Friday, 16 September 2016

A Teenagers Wish List For Christmas

I will most probably be shot for mentioning  the "C" word already but take it from me when you work in retail you realize that its never too early to start thinking about Christmas. With that in mind I figured it was about time I got my butt into gear and started making a dent in the Christmas shopping (however small that dent may be) I must admit when it comes to Christmas I am most definitely an "early bird" and start really early on in the year even bagging as many bargains as I can in the boxing day sales ready to put away for the following  Christmas. This year however most of you who follow my blog will know of the tragedy that hit our family recently. With that and all the extra added stress I never even gave Christmas a second thought so I have been left to now panic at the upcoming holiday and the realization that there are a mere 3 paydays left before the big day.



As I have been collecting bits here and there to hide away, It came to my attention just how much Aalliyahs Christmas list has changed. There was a time when Scooby doo figures and Pop up pirate would have been top of her list. Now it seems to be filled with Games consoles, clothing, make up and every other thing that a teenage girl simply "must" have in their life. I say every year that finding the perfect gifts for her becomes harder and harder but this year Its safe to say I am totally stumped! Beside the obvious requests I have no idea what to get. I do love surprise presents and don't want her knowing each and every gift like so many other teenagers I know. Everyone loves getting surprises right? No matter how old they get.

I thought I'd share just a few things on her wish list this year. I would love to hear what's on your children's Christmas list this year? Do you have a demanding teenager to buy for? How does their list compare to Aalliyahs? I'd love to hear some suggestions and maybe pick up a few tips on what to buy!

Aalliyahs Wish List For Christmas 2016

PS4 - Like most teenagers, a games console is top of her list. She already has an Xbox 360 which she plays less and less nowadays and I think it's used more for watching YouTube videos and connecting with her friends.

Make Up - Ok, so this isn't so much a request from her but more so from me. Every single morning I wake up to go to work and find my make up bag has been raided! So I think its definitely time for her to start her own collection. I do have some favourite brands when it comes to make up. Simply for quality and one of them is Mac Cosmetics. There is a lovely little Mac shop in Bicester Village  so I am hoping to get her some lovely little things to start her collection up.

Clothing - Very wide spectrum here! I feel I know her style enough to be confident in choosing things myself but you can guarantee Ill no doubt be wrong so would rather just get her direction on this one. She has mentioned certain items of clothing in particular such as an Adidas jacket but as for everything else is very vague. She has asked for bomber jackets, leggings, crop tops, skinny jeans... Where do I even start with those? After scoping out a lot of fashion stores I have found a great variety of clothing from Esprit. A great range and definitely on trend.

So... That's the lot! See what I have to work with? Not a lot really. I just hope she starts dropping some more hints from now until December otherwise her present selection will be more like a lucky dip ;)

Friday, 22 July 2016

Ten Top Tips For Keeping Your Dog Cool This Summer

So with the weather heating up dramatically lately here in the UK, its no surprise that most of us are seriously suffering in the heat. Even as I write this, its past 1am and I just can't sleep because of the hot and humid weather. It's vital that we don't forget that out furry friends are also suffering so here are ten top tips to help your pooch stay cool this summer.


  1. Water - Ok, So this seems like an obvious suggestion but keeping your dog hydrated is vital. Always make sure there is plenty of water readily available to your pooch and if you are going out pop out an extra bowl of water just in case.
  2. Shade - If your pooch spends some or a lot of their time outside make sure they have a shaded area they can retreat to when laying in the rays becomes too much. If you have no naturally shaded spots in your garden then make one using a parasol, gazebo or anything else you have to hand.
  3. Ice Ice Baby - No I'm not talking about the classic Vanilla Ice track we all loved to bust a move to back in the day. Pop a few ice cubes into your dogs water bowl. The water quickly raises in temperature in this heat and the ice cubes will help keep it cooler for longer.
  4. Paddling Pool - You can pick up some inexpensive pools now in many discount and pound stores. These may not be ideal to go swim ten lengths in but are perfect for your pooch to laze around in when they feel the urge to cool off.
  5. Parked Cars - Again it seems like an obvious one but never lock up and leave your dog in the car. You have all seen the horror stories on the news involving not just dogs but babies too! The temperature rises in a car at a ridiculous rate and can have devastating consequences for your dog. If you do come across a dog , try and locate the owner of the vehicle. Failing that call your local RSPCA or police for guidance.
  6. Get The Fan Out - If you don't have the luxury of air conditioning then a simple desktop fan can help cool the air and regulate the dogs temperature.
  7. Maintain Good Grooming - Maintaining your dogs coat and general well being is important no matter the season but it is especially important during the summer when improper grooming can cause your dog to be uncomfortable. Check out your local dog groomer and always check the appropriate grooming for your breed. Most people assume simply shaving the dog will help with the heat but this is it not the case. Dogs need there cost to help regulate their body temperature.
  8. Dawn/Dusk Walks - Try to schedule your dogs walks to early morning or evening times. The temperature will be a lot cooler and there will no risk of your dogs feet getting burnt from the hot pavement.
  9. Cool Cloths - If you find your dog is suffering with heat exhaustion, wrap cloths soaked in cool water over them to help regulate their temperature.
  10. Be Aware Of Hazards - Its not just heat to watch out for this summer. With summer comes plenty of other chemical hazards such as weed killers and insecticides. Always take caution in unknown areas of land.
Whatever you and your pooch get up to this summer make sure you stay safe and have fun!



