which was 6 months ago, I said I would aim to blog more. Clearly, I haven't! I would like to though but I think I will make the blog more general, not only covering makeup and beauty, but fashion, healthy eating, parenting and exercise. I am not an expert on any of these things by any stretch of the imagination but they are all aspects which are important in my life.

My main goal for 2015 is to have a healthy outlook on life. All too often, like other busy mums no doubt, I rely on caffeine and sugar for energy, eat far too much convenience food and wind down with a glass of wine in the evening. I also have a bad habit of buying things to cheer myself up. Although I would like to lose about 7lbs (who wouldn't?!) my aim is health rather than weight loss; more energy, better skin, improved muscle tone, strength and stamina and just really go back to basics living a happy healthy life on a budget.

I have been reading a really informative book by Lucy off TOWIE and Tumble which I have got loads of nutritional tips from and recipe ideas. As well as aiming to live a healthier lifestyle myself, I am also keen to cut out some of the crap from my kid's diet. It may not seem much but initially I aim to cook at least two meals a week from scratch for us to all enjoy as a family.

Ok so now I will sign off this post and write a more specific one xx