5 Sep 2014

Insanity - Week 1 & 2......

Hello Lovelies!

So, I’m half way through month one of INSANITY and have lived to tell the tale…..hurrah! It has been a bit touch and go at times though!

I feel like I should start with a little information on me and my current situation exercise/health and fitness wise. I don’t have any health issues that I’m aware of apart from being prone to being a little anaemic. I’ve been doing Weight Watchers for the last 18 months and got on well with the programme. However, I have struggled with it more recently because my motivation has been completely out the window. I decided that I wanted to do something about the condition of my body instead of just what I saw on the scale. I lost a stone and a half on WW and honestly, it didn't make THAT much difference to how I looked. I thought in my head that I’d be swanning around looking like a model at below 9 stone but the reality is, at 5ft nothing and my build, I’m never going to look that way. My new goal is to look healthy and fit. Enter – Insanity

This is a very intense work out programme and is certainly not for the faint hearted. My first day involved the Fit Test. This is not a full workout but I was completely floored by the end. As you can imagine, this made me rather nervous about what the actual workouts would be like!



My first week was really tough, I have a relatively OK level of fitness – I can run 5K without stopping but I can’t really do much else afterwards! The warm up is the first thing you do and I feel like it’s quite thorough. You do one round of moves at a relatively slow pace, then repeat them at a faster pace again and finally go full out one final time. The final time doesn't really feel like a warm up anymore – it’s very much a work out in its own right!  During week 1 I was really struggling to make it through as far as the third rep without having to press pause and catch my breath. I enjoyed seeing that some of the people accompanying Sean T on the DVD were also looking quite worn out during the warm up too!

Next comes the sweat…..and it doesn’t stop! Straight from the warm up you go into stretches. This is kind of like yoga poses I guess, the moves are slow and involves lots of holding positions, the music becomes much more relaxing but you do sweat absolute buckets doing this section! Remember to keep a towel handy, it’s like no other workout DVD or class I've ever done!

An indication of how my first Insanity fit test ended!

Then you move on to the main body of the work out – this usually lasts around 20 minutes and consists of different reps that you do once then repeat another two times at a faster pace each time. Breaks typically happen after each full rep, sometimes more frequently depending on the type of exercise. Cardio resistance is harder in terms of pressure on the joints and body so the breaks come more often. You only get 30 seconds to recover which is just enough time for a swig of water and to catch your breath.  

One of the DVD’s is called Cardio Recovery – this is a real God send come mid-week when you’re feeling tired and in need of TLC instead of an intense workout! It’s similar to the stretches that you do at the start and end of all of the work outs but lasts around 30 minutes. It’s by no means easy, I certainly feel the burn when I do this, it’s just nice to be able to catch your breath and not feel like you’re assaulting your body! This was by far my favourite DVD in week 1……but that might be because it’s the only one I could manage to get through without pausing!

After one rest day (mine falls on a Saturday) it’s straight back into it for week 2. The workouts are not in the same sequence as week 1, so it’s important to keep an eye on your calendar that is provided with the programme so that you know what you’re doing each day.

I found from Sunday that the work out was feeling a little easier, but Wednesday I was getting through the first 25 minutes of the exercise without pressing pause (a huge achievement) and then last night I managed to get all the way through Cardio Resistance without taking any unscheduled breaks! If nothing else, my stamina is improving!

Results

Obviously this is only the first 2 weeks and I’m not expecting to see huge changes yet. I certainly feel better in myself, I’m following the meal plan as much as I can but substituting certain foods that are harder to find in the UK or things I don’t like very much. The important thing is that I’m eating well and have cut chocolate and all of that good stuff that makes you gain weight! I’ve lost around 6lbs so far which is good, but I’m not expecting this to move much lower at any great pace. A lot of people who have completed this have said that the scale doesn't move much but the measurements are where you notice the real difference. Although I can’t see a change yet, I do feel a little more svelte and my skin is looking much better than it has done in a while.

I have my fit test on Monday so will include my measurements from two weeks ago and the updated measurements to see if there are any changes there!

