Sunday, 31 January 2016

TMTW #7 January, spanuary

Not the best quality pictures, but January isn't the best quality month so...
Best bit? Surprising Joe with a trip to Glasgow to see his favourite comedian, and celebrate his birthday. 

My favourite thing? Seeing "She's turned the weans against 'us!" live, too funny. Staying in a glorious airbnb flat in Glasgow, and finding out I have the exact same music taste as a Glaswegian gay couple. 

Any regrets? Not reading enough books! I thought I'd get through quite a few this month, but it wasn't to be. I ended up taking nearly three weeks to read one book which is terrible going! I'm hoping I can read some more in February as I've got at least one commute planned and that's great time for reading.

What's in store for next month? A few interviews and meetings line up for the beginning of February which will hopefully all be good news and that's pretty much it! There's Valentine's in the middle but I can't imagine we'll do anything super exciting as it's on a Sunday and we're both at work! 

January was a bit of a tough month, if I'm honest. It's just so boring. If it wasn't pouring down or blowing a gale, then it was doing both. I feel like I've spent the month complaining about being freezing or soaked to the skin, so that was fun. The end of the month did pick up though, as we went on a mini trip to Glasgow! 



Chelsea xo

Monday, 25 January 2016

January Blues Wish List

I love reading a good ol' wish list, and as I'm still waiting for something exciting to happen in my every day life, I thought I'd rustle one up to share with you all. January is widely regarded to be the Worst Month of the Year due to payday feeling like it's so far away and your body feeling sluggish due to having overindulged on the xmas pud. So instead of focusing on all of that, let's have a look at the dreamy things I've had my eye on!

IKEA bedding - Cute Muggsie mug - RT beauty blender
Bumble and Bumble travel set - River Island Cardigan
New bedding always feels so exciting to me. That's pretty lame to admit, isn't it? I don't care. My last extravagant bedding was a Laura Ashley purchase in the sale, and although I'd love to add a few more to my collection, I think Joe is more likely to say yes to an IKEA set due to the price difference. That man doesn't seem to appreciate that you should splurge on bedding, but I think this yellow stripey one is super cute so that's win-win, right? 

I'll be honest, I don't need any more mugs. Our mug cupboard is practically bursting at the hinge and we're already precariously balancing smaller mugs inside of larger ones. But - this one is so cute. Look at that little face! I feel like drinking anything in this mug would lift my mood a little and help me remember that I'm super adorable. 

The beauty blender. People rave about this little make up sponge and I've been dying to try it out. I'm really self-conscious about wearing foundation, as I always feel like it highlights my flaws instead of hiding them and I think it could be something to do with my application. This is a real bummer when you're also self-conscious of your face without wearing foundation. Of course, I'm not resting all my laurels on a sponge, and I'm also trying other things - such as drink more water, blah blah blah - so fingers crossed I can be onto a winner. 

I'm in the lengthy process of growing out my wee pixie cut, and it's currently at a super awkward stage. I've always wanted to try some Bumble and Bumble stuff, but the price makes my eyes water. However, as I'm actively trying to convince my hair to grow long and luscious, then I think it might be worth parting with my cash. The Full Potential range is designed to help hair grow stronger, which should help with trying to grow it. 

Lastly, this colour block cardigan from River Island caught my eye. As the weather is continuing to be cold and miserable, I don't really need to explain why I need a cardigan, right? It's slouchy and looks like it might be one of those elusive 'dress up/dress down' kind of things. Which means I definitely need to buy it!

Have any of these things caught your eye? 

Chelsea xo

Friday, 22 January 2016

This Week In Numbers

On Wednesday, I sat down and decided to write about all those wonderful little things that make me smile, but I got distracted and it never happened. Which is a shame, as I can't for the life of me think what could have inspired it. Instead, I thought I'd give you a peek into how this week has went down. 


1 - girls night in with some friends and chinese food
8 - or so cups of tea I've forgotten about and have gone cold :(
3 - times Dylan has jumped into our bed on a morning for a 'snuggle' cos we're 'so cute!'
1 - person who told me to f- off because I was busy helping a customer
5 - attempts from Dylan to watch Hotel Transylvania again...
20 - whatsapp conversations about an exciting opportunity I'm hoping to snap up!
100+ - complaints about how cold I am!

