Saturday, 28 January 2017

January Favourites

28th January. Well we made it didn't we. First month down and I have to say it has been a good one.

Here are just a few highlights.
1. I have lost a stone in weight! Wahooo. A whole 14lbs and I feel A-M-A-Z-I-N-G for it.
2. Andrew and I went on some dates and it was the best.
3. I have stuck with the whole blogging every week thing I said.
4. Jobs we said we wanted to do around the house have been done.
5. I have seen friends and drank a lot of coffee which makes me happy.
6. I have bought all of Andrews presents for his birthday next month! Winning at life.
7. We have booked time off and are going on holiday next month.

January I have loved you and I now can not wait for February with Valentines Day, 30th Birthdays and holidays.

Now, there have been some things I have been OBSESSED with this month and I wanted to share them with you lovely ones. So, enough of me and all my ramberling.

Here are my January Favourites.

B E A U T Y

ELIZABETH ARDEN ALL GONE EYE MAKE UP REMOVER


For Christmas Andrew got me an Elizabeth Arden Bright Lights, Big City set and oh my. There are so many things in there that I love but the Eye Make Up Remover has to be the best. Most days I wear eye shadow, eye liner, masacara and I was finding that I was rubbing my eyes most nights so hard to get all the make up off. This was leaving me having really sensitive eyes. I wasn't really expecting much from this so when I used it because I couldn't find anything else I was BLOWN away. I put a few drops on some cotton wool, hold it to my eyes and rub off and it literally wipes away.




I picked this beauty up in the Boxing Day Sale after hearing so many people rave about it and honestly I can see why. When I use this I can smell it on my skin for hours after, my husband has become obsessed with it as well. I do think this is only available at Christmas which sucks but when Christmas comes it definitely is a must. Has anyone ever used this before, what is the smell? HELP I can not work it out.


F O O D   A N D   D R I N K

PEPSI MAX



Now I know this is a funny one but this month I have just drank Pepsi Max like it is going out of fashion. Everyday I pick on of these up from the shop next to work and it is gone with in no time. I have recently joined Weight Watchers, I know, I know I am that desperate and with it all being based on points and that, this beauty comes in with 0 smart points so that's a winner in my eyes.


Now you may have seen but at the beginning of the month I made Vanilla Cupcakes from Tanya Burrs book, Tanya Bakes and man they are so good and so easy to make now we have our KitchenAid, so yeah you got it, this month I have made cupcakes so many times but as you know I am on a diet so I have just been given them away or eating them for a sneaky treat. If you are looking for a yummy cupcake recipe then make sure you check out my post or even by the book.



F A S H I O N 

MONKI SCARF


Andrew picked this scarf up for me at Christmas after I saw Rhiannon Ashlee talk about it one of her vlogs. I wanted a huge oversize scarf that I could wear with everything and even use as a wrap if needed and this was the one. We picked it up from ASOS for £12 and I have worn it every day. I have so many scarves but they don't always go with my oufits so its so nice to have one that goes with everything. This scarf has been a life saver the last few weeks, I have used it as a blanket in my freezing office and even covered my friends baby in it to keep them warm. Its a huge WIN.




H O M E

PRINTS
If you follow me on Instagram you would have seen that over Christmas and the beginning of this month we have done lots of little jobs around the house including finally putting up prints that we have had for ages. At the bottom of our stairs we have this little wall art space which includes a personalised print from my brother that we got for our wedding, a calendar which we fill out and change monthly, a picture of us on our wedding day and then these two new prints. I found the 'Go the extra mile' quote online and just printed it out and then the 'Enjoy the little things' print was £1.99 from B&M and I love it. We have finished of this little space with a cute chair and its honestly one of my favourite corners of our house.  
CUSHIONS
The cushions on our sofa were in need of a re vamp and I was ready to inject some more colour into our lives, much to Andrews annoyance. I wanted to go for a crazy, thrown on, different types of cushion look and I think we achieved that. I picked up these pastel pink cushions from Matalan for £6 and the mint green ones from Primark for £5. I love them and so does Andrew. The geometric triangle print cushions were from eBay and cost £2.49. They are so pretty and so cheap. My new favourite thing is to just sit on my sofa with all my cushions and make my own pillow palace. 
T V   A N D   M U S I C

