Saturday, 18 July 2015

Lets make it physical!!

We take so many picture and post statuses about our day on facebook but we don't seem to keep actual physical copies of our memories.  I cant remember the amount of times i've seen people complain that their memory card has died and wiped everything or their computer has crashed.  How often do you see posts on facebook saying somebody has lost their phone and they don't care about the phone but all their pictures are on it.  I think we should all print our photos, even if you just keep them in a drawer.  They will be there if you ever want to look at them.

I decided to start a photo album so I started looking online for a nice one that I could use.  Then it got me thinking about the photo albums I used to look through when I was young.  I was always asking who so and so was and where was it and what were they doing.  That is when I thought I would start a scrapbook.  That way I can journal details about the photos and I could spend time trying to make it nice.  I haven't been doing it for long so don't have huge amounts of scrapbooking stuff but I am slowly building up a little selection.

Here is how I got started.  I worked out which style I liked by watching lots and lots of you tube videos.  I ended up choosing project life because I loved the cards and the simplicity of it.  I found the most amazing website called hey little magpie which has so much paper craft and scrap booking stuff.  I have already spent a small fortune there.  That is where I got my album.  I found the D-ring album to be the best option and I went for the 12x12 size.  Then you choose your pockets.  I have a selection of the different types.  Once you have your album and pockets then the rest it up to you.  Do you want it only photos or do you want to journal as we as have your pictures?  How much embellishing do you want to add?  The sky is the limit.  I am still trying to work out my own personal style but as I go I am learning more about what I like and that the different spreads require different styles.

I will be doing a "look at the scrapbooking collection" post very soon and will post the different tools I have built up over the time I have been doing it.  If there is anything in particular you would like to see then leave me a comment and I will do my best.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

My sanity savers

Firstly let me apologise for my absence.  I have had a lot of things going on and I have been finding ways to deal with them.  That is what led me to writing this post.

I don't want to go into too much detail about my "issues" however it is not something I try to hide and if you would like to know more then just post in the comments section.

I suffer from anxiety and depression and sometimes it feels like everything gets very heavy and just getting up in the morning is difficult.  Obviously when you have young children lying in bed and waiting for the day to end and the feelings to stop is not an option so I needed to come up with coping strategies.  So here is what works for me.

  1. Talking to Kenny.  This is a completely new experience for me.  I have always kept how I am feeling to myself because I didn't want people to think I was weak.  I had never had anybody that I felt comfortable sharing my darkest thoughts with (and they can be very dark and scary).  He has a way to make me feel like I can get past it.  He also kicked my ass into going to see my doctor.  This leads onto.......
  2. Going to the doctor and admitting I need help.  I have never allowed myself to take medication.  I felt that I wanted to be fixed rather than medicate the problem.  That's not how it works.  Sometimes you really do need the extra help that medication gives you.  It can take a few attempts to get the right medication for you.
  3. Hobbies.   I have found that doing cross stitch helps me to calm my mind and relax.  Colouring in is also really relaxing.
  4. Get out the house.  Having time to sit and think is not good for me.  I need to keep moving and busy otherwise I fall deeper and deeper then its much harder to get out.  Sometimes I need to force myself to get out and do something, even if its just take the kids to the park or go to the shop.
  5. Finally I believe in the fake it till you make it mantra.  I don't mean pretend everything is OK and hope it all goes away.  I mean try and act like you would on a good day.  Try and find something to smile about and try and enjoy at least one thing.  Trust me I know how difficult it can be but if you make yourself enjoy something other things tend to follow.
I would like to point out that I am NOT AN EXPERT.  I am just telling you what works for me.

See something pretty can come out of something dark and scary

Friday, 1 May 2015

Hair removal

Well summer is getting closer and the legs will be allowed to breath once more.  I will be donning leggings and maybe, just maybe, a dress.

Now I don't want to scare anybody who may think a gorilla has escaped from the zoo so I will be de-fuzzing the legs.  Actually i'm quite lucky because I am very fair so its not easily seen but that just makes me worse.  I sometimes go a very long time between shaving my legs but since they are never on show in the winter who cares, right?

BTW it is quite ok to go au natural.  I choose to de-fuzz because I prefer it in the spring/summer or if i'm going swimming.

Anyway back to the point in hand.  Hair removal and my opinion on different methods i've tried.  Thats right my opinion.  Everybody is different and what works for me wont necessarily work for anybody else.


