Monday, 28 September 2015

Things I love about Autumn

Now this may shock and surprise some people but Autumn and Winter are my absolute favourite seasons. As soon as Dan's birthday is over (16th September) I wish the month away until it's October and I can officially start to get into my Autumn/Winter clothes. Everyone in my family thinks I'm mad but I think there is nothing better than it being dark outside, getting home, lighting the candles, putting on my onesie and having a hot drink. Just the thought of it makes me want to race home! So with that being said I thought I would tell you a few things that I love about Autumn.

1. Jumpers and Coats: For me there is nothing better than going out in the cold all wrapped up in a jumper and a thick coat. Dan and I love going out on walks to our local forest with the dog in our thick coats and scarves.

2. Dark Nail Colours: I have been completely obsessed with plum colours at the moment and this 'Black Cherry' Nail Varnish from Barry M has me itching to grab the car keys and head down to Boots! Purples, reds and golds are always my go to colours for my nails during Autumn. What are yours?

3. Onesies: I was lucky enough to get the exact onesie in the photo from Dan a few Christmases ago and I basically live in it during the Autumn/Winter. Come on.....who doesn't love a onesie?!

4. Candles: If I had my way we would have the whole house lit up by candles. My all time favourite candle is made by a local company called Lower Lodge Candles and called Winter Berries. This smells amazing, it's actually a Christmas candle but I tend to burn it from October-February.

5. Hot Drinks: I'm a huge coffee addict so at this time of year I get really excited about all the seasonal drinks that come out. The Pumpkin Spiced Latte has now come out in Starbucks and I couldn't be more excited to try it. Next up will be the Christmas flavours which I have to admit I love how Costa always get into the Christmas spirit with their cups and flavours.

6. Baths: There is nothing better on a cold evening than getting home and having a bath before putting on my onesie for a quiet night in front of the TV with a good film. If you follow me on instagram you will see I absolutely love Lush bath bombs and find they really help me to relax after a long day at the office. All my friends and family know that if they are struggling to find me gifts for birthdays/christmas Lush bath bombs are always a winner!!

What's your favourite season? What are you looking forward to this Autumn?

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Thursday, 10 September 2015

Slimming World Results Week 26


So I've been doing Slimming World for 26 weeks now and time has flown by! I weighed in last night and lost another pound which I am thrilled about as I'm finally in the 11 stones. I think I let out a little squeel when I got on the scales and saw the results. I'm so proud of how far I have come, I just can't believe that I'm back in my size 12 jeans. If someone would have told me back at the end of March when I joined that by the begining of September I would have gone from a size 16/18 to a size 12 I would have told them to get lost!! I've got 13 lbs to go till my first target. I set myself a target weight of 11 stone which I have always said I would be happy with to get married at that weight. I'm hoping to reach this by Christmas then I hope to lose another half a stone to get me down to 10 and a half stone which is the weight I was when I first met Dan. A year ago I was at my all time heaviest of just under 15 stone and now I'm 11 stone 13lbs and I can't believe it.

People call me silly but I'm still struggling to see the difference unless I see the photo on the left of me in February but I think that's because, rather embarrassingly, I'm still wearing the same clothes. I've yet to go out and buy some new clothes that actually fit me. That outfit on the right is the only thing I have that fits me properly, everything else is far too big. Dan says that my jeans are so loose it looks like I've got a saggy bum.....he really does say the nicest things to me who said romance was dead.

If you follow me on instagram you will see I'm sticking to plan 100% this week and posting photos of my meals, so if this is something you would like to see and maybe get some ideas from then head over the my instagram page. If you're doing Slimming World yourself then drop me a link to your Twitter/Instagram as I love getting inspiration from other Slimming World members!

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Tuesday, 1 September 2015

My New Andrew James UK 5.2 Litre Food Mixer!

Last month Dan and I celebrated our 7 year anniversary, which will also be our last as boyfriend and girlfriend as we'll be Mr and Mrs soon (insert excited emoji face.) Dan spoilt me rotten and not only did he get me these stunning flowers from my absolute favourite florist but he also surprised me with this beautiful food mixer from Andrew James. The colour 'Light Blue' is just the colour I wanted and although this isn't the KitchenAid I have been lusting over for the past few years this is just as good if not better and will only cost you £69.99 which is a complete bargain for a food mixer of this standard.


It didn't take me long to get my pinny on and get baking. This works like an absolute dream and has made baking so much easier, Dan now struggles to get me out of the kitchen! Although I am yet to try out the dough hook all the other attachments work brilliantly and mix really well. Cleaning the bowl and attachments is also easy, you simply twist both to unlock and wash them up. The bowl itself is dishwasher safe however the attachments are not. There are several speeds which are easy to operate and as far as noise levels go the noise isn't at all bad. As you go up in speed it does sound like it's going to take off as boy does it mix quickly! 