How has your week been?


Chelsea xo

Friday, 15 January 2016

Things To Look Forward To

With my last post being a bit on the pessimistic side, I thought I would try and think up some great things to look forward to in the near future. I did something similar for the whole year ahead in 2014 (why is that so long ago now?) but I'm only going to go a few months with this one. Of course, I'm hoping to complete these 15 things by the end of March so hopefully I'll be able to sprinkle them into this timeframe somehow. 

Gotta love those unrelated pics
January
There isn't really a vast amount of things to do in January this year, no student loan for me this time around so I don't feel like a rich princess this year! However, it's Joe's birthday at the end of the month so I'm sending him off to Glasgow to see his favourite Scot Limmy and then when he gets back, we're going for drinks with some friends and family. I'm hoping these plans will coincide with payday because #dryJanuary has been my purse's nickname so far in 2016! 

February
I don't really have a lot of plans for February this year, so maybe this will be the month to complete as many 101 in 1001 Days tasks. I'm thinking declutter, five acts of kindness and making marshmallows from scratch should all be fun to do. Ideally I'd love to go to a karaoke night, but I'm not sure if there's even one local to me! 

March
Lots of birthdays to look forward to in March, including four family birthdays! I would *love* to get away somewhere for a short break, but we'll have to see how it goes. Maybe I could drop a few hints for mother's day? 

So there we have it, I have basically no reason whatsoever to be glum and hopefully lots of things coming up to write about! I'd like to take a second to thank everyone for their lovely messages on my last post, as it really did help and definitely inspired me to write this one! 

What are you looking forward to in the next couple of months? 


Chelsea xo

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

We Need To Talk About Chelsea

I do love a somewhat dramatic post title, it has to be said. I had somehow entered a writer's block situation, which totally took me by surprise. I had oodles of free time, loads of books I wanted to talk about and somehow I just couldn't bring it to myself to write about anything. Although my last post was only last week, I had actually scheduled it before 2016 had even started. So, what gives?


I guess I fell out of love with blogging for a bit, which is natural, and I've read plenty of other blog posts on a similar feeling so I know I'm not alone. I just don't know how to get that spark back? As a lifestyle blogger, there kind of needs to be something going on in my life for me to write about it, but at the moment everything is pretty boring - the January lull. I didn't go on any sales hauls, I didn't manage to read as much as I'd hoped and it's left me with nothing to really talk about here. So now, I'm asking for your advice - what has helped you when you get writer's block? Should I just wait for the spark to return, or does it come back with perseverance? What sort of things do you think I should write about while life is just ticking over? 

Tell me your ways, oh wise one! 


Chelsea xo

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Parents As Role Models: How To Be The Best*


The act of having a child is pretty scary. Well, the first bit isn’t, but it becomes a lot less fun afterwards! It isn’t simply the fact that mums and dads have to be responsible. As far as the majority of parents go, there seems to be a gene which makes them cut out for the role. Unless they are terrible human beings, hardly anyone mistreats their flesh and blood. No, it’s the second part which is terrifying: setting a good example.

No matter your intentions, it’s possible to get this part dead wrong. And, there is no one else to blame because their behaviour has come straight from the source. If that doesn’t send a shiver down your spine, nothing will! The only things mothers and fathers can do is take charge and try and be the best possible role model.

Of course, in a complicated society like the one we live in today, the job is getting harder and harder. Imagine if there was a cheat sheet, something to refer to in a time of need. How amazing that would be! Psst – take a glance underneath.

Attach Your Mask First

Jordan Peterson recently made headlines by debating Channel 4’s Cathy Newman. One of the things to come out of the interview was his rule for life: take care of your room. The metaphor simply means that you should get your house in order before trying to fix the rest of the neighbourhood. As basic as it sounds, it has relevance in the role model stakes. Attaching your oxygen mask before helping others has a variety of effects. Obviously, you’ll lead a healthier and happier life as a result. But, as importantly, you’ll naturally transform into an example for the kids to follow. By watching you eating well, exercising and socialising with friends, they will copy these vital cornerstones of life. Always help yourself before helping others.

