5 Fun Alternatives to the Gym

Ice skating

One of my New Years Resolutions is to lose weight and be healthier and this is something I’m determined to do. It’s something I have struggled with as I’m not a huge fan of the gym and struggle to find alternative ways to exercise that are enjoyable. If you’re struggling for ideas on ways you can get fit without hitting the gym then take a look at the 5 fun alternative to the gym below.

The great thing about the suggestions below is the fact they can be done with friends or children as they are fun for all ages.

Go for a swim

Swimming is a great way to keep fit, especially if you have an injury. It helps strengthen and tone muscles It’s something you can do all year round and if you’re able to go during off peak times it’s usually reasonably priced too. Swimming is something you can do alone or as a family so everyone can have fun.

A leisurely 60 minute swim can burn around 440 calories.

Roller skating

I loved roller skating as a child and I still enjoy it as an adult. We’re quite lucky as we have regular roller discos at our local hall. If you fancy giving roller skating a go but don’t have any roller skates don’t fret, you can usually hire skates at the venue. If you plan on it becoming a regular thing then investing in your own pair is definitely a good idea, you can pick up roller skates and fun roller derby clothing online or in sport shops. Roller skating is great if you have children as it’s fun for all ages.

Roller skating can burn around 500 calories per 60 minutes.

Horse Riding

Horseback riding is great fun and you can burn a surprising amount of calories. If you’ve never ridden before you can try a beginners lesson, try your hand at jumping if you’re a bit more advanced or if you’re used to horses you could head out on a hack to explore. The only down side to horse riding is the expense, it can cost £40+ for an hour which isn’t cheap.

Horseback riding for an hour can burn around 300 calories.

Ice skating

My personal favourite is ice skating, I have always loved ice skating and it’s not only a lot of fun but a great workout as it works the upper and lower body. Like with roller skating you can take your own skates or hire them when you are there, it varies in price depending on when you go.

Ice skating can burn around 500 calories per 60 minutes.

Bike riding

If you have a bike that’s just gathering dust in the shed get it out and go on a bike ride. We are fast approaching the better weather and there’s no better time to enjoy the crisp fresh air and beautiful scenery. What’s more it’s free and you could even save money by biking to work rather than driving.

60 minutes of moderate bike riding can burn around 600 calories.

By |January 22nd, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |0 Comments

Creamy Hot Chocolate with Hans Sloane

hanssloane

During the cold Autumn/Winter months there’s nothing better than making a delicious hot chocolate to enjoy. I’m not a huge hot drinks lover but when it’s really cold and I need something to warm me up I always reach for hot chocolate – yummy!

I normally use powdered hot chocolate which is nice depending on which one you buy, however I do find you can often be left with lumps or a grainy taste which isn’t so enjoyable. I was recently introduced to hot chocolate in bead form, something that I hadn’t seen before and was eager to try. It’s used in the same way as powder, you simply add the beads to milk, stir and enjoy.

The Hans Sloane London Drinking Chocolate is a top choice for luxurious hot chocolate that will not only give your chocolate cravings a hit but will also warm you up on cold winter mornings or evenings. The packaging is different from the norm, it comes in a cute coffee shop style package which makes me love it that little bit more. It’s definitely nicer than the usual can which most hot chocolate comes in.

The great thing about the range of drinking chocolate from Hans Sloane is the fact it comes in a variety of flavours, so there’s something for everyone, even me – I’m pretty fussy! There’s Smooth Milk, Rich Dark, Natural Honey, Madagascar 67% and Ecuador 70%. I’m not a huge fan of dark chocolate so I decided to give the Natural Honey a try and it was delicious.

creamyhotchocolate

To make your own creamy hot chocolate, you’ll need:

  • Hans Sloane Drinking Beads
  • Milk
  • Whipped cream
  • Chocolate for grating

For the perfect hot chocolate melt 3 tablespoons of chocolate beads in 200ml of hot milk and stir until dissolved. Pour into a glass, add a heaped tablespoon of cream, grate over some chocolate and enjoy! You can add marshmallows, cinnamon, ginger or any other topping you fancy. Enjoy!

