It’s the small things – July edition – part two

Not being satisfied with just a special edition it’s the small things post for July, here is my random July things that have made me happy.

Coffees and car journeys.

Schnauzer meet ups.

Blue skies

And roasting hot cars sitting in the sun all day.

26 degrees when work is out for the day.
Ice lollies in the sunshine.

Coffee and finding a new ‘raw’ cake shop to try.

Waking myself up nicely on the journey to work.

Planning, planning, planning.

Being proud of what I have achieved! 4 stone 11lbs lost and maintaining for 6 months. 

Watching canal life go by. 

Flat out exhausted dogs!

Unexpected gifts.

Enjoying a taste of home.

And that was July!

Claire xx 

It’s the small things – Cornwall July special edition


I decided that our recent Cornwall trip deserved it’s own it’s the small things post!

Long journeys and sleepy Schnauzers.
Overnight stops at peaceful spots. Thankfully the sun came out for a little while. 

Campsite set up….a girl has to have home comforts, so huge tent, wardrobe space and proper height bed it is then! 

Straight to the beach with a visit to Perranporth with my two favourite men.
Turo cathedral and Gorran Haven bay.

Pop up cocktail bar and visiting wood fire pizza company back at the campsite.

Coffee and cake with a view over Newquay and a visit to Holywell Bay.

Another night, another pop up bar on the campsite.

Beautiful St Ives.

Getting a little windswept at the beautiful Lizard Point.

Enjoying salted caramel Cornish ice cream at Fowey.

Seal spotting at Mevagissey harbour. 

Stepping back in time at St Mawes.

Coffees with views, schnauzers in wild flower meadows and beautiful beaches at Padstow.

Time for more cocktails from the pop up cocktail bar! 

Long walks to find the sea, amazing fish and chips and giant deckchairs at Falmouth.

Getting lost in the gardens at Heligan.

Spending the last day walking some of the south coast coastal pathway, rest stops and a final coffee with a view.

And that was Cornwall 2016! 

Claire xx 

Maintaining weight loss ~ 6 months on

This week marks me getting to 6 months of maintaining my weight loss!! Wow, you don’t know how good that actually makes me feel seeing that in black and white. To be honest with you all, I never thought it would be possible. I didn’t think deep down that I would be sitting here 6 months on, not having gone out of my target range, actually overall sitting just below my target weight for those 6 months.

Like many people I’ve lost weight before, I’ve also got to ‘target’ weight before using both Scottish Slimmers and Weightwatchers, you could call me a serial target achiever! One thing though which I am sure is obvious is that once at target I’ve never been able to maintain it…..until now.

I finally feel like I have beaten my food demons, sitting 6 months on, still a target member, has shown me that I’ve got this.  I dared to believe in myself when I got to target with Slimming World that this time I could make the changes stick with me and so far I’ve achieved that.

Six months on from achieving my target, there has been lots that have stayed the same.  I still track all my food in a food diary and post all my meals on my Slimming World Instagram account and I try to stick to Slimming World principles. I still weigh in at my Slimming World group fortnightly but I’m getting to the point of thinking of changing this to monthly. Weighing in at group is something I know for sure that I need to keep doing, that’s the one thing I never did before…..I always felt that I could go it alone once I achieved the weight I wanted to be but I proved to myself that that approach doesn’t work for me.

However there has also been some changes. I am not 100% just Slimming World anymore. I have used these last months re educating myself further regarding nutrition, I’ve used Myfitnesspal to help me stay on track and particularly to help me build up the amount of calories I had been eating to a more sustainable level without gaining any weight. I’ve added in healthy fats, proteins, nuts etc without synning them but I still syn ‘treats’ to ensure I don’t go too crazy.

My focus is now on exercise and building muscle along with toning, I’ve fallen in love with HIIT training and I love how my body is changing. It’s by no means perfect but it’s come so far.


Some things I have learned being a target member is that, maintaining weight loss is harder than I imagined. Finding a balance is hard, learning what your body needs is hard, getting your mindset to change to feel happy with no longer seeing losses on the scales is hard. But once it clicks with you, it feels so good! Whether you mix it up like me, stick 100% to plan or have weekends off or treat plates, you need to do what is right for you!