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Ask For Help

Mums particularly can feel as if they are the ones who have to shoulder the immense burden. Obviously, parents are the ones that must deal with problems and set positive and constructive examples. Still, there are others who can pitch in and take the weight off when life gets hard. Simply reaching out to a husband or partner is an excellent start. People will say they should be involved anyway, but parents tend to split roles depending on gender. Mums, for example, are better at offering advice to young girls because they have been through the process. Sometimes, even if it doesn’t work, the dad can try and improve the situation. A different perspective often works wonders. And, if not, at least the kids will be mad at someone else!

But Don’t Rely On Others

No self-respecting parent lets strangers guide their kids, right? You would imagine this to be the case yet millions of mums and dads are guilty of this very act. Think about the times when a celebrity has done something wrong and is vilified in the media. The excuse for the hate is that they are a role model. Believing this to be true is an admission that someone else is having a greater impact on your child’s life. Considering they can’t ask for advice or guidance, this should be worrying. Also, think about the best way to address the situation. Simply saying they are trash isn’t healthy because it inhibits rational thinking. During difficult, topical discussions, play devil’s advocate to boost critical thinking skills.

Spot The Signs

Everything seems to be going smoothly until a train hits and smashes the family into pieces. Parents say “I never saw it coming,” but the truth is that the signs were there all along. The reality is that you weren’t looking hard enough or ignored them. Teenagers sneak alcohol to their rooms and go to parties, but that’s no reason to research rehab information and stage an intervention, right? Honestly, it depends on the context and the seriousness of the situation. Regardless, the attitude to take is not to lament the fact that teenagers will be teenagers. Whether it feels like a big deal or not, you have to react to teach them about the dangers of alcohol abuse. The same goes for cigarettes, drugs and sex. Being firm but fair teaches them valuable life lessons.


Show Them You’re Not Perfect

Some kids love to brag about how their parents never fight. Although it makes for peaceful home life, it doesn’t do their upbringing any favours. In fact, experts believe it leads to a condition which is called conflict-free relationships. As the name suggests, it’s the process of avoiding problems head-on and sweeping them under the carpet. Regarding a relationship, this can be potentially unhealthy as one person may rule the other. As regards to school and work later down the line, it’s a sure-fire way to stunt progression. Anyone who isn’t going to put themselves out there won’t get noticed and will stagnate. Parents should show their kids that they address issues proactively and maturely. For example, if there is an argument, don’t wait until the kids are in bed. Speak about it passionately without shouting and screaming and show them the value of disagreements.

Put Aside The Guilt

Teaching kids valuable lessons is hard because they have leverage. Ignoring a parent and holding a grudge will hit you and your partner where it hurts. There’s nothing like being jilted by your son/daughter and it makes you feel guilty. Giving into this emotion solves the stand-off yet teaches them nothing. In fact, it shows that being irrational is advantageous, whereas people in the real world won’t stand for it. Mums and dads have to put the guilt to one side and realise good role models piss off their children. Sadly, it’s an occupational hazard of leading by example. Of course, if the cold shoulder persists you should find a solution such as talking and explaining the decision.

Do you think you can be a better role model for your children? If you answer yes, how so?
*Disclaimer: Collaborative content.

Dressing Light For The Summer Sun*

Dressing for summer is something a lot of people tend to do wrong. Either you’re wearing materials that are far too heavy, or you insist on the dark skinny jeans when you’d rather break out the shorts you’ve been saving since January. Seeing as the summer sun is quickly approaching us this year, it’s time to finally live your beach body dreams!

Whether you’re a big traveller, or you’re just anticipating a good summer out and about this year, here’s some tips on making sure you’re not sweating through your outfit, and your legs are going to get the tan you’ve always wanted for them.


Stick to One Layer

Because it’s hot outside, you’re not going to want to wrap up in coats and scarves, or putting on a flannel shirt to cover your vest top, or wrapping your jumper around your waist. So plan your outfits to only have one layer, and don’t look back when you step outside the door.

