Welcome back!

Welcome back!

Hey everyone, I know it has been ages since I last posted and for that I am sorry, although really the biggest apology that I owe is to myself.

I spent a lot of time and effort setting up my blog and I loved writing and sharing my take on everything from fashion to foundation! A lot has changed in the past few months though, some of which I will share with you in my writing, but it was a perfect storm of life changing events and for a while I kind of lost myself without even realising. It’s funny how you don’t realise how something has changed until it gets back to normal. Like if you’ve ever lost your hearing because of a cold and then one day it suddenly comes back and you realise how amazing it is to hear properly again. That’s what happened to me recently and I realised I needed to stop being unmotivated and get my shine back again and here I am.

I realised as well since I was last here that even if I am not feeling great about myself and the way I look or do makeup or dress, there is always someone else out there who looks at you and thinks “wow I wish I could do that” and that really motivated me to not let those people down.

So here I am, pretty much the same old me but definitely a bit older and perhaps even a bit wiser now too. So what will I be talking about here now? Pretty much the same stuff from my favourite fashions, my go to make-up, real world weight loss struggles, image advice but most importantly this will be a place for me to come and be myself, so I hope you all like it  🙂

Lots of love, Leanne

Life lessons: Get organised, get happier!

Hey everyone, I have a feeling that this is going to be a good blog post and a very apt one too so I’m just going to jump right in.

This year has been the one which has seen some of the most substantial changes in my life happen all at once which naturally causes chaos temporarily. Except the one thing that I find is that actually sometimes chaos happens and then kind of stays with you, which can build up and up without you even realising. I’m not ashamed to say that happened to me in multiple areas of my life and instead of looking at the root cause, I just made excuses.

From not having time to work out, not having an organised house, forgetting things – the chaos was impacting my life in almost every aspect and I didn’t even see how it was connected. And then,  by chance, some alone time and some inspiration from those closest to me, I realised I could achieve whatever it is I want to achieve, but with some focus and organisation.

I can make excuses until I’m blue in the face that changing jobs has left me with less time, but actually I’ve gained time in other areas which I’m just not using  correctly.

I’m very much of the perspective that life is too short to worry or stress (YOLO and all that) but actually it’s eye-opening for me to experience first-hand that stress can creep up on you without you even realising until it is gone. And now my eyes have been opened it’s definitely time to maximise on my awareness and improve all aspects of my life…

For example, a pet stress in my household has always been that I’ve been known to be pretty untidy which can cause wasted time looking for things, or a mammoth cleaning session which takes a whole day. But now I have thrown away anything which doesn’t get use or is just taking up space and make sure to keep on top of everything doing a little every day so it’s never one big task – literally making everything manageable 🙂

Another place I have been slacking is the gym! Last year I was at the gym 3+ times a week and loving it, but after having to take an extended break I haven’t been able to get back into it and instead complain about gaining weight and losing tone whilst effectively doing nothing about it! But not anymore! I’ve started looking at my locations for the week ahead and planning in advance in my google diary when I’m going and for how long as well as looking for different activities I can do to keep my interest, including long walks. Another reason this is so important, is that actually me time at the gym helps relieve any built stresses and gives me an opportunity to get away from my phone and have time just me and my thoughts, which I think we all forget is actually really important.

From the simplest things like picking your weeks outfits on a Sunday evening or having a clear out of your handbags to the bigger things like emptying your loft, or spring cleaning your finances – all these individual steps are likely to have a positive domino effect into so many different aspects of your life, that if you do nothing else this August, set aside only a few hours to reflect, review and plan. As whilst you do only live once, you want to make sure the life you’re living is as happy as you can possibly make it be 🙂

I hope you enjoyed this post as I found this really cathartic to write! I’ll follow up over the coming weeks with my gym/food schedules and any updates on how I am moving forward with my planning and organisation!

Let me know in the comments below any life hacks you have that could also help, as I’m always looking to make my life as easy and happy as possible 🙂

Lots of love, Leanne xx

How time flies…

Wow, I cannot believe that it was the 2nd birthday of my blog this week.

I completely forgot to do anything to commemorate it as it has been one crazy week! Travelling around so much with work, my mums birthday, a major op for a close family member and planning for my last sessions of coaching have taken up all my time and attention.

Finding two minutes to reflect, the 2nd year of my blog hasn’t gone as well as the first and the blame lies completely with me. I haven’t been able to put as much in so naturally I’ll get less from it, but I’m not disheartened. Sometimes life changes your plans and I think that every change or challenge should be viewed as an opportunity. So far this year advancing my career whilst bettering the bonds with my friends and family have been the most important things to me, so lacking a little here has been worth it 🙂

Next week will be very emotional for me as I am leaving gymnastics after 20 years of being involved in the sport, 7 of those in coaching. Dropping one commitment does mean I should be able to find time to write in the week though as well as taking better care of myself, so I’m focusing all my attention on the good that will come from making such a heart-wrenching decision.

