Liebster Award

As the title suggests, this wee blog of mine has received it's first blog award nomination! The lovely Lorna of  artofbodybeauty nominated me, thanks Lorna!

The process to be considered for an award is: 
  • Each person must post 11 things about themselves
  • You must answer the 11 questions that the tagger has created for you
  • You must create 11 of your own questions
  • Choose 11 bloggers and link them in your post
  • Go to their page and tell them

11 things about me
  1. I am turning 25 this year.
  2. My feet are a size 5/6
  3. I have three pet degus called Mankind, Dude Love and Cactus Jack
  4. I love Mick Foley (see #4) and I'll be meeting him for the 4th time in April
  5. My favourite colour is purple
  6. I quit smoking on January 1st 2013 at 00.00
  7. I have a corner in my house filled with Boba Fett toys
  8. I have too many lots of books
  9. I'm a sentimental hoarder
  10. I stupidly went to university at 16
  11. My eyes are 3 colours - blue, green and gold

My questions from Lorna

  1. What is your most lust after item? Benefit Fake Up in Light!
  2. Where do you want to be in 5 years time? In a job I enjoy doing and to be fit and healthy
  3. Who is your fashion and beauty inspiration? I don't actually know to be honest. I've always had my own style and never really been inspired by people to look a certain way.
  4. Where would be your ideal holiday destination? Italy or Japan!
  5. If you won the lottery what would you do with it? Give my mum a big chunk of it, buy myself a house/decorate my flat can't decide, take all my friends out for a nice meal (and of course lots of make up and clothes)
  6. What is the one thing that you could not live without? Books!
  7. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be? It'd be nice to not have any mental issues. Aesthetically, probably my nose.
  8. Would you ever get plastic surgery? What would it be for? If I have excess skin after losing the weight I want to I'd consider it.
  9. What motivates you? It can sometimes take a lot to motivate me but usually thinking about the end result will give me some get up and go
  10. What is the one thing you feel you don't do enough off? Believe in myself
  11. If you had to dress up for a fancy dress competition what would you be? Ahh so many options! Jessica Rabbit, Poison Ivy (again), Betty Boop and those are just off the top of my head!

My questions to you!
  1. What was the last thing you bought?
  2. Your favourite make up brand?
  3. One skincare tip you'd pass on?
  4. Why did you get into blogging?
  5. Song of the moment?
  6. Guilty pleasure?
  7. Who would play you in a movie of your life?
  8. What's your signature dish?
  9. What colour are your nails right now?
  10. What general knowledge tv show would you go on?
  11. Who is your favourite blogger?

I nominate


My blog box

I'm not usually this organised but this is my blog box. It's filled with hundreds of recipes that I'm going to try out, nutritional information, articles from magazines that I want to discuss, pages upon pages of beauty products, just a right old mix really. If I think I want to write about it, it goes in the box!

There is no order or rhythm to this box, it's pretty much dive in and pick something so it's organised but it's organised mess really.

I got the box from B&M and it cost £1.99, pretty good ae.


B&M goodies

Remember my post that I wrote, Anxiety and Cycling, well the purpose of the cycle was to have a wee nosey in B&M. It's such a great wee place but I don't go often enough! I actually bought 4 things while I was there but I left one of them there, I'll need to go in with the receipt and see if they will give me it.

On to what I did get and bring home though!

It was between this and Listerine and since Listerine makes me cry and not be able to taste anything for a few hours, I plumped for the Aquafresh. I love the shape of the bottle, hopefully I won't drop it!

 The only plasters I had in the house were Hello Kitty and one size only so I picked up some of these fabric plasters. Just as well I did as I sliced my thumb open the day after! I much prefer fabric plasters to anything else, I find they stay on longer and help heal wounds better.

Now this, I just couldn't resist. It cost 10p! I love barbecue flavoured things so I can't wait to try this out. Got some chicken in the freezer that I'll probably use this with, some stir fry veg and maybe a little soy sauce. Yum!


