So remember that holiday I went on to Florida? You know that really amazing one to Disney World where I ate absolutely nothing but Funnel cake, ice cream and pancakes... lots of pancakes? Well, unfortunately that (absolutely incredible) holiday made me put on a considerable amount of weight that I had worked so hard to get off with Results with Lucy in my last program. Luckily though, the lovely people at RWL have gifted me a new program to start on. The Six Pack Abs HIIT Harder Program is an advanced program full of intense HIIT workouts, advanced nutritional guides and makes for hours of post workout fat burning. It sounds like the perfect program to start on next (I previously completed the Beach Body Plan) and I think I'm now ready for the more advanced program to get me out of those holiday blues and back on the straight and narrow and to finally getting me some abs! This time around I'll be doing updates with pictures every week or two (depending on my schedule) and I'm so excited to be sharing it with you again. I'm determined more than ever to get my lifestyle back on track and really want to make a difference in my body. I know I keep saying this each time I come back after slipping off of the wagon again, but this time I'm dead certain that this is the time I want to make the change. I have 12 weeks on this plan to make a dramatic difference and I'm ready for the challenge! I can't wait to get into it, keep you guys updated and hopefully show you a hell of a difference in my progress photos come week 12. Sorry for the short post today, but this one is just a little intro and a 'before' post really before I throw myself into this. I have a super busy week ahead of me and I cannot wait to tell you all about it soon! As always, check out Results with Lucy because there really is something there for everyone!
So yesterday I had a bit of a crazy day out with the wonderful Steph from Ledigo PR and if I told you all of it, you probably wouldn't believe that any of it had happened, but I thought I'd let you in on a couple of the things we got up to! It all started with the most wonderful Afternoon Tea at Neighbourhood in Spinningfields, Manchester where I met Steph for some Prosecco, some girly chat and of course, the new Afternoon Tea spread! Sat in one of their new high booths surrounded by their incredible new interior it felt like we were in the midst of New York enjoying a mid-afternoon catch up like something out of Sex and the City. You may remember a couple of months ago I posted about having a Bloggers Brunch at Neighbourhood and since then the ever popular Manchester restaurant and Bar have had a major facelift! With their re-launch party just last month things just keep looking better and better for Neighbourhood and I have to say that the re-vamp is seriously doing them some good. The new emerald green chairs, deep wood accents and totally instagrammable marble look table tops in the main restaurant / bar area are perfect for the ambience that Brand Director Ash was trying to create when re-decorating. There are also separate areas off of the main room with enough room for private parties and dining and they have the cutest pink chairs which creates an altogether different atmosphere again. I absolutely love the new look and can't wait for more opportunities to go back, have drinks and enjoy their delicious food! Speaking of delicious food; Afternoon Tea at Neighbourhood is definitely not something you are going to want to miss. Starting off with a glass of Champagne and a cake stand full of fruit scones and the fanciest finger sandwiches I've ever tried, I couldn't believe that I'd never actually sat down to an Afternoon Tea before. I know, I know, how can I 'truly call myself British'? Well, it's just not something I'd ever been that interested in before (I was really fussy when I was younger) and not something that was that common in my home town. Well, I'm more than happy that my first proper experience (aside from birthday teas) was at Neighbourhood. They definitely make you feel special and there's nothing better than feeling special when eating cake and drinking champagne on a Thursday afternoon, especially when they wheel around a patisserie trolley where you can pick out your faves from a range of the most mouthwatering handmade cakes! As always the food did not disappoint and we were presented with the best quality we could imagine. Forget your standard ham and cheese sarnies and your battenburg sponges, Neighbourhood really make sure you have the ultimate Afternoon Tea experience with finger sandwiches containing salmon, prawn and (my favourite) the most amazing meaty concoction, which honestly I don't quite know what was inside, but it was delicious either way. When it comes to fruit scones, clotted creme and strawberry jam, I don't think I've ever had better and of course I most definitely recommend the Strawberry Tart, Mini Victoria Sponge and Vanilla Slice as they were literally to. die. for! I had the most amazing time at Neighbourhood yet again yesterday and with the day that followed (meeting the Body Coach and running around playing Escape Rooms and beating Kyle Christie's - from Geordie Shore fame - ass at Laser Quest!) it has to have been one of the best day's I've had in a very long time! Thanks so much again to Steph from Ledigo PR and to the lovely people at Neighbourhood for the day out, I cannot wait to go back again and see what other delights they have available for me! I'm still dreaming about the pancakes I had last time, just FYI! Have you ever been to Neighbourhood? Will you be going there anytime soon? Let me know what your thoughts are in the comments!
