Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Apps I like - RunKeeper

I have started running once a week and after trying and not enjoying couch to 5k I decided to give myself a bit more freedom with my runs, but I still wanted to track them. This is where RunKeeper
app has come in, and I absolutely love it.
RunKeeper is an app that you use to track and record your runs.
It tracks your runs by using GPS to see how far you have run and it even includes the elevations that you have run, which I think is fantastic!
On the main display when you are running you can see how far you have run, the total time you have run, and your current speed. I really enjoy seeing these stats as it encourages me to go a bit further/faster each time, and the on screen time counter is very useful for when I do interval training.

As well as being able to track your run, RunKeeper allows you to play your music through it, which if you are running, is most likely something you will want!
There is a number of set programmes for if you do like structure. These programmes range from beginners level, running your first 5k, to advanced levels like running a full marathon or getting a better time on your 5k.
As well as having RunKeeper on your phone, you can also access your RunKeeper account from your computer, meaning you can access your running information anywhere.
There is also a social aspect as you can add friends to see how they are doing and comment on their activity to keep everyone motivated.
RunKeeper also emails you if you get a personal best, something that I always feel quite proud of when I receive them!
The best thing about RunKeeper though, is that it is free! Honestly I have been so impressed with this app and have found it really useful for seeing my progress and helping me to learn to run (sounds stupid I know but we don’t all start off running for 30 minutes straight!). 
If you are a runner, or are considering taking it up then this is most definitely an app you should have on your phone.
Monday, 27 May 2013

New look Wish List

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I love creating wish lists! This time I decided to do a whole wish list with items from New Look.
These are my picks:

1. Hoop earrings. I'm a big hoop earrings fan, especially if they are gold as I think they go great with my colouring when I am tanned. I particularly like these because of the neon pink, it adds a great splash of colour to summer outfits. 

2. Contrast panel bodycon dress. I love this dress and because of the panels I think it would be very flattering and create a great body shape. The nude colours make it wearable for work and day too.

3. Floral headband I know these are very festival appropriate, but I just like wearing them to add a bit of whimsy to pretty floral dresses. 

4. Nude bowler bag. Can you tell I have a thing for nude at the moment? And mint and coral... Anyway the reason I picked this bag is because I think it's a great size to take out shopping or on dates because it isn't too big. I also love how structured it is. 

5. Lace skater skirt I think this skirt is so pretty. I have only recently got into wearing skirts and I have some lovely tops that I like to tuck into skater skirts like this one. The New Look website actually suggested a cropped polka dot top, I really liked the way it looked but I'm not sure if I'm brave enough to wear a cropped top.

6. Oversized t-shirt. I have been looking for a top like this for ages. I have an amazing pair of galaxy print leggings and I think this would go great with them as this is long enough to cover any chance of camel toe and it's nice and loose. I think this would also be nice with a pair of jeans to wear to work and wouldn't look too dressed down.

7. Peter Pan collar skater dress. I'm a massive skater dress fan as they flatter my pair shaped figure. This one ticks all the right boxes for me, it's the right shape, great colour, and best of all, it has a peter pan collar! I love peter pan collars, I think they look very cute.

So that is my picks for today. I actually love everything and it's so hard to just window shop, I must not give in and order everything today!
One good thing about this weight loss thing though, is that when I drop a dress size, I'll have a good excuse to go shopping!
Sunday, 26 May 2013

Florida Series - Giveaway!

To celebrate the end of my Florida series I thought it would be nice to do a little give away with a few things that I picked up specifically with this in mind.

I went for items that we can't easily get over here in the UK, and they are all items I have tried and liked, hopefully you will like them too!

I am giving away:

A Wet n Wild blush in Heather Silk, a EOS lip balm in Pomegranate, a Maybelline Baby Lips in Cherry Me and a Wet n Wild Eyeshadow Trio in Walking On Eggshells.

The competition is open internationally and to enter all you have to do is fill in the form below. Let me know if you have any questions! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Sunday, 12 May 2013

Florida Series - Sephora Haul

Why is it you always want what you can't have? This is most definitely the case with a lot of the products in Sephora, so obviously I went a bit mental when I got to visit one when I was in Florida, and I not only got to once, but twice, so there is quite a few bits I purchased....

