How I get ready for big events!

Hey everyone,

Sorry that I haven’t posted in a bit, I don’t really have a reason other than being really lazy! I’d been really good at writing loads of posts at once and then just uploading as and when they were ready but I made the big mistake of failing to prepare properly which always leads to failure! However, I’m back again now and hopefully this is a post which will be useful and enjoyable 🙂 It is based on an article I wrote a while ago for the wedding edition of Lincolnshire Life, which I am super proud to be featured in! In the article I wrote all about my picks for the top wedding looks of spring/summer this year and also wrote about how I get ready for big events so thought I’d share some more on my getting ready for events here.

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Next weekend I am going to one of my best friends hen weekends and I cannot wait! I was lucky enough to meet her and some of the other girls who are going, at work and am really lucky to have made such good friends somewhere we have to go everyday! Either way, the preparation for the hen weekend began weeks ago so I thought I’d break down for you my long term prep for any big events I attend  as we all know getting ready for any big event is crucial!

For me, I like to ensure that ahead of a big event I am completely prepared and this involves ensuring that my hair is in good condition, my skin is clear and healthy (which isn’t easy when you have spot prone skin like mine) and that my mind is clear and relaxed and this is how I do it:

4-6 weeks before

  • Drinking water (And no, this doesn’t include drinking cups of tea!) – For healthy skin it’s so important to drink at least 1 litre of water a day but I always aim for much more than this. As well as clearing skin, water is great for reducing bloating and has so many health benefits, so this is a no brainer all year around! I suffer badly from the occasional breakout and to be honest even when my skin is good it isn’t completely blemish free, but when I stop drinking lots of water it definitely gets worse so if you do suffer from bad skin, just try to increase your intake and see if it makes a difference 🙂
  • Have a good exercise plan – I love going to the gym (as I’m sure most of you know from my fat loss updates) and find that a good workout leaves me looking brighter and feeling happier. I choose running and boxing as ways to relieve tension and yoga to calm my mind and lengthen my muscles. My top tip is to ensure that you are enjoying the exercise you’re doing, so that you keep at it and give it your all for the biggest benefits. Currently I aim to do some exercise everyday wherever possible and for me it’s the variation I love the most. Don’t forget as well that to help ensure your skin is bright to drink 1 litre of water for every hour of exercise performed 🙂
  • Get into good skincare and hair care routines – Now I know this probably sounds obvious but it’s amazing how many people have used the same routine for years and have never thought to try anything else! In my skin care routine, I start by using an unscented make up wipe to remove my make up for the day without drying it out too much, before using the Garnier Micellar Water to really cleanse the face as it acts like a magnet to dirt and grime and pulls it all off! After this I then use the Garnier Cleanser and Toner to finish to ensure that my face is well hydrated. And don’t forget about those under eyes! Applying an overnight under eye cream or roll on such as ones by Olay or Simple are an easy and affordable way to reduce any unsightly discolouration or puffiness. For my hair I try not to overwash it, but when I do I use good quality shampoo and conditioner (preferably something with argan oil in it) before finishing with an Argan Oil hair mask at least once per week, to prevent any dryness or damage. At the moment, because I keep dying the ends of my hair different colours as I’m a bit bored of my hair, the ends are drier than normal, so ensuring I keep my hair well nourished in between colours is vital! You can view more detail on my skincare routine here!

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1 week to go

As well as the above preparation I put in place for an event, the week of the event it’s important to get the finishing touches in place.

