Sunday, 29 June 2014

Excel Clothing Wishlist

I would love to spend some money on clothes from Excel clothing. They do a gorgeous range of women's wear. These are my 3 favourites:

This is by Ted Baker, the Pega One Shoulder flower in cream. I think this would be beautiful for summer days - picnics, wimbledon- those floaty, dreamy days with strawberries and cream and champagne. 

I would pair it with these gorgeous Ugg Karlee strap heels in chestnut to give the dress a bit of edge, as I'm a bit too old now for full on "girlie"! 

Finally, I would match it with this lovely bag from Michael Kors, its the Bedford Flat Crossbody handbag in tan. 

This wishlist outfit would see me ready for anything. Simply fabulous! You can check out their gorgeous items at their website by clicking here x

Bit of a binge - lovely!

Well I went to the reception last night. I had a healthy tea before I went - damage limitation so as not to be tempted by the buffet. That was the plan anyway.

Several drinks later, the inevitable happened. The buffet enticed me, lured me in with its wicked temptation! Before I knew what I was doing, my plate was piled high with garlic bread, pasta, sandwiches, quiche, chicken goujons and sausage rolls. Oh dear.

I only had one plate in my defence, and I have to say having been strictly dieting for some time now, it was heaven. I also swiped a quick roast potato when I was passing by on route to the bar. Yum.

A bit of naff dancing later, and a few more drinks, and I have another sin to confess. I also demolished a cupcake and it was bloody yummy. Well worth every calorie I should not have been eating.

All in all, I realise I have damaged my diet attempts, but you know what, usually I would feel guilty. Today, I do not feel guilty at all. I enjoyed it, I can make up for it with exercise and healthy eating for the rest of the week, and life really is too short to give myself a hard time just for enjoying myself. So I am not going to, not this time.

Beating up on yourself just for eating is the easiest way to derail your efforts. So I just think, so what? It was one night, one cupcake. Not the end of the world, not even significant. Right now, the memory of that food is all I need - it was yummy and worth it :)

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Day 6 of My Week with Britney - Womaniser

Day 6 of My Week with Britney, and today its Womaniser. Released in 2008, this single was taken from her sixth studio album, Circus, released the same year.

Womaniser is quite fast tempo and dancey. Its also a little risque. Its a bit girl power, as its all about showing a "womaniser" the error of his ways. Its catchy, good fun and empowering all at the same time.

The video sees Britney in an assortment of different hair colours, and also baring virtually all in the sauna so be warned! She looks amazing though, and really shows the guys what's what with her womanly wiles.

Womaniser reached the number 3 spot here in the UK charts - a big hit, but falling short of number one. It is one of her memorable tracks though, all the more so as it showed that she could still produce the goods.

Now as you can imagine from the title, the lyrics are all about a "womaniser". In this case, as the video depicts, its her boyfriend doing the womanising and she is having it. The lyrics feature lines such as "boy don't try to front I know just what you are" and "you can play brand new to all the other chicks out here, but I know what you are". hmm - not impressed then Brit? Rumour at the time suggested the lyrics were aimed at someone close to her. Ouch.

Another great pop record from Britney, back at her best with this one. Love this song. Check it out and let me know what you think. Or you can check out more from Britney and others by browsing My Music page here. Happy Listening :)

Me at My Slimmest

Here is a picture of me on my hols at possibly my slimmest ever point. Here, I would have been still a good stone and a half over goal weight, but still, this dress is a size 12. Granted my curves were quite literally poured into it, but I do love this style of dress. :)

My 10 Week weight challenge - Week 5 update

As of this morning, my weight is now 12 stone 2.6lb. That's down from 12stone 5.2lb on monday. 2 1/2lbs loss. Not bad. I still crave big numbers but its not bad.