*sample

By |January 15th, 2015|Categories: Food|Tags: |0 Comments

The Perfect Hen Night

Looking through my Facebook feed on Christmas day, it honestly seems like the world and his wife (to be?) got engaged. Hooray! You’re getting married – congratulations! If this sounds familiar, you’re probably a total mix right now of ecstatic and terrified. It’s not that you’ve not picked the right person (of course not!), but the idea of all that planning has probably got you feeling a total cocktail of emotions. You’re not alone. There have been loads of articles written about the planning of the whole occasion – often called ‘the biggest day of your life’ – and so it’s hardly surprising that there loads of anxieties associated with the whole spectacle! Your hen night (or Bachelorette party, depending on where you’re from) shouldn’t make you sad, however – it should be a night or even a weekend of joy and fun. Here’s just a few ideas of how to achieve that…

Go All Out And Take A Trip

Whether you fancy jetting off to Las Vegas, swanning off a popular party destination, or even taking a city break to explore somewhere new, there are loads of options to give you and your hens the absolute perfect weekend (or week, if you’re greedy!). If you’re a Maid Of Honour, there are plenty of tips for you organizing their (theoretical!) last night of freedom, and everyone’s bound to make memories that will last a lifetime no matter what you do.

Have A Blowout Night Out

If you’d rather focus on the last night (!) ever of you losing your decorum just a little bit, then it’s perhaps best if you don’t spend shedloads on a trip that you won’t remember anyway! There are loads of cities across the UK that you can visit just for one night with your girls, or you can even just go down your local for a night you’ll never remember with people you’ll never forget!

Relax A Little!

You’ve got enough chaos going on, so sometimes it’s best just to take some time to chill before the whirlwind of everything else! Before you see it as a bit of a cop-out, there are some amazing spa weekends you can go on which will add a touch of elegance to the affair. Why not decide on a girly weekend somewhere gorgeous like this beautifully converted Church Spa? You’re bound to bond and it’s a nice excuse to just get away from it all before the drama – hopefully all good, but still – ensues!

By |January 11th, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |0 Comments

MY NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS FOR 2015

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Year. It’s hard to believe we’re already 5 days into 2015 yet I’m still trying to work out what happened to 2014, it passed in the blink of an eye and I wasn’t ready for 2015. As it’s a new year I couldn’t let it pass without blogging my resolutions for 2015, usually I manage to keep one or two, at least for the first month or so! It’s better to try than not to give it a go so below are my resolutions for 2015.

Learning to drive

Okay I know this was a goal from last year but I didn’t get round to doing it for a few reasons. The main reason being I was waiting to get a date for an operation on my eye, after the operation I need to rest my eye so I won’t be able to drive whilst it heals and I didn’t want to learn then take a huge break and not get back into it. My operation is in a couple of weeks time so fingers crossed I might be learning to drive from the end of February/start of March.

Be more organised

I admit I’m not the most organised person in the world. This year I have promised myself I will be more organised both on and off the blog. I have bought an organiser and a few really cute notebooks to keep track of things I need to do so I can hopefully be more organised. I don’t think this will be easy but I’m determined to be more organised and think it will let me relax more and not rush about because I’ve forgotten I have to do something or go somewhere.

Save money

If I have spare money I do try to save it but with Christmas just past and 3 birthdays in the family in January my savings are looking a little sorry for themselves so my aim for this year is to try and save as much as possible. I would love to go on holiday abroad again this year or next so I have the incentive to save and just need to put my mind to it. No more looking at the sales, well after the 75% Boots sale that is ha ha.

Have a better sleeping pattern

My sleeping pattern isn’t great, although it has improved from a few years ago. I normally go to bed around 12am however on rare occasions I can go as late as 2am. This usually results in me sleeping in, being tired and being on a completely different time schedule to everyone else which isn’t great. I’m trying to change this bad habit and have been aiming to go the bed between 10:30pm and 11pm so I’m up at a reasonable time. I have been using my new Lumie Bodyclock wake up light with Aromatherapy which has been helping massively with getting to sleep quickly and waking up feeling rested, fingers crossed that will continue.

