Saturday, 24 December 2011

...festiveness: Merry Christmas!!

Title says it all, have a good one everybody!!

... Prizes!!! Funny Face Beauty Holiday Giveaway No.3

If you are interested in winning goodies from Bare Escentuals, MAC, Too Faced and loads more gorgeous brands, just click HERE and follow the instructions.

Good luck!!

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

... beauty: Project Blade.....

For those of you who are reading and wondering what the f@!$ I am going on about there is a scene in Blade 3 where Jessica Biel is upset and angry (no spoilers here!) so, rather than letting her wallow and break down, Blade tells her with great conviction "Use it"

Do you see where I'm going here? Possibly not, I am being rather random and far reaching, even for me.

To make things clear, this is my own use-sh*t-up project and rather than having specific item goals like project 10 pan, etc, the theme of my little venture is, simply, use it.

See, I got there in the end!

Anyway, I certainly have been using it this last couple of weeks.
So far I have finished a sample tube of Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk foundation (glowing review to follow) and a MAC eyeshadow (Innuendo) and a Bare Escentuals Buxom gloss (Dolly) are sounding their death rattles.

I will post pics of all my empties at the end of the month (year!!) and welcome any comments or compadres on this little journey of mine.

Project Blade is a go!!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

... beauty: Holy sh*t, Prescriptives is back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I just checked my emails and there, clear as day was a Prescriptives newsletter. WTF? I thought, Prescriptives doesn't exist anymore!??

Well, they are back, this time operating on a website only basis and, unfortunately, only in the USA.

How long will I have to wait before I can get my hands on a Super Line Preventor here in the UK???
I don't know, but I have asked them and they'd bloody well better tell me!

If you missed them too check them out here

Sunday, 11 December 2011

..... Beauty - Trilogy Replenishing Night cream and Cream Cleanser Review

Yay, a positive review coming up!!

Recently, I replenished my Kimberly Sayer day cream from Love Lula (see here for a review) and was given a choice of samples to receive with it.
I chose the Cream Cleanser and Replenishing Night Cream from Trilogy.

First up, the cleanser:

I received a small sachet of this which lasted me about three days and thought it was a very nice product. It didn't break me out at all and had a lovely rich, creamy texture that left my oily, sensitive skin feeling clean and hydrated. I didn't test it on mascara removal because I use a different product for that but it removed my face make up easily.
If it was ever on offer I would definitely consider buying the full size.

Now on to my favourite, the Replenishing Night Cream:

I will be honest, this product, for me at least, doesn't have the best smell. My husband commented that I smelled a bit like curry, but it's more like the herbs/spices you would put into the curry than the actual dish itself. The smell does fade though and isn't that strong to begin with but it's best to know these things in advance I think - forewarned is forearmed!
The texture of the product is surprisingly light when applied to the skin, I noticed hardly any shine after using it but my skin felt incredibly hydrated and calmed.
This product I would definitely purchase as a full size, whether or not it was on offer!! It's not a miracle in a pot or anything like that but my skin really liked it and, for me, that is the most important thing.

Anyone else tried any Trilogy? Let me know your thoughts......

Thursday, 1 December 2011

... beauty: Nip + Fab Clean Fix Oil review ...

I love oil. I love it for my skin, I love it for my hair. Love it.

Therefore, I thought to myself, surely an oil cleanser is the logical next step?

I was particular about my choice: I needed a rinse off oil that could handle heavy eye make up.
After a bit of research I decided on Clean Fix. It is at the lower end of the cleansing oil price spectrum and is readily available in Boots.


Things didn't get off to the greatest start when I had trouble finding a bottle that wasn't covered in oil, but I just put that down to people fiddling about and testing the product, as demonstrated on most of the un-manned make up counters. This was a mistake.
The product itself is lovely, it dissolves waterproof mascara easily, it smells beautifully of Neroli and rinses off easily with water. Perfect then? Not quite.

The first problem is that the main ingredient is mineral oil.