After having no series to watch together in such a long time we decided to start watching Suits after it was recommended by a friend. Seriously, SO GOOD! Its all about lawyers and solving cases and Andrew and I are hooked. Any time we have a chance to watch an episode we do. Definitely worth a watch if you are looking for something at the moment.
ADELE  AND ED SHEERAN
What a women. To be honest she could probably go in my favourites every month but this month 'Water Under the Bridge' has been on repeat. I can't help but sing my heart out and dance away to it. Well there is no way I can do a January Favourites and not talk about the beauty that is Ed Sheeran. I am so glad he is back and his song 'Castle on the Hill' is my jam really. January has been all about these two voices. 
There we have it friends, my January Favourites and a few highlights. How has your month been, what have you been loving?
Have your self and incredible week. Don't forget to go and follow me on Instagram and Twitter. I would love to see you over there.
Love Leeny
xxx 


Saturday, 21 January 2017

Weight Watchers so Far...

Oh, hello
Right, to start off lets be honest. Back in November I hit the wall. I was done with feeling uncomfortable in all of my clothes and just generally meh. I know I have put weight on I can tell but I also got a swift talking too by the not so helpful doctor, who didn't hold back in telling me how obese I am. Now I am not going to lie, it did hurt and he was nasty but I get he has a job to do.

Now I am not doing this for him.

I am doing this because I know.

I know I have put weight on,
I know I feel uncomfortable,
I know I need to stop eating terrible food and make better choices.

I KNOW.

So because of that I joined Weight Watchers online. They had some sort of deal going on which meant I got 3 months for £25 instead of the usual £36.49. Now, loads of people said that I should just go to the class but I just don't know, I don't think I am a class kinda gal. I am already out 3 nights a week so another night for class doesn't seem appealing, there are classes during the day but, being truthful I am just not feeling siting in a group and standing on the scales in front of a stranger, the idea of it sends my anxiety through the roof. 

I decided to give myself the 3 months online challenge, well it isn't really a challenge I just made that up myself, I wanted to see what would happen. If I couldn't lose weight in those 3 months then I would maybe consider joining a class but I can tell you know that after 2 months its going well. 


H O W   I T   A L L   W O R K S 
Signing up couldn't have been easier. I headed to the Weight Watchers website and chose the 'online' option. I filled in all my details and set up a log in. From there I answered a ton of questions about me, my age, height, weight etc. Then with some sort of Weight Watchers maths they gave me a daily allowance of smart points and also a weekly allowance of points. Now with these points there are some rules... 

DAILY / These points are to be used every day, they renew every day and you can not carry them over to the next day.
WEEKLY / These ones are for extra treats, just in case you go over your daily allowance. I like to use these for weekends as well, everything goes out the window then. 

S M A R T   P O I N T S
All food that you eat has a point value. Now fruit and veg (most of it) is 0 points but then a poached egg is 2sp and well, I found out this last night but a Chicago Town Pizza stuffed crust 4 cheese is 61sp, which is a joke, I nearly died. 

A P P 
One thing that was a major pull for me choosing Weight Watchers was the app, seriously this app has taken over my obsession with Facebook. The app is split into 5 parts. 

MY DAY / This is where you see your Daily points, Weekly points and how many points you have left. On the My Day section you record all your meals and it tracks all your points. The great thing about this app is there is a barcode scanner, this means that you can scan all bar codes and check points. Also at the bottom of the page you can access recipes as well. At the top of this section you can choose from food and activity, the app is linked to my FitBit and you can record all exercise as well.

JOURNEY / Here is where you can see your progress, you can record your weight etc. 

+ BUTTON / In the middle of the screen there is a plus button. When you click on this you can record you weight, activities and also plan recipes etc.

CONNECT / Now Connect is well, just like FaceBook. On here you can interact and chat with other people on weight watchers. There are before and after pictures, recipe ideas and you can follow other people. This is my favourite part, on days where I am struggling I head on here and get some inspiration but I also have picked up loads of tip and ideas as well. 

CHAT / Now I have never had to use this but there is a chat section where you can talk to a member of the Weight Watchers team about anything you are struggling with.

Seriously the APP is unreal.


S O   F A R 
Now in typical Colleen style and in hindsight starting in the middle of November was probably not the best idea. I had 4 weeks where everything was amazing and so easy. I lost 12lb in that time and could definitely tell the difference, but then Christmas came and it all went belly up. Including Christmas and new year I took 3 weeks off and put on 6lb! ahhhhhhhhhhh :( But in the last two weeks I have been back on plan an have lost those 6lb again. 

