Wednesday, 23 April 2014

My Five Week Challenge - The End

My Five Week Challenge is over. In the end I lost 12 and a half pounds, of the 14 pounds target. Not bad in five weeks.

So now am off on my hols. When I return, I shall be setting an even greater challenge, so watch this space!!

I am really proud of what I accomplished, and not at all down about falling slightly short of target.

Better to look at the stars than the gutter I think. See you soon :)

My Week with Robbie - Day Seven - Misunderstood

So final day of my Week with Robbie Williams, and my pick for day seven is the single Misunderstood. Released in 2004, this was taken from his Greatest Hits album.

Misunderstood reached number 8 in the UK singles chart. This is a lovely, slow tempo track. Apparently Robbie says it was written about Edward Scissorhands. I don't really get that, but it is a great song.

He sing it beautifully, and effortlessly. The video is funny. The song features in Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, and this video is based on the storyline. Its Robbie being interrogated by customs.

The video ends where the guard is saying to him that if he keeps being cheeky he might be there for a long time. When he asks how long, the guard says "Oh, about a millenium!". Robbie, ever the joker, turns to the camera and sings "Millennium" after his song! Funny.

This is a great song, and the final from My Week with Robbie. I shall sum them up next week, as I am away for a few days now. Hope you have enjoyed his seven songs. Go and listen to this one, and check out more of Robbie, plus more, on My Music page here. Happy Listening :)



Tuesday, 22 April 2014

My Week with Robbie Day Six - Shame

Day Six then, and today its the single Shame. Shame was released in 2010 and is actually Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow singing a duet.

Shame was the first single released from Robbie's second greatest hits album, In and out of Consciousness: 1990-2010. This was their first song together since Robbie left Take That. It was a hit in the UK, and reached number 2.

For those of you that remember when Robbie left Take That, there was a massive feud between these two. This single was more than just a duet - it was a healing of the rift between them. They both said things about one another when Robbie left the band, and it was a very public affair.No love lost.

Clearly, time had healed the rawness, and this is the result. Apparently they wrote this in less than an hour. Probably the reason it sounds so genuine. And it does.This was their public making up - friends again. Yay!!!

Not only is it lovely that they made friends, but better than that this is a lovely beautiful song. Its funny, its sweet and its from the heart. It kicks in slowly - its a humble effort this one, not big and brash, which makes it classy and sweet. The two of them sound sincere and their voices harmonise so well it kind of chokes you up.

Here is a link to the fab video which is perfect for this song. Its just the 2 of them,walking along towards their respective cars,not speaking. Later, they are in an American bar, and they clearly are referencing real life. Robbie going solo, becoming huge, and Take That reforming and becoming huge without RW. Finally, they start to look at one another, and they go out to the lake. Now they are reunited, they strip to the waist and race up the top of the cliff to dive into the water. They get to the top,think better of it,and walk away arms around each other. Its ace!

The lyrics are really sincere and mean a lot to them, which is very clear. The first line starts us off "Well there’s three versions of this story mine and yours and then the truth". They carry on, asking is this the sound of sweet surrender. Then "what a shame we never listened". "So I got busy throwing everybody underneath the bus." "And with your poster 30 foot high at the back of toys r us". "I wrote a letter in my mind, but the words were so unkind, about a man I can't remember". Basically, taking the mick out of one another, then saying it was all so long ago. Finally they sing "words come easy when they're  true". The boys - friends once again. Yay!!

I admit,I have a soft spot for these two, and I remember being so happy that they had made up. This song still makes me happy listening to it, after several years have now passed. Its definitely a feel good song - its funny,sarky and beautifully sung. Its clever and sincere. It sounds great, and lets be honest, they both look great in this video, so what more could you ask for? Perfect.

Go on, have a listen yourself and let me know what you think. Check out My Music page here for more of Robbie, plus Take That and many others. Happy Listening :)


1 Day to Go - My Five Week Challenge

1 Day left to go of My 5 week challenge which started  on Monday 17th March 2014. The Goal?  37 days in which to lose 1 whole stone. Major challenge. Can I do it? Here is how I am trying and my progress so far.

2 and a half pounds off target  - still. 1 more day to go. It's looking doubtful.

Breakfast today was the usual cereal and fruit. Lunch was a home made chicken salad pitta. Wholemeal of course!

I had my haircut, have been to the gym, done some last minute shopping, had my nails done and a spray tan!! Phewf!!

Today's gym session was a last chance workout:

  • warm up walk - 20 cals
  • 1 mile run - 120 cals
  • fast incline walk - 80 cals
  • set of 100 abs
  • 15 tricep dips
  • 5 full press ups
  • stepper - 200 cals
  • set of 100 abs
  • 15 half press ups (knees down)
  • cross trainer - 100 cals
  • set of 100 abs
  • 15 tricep dips
  • 15 half press ups
  • 1 mile run - 120 cals

640 cals total plus floor work. I am now up to a whopping 14000 steps!! Not bad.

Healthy tea is beckoning. No alcohol for me this evening. Hopefully I will see a drop tomorrow, but whatever happens, I have lost nearly 12 pounds, so brilliant already to have accomplished that!!

1day left. 2 1/2 pound to lose. C'mon scales!! 

Monday, 21 April 2014

My Week with Robbie Day Five - She's The One

Day Five of My Week with Robbie Williams and today it's She's The One. It was released in 1999.

She's the One was taken from Robbie's second studio album, I've Been Expecting You. It was the fourth single taken from the album which was released in 2008. The single gave Robbie his second number one, reaching the top spot in the UK charts.

This is a beautiful song. It's more a ballad or a love song, and is quite slow in tempo. Robbie's voice sounds so lovely on this, and just shows what a talent he is, being able to skip between happy pop tastic and deep and meaningful in a heartbeat. The album also reached number one unsurprisingly, but She's the One is the stand out track to me.

The video to this song is superb. It stars Robbie as an ice-skating coach to a pair of figure skaters. When the guy gets injured, Robbie has flash backs to himself as a boy falling over on the ice. Clearly never skating again due to the humiliation, and instead coaching others.

He steps in gallantly though, to partner the girl after the guy gets injured and he is fantastic. Sporting a very lovely black suit with sequins, its very believable that it is actually RW on the ice, though I very much doubt it to be the case!! He does back flips and skates perfectly, and they get full marks!! It's a brilliant video.

The lyrics are lovely too. This bit is my particular favourite : "when you get to where you wanna go, and you know the things you wanna know, you're smiling". I think that's really gorgeous. Then "If there's somebody, calling me on, she's the one". Stunning.

This is a gorgeous pop song, beautifully sung. It's really stood the test of time too, as it still sounds just as great. Go have a listen, and let me know what you think. For more of Robbie, or more music stuff check out My Music page here. Happy Listening :)


2 Days to Go - My Five Week Challenge

2 Days to go of My 5 week challenge which started  on Monday 17th March 2014. The Goal?  37 days in which to lose 1 whole stone. Major challenge. Can I do it? Here is how I am trying and my progress so far.

2 and a half pounds off target now. 2 more days after today to go. Can I get this final bit off in time??

I have survived Easter - not a chocolate in sight for me. Well, plenty in sight but not for my consumption!

Breakfast today was wholemeal toast. Lunch was a sandwich - low fat chicken salad on a pitta.

PT today - I did not feel like going at all. Today session consisted of:


  • sitting squat jumps - 3 sets of 15
  • sit ups with weighted ball passes - 3 sets of 15
  • double foot half burpees - 3 x 30 reps
  • box steps front - 3 x 50 reps
  • rope pulls sitting - 3 x 1 minute
  • rope pulls kneeling - 3 x 1 minute
  • burpees with press ups - 3 x 15 reps
  • clean and press 3 x 20 reps
  • cross trainer sprints 3 sets
  • sprint on treadmill
  • full sit up to knee - 3 x 20 reps
  • 3 sets of press ups

Today was so hard. Harder than ever. I actually told my PT that he was mean!! I also came very close to saying "I can't do this". But I didn't. I survived!

We toddled off to the pub for a drink tonight - I had single measures. So no damage done. I have had a healthy tea, so lets see what the scales bring tomorrow!

2 days left. 2 1/2 pound to lose. 2 more days to survive. I can do this. :)

3 Days to Go - My Five Week Challenge

3 Days to go of My 5 week challenge which started  on Monday 17th March 2014. The Goal?  37 days in which to lose 1 whole stone. Major challenge. Can I do it? Here is how I am trying and my progress so far.

The scales have gone up. Damn. 3 and a half pounds off target now. 3 more days after today to go.

It's Sunday. Easter Sunday. No chocolate for me!

Breakfast today was cereal piled high with fruit. Lunch was a sandwich - low fat chicken salad on a pitta. I sat eating nothing at Amerton Farm, whilst my family scoffed. Mine was in the car and I was proud of myself.

No gym today. PT tomorrow. However, I did work up a sweat making a den for G! Impressed myself to be honest!!

Not looking forward to PT tomorrow, but I do now want a good body. This 5 week challenge has kept me focused on my holiday, but I want more. I want a toned body to be proud of.

Tonight was cereal again for tea. A couple of brandy's - courvoissier - as a treat. And secretly just ate one small choc!! Well, it was Godiva!! be rude not to. It is Easter!!

