A wee catch up

So that's my DietBet coming to a close, will be submitting my final weigh in tomorrow morning, the past 4 weeks have gone by so quickly! I remember sending in my first weigh in and being really positive about doing this!

Unfortunately it hasn't quite gone that way. I had a big drop of 4.6 in the first or second week and since then my body seems to have ground to a halt.. There have been little drops but not enough to get me down to the 202.9lbs I needed to win. I can't see me losing 4.5lbs from my last weigh in and tomorrow morning but I'll certainly give it a good go!

Going to get on with some cleaning/tidying/organising then I'm going to try a Blogilates video on YouTube, I've been warned that they are killer but I'm still gonna give it a go! Seeings as it's such a nice day today I'm going to head out for a walk after lunch to Callendar Park, hopefully with some company but if not I'll just whack my ipod on and go for it!

My bike broke yesterday, some problem with the back wheel so my friend is coming over after work to fix it and if it's works, I'll be cycling to the cinema tonight with Louis. We're going to some special viewing of a film because he has an Unlimited Card so that should be fun!

Been slacking a bit on the water drinking so need to get back on track with that. I've been feeling the effects of not having as much as I usually have, sluggish, skin has been a bit dull and a lot less energy. Not a fan of that so I'm back to filling up my green water bottle and have another bottle chilling in the fridge for later. Just going to alternate between the two bottles so there is always some made up and waiting in the fridge.

I'm feeling very inspired to get out and walk/jog/run/just move after reading a couple posts on Jemma's blog and Iona's blog so that's what I'm going to do! Just move. Also ladies, if you fancy a challenge, I'd love to go out with you one day, training or a race (just remember I'm awfa slow just now!)

I'll let you know tomorrow if all my activities have somehow helped me win my DietBet. I'm not holding out much hope but you never know I suppose!


Celebration haul!

I say haul, I spent less than £20, but thanks to my bargain hunting savvy, it went very far! It's a celebration haul as I'd won some money from a Twitter competition and I've now got a job! Wooo go me! Now I just have to wait for an email telling me my start date, ironically enough, I'll be selling electronic cigarettes. My no smoking should come in handy for that! ;) Now onto the goodies!

Foodie goodies first! The Fabulous Bakin' Boys flapjacks were a steal at 49p for 5! I do love flapjack and it would probably be cheaper to make my own, I'll need to give it a go one day! From Holland & Barrett's Neal's Yard Wholefoods range, I got popping corn and thai chilli rice crackers. It was actually buy one get one half price so instead of it costing me £5.30, it was only £3.98! I'm really looking forward to trying the popping corn, means I can take my own with me to the cinema and it won't be covered in sugar!

Beauty goodies next! The wipes were £1 for 3 packets in Savers, not expecting them to be miracle wipes but as long as they can cleanse my face and leave it feeling fresh and hydrated I'm happy. Now that the weather is getting warmer, I'll be keeping a packet in my bag, never know when you'll need them! Nail brush was 49p from Bodycare, it was a spur of the moment buy, I saw them and realised I didn't have one! The floss was £1 from Savers again, 200 metres of it! Again, it might not be the best of the best but as long as it does the job it's supposed to, I have no issue! The lipstick was 99p from Bodycare and I'll do a wee separate post about this with swatches etc.

The Carmex was from Savers and cost me £1.49, I was quite surprised as usually when I see it, it's £3 upwards! I'll need to remember to visit Savers again when this runs out (that's if I don't lose it before it runs out!). The pure eye roll on was from Savers again and was only £1! I've seen these roll ons before and really wanted to try them. Can't complain at a pound! I'll do a follow up post about this in a couple weeks.

Now the last beauty item, hair lightener (£3.99 from Bodycare). If you follow me on twitter or instagram, you'll already have seen the outcome but for those who haven't...

I'm now blondey blonde! It's still quite yellow but I've got a blonde dye to tone it out and silver conditioner (I'll post about that in a couple weeks as well) I need to get another box of lightener as there are still some brown bits to get rid of. Looking forward to my future as a blonde.

