Weekend Friday Favourites

I hope you had a great weekend! 

I started this Weekend Friday Favourites a few weeks ago with every intention of publishing, however thing’s around here have been a little crazy lately. So this is an extended month of April Weekend Friday Favourites. Things that have caught my eye recently or made me smile on a Monday. My eyes got heavy Continue reading “Weekend Friday Favourites”

Why I Stopped Drinking Coffee

A year ago if you’d have asked me if I’d ever considered giving up my cup of morning wake up fuel coffee and evening perk up cup of joe, I’d have looked at you like you’re crazy. Seriously crazy. Give up coffee? I love that stuff! Nespresso Dulsao’s my cup. bcd0c1a2e2c5a00f9d32fc9f3be645ae

I’m now 8 months coffee free, Continue reading “Why I Stopped Drinking Coffee”

October Beauty Finds

Daylight saving ended a week ago and I’m already being caught out with sunset at 6pm. 5pm comes and and I suddenly realise there´s less than 1 hour until it gets dark. Where did the day go? It’s no secret I don’t like shorter days. Christmas with all it’s lights (can you believe in less than 8 weeks it´s Christmas then 9 weeks until the New Year?) should be at the end of January, the longest coldest month as the Christmas lights brighten up the short days and long dark evenings. That’s if it ever gets chilly here. This month’s been unusually warm. It feels like everyone’s on standby for the cold to start. But if you live in the Southern Hemisphere, you’re heading into Summer. Lucky ducks!

I have just 3 requirements when it comes to skin care and cosmetics products. Not tested on animals, as natural as possible, no parabens, SLS, petrochemicals etc and containing no animal ingredients      I’m aware of (some get through, I eat honey, so if it has beeswax, I can´t complain). With cosmetics the last 2 can be tricky, so I go with what I can find!

Tangle Teezer, The Original. Professional Detangling Hairbrush for Wet and Dry hairTangle Teezer The Original

I’ve been using Tangle Teezer´s travel wet and dry detangling brush throughout the summer after dips in the sea and loved it. My at home hairbrush needed replacing so I opted for The Original Tangle Teezer. It’s very kind and gentle getting out the tangles from cycling, with few split ends. I usually brush my hair before washing it, then go comb with a wide tooth comb afterwards. I’ve yet to use this one on wet hair after showering, but having been caught in the rain and using this, it’s kind to wet hair and tangles. Comb and tangles not so nice. When I brush out the tangles at the end of the day, it doesn’t puff up my hair like other brushes, which is always a good thing! It’s palm friendly, so it’s easy to use right or left handed. The original Tangle Teezer

H&M Beauty, Nail Polish Flamingo FlushH&M Nail Polish Flamingo Flush

I love this polish! I can’t say what it´s like in the summer with suncream (I only paint my toes and at the beach slap suncream on everywhere, which you should be doing! However suncream has a tendency to stain everything. Nail polish included), but it’s kept it’s shine and not chipped. The price is nice too €4.99, plus I love the cool names H&M give their polishes! I like it so much I got 2 more colours, Milky Tea (nod to being British) and Peachy Keen (nod to the Pink Ladies and one of my all time favourite movies!)H&M Beauty, Nail Polish

H&M Beauty, Brush Cleanser SprayH&M Brush Cleaner Spray

I usually clean my brushes every 1-2 weeks with Dr Bronner Unscented Pure Castile Liquid Soap. Now it’s getting cooler, the powder brush takes ages to air dry completely before I can use (I’ve been known to use a hairdryer on it!). I thought this would help avoid waiting 15 hours or more for it to air dry. It works, but it’s more like dry shampoo and wet wipes, a quick fix until I can clean them throughly. I was’t too keen on the smell with the brushes not feeling as clean as with Dr Bronner. But in a pinch it’s great!

Lemon WaterHot Lemon

Since I was sick a month ago (I swear coffee made me worship the porcelain god), I’ve hardly had any coffee, save the odd cup or 2. Instead I’ve replaced my morning coffee with hot lemon water and afternoon coffee with peppermint tea, the only dietary changes I’ve made recently. I suffer from cystic acne and when lady’s holiday arrived, I didn’t have one cyst spot! That made me think, I’ve hardly had any spots aside blackheads recently. A quick Google search, revealed coffee can cause acne! I haven’t had any withdrawal symptoms (headaches) from not having any coffee and I feel cleaner and lighter for not running on it! I even crave lemon water first thing now! I’m not saying adieu to coffee, just see you later as I’ll still have a cup or 2 every now and then!

