The fitness update

It's happened... I've completed the BBG1!!! I can't believe it's over -I've honestly loved this plan! Although I didn't get in as much HIIT as I should have over the past few weeks ( weeks 9-12 introduces HIIT as well as your LISS workouts) I have definitely achieved something. The workouts stepped up like crazy in the last 4 weeks and ONCE and only once in the whole 12 weeks I didn't complete a circuit in time and I pushed myself harder to make sure I did it the second time around. I genuinely can't beleive some of the moves I've had to do!  
I feel a lot stronger and although there is some fat still there I feel a lot more toned and I never thought I would be able to do 20 commando's easy! My thighs have shrunk quite a lot and so has my back fat and biceps! I even think my boobs have shrunk a little ( YAS! - big boobed girls you may know my pain I just want to be able to buy bra's in any store and not have to hold out for the DD+ shops!). It's been lovely hearing it from people at work that they can tell my hard work has paid off and getting to fit into clothes I never have is always a plus! 
what's next? Well, I'm restarting the plan and upping my weights to 7-8kg, I'm toying with the idea of ankle weights and I'm also going to look at how to make the moves harder, although I'm redoing the plan I don't want to make it easy by any means! For the next month I'm still at hot yoga but I'm going to start adding in some running training! I hadn't wanted to properly start training till July for my half marathon but every little counts and I want to be able to do a 5k in 25 minutes and a 10K in around 55 in september! I also really need to focus more on my diet and cutting things out, although I have been quite healthy I want to have a more varied diet and really work harder at cutting out unnecessary sugars!
Here's to the next 12 weeks! I'll keep updating you every 4 weeks with my progress! x
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5 things... 22.05.16

Oh my god, these posts were supposed to be weekly and I've already failed! I promise to try and do better, I need to find the time to sit and think of some fresh new idea's for the blog and posts I can write, I'm really falling behind and it is massively down to poor planning on my part! I also need to work on more than just scheduling tweets for my shop! But before I go on and on about this lets talk about 5 things this week!
1. This week I completed BBG 1.0!!! I can't beleive it! 12 weeks and pretraining and I'm done! I didn't properly do LISS or my HIIT workouts really in the last few weeks but it's so lovely when the girls at work comment and say they can tell I've lost weight and I can fit into clothes I've never fit into before! I'm redoing the plan doubling the weights and adding in some running as I've signed up to do a half marathon. I'm giving myself a goal of running 5k in 25 minutes by september! I honestly couldn't rate this plan enough and if I work more on my eating as well I'm hoping to shed the rest of me and tone up! I'll be doing a post on this in the next few days so keep an eye out!
2. I've started to properly sketch again, I did a sketch of Sansa which now looks like poop and I was quite disappointed. I want to find a sketching style that suits me so I attemped another drawing of Jon Snow ( I'm so inspired by GoT at the moment with it being back!) and I'm so pleased with it! My style needs a lot of work but it's come out really well! So more sketching and hopefully I'll get some kind of style down!  I'm hoping to get a few prints made to sell in the future and start adding art prints to my shop! 
3. I had my first sale last week! I've been working so hard on my shop and promoting items, it hasn't been easy working 8-6s everyday plus the gym and yoga after work, I only have a few hours at night to get anything done but I have managed to try and promote it whilst creating new works! So getting my first sale was just an amazing feeling and made me feel like all this hard work will pay off! hopefully I'll get a few more before I start doing stalls in July! 

4. I'm feeling really rundown this week, I haven't really been on top of my diet and I think that everything has just all built up, I felt a bit ill last week and during the week, it's really hard to describe usually when I'm ill it's all at once but this is like a dull ache over time. I haven't really been properly ill since going veg/mostly veg now. Hopefully I'll be alright soon!
5. I've found my wedding dress guys. I'm not even lying. I'm obsessed with needle and thread, embroidered clothes is something I really want to get going this year and I've just become OBSESSED with it all. Just need to find me a boyfriend now.. hahahahahaaaaa. oh god. I've also found a house I want which is like horrendously out of a price range I could ever afford. - Dream big right?!? aha. 

