Post date: 20 October 2014

This weekend I invited my mum and dad over for coffee and cake, with a little help from my friend Betty. Baking goddess Betty Crocker recently sent me a package full of goodies to celebrate the launch of its new Vanilla Icing and Rainbow Sprinkles gorgeousness and in this package was a red velvet cake mix and delicious cream cheese icing. With red velvet cake being mum's favourite I thought I'd make the most of a free Sunday afternoon and get them round for a sugar overload.
I'm usually against using cake mixes as I presumed they wouldn't taste "homemade" - yes, I know technically it's not homemade but I expected it to taste more processed. But with this mix all I need to do was add three medium eggs, 4 and a 1/2 tablespoons of vegetable oil (I used Rapeseed so don't worry if you haven't get vegetable) and 205ml of water.

Use a whisk to make the mix super smooth and pop into two greased baking tins. I wanted this to be more of a red velvet loaf hence the oblong tins. Bake this in a pre-heated oven on 160 degrees in a fan oven and gas mark 4 otherwise, then wait 30 minutes for it to do its thang.

Once it was out and cooled I covered it in the cream cheese which comes already prepared and then crumbled a few pieces of the cake over the top. Hey presto! A delicious cake ready for the rentals to come and taste. My dad didn't actually know it was a ready-made mix and said it super light and moist. Plus, inviting them around gave me a good excuse to get the blue and white china out.

The verdict? Speaks for itself really doesn't it. Thanks Betty.


Post date: 16 October 2014

I'm currently at the in-between stage where I'm still wearing my leather jacket because it's too warm to get my winter coat out but still cold enough to have to wear a big old scarf over the top on a morning. I wish winter would hurry up and arrive and that way it means I have to buy a new coat.
I wanted to bring together my pick of the high street this morning and even though there are a few sneaky purse-breaking ideas in there (hello Reiss!), most of these are budget friendly.
Although I'm super thrifty when it comes to every day clothes, the one thing I will invest in is a winter coat and we're not talking little thin duster coats girls and boys, no I've brought you a selection of robust, winter-doesn't-bother-us outerwear choices. Plus, you still get to look like you know what the word fashion means.

1. Light Pink Wool Blend Coat £49.99 H&M 2. Double Breasted Pea Coat £85 ASOS 3. Yellow The Katy Coat £95 Oasis 4. Emma Rose Wool Coat £250 French Connection 5. Sessile Animal Print Coat £200 Pepe Jeans 6. Rochelle Humes for Very £99 7. Shearling Leather Pale Pink Coat £1,395 Reiss 8. Parka with Detachable Quilted Lining £125 Zara 9. Faux Fur Teddy Coat £79 Topshop 10. Brushed Drawn Hair Coat £95 Warehouse


Post date: 13 October 2014

As you'll have read last night I spent a little time putting together a post on Fifty Healthy Habits every girl should follow. Over the past couple of months I've not been feeling my best, both on the outside and the inside. I've been really lethargic, not able to concentrate on anything, bad skin and my hair falling out much more than usual. I'm currently undergoing blood tests at the doctors to see if there is any underlying problems, but I definitely think my sedentary lifestyle and pretty crappy diet have a massive part to play.
Now I can drive I do very little walking and I definitely haven't been going to the gym. I use the cross trainer in my spare room to hang clothes off and I eat crap every day. So all in all, not a very good way to treat my body.
I could spend ages on Pinterest looking at Fitspo (fitness inspiration), and I love the quotes about how strong is so much better than skinny. When I was in my early 20s all I wanted was my hip bones and collar bone to stick out. That was pretty much my life goal. But now, all I'd like it a body that doesn't wobble and makes me feel good both inside and out. There's nothing better for your confidence than feeling comfortable in your own skin and right now I'm not really feeling it.
So as well as making small changes following the habits in the post yesterday, I'm also signing back up for Slimming World again tonight with a meeting closer to home - close enough to walk there in 15 minutes there and then back. I'm also signing up to Virgin gym which is on my way back from home at the end of the month. I went for a trial day recently and I really liked the facilities, plus it has a ladies zone which is ideal for me as I really don't feel that comfortable sweating in front of random men.
So to get started I thought today I'd show you what is in my gym bag. First of all, this bag is the perfect size for the gym and still manages to look trendy and not too masculine like some gym bags do. From Spiral Bags, it has both a drawstring fastening and then pretend leather buckles to the front. It has various compartments inside and super lightweight to carry. Here's a tip, albeit an obvious one - keep your gym kit in your boot and that way you have no excuse not to go when you could drive right past.
Inside I have my Nike trainers, which are perfect for both running and various classes, my three quarter exercise pants from H&M's sports line, trainer socks which were £2.50 for 5 pairs in Primark, my Nike vest (which does need a good sports bra underneath) and my Remington hairband to keep those annoying strands off my face. This is a standard kit but if I'm honest I have to feel good in what I'm wearing if I actually go to work out.

