Cheryl Cole Hair: Get the look with Salon Confidential Hair Extensions

29 Jul



WHEN it comes to hair trends, a mane that is thick, lustrous and bouncy never goes out of fashion.

It’s also a look that has become ubiquitous among celebrities, with the likes of Cheryl Cole and now Saturday’s singer Frankie Sandford opting for extensions to achieve that just-out-the-salon look.

The good news is, you don’t have to spend hours in the salon or fork out thousands to achieve Gisele-length locks.

And renowned hair brand Salon Confidential is now offering a range of ethically sourced clip-in hair extensions which emulate the look and feel of real hair.

Their synthetic hair extensions give are an easy way to achieve long, effortless hair within a matter of minutes.

Having recently tried the Volume Wave extensions in shades Honey and Light Brown, I was seriously impressed at how easy the clips were to put in and of how much fuller my hair looked.

The weft is specifically designed to remain hidden so it means if you find yourself caught in the rain, you’re hair still remains volumised with a fabulous soft curl at the end.

There is also no need for blow-drying or curling as Volume Wave extensions are pre-styled so you can literally just clip and go.


Hair before


Hair extensions after

I prefer these to the poker straight alternative of hair extensions as I feel they give that swish, bouncy blow-dry look with little effort.

I can curl my hair or keep the rest of it straight with a few subtle flicks here or there and these will still blend in beautifully. The plastic clips are also safer for the hair than metal versions and won’t damage as much as glue-in options.

You get 12 pieces in the box set too so you can add more body if you wish for evening. In the picture I’m only wearing four and my hair still looks super volumised. And despite being synthetic they still look very natural. The only thing I’d advise is to remove carefully and avoid straightening or curling these – synthetic extensions aren’t made to take heat.

salon confidential extensions

These are great for ladies on the go who desire that celebrity hair look without the hefty price tag.

Salon Confidential extensiones can be purchased at or


Did impatience kill HMV?

2 Apr

hmv pic

WHEN I first heard the bleak news that HMV was headed towards administration, flashbacks of bored Saturday afternoons and playing hide and seek behind the XXL Nirvana T-shirts flooded back to me.

Having always been a bit of a die-hard music fan, I spent a large proportion of my teenage youth there with friends trawling through CD’s and blasting out The Smiths via super-sized headphones until I became five years closer to developing tinnitus.

So I was immensely saddened to hear about HMV’s irrevocable decline, one which has made me question whether or not our need to have everything right here, right now, in the moment, could be a factor in the death of so many of our traditional retailers.

Although this weekend HMV suitor Hilco locked in talks with landlords in the hope of saving up to 140 of the 220 music shops, I feel like HMV can no longer stand a chance in the midst of our generally impatient society.

In today’s fast-paced lifestyle, where the mere thought of waiting in a queue to buy an album seems preposterous when we can download it in seconds with the click of a button, it’s no wonder that HMV has almost been given the death sentence.

Unlike the 90s, when tablets, Blackberry’s and internet shopping  were virtually unheard of, HMV wasn’t just a shop, but also a hangout spot for like minded youngsters who would bond over Bob Marley posters and obsessions with Take That.

HMV was killed by YouTube, Spotify and that oh, so glorious It was killed by Tubidy mobile and Sunday afternoon CD and DVD trolley dashes around the supermarket. It was also — dare I say —  killed by illegal downloading, despite today’s excessively threatening piracy laws.

We no longer need shops like these to interact with other humans or to discover our inner dub-step fan. We just don’t have the time to arduously paw through discs for that Spice Girls album that we’d end up so desperately trying to hide from our collections.

Today it would make more sense just to secretly buy it off the internet, whilst amusing ourselves with other important pastimes, like spying on Facebook—or snickering at Carol Vorderman’s latest fashion faux pas on the Mail Online whilst simultaneously discovering how many Percy Pigs we can scoff without developing type 2 Diabetes.

The sad matter is, we are no longer patient. Patience has been destroyed. In this day and age, patience is waiting the entire two minutes for our instant cook porridge to heat up. Patience is haranguing the bar tender to have our wine ready when we slide into our booths. We can no longer afford to be patient when it comes to technology.

All those CD and DVD collections which we once prided on and smugly brought our friends round to glimpse at the age of fifteen no longer has the cool factor like it used to. After all, why would it be when we’ve all got iPods the size of our thumb to store entire albums on?

