Friday, 20 December 2013

Fashion Fridays... Blue shoe blues.

As I mentioned in my Workout Wednesday post, I've spent all my monies on presents this month. So there's no budget left for spoiling myself and it's a terrible state of affairs. Though I'm so excited to give everyone their presents and revel in their smiles and laughs when they open them!
This time of year is so dreamy and fantastical; it's very hard for a girl to focus on the task at hand and not let her mind wander to her deepest desires. My deepest desires mostly revolve around shoes. Like Carrie SATC levels of obsession.
Unfortunately I don't have her budget and ability to pop to Choo and pick up a pair of slingbacks after a fight with my non-existent boyfriend. So I have to satiate my desires with a lot of online-window-shopping and shoe-porn-voyeurism. I dread to think how many hours a week I clock on luxury goods websites, my heart aching and yearning for some toe-breakingly high heels.

At the moment my colour of obsession is blue, mostly a bold, bright cobalt. (Autumn's colour of love was burgundy.) As I don't have any monies to splurge, I've got no fashion finds or beauty buys to share with you this week. So I've compiled the most fabulous Lust List of all the Blue Shoes I would give away organs to own for Christmas.
First are these Giuseppe Zanotti suede sandals. Entirely inappropriate for the weather at this time of year but I love how bold they are.
Giuseppe Zanotti
I shocked even myself when I found these elegant heeled pumps from Gianvito Rossi. Usually I love an obvious, tacky shoe but there was something in the 50s, PanAm vibe that made me want to totter around Milan with these on my feet.
Gianvito Rossi
The same applies to these Pigalle Patent pumps from my shoe god Christian Louboutin. Same subtle style and elegant shape but a bit shinier and brighter, making them appeal to my inner magpie.

Fortunately not all of my taste is so high end and insanely expensive. I really want to wear these cut out shoes boots from River Island next time I go out to get carried away in a nightclub.
So there it is. This week's Blue Shoe Blues Lust List. Next week's Fashion Friday's post will be post-Christmas so I'll be able to finally share some of the beauties I've found and given to my loved ones!

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Workout Wednesday... Want Want Want!

So this week's post is going to be mostly things that I want for my gym life. It's that time of year where I've spent all my money spoiling other people so don't have any left to splurge on myself. So I'm going to share with the universe the things I desire in the hopes the universe sends them to me!

But first, a little progress update on my LDNMuscle Bikini Guide life. I missed a workout. Maybe two. Fail. And I had one VERY boozy night and nasty hangover day (company Christmas party). BUT.... I still lost 1 pound this week!

How, I do not know. But seeing that difference on the scale spurred me to go back into it all with full effect again this week. Very smug Holly has surfaced.

This week is the last week at my gym and I'm actually quite sad about it. I do, however, get to upgrade as of Friday so I think I'll survive. It's just a strange end of an era.

The new gym (still Virgin Active) is swankier and I feel my gym wardrobe needs a little updating too. Mostly, I am dying to own this [ridiculously expensive] sports bra from Nike.

£50 for a sports bra is a ludicrous amount of money but it's so pretty! I definitely need some new ones though and am struggling to find ones with a good fit. Any suggestions would be welcome!

Another thing I'd like to update is my yoga mat. When I first got into yoga, I bought my own one but it's quite cheap and gets slippery sometimes. I've found this one from Adidas and it perfectly compliments my current colour scheme!
The last thing on this week's Lust List are these leggings from Sweaty Betty. I love the fun pattern on them and they look like a good fit for my body shape.
ECL Chandrasana Yoga Leggings

Friday, 13 December 2013

Fashion Fridays... Party dilemma!

