5 Day Gym Challenge Will I Survive Day 1

body confidence, confidence, Fitness, Personal Experience, weight loss

My work wifehas challenged me to five days of gym, well five mornings

So I dutifullyexcepted I have no reasons not too. It is still pretty muggy in England at themoment so I don’t really want to lay in bed for and extra ten minutes, thenanother five.

Snooze button loves me did I mention it?

I am doing it but will I survive it?

Day 1

Day one he was late.

So I hopped on my favourite machine the rowing machine. Now out of all the activities I do this appears to burn the fewest calories but I like it. I like how rhythmic it is and how I try and burn more calories every minute. I normally do 5 minutes straight and move on to the next machine.

Today was no different, plus he still hadn’t turned up. So I did two minutes running whilst I waited.

I have never ventured upstairs in my gym before and it turns out this is where the more hardcore gymers fester. With their ripped abs and veiny necks, I wondered if I was in the right place. This apparently is where I would be trimming and toning this week.

He thought he would burn up all my Mars ice creams in ten minutes on this hellish machine that you have to run and with each step you move the machine. You add your drag and decide how long a break you get. It was so hard I walked most of it. Five minutes of this was not pleasant but I didn’t push myself hard enough so tomorrow I will have to try harder.

The machine from hell

Weights

Then he got me on the dumbbells . I am the biggest joke there is. The awesome lady next to me was pumping 8s so I was like, she looks strong I recon I can handle a 6. Nope,I have no upper body strength. So I wanted 4 and found I could not do that either there wasn’t a 3 so I tried the 2. And do you know what.

I struggled

But I did it.

The awesome warrior lady smiled at me and picked up a ten in each hand and smiledback proudly with my 2s!

I did thepush up on the bench exercise (so technical) and the reps where you bring themout to the side. My bingo wings are upset I am trying to reduce them. Tomorrow Iwill go up to a 3!

Legs a hoy

Then I tried the bar weight. The pole is 20kg and oh my got did I struggle. I couldn’t even add anything to it. Jon had to hold it the whole time in case I crushed myself. I also got the giggle a lot with this exercise, mainly because I am week. Tomorrow I am going to lift it from the floor. I can’t wait.

Covering up half my body is not what I want!

That was sarcasm.

Last implement of the day was a squat machine. Where you sit like a pregnant ladyand push a lot of weight. Finally, something I could do with ease. My legs haveall my strength. They are toned and muscular. Yes I have a wee bit off wobbleat the top but who cares. I love them and my bum. It’s a good bum.

It’s my stomach I am at war with. These exercises are going to be good for me. Today I feel energised and only a little sore. I probably won’t wake up feeling this ecstatic.

Oh and my Apple watch decided to pause so missed the majority of my exercise. Grrr. Still today is another day. Catch you tomorrow. Hopefully I will learn a few more gymwords so this can be a wee bit educational rather than me and my weakling body.

So I survived day one ….See you tomorrow

Dana

Wedding update: unconventional organisation

Personal Experience, Planning, Wedding

Okay so not long to go now and I am freaking out at the time.

Or no time. Did any one else feel like this?

Me and gav had a sit down and went through the things we need to do and things that are a waste of time!

Lots of our original plans were a little ambitious and a waste of time and money. As time is getting closer and money is getting tighter it’s happening.

The wedding is happening.

Update

We also got a few more bit done

We finally booked our cake tasting with Konditor and Cook! I am so happy and thinking of my curly wurst wedding cake. We want to try a few other flavours so that there is choice for our guests and I can’t wait for this.

This will be a proper wedding thing that we have done as so far every thing we have done has been in a different order.

Food

We ate at a restaurant and then asked if they did weddings! That’s how we landed our caterer. And we are so happy we did because they are so busy now that if we had asked even a month later I don’t think we would have got them and their food is divine.

All the bridesmaids dresses have been ordered. They are using there own shoes but I am worried about rain and wondering if I should by them wellies… I guess I can leave it last minute!

Gardening

From now until for ever I will grow Dahlias they are amazing. Every time I go into the garden they present me with the most insane blooms. I picked peaches and pinks with some dark purples to play with. It’s like the perfect bouquet everyday! I love them. The way they are blooming I won’t be having any for the wedding but I don’t mind.