Christmas present?

That's right, I got this for Christmas!  I managed to leave it at my mum's though and only got it back a couple weeks ago. Look at it, all shiny on the outside and untouched on the inside!

The wee applicator brush inside looks really nice although I'd probably use both ends for shadows and not blush as I prefer a nice big kabuki brush for blush when I attempt it.

The colours in this are amazing, can't wait to try them all out, the neutral shadows on top especially as I've never really tried many neutrals. I've always been more blues and blacks like the bottom half of the shadows.

The lip colours look beautiful as well, that red at the bottom, oh my!

The blushes look great, nice and pink which I like in blush.

My mum got me this as round about Christmas time, I was quite invested in my old beauty blog so she thought I'd like to write about it. Also, when I was younger, I always used to steal my mum's No7 as it always made me feel like a right wee lady. Now I have my own grown up lady makeup!

What are your opinions on No7? Like it, love it, use it, never tried it?


Small acts of kindness go a long way

So I emailed UBU (Urban Beauty United) just to tell them that their brushes I had seen in Asda and Tesco looked fab and that I couldn't wait to try them. They appealed to me because of their funky colours and their affordable price. Well I was left gobsmacked when Lucie, the sales and marketing assistant offered to send me a complimentary brush, I was even more gobsmacked when 3 arrived in the post!!

How pretty do they look?! I was sent a powder brush, a foundation brush and a kabuki brush. I've never tried a foundation brush before so I'm excited to see how that turn out. I just love the bold block colours and the flat bottoms so I can stand them up and they won't get too dirty.

I'll be doing a proper review in a few weeks after I've tested the brush out a bit, I just had to show you them because they are fabby! Bright, colourful and really soft!

As I said earlier, once I've tried these out for a few weeks I will come back and write a more in depth review. For now just look at the pretty colours and believe me when I say they are sofotsoftsoft! (Louis even wanted to steal them and just rub his face with them!)

I'm still so shocked to have received these, but it's small acts like these that make me want to return to a company, invest in them and tell people about them!

You can find out more about UBU at http://www.urbanbeautyunited.com/ 

*I wasn't asked to write this or my upcoming review on the brushes


Progress treat

So after posting this morning about all my progress, I decided it was time to give myself a little treat. A well done Alana, love from Alana!

So I took myself through to Stirling (off peak train ticket with railcard = less than £4!!) and went to Pinky's Nail Bar (facebook). My friend Marge who I have known for many a moon now works there. Ever since I can remember, she's had great nails, always done and always looking good so when she told me she was branching off into it as a career, I wasn't surprised. That lass is gonna go far!

So onto her fabulous work! I decided to go for a purple glitter with an accent nail on each hand with other glitter on top (Marge and I called it mermaid glitter).

I'll get some more pictures tomorrow if I can get the lighting and webcam camera to play nice as that's all I have camera wise right now. But look at them!! I love them.

I feel so fabulous what with all my progress and these nails on top of that, I'm flying!

I'd definitely recommend checking out the Pinky's page I linked to above and giving them a wee visit if you're near Stirling (if you're not then get a train?). Next on my list from Pinky's might be getting my toes done, I've always hated them so maybe getting them done will make me like them a bit more!

How do you like your nails? Natural? Stick on? Acrylic?


78 days ago, I decided to turn my life around. I was sick of being overweight, unfit and unhappy. I've had a couple slip ups and not done the best I could some days but hey, everyone has off days, and that's ok!

I'm not looking back though, this is the best decision I've ever made!

So today's post is just to show how far I've come, with some numbers! So here we go:

  • I have not smoked for 11 weeks today 
  • I've lost over 1 stone of fat
  • I've lost 25 inches from various parts of my body
  • I've cycled for 7.25 miles (personal best)
  • PB on elliptical is 30 minutes
  • I'm down 2 dress sizes (22 down to 18)
Each one of these things alone, I am amazed by, putting them all together and realising I've done it all at the same time is quite astounding if I'm honest! Even my doctor is amazed that I've lost this much weight whilst quitting smoking!

