Thursday, 31 December 2015

Reflecting Back On 2015

I thought I'd written one of these at the end of every year since I started my blog but when I've looked back at last year's I didn't due to the new CND collection that was launched at New Year which has obviously totally thrown me off.    Anyway, I wanted to put this post together as a reflection of my year since it's the last day of it.  To be honest, I hear people say far too often that this year has been terrible and that they can't wait for it to be over.  As humans we often only remember the lows in life and never acknowledge all of the amazing highs as well so I see this as a good day to reflect.

2015 for me has been the best year of my life so far, it's as simple as that.  So many amazing things happened that I won't be able to include them all.  That doesn't mean I didn't have low points, times that I've cried or even days that I've been utterly miserable.  In general though it's been a life changing year.

I'll start off right back at the start of the year where on the 15th January, my brother, his wife and baby emigrated to Australia.  I can't say I'm particularly close to my oldest brother, he has his life and I have mine but I knew that it would break my parents' heart's, particularly as my nephew wasn't even two years old at this point.  When they left it created a huge hole in our lives as virtually half of my pretty small family were no longer in our day to day lives really. 

January was also the month that my husband turned 30 so as he's a total plane geek, I paid for him to fly a 767 flight simulator which was fantastic, my family and friends got to sit in the "cabin" whilst he and a trained pilot flew the plane.  It was there that an  important photo was taken, it one of the first times I actually knew how fat I'd gotten.  

I turned 30 myself in March.  This was a number I had been dreading as I was no longer "in my twenties."  Well many had said to me that being in their thirties they felt like they finally knew who they were and were more comfortable with themselves and pretty much as soon as I turned thirty I started to feel that way.  I don't actually care how old I am now, I'm often told I look younger than 30 and that will do!

Of course the biggest change in my life is losing five stone (70lbs) in the past seven months, I literally cannot believe I did it.  I still have more to lose but the difference it's made to my life is unbelievable.  I know I have never actually said what it was that changed in my mind but to keep it brief, I wanted to change the LiverpoolLashes logo - you know - the half a face photo - so I had some professional photos taken and they broke my heart. 

I can't even describe how many different ways that being overweight effected me. I felt constantly beneath everyone, never an equal.  I regret all the times I missed opportunities and turned things down because I knew I would feel out of place. It's so strange to go from a size 24 to a 16 and feel like everyone else again.  It's been so long since I've been a more average size that I don't think I ever thought I would be here in my wildest dreams.  I think when you're as overweight as I was just sort of tell yourself that this is you for life when it doesn't have to be.  Although I said I regret the missed opportunities though, I'm making up for it now.  If an invite or offer comes my way and I want to do it I instantly say yes, even if a little part of my has that old self doubt inside.

By writing my Slim Down Sunday posts each week it helped me open up and has helped me heal an addiction to food, slowly by surely.  I still have problems with food but it kept me focused for my own weight loss with a bonus to hopefully help inspire others to join me.
Unfortunately I have had some sadness which I totally believe was down to my weight loss.  I had always read that others who had had dramatic weight losses have lost friends over it.  I could never really understand how that would be until it happened to me with an amazing friend.  I acknowledge I'm so much more confident, I have changed in my approach to many things but the person inside is still the same and I don't think she could see that.  There's a quote that I love which is so true for your relationship with others:
"People come into your life for a season, a reason or a lifetime'

In time I hope the scars between her and I can heal and that she sees that it's only the exterior and my confidence that have changed but, if this doesn't happen then I know that it wasn't meant to be.
As they say though, as one door closes another opens and this was definitely true for JP and Jade this year as both friendships blossomed.  This two ladies deserve a blog post of their own but they have listened to every bit of mind numbingly boring weight loss chat without so much as a complaint.  Also I had more friends enter my life, Alex and Ana who have been an amazing support to me.
Apart from the weight loss, obviously, the biggest personal achievement was to actually accept who I am and what I look like.  If you've followed me for a while you'll know that before 2015 I had never even posted a photo of myself online, never mind a video.  I finally decided that I wanted for people to know me, I wanted to knock down that barrier that I put up, so I posted a photo of myself in a blog post I wrote especially called 'This Is Me' (click here)
On Christmas Eve I even posted a short video of myself to wish everyone a happy Christmas and New Year on my Facebook Page.  The moment I posted that, although I felt silly I knew that I had accomplished everything I could possibly accomplish in 2015.
Another fantastic highlight was meeting 18 of my followers and going on an overnight spa break with them.  It was amazing to meet and spend time with them and I would for 2016 to be to meet more of you.

