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Let’s get fit in 2017

Hey guys!

Can you believe it’s nearly the middle of the month?? Crazy how fast the time goes.

If you follow me on my other social media, you would already know that I have restarted my fitness journey. I have joined my local Slimming World group a couple of weeks before Christmas, and I really enjoy it. It is a complete lifestyle change, rather than a fab diet, which is what I was looking for. With Slimming World I have found that for me it is a couple of light adjustment in my cooking style that is helping me. I have always liked vegetables, ate a lot of fruit too but ordered takeaways a few times a week. With the hundreds of recipes on their website, app and books it is so easy to find a delicious alternative to your favourite junk meal. I am really enjoying this ‘diet’ and it is something I will use for years to come.

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I have also joined the rest of the #bbgcommunity on the 12 weeks challenge. If you have never heard of BBG you need to give it a quick google. It is a 12 week (and more) exercise plan designed by Kayla Itsines, who is an Australian personal trainer, and her boyfriend Toby. The purpose of the programme is to complete 3 resistance, 3 cardio and a few recovery sessions per week.

What I tend to do is:
Monday,Wednesday and Saturday- I do my cardio
Tuesday,Friday and Sunday- I do my resistance
Thursday- This is the day I go to Slimming World, therefore also have my cheat meal and my rest- get it all done in one go eh? 

It sounds crazy and super hard work, but I have seen great results, and I have also done the programme a few times for a few weeks and you get use to it. Its worth it for me! This time around I am extremely motivated, and by connecting with others and documenting my process here and on my Instagram, I can ensure that I stick with it and SUCCEED. I am excited to see big changes as I am concentrating on both healthy eating AND working out. 

BBG explained
Resistance training: So you have 3 of these to do a week for the 12 weeks programme. Each of your training sessions will target a certain muscle group and area of your body. The 3 groups are : Legs, Arms & Abs, Full body– I complete them in this order on the days stated above. Each of the three groups are made up of 2 circuits, in which you have 4 workouts.
Each circuit should be carried out for the total of 7 minutes without stopping, and you should do the 4 exercise after each other as many time as you can in those 7 minutes, with little rest or non at all. Once the first 7 minutes are done, take a 30 seconds rest and straight onto circuit 2 for the same 7 minute routine. Once the 14 minutes are done, you start again and do circuit one and then two as many times as you can for the next 14 minutes. It may sound easy as you are repeating 8 exercises, but believe me I was only able to do the 4 exercises ONCE in 7 minutes.

Now, when I have restarted my programme I am much more motivated and work extra hard during my circuits. I am able to complete the circuit of four workouts TWICE in 7 minutes, which means I do each exercise 4 times, totalling to 32 exercises. At first I thought it is going to be easy, but I  am telling you, it is really hard at times but push yourself and you will do great.

Cardio training: Now you have the option of doing LISS or HIIT exercises in between your resistance. I am currently focusing on building up my strength and not overdoing it, therefore I do a LISS workout. This for me consists of a steady walk for 40 minutes. It goes really fast for me as I just ‘jump’ on the treadmill and stick some music on. Obviously there are many more ways to get your LISS in, such as walking outside, jogging, cross trainer etc as long as you do it on a low intensity level for at least the 40 minutes. HIIT is the complete opposite as it is interval training, which in my case will be 30 seconds fast running on the treadmill and then followed by 30 seconds walk. Alternating these for around 15-20 minutes will no doubt get you sweating. 

That is it really, and I bet you are really confused now, but just head over to Kayla’s website to read more. She’s much better at explaining what her plans are about. She not only does ebooks, but now has an app, a new book and some fitness equipment. She’s very active on Instagram and if you want some motivational images, quotes and cute pictures of her huskies I recommend that you go over and follow her here.

Any of you guys have heard of BBG or are doing BBG now? Let me know I would love to follow your progress.

Love,
Fil, x

 

 

 

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Blogmas 2016- My Christmas Tree

Hey guys!

Only 7 days until Christmas!
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I thought today I will show you our tree and decorations. I love sitting on the sofa watching the fairy lights flicker on the tree. I always have a lovely candle lit, and this year I am obsessed with my Charles Candles ones. I picked mine up at a craft fair, while at my works Christmas do. I love the candles and their wooden wicks so much that I will be ordering some more in the new year.