And even when you’ve only got one layer of clothing on, you can still make your outfit look as stylish or interesting as possible when you consider the patterns you’re putting on. You’ve got ruffles, you’ve got check, you’ve got faux animal print, you’ve got bright colours you can pair together, and you’ve got the darker colours that remind you of autumn whenever you put them on. As long as you know what complements what, you’re going to look your best whenever you’re getting dressed.

Try Out Some White

When you’ve got white clothing on, you’re going to be reflecting all the rays the sun sends down right back at it. And that makes you both noteworthy and prepared for anything the summer day is going to send at you. Even when you’re headed to the beach, if you’ve got a light shade or white bikini on, you’re still going to look the part whilst having some more maneuverability to you.

Don’t Forget to Accessorise!

If you’ve got a simple chain around your neck, or some earrings in that hang away from your neck, you’re not going to be feeling any hotter than usual when it comes to frolicking under the summer sun. Not to mention it’s another way you can layer at no cost to your personal health or hygiene, and you can feel like the festival fairy you’ve always wanted to look like when you’ve got that wide brimmed hat and hanging necklace dipping down your dress.

If you’re not usually the kind of person who likes to put bracelets on because how clunky they can be, you can always look into personalised jewellery. You’re guaranteed to like what you’re wearing this way, plus you can finally get that customised piece no chain store out there ever seems to stock!

Dressing light for the summer sun is going to take a bit of preparation, but do try to give outfits out of your personal style a chance. You’re going to look great and also have fun!

*Disclaimer: Collaborative content.

Important Precautions When Starting a New Diet & Losing Weight*

If the time has finally come for you to face up to your health and fitness problems, you might be thinking about changing your diet and doing more exercise in an effort to lose weight. That’s definitely the right thing to be thinking about in your situation, but you do need to tread carefully and not put yourself at risk by approaching this stuff in the wrong way.

Taking precautions is not something to be dismissed because there are many problems that can arise when you’re embracing a new fitness program and a new diet. It will take you time to adjust and it might be damaging if you jump right in without taking the right kinds of precautions. Here are some things you should be thinking about if you are planning on getting fitter soon.

Talk to Your Doctor About What You Want to Do

First of all, before you do anything else, you should discuss the situation with your doctor in detail. They’ll tell you what you can expect from this and what you can do to make the impact on your body easier to deal with. Most importantly, they’ll be able to give you a general healthy check to ensure you’re in good enough physical condition to deal with the changes you’re soon going to be going through. Don’t be tempted to make big life changes in this area without first talking to your doctor.

Work Out What a Healthy Weight for You Would Be

Another thing you should do before you get started is find out what a healthy weight for you would be. You can’t work towards your goals until you know what those goals are. Make sure that you work this out according to BMI rules. If you try to lose more weight that what’s healthy for someone of your height and weight, you will only end up damaging your health in the long-term. Don’t feel pressured to hit a certain weight; focus on your health first and foremost.

Don’t Pile on the Pressure

It’s not good for you or your health if you pile too much pressure and expectation, but it’s what many people end up doing. You should try to remain calm and balanced, aiming height but also not expecting unrealistic outcomes for yourself. You’ll only be disappointed and stressed out if you set targets you fall short of. It’s important to pay attention to your mental health as you try to improve your physical health situation. Too much pressure won’t do you any good


Get Yourself the Right Gear

Next, you need to think about what gear you’re going to use as you make an effort to get in shape. If you try to do this with the wrong gear, you might experience failure or even end up hurting yourself, which is clearly not what you want at all. It’s a one-off investment and if you stick to your new fitness plans, you should get plenty of use out of this gear. So it is an investment that’s worth making for you. Shop around and find a deal nonetheless; no one likes to spend more than they have to.

Take a Long-Term Approach

If you want all of this to yield the right kinds of results for you, you’re going to have to make sure that the approach you take is a long-term one. If you’re more focused on the here and now, you might make some gains and then and up going right back to where you started. Clearly, that’s not the kind of thing you want to be doing, so make sure that your plans are both sustainable and reasonable. Only then will you achieve the long-term gains you’re looking for.