Professionally I've had a fantastic year, 'LiverpoolLashes' turned five in April and my audience has grown by the thousands.

My four stone weight loss present which I had engraved with 'believe' and 'MMXV' which is the roman numerals for 2015.
I plan to top 2015 by having another amazing year.  Its really exciting for me as I get to enjoy a whole year with my new attitude and thoroughly intend to say yes to as many opportunities as I can.  I also plan on losing the final two stone (28lbs) in the first quarter of the year but after that I would love to be involved in helping others lose weight, if anyone knows the struggles then it's me. 
I wanted to do this post today to remind everyone that anything is possible when you believe.  I'm not anything special, I'm a regular woman who dared to dream big and aim high.  I want to include this video as I think it's a fantastic explanation of life and was thought provoking for me when I first watched it. 
I never know how far to go with these posts and I'm probably going to get a little deep here but if this year genuinely hasn't been amazing, perhaps you've been going through a hard time, you need to know that it work out in the end, it always does.  Make changes where possible to ensure 2016 is better and the rest will fix itself. 
Happy new year everyone!
Love Karen xx

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Slim Down Sunday: Week 33

So I suppose this is the week that everyone who is losing weight either dreads or can't wait for.  For me, I wasn't exactly dreading it but if someone would have said that Christmas food was banned worldwide I would have been more than happy.  I actually wouldn't be bothered by party food if it wasn't for the temptation of everyone else around me.  Normally my determination is strong but because Christmas comes hand in hand with over indulging on drink and food I knew it would be difficult. 
By the way, I might as well acknowledge that poor excuse for an "Enchanted Elf Rocky Road House" that is in the above photo.  Mum and I made it on Christmas Eve and after multiple disasters, that was the best we could do.  I must admit I was eating some of the decorations as I went which is totally a fat bird habit that I need to get out of.  
Anyway, I decided to see how I went this week as to whether I would cancel my weight in.  The week was going well until I got to the 23rd December and my plan of just having bad food on Christmas Day went completely out of the window when I decided to scoff some party food.  I blame a stressful day but then that was it, I had started so it was harder to reign back in.  
On Christmas morning I had planned to have bacon butties which was such a treat as I haven't had bread very much at all since I started this seven months ago.  I had Christmas dinner at my house which was lovely but far too much which I didn't finish.  I love that I'm not able to eat the portions I used to as that was half of my problem.

The thing I have to be careful of now is not to overdo it.  It goes hand in hand with what I've just been saving but since losing weight I get really, really unwell if I do.  I know everyone gets a bit sluggish with bad food but I get terrible pains and feel really sick with it.  To be honest, I'm glad I do as it's a huge reminder and a little bit of a fright into behaving myself.  
I suppose I'll always be a fat bird at heart.  Someone taught me a few years ago to buy iced mince pies, take them out of the foil and microwave them for between 15 - 20 seconds.  You have to be careful not to heat them too much or you'll remove the surface of your tongue but the icing goes all gooey and they're delicious.  Of course, I can't be snorting a box of six like I used to (not all at once but it might as well have been!) but I did enjoy a few this week.

