Monday, 8 September 2014

Day 10: #120toThailand

I'm managing to climb back on to the bandwagon, slowly but surely!

● EAT WELL:
I brought two egg muffins to work and had those with some salami, really easy breakfast that I'll be making more often! Ten o'clock tea break was my usual serving of nuts plus some grapes. Lunch was soup followed by sugar free jelly. Dinner this evening was more soup, some smoked applewood cheese on toast, and homemade coleslaw from my mum. Easy meals but satisfying.


DRINK WATER
I managed about 3.5 litres today but I feel like I could have managed more. Will see how I do tomorrow.

WORKOUT
Back to the gym today, always a shock to the system after a weekend of rest. During the front squats the coach saw what I was lifting and shouted "Lauren, more weight!" which is both terrifying and encouraging at the same time; I need to have more faith in my squats, obviously! The workout was tough, especially doing deadlifts and burpees immediately after the running. However I was lifting heavier deadlifts than usual for the workout and I also feel that my knees to chests are improving, I am much more stable and less wobbly now. It's always good to notice even small changes.


● PREPARE
I got my Passport application sent off! WOOHOO. Now let's please all cross our fingers and toes and hope it arrives in time!! I also had an appointment with the nurse to sort out what vaccinations I will need, so I have those ordered and booked in for October time. Can't wait,,,, *AHEM*



Days 8 & 9: #120toThailand

Well what can I say... it was the weekend and I am but human.... I think my indiscretions were sliiiightly evened out by my good food?!

● EAT WELL
Saturday started well with a bowl of porridge with raspberries and peanut butter, YUM. Also some egg muffins I quickly whipped up - diced red pepper, scallions and egg with some cheese on top, baked for 20 minutes. I made four altogether and had the other two in the afternoon as a snack. Dinner was homemade pizza, as my boyfriend was getting a takeaway so I thought homemade was preferable! The crust was a simple dough of greek yoghurt and self-raising flour, and I used light mozarella, feta cheese, salami and spinach on top. Sadly there is just no getting away from how awful flour is. Oh dear. I also had a bar of Oreo chocolate after when the pizza baby had calmed down.

On Sunday I also got off to a good start of egg muffins with spinach, salami and some olive oil and balsamic dressing. However, we were watching the All Ireland Final and I am sad to say I gave in to temptation of a bag of McCoys and a Rocky biscuit. Dinner was homemade chicken and vegetable soup.


DRINK WATER
I think I managed about 3 litres each day, which was a good effort for me at home all day. I don't know why I struggle so much at the weekend!

● PREPARE
I got my passport photos printed out for my application, gathered up all the necessary documents, and got my mum's neighbour to sign the photos for me. Pretty good going there!

I won't let a few bad food choices knock me back to much, everything in moderation!




Friday, 5 September 2014

Day 7: #120toThailand

One week in already! That means it's now only 113 days until our holiday... not really that long but it still feels like forever away!

● EAT WELL
I actually had time for breakfast at home this morning so I had porridge with some sweetener, semi-skimmed milk, frozen raspberries and peanut butter. Amazing. Tea break was nuts as usual, with black coffee. For lunch I had leftover BBQ chicken and green beans, with the leftover olives and stuffed peppers from yesterday, followed by some sugar free jelly. For afternoon tea break I had brought my usual granny smith apple but it was the most sour apple ever, I could barely manage half! Dinner this evening was something quick after the gym; stir fried courgette and yellow pepper with scrambled eggs (2 whole eggs & 1 white) and a slice of toast. The only 'treat' type things today were 2 liquorice allsorts and some marshmallow fluff as dessert!

● DRINK WATER
This could have been better today but I think I managed about 3.5 litres.

● WORKOUT
Tonight's workout was more 3 rep max testing. We did push press and squats, two of my least favourite lifts! I managed a 3 rep max of 30kg push press (32.5kg 1rm) and - through a technical error on my part! - 61.25kg squat. I was really pleased with the squat as I really didn't think I'd get much above 50kg, woohoo! Gonna be sore all weekend now!!