  • Prepare a look (or several!) – I find that I am happiest when I have planned my look from top to toe so that when I am getting ready to go out I’m not stressed on what to do to get ready. With a week to go I have often pulled a few looks together and will make a final decision on the day as sometimes what you originally had planned in your mind might not work so well on the day (for me it’s usually if I’m having one of those fat days that I might make a last minute outfit change to feel more comfortable) but for all the looks I pull, I have ideas of how to do my hair, make up and accessories, so even if I change my mind, there are no dramas! And don’t forget if you are struggling to decide, ask your girlfriends for help as they are always good at being honest to help you look your best and be your most confident 🙂
  • Finishing touches are important – it’s all about the little things the week before an event to help you look and feel your best. These finishing touches include a number of things such as waxing, eyebrow tidy ups, painting nails etc, and even though these are small things which often go un-noticed, they will help you feel more polished so you can enjoy the event without worrying about how you look – and enjoying life is the most important thing!
  • Fail to prepare, prepare to fail – Like I said in my intro, when you fail to prepare you cannot expect things to end well! Sometimes events (like the one I am going on this weekend) mean you need an overnight bag as well as specific items in your make up bag, so write a list about 1 week before to ensure you know everything you need. I pack my bag the night before so I know everything is ready and tick items off my list one at a time so I don’t forget anything. Key things for an overnight bag are all your skincare essentials, phone charger, ID etc. and event essentials may include specific jewellery or accessories, particular make up products and things like eyelashes that you might not want to be without on the day. I am a serial over packer and although I always get teased for packing for a week when I am only away for the weekend, I always have more than enough, so don’t be afraid to take too much 🙂

So I hope this was a good insight into how I get ready for big events or parties that I attend and maybe give you some ideas of how you can plan for any big events coming up in your life, to hopefully make getting ready a little bit more stressful and help you enjoy your plans that little bit more 🙂 If you liked this post please remember to like, share, comment and subscribe as I always love to hear from you! And if you want to keep up with me more and see my updates from different events then don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Twitter!

Lots of love, Leanne xx

Fat Loss Mission: Getting back to beast mode

Hey everyone,

I can’t believe how quick time goes! Somehow it has been a whole week since I posted, because my week has been so busy so I’m really sorry for neglecting you!

This is another update on my fat loss mission and as the title suggests I am getting back to where I was before being struck down with a horrible mystery virus which really threw me off track! I’m so excited to be getting back to full fitness and I am properly ready to smash it now ahead of my holiday in June, which I didn’t realise is approaching really REALLY quick!!!

So let’s start with my current stats before I tell you how my week has been…

Measurements

Bust: 35 inches (-0.5 from last update)

Waist: 29 inches

Hips: 35.5 inches (-0.5 from last update)

Arm: 12 inches

Thigh: 23.5 inches

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Weight: 10st 1lbs (I think, but I haven’t actually weighed myself as I’m trying to judge on inches not pounds!)

I’m actually really happy with the progress I have made this past week. I really think that having achieved quite good losses before getting sick that my muscles are a bit stronger and have a better muscle memory so it should be easier to get back to where I was before being away from the gym than it took to get there initially, so I can’t wait to see what I can achieve over the next few weeks 🙂

Exercise

This past week I have definitely increased my exercise again! On Monday I was back to my lunchtime yoga class which was a lot of fun. I always forget how quickly I lose my flexibility when we have a few weeks off, so I cannot wait to be doing this again on a regular basis (I’m also look to take up pilates which should help!) and as well as yoga in my lunch breaks I went on two walks this week which I have vowed to do every lunchtime when the weather is good! On Tuesday evening I did 10 minutes of the Charlotte Crosby Belly Blitz DVD as I wasn’t feeling up to going to the gym, Wednesday I was at the gym for over an hour doing chest, abs and cardio work and the weekend has been full of walking, Belly Blitz DVD and generally trying to stay active!

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Food

If you have connected with me on My Fitness Pal you will probably see that I haven’t been the best of keeping track of what I have been eating on there purely because I have had such a busy week both at work and at home, however when I have I can safely say the choices I have been making haven’t always been the healthiest (one of my lunches this week was literally just a Snickers!!!) however wherever I can I have tried to stay healthy! I have been out for a few dinners again this week (this has followed two weekends of lots of eating out!) but I don’t have anything planned that I can think of this week (other than a birthday dinner on Saturday evening) that should stop me having an excellent food week! As I write this I am also writing my food plan for the week 🙂

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(Some of my naughtier food choices over the past few weeks!)