Consider Any Mitigating Health Circumstances

If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, these might affect your ability to exercise and your health in general. You should also be careful if you’re changing your diet and doing more exercise during pregnancy. This article called is Isagenix safe while you're pregnant? will help if you’re looking to choose supplements during the pregnancy. It’s never worth taking risks when you have mitigating health circumstances to consider. Your own safety and welfare should always come first.

Ease Into Your New Routine Gradually

There’s nothing to be gained by throwing yourself in at the deep end with your new fitness plans. If you push yourself too hard early on, you’ll only end up causing yourself injuries, and that’s never a good thing, is it? You should instead try to ease yourself into these new routines so that the adaptation period is more gradual and easy to handle all round. It’s the right way to do this because your body needs time to adjust to the new situation.


Plan to Recover After Exercise

After you’ve been working out and working hard, you need to make sure that you have a plan to let your body recover. This time is always needed because it’s when the body starts to fix itself and get back to peak physical condition. So this means giving yourself plenty of rest and relaxation after you’ve been pushing yourself to the limit. Exercise doesn’t have to be something that you do relentlessly because that’s just unproductive.

Remember That Sleep Matters Too

Finally, you need to remember the importance of sleep among all this. It’s another important part of recovery after exercise. If you eat well and exercise, you’ll make gains, but you’ll make even more of them if you remember the importance of getting a full night’s sleep. So make this another thing that you try to prioritise among everything else.

Embracing a new fitness program and trying to lose diet with a new diet are both very commendable things. You just need to make sure you approach them in the right way. You don’t want to make the kind of mistakes that will end up holding you back and stop from achieving what you want to achieve with your fitness.
*Disclaimer: Collaborative content.

Master The Art Of Detoxing In A Healthy Way*

The word detox send shivers down many a spine and has most people reaching for a brown paper bag. Detoxing has had a bad reputation of late with weird and unhealthy cabbage soup detoxes, the werewolf diet (look it up) and the baby food cleanse making a mockery of the idea of a detox. A detox should be a cleansing of the body allowing it to then re-energise and help you feel more alert and healthy. Take a look at these simple ways you can detox in a healthy and measured way to reveal a healthier and happier you.


Food

By going on a detox diet you will inevitably feel hungry at times, but this should lessen after a couple of days as your body gets used to a new eating routine. Unless you are undertaking a juicing cleanse, there is no reason to cut down on the quantity of the food you are eating, simply switch up the morsels you put into your body. Have a ban on all fried foods, starchy carbs and sugar. Cutting these out of your eating plan for a week or two will see you shift the pounds and feel more energised.

Opt for plenty of beets and radishes in your diet, and ensure that you include an abundance of berries. These are full of antioxidants that will promote the detox process and help combat free radicals within your body.

Yoga

Detoxing doesn’t have to be all about your physical health. Yoga or pilates are fantastic ways to detox the mind and aid in the management of your emotions. If you are particularly stressed at work or are anxious about something, a wheatgrass shot won’t help you cope any more effectively. Through breathing exercises, certain postures and mindfulness meditation, you can alter thought processes for the better and find yourself thinking more clearly.

Vices

If you are partial to overspending on your credit card, smoking or drinking too much at the weekends, it might be time to seek a more balanced and healthier lifestyle. By following a guide to drug detox, you could become cleaner, healthier and happier without a constant craving or addiction hanging over your head.

Sleep

Detoxing is all about giving your body time to adjust and rest. You may find that after three or four sessions of yoga, some super green smoothies and a more nutritious diet that you may be hitting the sack earlier in the evenings. This is a positive step towards detoxing naturally. Try and aim for at least seven hours of shut-eye every night to ensure that you are well rested.


Embarking on a detox needn’t be a negative experience or something that you have to endure. You shouldn't be holding your nose for fear of gagging every time you take another spirulina shot. Detoxing should be fun, educational and a positive experience to allow you to become more attuned to both your physical and mental well being. Follow this guide to ensure that you detox in a healthy and measured way.
*Disclaimer: Collaborative content.

