Monday, 30 November 2015

kayla itsines #BBG bikini body guide review - week two progress

Thank you for the lovely comments and support on my earlier Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide post (insert link). This week I really relied on the #BBG hashtag on Instagram to give me inspiration, meal ideas and read the amazing stories of the other girls doing the Bikini Body Guide. So I really recommend following Kayla Insines' Instagram if you're in need of some really great motivation!
Week Two started out amazingly, I took my progress picture in the morning and could see the difference the previous week had had. Each week starts out with Legs and Cardio, which I really liked this week, it was challenging and exhausting but the different exercises went together really well and I enjoyed this circuit quite a bit. If you can enjoy circuit training that is!
Kayla recommends that you do your own LISS sessions whilst completing the Bikini Body Guide and as I told you in my last post, I count my Ballet classes and Pole Fitness for these. I don't go to the gym and I'm not one to pound the pavement. Running is my idea of hell...
Disaster struck this week, Ballet went amazing I felt like my core was really tight and my posture had gotten better thanks to the extra resistance training I was doing with #BBG. When I had my Pole Fitness class during a routine that I'd already done a handful of times I pulled a muscle in my neck and shoulder. The pain was so bad, my eyes are watering a little even thinking about it. Immediately I had to stop and try and foam roll it out, barely sleeping that night the next day I could hardly move. 
Resting injuries and taking care of your body is just as important as the exercises you do. Actually I believe it's even more important to heal yourself and let your muscles and body rest. Taking a few days to get even remotely able to stretch out my back meant that for week two I could only complete one of Kayla's circuits.
For week two of #BBG I only completed one circuit, one Ballet class and one Pole Fitness class. 
There is a silver lining though! In my week one review there was no weight change, but this week I had a two pound loss. Can I just say... YESSSS!!! After a really horrible week, injuries aren't fun they hurt physically and drain you mentally, it was so nice to see that the hard work I'd put in was paying off. It's also a nice mental boost, it just goes to show, it's not the end of your fitness and health journey if you fall off the wagon. I stumbled this week but I didn't give in, I still made healthy meal choices and in the end everything worked out. My neck and back are much better now!

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Yourtotes review

I was recently contacted by the lovely James at YourTotes to try a free months subscription and review their service. From the get go I was super interested and excited to give it a go, I'd never heard of anything quite like this. I'd heard of rental services, but never monthly subscription for clothes! 
The concept is, you pay your monthly subscription of £39.99 and make a little wishlist of clothes. These get sent out to you and are yours to borrow for as long as you like, before returning them to swap for something else! I'll be super honest, to begin with I did think 'Hmmm £40 and I don't get to keep them?' but then I received my first beautifully wrapped package with three gorgeous dresses inside. What is quite exciting, is that if you really love one of the clothing items, you can buy it! So it's like a try and wear before you buy!

It just so happens that this first package arriving coincided with my birthday weekend, I had two dinners planned and both were very special occasions for me. Now girls... how many times do you buy an outfit for a dinner, night out, or get together and then just leave it in your wardrobe? If you're like me, then you like to wear something new when you have a bit of an excuse to get slammed up. Thats when I discovered the beauty of YourTotes. You wear the dress, feel beautiful and special but then swap it out for a cute little playsuit to wear next weekend when you go out with your friends...
Such a genius idea!

The website is really well laid out, with an easy to navigate service. The variety of clothes is more focused towards dresses and playsuits/jumpsuits, and is great if you're looking for something to wear that's a little bit more special. I also think it's a great way to try out new styles! My only downside is that I wish the variety of clothes was bigger, not that it isn't already really good! As the company grows and goes from strength to strength, their variety will of course grow with them!

The delivery was amazingly fast, your clothes come wrapped in beautiful tissue paper and sealed in a white box. It does feel very special receiving them.

Returning the clothes is also really easy, you simply write your name and address on the flap of the envelope, put your clothes inside and pop the pre-address and paid envelope into the postbox!

The quality of each dress I tried was incredible, I've shared my very favourite with you. I wore it for my birthday, and was so in love with the quality and how beautiful it was. I really recommend this service as something new, fun and exciting to try. Do I think it's worth it? Definitely, everyone should try this.

To take a look and sign up, check out the Yourtotes Website. 

