26 July 2011

Project 365: #044 BBQing in the rain

Since we've got a few new people in our department at work, we decided to have a bit of a get-together so that we could all get to know each other a bit better.  As it turned out, only one of the newbies made it - one was ill and the other has a two month old baby - both pretty good excuses though!  One of the lads arranged a barbecue at his house, which went down really well, except for the torrential downpour halfway through cooking!  A few of us braved staying outside though, under the shelter of a parasol.  Being English, we did have to stick it out, didn't we!

25 July 2011

Project 365: #043 Republic playsuit

Popped into town tonight after work to have a bit of a wander around the sales and picked up this cute playsuit in Republic.  Unfortunately it wasn't in the sale, but I decided that it would be pretty good for holiday to throw on when we want to go inside for some lunch after spending the morning by the pool.  I didn't think £22.99 was too bad either!  If you think it's cute too, you can get it online here :)

Weekly top 5

Well, summer seems to have made an appearance finally - just in time for me to go on holiday! Thankfully I've still been able to enjoy the sunshine over the weekend and for the next couple of days before we go to Mexico. Hopefully the weather is like this when we get back from holiday too - there's nothing worse than coming back, having to go back to work and the weather being miserable as well! Roll on a nice few BBQs during August!

In a bit of a last minute attempt to get holiday bits and pieces, Danny and I went to Westfield in London yesterday. I absolutely love the place – it’s heaven for me, who loves shopping so much, to have such a wide range of shops in one place! I usually end up doing quite well when I go there and always bring home one or two bits, but yesterday was a bit exceptional! I’ll do a haul post tonight so you can all have a look at what I got :)

I’ve lost another pound this week which I’m happy about – I went out for dinner this week too and I wasn’t feeling too great towards the end of the week so was a bit naughty and had some dolly mixtures in the afternoon! Whoops! I’m still hoping to lose another 1.5lbs before holiday, though I’m not sure how realistic that is in two days….
I decided that rather than have to take nail varnish, remover and a nail file on holiday with me, it would be much more sensible to get a gel manicure beforehand. Thankfully my local nail salon is open until 7pm so I can pop in there after work this evening and get them done. They’re quite cheap too, which is always a bonus, and they’ve always been good when I’ve had them done there before, so hopefully they live up to that today too!

My final point of the week has got to be HOLIDAY!  We fly on Wednesday morning so will be up early for the trip to Gatwick.  I've been looking up what duty free shops they have there - apparently they have Superdry!  Looking forward to that!  Obviously I won't be able to blog from Mexico but I'm hoping to line up a couple of guest posts so watch this space for them!

23 July 2011

Project 365: #042 Sleepy girl

A few busy evenings have left me absolutely exhausted - clearly I'm too old to keep up with socialising every night!  I decided that the best way to remedy this would be to have an early night - I decide this quite regularly but never actually get around to it - I get distracted in some way or another and then end up going to bed later than usual!  Last night however, I did actually succeed in this and feel soooo much better for doing so :)

21 July 2011

Project 365: #041 Final catch up before baby!

Pictured above are two of my ex-colleagues - Kelly (left) and Vicky.  Vicky's due to have her first baby on 7th August so we had one final catch up before she pops (and although you can't see here, she's huge now!)  We had a great evening of girly catch up and lovely pizza, while Kelly tried to scare Vicky with birthing horror stories!  Thankfully it didn't work - Vicky's just too excited!  I can't wait to meet the baby when I get back from Mexico!

20 July 2011

Had to share this with you all...

I read online today that Ikea are doing a special offer over the next week or two in a few of their stores.  If you go to Ikea Lakeside on 29th-30th July, dressed in pyjamas, you can get a free double duvet!  Now I don't know how thick the duvet is, but I reckon getting a free duvet of any kind for rocking up shopping in your PJs sounds like a pretty good deal to me!  (Last time they did this promotion, the duvet was 10.5 Tog and worth £20-£50!) Ikea Belfast are also doing a deal from 23rd-24th July, where you can get a £10 gift card for turning up in your pyjamas, and Ikea Wembley are doing an even stranger deal till 14th August where you can get a free breakfast in their restaurant if you get into the bed that's in their restaurant section and eat your breakfast there!  (Apparently you don't need to be wearing PJs for that one!)  The Lakeside offer is definitely my favourite - I'm just a bit gutted that Lakeside is so far from mine and that I'll be on holiday - I'd love an excuse to go shopping in my pyjamas!

19 July 2011

Project 365: #040 Mmmm.......tiramisu

My mum made this delicious dessert for the dinner we went to at our family friend's house the other night.  If you like chocolate, coffee and alcohol, you will absolutely love this!  I thought I'd post the recipe on here too (adapted from Nigella's Christmas book), in case any of you wanted to recreate it :)


3 x 350g chocolate loaf cakes
425ml Tia Maria
1-2 teaspoons cocoa for dusting
Chocolate-covered coffee beans (optional)
2 large eggs
75g caster sugar
500g mascarpone
250ml double cream

  1. Whisk the eggs, caster sugar, mascarpone and double cream together, adding 125ml of the Tia Maria little by little
  2. Slice the chocolate loaf cakes and soak in the remainder of the Tia Maria
  3. Layer the soaked chocolate cake and the cream mixture - aim for three layers of each, making sure that the cake is pressed down as much as possible to prevent it from falling apart
  4. Finish on top with the remainder of the cream mixture and refrigerate overnight
  5. Just before serving, dust the tiramisu with cocoa powder and decorate with chocolate-covered coffee beans
Enjoy :)

Project 365: #039 Happy birthday Leanne!