The second problem with this product is the pump. It leaks. Badly.
I used the oil on the first night and on the second night went back to my bathroom cupboard full of expectation for more loveliness but when I picked up the bottle I realised that it was covered in oil. I looked closer and saw that it was actually in a puddle of oil. The product seemed to be continuously seeping out of the hole in the base of the pump.
Naively, I thought that maybe this was a first night issue and that after this initial regurgitation it would somehow right itself. Sadly, after my first night clean up, the same issue greeted me the second night.

If this product was cheap these problems would be annoying but at over £10 they are unacceptable.

So the search continues, next up for trial: Cetaphil.

Thanks for reading, feel free to share any thoughts.... :)

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

... fitness: It's that time of year again!!

Ok, so I am both a beauty and fitness junkie. I love a bit of sparkle and I love a new workout DVD, so this time of year is when I keep my eyes glued to Amazon to check out which Z-list celebrity has temporarily lost a crapload of weight this year and is now flogging their amazing secrets so that we mere mortals can reap the same benefits!!
It's cheesy, it's sometimes a mistake, but sometimes, just sometimes, you find some real gems.

This year I will be purchasing three DVDs.

image form

Right, I made the mistake of buying her previous dance DVD a good few years ago and it was one of the worst I had ever seen, but, this year, she is being taught by Elia Siaperas who was the trainer on last years Clare Nasir workout and the prvious years Hannah Waterman DVD. He works you hard doing intervals and plyometric bodyweight moves and I love this way of working out so I will be risking a second Jennifer DVD in the hopes that he will deliver more of the same.

My second purchase will be Christine Bleakley - The Workout

image from

I didn't watch The One Show and I haven't seen Daybreak but she is in great shape, plus her sister has a seven stone weight loss story and I don't know about you but I love a good before and after! 
On a practical note, the workout preview video makes it seem quite intense and sweaty and is another one with intervals and plyometrics.

These two will be out on Boxing Day which is the norm for these types of DVDs.

The final DVD I will be discussing is the newest Davina - Ultimate Target

image from

Davina McCall is the exception to all the celebrity workout rules. For a start, this will be her eighth DVD!! 
She also releases hers before Christmas because she has, apparently, realized that not all of us wait until the Boxing Day Bloat to decide to get fitter!
Her workouts over the years have mostly been fantastic and I still use my favourites on a regular basis.
This years trailer looks great so I have pre-ordered it as a (slightly early) birthday present for myself ;)

Tempted? Sickened? let me know :)

Monday, 21 November 2011

... beauty: My first EOTD!!! Smokey plum featuring Mally Beauty...

I bloody love Mally. She is loud and crazy and she makes AMAZING makeup.
If you've never seen her you can check her out on QVC (US and UK) or on her own website

Anyway, I purchased and reviewed her Rise and Shine TSV a little over a year ago. I loved it then and I love it now so I thought I would share one of my favorite everyday looks. 
Please excuse the ropey pictures, I haven't done one of these before because I am using my phone at the moment and it's really hard to get colours to show up properly!

It's a really easy look:
- Mally primer all over my lid
- Mally Lavender Glow as a wash on my lid + applied more intensely in my socket and under my eye
- Mally Plum Glow as a liner and blended through the outer corner of my upper and lower lid to give depth.
- Napoleon Perdis shimmer dust in 37 (gold) pressed lightly onto my lid and inner corner as a highlight
- Mally automatic pencil in Onyx on my waterline
- Laura Geller "Wonder Wand" under my brows as a highlight

If you haven't tried any Mally please do check her out. She also has Christmas TSVs coming up here in the UK and the US so it's a good time of year for a bargain.

Hope you like the look.
xx L'Occitane Divine Cream Review....

So it's been a while since I wrote about my seven day trial but, finally, here are my thoughts on L'Occitane Divine Cream.


I had five sample sachets rather than the little pot of goodness in the picture, but the effect was not spoiled at all all. This cream is lovely. As I mentioned before it smells gorgeous and has a gorgeous texture - rich enough to quench thirsty skin but not heavy or greasy at all.