By the time I got to Boxing Day evening I was feeling a bit sick.  I wasn't anywhere near as bad as I have felt but my stomach felt huge and I was keen to cut back down quickly.  I did make the decision not to weigh in this week.  I just figured, what's the point?  I will have temporarily put on, of course I will have but focusing negatively on it is just pointless so I won't.  When I did weight loss plans before such as Slimming World (which I do think is fantastic by the way) I used to get all stressed about hearing that my weight had risen.  That's the one good thing about doing this all by myself, I say what goes and it means I don't have to stress as I'll be back down next week, plus some more.  I am in total control and I look forward to finishing what I started, in 2016 and what an achievement that is going to be for me!
  • Every day we have a choice, it's a fresh start and the most important part from any healthy eating plan is to just try and make as many days, good ones.
  • Losing a pound a week is still over three and a half stone in a year.
  • If you're feeling particularly down about your weight, remember that if you stick to a balanced diet then by this time next week you could have dropped quite a few pounds, just the kick start you need to get going!  Even just by cutting down on treats you could make a difference, how good would that feel?!
Why not come and be my friend on the My Fitness Pal app - search for 'liverpoollashes'
If you have a FitBit then why not be my friend on that and send me a challenge? click here.
If you want to read my previous Slim Down Sunday posts - click here.
If you want to read my explanation of Slimming World - click here.
If you want to read my explanation of calorie counting and basic weight loss methods - click here.

Friday, 25 December 2015

NOTD: My Christmas Nails

Firstly, merry Christmas if you celebrate it!  I hope you're having a fantastic day!  I just wanted to put a quick post up to show you my Christmas nails, I'm totally in love with them. 

The products I used were:
  • Lecente S1 brush (launching in the next few months)
  • CND Shellac in Cream Puff, Beau and Peacock Plume
  • Lecente Multi Glitz Glitter in Sweetie Pie
liverpool lashes liverpoollashes karen carter nail tech shellac lecente sweetie pie peacock plume

I used Peacock Plume to do a vague French tip to ensure that I had full coverage at the free edge, if you were wondering!  I absolutely adore these nails and they're something to do if you haven't got much time and aren't too good with designs on your non dominant hand too.

If you want to see more nail of the day posts, click here.  Don't forget to follow me on my Facebook Page for future posts.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

My Work: Red, Black & Gold

Simone sent me a photo of a dress that she plans to wear over Christmas and asked me to work it into her nail design.  There was a little bit of a discussion lets say over my suggestion of adding the gold nail (she would be wearing gold accessories) as Simone wasn't too sure about it but when I did it she could see why I thought it was work well.
The products I used were:

  • CND Shellac in Overtly Onyx, Wildfire and Safety Pin
  • Lecente Glitter in Sleigh Bells and Flame (her thumb is black with a red glitter fade)
  • MoYou London The Pro Plate 13
I really enjoy the combination of these nails.  Overtly Onyx doesn't get enough love I don't think as if clients ask for black nails I do think the nail tech will just reach for Black Pool but I do always make a point of showing it so that it gets a look in! 
Don't forget to follow my Facebook Page for my latest posts.  If you'd like to see more of my work - click here or search for me on Instagram - @liverpoollashes 

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Slim Down Sunday: Week 32

I literally couldn't have predicted how this week was going to go.  Obviously I didn't weigh in last week as I just didn't see a point, I had been in Poland and unable to calorie count and then I had been on a Christmas night out.  One of biggest the things I've learnt along the way is that I know myself better.  I knew if I had weighed and told you all I'd put on a certain amount of weigh I would then be disheartened and it would start a downward spiral with food, so I didn't.  As I always say, I make the rules up here.  It was me that decided to do this and I am in complete control.  The moment you realise you're in full control of weight loss, it doesn't have a power over you anymore.  

To remind you where I'm up to, I've lost four stone 11lbs (or 67lbs) in 31 weeks.  I mentioned this on my Facebook page a while ago but I bought myself a Michael Kors watch at the airport back in October for when I finally reached my five stone goal.  Although I was only 3lbs away, I knew I would likely to be working off whatever weight I put on in Poland and then chipping away to get there after that.
I don't have very many full length before photos of me but I found this one to show you.  On the left is me in Toronto at the CN Tower a couple of years ago and the other was taken in Poland last week.

I know I said I was going to try and use the principals of Slimming World but continue to calorie count and I have done that to a certain extent this week.  I've also tried to make sure I'm busy at the times of day that I would typically be tempted to eat.  I had a gap in my day on Monday so when I saw that Creative Academy+ Manchester were looking for a model for LVL, I jumped at the chance which was good for both my lashes and my waistline!

