Legs, Bums & Michael Jackson!

I went back to the gym today after 4 months, and not only that but I also joined a sparkling new gym. 

I used to be a member of the local leisure centre where they ran a full range of classes that I loved and as you will read in this previous post, I was really anti classes before! 

This gym is closer so no excuses not to go plus I needed a change. I had been doing the same classes and seeing the same faces on the same certain days; I’d lost my enthusiasm for it. It also took two hours out of my day to get there and back and do the class – yawn. 

So today was refreshing – such a helpful bunch and even the free personal training session that came with the membership was enjoyable. I decide to join the Legs, Bums and Tums class – which was like torture for about 45 mins.     

Luckily the instructor had made her own playlist which I thoroughly enjoyed – I’ve been used to the same tracks on the polished Les Mills routines at the last gym so free styling seemed a bit more relaxed. You can’t beat a bit of Little Mix whilst having a good squat!!

I think the highlight of the class was the cool down;  I was slightly perplexed when I heard children’s voices from the speakers as I lay down on the mat for a well deserved stretch – but then it took me 10 seconds to realise the instructor had actually chosen to end her class with Michael Jackson – Heal the World. I wasn’t sure whether I was horrified or delighted – either way I was highly amused and left the class giggling. Which let me tell you was a bonus after what my legs had just been put through. 

My best friend has recently indulged in fitness classes – she used to recoil at the thought of any sort of group activity but she’s been turned, one Zumba class and she was hooked.  Now she’s excited to go every week and has even got involved in Spin classes; I’ve known her for 29 years and I’ve never even seen her on a bike so it’s a drastic turn of events!

It’s good to take a risk and make a change sometimes even if you feel silly/scared or like me stuck in a fitness rut and not feeling particularly interested. 

I’m signing up to Fit Box next – I’m not sure if it’s as traumatic as it sounds but I’m determined to give them all ago. I don’t think I’m quite ready for Zumba yet though – not even Patrick Swayze could’ve given me co-ordination.

Anyway… It feels good to be back! 

Spring getaway 

There’s nothing better than a little mini break to soothe away the stresses of daily life.

After a crazy few weeks, last weekend I packed my little trolley case and headed off to Winchester to celebrate my friend’s birthday. 

We got a really good deal at the Winchester Hotel & Spa – I’ve stayed there before with the same group for a hen do and it was great fun, lovely service and delicious food.  This time was the same. 

   

On the last visit we didn’t get to explore Winchester, but this time we decided to take a lovely walk around the town exploring the cute shops and had a look at the beautiful cathedral.  Winchester is a city but you wouldn’t think it at first as its really like a little village at first glance.  

We popped in to a really lovely shop called The Hambledon that we stayed in far too long.  It has so much stationery I was like a kid in a sweet shop!
 

The shop had a copy of my favourite book, Anne of Green Gables in a really lovely hardback design, which I just had to buy. In fact me and my two friends all bought a copy!   

So many delights in one place – if you’re ever in Winchester you must pop in and visit.  

 

There are so many nice places in the UK and it’s easy to forget there are new things to see and do in your own country rather than jetting off abroad when choosing a mini break. 

A change of scenery was lovely and refreshing and I highly recommend it and a visit to any place you’ve never been.

Age ain’t nothing but a number 

Social media is a great place to dwell sometimes;  up to the minute stories, catching up with distant friends, work opportunities, the list is endless.  But one thing I’ve noticed lately and probably from following a different generation is the incessant tweets of negativity.

Things like “Oh my god I’m 25 soon, feel sooo old” and just general moaning about how stressed they are.  We all love to moan but when I was stressed in my twenties and needed a rant I wrote in my diary or called my best friend’s land line (old school).  I feel so sad that this new generation have to air everything and their terrible lives to all and sundry and get responses to feel validated.  

It’s also a shame that people complain  publicly about being old when they are anything but. It’s just ridiculous, what will they do when they are actually old?

My dad is 68, works long hours, loves a holiday, enjoys his free time and gets up and embraces the day every day;  so I’ve had a good mentor and I know not everyone can grow old as gracefully but please for the love of god when I see a 27 year old moan about their age I want to virtually slap them! 

I’m not really sure what the point of this post is but today I met my mum’s friend, a 92 year old called Jen, they met at the bus stop a few years ago and they became friends.  Jen lost her husband 4 years ago and had never even paid a bill on her own but she got on with it (apparently with the wonderful help of Age Concern) slapped on her make up and started again.

And believe me, this is one glamourpuss!  She had fabulous hair and make up just for a trip to Asda.

So, to everyone thinking their life is over at whatever age, take note as you can still enjoy life and be amazing, even at 92.  I hope I’m still embracing the MAC counter  like Jen, that’s for sure! 

