A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP WITH TIME4SLEEP

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Sleep… I love my sleep. There’s no better feeling than going to bed and having a restful night’s sleep then waking up feeling refreshed and ready to take on anything the day has to throw at you. I do need a lot of sleep and struggle if I don’t get at least the full 8 hours sleep, I’m not a happy person when I’m tired.

I don’t normally have any issues with sleep apart from the occasional unsettled night, this is usually when I have to go somewhere the next day and I don’t want to sleep in or when I change pillows or my mattress and it takes me a little while to get used to them. Other than that I generally sleep okay. 

I was recently asked if I would like to review a pair of *Luxury Memory Foam Pillows from Time4Sleep, I didn’t have to think too long about that. Who doesn’t love soft new pillows! The pillows arrived quickly and my initial impression was really positive, the pillows come in individual bags which also have a carry handle, this makes them easy to transport and perfect for taking on holiday with you if you prefer to take your own pillows. 

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The pillows look and feel really luxurious, they fit nicely into a standard pillow case and also have a handy removable cover which lets you wash them when needed. 

I decided to try the pillows the first night they arrived to see how I would get on, getting them out of the packaging I was amazed at just how soft and comfortable they were to use. After years of using really soft hollowfibre pillows I was used to sleeping with my head and neck almost on the mattress so getting used to the new pillows did take a little while. The first few nights were a bit uncomfortable adjusting to the new pillow height but after a few days I got used to them and started to really love them. After a couple of weeks of use I really started to feel the benefits of the new pillows. With my old pillows I would occasionally wake with a stiff neck but this is a thing of the past now.

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The picture above shows my old pillow on the right and my new pillows on the left. I used my hand to put light to medium pressure on the pillows and the results above show what happened after I had released the pressure. As you can see my old hollowfibre pillow on the right still has the hand imprint visible whereas the memory foam pillow on the left bounced back to normal after 10 seconds. This really reinforces how little support there was in my old pillows and how much better the memory foam pillows are for supporting my head and neck.

I’m going to be honest and say that before I started using the memory foam pillows I had no idea why a supportive pillow was so important. When I started writing this post I decided to do a little research into the importance of a good pillow and found out a few really interesting facts.

For example did you know you spend around a third of your life in bed! Or that our spines are naturally curved and pillows help give us the correct posture whilst we sleep to help prevent neck and back pain. I found the facts really interesting and it has definitely made me think more about the importance of quality bedding products, after all I don’t want to spend a third of my life being uncomfortable!

If you have been waking with a stiff neck or back it could be down to your pillows and it might be time to consider replacing them. Although knowing when to replace your pillows can be tricky there is a trick you can try to see whether it’s time to replace them; If you have a non-foam pillow bend it in half, if it doesn’t spring back to it’s flat shape then it’s probably time to buy a new one. As a general rule of thumb if you have an inexpensive polyester pillow you should replace them roughly every 6 months, if you have a memory foam pillow it can last between 18-36 months before you need to replace it.

Now the big question is… is it bed time yet?

By |May 28th, 2015|Categories: Review|Tags: |0 Comments

SLIM-FAST WEEK TWO – THE RESULTS

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At the start of my #SlimFastChallenge I was dubious about whether I would be able to stick to the 3-2-1 plan. I enjoy food and can often be found snacking (especially late at night) so I wasn’t sure if I would have the willpower to stick to it. Well the two weeks are up and I’m pleased to say I have surprised myself and found out I do have willpower after all!

During my two week Slim-Fast Challenge I have also been exercising regularly. I have been doing the 30 Day Shred Workout DVD daily and have been trying to get out and about walking and being active as much as possible.

The 3-2-1 plan consists of a shake or meal replacement bar for breakfast and lunch, a 600 calorie meal each day and 3 snacks throughout the day. One healthy snack of your choice and two Slim-Fast snacks which consists of delicious chocolatey snack bars or tasty crisp style snacks.

I found the transition from regular meals to bars and shakes pretty easy, this was probably partly to do with the fact I normally skip breakfast and lunch so I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything.

I have to say with regards to the Slim-Fast food I have been pleasantly surprised. I’m a fussy eater and I’m also not keen on milkshake so I did worry that I wouldn’t like anything but the opposite is true. In fact there’s nothing I don’t like!

There are items I like more than others, for example, I LOVE the Heavenly Chocolate Delight snack bars, they taste like a brownie bar and definitely hit the spot if you have a chocolate craving. I’m not a fan of strawberry milkshake normally, but I have to say the ready-made strawberry milkshake was delicious as was the chocolate one although I wasn’t as keen on the vanilla one. I found the crisps to be nice and full of flavour, but I would love to see a few other flavours such as salt and vinegar, prawn cocktail etc. The meal replacement bars were also really nice, there were three to choose from, Chocolate Crunch, Chocolate Peanut and Summer Berry. I thought they were all really nice and filling too.