However, it is now 3 days left. 3 1/2 pound to lose. I now have 3 days of real restriction but I can handle anything for 3 days dammit!! :)

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Computer Issues!!!!!

Right. Is anyone out there a computer whizz? My laptop has suddenly decided not to recognise my iphone so I can no longer download pictures.

So far, I have uninstalled itunes - twice. Been onto apple support - twice. They have shared my screens, amended countless settings, ultimately advising me that I need to restart the laptop. So I have.

Only to log back on to find the problem is still there. Each time I restart, the connection to apple is lost and I have to start all over again. At this point, I cannot face going through it again, so I ask you instead - what has happened? How do I fix it?

Help!!! ;)

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Chocolate is The Answer....

Who care what the question is. Happy Easter!!!

Spray tan top up - how?

So, I'm shortly off on my holiday which is fabulous darlings. I always have a spray tan pre-hol, as sadly I am not blessed with olive skin, nor does my pale fair skin cope well with the sun or actually ever tan.

I face the choice of at least looking tanned to begin with via a spray version, but then fade slightly as the week goes on, or just go pale and interesting. Generally, people cannot help but advise on how you might best catch the sun which is considerate but really unwanted advice. I don't want to lie in the sun baking thanks all the same!!

So, I have my spray tan. I love it. But with the applying of sun cream, showering, in and out of the pool, in and out of the sea, plus applying lots of moisturiser and after-sun it fades. So here is my question - how do you top-up mid holiday?

I have tried this before with a light tanning cream, but it took soooo long to dry that I was walking around the apartment like John Wayne for over an hour because of the humidity. So what to do? Should I try the aerosol version? Should I try St Tropez or Loreal? So many options out there, that I just don't know what to try! Any tips would be very much appreciated!! Drop me a comment if you would be so kind!! :)

Holiday preparation - woohoo!

So its just a few days to go until I jet off on my holiday!! Yay!!

Now, as a woman, its important to try and look the best you can on these precious holidays. So here is my list of the preparations I shall be making over the coming days in readiness - you would be forgiven for thinking that it sounds quite the ordeal!! Here goes:

Sunday

  • write packing list
  • try on bikinis 
  • try on shorts
  • get passports ready 
  • get hand luggage bag ready
  • get steps up to 12000
  • do some weights and ab work
Monday
  • 10am - leg and bikini wax
  • 4.30pm PT session at the gym
  • try on night time outfits
  • face mask 
  • exfoliate  
Tuesday
  • 9.30am haircut and colour
  • buy suncream and toiletries
  • get last minute bits
  • go to the gym for last chance workout
  • 3.45pm acrylic nails
  • 4.30pm spray tan
Wednesday
  • pack!! 
I am beyond excited but there is a lot to be done still. However, it will be worth it when I look groomed and relaxed!! Roll on Thursday!! 

My Week with Robbie Day Four - Rock DJ

Day four of My Week with Robbie Williams, and today's pick is Rock DJ. Rock DJ was released in 2000, and was taken from Robbie's album Sing When You're Winning.

Once again, I'm surprised how long ago this was released - 2000! Rock DJ hit the number one spot here in the UK, giving him his third as a solo artist. It was the first single to be released from Sing When You're Winning, which also hit the number one spot on its release the same year. It was his third studio album.

Back to the song. This is another one of Robbie's hits that saw him collaborate with Guy Chambers. The song is upbeat, and has a strong pulse to it, and it is really catchy. Robbie doesn't really exercise his full vocal range on this one, but he still sounds great. It's got some samples in it - namely from the Tribe Called Quest - Can I Kick It, and also Barry White.

Lyrics wise, it's got some fab lines although its not particularly meaningful in essence. For example "I've got the gift gonna stick it in the goal, its time to move your body". "houston do you hear me, ground control can you feel me, need permission to land". Then we get to the chorus "I don't wanna rock, DJ, but you're making me feel so nice, when's it gonna stop, DJ, cos you're keeping me up all night." Its easy to sing to, great to listen to, but its basically a pop song about dancing and the DJ.

However, what makes this track stand out is once again controversy. If you want to watch the video, then do so with a warning that its a bit gory, but its clever so worth a watch. Her is the link to the video if you are feeling brave.

It starts off with Robbie entering into the middle of a dance floor, around which are roller-skating girls. Above them is a female DJ with her headphones on, playing the tunes. All the girls are extremely attractive, and Robbie tries to get their attention and that of the DJ, but fails. He gives it his best moves, but nothing. So he takes his top off. Still nothing. Disgruntled, he whips off his trousers and dances in his pants. Still nothing. He takes his pants off then - you don't see anything so don't worry!

When this doesn't work, he rips off his skin, dancing with just muscles, then starts ripping those off too. Ultimately he is just a dancing skeleton, when finally the DJ comes to him and dances with him. Mission accomplished!  I think it's a really clever concept, although it is a bit gross. I love the message that comes up at the end of it "No Robbies were harmed during the filming of this video". Good to know.

I think this is a mega pop song, well sung, catchy and also very clever. Go and have a listen and let me know what you think. Check out previous days with Robbie on My Music page here, or for more music stuff generally! Pop me a comment if you like under this post. Happy listening :)



4 Days to Go - My Five Week Challenge

4 Days to go of My 5 week challenge which started  on Monday 17th March 2014. The Goal?  37 days in which to lose 1 whole stone. Major challenge. Can I do it? Here is how I am trying and my progress so far.

The scales have dropped half a pound today, so now just 2 and a half pounds of target. 4 more days after today to go. I was wondering if I was getting anywhere even close a week or two back!! Still a big task though to keep losing.

It's Saturday today, and the sun is shining. Today was PT. More on that in a moment.

Breakfast today was wholemeal toast and marmite. Lunch was a sandwich - low fat chicken salad, and a coffee at Dunelm Mill coffee shop. I even skipped the snack.

Today's PT session consisted of:
  • Very fast sprint runs 2-3 min bursts
  • Dead lifts with heavy weight bar - 3 sets of 20 reps
  • Sweep and press - 3 sets of 20 reps
  • 3 x fast 400m rows on row machine
  • 3 x sets of 30 crunch to knees (double knees and extend out)
  • 3 x sets of 50 box steps side
  • 3 x sets of 30 crunch with half leg raise
  • 3 x sets of 50 box steps front
  • 3 x sets of 10 rotating planks
  • 3 x sets of 30 tricep dips off the box
It was hard work, but he called me a machine today!! One more pound, and I drop to a stone that begins with a different number, and that's all I kept my focus on when it got hard and my muscles burned. Today was hard, not least because it was the third consecutive session, but its always hard anyway!!

I'm having a normal tea tonight - my two days on cereal one day off approach seems to be working, so am sticking fast to it. Probably going to opt for chicken or quorn and a salad or veg.

However, it is now just 2 and a half pounds to lose. 4 days left.  I can handle anything for 4 days!! I hope! :)

Friday, 18 April 2014

Easter Chick Cake Pops

I have just found the most amazing site called Bakerella. I found this amazing easter idea and couldn't help but want to share it with you all!! It's so cute!! Am so going to have to get into baking this year.

They look very simple- go check it out if you fancy the idea. I think they are lovely x

http://www.bakerella.com/spring-chickens/#ObxZAwEJwfMfxlPg.30


5 Days to Go - my Five Week Challenge

5 Days to go of My 5 week challenge which started  on Monday 17th March 2014. The Goal?  37 days in which to lose 1 whole stone. Major challenge. Can I do it? Here is how I am trying and my progress so far.

Excellent day - the scales have dropped meaning I now have 3 pounds to lose!!!  That's good. I only have 5 days to lose it in. That's not so good! Its dropped this last few days though, so whatever happens, I will be closer than I would have been had I not set this challenge!

It is Friday and it is Good Friday so no work - ooh that's nice! So today, with no excuse, I toddled off for a gym session. I was in two minds whether to go, as it was PT yesterday, and I have another session tomorrow, but went I did.

Breakfast today was cereal and fruit. Lunch was a sandwich - wholemeal pitta with chicken and salad, with a low fat snack.

Today's gym session consisted of:
  • 1 mile fast run - I did it in 8 mins 58 seconds - a personal best - 120 cals
  • Walk on incline - 80 cals
  • 3 sets of 100 abs
  • 3 sets of 5 full press ups
  • Stepper - 100 cals
  • Cross trainer interval sprints - 100 cals
400 cals in total plus abs. I'm pleased I went, but I ache now - especially my abs!! I can really tell I'm getting slimmer though - I can feel my hips!!

Tea this evening consisted of cereal and loads of fruit, with sugar free Alpro soya milk again.  Very healthy. This is my 2 days on, one day off purge for the final effort. Today is the second day, so normal tea tomorrow night which is good, because tonight I am sure hungry and I feel it bad.

However, it is now just 3lbs to lose. 5 days left. 5 days. I can handle anything for 5 days!! C'mon feel that burn. I can I can!! :)

My Movie Reviews - Chasing Mavericks

Chasing Mavericks is a film released in 2012, but it wasn't widely advertised as far as I was aware, as I had not previously heard of it. Looking for something to watch, we read the synopsis and found that it was based on a real life story. So we gave it a go.