In some ways it is baffling to think how HMV has managed to survive so long up until now in the first place. It is worrying to see some of our most loved and well known stores succumb to the retail wasteland.

However perhaps if the prices were a bit more reasonable, and the internet hadn’t become so convenient, then perhaps HMV wouldn’t be in this situation. For my teenage self I hope it can survive. I guess we’ll just have to use our last remnants of patience to wait and find out.

Positive Visualisation – Does it work?

1 Apr

Athletes swear by it, entrepreneurs use it to try and turn their dreams into reality and even Oprah is a big fan – but the real questions is – does positive visualisation really work?

For years we have been told about the miraculous benefits of using positive thinking to reach our goals. It has become a sworn-by technique used by thousands to try and reach success, a tried-and-tested method used by the likes of heptathlete Jessica Ennis  and self-made billionaires like Richard Branson – who claims to have made it to the top by literally willing himself to achieve the success he craved.

However a controversial new book by bestselling British author and journalist Oliver Burkeman, named The Antidote: Happiness For People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking, claims that positive thinking doesn’t actually work.

According to Burkeman, who writes for the Guardian, including the weekly column ‘This Column Will Change Your Life, living by the belief that positive affirmations will transform our lives could actually be setting us up for failure. His new book aims to debunk the myth of positive thinking as he believes that true happiness can only be achieved if we can learn to love failure instead of fearing it.

He also explores the notion that, when we believe good things will come solely from thinking well, is that this type of “very brittle and fragile kind of approach to happiness” is what leaves you much less resilient and able to cope when things go wrong.

In opposition of the boundless other self-help books and psychology articles that say using positive thinking techniques help to bring our dreams closer to us, Burkeman believes that our constant efforts to eliminate pessimistic thoughts could in fact be setting us up to feel emotions which end up creating more negativity – such as insecurity, sadness or acute feelings of failure.

He explained: “For some years I’d been writing my column in the Guardian, ‘This Column Will Change Your Life,’ which is a tongue-in-cheek look at what works and what doesn’t in self-help and popular psychology.

“Gradually I began to see that there was one major thing that many of the failed approaches to happiness had in common: positive thinking. By that I mean, specifically, the idea that you can make yourself happy or successful by sheer force of will – by deciding only to think happy thoughts, or deciding that your dreams will come true.

“What these entire approaches share is the notion that negative feelings and situations should be ignored or erased. Ultimately, that’s counterproductive – it makes things worse. Deciding to be optimistic all the time, especially if it doesn’t come naturally, is actually a rather stressful way to live.”

In some ways I can’t help but feel disappointed by Oliver’s argument. Having always been optimistic about the power of positivity – and also vaguely anxious about my upcoming driving test – I thought that perhaps I could use some visualisation techniques to try and boost my chances of passing first time.

Intrigued by Oliver’s claims, I revisited my bookshelf to find a worn-out book that my father gave me a few years back named ‘The Power of Positive Thinking’ by Dr Norman Vincent Peale. It was a book that, if I’m honest, I skimmed when I was 19, thought about for a day or two – and then swiftly forgotten. However after having a recent conversation with a friend of mine who swears that her luck has improved by tenfold by using positive affirmations – I decided to buff up on the subject by trying out some research for myself.

After having a thorough read through Dr Peale’s original book, which sold more than 22 million copies after being first published in 1952, I noticed upon reading that there is no room for being cynical. It says that for the practice to truly work, you mustn’t allow negative thoughts to enter into your mind or allow yourself to be disbelieving. Having suffered a day of what had already seemed like one disaster after the other, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy.

Another thing that got to me was that it says that everything negative that occurs is often brought on – or even yearned for – by ourselves. I’ll admit, I found it profoundly difficult to believe the fact that I would have possibly wanted to get soaked in the rain, miss the train and then lose my favourite necklace on one day. But was it simply my pessimism, or cynicism, that was preventing the techniques from working?

Oliver said: “With all these techniques, the point is not that they could never work, but that they’re sufficiently dubious to be little use as a general approach to life. Some sports psychologists, for example, are convinced that positive visualisation works.

“Meanwhile, a study a few years ago showed that people who were rendered thirsty and then asked to visualise drinking a refreshing glass of water appeared to undergo a reduction in motivation, not an increase. It was as if they were less motivated to achieve their goal in reality because they’d already convinced themselves they’d achieved it on an imaginary level.