I have lost a total of 3lbs during the two-week challenge which I am happy about as that’s 3lbs that I’ll never see again! I do think that if you have a decent diet to start with you won’t see any drastic results, but you will see results!

Overall I think Slim-Fast is a great way to kick start things, I lost weight and also got into a good habit of eating regularly so I don’t feel the need to snack like I used to. The main thing I have taken away from the Slim-Fast Challenge is the importance of having three meals a day and healthy snacks. I have had more get up and go since I started eating regularly and haven’t found myself wanting to snack late at night like I used to. The challenge has given me the motivation to keep going and if I can consistently lose 1-2lbs a week until I reach my goal weight of 9 stone I will be over the moon. Thank you Slim-Fast!

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*I was sent a two week supply of Slim-Fast products to complete the challenge for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

By |May 27th, 2015|Categories: Weight Loss|Tags: |8 Comments

A DAY AT THE RACES

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Today I had a day at the races, not any old race either. This was Swindon’s famous duck race! Swindon hosts an annual duck race which is a great afternoon/day out for the whole family that doesn’t have to cost the earth (but can!). 

We (my mum, sister, nephew and I) went to the duck race last year and although it’s not overly big we had a good time so we decided to go back again this year. The main event is the duck race, there are hundreds (maybe even thousands) of ducks which race down a small stream/burn and there are prizes for the first five ducks to finish. As well as the duck race there is live music, stalls selling a variety of things, there were a few plant stalls, sweet/cake stalls, a few tombola stalls and a few selling hand-made items ranging from pottery to jewellery. There was also a couple of burger vans where you can get something to eat and a small seating area. There is a lot of green space so you could take a picnic and enjoy it on the grass which would also save you some money.

As well as catering for people there is a fun dog show and dog agility course at the event. People are free to use the dog agility course and there were several dog shows throughout the day, including junior handler and best in show with winners getting a medal. There were a lot of dogs at the event, all of the dogs I saw were very well behaved and everyone was cleaning up after their dogs. 

I have to admit to being a big kid at heart when it comes to fair ground rides. Unfortunately, Maxx wasn’t too keen on the pirate swing which was the only ride big enough for adults to go on. He said it looked scary which I guess to a 6 year old it does, after we had a walk around the stalls I had a go at convincing him to go on it with me and he reluctantly agreed! At first he was a bit nervous and I think he did amazingly well considering there’s only a rope in front of you to hold on to and nothing to lean back on but after a minute or so he really got into the swing of it and had a great time (as did I ha ha).

Maxx also had a great time at the tombola stalls, he was really lucky and won every time he had a shot. My mum, sister and I all had a shot but didn’t win. He must have the lucky touch, he won several teddies from the teddy tombola which he was really pleased about as he loves his teddies.

After we had looked around the stalls a few times, watched the dog shows, got something to eat & drink and Maxx had enjoyed the rides/bouncy slides we decided to call it a day and didn’t stay until the ducks raced. We probably spent around 2 and a half hours at the event although if we had taken a picnic and ball to paly with we could have stayed longer and had another look around later. Next year I think we will aim to go a little later in the day so we can see the duck race after all that is the whole point. Although we didn’t see the race we all enjoyed ourselves and are looking forward to going again next year.

If you are local to Swindon I would recommend going as it’s a good morning/afternoon out, especially when the weather is nice. The rides/inflatable slides are around £2 each time which is okay but can get costly, especially if you have more than one child, but overall the prices aren’t too bad and it only comes around once a year.

The great thing about the duck race is the fact it helps local charities. This year (2015) the proceeds are being split between The Swindon MS Therapy Centre and other local rotary-supported charities.

I took my camera out with me as I don’t often get the opportunity to take it out and about and want to start taking more photos to share on here. I have put some of my favourites from the duck race below.

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By |May 25th, 2015|Categories: Days Out|Tags: , |0 Comments

SLIM-FAST WEEK ONE

I have been following the Slim Fast 3-2-1 plan for a week now – where has the time gone? 

Week one has gone really well, I stuck to the plan and continued with the 30 Day Shred workout DVD. I’m now on level 3 of the shred and let me tell you it’s a killer but I am enjoying it. 

I was pleasantly surprised at the fact I didn’t constantly feel hungry on the plan as I thought I might be, yes there were a few occasions when I really fancied a packet of crisps or a fizzy drink but I wasn’t actually hungry, it was more mind over matter! 