Now onto the last lot of goodies, miscellaneous items.

I hit The Works again, remember my last visit? I should really stop going in there! This time I got a memo block, I hate hate the LOL on it but I needed a memo block and it was only 74p. The Hello Kitty pen was actually from Rymans and only cost 99p, it's got 10 different colours and I ruddy well love it! Anyways, back to my Works books. Louis showed me this Catwoman book and I fell in love with it! 49p as well, the RRP is in $ but it says $18.95 Bargain and a half! The Accidental Vegetarian by Simon Rimmer, looking forward to reading this. 25p with an RRP of £12.99 and the last item is Jumbo to Jockey, as you can see from the picture, I couldn't quite get the sticker off the 'O' so it looks like it's called Jumb to Jockey. After reading the blurb on this, I couldn't not get it

And so we have come to end of my haul. Quite a lot of stuff wouldn't you agree? What have you bought yourself recently?


Light the way (but don't because I'm not using you)

I'm so bad for buying things I shouldn't, how about you? 

I saw these candles in Tesco not long after Valentine's Day for a whole 25p, I couldn't resist. Look at them! I don't actually want to light them, I've got 4 of them on my tv and the other two on my mirror table. They are just so nice!

The thing that makes me laugh is how much would they have cost before Valentine's? And because I saw them not long after, the price was slashed. I wonder how many things like this get thrown out because they end up not being bought?
Have no fear shops, I will always be on the lookout at the reduced sections! ;)


REVIEW: Paper Themes Cupcake Wrappers

I'm not the best cook in the world, for now I'm getting by but I'd really love to learn how to properly cook. On top of that, I'd love to be able to bake. I wouldn't say I can't bake because if I follow a recipe then it should turn out ok but I'm a very nervous baker. My anxiety kicks in a little bit and I worry that whatever I decide to make could potentially not be cooked properly and then possibly poison me or whoever is brave enough to try what I've made!

Because of this, I've stayed away from baking for now but now that I am much more positive and willing to try more things, I want to give it a proper go! When I saw that Bloggers Needed were looking for people to review cupcake wrappers on their Twitter I thought I would give it a go!


How cute are these?! They are from a company called Paper Themes, they specialise in manufacturing wedding stationary and accessories (although in my opinion these wrappers could be used for other occasions, I know I'd love to go to a party and have cupcakes wrapped in these!)

Although I said I wanted to give baking a go, I started off very, very easy to try out these wrappers. Chocolate cornflake cakes. I know, I know, no baking required but I'm easing myself in gently! I haven't ruined the wrappers either so once I do brave actual baking, I can use them again.

Let's be honest, it's not difficult to make cornflake cakes, it is fun though! I made them with Muj and plenty a giggle was had. We decided to make white and milk chocolate ones, variety is the spice of life and all that!

We only filled the cases, didn't fill up to the top of the wrappers, eating healthy so moderation is key ;) I love these cases though! They are nice and sturdy, apart from one that didn't want to play ball. It kept pinging open, I think it was just taunting me.

As I said earlier, Paper Themes specialise in wedding accessories but I'd get these for just having in the house and if you have people coming over, you can get some baking done and present your finished goods, much nicer than just paper cases!

Of the 5 I was sent, I personally liked 3 of them, wasn't a fan of one and wasn't sure about one of them. Looking on the website there was more choice and a couple other ones that I absolutely love! I'm trying to think of excuses to bake lots of cupcakes so I can get them!

There are plenty options on the site, patterns, colours, so there will hopefully be something for everyone! They can be personalised, I'm assuming with names and dates for weddings which I think is a great wee touch. Little things like that make all the difference!

So apart from the one that didn't want to play nice, I loved these cases! I've got them sitting by for the day I brave actual baking. That day will be soon, I'm telling you.

What's your go to baking item? What would you recommend I try out?

These were provided for me to review, all opinions are my own and honest.

Inner Defence; Pro-biotic Ninjas!

As you all know by now, I love the reduced to clear section in Asda when Muj and I go food shopping on a Sunday. On our last visit, I picked up these. 29p just for having some battered packaging! I don't buy probiotic yogurt/drinks all that often, it does tend to be when they are reduced. 