Holiday woes & preventing theft on your summer holiday

You can tell that the sun has come out here in England, as my last couple of posts have been very holiday inspired. I think it's fair to say that most people love a good summer holiday - whether you plan to stay by the beach, pool or check out the local sights. Of course, when you're on holiday you hope to have the time of your life, and create lasting memories for years to come. What you don't want, is a holiday tale of woe and theft to ruin your time.  When DPP Law got in touch to find out if I had ever been affected by such holiday woes, I thought it would be a great time to warn others and hopefully prevent anybody else going through what I did as well. 
While most of my holidays have been with my family, when I was a teenager I went to Spain for a week with my older cousin. She is far more outgoing than I am - and definitely more so when I was a gawky teenager, so she wanted to get up to all sorts. We went to water parks, out to pubs (where she loaded on the alcopops and I played it safe with some Fanta Lemon. During one excursion, we went out to a busy market which was filled with more swathes of fabric, colours and delicious smells than I could handle. I was already quite wary of needing to haggle and barter with the stall holders, but as the market was already crowded, I didn't realise that some pickpockets were deliberately bumping into people to steal their wallets. 
It wasn't until I found a perfectly reasonable stall with some braided friendship bracelets on them that I realised that my purse was missing. I told my cousin, and she shrugged her shoulders at me as if it was my own fault, or that I should have expected it. Since then, I've always tried to avoid heavily crowded places on holiday (and in general!) and I've tried to up my holiday savviness. Some of my tips include:
  • Never carry large amounts of cash on you. Just take what you think you'll need for that trip/day and lock the rest away in your hotel room. 
  • Make sure you have a secure day bag/handbag and keep it close to you at all times. If you or your partner carries a wallet in your pocket, keep it in the bag instead so as not to give pickpockets an easy ride.
  • We all go on holiday to have a good time, but always be wary when out drinking. Keep an eye on your drink and never leave it unattended. Also avoid having too much as this can make you an easy target for theft.
  • Be sensible when flashing your brand new camera about and wowing people with your latest new gadgets. Obviously don’t hide them away either, but maybe upload your photos to an online storage bank at the end of each day, just in case.
  • In the hot weather, it can be very tempting to leave a window or door open to keep you hotel room cool whilst you’re out. Bad idea, especially if your room is on the ground floor. Just get the air-con fired up once you get back and request a room on a higher floor for a bit of added security if you must.
Of course, I think a lot of these tips are pretty much common sense. You want to have a fun holiday, but by being a little bit wary of your surroundings, you could ensure something like a holiday theft doesn't happen to you. 

*Disclaimer: This post was a collaboration with DPP Law. Content written by myself.

Simple (and Healthy) Ways to Speed Up Your Weight Loss*


We all know that carrying excess weight is bad for us in so many ways; from increasing your risk diabetes and heart disease to making it more difficult for you to exercise, there are few good things about being more than few pounds over your optimum weight, and that’s why it’s not surprising that so many people put themselves on a range of strange and unusual, not to mention often unhealthy, crash diets. They reason that the sooner they lose the weight, the healthier they’ll be, and they’re willing to go to extreme lengths to achieve those aims ( the cabbage soup diet anyone?).

However, crash diets can not only be dangerous, and very miserable, but they don’t work, Sure, you may lose some weight initially, but when you stop (and you will stop because those diets are not sustainable) there is a very high chance that you will put it all on and then some.

It’s madness when you consider that there are plenty of simple, and healthy things you can do to speed up your weight loss without resorting to extremes…

Understand the Process of Weight Loss

The reason why so many people fail to lose weight, or why they take longer than necessary to do so, is because they simply do not understand how weight loss works, They do not realise that you tend to lose a lot of weight in the first week or two because your body is shedding excess water and that once that has gone, weight loss will slow down to one or two pounds a week (people who are very overweight may lose a bit more). This leads to disappointment, which leads to binges, which lead to crash diets and it’s a neverending cycle. If you know that eating less, moving more and getting more high-quality nutrition into you does work if you do it consistently, and you know that the scales won’t always show you a huge loss, you will be in a far better frame of mind to do what needs to be done and see the weight drop off.

Sort Out Your  Sleep Schedule

If you're doing everything right - eating lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, maintaining a calorie deficit, doing a little exercise - and your weight loss has slowed down beyond what is normal, it might be worth examining the quality and quantity of your sleep. If you don’t get a full night’s sleep on a regular basis, the hormones that control your metabolism are likely to be affected and cortisol will be released, encouraging you to eat to excess and store those calories on your belly. So, make sure that you go to bed and get up at the same time, and if you need to, take some sleep supplements to ensure that you drift off with ease. Sleep is much more important to successful weight loss than most of us realise.