I had PT yesterday. Boy did he work me hard. It consisted of:

  • cross trainer intervals - 3 sets
  • kettle bell swings, 3 sets of 20 swings, x 3. Thats 180 swings!! 12KG kettle. 
  • burpee juumps with medicine ball lift (hellish)
  • leg raises with weight bar
  • squat thrusts
  • leg raises with elbow lift
  • squat jumps onto box
  • box jumps
  • jogging station to station with squats
  • circuits - left and right touch down
  • burpees on box
Hard core and boy did I sweat. I can tell I am making progress though, as today, despite working hard this week I bear no aches and pains. Excellent. 

So, to reach my 10 week goal then, I have now got 9.6 pounds to lose in the next 5 weeks. I can do that! Feeling very motivated at the moment. :)

Friday, 27 June 2014

Day 5 of My Week with Britney - Oops I Did It Again

Day 5 of My Week with Britney Spears and today its the classic Oops I Did It Again. Released back in 2000, this was a huge single for the very young then Brit.

Oops I Did it Again was taken from her second studio album, also called Oops I Did it Again, also released the same year. This is a much more teen pop number, than her later stuff, but its a reminder of just how innocent she was when she began.

The video is quite amazing. I say this, because for a girl that was rocketed to fame after her debut album, she had cultured herself as the girl next door. In this video, she's clad head to foot in a red pvc body suit and despite facially looking clean and fresh, this is pure sex appeal. Dancing around, looking amazing, there is no denying the appeal she had / has.

I think the point of the video is that she is toying with an astronaut who is in love with her. Its set in space, hence the astronaut bit. Its not exactly deep and meaningful this one, but its fun to watch.

Vocally, she still sounds sweet and innocent. She has a very distinctive nasally singing voice, she's not the strongest vocalist, but for a pop artist, she has the full package. Its a cute little number this one, and one you find yourself singing along to. Its quite telling that even then she sings "i'm not that innocent". Yes Britney, we know!!

I love this and clearly it was a big hit reaching the number one spot in the UK charts, not to mention lots of other places. Oop I Did it Again is now classic Britney and a stand out track. Go take a listen, and let me know what you think.

For more of Britney, and others, check out My Music page here. Happy listening :)

Thursday, 26 June 2014

My single of the Week - George Ezra - Budapest

This week my single of the week is Budapest by George Ezra. This single is taken from his debut album, Wanted on Voyage which comes out this year, 2014- end of June I believe.

Budapest is catchy. Lets begin there. I heard it for the first time last weekend, and had my other half in hysterics singing along to the "you" bits. He said I sounded like a werewolf! Luckily, George Ezra sounds better than I do.

The official release date for this single was 13th June, and as of today, its sitting at number 4 in the UK charts. Pretty impressive.

George is a British artist, singer and songwriter. I was really surprised when I watched this official video for Budapest in that he doesn't look like you expect from hearing him. He has an older sounding, bluesy voice, but in person is baby faced and fresh.

The video is fascinating. Ezra is standing in a crowd, singing away whilst lads egg each other on and an assortment of people dance around and do their own thing. Not much happens in it really - Ezra does a bit of crowd surfing, plays his guitar and sings, but its intriguing to watch none the less.

I absolutely love this song. Its pop, but with a bit of soul. Its light hearted and easy to sing along to, and he has a great voice. This is going to be massive. Its also one of those songs that gets really stuck in your head and I have been singing "you" over and over again since I heard this. Brilliant single. Go check it out and let me know what you think.

You can check out more of My Music by clicking here. Happy listening :)

(video published on youtube by GeorgeEzraVEVO )

7am and off to the Gym!

7am and the alarm goes off. This is nothing unusual - I always set the alarm for 7am on a workday. This morning though things were different. I was off to the gym!

I packed my clothes for work ready last night, and had my gym clothes folded and ready to jump into. Normally, I faff in a morning. I have no idea where the time goes.

This morning, off I went. Teeth brushed, hair tied back and not much else in terms of prep work. Quite liberating being on the road for 7.10am. I am usually just getting dinners packed for work, and breakfasts put out. None of that to bother with today!

