Bleach London Silver Shampoo and Conditioner Review

As you've probably guessed from the house, dog, and ring on my finger, I'm not someone's who's afraid of commitment.  And for some time, I've been searching for the perfect shampoo and conditioner to have a long-term relationship with.  I've had recent flings with Redken All Soft, KMS Tame Frizz and Klorane.

So when Bleach London sauntered into my life, with their jazzy labels and promises blast away brassiness, and condition my blonde locks, I was instantly interested.

Bleach London Shampoo Bleach London Shampoo
// bleach london silver shampoo £5 and silver conditioner £6*

Except for the fact that I'm trying to grow it, I don't really know what to do with my hair at the moment - do I get highlights again, bleach it all over again (which my hairdresser advised against if I'm trying to grow it) or grow all of the colour out and keep my natural colour for a while.  Regardless of what I decide, my hair is still about 40% very light blonde from where I used to bleach it all over, 30% light blonde and highlights where the light blonde has grown out, and 30% my natural hair colour, which is a dark blonde.  I've been wanting to keep the blonde as light as possible but it really been losing its brightness lately so I've been looking for a product that will lighten and condition my hair.

I was totally wowed when I first used the shampoo and conditioner; my hair was instantly brighter, glossier and softer.  Using both the shampoo and conditioner means that the silver shampoo knocks out any brassiness, tones and lightens my hair, and the conditioner makes it feel nourished and super soft (as well as smelling amazing!) Safe to say this is a pair of products I will definitely be commiting to - though from what I've used so far I think the bottles are going to last ages.

Next on my shopping list is their Reincarnation Mask and Split Fix Serum.  Have you tried any of the Bleach London products?

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Health and fitness update 06 (and a giveaway!)

It's been a couple of months since I did a personal health and fitness update (though I have been posting about other health and fitness related things) which is odd in a way as food and exercise have dominated my mind an awful lot over the last few weeks.  I actually don't really know where to start with this update as I have a mix of things generally to chat about as well as some more specific updates to share.  I've decided to break them up a bit... like little chicken nuggets sized updates (mmm.. chicken nuggets...) Also - make sure you read to the end (or scroll to the end if you're feeling lazy!) for the chance to win a rather snazzy Brita Fill&Go water bottle to help with your own health and fitness goals!

Unhelpful thoughts

I feel like every week that goes by I learn more about myself , especially in regards to my attitudes towards myself and to my general wellbeing.  One thing I have realised over the last few weeks is how much I think about food.  This isn't exactly news, but I've recently come to notice it more than ever.  Along with thinking about food and eating, I also spend a lot of time thinking about how much I exercise, body image and so on. Here are the sorts of things that occupy my brain throughout the day, which I've categorised into helpful, and unhelpful thoughts.


[x] "I want to exercise more"
[x] "I will go running tomorrow"
[x] Thoughts about healthy recipes I could make
[x] Feeling determined to eat healthily/'eat clean'
[x] Trying to work out healthiest choice from meal options


[x] Constantly thinking about next meal
[x] Craving sugar and thinking about chocolate
[x] "I shouldn't have eaten that"
[x] Feeling guilty about things I've eaten or missed exercise opportunities
[x] "I can't be bothered to go running"
[x] Getting upset at what I look like/current body shape
[x] Feeling envious of bodies and fitness regimes I see posted on instagram
[x] Feeling angry at myself for not having any willpower
[x] Wanting to check the scales to see how much weight I've put on when I've eaten something I shouldn't

I have so many more unhelpful, negative thoughts than positive ones and the unhelpful ones are what occupy my brain for the majority of the day.  I know that I need to snap out of this negative cycle and I'm determined to try and do so over the next few months.  I know I keep banging on about mindfulness and yoga but I'm hoping that both will assist in this goal.