Lets start with the blushers, because I have been blush obsessed recently!
I picked up two of the Tarte Amazonian Clay blushes, one in Tipsy which is a very pretty pinky coral colour, and one in Frisky, which is a darker berry colour, quite different to anything I have in my collection! 
These blushes are fabulous and I would recommend everyone pick one up when they get the chance. The colour selection is lovely and flattering, they are super pigmented and last so well.
I picked up a Stila Convertible colour in the shade Lillium. This remind me of a slightly darker Nars Douceur colour so I think this will be great for sculpting cheekbones.
Lastly we have a couple of the BECCA Beach Tints. These where sat by the till and where calling to me when I was in the queue.
The shades I got where fig, which is quite brown toned, and watermelon, which, as the name suggests, is very berry in colour. It's not too dissimilar to the Frisky blush.

From L-R Tarte Frisky, Tarte Tipsy, Stila Lillium, BECCA Fig, BECCA Watermelon

Next up, the eye products!
I purchase a couple of brow products because I have heard fantastic stuff about Anastasia brow products and my hair has lightened a bit so I wanted lighter products to go with it. I got the pencil in soft brown and a tinted brow gel in brunette.
I picked up a couple of mascaras. Make Up Forever Smokey Lash is my favourite mascara ever so I always have to pick it up, and by the till they had a mini Benefit They're Real which is another mascara I liked so picked it up too.
I also got a Make Up Forever Aqua Cream in the colour 13, its a gorgeous shimmery champagne colour that will be great for using on the eyes on lazy summer days.
The last eye product I got is Lorac 3D Liquid Lustre. This is incredibly bright and shimmery and I think it will make a great inner corner eye highlight on nights out. You can also use it as a base or over your eyeshadows to make them shimmery.

From top to bottom, Lorac 3D Liquid Lustre, MUFE Aqua Cream 13, Anastasia brow pencil in Soft Brown

Here we have some truly special products.
On the left is Hourglass Ambient Powder in Dim Light. I actually ahhmed and ahhed over this product for a while, and when I finally decided to go for it, I had a even harder time picked out which shade to go for. 
In the end I went for Dim Light, a soft pink that I can use all over my face to create radiant looking skin.
On the right is Dior Amber Diamond. This is the first Dior product I've ever owned and one I have lusted after for quite a while as so many blogger seem to have it and love it.
I've been using it quite a lot since being home and can definitely see the appeal, it is gorgeous on the skin.

Last up is the lip products!
I got the Buxom lip gloss in Delia which is a really pretty pink and I can see me wearing it loads in the summer. I'm not a huge floss fan because I don't like the way it feels on my lips but I love the way it looks, and I'm a sucker for anything that is plumping.
I also picked up a OCC Lip Tar in the colour Queenie. I have wanted to try lip tars for ages, and although we can now get them from Selfridges, I decided to save purchasing one for when I was in Florida.
This shade is a super bright blue toned pink, once again I think this will look great on a night out.

So that is everything. I know it's a lot but really, how often do I get to go Sephora?

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Florida Series - The best steak I've ever had!

The best steak I ever had. That is quite a bold statement for me to make because my order whenever I go out to eat is always steak, cooked medium, chips and béarnaise sauce, but I can honestly say the steak and chips I had in Longhorn Steakhouse where head and shoulders above the rest, and to make sure this wasn’t just a one off, we actually visited the restaurant twice, and both times it was absolutely fantastic.

Longhorn Steakhouse is a chain with the same menu in all the restaurants. 
One of the things I love about the menu is that it explains all the different cuts, there are so many it can often be hard knowing what you would prefer so this is great at helping you decide what is right for you. It also explains the different ways it can be cooked, once again not something everyone knows and may be too embarrassed to ask about.

I went for the flat iron cooked medium as it is one of their smaller cuts and chips. A salad is also included in the price of your meal, as well as all the bread you can eat but I didn’t have either as I didn’t want to be full up before I tucked into my steak.

My first cut into the steak was a delight, it was cooked perfectly, and then the first bite, oh my I can’t even explain it very well. It was tender and juicy and packed so much flavour, to put my normal béarnaise sauce on this steak would’ve been to sin. I can honestly say this is the tastiest piece of steak I have ever had, and there was no gristly bits or lots of fat on the edge as I have experienced in other restaurants, and of course at home.
The chips, or fries should I call them were also delicious. Crunchy on the outside, fluffy on the inside and not too salty.