Switch to Green Tea

Green tea, or green tea supplements, are thought to give the body a boost when it comes to burning fat, So, if you swap your usual cup(s) of tea for the green variety, it may well give you a little boost that will see your losses speed up a little. Not only that but green tea is packed with anti-ageing antioxidants that will work wonders for your skin too. What’s not to love?

Shorten Your Workouts

Have you been spending hours at the gym working out like your life depends on it, only to find that the scales aren’t moving as swiftly as you would like? It could be that you are building muscle, and although you haven’t lost any weight you have lost inches, or it could be that despite spending so much time on them, your workouts aren’t exactly optimum for fat loss. A study by the University of Copenhagen discovered that people who worked out for just half an hour every day lost the same amount as people who worked out for an hour and they believe this is because the people who worked out for a shorter period had more energy left to be a bit more active during the rest of the day. Not only that, but high-intensity interval training, which takes far less time (a few minutes in some cases) is known to burn more fat too. Try it and see if you notice an improvement.

Eat Almonds Before Activity

There is some evidence to suggest that, because almonds contain the amino acid L-arginine, they can help you to burn more calories when you exercise. So, instead of eating a banana or rice cakes before you hit the gym or pound the pavements, eat a few delicious almonds instead ( they’re great in smoothies).

Drink More Water

How much water do you drink? If you aren’t sipping water throughout the day, chances are that you might succumb to cravings because it’s so easy to get dehydrated and when that happens, you can mistake the signals your body is sending you for hunger. Not only that but drinking more water can help you to feel a little fuller between meals too.

Stop Drinking Your Calories

While we’re on the subject of water, it’s worth considering how much of it you drink compared to tea, soda, alcohol and other beverage that contain often empty, calories. If you’re drinking lots of beverages throughout the day, you could be mindlessly adding lots of calories to your diet too, and by replacing most of this drinks with water, or if you must diet versions, you should be able to speed up your weight loss further.

Calculate Your BMR

It’s all well and good cutting your calorie limit, but if you don’t actually know how many calories you burn in the first place, you might not be getting it right and your weight loss results might not be as good as they could be. So, use a good BMR calculator to work out how many calories you need to lose 1-2 pounds each week and try your best to stick to that number.

Good luck with your weight loss efforts!

*Disclaimer: Collaborative content.

Ever thought about starting your own travel career?

I think everyone has that one family member who knows all the tricks of the trade when it comes to booking holidays. Whether it's what time of year is best to book your family getaway or what to say to get a room upgrade - in my family that person is my mam. Honestly, if you need a holiday but struggle to get it just right, that woman has a way to create the trip of your dreams!
I follow so many different bloggers who have been able to make travel their business, and honestly - it's pretty inspiring! I think most people would love to say that you've explored the world and made a decent amount of money from it too. Whether it's from press trips at the finest restaurant or luxury flights to a bustling city destination, when you work in travel you can guarantee each day will have something new and exciting to offer.
If this sounds like something you're pretty good at, then creating your very own travel agency might be easier than you think! There are even places like Explorer Travel that can help you make this dream a reality. I've mentioned previously about the different ways I've looked into creating my own business to work from home and create the perfect work/life balance while my kids are young. It hadn't even crossed my mind that you could create your own travel agency from the comfort of your living room. 
If you're passionate and committed to building your life around your love of travel, then you could easily argue that it's hardly like work - it isn't even 9-5 working hours if you don't want it to be! Travel is one of the most satisfying industries to work in, and when you love what you do it makes it all the more rewarding. Even more so if you spend your morning doing 'work admin' on a sun lounger in the latest hotspot destination!
*Disclaimer: This post was a collaboration with Explorer Travel. Content written by myself.