credit: unknown, contact for removal

The 5:2 diet

One of the things that has made me realise how much I think about food is the fact that I started doing the 5:2 diet a few weeks ago (this week is my fourth week).  I decided to start more as a lifestyle choice than a diet choice, which might sound odd - this month I've been away from home for every weekend and there have been so many social engagements that have involved food that I felt I needed to retain a bit of control and find away to balance things out.  I know several people who have seen great success with the 5:2 diet so I thought I would give it a try, and though it's been challenging, I've definitely found it rewarding.  I've been using MyFitnessPal on 'fast days' (days when you limit your calorie consumption to about a quarter of your TDEE - mine is 477, they recommend around 500 for women) to try and limit my calorie intake effectively and still find things I can eat.  A typical fast day has been something like:

Apple // Light Babybel // Two ricecakes with low fat Philadelphia // Buffalo cauliflower with 0% yoghurt dip (I use the recipe listed but without the butter and hot sauce) 

OR 1/2 carton Covent Garden Skinny Soup // Light Babybel // Roasted asparagues with Bird's Eye chargrilled fish

Over the four weeks I've not particularly lost any weight, but I've managed to maintain the same weight which I've seen as a positive amongst a calendar of meals out, takeaways, beer garden ciders and a minor addiction to Cadbury's Mix Ups.  Obviously my goal is to find a balance where I'm 'eating clean' on non-fast days and maybe having only a few treats here and there, and hopefully a monthly of mainly being at home will allow me to get back into a normal routine.  Food occupies my brain even more than normal on a fast day - even though it's only one day of denial I find myself dreaming of chocolate and sugar-y treats all day on a fast day - the other day I actually went to bed dreaming of pancakes and maple syrup! I'm hoping that as I get a bit more used to it this will start to decline!

Being active

Exercise has been a bit of a mixed bag for me over the last few weeks, with some definite wins and some areas I need to improve on.  I have been doing yoga almost every day, from either a few stretches to a full routine with a yoga video.  It definitely makes me feel a lot better. Exercise has been limited over the last week or so however as I fell up our outside step in the back garden last week and bruised my knees and shins, and then fell again on Tuesday night, re-injuring my right leg (I am such a clumsy sausage!)  The bruises on my right leg are so bad that it hurts to walk let alone run, so that's off the cards for a few days.  Once its healed I'm committing to doing something every day, either:

[x] Yoga
[x] Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown
[x] Go for a run
[x] Thursday night Fight FX class at our local gym
[x] 30 Day Shred Workout
[x] One of the free Kayla Itsines workouts from the Bikini Guide

We have a new gym opening near me in July that looks absolutely great, so I'm holding out on taking out a new gym membership until then, so the next few weeks will be focussed on home workouts.

Healthy snacks

I've been road testing some new healthy snacks over the last couple of weeks - the Multipower Nature's Power Bars.

Nature's Power Multipower Bars

I was sent a few different flavours to try and I am pleased to report that they are absolutely delicious, so tasty considering they are a really healthy snack - with only 2-4g of fat per bar, and full of natural ingredients (with no processed sugars).  My favourite by far was the 'salty cocoa' flavour, which is the perfect mix of sweet and salty.  The cranberry and strawberry flavour is also amazing.  I'm now saving my pennies to buy a case of the Salty Cocoa bars, though I don't see them lasting long!

Running achievements

My friend and I ran the Nike 'We Own The Night' 10k in London a couple of weekends ago and it was great.  We managed it in 1:04:05 which is a minute off my last 10k time which is great.  We were hoping to get a sub-1 hour time but there were literally thousands and thousands of runners and it was impossibly to keep a consistent pace.  We also ended up at the back of our time group meaning we had to do a lot of awkward overtaking and running on the grass, so there was no way we were going to be able to consistently run the km times we were hoping to.  What's most important though is that it was loads of fun, and we had a great weekend away in London.

