21
Oct
2014

Conor’s Outfit Of The Day

Categories:

I will freely admit that I love buying clothes for and dressing Conor as much as I enjoy doing the same thing for myself! There is such a huge array of baby clothing now to suit every taste and I find it particularly hard to walk past Zara, H&M, Gap or The White Company without having a little peek at their baby clothing ranges! Conor does spend a lot of time in baby grows because, let’s face it, they’re the easiest and most convenient clothing item for when you’re just around the house.  However, when we do venture out, I like to put him in something a bit more interesting! Initially I dressed Conor in a lot of pastel shades but I’m really fond of more earthy tones now.  It’s makes him look like a little person, which I quite like at times.

conorootd

Zara Joggers | Next Long-Sleeved baby grow | Tesco F&F socks | John Lewis Lion Hat | Mamas & Papas Quilted Jacket

I love Zara for really lovely jogger bottoms and a drawstring waist is always handy to make sure they fit properly even when they’re on the large side! As I’ve said before, long-sleeved bodysuits are the daddy when it comes to convenience because they keep your little bean warm and they don’t ride up and expose their little tummies. They make it a lot easier to layer things over the top too. The John Lewis hat was a present from my mum and was part of a set that comes with little booties – it’s just beyond adorable! I really like outfits that are versatile and allow you to remove layers if they get too hot, which can often happen when you go from being outdoors to indoors.

conorootd2

Let me know if you’d like to see more of these types of posts because I really enjoy seeing other people’s baby ootd’s! It always gives me ideas for what to get for Conor.

21
Oct
2014

Healthy Ways to Detox

Why would you want to detox? Because it rids your body of toxins, enhances immune system function, it can reduce bloating and help you lose weight, improves your quality of life, increases your energy levels, improves your skin and it can balance out your mental and emotional state. There is more than one way to help detox your body so I thought I’d go through just a few simple things you can do. Obviously you can’t do every single thing each day but even trying just a couple would be beneficial to your health and wellbeing!

5c9dd40020c56c86b41147f8eccbabcb

*Pic Via DeAnna Barbour*

1. Start the day with a glass of warm water and the juice of one freshly squeezed lemon.

This helps flush out the toxins and alkalizes the body. I have a cup before my breakfast every morning and I find it really improves digestion, prevents bloating and sets me on the right track for the day. I continue to drink plenty of water throughout the day to continue flushing out the toxins.

2. Drink a freshly made vegetable juice daily.

Greens such as kale, spinach and coriander are perfect for detoxing the body and in their raw state they provide even more goodness for the body. I regularly have a juice made with apples, carrot, lemon, ginger, turmeric, beetroot and kale. You can really pick any combination you like and add in fruit to sweeten it. The more raw fruit and veg you eat, the better because they lose nutritional value when you cook them.

3. Eliminate toxic oils from your diet.

Toxic oils can include vegetable oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, cotton seed oil and canola oil. Substitute with good oils, such as extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, hemp oil and flaxseed oil. Hemp oil, for example, is a great source of omega-3s, -6s, and -9s. I find that coconut oil  is the most versatile and I use it a lot in baking and stirfrys. It’s a superfood which contains a unique combination of fatty acids with powerful medicinal properties. It also makes you feel fuller for longer which is always a welcome side-effect!

4. Drink green tea and herbal teas such as dandelion, nettles etc.

These teas help the body detoxify and clear out toxins. I particularly like the Pukka Cleanse herbal tea with Fennel, Dandelion Root and Nettles. I add a tiny amount of agave syrup to make it a bit more palatable.I also really like Matcha Green Tea which is the highest quality powdered green tea available. It’s high in anti-oxidants, boosts memory and concentration, helps to boost your metabolism so you can burn more calories, improves cholesterol and fortifies the immune system.

5. Eat more raw fruits, herbs and vegetables.

Fruit, vegetables and herbs contain enzymes that aid digestion and improve nutrient absorption. You can incorporate them in by chopping crudités using carrot, celery, cucumber etc and have them with hummus as a snack. Or you could juice them, add them to smoothies or just have them in their simplest form by topping your granola with them in the morning.