For dessert I had the salted caramel cake, once again delicious, although in my opinion the salted caramel could’ve been a bit more salted, but I know that is not to everyones taste.
My brother had the s’mores chocolate brownie, which of course I had to have a bite of and it was great, a real chocoholic desert, and my boyfriend had the key lime pie which for a desert was light and refreshing, but also quite tart.
Everyone in my family really enjoyed their meal and agreed it was by far the best steak we have had.
Add to that the fact that the wait staff where fantastic too, and the price is pretty insane. It cost around $14 for a starter salad, 7 oz steak and chips, thats roughly £9. £9 for the best steak dinner of my life, are you shitting me?! The cocktails are around the $8 mark, but you can easily get 2 drinks out of them, beers are around $4 and bottomless soft drinks are $3.
If you are planning on visiting Florida and like steak, I strongly encourage you to visit this restaurant, and don’t make the mistake my boyfriend made on our first visit and order salmon!
Thursday, 9 May 2013

Florida Series - Epcot

Epcot is a park I have been to before with my family, many years ago, and after spending a couple of hours in there we decided it wasn’t for us and left.
This year we revisited, as it seemed like a good park for my boyfriend to visit as it is more educational (he is a chemistry graduate) and both him and my dad don’t like roller coasters. This visit completely changed our mind on Epcot, and we had a really lovely day.

The park is split into two parts, the bit at the front with all the rides, and the World Expo at the back which gives you a chance to look at different cultures and more importantly, different foods.
When we went there was also the Flower and Garden festival, which meant the park was covered with more topiarys than usual and specialty food and drink, it was lovely and has really inspired me to grow my own herb garden.

At the front of the park the main rides are: 
Soar, which simulates you flying through the sky over California. It is a nice gentle ride, but definitely not for anyone with a fear of heights, like my mum has and had to sit with her eyes closed the whole time...
Test Track, where you create your own car and go through a test track to see how well your design works. I really enjoyed this ride especially as my boyfriend I made a different car to the rest of my family and it was great seeing it perform better in the tests.
Mission Space simulates a real take off and flying to Mars. This was bit of a odd one as it simulates G Force, during the take off part you couldn’t even raise your hands, if I’m honest it made me feel a bit sick!
Spaceship Earth which is set in the iconic globe that you can see when you first enter epcot. This is a nice slow paced ride which takes you through history and how we developed technology. Despite being a bit old a rickety this is another ride I really enjoyed, and learnt quite a few new things.
The Seas with Nemo and Friends, a very young ride which takes you around the sea in a giant clam shell. Great for children.
There are a couple more rides there but we passed over them because of the long queue time and they didn’t really appeal to us.

The other part of the park, the World Expo part has many different sections, each section is based on a country, such as England or France, with buildings stylised after the country, shops that are relevant to the county and food from the country too. Going in the Werthers Originals shop in the German section was a treat!
It was also really interesting hearing so many different languages, it seems Disney has hired people from the country that they are trying to represent, so in the Norway section we actually heard people talking Norwegian!

We went for lunch in the Japanese section as I am a big lover of Japanese food and wanted something other than the American chips and burgers we always seemed to be eating. The food was not 100% authentic, but it was pretty close, and my boyfriend who has been learning Japanese got a chance to practise speaking, the cashier was very friendly and encouraging of him.
Epcot makes for a really lovely slower paced day out in Florida, with plenty to see and do. Be warned though, the park is huge so put on your most comfortable walking shoes and be prepared to spend the whole day here. If possible I would even suggest dedicating two days to the park, one to do all the rides in the front part, and one to spend in the World Expo.
I will leave you now with some more pictures of the flower and garden festival, because it is too pretty to not be seen.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Florida Series - Health and Fitness Haul

As you know if you read my blog, I have been trying hard to loose weight recently, and we all know what goes hand in hand with eating healthily right? Yep, you have it, exercise!
When I work out I am normally just in a pair of ratty leggings and a boyfriends old t shirt that makes me look like a sack of potatoes, but after watching a load of Cassey Ho’s Blogilates videos, I decided to get myself some cute work out clothes so I can look good. My theory if I have cute workout clothes it will help motivate me to want to work out more. 
Here are some of the things I picked up.

I got these cute leggings from Pink by Victoria Secret. The pink pair remind me of something out of Grease and are full length, the lilac pair come to just below the knee for when it finally gets a bit warmer in the UK.