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions or you’re taking on the Insanity challenge/completed the programme yourself, let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear how you’re getting on!


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27 Aug 2014

Honey, We're Home......

Hello Lovelies,

I hope you’re all good and loving life! It’s been such a long time since Orla and I posted anything. I thought I’d give you an update on what’s been keeping us so busy and give you a bit of an overview of my next venture into the world of fitness!

Orla has been keeping majorly busy since graduating doing some really cool jobs from working on dressing and costumes for Panto, costumes and hair on James & The Giant Peach & even dressing an area in Uptown at Boomtown Festival a few weeks ago!  (I’ll leave her to fill you in on the proper details)! We've obviously been hanging out loads too and getting up to our usual mischief. We have just got back from a week away in Devon with my family! It was so much fun and right on the beach! What more could you want?!



I've been doing loads of singing and workshops to try and improve my technique and performing whenever I possibly can! I've also been really lucky to have had not one, not two, but three amazing holidays this year! I jetted off to Florida & the Bahamas in January with my boyfriend. We spent most of our time in Florida but then took a 3 day Disney Cruise over to  Nassau and then to Disney’s private Island Castaway Cay. It was an absolutely amazing trip and definitely nice to avoid the winter chill of home!


Just after we got back, we got the opportunity to visit Florida again in July for a slightly shorter trip with my boyfriend’s family. We jumped at the chance to go back and had such a fabulous time going to all of the parks, out for fancy dinners, getting to hold a baby Alligator & of course, lots & lots of shopping!

I wasn't back more than three weeks before I was off again in this country with Orla and my family! I've had such a fantastic year so far and while I don’t have any more holidays booked, I do have lots of exciting things coming up!

As a result of my extravagant lifestyle, all of the hard work I put in over the last 18 months with Weight Watchers and getting down to my goal weight has been sort of undone! I've put on a little weight and want to just feel comfortable in my clothes again! 

I absolutely swore by Weight Watchers but am finding it a bit dull after doing it for so long. I wanted something to really challenge me so that I won’t just (hopefully) lose weight, but also increase my general fitness and look more toned.


Enter 

That’s right, I purchased it just before my holiday and set 25th August 2014 as the date I HAD to start. I’m trying my best to follow the eating plan provided and completing the exercises each day. So far it’s really living up to its name but I am getting a real sense of achievement when I get to the end of each workout.


I’m going to blog more about this over the next few days, weeks and months & I hope you enjoy hearing about how it’s going!


Let me know if you are thinking of starting this programme or are doing it already in the comments below! I’m going to post a rundown of how week one has gone on Saturday!  


Thanks for checking this out, we'd love to hear from you in the comments or via one of the below options! 
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2 Apr 2014

I'm Not A Shopaholic...I'm Helping The Economy!

Converse. Accessorize. Oasis.

The three brands I was loving on my last shopping spree!
I was actually out shopping with/for my mother, however I had just been paid...and we all know what that means.

'Your suddenly surrounded by things...you can Actually buy!'

At this time in the shops, you have you spring collections, and your winter sales! Which means that your drawn in by all these wonderful bright and pastel colours. BUT there are many deals to be had if you want to buy some staples and snap up some sneaky autumn winter pieces! Which - lets face it, could be all year round in England!

First off, I would like to Introduce... My new things! (How exciting!)
Lets start with the footwear. Black Converse.
 All Black. Staple. Comfortable. Stylish. Simple and Chic!
Converse's are an item of footwear that every boy and girl under the sun should have the right to own! 
(They should totally do what the /toms/ footwear company do!) 
They can piece together the most complicated of outfits, or the simplest. 
They can be kept nice, clean and crisp. Depending on the style of the owner.
Or. They can be bashed about, kicked in and scruffy, and still look as cool. 
Size 6. £50. JD Sports 

