No1 Boot Camp

No1 Boot Camp

It’s an odd thought – beauty bloggers flipping 17kg tyres, fashion bloggers building
shelter in the woods out of fallen branches and lifestyle bloggers doing 20
burpees for being 5 minutes late…

When I was contacted by Charlotte at Travel Supermarket to go on a boot camp weekend I had to take a while to think about my response! If you ask anybody I know they would never, ever put me and boot camp together. In fact I received many sarcastic comments about whether I thought the weekend would be about trying on boots and footwear.

I am fairly unfit, I never do any exercise at home and am forever making excuses as to why not – whether it be a tough day at work, something on the television to watch or the plain fact that I just don’t want to leave my onesie.

But I thought this would be the push that I needed and so signed up to attend No1 Boot Camp on the 20th April. We were to stay from the Saturday to the Monday and endure exercise equivalent to 2 marathons – I was scared for my life in the run up!

After a nightmare journey up to Norfolk I finally arrived and met many of the other lovely bloggers, of which there were 19 (including me) in total. We were shown to our rooms which all held between 2-5 girls in each.

We were then thrown in at the deep end. Starting our exercise straight away, after being introduced to the 3 military trainers, I think we were all a bit nervous and apprehensive about what lay ahead! But we needn’t have worried; although the exercise was hard work, and it really was hard work, we were all in the same boat and mostly of the same fitness level too! We participated in many team games – including moving a canon made of tyres and logs 1 mile (everything was much heavier than it looked!) and a circuit training relay which involved the old school favourite; the bleep test.

You really can’t appreciate how much I hate(d) exercise and early mornings. Getting up at 5.30am and having to do a circuit before breakfast sounded like a terrifying prospect but actually I enjoyed it, mad as that sounds. I really felt SO much better for being active and getting outside in the fresh air.

We were limited to 1,200 calories per day during our stay, this was to aid with weight loss and overall our group lost 50lb over the weekend! I personally lost 2.5lb which I am pleased with as I had no intention of going to lose weight.

The food was absolutely delicious; there was so much flavour and a lot of spice. We were given 5 meals throughout the day: breakfast at around 7.30am, a snack at 10am, lunch at 1pm, another snack at 3pm and finally dinner at 6pm. We were taught that eating regularly is far more beneficial to your body that eating just three large meals.

We learnt an awful lot about healthy eating and I will share these tips in another post as they are really interesting. Dieting is not the way forward; instead ensuring that you eat healthy and make good lifestyle choices is the way to go.

My “peak” of the weekend? Meeting lots of other like minded girls who all suffered with muscle ache and the ice baths – AWFUL experience, so cold it took my breath away for far too long! Plus finding a new love for exercise which I don’t think I would otherwise have.

My “pit” of the weekend? The low calorie diet made me want to eat my right arm by Sunday night, although the camp can tailor the plan for you depending on your goals. We were however given the “true” experience and the diet plan was part of this.

I am so thankful to Travel Supermarket for giving me the chance to visit No1 Boot Camp – it was a fantastic experience and one I would love for others to try for themselves! A big thank you especially to Charlotte for organising the whole experience.

To find out more about the Holiday Health Club weekend and the bloggers that attended just visit Travel Supermarket. You can also track our journey through the #HolidayHealthClub feed on Twitter.

Charity Shopping

Charity Shop Tips

Also featured over on the etailPR blog

It’s become much more “socially acceptable” for fashionistas to frequent charity shops recently. Previously being something you wouldn’t admit to your best friend, let alone through your blog and with the internet, being thrifty is now totally on trend and something to be proud of! Every penny counts right?!

Despite the cheap prices of many of these shops, you need to ensure that you aren’t just getting sucked in because something is cheap. One dress might only cost £3, but if you buy 5 that you didn’t really want that soon adds up!

Here are my top tips for charity shop shopping:

1. Found a total bargain? It is only a bargain if you get wear out of it! Ensure that you can picture it working with at least 2 other outfits, this way you know it will get worn.

2. If you’re looking for vintage clothing look through everything! Vintage sizing is often much smaller than that of high street stores, something labelled a size 14 may be more a modern day 8 for example! So don’t ignore the size 18 rack just because you are a size 12!

3. The best bargains will be found at charity shops which aren’t part of a chain, your local hospital or any other local good cause might have one set up. You’ll find bargains here because they just want to raise whatever money they can as quickly as possible; the larger stores that can afford to hold on to items until they sell for the highest price and sometimes sell online too.

4. Look out for designer labels; they might not be your size but if they are good quality they will sell well on eBay or at a vintage fair, alternatively you can always have them altered to fit your size.

5. Take your time! Charity shops aren’t a place to visit in a rush. Spend as long as you can looking at each rail, shelf and corner. You never quite know what might be hidden away!