I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have such a thoughtful partner....although this present has worked in his favor as he is now 'forced' to eat all the delicious treats I create. It's Lauren and Dan's birthdays over the next few weeks so I can't wait to put this to good use. I can't recommend this mixer enough.



I was not asked to do this post by Andrew James and all views I have expressed in this review are my own. 
All photos taken by my lovely and very talented other half Panons Photography!
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Thursday, 20 August 2015

Dave's August Pawsome Box Review


Last month Dan and I decided to sign up to a monthly subscription box, but this wasn't just any old subscription box this was a box for Dave! He's been so well behaved over the past few months so we thought we would treat him to a Pawsome Box which he has absolutely been loving. You get some really great products and lots of lovely treats for your four legged friends to try. Last month there wasn't one product that Dave didn't try and love so we thought we would roll on the subscription and make it a monthly treat for him. These are all the goodies Dave got this month.


Two extremely cute toys that Dave has already fallen in love with. No matter how much Dan tries Dave wont play with tennis balls or footballs but he loves cuddly toys that he can play fetch with and cuddle up to. 


Now onto Dave's favourite things to get....the food....he got two bags of treats this month which he has obviously for review purposes had to try and test. Results show that he loves them both!! The chicken stripes on the right are definitely his fav though.


We also received this really good eye and ear cleaner which I cannot wait to use on him. There's a booklet that comes with the box that tells you how to use it so we'll be trying that out tomorrow during bath time! Dave also got a information capsule which you attach to your pets collars which is a brilliant idea and we would definitely use, however Dave is actually chipped so it's not something we really need.



Dave loves receiving these boxes, they're delivered to the office and as soon as he sees the blue box he goes absolutely mad. We're already looking forward to seeing what he gets next month. Each box is £19.90 but the look on Dave's face when he sees it is priceless!

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Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Happy 7th Anniversary Dan...


Excuse the soppy blog post today but I can't believe it's 7 years since Dan and I met. These have been the best seven years of my life and I wouldn't have wanted to be with anyone else. The 1st July next year will be the happiest day of my life and I can't wait to become this cheeky chaps wife!!

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Monday, 17 August 2015

Delicious Slimming World Brownies only 1/2 a syn!


I have the biggest sweet tooth and with the Great British Bake Off gracing our screens again I've been craving cake. So I decided to put my pinny back on and get in the kitchen and see whether these Slimming World Brownies are worth the hype.


You will need the following which makes 25
6 separated eggs
70g sweetener
60g cocoa powder
1tsp vanilla essence
Fry Light


Start out by separating the eggs into two bowls. Beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. 


Then mix together the egg yolks, sweetener, vanilla and cocoa powder. This can become a little dry, if it does then just add a tale spoon of water.


Slowly add the egg whites and fold into the chocolate mixture until it is all combined. 


I used a muffin tin to create individual brownies which I found worked really well but if you want to you can just use a normal rectangle cake tin.


Place the brownies in the oven at 180 degrees for 10-15 minutes until cooked. Now the recipe online says 30 minutes but mine took about 10!


Once they are cooked take them out and let them cool or alternatively you could serve warm with some ice cream or like I have done add 1 teaspoon of Choc Shot (1/2 syn per teaspoon) and strawberries. Can you believe this plate of chocolatey goodness is only 1 and a half syns!!


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Saturday, 15 August 2015

Life, Wedding and Slimming World Update

So you may or may not have noticed I've been a bit MIA for a few months which I can only apologise for. In truth I needed a bit of a break and trying to juggle life, the wedding, my new diet and work was all getting a bit too much so I decided to take some time off from my blog/social media and get my self sorted. Happily I am back on the straight and narrow now and I'm ready to get my blog back on track.


So first update, life! Things are good, we've had a busy few weeks but we've been in our house for a year now, can you believe it, and it couldn't feel more like home. We've still not got any curtains which I'm sure the neighbours love but we're so indisicive that we can't choose between blinds, curtains or shutters. We'll get there…..eventually. Dave and Rocky are both their normally miscevious selves. Dave has been socialising a lot more with Dan's Mum's Dog Bertie and they have become best of friends. When we take them out on walks they walk side by side, sniff the same things, bark at the same things and both try to trip Dan and I up with the leads!


The wedding has been keeping us busy, we've surprisingly done so much. the venue and church are booked, we've sorted our honeymoon and I've been busy making lots of decorations for the reception. I've made some tea lights to place around the room and some photo banners to place in the main room, if you would like to see some of the things I am making then let me know in the comments below and I can do some wedding DIY posts. It's scary how the price of things go up when you place the word wedding in front of them. I always knew weddings were expensive but I had no idea they were this expensive! We've got a catering tasting next weekend which Dan is more than excited about, I'm not sure the scales at Slimming World are going to be as friendly the following week though. There is still so much to do and we've only got 10 and a half months to go….now that's scary.


