Saturday, 26 April 2014

Sometimes You Just Need To Take A Break

And amen to that...

Recently, I have been so stressed, and this stress probably won't leave entirely until deadlines are finished and I am in a secure job. In fact, even then I'll still be stressing over something or other. I am just a natural stresshead. If there is something to stress over I will, and that is why it's good when I notice it and do something about it.

Over the years, I have noticed that I need exercise. For me exercise wards off stress. And believe me, when I am stressed I'm not very nice to be around. I could get stressed over a paper bag. Is that even a saying? Oh well, I am a stresshead and that's that. But sometimes it is nice to just drift back, forget the world and do something for me. Like I have already mentioned, for me exercise is number one but you really can't beat a good, stress-free bath. Baths are great. Sometimes, I really don't feel like running one and I go weeks without turning on the tap and pouring in the bubbles.

Don't worry! I wash of course. But like everyone I know, showers are the easiest way in this day and age to get everything done in one and out the door within the hour. For me, a bath takes time. Time I don't always have and that's why I become complacent. Of course, in actual fact, the time is always there! It's just taken up with other crap of god knows what....

But when I do have a bath, I like to make it special.

I take an hour, whenever it's free. I light candles, grab a magazine and get the water nice and hot. For me, the hotter the better. I like to sweat it out even in the bath! Recently (in the past five months or so), however, I haven't just been throwing in some Radox and jumping in. Instead, I have been stocking up on Lush goodies. I discovered Lush the same time I began working at WHSmiths (November). Lush is right next door to WHSmiths and after work I used to pop in and grab one of their goodies (and there's a lot!). At first I only had their bath bombs, but as I have become familiar with their products and what they are about as a company, I have worked up the nerve to branch out and try some of their other products. (All which are amazing so far, damn you Lush for taking my well earned monies!)

Back in December when I was going University in the Week and going to work on the weekend, Lush Bath Bombs were an essential, and sometimes they even got me through the working day, knowing I had that and a glass of vino to look forward to!

And so today, I am going to share one of my latest favourites with you.

The bath bomb I am sharing with you is the 'Phoenix Rising' and it really is as dramatic as its title.

I first purchased this bb back in December, but it was a gift for my sister as part of her Christmas bundle. When she used it, she called me in and we watched to see what this one was going to do. All Lush bath bombs do something unique and we couldn't quite contain our excitement. Ok, ok, so I couldn't quite contain myself! Like I said above, they are something special and every time I use one it feels like an expensive treat. The prices are really affordable if you check out their website you will see what I mean! Obviously, no-ones using a bath bomb every night of the week. They are meant to be used as a treat and compared to getting your nails done or having a massage (both of which I love!) it isn't as pricey. Beauty on a budget is one way to look at it.

Anyways, getting back on track!

The 'Phoenix Rising' is purple, a weird shape and the outer layer is covered in gold dust. It's one of the prettiest bath bombs, and the main reason why I got one as a gift in the first place. Apart from looking pretty, this purple stone does wonders for your skin. They sum this product up with a quote 'Rise refreshed and hydrated', and I can agree, it does both! The reason I repurchased it for myself was because I wanted a bath bomb that was infused with oil, and the nice lady in the store suggested a few and amongst them was this one. It has an array of ingredients, the main four being; Bergamot Oil, Fair Trade Shea Butter, Cassia Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil . With this mixture of oils and butters, it is easy to see why your skin feels so nourished afterwards. I got out the bath feeling like I had already moisturised! And it freaked me out in the best way possible.

My only negative niggle is that it did stain the bath slightly, only slightly though and with some spray and a wipe down it was gone and it is definitely worth it for all the benefits it gives.

Rating: 3/5

You may be wondering why I only gave it a 3. The reason behind it is as follows; I wasn't a fan of the scent, and because of this it didn't make my favourite Lush products list. However, I would definitely repurchase this item, just because it made my skin feel great! For those out there who have never tried Lush products, I would say pop in, have a chat with the staff and find out a bit about the products. And then when you've found out what is good for your skin, try out the products and treat yourself!


Wednesday, 23 April 2014

WIAW: The Healthy Edition

I have recently been on a health kick. It had kicked in before I went home for Easter, dipped off whilst I was at home for a week, and then when I got back last Friday I headed straight to the gym. It was honestly the best thing I could have done and I had a great session, after sitting in traffic for two hours coming back.

My stomach still hasn't adjusted to my new eating habits, but hopefully it will catch-up soon!

I've made a concious effort when I go shopping to not buy rubbish. If I buy rubbish, I will proceed to eat the rubbish. And so if I don't buy it, it isn't there...or at least that is the plan.

Today I am doing more showing, than telling, because I am writing this as I run out the door to head out to the library. The many joys of dissertation which there are none!

Firstly, a look at the things I have been buying. I am really into instagramming my mini-shopping hauls lately.

Next, this is what my snacks have looked like. Berries and yoghurt has been a big hit with my stomach.

Nakd Bars, I really can't get enough! I have been trying out a few and so far I love them all, especially the gingerbread one, so, so good. I love how there is hardly any ingredients in them, so they don't feel so naughty.

Grapes are back on the shopping list, but they never seem to last very long, who knows why ;-D.

