Fitness Update.

So if you’ve been following me for the last few months you’ll have seen my post on Working Out, if you want to go back and read that you’ll find it here, when I had been doing it for a couple of weeks. Well now it’s an entire month later and I thought I would update you all.

I just wanted to have an update to be able to look back on for the future. Also to be a source of motivation to keep going, in my post Wing Girl I spoke a little about how to hold yourself accountable when starting new goals. Have a read if you would like to know why I think I haven’t lost motivation for working out yet.

We did have a little dip in progress and motivation over the Easter holidays a few weeks ago but as soon as they were over we got straight back into it. Our exercise routine has changed a little since we started because we are progressing so we are starting to include more difficult and varied exercises.

We recently purchased some kettlebells to workout with which I never thought I would use and we watched some YouTube videos to give us an idea of how to use them. We also use Xhits YouTube channel to do some extra ab workouts after some cardio. Then we will try to fit in a walk or a hike, whatever you want to call it.

It seems like a lot but overall it takes up to an hour when we don’t go for an extra long walk, including both a warm up and a cool down. Which is about how much you’re recommended to do daily. On Lisa’s days off we will do this in the morning because that means we have the rest of the day to get stuff done but on days when she is working (5 days a week) we will do this in the afternoon. Still no running though!

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This weekend I will be in the Isle of Wight for a cycling thing for my dad and brother, since they’re both taking part in a 100Km ride. We’re going to attempt to make a video like the ORICA GreenEDGE videos  and there will no doubt be a blog post with some photographs from the trip, so keep an eye out for those.

In the comments below let me know what keeps you motivated and what do you use to keep yourself accountable when you are trying to achieve a new goal?

Thank you for reading as always!

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Birchbox Favourites January – April

At the beginning of the year I decided to subscribe to Birchbox after toying around with the idea for a few months. I looked at a lot of different brands of subscription services and decided to go with Birchbox as it seemed like one of the most popular and also the most affordable. If you want to know more about Birchbox you can read about it here.

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So far I haven’t been disappointed with the products, there are only a few which I haven’t used because I don’t like them for whatever reason, but since they’re only samples I don’t feel bad for not using them. Since January I have received four boxes, some featuring a theme and one which didn’t have a theme. All of them have had some really lovely products so I thought I would talk a bit about them. I haven’t reviewed any products on the blog before and I thought this would be interesting for anyone who likes the idea of a subscription box but isn’t really sure what they’d get and if they would like them. When you sign up you fill out a profile, stating the things you would like and wouldn’t like etc. So you shouldn’t get anything that isn’t to your fancy.

I can’t  remember exactly which products came in which box because I use them frequently so I didn’t think to keep the little card that comes with the box which tells you about the products.  If you’d like to see monthly reviews of each box then please let me know and I will do them.

These are my favourite products so far:

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Dr Jart+ Clear Away Gel

I really like this product. It came full size which was really exciting because I was only expecting samples when I signed up. My skin loves this stuff. Since using it my skin has been clearer and a lot smoother. Goodbye spots!

Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum

It makes me sad that this only comes in a tiny tube! I’ve been using this sparingly because I don’t want it to run out. Whenever I use this my skin always looks and feels really hydrated. My make up goes on so lovely when using this. I wish it didn’t cost £45 to buy a full size! I can’t justify spending that much on one product. If you know of any great affordable drug store serums please let me know down below.

Activbod Cooling Finishing Lotion

If you’ve read any of my previous blog posts you might know that I exercise quite a lot. This came in one of the first Birchboxes I received but I only started using it recently. I’ve used it when I’ve worked out but had to quickly go out after or if it has been a really intense workout and I need something to instantly cool off.

Pommade Divine Remedy Balm

This product can be used for all sorts of stuff like dry skin, itchy skin, peeling, flaking etc. I used this on my tattoo after I had just had it done and it kept the peeling, from healing, to a minimum. I have also used this on my lips overnight when they have been really chapped and the next day they were completely healed! I was amazed by how quick it had worked.