It may be TMI to show you pictures of the sports bras I picked up, but I thought I would show them anyway to remind everyone if you are working out you need to appropriate support, no one wants to be saggy before their time!
Both of these bras are also from Pink. I picked up the mint green one because I am obsessed with mint and coral at the moment, and I also got the grey one because I love the contrast of the neon piping, and the lace detail on the back is so cute!

I have also been obsessed with pole dancing since starting my course a couple of months ago. My beginners course has since ended and I have done a couple of private lessons to keep me going until I start my level 2 course next week. 
One of the things you quickly learn is that short shorts are a necessity, you need the exposed flesh to help grip the pole, so I picked up a few cute pairs to wear to the lessons. These will also be great for working out in in the summer, only in the privacy of my bedroom though!

Keeping hydrated is very important, so I picked up this cute pineapple water bottle, once again from Pink. It holds a litre of water so it’s great for when I am working out.
I also picked up the Stitch cup to take to work because all we have is tiny glasses that need to be refilled constantly. My Stitch cup is a pint so it’s a lot easier for me to monitor my water intake level, plus I love Stitch.

I also got a couple of tops to work out into, as nice as my new bras are I don’t think I want to be working out in just them! 
They are nice and light and airy to try and keep me cool when I’m extremely hot and sweaty.

And last but not least, we have probably my favourite purchase of all which is my Nike Flex trainers.
I got these in the Nike outlet, so they were heavily discounted. I love that they are so bright and girly, they are also very light with breathable material making them perfect for when I go out running with the dog. Now all I need is to find a matching lead for my dog....
Monday, 6 May 2013

Florida Series - Disneys Magic Kingdom

Cinderella's Castle

Disney's Magic Kingdom is probably the most well known of the Disney parks, its the one with the big Cinderella castle!
The park is definitely geared towards younger visits, with tamer rides such as Pooh's Honey Pot and It's a Small World (one of my personal favourites).
There are a couple of roller coasters in the park, such as Space Mountain and The Runaway Train, however both of them do not go upside down and don't reach the speeds of more thrilling roller coasters, making them a good introduction to thrill rides for children, or a great ride for people who don't like 'scary roller coasters' like my boyfriend.

Space Mountain

One of my favourite rides there was the Buzz Lightyear one, where you go around shooting targets with a laser to defeat Zurg. 
It's great fun but can get a little competitive! 

There is also Pirates of the Caribbean as well, which is a must see.
The film was originally based on the ride but they have recently updated the ride to feature parts from the film, including a very realistic Jack Sparrow. 

Vanilla Dole Whip and a Dole Whip Float

Whilst you are by the Pirates of the Caribbean ride you have to try Dole Whip, as this is one of the only places you can get it.
Dole Whip is a frozen soft serve that comes in vanilla and pineapple flavours. It isn't ice cream and actually contains very little dairy which is great for me because my body doesn't always react well to dairy.
I went for the Dole Whip Float, which was vanilla Dole Whip and pineapple juice. It was delicious and thirst quenching, definitely helped me to survive the blistering heat.

At the end of every day at Magic Kingdom they do their Wishes firework display. It lasts for about 15 minutes and takes place in the park above Cinderella's castle.
These are fantastic to watch, I have never seen fireworks like it.
We decided to watch them from the car park to try and avoid the rush to get out of the park afterwards. I wouldn't really recommend this because you don't see them as well and miss out on some of the lower ones, although the bangs aren't as loud so this option could be better for children who are afraid of the loud noises that go with fireworks. 

As much as I enjoyed Magic Kingdom, I don't think I would go again next time we visit Florida.
It is fantastic for younger children, but I am much more of a thrill ride person.
If you are thinking of taking your children, be warned that the queues for rides like the Peter Pan one and the Winnie the Pooh one where 45 minutes when we went, and that was out of season, so be prepared to wait up to 2 hours in peak season.

The park is also starting to feel a little bit dated. Disney is doing it's best to remedy this by adding new rides and refurbishing a lot of existing ones. There is a major redevelopment going on in the Fantasyland part of the park (the bit that will most appeal to younger children), which means a lot of the rides are shut down and there is a big construction site smack bang in the middle of things, which is not the prettiest of things to look at. 
I also think it's bit of a cheek to charge full price for tickets when this much work is going on.
Despite all this we did have a great time, but as I said, I'm in no hurry to go back to Magic Kingdom.