I cannot say that I noticed miraculous results, but the cream is meant to have a cumulative effect so if I'd been using it for longer maybe it would have made more of a difference.

Something that I actually find more important though is the fact that it did not break me out at all.

Would I recommend this? Absolutely, if you can afford it, go for it !!

...a giveaway! Bow Tied Beauty 200 follower giveaway.....

Here are the gorgeous goodies up for grabs:

What are you waiting for?!!!! Enter here

Saturday, 19 November 2011 Alpha H Balancing Cleanser Review

In my continuing search for the perfect cleanser I have come across some duds and some gems. Happily, this one falls into the latter category.

I was watching QVC again and saw a very persuasive demo of this product. However, the price was a little more than I was willing to risk, even with the legendary 30 day money back guarantee to fall back on, so I trawled through the listings in ebay and managed to find a small size at a good price.


This cleanser had some serious claims to live up to: non-stripping, yet thorough, ph balanced cleansing and the ability to remove even waterproof mascara without irritation.

Amazingly, it passed on all counts.

I love this cleanser. It removes all my waterproof mascara (no easy task, believe me) with minimal rubbing, it rinses off beautifully leaving my skin feeling clean without being "squeaky" or dehydrated, and finally, but crucially, it does not break me out.

I literally have only one problem with this product and that is price. It costs about £22 for 200ml which, while not silly money, is still a hefty amount. So, for the moment, I am keeping an eye out for good value kits, ebay bargains and potential high street dupes.

Anyone else tried this or able to recommend something similar?

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

... Prizes!! A World full of Prettiness Autumn Giveaway...

The lovely Kate from A World Full of  Prettiness is having an extremely generous Autumn Giveaway to celebrate 1000 followers on YouTube - Well Done!!

Here are the prizes on offer:

Yum :)

To enter just go to A World Full of Prettiness and follow the clear and concise instructions.

Good luck!!

Friday, 14 October 2011

Beauty: A'kin Rosehip oil

So a couple of days ago I wrote a review for the A'kin Cellular Radiance Serum which I bought in a set with A'kin Rosehip Oil, so today I feel it's only fair to review that too.

image courtesy of

The oil comes in exactly the same packaging as the serum ( which is also an oil - confused yet?!!? ) and is the same 30ml size which, I believe, is the only size you can get.
It is the same colour; dark amber, and has the same smell; tea leaves, so if you are ok with one you will probably like the other one too.

Is there a difference in performance that justifies the difference in price? I am actually not sure, I use the pair as instructed: this one in the morning (1 drop for my face, 2-3 drops for my neck and decolletage) and the other at night so I don't know whether or not one is better because I haven't tried them separately.

However, if the price is really as issue I would definitely suggest giving the "standard" oil a try because it helps keep m skin hydrated all day long without causing my oily skin to overproduce further.

I will update this review once I have tried the rosehip oil on it's own. In the meantime, you can purchase it from like I did or

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

...Beauty: ANOTHER Double Wear update!

So I have already done two posts on this foundation but get ready for another :D

I was going through my stash of unused samples last week and came across my teeny bottle of Double Wear in "Ecru" so. on a whim, I gave it another go, not even bothering to put on a primer, and I loved it!

It stayed on all day, just "maturing" from a matte finish in the morning into a nice, healthy glow in the evening. It didn't oxidize at all.

So maybe that's what I was doing wrong before, maybe primer and Double Wear are uneasy bedfellows...

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Randomness: Weird Tuesday

Yesterday was strange.

 I am not the only one who thought so. Why? So many studies s**t all over the Full Moon having any effect on human behaviour, but some things can, apparently, not be proven using a test tube or a petri dish.

It was grey, gloomy weather here in Wales and, at first, I thought that was the problem, but negativity needs more than rain as sustenance so precipitation as an explanation simply didn't cut it. People were quieter than usual, less forthcoming, less friendly.

The chill went further than bone deep, the gloom hovered inside as well as out.

I was feeling sad beforehand, someone was leaving, possibly for good, and I would miss them.

Yesterday, it felt like the world knew my thoughts.


.... Beauty: A'kin Cellular Radiance serum review......