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I kept my decorations the same from last year, and I am really happy with how the room turned out. This year I only decorated the living room, but I love it the way it is. I cannot wait to pile J and Archie’s presents under the tree. All I need is a cheeky Bailey’s hot chocolate and I am all set to relax.

Most of my decorations are from The Range, and I picked the baubles all individually. I also got a pack of baubles to fill in the gaps on the tree. I love the Range all year around, but especially at Christmas. If you have one near you, definitely go check it out as they stock a lot of crafty things as well as homeware.

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I hope you guys enjoyed this post, and I would love to see your decorations so leave your links below.

Love,
Fil, x

 

Primark haul- autumn, homewear and more

Hey guys !

I have been wanting to go to Primark for a few weeks now. I have seen so many haul videos and blogposts recently and I really wanted to check out the new homeware stuff. 

So when I woke up early on Sunday, I knew it was a sign- Primark wants you Fil- let’s go. So I did, and a few bags later here I am with all the goodies that tI have picked up. I do think that Primark did improve their quality, and the new pricing represents that. I always associated Primark more on the cheap side, really good for underwear and silly tops and pjs, but that has changed a lot I think. I mean there still are an odd few pieces of clothing that make you think – REALLY?, but overall I have seen a lot of pretty things this time.

Right, onto the things I have bought. Now I am sorry but since Primark doesn’t have a ‘proper’ website, no links will be available, but I will include the prices of the item.

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First of all, since I am an adult and no longer a child, I really needed to invest into some proper pyjamas. By proper I mean flannel styled pjs without cartoon characters on them. So I picked up two sets, one for the festive season (so when we stay over at J’s mums for Christmas I don’t look like an oversized baby in my onesie, or Harry Potter fluffy set) and one to wear in colder months (straight away). They were £8 each and are so so soft that I cannot wait to buy some more. I am truly impressed with the quality Primark- well done.

I needed some more high waisted jeans since I have used my normal ones for work and I enjoy wearing high waisted ones better. I picked up a simple black one, for also £8. You cannot go wrong with these, and the blue ones have lasted me for a few months now. The only disadvantage of them are that the blacks seem to wash out pretty easily, but for £7-£8 pounds it really does worth it. I have been wearing Primark jeans for years now and I don’t see the point of buying jeans for £20 if you wear them all the time like I do, as they just get ruined really. Anyway enough about jeans, let’s move on.

It is autumn, and that means it is my favourite time of the year. I really wish I could move around the world and live in Autumn forever- YES I am that weird!. I  love hot chocolate, the colourful leaves, cosy evenings, mulled wine, candles, the smell of rain etc. I, therefore, had to pick up a new scarf. I get my scarfs from Primark because they are cosy, soft and last the season. May not last me for years, but I would get bored of a scarf if I had to use it every year knowing I paid a fortune for it. This little beauty was only £4, but it is so soft, I mean SO SO soft I cannot wait to get Archie out for a walk and get wrapped up in this, put my wellies on and my jacket- PERFECT.

I also picked up this jumper, nothing special, but just a simple black ribbed turtle neck. I like wearing these, as you can just grab a pair of jeans, throw on your jumper and some boots or converse and it is rather casual. OR if you wear a lovely tartan skirt or a mustard coloured one with high heel booties and a belt, some jewellery, turtlenecks can relly be dressed up. Also, it was only £6.

HOMEWEAR- BEDDING

I was so excited to check out the bedding section as I have seen so many lovely piccies on Instagram and Pinterest. I really wanted to make our bedroom cosier, and less orange – just a wee insight, orange used to be my favourite colour, therefore all my bedding is orange. So I really needed to get rid of them, as it just made the room look too ‘loud’- not the feeling you want before bed. So I picked up this double duvet set (£11) and a few cushions to match, as you cannot get enough cushions, right? the large cream square cushions were £6 for two, the rectangular grey ones were £4 each and the heart shaped one was £3. Bit of a bargain really, and they will match all the other neutral beddings that we have. I am very impressed and adding a few candles to the bedside tables absolutely transformed our room and made it look more spacious and tidy. LOVE it.

This is everything I got, I am truly impressed and thinking about it, I really did not spend an awful lot. 

Until next time,

Love,

Fil, x

What did you guys think of the haul? Have you been to Primark recently? Do you think it improved- leave a comment.