“One study mentioned in my book also showed that people with low self-esteem who repeat self-help ‘affirmations’ to themselves end up feeling worse, perhaps because the affirmations prompt them to generate counter-arguments. They say to themselves ‘I am a lovable person!’ and all their mind does is think of reasons why they’re not lovable.”

Although I found myself agreeing with his counter arguments theory, for some reason, something inside me still wanted to believe that there was something in the whole positive visualisation thing. After all, if it is being used by athletes, professional golfers and top entrepreneurs, then surely there must be something in it?

Dr Guang Yue, an exercise psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, has also recently unveiled the results of an experiment, in which he discovered that just thinking about exercise can increase the strength of your muscles.

What was most astonishing about the experiment was the fact that the volunteers who carried out virtual workouts in their heads, as compared to the volunteers who carried out physical workouts, still managed to increase their muscle strength by 30 per cent by the power of their minds alone.

With this in mind, I reverted back to reading my old Positive Thinking book, and I found it insightful that it discusses how having one bad thing happen can have a domino effect on your life, simply because the first event often throws you into a negative mind frame. I’m sure we can all relate to those awful days where there seems to be an endless stream of bad things happening. It made me wonder if things could have turned out differently had I simply tried to be a bit more optimistic.

When I asked Oliver what he thought about this and whether he believed that positive thinking could only set us up for failure in the long run, he said: “The simple truth is that life is full of ups and downs. Bad stuff happens. That in itself needn’t be a catastrophe.

“But when you adopt a philosophy of happiness that is based on just trying not to think about those bad things, it’s inevitable that they will destabilise you much more when they do occur. The ‘negative path to happiness’ which I write about in The Antidote is the suggestion that we might do better to find ways to coexist with those bad things, to be open to them and to prepare for them.

“The key is in learning to find ways to coexist with both sides of the human emotional repertoire, the bad as well as the good. By having a friendlier attitude to uncertainty, insecurity and sadness in this way, we can chart a course to a far more fulfilling life than mere positive thinking could ever achieve.”

I’m not sure what to think now I’ve heard Burkeman’s argument, however there’s still that little bit inside me that thinks using positive affirmations is the best way to stay upbeat and uplifted when we so badly want to achieve something.  I fear that by not a least trying to give it ago, it could prevent a flurry of possibilities from happening.

Although I’ll definitely start to try and embrace my failures and be less of a perfectionist, I’ll still picturing me walking out of that car on the day of my driving test, elated that I’ve been given a pass.

There are some things that are bound to be beyond our control, so I think the key is just to go with the flow and accept that some things don’t always work out the way we want them to. Better to always look on the bright side.

Metrosexuals are making us look lazy

14 Mar

jw anderson

WHEN up-and-coming fashion designer JW Anderson paraded his male models down the a/w 2013 runway wearing frilly dresses, bustiers and mini-skirts — I couldn’t help but question whether or not the whole metrosexual thing had been taken a skinny jeans-belt notch too far.
Although I’m all for freedom of expression — and am certainly not against men indulging in the odd bit of pampering — for some reason I still can’t read about the latest man-frock without noticing a small smile play around my lips.
We all know that metrosexual — a buzzword for a heterosexual man whose lifestyle, concern for personal appearance, and spending habits are likened to that of a woman — has been around now since before the millenium. However recently it appears that metrosexual has now been taken to a whole new level, perhaps thanks to reality TV shows such as Geordie Shore and TOWIE.
According to a revent survey by designer secret sales website, one in ten men now admit to wearing makeup. Upon hearing this — coupled by some stark findings from myself at a recent visit to a popular Glasgow nightclub — it dawned on me that men today are now becoming far more fussed about their appearance than women are.
Just last week I was persuaded to visit a club that eventually made my eyeballs bulge like hard-boiled eggs. A club that I had heard endless jokes about previously in relation to poseur type behaviour and people standing around pouting as opposed to dancing.
“Now when we go here we can’t dance, you know, the way we normally do, like complete muppets let loose,” my friend, who was meeting someone she wanted to impress there, hissed.“What do you mean like muppets?” I recoiled, largely insulted by her accusation. However much to my amazement, I understood exactly why.