So today is my company Christmas party and I STILL haven't decided what I'm wearing! We're having a boozy social event at a swanky hotel in Moorgate so I think I need to be a bit more glamourous than I was last year.  
I've managed to narrow it down to the two dresses below but am struggling to pick between them!
The left dress is a lovely little thing from Primark and is lacey and fun. The one on the right is from H&M and is actually a bright red. I feel really good in both dresses but I'm wondering if the red one isn't a bit too sexual for a company party?! I asked my instagram (@23HRH) followers and they voted unanimously for the left so I think I'll go with that.
As London has suddenly become freezing, I think I'll need to wear tights with whichever one I choose. I've reached the age where I choose comfort over vanity. Oh lord. But, am I too old for sparkly tights? I think the festive season should be full of as much sparkle as possible and love these tights with Swarovski Elements in from Marks and Spencers!
I can't really be trusted not to wreck tights so I think £25 is a little much for me to spend on a pair for one night so I'll have to go bargain hunting at lunch before I change into god-knows-what for the big event!
I have also fallen for some of this season's costume jewellery from Zara. I love this dramatic necklace on the left. The contrast between the 'gold' and the black 'leather' is just delicious! I also crave to wear these rings, on the right, below. I love that you can separate and just wear one or two for a more simple look and pack them all together for a shiny dramatic effect!
Image 1 of PACK OF THIN RINGS from Zara Image 1 of  from Zara 

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Workout Wednesday... Week one success!

I'm 10 days into my LDN Muscle Bikini Guide plan and with brilliant success!

In a week I've lost 1.5lbs and 0.9% body fat!

I also found better form in some of the exercises I've been doing for months and discovered new exercises and muscles I didn't know I had, let alone how to push them!

I've followed the diet plan almost to the letter and even enjoyed my heavenly advent calendar choc each lunchtime! I even skipped one workout due to generally feeling naff and pathetic but I made up for it with an extra yoga session.

I am insanely proud of myself. Although I've been training for some months now and seen some improvement, I think having a set regimen and diet has really kicked me up a gear. Now that I'm understand more about nutrition and exercise, I'm wanting to learn more and delve deeper into the health world. I find myself browsing Amazon for supplements or workout clothes instead of the usual trashy books and shiny things. I'll never give up shiny things though, don't worry.

I'm also learning how to cook healthily! How to plan and structure my meals according to my macro needs and how to make yummy healthy things. For example, I've adapted a protein flapjack recipe to my tastes (and cupboard contents) with wonderful results!

I've started carrying one of these little beauties in my bag for an on-the-go snack to avoid me picking up bad treats in shops or as a substitute for the carbs in my breakfast if I don't make it out of bed in time in the morning!
Also, my Internet reading has changed. I've discovered which is packed full of articles on everything from beauty and workouts to sex and diet advice! The things that's really caught my eye is the wonderful little #WHUKFitmasChallenge Advent Calendar!
Every day on their pinterest account, they're posting an exercise to burn off the amount of calories in the average advent calendar chocolate! Then, they recommend, you add up the week's daily exercise to form an epic weekend workout. What a fun idea! I'm definitely going to start incorporating these into my workouts too.
Are any of you taking on any challenges to combat the Festive Fattening?

Friday, 6 December 2013

Fashion Fridays...Fabulous finds!

This week I am totally in love with my new leggings from H&M. I bought them a few weeks ago but haven't worn them much somehow! (Sorry for the poor quality pic!) 
I can't find them on their website to share but I know they're in store still. I love the glittery aspect of them but unfortunately this is fading as time goes on; the glitter doesn't last! Despite that, they're super comfortable thanks to the light, stretchy material and a really good length. They're not the warmest item I've ever own but I wear them with my fabulous thigh high boots from New Look and I'm super toasty!
I'm a true believer in glitter making everything a little bit better so these leggings are perfect for brightening up a dull grey winter day in the office! Though the glitter won't last, at only £7.99 and good quality material, I'm really impressed with this pair!
My beauty must-have of the moment is this delicious smelling leave-in conditioner from Boots.
My hair gets quite dry in winter so I need a little help to stop it looking like burnt straw! I wash & condition my hair normally in the shower, then spray this all over my hair just before blow-drying it.
It smells divine and the lovely gentle scent lasts a couple of days too! My hair gets a lot of wear and tear from the gym, swimming, styling etc so this is a lovely little boost to stop it from being totally destroyed. I've only been using it a couple of weeks and noticed a real difference! The fact that it costs less than £2 is just a heavenly bonus, especially at this time of year!
My lust-have this week is, weirdly, a hat! With the weather getting colder by the day, I'm really struggling to keep my big old head warm when out & about! Only about 1 in a million beanies look vaguely acceptable on my head so I can't go down that route which is really annoying considering how hot they are right now! More traditional hats such as fedoras or bowlers tend to not actually fit on my head so that's not an option really either.

