Monday, 28 September 2015

Week 4: My Slimming World Journey

I've been putting off posting this post as I was a bit embarrassed. I gained two pounds last week after getting my half a stone award. I know it's not that big a deal to some people but I really am someone who believes in an all or nothing approach. 

I went off the rails.. Share size bag of crisps, chocolate, etc were had to myself. I didn't plan my meals, didn't drink enough water and didn't get enough exercise. I got too cocky after my first three successful losses and that was my major downfall. 

My next weigh in will be on a Thursday and I will be lucky to shift those two pounds. I don't know why but as soon as I am doing well in weightloss or fitness I tend to self sabotage.  

I just need to draw a line under it and move on. 

Sometimes we just need to acknowledge our bad habits to move on. So here's to a good week ahead for everyone on their journeys. Thank you to you all who have been reading my Slimming World posts! They are averaging about 450 views so I'm glad that I'm blogging about something of interest to you all.

Til next time xx


Cocoa Brown Passion Persistence Pink Event

Passion Persistence Pink is a slogan so befitting of the Cocoa Brown brand and the phenomenal powerhouse that is businesswoman Marissa Carter and her equally talented Pink Ladies, Kate Kelly and Stephanie O'Quigley. 

In only a few short years Marissa and her team have taken the false tan market by storm creating serious brand loyalty and almost breaking Twitter when Kylie Jenner, ( yes that Kylie! ) featured Cocoa Brown products on her Instagram. It's not hard to see why. These ladies are so hardworking and really know their target market and seem to actually care about their customers! This event served not only to reveal the two new Cocoa Brown products on offer but to motivate, inspire and encourage all women young or old not to believe in a "glass ceiling". In fact Marissa herself said that we only tend to "self sabotage our own success when we think that there is a glass ceiling." 

I was delighted to be invited as a VIP blogger to attend the event free of charge but I am sure the ladies who paid for tickets thoroughly enjoyed the day out. In the Shelbourne Hotel's Great Room. 

We were treated to afternoon tea, numerous on the spot prizes and competitions and of course got to take home an enviable swag bag. I might post a snapchat of me going through the swag bag if anyone is interested! 

Julia Carta, celebrity make up artist, was also in attendance and lucky Marissa got to be her makeup guinea pig as Julia worked her magic and created a glowing flawless base. 

I made a collage out of all the products Julia used. Pic credit to Marissa's snapchat! @cartermarissa 

I will most certainly be picking up some of these products. It was fantastic to hear from someone so successful who has worked in the beauty industry doing makeup and hair for so long. Julia had been doing it since she was 15/16! She gave us brilliant tips and tricks. Always luninize, never cake, lots of small layers - to name a few. 

Before I go off track Cocoa Brown's big reveal did not disappoint. The two new products are instant bronzing gels: 1 shimmer and 1 matte and they should be in store in the next two weeks. What makes these stand out from the crowd of  instant tan is specks of water will not leave you with spotty tan when you use Cocoa Brown's instant tan gel. 

I am so looking forward to trying out these tans as I love a good instant tan! I also got this gorgeous double sided velvet tanning mitt that feels super soft and like the product will just glide over skin! 

If you were at the #PassionPersistencePink event please leave a comment below and if you have s blog I would love you to leave a link so I can follow it. 

I'm off to bed after such an exciting, inspiring day. I'll leave you with these words, 

"beauty is what happens when you are just being yourself." 


Saturday, 26 September 2015

Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanse and Polish

I bought these two hot cloth cleansers recently in Boots having heard much hype about the Liz Earle cleanser, I wanted to buy a cheaper alternate to compare. For now however I've been using the Liz Earle cleanse and polish and I absolutely love it! It leaves your face super clean and smooth, removes every last bit of makeup and smells fresh and clean without stripping your skin. 