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Percy & Reed Volumising No Oil Oil

I have used oil in my hair for quite a while now. It’s naturally curly so it can be really dry, especially at the ends. I was intrigued by this No Oil Oil and whether it would work for me or not. I was surprised when it did and just as well as my normal product and because it has no oil you can use this from root to tip, so I don’t have to worry about using this near my roots. No greasy hair which is always a bonus!

KMS California Tame Frizz Crème

I use this product every single time after washing my hair. It’s a pretty big sample size so it has lasted quite a long time. It does exactly what it says it does, tames frizz and has a light hold. Can’t really go wrong and I’m thinking of buying this in full size because I love it so much.

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Laura Mercier Longwear Crème Eye-liner in Violet

This came in this months Birchbox and at first I wasn’t sure about it because it’s purple and I’ve only ever used brown or black eye-liner. I really like the way this looks in the waterline, it adds a subtle pop of colour and it lasts a long time when worn normally. I can see myself using this until it’s all gone.

That’s it for my favourites in the Birchboxes from this year so far. I love getting new products to test out and try.

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Wing Girl.

In one of the earlier issues of Darling Magazine, there is an article about enlisting in a Wing Girl when trying to accomplish new goals or trying to break bad habits.

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If you don’t know what Darling Magazine is then you can read about it here.

I am very lucky to have a huge, very close family which is mostly made up of girls.

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To show you but a few. Because I have grown up, surrounded by all these incredible girls I understand how important it is to be supportive of others.

In a previous post, I spoke about how much free time I have since leaving my job a few months ago and with all this free time, I haven’t just been sitting around being a slob not doing anything. One thing which I have been doing quite a lot is being health conscious and getting fitter. You can read about that here. But I am not doing it alone. I’ve been working out consistently (at least an hour every day 5/6 days a week) for over a month now with my brother’s girlfriend, Lisa. It started out as a bit of fun and I honestly didn’t think I would keep it up for as long as I have. I completely put it down to us doing it together. We work out even when we don’t feel up for it simply because we are counting on each other. Even on the days where neither of us want to we still spur each other on and encourage it. We have got this far, we can’t give up now.

That’s just one example of how being encouraging and supportive can be beneficial. When enlisting in your wing girl, here are some things to remember:

What kind of support do you need? Do you need to simply just tell someone about your goals to keep up with them or do you need someone to achieve your goals with you?

Will this person keep you on track? Or are you both likely to give up for the same reasons?

Share your goals with each other. Have short term and long term goals which you both feel you can achieve.

“Enlisting in a wing girl can empower us to live our best lives and become our better selves. She can act as our guide, our greatest confidant, strictest teacher or fearless cheerleader.”

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“CHANGE BEGINS WITH JUST ONE SMALL STEP.”

Leave your thoughts and opinions on the benefits of having someone who will support and encourage your goals and even achieve them with you, below.

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Sunday Shortlist.

 In the UK it has been Easter half term, which means the schools have had two weeks off. I love half term because it means I get to see more of my family because they work at or go to school. My Sunday Shortlist is a little round-up of some of my top goings on in the last few weeks during this half term. It’s fun to have these to look back on.

My First Wagamama

I had wanted to go to Wagamama for ages because everyone raves about it and I got to go for the first time. I went with my brother and his girlfriend and I had the Roast Duck Ramen and it was pretty good.

My First Tattoo

I got my first tattoo and I’ve had it for almost two weeks now. It’s the constellation of my Star sign Aquarius, on the back of my right arm, just above my elbow. Lots of people ask me about it and aren’t sure what it is. But I love it.

Family Picnic

Last Sunday we went out for a picnic to one of my favourite parks about a 20 minute walk from my house. It was nice to be with most of the family for the day and the weather was lovely too!

Shopping

One of my favourite things to do is go shopping but since I’m currently not working I’m consciously making an effort not to spend so much money. But I decided to treat myself and a bit of retail therapy never hurt anyone. I bought a beautiful Ivory duster jacket from Primark. I also picked myself up some white roses.

Family Time

Family time in general is one of my favourite things. My house always has family who are in and out and during the half term it can get crazy. It has been pretty calm these few weeks but I did get to spend some time with my nieces and my brothers and sisters which doesn’t happen as often as we’d all like it too.