I met my friend JP on Wednesday and we went shopping.  When it got to lunchtime I always make sure I join in.  I've always said that I never want to be that person that can't let herself off for one meal.  Sometimes I'll try and be sensible (with food, not life, I'm never sensible with that!) but sometimes I literally will just pick what I fancy and then figure out the rest of my day around it.  That day I chose a cheese and pepperoni panini which was naturally greasy but delicious and I find when I do have things like this I'm not attempted to have anything else as I feel like I've had something "proper."
I dragged out a pair of my old jeans to try on last night, just for fun.  Oddly I also kept a pair of UK size 14 jeans from when I was at my slimmest adult weight, aged 17.  I think I always knew that, despite it being thirteen years on, I would use them as my guide when I finally did lose the weight.  I laughingly tried them on, I'm currently a size 16 but I didn't expect for them to even get over my bum but they did.  Of course they are no where near fastening right now but the fact they even fit over my thighs and bum is amazing.

I did one thing that I'm seriously proud of myself with this week, I finally got into my swimming costume at my gym.  I still do an hours workout every weekday morning, without fail.  Some mornings I really want to give myself a rest from it but my determination is so strong that I do it anyway.  On Friday I finally took my swimming stuff into the gym with me and shaking I went into the steam room in my cossie!  That's a huge deal for me as I would only begrudgingly brave one on holiday where nobody would know me.  

So finally, the weigh in.  The truth is a weighed in yesterday because I could feel in my body that I had lost weight.  This week I've suddenly noticed that my body is very different to what it was, I can't describe it.  I feel lean (I just said "feel" - I still look porky!) but my back is defined and various other areas.  Anyway, as I knew I was so close to five stone lost I checked for the last couple of mornings and yesterday I had lost the 3lbs needed to hit my five stone goal (70lbs.)  After standing on the scales and having a little weep, I had to sit down and really take this all in as I truly will never believe that I've done it.  

My weight has been a silent battle in my head for over ten years.  It was a battle that I never thought I would conquer.  It effected every aspect of my life and I've finally taken control of it.  I wish you all knew how much this has changed my life.  I'm a different person, not only physically but mentally.  It doesn't make me better than anyone else but it makes me an equal which is something I've never felt before.  

I'm delighted to get to a five stone loss the week before Christmas.  Christmas was a concern for me but my determination is so strong that I know that the days leading up to and after the big day will be fine.  
  • Every day we have a choice, it's a fresh start and the most important part from any healthy eating plan is to just try and make as many days, good ones.
  • Losing a pound a week is still over three and a half stone in a year.
  • If you're feeling particularly down about your weight, remember that if you stick to a balanced diet then by this time next week you could have dropped quite a few pounds, just the kick start you need to get going!  Even just by cutting down on treats you could make a difference, how good would that feel?!
Why not come and be my friend on the My Fitness Pal app - search for 'liverpoollashes'
If you have a FitBit then why not be my friend on that and send me a challenge? click here.
If you want to read my previous Slim Down Sunday posts - click here.
If you want to read my explanation of Slimming World - click here.
If you want to read my explanation of calorie counting and basic weight loss methods - click here.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Lecente S1 & S2 Nail Art Brushes

I've been on the edge of my seat waiting to talk about the new nail art brushes by Lecente.  I have a ton of nail art brushes but most of them I should really bin because they're just not up to standard.  When you find the perfect brush that behaves itself and you can control, you have to guard them!

liverpoollashes liverpool lashes lecente s1 s2 nail art striping brushes
Introducing the new Lecente S1 and S2 striping brushes.  In their classic sleek matte black with sparkles packaging, they're so elegant and the perfectionist in me really likes that I have a completely matching range of brushes now.  

When these bad boys arrived unexpectedly on my doorstep to try out, I was talking to the glitter queen herself, Lecente's Maria Cientanni about them.  She said that they had been a long time in the making as she wanted to get them spot and she certainly has!

The Lecente S1 is the thinnest of the two brushes and the bristles are also shorter.  It was designed to be used on shorter nails for the perfect precise, even strokes.