As well as my food and exercise, this week saw me purchase a FitBit Flex and I can safely say I love it! I love that it tracks all my exercise and steps from the day, links with My Fitness Pal and also monitors my sleep to help me be all around healthier! In my first full day of wearing it I smashed my 10,000 daily steps target, purely because I could keep better track! I think I’ll probably be running up and down the stairs at the end of each day to hit my target if I haven’t quite achieved it before bed time at this rate 🙂 If you are deadly serious about losing weight or simply getting healthier I would definitely recommend getting a piece of wearable fitness tech as it really is helping me keep on top of everything and even better it is a visual reminder to me to make better choices (like a little personal trainer who comes with me everywhere)

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I really hope you found this post helpful and I also really hope that you are all having success in your personal health and weight loss challenges! Please keep me updated on how you have been getting on as I have heard from a few of you and find your stories really inspiring!! If you enjoyed this don’t forget to like, comment, share and of course subscribe if you don’t already!

If you want to keep up with what I am doing on a more regular basis make sure you also follow me on Twitter and Instagram where I will be trying to post daily updates on both my fitness, health and beauty regimes 🙂

Lots of love, Leanne xx

Feb Faves

Hey everyone,

I’m rubbish aren’t I?! I started doing my favourites at the end of last year and was supposed to post them monthly and it lasted all of one month before I never did it again! I’m trying so hard to get on top of my scheduling now though (does anyone have any tips on how they stay on top of their posts?) so hopefully soon I’ll have a clear weekly and monthly list of posts for you 🙂

Without further ado though, here are my February favourites:

Face: Revlon Colour Stay

I picked this up at the beginning of February and it was really my go to foundation for most of the month! It’s full matte coverage and long lasting wear really make it a good daily dupe for my MAC foundation which I like to save for special occasions. I’ll be doing a full review of my foundations soon, so keep your eyes peeled for this soon 🙂

Hair: GHD’s

Now I know that GHD’s have been around for ever and I have owned my pair for nearly two years, but throughout Feb I’ve had so much fun trialling new hairstyles now my hair is a bit longer and in better condition that my straighteners have really come in to their own! For curling or straightening with a good conditioning heat protective spray they can revitalise even the most boring of hair in a matter of minutes so have definitely been my go to for a fresh look each morning throughout Feb!

Shoes: Thigh High boots from eBay

These definitely have to be one of my fave purchases from the whole of February! I only picked them up at the very end of the month but have barely taken them off since. Not only were they a complete and utter bargain, they are also so unbelievably comfortable and stylish. I already own a green pair of thigh high boots but can’t wear them very often as they are a size too small so are really more of a dinner boot (you know those shoes which are gorgeous but way too uncomfortable to wear anywhere where you won’t be sat down) so these boots are the perfect stand in to wear all day everyday! I even think they will be perfect for the winter to spring transition as they are so minimal yet chic – basically I love them and won’t be taking them off any time soon!

Accessory: Fur Jacket from Luton

I bought this before Christmas but because it has been a bit warmer the past few weeks I’ve been able to wear it a bit more! I couldn’t tell you what shop it was from as it was an independent in the shopping centre in Luton, but every time I wear this jacket someone compliments me on it which is exactly the items of clothing I like to own. I like them to look unique and for people to like them, so this is an item I’m glad I picked up 🙂

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My boots and jacket!

Music: The Weeknd – Trilogy

Although this is an old album which I’ve listened to before, hearing the Weeknd on The Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack reignited my love for this album and I’ve been listening to it on repeat pretty much since the middle of February! Check it out if you haven’t already – it’s a really unique sound and I just cannot get enough!

Food – Sweet Waffles with Chocolate Spread

This is probably part of the reason I have gained weight and not yet reached my target of 10% fat reduction! As part of pancake day we started to buy sweet pancakes as a healthier alternative snack and I’ve been pretty addicted especially with yummy melted chocolate spread on them! Just writing this makes me want to eat one (but I can’t because I’m being super good at the moment) so if you haven’t already, check them out 🙂 Lidl do an amazing version which is of course a bargain especially with their chocolate swirl spread!

TV/Movie – This was a tough choice so I’ve picked both Better Call Saul and Phone Shop           

Obviously Phone Shop is a really old series, but I started watching it on Netflix and ended up very quickly getting through all of the seasons as it’s just so silly and light hearted it’s a great watch at the end of a busy day!