Beauty wise, as I'll be going after work and then straight home again, I just need the usual shower gel, deodorant, body lotion and shampoo and conditioner. Because I don't like to use much heat on my hair, I add a Bumble and Bumble prep and thickening spray and leave it to dry naturally. One thing I never do which I have to start is taking my makeup off before I work out because it's no good for my pours all that gunk and sweat sitting on top of them.

There you have it, my gym bag which has actually only been used once in the past six months but is actually ready and raring to go once pay day comes and I can get signed up at the gym. I'm going to explain all about how Slimming World words tomorrow if you guys are interested? And you can keep up with my meals etc over on Instagram if you're nosey like me. I really, really need to get my arse into gear and stop talking about it and actually do it.
If you need some motivation on getting started then I'd definitely recommend giving Women's Health a read - I read it cover to back last night and it's so good I'm actually considering subscribing. Plus, why not give my Fitspiration board on Pinterest a follow for daily inspiration. It's time to work out, eat well and be patient.


Post date: 12 October 2014

I don't normally post twice in one day but I loved this idea I found whilst cruising Pinterest for craft inspiration so much that I wanted to share with you. Although I'm just basically copying these from a picture I found I wanted to write these down as I'm going to follow as many as I can from now on. I've got a whole post tomorrow dedicated to life and my health tomorrow but for now, take a read of these Fifty Healthy Habits every girl, I think, should have a go following.

1. Start fresh every single day

2. Check your credit card statements and bank accounts regularly

3. Adopt a "meatless Monday" mentality 

4. Put down your phone when you're out with people

5. Try to 2/30 rule - 2 hours of TV, 30 minutes of exercise

6. Understand that exercise doesn't have to be a big time commitment

7. Cut back on (evil) sugar

8. Drink warm water with lemon every day

9. Don't try keep up with the Jonses, you'll lose

10. Use Retinol if you start getting wrinkles

11. Ask HR abouts benefits you're probably not using

12. Practice safe sex, always

13. NEVER food shop on an empty stomach

14. Start running (even if it's just a little bit)

15. Keep healthy snacks at work and home

16. Stop beating yourself up

17. Don't do drugs. It's that simple

18. Likewise, stop smoking

19. Take care of your clothing

20. Eat whole foods as often as possible

21. Consolidate and pay off debt as quickly as possible

22. Don't skip your smear test

23. Don't overdo the booze

24. Don't snack if you're not hungry

25. Use SPF, especially on your face, even in winter

26. Don't rely on pills if you can't sleep

27. Drink at least 8 ounces of fluids every day

28. Don't buy things you know you'll only wear once

29. Make your home into a place you really want to be

30. Use YouTube for free exercise videos

31. Google "How to make your own cleaning supplies"

32. Drop loose change into the same jar daily

33. Stand up for yourself

34. Read labels on everything from food to makeup

35. Take medication seriously

36. Listen to your body

37. Don't skimp on sleep

38. Do mental health checks

39. Avoid tanning beds like the plague

40. Prioritise stress management

41. Optimize your fertility, if you plan to have children

42. Consider drinking chlorophyll

43. Always wear a seatbelt, even in a taxi

44. Wash your hands often

45. Floss after every brushing

46. Sneeze into your arm, not your palm

47. For every 20 minutes at the computer, look away for 20 seconds

48. Count to 10 when you're angry

49. Learn to take constructive criticism

50. Never let Google diagnose you