And finally Slimming World. I've been doing Slimming World for 5 months now and I've lost a total of 2 stone 5 pounds which I'm really happy with. I'm so determined to lose 2 pounds this week to get my 2 and a half stone award on Wednesday so I've been sticking to plan and getting in some body magic which means the dogs have been getting plenty of walks. I'm really enjoying the diet and as cliched as it sounds I really don't feel like I'm dieting. People constantly tell me how different I look but I can't see it as much as I could a couple of months ago. My enagement ring is extremely lose and at the point where I may have to switch it to another finger. I think I can't see it because I haven't brought any news clothes yet and I'm still shying away from cameras, to be honest I just need to get a grip and embrace the size I am. I'm about 1 stone 5 pounds off my goal weight which I am hoping I can reach by Christmas. When I reach it I'd like to lose another 7 pounds but as long as I reach my goal weight I'll feel happy to walk down the aisle the weight I am.

I think we're all caught up now! I can't wait to get posting and I hope you will all enjoy reading them again.
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Thursday, 4 June 2015

Slimming World Update - Week 11 Results


First things first...I'm back! You may or may not have noticed I've been a bit quiet for the past few weeks which is mainly due to the fact that I have been really unwell. I can't tell you what's been wrong with me as I just don't know. I've had little to no energy and just generally felt crappy. But although I'm not 100% I'm feeling a lot better!

So a quick catch up on my Slimming World diet. I've been doing really well. I'm on week 12 now and I feel like I'm adjusting to it. I've really got in to a rhythm with it now and choosing my meals and snacks is easy! 

These are my results week by week so far:

Week 1 - 3 lbs loss
Week 2 - 2 lbs loss
Week 3 - 2.5 lbs loss
Week 4 - 2 lbs loss
Week 5 - 1.5 lbs loss
Week 6 - 3 lbs loss
Week 7 - 0.5 lbs loss
Week 8 - 2 lbs loss
Week 9 - 0.5 lbs loss
Week 10 - 2 lbs loss
Week 11 - 1 lbs loss

That gives me a total loss of 20 lbs!!

Although when I see that figure of 20 I know it's a lot of weight I still haven't physically seen a change in myself yet, even though all my friends and family say there is a massive difference. Don't get me wrong I can see my clothes are really too big for me and my engagement ring is extremely lose. I just can't physically see it on myself yet. Next week it will be 3 months since I started SlimmingWorld so I'm going to do a before and now photo to see if I can see the difference!


What I've been enjoying this week: I've really been loving these Alpen light bars, they count as you healthy extra b and are perfect to chuck in your bag for when you get the munchies and need a quick pick me up!

I feel really positive about this week. I'm half a pound of my club 10 and a pound and a half off my stone and a half award which is so exciting and gives me so much motivation to reach those goals. 

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Sunday, 17 May 2015

Make your own 'Will You Be my Bridesmaid/Maid of Honour'


Now that I have handed out all my boxes and asked my bridesmaids I can finally share this blog post with you all! I've always known who I would have as my bridesmaids and as I have known nearly every single one of them most of my life I really wanted to make the way I asked them special so I searched and searched for gifts, cards and fun ways of popping the question but I just couldn't find anything. So I decided to make something myself and this was the result!

This is what I decided to put in them:

Hanger - The picture above is the box I actually gave to my sister on National Siblings day back in April. Lauren's was slightly different to the bridesmaid boxes as I included this stunning hanger I had made by the lovely BronwenWedding Belle Boutique Bridal Hangers that said Maid of Honour! Bronwen really has an eye of details and even incorporate our colour scheme of teal by adding the teal bow on top. Everything else that is shown in the box were also sent to the bridesmaids.


Bridesmaid DVD - Of course this had to go in! This is not only very appropriate for the theme of the box but this is also one of my all time favourite films ever. You can get this DVD from lots of places like Amazon or ebay.


Cards - I found the most gorgeous cards made my a lovely lady called Jasmin from Sioux Alice on etsy. Her cards are simply stunning and is now my new port of call to grab a card for every birthday and celebration!


Photo Frame - I included an old photo of me and each of my bridesmaids as a little personal touch to show them all how far we have come! This rather embarrassing photo is of me and Lauren when we were both really young on holiday in France.


Nail Varnish - I found this Barry M nail varnish that is very similar to the colour we are having for our wedding so I thought this would be a great thing to include in the box to give the bridesmaids an insight into the colour of their dresses for the big day!