Now for some non-number related progress

  • I've gained so much self confidence and pride
  • My anxiety is nowhere near as bad as it used to be
  • My mental state is improving so much
  • I now look forward to exercise and preparing healthy foods


Anxiety and Cycling

Ok so the person in the above picture doesn't look very anxious but believe me, I was terrified at the though of cycling somewhere that wasn't around my street. I've never had much luck with bikes, my clumsiness never really helped either. I've had a few accidents on bikes in the past and so my mind sometimes goes into overdrive and I panic thinking the same thing will happen again.

On top of that, my anxiety causes me to think that any car that goes past me is going to magically combust and kill me, any person I cycle past is going to stick their foot out and cause me to crash, any kerb I go up will cause me to go over the bike handles and land in a broken pile. You get the idea. Fear.

However, yesterday, I wrapped up, kagool'd myself and prepared to ride! I made a bit of a mistake in that I went up a hill less than a minute after I had started cycling. That was not a good idea and I won't be doing that again!

Louis and I decided to cycle to Stenhousemuir, have a look around B&M then cycle back. It was 3.5 miles there and it took us about 40 odd minutes. We had a look around the shop, got a couple things then decided we were hungry and went to Subway.

I used to get subs filled with meat and covered in sauce but this time I decided I didn't feel like that and instead I opted for a turkey breast salad with some ranch dressing and a wee drop cheese on top. It was delicious!

After lunch we decided it was time to cycle back home. What I didn't count on was my ass hurting so much! I really need to invest in a larger seat or a padded seat cover or padded cycling shorts! It's still sore now!

Despite the pain, I only got off the bike and walked with it twice and that was only to cross two roads that I wasn't brave enough to cycle over!

In total we cycled 7.25 miles and it took 1 hour and 14 minutes. I don't know if that's good, average or terrible but I don't care, I did it and that's what I'm taking away from it (plus my aching buttcheeks).

This picture does absolutely no justice to how red my face actually was but this was me a few minutes after we finished. I was just so happy that I did it. I keep saying it to myself as well, "Hey Alana, you did it. And you'll probably do it again another day. You might go faster, be braver go further, anything!"



Despite them still being a bit tight, for the first time since buying these trousers I can actually get them over my arse and wear them! I went into Sports Direct with my boyfriend back in October to get some tracksuit bottoms and jogging bottoms. We'd spent ages in the shop and so I was really bored, I tried the jogging bottoms on and they fit fine so I just picked those, picked up the tracksuit bottoms off the shelf and headed straight for the tills then home.

I got home and tried on both pairs of trousers, the joggies fit fine (in fact now they are too big for me!) but the tracksuit bottoms, I couldn't get them past the tops of my thighs. I was really disheartened as they were both the same size so threw the tracksuit bottoms in my cupboard and tried not to think about them.

I've got them out a couple times since but still they didn't fit and again they were thrown back in with disgust and dismay. This afternoon I went upstairs to get dressed and I saw them. I thought "Once more, I'll just try them once more" Lo and behold, they fit!! Like I said, they are still a bit tight but I can wear them! They go over my thighs and my butt and they fit! (almost)

Excuse the clutter, the livingroom is the best place for light and I'm a bit of a hoarder! ;)

A few more months and I think these bottoms will fit even better! I look forward to being able to tell you that they are too big for me one day!

Have you had any NSVs this week or recently even?


Walking Winner!

I got a bit of a fright today when the postie visited as it sounded like he was trying to post a phone book! After sifting through the junk mail and putting it in a recycle pile, I saw a brown padded envelope and immediately got excited. I didn't know what it was but that's part of the fun!