Now February is coming and soon my 3 month membership will be up but I am enjoying it. I feel better in myself and I am starting to see a difference in me so because of that I am going to carry on and see what happens. I mean if I can lose 1lb every week for a whole year that's 52lb and you know 1lb seems doable. 

But don't fear, this is now not a weight loss blog but I may share some recipes and how I am doing along the way. 

Anyone else ever tried Weight Watchers? Did it work! I would love to know. 

Love Leeny
xxx

Saturday, 14 January 2017

OPI Infinite Shine Nail Polish

If you saw my 'What I got for Christmas' post you would have seen that I got this amazing OPI Infinite Shine Nail Polish set off my mumma and it is the best.


This set came with the Primer, 3 nail polishes, the top coat, an anti chip polish and also some nail polish remover. 

When I first got his I had no clue what it was and what it was meant to do, but like what it says on the lid it is for infinite shine and that is exactly what it does. 

So what the heck do you do... 

S T E P   O N E 
Clean up those nails, file them down, give them a buff,  you know a general tidy up.


S T E P   T W O 
Take the OPI Base Coat and paint all your nails with a thin even coat, this dries pretty fast but still leave it for a few minutes.

S T E P   T H R E E 
Now it is time to choose a colour. This set came with 3 choices so I went with the Crimson colour, if you are pretty confident then I reckon go for it with a thick first coat but if not just do two layers. 

S T E P   F O U R 
Leave the colour to dry for a good few minutes. I then took the chip proof polish and just painted the tips of my nails as that is where my nails chip the most.

S T E P   F I V E
Its time for the final part which is OPI Gloss polish. Paint all those nails and DO. NOT. TOUCH. ANYTHING. 

S T E P   S I X
Watch some TV,  listen to music, get someone to make you a drink. Most importantly don't touch anything till it dries. Now put on some pretty clothes and get someone to take you out and treat you or like me just take pictures of them.
 When I first used this I didn't really expect much but I got so many compliments about my nails. They really are high gloss and look so professional and like they are gel nails done by professional which they aren't at all. It may take a lot longer that the 60 second nail polish but I love the results and they definitely last a long time. 

OPI do the most amazing colours in their Infinite Shine range and I can not wait to try some more. 

What do you think? Impressed as much as me! 
If you give them a try let me know. 

Love Leeny
xxx

Monday, 9 January 2017

Vanilla Cupcakes // Tanya Burr

Andrew and I love to bake and this has most definitely been fuelled by our love for The Great British Bake Off, when we found out it was moving and everyone was leaving, we went into mourning! So, so, so sad. 

Anyway, because of our love for baking we decided a few months ago that we would love to get ourself a kitchenaid, so just before Christmas we treated ourselves to the most gorgeous Pistachio Kitcheaid and its the best thing, ever. 

So as you can imagine this beauty has made us bake and eat cake so much more and when I recieved the Tanya Bakes book for Christmas this Kitchenaid has been used NON STOP. 


One recipe we have loved is the Vanilla Star - Sprinkled Cupcakes which you can find on page 79 in her book. We mixed it up a little bit as we didnt have enough star related decoration so we checked out our chocolate stash and found a chocolate orange. I think it is essential that we all have a good basic cupcake recipe and this one is spot on, it means you can be creative with toppings and you don't have to stick to what she has said, although the stars do look super cute.

Making these has highlighted one thing to me, I need to work on my piping skills. I need to work on those skills some how.

W H A T   Y O U   N E E D
CAKES
50g Unsalted Butter
180g Caster Sugar
1 Egg
1tsp Vanilla Extract
160g Plain Flour
2tsp Baking Powder
160ml Milk

ICING
500g Icing Sugar
250g Unsalted Butter
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract 
Sprinkles, Chocolate other yummys to decorate

W H A T   Y O U   N E E D   T O   D O
*Heat up the oven to 180 degrees and pop some cake papers into a cake tin. 
*Mix the butter and sugar together in a bowl until fluffy.
*Add the egg and vanilla and mix it all up again. 
*Fold in the flour and baking powder.
*Add the milk slowly until the mixture is like a batter. 
*Spoon the mixture into the cake papers, I always find it easy to use a icecream scoop, it helps to make sure all cakes are even too. 
*Pop the beauties into the oven for 15 - 20 minutes until they are golden on top. 
*To make the icing throw in the icing sugar, butter and vanilla extract into a bowl and mix it up. 
*Spoon or pipe (this is the bit I need to work on) onto the cakes and decorate with all your yummys you have gathered.
*Pour yourself a hot drink, grab a book and a comfy blanket and sit back and enjoy. 