You're probably wondering about the title, pro-biotic ninjas? For some reasons, I always think of pro-biotic as having little I don't know, nano people that fix up all your insides when you drink them. I have a strange imagination!

The last time I got them was quite a few weeks back and it was Actimel. I'll be honest, I didn't notice that much of a difference after drinking them. I had the tiniest smidge more energy but that could have been down to cleaner eating. Who knows!

What I do know is these drinks are delicious and a great way to add 84 calories to my breakfast. I'm quite bad sometimes for not having enough breakfast so if these help me on the way then I'm game!

They taste really good so I don't have to force myself to drink them (for some reason I'm thinking about 'meal replacement shakes' here, that's a rant for another day!) Again I'm not noticing a huge difference from drinking them, I'm assuming most of the work goes on inside the body though.

I would consider buying these again, as I said earlier they are great for bulking out my breakfast cals and maybe if I drank them for long enough I'd feel/see benefits.

Do you drink pro-biotic drinks, have you had any side effects, benefits etc?


RELAX: Dead Sea Face Spa

I love Monatgne Jeunesse, full blown love. I've never had any problems with their items or them as a company. They are well priced, against animal testing, vegetarian friendly and do what the say on the tin packet. 

It's been quite a while since I actually bought any face masks as I've had a big pile to work through. I got a £5 Amazon voucher a while back and bought 5x2 Face Foods and was also sent a box of masks from the company themselves to review a while back (back when I used my old blog).

Louis and I were dawdling through town and I saw this in Bodycare (along with about a hundred other things I wanted to try!) I can't remember how much it cost but it was definitely less than £1 as are most (if not all) Montagne Jeunesse products.

I was quite looking forward to trying this as I hadn't tried any of the fabric face masks before. I'd read plenty reviews on them and figured, hey, it's my turn to try it!

The premise of them is pretty simple, take the fabric face mask out the packet, unfold it and put on your face, matching up the eye, nose and mouth holes. You don't want to be tasting this, it's not nice and getting it in your eyes, even not nicer!

The first thing I noticed was the scent. Oh boy was it strong! As you can imagine, it smelled very strongly of the sea. After positioning it on my face, I lay down on my large couch, stuck my feet up and relaxed for the allotted 5-10 minutes.

My face felt fantastic using this! The only way I could describe it is the way your mouth feels after you've brushed your teeth and you breath in. So fresh and so just woah! It was marvellous.

After taking the mask off, I rinsed my face and got some moisturiser on (I'm getting rather good at regular moisturising!) and let that soak in. My skin felt great. I really need to start doing a weekly face mask and just relaxing and pampering my face.

This is definitely going on my by again list. I think there are only a couple more Montagne Jeunesse masks I need to try before I've tried them all now!

How fabby do I look? ;)

What are your thought on Montagne Jeunesse? Do you use their products, had any problems with them?


Venturing into vegan meals

How tasty does this look?!

On Friday, I organised for my friends Blair and Manda to come over for homemade burgers. The plan was to make them using lentils but we couldn't find out if we had to soak the lentils in water or not so instead we popped to Asda and bought their Meat Free Chargrill style burger mix and some bits to go with it (Blair brough quite a bit of prep items as well)

I'd never tried sweet potato so I was rather excited when I saw them (there were 3 but for some reason I only photographed the one with the mix) I'm doing rather well with trying new foods I think and finding that I like a lot of them as well!

The burger mix was quite easy to make, you simply pour it into a bowl, add some water and let it sit for ten minutes. Shape into patties then shallow fry or grill, we went with shallow fry. Not the healthiest option I know but I have a 1 cal spray for cooking, I no longer use actual oil.

After the mix had sat for the ten minutes, Manda (shown above) added in chopped onions and sweet green peppers. I just went for the peppers in mine as I don't like onions (unless its in coleslaw?)

The packet said we would get 6 burgers out of it but we made 5 and there was still loads left so I suppose it just depends on how big you want your burgers.