Age really is nothing but a number and moaning less, being thankful and not giving a hoot what people think would be a really good start!

 

Watermelon Zinger juice

I’m not really a juice/smoothie person. In fact I’m the most boring person ever when it comes to drinks. I only drink water apart from when I drink alcohol then I’m a tiny bit more adventurous and indulge in white wine or a vodka soda.  I occasionally enjoy a herbal tea but that’s it really.

I gave up fizzy drinks a few years ago.

I always feel envious when people post their lovely looking blended juices on Instagram but still not envious enough to actually be bothered to make one. I’m not the biggest fan of fruit so never really know what I would fancy; until I went to Bills Restaurant and tried their delicious watermelon, peach and raspberry juice.  I became an instant smoothie fan!

 
When my cousin gave me the Donal Skehan Cookery book for Christmas I noticed that he had written a recipe for a Watermelon Zinger Juice – it sounded lovely and fresh so I decided to give it a go.
I don’t have a fancy juicer or nutri bullet so just mixed it up in a blender – the first time I did it it was a bit lumpy but I’ve made it a few times since and added more water – much better. It’s really refreshing, I think because one of the ingredients is cucumber.  I don’t normally eat watermelons either but in a juice it’s scrumptious!

  
 
The ingredients are basically watermelon, apple and cucumber with a slice of lime and pinch of ginger – simple. 

What’s your favourite Juice or Smoothie recipe?  Please mention any favourites in the comments below! 

  

LV Loves of last year

Here are some of my favourite things from last year! 

Favourite album 2015

I didn’t feel that excited about any album releases last year but I really loved the Taylor Swift album! Mainly because it had such a late 80s feel to it – very apt considering it was called 1989. Brilliantly produced and every song different, this was definitely my most played album.  

 I love a bit of power pop so the lack of pop releases disappointed this year and I do love a Britney album release but alas it was not to be. I know Adele’s came out end of the year and it was great but a bit too ballady on the whole for me.

The album I listened to most by accident was Wilder Mind by Mumford & Sons – James is a huge fan and had the album on repeat for a few months! I liked it though and think they’re really different. 

Favourite Songs 2015

I think my all time favourite and the song I’ve played the most was Ellie Goulding – Love me like you do. Such a lovely song – very romantic, gorgeous melody and great to sing along with at the top of your voice! My favourite you tuber Velvet Ghost sings it here and it made me like it even more as I really loved her and Hobbie’s (fellow You Tuber) version. 
I also enjoyed Hold my Hand – Jess Glynne and Black Magic – Little Mix, both nice little pop tunes that had me dancing round the kitchen.

Also after hearing amazing live version of Adele singing When we were young – I fell in love! It’s such a big number and really rewinds me of a proper show tune. If you told me Andrew Lloyd Webber had written it I would believe you. You can hear the version that totally got me here

TV Series of 2015

I absolutely loved Catastrophe – the channel 4 sit comedy with Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan, I don’t often laugh out loud at TV shows but this had me giggling all the way through. And so easy to relate to on so many levels – worth a watch if you haven’t indulged.

The Affair Season 2 on Sky Atlantic – after struggling with season 1, the new season has blown me away. The acting and the script is outstanding so I highly recommend this if you can get through season 1 which is good – just a bit slow. Trailer here.

Last but not least is – Reign on Netflix. A young & sparky series about Mary Queen of Scots. My favourite actress Megan Followes is in it and at first I thought I wouldn’t like it as I never got into the Tudors, but after 3 episodes I was hooked and watched 2 and half seasons in two weeks. I was happy when it went on a break so I could get my life back! Can’t wait for it to return on January 9th.

  
Film of 2015

I didn’t really love any films this year but I did watch Bill Murray in a lovely little film called St Vincent on my flight to Dubai in June and laughed, cried and loved every minute of it.  

  

I hope 2016 has more variety in film – seemed to be a lot of ‘boy’ films out. 

Favourite App 2015 

My favourite app this year has been Snap Chat – I literally became 14 again! Originally I joined to follow my 19yr old niece who was spending the Summer in Ibiza – I loved watching the photo diary of her time there.  I love the fact you can create a weekly story and then it’s gone, also you don’t have to look at everything and everyone if you don’t want to. 

The filters on the app have given me hours of fun. I loved taking photos when I was younger and would’ve been in my element if we’d had this app when I was at school; I was like the school paparazzi back then so God knows what I would’ve been like if we’d had this! Anyway Snap chat is my app of the year – more fun and  less commitment than most social media.

  
So there you are – just a few favourites I wanted to share….

What were your favourites from 2015? Any hidden gems I’ve missed?