So I arrive at the gym - if only the roads were so clear everyday! I was already in my gym gear, so no pesky getting changed to mess about with. Straight to it then.

My session consisted of:

  • 1 mile jog / walk on incline up to 150 calories. 
  • 150 cals on stepper
  • 2 x sets of 100 abs
  • 100 cals on stair master
  • 25 press ups
So 400 cals burned in total on cardio, plus ab work and press ups. Not a bad start to the day. In total, roughly one hour workout. I got showered, and headed to work. Worryingly, arriving at around the same time I normally do. Its made me realise how much time I waste on an average morning let me tell you. 

I arrived at work feeling fully awake and alive. I then had my "Bootea" drink and a special K porridge pot. Then I had my daily berocca drink. I spent the day feeling very virtuous if a little confused as to what time it was. Threw my concept of time starting out so early this morn. 

I got my work done, my meetings etc.. and headed off for my haircut. I am now looking much more groomed, which is good. 

All in all, a good day and good effort all round. The only flip side being the damned scales inexplicably went up half a pound this morning, which is annoying, but is further proof of the fact that you shouldn't get on them everyday. I just can't help it though. 

Anyway, gym session done. Diet stuck to and haircut. Excellent. :)

My Movies - Action / Sci-Fi Films

Fancy a bit of action or sci-fi? Of course you do. Check out my film reviews below for some great choices.

After Earth
Thor: the Dark World
Titanic - classic film
White House Down

Let me know what you think or if you have any films to recommend yourself :)

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Good Gym Workout this evening

I went to the gym again this evening. I am getting more into it by the day. This evenings session consisted of:

  • 1 mile run (127 cals)
  • stepper intervals (173 cals)
  • cross trainer intervals (100 cals)
  • steady jog (100 cals)
  • 2 x sets of 80 abs
I was a hot sweaty mess again! I wore my new gym leggings - red adidas ones. Lovely. Well, at the start anyway - not so much when I was sweating - I sweat a lot with the sessions I am putting in and its not a good look! 

I also did my morning routine - abs, squat thrusts, front kicks, press-ups, tricep dips, punches and squats. 

The scales are down to 12 stone 4.2lb - another half pound off. I have a challenge tomorrow though - its my intention to go to the gym before work, as I can't go tomorrow evening. I am having my hair cut and it is much needed!! So the plan is to be up at 7, and on my way for ten past. 

Really am going all out for it at the moment. I can feel my body getting stronger and it is addictive!!! :)

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

World Cup Shockers!

England boys are probably on the plane home by now. Or else are commiserating in their hotel - not much to celebrate in 2014. The condolence? Some huge favourites have also crashed and burned.

Spain - winners from last time - out. Italy - big favourites for our group - out. What on earth has happened?

Greece look like they are going through on the other hand. Likewise Japan! Going to be an interesting next round that is for sure.

Then we have the players. Suarez appears to have bitten somebody in this evenings game. Apparently, this is not a new thing either - he has form for doing it before!! I mean who goes around biting people?

To think that a week or so ago I was doing my best to avoid the football - I have to say, I'm loving it!! Never a dull moment this year. :)

Reason to be Cheerful?

Whilst working my backside off towards the ultimate reward of a bikini bod to be proud of, I spend some of my time considering just why it is that I am doing this. I shared one of the worst photos with you at the weekend when I was at my largest.

However I have spent considerable time of my life overweight. Here is another photo of me - not at my biggest, but in my slimmer but not going to the gym form:

You see what I have there in my hand? Yes, a spritzer. Not diet lemonade either from memory!! Unfortunately, whilst I am a bit smaller than on the previous pics, I am carrying a rather ample sized tyre around the middle! Not a good look, but bless it don't I look happy and oblivious? The benefits of wine..... 

Off to see Robbie Williams #excited much!!

