Sunday, 22 January 2017

My SW journey in 2016....

As previously shared with you my Slimming World journey has been a significant part of my lifestyle changes within 2016, and what a journey it has been. I started the year having lost 2 stone on the plan and finished the year with a further 3 stone loss. This brings my total with Slimming world to 5 stone in 16 months and 6 stone since I made the decision to become a better me.  I am now working towards my Target loss with SW of 6 stone and hope to achieve this before I go on holiday in May.
Lots of people ask me how I’ve done it and is it easy; the honest answer is no ‘diet’ is easy, it’s about willpower, planning, motivation and support. I couldn’t have done this without those, but the biggest thing is that you have to do this for yourself and no-one else, otherwise the will is not there.  What I did set out to achieve when I started was that this became part of my life and not consumed it – it wasn’t a race and I am happy that I have taken the loss slow and steady.

This lifestyle change has overhauled me completely and allowed me to take on new challenges in work and life that I never expected to do 18 months ago. I’ve found a whole new network of friends through social media and group that are also on this journey, some of whom have been invaluable in my achievements. I am now probably the fittest that I have been since leaving school and actively exercise at least 2 or 3 times a week and have fallen in love with walking. ( The running is still up there for me in line with Chinese water torture!) and Zumba is my chosen high impact activity weekly.
I am now 4 / 5 sizes smaller than when I started (dependant on brand) and have completely overhauled my wardrobe, it has given me the confidence to change jobs, socialise and date! (hence the slowdown & lack of blogging!)
Along the way I have started to ‘inspire’ others which I’m struggling to get my head round but hope that I can help in any small way once someone makes the decision to change their lifestyle and lose weight. One of my closest friends wrote this on her instagram feed this week. ๐Ÿ˜Š
❤ Things that have helped for me:
  Plan your weeks meals before food shopping.
    Set yourself monthly / 3 monthly goals – this makes the weight loss more manageable
 REWARD your goals & weekly losses. (something I never did to begin but was taught this my someone who lost 7.5stone)
 1lb may not seem much but over a year this = 3.5 stone
  Do something lovely for every 1/2stone loss.
    ❤   Find an exercise that is right for you.
    Walking – I use audible books and would find myself going around the block one more time to finish a chapter.
    Commuting – get off one stop early and walk (tube / bus)
     Escalators – Walk never stand – this is a really easy way to see how far you have come – you will soon be able to climb without stopping / out of breath.
    Take Photographs –
    For Yourself:  however much
    you hate the way you look
     they are a good tool to remind you how far you have come and help you see the loss
    (something that I still struggle with)


     Food: - photograph what you eat – if you have a good week look back on what you ate / not good then look at what you didn’t photograph and why!
    Dont beat yourself up if you have an off day.

        


    So here we are in 2017 and I am a stone away from Target , its time for me to set some new goals as all those that I set in 2016 I’ve achieved …… so here they are:
    Target – get to Target by May and then find a weight that I am happy with.
    • Wear a  pair of size 10 jeans
    •   Complete a 10k race
    • Continue to challenge myself with walking 10,000 steps
    • Buy a Bikini – I have never worn / bought a Bikini and would like to wear one at least once before I am 50!


     Thank-you to everyone who has commented and ❤ on my Sw posts and Instagram feed it really has helped my journey along the way. Here's to the final last push of which I will be updating you along the way.

    Tuesday, 17 January 2017

    London Lights in December ....

    Mid way through January and I'm only just beginning to get organised enough to start blogging about December. Life has been busy, some of which I aim to share with you over the coming weeks, however today I'm going to give you a glimpse of what December was like for me.
    It was my first Fenwick Christmas which really kicked off with Black Friday weekend and then just got busier as the big day approached, late nights and the hustle and bustle of London commute made for some long days. There was still time for some fun, with Christmas lunches, Secret Santa, singing with the Salvation Army and lots of laughter in the corner shop on Bond Street.

    Aside from work I did get out and about and enjoyed lots of the sights and lights that London has to offer during the festive season. When the weather was good I managed to walk from Liverpool Street to Bond Street and loved the trees that sprung up throughout the city.

    One of my favourites this year was definitely the huge tree inside the courtyard at The Rosewood London which was stunningly elegant in gold and green.
    On the day I passed by the car-park was full of Aston Martins ๐Ÿ’›which were gorgeous.... this hotel is definitely on my bucket-list.
    Another hotel which is renowned for its Christmas Tree is Claridges, and as its a stones throw from the corner shop, I frequented it often during the festive season. This years tree was designed by the team from Apple and although not the prettiest of trees it was without a doubt the most atmospheric, making you feel like you were entering a magical winter forest. Not the easiest to photograph but stunningly beautiful in its own way.
    This year it felt that everyone embraced Christmas and everywhere that I walked you were met with stunning window displays, beautiful lights and huge trees. A few of my favourites included the feathers and chandeliers of Bond Street. The ribbon wrapped facade of Cartier and the blue boxed trees at Tiffany. Regent street had flying angels which swept through the street. Covent Garden;s huge tree and mistletoe disco ball's dazzled the apple market. Even Charing cross glowed with blue baubles and stars which led to the stunning square and ice rink of Somerset House which again sponsored by Fortnums was a feast for all the senses.This was one of my favourite walks this Christmas, and even in the drizzle some days it was still delightful.
    I loved exploring the lights and sights of London during the festive season, and will share more of my sights and treats later in the week.


    Friday, 6 January 2017

    Hello January and 2017.....

    So after an 8 week hiatus I thought it was time that I dropped into blog land and say hello.
    Life got pretty busy in the few weeks leading into Christmas and I have lots to post about.

    I have some downtime over the next couple of days so hoping to update the blog a little.
    I started 2017 having the most chilled NY day after a busy Christmas with work and life and had the most laziest day watching Bridget Jones and Harry Potter.... perfect....

    I hope that everyone had a fabulous Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.....
    I'm back :-) ... hello 2017

    Saturday, 5 November 2016

    Hello November.....

