30 June 2011

30 Day Shred: Day 3

I was a little bit naughty yesterday.  Despite only having completed two days of the Shred, I missed a day.  I was planning to get up and do it first thing in the morning before work, but I ached so much from the day before that I couldn't do it - I was waking up every time I needed to turn over in bed during the night I ached so badly!  I'd then thought that I'd do it after I got home but since I went straight to Glee Live at the O2 Arena, I didn't get home till 1am in the end.  I'm definitely getting back into it tonight - my legs still ache a lot but I'm not going to miss another day, so I've used deep heat spray and am hoping that it'll be much better tomorrow morning.  Fingers crossed!

29 June 2011

30 Day Shred: Day 2

Despite my thighs aching from day 1 of the Shred, I pushed on through and completed day 2 - surprisingly I found it a lot easier than the day before!  I'm still struggling with the press-ups (I honestly don't think I'm ever going to be able to do proper ones!) but I had a lot more stamina and didn't feel quite like I was going to die at the end!  That said, it was a lot cooler in my room than on day 1 so that probably helped quite a lot.  My thighs really ache again now - I think more than after day 1, so I'm walking round the office like a bit of an idiot!  Hopefully it will improve as I do it more and more.  Those of you that have done it, did you find that your legs ached at the beginning but improved as you got more used to it?

28 June 2011

30 Day Shred: Day 1

Wow.  I knew it would be hard going but I was not expecting that!  Who knew that just 20-30 minutes of workout would be so hard going!  I did the Shred last night for the first time and my thighs are really aching this morning!  My shoulders and arms ache a little but nowhere near as much as my thighs - I'm really having trouble not looking like an idiot when I walk, haha!  Aching aside, I do feel pretty pleased with myself that I managed to get through it.  I'd seen a couple of clips of the workout before I attempted, and I was naïve and thought that it looked alright.  After all, how difficult could 3 sets of circuits be, when there's only 3 minutes strength, 2 minutes cardio and 1 minute abs in each circuit?  I take it all back!  It's definitely the most intense workout I've ever done, even though it's also the shortest.  I'm definitely planning to stick with it though so I'm going to have to really force myself to do it today and push through the thigh burn!  Wish me luck :)

27 June 2011

30 days till Mexico = time to start the 30 Day Shred

I've been meaning to go on a proper Mexico diet for the last couple of months and now with a month to go, I've got to get to it!  I've heard lots of good things about the 30 Day Shred, although I've also heard that it's incredibly hard going.  I'm planning on starting it tonight after I've downloaded it on iTunes - I know I can get it cheaper from Amazon but if I'm going to start it today then I'll have to download it instead, and I figured it's best to start when I have the motivation!  I'm hoping that blogging about it will make sure I stick to it - are any of you doing it too?  How are you finding it?

26 June 2011

Project 365: #017 Dinner a la Danny

As I mentioned in my Weekly Top 5 post this week, Danny cooked dinner for me last night - steak with a red wine and shallot sauce (which isn't shown cos Danny was pouring it into a jug when I took the photo), asparagus, garlic mushrooms and potato/sweet potato chips.  It was absolutely delicious!  He loves cooking and unlike me, washes up as he goes along - I tend to cause absolute chaos in the kitchen when I cook and it looks like a bomb site afterwards!  Definitely need to encourage him to cook more often :)

25 June 2011

Weekly top 5

After deciding against going to the Lake District for the weekend due to the rain that was forecasted up there, Danny and I are having a lazy weekend.  We spent this morning catching up on programmes on the Sky+ and then headed out food shopping for dinner this evening.  While I type this, Danny is busy in the kitchen creating steak with red wine and shallot sauce, potato/sweet potato chips and griddled asparagus.  Yum!  All while I chill on the sofa with a glass of wine.  I'm a lucky girl :)

Danny's dad phoned earlier - they're having a BBQ tomorrow since it's looking like it's going to be a scorcher of a day, and since we're now around this weekend, we're heading over there too.  I love a good family BBQ - you can't beat it.  I decided that it would be the perfect opportunity to try out my newish (I bought it just before exams and then got immersed in revision) cookbook - Baking Made Easy by Lorraine Pascale so I'm going to make Passion and Lime Meringue Pie for dessert - expect to see a photo on here tomorrow morning when it's done!