Brita Fill&Go Bottle Giveaway

Brita have launched a great campaign this week called 'Pour O' Clock'.  Their research has shown that 4pm is the time when most people reach for a sugary treat, and instead they're encouraging people to reach for a glass of water rather than a chocolate digestive.  Keeping hydrated is absolutely crucial for your general health and wellbeing and thirst can very easily be mistaken for hunger, so reaching for a glass or bottle of water when you're craving a snack is a good way to find out what your body actually needs (and avoid those extra calories you don't!). They've also kindly given me one of these rather swanky Fill&Go bottles to give away - they're perfect for keeping on your desk to make sure you keep hydrated throughout the day. I have a plastic tumbler I keep on my desk, but frankly, the amount of times I've knocked it over and soaked my keyboard/notepad/files, a bottle is a much more sensible idea!

As always, use the Rafflecopter to get your entries in, and good luck! I'm going to be roadtesting one of these bottles too and trying out the Pour O' Clock 4pm water stop, so I'll be sharing how I get on with keeping hydrated at work too.

Sorry this update has been so long, I've had a lot to share! How are you getting on with any health or fitness goals? How do you stop thoughts of food and feeling guilty about not exercising or eating naughty foods from dominating your brain?

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Some quick home updates

The last time I spoke to my Granddad before he died, I was complaining about nothing in our house being done, and all of the DIY that was hogging my to-do list.  "Rome wasn't built in a day," he said - a simple statement, but one that has stayed with me, not only because it was sage advice, but also because I will always treasure that last catch-up phonecall.

It is really difficult to fit in DIY and home improvements when you work Monday to Friday, 9-5.  With most of our friends and family over an hour away, our weekends are always occupied with day trips or weekends away and my Filofax fills up months in advance, especially at this time of the year when we try and get away camping and in the van, as well as birthday parties, weddings and the like.  And we rarely want to get the paintbrush out in the evenings after a long day at work, especially when Tom has been doing outdoor based training as he comes home and understandably just wants to flop on the sofa.

What we've been trying to do is do a few bits here and there and make a few small updates that will make a difference.  Tom prefers to take one room at a time and make sure it is 100% done before we move onto the next, whereas I like to do bits everywhere here and there - I'm desperate to paint the bathroom, rearrange things in the lounge, clear things from the spare bedroom and move the bed in our bedroom (too many injuries from the tiny gap between the wall and the base of the bed have taken their toll!)

I've mentioned before that the living room has been a bit of a bugbear of mine as it has about 100 different colours and styles in it and no sense of uniformity.  I love this living room from a freshome article - using a pallette of mainly yellow, coral red and accents of mint green is really effective.

I recently stuck a colour palette on our living room wall and tried to focus on using mainly those colours in the living room.  Those colours are quite similar to above, a sea green, red, beige and grey.  I then tried an experiment where I took all of the things out of the room that weren't that colour, but surprisingly, it didn't make a great deal of difference and I felt that it still looked a bit of a mish-mash.

Living room Living room Living room

We are having a new sofa delivered over the next few weeks, though the photo above has made me yearn for something more colourful than the grey I chose, and I've now been looking for fabric sofas online! I absolutely love that yellow sofa, it adds such a pop of colour and really contributes to the retro feel of the room. Sofas have always seemed like a very grown up purchase to me - the one we're getting rid of is a sofa bed that cost about £100, whereas I've always yearned for a more special type of place to create a bum imprint on! I think a quality, stylish sofa can really make a room.  I do yearn for one of those sofas that just swallow you up, huge and ridiculously comfy...

Our bedroom is one of the few rooms in our house that I feel really content with.  The white floorboards and walls make me feel really calm, and now I've moved my yoga mat into the bedroom it's such a relaxing place to do some stretches or just chill out.  We have quite a large window and the view is the street outside, but when I'm lying on my yoga mat I can only see all of the trees above the houses and when they're swaying in the wind or there's beautiful blue skies it's such a calming view.  We've just put on some anchor bedding I bought from Asda a couple of weeks ago and it's such a great addition to the room - it fits perfectly! Sadly I think the anchor bedding is now sold out - we managed to track a set down in our local store.