A mixture of camomile, cocoa butter and eucalyptus oil leave your skin clearer and smoother without any need for scrubbing. The 100ml bottle came with two muslin cloths in a handy little travel pouch for €19.75 and you use the muslin clothes to remove the cleanser and your makeup. Splash your face with warm water, massage two pumps of the cleanser over your face and then gently wipe off the day with the Muslin cloth after you have dipped it into hot water and wrung it out. 

This is the first Liz Earle product I have tried and I am now eager to try the serum and moisturiser as I hear it is a great range for hydrating dry sensitive skin. 

I'm glad I made the switch from my No7 cream cleanser for a change, and while the Liz Earle cleanser is a little steep on the budget I'll see how long this bottle lasts and make my final decision. It's definitely made a change on my skin which is always good as my skin was starting to break out from overuse to a product. 

As soon as I start using the botanics hot cloth cleanser I will let you know how I think they compare price wise and performance wise. 

Til then ..xx

Monday, 21 September 2015

Dress well, Train well

Exercise clothes don't have to be plain, boring black...BooHoo, Missguided and New Look all have a fantastic range of sports wear focusing on great slogans guaranteed to be a bit of a conversation starter in the gym. Here are some of my favourite picks below:

BooHoo has great motivonal slogan vests and tees. The first three are €11 and the last t shirt is €8.

Printed leggings are also the order of the day from Missguided. These range from €16.80-€22.40.

I'm a big fan of this 'Flexin ' two piece and the 'Determined' print leggings from Missguided shown below. There is 30% off on first time orders from this site.

Neon print sports bra is €11.99 from New Look and is available in a range of sizes.
These trainers will go with any of your gym clothes and come in at €34.99 from New Look.

The above tops are only €5.99 in the sale online at New Look so there is something for everyone's sportswear budget!

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Slimming World Banoffee Pie Recipe

Photo: My Instagram : bloggingitbeautiful 

Slimming World Banoffee Pie 

You will need: 

10 plain reduced fat digestive biscuits 
5 tablespoon low fat spread 
2 x 12 g sachets of powdered gelatine 
250g quark
3  x Muller light Toffee flavour pots
4 tablespoon sweetener 
1 tsp vanilla essence 
2 egg whites 
2 bananas to top after its set ( thinly sliced) 

Crush your biscuits in a plastic bag with a rolling pin, put them in a bowl then melt the spread in the microwave and add to the crushed biscuits in the bowl. Mix it all up well then spoon into a baking tin lined with parchment paper. I didn't have any so sprayed the tin with fry lite and it didn't stick. Bake the base in oven for 15 minutes at 170 degrees if you have a fan oven. Then leave to cool. 

Dissolve your gelatin in five tablespoons of boiling water. Whisk your quark in a bowl until smooth then add in the toffee mullerlight yoghurts, sweetener and vanilla essence. 

Whisk the egg whites until stiff or there are peaks and then fold into the quark mixture with the gelatine. Spoon onto the biscuit base evenly and smooth with a knife. Leave to set in the fridge for five hours. 

The next day or later on when it has set simply slice your banana thinly and spread over the voila! It really is so so tasty. 

Try it out and let me know what you think.   

Serves 8 slices and syns are 6 per slice. Well worth it. 

Week 3: My Slimming World Journey


The above saying is certainly true for me tonight anyways! I had my third weigh in this evening and lost three pounds! I have lost seven pounds in three weeks and got my 1/2 stone award this evening. I have to stop saying I'm shocked that I've lost weight because I know myself I have changed a lot of bad eating habits and stopped being so lazy. I've started walking every single day doing at least half an hour, mainly 45 minutes walk and I've started running small amounts of that walk. I've also seriously upped my water intake which I think is a huge contributer in the weight loss this week! I have been flushing it all out of me and have been drinking two litres of water a day. 

An easy way I find to remember to the water into you is to fill up a 500ml bottle and carry it everywhere. Simply refill three times over the day and you have your recommended daily intake. 

