Monday, 23 February 2015

Fit February | Squat Variations

 
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Squatting is one of those exercises people love to hate. You can see huge progress from squatting and it's such a simple exercise, yet causes the biggest burn and inability to use any stairs for the days after. Squats not only help to build leg and glute muscle but they also help with balance, fat burning and removing waste. Done properly, they are such a brilliant exercise which not only form part of my weight training but also HIIT. I'm by no means a personal trainer, however I've done my fair share of squats and  I'm going to explain how you can do some of my favourite movements.
 
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The Basic Squat
This is where everyone begins,  feet should be shoulder width apart. Make sure your entire body is facing straight forward, including your toes, knees and hips, keeping your abdominal muscles flexed. Bend your knees whilst sitting back, try not to let your knees go forward! Keep your back straight and shoulder blades pinched back, when your knees have reached 90 degrees stand up, making sure you don't lock the knees out at the top.

Jump Squat
Same movement as a basic squat but when you reach the bottom of the squat bend your knees and jump up with all your force, raising your arms as you do so. As soon as your feet touch the ground, return to the squat position and repeat again. This variation is to be done super quick but not losing the form! It's a real burner on your thighs.

Squat Jack
Think of a jumping jack but at the bottom of the jack you squat. When you jump out your legs and arms don't touch the ground but stay in the air, then return to the squat and power out and repeat. This is a real killer, I'd aim for 15-20 reps repeated 4 times.

Squat Pulses
If you really want to feel the burn try this one, in the normal squat position but at the bottom of the squat try pulsing for 8. I do this using a barbell which really works your butt! Try keep low at the bottom of the squat, the smaller the pulse the better!

Sumo Hold
For this squat have your legs further than hip distance apart, feet turned slightly out. Go to the bottom of a squat legs parallel to the ground and simply hold it. Make sure you chest is up and shoulder blades are back. I usually hold for around 30 seconds.

Borrowers squats
This is one I picked up from my Metafit class. You go down in a normal squat but jump your legs out together further than hip distance then return them back. The aim is not to jump your body up and down, the movement should be from the hip and you should have minimal movement. Possibly one of my favourite squats to do!
 
Pistol Squat
A difficult squat if you don't have great balance. Stand on one leg and then squat down, keeping your other leg extended in front of you.  Repeat for four reps then swap legs.

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There are so many other squat variations out there. I also like to use a bosu ball and a stepper to do jump squats or mix it up with a kettlebell  but these variations are perfect to do anywhere with no equipment needed! You'll definitely be feeling the burn in no time. What are your favourite types of squats to do?

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Temple Spa | The Big Reveal and Quench

 
 
Temple Spa is one of those exclusive brands that not many know about but those who do seem to love it. For those of you who haven't heard of the brand, they are a British brand with a passion to providing skin care, body care, aromatherapy and spa treatments to look after your skin body and soul. Their range is pretty exclusive though, you can buy products from a Temple Spa rep (from a temple spa party), online or through Harrods, Selfridges and even the Orient Express! I love their cruelty free values and slogan which is inside the packaging  'Your body is a living temple. Honour it, enjoy your life and live it to the full'.
 
Temple Spa | The Big Reveal | £40
 The Big Reveal is part of the red carpet miracles and it sure lives up to this title. Besides the beautiful yet functional packaging, which even has a nozzle stopper to ensure it doesn't clog up, within the bottle the product is just something else. It's an instant re-surfacing treatment gel which is just like a mini-facial, picking up dead skin cells and dirt, leaving skin beautifully clear, radiant and soooo soft. It's basically a high-tech gommage cleanser that within 50 seconds has cleared skin and worked some sort of miracle. Probably one of the strangest products I've used but temple spa have videos of how to apply their products which is amazing. Definitely worth every penny and everyone who has tried it seems to agree too (even Lucy Watson!)
 
 
Temple Spa | Quench | £24
 
 
Alongside the Big Reveal, I have been using the Quench rejuvenating mask. A thick moisturiser designed for dry skin just like mine. Temple Spa use the most amazing Mediterranean scents in their range and this just smells amazing. It's even knocked my Clinique Moisture Surge off the shelf. It's super hydrating for my dry patches yet it's also soothing and anti-inflammatory too. This is also a great cream for gaining skin as it helps protect against collagen and elastic breakdown. Another helpful addition is the spatula which means you aren't dipping your fingers into the generous pot. I love you temple spa!
 
Have you tried any Temple Spa products before? What are your favourite skincare products right now?

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Fit February | Protein Pancakes

With pancake day on Tuesday I thought I'd prepare a pancake day post but a much healthier option for you all. For me, it's the start of my healthy eating plan as my Caribbean cruise is just 7 weeks today. So expect lots of healthy food posts, exercises and lifestyle posts in the run up to April (no Easter eggs). I've always loved Pancake day and favoured the sweeter options as opposed to a savoury pancake. I've tried my fair share of protein pancakes and have just about mastered the recipe! Obviously, you can adapt the recipe to suit your taste and change the protein flavour, use just eggs whites or choose your own topping! The oats and cinnamon do make it so yummy though!
 

     1 Scoop of Protein Powder
1/2 cup of oats
4 eggs
1 banana
1/2tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of coconut oil
Whatever toppings you want
 
This recipe made 5 pancakes, don't worry I didn't eat them all two was more than enough! I added the eggs, protein powder, oats, banana and cinnamon to my blend active and whizzed them up into a thick mixture. It did take a bit of blending and shaking due to the consistency! Whilst this was whizzing up I added a tbsp. of coconut oil to a small pan and heated it up. When the mixture was all blended I poured the batter into the pan, spreading it out with a spoon! I heated one side for about 2 minutes before flipping to brown the other side. The next steps up to you, you can choose whatever topping you want. I went for honey, strawberries and blueberries. But nutella would've been a good choice for me too! Enjoy your Shrove Tuesday!
 