Coffee, tea or lemon water before you can take to anyone in the mornings? What are your latest beauty finds and tricks?

Weekend Friday Favourites

Yesterday evening I virtually shopped until I dropped or rather had enough. One of my best friends is getting married and I need an outfit! Flights, car, accommodation were the easy bit. There’s a reason as I found out trying on the 5th different style of dress why I don’t wear dresses. I’m toying with trousers or smart shorts, but I can’t find a smart pair that aren’t covered in crazy patterns or aren’t so high waisted as is the fashion this season or feel they’re appropriate for a wedding. I have permission from the bride to wear them along with no white! I did find a skirt in Zara that I can work with several different styles of tops and it will be fun to dress up even for one day. There’s a few weeks to go and knowing me, I’ll be on the lookout for something else right up until the last minute. Up next is shoes. Fortunately I love sandal shopping!

I hope you’re having a great weekend. This week’s been a little crazy. I’ve picked up clients (yay!) and of course outfit hunting. Which is fun, because I get to try on clothes I wouldn’t normally! Anyways, Friday run view and this weeks Friday Favourites.

7km along and on the beaches and rocks. Concrete and tarmac are great to run on, but I like to vary terrain on my runs. If I see rocks, I’ll run on them!Friday run view. Rocks

Cherry BlossomCherry Blossom

The only place I’ve seen blossom is no surprise at the Zoo. One day I’d love to visit Japan during cherry blossom season.

Hermes RingHermes Ring

Amongst being the Greek god/patron for travellers, liars, thieves, he was also the patron for dreams, invention, trade, literature, poets and athletics and sports. It is just a winged ring, but it caught my eye (from I AM) with my first thought being those winged trainers from Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief!

A Chimp called Iris

A happy ending for Iris who was kept in virtual darkness and isolation for 16 years. She now gets to live out her days at Save the Chimps Sanctuary in Florida.

Nespresso Coffee MachineNew Nespresso Machine!

A much tinier machine compared to the ant filled old one and cuter! It’s a lot less noisy, a lot quicker and better energy saving. The empty pods I take to my local Media Markt where they have a Nespresso pod recycle point. I’m just happy to have nice coffee back. I can never get the amount right in cafeterias/French presses.

BoysAJ and his catnip teabag

To say Mr Aj loves his catnip teabag is an understatement. I got it from Whittards when he was about 1 (he’s now nearly 13) and have been looking for a replacement for a few years now as it’s now kinda manky. It must be filled with some potent catnip as it’s the only thing he gets possessive about and spend 10 minutes or more playing with it, licking and covering in in slobber. D loves boxes

D loves to roll around in catnip, eat it and steal his brothers teabag. Or if the cupboards open, get out the catnip and play with it. He also loves playing in boxes filled with paper.

Strawberry BallsTiger Strawberry Balls

Tiger’s a shop that has everything you didn’t know you needed until you saw it. It’s great for gifts, crafts, stationery, toys, art, gadgets, kitchen and bathroom accessories. It also has as I discovered strawberry balls! I haven’t had these since I was a kid! Erm, I ate the whole packet. I have no self control with sweets and chocolate. They also had another childhood favourite aniseed twists, which I’m attempting to ration.


Great of burning off strawberry balls. One of the more underrated pieces of workout/gym equipment and one of my favourite pieces of workout equipment. It’s great of cardio, toning legs, arms, core, shoulders, total body. I like to use it as drills during circuits, 60 second bouts using different fancy footwork. And there’s no denying it makes one a hella of cool noise as it whips the air!

Sunny DaysSunny Days

The days are getting longer, sunnier and warmer. Summer’s just a little way away!

Whats been making you smile this week? Do you have any weddings coming up? Is there cherry blossom where you are? Have a great weekend!

Fully Qualified

This past weekend I got my papers. My YMCA/CYQ Personal Trainer qualification! It’s been a long time in the happening and finally in the eyes of the EU I’m a qualified PT. Let me say that again, I’m a qualified Personal Fitness Trainer. Woo Hoo!

Last Thursday, I flew to Gatwick, to drive 3km down the road to attend Focus Training’s Level 2 Gym Instructor course held at Virgin Active Crawley. I did things a little backwards, got my Level 3 Personal Trainer before the Gym Instructor due to a mix up over what qualifications I’ve done previously. REPs in the UK and EREPs it’s European counterpart have strict regulations on what qualifications the fitness industry holds. You can’t just jump in to be PT, you have to start at the bottom and work up the qualifications. As I already hold Level 2 Exercise to Music and an American PT course I did in Spain, the mix was I didn’t need to do level 2 again. But I did, the practical gym side which is why I found myself in Crawley over the weekend.

