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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Impossible, the breath-taking magic spectacular thrilling audiences worldwide, is back by popular demand, returning to its home in the West End for a strictly limited season.

Featuring the world’s greatest illusionists live on stage in a daring, jaw-dropping display of magical artistry Impossible will electrify and amaze theatre-goers of all ages.

That’s not all! In an exclusive guest appearance, Britain’s Got Talent’s Richard Jones joins the show. I loved him on BGT (helps he is super good looking, too).

I caught up with Impossible’s Conjurer Sabine van Dieman and Grand Illusionist Josephine Lee to find out what it’s like to perform on the West End and how it feels to be representing women in the magic world – see their responses below.

Stay tuned for a review of the show when I check it out on 13th July!

How does it feel to be performing on the prestigious West End?

Sabine van Diemen – It’s amazing, literally a dream come true. Being from Holland and being able to perform on the prestigious West End is unbelievable. I love the idea that so many great theatre people performed there. Awesome I’m excited!

Josephine Lee – I am absolutely thrilled and very excited. This will be my third show in the West End but my first show as one of the leads and it’s always so exhilarating to be part of the West End community.

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Sabine van Diemen

When did you realise you wanted to be a magician? How did you get into it?

SD – When I was 18 I was dancing in the Holland Show Ballet and there was a magician doing a piece in between the two parts of the show. One of the assistants got injured on the day of opening night and they looked around the ballet and said: YOU! I had an hour to learn 6 tricks. I was so nervous but the show went very well and the adrenaline rush was indescribable. I was instantly hooked!

JL – I was working as a dancer in a magic show touring Europe for the world famous magician, Hans Klok. I finished the contract moved back to London and 6 months later I had a call from him saying a position had become available as his assistant and would I consider moving to Holland permanently to work for him. I thought to myself Ill just go for 3 months, came home 5 years later! An audience’s reaction is so unbelievably different to that of dancing that I just couldnt give up the thrill of it.  

The magic world is dominated by men and it’s rare to see female magicians. Are you treated any differently because of this?

SD – People are always very surprised when they hear what you do, but in a very good and positive way! They instantly think you are this strong, fearless power woman. Which we are obviously (hahaha). I don’t feel that we get treated very differently

JL – This is a great question and one that I feel I wish we were more often asked directly instead of assumptions being made on our behalf. I have read a lot on the views of feminism in magic and I must say I very rarely agree with any of them. The magic industry is heavily dominated by men, not because women are not given the opportunities men are but because there are not enough women taking that step and given it a go. I have had nothing but help, advice, encouragement and guidance from the magic community which is predominantly made up of men. If we are treated any differently its definitely in a positive way, theres a lot of enthusiasm towards female magicians taking to the stage.

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Josephine Lee

You are both trained dancers. Are you still dancing when not performing? If not, do you miss it?

SD – I’m still choreographing which I absolutely love. I’m not dancing so much anymore and that’s totally fine! I always liked magic way more!

JL – Dancing is slowly starting to take a back seat in my life and I find myself starting to pick and choose the jobs I take which I believe is quite possibly the beginning of transitioning into the next stage of my career. I dont believe its something I could ever give up though whilst my body still allows me, I think that would be a huge regret of mine in later life. I would like to hope Ill still be dancing in my 90s with my walking stick!

What do you get up to in your spare time when not performing magic?

SD – A lot! I still do a lot of modelling gigs as well as choreographing and producing shows for a big events company back in Amsterdam! Other than that I do kickboxing multiple times a week. Love to travel, shop (I need to stop that) go out with friends, cook, I’m an obsessive house cleaner haha and I just wander around Amsterdam!

JL – I do a lot of Yoga, I would say its more of an obsession than a hobby! I also love to read and my true passion is for travel so Im always planning my next adventure. Im not very good at relaxing so if im not working Im working on what ever Im working on next!

What’s next for you both? Do you have any more career goals for the future?

SD – You must have career goals! Or at least goals in life! That’s the fun part to see how far you can go! As far as the West End I feel totally blessed and I would love to tour the world with the Impossible cast and crew! Who knows? Anything is possible! Let’s go Vegas, Broadway, a big Asian tour? As long as we can keep doing what we love and bring the magic to the people!

I’m very happy to be working with Jo (Josephine Lee) and bring the audience some girl power!

JL – I believe its so important to keep yourself creatively stimulated so I never stop working on reaching the next goal. Im currently working on a very exciting project. My aim is to create a very unique act and intertwining all my skills into one. Theres so much magic in the public eye now and its becoming more and more popular with all these talent shows. Its truly so wonderful because it pushes us to step it up a notch and dig deep to create pieces no one else is doing, at a time like this you have to be unique. Its such an exciting time for magic!

Impossible runs from 8th July to 27th August at the Nöel Coward Theatre – tickets can be bought here.

 

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!

Warning: I’ve been asked to put a disclaimer saying this post is ‘gross’, even though it’s about something we as women all go through – the most natural thing in the world. But if you’re easily freaked, BYE!

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You may have seen recently the advert and hype around Bodyform ditching the ‘blue liquid’ which is often used in tampon and pad adverts, in favour of using red liquid. You know. Like blood. Like the blood women menstruate. I mean, what’s the big deal, man?

I’m a pretty open person (okay, VERY open) and have no qualms talking about bodies and functions and sex and subjects people can be prudish about or find gross. It doesn’t make me any better than them, I just think I give less of a shit. Who cares? I’m a human not an android.