    So November has arrived with a sharp drop in temperature, a little fog and a reminder that Christmas is now 7 weeks away. When you work in retail this is the most critical 6 weeks of the year and its now full on festive focus.
    I am this year determined to enjoy the festive build up and try not to spend the whole time at work.
    I have a few things booked in November and I'm looking forward to these and even more in December. London will go full christmas from the weekend with light switch on's across all the big streets.This month I have tickets for a couple of big things; England autumn rugby games - I am taking a friend to his first Twickenham date with the England squad and Fiji and then the following week he is taking me to my first outing at the Imax to see J.K. Rowlings Fantastic Beasts.

    November also sees the return of a festive favourite with the launch of Starbucks red cups. With a Slimming worls countdown to Christmas I am hoping to achieve my 5 stone award before Santa arrives (this will bring my weight loss to 6 stone ) and then hopefully target sometime in early 2017.

    So here's to a fab November.... looking forward to catching up with all your blogs and reading about what you have planned for the festive season.... have a great week... Tx

    Monday, 31 October 2016

    Farewell October ....

    So October has fallen asleep in glorious autumnal shades and winter is rapidly approaching. However before we say goodbye to what has been a glorious month of gorgeous hues of gold, red and browns, let me share some of my best bits.
    2016 is turning out to be a year of so much change; new job, weight-loss, fitness programme and new friendships and a very busy social life, that it doesn't seem to leave much time for blogging.

    With the nights drawing in I am hoping to catch-up on some blog posts and find a rhythm and routine that works for me.
    October has seen some glorious sunrises, a little fog, coffee with friends, pumpkins, leaves and park runs filled with colour.
    I am now running 3 times a week and have loved watching the season change during the month.
    Beautiful blue skies, showcasing greens, reds, oranges and golds.







    October saw me complete my 3 month probationary period at work and I feel like I have finally settled into my office and getting comfortable with the job.
    The month also saw me at the cemetery to mark my Nan's birthday.
    The end of the month saw me take a trip to Portsmouth to see my nephew who moved there in September to start his university life. I met his house mates and took him for Sunday lunch, a walk around the quay and then some retail therapy. We had a lovely day and I cant believe how much he has grown up in the short time that he has been there.
    As you can see October was glorious, I made the most of the good weather with trips to the coast both south and east. Had a fab day at a family wedding
    Looking forward to November and all that it brings x

    Friday, 28 October 2016

    A Golden day at the Seaside

    A couple of Sunday's ago I spent a gorgeous afternoon at the Essex seaside town of Leigh on Sea and an evening of entertainment at the Cliffs pavilion in Southend. We were blessed with the most glorious weather which made for a perfect stroll along the seafront and promenade.
    The afternoon started with lunch at Leigh on Seas The Boatyard. Nestled amongst the cockle sheds in Old Leigh The Boatyard is a stunning restaurant butting onto gorgeous views of the Essex coastline.
    Offering a fantastic menu and sunday roast this restaurant is perfect for small and large parties. We were seated on the mezzanine floor which gave us views of both the restaurant and the sea. With a relatively late lunch booking it allowed us to watch the sun start to set over dessert and coffee.
    This was my first visit to The Boatyard and will definitely be adding it to my "re-visit" list, service, ambience and the food were gorgeous and look forward to going again.
    The Golden sunset set us up perfectly for an evening at The Cliffs Pavillion where we were entertained in True 80's style with Tony Hadley.
    I was with a friend that hadn't seen Tony before and he was really impressed with the show. Accompanied by a full symphony orchestra, Tony's set was a mixture of Spandau Ballet classics, own songs and some great rock & crooning tunes.
    A Truly Golden day with great company in gorgeous Essex style.




    Thursday, 27 October 2016

    something borrowed, something blue....

    Catching up on blog posts and today I am sharing a few pictures from my goddaughters wedding in early October.
    Along with being a guest of the wedding I was also asked to make the wedding cake. My goddaughter K had a baby in May and even though they had always planned on an October wedding, they scaled back the celebrations and had a small family wedding, with lots of the decorations and gifts part of the wedding celebrations and contribution to a small holiday.
    The day was lovely but I think it was the only day in October where it rained most of the day, it didn't damper the spirits of the bride and groom, who had a lovely day.
    This was the first time that I had seen some of my family for sometime, and a chance for me to buy a new outfit. Ditching the usual black I went all out in a gorgeous pink dress from DVF, navy jacket from Jasper Conran, blue clutch from Victoria Beckham, pink heels and a cute fascinator.
    The cake's design revolved around a 'bird cage' theme as these were what were being used on the tables as floral pieces.
    With a pale blue colour scheme I made sugar roses to decorate with along with leaves and a few feathers and blossom.
    The wedding was a civil service followed by a blessing from a curate. Followed by a fantastic sit down wedding breakfast of sausage and mash and profiteroles.
    The brides uncle took over the entertainment for the evening which was a fun filled family fuelled party, complete with cake cutting, a game of Mr & Mrs and lots and lots of dancing to some great wedding party tunes.
    I danced my little feet off and managed to keep my heels on all night, however did loose the fascinator. Lots of love and fun had my all and the baby was the perfect little guest, she boogied and had lots of cuddles with all of us.

    Wednesday, 26 October 2016

    Autumn Bucket List.....

    Today I am guest writing for Gemma on her blog Gems Country Life. I have followed Gem’s blog and Instagram feed for some time now and I am delighted to write a post for her during what is one of my favourite months of the year. 
    Gems posts this month are have a real autumnal feel to them which has allowed me to share all my favourite things about October and Autumn before we tumble into winter when the clocks fall back at the weekend.
    Lots of people love Spring and the awakening of the flowers from their winter hibernation but for me Autumn is the equivalent of spring but for the leaves and trees as they turn from green to golden glows of yellows and reds.
    This year the colours have been spectacular and I have loved kicking my way through the fallen leaves as I walk and run through the park.
    Every year I produce an Autumnal Bucket List which I try to complete during the end of September and October; this year we have been blessed with some gorgeous weather which has allowed me to soak up some gorgeous sunrise’s and sunsets through the city, at the seaside and in the park.
    Autumn for me features Spice Lattes, Apples, Pumpkins, Cozy Sweaters, Candles, Ugg Slippers and Cashmere throw. My wardrobe switches into comfy boots, and a  capsule wardrobe of browns, tans, greens and berry. Days are filled with gorgeous Sunrises and Sunsets, and park life is filled with Conkers, Squirrels, Swans  and lots of crisp leaves. (perfect for kicking).