Now time to chill out this weekend! I hope it's a good one for you too!

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Day 6: #120toThailand

Almost a week in to my challenge! The headache that I got yesterday is STILL with me :( I don't know what could be causing it, maybe I don't get enough sleep. I am also very groggy and tired today which is usually caused by my hypothyroidism, but I've been doing well with this recently so not sure why the tiredness has returned.

• EAT WELL
Another breakfast of greek yoghurt with strawberries and honey. I had to admit though that the texture of the Fage 0% yoghurt is getting to me though, beginning to make me gag. It's so high in protein though! Tea break was just hot water and lemon as I forgot my nuts today. I had prepared a salad of mixed leaves, some yellow pepper, home grown tomatoes, quinoa and a sachet of tuna with lime and black pepper dressing. I then was in M&S at lunch and got some olives and cream cheese stuffed peppers to go with it. I had about half the olives and 3 peppers. It was a tasty and filling salad so will definitely have it again. For afternoon tea break I had a pear which wad a bit of a let down for an M&S pear! Dinner was shredded chicken breast with bbq sauce served with green beans and a baked sweet potato. I also had had moment of madness and ate a nougat bar... I DON'T EVEN LIKE NOUGAT. The madness ends now!!

• DRINK WATER
I managed about 3.5 litres again, so all is good on the water front.
No workout on Thursday, and I was so tired that was probably for the best. Beginning to think my thyroid is playing up again, judging by how tired and groggy I've been feeling. I hope not though, I had thought my medication was finally at a good level for me!

Day 5: #120toThailand

What can I say about day 5.... It started well but things declined in the afternoon when I developed a headache that got worse as the day went on. My head still hurts today in fact; not nice.

• EAT WELL
I got off to a good start of greek yoghurt with strawberries and a drizzle of honey for breakfast. Nuts at tea break and leftover slow cooker curry for lunch. I also got a small bag of M&S mini pretzels as I wanted some more carbs before the gym. After lunch I became seriously tired, I had a mild headache, kept yawning and my eyes were rolling in my head - I could have happily slept under my desk right there and then. For afternoon tea break I had an apple with about a tablespoon of peanut butter. My fatigue didn't really lift and by the time I got home from work and was going to the gym my head was really sore. I had failed to prepare dinner in advance and I felt so crap after my workout that cooking was just not on the agenda...

• CHEAT MEAL
... yes. Another one :( I had mentally told myself I'd keep the cheats to Saturdays but my boyfriend decided he was getting a chippy for dinner and so I just got a chicken fillet burger for the sheer fact that it was handy. Oops. As crap as I felt though, I was also absolutely starving after the gym and so I also had some popcorn to help fill the growling void that was my stomach. So sadly the food for the day wasn't great.


• DRINK WATER
I think I managed between 3.5 and 4 litres woohoo!

• WORKOUT
This workout started out tough with the barbell ground to squat move, ouch. Then it was deceptively ok for the main workout.... THEN we found out about runs and burpess! I was not a happy bunny. I was a very tired and sweaty one though.


So a bit of a stumbling block for day 5 really. But back up and at 'em for day 6!

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Day 4: #120toThailand

Day 4 already, almost a week in to this "challenge"! Here's the deets:

• EAT WELL
Another quick desk breakfast this morning of almonds and Brazil nuts with a cuppa, followed by grapes at tea break. I had actually been surprisingly productive last night and, while preparing food for the slow cooker, cooked up some quinoa for today's lunch. I've not really liked quinoa when I've tried it previously but this time I made it using a vegetable stock cube which definitely improved the taste for me. I mixed in a packet of tuna with lime and black pepper dressing for an easy lunch. Next time I'll probably add some chopped veg as well to make it more like a salad. I also had some sugar free jelly which helps curb sweet cravings, and is only 9 calories per portion. Afternoon tea break was an apple and a small chocolate bun that a co-worker persuaded me with after showing me it was only 75 calories! Dinner tonight was slow cooker curry, with chicken and sweet potato, and a very small portion of rice for me! I might have some greek yoghurt with strawberries and honey to round off today if I feel peckish before bed. A good variety, I think!