Next, we have the ever so classic. 'Leather' Jacket.
Black. 'Leather'. Soft. Collarless. Timeless!
Yes, this is probably considered more of an autumn winter piece, true. However if you a bit like me, The leather jacket is something I grab almost daily! And therefore I could not resist this deal! 
Leather jackets tend to come in brighter colours around spring time in the year. Changing the colour of your 'classic' leather jacket, from a standard black, to a red, grey/white, yellow etc, can be a great and clever way of re-styling an outfit. 
Of course they are very easy to style, and can give off different vibes (depending on the colour), rocker, vintage, girly, anything you feel! Which is why there such good staples to have in your wardrobe. If your a person who tends to change their style up ALOT, then a leather jacket is something that can go on that style journey with you!
Size M. £35 (was £65). Oasis (Debenhams)

Then, we have the first of my 2 lovely bags. My 'GrownUp' Bag.

Tan. 'Leather'. Multi-Functional. Soft!
I'm always drawn to tanned coloured bags. I think that a lot of the time, the tanned version of a bag is just that bit nicer. I tend to wear a lot of black things (which I'm trying to adjust), so perhaps its because I feel it adds some colour to my outfit! When I saw this bag, I liked it a lot, but I didn't think I would buy it. I didn't go out that day to buy a bag. However when I looked INSIDE. Well. I convinced myself that It would be a good idea for me to purchase it. Here's why...
Its 2 bags in 1!
Crazy I know! But it's true. Its a clever Multi-functional bag. There is the main outer shell of the bag, with 2 handels, as normal.
But inside, is another big pouch of a bag, with a zip, that POP's into the main shell. This pouch has a long across body strap that you can clip on to their shell or pouch. 
THEREFORE. You have one normal standard roomy shell of a bag, (fits my 13" laptop in), and another across body zip up bag! Really good for money and they both look stunning with any outfit! 
£38. Oasis. 

And Finally, The Deal of the Day! My Satchel! 

Tan. 'Leather'. Iconic. Smart!

We all know that the style of the 'Satchel' has popped its head up in recent years. From bright colours to the classic tan/black satchels. I have wanted one since they came on the scene (for the 2nd time) for a long time!
However I will never have enough money to justify it. It's unfortunately just the way I'm programmed. If I don't think I'm getting a good deal, then I'm 'iffy' about it. 
This little gem was hanging in the store with the label "£15 OFF" on it. Obviously my eyes were automatically drawn to it! After doing a bit of math, £17 was the price of this lovely thing! 
Again 'tanned', a win there already.
Again 'bargain', another win.
And a 'satchel', its win win win! 
It's a brilliant size, roomy, you can fit a silly amount in! Its structured, meaning that it won't loose its shape. Which is a problem I've had in the past. (It becomes floppy. And No one likes that :D ) So really I would have been neglectful, and inconsiderate to my bag needs if I didn't purchase this bag. Therefore, you can see my predicament. And I bought it. I feel no guilt! Beautiful bag, and smartens up an outfit instantly!

I hope you like my lovely new things!
And found this helpful in some way!

Keep popping back for more blogs that will be coming up soon!

Orla & Christine!!! 

xx














1 Apr 2014

Center Parcs 2014!



This March Orla, her boyfriend Tommy, and friends went to Center Parcs in Elevden! 

I wanted to share some of the things I got up to whilst on holiday! 
We were there for a week, and were in a Luxury Villa. It had a sauna, hot tub, steam room, and games room, amongst other lovely things!

There are lots of things to be doing in Center Parcs, you can either do as little or as much as you wish.


Heres me, Rowing a Boat!
Hand eye coordination was ok! But I need alot more practice for me to get anywhere fast on the water!

So much fun! When getting in the rowing boat with Tommy, I said to the guy,
"This is where he (tommy) serinades me, and reads me poetry"...
They both looked at me like I was expecting too much! - Ridic! 

I felt like Bridget Jones!



Next I took on the role of 'Merida', from the Disney film, 'BRAVE!'....I took on Archery!

My cheeky friends Beth and Sooz are apparently secret Archery GODS! I was suspicious! 