Thank you Slimming World for helping me to get to this point in my life, thank you for letting me dare to believe that I can do this.


Bring on the next six months!


Claire xx

It’s the small things – June edition 


A little late this month but it’s time for the small things that made me smile in June.

Frothy coffees enjoyed in the sun.

Bike rides enjoyed. 
10k charity walks completed with the bestie.
Large glass of Rosy enjoyed after rocking the walk.

Long cycles enjoyed along the canals.

Hot Dogs!

 

Being reminded how bright it gets in June in Scotland!

A little non scale victory….

Become more and more comfortable with how I look and how my body is changing with exercise. 

Having a lovely little house guest for a week. 

New pretty phone time.

House guest selfies before she left.

Getting the best thank you card ever.Heron spotting.

Perfect Sunday morning forest walks. 

Enjoying the wild flowers.

Cornwall bound for two blissful weeks off. 

Expect a full on Cornwall filled next months it’s the small things! 

Claire xx 

It’s the Small things ~ May edition 

It’s time to share the small things that have made the month of May. 

  

Bluebells making an appearance. 

  And pretty blossoms on the trees.
  Schnauzers and Kelpies.
  Clubbercize dancing tried.

  Snapchat filters played with. 
  Time spent chilling with coffee.

  Pancakes enjoyed. 
  Time to reflect. 

  Coffees enjoyed on a lazy weekend.
  Upcoming trip planning.
  Double rainbows spotted. 
  Creamy, dreamy hot chocolate enjoyed. 
  Words to make you think.
  Exercise goals set and smashed.
  Blue skies enjoyed.
  Making the most of 23c at 5pm! 

And that was the month of May. 

Claire xx

It’s the small things – April edition 

  
The small things that have made April. 

  Watching the swans in the sunshine. 
  Loving my new Fitbit, so pretty looking and fancy too! 
  Schnauzer shadows. 
  Crying in public places at book endings. 
  Loving getting fitter. 
  Lots of healthy cooking. 

  Catch up coffees with great friends. 
  Beautiful tulips from my wonderful hubby. 
 Nespresso machine purchased. 

  Long spring park walks. 

  IVF notes dusted off..is it time to go again?! 
  Smaller clothes purchased. 

  Freezing cold spring days but beautiful blue skies.
  Pretty nails for a girly day out. 
  And selfies…just because. 
  Coffee and cake catch up with a gorgeous friend. 
  And plenty of wine enjoyed! 
  Fancy espresso martinis. 
  Lots of workouts completed. 

  Nespresso boutique visited. 
  Stopping to admire the ducklings. 

  Amazing sunsets admired. 
  Coffees enjoyed. 
  Long weekends spent with this hairy monster. 
  Rainbow tulips to brighten up a long weekend. 
  Blog planning happening. Hopefully will help me get more posts up. 

And that was April. 

Claire xx 

Is it possible to get fit in 4 minutes a day?! 

So is it actually possible to get fit in 4 minutes a day?  The lovely Lucy Wyndham Read believes you can and over the course of April she has been posting daily free 4 minute Hiit workouts for all abilities over on her YouTube channel.

LWR Fitness Web site link
The lovely Lucy

I’ve blogged before about my new found love for HIIT training and about loving Lucy’s free workouts on Youtube, so when I seen on her Instagram that she was going to be doing a HIIT workout challenge for April I was fully signed up. Uploaded every day over the course of April (Now available in a playlist on her YouTube channel) Lucy made working out everyday at home so easy.  I mean who doesn’t have 4 minutes a day to spare?

I really enjoyed to workouts, they were so easy to fit into my day.  Some I found easy, others not so much and they build up over the course of the four weeks which was great.  I continued on with longer selection of HIIT workouts at the weekend and added in the Hiit in 4 workouts daily – some days even doing more than one!