    So as we head towards November I am going to savour every minute left of Autumn before the days become a little darker and greyer and the festive season is truly upon us and I start compiling my Winter Bucket List.

    Monday, 10 October 2016

    Hello October...

    Hello October...... what a glorious autumnal start we have had to the month. September passed in a whirl of steps, sunrises and sunsets.  
    I am a little late with welcoming October, due to a few social activities; a family wedding, and lots on at work.
    I'm 10 weeks into my new worklife with the Fenwick Family and loving it. Last week we opened the Christmas Hall and I am feeling at home and settled into my office and work space.
    Early October would have been my Nans 95th birthday so a trip to the cemetery with some autumnal flowers and a little toast to mark the occasion.
    I am still on my SW journey and have a stone to go to target which will be a 5.5stone weight loss which I am hoping to achieve around Christmas. Having loved my 10,000 steps challenge so much in September I am continuing the walking and enjoying it still. Looking at some bigger challenges for 2017.
    I have a couple of nice things planned in October including some time off and an evening with Tony Hadley with friends.
    Hoping to catch up with some friends and generally enjoy the remains of autumn before we tumble into November and winter.
    Here's to a gorgeous October.... xx



    Saturday, 8 October 2016

    Farewell September.....

    So September has gone and I am a week late in updating my blog with its October makeover and still have a list of posts in draft from September!
    Life is kind of busy at the moment with lots of new and exciting stuff, who knew that losing weight and getting a little fitter would lead to be getting a life back! September was a month filled with steps!
    It saw me take up Cancer Research’s challenge of 10,000 steps a day and I am thrilled to announce that not only did I smash the 10,000 steps a day but also my target of £250. I am now nearly at £400 which I am delighted with.
    When I signed-up for the challenge I made a commitment to myself that I would walk a minimum of 10,000 steps a day and not bank any if I had walked more on other days; my final step count for the month was 463,194 covering 337k (209 miles)
    Some of the loveliest moments in September whilst walking was seeing the summer evenings move into autumn and the trees begin to turn in preparation for fall. Sunrises and Sunsets were particularly stunning and I loved every step that I took (apart from the days when I was running!) Autumn is ever present in my local park with an abundance of conkers, which I had to dodge on my weekly run.
    I have also found places in London that I never knew existed and could give a black cab driver a run for his money on the routes between Liverpool Street and Bond Street.
    September also saw me catch-up with friends old a new and enjoy a few glasses of fizz and  some indulgent lunches.
     I am also enjoying the darker nights and I’m already nesting for my winter hibernation, I have a backlog of autumn telly on my planner for viewing which I am looking forward to curling up and watching.
    September also saw the release of Bridget Jones Baby which I saw twice during the month and loved both occasions, laughed out loud throughout and already have it on pre-order for its 2017 release.
    Payday heralded a little shopping spree as I have run out of clothes that fit and desperately needed some basics for work and a few bits for the weekends. Super excited to be pulling on a size 12 jeans and I have had to return a few bits due to them being too big!
    Overall September was quite lovely, weather was beautiful, I am settling into the new job and even though I’ve failed miserably on the blogging front I really hope to catch you all up with life and all its adventures over the coming weeks.
    Here’s to a gorgeous October …..



    Saturday, 24 September 2016

    TCakes SW adventures ....

    A couple of months ago I shared my journey with SlimmingWorld over the last year. Since that post I am happy to share that I have lost another stone and  my total weight loss over the last 13 months has now reached 5 stone in total, 4 of which have been with SW.
    I am thrilled and feel like a completely new person. I have one and a half stone to go until I hit my target, which will mean a loss of 5 1/2 stone with SW and 6 1/2 stone in total, which I hope to hit before Christmas.
    I can honestly say that although it hasn’t been easy, it equally hasn’t been hard; it just requires planning and making the right choices. The hardest part of the journey has been stepping up the fitness as for me it was as much about feeling fitter as it was feeling fitter.
    I have a great friend, who has been on this journey as well who has been the most amazing support and has encouraged me daily, as well as got me running around the park. ( the only thing on this journey that I hate!) I have discovered that I love the walking and even after I have completed my 10,000 steps challenge in September I  hope to continue through the winter (weather permitting) with my London walks. I have also discovered the fun that Zumba can bring and are now attending a class each week. I have never sweated so hard on 60 minutes in my life but can really see a difference since I have been going.
    As we head into autumn I now need to buy a new wardrobe of clothes as I have now dropped 4 sizes and have no winter clothes!
    Shopping trip planned and an update to come on progress ....


    Wednesday, 21 September 2016

    Welcome Back Bridget.....

    There haven’t been films this year that have had me wanting to rush to the cinema, (the last one being Me before You) but there has been one that has been on my MUST see list since the trailer aired and the location images started to appear on social media late last year. I am of course referring to Bridget Jones Baby.


    Bridget is up there in my top favourite films for so many reasons. I have followed Bridget’s adventures since she first appeared as column inches in the Independent, which led to the book and then onto the movie. I too like Bridget have despaired over the size of my thighs, smoked too many cigarettes, drunk far too many units of alcohol and invariably fallen for the  very wrong type of man! (on several occasions) and acknowledges that I will always be ‘a little bit fat’.
    My mum too tried to set me up with every ‘nice ‘ guy she knew during my twenties to no avail. I stumbled headlong into my 30’s in a drunken partying haze still falling for every wrong guy possible until they all but gave up with me and acknowledged that I would be the ‘forever’ singleton that could at times be the ditsiest klutz possible who loved her friends and was married to her career.  
    I shared my love of Bridget with my Nan, and she too adored the movie and affectionately called me Bridget on occasions that deemed necessary, we went to the cinema together to see the first movie and I have really fond memories of the fun that we had with it afterwards.