Our new kitchen is being fitted in a couple of weeks and we really can't wait.  I won't miss the green cupboards! Painting the floorboards white has not been as successful as we thought as it really picks up stains - there is already a huge tea stain that we can't get off - so we'll probably get some laminate tiles fitted after the kitchen's gone in.  The kitchen units are slate grey with a black laminate worktop so I'm now thinking of colour schemes for accessories - I'm thinking black and white with a hint of red now and then, what do you think?

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Feeling stressed and making happy lists

Right now, I'm not going to lie to you blogland, I'm feeling pretty grumpy and stress-y.  To cut a long whinge into a slightly shorter one, I cancelled my phone network with Vodafone a few days ago on the grounds that I get crap phone signal at home.  I used several coverage checkers, chatted to other people and in the end opted to go over to ee.  Got shiny new phone today (after hours on the phone to various customer service departments, as they'd sent it to the wrong address) and excitedly set it all up, took out phone insurance, transferred all my numbers and got ready for the treat of being able to use my phone at home.  Except for, when wandering around my house I discovered it is actually worse than on Vodafone.  One bar of signal or no service, crackly, broken phone calls and a new 24 month contract I can't really use.  Cue more phone calls to customer service, more stomping around the house and the very likely possibility that I will be packing up my shiny new phone and sending it back.

I know that these are the sorts of things that other people shrug off.  My ultra laid back brother would have just waited for the phone to be delivered today rather than getting stressed about the slightly incorrect address and the fact that it was scheduled to arrive after my office actually shut.  I know some people would just shrug off the bad phone signal and accept that they're going to have to just use their home phone all the time.  But I have spent most of the afternoon like a tightly wound spring, wanting someone to come along and sort it all out - wanting someone to take it out of my hands and fix it all.  It's silly really - in the grand scheme of things it's hardly even deserving of a whinge; there are far more serious things going on all around me (and happening to other people), and I ought to just put it in perspective.  I just sometimes find myself asking, why can't things just be simple? Why does nothing seem to ever go to plan?

Riverside walk

I really dislike the aspect of my personality that means I'm a bit of a stress-head.  I get anxious about things and worry about worst case scenarios, or wind myself up about things that might never happen.
My Mum recently sent me this poem when I was going through a patch of feeling a bit down, and worrying about the future.

"Some of your griefs you have cured,
And the sharpest you still have survived,
But what torments of grief you've endured
From evils that never arrived.”

It is so true and really made me realise that I must stop worrying about things that may never happen - or as Mark Twain puts it, "I’ve been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened."


In order to find some peace and calm, instead of getting all angsty about things that have not worked out this week, I thought I'd make another list of things I have felt grateful for, or have made me happy (I've done a few 'Happy Days' posts).  I am currently trying out the 5:2 diet and am on a 'fast day' (a 500 calorie day) so I can't have a glass of wine or slab of chocolate, so unfortunately I need to find another way of putting a smile on my face... (just joking!) (kinda!)


This week's happy list....

001. Sunshine and warmth at the beginning of the week.
002. Pajamas, sofa time and takeaway pizza after a long day at work.
003. New playlists on Spotify that remind me of summer. (Jamestown Revival - Paradise is currently getting played on repeat, such a good tune).
004. Throwing open all of the windows in the house and letting fresh air in.
005. My new yoga mat, which, it turns out, is a million times better than the exercise mat I've been using (oops!) It's so much less slippery, really comfy on my hands and feet, and bright blue! (For anyone interested it's this one, £14.99)
006. Really really enjoying my book and wanting to scribble down so many lines in it to remember (it's Thrive by Arianna Huffington, yep - still reading it!)
007. Having pancakes, cashew butter and strawberries for breakfast on Tuesday.  The perfect start to the day.
008. Baking cinnamon roll Quest bars (bought from Protein Pic n Mix) and dipping them in natural yoghurt, for a guilt free snack.
009. Seeing my Mum looking absolutely beautiful when trying on a red dress I had given her that I no longer wear.  Such a good feeling when you pass something on that you know they're going to get real enjoyment out of (and look amazing in!)
010. This adorable video that my Mum's friend showed me on Wednesday night.  Basically the little girl was scared of the fireworks outside so her Dad decided to play his ukulele and sing with her.  It's a lovely song, interspersed with her stopping to listen to the fireworks! 