We halved the large sweet potato from above and made wedges that you can see below and also sweet potato fritters, I didn't get a photo of them on the tray but you can see them above in the finished meal picture.

So I really enjoyed this meal, it was delicious. There was just one, kind of major downfall, I think I'm allergic to peppers. After the meal I felt really strange, itchy all over, severely nauseous and just plain horrible. Blair and Manda felt fine so I knew it couldn't have been food poisoning or anything like that. After they left I was then sick for the next 30 odd minutes till I wasn't actually throwing up anything and just felt so weak!

I felt so bad as I was supposed to be getting the girls on Saturday for the night but when I woke up I just felt so horrible that I relaxed most of the day. Managed to get to town for a quick job interview, a wee comfort lunch then back home.

Popchips are amazing by the way! First time I'd ever tried them and I loved them. The Shapers water/juice was really tasty and make me feel a bit more alert and the sushi, well I love sushi so it was fab! There was one wee bit of red pepper in one of the sushi rolls which I whipped out and threw away in disgust.

Not counting the horrible reaction, it was a great meal and I will take away the positives as my first vegan meal. I'm going to make the burgers again but just have them plain, nothing mixed in with them unless it's flavouring and I'll let you know how I get on with that!

Have you tried Asda's Meat Free range? What are your favourite vegetarian meals?

I'm off to see Mick Foley tonight (for the 4th time!) so there will be a post up about that soon, hopefully I get some good pictures!


Welcome to Fitness Farm!

This is a corner in my livingroom where most of my fitness equipment lives. My wee elliptical (that Louis currently uses more than me, he goes for like an hour at a time!), my exercise ball that I've not yet braved for some proper exercise on but I will soon! My 2kg weights, they are fabby! Then up in the corner we have my resistance tubes, a power bow (that's Louis' but I love using it every now and then) and my wee exercise mat, I'd like to get a decent yoga mat from TK Maxx though as this isn't very padded and still hurts my knees. That's never good!

That's all I have to say on Fitness Farm for now, if it gets added to I'll let you know!

Where do you keep your fitness equipment?


Positivity is key

I always used to be jealous of happy people. People that smiled and meant it. I used to hate them, or at least I thought I hated them, what I really hated was myself.

Suffering from depression has probably been one of the worst experiences of my life. I know it will never go away, not fully but managing it and overcoming it has turned out to be quite the eye opener. At my worst I would not wash, I wouldn't eat or I wouldn't stop eating, I wouldn't leave my house unless absolutely necessary (the worse my depression got, the worse my anxiety got, I developed agoraphobia for a while) I did the bare minimum to survive and cried myself to sleep at night. I constantly thought about suicide but knew I'd never actually act upon it. Some days I felt like life was moving in slow motion and I was just watching it go by, other times I felt like I was drowning in a sea of black. I thought I would never feel happiness again. Life seemed like a chore and I didn't feel like doing it.

I should probably mention that I did all that whilst looking after my two daughters. That's right I have two daughters. I've not spoke much about them as, well to be honest, I was ashamed of what happened. It's taken me a while to be able to admit this but I feel I am now at a place where I can. I was not a good mother. Not at that time in my life. Due to this, the girls moved in with their father and still live with him now.

I still see the girls when I can, which when you're unemployed and don't drive is quite difficult but it has been getting a bit easier working out a routine thanks to lovely friends. When it first happened (the girls moving out) I felt freed in a way. Unfortunately I used this freedom in the wrong way and turned to alcohol. I've always used it as a bit of a crutch. If something went wrong I'd drink to make myself feel better (I feel I should state that I never ever drank around the girls!) Combined with my destructive thoughts, I wasn't the best me I could be.

I don't know when or what made it happen but something finally clicked in my head. Positivity would get me through this! I had had enough of living off shite food, being too sore to even go for a walk let alone get some proper exercise done or play with my kids. I was sick of waking up in the foulest mood ever and it only getting worse throughout the day. I wanted to live again, I wanted to feel alive and do something!

