Friday, 25 October 2013

Zaggora 2 Week Challenge - Hot Top

Last week I completed the Zaggora 2 week challenge or attempted to. I managed 9 workouts wearing my Zaggora gear (see previous two blog posts on the details). I still haven't managed a full 14 days so that will be my next aim after half term.

Only thing is this week I haven't exercised at all - I've managed to damage my left heel. It's very painful to walk on. I think I may have over done it on the bike ride front or it could be my new boots.  Anyhow, I've been wearing an ankle strap and will order some sole cushions.  Not only that the weather has been a tad dodgy and its been a very busy week. The hubster has been away in France starting work on a run down shack we bought 10 years ago for peanuts.  We got planning permission very quickly (2 weeks) - maybe it helped that we submitted it around Christmas time two years ago. Maybe the Mairie was feeling all festive, anyhow, that was good news and we had to start work on it by the end of this year otherwise the planning would expire. In theory we could take the next 10 years to build the thing but hopefully that won't happen! We planned to start it last year but back issues took over. 

In addition, my son started his new school on Monday! Yay! It all came around very quick and he could have started after half term but wanted to go in before.  He was glowing about the school Monday, Tuesday then on Wednesday he was very angry and distressed and I thought oh no what have I done. Turns out he overheard me talking about his friend from his previous school not having anyone to play football with and he hadn't been taking in a water bottle which was giving him headaches. Also, starting a week before all the children break up probably wasn't the best idea as they were very lively on that day.  Anyhow, after a sleepless night, the head and all the staff reassured me he was fine, settling in etc. Yesterday, he couldn't shut up about how brilliant the school was. He can play football, tennis, basketball, any sports, trim trail before school, at break and lunch. There is a 'calm room' so if you want to read a book during playtime you can. His new teacher is head of literacy (my son's favorite subject) and they were all able to chose the authors/books that she will purchase for the school. They had MUFTI day yesterday with Halloween dress up and their behavior passport treats - gold passport holders had a disco and/or UP the movie, silver had a drink or snack and the ones that didn't have passports had to work through. He said there wasn't many people doing that. I bet! What a wonderful system.  The classroom is large bright and airy and he's made 4 friends. He had a guided tour of the school which also has an outdoor heated swimming pool! I feel I've been let in to the best kept secret in the borough.  So phew, I made the right decision and can't wait for my daughter to start.

High Rise Hot Pants - £75 - pic
Zaggora flares - these are £75 and I think are perfect for runners. They even have a zip pocket inside
I digress some what. The Zaggora challenge - right here are the before and after pics. Tell me what you think if there is any difference? Whilst doing this, I realised that I hadn't really weighed myself properly for a month. This is amazing. Before I started this blog I used to weight myself about 6 x a time - it was a very bad habit. It would have been unheard of me not to weigh myself all the time but I genuinely forget and it isn't the first thing I do in the morning. I need to really as it keeps me focused and for the purpose of this blog I should be doing it.  I've lost 2lbs and lost 1 inch off my waist. It could be more inches off my stomach but I can't remember what it was before - see what I mean I need to get organised. My stomach area has definitely gone down though.

Before 2 week challenge - front view 

After 2 week challenge - front view

Before 2 week challenge - side view 
After 2 week challenge - side view 
So what do you think? Sorry I couldn't get them side by side - it took me ages just to do this.  The top was very snug to put on to begin with. I received a large and with my 36 GG boobs I seriously considering taking the scissors at the side to it. I needn't have worried as by the second/third time it was easy to get on. As you can see it really pulls you in and gives you an idea of how you might look with less weight on you. I like that. It inspires you to work out. I wear a bra underneath and a t-shirt over the top with fleece etc whilst cycling. It keeps me nice and warm. The same goes for the longer length capri pants - I cycled in the rain last week and they keep me nice and warm. Because they are thick it makes it very comfortable in the saddle area! I would really recommend the Zaggora gear for runners, cyclists or any sports and workout enthusiasts. Yes, they are more pricey than ordinary work out wear but they are of really good quality. By the way, the swishing noise from the pants does lessen with wear.

Hot tops come in great colours and cost £50 - pic

I was given a free Zaggora Hot Top for the purpose of this review. I have also been given the Zaggora Capri pants and the flares. I enjoy taking the two week challenge and love their products which I think are relevant to my blog.  My views are always honest.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Its Exhausting......

....preparing to be 40!! Myself and another mum both agreed on this the other day. She turned 40 last week and said its never ending.  She had a full on day/evening with her husband, party at her house and they're off to Vegas (we are such a cliché but who cares) during half term.  She's had lunches, meals out and is now piling on the weight that she'd lost leading up to the big 40 - although she's not big by any stretch of the imagination.