And boy was it cold! Freezing! It felt like I’d been slammed into a walk-in freezer. 10C temperature drop is a lot, especially as the ‘cold’ was previously 16C! I hadn’t felt so much cold since January in France. The coat I found earlier in the week, came in to play and it was nothing a hot cup of coffee couldn’t fix while getting reacquainted the Motherland!

Sunset Thursday around 3.45pm. I couldn’t get used to how dark it got so quickly.IMG_9764

Starbucks has it’s red cups, Costa Coffee which is more popular in the UK than Starbucks has Rudolph, Santa and Snowmen. I don’t usually buy coffee out, but Costa’s always the exception! IMG_9844

The next two days we (students) were in and out the gym and classroom. Even though I was only there for the practical exam, I still had to attend the theory classes with those taking the written exam. Our tutor, Tracey was fantastic and put us at ease immediately. Just like she said with every course she holds she learns something new, so did I. Friday afternoon I knew I’d be fine on the Sunday which she confirmed Saturday (‘I know you can teach!”). Yes I can teach, but I liked the way she delivered the course, kept us motivated throughout and held a classes of 8 adults in check. Fitness isn’t just about working the muscles and firing up the cardio. It’s also the way it’s presented. I’ve kinda stole a few of her ways!

Not my peanut butter! With few vegan eating out options and staying in a hotel meant I had to get creative with meals. That is a post to itself!IMG_9790

It more or less rained for the 3 days I was there. The autumn leaves provided much needed pops of colour! IMG_9814

Level 2 Gym Instruction is just that, gym instruction, showing clients around the cardio and resistance machines, traditional bodybuilding free weights and a few bodyweight exercises so they can safely use them on their own. Level 3 is the fun gym side. Sunday I was first up. We were paired up, swapping the role of client/instructor after an hour. I missed out a few things welcoming them (I remembered the fire exits, but not the assembly point) and to give alternatives if this machine, weight is taken for next time, you can use X, Y, H. But I passed regardless of these oversights.

I stayed at Crown Plaza and for a hotel gym, it was stocked with more kettle bells, medicine balls, ugi balls, sandbags than my gym! Most nights I had the gym to myself while I worked out. I wasn’t impressed with their strict 20 minute cardio machine rule however. 18 minutes into my run (the hotel had a run bar with maps of local running routes, but it was dark, I didn’t know the area and the time I was running, very late so I opted for the treadmill.) it automatically started the cool down. I just switched the treadmill next door! As I couldn’t do my usual morning workouts, my mornings started with 30 minute yoga flows from Yogaglo. I’m on their 15 day free trial and enjoying it so far.IMG_9770

And how does a girl celebrate passing on her own? Shopping and the movies! I only travel back the UK once a year (some times every 2) and there are so many shops I want to look around, I normally spend at least one day in and out them working through the shopping list! There wasn’t enough time on the first two days to shop. I had enough time to find the High Street and Mall at lunch for a quick peek but not a take in all in shop. Sunday I was back the at hotel by 11.30am so had plenty of time to wander around the Mall and High Street. As a well done present I took myself to see The Hunger Games, Mockingjay Part 1 which I enjoyed along with popcorn and a bag of grapes I snuck in! I find cinemas offer few alternatives for vegetarians/vegans/healthy eaters and usually take carrot sticks or grapes with me.

I passed!IMG_1463

I forget how pretty the English countryside is. Monday when I left, the sun was shining for the first time since I landed and despite it being -1C at 6.20am it was a gorgeous morning. Driving to the airport was a picture perfect winter’s morning. The mist was rising up off the fields with the sun gleaming through the bare trees. I wanted to stop and take it all in, go for a lovely winter’s walk, but I had a flight to catch and there were no lay-bys! Maybe next time!

Sunrise MondayIMG_9894

You can just make out the mist rising in the distance. IMG_9907

And now the fun begins! First aid courses, mountains of paperwork and an osteopath appointment. Got my hands slapped a bit this morning by her as I lifted too much over the weekend and I’m not ‘designed’ to lift heavy. But what could I do? Sometimes you’ve gotta do, what you’ve gotta do!

Hope you had a great weekend! I think that’s all the gossip caught up with, for now!