6. Winter or Summer coming to an end? This is the best time to visit and stock up for next year! People tend to have a big clear out at the end of a season to stock up for the next, this will work in your favour and you will get some great bargains!

7. Change! Try and always use small change in charity shops, it makes it less embarrassing when you want to buy a 20p necklace and only have a £20 note! Plus, charity shops don’t always carry huge amounts of change.

8. Remember you can always alter clothing. Found some designer jeans for a bargain price, but they are just a few inches too long? It isn’t difficult to take these up, equally a long top can easily be made in to a crop top if you prefer! Picture whether you can do anything to improve an item, but make sure you have the time/equipment/mum to do it!

I hope these tips help in some way! Charity shopping is often akin to a military operation, especially when a similar sized girl is browsing at the same time as you!

What are your top tips for Charity shop shopping?

Teapigs Peppermint Tea

Teapigs Tea

I love a cup of english tea, ordinarily black with 2 sugars, but when I saw the range that Teapigs offered I had to try a few out!

The first thing I love with this brand is the design of the packaging, website and marketing material. It’s so fun! Making drinking your morning cuppa that little more exciting.

I chose to review their Peppermint tea first because it is described as a “Tummy Tonic” and after being ill all weekend it was just what I needed!

I have had mint tea before and although refreshing you can taste that it is slinky artificial and there is that powder residue hint to it too. With Teapigs there is none of this. Their biodegradable “whole leaf temples” are almost too good to throw away! They allow the tea to slowly diffuse and turn your cup of boiling water in to the best tea you will ever drink!

I am so impressed with this tea. It is refreshing, fresh, the right amount of minty and I want to drink cup after cup!

The Peppermint tea retails at £9.95 for a box of 50, which I don’t think is bad considering that’s 20p per cup! You can also pick up 2 to try for just £1.19!

How do you take yours…?

Shrinking Violet Body Wrap

Shrinking Violet

Hello! I hope you’re all having a good weekend!

I’ve heard a lot about the Shrinking Violet body wrap and wanted to try it for myself! I had seen a lot of pictures on twitter of the results and they were amazing!

I got in contact with Lisa Barnes, who offers the service in Essex, and on Friday she came round to show me what it was all about!

To start with you are measured – everywhere! 5 measurements of each leg are taken, plus your stomach, back and arms. This is so that after the treatment you can see what difference there has been

After this Lisa dry brushed my body to prepare and then applied the Shrinking Violet oil. This smelt delicious, of lavender and all things relaxing! Then the fun bit starts. You are wrapped up in what is akin to a large roll of cling film! This feels slightly tight but not uncomfortable.

Once this is done you have to slide yourself in to the heated blanket and relax for an hour. I need one these heated blankets at home, I never wanted to leave!

Whilst the body wrap was on I also had a Faith Lift facial. Faith Lift is basically a face mask but it has amazing results, it is impossible to talk whilst on your face. It’s a struggle not to talk or laugh! This is left on for half an hour before it is steamed and cleansed off. The results of this alone were great. Although I don’t have great wrinkles yet I do have fine lines under my eyes, after just this one mask they were visibly reduced and my skin looked radiant! Lisa couldn’t stop looking at it!

Soon after the hour was up on my body wrap. I got out of the blanket, much to my dismay, and the wrap was taken off. Lisa then proceeded to remeasure me and find out the results.

Over all I lost 7.5 inches across my body, mainly from my legs. I was really impressed! The difference was noticeable in before/after pictures too, especially on my waist.

The Shrinking Violet wrap costs £60 and the Faith Lift facial is £20, but it’s totally worth it! Especially with a block of treatments you would see amazing results!

I do have before & after pictures but I’m not sure I’m brave enough to put them up!

The Dial Bar Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea

Whilst staying up in London for LFW I was lucky enough to go for afternoon tea for two at the Dial bar & restaurant in Covent Garden. This wasn’t somewhere I had been before, despite loving Covent Garden and afternoon tea, but I was pleased with my decision.

The restaurant itself was fairly quiet, which was nice, and I loved the decor of the place – really modern and clean. Once seated it didn’t take long before we were served a pot of tea each.

Shortly after our afternoon tea was delivered and as it arrived so did a smile on both mine and Matt’s faces. The selection was fantastic! With 8 sandwiches each, more than I have had anywhere else, we were suitably satisfied with savoury goods before moving on to the sweeter scones with clotted cream and Tiptree jam.

These scones were the perfect size and delicious too! After this we moved swiftly on to the dessert plate – a large selection of various sweets all with their own individual flavour. I especially liked the shot glasses of jelly and fruit!

I would highly recommend paying this place a visit and hope to sample their afternoon tea again!

You can buy this experience for £35 from ASDA gifts, perfect for Mother’s Day or as a treat for yourself!