• DRINK WATER
I managed 3.5 litres by 5.30pm which was great going! I think the dressing on the tuna made me thirstier than usual today. I'll have passed 4 litres before bed; I always find it harder to keep drinking it once I get home for some reason.

• PREPARE
I tidied myself up and took a photo for my new passport, that must count for something!

No workout today, rest day for me! Had a busy evening after work so I'm glad to be chilling out now!

Monday, 1 September 2014

Day 3: #120toThailand

I was back to work today which always makes for a much more structured day, food and drink wise especially...

● EAT WELL
I am not a morning person, by which I mean that instead of getting up and getting ready and having a leisurely breakfast, I'd rather stay in my bed until the last possible second and then rush around like a maniac to get out the door on time. This means I have breakfast when I arrive at work, and this morning was an especially hasty effort! I had almonds, brazil nuts and a cup of tea, and then for morning tea break had a handful of grapes. I brought some of my homemade chicken and vegetable soup for lunch which I had with a bap. A bit of déjà vu when it came to dinner; more soup! It is tasty and healthy though, boring as it may be to have it twice in one day. With a slice of bread, because that's the law.


 ● DRINK WATER
I have totally smashed my water intake today, I've managed about 4.6 litres so far! I find it much easier in work to keep on top of my hydration, as I bring my 600ml water bottle with me every day and refill it as often as I can. I managed to drink 7 bottles throughout the day plus I had a pint of water before work in the morning, and I'll probably have another pint before bed which will take me just over 5 lites, YES!

● WORKOUT
Tonight's workout featured two of my least favourite moves - front squats and ground to overhead! Ugh. We had to fine our 3 rep max. of front squats, mine was 45kg. It could have been better, but front squats definitely aren't my strong point. It can only go up from here! In other workout related news, my wrist straps are losing their velcro action, so now I need new ones!


That's all for Day 3. So far so good. The toughest part right now is resisting a biscuit with my evening cup of tea, to be honest!

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Day 2: #120toThailand

It's never easy to eat healthily with a hangover, I find, but I think I have done ok, all things considered! Here's today's update:

● EAT WELL
After a much needed, wine induced lie in, I managed to drag myself out of bed and started the day with a cup of tea and a toasted sandwich skinny with butter and Heinz Five Beanz. My boyfriend kindly made us a late lunch cure of a bap with bacon medallions, pork sausage and a fried egg, I also had two home-grown tomatoes from our tomato plants! Not exactly a salad but apart from the bread it is high protein. I also had some grapes afterwards. In the evening I made homemade chicken and vegetable soup and had a bowl; sometimes you just can't beat good old homemade soup! Not too bad all round, plus a chocolate chip bun that my little sister made! Though I am not counting calories, for curiosity's sake I estimated everything to total around 1600 calories, which I am pleased with.



● DRINK WATER
3 litres today, done!

No workouts today and no cheat meal... also no further preparations for holidays done yet! So that's all for today, please excuse me while I fully recover! Back to work and the gym tomorrow...

Day 1: #120toThailand

So, Day 1 started well. Here is a quick run down of what was happening:

● EAT WELL
I had a nice long lie in and had brunch around 12.30. I had 3 eggs, scrambled, with about a handful of chopped mushrooms and 2 handfuls of kale, and one toasted sandwich skinny with some real butter. And don't forget some ketchup! I've been reading books on nutrition lately and apparently real butter is much better for you than the processed butter-like spreads and margarine so that's basically all I buy now! Yes it is a fat but it is a totally natural, chemical free fat.