What's been making you smile this week?

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Habitat Wishlist and New Range

Many years ago, when I first moved to Southampton as a poor student, there was a big Habitat in the shopping centre there, and I would frequently go and have a longing trawl around the shop, dreaming of a time a few years later when I would own a place of my own and be able to fill it with beautiful things.  For me, Habitat has always had an edge over other homeware shops and websites; their designs are always really unique, colourful and a little bit different. They seem more design-led than other high street interiors brands, and I love that just buying a couple of their home accessories can really spruce up a room.

Their newest collection is seriously dreamy, with lots of summer-y brights and pops of colour.  Their kitchenware is gorgeous - we have our kitchen being fitted in a couple of weeks and as it's predominantly black and grey I'll definitely be adding some cheer with some of their storage jars and crockery.  Here are my current favourites from their newest additions.

abri mirror £50 // hexa bowl £8 // holt planter £12 // jai ladder £175
loco bowl £15 // maryana throw £50 // maury vase £15 // storage basket £25
vince sideboard £750 // cat cushion £12 // bird mug £6 // sebbi bedspread £120
lula lamp £25 // bam bowl £15 // marni chair £595 // tira jar £10

Things have been really coming along in our house lately - the kitchen is going to be such a dramatic change, and we've also been trying to pull everything together in the living room by keeping to a specific colour scheme and looking at some new furniture.  Habitat having some rather lovely sofas which I've been eyeing up.

Habitat have a fun campaign at the moment centering around 'ourhabitat', which involves showing off your Habitat products, in their natural habitat - your home (that's a lot of mentions of the word habitat in one sentence!) They've also made some fun Youtube videos showing off some of their products in their own habitat.  This one is for the rather beautiful Sedgewick sofa...

As well as the YouTube videos, they'll be holding an instagram competition from 27th May until 30th June, asking fans to share their Habitat items in their homes, using the #ourhabitat hashtag (you'll also need to follow their instagram).  The winner will receive a £250 voucher!

Are you a fan of Habitat homeware? What do you think of their new range? Do you love it as much as I do?

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{ this is a PR collaboration, however all views are my own! }


Vice or Virtue?

As you might know by now, I'm a fan of taking on new challenges.  I think it's just an aspect of my personality that I like trying to see if I can do things and testing myself.  It's why I have these great ideas; like signing up to 10k races and half marathons (Brighton Half Marathon next February - eek!) or giving up sugar for lent.  So when Chrylser got in contact about their Ypsilon Vice vs Virtue challenges, I was all ears.

The Ypsilon Vice vs Virtue campaign is based on the symbolism behind Ypsilon as the 20th letter of the Greek alphabet.  Ypsilon is known as Pythagoras' letter as it symbolises the path of either virtue or vice. The shape of the letter Y is said to be the initial branch of youth (the bottom straight section), then splitting into two parts, a life of vice, or of virtue.  I did not know that but I love that symbolism, it reminds me of the poem The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost (Two paths diverged in a yellow wood....)  Of course Ypsilon is not only a letter in the Greek alphabet, but the name of Chrysler's rather beautiful model of 'supermini' car.

The Vice or Virtue challenges change every day and there are prizes up for grabs on the website, just pick the challenge you're taking on that day and you'll get entered into each draw.  So far I've taken on to...

14th - Virtue - Do all of your chores before lunchtime.

I did a load of washing, tidied and hoovered all before work, and it felt great!
PS - ignore my pants and bikini on the washing rack - ha!

Chrysler Yspilon Challenge

16th - Virtue - Spend Friday night in with a face pack and a relaxing read.

I got out my current read, some cosy slipper socks, a Lush bath bomb and a face mask and had a very relaxing night in - now that's my kind of challenge!