Make sure you stay up to date with all my post by following me on Instagram, Twitter and Bloglovin

Enjoy the cake and let me know if you make them. 

Love Leeny
xxx

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Mini Lush Haul

Whats that, I am one of those idiots who was in the queue on the Lush website for 7 hours on Boxing day, yeah thats me, I am than loon. 

Now just so you know I didn't actually sit in front of a screen I just left the page running and every now and again pressed refresh. 

I didnt actually get into the website till around 7pm on Boxing day so its fair to say that I only got a few things as there was NOTHING left, but what I did get I am so chuffed with. I mean 10 bath bombs and snow fairy for £20. WHAT A STEAL. 

So here we have it. My little Lush haul.

 
So considering I placed this order on the 26th Decemeber it only just arrived on the 6th January which to be fair is quite a while to wait but you know what, I am fine with that especially when you think about how much I paid for it. Andrew had to pick this up from the post office on his way to work and his van still smells of lush now.

So what did I get... Lets have a little look.

N  O R T H E R N   L I G H T S
 I have heard so many amazing things about Northern Lights and having used one last night, I can see why. The colours are insane and the smell, SO GOOD. I managed to get 3 Northern Lights for £1.65 each.

B U T T E R B E A R
So I went a tad crazy on the Butterbears because they were only 82p each. I mean, come on. Have you see how cute those little bear faces are. The Butterbear is made up of Cocoa butter, Ylang Ylang oil. It smells amazing.

L U X U R Y   L U S H   P U D
So apparently the Lush Pud is the perfect reciepe for unwinding and I can not wait to give it a try. I am so excited to try this as it is made up of Lavender Oil and that smell is enough to send me to sleep for a week.This little gem cost me £1.78.

F A T H E R  C H R I S T M A S 
This guy took a battering in the process of getting to me but I think it adds character. From the dents on the side its clearly obvious that this one is going to be a colour treat as I can see green peeping out the side. This little guy was only £1.57 so I couldn't leave it behind.

S N O W   F A I R Y   S H O W E R   G E L 
 Helen Anderson talks about this shower gel so much so when I saw it was on deal it was put in the basket straight away. The smell of this is insane but SO sweet, I mean if you don't want to smell like a sweet shop then maybe steer clear. Snow fairy is normally quite exspensive but in the Boxing Day sale I was able to get this 250g bottle for £3.32.
 

So there we have it. 10 Bath Bombs and 1 Shower Gel for £19.49. I think I am now sorted for a while and my house smells so good. 

What do you lovely lot love from Lush? Let me know I am always keen to try new things. 

Love Leeny
xxx

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Dear Diary: Let's Go Find a Waterfall

''I have been thinking, shall we get a National Trust card?'' 
A direct quote said to Andrew by yours truly.

Thats right. This was a genuine thing that came out of my mouth last week while in search of a waterfall with Andrew. WHAT ON EARTH HAVE I BECOME.

After spending a few days in the house, wearing PJs, eating all our body weight in chocolate it was time to get out and go on an adventure and most importantly get some fresh air.

There is something about being outside in the middle of no where that makes my heart so happy, it is honestly so good for my soul. We put on a ton of warm clothes, found out our trainers, packed the most ridulous packed lunch including a zip lock bag filled with around 35 mini sausage rolls and set out in search of a water fall.

 

We decided to head to a place called High Force, Andrew and I remembered us as kids at school going on a school trip and I have been before with friends which was a while other adventure including me breaking my flip flops and having to do the whole walk bare foot. 

It was a such a crisp, cold day and it seems that loads of other people had the same idea as us as it was packed. After setting off from home we headed via one of our favourite towns for Costa and then on in search of a water fall. As we drove along the country roads we played our favourite songs, while reminiscing about all our favourite parts of Christmas so far. 

 

We pulled up in the car park and it seems that every one else was searching for a waterfall aswell as there were so many people around. As we parked up we pulled back the seats and had our very own car picnic, it was the best, this girl doesn't need anything fancy. 

The walk down to the falls is through trees and over tiny bridges. We passed so many old people, young people, families and dogs it seemed like everyone was out in force and everytime we walked past someone they said hello, there is always something about Christmas that brings out the nice in people, isn't there.
 
  

As we walked around the corner we saw it in the distant through the trees. It honestly was a sight that took your breath away, you could hear it before you saw it. 