The important question though, is did it make a difference?  I am no longer trying to lose weight so my goal is to maintain my weight but to tone up, build lean muscle and to reduce my body fat.  I went to my local Boots and used their scales to get my body fat percentage on starting which was 29%.

And after completing the 28 day 4 minute Hiit in a day challenge plus my added longer weekend workouts and maybe a sneaky little extra 4 minute one here and there and following the slimming world plan with a cleaner approach to eating my body fat percentage is now at 27.1%!!

Body fat % after #lwrhiitin4
I am over the moon with that result! My weight has stayed within a pound of my starting weight so I’m again over the moon with that too. And I’ve lost some inches as well.

Inches lost completing #lwrhiitin4

So yes, the answer is you can get fit in 4 minutes a day. The proof is in the figures above and I’m very pleased. I’m so proud of myself for sticking to it each day as well and I have my certificate to prove it.

certificate of completion

Check out Lucy’s Website in early May for her eBook all about healthy eating, motivation and four minute workouts.


If you are looking for a good fitness challenge then I would totally recommend heading over here to check this one out.

I can’t wait to see her challenge for May! Thank you Lucy xx

Claire x

Snippets from Scotland ~ Loch Katrine 

 

Because we are so lucky to live in such a beautiful country, I’ve decided to start a new series  of posts titled, Snippets from Scotland starting with a lovely visit to Loch Katrine.

Loch Katrine is based in the heart of the Loch Lommond and The Trossachs National Park and less than an hour away from where we live so a perfect place to head to for a great walk.
Loch Katrine cruiser You can take a boat trip across the loch on one of their one or two hour boat trips either on the old steamer boat or the cruiser. We have never done the boat trip but if the views from shore are anything to go by, it looks like it would be a gorgeous trip.

Loch KatrineWhen we visit it’s for the lovely loch side walk which is just perfect for tiring out the excitable doggy. You can hire bikes from the pier as well but a word of warning is that there are plenty of steep inclines as you make your way around.

Schnauzer pose at Loch Katrine It is debatable how far this walk actually is, given that there is no phone signal round here, never mind a 3G signal we had no way of tracking it properly and I would have to say that we did disagree with the one sign we actually did find! Our tracker on the health app on the iPhone had it at just over 5 miles though it felt like so much more with the hills!

It is worth the walk for these views though!
Claire xx

My top 10 Slimming World must haves. 

Starting out on any healthy eating plan can be quite overwhelming and Slimming World is no different. Over the time I’ve been following it I have come up with my top 10 slimming world must haves to make my life easier.

Slimming World Top 10 Must haves - SW MagazineThe Slimming World magazine has been so useful for me. It’s available in group earlier and for 80p less than in the shops so a bargain too! It’s packed full of inspirational stories and recipes and I normally find at least 2 new things to try every month. I’ve also been taking the recipes out of all the magazines and putting them into an A4 lever arch file for easy to reach recipes.

Slimming World Top 10 must haves post - Full Spice Rack A large spice rack and every herb and spice you can imagine!! This spice rack that screws onto the inside of your cupboard door was a lifesaver for me, no more pulling out every bottle trying to find the one you want. Obviously I didn’t buy these all at once, it’s easy with Slimming World to be building up these kind of store cupboard ingredients as you are making more recipes.

Slimming World Top 10 Must Haves - Food Diary My food diary. I write down everything, every single day and find its the only way that I don’t cheat myself. It’s so easy to forgot something you had when you were rushing around in work and overeat syns without thinking.  I’ve had lots of different Troyes of food diaries but currently love this one that fits into my Filofax planner. I just change the kcal used to syns used and it works perfectly for me. Plus it’s very pretty.

Slimming World Top 10 must haves - Slimming World InstagramThe wonderful world of Slimming World on Instagram. I post all my food pictures on there and I find it so helpful. Just search out the Slimming World Hashtag on there and a new world opens right up. There are so many inspirational people on there that you can’t help but get motivated by. I love it and if I’m totally honest am a little addicted. Just don’t go on when you are hungry!

Slimming World Top 10 must haves - Syn tinA selection of go too things that you like. I’m a snacker so having a bowl of low syn/calorie things that I can just reach for if the notion takes me is a must for me.