    Friday saw the release of the 3rd instalment of Bridget’s life, and I can honestly say it’s the funniest Bridget ever. I laughed from the open through to the final credits, at one point thinking I was going to slide off the chair. Casting is just fabulous and its lovely to see so many old favourites back along with a couple of newbies. Patrick Dempsey who plays the very delicious Jack is just gorgeous and of course a welcome return to the ever lovely Mark Fitzwilliam Darcy (Colin Firth).

    This movie has had lots of press, social media coverage and hype and it absolutely lives up to all of it and I’m thrilled that the surprises that are within the movie haven’t leaked all over the networks. The press junket has had me salivating over the fabulous styling of Renee Z along with the gorgeousness of Patrick & Colin.

    Bridget may be 43 a little thinner but she hasn’t lost her fun, ditziness and vulnerability that we all fell in love with 14 years ago…. Welcome back Bridget, we’ve missed you x

    Monday, 19 September 2016

    T's Autumn TV Treats....

    So it definitely feels like summer is over and autumn has arrived and that's even more evident with the TV scheduling over the past couple of weeks. My planner has gone into overdrive and I am now stockpiling series for the weeks ahead, when the nights draw in and I find comfort on the safe with a throw, hot chocolate and cashmere socks!
    So here's whats on my watch list for the fall:
    • Tennison - no release date yet for this, but cant wait to see the adaption of Lynda La Plante's Tennison come to the screen; the story of DI Jane Tennison (Prime Suspect) when she joined the police in the 70's.
    • DCI Banks - loving the return on this series. Along with the great investigations I am also loving the under story's of the characters. My friends wife is one of the lead characters which adds to the enjoyment of this series.
    • Inside Scotland Yard - completely hooked on this documentary presented by Sir Trevor McDonald. Earlier this year I was lucky enough to see some of Scotland Yards infamous Black Museum and loved it. Opening the doors to this fascinating building is a thrill.
    • Starting this week is National Treasure on channel 4 and a welcome return to the TV of Robbie Coltrane and the fabulous Julie Walters - an iconic TV star is accused of rape and then suddenly several girls come forward with similar allegations.
    • Another fabulous documentary currently being aired is Inside British Vogue. Fascinating insight into the world of the most powerful fashion house and magazine.
    Cold Feet has seen a welcome return to TV after 13 years, its great to see all the old characters after so long and it feels like they've never been away. Enjoying the series and the complexities of the lives, divorces, marriages of the 5 friends.
    Thrilled that series 3 of The Fall returns to BBC2 this week - without a doubt Jamie Dornan is the most sexiest serial killer ever and can't wait to see where this series goes.
    Sunday nights at (pm my planner goes into overdrive with Victoria and Poldark - perfect Sunday night period drama. Loving both series, but Victoria is currently my favourite.
    Another series that starts this week is Paranoid ; trailer looks great and the cast is fantastic, perfect autumnal evening viewing. Finally Our Girl returns with series 2 and Michelle Keegan in the main role filling the very big shoes of Lacey Turner. Episode 1 was a little slow but episode 2 was a thrill from start to finish and enjoying the new characters alongside the old ones.
    So that's my autumn viewing list, would love to hear whats on yours .... have a great week.

    Thursday, 15 September 2016

    10,000 steps a day in September

    So we're halfway through September and therefore halfway through my Walking all over Cancer challenge with my 10,000 steps a day in September  for Cancer Research.
    Progress to date looks a bit like this:


    157.8K walked (98 miles)
    219,912 steps walked

      I have tried to vary my activity daily and capture moments during my walks. I have been blessed with the weather and whether I am pounding the streets of London or walking / running round my local park I am embracing this challenge whole heartily.
      From the beautiful sunrises in the city, to my favourite coffee stops along my commute I am sharing glimpses of my walking life and loving it.
      As you can see I have been blessed with beautiful weather and have explored some gorgeous parts of London. I have had amazing support from my friends and family and have received lots of encouragement and half way through this adventure I have achieved 62% of my donation target.
      I dont know anyone who's life hasn't been affected in some way by Cancer and by taking on this challenge I hope that the small steps I am taking in September will lead to giant strides in the eventual cure of this cruel disease. I am sharing my progress throughout the month and updating my Just Giving,  Facebook & Instagram pages daily.






      Friday, 2 September 2016

      Hello September ....

      So September has arrived with some glorious sunrises and sunsets and I am happy to announce that normal blogging service should resume.
      August was a month of so much change, the biggest being a brand new job which sees me enter month 2 and week 5 next week.
      September is fairly low key for me and looking forward to some downtime along with catching up with friends, having fun and getting some routine back after a month of change.
      My slimming-world and fitness journey takes on a new challenge with me participating in the walking all over cancer campaign of 10,000 steps a day in September.
      September also sees the return of a much loved character Bridget Jones - tickets are booked and can't wait for the fun and clutz that she will bring, along with a new romance with the delicious Jack (Patrick Dempsey)
      I love September its a month that is filled with gorgeous beginnings, leaves changing and of course Pumpkin Lattes (I'm allowing myself one this season as the syns are huge!)
      The Rugby season kicks off this month so a trip to Twickenham is planned
      I also have so many blog posts to catch-up on from August during the month including: Paris adventures, Month 1 with the Fenwick family, Fitness and SW update and a gorgeous summer in the city.
      Here's to a great September ..... filled with love, fun, friendship and the occasional rugby thigh!

      Tuesday, 30 August 2016

      10,000 steps in September

      September see's me take on a small challenge and continue with my healthier living lifestyle.
       I have signed up to Cancer Research's 10,000 steps a day in September. I have already shared how I have fallen in love with walking and I am currently averaging this most work days, hopefully with a little more focus I will maintain this over the weekend and raise a little for such a worthy cause.
       If I complete the challenge I would have walked a minimum of 150 miles in September which ironically I am looking forward to!
      I dont know anyone who's life hasn't been affected in some way by Cancer and by taking on this challenge I hope that the small steps I take in September will lead to giant strides in the eventual cure of this cruel disease. I will be sharing my progress throughout the month and updating my Just Giving,  Facebook & Instagram pages daily.

