Treat Your Mum This Mothers Day – Gift Ideas

I think most people can agree that when it comes to our mums, we often take them for granted and forget to thank them for all the things they do for us. As I have gotten older I’ve come to appreciate my mum more and more and begun to realise that all those things she stopped me doing as I’ve grown up weren’t just to torture me. So when mothers day comes around, like me, I’m sure you’ll want to treat your mum and do something special so here are just a few ideas to help you out!

A Spa Day 

This is probably the most lux of all the ideas and probably a better idea for those of you who are a little older as Spa Experiences and treatments can be slightly more expensive. However they are a lovely way to treat your mum, whilst treating yourself too. You could book a massage, facial or even a manicure for the both of you and it will be the perfect excuse for sitting down, catching up and relaxing on a lazy Sunday.

A Gift Set 

This is probably one of the most obvious ideas, however a nice gift set never goes a miss, especially because a more luxurious bath soak, shower gel or moisturiser is something we are less willing to buy for ourselves, which is why it makes such a lovely gift! I  picked out a few of my personal favourites on the market this year.

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I discovered this L’Occitane set in one of Lily Pebbles most recent vlogs and thought it had a lovely range of products in it. All the products are from different ranges L’Occitane offer and include some cult favourites like the Almond Delicious Hands. Ana and Lily are also two of the most genuine and authentic influencers out there so this collaboration would be a great one to support, especially considering the fantastic £25 price point for this set. 

The Body Shop products are a favourite amongst most mums and they offer a range of beautiful sets year round. They also offer a great price range so it’s likely you’ll be able to pick something up regardless of their budget. It’s also always worth having a quick google for vouchers as the Body Shop constantly have offers going on.

Afternoon Tea

Another great idea for a experience rather than a physical gift is afternoon tea. Not only is it something super typically British, it’s a lovely treat and way to spend some time catching up with your mum. You’ll be able to find a lot of places that offer them at a fairly reasonable price, but make sure to book a table rather than just showing up on the day as it’s likely that you won’t be the only one treating your mum to some tea and cake on mothers day!

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Jewellery

My final idea for a gift to treat your mum is a piece of jewellery, because I treated my mum to a Pandora bracelet a few years ago, I always have the option of buying her a charm to add to her collection and one of my personal favourites on the Pandora website at the moment is the Tribute To Mum Charm, it’s super simple but elegant and pretty.

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However if your mum doesn’t have a bracelet then you could buy her one or you could opt for buying her a different piece of jewellery. I have always been an advocate of supporting local and independent brands and a little shop in my local city offers the most dainty, delicate pieces that anyone would find hard not to love. It’s called Lisa Angel and one of my personal favourite pieces would have to be the Personalised Sterling Silver Russian Ring Necklace. This one would be ideal if you have multiple siblings as you could get each siblings name printed on a ring for you mum to wear around her neck. Regardless of weather you order online or pop in store whatever you pick out can be beautifully gift wrapped free of charge.

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So that’s it for this post! I hope it helped you decide how you’re going to treat your mum this mothers day! let me know how you get on and until next time, byeeee 🙂

 

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The Best Ever Carrot Cake Recipe

This week I am bringing you a recipe for possibly the best carrot cake I have ever eaten! So if that sounds like something that might interest you then just stay tuned 🙂

 

So to start off make sure you have all of the ingredients ready! For this recipe you will need…

1 Large Orange

150g Raisins

175g Caster Sugar

150ml Vegetable Oil

1 Banana

3 Large Eggs

3 Medium Carrots

170g Plain Flour

2tsp Baking Powder

1tsp Bicarbonate Soda

1tsb Ground Cinnamon

1tsp Vanilla Extract

and then for the icing you will need…

280g Cream Cheese

80g Butter

450g Icing Sugar

1 Orange

1/2tsp Cinnamon

 

 

Now to go about making the cake…

  1. Start by Juicing your orange and grating the zest of it. Place the grated orange zest into a dish with the orange juice adding the raisins and allowing them to soak whilst you prepare the batter.

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2) The next step is to preheat the oven to 180 degrees or gas mark 4 and line a baking tin ready for the batter.

3) Begin making your batter by mixing the oil and the sugar together and then adding the mashed banana. Make sure you whist it all together until there are no lumps before adding the eggs. Stir again to combine before moving onto the next step.

4) The next step is to peel and great the carrots before adding them to the mixture along with the soaked raisins.

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5) Once you have all the liquid components mixed together, it’s time to add the dry ingredients. Mix in the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate soda, cinnamon and vanilla and make sure to whisk it together until all the ingredients are combined and there are no lumps (I would advise sifting in all the dry ingredients to make mixing it together easier).