I can totally emphasise with this as, although I'm not having a party,  a friend did suggest I should have a get together prior to my departure to Vegas. I hadn't given it much thought and really I should just ignore all suggestions as I always find people say oh why don't you do this and you do it then everyone can't make it for one reason or another and then you think but I didn't even want to bloody well do it in the first place! I purposely didn't bother with any punctuation there. One day I'll learn.

Anyhow, back to the little get together. I am so glad I didn't go down the organising a party route. I have just arranged for an early evening meal at a Smith and Western venue (a bit like TGI but more wild west - and we have the jail or is it gaol area to ourselves) so the kids can be part of this birthday that has taken on a life of its own. I've also treated myself to a 40th birthday cake. I wasn't going to be making one that's for sure. Its by a lady that does fabulous cakes - the details are incredible and she has a real talent. I will, of course, post pictures in November.

So what's exhausting about it? Well first there's the what to wear when away, the need to get hair done, bikini line, eyebrows, facial and pedicure - although I think I only have time for one of those. Then there's the weather - I assumed it would be mild and not too hot in Vegas. My friend on the other hand is taking shorts - I hadn't even thought of that and she reminded me to take some frizz stuff for my hair as the humidity will make it go all frizzy. Lovely. Again, hadn't thought of that.  Then there's the shape wear. Yes, I have been excellent this week (details further down) on the exercise and food front but I still need to get proper under garments and tights and shoes.  I have, to save time and to avoid a shopping stomp, been getting various dresses delivered to my home to try on and to send back.

One of the dresses from Phase Eight - I haven't bought this one as its very pricey but who fact it costs more than my wedding dress!
I am so glad I did as I now know what suits my figure best. I can either wear Grecian type maxi dresses or I have to wear figure hugging ones that stop at my knee. I also know what neckline suits me and what doesn't. I cannot wear skater, prom or flared out type numbers that stop at my knee as they just make me look like a barrel.  So in my quest for evening wear (although I'm told no one dresses up in the evening in Vegas?) I have one dress in the bag. Yup a lovely number from Phase-Eight who are fast becoming my dress of choice followed by Pied a Terre and others on the House of Fraser/Debenhams website.

Then there's people who want to do lunch before or after I return and I also have to make sure my mum has a list of all the things she needs to know to look after the children for 5 days and make sure there's enough food etc.  Once I'm on that plane I can relax (well as best I can without thinking it might crash and the kids are orphans) and enjoy the trip.  At the moment I haven't had much time to get excited about it - see above.

I'm sure some will think well don't you just have a tough time - planning a trip to Vegas. Yeah real hardship that is! So I will quit my moaning and tell you my other news. Sorry I've been a bit AWOL but I've been trying to get into shape and lots has been going on.

So on the 2 week challenge front I managed to wear my gear (and I'll do a separate post on this) for 5 days last week. This week I managed to do the following workouts:-

Monday - 8 mile bike ride
Tuesday - 45 minutes Wii dance plus wrist weights
Wednesday -9 mile bike ride (in the rain - the rain bounces of my cycling helmet)
Thursday - kids off strike day
Friday - 10 mile bike ride
Saturday - none had various children around
Sunday - sat here typing about working out = no work out

So only 4 days I wore the Zaggorra gear.  That's 9 days out of 14.  I completed my fitness pal food log also. I will take the after pictures for tomorrow and post details etc. 

In other news, my son starts his new school Monday.  My daughter has been bumped up from 4th to 1st on the waiting list so for the time being I will have two school runs. This shouldn't be too bad - I may have to start making sandwiches the night before - I always do them in the morning and just leave 10 mins earlier. He's very excited and looking forward to it. It all happened very quickly and he could have started after half term but wanted to go asap.

So its all happening tomorrow as I have to take Buddy to the hospital to cut his tongue tie. He won't be able to eat or drink anything from 9am tomorrow morning until probably about 5pm. Mmmm this could be a stressful day!

Anyhow, I shall return with news and what not tomorrow.

Be back soon.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Saturday Chit Chat

Hello, hello.  Let me fill you in on the week that was for me.  On the exercise front:-

Monday - I completed a 6 mile bike ride on Monday. I would normally do 10 miles, however, I do like a chat and happened to cycle past a mum from my daughter's class walking her dog. She was moving that week and likes a good moan about the school just like me.  So that cut it short by 30 mins and I realised I still needed to clean the house etc.

Tuesday - I did my 30 minute weights DVD which was probably tougher than the bike ride if truth be told.

Wednesday - 45 minutes of Wii dance with wrist weights as it was too wet outside - wasn't half as good a workout as my bike riding but it still counts.

Thursday - nowt.  I didn't feel like it. Oh the shame. The Shame.

Friday - still didn't feel like exercising but forced myself and did 35 minutes of the Wii Dance with wrist weights with buddy in tow. He likes to dance with me.