I had a small afternoon snack of grapes and nuts when I felt a bit peckish. Nuts are also a good fat but still best not to have too many. I use almonds as they're tasty and Brazil nuts as they contain selenium, which is apparently good for thyroid function.


 ● CHEAT MEAL
Last night's dinner was my cheat meal... I know, hardly seems right to start my 120 days with a cheat meal! However we had been invited to a friend's house for dinner (BBQ pulled pork) and drinks so it was pretty unavoidable; that's life. I don't want to be the one turning down social stuff with friends, or turning up with chicken and veg in a lunch box, y'know? It won't kill me.

● WATER
Only managed about 2 litres, oops! Should have stepped it up, especially as I was drinking alcohol last night.

● WORKOUT
I go to the gym on Mondays, Wednesdays  and Fridays at present so no workout on Saturdays, apart from some housework! The gym on Friday night was interesting as it wasn't our usual type of workout; after the warm up we worked on two specific lifts to find out our 3 rep max. I managed 72.5kg deadlift and 37.5kg bench press, and was very pleased with both of those. At some point down the line we will be testing these again to see how our strength has improved so I'm hoping it's before the end of this challenge!


● PREPARE
I've actually done ok so far with this! On Friday I went to the Doctor to enquire about my vaccinations, so I now have an appointment to see the nurse about those. I also asked if I could get an epipen as I have a serious fish allergy which, while easy to avoid in every day life, could be troublesome in Thailand. You never know. Food could be stored next to fish or cooked in a pan that fish has been in, fish sauce could be used etc, so better safe than sorry. The nurse will also be showing me how to use this at my appointment.


So far so good, I think! I've been feeling positive about things after Friday night's workout and looking forward to some GAINS.

120 Days to Thailand

So on Friday I had posted an introductory post to my 120 Days to Thailand 'challenge', and now it seems to have vanished?! Rage! Now I am going to have to type a whole new post about it! I will keep it brief for now but update it soon.

Here are the main points of the plan:

 EAT WELL
A no brainer! I will try to focus on high protein, healthy fats and small portions of healthy carbs.

 CHEAT MEAL
I will have a cheat meal once a week, so that I don't feel too restricted. However I also must not let the cheat meal become a cheat day!

 DRINK WATER
I am hoping to drink at least 3 litres a day. Water is important for flushing out toxins, and keeping metabolism active.

 WORK OUT
I am currently training at a crossfit gym three times a week. I aim to increase this to 4 times a week when I'm stronger.

 PREPARE
This includes any holiday related organising and preparation, such as writing lists, packing, applying for a new Passport, travel insurance, etc.



If you have any hints or tips that would be useful to my plan, please let me know!

Thursday, 6 February 2014

January Empties

So it would seem that I managed to finish up quite a lot of products in January 2014! It always surprises me when I do, but then I guess some things, like the foundation, were on their last legs for a while!


If you are interested in any further details about this motley crew of products, you can check out my Empties Video!



Tuesday, 28 January 2014

FOTD: Glam Duochrome Make Up Look

There's something very satisfying about a make up look that looks more complicated that it actually was. The main eyeshadow used is only £1 from MUA, and when blended out it looks like much more effort has been put in, as it has a lovely duochrome finish.



I wore this to a family occasion but it would also be great for a night out too with some false lashes added. The eyeshadow suits all eye colours due to the mixture of shades. Here are all the products I used for this look...


I started off with the Hard Candy Sheer Envy Primer which is a long forgotten buy from America. It is lovely but very silicone-y and too much can cause the opposite effect, and cause foundation to slide about. I used the Avon Ideal Flawless Foundation in Light Pink as I am very pale at present and this is one of the lightest foundations I have in my stash. The NYC Blushable Creme Stick* is quite a neutral pink which suits a variety of looks. It also provides a lovely glow and sheen to the cheeks. Of course I use my old faithful Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer, as I find it covers both blemishes and under eye darkness very well.