Until next time..


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Thursday, 21 July 2016

Losing It With Slimming World

Most of you will know that I have been on the weight loss wagon for sometime now. I joined Weight Watchers a few years back and achieved fantastic results, losing 5 stone in total! I needed a break from counting calories and with my work schedule changing it meant I couldn't get to meetings as much as I'd have liked to and with not going I just found my head and heart wasn't in it anymore and it was just a waste of money. So I quit and decided to just take a breather and see how I got on. Now thankfully my weight didn't immediately start piling on but gradually after having about a year off plan I noticed my weight increasing so decided it was time to start making some changes again before I ended up back where I started.

I wanted to try something new so decided to give Slimming World a chance. Don't get me wrong I have nothing against Weight Watchers, it was amazing and worked for me but I found myself at a plateau and needing something different. My first meeting went by in a bit of a blur. There was just so much information to take in and I was certain I would forget it all the minute I left the meeting. It all seemed very confusing but never the less I decided to give it my all.

I'm 3 weeks into Slimming World now and have to say I am amazed at what you can actually eat on the plan. I know a lot of people complain about it being restrictive when it comes to treats but it allows for them quite easily and lets face it , every diet plan boils down to simple concepts. Fewer calories, more movement and portion control. It's all about making the right choices. I have lost each week since I started. Granted they are quite small losses in comparison to some people. I have seen people lose in excess of half a stone on their first week! But I am not complaining a loss is a loss and if I am honest I probably wasn't 100 percent committed to the plan the past few weeks. I have followed the plan loosely, not logged any of my food, just kept a mental note and have more than likely gone over my syns allowance each day. So this week I am totally committed to giving it my all and seeing if it shows when I weigh in next week. I am tracking everything I eat so I am aware and accountable, I am upping my water intake dramatically. Water intake has such an impact on your weight loss among various other benefits. I am also making a conscious effort to move more weather it be walking the dog or doing a HIIT home work out, just something that takes me out of my sedentary state even for a short time.



I am feeling very determined to have a great week and look forward to catching up with you all on weigh day and sharing my results. The way I see it you'll only get back what you put in and a little effort goes a long way in helping you achieve you goals.

I'd love to hear from any fellow Slimming World members out there? Or just people who are changing to a more healthier lifestyle in general? Have you made changes to your diet and exercise regime? Get in touch, I'd love to hear from you.

Until next time..


Wednesday, 20 July 2016

My Blogging Gap Year

I am amazed and a little bit mortified that in just a few short weeks it will mark a whole year since my last blog post. At the time I decided to take a few weeks off. Work was getting busier. Those of you that know me know I work for Toys R Us so once the summer comes it's manic then we start gearing up for the Christmas season. (Yes that early!) A few weeks slowly become a month, then two then before I knew it, It was 2016 and I realised I hadn't blogged since the previous year.

So where do I start? How to I jump back into blog land? I am sure there is no sure fire way of getting back into my groove so thought I would start with a quick update on whats been happening to me and mine since we last spoke.

After being single for a long time (and posting about my singleton life often ) I met a lovely guy in October. It was a chance meeting on a night out. It was a girls night and meeting a bloke was never further from my mind than it was that night. But they do say love comes to you when you least expect it right? And that is exactly what happened. The relationship is still going strong. He is such a lovely guy and I have never been so happy than I am with him. True love indeed.

Now for the not so happy news...