Saturday - 5 mile bike ride with my son. It was a bit slow as he's out of practice but better than nothing I wager.

Sunday - I plan on another bike ride if dry tomorrow.

So I had one fail when it came to the exercise front on my 2 week challenge to wear my Zaggorra gear. Not too bad. I logged my food intake most days on my fitness pal. I haven't on here as I don't want to repeat everything. The one thing I don't like about my fitness pal is that when you do exercise it says you can eat what you burnt off. Surely that defeats the object?  I try not to eat into the exercise calories but sometimes I have to, as after I've entered some foods, I think crikey I only have 200 cals left for dinner! My recommended intake is 1200 cals a day.

In other tittle tattle, I came across the worse case of  Pig Parker whilst doing my weekly shop at Aldi. What do you think? I was actually speechless. Ordinarily I would have contemplated going up and saying do you realise you have taken 2 spaces but I came to the conclusion that the person must be having a breakdown of sorts. There is no other explanation is there? Even the arrow is pointing at her.

The lady is merrily unpacking her shopping oblivious to the internal rage of many Aldi shoppers!

This picture doesn't really do it justice - its in classic parka green and longer at the back - the hood has a fabulous blue and red tartan lining showing. The coat can be pulled in to create the illusion of a waist! Pic George at Asda although I do have one hanging up.
In other news, I have to admit to a bit of a love affair with George at Asda recently.  I always get the kids school uniform on line and whilst I still buy the kids clothes from NEXT (as its so easy to get it delivered etc) the clothes at George are just as good and half the price.  I've even been buying myself a few things. Take this parka - it was only £25.00 and it has tartan lining and a bit of fur. I can now look like every other mum on the school run. No point standing out from the crowd now is there!

Finally, I had a little clear out and sold the kids snow boots on ebay and some dressing up costumes. I am officially the world's worst seller on ebay.  All my items finished yesterday at some stupid time like 2.45pm. I did get about £20 for my bounty but really I need to think these things through.

I had a nice surprise on Friday, the lovely Stressy Mummy (aka Nikki) made me one of her fresh five in the Tots100 so big up MWAH to her. My rant about Christmas has been well received. Check my blog and name in lights here

Finally, my friend (who I interviewed about losing 4 stone in 4 months) writes a blog about her son's rare condition. Check it out here.

Anyhow, that's about it. Until next time...

Monday, 7 October 2013

F*@! *@!! Christmas Countdowns!

Now I was going to leave the title uncensored but I thought even for me it may be a tad harsh. Having said this it really is the only way that truly sums up my seething hatred for these poxy countdowns that appear on my facebook news feed on a regular basis. Now I only have 94 friends or something like that - not tons by any stretch of the facebook imagination - so the percentage of these fuckers (there got it in) turning up is high god dam it (on a roll now).

Seriously ladies (both mothers and the childless) fuck off with your Christmas Countdowns. You are well and truly into your thirties and beyond. You are not 12. I'm fairly confident teenagers and even my and their own children aren't this excited about how many days there are till Xmas. Grow up. Grow a pair!

In fact, I'm pretty sure that if their kids were running around getting all hyper and excited about Christmas, they'd soon be told to pipe down "its way too early". Shame the parents can't do the same.

Blimey talk about take the magic (that you're all wetting your knickers about) out of "the most beautiful time of the year". You're totally trashing it. Getting all excited in frigging September some of them were. The kids had barely hung up their PE kit for the start of the new term. I could hear their little sequels of excitement about it 'nearly' being Xmas in 3 months. That's the mums not the children. There's nothing nearly about waiting 3 months for anything. Nearly is next week in my book.

Are the Christmas Countdown brigade the same people who spend 2 years planning a wedding, who say Happy New Year at 2pm on New Year's Eve? They must have serious problems and depression on Boxing Day wouldn't you say? Most definitely the January blues.A bit like the bride that comes home opens all the presents and then thinks what now?

I have a friend who always pictures the perfect Xmas, however, one year the husband got quite drunk on Christmas Eve and slept in till 10 am on the big day. So pissed off was she that she watched the children open the presents without him in protest.  The day was somewhat frosty and that was her Christmas. Another friend had to cook the Christmas meal for all the family in her small kitchen with very little help whilst the husband (recurring theme here) got drunk and fell asleep on the sofa.  I always go into the Xmas holidays with minimal expectations that way you can't fail to have a brilliant Xmas.

I say live for the moment. Enjoy the day. You don't know what's around the corner. I mean what if we had a countdown to your untimely death? I'm pretty sure you'd be enjoying the day to day. The here and now is what matters. Yes plan, yes have excitement but not 3 months of excitement.