I think most people will be familiar with shaving.  It's pretty quick and feels nice and smooth.  It doesn't last long though.  I tend to have stubble after a couple of days.  Personally i've never cut myself but I know plenty who have.  Its not cheap if you buy decent razors.  I preferred disposable and would use a fresh one for legs then another for underarms.  So 2 razors per shaving session and 3 times a week starts to add up.  I wanted to try and find a solution that lasted a bit longer.  Which brings us onto........


Waxing lasts a bit longer than shaving.  Since it pulls the hair out from the follicle it takes longer for the hair to grow back and its not as stubbly since the hair hasn't been cut.  Some people find this method painful but I quite enjoyed it.  Yes im a bit strange but there is something strangely satisfying about the feeling of having the hair ripped out.  I have never self waxed, there are far too many scary stories of people who have tried it.  I always went to the salon to have my legs done.  It was cheaper than shaving but still was a regular cost and with young children I needed to find time to visit the salon.  I wanted something that I could do at home but didn't cost much.  That is where I discovered.....


This is the method that works best for me.  My epilator cost £51 from argos.  That was 1 payment and I have already had my moneys worth.  I had heard so many horror stories about how painful it was and I admit I was a bit terrified to try it but I am so pleased I did.  My legs have never been so smooth.  The first couple of times i did it my legs went really quite bumpy but after exfoliating and moisturising they were fine.

The way it works is by 40 little tweezers spinning round and plucking your hairs out.  You get some that you can use in the bath/shower which is meant to make it feel a bit better.

If you want to try it but the thought is a bit scary then a little trick you could try would be to shave then a couple of days later epilate.  There will not be a huge amount of growth so it wont have lots to remove.  Continue doing it daily for about a week or so, you could probably do it every couple of days, and that should help make the starting process easier.  Just remember to exfoliate and moisturise often.

There are a number of other options but I haven't tried them.  Feel free to leave a comment about tips and what works for you.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

My visit to run4it runlab and my new running shoes

Yesterday I headed up to Glasgow for date day with Kenny. I had planned on going to run4it at some point and thought I would do it while I was there anyway.

I went into the store and a nice girl came over and offered her assistance.  I explained I had been having pain when I ran and she took a look at my trainers and told me there was no support for my feet.  The next step was to get on the treadmill with bare feet while a camera filmed my legs.  Once I had ran for maybe 30 seconds she showed me the results on the computer.

She showed me how on my left ankle there was a curve when it should be straight.  It is the left shin I have the pain in so I was pleased to know there was a reason and more importantly, a possible solution.  She suggested I get a stability shoe.  I would only need mild stability so she recommended a level 3 shoe.  She asked my preferences and budget and brought out the first option.  As soon as I tried it on I felt my foot was much more supported.  I ran again on the treadmill and both ankles were straight.  She took out 2 more pairs to try.  1 pair didn't feel as comfortable and when recorded on the treadmill it showed my right foot rolling over.  The last pair was ok but again the first was the most comfortable.  That just showed me that even though they all had a stability level of 3 they didn't all suit my foot.

I ended up buying the first pair I tried on and I love them.  They are Brooks Ravenna 6 Stability.

I thoroughly recommend going along if you suffer from pain while running or even if you just want to make sure you are wearing the correct shoe.  The whole process took about 20 minutes.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

How to get into running.

I hadn't ran since primary school.  The actual thought of it was enough to break me out into a cold sweat.  My friend used to ask me to go out running with her but I thought because of my size I wouldn't be able to do it.  I was so self conscious and worried about what people would say or think I didn't even want to try in case I looked stupid or failed.  There was always an excuse not to start.

The biggest issue was I thought "normal" people would be able to get up one day and decide they want to start running and off they would go running miles at a time.  I know now this is not the case.  I think if you want to get into running, no matter what your size, the easiest way is to download a couch to 5K app.  There are so many out there.  I use 5K runner.  I like it because you get little badges (its the simple things) and little "you can do it" comments.  It does cost £2.29 but I like it and think its worth the money.  There are plenty other options that are free if you don't fancy spending any money.

So what other things helped me get started?

Sports Bra

A sports bra is an essential piece of kit if you are doing any sort of exercise no matter how much you have to fill them with.  If like me, you have been given more boobage to stuff into a sport bra then it becomes even more essential.  I am still on the lookout for the perfect bra (feel free to make suggestions).  What you need is a high impact sports bra with wide shoulder straps for extra comfort.