That's exactly what I'm doing now. I wake up in the mornings ready to take on the day. I look forward to exercise as I know I am bettering my body and I enjoy preparing proper foods instead of just phoning my local takeaways. It disgusts me when I think about what I used to eat. I see the good in things now and I'm not waiting for something to go wrong. Positive thinking is ruling my life now and I am totally letting it. I still haven't fully forgiven myself with what happened with the girls but I will one day.

The girls will continue to live with their father for now but who knows what the future will bring. I am quite terrified of them growing up hating me because of what happened but if that happens, I suppose I will just have to deal with it and build bridges as best I can. I can't go back and change what happened but I can make the future better for all of us. I still panic slightly when the girls come to mine for the weekend, I panic in case I slip into old habits or start letting the destructive me take over but I soon get rid of it and just think about how happy the girls will be to see me and how happy I am to see them.

I'd love for the girls to be living with me again full time but I have no idea when or indeed if that will happen. I like to think it will one day.

I should probably take the time to apologise to anyone that was affected by my depression in the past and a massive thank you to those who are helping me fight my way to the top even now!

This is probably the most personal post I've ever written and I hope people don't use it as an excuse to attack me. Believe me, I've done enough of that myself in the past.

It does get better but it's a fight you have to be willing to fight.

Too old for Young Skin?

I'm only turning 25 this year so I can still get away with this right? I don't know if it's aimed at teenagers specifically but I thought I'd give it a go anyway! I'm not the best at routine skincare so hopefully this works out well and I can get into a nice routine and have fabulous skin 24/7!

I like the fact that they are white bottles with bright font, nice and eye catching, it's what drew me to them in the first place! There is more to the range (facial wipes, foaming facial wash and facial scrub) but I already have facial wipes to use up and I have my trusty St. Ives so I don't need any facial scrubs!

First up is the Matt Finish Moisturiser (90p, 100ml), just now I'm using a Nivea moisturising cream but it was the matt finish of this that drew me to it. I love the Nivea don't get me wrong, it's so moisturising and makes my skin so soft but sometimes it takes so long to sink in sometimes and leaves my skin shiny for a while.

What the product says: Formulated to be part of a daily skin care regime to help you maintainyouthful looking skin for a shine free finish. The matt finish moisturiser contains Aloe Vera, Willow and Papaya Natural Extracts to help purify skin and soothes redness. This product is parabens-free and suitablefor vegetarians.

Cleanser and Toner Milk (90p, 150ml), I'm quite awful for toning so to find a cleanser and toner, I'm killing two birds with one stone and getting a proper facial routine in place. 

What the product says: ASDA Young Skin cleanser and toner milk has been specially formulated to be part of a daily skin care regime to help youthful skin. It contains Aloe Vera, Willow and Papaya Natural Extracts which helps purify skin and soothes redness. This product is parabens-free and suitable for vegetarians.


 Eye make-up remover (80p, 150ml) can't really get pictures of this as it's liquid and runs everywhere but you all know what eye make up remover does! Again, I need to get into a proper routine so this will help get rid of pesky liner and mascara!

What the product says: ASDA Young Skin eye make-up remover has been specifically formulated to be part of a daily skin care regime to help youthful skin. It contains aloe vera, cucumber and papaya extract to gently remove all traces of eye make-up. This product is parabens-free and suitable for vegetarians.

Asda is against animal testing and funds research into alternatives.

After using these products for a couple weeks, I'll probably come back and let you all know how my skin is. I'm noticing that the better I eat and the more exercise I do, the more I want to take care of all my body (hence the skin care, hair care, etc) Might as well make all of the me the best I can!


New scales!

Kitchen scales that is. My manual ones broke and so I moaned at Louis till he bought me new digital ones (he got Nectar points so it was a win win!)

Not really much I can say about these really, they are digital scales. Stick a bowl on, turn it on and weight what you need to! However there is one major positive to these scales, which I didn't even realise until we got home, you can weigh things in fl oz and ml as well.

I don't know if this is standard for digital scales but I was more than pleased! Especially considering the scales cost less then £10.
I use them pretty much every day now and they are helping me stay more on track with my food as I'm no longer guessing what I'm eating, I know!