 

 

6) pour your mixture into the baking tin and bake for 40-45 minutes, you’ll know it’s done when it’s golden on top and a skewer comes out clean when piecing the middle of the cake.

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7) Once your cake is cooked, take it out of the oven and leave it to cool in the tine for 10 minutes, this will prevent it from crumbling apart, as it would if you tried to remove it too early on.

8) Then transfer the cake onto a cooling wrack and leave it to cool for another 15-20 minutes until it is cool to the touch – this will prevent the icing from melting and spreading too far.

9) Finally it’s time to make the icing. I always start of by creaming the butter with a hand whisk and then creaming in the soft cheese. Then gradually add the icing sugar until you have a creamy, lump free, frosting.

10) Once you have your icing prepared add the juice and zest of one orange, a teaspoon of vanilla extract and a half teaspoon of cinnamon, whisk the icing mixture until it’s all one colour and the icing sticks to a spoon without slipping off.

11) The final step is to ice your cake, spread the icing evenly over the top of the cake, finish of by grating some orange zest over the top for decoration.

 

Unfortunately it was all eaten up before I could get a shot of what the inside looked like, but I assure you it was delicious! If you have a go at baking it, do let me know how you get on in the comments! until next time, byeee 🙂

The ‘Fitness Journal’ Week 1

So this week I began my journey towards sustainable health and fitness and I decided that I would begin with one week of not tracking and not worrying about what I was eating, I could eat what I wanted whenever I wanted in whatever quantity I desired. This was because after restricting what I ate for so long, it was difficult to switch immediately from drastically under eating, to eating at a set calorie level each day.

I think on the whole ‘intuitively’ eating went well for me, but I know for a fact that this week I did over eat and I also ate an excess of ‘cheat’ foods, but I wanted to curb all my cravings this week before jumping into eating somewhat ‘healthily’ for the foreseeable future. The key thing with creating a sustainable diet is balance and moderation. It’s vital to ensure you’re getting all your macros and it’s fine to have a slice of cake, or some sweets, as long as it’s in moderation. This is something I will be exercising when it comes to food in the following weeks.

In terms of exercise, this week I completed two weighted resistance workouts and did one session of HIIT alongside a 3k ish dog walk everyday. This is less than I would typically workout as I was on half term and my gym is near my college so it’s just easier to make excuses to not go. However in terms of the sessions I did do; I learnt that I won’t be doing HIIT and Resistance on the same day as it’s just too draining on me at the moment and doesn’t allow me to put all of my energy into either forms of exercise. I also decided that I would be putting leg days at the end of the week, where I can rest them over the weekend as they are ridiculously sore after lifting. I think I am going to start at doing three resistance sessions a week: one upper body, one whole body with a focus on core strength and one lower body and as I progress with my strength and get used to this new form of training I may begin isolating specific muscle groups for specific days.

I just wanted to finish this weeks post by showing you all my starting physique, so I have something to compare my progress to and also my starting weight. The last time I weighed myself before the start of this week and before deciding I wanted to change my way of eating and training I weight around 129 pounds and today after my week of ‘intuitive eating’ and my starting weight for my health journey is 133 pounds, meaning this week I gained 4 pounds, which was what I had expected to happen.

 

Thankyou so much to anyone who read this week update and until next time, byeeee 🙂

 

 

The Best Banana Bread

Banana bread is an absolute classic and one of my personal favourites. Better yet it’s really quick to whip up and will get rid of those over ripe bananas that have been sitting in your fruit bowl for weeks 😉

 

Ingredients 

140g softened butter (make sure it’s at least room temperature so it creams with the sugar more easily) 

70g caster sugar

70g soft brown sugar

2 large eggs

140g self raising flour

1tsp baking powder (it’s important it’s baking powder not bicarbonate of soda/baking soda as they work differently)

3 small bananas/2 large bananas (make sure they’re very ripe, the riper the bananas the sweeter the cake will be once baked)

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Method 

1) I began by creaming together the butter and the sugar until it was light and fluffy. 

2) Then It was time to add the eggs and the mashed bananas to the mixture. 

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3) following this it was time to add all the dry ingredients (flour and baking powder) until all the ingredients are completely combined and there are no lumps. 

4) Then pour your mixture into a loaf tin and bake at 180 degrees or on gas mark 4 for about 30 minutes until a skewer comes out clean and the top of the cake is golden brown in colour. 

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5) Once baked allow to cool slightly in the tin (to avoid it crumbling or splitting) before removing from the tin and placing on a cooling rack (this stops the bottom getting soggy). 