The Lecente S2 brush has slightly more bristles and longer than the S1.  This makes it ideal for longer nails.  It also creates smoother circles and curves.  
If you're a regular reader of my blog you'll already have seen some of my work using these brushes.  The control is fantastic and the lines are literally perfect,  I can't say more than that.  The bristles are just the right width to easily achieve a fine line. 
The bottom line is, both the S1 and S2 brushes are a firm favourite in my kit.  They're extremely high quality which I exactly what you expect from Lecente.  There's not much else for me to say other than the fact that you actually need them in your stash, it's as simple as that.
Brushes are being launched with Sweet Squared and their distributing partner Creative Academy+ Manchester in the next few months, worldwide on  I shall announce when they are available on my Facebook Page.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

CND Art Vandal Collection: Shellac, Vinylux & Additives

I've been so excited to talk about this collection as it's definitely a good one!  The CND Art Vandal is due to be released early January 2016 (date to be confirmed) with six brand new Shellac shades, seven brand new Vinylux shades along with a re-release of a shade that is a perfect pairing for the collection.  There's also five limited edition Additives. 

liverpoollashes liverpool lashes cnd art vandal collection shellac vinylux additives
The six new CND Shellac shades are:
  • Magenta Mischief
  • Mauve Maverick
  • Untitled Bronze
  • Art Basil
  • Future Fuchsia
  • Digi-Teal
The new shades that are exclusive to Vinylux are:
  • Sienna Scribble
  • Irreverent Rose
The re-released shade to Vinylux is Tutti Fruiti which I don't think gets enough credit.  I adore it over Pink Bikini but you can actually layer it with so much.
liverpoollashes liverpool lashes cnd art vandal collection shellac vinylux additives

The five limited edition Additives are:

  • Exhibition
  • Lavender Whispers
  • Cobalt Clash
  • Confetti Kiss
  • Pink Twinkle
As usual, here it my comparison video to the existing colours - CLICK HERE
I hope that you find it useful.  Don't forget to follow my Facebook Page for updates on the latest releases and ideas.  I'm also on Twitter & Instagram - search for @liverpoollashes
I just wanted to also say a huge thank you to Creative Academy+ Manchester for allowing me to use their demo stock for this video!

Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter & Pinterest - search for 'liverpoollashes'  
My facebook page is always updated latest information, tutorials and reviews - click here.
If you want to see more videos from me, my You Tube Channel is here.
CND Five Point Polish Method (for CND Shellac & Vinylux) - click here
To see more of My Work click here and my Nail Of The Day - click here
If you want to read my 'Focusing On' blog posts - click here
Want to see more using Lecente glitter? - click here

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

My Work: Subtle Festive Nails

I wanted to redo my nails in something that was a little bit Christmas but without it being obvious like Santas / Christmas Puddings / Rudolph etc.  I just feel like I've done that over the past six years that I wanted something a little different this year.

I wanted a darker red on my nails so I chose CND Shellac in Crimson Sash and paired it with Bare Chemise.  Next I wanted to create a sparkle that wasn't quite silver but not quite gold either so I went with Safety Pin with a layer of the limited edition shade Ice Vapor which I also used for the design on my index finger.

liverpoollashes liverpool lashes cnd shellac christmas festive nails crimson sash safety pin ice vapor bare chemise
I really like how the combination works together and I think it might be a good design for someone who isn't looking for the typical snowflake / bauble nail art but still wants to be festive. 
Please make sure you're following my Facebook Page for future posts.  If you want to see more of my work, click here.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Slim Down Sunday: Week 31

I have been nervous about this week in particular, for a while.  Last week I had those three nights out which I knew would throw me off my weight loss game but this week would be virtually a write off as I was in Poland from Tuesday to Friday.  I did go to the gym on Monday as usual and I planned to just try and be as sensible as I could with the choices for the week.  I also decided to not weigh myself today because there really wasn't any point, as I've said before, I started this and I make up the rules.  I absolutely refuse to get myself upset about any gain I have because it's just a sleigh ride to gaining weight again when you think "sod it" and eat your entire kitchen cupboards.