Those of you that follow Leanne or Aisling (and if not, why don't you? :) ) will know that it was Leanne's birthday this weekend and that a few of us went to a pub for dinner and drinks.  It was good to have a catch up with everyone and actually gave the three of us a chance to chat about blogging without our boyfriends complaining about it!  Took a photo of the girls for their OOTD posts - check out how white Ash's feet are!  She's right though - they don't normally look quite that white!

Project 365: #038 Cleaning out the goldfish

Well, what a highly exciting way to spend a Saturday afternoon!  After walking through town on the way home from the hairdressers this afternoon, the torrential rain has made me retreat indoors and I've resorted to cleaning out my goldfish tank.  I couldn't really put it off any longer - Danny was complaining about it every time he saw it, and it was beginning to be a bit of a struggle to see the fish if they were at the back.  So after a lot of scrubbing the tank and all the plants, Bonnie and Clyde (Clyde is the one in the photo) now have a clean and shiny tank to live in.  I'm not sure that they know what to make of it just yet - I think it's a bit of a shock that it's so clean at the moment!

18 July 2011

Project 365: #037 DVD night

I had a bit of a girly night in with Ali tonight - I cooked dinner (tomato pasta bake with chicken, courgettes, mushrooms, peppers and onions - yum!) then we settled down to watch Definitely Maybe - you've got to love a bit of Ryan Reynolds!  That said, we only got about an hour into the movie before Ali's sister, Steph, popped over on the way home from work so we then proceeded to have a natter rather than watch the movie!  She also made me realise that I have a lot more clothes than I thought - she spent a while flicking through my clothes rail (that I have in addition to my wardrobe, since it's full!)  That said, that's not going to stop me buying more at Westfield on Sunday :)

Project 365: #036 I've got my dress for the wedding!

After a bit of searching, I've found my dress for Danny's brother's wedding in Mexico!  I wanted a maxi dress but didn't want anything that was going to be too hot - we're going to be on the beach so although I'm hoping that there might be a slight breeze, I didn't want to be stuck wearing man-made fabrics that would make me warmer than I already will be.  This dress is 100% cotton, so should be as cool as possible and I found it on the ASOS website - it's actually from Coast and it was in the sale - £115 reduced to £55!  Bargain - you've got to love the sales!

Project 365: #035 OMP! Nails

I thought I'd test out one of the new nail varnishes I got the other day - somehow the photo has made it look bright orange, but I actually used the coral one called OMP! rather than Atomic.  Still, I'm quite pleased with it - in some light it looks red, coral in others and clearly when I took this photo, orange!  Think I'll be using this on holiday though - it should go quite well with a tan!  Have any of you got the free nail varnishes from Fabulous?  What do you think?

17 July 2011

Weekly top 5

Finally got myself back into the gym this week, after a couple of months away.  It felt good to be back in there, especially in terms of not completely wasting my membership fee!  I'm hoping to get back to going three times a week - not looking forward to the early mornings though so might give it a while before I get back to them too!

My attempt at the Shred, coupled with the gym and some healthy eating has started to pay off - I've lost 3lbs this week :)  I changed my approach from no snacking to eating little and often to keep my metabolism going - seemingly it's starting to work!

We went to dinner at our family friend's house last night - we've known them since I was three but it's been ages since we've all been together.  Unfortunately their daughter couldn't make it, but both of their sons were there too and it was really nice to have a catch up - just like old times :)

I've got my dress for Danny's brother's wedding in Mexico!  I knew that I wanted a maxi dress but it took me a while to find one that I liked, primarily because I wanted it to be quite lightweight so I won't get too hot.  I was pretty happy when I found one in Coast reduced from £115 to £55 - bargain!

It's Leanne's birthday today so we're all going into town for a few drinks at one of the pubs.  Happy birthday Leanne!  It'll be nice to have a catch up with one half of my Newbury friends, and Aisling will actually finally get to meet Danny!  Just a shame the weather isn't so good, since the pub we're going to has a nice roof terrace.

Hope you're all having a good weekend!

16 July 2011

Project 365: #034 Back to the gym!

It's definitely been a while, but tonight I finally got myself back into the gym.  I really enjoy it when I get there, but the problem is finding the time.  Despite the fact that Danny and I are members of the same gym, we use different locations and if we wanted to use each others, we'd have to pay £75 per month for the privilege!  A bit much I think, when we already pay £52 per month each anyway - it's not as though we could be in both places at the same time!  That means that if I'm staying at his, I can't go, and if he's staying at mine, he can't go.  I went to the gym with my friend Ali tonight - time goes much faster if you're having a catch up while you're on the cross trainer rather than constantly clock watching if you're on your own!