Also, Better Call Saul is finally out and it’s had me gripped from episode one! As a Breaking Bad fan (I kind of had to be as Andy loves it!) this series was always going to be on my watch list and so far I think I’m enjoying it more, as I love how all the characters we already know come together with new characters so well! I wish they released more than one episode at a time though because I hate waiting for a whole week to see what’s going to happen next L

Perfume: Valentina by Valentino

I asked for this for Christmas and got it and have loved it ever since! I wish I could wear it every day but it’s one of the smells that I like to save for special occasions 🙂 It’s so classic and elegant but still crisp. I can’t even explain it, just get down and give it a smell!

Normally I would also let you know what my favourite shop and house product were as well, but I genuinely cannot think of a good answer for either of these so I’m going to leave these out and hopefully this month I’ll be able to think of answers for you 🙂

I’d love to hear what your favourites for February were so please let me know in the comments below and of course let me know if you think there are products I need to try this month that you are loving at the moment!

Lots of love, Leanne xx

Fat Loss Mission: Back on the Bandwagon

Hey everyone,

It’s time again for a fat fighting update! This is my first one since I admitted that I had kind of slipped head first off the fitness bandwagon, but I am firmly back on now and my journey continues!

You’ll be pleased to know I am feeling quite a lot better now, despite the fact my virus still lingers on and I am still really needing my inhaler especially after cardio based activities, but in myself I have far more energy and am ready to hit the ground running (literally)

My plan at the moment is to try to lose approx. 2lbs per week if possible for the next 3-6 weeks, although I’m not really weighing myself so I have no idea how I am going to keep track of this, so I’ll go more on how I feel and inches lost

Yesterday evening I did my first full gym session in about a month off and oh my goodness it was TOUGH! But I didn’t quit. I knew I would feel better when I had finished my workout, so an hour and a half later I felt really proud of myself for pushing through! I did a 12 minute cardio HIIT session (which involves running for 60 seconds and walking for 90 seconds alternating but on each run increasing the gradient of the treadmill by another 3 incline! By 12 incline my legs and lungs were on fire and I struggled to sprint for 60 seconds, but I did it and managed to get 1.5km done in 12mins which I am determined to beat as soon as I can walk and sprint faster! I also really want to manage two of these cardio sessions back to back, so that is definitely my next fitness goal 🙂

As well as that I did a super intense core circuit with some add core machines afterwards and my main focus was legs, where I did weighted calf raises, leg push (wasn’t feeling quite strong enough for squats yet) and the inner thigh machine!

This evening I started my workout with the same cardio HIIT exercise and then focussed on back and shoulder exercises before finishing with a kettlebell circuit 🙂 I’ve really missed being at the gym and I am so glad to be back, so let’s hope that I tone up super quick with all the hard work I will be putting in combined with the pretty intense diet overhaul I have taken on!

Here are my current stats (I guess they are probably pretty much the same from last time but here they are anyway!):

Measurements

Bust: 35.5 inches (+0.5 from last update)

Waist: 29 inches (+1 from last update)

Hips: 36 inches

Arm: 12 inches

Thigh: 23.5 inches (+0.5 from last update)

Weight: 10st 1lbs

I have a bit of a fat weekend planned with loads of festivities, big meals and quite frankly I will not be thinking about making healthy choices this weekend, I’ll only be thinking about enjoying myself!

I hope you are all still enjoying this series (although I’ve changed the title as I totally failed achieving 10% fat loss in 10 weeks!) but please let me know if there is anything else you’d like to know or that you would find helpful to see! Also, please let me know how you are getting on as hearing about other peoples journeys really helps to keep me motivated!

Don’t forget to like, share, subscribe and comment 🙂

Lots of love, Leanne xx

10 in 10 Series part 5: Can I have an extension?

Hey everyone!

It’s been a while since I updated you on my fight against the fat partly because I haven’t had much time and partly because I didn’t want to because I haven’t been doing so well!