I am so excited to say that I am going to see Robbie Williams live next week!! I am something of a Robbie fan, it has to be said. This will be my third, yes third time of seeing him live.

I saw him for the first time at Knebworth, and it was spectacular. I saw him again last year at Manchester, and he was good but had some rather odd choices in his set in my humble opinion.

This time its Manchester again for his Swings both Ways tour. Ollie Murs was his support last year, but I'm not sure who is supporting this time. I must check on that - note to self.

One thing for sure, is Robbie is an entertainer. He sounds awesome live and I just cannot wait. I will be sure to pop back and update you with pics and a review of how it went, but for now, I'm just plain excited!: )

A good day for diet!

I'm so pleased it was a little cooler today. There is just something about the warm weather that makes me crave chilled wine. This is lovely but not awfully helpful when you are trying to get fit and slim!

I can report that as of this morning, the scales were sitting at 12 stone 4.8lb. Half a pounds down from yesterday, which is good. Its inching its way towards goal, and I am pleased. Its good to see progress.

Progress is addictive. When you start to able to see the changes in your own body, its the best feeling in the world. I can tell I am losing weight now, because I can get in jeans I've not worn for a while. I will know I've cracked it mind when I can get in the clothes I have never managed to get in. Then I will know I have reached the point where its all been worth while.

For now, I'm just pleased to be making progress. 9lbs from now is the lightest I have ever been in my adult life - 11 stone 9 pounds.  11.8lbs from now is my 10 week challenge goal - 11 stone 7lbs. Anything lower than that and this is new territory. The main aim being to reach 10 stone 7 pounds.

This week I have an added motivation - we are going to a wedding reception. This is a chance to dress up and I fully intend to do so! More on that later in the week!

Today was a good day for the diet. Not to hot, but pleasant. Lots of reasons to be motivated, and making progress on the scales. A good day :)

Day 4 of My Week with Britney - Scream and Shout

Day 4 of My Week with Britney and today its the single Scream and Shout. Released in 2012, Scream and Shout is a track from and features Britney on vocals and in the video.

Scream and Shout is very electro-pop, in that cool style is renowned for. Featuring on this track Britney became more cool by association. Its quite an upbeat track, and Brit's vocals, as ever, are distinctive, if a bit trying to be British in her accent at times. Brilliant collaboration here.

This track hit the top spot here in the UK charts. Will's second and her sixth. Pretty impressive. Its quite a dance oriented track, quite fast pace, and the lyrics are quite edgy. Well, for Britney anyway, if not for Will.

In essence, this is a song about going out on the town. Not that I am saying Will and Brit are a little into their own ego's but the lyrics "they watching us" and "all eyes on us" might suggest that they do seek attention some what!! Britney though, clearly wants to toughen up her image, and the line "Britney bitch" features throughout.

I do like the line "I want to scream and shout and let it all out". We all feel like that sometimes! Which brings me to the video. We see Britney looking very toned and hot and Will dressed mainly in black, and oddly wearing a crown saying "King". Hmm. Back to Britney - its good to see her back at her best. She looks smoking.

The video is very futuristic and both Britney and Will are in multiples of themselves. Its worth a watch this one. It has to be said, that is a talented guy, who co-wrote the song as well as singing it. This collaboration between the two of them makes will to me more appealing, and Britney just that bit more dance and edgy.

All in all, this is a great pop / dance track. I really liked it back in 2012 when it was released, but on listening again, it still sounds great. Go take a listen, and let me know what you think.

For more Britney and others, go check out My Music page here. Happy listening :)

Monday, 23 June 2014

Week 5 of My 10 Week Diet Challenge

Week 5 begins. As of this morning, I now weigh 12stone 5.2lb. That's just over 2lb since last Monday, which is a respectable loss.

So, I have now lost 10lbs in total. I still have 12.2lbs to reach my 10 week goal. I am absolutely determined to smash it. Once I reach 11 stone 7lb - the 10 week goal, my dream weight is 10 stone 7lbs. So you can see I have some work to do yet. However, progress is progress, and I need to be positive.