As much as I adore Josie Maran Argan oil, I cannot purchase it here in the UK (Why Josie, why????) so I needed to find an alternative because, without it, my skin just isn't happy.

Enter the first contender, A'kin Cellular Radiance Serum.

image courtesy of

I bought this product as part of a duo set from QVC, it contained this and the A'kin Rosehip oil at a very decent price compared to other websites I checked. 

As you can see, the serum, which is actually an oil, comes in a 30ml size dropper bottle which is nice for dispensing just a couple of drops. The oil looks and smells pretty much the same as the standard Rosehip oil which is a sort of dark amber colour and smells a little bit like tea leaves. 
I like that about it, I have tried cheaper oils that have no colour or smell and they haven't done anything for my skin so, for me, these "imperfections" are proof of the quality of the A'kin products.

I use it the way I used the Argan oil but only in the evening:  2-3 drops on my face, 2-3 drops for my neck and decolletage. I emulsify it in my palms first and then gently massage and press it into my skin, including around my eyes and on my eyelashes.

I would totally recommend this serum as it healed my skin during a reaction to another product. The first couple of times I used it my face looked amazingly glowy when I woke up but that hasn't really happened since, which is a shame, but I still love it for the way it keeps me spot free.

You can buy it A'kin from like I did or from

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

..... Reading: A Song of Ice and Fire (or Game of Thrones) .....

If there is one reason for my laissez faire blogging habits it is these books. Every spare second has been taken up with completing the story so far.

I can't really give an in depth review without giving something away for the uninitiated, the plot is so full of twists and turns, but I can say that, once you get past the initial shocks, the story sucks you in completely.

If you have caught Game of Thrones on HBO but haven't read the books behind the TV show I would definitely recommend checking them out.

Scarlett xx

Friday, 7 October 2011

.... Beauty: 7 day trial of L'Occitane Divine Cream (courtesy of BeautyBecca) - Day 1

So six days ago I received a lovely email from BeautyBecca telling me that I had had won her giveaway of a week's worth of L'Occitane Divine Cream and, as someone who is a little obsessed with all things beauty and (ever so) slightly addicted to QVC, I was more than a little excited to get a change to try this super luxe Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible "Miracle Cream" champion which I had been lemming since seeing the demo a couple of weeks ago.

Here is what I won:

and here is what I think so far:
First of all, I think I will be able to get at least 14 days out of these as I only use an SPF day cream. Second of all, even the sample sachets are puuuurty....... *sigh*

Anyway, I tried the cream for the first time last night and so far I really like it. The cream is thick but I didn't find it greasy and I didn't need much for my whole face and decollete. I found it quite hydrating, even on my cheeks which have a tendency to become dehydrated. The smell is quite subtle and a little bit "herby", it smells like a L'Occitane product.

This morning I was very impressed by how my skin looked. Usually in the morning I look tired and greasy, not so this fine morning - my skin looked surprisingly even and was not greasy at all!!!

Obviously I will be continuing the trial until I run out so I will post updates as it goes along but, so far, I am definitely impressed and I can't wait to see if the the results get even better.

Thanks for reading,
Scarlett xx

...... Food: Super simple breakfast recipe - Banana and walnut mash up........

It's almost embarrassingly simple but sometimes it's easy to overlook the obvious and this one only occurred to me when I ran out of porridge one morning.

The instructions are in the title, simply mash one banana in with some crushed walnuts.

Tasty. Filling. No dairy.


Thursday, 6 October 2011

..... Beauty: Elemis Melting Cleansing Gel review

I was sent this product (as part of a promotion on Facebook) in a trial size when it was first released but didn't really have the chance to review it until now so you may have already seen a bajillion reviews but I am adding my 2 cents just the same.
Here goes.

The product comes out of the tube as a translucent orange gel-cream which also smells like (slightly chemical) oranges.

When you rub it on your skin it transforms into an oil which you massage in like a normal cleanser.

To remove it, you add water so that it turns milky and easily rinses away. In theory...