Chrysler Ypsilon Virtue

19th - Vice - Bunker down and enjoy a duvet day and order in pizza.

Well, Chrysler, if you really do insist...

Chrysler Ypsilon challenge

20th - Virtue - Dare to bare and go to work make-up free.

I have several other challenges lined up for next week so I decided to dip out on this one.  The challenge on this day was to either go to work make-up free (virtue) or go on a date make-up free (vice).  In the end I didn't have the guts to take this make-upless face to work, though I do wear a lot less make-up to work than I used to after writing this blog post.

From the looks of the challenges I've been picking so far I clearly am more inclined towards virtue than vice (except for that cheeky pizza!) I'll be writing about the rest of the challenges I'll be undertaking in a later post, I can't reveal what they are yet though - shhhhhh!

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Fever Three Ways

At the moment, when the weather can't decide between sunshine, rain, fog, balmy temperatures or getting pretty chilly at night, versatile is the name of the game for my wardrobe choices.  Along with that, I have a chest of drawers that's fit to bursting, a wardrobe that's so jammed full of dresses it's a military operation just to get one out, and now a 'bed-drobe' - the bed in the spare room which is permanently covered in clothes that won't fit anywhere else.  To save space, I really need to make more sensible choices about the items of clothing that I buy, so that I don't end up with things I can really only wear with one other thing I own, or a drawer full of things I only really feel comfortable wearing on holiday.

This is why the Fever London challenge appealed to me.  One dress, styled three ways - workwear, daytime wear, and evening wear.  I already own a Fever skater style dress and one of their tea dresses and I find myself wearing them to summer barbecues with bare legs, and then throwing on a pair of tights to wear them to work, so I knew they were the sort of brand that I could style a variety of ways (and get that dress working hard, rather than the other lazy ones in my wardrobe that only make it out once a year!)  I chose the Starlight Metallic Prom Dress (£99*) as I thought it was smart enough for workwear and occasionwear, but could be dressed down for during the day (and also because it's an absolutely beautiful dress....)

As sad as it sounds, getting older I've realised that it is helpful to have items of clothing that you can wear to work as well as outside of the office (depending on your workplace dress code of course).  For the 'City' theme (workwear), I chose to team the dress with a black blazer, nude tights and court shoes.  (I had to wear thick nude tights on this day as I fell over and have bruised all my legs and knees!)

Fever dress
Fever dress

dress: fever £99* // blazer: primark {instore}
tights: primark {instore} // shoes: clarks {old} // bag: kate spade {bought at outlet}

The second look was to fit with their theme of 'heritage', or daywear.  Making a full-skirted 'prom dress' casual I thought would be quite tricky, but actually the summer-y colours made it perfect for adding a light coloured jacket and my Converse wedges.  I love wearing white Converse in the summer, so easy to throw on!

Fever dress
Fever dress

dress: as before // jacket: asos £55
converse wedges: asos £65 // satchel: cambridge satchel company £110
The final theme was 'occasion' - or evening dresses.  I tried to think about how I would style this dress for a summer wedding; I thought it would be perfect with a pastel blazer, nude peep toes and a clutch.  I opted for bare legs for this one so you'll have to excuse my two little milk bottles! Probably ought to dig out the fake tan....

Fever dress Fever dress

dress: as before // blazer: primark {old}
clutch: new look {old} // heels: daisy street {old}

I had loads of fun styling this dress, and I think - I hope from the three outfits I've picked that you;ll agree it's a pretty versatile little number! Thankyou to Fever for creating such a fun challenge! Fever are also running a competition at the moment where you can win £100 Fever gift voucher for posting a photo of you #wearingfever on Twitter, instagram or their Facebook and using the hashtag (deets on that linked page).

Which is your favourite of the three styles? I think the wedding outfit has won me over personally, though I know from experience that those shoes don't last long without having to be swapped for flats!