      Sunday, 22 January 2017

      My SW journey in 2016....

      As previously shared with you my Slimming World journey has been a significant part of my lifestyle changes within 2016, and what a journey it has been. I started the year having lost 2 stone on the plan and finished the year with a further 3 stone loss. This brings my total with Slimming world to 5 stone in 16 months and 6 stone since I made the decision to become a better me.  I am now working towards my Target loss with SW of 6 stone and hope to achieve this before I go on holiday in May.
      Lots of people ask me how I’ve done it and is it easy; the honest answer is no ‘diet’ is easy, it’s about willpower, planning, motivation and support. I couldn’t have done this without those, but the biggest thing is that you have to do this for yourself and no-one else, otherwise the will is not there.  What I did set out to achieve when I started was that this became part of my life and not consumed it – it wasn’t a race and I am happy that I have taken the loss slow and steady.

      This lifestyle change has overhauled me completely and allowed me to take on new challenges in work and life that I never expected to do 18 months ago. I’ve found a whole new network of friends through social media and group that are also on this journey, some of whom have been invaluable in my achievements. I am now probably the fittest that I have been since leaving school and actively exercise at least 2 or 3 times a week and have fallen in love with walking. ( The running is still up there for me in line with Chinese water torture!) and Zumba is my chosen high impact activity weekly.
      I am now 4 / 5 sizes smaller than when I started (dependant on brand) and have completely overhauled my wardrobe, it has given me the confidence to change jobs, socialise and date! (hence the slowdown & lack of blogging!)
      Along the way I have started to ‘inspire’ others which I’m struggling to get my head round but hope that I can help in any small way once someone makes the decision to change their lifestyle and lose weight. One of my closest friends wrote this on her instagram feed this week. ๐Ÿ˜Š
      ❤ Things that have helped for me:
        Plan your weeks meals before food shopping.
          Set yourself monthly / 3 monthly goals – this makes the weight loss more manageable
       REWARD your goals & weekly losses. (something I never did to begin but was taught this my someone who lost 7.5stone)
       1lb may not seem much but over a year this = 3.5 stone
        Do something lovely for every 1/2stone loss.
        ❤   Find an exercise that is right for you.
        Walking – I use audible books and would find myself going around the block one more time to finish a chapter.
        Commuting – get off one stop early and walk (tube / bus)
         Escalators – Walk never stand – this is a really easy way to see how far you have come – you will soon be able to climb without stopping / out of breath.
        Take Photographs –
        For Yourself:  however much
        you hate the way you look
         they are a good tool to remind you how far you have come and help you see the loss
        (something that I still struggle with)


         Food: - photograph what you eat – if you have a good week look back on what you ate / not good then look at what you didn’t photograph and why!
        Dont beat yourself up if you have an off day.

            


        So here we are in 2017 and I am a stone away from Target , its time for me to set some new goals as all those that I set in 2016 I’ve achieved …… so here they are:
        Target – get to Target by May and then find a weight that I am happy with.
        • Wear a  pair of size 10 jeans
        •   Complete a 10k race
        • Continue to challenge myself with walking 10,000 steps
        • Buy a Bikini – I have never worn / bought a Bikini and would like to wear one at least once before I am 50!


         Thank-you to everyone who has commented and ❤ on my Sw posts and Instagram feed it really has helped my journey along the way. Here's to the final last push of which I will be updating you along the way.

        Tuesday, 17 January 2017

        London Lights in December ....

        Mid way through January and I'm only just beginning to get organised enough to start blogging about December. Life has been busy, some of which I aim to share with you over the coming weeks, however today I'm going to give you a glimpse of what December was like for me.
        It was my first Fenwick Christmas which really kicked off with Black Friday weekend and then just got busier as the big day approached, late nights and the hustle and bustle of London commute made for some long days. There was still time for some fun, with Christmas lunches, Secret Santa, singing with the Salvation Army and lots of laughter in the corner shop on Bond Street.

        Aside from work I did get out and about and enjoyed lots of the sights and lights that London has to offer during the festive season. When the weather was good I managed to walk from Liverpool Street to Bond Street and loved the trees that sprung up throughout the city.

        One of my favourites this year was definitely the huge tree inside the courtyard at The Rosewood London which was stunningly elegant in gold and green.
        On the day I passed by the car-park was full of Aston Martins ๐Ÿ’›which were gorgeous.... this hotel is definitely on my bucket-list.
        Another hotel which is renowned for its Christmas Tree is Claridges, and as its a stones throw from the corner shop, I frequented it often during the festive season. This years tree was designed by the team from Apple and although not the prettiest of trees it was without a doubt the most atmospheric, making you feel like you were entering a magical winter forest. Not the easiest to photograph but stunningly beautiful in its own way.
        This year it felt that everyone embraced Christmas and everywhere that I walked you were met with stunning window displays, beautiful lights and huge trees. A few of my favourites included the feathers and chandeliers of Bond Street. The ribbon wrapped facade of Cartier and the blue boxed trees at Tiffany. Regent street had flying angels which swept through the street. Covent Garden;s huge tree and mistletoe disco ball's dazzled the apple market. Even Charing cross glowed with blue baubles and stars which led to the stunning square and ice rink of Somerset House which again sponsored by Fortnums was a feast for all the senses.This was one of my favourite walks this Christmas, and even in the drizzle some days it was still delightful.
        I loved exploring the lights and sights of London during the festive season, and will share more of my sights and treats later in the week.


        Friday, 6 January 2017

        Hello January and 2017.....

        So after an 8 week hiatus I thought it was time that I dropped into blog land and say hello.
        Life got pretty busy in the few weeks leading into Christmas and I have lots to post about.

        I have some downtime over the next couple of days so hoping to update the blog a little.
        I started 2017 having the most chilled NY day after a busy Christmas with work and life and had the most laziest day watching Bridget Jones and Harry Potter.... perfect....

        I hope that everyone had a fabulous Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.....
        I'm back :-) ... hello 2017

        Saturday, 5 November 2016

        Hello November.....