I found that, for some bizarre reason, it just will not rinse off! I have now tried it for two weeks and not once has this milky miracle transpired! I've seen it demonstrated on QVC so I know it can be done but, for me, this cleanser simply doesn't live up to the price tag of £19.40 for 125ml.

An extra gripe is that you can't use it around your eyes so you would definitely need a separate product to remove eye make up.

There are supposed to be some exfoliating benefits to this cleanser but I haven't noticed any, possibly due to the greasy residue that I get left with every time I use it.

Sadly, I cannot recommend this product. Elemis makes some good stuff but this one was just not right for my oily, sensitive skin.

Scarlett xx

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

...... Beauty: Gliss Shea Cashmere Shampoo and conditioner review

Well, that no 'poo days are officially over. I followed the advice in Curly Girl to the letter and ended up with a tangled crows nest of hair on top of a sore scalp so last week I went to Savers and picked up the silicone loaded bargain that is Gliss Shea Cashmere.

    These babies cost a bargainous £1 each and after the first wash my hair felt silky soft and my scalp went back to normal. I still have that frizzy halo but these products make no claims to fix that and I have used much pricer products *ahem* Sebastian Laminates *ahem* that made the frizz worse and my hair feel like straw.

    Would I recommend these products? So far, it's a resounding yes :)

    You can buy these where I did: Savers, or at Superdrug where they are £1.99 but sometimes buy one get one free if you want to collect points ;)

    Scarlett xx

    ....entertainment: 30 Rock Rules!!

    Ugh. I haven't  quite gotten the hang of this regular blogging malarkey yet but, you know what they say, practice makes perfect, so at some point the habit will stick I'm sure.....

    Anyway, one of my many recent distractions has been (finally) cottoning on to this hilarious television show.

    I love it, I totally get the hype and Alec Baldwin is my new hero. Nice job Tina Fey :)

    If you haven't seen it already( there may still be some of you left!!) do check it out, it may be just the thing to brighten up those impending Winter nights.


    Wednesday, 10 August 2011

    ..... beauty: Brands that are on QVC USA that should also be on QVC UK - No 1 - Josie Maran

    I understand that in terms of global politics this matters not a jot, but this discrepancy of brands (and pricing, actually) has been one of my pet peeves since I found out that QVC customers in the States have been getting incredible value, auto-delivery TSVs for YEARS AND YEARS.
    I understand that we are in a different country with a different economy and that sales logistics can be complicated, but surely QVC is QVC?

    At this point I would like to throw all my toys out of the pram and have a full on tantrum, but negativity is not the mission of this post, no, this post is dedicated to the wonders of Josie Maran Cosmetics.......

    I first came across Josie Maran's brand in August 2008 while studying in San Francisco. My skin was breaking out but, as luck would have it, I remembered a Sephora subscription email I had received not long before singing the praises of JM's Argan oil.

    This miracle oil could get rid of wrinkles, heal acne and moisturise skin better than any extortionately priced, overly advertised unguent. Obviously I was intrigued and San Francisco just so happened to have a very well stocked Sephora, so the inevitable occurred and that very same day a little brown bottle of potential sat in my bathroom just waiting to be tested.

    I started out tentatively, worried (despite previously seeing results to the contrary) that the application of oil on an already overly oily skin would just make things worse, but you know the answer - of course it didn't. What it did do was live up to the last two of those high expectations - the spots and scars were able to heal and the moisture boost allowed the my skin to balance out the oiliness. I am not saying that it doesn't work on wrinkles but (touch wood) I have none to test it on.

    The oil itself is a translucent golden/copper colour and the smell, at first, is weird but I got used to it straight away as it doesn't linger.

    My usage routine went as follows:
    - 1 drop for my face, 2-3 drops for my neck and decollete, A.M.
    - 2-3 drops for my face, 2-3 drops for my neck, etc, P.M.

    It completely healed my skin and it is still the best face oil I have ever tried, despite finding others that I did like.

    At this point you may be thinking "Well, if it's so great, why aren't you still using it?" and that is a very valid point. The simple answer is this: I cannot buy it in the UK.