It stars Gerard Butler as Frosty Hesson, but is based on the real-life story of a Californian boy called Jay Moriarity. We first meet Jay as an eight year old, when he is with a little girl by the sea. Frosty rescues him and the two strike up a sort of friendship. It sets Frosty off again with his love for the surf.

Fast forward seven years, and Jay is now 15 years old. Jay sneaks a ride on the van, and sees Frosty and his pals riding a giant surf wave known as "Mavericks". This wave only rides in every seven to ten years. It will peak in three months time. In case you hadn't guessed already, yes, this is a surfer flick, but with a difference.

Jay asks Frosty to train him. Frosty is reluctant, but his wife Brenda persuades him, telling him Jay is going to do it anyway. Frosty gives in, but on condition that Jay learns all the skills to surf, including being able to tread water for 40 minutes, and paddle boarding the 36 miles stretch along the coast from Santa Cruz to Monterey Bay.

Frosty also gives him homework, and he has to write essays. He choices Kim as his first essay. She was the little girl at the start. He gets closer to Kim whilst he trains, and they develop a friendship. Brenda encourages it to be more. Sadly, a few weeks before the big wave, Brenda dies. Frosty is heartbroken and takes off.

Realising where he has gone, Jay heads off after him, paddle-boarding. He finds Frosty, and brings him back. Frosty realises Jay is ready. Frosty tests Jay in the water, and he and his surfer buddies agree Jay is ready to ride Mavericks.

Jay turns 16, and his mum (played by Elisabeth Shue) gives him a radio so he can listen to the weather to track the swell. She knew all along what he was up to, despite his faking her consent. Frosty gives Jay a new board, especially for Mavericks. Unfortunately, despite wanting to keep it secret about Mavericks, a boy Jay is rivals with finds his notebook.

When Jay and Frosty head to the bay, they find a lot of surfers already there. Lots of surfers wipe out on first attempt, including Jay. He tries again though and a tense moment comes when its not clear if he is going to surface again. Frosty reassures Kim, who is also watching on the beach that its ok so long as he stays tethered to the board. The board flips up though and Frosty counts the seconds down on his fingers, as he trained Jay to do.

Finally Jay gets back up and rides Mavericks. Its an emotional scene. I thought it was going to be a sad ending. Thankfully it wasn't. Spoke to soon. A caption comes up after he rides Mavericks and survives and says that he went on to marry Kim. Sadly though, it continues saying that the real life Jay died free diving in the Maldives. The film ends where Frosty, Kim and lots of surfers are holding a memorial for Jay. I was sobbing at this point I have to say. Just 22 when he died, what a tragic loss of a young talented life.

Now, its a pleasant to watch film, and the end is weepy for sure. However, its a bit rigid and stiff, there isn't much dialogue and the characters don't really get explored. You don't really feel all that moved up until the end, as it doesn't seem to spend time building the chemistry. Its nice, Butler is quite good in it, but the acting is a bit of the wooden type. As a surfing film, its not exactly dynamic, but its sweet and its worth a watch. I would only give it a five out of ten though, and a couple of those in respect for the real Jay.




Easter Bank Holiday - lovely!!

It's the first day of the bank holiday, the sun is shining and I haven't had to go to work!! Happy Days!! 

It's also my lovely mum's birthday today. So today, we have had a bit of a lie in, then toddled off to the gym. I went prepared and made us up some healthy sandwiches to take with us for when we had finished.  

Then we popped up to see my mum - she's decided she wanted some Courvoisier so that's what she got. And some flowers and chocolate for easter. 

Now we are back home and its lovely and sunny we have no plans to do anything. Bliss. I am currently watching the first Harry Potter film - The Philosopher's Stone. I do like a day of just chilling out, and I feel very relaxed right now which is excellent. 

So what are you up on this lovely Bank Holiday? :)

Thursday, 17 April 2014

My Week with Robbie Day Three - Angels

Day Three then of My Week with Robbie Williams. Today I give you 'Angels'. Well, you can't spend a week with Mr W and not do, it would be just rude!

Angels was released in December 1997. I had no idea it was that long ago. This was one of the many great collaborations between Robbie and Guy Chambers. Make no mistake, this song made Robbie huge!

It was the fourth single from his debut album, Life Thru a Lens, which was also released in 1997. Amazingly, it only reached number 4 in the UK chart. How can that be when its the song everyone associates with this guy? Unbelievable really, especially when you consider that this song is played at most of his live shows, not to mention at every wedding, anniversary or other such functions I have been since!!

The video is a subdued affair shot in black and white. Its moody feel features Robbie looking cool walking on a long beach, a  helicopter flying above him, breaking waves. There are close ups of a girl, and Robbie playing keepy ups with a football. Then he walking with her in his arms, wearing shades looking hot. They ride down the white beach on a motorbike whilst the helicopter flies overhead. It's a stunning video.

Angels is an anthem. Robbie sounds amazing, and if you have ever tried to sing it, you will appreciate his vocal talent and range - it is nigh on impossible to do the key changes and hit the notes he does so effortlessly.

The lyrics are truly beautiful. It begins "I sit and wait, does an angel contemplate my fate. And do they know, the places where we go, when we're grey and old". I could easily quote the whole song here, but jumping ahead to the chorus who hasn't belted this out at the end of a night out "and through it all, she offers me protection, a lot of love and affection, whether I'm right or wrong, and down the waterfall, wherever it may take me, I know that life won't break me, when I come to call, she won't forsake me" dum dum dum dum dum de "I'm loving angels instead". Oh my goodness even writing those words makes me feel emotional, and apologies for the dum dums, it just didn't feel right to exclude them!!

Such a stunning, beautiful, emotional and powerful song this. If you have somehow not ever heard this go and listen to it immediately!! You are missing out. If, like me, you already love it, then still go and listen immediately. I hadn't heard it for a little while - having not been to a wedding so far this year of course!! Playing it tonight made me feel good. 100% love this song. It just cannot be faulted in any way.

If you want more of Robbie, or more other music choices to inspire you, go check out My Music page here. Happy listening. :)



6 Days to Go - My Five Week Challenge

6 Days to go of My 5 week challenge which started  on Monday 17th March 2014. The Goal?  37 days in which to lose 1 whole stone. Major challenge. Can I do it? Here is how I am trying and my progress so far.

Excellent day - the scales have dropped meaning I now have 5 pounds to lose. That's good. I only have 6 days to lose it in. That's not so good!

It is Thursday however, and I have now finished work for a whole two and a half weeks off - some time at home, some on hols!!! Oh wow it feels good!

This morning, I increased my routine again. Worth a go:
  • 250 crunches of various types
  • 30 squats
  • 30 double footed press jumps
  • 30 punches
  • 30 chest press lying down
  • 30 press ups
  • 30 tricep dips
  • 30 front kicks
  • 30 side leg raises
  • 40 knee raises
  • 40 running on the spot
Breakfast was cereal and fruit. Lunch was a sandwich - wholemeal break with chicken and salad, with a low fat snack. I have drunk 1 litre of water during the day, then more at the gym, and eaten fruit as snacks - namely a banana and an apple.

Tonight was PT and today's session consisted of:

  • Box steps up - 3 x sets of 30 on 2 boxes
  • Lunge walks up and down the studio 
  • Lunge walks up and down the studio with a weight bar
  • Side steps up and down the studio
  • Squat jumps at each end x 20
  • Running up and down the studio - sets of 6 lengths
  • Hurdle jumps - 3 sets of 10
  • Hand to toe crunches - 3 sets of 20 
  • Stepper - starting on level 10 and increasing every 10 seconds up to level 22 - 3 sets
  • Bicep curl with weight bar and squats - 3 x 10 reps
  • 3 sets of full burpees - 15 reps
  • 3 sets of 20 hand to toe crunches
  • Cross trainer intervals

I was absolutely wringing with sweat, but the session started with a compliment from my PT that I am becoming the disappearing woman!! That gave me a boost. People are starting to notice and it makes it feel worth the effort. Still hard though - sitting here now my thighs are burning!!

Back home for a tea of cereal and loads of fruit, with sugar free Alpro soya milk.  Very healthy. This is my 2 days on, one day off purge for the final effort.

So 5lbs to lose. 6 days left. It's only a short period, so lets see what I can do - all out now- feel the burn!!  :)

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

My Week with Robbie Day Two - Candy

Day Two then of My Week with Robbie Williams. Today it is the single Candy, which was released in late 2012.

Candy was the lead single from Robbie's ninth studio album, Take the Crown, which was released the same year. Candy was a massive hit and it reached the number one spot in the UK charts. Its a proper pop song, upbeat, catchy, not particularly deep but it sounds fab.

Basically, this song appears to be about a girl who thinks she is something. I didn't realise until reviewing this, but it was co-written by Gary Barlow so no wonder its a great pop song!

Robbie sounds fab, and this song really put him back on the map. It was his 14th number one including his Take That hits too - pretty impressive! It's a bouncy catchy song, not one of his all time bests, but I can totally see why it was a hit. Its a summery fluffy fun romp.

Take the Crown was Robbie's first solo effort after his re-union with the Take That boys, and from all accounts, including his appearance on X Factor, he was very nervous about returning to solo. The album also hit the number one spot.