Lose weight and be healthier

In 2013 I started eating better and was exercising regularly and went down from 12 stone 6lb to 9 stone 13lb unfortunately I stopped eating well and exercising and have put weight back on, I’m now 10 stone 12lbs. I’m more determined than ever to start the year off well and so far so good, okay it’s only day 5 but I have managed to stay at my calorie goal each day and have been using my exercise bike to cycle for an hour with the aim of doing this 4 times a week. Something I was really bad with last year was drinking water or any form of liquid really, I can go through the whole day without drinking and if I did grab a drink it was usually cola. I have now started filling up two large water bottles each night, putting them in the fridge so they’re cold and drinking those throughout the day. I have also started using the myfitnesspal website again which was a massive help last time.

Have you made any New Years Resolutions?

By |January 5th, 2015|Categories: Random Thoughts|Tags: |0 Comments

KEEPING COSY WITH WOOLOVERS

I love the Winter months, getting wrapped up in cosy wooly jumpers, digging out the Ugg boots and enjoying hot chocolate.. what’s not to love?! We all know the Winter months are often wet and cold, that’s nothing new yet each year when Winter comes round it’s always a shock to the system. I’m not usually someone that is affected by the cold, however this year I seem to be feeling it more than ever. First thing in the morning and last thing at night are the worst, it’s bitterly cold outside and frost covers everything in sight. It looks beautiful but I’d much rather be tucked up in the warm.

I have to admit I was ill prepared for Winter this year. I have a lovely fur parka which keeps me warm, my trusty jeans collection, a few pairs of winter socks (so cosy) but I’m quite lacking in the Winter t-shirt and jumper department. If you have found yourself in the same boat and are in need of some wooly t-shirts or jumpers then take a look at my favourite picks below.

I was recently introduced to the website Woolovers which is a world class knitwear retailer. They have over 25 years of knitwear experience and have a great range of knitwear products available at reasonable prices. Whether you’re looking for a t-shirt, cardigan or jumper you’re sure to find something you love, some items have a choice of over 15 colours which is great if you’re looking for variety.

I saw so many gorgeous items on the website I thought I would share a few of my favourites with you in case you’re looking for some Winter wool inspiration. There are so many it was a difficult choice but here are four I love.

wooloverscompelte

ONE – UNISEX ZIP & BUTTON NORDIC CARDIGAN

We all need a Christmas jumper in our wardrobe. This one is perfect for the festive season, it’s unisex and available in three different colours, I have to say I love it in the red, it’s just so festive and cheery which is the whole point of a Christmas jumper. The fact the jumper has pockets is definitely a bonus for me, I always forget to take gloves out with me and there’s nothing worse than cold hands.

TWO – LAMBSWOOL V NECK CARDIGAN

This is a lovely statement jumper and thanks to the simple yet elegant design it will go with almost anything. I love the large pockets on the front of the jumper and the large leather football shaped buttons really make it stand out. It is made from 100% soft pure lambs wool and is a wardrobe staple for this time of year, sure to keep you feeling cosy and looking great over the Winter season.

THREE – NORDIC FAIR ISLE JUMPER

This jumper is my favourite of the four, it looks so warm and I love the pattern. The jumper is knitted from pure British wool so it’s sure to keep you warm throughout the Winter months and beyond. You can pick up the Nordic Jumper in 6 different colours so if the colours above don’t take your fancy there are plenty of other options. According to the website this jumper is generously sized which I think is great as  I love a slightly oversized fit.

FOUR – CROPPED CREW CARDIGAN

I love this cute short cardigan, it’s perfect for those sunny Winter days when it’s not too cold outside (few and far between Ii know!) and because it’s short and lightweight it can be worn over the Summer months too. It’s available in 19 different colours so if you’re looking for a cardigan to finish off an outfit you’re sure to find the right colour. It’s made from 70% cotton and 30% silk so is sure to be comfortable to wear no matter what the weather.

What are your Winter essentials?

By |January 2nd, 2015|Categories: Fashion and Beauty|Tags: , , , |0 Comments