My cafe au laits haven’t bloomed yet so I may get my favourite flower!

Charlotte is coming with me to check out the venue so we can start planning flowers and the set up. I can’t wait!

Panic stations

Actually I can. I can wait I know I have said it before but seriously it is coming around too quickly. I need more time but I am working 6 days a week and filling my weeknights with crafting.

It will get done but I am trying to get it done before the end of August so that September is not about creating but curating.

We are really excited to become husband and wife.

Thank you for joining us on our journey!

Get of your high horse and let me watch my Love Island

Personal Experience

I watch Love Island and I don’t care what you think of me. I am an intelligent feminist who bloody loves it. Who are you to judge.? Do you sit on your high horse spouting Shakespeare at me, nope?

I love my politics too, Brexit had me and Gavin debating every night about the campaign and how disillusioned it all is. I have many interests and a mind that is always full of questions. A bit of mindless TV helps me quiet my mind. It’s my TV therapy.

are all your TV choices perfect?

I don’t care about your choices. We live in a world where people have the right to an opinion which is fine, but I have the right not to hear it or read it.

Get off your high horse and accept that sometimes I watch drivel, okay I watch a lot of drivel. I also watch a lot of documentaries and art movies but I don’t put you down for your choices but you have no issue deriding me for mine. You also don’t praise me for what you deem a good decision in tv watching!

I am not talking about my friends who don’t approve, they know me, they know I love it. I know what they watch so I know that they don’t really judge me. Even if they do rub me for it!

I am just going to say this I love my TV. I do

I am generally drawing or working when I watch it but sometimes, I just like to zone out when I am making 1 million wedding invites.

So Love island is trashy, I don’t love the sexing on TV, that’s really grim. I also don’t like how bitchy it can get but a few years ago we had a game changer and she changed the show. Yes, I am talking about Camilla Thurlow. She taught everyone that they should be nice to each other and set the tone for the next two series. This year’s winners are two of the nicest people. In fact, with the exception of Curtis who appears very manipulative. All the top four couples are people I could see myself being friends with as they are appeared to be fairly decent human beings.

This year the contestants have been fairly respectful and chivalrous which has been lovely to see. Ovie and Greg came across as lovely guys and although Tommy and Calum were a little soft for my likening they were still very kind to the rest of the house. The girls had a little bit more drama about them but Amber was my favourite from the start, Francesca and Maura were hilarious and again Molly Mae was nice just a bit too soft.

It was all light hearted at the end of the day.

My point is, that before you judge someone’s TV choices remember that you wouldn’t like them judging you.

People like to spout issues of exploitation and low IQ, yet this year we had a Pharmacist and engineer, lawyer, a bio chemist fireman and scientist but you know they are all a bunch of thickos?

How quick are we to judge, yes a lot of them weren’t very bright, some have had some enhancement, not my type of look but they seem happy with themselves so I don’t mind. They are attractive bunch of people which I s why I used to watch Summer Bay and and lots of shows. I think that it is wonderful that the world is starting to understand mental health issues but is a show responsible for this? To a point but not solely.

I am not embarrassed to say that I watch Love island. I am embarrassed for you and your opinions. Do I come away from it thinking wow I learned something today? Or wow my life has changed because of that episode, nope, but I don’t kid myself either.

Some people watch games shows, fishing programs, David Attenborough on repeat. Me I am partial to my Sci Fi and Fantasy, Cooking programs I find soothing, Love a bit of Poirot as much as I like a dark gripping murder mystery.

My tastes, like my friends and my life are eclectic. I don’t belong in a box so please don’t put me in one. Could I live without Love Island, Of course but I feel that way about most TV, I just don’t want to.

I don’t begrudge you your TV therapy so get of your high horse and let me watch my love Island.

Images from ITV

Be Bold: feeling the insta-worthy pressure

confidence, Personal Experience

Be bold

Is the theme of today’s blog but today I am feeling beige not bold. I feel like I have taken on too much with this challenge. Its not that I don’t have enough time to write it just that I feel like my writing and content is suffering.