 

MINI GOLF! 
As usual, I like Wack the ball a bit too hard! But I came joint 2nd with a few others! So I was very happy about that!!


There were alot of other things that we got up to, but I couldnt document them ALL! That would be a very long blog indeed! 
But if your thinking about going! GO! Its awesome place for a big group of friends to chill out in! We had 16, and it was such good fun!!!

PLUS I have to say that Tommys car looked EPIC in its natural environment! Check it out!
HOW AWESOME!

Anywho! Thought I'd share a few snippets of my holiday with Tommy and my friends! 

Keep an Eye Out for New Blog Posts!

Orla & Christine!






6 Feb 2014

Make Up Storage Bargain.....

Hello Lovelies!

Now that I am back from sunning myself in Florida, I thought i'd update you! If you follow us on Twitter, you will probably be aware that I was popping over to the sunshine state for a holiday with my boyfriend. Unfortunately, Orla couldn't come along (although she gets major points for effort for trying to fit in to my suitcase)!

We have recorded a video of my USA Haul which will be going live very soon, and I will update you with a more detailed blog post with pictures and reviews, so keep your eyes peeled! As i'm sure you can imagine, I did go out to the US armed with a list as long as me of beauty things I wanted to pick up! This included the last few Real Techniques brushes that I was missing from my collection. With all of these new things, I realised that I am fast running out of space in my current make up case and that it's time for a make up storage overhaul!

As you probably know, I adore Shabby Chic styles and anything with a Parisian/Romantic theme. I'd been looking for some pots to keep my brushes in but didn't want to break the bank on them. I also think the clear tubs that a lot of beauty bloggers use are really cute but I want something with a little more detail.

Yesterday during my lunch break, I popped over to TK Maxx to see if they had anything exciting in their home section and lo and behold.......these beauties were on the shelf! Not only were they exactly what i'd been looking for, the whole set including three pots and the tray cost me £2.99! My brushes look quite at home too! 



I'm really excited to get my dressing table completely organised and looking pretty, but i'm not in any rush to finish it just now. I'm definitely looking for inspiration! So post your links below if you have any fabulous storage ideas or dressers that you're proud of! We'd love to have a nosy!



Thanks for checking this out, we'd love to hear from you in the comments or via one of the below options! 

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8 Jan 2014

A Little Late......Christmas Gifts!



Happy Wednesday!

I have wanted to do this post since Christmas Day but time has absolutely flown by since then! I can't believe it's the 8th of January already! 2014 feels like it's taken off and isn't set to slow down. One major thing i'm looking forward to is getting the lovely other half of Twice Upon a Blonde back. She's still working her little socks off in Guildford on the costumes in Cinderella! So we've been separated for most of the festive season! Orla will be heading home a few days before I jet off to (hopefully) sunny skies! So our next encounter is set to be brief, but SO overdue! Cannot wait!

Anyway, enough of the life story and more about CHRISTMAS PRESENTS! This year I was well and truly spoilt by everyone, and these are just a selection of my presents. I chose the most relevant to our beauty blog, meaning i'm leaving out anything non beauty related that I was lucky enough to receive!

Finding Mr Bright - Benefit 



This is a gorgeous gift set of miniature sized items I actually already use. The minis are perfect to pop in your handbag if you're like me and cherish those extra 10 minutes in bed in the morning and tend to do your make up on the go! This set includes an erase paste under eye concealer, Girl Meets Pearl night time primer, High Beam highlighter and Posie Tint lip and cheek stain. This includes some of my favourite products, so definitely a huge Christmas present win!

I also had these two Benefit lip glosses as a stocking filler. These are two really pretty colours that are really easy to wear! They last for a good amount of time before needing to reapply and are a really nice consistency. They are not at all sticky and I'll definitely be checking out the other colours in the range! 


 Owl Design Sleep Mask

 Another stocking filler was this super cute eye mask with lavender seeds inside. It's a really relaxing and soothing scent and I can't wait to take this on the plane with me to Florida so that I can try and get 40 winks on the way home! The design is very sweet and the underside has a fleece feel that rests against the eyelids, which feel really comfy when this is on. 