6. Minimize or eliminate white sugar intake.

I don’t need to tell you that sugar is an addictive drug with research telling us that it’s as addictive as cocaine! It’s one of the worst things you can put in your body and although it tastes like heaven, it’s doing hellish things to your body.  You should also avoid substitutes that contain toxic artificial sweeteners like aspartame (contained in 99% of diet foods and drinks), and opt for natural versions such as stevia, honey, coconut sugar, date sugar, molasses, or maple syrup. Once you ween yourself off cane sugar, you really don’t miss it anymore!

7. Minimize or eliminate white flour and white breads.

White flour is like adding glue in the body, and it overworks the digestive system. It can cause digestive disorders, and it can make it difficult to have normal bowel movements. Substitute white flour for other flours such as spelt flour, kamut flour, quinoa flour, brown rice flour, buckwheat flour or cornmeal. Switch from white bread to whole grain/granary bread and read the labels as some ‘wholemeal’ breads still contain white flour!

8. Take a probiotic supplement.

Try some low fat Greek yogurt –  one of the only low fat foods which is still good for you! The beneficial bacteria kill harmful bacteria and yeasts and help to heal the lining of the intestines. Be careful of the pre-packaged probiotic drinks in little plastic containers as these can contain sugar, or sweeteners which are harmful to the body.

9. Eat legumes and less meat, fish and poultry.

Legumes are a great source of protein and the fiber in beans helps keep the bowels eliminating properly. They include peas, beans and lentils and can be incorporated into soups, salads or things like vegetable curries and chilli. It’s good to give your body a rest from the work it requires to digest meat and fish. Research shows that our bodies function more efficiently with a diet based more heavily on fruits, vegetables and legumes. You don’t have to give up meat or fish – just try and have 1 or 2 days of the week where you have a non-meat dinner.

10. Breath deeply, walk, smile, laugh, be happy and remove toxic people out of your life.

Positivity in the mind filters through to your whole body.  Your mental state has a hugely profound effect on your health and well-being. Find the positive in every day and move your body. This will all help to reduce stress and the stress chemicals in your body. If there’s anyone in your life who is toxic, feeding off your energy, draining you and generally having a negative effect on your mood, then definitely re-evaluate whether they need to be in your life!

19
Oct
2014

Healthy Eats: Chocolate & Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Everyone loves a bit of banana bread and it’s the perfect way to satisfy those pangs of hunger without feeling guilty afterwards.  This recipe is hearty, moist, really satisfying and perfect as a snack or breakfast on the go. I always find that I’m left with a few really ripe bananas at the end of the week so it’s a fantastic way to use them up.  Many recipes have brown sugar in them but I have found that the sweetness of the ripe bananas and the agave/maple syrup is more than enough to satisfy my sweet tooth.

bananabread

Makes a loaf with 10 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 large egg
  • 3 medium ripe bananas (1.5 cups)
  • 3.5 tsp baking powder
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1/3 cup salted natural peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
  • 2.5 Tbsp raw coconut oil, melted
  • 2-3 Tbsp agave or maple syrup, depending on ripeness of bananas
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 1/4 cup ground almonds
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup organic 70% chocolate chips
Directions: 
  1. Preheat oven to 175oC and line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk the egg and add banana and mash thoroughly.
  3. Add all ingredients through to the almond milk and whisk vigorously to combine.
  4. Add cocoa powder, ground almonds, brown rice flour and oats and stir.
  5. Last, stir in chocolate chips.
  6. Pour the mixture into the loaf pan and bake for 1 hour – 1 hour, 5 minutes. When ready, it should feel firm and be crackly on top.
  7. Let cool completely before cutting or it will be too tender to hold form (preferably overnight).
  8. Store completely cooled leftovers in a covered container for up to 5 days, though it’s definitely best when fresh. Slice and freeze for longer term storage.
18
Oct
2014

Date Night Makeup

Categories:

Last night was our date night and we decided to go out for a meal and also to see a film.  It was great to have my cheat meal of the week but I think my stomach must have shrunk because I couldn’t finish my starter, or my main and then I was too full to eat dessert. I got one scoop of ice cream at the cinema and could only eat half of that! Eating sugary things now gives me a head rush because my body isn’t used to it anymore. A few people had requested that I list the products I used for my makeup, specifically the nude lip!