Taking on too much is not going to improve my blog it is just going to make it messy.

 I love interior design I do. But I feel like all the images I am putting up are just not good enough. The lights not right and I don’t have any time to fix that.

The writing of the blog is easy but the planning that goes into it and trust me there is a lot of planning.

So, I am not going to stop I am just going to write about what I really care about which isn’t my lovely slightly disheveled house at the moment.

We all know that I am completely obsessed with skincare. Cant stop wont stop. I really love it and I am my skincare regime has turned me into a crazy pharmaceutical scientist. This morning I put all my bottle I was using on the sink. A bit of this, a bit of that. Is that a scientist or a Witch? I don’t mind either comparison.

The wedding was the reason that I started the blog

My running which hasn’t been happening because I just got too freakin lazy! I have run once this week so I am okay with that but I need to start running for 6 miles soon!

Instagram is just so disheartening. I don’t understand what their point of view is any more. My friend told me that she felt like giving up/ disheartened because other account similar to hers where doing amazing and her beautiful account wants. So I gave her some advice and forgot to listen to myself. So I am going to stop.

It’s all too much

Facebook is just a waste of space, I don’t know why they mess with that either. I don’t know many friends who are still active on it. Some one needs to come up with a new Instagram idea where they don’t introduce a new algorithm every 5 minutes. I would join in a heartbeat.

So this blog is about being bold and my house is packed full of boldness. However the boldest thing about my home is me! Yes, I am saying it.

So I need to just be me and stop trying to juggle so many balls in the air.

At the moment my home will never be instaworthy for this 30 day challenge. I am going to work on being in a little Insta community and to be truthful I already have it with some of the girls I talk to on Insta.

So it’s back to me!

A Scented home:I’d rather not but some things are out of my hands

interior design, Personal Experience

Day 5 scented 30day blog challenge

Well this is going well. I am using my Instagram to challenge me to get writing everyday again.

So yes, the majority of these blogs are written on a red London bus and spell checked on my very short lunch. So I do apologise.

And I am loving it.

Today’s image was about scented and this is where I fall down.

Candles

I do like candles but I don’t go crazy for them. I certainly don’t melt them all year round and buy them constantly.

I get the same Yankee candle every year from a family member. I sometimes buy a few candles from homescence and I bought Aldi’s Faux Malone candle and quite liked that.

The truth is when it comes to smells I either like citrus or fresh linen. All my cleaning products are lemon scented. I am not a fan of plug ins but we have a dog now and I am paranoid about doggy smells. So we have a citrus plug in by the door.

Plants

I do love flowers but I hate how wasteful they are. I am a crazy plant lady and I don’t care. If I could my house would be filled with peonies and freesias all year round but budget and wastefulness won’t allow it! I drool over peoples images of Peonies!!

My tiny English suburban garden

my garden at the moment is in full bloom we have a crazy Rose bush that has been spliced. Last year we had dark pink roses every where and one dog rose. This year we have hundreds of dog roses and one dark pink one.The garden smells so good.

When I am at home I always open up all the windows and let the house breath!

Smells are so important and I do have a preference but I like to keep things simple and fresh.

My most amazing plant is a lemon balm that my local Fish and chip shop gave my mum as a cutting. I put it outside and it died but I didn’t give up on it!

Do neglect it sometimes but it is really hardy and when you water it or move it the whole room smells of lemons. I have made tea with it and you can add it to salads. It is the most wonderful smell in the world.

so that’s it!

I would rather my house just smell fresh and clean then of fake smells but with a little pooch I don’t really have a choice.

What does your home smell like?

Kindness is key: wedding planning is stressful

Personal Experience, Planning, Wedding, Wedding Budget

I know I keep harping on about being kind. But I think it is so important. When my scorpion tail whips out with cruel or bitter words I have to stop myself.

Why the vitriol?

Planning a wedding is stressful especially when you are arranging everything. We both work full time so it’s just our spare time that we are fitting everything in. Our venue is an empty box. So we have nothing to work with, it’s brilliant but a lot of work!

Our first year together! 10 years ago.