6) Of course the final step is to slice it up and enjoy it. ps. it tastes best when still slightly warm and fresh from the oven (top tip: you can mimic this if the banana bread has cooled completely by warming it in the oven before eating)

 

I hope you enjoy it and until next time byeeee 🙂

The Beginning of my ‘Fitness’ Journey

Having started this blog recently I find myself contemplating fairly often what direction I want it to take. Being an avid beauty blogger and youtuber follower, I was initially drawn to beauty, lifestyle fashion etc. and as much as I love makeup and skincare and clothes, it’s not something I am passionate enough to post about weekly. So of course moving forward there will be the occasional beauty or fashion post, but what you can rely on seeing weekly is my ‘fitness journal?’.

Body image is something I have struggled with more than I care to admit. I love food (I mean who doesn’t am I right?) and I have participated in a variety of sports since primary school. However as I grew older the amount of sport I did decreased while the amount of food I ate increased and naturally I gained some weight. Now by no means was it a drastic amount and I have always remained within the bracket of a healthy weight for a woman of my age and height but I went from being at the bottom of the bracket to the top of it.

Unfortunately in the past year social media has heavily influenced my thoughts on what I ‘should’ look like, but of course I have come to realise that aesthetic goals do not only negatively impact your self-perception but can also be detrimental to your health. I started cutting my calories and wouldn’t eat nearly enough, sometimes barely reaching 1500 calories a day while burning 500 calories a day on the treadmill. This meant that I was not only exhausted but by the end of the week I would ‘reward’ myself by binge eating any form of sugar I could find in the house (because I have the worst sweet tooth), to the point I felt so sick and extremely bloated. Monday would come and the cycle would start again. I lost about a stone in the first three weeks of doing this, however I didn’t realise that in the meanwhile I was tearing my metabolism to shreds and as soon as I tried to increase my calories the tiniest bit I would gain weight, which made me resort to lowering them back down. This cycle has taken place over the past year and is the point I am at right now but as the rest of the blog post will explain I intend to make a change for the better and want to bring anyone who is interested along with me on the journey. You’ve got to start somewhere right?

So this whole change was in fact inspired by a video I watched this morning by Georgie Stevenson called ‘5 Reasons WHY You’re NOT Losing FAT’ and it really helped to explain to me that If I wanted to build lean muscle and get some definition, I was going to have to bring by metabolism back up. I will explain how I intend to do this in the remainder of this blog post but first I want to make clear that I am just a 17 year old and have no nutritional education or qualification, I am simply learning through experimenting and want to share this experiment with anyone willing to follow it.

Step 1 

The first and most important change I’m going to make is bring my calories back up to maintenance level, which for me is 1785 calories, which I calculated using the calculator on www.bodybuilding.com . I will continue eating at my maintenance level (including adding on any calories I burn in the gym) until I plateau  and my maintenance level of calories is actually maintaining my weight. Naturally, I expect some weight gain when I adjust my calories back to maintenance as I have been cutting so harshly for a prolonged period of time.

Step 2

It would be unrealistic of me to say I’m going to switch out all the cardio I do for resistance training; as cardio is something I love and is one of my main stress releases. However, in order to build up my metabolism, I need to build up the amount of lean muscle I have, which is only achievable by incorporating some form of resistance training. So instead of doing 5 days of cardio (three HIIT, two steady state) I will do two sessions of HIIT a week, one steady state and incorporate resistance training into at least 3 gym sessions a week.

Step 3

Finally once I reach a plateau and my training is consistent in incorporating resistance, depending on my mindset and my body composition, I will decide on how I want to progress forward, weather it be cut, but this time sensibly, or just continue on at maintenance level. Of course I’ll update you on all that when it comes to it, however for now I want to make regaining a healthy relationship with food my top priority.

And so it begins… from now on I will be posting weekly, on a Sunday, updating you all on my physique, my weight but more importantly my thoughts on how I felt that week and weather I met my eating and exercising goals.

The diary will commence on the 18/2/18. Don’t forget I’ll hopefully be posting a few food, beauty and lifestyle posts a week when I can to create my kaleidoscope of ideas Until next time… byeee 🙂

 

 

Whats On My Wishlist

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We all have those things that we desperately want, but haven’t gotten round to buying yet, whether you’re just too lazy, can’t justify it or would for some reason rather lust over it than purchase it. Well this post is about all those things I really want but haven’t gotten yet. To keep track of my wishlist I use Shoptagr. It’s an app I use on my phone to save the items I come across that I want, but can’t quite muster the courage to buy. Not only does it allow me to keep track of the things I want and not forget about them, it sends notifications to let me know when those items go on sale. So without further ado lets get into my wishlist.

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The first item is the solution by glossier. It’s an exfoliating skin perfecter, which you can use EVERYDAY and it has hit the blogging beauty world by storm. It claims to “slowly slough away dead cells through chemical exfoliation”, therefore unclogging pores and removing blackheads as well as preventing breakouts. The exfoliation also leaves your skin glowing from within and super soft. As soon as I get my hands on it I will be doing the 4 week challenge and putting it to the test to see if it really works, so stay tuned for that!