Hope you're all well! 
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Learning to #eatpastarunfaster with Vapiano Mcr

On monday I was invited to Vapiano's in Manchester to learn about their new campaign promoting how eating carbs whilst training is actually good for you and also getting to try what was on offer on the menu. I had been to a Vapiano's in the Hague a few years back and was in love with it and had wanted to go back ever since so when one finally opened up in the triangle I was buzzin! 
First I will go into the campaign a little then talk about my experience in the restaurant. Vapiano have teamed up with nutritionist Sarah Schenker to explain why pasta and it's slow releasing glycogen qualities are so good for you. This was perfect timing for me because I've just signed up to run a half marathon in October and I'm already doing the BBG plan which is quite intense. Mostly if you are running even a 5-10k it's really important to carb load the night before, this ensures that you have a good amount of energy stored for your entire run so you don't ' hit the wall' and struggle with low energy. Sarah Schenker recommends you carb load up to 3 days before any long run to make sure you have enough energy to last. I can fully vouch for this because I had a hot yoga session right after our meal and although it was one of the hardest classes I had ever been to but
I also performed pretty much the best I ever had. A few days later I went to a hot pilates class which isn't anywhere near as hard and I hadn't really prepped a meal that was going to store energy the way that pasta can and I honestly really struggled, I couldn't beleive it! Fuelling yourself properly is so important and you can read more about it here

NOW, onto the restaurant, as I said above I had been to a vapiano before and loved it and I also have a seriously deep love for all foods of the Italian variety so I knew this was going to be a great experience. Firstly one of the managers showed us around and gave us some extra little details like how they make the pasta fresh every morning and they even prep all the veg fresh in the morning as well!!  You can tell it's fresh just through the taste and although we had bread,pasta and pizza we didn't feel bloated at all, just nicely full which I was pleasantly surprised about. When I was getting a pasta dish made there was a little queue and the manager jumped on to cook my dish and later on the other manager told us that they have to spend 3 months on each station before they can get their position as manager which I really loved the idea of. I love it when managers understand and can do the actual jobs themselves! 

So we took their advice and decided to try a little of everything - the best thing about Vapiano's is that they make it all in front of you so you can edit the dishes to suit your tastes -perfect for any dietary requirements or allergies! 

ANTIPASTI - we shared the Piatto Antipasti and this was gorgeous, put together in seconds with delicious meats, breads( perfect for teaming with the oils on the table) veg, mozzarella and bruschetta. We got the smaller size and it's perfect for 2-3 people and really not overly filling for a starter.

PASTA - we had the Rucola Ravioli - this was gorgeous ravioli with a ricotta stuffing with cherry tomato's, rocket and pine nuts. I had some extra garlic and a little chili thrown in as well. This was lovely and was a massive hit with my friend! I'm not 100% sure if I would order this for myself again, I found it a little rich and thought it may be a bit much to have the whole dish to myself but I would definitely share it with some one because it was delish! ( this dish is actually one of Dr Schenkers dishes on her plan as one of the recovery meals as the natural whey protein from the ricotta is perfect for helping repair your muscles!)

PIZZA - I'm calling it guys. this was THE BEST pizza I have ever had. All my favourite things combined onto one pizza and it was heaven. We went for the Carne Pizza - chorizo, chicken( the most tender fall apart chicken...) peppers and onion. Although there is so much I want to try there, I am 100% ordering this pizza when I go back.

DOLCI - we couldn't pick between the desserts, I wanted something chocolately and my friend was drawn in by the strawberry and cream combo. Luckily they offer smaller options for some of their desserts so we got two mini desserts - Panna Cotta & Crema Di Fraggola - both absolutely amazing- if I had to pick one of the two I would go for the Crema Di Fraggola. I picked the death by chocolate which was gorgeous and rich but not to overwhelming the way a rich chocolate cake can be. I am deffo getting the Cioccolata foresta nera next time because it sounds heavenly and I was torn between the two and took the waiters recommendation this time. 

DRINKS - we decided to try the white tea & elderflower and also the Green tea & lemony drinks both really lovely and refreshing. If Vapiano's sell these separate I'm stocking up! The white tea does have mint in which I was a little concerned about as I'm not a massive mint flavour fan but it was really subtle - this is a really nice alternative to a white wine if you aren't drinking.

The restaurant had a really lovely easy going feel perfect for going out with your friends and sharing food the way that we did. It honestly wouldn't take much to convince me to go back, I'm already dreaming of that pizza!! The pricing is really reasonable as well - for 3 drinks, starter, two mains and the 3 desserts it came to £40 so £20 each which I think is an amazing bargain for what we got! 

Have you been? Which dishes did you try? 

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Koh Samui - things to do

Next up is Koh Samui, I definitely loved it here more of the two places and really could have spent more time here! I can't wait for the day I get to go back! Here's a few things we got up to...
1. Tamarind Spa

We saw this place on an airport billboard and after 2 minutes of googling decided we HAD TO go. We opted just to use the springs and steam caves as we couldn't afford the massage package. When you get there all phones and cameras are taken away so you can totally relax. So outside the spa was all we could take photos of, I think you can see how stunning it is anyway! so there are a couple of cool springs which has the freshest water I think I've ever been in, my hair felt so soft after being in them. Then you have two steam caves at two different temperatures. The steam cave with the lower temp. had some body scrubs outside you could scrub onto yourself to then go into the cave and let all those good ingredients sink into your skin. Afterward they even provided us with a light snack and drinks which was crab cakes and tofu spring rolls. I would 100% recommend to come here! 