So it gets a bit much

Sometimes we snap at each other. Mostly is miscommunication sometimes is tiredness. But then he does something so small and lovely I remember why we are doing this.

Because we love each other and we want this. Our weddings isn’t massive but it’s not small either. It’s what we want, where we want and the majority of it is how we want.

I read a blog where the bride said if you find it stressful then you are doing it wrong. I am pretty sure she didn’t have to arrange every little bit. I think being so positive about the stress can put a dampener on those who are trying to deal with it. Yes this is a first world problem but I am working pretty much everyday to sav for this.

We are not getting in debt for one day!

I feel like stress and negativity are like childbirth. When the wedding day is over you kind of forget about the rest of it. My best friend appears to have forgotten the calls she made about things going wrong etc!

Truth

I am loving planning our wedding.

When things get made and ticked off the list I am so happy!

Things come up all the time. Little issues that we haven’t thought about and have to solve. Saving has been hard but so far none of the issues have been about money.

Just organising and getting things done. A lot of this has fallen on my shoulders and has made me weary. Folding a hundred invites hasn’t been to bad. Thanks to gin and YouTube! It’s still time consuming and as this blog goes out it will all be done!

Writing things down and setting a plan has helped. My helpful family ( that includes his) has helped so much!

My advice to you….

  • ask for help when you need it. Understand there will be stressful times. I almost killed Gav over stationery! But we went for a drink and sorted it out.
  • Talk to your partner there is a reason you are marrying them.
  • Do dye 130 napkins if it makes you happy!
  • Be kind to yourself and to others!

Enjoy it!

Makeup trial and fail

Beauty, confidence, Make Up, Personal Experience, Wedding, Wedding Budget

Okay so I am a nervous bride. Nervous in the fact that I am not glamorous or elegant. I can scrub up well but it’s never been me really. Having a makeup trial made me nervous.

How do I look like me without looking like me.

Online shopper

When it came to my wedding dress I was so nervous about trying it on and falling in love with an expensive out of my budget dress that I whimped out completely and shopped on line.

When it came to my shoes I did go to Harrods with the cash in my hand. I went to Jimmy Choo with the full intension of purchasing my wedding shoes and when it came to buying them it turned out I didn’t love them enough. I did however check out the slightly ridiculous Aquazzura shoes that I ended up purchasing online. I love them they are perfect.

Beautify

So when it came to hair and makeup I was like get a professionally do it. I want it to stay on all day and I want to look good. I had a good makeup artist and hair person but my MIL talked me out of them because they are in Kent and the dart ford crossing may be an issue.

So I looked for someone more local and found someone. I am not going to name them because they were very nice just not for me.

Not my style, baby

I should have seen the warning bells when I saw there Facebook page. 12 year olds with make up on. They issue a lot of makeup and weren’t really my style. But they were local!

I turned up to the salon and it was cool. I felt like a movie star. My mum and lil Sis were with me to tell me if I liked it.

Now because I am open about my opinions people think that this means that I can voice my concerns.

I changed my lip colour and asked for cat eyes which I didn’t get. So I asked for them again and I still didn’t get them.

I should have asked for more blusher but I didn’t. Wearing glasses means that you can’t really see the mirror. This meant that I just had to rely on the makeup artist.

They did a nice job on my makeup. Did I feel amazing?

No

I hate the face that no product or effort was make on my hair! Look at all those flyaways!

I wanted to feel amazing

The makeup lasted all night which was impressive. The lipstick endured me eating a burger. I am a classy bride after all.

But my hair was such a let down. She spent a total of 45minutes on my hair and makeup. She twisted it in a bit and put some tendrils back. No product on my curls and I had prewarned them I was most nervous about my hair. I would have done a better job without looking in the mirror.

Unhappy bride

I looked nice, maybe I will never look any better than nice but in which case I would rather save the money and do it myself!

It is so disheartening when you spend money on something that the girls at the beauty counter could have done and excelled at. I am a DIY bride, I don’t have the money to spend £100 for every trial I do. It’s fairly frustrating.

I did discover Bare Minerals lipsticks are epic and long lasting. But other than that it was a fail.