Sunday, 22 November 2015

kayla itsines #BBG bikini body guide review - week one progress

If you follow me on Instagram you'll have seen me mention the Bikini Body Guide, or #BBG by Kayla Itsines, and how I'm progressing. Whilst I was making the decision to try out the guide and commit to the journey, I was researching and reading blogs of other girls who talked about their progress. So I figured, why not share mine too!
A little back story as to why I'm doing this, and what I want to get from it. This isn't so much about weight loss for me as it is toning and sculpting my body. You all know my love for Ballet and that my wedding is right around the corner, which means that I spend a good amount of time in leotards, and I want to look the best I can for my special day. Ever since tearing the ACL in my right knee and breaking my foot (thank you ballet) I gained a few pounds and lost a lot of the definition I had. On top of this I noticed that my fitness levels had dropped, I'd been out of action for a good solid 3 months. Overall I just wasn't happy with myself and wanted to get back on top of my game.
Unless you live under a rock, you'll have seen at least one Kayla Itsines progress picture on instagram, girls showing off their amazing progress and journey to healthy strong bodies. I wanted to get myself some of that action! 
Consciously I made an effort to eat better, giving my body everything it needed, focusing on wholesome meals with lots of nutrients and good fats. I don't ever believe in denying myself something I want- what's the point? Instead I concentrate on moderation... small treats instead of a big feast or binge. For about a year and a half I suffered with fainting, dizzy spells, and headaches. After lots of trips to the doctor and a very worried fiance we finally discovered I had sodium deficiency. Why am I telling you this? Don't deny your body what it needs! My diet severely lacked salt because I believed that it was utterly bad for you, which isn't the case. Everything in moderation....
Kayla plans out 2 resistance workouts for your week that you should complete, and one that is optional. For my first week I only did 2 as I simply couldn't fit the last one in. The guide also recommends factoring in some LISS activities, Low Intensity Steady State sessions which should be around 30-45 minutes. I already do Ballet and  recently started Pole Fitness, which aren't exactly low intensity, but I counted them as my LISS activities for that week as they are something I both enjoy and am already committed to. There is one stretching session, again I do loads of stretching for dance, but I did add some much needed time with my Deuser Band working on my box splits. After I hurt my knee my flexibility really suffered and I'm trying super hard to get my splits back to what they were!
Did I lose any weight? No, however this programme highly encourages measuring progress by taking pictures in the same standing pose, at the same time each week. Did I see difference in my pictures? YES! I'm really quite pleased with the difference I notice in one week, and with the amount of resistance that I now have in my weekly workouts I'm 100% happy with how #BBG is making me feel.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

anastasia beverly hills 'self made' palette

Can we stop and pause for a moment...
Okay, so how beautiful are these eyeshadows? Obsessed isn't a good enough word, it's pure love here folks. I'm not entirely sure I can write a coherent review because I'm still gushing over this palette. 18 deliciously buttery, bendable, pigmented shades that work together to create an endless possibility of makeup looks. Originally I was sucked in by the shades 'Isla' (5th, bottom row) which is a lovely turquoise/oceany blue with gold flecks running through, and Deep Purple (1st, bottom row) a deep rich purple. Upon closer inspection and having a play around I'm utterly balled over by 'Sherbet' (4th, bottom row) a beautiful rust that works in the crease too perfectly if you ask me, it's witch craft. Ranging from cool greys, to warm toned browns and golds, and vibrant purple shades, ending with a sparkly black this palette absolutely holds the top spot as my current favourite. 
Anastasia eyeshadows glide on like butter, they're velvety soft and luxurious. The colour pay off is almost perfect, I find I have to have quite a delicate hand or it can get a little bit over the top, especially with the darker shades as they're so pigmented. 
Blend ability is spot on, the colours blue into each seamlessly. This really is a girls dream, this palette really works with and for you, the colours are amazing with each other, there's not one single shadow that I haven't used or that I think is a bit of a lone wolf. 
The packaging is great, the outside is very sturdy and I love the texture. The brush the comes with it is okay... I do use it, but it's not my favourite. it's just 'okay'. Possibly one of my only 'cons'! 
As always it's so great to have a large mirror included, I've used this on the go whilst in the car a couple of times and it's been a life saver.
Staying power is wonderful, I don't find that the shadows crease, or get really any fall out. I can apply these for work at 7.30 in the morning, and my makeup is still going strong when I take it off around 8 pm at night. I've also had a lot of compliments on my makeup when I've used this palette to create a look!
Possibly because the shadows are so silky and soft, but as you can see in the picture a little, I do find a few stray crumbs... the shadows do seem to disperse and fall out in the packaging a little. Especially if you're using a dense brush.
At £26 this was a steal, I can't recommend it enough. It's limited edition though so go! go! go! Get yourself this as a little fall treat!

Saturday, 7 November 2015

luxemme review - witchy co-ords

WHITE CO-OR| *c/o Luxemme

Luxemme kindly sent me this gorgeous white co-ord to review and style up! How pretty are the white lace panels? I love how versatile these pieces are, and since it's been pretty chilly out I enjoyed taking something summery and making it more fall appropriate. What's also great about this co-ord is that you have two separate pieces that look great as the star pieces of other outfits. If you follow me on Instagram you'll have already seen me styling the skirt with a gorgeous south west style print flannel. 
Feeling inspired by the crisp fall air and the beckoning of Halloween I went for something monochrome and witchy. Utterly adoring the black peeping through the lace to really create some dimension. This is absolutely a classy look and I think it suits my style amazingly, I wasn't one for co-ords before as I found them quite hard to work with. This two piece deceivingly also looks like a little dress, if you wanted something more mysterious and sultry take away the black jumper and let a slither of skin peep through. 
This outfit saw me through a very lovely girly day of shopping, feeling very old school glam I channeled my inner Audrey and Marilyn as I strutted around with my bag on my arm. 
The fit of these was lovely, almost perfectly true to size. I am quite a big booked girl for my size (but ain't nobody complaining about that!) so it was a little bit snug for me. The fabric was really nice quality, it will wash and last so well. I can honestly see this cute little two piece seeing my through almost any season and any occasion, it's super versatile and quite classic. In case you couldn't tell I adore the lace panel, I think it adds a pop of interest to an other simple outfit. Luxemme price this at around £35, and even though it's no longer available they have some gorgeous alternatives. A really cute alternative here!
Personally I think it's great value for such lovely items and I highly recommend them.