Now the video. Its also upbeat and fun, featuring Mr W in a fetching pink suit. Only Robbie could pull that off and not look overly silly. He seems to be a guardian angel, getting in the way of all manner of disasters that could affect little miss thinks she's perfect, but she just carries on oblivious. The point being she thinks she's great - that may be, but she thinks she's made of Candy!! Robbie looks good here - he's aged considerably since the video I watched yesterday - Come undone, but then it has been over 10 years!

The lyrics are funny - "hey ho, here she goes, either a little too high or a little too low, got no self esteem and vertigo - she thinks she's made of candy". My favourite bit is when he sings "if it don't feel good what are you doing it for". Very true Robbie, very true.

I love the intro to this as you can tell straight off that its this song, and a Robbie song. Its catchy, its fun - it probably won't be a song with much future air play unlike his big anthems like Angels, but its great. Go have a listen - perfect for summer and if you want to feel happy and light hearted. Love this track. For more of Robbie, or other music check out My Music page here. Drop me a comment and let me know which Robbie song is your favourite. Happy Listening :)



7 Days to Go - My Five Week Challenge

7 Days to go of My 5 week challenge which started  on Monday 17th March 2014. The Goal?  37 days in which to lose 1 whole stone. Major challenge. Can I do it? Here is how I am trying and my progress so far.

Ok so today was a small drop, so now have 7lbs to lose in 7 days not including today. I like to make things hard for myself eh?

It is Wednesday. I have just 1 more day to work then I have quite a long break. Two and a half weeks off - some time at home, some on hols!!! Yeah!! Back to the serious stuff.

Still frustrated at not having lost more, but giving it my all now. Really going for it this last week to go. This morning for instance, I pushed it more than ever:
  • 200 crunches of various types
  • 30 squats
  • 30 double footed press jumps
  • 30 punches
  • 30 chest press lying down
  • 20 press ups
  • 20 tricep dips
  • 30 front kicks
  • 20 side leg raises
  • 40 knee raises
  • 40 running on the spot
  • 20 lunge jumps
Breakfast was cereal and fruit. Lunch was pockets of chicken and salad, with low fat snack. I have drunk almost 1 litre of water, and eaten fruit as snacks - namely a banana and an apple.

No gym today, but after work we went for a 2.5km walk along the canal, and fed the ducks!! It all counts.

Back home for a tea of red cabbage, leeks, courgettes, carrots and chicken breast. Very healthy. Not quite up to my 12000 steps, but am on and off the stepper so I will be before the evening is done. Excellent.

So 7lbs to lose. 7 days left. It's only a short period, so lets see what I can do - all out now!  :)

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

My Week with Robbie Day One - Come Undone

So a slightly delayed Day One with Robbie Williams then, and to kick us off its 'Come Undone'. Released back in 2003, this was taken from the album Escapology.

The single was the second to be taken from Escapology, and it reached number 4 in the UK charts. Escapology was Robbie's fifth studio album, and according the press at the time was a reflection about Robbie's actual life. Now we all know this boy has his demons, and listening to the lyrics of this song if that is true its a bit of a worry about where his head was at!!

Back to the music - make no mistake, this a great track. Its not an anthem as such unlike some of his epic singles - more of those to come as we move through the week. What it is in an interesting song, with dark lyrics, a slow pace and Robbie's vocals sounding superb.

The album hit the number one spot when it was released in 2002. No surprise there. However this track as per usual with all things Robbie, was surrounded by controversy, not least because of the video - onto that in a sec, but also the lyrics. Lets see what the fuss was about shall we?

Ok so we start off ok "so unimpressed but so in awe". And then we're off. He sings "so self aware, so full of s***". Its dark. Clearly Robbie not feeling a happy bunny. He continues "I'm contemplating, thinking about thinking, it's overrated, just get another drink in, watch me come undone". The chorus kicks in then and he sounds great as he sings "they're selling razor blades and mirrors in the street, pray that when I'm coming down you'll be asleep", then finally "because I'm scum, and I'm your son, watch me come undone".

This is a song about someone on the brink for sure. "If I stop lying I'll just disappoint you". "do another interview, sing a bunch of lies". He's feeling it, but you still find yourself singing at the top of your lungs along with him, as dark as it is, because it is a great great pop song.

So now to the video. If the lyrics got Robbie in bother, then the video was the proverbial slap across the face of the establishment. Controversial? Tick. Sexual nature? Tick. Robbie strutting around in an unbuttoned shirt, sporting a black eye, in his pants wearing pink socks? Tick, tick, tick!!

Basically, and without posting a link to this one - it is definitely adult in nature, its Robbie with a major hangover, flashing back to the party shenanigans the night before. Quite clever how it flashes back to everyone looking groomed and happy, then the mess left afterwards! I think everyone has had a few too many and spent the next day piecing it together haven't they? Just not on this scale. Lots of ladies and lots of body to body stuff, plus some lovely shots of persons being a bit ill. For all that, its actually quite a good video and these days I doubt it would get banned - these days we have Miley Cyrus and her twerking now!!!

So Come Undone is a superb pop song, with a dark edge, great sound, fantastic vocals and a bit of a naughty video. What more could you ask for? You've got to love Robbie. So there was day one. If you can't wait for day two, go check out My Music page for more music stuff here. Drop me a comment below too if you like. Happy Listening :)


8 Days to Go - My Five Week Challenge

8 Days to go of My 5 week challenge which started  on Monday 17th March 2014. The Goal?  37 days in which to lose 1 whole stone. Major challenge. Can I do it? Here is how I am trying and my progress so far.

I faced the music this morning - yes, the blip has shown. So yes, the weight to be lost is 8lbs. Some of this will drop quickly as I am so bloated from the over indulgence, but 8lbs in 8 days? Hmm.

It is Tuesday. Although things remain hectic and stressful, I have just 2 more days to work then I have quite a long break. Two and a half weeks off!!! Yeah!! Back to the serious stuff.

I am frustrated that when I was being religiously good that the scales were being stubborn before the blip. i am more frustrated that I had the blip, but thats life. I am reaching the conclusion that this may be a five week challenge, but that it won't end this time. I have learned a lot in doing this.

To begin with, how important it is to start the day on the right footing. Take todays morning efforts:


  • 200 crunches of various types
  • 30 squats
  • 30 lunges
  • 30 double footed press jumps
  • 30 punches
  • 20 bicep curls with free weights
  • 20 press ups
  • 20 tricep dips
  • 20 front kicks
  • 20 side leg raises
  • 20 knee raises
  • 40 running on the spot

Breakfast was cereal and fruit. Lunch was pockets of chicken and salad, with low fat snack. I have drunk almost 1 litre of water, and eaten fruit as snacks - namely a banana and an apple.

Then it was onto the gym:
  • 2 x sets of 100 abs
  • Rower - 100 cals
  • Stepper - 150 cals
  • Stair master - 100 cals
  • Cross trainer - 150 cals
  • Walk on steep incline - 100 cals. 
600 cals in total, smashed my 12,000 steps. For my evening meal it was cereal and loads of fruit again, as I try my 2 days on 1 day off approach to detox. Lets see if it works!!

So 8lbs to lose. 8 days left. It's only a short period, so lets see what I can do :)

Monday, 14 April 2014

Britains Got Talent - my first viewing!!

So Saturday night was the first in the new series of Britain's Got Talent. I have to confess, I have never watched it before! Well, snippets in the final stages, but I never got it.

Everyone at work usually chatters on about it. Everyone has an opinion on the acts. You would have needed to be living in a secluded cave not to have heard of Susan Boyle or Pudsey the dog, yet still I had no inclination to watch it. None whatsoever.

Saturday evening we were staying with his eldest and his girlfriend, and their new baby. I had no say in the matter, and Britains Got Talent was put on the TV for our "entertainment". Hmm.

With a total lack of subtlety I grimaced a bit - yes ok, I whinged about it!! Alright? ok. So on it came - Simon, David, Alesha and Amanda. I'm making comments now such as "when exactly did Alesha Dixon last release a song?" and "just what is Amanda Holden famous for exactly to be judging other people?". I wasn't sold its fair to say.

There were some odd people on there. Very odd. It was a bit disturbing at times. But then something happened. I started to enjoy it.

There was a really cool pack of Country dancers. I liked them. Then some dancers with clever electro lights - they were fab! Then there was Lucy. The tale of being bullied made me think a bit of the X Factor sob stories, and I was expecting something a bit cheesy. Then she sang and it was beautiful - opera !! Wow. Just wow.

Now, I can't say I am suddenly a fan. That would be fickle. What I will say is that I saw enough to watch some more. Quite looking forward to the next audition now - never thought I would ever say that. Who knew?! :)

9 Days to Go - My Five Week Challenge

9 Days to go of My 5 week challenge which started  on Monday 17th March 2014. The Goal?  37 days in which to lose 1 whole stone. Major challenge. Can I do it? Here is how I am trying and my progress so far.

I haven't weighed myself today after my little blip, so lets assume that I need to lose 8lbs, as I think I have easily gained 1lb if not 2! Oops!! Tall order now, but its still possible.

It is Monday. Another stressful and ultra busy work day. I am now on a detox - breakfast was cereal piled high with fruit. Lunch was home-made wraps with chicken and salad, and low fat crisps.