Looking at these photos I feel guilty. As of right now I'm sat watching Dirty Dancing having just stuffed my face full of Whole Nut Dairy Milk chocolate (my favourite just FYI) and I feel a little hypocritical sitting here about to write a fitness post. However, in spite of that I thought it was just the post I needed to write, if not just to kick my bum back into gear a bit. One thing that I've really been struggling with recently is my eating habits and getting back out of the routine of just buying chocolate every time I happen to be in the shops. As of next week I'll be back on a new program with Results with Lucy and getting back into the swing of things with my healthy habits instead of the bad ones. I'll be writing up my first post next week with my initial body image photos and how I feel I've done in the first couple of days, but for this post I thought I'd share with you my 5 top tips for getting back into the mindset of a healthier lifestyle and to not pick up that bar of chocolate.
1 - You don't need the rubbish. Whenever I'm in a shop and I'm looking at the chocolate aisle it takes me everything I can to not pick up a bar and head to the counter. The thing is, you don't need the chocolate. You don't need to spend the money and you don't need to put the extra calories in your mouth. All of the hard work that you do to keep your body in shape will be completely ruined for two seconds of bliss.
2 - You'll feel better after eating healthy. In a toss up between how I feel after I eat an apple and some peanut butter and how I feel after I eat a bar of chocolate I 100% feel better after the healthier option of the two. Same goes for when I eat a healthy meal and when I do some exercise... After eating an unhealthy meal I feel sluggish and in the long run it just means I have to work harder again.
3 - Cooking healthy meals can actually be fun. I absolutely love cooking (in fact I have a couple of my fave healthy recipes coming up on the blog soon) and knowing what I'm putting into my meals is so much nicer than popping a chicken kiev in the oven (no matter how much I also like chicken kievs). Making a little more effort and cooking meals from scratch makes me feel better all around.
4 - You're going to have to work harder each time you cave in. It's all very well and good when you're working out and eating well, but you're not going to end up improving on your body and physique if you keep taking two steps back every time that slice of cake or bar of chocolate manages to persuade you. If you eat well and workout, you'll get the results you're wanting much quicker.
5 - Eating well doesn't mean a zero tolerance on everything bad. Okay, so as much as I'm preaching that you'll have to work harder every time you eat something bad, you can't completely stop yourself from having the things you like. I strongly believe in the 80/20 diet and not restricting yourself all of the time, the more you stop yourself from eating something you love, the more you'll start to crave it. Craving certain foods isn't good for you because it means you're more likely to cave in completely (like I have at the moment) and take 1,000,000 steps back. Everyone goes banging on about moderation, but it really is the way to a successful healthy lifestyle; just don't take moderation to mean one bar of chocolate a day, maybe more like one or two 'cheat' items a week.
What are your points for helping yourself eating better? Let me know in the comments about ways you try and kick the bad eating habits.
When planning our trip to Florida, I knew that I didn't want to take my massive DSLR camera to capture the memories. With the Disney Photo Pass Plus app and having our phones on us, I didn't think that it would be necessary to take a big bulky camera with us and risk breaking it or having to leave it when we got on rides. Obviously I wanted to make sure our trip was captured in photos so that we could remember how utterly amazing it was, but without a smaller camera to take, I wasn't too fussed about having one. That was, however, until I was contacted by John Lewis a couple of weeks before our trip and was very kindly gifted a Fujifilm X70 Compact Digital Camera. I am so glad that I had this camera in time to take away with us and don't think I quite realised how much I would have missed taking a camera with me until I got back and looked through all of the great moments I managed to capture. The Disney Photo Pass Plus was amazing and it made sure that we got a million and one pictures of Jordan and I on rides and walking around Disney, but it didn't give us the photos we wanted to take ourselves or the photos outside of Disney such as in Universal. Having a handy compact camera with us made all of that so much easier and gave us some really great photos with amazing quality that we just wouldn't get with our phones (no matter how good the camera technology in our phones is now).