Goal dress progress

I have this dress you see, I got it to go to my friend's prom (my first prom as I wasn't allowed to go to mine!) I got it not long after I had my first daughter as well. Was quite chuffed that it was a 14 as I'd ballooned up to a 20 from a 10 during the 9 months!

I've worn it once more since the prom night, not long after I had my second child for my then mother-in-laws birthday. It was a tiny little bit tight but the zip went up so I chanced it and wore it out. Since then, my weight has just gone up and up until I was actually bigger than my heaviest during pregnancy. I was a size 22 at my heaviest!

Since that day out, the dress has hung in my wardrobe. I'd take it out every now and again, looking at it wistfully, remembering how I felt when I first got it. I didn't thrown it out though. It held nice memories so I didn't want to get rid of it. And now I'm happy I didn't as this is now my goal dress!

Every now and then I'll try it on and see how much closer I am to getting the zip up. Obviously when I first started I could barely get it past my hips and I didn't take any pictures back then (kinda wish I had!) but a couple days ago I tried it on again so I'll show my progress from then and from now on!

From not being able to get it past my hips to doing a third of the zip up, I'm bloody proud! 

I'll try to get a picture up every month (as long as I remember) documenting my progress with this dress. Once I can zip it all the way up, I'll need to see if I have anything else to have as goal clothes! Or buy something ;)

Hoarding things comes in handy sometimes!


Prezzybox Soap Stones and mini wishlist

How adorable are these soap stones?!
 I got them from prezzybox after receiving a £5 off voucher for filling out a survey. I got these and a wee personalised chocolate bar for Louis for his birthday.

I love these! So much so in fact that I haven't even used them yet, I can't quite bring myself to. Once the soap in my bathroom runs out I might stick a couple in the dish though.

I love that they are different colours and they do actually look like stones. They are so smooth and smell amazing. It's quite a strong typical 'soap' smell that I'm not usually a fan of but in these,  love it!

I perused the prezzybox website for ages before deciding on these so I can see me returning to get more items. Some of the things are so kitschy and cute that I just have to have them! For example,

The Underwater Light Show looks amazing! Unfortunately I don't have a bath so I won't be getting this but if I ever move and have a bath, I will be!

Now this I can buy! The Cupcake Shower Cap is freaking adorable! I can just imagine me running about after having a shower with this still on my head.

Fancy washing yourself with some Toast and Jam? I do! This is adorable and is definitely on my wishlist. It'd be a great wee present as well, a nice change from 'normal' bath/shower sets.

That's the first 3 things on the site that I love but there are so many others! I should make an Amazon wishlist for everything!

Have you ever bought anything from Prezzybox?

The last three pictures were taken from the Prezzybox site.


I'm a runner now

Can you call yourself a runner after one 5 minute run and one 6 minute run? I don't care, I am!

Yesterday morning I awoke and decided instead of staying in my jammies most of the day that I'd chuck my clothes on, get my trainers on and go for a run/jog around the block. I don't know where the urge came from I just felt like I had to do it. So I did.

I lasted 5 minutes and came back home, I was knackered! But I felt great, very positive and quite proud of myself. I think one of the main reasons I haven't done this till now was my anxiety (and depression!) The past few weeks, it has calmed down so much! I think this might be due to the fact that I've accepted I'm doing something to better my body and I have to not let negative thoughts get to me.

It's like getting healthy is my mission and nothing can stop me from that, even my previously crippling anxiety (it got so bad at some stages that I wouldn't leave the house as I'd have panic attacks) and my depression sent me into a pretty dark place as well.

This morning's run proved to me that I'm managing anxiety so much better, I pushed myself an extra minute, which might not seem like that much but when you are 209lbs, believe me, it's a challenge. The extra minute wasn't what did it though, I ran past school kids. Now I don't know about anyone else but my anxiety would literally rocket when I was near school kids. Anxiety combined with bullying when I was younger make for a terrified Alana.

However today, as I saw the kids walking along, I decided that I would not stop running and just walk behind them, ashamed of being out and running (and fat), so I held my head high and sauntered past them. I got such a rush and did panic for a moment but it passed and I felt great. Almost like overcoming a fear.