For contouring I used the Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Hollow as a base, followed by the NYC Color Wheel Mosaic Face Powder in All Over Bronze Glow. I used the Rimmel Stay Matte Powder to set my base and the Illamasqua Powder Blush in Lover which is one of my go-to blushes. The MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in Soft & Gentle provides a subtle highlight to finish of the face.


You can see how well loved my HD Brow Kit is! It is my favourite brow powder and I am devastated that I am almost finished it. I used Avon Super Shock Eyeliner for lining the water line and tight line as well as for adding some smoky definition. I used two mascaras; firstly, Soap & Glory Thick & Fast, which isn't my favourite... I think the brush is too big for my lashes! It also was quite clumpy which I am not a fan of in a mascara. I used Avon Supershock for the second coat to help separate my lashes a bit!


My eyeshadow base of choice was Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Shadow Pencil in Rehab as I thought the brown shade would emphasise the red undertones of my main eyeshadow, MUA Pearl Shade 12. I also used a little Wet n Wild Brulée in the crease to help when blending. Not pictured is MUA Pearl Shade 2, a pearly white which I used as an inner corner highlight and forgot to photograph, oops!


The final touches for this look were the Urbdan Decay All Nighter Setting Spray which I used to dampen my eyeshadow brush to apply the colour more intensely over the lid, as well as my current favourite nude lip (and I do love a nude lip) Rimmel Apocalips Nude Eclipse.

I have also done a video on this look if you're interested in seeing how I put it all together!


Is this a look that you would wear or try out? It's definitely one I will be wearing more often!

* PR Sample

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

How I Clean My Make Up Brushes / Sigma Dupe

I can't be alone in dreading the chore that is washing make up brushes. When I manage to keep on top of the task and wash a few brushes here and there it is bearable, however I am prone to letting the stash of dirty brushes build up until the 'dirty brush pot' is jam packed and my heart sinks at the sight.

Previously I washed my brushes on my left hand, which was time consuming and usually resulted in a very wrinkly hand at the end of the process! Not a bit pleasant. Then one day last year, as I was browsing in Tesco, the heavens opened and a sun beam shot down and the angels sang as I laid eyes on this...


A silicone oven glove! With different textures and ridges for brush cleaning! Just like the Sigma Brush Cleaning Glove and all for the grand sum of £6.50. I purchased it and went home with the knowledge that even if it was a failure for cleaning my brushes I could still use it for its intended purpose.

Fortunately, it was a complete success when it came to washing my brushes! The glove is lined inside and keeps my hand warm and dry. I use some baby shampoo and the brushes get a really good lather and clean thanks to the ridges of the brush. A thorough rinse and my brushes are good as new and it makes the whole chore a lot faster and less dread inspiring.


If you are interested, here is a link to the oven glove! I bought this almost a year ago now, and it is still as good as new and going strong. It is a fraction of the cost of the Sigma version and, although I haven't tried it personally, I am sure it does just as good a job. If you would like to see me and my mitt in action, you can check out my latest YouTube video!

Do you have something similar for cleaning your brushes? Or perhaps you have an even better method?! Do share!

Sunday, 12 January 2014

New Year, New Name!

Hello there! As you can see, I have changed my blog's name, so I thought I would do a little post to let you know!

I was fed up with Gotta Love A Trier... I had originally picked it back in 2010 as I was unsure as to what direction my blog would take, and I wanted an all-encompassing title. However I had become really irritated with it as it was long and didn't exactly roll off the tongue. I have had a rather lengthy life related hiatus from the blog world, however I am now inspired to revive my bloggy once again.

So, as you can see, I have changed my blog name to my name (or my first name plus middle names, to be precise). This way it is still all-encompassing, but I like it better, and it is more personal. My YouTube channel, sadly, cannot be changed so it will have to keep the old name; it would be a pain to start from scratch with it!

Anyways, new posts on here will be coming soon so keep an eye out :)