        So November has arrived with a sharp drop in temperature, a little fog and a reminder that Christmas is now 7 weeks away. When you work in retail this is the most critical 6 weeks of the year and its now full on festive focus.
        I am this year determined to enjoy the festive build up and try not to spend the whole time at work.
        I have a few things booked in November and I'm looking forward to these and even more in December. London will go full christmas from the weekend with light switch on's across all the big streets.This month I have tickets for a couple of big things; England autumn rugby games - I am taking a friend to his first Twickenham date with the England squad and Fiji and then the following week he is taking me to my first outing at the Imax to see J.K. Rowlings Fantastic Beasts.

        November also sees the return of a festive favourite with the launch of Starbucks red cups. With a Slimming worls countdown to Christmas I am hoping to achieve my 5 stone award before Santa arrives (this will bring my weight loss to 6 stone ) and then hopefully target sometime in early 2017.

        So here's to a fab November.... looking forward to catching up with all your blogs and reading about what you have planned for the festive season.... have a great week... Tx

        Monday, 31 October 2016

        Farewell October ....

        So October has fallen asleep in glorious autumnal shades and winter is rapidly approaching. However before we say goodbye to what has been a glorious month of gorgeous hues of gold, red and browns, let me share some of my best bits.
        2016 is turning out to be a year of so much change; new job, weight-loss, fitness programme and new friendships and a very busy social life, that it doesn't seem to leave much time for blogging.

        With the nights drawing in I am hoping to catch-up on some blog posts and find a rhythm and routine that works for me.
        October has seen some glorious sunrises, a little fog, coffee with friends, pumpkins, leaves and park runs filled with colour.
        I am now running 3 times a week and have loved watching the season change during the month.
        Beautiful blue skies, showcasing greens, reds, oranges and golds.







        October saw me complete my 3 month probationary period at work and I feel like I have finally settled into my office and getting comfortable with the job.
        The month also saw me at the cemetery to mark my Nan's birthday.
        The end of the month saw me take a trip to Portsmouth to see my nephew who moved there in September to start his university life. I met his house mates and took him for Sunday lunch, a walk around the quay and then some retail therapy. We had a lovely day and I cant believe how much he has grown up in the short time that he has been there.
        As you can see October was glorious, I made the most of the good weather with trips to the coast both south and east. Had a fab day at a family wedding
        Looking forward to November and all that it brings x

        Friday, 28 October 2016

        A Golden day at the Seaside

        A couple of Sunday's ago I spent a gorgeous afternoon at the Essex seaside town of Leigh on Sea and an evening of entertainment at the Cliffs pavilion in Southend. We were blessed with the most glorious weather which made for a perfect stroll along the seafront and promenade.
        The afternoon started with lunch at Leigh on Seas The Boatyard. Nestled amongst the cockle sheds in Old Leigh The Boatyard is a stunning restaurant butting onto gorgeous views of the Essex coastline.
        Offering a fantastic menu and sunday roast this restaurant is perfect for small and large parties. We were seated on the mezzanine floor which gave us views of both the restaurant and the sea. With a relatively late lunch booking it allowed us to watch the sun start to set over dessert and coffee.
        This was my first visit to The Boatyard and will definitely be adding it to my "re-visit" list, service, ambience and the food were gorgeous and look forward to going again.
        The Golden sunset set us up perfectly for an evening at The Cliffs Pavillion where we were entertained in True 80's style with Tony Hadley.
        I was with a friend that hadn't seen Tony before and he was really impressed with the show. Accompanied by a full symphony orchestra, Tony's set was a mixture of Spandau Ballet classics, own songs and some great rock & crooning tunes.
        A Truly Golden day with great company in gorgeous Essex style.




        Thursday, 27 October 2016

        something borrowed, something blue....

        Catching up on blog posts and today I am sharing a few pictures from my goddaughters wedding in early October.
        Along with being a guest of the wedding I was also asked to make the wedding cake. My goddaughter K had a baby in May and even though they had always planned on an October wedding, they scaled back the celebrations and had a small family wedding, with lots of the decorations and gifts part of the wedding celebrations and contribution to a small holiday.
        The day was lovely but I think it was the only day in October where it rained most of the day, it didn't damper the spirits of the bride and groom, who had a lovely day.
        This was the first time that I had seen some of my family for sometime, and a chance for me to buy a new outfit. Ditching the usual black I went all out in a gorgeous pink dress from DVF, navy jacket from Jasper Conran, blue clutch from Victoria Beckham, pink heels and a cute fascinator.
        The cake's design revolved around a 'bird cage' theme as these were what were being used on the tables as floral pieces.
        With a pale blue colour scheme I made sugar roses to decorate with along with leaves and a few feathers and blossom.
        The wedding was a civil service followed by a blessing from a curate. Followed by a fantastic sit down wedding breakfast of sausage and mash and profiteroles.
        The brides uncle took over the entertainment for the evening which was a fun filled family fuelled party, complete with cake cutting, a game of Mr & Mrs and lots and lots of dancing to some great wedding party tunes.
        I danced my little feet off and managed to keep my heels on all night, however did loose the fascinator. Lots of love and fun had my all and the baby was the perfect little guest, she boogied and had lots of cuddles with all of us.

        Wednesday, 26 October 2016

        Autumn Bucket List.....

        Today I am guest writing for Gemma on her blog Gems Country Life. I have followed Gem’s blog and Instagram feed for some time now and I am delighted to write a post for her during what is one of my favourite months of the year. 
        Gems posts this month are have a real autumnal feel to them which has allowed me to share all my favourite things about October and Autumn before we tumble into winter when the clocks fall back at the weekend.
        Lots of people love Spring and the awakening of the flowers from their winter hibernation but for me Autumn is the equivalent of spring but for the leaves and trees as they turn from green to golden glows of yellows and reds.
        This year the colours have been spectacular and I have loved kicking my way through the fallen leaves as I walk and run through the park.
        Every year I produce an Autumnal Bucket List which I try to complete during the end of September and October; this year we have been blessed with some gorgeous weather which has allowed me to soak up some gorgeous sunrise’s and sunsets through the city, at the seaside and in the park.
        Autumn for me features Spice Lattes, Apples, Pumpkins, Cozy Sweaters, Candles, Ugg Slippers and Cashmere throw. My wardrobe switches into comfy boots, and a  capsule wardrobe of browns, tans, greens and berry. Days are filled with gorgeous Sunrises and Sunsets, and park life is filled with Conkers, Squirrels, Swans  and lots of crisp leaves. (perfect for kicking).