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Just bobbing along

I won't start this with a clich├ęd apology for being slightly absent from this here little corner of the internet, as I've had lots of time away from the computer with friends and family, which of course should never be apologised for. As well as so many weekends away I'm beginning to feel like my holdall has taken up permanent residence in the boot of my car, I've also spent lots of time on the sofa watching Netflix, been doing my yoga videos in the bedroom (with windows open and incense burning - it is perfection), been doing a bit of running, a lot of eating out and have potentially spent more time in pub beer gardens than is really healthy.  Amidst all of this I think I have found balance - I've certainly felt less stressed lately and have been saying no to things that would take up my time but not necessarily be worth it; from a blogging perspective I hope I will also find more balance on here, as taking on less in the way of commitments will hopefully mean more quality content (and will give me more time for fun days out that I can then share!)

When I look back to December and January (I blogged 30 times in December, which it doesn't take a mathematician to work out is pretty much once a day) I realise that everything was a little out of kilter.  I was angsty about my inbox, busy at work, with a Filofax full to bursting.  I wasn't sleeping particularly well and was feeling quite anxious - my brain was so full that it started running away with itself and I constantly felt like I 'had too many tabs open'.  It was at the beginning of this year that I started reading more about meditation and mindfulness (and trying to make these a daily activity), and over the last few months I've also been practising yoga as much as possible.  I find yoga a great release, and doing it in the morning before work definitely makes me feel more energised, and the bedtime routines make me feel more rested. I also think that healthy eating has helped, and being more conscious about what I'm putting in my body and the amount I'm moving and being active has been a real step in the right direction.

I cannot wait to have a happy and healthy summer, with lots of barbecues, sunshine and uncontrollable grins. I have been lucky enough to have some wonderful weekends recently and I thought I'd share a few snaps from a favourite one a few weeks ago when we were invited out with our friends Tom and Alex on their boat.  We sailed over to the Isle of Wight, where we had lunch overlooking the beach, nosed around little shops and explored around Yarmouth.  We then pootled back in the afternoon, stopping to take some photos of the Needles lighthouse, drink some cold ciders and catch some fish for dinner.  Dinner was barbecued bream, pulled pork burgers, Tom's homemade potato salad and a few more ciders in the sunshine.

Needles lighthouse Needles lighthouse Needles lighthouse
Cormorants Christchurch Harbour

Such a perfect day, and one that could definitely not have been bettered by any time spent on the computer! Sometimes my to-do list can feel like it rules my life, but on this occasion I was very glad to put it on the back burner and spend a day in the sunshine.  From now on I will not pass up any opportunities in order to be tied to my keyboard, ironing board, pile of washing or (most recently) bags that need unpacking.  They can wait.

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Breakfast Yogurt Ideas with #alprotops

I mentioned in a previous post that I've been working with Alpro over the last few weeks, experimenting with their delicious yogurts and adding a selection of toppings to make a healthy and nutritious breakfast.  (In that previous post you'll also see that I used their yogurt to make soft scoop peanut butter frozen yogurt - yum!)

Yogurt isn't something I've ever thought of having for breakfast - usually I opt for a smoothie or occasionally peanut butter on toast.  I'll have fruit with yogurt as a dessert, or I do actually quite often add yogurt to my smoothies to give them a creamier consistency - but having a bowl of yogurt for breakfast isn't something that would have ever occurred to me.  But actually, yogurt, with its blend of protein and calcium, is a great way to start the day - especially when you add some toppings like fruit, seeds or granola.

That was exactly the theme of the campaign, with Alpro sending us lucky bloggers a selection of toppings to add to our morning yogurts, from chia seeds, mulberries, granola, goji berries and much more.  I quite often make my own granola by mixing rolled oats, pecan nuts, pumpkin seeds and flaxseed with maple syrup and baking it in the oven, so I frequently added some of my homemade granola to the yogurt as well as one of their toppings.

#alprotops #alprotops

Their yogurts come in flavours like strawberry with rhubarb and lemon and lime.  The lemon and lime one was absolutely delicious; so refreshing and perfect for summer.  I think it would make a great ingredient for a lemon cheesecake!