Broccoli Stems is what I snacked on while I cooked Sunday.

Boiled Eggs are always a favourite snack of mine.

Cereal combination's has made it's return...

in a mug!

And I have been loving another naked brand in the form of Naked Juices. I had been eyeing them up for ages, and finally purchased a few. There's a review coming soon, but I can definitely say that from what I have tried they are amazing!

Does anybody else go through a phase of craving Salads?

I think the better weather may have something to do with that! Which has unfortunately disappeared somewhere... :-(

I made a Spag Bol with Brocolli and no Pasta, not bad at all!

Then I craved Fish....

And more fish... I am on a serious Fish Kick recently, if that's a thing?!

So, that gives you a rough idea what my eating has generally been about lately. I'm not striving for perfection, just clean, healthy eating that makes me feel amazing!

What have you been striving for recently?
Have you re-discovered or discovered, any new meals or snacks etc.?

Thanks for Reading! And of course, thanks to Jenn for hosting :-D


Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Regaining Strength

I wrote this on Sunday and completely forgot...

It's currently Sunday afternoon and I am not proud to admit, but I have a mild hangover still lingering from last night. A long story short...I am never drinking that much vodka again....ever. Maybe.

This week was the most stressful week I've had in a long time, and besides last night, my eating and drinking has been on point. Not perfect, but most days have been balanced.

On Tuesday I got back into the swing of things, after my Creative Writing deadline on Monday. I had planned to get back into the gym that same day, but I think looking back that that was a little too ambitious. I made it to the gym bright and early Tuesday and took it slower than I had been a month ago. Instead of doing my usual twenty minutes warm up cardio on the cross-trainer, I did fifteen. And then I moved onto the treadmill and managed to do twenty minutes between 4.5 and 5.0, just enough to keep my heart rate up and sweat some more. After the treadmill, I gulped down some water (damn did I need it) and dragged my already tired ass to the the stair-master machine. I did 5 minutes at level 5 and it wasn't too bad. But I was feeling it in my ass the next day, let me tell you. I had to climb the stairs to the I.T suite to hand in yet another assignment, and I was definitely doing a sort of waddle/limp thing.

While I was there I also did some weight and resistance training, using both the machines and free weights. I am really determined to build strong arms with definition. I feel like this one is always a goal of mine though! I quickly realised that I had indeed, as my fears confirmed, lost some strength. I knew my arms didn't look as toned, but it must have taken a little strength as well. That made me feel disappointed at first, but I went back on Thursday feeling determined.

My goal was to get to the gym as much as I could this week, and I did. I kept that promise to myself even on Friday when I wasn't really feeling it.

Wednesday I couldn't make it. Like I have already mentioned I handed in my last ever assignment that day, and I just couldn't let it go. I wanted to hold on to it, taking pride in it like it was my child. I finally let it go at 17:00, after a much to do palava involving printing my work, and have been having anxiety over it ever since. Feeling exhausted and slightly cross-eyed from looking at the screen all day I waddled home (you see I have a thing about waddling), and slumped myself into my seat and didn't move a good few hours. I was exhausted. I planned to lie-in the following morning, the Thursday, but at 05:30 my brain woke me with a critical analysis of the piece I had handed in the day before. Thanks for that brain! Surprisingly though the day went fine. I got up after an hour of just lying there driving myself crazy and listening to music to drain my sorrows my mind out.

I decided to boil the kettle, and brew up a cup of chai tea (my new favourite hot caffeineted mug of delightfulness). I took my tablets, ate a banana and debated breakfast. Was it to early to eat? I decided on no, and an hour later I was boiling milk on the hob like an old fashioned so and so, ready to poor it over my weetabix. In bed I watched YouTube videos and enjoyed just lying there all comfy and cosy, letting the morning pass me by. By the time I moved from my warm and comfy pit it was 09:30. I decided I would run some errands, get some fresh produce in, and head to the gym. All of which I managed to accomplish.

Which brings me to Thursdays session. The sky was grey and overcast, and drizzle was dribbling down my face, but I was determined to put everything I had into the session. And I did. Every ounce of my being went into that session and I was incredibly sore the next morning for class.

Thursday's session consisted of  my usual twenty minutes cardio on the cross-trainer, fifteen minutes on the treadmill, and five minutes on the stairmaster. I was back I told myself. I've got this. And my confidence didn't let me down! Once the cardio was out of the way, I tackled the strength part of my workout. And the first half had given me such confidence (I imagined that I was an athlete), I smashed it. I did more reps of everything, especially arms and abs and I felt amazing for it. This is the reason I go, I thought, for moments like these ones. Moments that you feel like you could carry on forever, like nobody could stop you and you could do this all night. That is until the next sit-up becomes painful, and puts you back in your amateur place.

On Friday I made it to the gym again, but this time I really had to coax myself. How much do you want this, I asked myself? Will it be worth it? Now, I don't know about you, but for me the exercise is always worth it and there's never a session I think that I shouldn't have gone. It just doesn't happen, and with that in mind after a long walk to the docs and back I walked through the dreaded double doors to get it done with. I was in there an hour and half I believe and after the first ten minutes I was really into it. I did Thursdays circuit of events and got into it. I even experimented with some new ab and arm moves.

So all in all, despite it being a stressful week, it was a good one.