I am frustrated that I haven't lost more, the scales were being stubborn before the blip.  However, I can feel my body changing. My clothes fit better, well bit bloated today, but still improvement. Just got to keep going.

Tonight was PT. Todays torture Today was my punishment, and it consisted of:

  • Stair master intervals of 90 seconds double steps and fast!!! x 4
  • Lateral raises with free weights (side raises)
  • Front raises with free weights
  • Sweep and clean weights with free weights
  • Abs with weight ball throws
  • Abswith weight ball throws and side twists
  • double jumps across the length of the studio
  • Walking lunges - length of the studio
  • Step ups onto 2 step boxes and on the gym step (very high)
  • Alternating step ups
  • Treadmill pushing
  • Treadmill hill sprints - incline 10!
It made me feel awful tonight. There was a point when I was almost crying. He was saying come on, keep going, and I could hear myself whimpering pitifully "I can't". Somehow my legs kept going, but it took everything I had to do it. This is my punishment.

So 8lbs to lose. 9 days left. I have set myself a target - cereal for tea 2 nights, then one night of normal food and back on again. I have to get this weight off to look decent (ish) on holiday. I will worry about what happens post hol later!! 9 days, huge huge challenge. Going to give it my all. :)

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Five Week Challenge - 10 Days to go - The blip

10 days to go. Its been a bad weekend. Tomorrow I have to pull it back, but this weekend has been something of a disaster!!

Exercise - yes, I have kept on track. Food - ok but not great - until tonight when hunger took over.

I tried not to eat so that I could have a few drinks as we were staying with family. Unfortunately, this meant I was so hungry that I have given in.

So, ten days, and things are now looking harder than ever!!! Can I reach goal???? Watch this space. :)

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Caribbean Jerk Chicken - yum!!

I opted for a ready meal this evening as we are staying with family. This was a weight watchers meal - Caribean Jerk Chicken - 8 points if your interested!! I added a side salad as they are smallish in portion size. I can report that it was spicy and tasted gorgeous. I can recommend this one. Yum! 

Candy Crush - finally past level 354!!

Oh my gosh I have finally completed level 354 on Candy Crush!!!

I have been stuck on this level for 2 weeks. It has been driving me mad. I have I confess become obsessed with it. Lunch times, before work, when I go to bed - all to get off that level!!

I am so happy sad but true! Now for the next level! :)

Friday, 11 April 2014

12 Days to Go - My Five Week Challenge

12 Days to go of My 5 week challenge which started  on Monday 17th March 2014. The Goal?  37 days in which to lose 1 whole stone. Major challenge. Can I do it? Here is how I am trying and my progress so far.

I have now lost 7.2lbs. Just slightly over half a stone. 6.8lbs to lose in the next 12 days. The scales just are not budging this week.

It is Friday. Another stressful and ultra busy work day. Food today has been cereal for breakfast with loads of fruit. Lunch was chicken sandwich and a low fat snack.For some reason today, I just have not wanted to eat. Unusual!!

Today's morning workout consisted of:
  • 175 crunches
  • 20 tricep dips
  • 20 push ups
  • 20 punches
  • 10 kicks each leg
  • 20 toe touches
  • 20 squats
  • 20 lunges
  • 10 lunge jumps
  • 20 knee lifts
  • 20 star jumps
  • 1 min jog on spot
I tried to do a few extras, and each day I will try to do a little more now, building it up. Just under 2 weeks to go. 

I am frustrated that I haven't lost more, the scales are being stubborn. However, I can feel my body changing. My clothes fit better. Just got to keep going.

Tonight was PT. Todays torture consisted of:

  • sprint runs to start - he says I am getting faster
  • leg press
  • lunges with weight bar
  • side raise with wheel weights
  • rotating side planks
  • interval sprint rows
  • lunge jumps
  • mid squats with weights
  • side twist weight pulls on wire
  • drop and lunge with weight bar to side
  • double jumps (hands flat, hips dropped, jump out and in )
  • alternating knee ski lifts (hands flat, pull knee up to elbows)
  • sprints to finish
I could barely walk when I finished but by god I felt I had achieved something tonight. I have. I have persevered when every part of me wanted to give in and give up.

So 6.8lbs to lose. 12 days left. Bikini body here I come.  I can do this :)











My Week with Robbie Williams - Week 7

Its Week 7 of My Week with where I pick a different artist / band to review. I choose 7 songs, over 7 days and post my review. At the end of each week, I consider my choices and choose a favourite. This week I am excited to say its Robbie Williams. As a Stoke girl myself, it is particularly exciting!!

So lets get to know a bit more about him before we start our week with the man himself. If you saw my Week number 5 you will know that Robbie first came to fame with Take That. But I'm not going to focus on that. I'm going to pick his story up from after the first split.

In 1995 Robbie left Take That and launched his solo career. His first single was a George Michael cover of the song "Freedom". Quite to the point there eh?

Robbie went on to be huge. Since 1995, he has sold over 70 million records world wide. His first seven albums hit the number one spot in the UK. He is the best selling solo UK artist, has won 17 BRIT awards and countless other accolades. Not bad for a Stoke boy!!

He is a pop star. He has a huge personality. He is cheeky, funny, a little bit bonkers, and very very full of confidence and yet self doubt. Robbie has had success. He has made it. But he has his demons. He has battled drugs and depression, battles with his weight and self image, and alcohol issues.

I find all of this humbling. To be so talented, so full of life and yet struggle like the rest of us, makes you realise that money and success do not necessarily make you happy. Thankfully, he seems happy now he has his family and his life seems settled. The boy done good.

He has released some true epics that will forever be played at weddings. He has released fun, quirky tracks. Some of his album tracks are utterly mad. Some are ballads, some very dark. Then there is his swing stuff - as a fan of old blue eyes Mr Sinatra, that is no bad thing.

Robbie takes pop to new levels, sells out tours like no one else and keeps reinventing and coming back with new and fresh sounds. I am beyond excited to have the excuse to play his songs loud. I may even dance and sing along.

Come back for my seven song choices and listen along with me. C'mon - Let me Entertain You!! (sorry, been waiting to try that out! ) happy listening folks :)


Thursday, 10 April 2014

13 Days to Go - My Five Week Challenge

13 Days to go of My 5 week challenge which started  on Monday 17th March 2014. The Goal?  37 days in which to lose 1 whole stone. Major challenge. Can I do it? Here is how I am trying and my progress so far.

I have now lost 7.2lbs. Just slightly over half a stone. 6.8lbs to lose in the next 13 days.

It is Thursday. Very stressful day today, but I have stayed on track. Food today has been cereal for breakfast with loads of fruit. Lunch was low fat wraps with chicken and veg, and a low fat snack.I have tried to be as good as I could, but I have struggled today.

Today's morning workout consisted of:

  • 150 crunches
  • 20 tricep dips
  • 20 push ups
  • 20 punches
  • 10 kicks each leg
  • 10 toe touches
  • 10 squats
  • 10 lunges
  • 10 lunge jumps
  • 10 knee lifts
I tried to do a few extras, and each day I will try to do a little more now, building it up. Just under 2 weeks to go. 

I am frustrated that I haven't lost more, the scales are being stubborn. I can only keep pushing forward. It has to start to come off again, I still have a lot to lose even after this challenge!! 

So 6.8lbs to lose. 13 days left. Got to keep focused on that bikini body.  I can do this :)










My MOVIE Reviews - Silver Linings Playbook

Silver Linings Playbook could be described as a romantic comedy / drama starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence.

Bradley Cooper plays Patrizio "Pat" Solatano Jr. We meet Pat when he is released from a psychiatric hospital with diagnosed bi-polar, to live with his parents. His parents being Pat Senior - none other than Robert De Niro and mum Delores - Jacki Weaver.

We establish early on that he is ever so slightly obsessed with his wife Nikki, from whom he is separated. Having stated his determination to get back with her, he meets Tiffany - Jennifer Lawrence. She is a bit bonkers it turns out, having just been widowed. They develop an offbeat kind of friendship, where she clearly starts to like Pat, whilst he continually fantasises and talks about getting his ex back.

We learn that he had a violent episode before being sent away, provoked by hearing his wedding song playing whilst he found his wife in the shower with another guy. Said wedding song being "My Cherie Amour" the naff Stevie Wonder hit. Pat reacts badly now every time the song plays, which you would think wouldn't happen often.

Back to Nikki and Tiffany. Pat realises there is a connection and tries to encourage Tiffany to give a letter to Nikki in which he professes his love. She persuades him to become her dance partner in return for doing this for him, and although he really does not want to she convinces him. Nikki has apparently passed a letter back to Pat on receipt of his letter. It seems to suggest there is hope.

He thinks that seeing him dance might make Nikki see him differently and take him back. They practice hard. It's so funny when his friend arrives on the dancing practice. Jennifer Lawrence has the sort of body I want and am dieting hard to achieve!!

Pat Jr is then put in a tricky position. His dad wants to watch the game with him, Tiffany wants to dance practice. There is such a clever scene then where everyone is arguing, as his dad has lost his bet, when Tiffany arrives and impresses everyone with her knowledge and demeanor. This is one cool chick indeed.