After a long chat with my boss on Wednesday, I'm now feeling a lot happier about work.  I've been feeling a bit fed up about it for about six months now - mainly because we've been so busy all the time and I couldn't see an end to it.  I was also feeling like I was getting a bit stuck in a rut - I guess that's kind of normal when you've been in your job for nearly four years?  Anyway, we had a bit of a chat and he assurred me that he definitely wants me to stay, but that if I do decide I want to move on (and he said he understands if I do, which is nice) then he'll put me in touch with some of his contacts at other firms to get me a good job to go to.  It's nice to know that he's supportive even if I decide that I do want to leave.  I think for now I'll just wait and see how things go over the next few months, and what I get offered when I qualify.

Summer is back!  After a month or so of the weather turning colder again, the sun is shining this weekend and I was even able to have the roof down on my car when I went out earlier!  Long may this continue - I need to get outside to try and get a slight bit of colour before Mexico, and that's only going to happen if the rain stays away!

You may remember me mentioning that I was trying to decide whether to buy Nails Inc Manchester Square nail polish - I ordered it this evening :)  Danny wanted to order a couple of things from ASOS so I decided that I might as well order it then.  And since I got it from ASOS, I got 10% off too!  Bargain!

Project 365: #016 Grazia, Galaxy and wine

We were meant to be going up to the Lake District this weekend but what with the weather as it is, we decided that a 4-5 hour journey to spend the whole weekend inside because of all the rain was a bit of a waste of time.  I'd read online that Grazia were doing a Benefit offer so picked up the magazine while I was food shopping this evening - looking forward to claiming my freebie!  The magazine has also given me a wishlist of a couple of items, so I'll let you know when I get around to getting them.

Need to do a bit of work this weekend, but don't want to waste the weekend since we were meant to be going away - not sure what to do at the moment though if it's going to rain all weekend.  What are you all up to this weekend?

Project 365: #015 New windscreen

I drive on the motorway a lot and stones are always flying up and hitting my windscreen - usually barely making a chip, but the other day one managed to crack the windscreen.  Only a small amount, but since it was cracked and chipped close to the edge of the screen, I had to have it replaced today rather than filled.  It was a £70 excess, which I didn't think was too bad, and thankfully the rain held off until after it was fitted.  The inside of my windscreen had been smeary where I'd tried and failed to clean it properly and then hadn't bothered - the bonus of having to have it replaced is that it's all nice and shiny now!  I was very pleased with my new shiny windscreen until I drove home from work and another stone chipped it! :( How annoying is that? Now I'm going to have to call them out to fill it - thankfully it wasn't another crack! 

23 June 2011

Project 365: #014 Fajita night!

I couldn't decide what to cook for dinner tonight, so asked for requests from Danny and Rob (my brother) - steak fajitas was the general consensus, which I was definitely happy with as it's nice and easy!  I don't think I've ever done fajitas with steak before - whenever I do them usually I use chicken, but I think I actually preferred the steak ones!  And I much prefer cutting raw steak into strips than chicken - I hate touching raw chicken!

Nice chilled evening tonight - both Danny and Rob have got colds so we all just vegged out on the sofa catching up with stuff on the Sky+.  Only two days till the weekend! :)

22 June 2011

Project 365: #013 Ukulele tuning

Another night, another duty of helping Danny's sister.  I actually don't mind - we get on really well, so it's like I have a little sister of my own really :)  She recently bought a ukulele - a completely random purchase since she's never been musical until now, and the first problem arose when she needed to tune it.  She had absolutely no idea, which is where I was asked to step in - I used to play the violin, so tuning a ukulele is pretty similar.  After tuning it, I had a little play - I really want one now too!  Have any of you got one?  Or have you bought one thinking that you'd play it and then got bored of it really quickly?  I can't decide if that might happen and I'd end up wasting money on it!

Project 365: #012 GCSE Maths

Danny's sister has got GCSE Maths tomorrow, so I spent this evening helping her with it and going through the bits that she was stuck on.  It's ten years since I did my GCSEs, so it was a bit of struggle to do some of it  to start with, but thankfully it all seemed to come flooding back.  Hopefully she feels a bit better about it all now - fingers crossed for tomorrow!  After a full day of work and then six hours of revision, I'm completely shattered!

21 June 2011

Project 365: #011 King Sitric

After a lazy morning at the hotel (which was necessary after drinking and singing in the hotel bar till 4.30am after Take That!), we headed to King Sitric in Howth for lunch before our flight.  Ash's aunt and uncle own the restaurant and I've got to say, the food was amazing!  The photo above is my main course - herb crusted hake - and it was delicious.  For dessert, we both had Meringue Sitric - their signature dessert (the recipe for which can be found here)  Unfortunately I didn't manage to take a photo of the dessert - a) because it looked so delicious that I wanted to dive in without faffing about with my camera and b) because we only had about two minutes to eat it before we had to leave for the airport.  I will definitely be attempting to make it myself though, although I highly doubt it'll come out anywhere near as good as their one is!  If you're ever looking for a seafood restaurant in Dublin, I thoroughly recommend you head here!