    That's right, ever since my stockpile ran out I have been Argan-less. I tried another brand that I found on eBay but it was just not the same. It was cheaper but it didn't  do anything for my skin.

    Then, to add insult to injury, I find out that I have missed out on a whole host of gorgeous sounding products that have been released during my American absence - none of which I am able to try!

    So please, Josie, I beg you QVC, make these products available this side of the Atlantic and make a beauty addict's day.

    Thanks for reading

    Sunday, 7 August 2011

    ...... Kimberly Sayer Ultra light Organic Facial Moisturiser SPF25......

    Here comes the blurb, courtesy of :

    A lightweight, protective day cream. with mineral sunscreen that’s easily absorbed and won’t clog pores or cause breakouts. Kimberly Sayer Ultra Light Organic Facial Moisturiser contains lemon to detoxify the skin and minimize the production of oil, while drying up acne and zits. Ideal for use under make-up. 

    -Suitable for oily and acne skins.
    -Easily absorbed lightweight formula won’t clog pores.
    -Sea Algae extract to protect against UV-A oxidative stress.
    -Kimberly Sayer uses non-toxic sunblock derived from minerals Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide to offer UV-A and -UV-B protection from the sun without irritating the most sensitive of skin
    -Use daily and under make-up 

    I have been using this moisturiser (on and off due to general product whoriness) for almost three years and I wholeheartedly agree with all the claims.
    I first came across the brand in 2008 in a Los Angeles branch of Whole Foods when I was in the middle of a 3 month American Odyssey and found myself without a daily SPF cream. Now, I have probably mentioned before, but I have the greasiest, most reactive skin in the world (dramatic, moi?!) and the sad truth is that most products break me out. The magic of this one is that is doesn't. It gives me a light layer of moisture, protects my skin from the elements, and that is all. I love it.

    It comes in a large, airless pump and costs around £25. Oh, and it is THREE TIMES THE SIZE of most day creams.... that's right, you get a GIGANTOR 150ml for your hard earned cash - amazing.

    Here's where I usually buy mine, sign up for periodical £5 off vouchers:

    I am not affiliated with or Kimberly Sayer and can only wish that I was sent this product free.....

    Thanks for reading.

    .....being back in the Blogisphere......

    So after  a million years of  just not really feeling like writing anything at all I have finally had a second wind.

    Some thing to look forward to.....
    - more reviews: beauty, fitness, books, food and whatever else makes an impression on me.

    - random ramblings: life, being healthy, the world in general.

    - useful stuff: makeup tutorials (these may be rare), recipes, anything else that occurs to me......

    Thanks for reading.

    Thursday, 24 February 2011

    ...Nakd Cocoa Orange Bars and Clare Nasir's DVD.....

    The title pretty much says it all really. Good grief, they are delicious!
    I can't believe that I can eat something that is actually nicer than any chocolate orange that I've tasted but has a fraction of the calories without putting in any crap like sweeteners.

    I feel in internet splurge coming on. There's a 21 bar mixed case with my name on it.............

    Anyway, on to the review......

    I bought this DVD about 3 weeks ago after procrastinating since Boxing Day about whether or not buying another "Celebrity" fitness DVD was a good idea.
    Having now done it for EVERY workout session since (prior to AHB) I can tell you that it is, most definitely, a good idea.

    For those of you who have no idea who I'm talking about these pics (courtesy of should tell you everything you need to know.

    This is an interval based workout, split into 4, 20 minute sections.

    The first section is the warm followed by some skip/run intervals interspersed with boxing moves using weights and a toning section with T-Ups , push ups and ab work.

    Section two is made up of jumping knee lift intervals interspersed with leg exercises and more ab work.

    Section three is the main toning section but you will still be burning fat with plyometric lunges, push up/burpee variations and a push up/ oblique mountain climber hybrid that they call the "Clare-Climber".
    You will also do more ab work, lower abs this time.