A pedometer! Now it's no Fitbit Flex (don't cry Alana) but I've been after a pedometer for a while now so when this competition popped up, I decided to enter, then promptly forgot all about it! So I was quite delighted when I opened this. It seems the little fella did some travelling before he got to me, alsmot 7000 steps!

I'm really pleased I've won this as I can use it to start walking again and gauge how much my foot is healing then once it is all better I can aim for the recommended 10,000 steps a day!

Do you use a pedometer, or an app on your phone? How many steps on average do you take a day?


Wednesday Wishlist #1

I've decided that once a week I will post about items I'm lusting after. It'll be a mix of health, fitness, beauty, fashion, home interiors, basically anything I've seen that I want!

Top of that list, and has been ever since I got the email about it, the FitBit Flex.

They are so beautiful!! I was sat in college when I got the email telling me about the Flex, and I sat drooling whilst reading every single word telling me about it. It sounds, quite simply put, bloody amazing! I've entered competitions to try and win one as I know I won't have the money to buy one when they first come out. This saddens me, greatly. I could wish hard enough that the FitBit fairy will leave one under my pillow for me. So 
yeah, I'd love one but have resigned myself to the fact that I won't get one.

Second on my list, this item is circling the blogosphere and twitter, it's blowing up a storm! Benefit's Fake Up concealer.

I popped in to my local Debenhams and made a beeline for the Benefit counter as usual and proceeded to lust after every product there. I'd read blog posts about this concealer and thought it sounded amazing so when I went in, I asked the women there if she could put a wee bit on just so I could see what it was like, It was heaven! The women also very kindly gave me samples of Hello Flawless and Pore Fessional that I'll post about once I have a working camera!

The boots, oh lordy! I don't know how long I've wanted these boots for. I even went so far as to bid for them on ebay but they went way past my budget so I put my phone down and stepped away. The thing I don't understand is I'm not the biggest fan of cats, if anything I'm much more an 'owls on things' person. But I just can't get these boots out my mind! They are beautiful!!

Following on from those boots and my owl comment, I present my last wishlist item for this week.

How cute is this?! I saw it when I was through in Edinburgh with my mum and fell in love with it. It's from Primark and arg, it's just so cute! I don't know when I'll next be in a Primark though so I might have to resort to ebay tactics!

And so that's it for my first Wednesday Wishlist. 

What are you lusting after just now?

Accident prone through and through

Every single scar on my body has a ridiculous story to accompany it; there's the one on my knee from when I tripped over a SAFETY kerb, the one on my other knee from when I tripped over a pothole whilst heavily pregnant, the ones on my chin and tongue from when I fainted in choir. It's not just scars either, general injuries and just downright bad luck (going back to the pothole incident, after getting out the hospital, I decided to go to Jimmy Chungs to cheer myself up, it was all going swimmingly until one of the waitresses spilled a whole tub of sweet and sour sauce onto my white Rocha John Rocha coat. I think I cried myself to sleep that night) I am the living, breathing Calamity Jane. What can go wrong, will probably go wrong, but I'll have a funny story to tell at the end of it sometimes!

So this week's calamity? I fell down a couple stairs whilst leaving college and sprained my ankle very badly. That in itself, not so funny but when you pair it with the fact that I had cycled to college that day and was quite nervous about cycling back for fear of injuring myself (the last time I was on a bike I managed to crash, fall off and give myself a concussion by introducing my head to a wall). I wonder if I was so nervous about cycling back home that I subconsciously threw myself down the stairs?!

Oh to add further 'insult to injury' I'm still recovering from a rotary cuff injury I got last week from playing badminton for the first time in years.

When will this madness end?!

I could probably make my injuries a weekly thing on this blog! A round-up of what I've done to myself this week! Do you have any ridiculous stories to go along with your scars or any silly injuries you've had?


No Smoking Day 2013

Every year for the past god knows how many years, I've always said I won't smoke on No Smoking Day. This is the first year I know I won't!

As of today, I have been smoke free for 10 whole weeks! I'd say that's set me up for a successful No Smoking Day.