More important than looking back though is to continue to look forward. I want to thank you all for your support so far and let you all know I cannot wait to be able to invest more time with you as I am sure then only good things will happen! LifestyleforLess HQ really is a no negative vibes kinda place 🙂

Stick with me!

Lots of love, Leanne xx

 

Review: Makeup Revolution Golden Sugar Ultra Blush Palette

Hey everyone, it’s been a while since I have done any posts, let alone a review but instead of doing a review of something new I thought I would actually do a review of something I have owned for quite a while and that gets used daily by me! Apologies for the absence, I feel like I’m only just starting to formulate some kind of routine after starting my new job. I’m really having to make time to write and get online to post/edit so will be posting again but only once a week until I am completely settled 🙂 I’m trying though, honest!

It’s my blush palette from Makeup Revolution at Superdrug which I bought when the Makeup Revolution collection dropped at Superdrug and is still going strong. Obviously after such vigorous use I feel I’m pretty well equipped to review on it so I hope you enjoy reading this one as much as I love the product 🙂

So this product has 8 shades all for the price of £6! All have a lovely finish and vary from very lightly pigmented and sparkly to heavily pigmented which is ideal for the look you are going for. All are metal toned shades with hints of gold and silver. I find there are shades there for a more subtle bronzer, a super pumped up highlighter as well as a blush shade too so it really is multi-purpose and can be used day to night 🙂

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The palette (sans lid as I lost it) and the brush I use to apply my highlighter

If you don’t believe how much I have used this product check out the picture below which shows just how much I love the highlighter, how messy the palette has become with daily use and the fact that I lost the lid for the palette a while ago too 😦

My favourite of this collection is definitely the silver highlighter which although it looks really garish when blended can look really natural and is easily buildable. Second favourite is definitely the shimmery pink/purple blush!

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Darkest shade at bottom with highlighters on top (nearest wrist) Have lost the top of this palette so cannot remember their names, soz!

If you are unsure what palette to go for and want max versatility I would definitely go for this one, it is by far the best choice of shades of all the blush palettes I have from Makeup Revolution and for £6 how can you go wrong?

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Me with the highlighter and blush on. Giving a really natural sheen and cheek colour perfect for the day 🙂

So the key question would I buy it again and what is my rating? This gets 8 out of 10 for me and definitely will be repurchased if this palette ever runs out 🙂

What are your favourite palettes and highlighters? I would love to know so comment them below!

Lots of love, Leanne xx

My April Empties

Hey everyone,

So I am back to being completely unreliable at writing again, but I promise I have a good reason… I got offered a new job!

I haven’t started it yet, but prepping for the interview, prepping for my start date and of course celebrating have been taking up all of my (already not very) free time 🙂

I thought I would do a different post today (and continue to try to do this one regularly – I’m getting a diary any day now to be better organised!) which is all about the products I have used up in April, what I thought of them and whether I would be restocking them.

So lets jump right in…

Makeup Revolution Pro Fix Oil Control Fixing Spray

This is a product I first bought several months ago and have used a lot! I love the staying power it adds to my makeup without being heavy and I also love the way this dries. Other fixing sprays I have tried you can see on top of fixing powder as silver smudges however this dries completely invisible and will keep my makeup in place all day (although I can look a bit shiny by the end of the day) As soon as I was almost out of this product I decided it needed to be restocked, so I now have a full bottle ready to be used and will definitely be using this as one of my daily staples. I’m also thinking about purchasing the Makeup Revolution Spray Primer which comes in the black bottle to see how these two products work together. Have any of you already tried it? I’d love to know what you think in the comments below!

Simple Kind to Eyes Revitalising Eye Roll-On

This has been a twice daily staple in my skincare routine for almost a year so I was devastated when this ran out. I don’t tend to suffer from dark circles under my eyes, however I do get puffy undereyes especially when I am tired to using this eye roll on helped reduce the puffiness and also keep it at bay. I’ve been trying to repurchase this since it ran out a few weeks ago, but I cannot find a replacement for it in store so I’m probably going to have to order it online 😦 Either that, or I’ll look to branch out to another brand for something similar as I loved this one so much it really isn’t an option not to replace it, so let me know if you have any suggestions of other really effective brands or puffy eye bag treatments you use!