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I set myself a target of losing 2-5lbs by the end of the two-week challenge but I have to admit I was a little disappointed at first when I weighed in today and had only lost 2lbs. I had to remind myself that this isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon and I’m in it for the long haul, plus 2lbs off is 2lbs and I’m not going to turn my nose up at that. I saw a few people saying they had lost between 5-8lbs in the first week of their challenge which is fantastic and I almost got caught up comparing, everyone is different and even though I have stuck to the plan religiously we won’t all get the same results. If you’re trying to lose weight just remember that we are all different, whether you lose half a pound or 5lb you are still moving closer to your goal and that’s the important thing.

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Something I am doing this week that I didn’t last week is checking that my dinners are within the 600 calorie allowance. I have been eating healthy dinners, at least to my standards – meat, rice, veg, etc. This week I will be checking the calories in each evening meal just to make sure I’m not drastically underestimating things. I did calculate one meal which was a banana, 4 ryvita crackers, ham, cheese & cucumber and was shocked to find out that 4 slices of cheese was 100 calories… say what! So cheese is off the menu, at least for this week. 

I am now on week two and I am hoping for another 2lb loss. So far I have found the plan easy to follow, it’s great being able to just grab a snack or make a shake and go, I don’t have to spend hours planning and calculating calories, there is also a good range of products available so I can mix up what I eat meaning I don’t get bored. 

Here’s to week two and hopefully another 2lbs lost forever!

By |May 18th, 2015|Categories: Weight Loss|Tags: |0 Comments

MY TWO WEEK SLIM-FAST CHALLENGE

Sometimes you have to be honest with yourself, even when it’s difficult. For a while now I have been ignoring the fact that I have been putting on weight, the tighter trousers were a give-away but I just pushed it to the back of my mind. However, recently I stepped on the scales and got a pretty unpleasant surprise, I weighed in at 11 stone 2lbs. I knew then it was time to do something about my weight and when I was given the opportunity to take part in the Slim-Fast Challenge I jumped at the chance. I thought it would be the perfect way to kick start my weight loss.

Around a year ago I was down to 10 stone and well on my way to my goal weight of 9 stone. I started at 11 stone 8lbs and was ecstatic to have got down to 10 stone, unfortunately, life got in the way and things took a downward slide. I stopped exercising regularly and started snacking a lot and here we are, one year down the line and I’m almost back to square one. I know there’s no point beating myself up over this as that won’t achieve anything so I’m starting fresh and am more determined than ever to make some positive adjustments to both my exercise and eating habits that will hopefully see me losing weight and feeling healthier. 

For the last two weeks now I have been eating better than previous months and I have also been doing the 30 Day Shred along with fellow blogger Louise. I often find I am more determined and stick to things if I have a partner in crime and two weeks in I’m still going strong and can honestly say I haven’t missed a day, although there have been times when I have wanted to! I’m not saying it has all been perfect, far from it, I have had days where I have eaten cheesecake and then had ice cream with caramel sauce and there are days when I haven’t tried my hardest with the exercise, but I am moving forward, slow and steady wins the race as they say.

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As a result of my new found healthy healthier eating and exercise I have lost 4lbs in the last two weeks which is great and I now weight in at 10 stone 12 lbs. This is a great start, however according to the Slim Fast BMI calculator with a BMI of 27 I am classed as overweight, my ideal BMI is between 18-25. I know I have a lot of work to do and that it won’t all happen  overnight but that’s okay because I’m prepared for the hard work and I’m more determination than ever.  321slimfastplan

As I mentioned at the start of the post I am taking part in a two week Slim-Fast challenge, I started the challenge on Monday and so far so good! I am following the Slim-Fast 3-2-1 plan, with this plan you have 2 meal replacement bars or shakes a day, 1 calorie controlled meal and 3 snacks. The great thing about this plan is that it’s easy to follow, can be altered to suit your lifestyle and there’s no complicated calorie counting which is always a bonus. 

I was sent a selection of Slim-Fast products to help me take part in the challenge and have to say I was quite impressed with the choices available. I’m a fussy eater and did wonder if there would be anything I like, thankfully there are a few items I really like, some more than others, but I am happy with the choices available. I am sticking to the plan to the letter and will also be doing a 30-minute workout each day, I am hoping to lose between 2-5lbs during the challenge and am excited to see what the results will be.

If you want to follow my Slim-Fast journey you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram where I will be sharing my journey over the next two weeks. You can also follow everyone doing the challenge using the hashtag #SlimFastChallenge. At the end of the challenge I will come back and share how I got on with the plan. 

By |May 13th, 2015|Categories: Weight Loss|Tags: , , |6 Comments