        So as we head towards November I am going to savour every minute left of Autumn before the days become a little darker and greyer and the festive season is truly upon us and I start compiling my Winter Bucket List.

        Monday, 10 October 2016

        Hello October...

        Hello October...... what a glorious autumnal start we have had to the month. September passed in a whirl of steps, sunrises and sunsets.  
        I am a little late with welcoming October, due to a few social activities; a family wedding, and lots on at work.
        I'm 10 weeks into my new worklife with the Fenwick Family and loving it. Last week we opened the Christmas Hall and I am feeling at home and settled into my office and work space.
        Early October would have been my Nans 95th birthday so a trip to the cemetery with some autumnal flowers and a little toast to mark the occasion.
        I am still on my SW journey and have a stone to go to target which will be a 5.5stone weight loss which I am hoping to achieve around Christmas. Having loved my 10,000 steps challenge so much in September I am continuing the walking and enjoying it still. Looking at some bigger challenges for 2017.
        I have a couple of nice things planned in October including some time off and an evening with Tony Hadley with friends.
        Hoping to catch up with some friends and generally enjoy the remains of autumn before we tumble into November and winter.
        Here's to a gorgeous October.... xx



        Saturday, 8 October 2016

        Farewell September.....

        So September has gone and I am a week late in updating my blog with its October makeover and still have a list of posts in draft from September!
        Life is kind of busy at the moment with lots of new and exciting stuff, who knew that losing weight and getting a little fitter would lead to be getting a life back! September was a month filled with steps!
        It saw me take up Cancer Research’s challenge of 10,000 steps a day and I am thrilled to announce that not only did I smash the 10,000 steps a day but also my target of £250. I am now nearly at £400 which I am delighted with.
        When I signed-up for the challenge I made a commitment to myself that I would walk a minimum of 10,000 steps a day and not bank any if I had walked more on other days; my final step count for the month was 463,194 covering 337k (209 miles)
        Some of the loveliest moments in September whilst walking was seeing the summer evenings move into autumn and the trees begin to turn in preparation for fall. Sunrises and Sunsets were particularly stunning and I loved every step that I took (apart from the days when I was running!) Autumn is ever present in my local park with an abundance of conkers, which I had to dodge on my weekly run.
        I have also found places in London that I never knew existed and could give a black cab driver a run for his money on the routes between Liverpool Street and Bond Street.
        September also saw me catch-up with friends old a new and enjoy a few glasses of fizz and  some indulgent lunches.
         I am also enjoying the darker nights and I’m already nesting for my winter hibernation, I have a backlog of autumn telly on my planner for viewing which I am looking forward to curling up and watching.
        September also saw the release of Bridget Jones Baby which I saw twice during the month and loved both occasions, laughed out loud throughout and already have it on pre-order for its 2017 release.
        Payday heralded a little shopping spree as I have run out of clothes that fit and desperately needed some basics for work and a few bits for the weekends. Super excited to be pulling on a size 12 jeans and I have had to return a few bits due to them being too big!
        Overall September was quite lovely, weather was beautiful, I am settling into the new job and even though I’ve failed miserably on the blogging front I really hope to catch you all up with life and all its adventures over the coming weeks.
        Here’s to a gorgeous October …..



        Saturday, 24 September 2016

        TCakes SW adventures ....

        A couple of months ago I shared my journey with SlimmingWorld over the last year. Since that post I am happy to share that I have lost another stone and  my total weight loss over the last 13 months has now reached 5 stone in total, 4 of which have been with SW.
        I am thrilled and feel like a completely new person. I have one and a half stone to go until I hit my target, which will mean a loss of 5 1/2 stone with SW and 6 1/2 stone in total, which I hope to hit before Christmas.
        I can honestly say that although it hasn’t been easy, it equally hasn’t been hard; it just requires planning and making the right choices. The hardest part of the journey has been stepping up the fitness as for me it was as much about feeling fitter as it was feeling fitter.
        I have a great friend, who has been on this journey as well who has been the most amazing support and has encouraged me daily, as well as got me running around the park. ( the only thing on this journey that I hate!) I have discovered that I love the walking and even after I have completed my 10,000 steps challenge in September I  hope to continue through the winter (weather permitting) with my London walks. I have also discovered the fun that Zumba can bring and are now attending a class each week. I have never sweated so hard on 60 minutes in my life but can really see a difference since I have been going.
        As we head into autumn I now need to buy a new wardrobe of clothes as I have now dropped 4 sizes and have no winter clothes!
        Shopping trip planned and an update to come on progress ....


        Wednesday, 21 September 2016

        Welcome Back Bridget.....

        There haven’t been films this year that have had me wanting to rush to the cinema, (the last one being Me before You) but there has been one that has been on my MUST see list since the trailer aired and the location images started to appear on social media late last year. I am of course referring to Bridget Jones Baby.


        Bridget is up there in my top favourite films for so many reasons. I have followed Bridget’s adventures since she first appeared as column inches in the Independent, which led to the book and then onto the movie. I too like Bridget have despaired over the size of my thighs, smoked too many cigarettes, drunk far too many units of alcohol and invariably fallen for the  very wrong type of man! (on several occasions) and acknowledges that I will always be ‘a little bit fat’.
        My mum too tried to set me up with every ‘nice ‘ guy she knew during my twenties to no avail. I stumbled headlong into my 30’s in a drunken partying haze still falling for every wrong guy possible until they all but gave up with me and acknowledged that I would be the ‘forever’ singleton that could at times be the ditsiest klutz possible who loved her friends and was married to her career.  
        I shared my love of Bridget with my Nan, and she too adored the movie and affectionately called me Bridget on occasions that deemed necessary, we went to the cinema together to see the first movie and I have really fond memories of the fun that we had with it afterwards.