Slimming World Top 10 must haves -  Cook BooksSome slimming world cookbooks, I don’t have loads but these ones are a total must for me. Especially the extra easy express one which is just perfect for those after work meals and is my most used cookbook.
Fat Free Yogurt Fat free, syn free yogurt. Great to add to Overnight OatsSyn Free Pancakes or for having on its own with some speedy fruit added to it. If you don’t like flavoured yogurt you can always buy some fat free natural yogurt and sweeten it if you like.

Frozen FruitFrozen berries are a total life changer for me. Either put some out in a little bowl overnight in the fridge to defrost before putting on top of your breakfast or take some out frozen and sprinkle them over your yogurt. Cheaper but just as good as fresh and they don’t end up going bad in the fridge on you before you get the chance to finish them.

Almond and coconut milk are my go too for breakfasts as you get so much more for you healthy extra A allowance. 600mls of coconut milk or 500mls of the Almond. If you buy the unsweetened Almond you get a massive 1 litre! One thing though is it is not nice in coffee at all in my opinion and I’ve ruined many a good coffee trying it.  Perfect for breakfast cereal though and a staple in my shopping.

Slimming World top 10 must haves - water And I’ve left the easiest and cheapest thing to last. My absolute must have for Slimming World or any healthy living lifestyle has to be water.  I think we can all hold our hands up and say that unless we are actively thinking about it then it is highly likely that we don’t drink anywhere near enough.  I aim to drink at least two litres a day and have noticed so much difference, not only to me overall weight but for my general health as well.  Totally a winner for me.

What are your go to Slimming World or healthy living must haves?

Claire xx

Motivation Monday with the Fitbit Blaze 

Last week I took the plunge and upgraded my beloved Fitbit to the Fitbit Blaze and I have not been disappointed, I blooming love it!

Motivation Monday - Fitbit Blaze
I’ve worked my way up through different Fitbits over the last two years, starting with the ‘One’ then moving up to the ‘Charge HR’ both of which I loved but didn’t quite give me everything I was looking for. I would say though that that is mainly due to me developing different wants in terms of my fitness levels and what I want to see on my fitness tracker.

I have loved Fitbit and their app interface from the moment I bought my first one so knew I didn’t want to swap brands and I also knew that I didn’t want a chest strap heart rate monitor despite there being some issues regarding the inaccuracies of wrist based heart monitors.  For me though, Fitbit ticks all the boxes that I need and the ‘Blaze‘ is just gorgeous….yes I’m a sucker for all things pretty!

One of the things that really sold the ‘Blaze’ to me was the colour touch screen and the interchangeable bands. The reason I had held onto to my ‘One’ for so long was so I could use it instead of my ‘Charge HR’ if we were going out for a night, with this one I can switch the straps to a metal one to make it more watch like and I love this idea. So much so, I’ve picked myself up one already! How pretty does that look?

Fitbit Blaze with metal strap
Along with daily tracking, of steps, floors, calories burned, heart rate, miles covered and your sleep pattern. It also has multi sport options built in which will automatically pick up you exercising or you can put it into a specific exercise mode manually and everything feeds into the app on your phone via Bluetooth. It also has an in built ‘Fitstar’ exercise section which takes you through a warm up, 7 minute workout or an abs workout directly from your wrist.

You can add friends and take part in challenges too whilst collecting badges for steps in a day, lifetime miles, floors in a day, lifetime floors and some others.
Fitbit Badges

Everything is so easy to use, from the watch to the app, and the main thing is it really motivates me. Having it right there on a screen in front of me is such a motivator for me. I want to see a full green screen, for my watch to vibrate when I hit my goals (all set by you in the app)

If you are thinking about investing in an activity tracker then I would recommend any of the Fitbit trackers…. If you are wanting a super pretty but very functional adaptable tracker then I would totally recommend the ‘Blaze’

Claire xx

This is not a sponsored post – I have purchased all my Fitbits and just wanted to give my readers an insight into what they can offer.