Its so easy to be negative when it comes to weight and appearance. So easy to think "I've only lost 2lbs". In my case, what I am focused upon is yes, the scales. What woman doesn't want to be the perfect "acceptable" weight? But its more than that. My body is changing.

Take this evening as an example. There was a time when I would make excuses for not going to the gym. Valid ones - I need to clean the house, I need to get the shopping. Not so valid ones - I need to watch this programme on TV, or I need to check my emails!! Not now. Now, whilst ok, I'm not skipping with joy walking into the gym, but I am looking forward to it. Why? Because of how much stronger I am, and how good it feels afterwards.

This evening was PT and it was hard as ever. Some encouraging facts tonight though - I am almost ready for  16KG kettle bell. I'm on 12 currently and smashing it. I have leg pressed heavier weight than ever and can still walk! I managed to do my burpees sets and my star jumps without having to pause in between. Progress indeed!

Tonights full session consisted of this:

  • 3 x 30 reps of 12KG kettle bell swings
  • 6 x sets of squat jumps
  • leg presses with ascending weights
  • cross trainer intervals
  • full burpees
  • wood chopper (with weight machine)
  • side pull (with weight machine)
  • star jumps - 3 sets of 30 reps
  • ball twist with feet in air - abs
  • full sit ups with weighted ball throw
  • lunge jumps
Tonight, in my PT's own words, was hard core. I loved it! 

My goal for this week is to get 4 gym sessions in and lose 2-3 pounds. Here I go :)

My Films - Drama

If you like a good drama, you might want to check out some of My Movie Reviews below. These are all brilliant drama's, and all well worth a watch. Take a peek at my reviews by clicking on each one in the list below. Enjoy.

Captain Phillips
Chasing Mavericks
Silver Lining Playbook
The Life of Pi

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Day 3 of My Week with Britney - Piece of Me

Day Three of My Week with Britney Spears and today its Piece of Me. Released in 2007, Piece of Me was a bit of a fight back from Britney for all the press interest in her at the time.

Taken from her fifth studio album, Blackout, also released in 2007, Piece of Me is a feisty pop number. It reached number 2 in the UK singles chart. Make no mistake - this is a defiant record.

Take these lyrics for example :
"I'm Miss American Dream since I was 17
Don't matter if I step on the scene
Or sneak away to the Philippines
They're still gonna put pictures of my derriere in the magazine"

Its quite clear Britney is making a point with this song. What doubt there may be in the lyrics, she confirms in the video. Quite clearly, although Britney is mega famous, the pressure and constant intrusion into her private life had reached breaking point! I can't say that she managed to change anything, but it was the proverbial two fingers to the paparazzi!

All in all, Britney looks great in the video. She sounds good and this is an entertaining little pop number. Go take a listen and let me know what you think. 

Check out My Music page for more of Brit and others by clicking here. Happy Listening :)

I had a glass of wine - and?

For some reason, the scales always drop on a Saturday. This happens whatever I eat or drink on a Friday. It always goes back up again on Sunday. This week, exactly the same.

So, as I have spent weeks now craving a single lovely glass of wine, last night, I treated myself to one. Has the world ended? Nope. Have the scales rocketed up? Nope. Do I feel bad? No!

This is a lesson to myself. A little of what you want is fine. It doesn't derail the diet, or cause me to gain a stone in my sleep. Lesson learned :)

Me at my Biggest - cardigans do not = camouflage!

I was big. I was smaller. I have never gotten to small. However, the change is significant already for all that.

Here is another pic of me at my biggest. Its really not a good look for me and I remember wearing lots of cardigans to try and hide my bulges and behind.

Unfortunately, at the size and weight I was at this point, no cardigan in the world was every going to disguise me! I was probably somewhere in the region of 16 stone in this photograph. :(

Saturday, 21 June 2014

My "After" pic - not quite goal!