Real Techniques - Travel Brush Set


I have been SO excited to try these and can confirm that I've not been disappointed! This set includes a domed foundation brush, multi task brush and the domed eye shadow brush. I am so excited to have these in my collection, especially now right before my holiday! Trying to put together a condensed make up kit is not the easiest thing to do! This has sorted out my brush choices! 


Body Shop Lip and Concealer Brush (not pictured)


This was one of my gifts from Orla......now I can stop borrowing hers! I love this brush! It makes lipstick application so much easier and makes the lines much cleaner. I have quite full lips but sometimes find it difficult to apply make up without it looking like a toddler has gone at me with my lip stick! This brush allows me to create a really defined cupid bow and generally finish off my lips perfectly!




Lovely Vintage Gift Set

This is a stunning gift set consisting of body lotion, body wash and bath salts. I adore the packaging, it looks like it's taken inspiration from Soap and Glory but with a little more attention to detail. These products smell great and you get a really good amount of product in each, especially considering it's part of a gift set.  


Aussie Hair Care Gift Set

Another stocking filler that couldn't have come at a better time! I totally ran out of my Aussie shampoo and conditioner before Christmas, so was over the moon to open this! I love this brand, it the three minute miracle conditioner does wonders for my split ends and I really do notice a huge difference when I use these. They also came in the cute bag you can see in the background!




Body Shop White Musk body lotion and wash 

This little set was another stocking filler with one of Body Shops signature scents. This set comes with a body sponge and a good sized bottle of each of these products. I was also given a travel nail kit. This is something that I have wanted for a really long time! It comes in this perfect little carry case and has already had lots of use!  



So that's everything beauty related that I was given this year! I hope you enjoyed this post, let me know if you want to see reviews of anything! 

Thanks for checking this out! 

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3 Jan 2014

We're Back......

Hello Lovelies!

We hope you all had a wonderful festive season! We're so sorry to have abandoned you during the most wonderful time of the year. Unfortunately, Christmas for us didn't quite pan out as we had hoped and we didn't get to blog as much as we had wanted or planned to.

Christmas is such a great time to spend with family and friends. I have such a huge family, that Orla is very much a part of. She has been my baby sister for as long as I can remember - and in fact, one of my earliest memories is sitting on the sofa and being allowed to hold a two day old Orla while every adult in the room stood by terrified! Usually Orla and I will get together as often as possible to wrap presents, watch Christmas films and eat our weight in chocolate.

This year we knew things would be a little different because Orla was working on Panto in Guildford while I was staying in London. I also had some devastating news on 30th November that really threw Christmas into complete turmoil for my entire family. My dear Uncle died very suddenly and unexpectedly of hypothermia. We used to see him every few weeks and he always came to stay with us at Christmas. Things really didn't feel very merry at all and as a result, I didn't much feel like writing blog posts whilst feeling so down in the dumps. If this had happened at any other time of year, Orla would have been manning the blog, but due to a really heavy work schedule, this wasn't going to work at all.

So, here we are in 2014. I'm feeling more positive but to be totally honest, still not myself. There are only a few very select number of people that can tell that i'm still not quite back to normal. When someone has been such an important part of your life for as long as you can remember, it's hard to adjust. I hope that one day soon i'll be able to think about happy times spent with my uncle without getting emotional. Currently, that's not really possible. 

This year has a lot of potential and we're certainly going to the make the most of it, whatever we chose to do and wherever the the choices lead us, we hope you'll come along for the ride.

How ever we choose to travel.....

.....with cake

...and lots of giggles!

xx 

About

Two Girls, Best Friends, Sharing Secrets, Tips & Tricks! Make Up . Fashion . Health . Weight . Beauty . Vintage . Style . Shabby Chic . Design . Music . Disney . Costume . Fun . BFF Twitter - @Twiceuponblonde Instagram - Twiceuponblonde YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKztQ7sRCbFQZeGXdQOMEOw/about