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The next item is the Star And Moon Print Frill Top by Topshop. What I love about this is how versatile it is. You could wear it on an everyday basis with some black jeans and converse or you could dress it up with so heeled boots and leather trousers. It’s super unique and girly and that’s what I love about it, it’s not something you’ll see everyone wearing. However if the Star and Moon print isn’t for you Topshop offer this design in many other prints; so go have a look and see what takes your fancy.

The next three items are all from Pandora. I was lucky enough to be gifted an essence bracelet for my birthday and the two charms are to go with that. At the moment I just have the Dignity charm but when scrolling through the website Love and Loyalty really captured my eye, and I mean who doesn’t want some Love and Loyalty in their life right? I have also always wanted the Pandora Birthstone Ring and although my birthday is in December I found the colour to be too bright for my liking and knew I wouldn’t want to wear it everyday. However the March Ring was a beautiful shade of blue and will match the Loyalty charm perfectly if I ever get around to getting it.

IMG_0619.PNGThe next one is one for the summer months. As soon as I saw the Kulani Kinis Crop Bikini on ASOS I fell in love with it. It’s simplistic and has good coverage whilst still being flattering, not to mention it’ll look great with a tan!

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The Dior sorbet water essence sounds like a dream for anyone with dry skin. However not only does it deeply hydrate as the name suggests, there are ingredients in it which gently peel the skin, removing dead skin cells and clarifying the skin. Resulting in beautifully clear glowing skin. I really can’t wait to get my hands on this and when I do I’ll be purchasing it from the Boots website, this one will really rack up them advantage card points.

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Last but certainly not least is the Sunday Riley UFO Ultra-Clarifying Facial Oil. Sunday Riley is one of the best known skincare brands out there and for such promising results the price tag is more than worth it. As you’ve probably noticed quite a few of the products on my wishlist are clarifying/hydrating skincare products and that’s because I have always suffered with spotty, dry skin and unfortunately have still not come across a product which fixes it! The only thing that has stopped me buying it since I first heard the gleaming reviews is that it has been out of stock everywhere in the 15ml size and understandably I want to get the smaller size to make sure it works before splurging on the full size product.

So that’s it folks. I hope you enjoyed reading this post and hopefully you now have a few products you want to add to your wishlist (but hopefully not too many 😉 Until next time, Byeeee

My Goals for 2018

So it safe to say 2017 wasn’t the best of years… well at least not for me anyway. I am aware that I’m writing this post mid-way through January, however, as a result I’ve had time to really consolidate my goals, dreams and aspirations for the coming year (everyone knows January’s just a trial month anyway right?). So lets get into my goals for the year and hopefully it’ll inspire you to set some of your own.

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The first goal I set myself was to complete a 5K charity run. Not only will it improve my fitness, but it will contribute to an amazing cause. I actually set this as one of my goals last year, but didn’t fulfil it due to the stress of my exams which were around a similar time to which I planned to do the charity run. However this year I don’t have the excuse of exams, so I fully intend to complete this goal. Personally I plan to run the 5K pretty muddy run in aid of cancer research.

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The next goal I set myself was to read a book a month. Now to many of you that may not seem to be a lot, and it wouldn’t have seemed to be a lot to myself two years ago either. However since starting sixth form I have found myself reading less and less, giving myself the excuse of a lack of time, when realistically we can all find time for something we really want to do. This is why I’m starting small, to not overwhelm myself with a huge goal and hopefully I can build it up as the year goes on. Feel free to leave me your recommendations in the comments 🙂

Something I have wanted to do for a really long time is climb a mountain. I love the thought of the challenge and nothing excites me more than the thought of the beautiful view from the top. In the UK some of the most notable mountains are Ben Nevis in Scotland and Snowdon in Wales and I have set myself the goal of climbing Snowdon, weather or not I get around to it is questionable but hopefully I will!

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The final goal I set for myself was to get back into Athletics. Since primary school I have been a keen athlete and have loved sprinting, running and jumping (throwing? not so much…). You’re probably noticing a recurring theme of me using exams and college as an excuse for not doing things or falling out of routine and this is no exception. I did athletics all through school competing in county athletics championships and the Sainsbury’s school games countless time, however since leaving school and no longer having teachers to sign me up to these events, I have stopped competing. As a result my fitness and confidence levels have dropped. Hopefully this will be the year I muster up the courage to sign up to an athletics club and start training again! I just need to keep reminding myself I will only regret the things I don’t do.

This brings me to the end of this post. I hope you all have the best 2018 and reach all of your own personal goals, until next time, byeeee 🙂