The Fujifilm X70 camera is a gorgeous camera that is lightweight and compact and perfect for taking along to events or out and about with you. It's my new favourite accessory and is so much easier than lugging around my huge DSLR everywhere. The X70 is a great camera with a 3-in-one lens that means that you get the benefits of a 28mm, 35mm and 50mm lens all within the one that comes attached to the camera's body. This means that although the camera is a little pricier to begin with, there's no additional charges later on when you want to buy more lenses. Which is perfect for us bloggers that probably don't have too much cash to splash about.
The images this camera produce are just insane. Considering I haven't yet quite figured out how to use all of the fancy-schmancy settings, even on automatic, this camera just takes pictures that are better than I expected. The Auto-Focus takes split seconds to fix on the subject of the photo, moving or not and leaves it looking crisp and sharp against a lovely blurred background. Exactly what us bloggers want for taking our snaps on the go; especially perfect for taking to blogger events! The X70 also boasts a super reactive touch screen and built in Wi-Fi meaning that this camera is a blogger's dream! All of those selfies and event photos can be uploaded straight to twitter and Instagram without faffing around with transferring them onto your computer first.
Another feature of the X70 that I have been loving is the flip screen. I know a lot of other cameras have these now too, but in addition to all of the other great feature this camera has it's just the icing on the cake and makes this camera the perfect blogging accessory. As my photos above show, the flip screen just makes it so easy for taking selfies and way better ones than my phone ever could too. It also makes it super easy to see over crowds at gigs and stuff; this wasn't so much of an issue in Disney but when I attended Live at Leeds Festival it definitely came in handy! One thing that it definitely does help with though is vlogging! Now, I'm not saying that I've started or that I'll be posting any vlogs soon, but I did dabble with filming a bit in Florida and the quality of video is incredible, especially for a compact camera. The image, as with the photos, is just so clear and the sound quality is pretty good too considering it's a built in microphone.
I am so impressed with this camera and can't tell you enough how handy it is to have around. Before I was so generously gifted with this Fujifilm X70 by John Lewis, I didn't really think I'd need another camera, a smaller one compared to my Canon 700D, but I honestly don't think I could live without this one now. It's become my go-to for family photos and for all of my blogging needs and I can't thank John Lewis enough for sending it over!
Wearing the amount of makeup that I do on a daily basis can be quite a hassle when it comes to bed time and taking it all off. I love sitting at my makeup table in the morning and carefully applying each product to my face, ensuring that my eyeshadow is perfectly blended and that my lashes are coated to perfection so that my mascara isn't going to budge throughout the day, but by the time the end of the day comes and I need it all to melt away sometimes it can be more of a pain in the arse than it's worth. Sometimes I wish I was the kind of girl who didn't care and I could just leave it on throughout the night, but then I become horrified with myself for even dare to think like that and trudge into the bathroom to tackle it with many a different type of skincare. I've tried many different types of lotions and potions to try and cut down the time I spend in the bathroom each evening and have never completely gotten my night time routine 'down to a T' so when I received a very cute package from Beauty Expert full of Aurelia ProBiotic Skincare to try out, I was over the moon! I've heard of Aurelia ProBiotic Skincare before, but had never tried any of it out so to be very kindly sent over a gorgeous wash bag full of mini's to try out was perfect! Within the set was a mini version of the Miracle Cleanser, Refine and Polish Cleansing Balm, Revitalise and Glow Serum and a Cell Repair Night Oil and it was all perfectly sized for me to take away with me to Florida!
