If you didn’t know already, I’m heading to Thailand in April and I’ve been trying to get this ass in shape. Problem is, I’m really lazy with my food at the moment, especially seeing as I’m still living in a studio flat (until 25th March!) and cooking / creating anything is a full blown operation.

Enter Lizi’s Granola. I’ve always avoided granola as I find it difficult to find some without loads of sugar or without mountains of dried fruit (gross).

Lizi’s Granola looked really interesting with plenty of varieties in the range; I’ve been trying out both the low sugar and high protein products which are suitable for vegetarians, vegans and are GL tested (the science-y thing that works out how to make us fuller for longer).

I mixed mine with Greek yoghurt, but often just had it plain with semi-skimmed milk and either chopped up banana or a few raspberries chucked in.

I’ve got a really weird thing about soft cereal as well so if it’s been sat on a shelf for a while I’ll just throw it away (I know, I know) – but these have a resealable top so there is no issue here!

The granola kept me full until lunch as well, something really important if you don’t want to be reaching for the biscuit tin at 11am! In short, I’m a big fan of this stuff – I hope you will be too. Enjoy!

images courtesy of lizis.co.uk and http://www.freshmarketing.eu

We were invited to Phở’s soft launch at its new restaurant in Kingston this week, and it’s fair to say that we were Phở-king loving it (sorry).

Stephen and Juliette Wall opened Pho, London’s first Vietnamese street food restaurant, in Clerkenwell in June 2005 after they travelled to Vietnam and fell in love with the food. They made the decision to start a restaurant serving pho while sat on high stools, slurping pho bo, around the shopfront of Pho Quynh in Ho Chi Minh City (323 Ð Pham Ngu Lao, if you’re heading there soon). Eleven years later, Pho is still a family-run business serving great value, authentically prepared Vietnamese street food, with restaurants in London, Brighton, Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, Cambridge and Bristol.

Importantly, the food is made FRESH and in-branch everyday.

Phở [pronounced fuh] is the Vietnamese national dish; an aromatic, nutritious^ and delicious rice noodle soup served with a side plate of fresh herbs to add as you please. The addition of these herbs and table condiments is an essential part of eating phở and adds another dimension to the dish – our chilli paste for a kick, fish sauce for extra saltiness, garlic vinegar for sourness.

Here’s what we had:

Muc chien giòn – tender friend baby squid with a salt, pepper and lime dip
Chå giò – crispy pork spring rolls
Pho chin – tender beef brisket slow cooked in broth
Pho tái chin – steak and brisket slow cooked in broth

The meat was amazing and there was absolutely loads there. It sounds gross, but I could have actually just drunk the broth, it tasted increds. 10/10 would recommend for a lunch break or dinner.

Head down to Kingston’s new restaurant now to experience proper Vietnamese food, or visit the website for more details – http://www.phocafe.co.uk/

 

I do love a new product and am a self-confessed impulse buyer! Adverts know what they’re doing, and all it takes is a quick stroll around Boots or Superdrug for me to come out with a whole hoard of bits and pieces (how did this happen, I only went in to buy one thing etc etc). I’m generally pretty happy with my purchases and am continually buying those cute little storage boxes from IKEA to keep them all in. However, there’s a few that don’t live up to the hype. All that excitement of a new product for something which doesn’t work for me.

When finding a product like this, I try my best to give them away to friends and family to ensure they don’t go to waste – I’m not saying they won’t work for everyone!

Here are the top five products I regret buying.

Max Factor Masterpiece Eyeliner

This one really annoyed me! I tried it on my hand in Boots and out came this wonderful jet-black liquid which dried exactly the way I like it. The nib was also really interesting and I thought it’d really help the construction of my cat-liner. No such luck. As soon as I did practically one swipe on my lids, the nib dried up and I ended up dragging it across dry, which really hurt! It seems to not work on top of eyeshadow which is rubbish. I tried to give it the benefit of the doubt by pressing the nib on paper to ensure it was damp with liner before going in on my lid. This took ages though and I ended up using my usual liner over the top. Banished to the storage box, my friend!

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Rimmel Instaflawless Primer

No. Just no. I think I got distracted by the pretty packaging. I was excited about this one, because who doesn’t want to be bloody flawless? The slightly orange liquid slid around my skin and would barely absorb – it didn’t feel like a primer AT ALL. I tried different applications on different days – brush, fingers, beauty blender – and none of them seemed to work. Even worse, when trying to apply my expensive Dior foundation on top of this ‘primer’ it just smeared even worse – and I had to take it off! I’m sticking to my All-in-One BB Cream from BodyShop.

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Real Techniques Sculpting Brush

Ooh, controversial. I LOVE Real Techniques brushes, don’t know where I’d be without them. But this one…meh! It just doesn’t work for me. I’ve tried different products, techniques and areas of my face to use it on and just can’t seem to find a way to use it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s lovely and the bristles are nice and dense – I’m just not a fan. One of my friends LOVES this one, though.

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Mane ‘n’ Tail Shampoo

Often described as having a ‘cult following’, this shampoo was originally made for horses before someone decided it worked quite well on their own hair too. Oh no. Not for me. It practically made my hair feel like straw, no matter how much conditioner I used afterwards! However, another of my friends swears by it!

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Scünci Perfect Pony

Who doesn’t like an extra bit of volume for their hair without unecessary backbrushing? But unfortunately…this thing just does not work. It comes with a piece of plastic to kind of push up your hair when it’s in it’s pony tail. I’ll stick to my trusty backcombing brush!