I'm going to keep running in the morning around my block, and I will encounter kids most mornings as there is a primary and high school at the end of my street but I don't care. I'll one day run past that high school again with my head held high and be proud of myself yet again.

I can do this.


Alex Day helped me win a Kitsound ClockDock

I was just going about my business on April 2nd when I got an email from the lovely Danielle. She is the blog editor of blog.very.co.uk and she was letting me know that I had won their competition to win a Kitsound Clock Dock.

I can't actually remember how I came across the competition if I'm honest, it could have been through Twitter or the freebie sites that email me. Still, I found myself on the post and decided to enter.

To enter the comp, all you had to do was leave a comment saying which song you like to wake up to in the morning. I went with Alex Day's Good Morning Sunshine.

Go on, give it a wee listen, it's bloody marvellous. It puts me in such a good mood, how could you not enjoy waking up to this song! So thanks Alex for creating such a great song!

When I got the email from Danielle, I'll admit, I did let out a wee celebratory 'yay' then returned to the email to give her my address. I thought it would take a good few days to get here but a day and a half later, my cheery postman (seriously, he is the nicest guy!) was chapping on my door with a box for me.

I managed to resist tearing it all open and got some pictures first, but as soon as they were taken, I was like a kid at christmas! I didn't use it as soon as I opened it, just looked at it for a while and decided where I would put it.

I decided to go for a purple Clock Dock, as anyone who knows me will know that purple is my favourite colour. However, I forgot my ipod is purple so I'm kinda wishing I'd gone for a different contrasting colour. Ach well, all the purple!

So I'm pretty much in love with this Clock Dock. It's amazing! The sound on it is crisp and clear, it goes loud but not loud enough that it distorts the music. I think my favourite thing about it though has to be that if you unplug it at the wall and plug it in again, you don't have to set the time again! It takes the time from your iPod (or iPhone if you have one, I don't) and that automatically appears on the face! I do tend to shuffle speakers about quite a bit, if I'm on a cleaning spree, I'll move my speakers from room to room and tidy away. So that's a very handy feature! It surprised me by being really lightweight, for some reason I expected it to be heavier.

What Kitsound say: 

Introducing the KitSound™ Clock Dock
Combining great sound quality with stylish design, the KS Clock Dock will make the most of your music as well as looking good on your bedside table.

Use and Ornament
The perfect way to get you started in the morning, the Clock Dock's alarm function lets you choose between being awoken by music stored on your iPod or iPhone, by FM radio or by buzzer. Its functionality is further enhanced by the fact that it charges your device ready for the day ahead, and its super-shiny mirrored front proves that image is just as important as practicality.

Other Features
As well as featuring a sleep and snooze button, the blue LCD clock display with backlighting means you'll always be able to read the time, with the added bonus of a dimmer option if you need a darker sleeping environment.

About KitSound
We are craftspeople. We are musicians. We are KitSound™ and we all commit ourselves to achieving one shared goal - bringing people closer to their music. By understanding music we stay true to its craft. Pure, rich, incredible sound. We settle for nothing less.

I'm yet to try all the features on the Clock Dock (the sleep, snooze and alarm) so I might do another post in the future reviewing those.

Have you tried Kitsound products before? What do you think?

Obligatory pout!
 I just had to try out that mirrored display. Don't judge me!

*I wasn't asked to write this post up, I won this competition fair and square and all opinions are my own.


Book haul

I'm taking full advantage of the fact that my friend Muj has loaned me her laptop and I'm getting this post out. If you follow me on Twitter (@alana_mullen) you would have seen me harping on about The Works having a sale.

The Works is "Britain's No.1 Discount Book Store" I can't think of American stores similar to this, but basically, it's cheap books! I've grown up going to The Works, it was a staple when staying with my granny at weekends. New colouring books, new diaries then as I got older, more and more books. (I'm pretty sure my Penguin Classics Collection was from The Works)

I digress! I've now 'popped in' 3 or 4 times and each time I've come away with at least one book! Well, one of the times I came away with one book, every other time it has been more! What can I say I love books.