A new bet is placed, but this time, it includes Pat and Tiffany. In a parlay, they must score at least 5 in the dance competition or the bet will be lost. Pat is reluctant, so they tell him Nikki will be there to watch him.

Everyone arrives at the dance comp on the night of the big game. Tiffany realises that the lie has backfired - Nikki has really come to watch. She realises that she has lost Pat. She starts to drink. They do their dance - its bit rubbish, but unbelievably they just scrape through with the points they needed. The eagles win - the bet is won!!

Pat goes straight to Nikki, but its too much for Tiffany and she runs away out of the place. He speaks to Nikki for just a moment, then goes back to his dad. His dad tells him Tiffany loves him, and Pat goes after her. He finds her and hands her a note which says he knows she forged the letter from Nikki. He tells her he loves her. Happily, madly every after.

Now, this all sounds twee right? Wrong. Bradley is brilliantly mad, and Tiffany convincingly bonkers. The chemistry is real, these two play the most amazing parts - sparking off one another and its thoroughly absorbing. Add the great cast, the great scenes with Pat Jr and Snr and you have an absolutely stella film. Clever, witty, emotional, dramatic, crazy, funny - awesome film.

The two leads - Lawrence and Cooper I have not seen flex their acting muscles before. I have seen them in other films, but they shine here. Both were nominated for Oscars, Lawrence won. Deservedly - she is mesmerising in this and shows that she is a great actress. Her character is messed up, but not so much as to be beyond understanding. I think we can all sympathise with those feelings sometimes.

I cannot recommend this film enough. Its a ten out of ten from me. go watch it now. Fabulous. :)

Gorgeous Titian Hair - "I hate it" says G!

Little G has beautiful titian hair. Isn't it gorgeous?


So why does everyone else love it, yet G announces yesterday she hates it and wants to die it!! OMG!! I would kill to have hair this colour - it has natural highlights and it positively shimmers like spun gold in the sunlight. Why is it that we are always the last to realise that we should love what we have? Sad but true. :)

My Next Week with is ....... Robbie Williams!!

Right then - my choice for my next Week With is .... drum roll please - Robbie Williams! Fabulous.

Over seven days, I shall pick on track each day and review it on my blog. At the end of the seven days, I shall consider my seven choices, rank them and place one track at the top of the list.

I have really enjoyed my previous choices, but I am mega excited to be spending a week with this guy, not least because he is a fellow Stokie!!

If you can't wait for the first song, then go check out My Music page for previous weeks and also my singles of the week here.

Now the difficult decision is which song to select first? Come back to find out :) drop me a comment if there is a song you would like to see included! :)

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

My Healthy Tea!


Introducing my tea this evening. We have red cabbage, purple sprouted broccolli, carrots, leeks and sizzling chicken. Absolutely gorgeous. 


My Week with the Kings of Leon is over

My Week with The Kings of Leon is at an end. Seven days, seven tracks. In conclusion, I can say that I have learned a little bit more about this band than I knew before, but, in all honesty, not all that much.

They sound great for sure. However, for the most part, their songs lack some meaning - or at least its not apparent or obvious in anyway. They don't make great videos - they are just what it says on the tin. A rock band. They are about the music. That's great because the music is great. Its hard to really feel that you know this band though, and that's a bit of a shame really.

So, to the tracks themselves. Great music, great vocals - seven great songs, all different, but all with that distinctive sound. Now to put them in order of my preference then. Here goes:

In at number one its Molly's Chambers
Number two Radioactive
Number three Sex on Fire
Number four Pyro
Number five Use Somebody
Number six Supersoaker
Number seven Wait for Me

I have enjoyed it, but now for the next choice. Music is great, and I am thoroughly enjoying spending a week with a different band. It gives me the chance to really listen to the music, to try and feel it, understand it, or just enjoy it for what it is. I have uncovered gems I had forgotten about, or some that bypassed me altogether.

Now the difficult part - who to choose next? If you can't wait for that, then check out My Music page. Happy listening and watch this space for who it is going to be next! :)

My Lucky Streak!

My word I am on a roll this week!!

First up, it was an email to say I had won an engraved bottle of Guerlain perfume from The Perfume Shop. How exciting!!

Then, I could hardly believe it - I got another email to say I had won a night at a luxury hotel!! Having now googled the hotel, it looks lush!! Can't wait for that!

Next up, I got another email yesterday saying I had won an Easter craft kit from Hobby Craft. Little G is going to love that- she is made on crafts. Fabulous.

Then, unbelievably, I got a further email saying I had another email saying I had won a pair of vintage cat eye glasses!!

I am quite literally the cat that got the cream right now. 4 wins in one week!! Never been this lucky - so excited!! It's like karma is rewarding me for working so darn hard all the time. So chuffed. So when I share these comps, give it a go - you never know, luck might just be contagious!! :)

14 Days to Go - My Five Week Challenge

14 Days to go of My 5 week challenge which started  on Monday 17th March 2014. The Goal?  37 days in which to lose 1 whole stone. Major challenge. Can I do it? Here is how I am trying and my progress so far.

I have now lost 7.2lbs. Just slightly over half a stone. 6.8lbs to lose in the next 14 days.

It is Wednesday. Its been another long hard and stressful day. Food today has been cereal for breakfast with loads of fruit. Lunch was low fat wraps with chicken and veg, and a low fat snack.

For my tea, it was piles of veg - tonight red cabbage, purple sprouted broccoli, carrots, leeks and sizzling chicken breast. Absolutely yummy. I have felt bloated today though - joys of being female - just hope it doesn't put the mockers on my weigh ins!!

Today is a rest day but I did do my morning workout before work. Today's consisted of:

  • 150 crunches
  • 20 tricep dips
  • 20 push ups
  • 20 punches
  • 10 kicks each leg
  • 10 toe touchs
  • 10 squats
  • 10 lunges
I was rushing a bit for a meeting at work, but still made sure to get some of the exercises done. Its important now I am this close. 


I am frustrated that I haven't lost more, but I have 2 more weeks to go - lets see what I can do. 

So 6.8lbs to lose. 14 days left. Got to keep focused on that bikini body.  I can do this :)









Day Seven of My Week with Kings of Leon - Wait For Me

Its Day Seven of My Week with the Kings of Leon, and the last day's selection is the single Wait for Me. This single was released in August 2013 and was taken from their album Mechanical Bull.

Wait for Me was the second single from the album, their sixth studio album, and the single reached number 31 in the UK charts. The first of course being Supersoaker which I reviewed on Day Four. The album was also released in 2013.

This is quite a slow paced song, but its full of raw feeling. Its guitars and drums, and Caleb's beautiful grit filled voice. As with most of their songs, its the 4 Followills that wrote and composed this track.

Straight away you can tell its the Kings. They are a rock band, but their particular sound stands out from the rest. Its subdued but powerful this song.

I actually couldn't find an official video for this song, so nothing more to add on that at this point.

The lyrics pull at your heartstrings on this. It opens with "gonna open my heart, right at the scars, listen up". It continues "I tried all the way, wait for me.... it's all better now". It sounds forlorn and heartbroken. Unlike other Kings songs, this one seems to have a clear meaning.

All in all, this is a beautiful more ballad like rock song, and much gentler than previous days choices. I have enjoyed my seven days with the Kings of Leon, and will be considering my seven choices and which was my favourite shortly. For more of My Music check out my page here. Happy listening :)

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

15 Days to Go - My Five Week Challenge

15 Days to go of My 5 week challenge which started  on Monday 17th March 2014. The Goal?  37 days in which to lose 1 whole stone. Major challenge. Can I do it? Here is how I am trying and my progress so far.

I have now lost 7.2lbs. Just slightly over half a stone. 6.8lbs to lose in the next 15 days.

Again today, I have had comments about my new shape and the weight I have lost. It helps. It makes you realise that people can see it even if you can't see it yourself.

It is Tuesday. Its been a long hard and stressful day. However, food wise today - healthy breakfast, healthy dinner, and had a very healthy tea with piles of broccolli, plus lots of fruit during the day including grapefruit. Am still having alpro low fat on my cereal in a morning - unsweetened, and still having wraps for lunch.

It's a gym day today, and my plan was to do a 400 cal burn. Today consisted of:
  • warm up walk - 10 cals
  • stepper - 100 cals
  • 3 x sets of 90 abs reps
  • cross trainer - 100 cals
  • stair master - 90 cals
Total 400 cals plus abs. I didn't have time for any exercise this morning though, but I have hit my 12,000 steps per day target. Today hasn't been too bad all in all but I ache now. Some days I could chew my arm off with wanting to eat, but not today. 

So 6.8lbs to lose. 15 days left. Got to keep focused on that bikini body.  I can do this :)








Rose Cupcakes - Perfect for Spring

Check out these yummy Rose Cupcakes.



These are my friend A's cupcakes - once again tempting me with her cooking skills.

I am on a diet, and yet am faced with such temptation, so I thought it only fair to tempt you too :)

A Well Stocked Fruit Bowl

The key to a healthy diet - keep your fruit bowl well stocked!! 


Every week I change the fruits. This week, its bananas, grapefruit, apples and nectarines. 

Last week it was all about the berries - strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. 