I thought it was pretty shocking, the reaction this advert got. A lot of women praised it and were so happy to see the fake blue stuff replaced for something more realistic. However, it was more the abject disgust from women, mainly on Twitter, who get the gift of Aunt Flow every month that I found so odd. It’s 2016 – why are we shaming ourselves about this? It’s a great thing! Hey look at you – FERTILE. Your BODY WORKS. Let’s not go over the top and get on the hype with free bleeding (a little TOO much, even for me, thanks) – but what’s the biggie, really?

Anyway, I started baiting my female friends and family with casual questions about periods and I was quite surprised to discover almost all of them were totally grossed out.

It gets better. You should have seen their faces when I said I was going to be starting to use a menstrual cup that month.

WHAT?

A menstrual cup is a type of feminine hygiene product which is usually made of medical grade silicone, shaped like a bell and is flexible. It is worn inside the vagina during menstruation to ‘catch’ the blood.

It’s reusable. That means no more £5+ on sanitary items each month, as well as the icky dryness that some women can get when using tampons. It’s clean, it’s good for the environment and it WORKS.

There’s SO much stuff on the internet about this, as more and more women realise the benefits of using a cup. I’ll let you do your own research if you’re interested. I had known about this beforehand, but the girl that really got me into doing this and feeling comfortable with it is Bree. She’s a young entrepreneur who runs her own business selling cloth pads and menstrual cups. She is an advocate for being comfortable with our bodies and talking about things like this, rather than being embarrassed or grossed out. Check out her YouTube videos. A few of them and I was hooked on the idea. Thanks Bree!

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Bree

So, here’s something one of my friend’s said when I mentioned I’d started using a cup (name withheld to protect the squeamish):

“I’ve never thought about using a cup before. I’d always assumed it’d be really dirty and messy. It’s probably the fear of the unknown. How big is it? How do you get it up there? How do you know when do take it out? Can it get stuck? Too many questions need answering before I trust it over a good old fashioned tampon!”

How big is it?
This big.

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I can hear the “ewwwwws” already! Don’t worry – brand new and never used! The little thing on the end can be trimmed to your requirements. I’ve never had to trim one but it’s just what you are comfortable with! This is a Femmecup – but there are SO many to choose from, depending on your age, whether you’ve had a child or not. It can be a little overwhelming but just do some research and look at a few review videos online. You’ll be golden.

How do you get it in?
Make sure it, and your hands, are clean, firstly. Then simply do a ‘c-fold’, which is folding the cup in half and and then in half again. Then just…put it in like you would a tampon (you can use a bit of lube if you want), but without letting go of the c-fold. Once you’re happy – let go – and the cup should ‘pop’ open, creating a seal to prevent any accidents. You’ve still got a little wiggle room so just make sure it’s comfortable and that you can’t feel it. There are other folds you can do too (check out this video) – it’s just a case of doing some research and doing what feels comfortable to you.

How do you know when to take it out?
This is the benefit of a cup. You can wear it for up to 12 hours which is awesome. This is due to the cup ‘collecting’ rather than ‘absorbing’ and getting full. It’s great for all day at work, and fine for overnight too. GOODBYE sneaky tampon-up-the-sleeve in the office, and BYE massive night pads.

Won’t it leak?
Not if you have inserted it correctly and the rim has ‘popped’. You can check this by inserting a finger and running it all the way round the cup to check it’s open – you’ll be able to tell if it’s not. Use a panty-liner for a couple of days if you feel unsure, but honestly – should be fine.

How do you get it out? Can it get lost or stuck?
No. Just like a tampon, it can’t get ‘lost’. It sits lower than a tampon, but you still can’t feel it. You get it out by bearing down, gripping the bottom of the cup and squeezing to release the seal. It should then be easy to remove. It takes a little bit of practise (see below), but stick with it. Seriously. If you can’t ‘find’ it, or get a grip on it, try some deep breathing and go in with a little lubricant if needed. Once you’re relaxed, you should be fine. It’s probably best not to start using a menstrual cup when you’re in a hurry. Practise makes perfect!

Isn’t it gross?
TMI: The first time I removed it, I couldn’t get a good grip on it and after about five minutes started panicking as I was going to be late for work. When I finally got a grip, I just yanked it as I didn’t have time to faff about any more. Bad move. Flung it everywhere. Hammer House of Horrors. No one needs that in their lives. I ended up being late, as well. ANYWAY, just whilst you try to get that image out of your head, after a little practise, you’ll get it – promise. Once you’ve mastered it, you’ll realise what sort of, ahem, force you need to get it out. In terms of general grossness – meh. I mean, it’s a little more graphic than a tampon but it’s not like you’re going to inspect it, right? Just tip it away, rinse with warm water and a little soap if you want, and you’re good to go again.

What do you think? Intriguing or still totally gross? Thinking of investing in a cup or sticking to what you know? Any more questions – let me know!

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I’ve been absolutely loving reading some of these posts. Not only does it go to show you don’t HAVE to have high-end to look great (you all look beautiful!) but they have given me lots of inspiration. My May Lust Have list is HUGE this month.

Being curious, I have added up my own face. I’m still a little shocked, bearing in mind this is just the bits and pieces I use on a daily basis, not including all the little pots and potions I keep for special occasions, for example.

I’ve popped the links to transactional sites below, if you’d like to try some of the items for yourself!

Garnier Miracle Wake Up Cream
The Body Shop All-In-One BB Cream
Dior Forever Foundation
Soap and Glory Kickass Concealer
Max Factor Crème Puff Powder
Max Factor Bronzer
MUA Undress Your Skin Highlighter
In The Nude Eyeshadow Palette
Soap and Glory Supercat Eyeliner
Rimmel Scandeleyes Mascara
MAC Fix+
Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Lip Protectant

Face total: £128.44

How much is your face worth? I’m particularly interested in hearing from SurenaSays and Lola “Kicks the Bucket”!