What is wrong with people? Firstly let me state the obvious. There is a whole lot of things on the calendar before Father Christmas is coming to your house (yes they probably still believe) like the beauty and non commercial sight of the Autumn leaves, Halloween and the fancy dress discos the kids may be attending at school, fireworks night to celebrate Guy Fawkes not blowing up Parliament. Although I think it should be about mourning the fact he didn't blow up Parliament. Then there is my birthday - yes my birthday thank you very much. Why can't people wait until December until they get excited? Can they really be excited now? Is there something lacking that they have to have something to look forward to in this way? Or do they just suffer from The Adult Child syndrome - my own definition of which is worthy of a post in its own right.

But they just don't get it. They don't get how it pisses the rest of us off and we don't need the added financial pressure of thinking we have to buy shit presents now. Immediately. MUST START BUYING. I AM PROGRAMMED TO SPEND. THE SHOPS ARE TELLING ME. THEY HAVE STOCKED THE CRAP NO ONE NEEDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I MUST BUY, BUY, BUY.

Of course I've been labelled a Christmas Killjoy, The Grinch, Bah Humbug and such like.  However, nothing is further from the truth. I love Christmas. I love to see the children's faces. I am more interested in their faces than what is waiting for me under the tree. If truth be told I've always been into the Xmas dinner more than the presents - no surprises there then. I have rituals. Traditions. We always make Xmas tree biscuits, a gingerbread house, hang cinnamon sticks up, let them loose on the tree and all that jazz. It feels special but it feels special leading up to it not in September.

So what do you think? Should we all be getting excited, it is October after all? What's wrong with a Christmas Countdown and squealing like a guinea pig at age 35?

Or should we all just grow a bauble?

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Sunday Chit Chat

Sorry, sorry, sorry and sorry!!! I've been a bit absent on the old blogging front. As ever, I have lots of excuses.  It will be 2 weeks on Wednesday since my last confession blog post.  Well let's here it I hear you say. What's the excuses? Here they are, in no particular order :-

School Open Day and Tour with buddy in tow followed by chit chat and cups of tea with my friend and her two pre-schoolers.

A 10 mile cycle in the morning followed by a MacMillan coffee afternoon. I donated some garden plaques my husband makes and had a psychic reading.  I only do it for a bit of fun. I have definitely come to the conclusion that it is a load of bollocks and they always compliment you before they start. What is with that? Last time the woman said I had lovely eyes and this one said what beautiful hair I have. Maybe its in the psychic manuel?  Anyhow, she was like you have a son (he was there) and stuff like there's an anniversary, there's a party, I'll come into money etc. She asked if my dad was in spirit - no - oh its your grandad. No kidding sherlock!  She did say that my son would be happy near the field that has horses - the new school has a field with horses next to it and that my grandad is watching over me and the people I have been dealing with are really horrible people. So maybe she is psychic after all!

A hair cut. I always go on a Saturday morning as I don't want to waste exercise time when buddy's at pre-school but having said this I've only been managing 2 workouts a week. Not great.

Chasing up the council re my son's school place - this is no mean feat - it took me nearly a week to get through.

Chasing up the docs (nearly as arduous as the council but not quite) to get his operation date for his tongue tie. I'm pleased to say it will be on 21st October. He spits a lot when he talks and has a lisp. I figure that he won't want to be doing this when he starts school.

My daughter went to her first Brownie camp which involved sourcing wellie boots.  In the end I managed to purchase 3 pairs (one pair in the back of my rucksack whilst cycling) sell one and have one to return. Don't ask. It also involved dropping, collecting, packing, unpacking and washing. On her return, I entertained for the family a la roast dinner for my dad's birthday.

I did manage another 10 mile bike ride. Then there Brownies again, picking up docs prescription, ordering stuff online - just lots of kids stuff. Their feet have got bigger, they need new winter coats and now they need bloody pyjamas. When will it end?!  A trip to the British Museum with 30 children and two frosty meetings with the school regarding my son's unhappiness with a teacher.

I had a phone interview with Real People magazine about the RIPPstones which will appear on 17th October.

I missed out on a chance to appear on the gameshow 'Pointless' - the chap phoned to say could I talk. I couldn't as had the school run and he never phoned back.

I've had this for a while and reckon Darcey knows what she's talking about 

I did, for the first time in about 2 years, do my pilates workout with Darcey Bussell - really enjoyed it and it was very strange just focusing on breathing etc for 50 mins.

I did mange to do a few my fitness pal log ins with my food intake and updated my map my ride - which I always do but I have not lost weight and I'm not surprised. I am now in receipt of my hot top so I need to do my 2 week challenge which I will do tomorrow. It is a bit of tight squeeze I have to say but I shall report back after I finish the challenge. I will, of course, take photo's like I did last time.

So it is now 6 October and next month I am on a plane.  I have about 2 weeks I think until half term. Luckily, things have calmed down a bit so hopefully will be able to get back onto some sort of track!

Until next time....