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Are there any products you regret spending the money on?

Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 12.19.28Further to my fitness posts about the Withings Activité watch and Stacey Jackson’s fitness range, I was offered another brilliant opportunity to help me along with my fitness journey.

Get Fit with Davina is a complete health, fitness and weight-loss programme. It’s 100% customised for you to do at any time. It features personalised daily workout videos and a complete nutrition plan designed to help you get fit, lose weight and keep it off. Not only are the programmes totally customised to you, but they also keep track of how you’re doing and adapt to help you stay on track.

I’ve loved Davina for a really long time, and have always been stunned by how fit she looks and how motivated she seems – so if I could have even a little bit of that, I’m taking the opportunity!

I’ve tried a few celebrity workout before and  I am always tempted but often sceptical of new ones that come out. However, it’s obvious that a lot of thought and research has gone into creating Get Fit With Davina. The site creates a personalised plan for your fitness levels and goals. All of the exercises (and there are many) are tailored to you and can be done from the comfort of your living room. But trust me – there will be no couch potatos with Davina.

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The fitness programme was created by Davina’s fitness expert Ed Lumsden. The programme is designed to create the most effective session possible for people of any ability – rather than doing boring, repetitive exercises that just don’t get results. This means high intensity, varied, targeted workouts with taught techniques.  The programme keeps track of exactly what the you are doing and what you have done and can adapt to help you stay on track at a level that is right for you.

There is also a nutrition plan created with Davina’s nutritional Guru Max Tomlinson, which follows Davina’s philosophy of eating well and cutting out things like processed foods and sugar. I must admit, I didn’t use this feature as I am currently on a diet that suits me. However, it looked really interesting and easy to follow.

The workouts ranged in terms of type of exercise and intensity. Things like Box Fit were really cool – I’d never done that before and I threw myself into it. I ended the workout feeling like I’d not done much and wondered whether that was a decent exercise. Oh. Oh it was. My arms, back and waist told me so the next day. You should complete three workouts a day (at seven minutes each), more if you fancy. The time flies by, and Davina really helps you through with motivation and cracking jokes as the workout unfolds.

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I REALLY enjoyed the five weeks I spent working out with Davina. Not only that…it worked. I lost 5lb and there is certainly some more definition going on in places of my body I hadn’t seen for a while. This, combined with my running, will hopefully help me to reach my fitness goal.

Get Fit With Davina is free for the first four weeks and costs £9.99 every four weeks with no registration or cancellation fees. There is no minimum subscription purchase obligation, and users may cancel at any time.

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I’ve been lucky enough to try out some StaeFit gym kit from Stacey Jackson over the last couple of months.

For those who don’t know, Stacey is a is a Canadian-American singer, Executive Producer at 3B1G Records and founder of StaeFit workout apparel. A proper doer. She’s also really hot too. Seriously. Have a look!

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For years, I’ve worked out in old t-shirts and Primark shorts, the only ‘must-have’ in my kit being a decent sports bra so I don’t bonk myself in the face. I didn’t really care what I wore. Until StaeFit. Here’s what the brand says:

“StaeFit is a stylish solution to an embarrassing complaint suffered by women all over the world, coined by Stacey as BRASH: an irritating and persistent breast rash often felt by women who wear sports bras. Jackson’s StaeFit range of tops and gym pants uses ultra – absorbent materials, designed to draw away trapped moisture from the body post gym-workouts (hence less sweat is trapped near the skin). The unique Silver antibacterial treatment, which absorbs odour, is ideal for those who keep their gym kit on post workout. The supportive built-in bra in the tops are the only front fastening active wear tops on the market, making sweaty encounters, wrestling sports bras over your head a thing of the past.”

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So does it work?
It absolutely does. When I first set eyes on the kit, I was slightly dubious because the pieces were just so damn fashionable. The high-waisted leggings are a dream to slide on. Not as unforgiving as pure Lycra but tight enough to show off your shape and make you look toned. I also love the fun stars on the side panels (which also use compression tech to pull you in). The pink-piped zip-up top cinches you in at the waist, showing off an hour-glass figure, whilst the black mesh at the back shows a demure bit of skin. The whole outfit left me feeling, dare I say it…sexy.

 Sexy whilst working out? UNHEARD OF
I know, right? But I swear it’s true. I even put a little bit of powder and waterproof mascara on AND fishtail-plaited my hair for a 5K as I felt my face didn’t match my body. I felt a world away from a bare face, messy bun and Primark shorts. The kit keeps you warm but not too warm. Of course there is sweat, but the kit doesn’t leave you feeling uncomfortable or sticky at all. It’s a YES from me, StaeFit.

What about support?
I’m SO paranoid that my ta-tas will go saggy whilst I’m running and bouncing around, hence why a good sports bra is an absolute must. I’ve been blessed with some on-the-larger-side jugs so, when using Stacey’s gym top, I was a bit loathe to use it without a bra – how could this top keep all my bits and pieces in one place? But using the front clasp immediately winches everything into place – and trust me, I need some winching in that area. You end up feeling all tucked in whilst also feeling the bomb. Win-win.

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The ‘Pink Piping’ and ‘Star Crazy’ kit I tried is available here.

As an extra bonus, Stacey has released an absolutely pumping workout track ‘Pour Some Sugar On Me’ for when you’re concentrating on not dying during your workout. Have a listen – it works!