If you want to see more, check out my other social media.

Your own special little Furbaby

Hey guys!

Thought I’ll do a bit of a different post today, dedicated all to my lovely little batpig Archie.  He is a beautiful 18 months old french bulldog  If you have read my posts before you already ‘met’ him when we celebrated his birthday. If you are new, head over to my previous post by clicking here.

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Having a puppy is very close to having a new member in your family. If you are thinking of getting a pet you MUST research about the type of pet you can handle, and if it is  a dog then the breed is extremely important. You need to make sure he/she gets enough exercise everyday as you want them to be healthy. Now I wanted a french bulldog for about 6 years before we got Archie. I have researched everything about the breed over the few years but really spent a lot of time researching after we have spoken to the breeder. 
I wanted to be 1000% sure that we were ready to welcome him to the family and that we had enough time for him. 

The ultimate number one priority for you should be finding a reputable breeder. Ask questions, join pages, go to the park and ask other dog owners, but please never use a puppy farm as those people will only take your money and perhaps give you a sick little puppy who will no doubt steal your heart but may end up with a very short life expectancy.

The other main things to consider in my opinion are:

Time
Do you work full-time? Do you love going out everyday after work for meals, and get home really late? If so you would probably leave the pup at home for the majority of the day which is not good for them and will make the toilet training a nightmare. – you can’t expect them to hold everything in all day.

Patience
Are you a patient person? You really need to be calm and patient when it comes to training your puppy. This is important especially when you are training them to walk well on a lead, as this may take a while, and they will be able to feel your frustration. 

Food
What do you want to feed your puppy? You may think this is a silly question, but until I started researching I didn’t know there was so many different things. Obviously human food is not suitable for dogs therefore I will not even mention that. You can get ‘normal’ dry dog kibble which is what I thought we were going to feed Archie, until I read more about how much crap is in them. Now you can get some great grain free ones which are the ones I would recommend, but we still opted for another option. Second main type is the wet food that comes in little trays or tins. Now these I always thought were like junk food for dogs with all the gravy and juice. yuck! Lastly its is raw food. Now this is what we feed Archie. There is a lot of argument for and against why you should and shouldn’t feed your dog on raw, but for us this is definitely the best type. It is great for dogs with allergies, and its is natural and the ideal food for a dog in the wild. (Frenchies are very prone to having skin allergies) – If you do a little bit of extra work and figure out how to feed raw I guarantee you will have a healthy puppy. We found a great supplier who does the hard work for us and I just need to defrost his daily portions. We are happy with it but its your dog, your choice.

Crate or no crate
Now this is, like the food situation, a very controversial topic. Many dog owners think and feel cruel for leaving the dog, especially their cute little puppies in a crate. However please as I’ve said it many times, have a quick search and you will find the benefits of the crate. We opted FOR crate training. At the start we separated his crate off so he only had enough space for his little blanket to sleep on. Dogs don’t tend to shit where they sleep basically , and this way he knew to only do his business once the crate door was open. We lived in a flat then so it was a  bit hard to get him to go outside all the time, but we used his puppy pads and they worked a treat (until Archie decided they are great to chew). I must say you need to have some ear plugs when it comes to crate training as (at least with Archie) they scream when left alone. I am not joking Archie SCREAMED like mad for weeks and weeks and weeks. This was especially bad since we were renting a flat where we were not supposed to have him (we were in the process of moving anyway). I felt so cruel leaving him there, but if I took him to bed for one night he would NEVER have left. That is bad for the dog and for us as a couple. If you want to find out more information why they scream and cry, it’s a good idea to read about separation anxiety. Many dogs have it, and you have to find the trick that helps your puppy settle. What we found worked the best was taking the cage in the bedroom and so he can see us over night. We slowly started covering it with a blanket (be careful not to make it too hot in there) and then one day we moved him back to the livingroom and he has been fine since. He goes to bed on his own these days. We don’t have to keep it small either, Archie’s cage is pretty big actually. Took a few weeks but it is much worth it. I can leave him in or out for the majority of the day and he is fine, no accidents no mess.