    Section four is the ab section - as if you needed more ab work at this point. It is followed immediately by the cool down and stretch. If you have the time and inclination I suggest that you do include these extra abs because, lets face it, you can never do enough Planks :)

    Since I have been doing this workout I have felt a real tightening all over my body. I have also found that my muscle gains in my shoulders have been substantial - in 3 weeks I have been able to rebuild what  having a frozen shoulder a year ago took away.
    I also still get muscle ache in my legs the next day which usually NEVER happens after the second time doing a routine.

    I am so pleased I bought this DVD and have been recommending it to anyone who'll listen!

    For anyone who's interested I saw it reduced to £10 the other night in Tesco and if you do decide to take the plunge I hope you enjoy it as much as I did :)

    Wednesday, 23 February 2011

    FiTNESS: Valerie Waters Action Hero Babe Programme - Day 3 - Burn and my first Nakd Bar!......

    Today was the sweaty day with lots and lots of fast paced bodyweight and resistance band moves.

    My personal nemesis are Alligator Walks which involve starting in "top of a push up" position with your feet on Valslides (slidy, plastic discs) and dragging yourself along with your arms.
    Pure evil/genius.

    On a food note I finally got to try a Nakd Bar - Cashew Cookie - and it was so nice. It's good to know that I can buy something sweet and nutritious from a supermarket. I also bought a Cocoa Orange bar but I am being very restrained and resisting the urge to try it tonight :)

    Didn't see the Mint one though, which I really want to try.
    Are any supermarkets better for stock than Tesco?
    Maybe I should try the website.

    Monday, 21 February 2011

    FITNESS: Valerie Waters Action Hero Babe Programme - Day 1 - We're going to need a bigger boat!! But by boat I mean weights........

    For those of you who don't know her, Valerie Waters is a personal trainer based in Hollywood. She is Jennifer Garner and Rachel Nichol's (GI Joe, Star Trek) regular trainer and has also worked with Kate Beckinsale on Underworld (LOVE!) and Jessica Biel among many, many more.

    I have been using her workouts as part of my rotations since August 2008 when she opened the Red Carpet Ready Club which is an online community for people who use her workouts.

    I was  travelling through L.A. at the time so I was able to pick up the Val Kit for travel (review on that coming later) from Val's house where she very kindly let me ask her questions even though she had completely forgotten that I was coming and didn't know who I was!!
    I think she was very relieved when I explained but she hid it very well!

    The thing I love about Val's workouts is that they do exactly what they promise and AHB is no exception.
    In case you're wondering I have done the workouts before, they came out in 2009, but I only did them for about a week and a half because I got sucked in to the UK Christmas celebrity fitness DVD mire.

    Anyway, with this training programme the clue is in the title: Action Hero Babe. If you like the way any of the actresses I mentioned earlier look, then this is the programme you want because it's based on the exact routines that Val used to get their bodies in to kick ass shape.

    You get 6 DVD workouts:
    - Build 1+2 - Heavy lifting to give shape and strength
    - Burn 1+2 - This is where you sweat! Lots of fast paced, bodyweight based moves.
    - Sculpt 1+2  - These are the polishing moves that refine your shape but you'll still be working hard!

    You do level 1 for 4 weeks. I do "Build" on Mondays, "Burn" on Wednesdays and "Sculpt"on Fridays with cardio in between.
    In the kit you get some interval routines for use with an Eliptical or Treadmill, etc but I don't have one so I use my (excellent) Clubland aerobics DVD instead, but the interval routines look good so if you have one, or Gym access then they would definitely be worth a go.

    So today I started again on Build 1 and I really enjoyed it. As my title suggests, my weights are too light, Val uses a 35 pound kettlebell for some of the moves and I only have 10 pound dumbbells - fail!!
    It wasn't too bad though, I was feeling a bit rough so I was actually glad to not go too hard in the beginning, but by the time I got to the Valslide Pikes I was in the zone :)

    I don't have any pain yet but I have been doing mainly bodyweight work recently thanks to the lovely Clara Nasir (glowing review to follow!) so i am expecting some major creakiness tomorrow.

    I will keep you posted  and report back again on Wednesday with the next installment :)

    Hope everyone's having a good day :)

    Monday, 24 January 2011

    Fitness: Quest for sports bra....