It doesn't matter what you choose - you can't beat fruit for a low calorie snack. 

Monday, 7 April 2014

RIP Peaches - Awful just awful

I don't ordinarily post about such things, but I am so shocked about poor Peaches Geldof that I had just had to.

I just cannot imagine how that family must be feeling right now and my heart goes out to them. That poor girl. To have lost her mother so young, and in such circumstances must have cast a cloud over her life.

She was a stunning young lady, with a beautiful family and whilst I have not read what has happened, she has left a young family behind her now. It's just tragic. Awful so awful. Words fail me. RIP Peaches. Shocked, so shocked. xx

My Singles of the Week - A Look Back at 2014 so Far

It is 2014 and this year I decided that rather than just listen to great songs then forget them, and let them get lost in the mist of time, that I would start to add them to my blog.

You know what its like - you catch a song on the radio and you think I must remember that. Then you don't. I thought by posting those sort of songs as My Single of The Week that not only would I get the chance to remember said music, but I could also share it.

My current choice is the sultry Solo Dancing by Indiana, and when posting this yesterday I thought it was time I had a look back over my previous choices. So here they are:

Indiana - Solo Dancing
Coldplay - Magic
Kaiser Chiefs - Coming Home
Katy Perry - Dark Horse
Will.i.am feat Miley Cyrus - Feelin Myself
Vance Joy - Riptide
Gorgon City - Ready for your love (feat MNEK)
Clean Bandit - Rather Be (feat Jess Glynne)
Lorde - Royals - My Single of the Week
Happy - Pharell Williams
Wrecking Ball Live Lounge - London Grammar
Wilkinson - Afterglow
Sail by Awolnation

Looking at this list, there is no genre in common - all they share is that they are great, in totally different ways. I can only conclude that I don't have a particular music style or preference and that I'm quite a magpie when it comes to music. No bad thing of course, it means I'm quite receptive to the thrill of new tunes.

Hopefully I can inspire you to find some great songs that you will love too. Why don't you go and have a listen to some of my singles choices above and pop me a comment to let me know which you love, which you thought were awful, and which are just meh!! Happy listening :)


Day Six of My Week with Kings of Leon - Radioactive

Right then, Day Six of My Week with Kings of Leon and today its the single Radioactive. It was released in 2008 and was taken from their album Come Around Sundown.

Radioactive was the first single released from the album which was released the same year. Come Around Sundown was Kings of Leon's fifth studio album, and also featured the single Pyro which was another of my choices this week!!

Radioactive peaked on number 7 on the UK chart, but its one of those that stayed around and still gets airplay now. Make no mistake this is a fantastic song, and well deserving of the top ten spot.

Its all about the vocals this one, and it makes you feel good - it has that kind of vibe. It helps that it features a kids gospel choir - it makes it stand out.  Its a touch heading towards cheesy, especially the video - more on that in a moment!!

16 Days to Go - My Five Week Challenge

16 Days to go of My 5 week challenge which started  on Monday 17th March 2014. The Goal?  37 days in which to lose 1 whole stone. Major challenge. Can I do it? Here is how I am trying and my progress so far.

As of this morning, I have lost 6.4lbs. Almost half a stone. Am fed up because it went up again this morning, however, this seems to happen on Monday's and I know that weighing myself every day will mean I see these changes and that overall, the weight is coming down. So I am not going to let it get to me.

What I intend to do is make these next 16 days the best. Make every day count. What made today a good day is the amount of people who commented on my new figure and weight loss. Finally, its noticeable - at least to other people anyway!! Me? I am much more critical of myself, and I can't see it yet - I'm still fixated on those scales at the moment!!

It is Monday, and I consider this a new week and a fresh start. Food wise today - healthy breakfast, healthy dinner, about to have a healthy tea - lots of fruit and veg. Easily hitting 4 portions of fruit and veg a day at the moment which is fab, today 5 portions. Also, have swapped milk on my cereal for soy milk - unsweetened, and have skipped bread and replaced with wraps for lunch. Keeping off the carbs at night now as well, lots of veg, salads, protein etc..

It's a gym day today, and today was PT. Today was hardcore as my PT knows I am going for it now. It consisted of:
  • Stair master sprints of 2 minute intervals, double stepping x 3 sets
  • 3 sets x 20 reps of squats with weight bar 
  • 3 sets x 20 reps of squat jumps with weight bar
  • 3 sets of gym ball planks
  • 4 x sets of horizontal jumps - length of gym floor
  • 4 x sets of lunges with bicycle arms (incl 2 with weights)
  • 4 x sets of 20 per leg lunge with knee lift
  • Cross trainer interval sprints (40 secs slow, 20 sec sprints for 8 minutes)
  • Lateral pull downs 3 sets of 15 reps
  • 3 x sets of 20 reps Prisoner Squats
  • 3 x sets of 20 reps sitting twists on machine 
  • 3 x 20 reps each side rotating side planks
  • 3 x sets of 15 squat jumps
  • finally to finish, a quick sprint for 4 minutes
Yet again today I was sweating like I had showered in my clothes. I do not look appealing at the gym at all - I look every inch like I have worked hard. Tonight, as ever, was hard hard hard.

Steps wise - easily hit my target of 12000 today which is excellent. I have to push it up a notch now. The gym is good and I can't do anymore in that area. I need to up the ante in other areas - namely the morning routines, and incorporating more activity during the day. Drinking some water, having some green tea and so on. This is what I must do.

So 7.6lbs to lose. 16 days left. Got to keep focused on that bikini. I can do this :)







Sunday, 6 April 2014

17 Days to Go - My Five Week Challenge

17 Days to go of My 5 week challenge which started  on Monday 17th March 2014. The Goal?  37 days in which to lose 1 whole stone. Major challenge. Can I do it? Here is how I am trying and my progress so far.

As of this morning, progress!! I have lost 7.4 pounds of the 14 I need to lose. The scales nudged up 0.4lb today,which is very frustrating.
    It is Sunday and a non gym day. I controlled myself food wise. I have indulged in one or two shorts this evening at a rare trip to my local.

    I have been to our local Waterworld today though, and with climbing steps to go on slides, whirling around the rapids, and generally splashing about, it definitely qualifies as a workout!! Obviously, I couldn't count my steps on my pedometer as its not waterproof!!

    I have hit 5000 steps on top of Waterworld, so well on track. Hopefully the half pound will fall off again, but you have to live not just diet. So I feel very pleased with myself for this weekend, as I have stayed in control.

    So, 7.4 pounds lost. 6.6 lbs to go. 17 days. Got to work that behind now. Time is of the essence!! :)







    Watching Grease and changing my wardrobe!!!

    Its Sunday tea time. Grease is on, so it would be rude not to. Just enjoying it, though it is ultra cheesy!

    However, a number of things occur to me. Firstly, you could wear those dresses these days and be considered the height of "retro" fashion. Secondly, why do some of them look sooo much older than they are supposed to be? School kids? They look at least 30 some of them!!

    Finally - how in the hell did Olivia N-J get into those trousers?? How tiny she is!! Never really noticed before. She looks amazing!!

    As a result of watching this film, my summer wardrobe is going to face an overhaul. I don't think her leather trousers are going to be a feature, as no amount of gym, weight loss or PT is going to give me that kind of figure!! But the dresses and tops? Lots of colour, figure hugging and womanly dressing will definitely be included!! Thanks Grease!!!  who'd have thought?? x

    Sleepless in Staffordshire!!!

    Little G is 8. 9 next month. She doesn't like going to bed. Not at all. On a weekday, its every excuse under the sun for not going to bed, but you can reason with her that its school in the morning.

    Weekends are more tricky. How do you explain to a very un-sleepy child that they need to sleep? When she isn't tired, and you can't use the excuse of having to get up early?

    This weekend, she went to a Brownies Sleepover on Friday. The theme was to go in their P.J's - 120 of them!! They stayed up late, doing crafts, watching frozen and having snacks.

    Yesterday afternoon she was falling asleep. We thought she would be wanting an early night for a change. It didn't happen. At 10 pm last night she was awake as ever. We had to make her go to bed, and she was messing about for some time afterwards. So much for being tired!!

    She does wake up a bit grumpy and tired, but once she is awake she seems none the worse for lack of sleep. She can clearly function on less, but it does worry us. But how can you make someone sleep when they are just not tired? We have tried exercise, fresh air, eating earlier, eating different things - she still doesn't get sleepy. I wish I could be the same!!

    Sleepless in Staffordshire is clearly showing no signs of tiring!!

    Saturday, 5 April 2014

    18 Days to Go - My Five Week Challenge

    18 Days to go of My 5 week challenge which started  on Monday 17th March 2014. The Goal?  37 days in which to lose 1 whole stone. Major challenge. Can I do it? Here is how I am trying and my progress so far.

    As of this morning, progress!! I have lost 7.8 pounds of the 14 I need to lose. A drop of just over 2 pounds today - very pleased indeed!! At long last some significant movement. Hallelujah.
    It is Saturday and today was a gym day. Today's session consisted of:
    • 1 mile sprint (beat my fastest time!) 120 cals
    • fast walk on high incline 80 cals
    • 3 x 80 sets of ab work
    • Stepper 100 cals
    • Cross trainer 100 cals
    • 5 full press ups
    • 30 tricep dips
    • 3 x planks
    I did not feel like going to the gym one bit today, but its one of those situations where the thought of it is always worse than the actual doing. Once I was there I went for it. 