Water
You may ask water?surely you give water to the dog. YES you are right we certainly do, but at the training stage we never left water in the cage for him as it encourages him to wee. As long as we made sure he drank enough I knew he would be fine. He also didn’t have any during night-time until he was completely trained. (French bulldogs, and most bulldog types are prone to overheating therefore we make sure he has enough cold water in hot days. ) Ice cubes are your best friend when travelling in the car- cheeky McDonald’s on the motorway stop and ask for a glass off ice. Archie is so happy chewing on them for the journey that he is not bothered about the car or the heat. SCORE

Chewing
Now we have heard a lot of bad stuff about dogs chewing things when left alone. Thankfully I cannot really comment on this as due to him being Crate trained and having enough toys he has been a good boy and hardly chewed anything. Definitely not chewed the furniture or shoes so we ARE lucky. You can however get some sprays or rub some orange peel on the corners and legs of the sofa which apparently helps a lot. 

Harness or collar
Now I do believe teaching a pup to walk is supposedly better on a collar rather than a harness, but don’t you just love how cute harnesses look on puppies 🙂 We got Archie a Julius K9 IDC harness in black. These are absolutely fantastic. Not only are they super strong with a handle, they really do fit Frenchies well. They sit nicely on their front so it is not uncomfortable for them and the handle is so good when Archie gets into a bit of a mess, I just lift him right out of the situation, whatever it may be 🙂 I am not going to lie, they are on the pricey side of things but you can find them on sale on Zooplus quite often. In my opinion it is a great investment for any type of dog. 

Also make sure your puppy has enough toys, and treats as they are great when it comes to training. It’s such a great feeling when they learn something new. Our little man can sit, wait for his food, give you paw and high-five, lay down, fetch his toys by name usually etc. 
There is many more things you should research about the specific breed, but I think if you know and plan the above, the breeder will be happy to let you have one of their little puppies.

Choosing a good vet is definitely a priority especially if you have a less common breed. The vet needs to know what allergies and injuries they are prone to as this can help fasten their recovery. Quite a lot of vets offer puppy packs, training classes and will help you with all of your questions. Make sure to keep all of their vaccines up to date and flea and worm them often to insure no illness. 

Hope this ‘quick’ list was helpful if you are thinking of getting a puppy. I absolutely love Archie and couldn’t image our life without him anymore. 

Love, Fil x

Please let me know if you enjoyed reading this and link below some posts of your pets I would love to meet them all. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shabby Chic- with Annie Sloan

Hi guys,

We all have or know someone that has an old cabinet or dresser right??

I am no different… When we moved to the new house my colleague gave me his old cabinet that he had in the living room for over 20 years. Now please don’t take me wrong, the cabinet is lovely and would look good in a retro style living room, however as you all know I am an IKEA type girl and I like white things… So after getting a lot of ‘hate’ (I’m being dramatic)-dislike towards the idea, I decided to paint the cabinet.

I researched a lot of furniture refurbishments on Pinterest and of course jumped on the Shabby Chic wagon like many others. After a good few weeks of reading and research I figured buying Annie Sloan paint would be the best idea, especially that we have a local shop that sells it (YAYY- Happy Fil !). 

So what is Shabby chic and chalk paint?? Let me try to explain. It is NOT chalk board paint! (please do not mix up) Chalk paint is a furniture paint that can go straight over any type of surface without having to prepare or sand off the previous coat. Now of course you can sand down the top layer of an old cabinet, and it is recommended especially if it is bumpy and uneven and you wanted a perfect finish. (As you will see from the pictures below I just went ahead and applied the paint straight to the cabinet-I’m a rebel!) Chalk paint is WATER based therefore no issues of using it inside and therefore no great need for ventilation. It also dries extremely quickly.

So basically it is not necessary to sand the surface first, however it is highly recommended that you use either a clear or dark wax (clear wax will just look the same applied to the colour, the dark wax will make it darker..simple.) Waxing the surface is great since it protects the surface from water etc. Please bare in mind that I do recommend making sure windows are open when you apply the wax as it can get a little smelly. I definitely thought waxing is an essential step for me since the cabinet will hold my plates, glasses and pots, that usually come straight out of the dishwasher. Didn’t quite fancy the idea of all the paint rubbing off on my wet plates and pots- YUCK. 

 

A few weeks ago I visited the shop and decided to go for the ‘Pure White‘ chalk paint. I have also purchased a soft clear wax and a large flat brush. I was all set for my first ever painting project. (I also purchased a small tester tub of the Charcoal colour for details and trims and the legs of the cabinet)

Now that I had all my tools I could start painting. 