20 June 2011

Weekly top 5

Posting this a bit late this week I'm afraid girls - I wasn't organised enough to schedule posts for the weekend, as I was only ready 10 minutes before Ash picked me up!  Anyway, here goes...

Well after the weekend, my number one love this week has got to be Take That!  Absolutely loved Saturday night and will be trying to dig out my old CDs to put in the car I think!  Wish I could figure out how to upload the recordings I took actually - I've just uploaded them to my laptop and they sound like they're from a live album rather than taken on my phone!

My parents are away for 10 days, which means that I have a free house (except for my brother but that doesn't really count!) so Danny's going to be staying for the next week.  It's really nice to have the house to ourselves for a bit - gets us into practice for having our own place and I get to enjoy Danny's cooking on a daily basis!  That said, the deal is that he cooks and I do the laundry and ironing - I think I get the raw deal there since he loves cooking and I can't say I'm a big fan of laundry or ironing....

After registering for a new current account with Santander on 6th May, my internet banking details have finally arrived (after numerous angry phone calls from me!) so I can actually access my money (or lack of it) now.  I had never really realised how much I rely on internet banking and have found it really difficult not knowing how much money is in my account (yes, I know I can check at a cashpoint but I tend to use my card way more than cash so don't get a chance to check very often)  Hopefully I can start paying back my parents and brother some of the money I owe them now - I hate owing people money.

Weather permitting, Danny and I are planning to go up to the Lake District at the weekend to meet up with Mum and Dad.  We've been going up to the Lake District every year since I was about five, so it'll be nice to be able to show Danny one of my favourite places.  Hopefully the weather will be good though - Danny's said he's not keen on going if it's going to be tipping it down with rain all weekend.  It does rather defeat the point if you can't get out and do a bit of walking, but I'm sure we can handle sitting around in a nice pub while the rain eases off :)

Now that I'm back from Dublin, I know exactly how much money I've got to spend on holiday bits and pieces!  I can't remember if I've mentioned this before (apologies if I have) - Danny and I are going to Mexico at the end of July for 2 weeks - his brother is getting married out there so we're going to the wedding and then having a holiday too.  I can't wait!  And now I don't need to budget for Dublin, I can start my holiday buying!  One trip to Westfield is already planned (by Danny, for the Sunday before we fly) but that's a little late for me, so I think I'm going to try and fit in another one before then.  Expect to see a massive haul blog in the next couple of weeks!

Hope you're all having a good Monday

19 June 2011

Project 365: #010 Take That Progress Tour 2011

I was a Take That fan the first time around (I was in year 6 when they split up) and have liked all of their stuff since they reformed, but had never been to see them in concert.  I was in Quebec for work when their 2011 Progress Tour was announced so hadn't heard about it until it was sold out - I was gutted!  Then I was chatting to Aisling one evening when we were having a catch up and she mentioned that she had a spare ticket.  I jumped at the chance to go, especially when she said it would involve a weekend trip to Dublin!

I didn't really realise quite how excited I was about it until we got into the stadium.  Unfortunately it started chucking it down with rain as we arrived, so we all started crossing our fingers that it would stop by the time the concert started since we were going to be standing on the pitch (Croke Park doesn't have a roof)  It drizzled while the Pet Shop Boys were on, but as soon as Take That came on the clouds dispersed and the sun came out!  What.  A.  Night!  To say they were amazing would be an understatement!  We managed to get pretty close, as you can see - about 4 rows from the catwalk, halfway between the main stage and the stage area at the end of the catwalk.  Little did we know just how good this position would be - Robbie came out on a platform above us, leaning over to touch the crowd and Ash's mum managed to touch him!  I was 3 inches away - gutted!  Managed to get some great photos, even though I was using my phone, and a few recordings which came out surprisingly well too!  A completely amazing show - I'll remember this for a long time!  If you're going to see them, rest assured you will definitely not be disappointed!

Project 365: #009 Dublin

Our hotel room 

 Dinner at Brasserie 15

Our bathroom (I took a photo of this cos there was a really cool purple 
spotlight over the bath - you don't really get the full effect in the photo though unfortunately!)