All of which has led me to this fabulous Cossack hat from New Look!
Cream (Cream) Cream Faux Fur Cossack Hat | 288380213 | New Look
I think this hat has everything I'm looking for. Flexibility to fit over my head / hair, a bright but neutral colour to go with everything, a decent price £12.99 and nice and warm and cosy! I'm hoping Santa will bring me one for Christmas. If not, I'm going to scavenge through the January sales until this baby finds it way to it's rightful place, keeping my ears warm!

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Workout Wednesday... So far, so good!

This week I started following my new bible - the LDN Muscle bikini guide. Honestly, I thought it was going to be expensive, boring and a struggle. Eating prescribed foods at pre-determined times, 7 times a day? Yawn.

I'd eat my hat if I had one. I don't feel like I'm being dictated to and I'm not bored. I'm eating more than usual but I don't feel gross and full and stodgy. I feel satisfied, have very rare cravings and have a continuous flow of energy. My workouts have more pump and I'm sleeping better.

Technically, I'm not supposed to eat gluten (IBS etc) but often give in and eat it and feel awful. Eating this healthy, natural diet leaves my digestive system feeling happy. Too much info? Sorry.

Having the guide and living by it religiously is a little boring, yes. But it's also making me be creative and research ways to spice up the food, healthy recipes, perfect techniques for the workouts, all sorts!

At first, the food preparation and organising is a little time consuming but as I get into a routine and get more knowledgeable, it'll become easier and more natural, just another part of every day life.

On the 1st December, I took photos of my body as it is now, in my underwear. I'd strongly suggest anyone looking to transform to do this.  Seeing yourself in your least favourable light is inspiration to work hard. Also, it'll be great motivation to continue with the dedication when you start to see results. Or so I hope.

I also recorded my measurements (arms, legs, hips, waist, chest) and will do so again on the 1st of each month and, hopefully, track my progress.

I will weigh myself fortnightly, on the same machine and also track this. I'm not so fussed about pounds or kilos, more about dropping my body fat percentage and how I look.

My aim isn't to be "skinny" or look like a certain celebrity. My aim is to become the healthiest version of me. Whatever body shape is hiding under here, I'll embrace. I'm excited to see my development and become stronger, both physically and emotionally.

Wish me luck!

Monday, 2 December 2013

Manic Monday... A new chapter

I failed at writing a Geography Sunday post again last week. Though I think it would be better as a feature as and when I find somewhere that inspires me to learn and write about it. So it'll be intermittent from now on but I promise they'll be super spangly posts.

Onwards and upwards...

Today is the first day on my new LDN Muscle Bikini Guide. So far I've been successful, in that I've managed to get up early and eat my super organised breakfast and get all my food and gym bag ready for the day. This was my breakfast, plus a protein & oat shake...

I couldn't quite finish my eggs but I feel healthy and full! I'm feeling really positive about my new lifestyle and plan. For the first time in a long time, I genuinely feel prepared to succeed at something!

I have no idea how I'm going to manage to eat so many times a day but I'm determined which is a great feeling to start the week with!

This weekend I wrapped all my Christmas presents. And labelled each one with a number. And wrote a corresponding list of what each present was, who for, and in which order to give them out. I think my OCD may be back a little bit. Though I guess if it's just keeping me organised and helping me, then I shouldn't worry about it too much.

I am so excited to get home to my family and spend some good time with them over the festive period. I can't wait to see everyone's faces as they get their gifts, especially the piglet!

Aside from the diet, I'm planning a few little life-changing projects at the moment, ready to go full steam ahead into the new year and I'm bursting to share them with everyone but I need to keep them under wraps until I'm more certain on things!

In the meantime, fingers crossed for me for the first week of my new healthier lifestyle please!