The Miracle Cleanser is the first product that I tired on my full face of slap and I have to say that I was incredibly impressed with how easy it was to remove my makeup. Wanting to give it a full shot at wow-ing me I skipped my Micellar water to remove my eye makeup and massaged the cleanser all over my face, focusing a tiny bit more on my stubborn mascara. My makeup literally melted away and with one or two swipes with the muslin cloth (that I'd also received) my face was clear of all traces of the day's hard work and looked fresh and far more radiant than most of my other cleansers ever leave me looking. After cleansing I use some of the Refine and Polish Cleansing Balm to give my face a tiny bit more of a scrub and then I applied the Cell Renewal Night serum all over my face in a thin layer before bed. If you've read my Updated Skincare Routine, you'll know that I am all over night serums (or I was until mine smashed) so to have a Night Serum to try out from Aurelia is perfect. The combination of both in the evening have left my skin feeling so much healthier by the time the morning comes around. In the morning I then cleanse with the Miracle Cleanser again and then apply the Revitalise and Glow Serum to give my self a bit more of an 'awake' look. It leaves my skin looking radiant and I feel so much better once this has had time to sink into my skin before I apply my makeup.
Aurelia ProBiotic Skincare is made with BiOrganic plant and flower essences and is rich in precious omega oils to revitalise the skin. They're not the cheapest of all products, but I think that for the quality of the products, how they have left my skin feeling and the fact that Aurelia ProBiotic is an independent British brand, the price is right on point and now with them being available on Beauty Expert, you can get all of your favourites in one place! Let me know in the comments whether you've tried any of these products before or whether you're thinking of giving them a go! I'd love to know your thoughts.
If I told you I haven't had fun today shopping around Superdrug, I'd be lying. I tell you now, when you have an excuse to shop, there's nothing better! Recently I was contacted by Superdrug to see if I'd like to pop into their store in Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester to see their latest promotional tour in full swing! Throughout June Superdrug are sending around a special vending machine that is throwing out own-brand treats to everyone that steps up to try it! It's simple really and such a cool idea! All you have to do is swipe your Superdrug Health & Beauty Card and tweet with the hashtag #TweetforTreats and the magical machine dispenses a surprise product for you - full size too, they ain't messing around with you here! I think it's such a cool idea and a great way to get their customers trying their own brand products.
The product that I was generously gifted by the vending machine is the one pictured above alone. The Superdrug Optimum PhytoCellTec Skin Illuminating Glycolic Overnight Peel is a mouthful and a half, but is also a product designed for women over the age of 25 to help delay the early signs of skin ageing... Now, I know I'm not yet 25, but it can't hurt right? (If it does, please tell me haha, imagine if I was here making myself look older instead of younger!!). I'm really excited to try this out and see if it does anything different over the next couple of weeks.
The lovely people at Superdrug also kindly sent me a couple of products and a gift card to get spendy with in store when I visited today - they really have been so generous! The other photos above are the products I've been gifted / bought and I also can't wait to start trying them all out! I'm so excited to try out some of Rosie Bea's nails, the Makeup Revolution Contour Palette and the Browcote! I absolutely swear by Lip Cote so I'm expecting big things from their version for brows! With my gift card I picked up some of the Nivea for Men Post Shave Balm; I've been wanting to try this for a very long time now and after just finishing up my primer I thought it was the perfect time to give this one a go. I also picked up a B. fan brush ( I believe this is a Superdrug own brand, but don't quote me on this as I could be wrong) as I've seen so many other bloggers using a fan brush to apply their highlighter and after realising how powerful the Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Pop one is I thought it was about time I invested. This one was only £5 though so was more of an absolute bargain than an investment. Next up I picked up my fave Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer, because you always need more than one and then I also picked up the Kiss French Acrylic Sculpture Kit because I'm sick of buying nails that don't last and sick of paying for Acrylics in a salon, so I thought I'd give it a go at home!
The #TweetforTreats vending machine will be around in Manchester again tomorrow from 12pm-6pm so make sure if you're in Manchester that you get your bums in there for a treat! It will also be making it's way up to Sheffield and back to London later in the month so keep your eyes peeled on their Twitter for details! I'd love to know what products you get! Have you tried any of the products that I've mentioned above at all? Let me know in the comments your thoughts!