2. Zenses Spa
So we booked this spa as a little treat and oh my gosh it was gorgeousss. We got the hot coconut oil massages and this was hands down the best massage I've ever had. I honestly came out feeling like a whole new person. The massage was around 1200 or 1600 Baht I can't remember but honestly although its like 1000 Baht more than other places it's totally worth it! This is just down the road from Ark bar and that general strip. 

3. Potato beach club - we stumbled upon this place accidentally, but bean bags on the beach? banging tunes and decent food? this place was a hit with me! You could even get massages on the beach as well! I could have easily spent all day here! 

4. Bars - Ark Bar/ Green Mango/ Hush

Of all the bars Ark bar seemed the most well known and was rammed with people, we kinda used it as a pre drink place but it was a really great place to meet people and one night they even had fire dancers, it was mostly house music when we were there. Most nights we went to green mango which played more chart music, this place actually had two different djs but we never ventured that far into the club and stayed near the front. Lastly we went to hush, we kept going past and I kept hearing all these banging tunes - old school r'n'b and hip hop so I convinced us all to go and it was so good! they didn't have much in the way of AC so it was freakin boiling in there but at one point everyone was in a circle having a dance off!

5. Diving/ snorkelling trip to Koh Tao. 

6. Trip to Koh Pagan -
You can get the Ferry from Samui to Koh Pagan for around 300 Baht, on our boat on the way there we got to watch Mr Bean! aha! We only had one night in Koh Pagan but we went to Amsterdam Bar which is a mooch up a hill but look at that view ( ...see photo above...) it was stunning!! - totally worth going just for that - Especially at sunset! It was also coincidentally the half moon party! Expect a lot of house music but it was really good! It wasn't so much my friends scene and to be fair it wasn't really the kinda house I like but I still really enjoyed it! And the paint designs are crazzzy though if you aren't at the ' main stage' the paint is a little redundant.
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5 things - 01.05.2016

I've been inspired by Kate La Vie to start a 5 things post every Sunday, maybe about the week that's gone or the week coming up! 
1. Yesterday I got to go to the #NWmeet 2.0 - it was so lovely getting to see a lot of the Liverpudlian girls again! We always have a good laugh and I got to meet quite a few new bloggers as well which was lovely! We raised nearly £200 for the charity MIND which is unbelievable! and I even won some gorgeous furless face brushes which are SO freakin' soft! 
2. The return to Tattu - if you are wondering where that beautiful purple tree is from it's here! Now that I'm not full time veggie I was buzzing to be able to eat some venison wontons! I didn't realise there had been a menu change and thus, my beloved wontons were taken off and I will never know how they taste. I really recommend the mushroom spring rolls and the soy and orange chicken! 
3. I finally finished my Audrey Hepburn inspired painting, I tested out painting with magneta to shade and found I LOVED it. I've still go so much to learn with painting but I really liked the way this came out. I had originally intended to add some piercings and bindi's to her but couldn't bear to in case I messed it up. I'm going to look to get some prints made of her and I'm so inspired to get stuck into proper portrait painting again. I've also decided to start sketching again and working on my drawing. I really want to get out my debt, afford a car and start saving for a house and then eventually be able to do art full time. I've seen a house I like which is suuuppperr expensive ( aha! expect anything less from me?) so I know I won't get it but it's something to work toward. 
4.  I got Mcfly tickets!! aaaah. I've been a fan of the guys since pre-room on the 3rd floor! I remember getting the first album - I had asked my dad to pick it up on a trip back to the UK and he pretended he forgot to buy it and I had to try and act all casual like it wasn't soul destroying. Then there it was and I legged it to my neighbours so we could listen to it together. I ended up with the 3 gig ticket and I am SOOOO excited to FINALLY here 'sorrys not good enough' they NEVER play it live and it's the song I've always wanted to hear! I'm also having to trek to Glasgow to see them as the Manc dates are at the same times as Glastonbury. 
5.  Lastly, I've fallen a little in love with this week, I just want everything for festival season! I ordered a few pieces on payday so I can't wait to get some outfit posts on my fashion blog. I've fallen a bit with that one but hopefully over summer I'm going to try to aim to do an outfit post a week - with some extra posts in between - so keep an eye out!
What has been going on with you guys? x
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Phuket - Things to do

Second instalment, holiday blues are strroonngg right now. It's been 3 weeks, I can't believe it! I just want to go back esp as Manchester is freezing right now! In this post I thought I would talk about what we got up to in Phuket! 