My 10 week time frame has come and gone and multiple setbacks like illness and a fading willpower at social events means I’m definitely not where I hoped to be at this point in time, but oh well, I guess that just goes to show I’m only human! If you haven’t read the previous posts you can view them here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4 🙂

Anyway, here are my latest stats…

Measurements

Bust: 35.5 inches (+0.5 from last update)

Waist: 29 inches (+1 from last update)

Hips: 36 inches

Arm: 12 inches

Thigh: 23.5 inches (+0.5 from last update)

Weight: 10st 1lbs

week 10

And here are a reminder of my end goals:

Bust: 34-36 inches

Waist: 26-28 inches

Hips: 34 inches

Arm: 10-11 inches

Thigh: 22 inches

Fat percentage: 15% (and with some semblance of a 6 pack please!)

Weight: Between 9 stone and 9 stone 7 (126-133lbs)

Isn’t it amazing how quickly all your hard work starts to come undone! I wish it came off as quickly as it all goes back on! Not going to the gym as much has definitely been my downfall and once I have shaken off yet another cold and chest problem, I will be back with a vengeance for my final push to hit those targets!

At the beginning of April I have a hen weekend and towards the end of April I am speaking at a conference which means no more messing around! I don’t want to go to either of those events with the measurements I have now so it is absolutely time to knuckle down more than ever before! I’m going to be focussing on including more cardio and HIIT sessions into my workouts over the next 4 weeks and working my way back up to 5 separate session of exercise a week as well as focussing on 100% clean eating with a low carb focus.

I’m also going to try to post how I’m getting on every couple of days instead of every week or so to really keep me focussed on what I’m trying to achieve and how I have done, so I’m absolutely relying on you guys to keep me going with moral support and motiviation!

Wish me luck?

Lots of love, Leanne xx

London Fashion Week Gifting Lounge Round Up

Hey everyone,

Wow, it’s been such a busy few weeks! With work, gymnastics and general socialising, finding time even to sleep has been tricky but of course I am still trying to find the time to post!

Last week I was lucky enough to be invited to the Bloggers Hub Gossip Girl themes gifting lounge at London Fashion Week. It was my very first time at an event like this and I was both very excited and super nervous!

Luckily my good friend Katie agreed to come with me which made the whole thing even more fun! We spent all afternoon getting ready and enjoying ourselves before jumping on the train to London and hoping we could successfully negotiate ourselves around the seemingly endless maze of the London train lines.

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Somehow we managed to get there safe and were even early enough for an impromptu photo shoot on the streets of Hoxton, before entering the very trendy art gallery which was housing the event. The gifting lounge itself was Gossip Girl themed so I took my outift inspiration from Jenny Humphrey and Katie took inspiration from both Blair and Selena, but both still put our individual flairs on our looks. My outift consisted of a t-shirt dress from Primark, a check shirt from H&M and boots from eBay whilst Katie’s look featured a skater skirt from H&M and boots from Primark, so all very budget friendly!

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On Twitter following this event loads of people were slating it which I feel is a bit unfair as all in all it was a good night! Getting there early meant I had loads of time to speak to all the brands before it was too busy and even had the chance to get a mani from CitySwish (which was lush) as well as meeting loads of interesting new bloggers. Some of my favourite brands that I met were SniffyWiffy, IKRUSH and Madame La La which I’ll be doing individual posts on soon, but there were loads of brands there including AKA, Collagen Gold, Luxsit, Louise Mcleod, Souksy, Ruver and more!

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I was really worried I would feel like a bit of a fraud seen as I’ve only been blogging for a few months and still forget people actually read what I write, but actually my role at work really gave me an edge as it taught me to get the most out of networking opportunities like this whilst still having a really good time so it certainly gave me a new found confidence in my abilities. A massive thanks to everyone who I spoke to at the event as well who complimented Katie and I on our outfits and make up as we were really flattered 🙂

I can understand why some people were unhappy, it sounded like Bloggers Hub had some problems with their caterers which couldn’t be avoided and it turned out the venue was quite small for all the bloggers in attendance, but all things considered I had a great time (which you’ll probably be able to see more when I upload my vlog from the day) and I can’t wait for the next event I get to be a part of 🙂

I hope you enjoyed this post and are able to see how excited I am to get to share my experiences with you all!

Lots of love, Leanne xx