As we walked in the direction of the waterfall we arrived at the top of the wooden steps that took you down to the river bank. There were parents at the top watching there children trying not to freak out as they climbed all over the wet rocks. People were stood in amazement, taking pictures, setting up tripods for the perfect shot, throwing stones in the river and you could just hear the faint sound of people laughing and having fun. 


It was so nice to have a day where I didn't care about how I looked, or how my hair fell or even how much make up I had on. I was wearing a huge oversized jumper that made me feel like I was an inmate at the local prison and that parka jacket, don't get me started, its gross and needs a wash but is so comfy. 


Andrew and I have never been one of the couple to pose for a photo in front of a special landmark or a pretty view, we are more the selfie type as you can see but when a cute old couple stopped an asked if we would like our picture taken we just couldn't say no, so here we are the ultimate cheese but we love it so much.


After we checked out High Force we drove a mile down the road to see Low Force. We parked up in a car park hidden in the middle of the forrest but it had the cutest dirt kitchen which I wish I could have played in. 

We wandered across the road and over some fields, down a bank, where we found a rope bridge. Across the bridge you found Low Force. After the success of our couple shot we decided to set up the timer and try and go for another one but nope, what a fail. Lets stick to selfies next time. 


After two hours of exploring and walking around we stopped off for a cup of tea in the cosiest warm hotel. It was so nice to warm up after the coldest walk. 


It was the perfect day with my favourite. He is seriously the best and lets be honest he is getting so much better at being a instagram husband. 


Love Leeny
xxx

Monday, 2 January 2017

2017: Be...


A BRAND NEW YEAR

Can you smell it, can you feel it? Ahhh the sweet scent of a new year. I mean,  if you have been living under a rock and have no idea what the date is you would definitely be able to tell its a new year, look at the amount of people out running or by the posts on instagram of healthy food, I mean if I see one more post saying new year, new me, I may go INSANE. 


But, it is FINALLY here and I am excited. 2016 is gone and a brand spanking new year has arrived. I always feel like a new year brings an air of excitement, I mean anything can happen can't it. It was so strange last week looking back over the goals I set myself this time last year and seeing what I achieved and failed at miserably. 

It is now the 2nd of January and over the last few days with Andrew we have been chatting about our plans and dreams for this year. There are things we want to achieve and do as a couple but we also have a hefty list of things we want to do as individuals aswell. The end of 2014 and 2015 for us was insane, we started dating, got engaged, planned a wedding and bought a house, I was exhausted by the end of it so in 2016 we decided that for us both it was going to be the year of 'winging it' and well, we did just that, we didnt make plans, we didn't organise anything huge we just took each month as it came and decided there and then what we wanted to do. It was the best.

But truth being told, I am ready, ready for a new year with new challenges and goals and well I am sharing them here with you, you know for the whole accountability thing and the fact that come this time next year I can come back to here right (hello future Colleen) and see how I have done. 

2017 for me is all about the word BE. Not 'try', not 'give it a good go', not 'if you feel like it'. Simply BE. To me, BE is all about just doing it. Just be that person, stop making excuses just become and be it, no excuses

JUST BE WHAT YOU WANT.

So here it is, all the things I want to BECOME and BE this year. 

 

BE...

...PRESENT
I want to be present. I want to be a person that when someone talks to me they know they have my whole attention, none of this looking around the room, playing on my phone getting distracted. I want to be present in the moment, enjoying every second. 

...GENEROUS
This year Andrew and I have decided that as a couple and personally we want to just be more generous, with our time, effort, energy, finances and more. 

...KIND
I mean we all need to be abit kinder sometimes. Come join the lets be 'Kind Club' with me.

...PRO ACTIVE
This year I just want to be more pro active, I want to be a person who gets things done, I want to make things happen instead of waiting for things to come to me. No more will I make excuses.

...HEALTHIER
I mean this is something that is on the list every year but yeah, seriously, I want to make healthier choices. 

...CHILLED
I need to chill out majorly. True story. Things thats stress me shouldn't be stressing me, I worry about what I look like, what my house looks like, work shedules, family, friends, I worry alot. So this year I just want to chill out. 

...MYSELF
Last year I found myself just worrying too much about what other people thought, so much so that sometimes I changed who I was, or became someone who I wasn't. This year I want to just be me. 

So stick around, let see if I can become all these things in 2017. 

What are you plans and goals for 2017?
I have a good feeling about this year. 

Love Leeny
xxx