1. Day trip to Phi Phi Islands & Maya bay - This was our first day trip, we went snorkelling around some of the islands - there were 3 stops in total. The boat wasn't huge and it was pretty cramped and uncomfortable to be honest but they did have snacks and food for everyone, though there wasn't much choice. The first island was pretty touristy so they had shops and a bar available and the snorkelling was nice. We paid 1200 Baht for this. 
2. Canoeing trip to James bond island - this was my favourite of the two day trips! We paid around 1200 baht for this trip and it was just stunning, the islands were amazing and you went on the canoes twice with a guy steering you round, The first place we went in this cave which had insanely love ceilings, some crazy green glowing light and a statue of Buddha that had formed out of water dripping. The second trip we went through a kind of tunnel and came out at the most stunning scene a kind of alcove, I'm not sure how to describe it but we were surrounded by rock and plants with the sun coming from above. Then we came out into a stunning view of giant rocks coming out the water - randomly though there were two chickens just chilling there ahahaaa! The boat wasn't too cramped and they provided some delicious food and drinks for us all. I even jumped off the boat whiiich did take quite a bit of convincing as I am seriously scared of heights. Same as the first boat trip we got a deal where we paid 1200 Baht.

3. Bangla Road - this is the party road, full of bars, strip clubs and all sorts! Be prepared for some sights but all in all this road had some really good bars - we passed on all the ping pong shows. A LOT of live bands who were more than willing to play any requests and were all so lovely. We had a little bar crawl and loved them all! Just off Bangla road to the right are some restaurants and I really recommend No. 5 ( yes that's it's name) - Just get the Pad Thai! 

4. Patong beach - The beach is stunning and you can get umbrellas and seats for around £150 per umbrella. They have people coming round with water and fruit you can buy and there are even beach view massages and jet ski's for hire. The beach at sunset is beaaautiful. Just behind are heaps of shops as well!
5. Simon Cabaret - you will see this advertised everywhere and it was really good. The set production was insane and so were the costumes, They did an array of english, Thai and even Russian dances. There was one lady who did an insane rendition of 'single ladies' and a crazy bigger lady who was hilaairious coming into the crowd and striking fear in most of the men that she was coming for a kiss! ahaaa. All of a sudden the beginning of cell block tango came on and I was buzzzin, me and my friends had all gone to see chicago live a few years back and we all love it...but then... IT WAS THE DISNEY VERSION. oh my god. YASSS. At the end of the show you can pay to have pictures with them all, be careful as they can easily con you into paying a little more by getting more people in the photo or a friend but it was all good fun so I would really recommend this.
If you have been to Phuket let me know where you recommend to go! 
Ciao x
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that overwhelming feeling

The last few times I've come back from holiday I've found I've suffered some kind of panic attack whilst away. When I was in Malta last year I woke up at 4am with a tight chest, hardly able to breathe a few times. When I was home - at home I am usually much calmer and more at peace with life, it wasn't until the last night I was struck with the overwhelming feeling that even when I was to go home again and regardless it will always be home to me, now that my parents have moved back it wasn't going to quite be the same again -queue tight chest. When I was in Thailand, one of my last days me and a friend decided to have a nap before going out one last time, I was struck with the overwhelming feeling of going back to problems and a job that was never going to change. The thought started when I was thinking of what an amazing holiday I had had and how to had to come back again, then the next thought was - how will I ever afford it? and then? how will I afford to go home? - not just when I want to, but when I NEED to. Home is a place that I can recharge myself from the uk when I find it gets a little too much for me and I need to remind myself of me. Then I went into a downward spiral, trying to calm myself with breathing techniques and positive thoughts. I tried to joke about it and laugh it off. 

But since I've been back I've been struck with that tight painful chest and hard breathing and I just can't seem to shake it. I'm so overwhelmed with what I need to do for my shop  all the paintings I want to do, keeping on top of my fitness, doing overtime to help pay back Thailand and also the blogs. It just became too much, something was always getting left behind, mostly this blog. I had this constant feeling I was always going to be stuck in a bad place and that I was never going to have enough time to do all the things I wanted to to get me out of it. I am so fortunate I have supportive friends like Jemma who helped me when I went a little off the rails and ranty about my problems - sometimes it helps to just get it out. 

And today? well today I started writing out lists ( I LOVE a good list) of what I can do and I suddenly thought, why shouldn't I be excited about all the things I have to do? Of course its going to be hard and of course I'm going to be exhausted trying to find more time then I have now. But I love all these extra things I do outside my job and I need to start being excited about them and not so pressured, although I do still enjoy them. So I've decided when I get this tight feeling, which I anticipate I won't loose for some time I'm going to smile and think of all the things I have to look forward to once this hard work pays off. I'm going to write 50000 lists if I have to to calm me down and I'm going to pray that by the end of the year I won't ever suffering this overwhelming feeling again.  x

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