As well as having yoghurt with toppings in the morning, on several occasions I also saved time by making them up in a jam jar the night before.  I'd layer granola, then yogurt, then add toppings of dried fruit, chia seeds or fresh fruit (I'd usually add the fresh fruit in the morning).  It's perfect for a quick, lazy breakfast, or for taking to work and eating at your desk.


I've really enjoyed the #alprotops challenge and have loved getting creative with my breakfast toppings.  I'll definitely be stocking up on their yogurts and I'll be buying more of several of the things they sent to try including chia seeds (which have numerous health benefits) and goji berries - and I'll definitely be experimenting with making more frozen yogurt! The plain yogurt is also great to have with other dishes - mixed with mint it makes a great dip to have with Indian dishes.

What's your usual breakfast? Would you make yogurt part of your morning routine?

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FYT & Co iPad case and YouTube yoga

Happy Thursday campers! Does this week feel really long to you? It definitely does for me - I think I've got used to four-day weeks thanks to all those bank holidays, though it's actually another four day week for me as tomorrow we're driving to Norwich to see my brother, hopefully for a weekend of barbecues and sunshine! I'm just checking in today to chat about my adventures with YouTube yoga videos, and the snazzy new FYT&Co case I have to house my iPad Mini when it's not being propped up next to my yoga mat!

I mentioned in my recent post 'What you do every day' that I wanted to make yoga more of a daily routine - whether that be a 10 minute wake-up session in the morning, a yoga class, or a longer pre-bedtime routine. I have been to a couple of classes locally where I live, but one is really over-subscribed and I can only go when people cancel, and the other is on Friday night at 6.30, and working late and weekends away have meant I've missed a lot of the classes.

I decided to recently explore what there was available on YouTube in the way of classes, discovering Tara Stiles first of all, whose routines are really good for short bursts of yoga - I love her Morning Yoga for Energy, it makes me feel really awake and energised in the morning (does what it says on the tin then!) I find her sessions are quite fast with lots of changing moves, which is really good for when you can only spare 10 minutes, but I really wanted to find a channel that had longer videos and really focussed on the form and movement.  I was over the moon to discover Yoga with Adriene via a Twitter recommendation.  Her videos are so good, and she is really normal and fun and not afraid to have a laugh in the videos, which really appeals to me!

I've set up my yoga mat in my bedroom now and I like to burn some incense, shut the curtains and create a nice relaxed atmosphere, then prop up my iPad Mini somewhere visible and put one of her videos on.  It's a great way of trying, or undertaking yoga practice at home and I'm really getting a lot out of it.  (Bodhi however is not quite in support of the new setup and likes to climb up on the bed and drop his toys on me when I'm doing it, in complaint of the lack of attention he's getting).

FYT case

I'm not going to talk too much about yoga on here as I know it's not something everyone is interested in, but I may talk more about it in my health and fitness updates.  However the other thing I wanted to share with you today is my rather snazzy new iPad case, courtesy of FYT & Co.  I am completely in love with the geometric design and the fleece-y lining, it's the perfect gadget case.

FYT iPad case FYT iPad case FYT iPad case

FYT Geometric Tech Case // £20*

FYT & Co are a new accessories brand whose range include some rather stylish and cool products I am now majorly lusting after - I love the geometric prints and pastel shades in their lookbook so keep your eye out for their pieces in the V&A shop and soon to be on Amazon.  They have some rather cute backpacks, holdalls and tote bags I've been eyeing up, as well as their gadget cases.  I love that mine is roomy enough to store a few other bits rather than just my iPad Mini, it will be perfect for lobbing a book and a phone in for a train journey as well as keeping my iPad safe when it's inside my bag.  I went through a phase where I wasn't using my iPad Mini much but now I've been using it to watch videos out it's been out and about a lot and I'm excited that it's got such a pretty new home!

Do you have an iPad that you use for health and fitness videos or workout routines?  Are there any other YouTube channels I need to check out?

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