You see, the club, which I won’t name because — quite frankly — I’m too embarrassed to, contained what appeared to be the entire cast of Geordie Shore. “Look! That’s that Jay guy that was on Geordie Shore!” I elbowed my friend Natalie, pointing to a toothy, shaved-headed guy wearing fake tan the colour of Chicken Tikka. “That’s not him,” she sighed, rolling her eyes in amusement. “It’s just full of people who look like they’re from Geordie Shore.”
Ah. That’s when realisation hit. As I turned my head to stare around my room, I recognised that the hundreds of male species, most of whom eerily resembled cast-mates from that MTV programme, were actually just new age metrosexuals. I stood there in awe, people-watching for at least twenty-minutes, taking in the array of fake-baked men wearing low-cut tank tops — which were bizarrely teamed with scarves — and realised that metrosexual had been taken to a whole new level. I couldn’t help but notice how the majority of men there looked almost permanently startled, thanks to either botox or just some overtly-plucked eyebrows.

My findings felt rather disconcerting. How long it had taken these men to preen themselves before heading out? I pictured their poor girlfriends, glancing down at their watches, banging on the door to tell their men to hurry up because it had been FOUR BLOOMING HOURS.  I shuddered. Fair enough, metrosexual isn’t exactly a new concept, however cocktail dresses, makeup and nail polish for men? Isn’t this just a step too far?

My concerns are mostly devoted towards thousands of wives-to-be in future — if their husbands start getting up at 6am on a Sunday to gym, tan and hammer down protein shakes — then what would they say about us when we roll out of bed for a full-english, resembling the corpse bride out of Sleepy Hollow?
I’m not sure if I like this idea of all these men becoming all scarily buff and Twittering about how many women they’ve pulled on a night out. It’s bad enough that us women are pressured to look a certain way, without our future-husbands ending up taking longer in the bathroom than we do — or worse — haranguing us for eating bread. It has to calm down now. No good can ever come of this.
It’s good to be fashionably groomed but metrosexual men, if you’re listening, please don’t take our makeup, our lengthy bathroom hogs or — horror — our carbs away from us. You’re making us look lazy.

Goodbye Detoxes, Hello Fun

24 Feb


Listen up people,

Finally you can breath a sigh of relief, it’s time to start giving up on resolutions and start having some fun…

Finally. Now we can cast aside those sinister thoughts against those smug members of the detox brigade, posting drivel on Facebook about every egg white they’ve eaten and smiling jocundly to themselves as the rest of us grip the sides of our hungover heads.It’s almost been two months since the arrival of New Year – meaning that most of our resolutions are probably well and truly dead by now (cue cheers). Feel free to embrace hedonism without remorse. Now no-one will even bat an eyelid over those three jugs of Cheeky Vimto you might be currently enjoying at Wetherspoon’s.

Now I don’t know about you, but having gone almost two months listening to people bang on about their “wheat-free diets,” announcing their profound misery, mid-squat, over having to watch Alan Carr Chatty Man on Friday’s instead of hitting the pub, somehow brainwashes (should really say inspires) you to end up joining them.

It becomes a sort of epidemic, a dreary time where even the thought of seeking our usual pleasures – such as a cheeky glass of red or the last few Celebrations left over from Christmas – becomes a conscience-berating effort.

So there I was, transported (and guilt-tripped) to the island where cocktails are “the devil” and white bread inflicts repulsion upon faces already amassed with condemnation, enviously watching revellers stagger out their cheap bars at 8pm on Friday’s while chowing down my tasteless Sculptress bar. I deserted nights out with the few friends who weren’t on detoxes, and embarked on the boring journey that is teetotal. However now that February is coming to an end,  so is that whole HealthVille mentality for most people.

Now don’t get me wrong, it was rather invigorating and all that other malarkey at the time, but my poor drinking friends were starting to think that I’d turned into Gillian McKeith.

“What do you mean you don’t want a vodka?” cried my startled friend, her face contorted in an expression of such dismay and horror, that it would seem as if I’d just told her I was turning Mormon.  “But it’s Saturday!”  she shrilled, slamming her fist on the table.  All I could do was nod my head sagely in return. Although she didn’t attempt to argue, I could almost see her mentally removing me from her life, drawing up a list of new, still-up-for-partying friends who wouldn’t dare refuse the drinks menu in favour of skim-milk Americano’s with half a Sweetex.

You see, almost just as soon as you join that teetotal bandwagon, somehow you end up becoming one of those boring people who announce, just as soon as you get into the party, that you “can’t stay out late,” disappointing your fellow boozers, who will then become wary that you’ll wind up remembering every incoherent thing they’ve said. These are the times that they will want to punch you.