Aussie Miracle Moist Conditioner

So my hair has been pretty dry recently, so when I went to Bulgaria where I knew the snow and sun would be taking it’s toll, I bought a bottle of this conditioner to deep nourish my hair (plus it’s the perfect size to travel with). I had never used it before but had heard good things so figured it was worth a try and I have to say I was beyond impressed. Not only did my hair feel amazing despite the conditions in Bulgaria, when I got back home, my long hair which desperately needed cutting felt shiny and smooth and people even commented on how healthy it was looking. But then it ran out 😦

I want to replace it so bad, but for it’s small size and it’s price per 100ml I just cannot justify this as being the conditioner I use all the time when I can get Tresemme conditioner for about half the price per 100ml. Maybe I am just being a cheapskate, but I think I’d rather wait until it was on offer to make it more cost effective. (So let me know if you do see it anywhere on offer as I will be straight there to stock up)

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Of the three empties I seem to have accumulated this month, one of them I immediately repurchased, one of them I cannot justify the cost and the other I cannot find, however I would definitely suggest giving them all a go as I cannot really fault them for how effective they are.

Hope you found this post interesting and useful! Make sure to let me know what some of your favourite products are or what your recent empties have included.

Don’t forget to like, share and comment on this post and also to follow me on Instagram for more regular updates 🙂

Lots of love, Leanne xx

It’s okay to feel flat, fat and fed up sometimes

Hey everyone,

I know I have been rubbish at posting blogs lately, life has been busy in general and after coming down with a horrible chesty infection a few weeks ago, going away on holiday and then having to deal with Andy’s broken wrist since being back it’s all been a bit much! However, I am slowing down a bit to commit to writing some more. Even when I don’t get to post written pieces though, there are always new pictures on Instagram so make sure you stay tuned there if you aren’t already!

This post is a little different for me. I’m focussing on feelings, emotion and life instead of fashion and beauty purely because my blog is like my little online diary. I’ve had a few conversations with people recently where they have confessed they haven’t been feeling so good but seemed so reluctant to talk about it and after hearing that some of their favourite posts of mine were the ones where I was really honest and myself, I was inspired. People several times a day ask “Hey, how are you?” However the only answer it seems okay to give is “fine thanks” which is a shame because if things aren’t fine it’s crucial to talk about it as it really does help! It isn’t something we really talk about, but why shouldn’t it be? So here I am doing my little piece to break down some barriers and to hopefully help start some conversations 🙂

I don’t know if any of you had the same perception as I did when you were younger? At 16 years old I felt being 24 was so grown up and that everyone seemed like they had it all together and yet now I’m here, I don’t feel that way at all. I don’t feel grown up or like a proper adult and I definitely don’t feel like I have my life together at all! Don’t get me wrong, I have a lovely life filled with many wonderful people and experiences and I’m always really happy and grateful, however this is not how I pictured I would be at 24.

I guess looking back I didn’t really ever stop to think how I expected to feel as I got older. And it’s not that I’m scared of getting older as actually I quite like the increasing wisdom and respect which comes with age, however I don’t feel grounded, I don’t feel anywhere near being fully accomplished and I certainly am not at the point where I feel content.

When you are at school people say those are the best years of your lives, when you are in your twenties people are saying the same thing so you begin to wonder “what actually is the best time of your life?” Will you ever have a moment where you wake up one day and think “yeah, I’m happy I have it all together, I know what I wanted and now I’ve got it”?

I actually think that being in your twenties is one of the toughest times of your life. In your teens, people don’t expect much from you except that you will make mistakes and probably be a bit angsty and hormonal and yet in your twenties you’re an adult and people expect you to act like one, eventhough you are still muddling your way through except at the same time working full time, or battling to find a job after uni and probably having to look after yourself at home too. As you approach your mid twenties, questions about when you are going to get married and have kids become more frequent and if, like me, you aren’t sure whether marriage and babies is your thing the response is always “you’ll change your mind, you’re only young”! I’m lucky as I’m pretty self assured and outspoken and luckily supported in all I do by my family, but even I sometimes hear these responses and wonder if I’m normal. But in my logical mind, I want to remind you that we actually don’t know what normal is. Who defines normality? Who defines what is an acceptable way to think and feel.

So I guess all I want to say is, don’t worry and don’t hide how you are feeling. Don’t worry if sometimes you feel fat and frumpy and yet still want to eat every item of food within reach and not go to the gym, don’t worry if you aren’t sure what you want to do or achieve in life or if your views are different to those around you. Just do you – You’re the only one that can and so you should make the most of it!

I hope you liked this post and that it helped if you were feeling at all confused, down or just fed up!