Fitness

The time finally came to start working out to the Charlotte Crosby DVD again after injuring my ankle. It’s finally all healed and we started working out, it was tough but I’m glad I’m getting back into it. I have been slacking in eating healthy though.

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Am I Crazy?

18 years old. My whole life ahead of me. So much to do and see and really I should just be preparing for the rest of my life. Right?

I’ve never been someone who plans ahead. I’ve never had a “plan”. I’ve never had a vision of where I would like my life to go. When asked the age-old question, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” My immediate response is to mumble and freak out over the intensity of this huge question. One we have been asked and asked time and time again since we began talking. But eventually my goal is to be happy and satisfied with my life. Regardless of what it may be that I want to pursue.
Isn’t that what we all want? Happiness?

As time keeps moving and everyone I know is continuing with their education and getting jobs, I sit and feel like there is so much more which I want from life. I want freedom, to earn money on my terms and to actually be excited for things that I do.

People genuinely think I’m crazy for not having a job and for not continuing my education, I’m currently spending my time at home and mostly, I have all of my time to myself. To do what I want, when I want (Thanks to great parents who are nothing but supportive!).  Maybe I am crazy, for being so young and already knowing that I want more from life than to work simply just to earn my next holiday off.

Since quitting a part-time job, which was actually full-time hours under a part-time contract, was boring and possibly the least fulfilling thing I have ever done. I have spent a lot of time thinking about what I want to do for the rest of my life. There are lots of things that I love; fashion, photography, culture, travel etc. I want to blur the line between work and play and instead earn money by doing the things that I love.

Somehow. I’m still working on it.

Let me know what you think below and if you have any advice then please share!

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Bucket List.

It’s that time of year, the sun is starting to shine and I’m reminded of all the things I want to do in life. It’s also the start of festival season with festivals starting all over the world, so I thought I’d share some of the festivals at the top of my Bucket List.

Coachella

It’s that time of year, the festival that everyone wants to be at. In the California sunshine, with art and music to be adored by the masses. It’s definitely up there on my Bucket List to do eventually.

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Glastonbury

Probably one of the best music festivals we have in the UK, one I have wanted to attend since watching Mumford & Sons play a couple of years ago on the TV.

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Holi

A celebration of love and colours. You can celebrate this in London and it looks like so much fun!

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Dia de los muertos (Day of the Dead)

This festival is so intriguing to me, it teaches to accept death rather than fear it.

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The Rio de Janeiro Carnival

The biggest carnival in the world with 2 million people who participate. Brazil is at the top of the places I want to go to and if I ever do, then this will be one of the things I see there.

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Working Out.

At the start of this year I had decided that I would up my health. On the inside and out. I made the decision to start working out more often, not that I was working out at all. But I decided to blog about it so that it makes it harder for me to give up because it’s written down on the internet!

I’ve been working out consistently now for about 6 weeks. To start off with I was doing the Charlotte Crosby 3 minute belly blitz DVD and then I started running. Unfortunately, on the 3rd or 4th outing of running I twisted my ankle, I didn’t think anything of it and continued to run on it for another day. Bad move Amber. Bad move. Since then, I haven’t been able to do any exercise which involved using my ankle so it was goodbye to the DVD and running for a little while. (about 2/3 weeks)

I didn’t want to just give up and I didn’t want to stop working out because it was making me feel so good, healthy and happy! But I also didn’t want to damage my ankle further and not be able to go running or do the DVD at all! So instead we decided to focus on our stomachs, using YouTube workout routines which didn’t have any exercises that involved my ankle being used heavily in any way.

Now after about 2 weeks of purely stomach focusing I’m actually beginning to notice a difference in my stomach! It’s surprisingly rewarding and I never thought I’d be someone who loves to workout!

I can’t wait to get back into running and do some cardio again but it’s not going to be easy and I’m a little be scared it will be really difficult.

I’ve always had an athletic body type so I don’t work out to lose weight but rather to be a healthier me. Here are some before and after shots.wpid-instasize_2015_3-_-111114.jpg.jpegLeft: August 2014         Right: March 2015

I didn’t actually take a before shot when I started working out but this picture is from last summer and I was pretty much the same!

Thanks for reading!

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