Another downside to being teetotal is that everyone automatically presumes you’re a recovering alcoholic. “I’m just trying to be healthier,” you’ll say, wide-eyed and alert from all that extra kip you’re getting, while the listener mentally begins to calculate all the times you’ve fallen drunkenly down a flight of stairs. They will then most likely offer to go to the cinema with you. “We don’t need drink to have fun!” they’ll chirp merrily, before proceeding to scarf down diabetes-inducing amounts of pick ‘n’ mix sweets in a bid to get some sort of buzz in watching yet another Sandra Bullock film.

Although I never drank excessively, going out to a bar without a drink in hand sometimes seemed positively preposterous. You can almost guarantee that having a sober one will never lead to one of those iconic nights that you cackle about with your friends the next day.

So although being booze-free made me feel a lot more saintly and productive than I could have ever imagined, I can’t help but notice that it made certain occasions seem a lot less interesting than it would have when combined with the giddy effects of alcohol. Spontaneity, random but indeed hilarious conversations and a rather surreal journey home never happens when you’re back by midnight, carefully removing your makeup and sipping herbal tea while your friends embark on their drinking-sambuca-from-pots party.

There is only so long that you can remain on that dark, dank island of sobriety and chamomile tea before planning to throw yourself into the sea from boredom.

Besides, I just think that us Scots just aren’t cut out for the whole detox thing on a permanent level. Plus no-one really likes Gillian McKeith do they? She examines poo for Christ’s sake. Thank heavens we’re all such quitters. 

Zaggora HotTop update

21 Feb

Zaggora HotTop results – week one

So guys, it’s already been a week since I embarked on my Zaggora HotTop challenge, so rather than bore you with a daily update of my gym schedule, sweaty upper body and ravenous appetite thanks to my increased workout regime, I thought I’d wait at least a week and bore you with it all then! (Chortle)

It has been a tough challenge this week trying to juggle my work schedule, driving lessons and gym routine but nonetheless, a very rewarding one.

The one thing I’m glad to reveal is how devoted I am now to my new Zaggora HotTop! Thankfully it dries quite quickly so I’ve been able to wash it everyday and wear it for each workout during my challenge, allowing me to burn more calories and sweat more with each workout.

I hate wearing my regular workout top now as it somehow doesn’t feel that I’m working as hard. I love how flat my stomach feels when I peel off the Zaggora top because of the amount it makes you sweat. However keep reading and I’ll let you know about my results so far after this summary of what the past week has entailed.

Monday: Unfortunately my usual spin class was jam-packed with eager spinsters on Monday, so I managed to squeeze in a quick 20 minute run on the treadmill before a 45 minute Body Pump class (which I love).

After the run I was already beginning to feel a bit warmer ahead of Pump, which gave me a great toning workout to help me de-stress after work. I didn’t feel that sweaty until I got changed but it meant any bloating from excess caffeine throughout the day had diminished. Result.

Wednesday: Didn’t manage to get to the gym today so decided to do an hour of Callanetics – 10 hours in 10 days – at home. This is a really low-impact workout but it works really fast at tightening and toning the body, creating lean limbs and sculpting the abdominals and legs. I felt rejuvinated after this and noticed that my waist had pulled in already just after six sessions. I feel more slender now that I’ve started doing callanetics and I’m really excited to see how much more my body changes after another few sessions.

Friday: I didn’t manage to work out on Thursday since it was Valentine’s Day so I was feeling a little sluggish and bloated after scoffing a delicious meal washed down with a few red wines. So I knew I really had to up my game on Friday.

Unfortunately there are no classes after 6pm in my gym on a Friday so it was down to me to motivate myself for a workout. I did a 40 minute run with my trusty HotTop on and followed it with 20 minutes of burpees, jumping jacks, bicep curls and lunges, squats etc. I was absolutely knackered after it but felt far better for it.

Saturday: Woke up on Saturday morning and was pleased to see that my bloating was completely gone and my size 8 skirt felt loose around my hips. It must be the HotTop and exercise working because I’ve definitely not been dieting. In fact, I’ve probably been eating more than usual in the last few weeks. So I headed off to a 45 minute spin class, done a quick run on the treadmill and then 45 minutes of Body Balance to really stretch out my muscles. I could see that my waist and arms looked a touch smaller in the mirrors.