 What's your favourite pancake topping? Are you  savoury or sweet?
 

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Beautiful Lingerie

So whether you love or hate valentine's day you have to admire the beautiful lingerie that graces website homepages and shop floors. I always find it so difficult to buy pretty lingerie that isn't terribly cheap and nasty. So here as some of the beautiful pieces I've picked out, I'll definitely be stocking up on the pretty eyelash lace...
 
 
What's your favourite store for underwear? Do you enjoy underwear shopping as much as me?

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Valentine's Day Makeup Tutorial

 
 
Hey lovelies, hope you're ok. This weekend I decided to film a Valentine's Day Makeup Tutorial. For the look I chose to use the Makeup Revolution Iconic 3 Palette (a dupe for Naked 3) and went for romantic dusky pinks and pretty rose golds. It's a very wearable look without being too over the top. Perfect for a romantic meal or if you're having a night with the girls. I hope you like the look.
 

 
Is Valentine's just another day for you or have you made some special plans? How are you single girls like me spending the day?

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Fitness February | Workout Clothing



With January very quickly passing by February comes along, so do the extra spaces in the gym car park! What I'm getting at is that January is a month of resolutions and working hard but come February, most people have let the resolutions take a back seat losing their routine and good habits. So I've taken it upon myself to do  'February Fitness', a series of fitness posts throughout February aimed to getting you motivated and keeping you there. I thought I'd start of with some of the hottest fitness clothing right now, including some newcomers as I don't know about you but new workout gear definitely gets me motivated!

Free People 

This is a fairly new brand to me and like most of the other brands featured in this post, workout clothing is just a tiny part of the other collections they stock on their online store. When browsing through the 'movement' section I came across the prettiest prints and beautiful strappy sports bras. They may be pricier than some of the other collections but will make great staples in your Sportswear wardrobe.

Miss Guided Active



Missguided have finally brought out an Active range! The range is nothing less than I expected from them, empowering and motivating with bold prints and motivational slogans like 'train dirty'. Sports luxe, combined with functiontional sports bras, cut-out detail hoodies and cosmic print gym leggings literally something for everyone, from boxing to yoga all at affordable prices!

H&M


H&M is one of my favourite high street shops, not only for their great clothing range and handbags but their sportswear does it for me everytime. They have the best basics to get you kitted out for a really affordable price. Their sports bras are one of my favourites and they even do a plus size range, perfect for everybody.

Fabletics



Fabletics is another brand fairly new to me, an online store founded by fitness fanatic Kate Hudson. It's a total different concept in that you subscribe to receive a new outfit every month, however there is no obligation and you can skip a month. An outfit a month does seem like a lot but I'm sure it'll keep you motivated throughout they year. Stocking a range of different outfits for a variety of sports and exercises, they even cater to your body type and you can set up a profile so that only clothes which fit your body type and fitness needs will appear.


What fitness brands are you wearing right now? Do you have any tips you'd like to share for staying motivated throughout February?

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Favourite Drugstore Mascaras

Hi lovelies, hope you're all ok! I know I say this all the time by my gosh January has flown. Although, I'm pretty glad to be heading out of the most depressing month of the year and into February. A month full of love, my birthday and a new feature for my blog: Fitness February!! I'll tell you more about it in my new post but today I'm focusing on mascaras. Mascara was the very first makeup product I tried, even before lipgloss! So it's safe to say I've tried my fair share and had many a disaster with different products. I've narrowed it down to 4 favourite which are all available from the highstreet shops like boots and superdrug for very affordable prices!
 
Collection Lengthening Mascara | £3.99 | link
This mascara came in one of my beauty boxes and I'm glad it. I feel like collection is one of the brands I rarely experiment with, even thought their concealer is a holy grail! This mascara definitely does what is says on the packaging, and the rubber brush helps to makes my lashes look super long without being clumpy. One problem is that if you do try layer it can crumble off so I tend to just work it up when it's wet. But it's a mascara I just wear everyday for work and it does the job well for a great price!
 
Revlon Grow Luscious Mascara | £9.99 | link
A little bit pricer than the usual drugstore mascaras but this is definitely a firm favourite for me. The oversized brush is just amazing at lengthening my lashes and building volume at the same time. It's really good at working into your lashes to lift them up!  It makes my lashes look super long whilst holding a curl, lasting all day even throughout my gym sessions. Can't credit Revlon enough for this.
 
 
 
Bourjois Volume 1 Second Mascara | £9.99 | link
Another beauty box mascara which won a Grazia Beauty Award last year. Such a brilliant mascara for voluminous, full lashes perfect for a night out! It's definitely better at giving volume rather than lengthening which makes it great for that thick, full lash look. The brush also works really well on lower lashes which is something I can sometimes find tricky to do. Also available in a waterproof version.
 
Maybelline Falsies Mascara | £7.99 | link
Probably my favourite mascara ever, even up against the high end mascaras I own. This mascara beats any other! Not only does it give you amazingly long lashes but the curved brush helps to lift and give volume to every single lash. It really does make your lashes look like 'falsies'. I've never had any clumps using this and the curved brush allows you to lift your lashes so easily. I have the waterproof version which actually removes really easily with my oil/balm cleansers. You can tell by how caked up it is that it's my ultimate Holy Grail!!!
 
 
What drugstore mascaras are you loving? How do they compare to high end products?