    If anyone knows of a good sports bra, PLEASE let me know.

    My Shock Absorber is knackered and discontinued. I have already tried another style from them and one from M+S with very poor results.

    I just want to do jumping jacks without holding my boobs!!

    Fitness: Blue Monday....

    Feeling rather miserable today. 2 pounds up from Saturday weigh in, plus got to the post office too late to send off a parcel to QVC. Doesn't sound like much now that I've written it down, but there you go.
    The result is that I have been very tempted by junk today but have, so far stuck to my guns even though we went to Tesco and my husband bought a bar of Galaxy - the horror!!!!


    Workout: Natalie Cassidy warm up, BD, 8 1/s mins of Davina Body Buff Cardio,don't know why, just wasn't feeling it today so swapped to Natalie Cassidy Sweat section + some of the Punch section for a total of 25 mins of cardio.

    -Usual breakfast
    - cous cous cucumber mix
    - 2 steak, veggie and salad tortillas

    That's it, short and sweet is best today, I think!

    Hope everyone's had a good day :)

    Sunday, 23 January 2011

    Fitness: New Year = New Diet.......

    So, if anyone out there is actually reading any of this, you may have noticed that I stopped posting about CAD. There is a reason for this: it stopped working so I started eating crap again.
    Apparently, such extreme (in my opinion) dieting does not agree with me mentally or physically so once I'd got the Christmas crapfest out of my system I set about researching/remembering what had worked before.

    At the end of 2008 I embarked on a basic healthy eating plan that enabled me to lose weight during a month that contains both my birthday and Christmas. There was no magic bullet, just simple healthy meals three times a day with the option to be a little less controlled on weekends or special occasions, combined with regular exercise in the form of DVDs.

    That's it.

    Unfortunately, I developed a frozen shoulder at the end of January and the result was a fear of working out in case it happened again (trust me, that is a valid fear it is bloody awful pain) and lots of comfort eating.

    The year went downhill from there.

    Anyway, I had a bit of a wake up call a couple of weeks ago and just thought "I have to change this now" so I did. I had a bit of a blowout last weekend and on Monday I started again.
    This is what I have been doing for the past week:

    I am re-testing the Body Doctor routine. I used this routine in 2003 and got good results but I was pretty much starving myself at the time so I am interested to see what happens when I eat in a sustainable way.
    here is how I used it this week:

    MON: Davina Body Buff warm up (10 min), Body Doctor weights routine, Davina Body Buff Cardio + Yoga cool down.

    WED:Same warm up, BD(Body Doctor), Davina Body Buff Boxing + cool down.

    FRI: Natalie Cassidy Warm Up (10 min), BD, Natalie Cassidy Sweat (15 min) + Punch (15 min), Davina cool down.

    I really enjoyed these combinations. BD (as I shall now call it!) requires a 10 minute cardio warm up prior to the weight routine and at least 15 minutes of cardio immediately after it. The book recommends gym cardio machines but I find them deathly boring so I am using my DVDs and I am just as knackered I assure you!

    Breakfast: frozen fruit, 2 tbsps Greek yoghurt, 1 tbsp flaked almonds/pumpkin seeds.
    This is what I have every day, except Sunday when I have eggs and toast.

    -Cous cous made w/ vegetable stock powder, sliced cucumber, 1/2 can butter beans, 1 tbsp cashew nuts.
    -Cous cous w/stock, 1/2 avocado, 2 tomatoes, 1/2 can chickpeas.
    -Cous cous (plain) 2 tomatoes, 1 can sardines.

    The meals with the 1/2 measurements are spread over 2 days and the sardine meal is a once a week thing.

    The result? I started the week at 14st 6lbs and as of yesterday I was 14st 3lbs so it is definitely doing something. I've been a bit lax this weekend so I will post the "official" stat tomorrow.

    I am really happy with the results so far. There was a huge amount of habit breaking going on and I think I managed pretty well.

    If anyone else is in the same boat good luck to us all!! :)