Sunday: it’s 7am on a Sunday and I’m already awake feeling energised, so I decide to make the most of it by going to an hour-long Body Attack class at La Fitness.
By the time I get there I’m feeling a tad regretful – however once I’ve got my HotTop on I’m geared up and bursting with energy. I complete the hour and feel great for the rest of the day.


I am pleased to say that I’ve already lost an inch and a bit off my waist and half an inch from my hips already. It’s only been over a week and I’ve not changed my diet so I’m definitely feeling pleased with the results. The biggest difference is the way my clothes feel on.

I’m excited to see how else the HotTop might be able to change my body in the second week so by Sunday, hopefully I’ll have some more feedback for you. Stay tuned.

My Zaggora HotTop Challenge

8 Feb

Image from

Image from

As a self-professed gym fanatic and lover of stylish sportswear, I am excited to start off my first ever review of the brand new Zaggora HotTop.

A few of you may already remember my participation in the Zaggora HotPant challenge last year, so as it’s the New Year and the time for health and wellbeing and all that, (sob) I thought right now would be the perfect time to review the coveted Zaggora HotTop.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with this hot-off-the-press sportswear brand already, Zaggora has become famous with brides-to-be and celebrities for their unique weight-loss trousers.

Basically the trousers – or ‘HotPants’ as they have branded it – work by increasing the amount your body sweats during a workout. They use technology-enhanced fabrics designed to help women maximise the results of their exercise routine. No only this, but the HotPants have also been rumoured to help you lose inches, decrease cellulite and drop a dress size in two weeks. Sounds too good to be true right?

Well although after reviewing the HotPants previously I never dropped a dress size, I did lose a few inches off my waist, hips and thighs and my bottom half also looked smoother. I was pleasantly surprised with the results and was desperate for the brand to bring out more miraculous items like this.

In comes the Zaggora HotTop’s.

How the HotTop works

HOTTOP: Image from

Developed with the same revolutionary Celu-Lite fabric technology as HotPants – which is designed to harness the body’s natural heat during activity in order to help increase core temperature and calorie burn – the upper body styles channel the power of HotPants into clothing you can wear from head to toe.

Features include:

  • Full neoprene fabric construction lined with Celu-Lite technology to promote increase in core temperature and calorie burn
  • New and improved lighter-weight fabric, with a softer feel against the body
  • Unique recycled jersey fabric infused with caffeine to allow easy movement at the joints and offer a fast-wicking, odour-absorbing cooling sensation to keep you fresh during your workout
  • Flattering contoured stitching to compliment, skim and smooth the figure
  • Reinforced flatlock seams for added comfort and durability
  • Longer length to avoid riding up during activity

So instead of targeting the lower-half of the body, the HotTops focus on the torso area, such as the stomach, hips and waist. They have also launched the Body Blazer, a sleek looking jacket for running outdoors and the Coola Bra, a bra top made from jersey fabric which offers a cooling sensation and absorbs sweat quickly, trapping odours and making your overall workout more comfortable.

I’m already dying to try out the Body Blazer for running outdoors! Anyway though, here’s how day one of my new HotTop challenge went…

Day One

For the last few months, my workouts have been a mixture of Les Mills classes such as Body Attack, Combat (my favourite) Spinning, running and a few Insanity blast workouts incorporated into my routine. Although each of the classes are great calorie burners, metabolism boosters and great for toning, I have actually gained a couple of pounds of which I think (and hope) is muscle, which forced me to consider a new routine to help keep my body lean.

So for the past week or so, I have become obsessed with the callanetics workout from the 1980s, which I actually did a few years ago and loved. Basically it involves lots of tiny pulse movements followed by stretches to work the muscles, whilst helping to give a trimming, toning and ‘lift’ effect on the body and keeping the muscles lean.
I remember doing it regularly when I was 18, so was reminiscing of the times back then I was firmer and tighter than ever before – hence the reason I’ve decided to re-incorporate it into my workout regime. I use the Callanetics, 10 years younger in 10 hours DVD, which claims to reshape the body with just ten sessions of the DVD. So far I’m on hour four and am absolutely amazed at the fast improvements already. My legs seem leaner, tighter and slimmer, my arms a lot smaller and I’ve also dropped an inch off my waist and have more definition on my abs. My boyfriend has also commented that he can see a difference. Can’t wait to see the results after ten hours!