Those of you that are regular visitors or know me out side of the virtual world will know the battles we faced as a family with regards to my mum and her health. She had kicked cancers arse more times than I can remember and was gearing up to do it once more. Unfortunately in May this year while she was in theatre having an operation which should have once again freed her from this horrendous life shattering illness, she ran into complications and this resulted in her passing away shortly after. It was the single most traumatic and heart breaking experience of my life and one that I don't think I will ever truly come to terms with. We dropped her off in the morning, said are goodbyes and had no fears of anything going wrong. We knew we would be returning the next day to visit her when she was out of theatre and in recovery. We had been here before, we knew the drill but sadly it just wasn't the case this time. It still feels so raw and I still find myself unable to take in the fact that I will never see her again or hear her voice. I had always assumed the cancer eventually getting the better of her, I think as a family we all did. But to be taken away from us so unexpectedly during an operation which was going to take it away is just something that's hard to accept. I don't want to go into much more details as even writing this now, I find my heart getting heavy and I am struggling to keep my cool and not break down. But I will say this. Through every illness she was a fighter and this proved true to the very end. The surgeons fought for hours upon hours to try and save her and she hung on and fought with everything she had until the next day. Surrounded by her loved ones she passed away.,

When mum was in theatre she was given over 42 pints of blood as well as various other clotting agents. Donating blood is something I always said I would do but when it came down to it I either lost my nerve or didn't bother going. Well last month I put my needle fears aside and donated for the very first time. Forty two people selflessly donated to help keep my mum alive and I couldn't think of a more amazing gift to give. I am already booked in for my next donation and will donate each and
every opportunity I can for as long as I am able.


I do wish I hadn't left it so long before returning to blog land, but I'm back and ready to connect with you all again.

Until next time....



Monday, 31 August 2015

Beating The Bank Holiday Blues

Bank holidays seem to follow suit throughout the year. With them comes rain, reruns on the TV and a whole lot of boredom for those fortunate enough to be off work. Whether you are watching you weight or not they bank holidays can also be a one way ticket to over eating and zero activity.

Check out the following info-graphic for some inspiration on ways you can keep those cravings at bay and do something productive.





What do you have planned this bank holiday? Whatever it is I hope you have a fun filled , productive day..



Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Kiqplan App Review Plus Chance To **WIN**

It seems there is an app for pretty much everything nowadays. Whether its shopping, banking or even reminding yourself to tie your shoe laces! and for most of us busy bees out there, we are turning to technology to aid in our day to day duties more and more. I admit to being one of these people and since I have recently started to introduce a more substantial exercise regime as part of my healthy lifestyle I was eager to try out Kiqplan.

Think of Kiqplan as your own personal trainer/fitness guru/nutritionist all rolled into one. Kiqlan have a range of different 12 week programmes all designed to help you change you lifestyle and change the way you think about food and exercise. The app is crammed with advice and motivational tools so that which ever plan you decide to follow you can be sure you will achieve great results if you stay on track with the plan.

So how does it work?


It's a really simple to understand plan. With easy navigation around the app and its menus you should be able to find using the app quite easy. To start with you select your plan, with many to choose from you will be sure to one which i ideally suited for your situation and fitness needs. Such plans include, Slim And Trim, Goodbye Baby Bump, Suns Out Guns Out and many more. 

The next step is to pair your device. The other great thing about the Kiqplan is that it is designed to be compatible with many different devices and apps. You can find the full list here: Compatible Devices.

Next you want to set your goals. This is really important as the more information you put in the better tailored it is to suit your needs and help you achieve your goals. Some people are more focused on weight loss where as other maybe more focused on toning or the nutritional side of things. But as long as you stay on track for the duration of your 12 week plan I am confident you will be happy with the results.

I was given the Slim + Trim plan to review and its hard for me to explain how great the plan was without literally flooding this post with screen shots of every single page. There was an abundance of information on this app to help you stay motivated and on plan such as recipes , how to exercise videos, step and calorie tracking and even little daily motivational pep talks to get you pumped. 

I was super impressed with this app and will be looking into the "your 1st 5k Plan" as this is something I hope to achieve after never being about to run much more than a bath! Plus these plans comes with a very pleasing price tag of £19.99 which for a personalised plan which will get you looking and feeling amazing is money well spent.

**WIN**



Don't just take my word for it. How about trying out a plan for yourself. I have a Goodbye Baby Bump plan to giveaway to one of my lucky readers. I believe all mummies are yummy but if you are struggling to shift that baby weight or just wont to tone up after having your little bundle of joy then this is the plan for you.




Kiqplan Goodbye Baby Bump Giveaway

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Big Girls Run Too Ya'Know

I posted a video this morning that got such an amazing response and such lovely support from people that I decided to share with you lovely lot and let you know what happened and why I decided to post. I have recently started to introduce running into my weight loss regime and as someone who has never ran much more than a bath before I am being careful not to run before I can walk (no pun intended) I have downloaded the coach to 5k app and I am really enjoying it . One day in particular I was out jogging when some insensitive moron decided to throw some comments my way about my not so secret larger size. Anyway here's my reaction to said events and why I decided that day was not going to be the day that the bullies won.



I can't thank you enough for all your lovely support and if you would be so kind as to give it a like, a share or even subscribe to hear more from me in the future please do so..