lips6

I went for glowy skin, a very subtle smokey eye with an exaggerated nude lip (Kylie Jenner style!). The Maxfactor foundation gives a nice glow with good coverage (surprisingly good for the price!). The Bobbi Brown Corrector is my go-to produce to conceal any blue or purple tones under my eyes whilst the Nars one is good for blemishes and redness. I use the Rimmel concealer to brighten up the whole eye area to the tops of my cheekbones. I always, always use the Ben Nye Banana powder to set my under-eye concealer because it further brightens the area. I absolutely love the Bourjois powder because it’s so lightweight and natural looking on the skin, much like the Mac Mineral Skin Finish Natural powders.

lips3

Maxfactor Skin Luminizer Foundation in Natural | Nars Creamy Concealer in Honey | Rimmel Match Perfection 2 in 1 Concealer & Highlighter in Soft Beige | Bobbi Brown Corrector in Light to Medium Beige | Bourjois Healthy Balance Powder in Light Beige | Ben Nye Banana Luxury Powder

I wanted to add a little more colour to my face because my fake tan was a little darker than my face, so I used a very light dusting of the Loreal bronzer to even everything out. It’s so natural looking with no chance of an orange tinge! I love the Sleek Contour Kit for quick and easy definition for the cheekbones and jawline.  The Charlotte Tilbury Blush is just the ultimate in creating that gorgeous flush of colour in your cheeks with a healthy glow. Soft & Gentle MSF is my favourite highlighter from Mac and always looks so pretty on the cheekbones! It creates a real candlelit glow that’s simply beautiful.

lips4

Sleek Contour Kit in Light | Loreal Glam Bronze in Blonde Sun | Charlotte Tilbury Cheek To Chic Swish & Pop Blusher in Ecstasy | Mac Soft & Gentle MSF

For the eyes, I defined my brows with the Clarins pencil which is an exact match for my eyebrow colour.  It’s pretty quick and easy to use by just using feathery motions. I wanted a smudged look so I primed the lids with the Smashbox cream eyeshadow to give the powder eyeshadow something to grab onto.  I used the gorgeous Naked 3 eyeshadow palette: Buzz all over the lid, Liar in the crease and lower lash line, Factory in further intensify the crease and lower lash line and then Darkside on the upper lash line and outer lower lash line.  I used Mac Vanilla pigment on the inner corners. I then used the Maybelline Master Smoky Pencil on the upper lash line and outer lower lash line, drawing it up and out to a flick, then smudged it all out with the sponge on the other end. I then softened the upper lash line even more by applying the Darkside from the UD palette with a small angled brush to blend the liner with the shadow.  I used Benefit Eye Bright Pencil on the lower waterline (which isn’t pictured above). Finally I used my favourite mascara combo of the moment – the Urban Decay Subversion Primer and Perversion Mascara.

lips5

Clarins Eyebrow Pencil in Soft BlondeSmashbox Limitless 15 Hour Wear Eye Shadow in Rich Gold | Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette | Mac Vanilla Pigment | Maybelline Eye Studio Master Smoky in Black | Urban Decay Subversion Primer & Perversion Mascara

lips1

Rodial Glam Balm LIP | Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Lip Liner in Pillowtalk | Estee Lauder Pure Color Crystal Lipstick in Crystal Baby

The Rodial lip balm is my ultimate holy grail lip care product.  I apply it every single night before I go to sleep and it keeps my lips in perfect condition during the colder months. It also works as a brilliant primer for the lips when you want your lipstick to look absolutely perfect. I like to gently exfoliate my lips with a damp flannel or muslin cloth, removing any dry skin or uneven patches.  Then I immediately slather on the Rodial Glam Balm LIP whilst I apply all my makeup.  By the time you get to doing your lips they’ll be wonderfully soft, smooth and plump. The Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillowtalk is just THE ultimate nude lip liner to create the illusion of a larger pout! It doesn’t look obvious like a lot of other liners can. I just apply it slightly outside my natural lipline, but I also like to apply it slightly inside the lipline too to make sure it all blends and looks as natural as possible. I then just apply the Estee Lauder lipstick straight from the bullet to my lips.

lips2

Left to right: just with the Rodial Glam Balm LIP, with the Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillowtalk, with the lipliner and Estee Lauder lipstick in Crystal Baby

As you can see above, it looks very natural but it just makes your lips look slightly bigger and more plump. This is my very favourite nude lip combination because the Estee Lauder lip colour is the perfect natural nude shade for my skin tone – just the right amount of brown and pink.