So now I am looking again.

How was your makeup trials or did you do it yourself?

Growing my own bouquet: a budget step too far?

Flowers, Personal Experience, Planning, Wedding, Wedding Budget

So on an early post I wrote about how trying to find the perfect September flowers are hard. I also said that it’s hard to find what actual flowers are in season.

My mum and Charlotte are doing my flowers.

My sister said I should try growing my own dahlias , so for my birthday I bought two lots of dahlia tubers.

Sarah Raven has got the most beautiful selection and it’s where I bought mine from!

This beauty is the Rubens collection

Which are the most Devine colours ever! These are all dahlias but all so very different.

I figured that if it works great!

If they don’t flower in time then my garden will be beautiful. If I just get one bloom I will be over the moon!! If it’s a Cafe au Lait even better.

I fell in love with them so much I bought a second set of tubers in a slightly different palette. This is the Flamboyant selection!

I figured that they would all work beautifully together if I was lucky enough to grow them all.

I am on Dahlia watch

I planted them just after the last frost and have been monitoring the weather ever since.

I am like a crazy plant lady.

I actually screamed when the parcel arrived. And then I had to wait almost a month because the weather was bad.

I also bought cheap pots that I had to cut wholes in so my plants don’t drown with the amount of rain we are sure to have.

I also ran out of soil and had to top up a week later.

Being a planner I had to plan which ones to do first!

Luckily everything is written on the bag so while I was writing out the sticks I could match it to the tuber. Makes me happy!

My friend said to write the name on both sides because rain and sun will fade them.

Measure twice, cut once

This makes me so happy. I am pretty sure I am supposed to snip the top so that I get more flowers but I will do a bit more research before I make the final cut.

My garden is now covered with plant pots and Dahlias.

I have used plant pots because my garden is dark and this means I can find the best spots for them.

My favourite healthy lunch I prepare at work

body confidence, Fitness, food, health, Personal Experience, weight loss

So I am training, toning and eating healthier. I am a stone (14lbs) over weight. I thought I would share with you some of my favourite healthy lunches that I prepare at work.

I get 30 minutes for lunch so I don’t have a lot of time. This Asian salad I saw on a website and have adapted it to suit me.

You will need:

  • Shredded carrots
  • Cabbage medley
  • Asian slaw
  • Roasted sesame seeds
  • Prawns ( I chose chilli and coriander)
  • Soy ( I am using Tamara less salt)
  • Sriracha ( I don’t like heat but I love this sauce)
  • A lime

This will make 2 lunches with enough salad to make 2/3 more.

I would love not to buy things with so much plastic however everything I bought was prepacked. Plus I only get 30 minutes so I have time constraints.

So Tesco is my local supermarket to work. I tend to do a shop for the weeks lunches! This isn’t a cheap lunch but I get 4 lunches out of it so it works out at about 2.50 a lunch and 250 calories per portion. I colour make this a lot cheaper by pre preparing everything at home but I would have to buy a lot of ingredients that I would have to eat all week.

Eating habits

I don’t know about you but I hate eating the same thing every day. When you are single this is the worse part of cooking!

I decided to prepare lunch for my work colleagues who only eats fish.

This Asian slaw is literally pickled cabbage and it takes so yummy. It adds an acid and freshness to this salad and I love it!

Now you want to give it a good mix

Now you add more flavour. Tamari has less salt than normal soy and it gluten free ( not that this effects me)

Hot source

sriracha is my new best friend when it comes to cooking. The level of heat is just yummy. Even for people who don’t like heat I would recommend using this! Just add a little at a time! I always find I need just a wee bit more!

Everything tastes better with sesame seeds. These roasted ones last for ages in your cupboard and they can make pretty much any dish tasty.

Fresh lime. I love like with the sweet salty chilli dressing you have put in this just helps sharpen it all up!

Perfect quick lunch

Yum, add as little or as less as you like. If I don’t add it does feel like I am missing something.

So that’s it!

I have more healthy lunches coming but for under 300 calories this is a great lunch and if there are left overs that get to marinate over night, so tastes even better.

What’s your favourite lunches.