Lots of love, Leanne xx

 

My Slimming World Journey – Getting started

Hey everyone,

I feel like rather than getting more free time like I was planning on at the end of last year, I now have less which is causing me major posting issues so I apologise for the lack of posts as well as the lack of variety. I need to work my new commitments into my schedule and then be very strict with myself to ensure I am writing (and posting regularly) and making sure what I am writing is interesting for you!

I have so many ideas lined up of what I want to do for you too so I have decided that this Sunday I am locking myself in my office and writing loads of exciting pieces for you 🙂

One of the reasons which I now have less free time is because I have rejoined Slimming World! My group takes place on a Wednesday evening (the same night I am supposed to post) and by the time I am home if I have already written something to go out, it just isn’t going to happen. I will change, I promise!!!!

Anyway, as you all know I frequently document my weightloss and fitness journey and what I have noticed from writing about it for you all, is that actually I lead a relatively healthy lifestyle exercising regularly and eating pretty well, but can often lack focus or willpower (unsurprisingly!)

I did Slimming World for the first time a few years ago after getting to my biggest ever size and weight (which don’t get me wrong probably wasn’t big by many people’s standards) but it certainly was by mine! I naively thought it would be really easy and I’d get to target really quickly, but after recently moving house and getting a new job doing Slimming World on my own meant I wasn’t really sticking 100% to plan and ended up just wasting money to never make it to target despite losing almost a stone!

After being off plan for a couple of years I was really happy with the weight I had kept off (about 10lbs) but definitely noticed that after being off of training for so long with my foot injury, I was struggling to get my healthy lifestyle mojo back and after gaining a couple of Christmas lbs and with a couple of holidays looming, I decided not to let it slide and to join up again to kick off where I left my journey but this time I wasn’t alone! A few of my friends had started going to group again and I managed to convince Andy to come along for the ride too.

And I have to say I am loving it. My interim target is a 10lb loss and my final target is currently set at 17lbs and in my first week I managed to get a great start on this and lose 4lbs, the most I have ever lost in one week – I haven’t even been able to get to the gym!

This week really wasn’t as good, as I had my works annual awards ceremony which resulted in consuming rather too much alcohol and indulging in hangover food the next day and then I struggled to get back on with healthy eating following this blip, however I managed to claw it back for the end of the week to see a small loss of half a pound 🙂

So why I am telling you all this? Well as a lifestyle blog I thought I would do a weekly update on how I was getting on each Wednesday and maybe also share with you some of my favourite recipes/meals from the week for some inspiration as well as helping you find the best bargains to get you on track!

Meal of the week:

This week my favourite meal (all cooked from scratch I want to add) was my Quorn Chicken and Bacon Medallion with Egg Fried Rice.

 Info:

Serves 4 People easily!

Prep time: 15 – 20 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Syns per serving: FREE

Ingredients:

♥ 8tbsp light soy sauce

♥ 4 garlic cloves (crushed) or dried garlic seasoning

♥ 1tsp of Chinese 5 Spice powder

♥ 3 skinless chicken breasts (sliced) or Quorn Chicken Pieces

♥ 3 bacon medallions

♥ 397g dried egg noodles (I use a dried noodle square per person)

♥ large bag of mixed stir fry veg

♥ 4 spring onions (sliced diagonally)

♥ 10 diced mushrooms

♥ 2 tbsp dark soy sauce

♥ Microwave Basmati Rice

♥ Vegetable Stock

♥ 3 eggs

♥ FryLight

How to cook Chicken Chow Mein:

  • Mix the light soy sauce, garlic and 5 spice, add your chicken or Quorn, toss to coat evenly and then set aside to marinate for 20minutes.
  • Grill your bacon medallions
  • Fry off your chicken or Quorn until cooked through using Fry Light in a large wok or pan
  • Once chicken is almost cooked, cook the noodles according to the packets instructions and leave to simmer until required.
  • Add the mushrooms, stir fry veg and spring onion to the chicken and stir fry together for another 4 – 5minutes. I add more soy sauce and also vegetable stock at this point for some moisture.
  • Drain the noodles and add to your chicken and vegetables, add some more chicken stock and stir together for several more minutes.
  • Microwave your rice as the noodles are soaking up the chow mein flavour and quickly scramble your eggs using fry light.
  • Once finished stir rice and egg together, serve both dishes and enjoy!

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Have any of you tried this before? If you have let me know in the comments below how you found it, or if you have any of your own favourite recipes you recommend I try!

I hope you enjoy my Slimming World updates over the coming weeks and months J Make sure you let me know how you are getting on if you are on plan too 🙂

Lots of love, Leanne xx