I am always excited to get on a plane now as the seat belt reminds me of how far I've come with this.  I wish I had a photo to show you of the "before" but at around a UK size 22/24 the plane seat belts barely fit.  Now I'm not just saying that loosely, I'm talking that my husband would have to hold the belt and the fastener really tight to squeeze them together to shut it as I refused to ask for an extender.  
I also love that the overall width of my thighs and arms are a lot different and I can notice this in particular on a flight.  Some planes my thighs would be so squashed into the seat that it would set off the light or assistance button if I moved.  As my shoulders were a lot broader I would feel cramped with the people next to me so I definitely feel like I have a lot more space around me now.
Poland was a really good trip.  I tried to be sensible with my choices but I never want to feel deprived or that I "can't" have something so one day when I fancied having a dessert, I did!  

There was also an evening that we had a big lunch so I decided to stop by a supermarket and bought some fresh fruit to eat in our hotel room for dinner instead of forcing another big meal down.
This photo above bears no relevance to weight loss but I was so mortified that I had to tell you, plus in all honestly, this photo makes me realise how much I've actually changed.  The coat I'm wearing is new, a size 16 and I can barely believe it fits me.

Anyway, so the photo was taken at the airport where in my wisdom, I sat down on the seat on the left which had an odd grey box above it which I thought was silly.  I sat there anyway and leant my back against the box without reading it.  I nearly died in shock which the red like started flashing and a voice came on who obviously either security or the police to ask what the emergency was!  How embarrassing.  

On Friday we returned from Poland and I had been invited to Creative Academy+ Manchester's Christmas night out.  I had looked at the menu and apart from the dessert (and alcohol!) it looked like it would be a pretty good meal for me to eat.

I wore a dress that I've had for a long time but it was so unflattering that I wouldn't wear it.  It's really my clothes that make me realise the difference as everything fits and looks so much nice than it did before. 

Before I left for Poland I was in two minds whether to return to the Slimming World plan to see if that would help lose more weight as I've been pretty much at a standstill for a while now.  I like the principals of Slimming World and will just encourage me to keep the fat I'm consuming down where as calorie counting allows more for it of course.  I'll need to think about it more but I think the plan of action this week is to try and do what I did at the start which is to use their principals but keep below my calorie allowance also.

I was speaking to Julia Moran at the Christmas night out and she said something to me which made me think.  She said "I've lost one stone and I feel good so I can only imagine how you feel having lost nearly five stone."  She's absolutely right, the feeling I have from this is incredible, it's a dream.  I have wanted this for so long but I wasn't ready to do it and thankfully, now I am.  
I plan to consider actually going to the pool at my gym this week.  This is a big step for me as I get into a bit of a state at the thought of being so exposed but we shall see if I manage it.  Although I didn't officially weigh myself this week, I did pop on yesterday morning and it seems that if I put on anything it was about a pound so I did so well as that will be back off quickly.

This week is an important week as it's the last big push before Christmas so I'm keen to see how I get on!  Wish me luck!
  • Every day we have a choice, it's a fresh start and the most important part from any healthy eating plan is to just try and make as many days, good ones.
  • Losing a pound a week is still over three and a half stone in a year.
  • If you're feeling particularly down about your weight, remember that if you stick to a balanced diet then by this time next week you could have dropped quite a few pounds, just the kick start you need to get going!  Even just by cutting down on treats you could make a difference, how good would that feel?!
Why not come and be my friend on the My Fitness Pal app - search for 'liverpoollashes'
If you have a FitBit then why not be my friend on that and send me a challenge? click here.
If you want to read my previous Slim Down Sunday posts - click here.
If you want to read my explanation of Slimming World - click here.
If you want to read my explanation of calorie counting and basic weight loss methods - click here.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

My Work: Black, Pink & Floral

Simone came to me for a fresh set of enhancements.  Originally she was going to go with my suggestion of grey and pink that I had for her for her last appointment but then she changed this to pink and black.
I used CND Shellac in Black Pool, Beckoning Begonia along with Konad Special Polish in Black and MoYou London The Pro Plate 13.  I adore Beckoning Begonia and I feel like the shimmer in it added something a little extra against Black Pool which is a cream shade.
liverpoollashes liverpool lashes scouse beauty blogger nails acrylics shellac beckoning begonia and black pool pink and black floral

Simone typically requests a square or squoval shape so when I asked her this time her exact words were 'do what you like' and thankfully, she loves them! 
If you'd like to see more of my work, click here.  Please come and follow my Facebook Page to keep up to date with my latest posts and tutorials!