15 July 2011

Project 365: #033 Nails Inc duo

You may remember my post a few weeks ago about 2 Nails Inc varnishes for £3 through buying News Of The World.  Now after all the phone hacking scandal, I definitely didn't want to be buying the newspaper and seeming to support it but thankfully I'd already collected enough vouchers to get the nail varnish beforehand.  I picked them up this evening and although I'm not sure how likely I am to use the bright orange, I'm really quite liking the pinky coral colour - this will definitely be featuring on my nails quite a lot this summer I think!

Project 365: #032 Oxford Street shopping trip

I had intended that this photo would be a nice big haul photo, but my shopping trip wasn't as successful as I'd planned :(  I did manage to get a white sundress for holiday though and a lightweight scarf (that I'm pretty sure I won't need in Mexico but I really couldn't resist it since it was so pretty!)  I don't have a dress for the wedding yet though, which is starting to panic me now!  Online shopping here I come!

Project 365: #031 Girls night in

Danny is out tonight for his brother's stag do so me, his sister, his mum and his (other) brother's girlfriend had a quiet night in.  Well I say quiet - we did have some wine, general nattering and then played Just Dance 2 for a couple of hours!  Danny's sister does lots of dancing and she's regularly in shows, so we always get really competitive when we play it together.  Despite being 9 years older though, I did manage to beat her towards the end!  That'll be my competitive side coming out then :)

14 July 2011

Project 365: #030 Night out in Reading

I've been long overdue a night out for a while now, seeing as the last time I went on a proper night out was back in April!  What with exams and lots of busy weekends since, I just haven't been into town for drinks, so a night out for one of the girls' birthdays was much needed.  Clearly I'm getting old though - after dinner then drinks at a pub, followed by a bar, I was ready to go home by 1am!

Project 365: #029 Water

I'm notorious with lots of my friends for never drinking enough.  I know I should drink more and when I really think about it, I do try to, but then I get distracted with other things and never think about it.  Danny is always telling me that the key to losing weight is to drink lots of cold water so I'm going to try and make a real effort to do so - I managed to drink 1.5 litres in three hours this afternoon!

30 Day Shred is no more......

Firstly, I must apologise for neglecting you all with my severe lack of posts.  I've been really busy this week and while that's no excuse cos I could still blog at lunch when I'm at work, I do have the added difficulty that I can only upload photos when I'm using my brother's laptop (so that I can add the borders and things!)  As soon as I have some money, I will be buying myself a brand new laptop rather than relying on nicking his all the time!

Anyway, on to the point of this post!  Unfortunately, I've had to give up the Shred to save my knee.  It was getting to a point where it was still hurting three days later so I decided that it was best to give it up and hit the gym instead.  Working out on the cross trainer for a bit definitely gets my cardio workout in and following it by weights and then floor work like sit-ups, crunches and leg raises should be doing some good.  I could definitely notice the effect that the Shred has had on me though, so that's encouraging and I'm planning to get back on to it (every other day rather than every day though!) when I'm back from Mexico.

9 July 2011

30 Day Shred: Day 12

The knee pain is back again today so I've decided that I'm going to try doing the Shred every other day until it recovers fully.  That and because I'm going out tonight and want to wear heels, I don't want to damage it beforehand!  I figure that doing the Shred every other day is still better than nothing and since I'm in the office next week, I'm planning to hit the gym every morning so I can do the cross trainer and strengthen my knee without jolting it.  Have any of you had any problems with your knees (or at all for that matter!) while you've been doing the Shred?

8 July 2011

Project 365: #028 Knee support

A highly exciting photo today, but since my knee has been quite sore, the only thing I did was meet my bestie for dinner.  Had a lovely vegetarian pasta with salad - another healthy option - and would've taken a photo of it so I could attempt to recreate it at home (it was really just asparagus, artichoke and courgette with pesto over penne) but my battery died so I couldn't!  So instead, you get to see an incredibly exciting photo of my knee support that I've been wearing for the last 24 hours.  That said, I think it's helping and I should be back to doing the Shred tomorrow!

30 Day Shred: Day 11

I'm back on the Shred!  Woop!  It felt so good to actually be doing it again, although I did have to be a little bit careful when doing the jumping jacks during the warmup.  I attempted Level 2 today and was really apprehensive about doing so since I'd heard that it was horrendous, especially after two days off, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be!  I did notice how used to Level 1 I'd got though - I really noticed that I had to stop and pay attention to what Jillian was telling me to do, whereas on Level 1 I'd just be able to go through the workout knowing what was coming next.  I definitely noticed an increase in difficulty compared to Level 1 though and I'm looking forward to tackling this level full on for the next week!

Project 365: #027 Fruit salad

I'm trying to couple doing the Shred with eating healthily - I've been failing at the weekends but I had a very nice healthy lunch from M&S today - salmon and watercress salad followed by this delicious tropical fruit salad.  With normal fruit salad, I always find the apple a bit dry, but M&S have a huge range of different fruit salads - this one had pineapple, kiwi, papaya, mango and passion fruit.  Yum!
(PS.  M&S have not paid me to rave about their fruit salads!)

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