Running shoes

I love my trainers.  I read lots on how to choose the correct shoe and did the wet footprint test.  They feel comfortable and I love how they look.  I do want to go to run 4 it in Glasgow and have the proper gait analysis done when I get the time.  I think if your serious about running then this is well worth doing.  Its free to have it done and there are a number of stores available.

Comfortable clothes

Yes you can run in a baggy t-shirt and a pair of leggings or even your Pj's (i have a treadmill and used to do this) but it is so much better to get kitted out in good quality running gear.  The fabric is breathable and flexible which make it much nicer to run in.  I have found a few places that do workout wear in bigger sizes.  I love fabletics.  It is a subscription service but the quality of the clothes are very high and they are comfortable.  If you do decide to sign up then please make sure you read everything so there are no surprises.  I also get stuff from sports direct and premark.

A support network

Now I don't mean go out and join a running club or rope family and friends into running with you.  Not that that is a bad idea but it is not possible for everybody to do.  I mean join forums and facebook pages etc.  I am a member of the running bug and a couch 2 5K challenge group.  Both of these have been so much help.  The members are very helpful and supportive.  There is no question too stupid.  They keep you going and there are people of all shapes, sizes and fitness levels.

Motivation and Determination

Without these things there is no point.  You need to remember it will not happen overnight but I promise if you stick with it you will notice changes within a week.  When I first started I couldn't even run for 30 seconds but I kept going and at the end of week 1 I still hadn't completed a full session.  I started on day 1 again and I did it.  It felt so good to see that there was actually changes happening to my body.

I am not writing this pretending to be an expert.  I'm writing this knowing what its like to be starting out and I would love for you all to join me.  I had an injury (please please please remember rest days and don't try and push yourself too hard) so I am started from day 1 again.  There is no shame in stepping back.  It would be so much worse to think, "I cant do it" and give up.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Sour cherry and Blackthorn gel mask

Ilcsi Sour Cherry and Blackthorn Mask

I bought this mask a wee while ago and thought I would give it a proper trial before I gave my opinion on it.
I have use it once a week and I have to say I am truly impressed.  I have quite dry, dehydrated skin and it has made a huge improvement.  My skin feels softer and is less puffy.  I noticed the next day that my makeup goes on better.
The mask does look a bit grim when its on but it smells amazing.  Its a 15 minute fix for my skin and it has made it to the bathroom shelf which is a big deal since I lack space and only my most used products make it.

All in all it is an awesome mask that makes a big difference to my skin.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

The new me

As you know January was a very bad month for me.  February turned out to be a pretty awesome month.  I took a long hard look at my life and decided things needed to change.  I needed to fix me and learn to love myself.  Cliche I know but its amazing the difference since I started to actively change things.
I learnt to look at things differently and realised that if I didn't do anything different then nothing would change.  As Einstein used to say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.  So what changes did I make?  I decided I was worth while.  I was more than good enough and that I can do anything I want to if I set my mind to it.  I stopped hating who I saw in the mirror and started to make changes.  Real changes I mean.  My weight has always been a big issue for me.  I am the only person who can change that so that is what I have been doing.  I have been working out about 4 or 5 times a week and have noticed I feel so much better.  I have more energy and I actually want to participate in life.  My anxiety has improved and I feel 100 times better.  My relationship is back on track and better than ever so yes all together February has been a pretty awesome month.

So what have I been doing?  Firstly I was doing the couch 2 5K on the treadmill which I was loving but I ended up hurting myself so I needed to find alternatives.


There are so many things on this website it is amazing.  You have monthly calenders, forums, recipes and a shop that does ship to the UK.  All her workouts are on You Tube but if you follow her monthly calender then they are all on the page for you.  She also had an app.  I use it on the iPhone but I think there is one available for android too.


This is an American site but you can still use it in the UK.  You chose a game to join and place your bet.  The amount is in dollars.  I used paypal to place my bet.  Then you need to weigh in by taking a full length picture of yourself then another of you on the scales with the word of the day next to the display.  Then you have 4 weeks to lose 4% of your body weight or you could do a longer game where you have 6 months to lose 10%.  At the end you do a final weigh in and if you have achieved your goal you will get a % of the money in the pot back.

Jillian Michaels 30 day shred

This is a lot of fun but its not easy.  The first time I did it I couldn't complete it.  Now I'm managing it and I love it.  Its pretty self explanatory.  You do use weights on this workout but a couple bottles of water or tins of beans would work just as well.