    Right now, sitting here, I'm a bit achy but I'm fine. My other half seems to have his backside glued to the sofa and won't go to the pub any more, so at least I haven't had to face the temptation, although it would have been a nice reward for working so hard!! These are the trials us dieters face - others are not always supportive of our efforts, and this is certainly the case here!!

    Luckily, I am doing this for me, so it will not deter me!! So 6.2lbs to lose. 18 days left. Got to keep focused on that bikini. I can do this :)







    My Single of The Week - Indiana - Solo Dancing

    My choice for this weeks Single of the Week is from an English artist called Indiana, with the single 'Solo Dancing'.

    On first listen, I thought this was cool. Her voice is haunting, and a bit husky which sounds sexy and enticing. think 80's electro sound in the backing to it. Its quite slow paced, but you could imagine this playing loudly in a bar or club. Very edgy and very stand out.

    You also find yourself humming along to it long after you have finished listening. At first, I thought it was about her dancing on her own. On listening again, there is quite a bit of innuendo here 'Solo dancing'? Hmmm.

    The video certainly pushes you into that direction of thinking too. Its quite dark and features lots of meat, and meat being based with things, buttons being pushed - toaster, light switch. Things being flicked by her finger - a coffee bean for one. She shakes her fist at a jar of gherkins and there is a lot of fruit.

    She lies on her bed as milk drips down behind her, and then as if the point hasn't already been made, there is a framed picture of non other than Mr Bean!!! This girl has a dark sense of humour, and video is fab. She also dances and is blindfolded. As I say, quite dark, but fits the song perfectly.

    The lyrics definitely do more than hint at what this song is about. The line "I go dancing by myself, I go dancing with no one else" will stay in your head so be warned!! Beautiful voice, clever song and video = great song.

    The release date is a little way off for this one still - 20th April, but its already getting air play so its going to be big I think. Go and have a listen and let me know what you think. Check out My Music page here for more singles and music stuff. Happy Listening:)



    (video published on youtube by IndianaVEVO )

    Yum - Soup and a Sandwich!

    Sometimes there is just nothing better than soup and a sandwich for lunch. Here is today's version:


    The soup was hearty minestrone. The sandwich was chicken salad on wholemeal. Absolutely gorgeous. 

    See - dieting doesn't have to mean starving yourself!! Low fat, healthy and yummy!! :)

    Friday, 4 April 2014

    Day Five of My Week with Kings of Leon - Use Somebody

    Day five of my Week with Kings of Leon and today its Use Somebody. Released in 2008, this was taken from the album Only By The Night.

    Only by the Night was also released in 2008, and was the bands' fourth studio album. Use Somebody was the second single from it. Use Somebody reached number 2 in the UK single chart, but it should have been number 1 - its a great track.

    This single really bought KOL to the masses. You would have struggled not to hear it at the time, and its stood the test, still getting played loads. This is because it is a classic.

    Think guitars, drums and Caleb as always fantastic gravelly sexy vocals. This song won the band awards and its worthy of that. Its quite slow paced, and quite simple and understated. Its not Sex on Fire, its a more sedate, but much more emotional and beautiful rock song.

    The video is simple but effective. The band feature, again post make-over haircuts and image, in various settings. In a bar playing pool, just hanging out in an apartment, then on stage playing to a big crowd. The video also has footage of the city at night - cars, bright lights, neon. Then it flashes to black and white and its just them playing their music. Lots of close ups of Caleb singing. Slightly random clips of one of them in the shower, and one doing push ups.

    The words are lovely, but again its hard to get what they are about. My guess? Its about love, or lust. "You know that I could use somebody" sounds incredibly sexy here, and is also extremely catchy. "Someone like you" and you find yourself joining in with the "woah woahs" backing vocals. Perfect.

    I love the way this track ends. It powers through, with its gorgeous guitars and drums and vocals, but it doesn't linger. Some songs go on and on and on with the instrumental at the end. Not this one. Caleb sings "i've been roaming around, always looking down at all I see". And it ends. Beautiful.

    This is how rock songs should be done. Kings of Leon at their best. Go and have a listen, or check out My Music page here for other bands, songs or for more of this great group. Let me know what you think. Happy listening :)




    19 Days to Go - My Five Week Challenge

    19 Days to go of My 5 week challenge which started  on Monday 17th March 2014. The Goal?  37 days in which to lose 1 whole stone. Major challenge. Can I do it? Here is how I am trying and my progress so far.

    As of this morning, progress!! I have lost 5.6 pounds of the 14 I need to lose. A drop of just under half a pound today - very pleased. Hope to keep dropping!! Its shifting at last!!

    I did a good morning routine again this morning:
    • 150 abs 
    • 20 press ups
    • 20 tricep dips
    • 20 punches
    • 20 knee lifts
    • 20 star jumps
    • running on the spot
    • 20 front kicks
    • 20 toe touches
    • 20 lunges
    It is Friday. I have been good food wise again, healthy breakfast, healthy dinner, healthy tea - lots of fruit and veg. Easily hitting 4 portions of fruit and veg a day at the moment which is fab, today 5 portions. Also, have swapped milk on my cereal for soy milk - unsweetened, and have skipped bread and replaced with wraps for lunch. Keeping off the carbs at night now as well, lots of veg, salads, protein etc..

    It's a gym day today, and today was PT. Todays hell included:
    • 3 x fast rows of 500m
    • 3 x chest press with free weights
    • 3 x sets of 30 bunny hops over the weight bench
    • 4 x sets of 20 leg raises on the weight bench
    • 4 x sets of 20 scissor crunches
    • 4 x sets of 15 arm press
    • 4 x set of 15 weight thrusts
    • 3 x intervals of sprinting on stair master
    • 3 x sets of squats, bicep curl and thrusts with free weights
    • 3 x sets of side twist on weight machine ropes
    • 3 x sets of 30 box jumps
    • 3 x sets of 30 second bicep curls with free weights
    • 3 x sets of thrust jumps (think burpees)
    I don't believe I have ever sweat so much in my whole life. I was wearing make up as I went from work, but I was sweating so much it was running into my eyes. I kept rubbing them, but I had no idea that I had panda eyes going on. I also had no idea that I was sweating quite as much as I was. I knew my arms and chest and face were, but on entering the changing room, I caught site of my reflection - I was soaked !!! It means I worked hard, and thats all that matters, and not the fact that I looked a hot sweaty mess.

    Steps wise - easily hit my target of 12000 today which is excellent. When it got hard tonight, I kept repeating - think of your bikini, think of holiday and it got me through. Just!!

    Back to the gym tomorrow, 3 days on the bounce. I ache everywhere right now, but its a good ache. Its a "I have worked my backside off" kind of ache. I like that sort of ache!!!

    So 8.4lbs to lose. 19 days left. Got to keep focused on that bikini. I can do this :)






    Stationary Week!!!

    I confess - I am a stationary geek. I just love pens that write nicely, journals, note pads, post its - you name it, I love it. This competition is right up my street and apparently it is National Stationary Week!!! Who knew??

    Over at @NatStatWeek on twitter is this fab competition for stationary!!! Wowzer!! go enter but quick - it closes tonight!! xx

    @NatStatWeek xx


    Thursday, 3 April 2014

    20 Days to Go - My Five Week Challenge

    20 Days to go of My 5 week challenge which started  on Monday 17th March 2014. The Goal?  37 days in which to lose 1 whole stone. Major challenge. Can I do it? Here is how I am trying and my progress so far.

    As of this morning, progress!! I have lost 5.2 pounds of the 14 I need to lose. A drop of just over 1 and a half pounds today - very pleased. Hope to keep dropping!!

    I did a good morning routine this morning:
    • 150 abs 
    • 15 press ups
    • 15 tricep dips
    • 20 squat kicks
    • 20 punches
    • 20 knee lifts
    • 10 squats
    • 10 star jumps
    • running on the spot
    • 10 front kicks
    It is Thursday. I have been good food wise again, healthy breakfast, healthy dinner, healthy tea - lots of fruit and veg. I even drank some water - easily hitting 4 portions of fruit and veg a day at the moment which is fab. Also, have swapped milk on my cereal for soy milk - unsweetened, and have skipped bread and replaced with wraps for lunch. Keeping off the carbs at night now as well.

    It's a gym day today, and I have been and done a good workout consisting of:
    • 2 mile run (smashed my best time) 240 cals
    • walked on an incline at a fast pace 60 cals
    • 3 x sets of 80 abs
    • 3 x planks - 30 seconds, 45 seconds, and 1 minute
    • 6 full press ups (never been able to even do one until this week!)
    • Stepper - 100 cals
    • Cross trainer - 100 cals
    Total calories burned on cardio = 600 cals. Steps wise - already have hit my step target - am up over 12,100 currently. Excellent.

    Back to the gym tomorrow evening, for my PT session. Its bizarre how much more full of energy I feel today having had a total rest on Tuesday when I had burned out. Back on form now.

    So 8.8lbs to lose. 20 days left. Got to keep focused on that bikini. I can do this :)