Monday, 7 December 2015

Slim Down Sunday: Week 30

I realise it's Monday...!  I am sorry for the delay with this post, I'll explain my week as I go through it and why I didn't post yesterday but for now, I'll tell you about the fun I've had!

Recently I have felt like my control over the weight loss has been a little unsteady.  Some weeks I'm really confident and keen to get on with it and then others I feel like I'm back to how I use to describe weight loss, like riding a mechanical bull and you're trying desperately to hold on. This week started with such enthusiasm, I knew I was going away next week so I wanted desperately to shift some pounds before then.  My plan of action was to try to keep my calories on the lower side and then I could afford snacks and exercise a lot.  From Monday to Friday I did 70k steps which I was pleased with so I knew I had done as much as I could in that respect.  The only thing was there was a big grey cloud hanging over my week in the form of three nights out and it was worrying me, how I would cope both with food and drink.

Whilst on my search for new low calorie food I found his Skinny Thai Carrot Soup in Aldi.  At 91 calories for half a pot I figured that I could eat half and then if I was really hungry later I could afford to eat the other half and still consume not too many calories.

When I poured it into the bowl (photo below shows it cold) it didn't look too bad, didn't smell like much but when I warmed it up it made it so thin that I really wasn't too excited about it.  I'm not one to waste anything though (hence why I got fat in the first place - haha) so I still decided to try it and it was delicious!  I went back to Aldi and bought four more pots!
I decided to unsubscribe from Evans, Taking Shape and Simply Be marketing emails.  There's nothing wrong with any of these brands, I shopped with them for years I realise that they do do smaller sizes but I am no longer limited to just them so I don't want to be hounded by them.  I've been clothes shopping a few times recently and it still shocks me how good it feels to be able to go around the "regular" sized clothing stores.

I have heard so many people losing weight blaming Christmas for not losing weight and I've only really understood it properly recently.  At the end of day, it's down to you what you choose to put in your mouth but the temptation is at it's highest at Christmas with all of the amazing party food.  A friend had told me that Costco mince pies are amazing so naturally when I went this week I had the fight between my wanting to lose weight and wanting to try these delicious pies.  In the end I bought some and put most of them in the freezer, they're huge and pretty bad on calories but I've even cut one into quarters just so I could have one quarter after my evening meal one night!
This week I had three nights out to go to.  The first was my husband's work Christmas party which I managed fairly well.  I avoided the buffet myself and drank Diet Coke all night but when he sat down with chicken wings I did have a couple of those, I couldn't help myself.  

The second was my friend's birthday which was a fancy dress party which an "old school rave" so I had fun dressing up with my neon leg warmers, fishnet gloves and accessories.  I even did my hair a little funky which you can't see on the photo.  Now, here's my explanation of why this blog post is late.  I kept to Pepsi Max all night however, I did have whatever I wanted from the buffet table.  I had weighed myself that morning (Saturday morning) and I'll get to that in a second but because of those results I just figured I would give myself the evening off.  

Somewhere in the middle of the night I realized that I shouldn't have done that and was very sick.  It was nothing to do with my friends amazing food but more because my body just isn't used to fatty food anymore.  It resulted me getting two baths in the middle of the night to try and ease the pains and vomiting.  I think at some point I even told myself I wouldn't go near another sausage roll for the rest of my life but let's face it, that's never going to happen.  
I was really sick for the majority of Sunday, there was no chance I would be able to have written a blog post.  Thankfully after a long sleep through the day I was well enough to go to see Mumford & Sons in the evening.  We had VIP tickets at the o2 box which once again involved a buffet and drink.  This time I was sensible, the food they have in the box is very sophisticated anyway, no sausages rolls there!
It's funny and a bit weird for me to see full length photos of myself as I never looked at all of me before.  I think that's another way of how you can get as big as I did, you stop looking so you kid yourself.  I've purposely included two of them in this post as it's only something I've started acknowledging in this last week or so but you can get an idea of where I'm up to with my weight loss.
So, the weigh in.  I decided to weigh myself on Saturday morning because I figured I could then relax for my friends party, as well as at Mumford & Sons.  I was so angry when I realized that for whatever reason this week, I hadn't lost a single thing.  Even now I don't understand what happened, I can only presume it's a combination of the fact I did a lot of working out last week and perhaps lost inches instead, coupled with that it was "that time of the month" (which if you ask me, has full intentions of screwing up our lives in any way humanly possible but I'm just bitter!) 