I still get little cravings every now and then but the smell of smoke makes me feel sick now, I'd say that's a good deterrent.

Will you be taking part in No Smoking Day? 


Weigh In Monday

So I forgot to post last weeks but I put on 0.2lbs, this is the first gain I've had since I started this 'journey' at the end of December. This morning I weighed in and I had remained the same so I'm 212.2lbs, for now.
My reset week last monday didn't get off to the start I thought it would so today has been reset week instead. I'm going back to watching what I eat, drinking more water and exercising more. I feel like I've had a two week holiday and now I've come back home!

Time to start kicking my own ass again! Healthy breakfast and lunch are done, I walked to college, will be walking back and doing some tidying then exercising. Need to get back into a good routine again. I feel so much calmer when I have a routine.

That's pretty much all I have to say today if I'm honest. Weigh in posts won't be that long but I was thinking about doing a short weigh in post on a monday and then a monday manicure post. Nice wee mixture of everything :)

Hope you are all doing great!



The last time I took my measurements was at the end of November! D:

I need to get into the habit of doing them every two or three weeks.

Still, I'm very chuffed with the results!

2.5 inches off my butt! I am more than pleased with that! And the other losses of course but my butt (haha) is the largest loss, it's closely followed by my stomach which is amazing! I've been told there are many problems that can stem from carrying weight around your stomach so to be finally shifting it is great.

Overall I've lost 4 inches off my bust, 3.75 off my underbust, 4.25 off my waist, 7.25 from my stomach, 3 inches off my hips, 4.5 inches off my butt, 2.75 off both thighs. 25.5 inches in total! Holy moly.

This is just the wee boost I need to kickstart again! Monday was supposed to be my reset day but that didn't turn out too well. So tomorrow it is, I just have to hope my shoulder isn't still killing me like it is now (curses to you badminton!).


Mini haul

As the post suggests, this is a mini haul I got at the weekend. I don't know actually, does this even count as a mini haul?

I won't be going into too much detail as I need to try all these products out before I can give my opinion on them, which I will do in future posts! :)

So what we have is; MUA Extreme Felt eyeliner, MUA Hide & Conceal, MUA Matte Perfect loose powder, a heavy duty bike lock, exfoliating gloves and Andrew Collinge Purity hydra therapy conditioner.

I'm trying to expand my MUA collection as I've heard nothing but good things about it! The exfoliating gloves, I saw someone post about them (I can't for the life of me think who it was though, sorry!) and thought I should try them. I've never been much of an exfoliator apart from my face so going to give it a try and see if it makes a difference to my skin. I'm always on the lookout for a wonder conditioner, when I use this, I'll be leaving it in my hair for about 5-10 minutes each time, like a deep conditioner. After a few uses of it, I'll probably post a review about it.

The bike lock is pretty self explanatory really. I need a lock for my bike.

I'm really looking forward to trying all the MUA products. I can't remember the last time I bought a concealer or loose powder so let's see if my skin looks brightened up any!

What are your opinions on MUA? Have you got a miracle conditioner? Let me know!


March goals

So we are into the 3rd month of 2013 already! It really is going by quite quickly. January and February was a bit of a mix of good and bad. I haven't smoked, had a couple boozy nights, too many takeaways to count (not good!), I've lost almost 13lbs, I've lost inches, I've tried new foods. Now to decide how to tackle March (head first with a helmet on) even though it's now the 4th March, let's just pretend the weekend there didn't happen and that today is March 1st ;)

Searched for on youtube.  Originally from http://ladisicpaige.blogspot.co.uk/

  • No smoking - it's a given but I'm still adding it!
  • 1 alcohol fuelled night out a week at the most
  • 1 takeaway a week
  • 30 Day Shred, I will finish it this time!
  • At least 10 minutes exercise on top of 30DS
  • 7-8 glasses of water a day
  • Lose at least 0.5lbs a week
Nothing too strenuous but enough to kick my butt into gear!