Those are two major things I really think have helped me this week. I've cut back so much on the amount of bread and snacking I used to do which is making a big difference and I also enjoy my treats more. I made a slimming world friendly banofee pie this week which was as good as the 'real' thing and can put the recipe up if anyone wants it. 

My favourite thing about the plan is that I don't feel guilty about eating any more. I can have a treat as long as I plan it and know it's within my 'syns' so the element of control is something I really needed. I even was peckish the other night before weigh in and wanted something savoury so I peeled and chopped up FOUR potatoes, sprayed with Fry Lite and sprinkled garlic salt and pepper over and made myself some Slimming World chips and still had a loss the next day. 

I'm eating so much more fruit and vegetables than I would have before and really enjoying it. I have mushrooms, spinach and tomato all the time and am snacking in oranges, plums , apples and peaches instead of reaching for something unhealthy. I'm almost afraid to be losing weight so quickly and don't want to be getting too comfortable and gettin ahead of myself so I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing and hopefully will have another good result next week! 

I'm thinking of joining the gym as well as I want to tone up which weight loss won't do but I don't want to start exercising and have it mess up my numbers on the scales. I know it sounds silly...any advice? 

Good luck to anyone who is embarking on their own healthy fitness and lifestyle plan and I hope your enjoying reading about my progress! Til next week :-) 


Saturday, 12 September 2015

Blueberry Breakfast Pancakes

Stuck in a rut eating porridge or eggs for breakfast? Switch it up on the weekend to make yourself something truly Instagram worthy with this Slimming world friendly breakfast! Three pancakes is 3 and a 1/2 syns and well worth it! 

I even gave myself an extra chocolate treat for 1 syn. One square of the Bourneville chocolate from Aldi is equivalent to a syn. I just melted it in the microwave. 

I mashed three bananas in a bowl. Lightly beat three eggs and added them to the bowl along with a tablespoon of sweetener, a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of vanilla essence or a teaspoon of cinnamon. I beat all of this together with a hand mixer and then added 100g blueberries. 

Spray a large frying pan with fry lite and place over a medium heat. I was able to cook three pancakes at once using a spoon to do equal sized pancakes.

They only take like two minutes on either side so be prepared to flip over gently.

The mix is supposed to serve 6 (18 pancakes so 3 each) . 

I served with my one square of melted dark chocolate and a spoonful of fat free natural yoghurt. It was delicious and well worth the effort. 

If you have leftover batter I would just cook and freeze the other pancakes. 


Thursday, 10 September 2015

Week 2: My Slimming World Diary

Second week in and I've lost four pounds! I'm delighted, I usually give up and never have faith in these types of plans but it just goes to show you can still eat proper meals AND lose weight! Either that or they are rigging the scales... ;) 

So I had a pound and a half weight loss this week even after a night out and two bad food choices ( I had a McDonalds nugget meal after the night out and I ordered a spice bag but only ate about a third of it). It really is all about balance. I walked loads, have been eating a lot more fruit and vegetables and have really cut down on the amount of bread I used to eat. 

What helps with the Slimming world plan is there are so many recipes online and on the app to make tasty healthier versions of food you already eat or in my case wouldn't eat. I am a fussy eater I am realising and before this plan would have existed on a very monotonous diet  consistent predominantly of carbs and very little fruit and veg. I don't really like meat like pork or beef so I mainly eat chicken and fish like salmon, hake, tuna but I can't turn down bacon! It's all about working the plan to suit you. 

For examples of what I've been eating I've cooked diet coke chicken (random I know) salmon curry ( was actually delicious) healthy version of fish and chips and my favourite thing of all to have when I've the time is a big slimming world friendly breakfast. I do spinach mushrooms and tomato for my speed foods (foods that speed up weightloss) and then a fried egg in fry lite (1 calorie spray oil) some baked beans if I have them and either bacon medallions or bacon with the fat cut off. This is such a satisfying breakfast and sets you up for the day. I usually have it it on top of a slice of wholemeal bread or two or a Sandwich thin available in Aldi for your healthy extra B. 