So anyway, I was feeling extra energetic on Wednesday and decided to do Spin and Callanetics wearing my sleek new HotTop.
The one I received was a black vest style number in XS which fits like a dream and makes me feel revved up for some exercise. Somehow feeling fashionable inspires you so much more when it comes to fitness.

I pulled on my new top and instantly loved how it looked. It’s very simple and goes with all of my workout trousers. Like the HotPants, the material is the same which I can only describe as feeling a little bit like a scuba diving suit. The material is quite thick but nonetheless has a really slimming effect and looks like a pro workout top. Makes a change from my old Doors t-shirt.

After 45 minutes of spin I did feel a bit more sweaty than usual but not excessively. I can honestly say that straight after that my stomach felt a little flatter as I’d sweated any water out. It left me feeling really good and I can’t wait to see if there are any results.

Will report back on Sunday after today’s Body Attack session including some images of me wearing the HotTop.

Measurements today:

Weight 115lbs (8 stone 3lbs)

Hips: 33 inches

Waist 26 inches

Thighs 21 inches

How to survive Christmas…

24 Dec

A COMBINATION of stinking hangovers, monopoly wars and someone buying you a top labelled two sizes too big are just some of the things that we could expect to make Christmas a lot less jolly.

There might be presents, Quality Street and a good ole dose of Shakin’ Stevens – but like every Christmas episode of Eastenders – you can almost guarantee that something will end in disaster.

Whether it’s a death stare moment with the in-laws, a drunken uncle who crashes into your shiny new 50” plasma TV, or someone sobbing about the innocently-meant pot of anti-wrinkle cream they received as a gift – the chances of emerging on Boxing Day unscathed is virtually impossible.

You see, I’ve had my fair share of Christmas disasters to come to terms with myself. First there was the year when I dropped my father’s new phone into a mug of tea after claiming I could beat his Snake 2 score. Then there was the time when my mother made a disastrous attempt to cook duck instead of turkey – resulting in a rather non-traditional meal of Asda chicken slices to go alongside our sprouts.

However possibly the most memorable-for-all-the-wrong reasons moment, was when a cousin of mines drunken girlfriend thought it may be appropriate to karate chop him whilst wearing a full-blown martial arts get-up, (true story) resulting in him requiring a rather swift trip to the emergency room and a supremely bruised ego. They broke up a few months later and he has developed a relentless obsession with the gym ever since.

Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Christmas. I love the giving and receiving of presents, the frantic guzzling of wine and the obscure obsession with creepy-looking Christmas men who walk through the city centre on decorated stilts  –  making adults smile ludicrously and children scream in terror.

I suspect even the self-proclaimed Scrooges out there who think Christmas is all just a big money-grabbing scam have a secret fondness for the festivities, sneaking home to catch a Christmas special of The Royle Family on BBC One.

However it would be a blatant lie to say that surviving Christmas without some sort of catastrophe is going to be easy. In an ideal world, everyone would be grateful of their gifts, hard liquor wouldn’t cause people to pour out their past grudges and everyone would be patient on waiting their turn to try out the new Wii Fit.

Unfortunately this simply isn’t always the case, (I’m sure Phil Mitchell would agree) so it’s always good to have some sort of back-up plan to avoid everyone killing each other.

Perhaps one of my main pieces of advice would be to choose wisely when it comes to giving gifts. Yes, it is the thought that counts and yes, it is pretty damned rude for your best friend to scowl at The Idiots Guide To Finding a Non-loser Boyfriend book you bought them off Amazon, however please do refrain from giving gifts that could be considered either insulting, degrading or boring. No-one wants a car air-freshener for Christmas. It reads I’m cheap, you’re my own personal chauffeur and your car smells of a teenage boys football socks.

A few other survival methods include the following: feigning interest over stories from the 80s, using spirits as a sort of tranquillizer, cackling manically at your dad’s bad jokes, giving gifts in only cash to your teenage siblings, owning an ipad on of which you can watch your own festive TV programmes on, wearing a tightly secured hat when your niece asks if she can play ‘hairdresser’ with you, buying spare batteries, letting your gran have the last chocolate and finally – wearing earplugs.

Have a wonderful Christmas. And please, do try not to kill one another.

Hopefully then you’ll be able to make it through to the New Year.