When you get a disappointing result like that you have two choices, carry on until you see the results or go and eat what you like, unfortunately I chose the latter and paid price!  Trust me, I feel like my lesson is learnt and I hope that that experience will help make sure I don't do it again.  

This week is a whole other set of problems.  Today I've been angelic with my food.  I have made a decision to go back to the Slimming World plan to see if that will help boost my weight loss again however, I am going to Poland tomorrow until Friday.  I do get nervous when I go anywhere now, just whilst I'm losing weight as I know I don't really have control over what I'm eating but I need to just relax over it.  When I get back, that evening I have Creative Academy Manchester's Christmas night out so there's something else that's out of my control although I'm really looking forward to it!  I want to keep control of things as much as I can but any small gain is quickly reversed.  I'm not sure if I will weigh myself next Sunday or just allow myself until the following Sunday to correct any gain.  As I always say, I make the rules here so I will see how I feel.  One thing for sure is, my determination is strong, I will do this.
  • Every day we have a choice, it's a fresh start and the most important part from any healthy eating plan is to just try and make as many days, good ones.
  • Losing a pound a week is still over three and a half stone in a year.
  • If you're feeling particularly down about your weight, remember that if you stick to a balanced diet then by this time next week you could have dropped quite a few pounds, just the kick start you need to get going!  Even just by cutting down on treats you could make a difference, how good would that feel?!
Why not come and be my friend on the My Fitness Pal app - search for 'liverpoollashes'
If you have a FitBit then why not be my friend on that and send me a challenge? click here.
If you want to read my previous Slim Down Sunday posts - click here.
If you want to read my explanation of Slimming World - click here.
If you want to read my explanation of calorie counting and basic weight loss methods - click here.

Friday, 4 December 2015

NOTD: That Time I Went Nude

I called this post that just because I never go nude.  Nude has never been a "thing" for me, I think it looks smart and sophisticated on others but on myself I think it makes me look a little... Dead.   
For whatever reason however, nude was calling my name.  I was looking to get my striping brush out and do something with that so nude, black and shimmers just seemed to sound good to me.

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The colours I used were CND Shellac in Bare Chemise, Black Pool & Safety Pin. It's rare that you get to see my other hand because I never trust my husband to take a photo with both hands actually in the shot so you can all thank my good friend JP for having the patience of a saint whilst I insisted that my "LiverpoolLashes" logo was completely straight like the annoying perfectionist that I am (oh come on, I'm not the only one surely?!) 
Anyway, you know when you know straight away that this will be a set that you'll begrudge growing out? Yeah that's what I'm going to feel like with these bad boys - I love them!
If you want to see more of my NOTD posts - click here.  Please make sure you're following my Facebook page for future posts!

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

My Work: Nails Fit For An MC

It's rare for me to show nails without nail art but since this colour is pretty unique I figured I'd show you anyway.  Jen is having a "old school" birthday party on Saturday with fancy dress that she's planning to dress up as an MC, she's had a printed hoodie and everything!  

To match her outfit she wanted some gold nails that were really going to stand out so I suggested CND Shellac in Steel Gaze (which on a side note, doesn't get as much love as I think it deserves) with Lecente Stardust Glitter in Lunar over it.  

The moment I applied the top coat, Jen loved it as it was exactly what she was going for.  The colour is really eye-catching and I'm excited to see her full outfit on Saturday whilst I parade around her party in my outfit with pink UV leg warmers, fishnet gloves and plastic jewellery myself!  
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