I really wasn't expecting to lose weight this week. I usually gain when it's that time of the month and because of two bad food choices and lots of drinks but it's all about balance and a bad day really doesn't make a bad week. I can only imagine if I was super strict with myself how much weight I could lose in a week. 

My goals for the week ahead are as follows: 

1. Drink more water - aim for 2 litres a day not counting counting cups of tea! 

2. Walk for at least thirty minutes everyday. I was in the gym previously doing weight training and since I've moved I've yet to join another gym so I decided just to start off small and start walking and build up to running. It's free which is always good when you're a student on a budget. 

So that's all for now I've done a food shop and planned a lot of my meals for the week ahead already so fingers crossed for another good loss! 


Friday, 4 September 2015

My Slimming World Friendly Spice bag

It's Friday night as you might be feeling like a little treat but before you go ringing the pizza place think about making your own quick and easy 'fakeaway' instead! 

Here is how I made my 'slimming world spice bag'. I googled a recipe and just adjusted it to my taste. 

You will need: 

1. Two chicken breasts
2. Peppers/Onions (Speedy food) 
3. An egg beaten 
4. A chilli, salt, pepper, garlic and whatever spices you want. 
5. Breadcrumbs (these will have to be 'synned'.) 
6. Frylite 
7. Potatoes 

Now for the fun part...

Slimming world chips are my fave.. Peel your shpuds, chop them into strips as chunky or as skinny as you like. Spray with fry lite, then I usually put them in a sandwich bag with salt, pepper and garlic into the microwave to soften for a few minutes and then straight into the oven for 20-30 minutes.

Cut the raw chicken into thin strips with a sharp knife (watch the pinkies!) then I rubbed in chopped garlic, chilli, salt and pepper. Pop this on the pan with yor Frylite on a medium heat and make sure it's browned either side to seal in the juice.

Chop up your peppers and onions and throw these in the pan too. Cook thoroughly and enjoy!!


Wednesday, 2 September 2015

The beginning of my Slimming World journey

Last week I took the plunge and decided to join Slimming World. Having recently moved house, leaving my gym behind I had fallen into bad eating habits and I really wanted to make a change. 

I was looking around for classes and it just so happened someone mentioned a class on that evening at 5.30 and I just said right it's either now or never. If I had said to myself oh I'll wait til tomorrow one more time I know I would never have joined. 

A week on and I had my first weigh in tonight! I lost two and a half pounds which I am absolutely over the moon and delighted with. The Slimming World (SW) plan is relatively simple to follow. You have your speed foods ie certain fruit and veg that will speed up your weightloss lie melon or strawberries etc and your free foods like meat, fish, pasta, rice and potatoes. Yes! You CAN have carbs. Hallelujah. You also have your Healthy Extra A and B or hex a and hex b for short which can be something like 330 ml soya milk and two slices of Brennan's be good bread. 

Then you have your 'syns'. You have 5-15 a day that can be used on chocolate, crisps and also boring stuff like butter or sweet chilli sauce which has to be counted which is unfortunate as I like sweet chilli sauce on everything! 

I won't lie, I did slip up a couple of times the first week like not counting a few syns here and there, going a bit mad on the drinks one of the nights and also having a mc Donald's breakfast roll but I can safely say 95% of the week I followed it to a T. One of the most vital points of the plan is making sure you have a third of 'speed' foods ie fruit and veg with every meal as this will fill you up and of course make sure you are hurting your nutritional targets. 

I have really enjoyed cooking new meals and trying out slimming world versions of favourited such as the 'spice bag' and slimming world chips. I also made my own version of banofee pie, a salmon curry and healthy SW breakfasts like you can see in the photos below. 

I'm feeling super motivated tonight and hopefully that continues in the weeks ahead! 

I will be blogging here on recipes I have tried and on my progress. If you have any questions please leave them in the comments below. 

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