What's in my fridge?

So I've shown my cupboards, now it's my fridges turn! 

So from top to bottom we have, Utterly Butterly that's been there for god knows how long now! Louis uses it more than I do. Fromage frais, these actually sat in the fridge for so long that I had to use them in a smoothie a few days ago as they had reached their use by date. The jam is Louis', I'm not a fan really, if I do ever have any, it has to be bitless. I hate bits! In jam, orange juice, yuck and no thank you! Soft cheese, you are my friend and I love you. Egg mayo, I also love you but you are quite naughty, I should maybe learn how to make my own one day! And the final item on my top shelf has become a staple now, wafer thin ham. 

Next shelf we have tinned new potatoes, I've started buying these more and mashing them, very tasty! The garlic bread was Louis' but he didn't eat it for so long so I did. Naughty but it was so tasty! Next to that we have some chicken goujons, I got these because they were reduced to clear, I think they cost about 40 odd pence, if that. Cottage cheese is a new addition to my fridge this year, I'd never tried it before and was very wary but after I did try it, well I bloody loved it! I got some Actimel as they were also reduced to clear and I'd never had them before, wanted to see if they were worth the hype. (Don't think they are really so I won't be buying them full price again)

Bottom shelf - the irn bru is Louis, let's get that out the way now! Then we have baby leaf salad bag, two broccolis, cauliflower and lettuce. In my vegetable drawer there is another bag of baby leaf salad, carrots, soup mix (which I forgot about and had to throw out!) and cucumber. I love my vegetables! My fridge is quite often stocked with veg these days and I love it! 

Condiments and liquids! Nothing exciting really. I bought balsamic dressing for the first time and it's amazing! Extra light mayo (I can't actually eat full fat mayo anymore, it makes me feel sick!) There's also been an addition of french dressing to the door of the fridge, it was reduced to clear to 50p so I thought I'd give it a go! (Are you seeing a habit here, I like reduced to clear foodstuffs. Especially if it's freezeable or vegetables. No point paying full price if you can get it for cheaper. I'm not tight, I'm thrifty!)

I have a really bad habit of buying milk and forgetting about it so I now buy UHT milk in the cartons. I can keep it in the cupboard till I want to open it and it last a bit longer than normal milk. I only ever have it with stuff never on it's own so I don't need to worry about it tasting different or anything.

My fridge isn't as exciting as my cupboards :(

What's in your fridge?


Diet foods?

I've never been much of a fan of 'diet' foods, Weight Watchers, supermarkets own brand, etc. I always find there are never enough calories, they don't taste nice (sometimes like cardboard!), they don't fill you up and so you end up eating more, I could go on but you get the point.

Well, I was in McColl's over the road from me to top up my electricity and as usual, I took a sneaky peek at the reduced to clear baskets.

I decided to pick up these bad boys and give them a go. 50p, I couldn't complain at that so even if I didn't like them, I hadn't lost out on that much money.

As I said at the beginning, I never really have high hopes for 'diet' foods but I figured I could at least try them and then I'd know for sure.

Well I was certainly proved wrong! These were so yummy. Yes I'm 24 years old and I'm using the word yummy. The perfect wee snack. I've tried them on their own and dipped in Greek yoghurt, next time it'll be a cuppa!

I wish I liked more fruit so I could have them with yoghurt and sultanas on top. I'll maybe try apple, that could work right?

So onto the nutritional info for those interested, (per packet/2 biscuits)
  • Cals - 84
  • Protein - 1.4g
  • Carbohydrates - 12.9g
  • (of which sugars) - 4.2g
  • Fat - 2.7g
  • (of which saturates) - 0.9g
  • Fibre - 1.4g
  • Sodium - 0.05g
  • Salt equivalent - 0.1g

In conclusion, I should stop lumping all 'diet' foods together and try some, I might be surprised!

Have you been surprised by any new foods recently?

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