Part-Time Job Ideas For Busy Mum's!*

Having a baby is a massive adventure, but it can make you lose a tiny piece of your identity – even when you don’t want it to. Before you have children, you are ‘Polly who works in marketing’ or ‘Rosie who bakes AMAZING cakes’. Then you have children, and you become ‘Jack’s Mum’ or ‘the one who wears pyjamas on the school run’. Well, ideally not, but you get the concept. You don’t just have your name to define who you are, you have the fact that you have children to do it for you. It is, therefore, of high importance to make sure that even when you have children and venture into the world of parenthood, that you do SOMETHING to help you to remember that you were always a person first.

Woman in White Shirt Kissing Baby With Black and White Stripe Knit Cap

One of the best ways to ensure that you keep a hold on what you want to be is to get yourself a job. It’s not the easiest thing to do, because there are rarely jobs that are flexible enough to work around your children, school hours and those minor illnesses and emergencies that make you stay at home to look after them. Most companies are not yet on board with remote working – despite what they say – which means you have to get a little creative when it comes to finding something to get you out of the house and breathe some different air, while earning a little cash on the side. It’s for that reason that I’ve put together some brilliant job ideas that are flexible enough to do around the children but don’t interrupt a few hours just for you.

ballpen, blur, close-up

Deliveries. If you have a car and someone to be with the kids in the evening, why not take up a role as a delivery driver for local takeaways? Most Chinese and Indian restaurants look for extra drivers – especially on the weekends – to pick up a shift and lighten the load. You get an hourly rate, so there’s a chance that you’d have to register as self-employed, but you also may get the perk of a free dinner, so there’s that.

Sitting. It’s one thing to open up a business as a childminder during the day, but it’s another to offer a babysitting or pet sitting service yourself. When your friends and neighbours want to go on holiday, you could be the affordable option for a few days compared to a kennel. You could also walk the dogs for them while they’re at work. You’ll have to bundle the baby into the pram, but it does give you a reason to get out of the house and go for a walk.

Blogging. Believe it or not, you could run your own blog and earn some money for it, too. Blogging gives you a platform to air your concerns and opinions and if you have a topic that you want to stick to, you could write in the evenings and when the children are at school. It’s a wonderfully creative outlet for you and you can choose any angle that you want.

Tutor. You have a brain and you likely had an education, so you can put that to good use by offering your services as a tutor. The good thing? You could do it remotely. Remote maths and English tutors are often needed as extra support for children, and you can check out this link to find out how you can get into that and how you can have local schools advertise your service. You would need a DBS check, as anyone who works with children would.

Typist. Audio typists typically work from home for themselves. Audio files are sent electronically, and you can type them up. Brush up your skills with a touch-typing course if you’ve been away from the office or using a laptop for a while. You’ll definitely have to register as self-employed for this one, but don’t be put off. The process itself is very simple and you could be working quickly and be paid weekly.
The flexibility of working for yourself can change the way that you do things at home. Not only that, it will give you something outside of taking care of the kids or cleaning the house. Children are a blessing, no one is denying it. But they don’t have to define you. You were and are a person with her own interests and likes and dislikes – you don’t have to lose any of those things by being a Mother.
*Disclaimer: Collaborative content.

Monday, 4 January 2016

101 in 1001 - time to shake things up!

Okay, so I'm finding it hard to believe that my 101 in 1001 list will end on 28th March! As it's now 2016, it doesn't leave me a long time to tick off the 70 or so things I had hoped to do. Instead, I'm going to write down a list of 15 things I hope I can achieve in time. Who knows, maybe I'll make a huge dent into my list after all? 

Have a completely unrelated picture of me and Dylan feeding a bird at the zoo!
1. Replace our wedding rings
2. Donate blood
3. Have a weekend away with Joe
4. Buy Dylan 10 of my favourite children's books
5. Declutter
6. Create a calendar with everyone's birthdays
7. Make marshmallows from scratch
8. Sort out my wardrobe - be ruthless
9. Create a piece of art to hang up
10. Go to a karaoke night
11. Five random acts of kindness
12. Leave five inspirational quotes for others to find
13. Go a month without unnecessary purchases
14. Write a blog post to my younger self
15. Put away £5 for everything I've achieved on the list

My 15 final things - do you think I'll cross them off the list? I sure hope so! 

Chelsea xo

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