Love Hearts - Last but by no means least...Love Hearts...a little sweet treat to add that little bit more love to the boxes.

I was so pleased with the boxes and the way they turned out. A huge thank you to Bronwen from Wedding Belle Boutique Bridal Hangers and Jasmin from Sioux Alice for getting the cards and hangers over to me so quickly. Asking my sister to be my maid of honour on National Siblings day will definitely be a day I won't forget.

I hope you have enjoyed my first Wedding DIY. If you have and you would like to see more of these just drop me a comment in the box below.

All photos taken by my lovely and very talented other half Panons Photography!
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Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Slimming Solutions Teatox Review


I don't know about you but I've been seeing a lot of celebrities raving about herbal teas that claim to 'detox your body' or 'help with weightloss' and I've been desperate to give them a go to see if they were worth the hype. So to my delight I was contacted about three weeks ago to try Slimming Solutions' Teatox that claimed to 'help detox, cleanse the body and banish the bloat!' As you know I am currently on a wedding diet to try and get myself in shape for the big day, so this tea came at the perfect time for me.

As soon as the two week trial pack came through the post I popped the kettle on and got straight into it. There are two different tea bags that you receive in your pack, one is to have every morning and the other is to have every other day in the evening about 30 minutes after your last meal.

 
Let's start with the daytime tea
Daytime teabag ingredients: Chinese Oolong tea (38%), Sabering Ginseng (20%), Fennel (10%), Lemongrass (10%), Nettle Leaves (8%), Ginger Root (5%), Dandelion Leaf (5%), Ginseng Root (2%), Salvia Miltiorrhiza (2%).

I really enjoyed the daytime tea and in a weird way it felt like it set me up for the day in a really positive way. You need to have the daytime ones pretty much as soon as you get up which actually woke me up a bit in the morning!! As instructed on the packet you need to leave the bag in for atleast 2-3 minutes but I tended to leave the tea bags in so that I could let it stew.

 
Evening tea
Evening teabag ingredients: Senna Leaves (20%), Hawthorn Leaves (20%), Lotus Leaves (14%), Fengugreek Seeds (12%), Burdock Root (14%), Peppermint (8%), Psyllium Seeds (8%), Valerian Root (2%), Liquorice Root (2%).

As I said you need to have the evening tea every other day 30 minutes after your last meal which really helped me stop picking at food during the evenings!! Now if I'm honest the smell of the evening tea was a little unpleasant but tasted absolutely fine. Just bear in mind that the evening tea can work as a laxative for the first few days.

 
Onto the results!
Now for the important thing....did it work?! It really did. After the two weeks I felt so much better in myself. I wasn't as bloated as I normally am, my energy levels had improved and also something I didn't expect was my skin was soooo much better! Now you all know if you have read my previous posts that I am on Slimming World but during the two weeks I had the Teatox I lost 4 and a half pounds which I was so pleased with. I've been so impressed with Teatox that I actually ordered two more months worth!!

The great news is Slimming Solutions are currently running a May offer for Buy One Get One Free so if this is something you think you'd like to try go and check out their website here for more information.



Although I was sent this Teatox trial to try I was not paid for this post and all the views I have expressed are my own.

All photos taken by my lovely and very talented other half Panons Photography!
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Wednesday, 29 April 2015

We've set the date!


So we've been engaged for 11 weeks now and we've finally set a date! I don't think I realised how stressful it would be just to set a bloody date but we've done it now. The big day is set for the 1st July 2016! That's only 15 months away and there is so much to organise but now we are finally over the stressful period and we're really enjoying the whole experience.

Both Dan and I knew we wanted a Church wedding and I am so pleased that we can get married in the church I grew up in. I was Christened and Confirmed in this church and also used to sing in the choir so it means so much to me that I will be able to have my very own wedding there after years of singing for others people's weddings. Obviously I am biased, but it's the prettiest village church in such a beautiful setting and I just can't wait! We have also booked our reception venue which is about 10 minutes down the road from the church. It's a stunning estate with a huge house, marbled ball room and 'conservatory' room opening out onto the gardens that we will have the wedding breakfast in. We're also plan to use the gorgeous garden area (with free roaming peacocks) to have lots of gardens games and cocktail bars set up on. Also if you see the collage below the photo on the bottom right shows the huge cottages our guests can rent so we can all stay together and party long into the night!!

I've got so many ideas for decorations and my Pinterest is full of different boards. Next up is the catering, if you follow me on Twitter you will have seen I was extremely shocked when I started looking at caterers. I had no idea how much they cost. I did float the idea of Happy Meals for our wedding breakfast but Dan didn't find it funny!! 

I've inherited my mum's craft gene and I really hope that I can make as many personal touches for our wedding as possible. I might share these on here, if this is something you would like to see then let me know in the comments below.

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