At The Bottom Of My Bag…

2 Sep

…Awaits some dark and peculiar things. Just a fortnight ago I decided to do a clear out in order to prep for my new job thingies. I was so excited to finally become a full-time reporter at the newspaper that I became perhaps a bit too worryingly excited about organising my writing kit. Shorthand notepads, pens and post-its had never been so satisfying. Nonetheless, I had a terrifying obstacle to overcome beforehand – and that was unfurling the contents of my bag.

You see, I don’t carry the type of bag that any regular human being would. For some reason, the thought of having an everyday bag the size of an Ipad is positively preposterous. My bag would beat Mary Poppins’ magical ‘un hands down. It is proportionally insane. I truly believe it could weigh more than me. How on earth would I otherwise  fit all my gym stuff, makeup and office attire in appropriately? For me, only a family-sized weekend bag will do.

The Daily Mail recently published a tell-all article on what was in the Queen’s bag. Yes you heard it right, somehow having the opportunity to snoop in your royal highness’ handbag is rather appealing. I was also deliriously pleased to hear it contained normal things such as ‘chocolate’ – for sugar fixes of course – and a mini flask of gin. Wait is this normal? Perhaps on a really stressful week.

So as I began to empty the contents of my bag to make way for my new things, it became apparent just how atrocious I was at keeping track of my spending habits and purchases. To my horror, right at the pit of my bag lay a mountain of receipts – each of them detailing all the nonsensical buys and fruitless splurges that made me realise exactly why I had zilch in my savings account.

I sifted through each of them in dismay – £70 on a pretentious ‘lunch’ and wine in Browns, £69 spend at Mac Cosmetics, £7 at a time in Starbucks… I was ashamed to see just how much my daily spending could add up. No wonder I never noticed how much I was really spending – all the bloody evidence was stuffed away in a pile at the bottom of my bag, simply waiting to pull me out of my reckless-splurging haze.

So that was that. I decided there and then that I was going to become a thrifty, financially sensible journalist. It was my new goal – to quickly eradicate the gaping hole left in my depleted bank balance and start smartening up about the way I spent. So long to spontaneous Lisa who enjoys  £10 a pop cocktails at 5am and spends nauseating amounts in a relentless bid to find the perfect face cream – I had to learn to curb my spending for good and save for the future.

Because of course now  that I had a proper grown-up job I’d obviously have to become a proper grown-up – which also meant I had to stop buying  items like Percy Pig sweets from M&S and to stop using my card to pay for Sunday afternoon Jack Daniels that I really didn’t need.

As well as the stash of receipts which made my guilt soar, there was also about 100 mini lipglosses and some rather unpleasant moulded chocolate raisins which I’m certain, were seen on many of the overpriced Holland & Barrett receipts bundled inside my gym kit.

Yes, it is now definitely time for me to hatch a money-saving plan for the future. The best way to do this is to begin with the handbag clear out. You’d be surprised at how much you can find out from that 48-hour bender just by looking at the receipts in your bag. Let’s see how long I last. I’m going to start by quitting with the daily Starbucks coffee’s for now. After all, a coffee only lasts about ten minutes, however those precipitous Zara heels in that case…

Women’s Writes Column Update

9 Aug

Hello again lovelies!

Just wanted to say a big thank you to all the lovely comments and emails you have sent recently in regards particularly to today’s post on perfectionism! I didn’t expect this much positive feedback and am truly excited every time my email pings with a new comment or like for each of my articles. You are the best Fashion Hungry fans!

Also just wanted to say a big thank you to Justin of who is actually re-blogging my article on perfectionism which was featured in the Clydebank Post a few weeks ago. I love having a sneak peak at all the new wordpress blogs too and it keeps me sane reading them in the wee hours of the night – insomnia sucks.

Also wanted to keep local Clydebank Post readers updated at the good news that my weekly fashion and lifestyle column will now be featured in newspaper The Dumbarton Reporter and Helensburgh Advertiser each week too! If you live near any of these please be sure to check it out (p22 in this week’s Clydebank Post).

Styletto magazine is also coming on swimmingly and our designer is working on the very first draft edition of Issue 1 as we speak! Thanks to our amazing photographer Sefa Ucbas and stunning model Natalie Soutar also for the shoot for our ‘Happiness’ feature last week. It looks amazing!

Anyway stay tuned guys and keep liking and commenting, check out my column if you can and Styletto online – I have uploaded a few reviews on some amazing beauty products for summer as well as some fabulous fashion picks!

Follow me on Twitter @fashionhungry10, @lisaboyle2009 or @stylettomag