First step was to tape all my windows and mirrors around, as even though it is a water based paint and I’m sure it would wash off rather easily, I didn’t want the faf. (My lovely neighbour Sarah helped doing the tape bit and some of the painting as I am not too crafty)

So here I go – first ever painting project of any kind.. It started off great. The paint was so so so easy to apply and just glided on the cabinet surface even though it was a highly waxed shiny wood. I was so impressed and just could not stop painting. At the end I applied only 2 coats and I was very impressed with the results. 

Time to wax!!! You can buy special wax brushes which are very helpful to apply the product (which is actually really soft and extremely easy to use) or you can use a cloth. I opted for a cloth and didn’t think buying another brush was necessary. So I just dipped the cloth into the wax and rubbed it around the DRY paint on the cabinet. It made it have a kind of wet look which did make me worried, however it has dried matte over night. 

I have seen projects where people distress their paint by using a fine sandpaper around the edges etc, however I was really really happy with the result and wanted to keep it that way.

That is it really guys. The paint is holding up fine and I think it is well worth the money. I would have sold or got rid of the cabinet however now I look at it with pride everyday (I’m a bit sad aren’t I? -who cares)

Please see my pictures of the big transformation below 🙂

shabby chic Annie Sloan

If you have enjoyed reading this and my project please give it a like below and if you have done a similar project link it into the comments I would love to see them.

Thanks for reading,

Love, Fil x

 

Birthday party!

Hey guys!!

Oh my God I cannot believe this little sausage is one year old.

We are so lucky to have this little man in our lives for the past 12 months. I have been dreaming and wanting a french bulldog since around 2009 but the time wasn’t right. When I suggested to James that I will make contact with the breeder he was quite against the idea. He was probably thinking ‘OMG what have I got myself into with this girl!’ But obviously I am the boss and what I say goes (or at least I would like to think so haha) -only joking- So I rang the breeder and she happened to just mate one of her doggies and was expecting red fawn puppies. As you can imagine I was over the moon and couldn’t wait to have him in my arms.

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12 months ago on a windy Thursday evening while away with work, I received THE text.. The three little musketeers were born.. the message was followed by tonnes of pictures of the little ones.

2 very long weeks after we had the chance to go and visit the babies. I know that this is the moment when James fell in love with him. Archie fell right asleep in his palm and I could tell on his face that this was the moment 😀

We visited them a few more times but they needed to be left alone really and get nice and strong and healthy. So in May we finally had the chance to bring Archie home 🙂 We were well prepared and had everything he possibly ever need ready in the flat.

It had been the best 12 months ever as a wee family of three. Archie is a nightmare and he is mischievous but I would not change him for the world. (yes I do treat him like he is my child-but he is my child and that’s that).

He is rather stubborn but clever at the same time and is able to do a few tricks. His all time favourite thing is to sleep therefore we are somewhat similar 😀

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So yeah that is our story in a ‘nutshell’…

Everyone please meet Archiebald Pierre White!

Happy birthday sausage!!!

Fil, x

 

IKEA haul..

So yeah this happened .. I’m not sure if it was the gorgeous breakfast I’ve made him or just my lovely smile but I managed to drag James to ikea over the weekend.. 

    I absolutely LOVE Ikea .. I can spend hours and hours in there looking at basically everything. It’s a great place to find ideas for small flats where you don’t have a lot of space. 

    My search started on Pinterest. I really needed ideas for a makeup table that doesn’t just have little drawers. (Seriously what are those people thinking?? A mirror and two tiny tiny drawers ??! This face needs a lot of makeup therefore a lot of space .. ) so yeah Pinterest and tumblr are my friends when it comes to IKEA hacks .. This is where I found a picture where they basically got two set of drawers and a tabletop and voila it’s a dressing table.. I completely fell in love with it and had to have it 🙂 
    So 113 pounds later I’m a proud owner of a set of Alex drawers and a Linnmon tabletop 🙂 I’m one happy girl not gonna lie 😀 

    It is a little messy still but I absolutely love it 🙂  (Check out my beautiful mummy and daddy on their weddingday 30 years ago)

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Items I purchased:

 

Thanks for reading 🙂 

Fil, x