A few photos today - sometimes one just isn't enough!  Headed to Dublin with Aisling this afternoon and after a flight delay of over an hour (the total flight time is less than an hour itself!), we finally arrived in the early evening.  We spent the evening chilling at the hotel in Castleknock before going out for dinner at Brasserie 15 with everyone - 15 of us travelled over to Dublin for Take That's concert at Croke Park on Saturday night, so as you can see, we took up a rather large part of the restaurant!  It was gone midnight by the time we finished dinner, so instead of going out like we'd planned, we just went back to the hotel and crashed - how rock and roll!  Had to make sure we've got plenty of energy for tomorrow! :)

Project 365: #008 Date night

Every couple of weeks or so, Danny and I try to make an effort to go out for dinner or to the cinema or something - basically to have a bit of 'us' time really (we both live at home so we rarely get time to ourselves!) Danny had already seen The Hangover 2 with the boys, but I missed seeing it with the girls because I was studying.  He said he didn't mind seeing it again (The Hangover is his favourite movie - I'm sure he'd watch it every day if he could!) so we headed to Brasserie Gerard for dinner and then went to cinema.  Brasserie Gerard was actually better than I remembered - I've only been there a couple of times, and it was nice both times, but the starter especially was really good this time!  I've seen some bad reviews of the movie but everyone I know who's seen it has really enjoyed it so I thought it was still worth a look, and I really enjoyed it too.  Although a lot of the jokes are similar to The Hangover, I still laughed out loud a lot (and I managed to use my NUS card to get student discount too!)  Have any of you seen it?  What did you think?

17 June 2011

Project 365: #007 Paul

Another rainy day here, so after a hard day at work I decided to have a DVD night.  I still hadn't seen Paul but loads of people have said it's good and my brother had just bought it so I decided that I'd give it a go.  I was pleasantly surprised - I love Hot Fuzz and especially Shaun of the Dead so I was a little apprehensive about watching Paul in case it didn't live up to Nick Frost and Simon Pegg's previous offerings.  I'm pleased to say it did (although Shaun of the Dead is still my favourite!) - I'll be watching this again!

15 June 2011

£3 for 2 Nails Inc nail varnishes!

Image from weheartit.com

As you will see from my last post, I love Nails Inc nail varnishes, so when I had an email telling me that I could get 2 for £3, I was very excited and knew I had to share it with you all!  News Of The World are going to be doing vouchers in their Fabulous magazine section on Sundays (19th & 26th June, 3th & 10th July) and if you collect 3 (each paper costs £1), you can trade them in at Tesco between 3rd & 11th July for hot pink and coral nail varnishes (I don't know what colour exactly I'm afraid - hot pink and coral are as much as I know, but they will be full size rather than those disappointing sample size ones!)  I'm definitely going to be getting mine!

Hope you're all having a good Wednesday :)

13 June 2011

Project 365: #006 Hot pink nails

I decided while I was at work today that I was going to paint my nails tonight - it took me a lot longer to decide what colour though!  I eventually settled on Nails Inc Walton Street.  I can't get enough of this colour and wear it on my toes most of the time, but I tend to change the colour I wear on my fingernails much more often - I guess I see my hands more so get bored of the colour quicker!  I've been having a look at the Nails Inc website over the last couple of days though, and think that I might have to buy their limited edition Manchester Square polish - I love it!

12 June 2011

Project 365: #005 Raspberry and oatmeal muffins

What is going on with the weather at the moment?  It's supposed to be June but it feels much more like November!  I decided that the perfect way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon inside was to do some baking, so I flicked through a couple of recipes and decided to make some muffins.  They turned out quite well I think too - I'm looking forward to having another one at work tomorrow!  Danny clearly caught my cooking bug as well, since he decided to cook dinner - honey and mustard chicken casserole with parsnips and carrots - not quite summer cooking but exactly the right dinner for a cold Sunday evening!  I had intended to take a photo of the casserole too, but it was so delicious that I had wolfed it down before I'd even thought about taking a photo - oops!  A cosy evening in was the perfect way to end the weekend.  Hope you've all had good weekends too!

Project 365: #004 Sambuca and curry...

When I say sambuca and curry, I obviously don't mean together exactly!  We went for dinner with Danny's brother and his girlfriend, and their cousin and her fiancé - a couple of drinks followed by dinner at the local Indian restaurant.  For some reason, the boys decided it would be a good idea to do flaming sambucas after dinner and I somehow got persuaded into having one!  I like sambuca, but I hadn't ever done a flaming sambuca before - now I know why!  I think the boys changed their minds about it being such a good idea too, when one of them spilled some of one of the shots, pouring sambuca on to the table and setting the tablecloth alight!  Since he also got sambuca on his hand, he failed to notice the tablecloth cos his hand was also on fire!  Thankfully for all of us, the tablecloth wasn't burnt and neither was his hand - phew!  Think I'll  be passing on the flaming sambuca next time.... That aside, it was a great night!

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