        Friday saw the release of the 3rd instalment of Bridget’s life, and I can honestly say it’s the funniest Bridget ever. I laughed from the open through to the final credits, at one point thinking I was going to slide off the chair. Casting is just fabulous and its lovely to see so many old favourites back along with a couple of newbies. Patrick Dempsey who plays the very delicious Jack is just gorgeous and of course a welcome return to the ever lovely Mark Fitzwilliam Darcy (Colin Firth).

        This movie has had lots of press, social media coverage and hype and it absolutely lives up to all of it and I’m thrilled that the surprises that are within the movie haven’t leaked all over the networks. The press junket has had me salivating over the fabulous styling of Renee Z along with the gorgeousness of Patrick & Colin.

        Bridget may be 43 a little thinner but she hasn’t lost her fun, ditziness and vulnerability that we all fell in love with 14 years ago…. Welcome back Bridget, we’ve missed you x

        Monday, 19 September 2016

        T's Autumn TV Treats....

        So it definitely feels like summer is over and autumn has arrived and that's even more evident with the TV scheduling over the past couple of weeks. My planner has gone into overdrive and I am now stockpiling series for the weeks ahead, when the nights draw in and I find comfort on the safe with a throw, hot chocolate and cashmere socks!
        So here's whats on my watch list for the fall:
        • Tennison - no release date yet for this, but cant wait to see the adaption of Lynda La Plante's Tennison come to the screen; the story of DI Jane Tennison (Prime Suspect) when she joined the police in the 70's.
        • DCI Banks - loving the return on this series. Along with the great investigations I am also loving the under story's of the characters. My friends wife is one of the lead characters which adds to the enjoyment of this series.
        • Inside Scotland Yard - completely hooked on this documentary presented by Sir Trevor McDonald. Earlier this year I was lucky enough to see some of Scotland Yards infamous Black Museum and loved it. Opening the doors to this fascinating building is a thrill.
        • Starting this week is National Treasure on channel 4 and a welcome return to the TV of Robbie Coltrane and the fabulous Julie Walters - an iconic TV star is accused of rape and then suddenly several girls come forward with similar allegations.
        • Another fabulous documentary currently being aired is Inside British Vogue. Fascinating insight into the world of the most powerful fashion house and magazine.
        Cold Feet has seen a welcome return to TV after 13 years, its great to see all the old characters after so long and it feels like they've never been away. Enjoying the series and the complexities of the lives, divorces, marriages of the 5 friends.
        Thrilled that series 3 of The Fall returns to BBC2 this week - without a doubt Jamie Dornan is the most sexiest serial killer ever and can't wait to see where this series goes.
        Sunday nights at (pm my planner goes into overdrive with Victoria and Poldark - perfect Sunday night period drama. Loving both series, but Victoria is currently my favourite.
        Another series that starts this week is Paranoid ; trailer looks great and the cast is fantastic, perfect autumnal evening viewing. Finally Our Girl returns with series 2 and Michelle Keegan in the main role filling the very big shoes of Lacey Turner. Episode 1 was a little slow but episode 2 was a thrill from start to finish and enjoying the new characters alongside the old ones.
        So that's my autumn viewing list, would love to hear whats on yours .... have a great week.

        Thursday, 15 September 2016

        10,000 steps a day in September

        So we're halfway through September and therefore halfway through my Walking all over Cancer challenge with my 10,000 steps a day in September  for Cancer Research.
        Progress to date looks a bit like this:


        157.8K walked (98 miles)
        219,912 steps walked

          I have tried to vary my activity daily and capture moments during my walks. I have been blessed with the weather and whether I am pounding the streets of London or walking / running round my local park I am embracing this challenge whole heartily.
          From the beautiful sunrises in the city, to my favourite coffee stops along my commute I am sharing glimpses of my walking life and loving it.
          As you can see I have been blessed with beautiful weather and have explored some gorgeous parts of London. I have had amazing support from my friends and family and have received lots of encouragement and half way through this adventure I have achieved 62% of my donation target.
          I dont know anyone who's life hasn't been affected in some way by Cancer and by taking on this challenge I hope that the small steps I am taking in September will lead to giant strides in the eventual cure of this cruel disease. I am sharing my progress throughout the month and updating my Just Giving,  Facebook & Instagram pages daily.






          Friday, 2 September 2016

          Hello September ....

          So September has arrived with some glorious sunrises and sunsets and I am happy to announce that normal blogging service should resume.
          August was a month of so much change, the biggest being a brand new job which sees me enter month 2 and week 5 next week.
          September is fairly low key for me and looking forward to some downtime along with catching up with friends, having fun and getting some routine back after a month of change.
          My slimming-world and fitness journey takes on a new challenge with me participating in the walking all over cancer campaign of 10,000 steps a day in September.
          September also sees the return of a much loved character Bridget Jones - tickets are booked and can't wait for the fun and clutz that she will bring, along with a new romance with the delicious Jack (Patrick Dempsey)
          I love September its a month that is filled with gorgeous beginnings, leaves changing and of course Pumpkin Lattes (I'm allowing myself one this season as the syns are huge!)
          The Rugby season kicks off this month so a trip to Twickenham is planned
          I also have so many blog posts to catch-up on from August during the month including: Paris adventures, Month 1 with the Fenwick family, Fitness and SW update and a gorgeous summer in the city.
          Here's to a great September ..... filled with love, fun, friendship and the occasional rugby thigh!

          Tuesday, 30 August 2016

          10,000 steps in September

          September see's me take on a small challenge and continue with my healthier living lifestyle.
           I have signed up to Cancer Research's 10,000 steps a day in September. I have already shared how I have fallen in love with walking and I am currently averaging this most work days, hopefully with a little more focus I will maintain this over the weekend and raise a little for such a worthy cause.
           If I complete the challenge I would have walked a minimum of 150 miles in September which ironically I am looking forward to!
          I dont know anyone who's life hasn't been affected in some way by Cancer and by taking on this challenge I hope that the small steps I take in September will lead to giant strides in the eventual cure of this cruel disease. I will be sharing my progress throughout the month and updating my Just Giving,  Facebook & Instagram pages daily.