Now I feel I should put a wee warning here before you read on, do not have a heart attack at the prices, like I said, this was (and still is for another 5 weeks) a MEGA sale. I believe it's just the Falkirk branch holding this sale but other Works will always have sales on at some point, go have a rummage!

These are my non-recipe books that I picked up. From top left clockwise we have Running Made Easy, Skinny Chicks Don't Eat Salad, How To Clean Absolutely Everything (The Right Way, The Lazy Way, The Green Way) and The Savvy Shopper.

All 4 of these books were... drumroll please, 25p each. That's right, all 4 for £1! To put it into even more perspective, the RRPs for these 4 are as following (top left clockwise again) £9.99, £9.99 £7.99 £8.99

I've already stated reading Running Made Easy, preparation for my Race For Life on June 9th, you can sponsor me here  if you're feeling generous, and as I keep saying, if you live nearby, come down and cheer me on! I've also started reading The Savvy Shopper which is quite the eye opener, I'm learning lots of new things. 

Outwith the books I'm writing about here, I'm also reading Foley Is Good by Mick Foley (8 days till I meet him again!) and Book 1 of A Song Of Fire and Ice. I'll be starting Kate Mosse's Labyrinth soon as well (Muj and I watched the tv adaptation then she told me she had the book and has loaned me it) What can I say, I love to read! Anyways, back to the books in question!

I saw these Easy Everyday books and though they would be ideal! There were others from the collection that I went back to get another day to finish the collection but they were gone, it's what I get for not snapping them all up, I'm pretty sure all of Falkirk knows about this sale, as well as my Twitter followers and Facebook friends! 

Like the last bundle, these were 25p each, I can't find an RRP on either of them but both have stickers on the front cover saying £4.99 Another great saving! Looking at the back of the books, the other titles are Family, Italian, Indian, Salads, British, Pasta, Simple and Desserts, I'd love to get them all and have the whole collection but I probably won't find them in The Works again during this sale. Won't stop me trying of course!

Next bundle we have Real Fast Food by Nigel Slater, Eating & Cheating by Gill Holcombe and Eat Well With Nell by Nell Nelson.

Not much to say about these yet as I haven't started reading them, think I'm set with the ones above for now! I will say though, I really like the covers on the first two books, the designs and patterns are what drew me to the books in the first place!

Eat Well With Nell was only 24p and the other two 25p. RRPs left clockwise again are £8.99 £12.99 and £14.99 Those savings are just mounting up!!

The next (and last) 3 books were too big to picture together and so I've had to do them seperately.

How much fun does this one look! Catchy title, which I love, nice bright cover, I can't wait to jump into this one and try out the recipes!
This one cost 50p with an RRP of £16.99 

This is the most expensive books out of the 12 I got, it came in at a whopping £1.99, which isn't that much but on a previous visit, I think I got 5 or 6 books for the same price! Still, I love it. It's split into three sections horizontally so you can just flip the pages and bam, 3 course meal in front of you! I'll definitely have fun with this one, chances are I'll take this one round the supermarket to get ingredients with.
As I said it cost £1.99 and the RRP is 14.99
The last book I got is for some reason refusing to upload and so I've had to google an image of it (grrr technology!)
Found on Google Images

This was the first book I bought when I found out about this sale, it's also the only visit I've had so far where I've only bought 1 book!
I actually couldn't believe my eyes when I saw this, a big heavy cookbook, thousands of pages, I dreaded looking at the price but thought I'd chance it anyway.

It was 25p. That's right, PENCE! With an RRP of £25 I'd say this is possibly the best bargain I've ever found. And I love a bargain (Ta mammy)

I love the look of this book, it reminds me of the kind of book your mum or gran might have, big and sturdy, filled to the brim with delicious recipes. 

And so we have come to the end of my book haul, if you've actually read this whole post then congratulations! I didn't think I would actually write this much but I suppose when it comes to books, I just can't help myself!
What are you reading just now? Have you read any of the books I've mentioned above?

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