It’s so nice to no longer have to hold my stomach in when I wear dresses and this one from ASOS (which I own in two other colours!) is so comfortable and flattering. I really like the Toile De Jour Print on it too which stops it from being too plain.

datenight3

We popped into Las Iguanas in Union Square for some Latin American food which was my cheat meal for the week and I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it! I had a couple of cocktails – a raspberry daiquiri and a Passionfruit Bellini which went straight to my head since I hardly ever drink anymore! Myself and Chris shared a Taco starter with corn and wheat tortillas with melted cheese and salsa, pink pickled onions and radishes, smoked chipolte chicken, marinated shredded beef and red onion and roasted coconut butternut squash. Incredibly tasty! I had some peri-peri chicken for my main but there was so much I just couldn’t finish it and when it came to dessert, I was just far too full to even contemplate it! But if you haven’t been to Las Iguanas yet, I would highly recommend it for the great food, atmosphere and the good service!

18
Oct
2014

7 Days of Clean Eating

For quite some time now, you guys have been asking me to do a 7 day example meal plan for this clean eating malarkey so I finally managed to piece everything together.  It involved taking photos of every meal or snack I had but I think it was worth it to be able to show a clear representation of what I’m actually eating on a daily basis.  Now keep in mind that in addition to these meals, I’m also drinking at least 2 litres of water a day (I have warm water and lemon juice every morning before breakfast) and I’m snacking on 2 or 3 other pieces of fruit in between meals.  I thought it would be boring to show the same stuff over and over though so I kept it simple. I also have one cup of Green Tea a day and sometimes some Dandelion Root, Fennel & Nettle Tea too.  I don’t drink any soft drinks or packaged fruit juices. I have the odd freshly brewed coffee with semi-skimmed milk (maybe 2 a week) but I generally don’t drink it much anymore.

I’ve linked to my recipes where necessary but there’s a couple of new ones which I am yet to post. Let me know if you’d like me to do more of these posts in the future!

Monday

day1

Breakfast: Banana, Chia Seed & Peanut Butter Overnight Oatmeal | Lunch: Spicy Tomato & Lentil Soup | Snack: Homemade Hummus (recipe to follow) and carrot sticks | Dinner: Garlic, Ginger & Cashew Beef Stirfry (recipe to follow)

Tuesday

day2

Breakfast: Raw Cacao, Avocado & Banana Smoothie (I use this recipe) | Lunch: 2 egg Broccoli & Kale Omelette | Snack: Homemade Chocolate Banana & Oatmeal Muffin | Chicken stuffed with goats cheese with Spiced Sweet Potato Fries and veg

Wednesday

day3

Breakfast: 2 boiled eggs and 2 slices of granary toast | Lunch: Curried Sweet Potato, Broccoli & Goats Cheese Soup | Snack: Homemade Protein Bar | Dinner: Chicken Alfredo with wholegrain spaghetti

Thursday

day7

Breakfast: Peach Overnight Oatmeal | Lunch: Spicy Carrot and Butternut Squash Soup with Chicken Pesto Multigrain Wrap | Snack: Homemade Chocolate Banana Bread (recipe to follow) | Dinner: Brazilian Tomato & Coconut Cod with Courgette Fritters

Friday

day4

Breakfast: Blueberry Overnight Oatmeal | Lunch: Thai Chicken Salad Wrap | Snack: Banana & Almond Butter Ice Cream | Dinner: Balsamic Steak with Sweet Potato & Carrot Coconut Mash

Saturday

day5

Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs on 1 slice granary toast & Green Tea | Lunch: Roasted Cauliflower & Parsnip Soup | Snack: Mango Bio-Live Energiser Smoothie | Hoisin Pork Stirfry with wholegrain rice

Sunday

day6

Breakfast: Banana split made with low fat greek yoghurt, organic granola, strawberries and kiwi | Lunch: Sweet Potato, Chicken & Pesto Quesadilla | Snack: a banana and small handful of unsalted macadamia nuts | Dinner: Lemon & Paprika Cod with Broccoli & Cheese Quinoa Patties and Homemade Superfood Pesto