This is me on my last hol in May 2014.

Before going on hols, I managed to reach 12 stone exactly, which is still a way off my ideal weight. I am definetely an hourglass shape here. 

My "Before" #I am bigger than the pyramid!

Its no secret. I was a big girl. Here is the proof:

At this point, I was upwards of 16 stones. 16 stone!!! Jesus. I feel like I am a man mountain now and I am 12 stone 3lbs!!! Not good this.  I look like I am bigger than a pyramid!!

Scales have dropped again!!

Very pleased today. And yes, of course I realise that you should not keep getting on the scales every day. I just have this compulsion to do so currently, and its a hard habit to break.

This morning, I was 12 stone 3lbs. That's great. 3 and a half more pounds until the scale changes to 11. Silly I know that less than 4 pounds will make me feel so very different, but nevertheless true.

Its a 1.6lb drop from yesterday. I just need to be careful now over this weekend to protect this loss. It doesn't take much to bounce back up again.

Today is a non-gym day, so no workout today. I give myself a rest either Sat or Sun to recover. This doesn't mean going backwards though, just maintaining.

For my holiday, I now have 6 and a half weeks to go. I want to reach 11 stone 7 by then, so thats ten pounds to lose. I can smash that I am quite certain now.

For today though, all that remains to do is to resist the vino! :)

My Movie Reviews - Hitchcock

I have always been a Hitchcock fan. Lets begin there. I loved Psycho when I first saw it, and many many years later, its still one of the greats in my opinion. The remake is ok, but the original is just beyond superb. So it was with some intrigue that I decided to watch this film - Hitchcock, which is, in the main, about the making of said film. It was released in 2012.

As a starter, this film stars not one, but two of my favourite actors. Anthony Hopkins play the lead role of Alfred Hitchcock. Helen Mirren plays Alma Reville, wife of Hitchcock. Now, with this kind of acting calibre, you would expect a fabulous film.

In the main, the film is about their relationship, and obviously the making of Psycho. It begins with Hitchcock opening his latest film, in 1959. The film in question being North by Northwest. The film was a success, but H is concerned when a reporter dares suggest its time to hang his socks up and retire from the business. In a bid to regain the excitement he felt as a young man, he chooses a wildcard choice - the horror story "Pyscho", over and above the chance to adapt mainstream novels.

Hitchcock is really keen to do it, against opposition, including that from Alma. Their writer colleague, Whitfield Cook has an adaptation of his own that he wants them to consider. It becomes clear that Whit is a threat to H, and Hitchcock does not like him one bit. Eventually, he convinces Alma how much and why he wants to do Psycho. As they relax in their beautiful home, with their swimming pool, he explains to her that before all that, they were free and reckless. This appeals to her and she agrees to help him.

Unfortunately, the film studio is less than keen on financing his venture, and H in frustration decides to fund it himself. He tells Alma that they may lose all they have, but she supports him. She even suggests casting the female lead and having her killed off early in the film.

Production begins, and H is under enormous pressure to make it work. There are issues around his behaviour with his female lead, Janet Leigh - played by Scarlett Johansson. Its revealed that H has a peep hole through which he watches his leading ladies!! To be honest, you can see his point on that if Leigh was as curvaceous as Johansson! Alma increasingly turns to Whit, and begins to work with him on his adaptation, spending more and more time with him at his beach house.

H gets more and more erratic as his jealously builds. The film faces mounting battles around censorship - nudity and the sheer horror and gruesomeness of the tale. Hitchcock buckles under the strain, and Alma takes the lead on set. He confronts Alma over what he believes is her betrayal of him with Whit, and of course she denies it.

Psycho's first cut doesn't go down well. Meanwhile Alma heads to the beach house and finds her own betrayal - she finds Whit with another younger woman. Both H and Alma, face their demons and work to make Psycho the best film ever. Their renewed passion for each other, evolves into a dynamite team on the set. Psycho begins to take shape, with the now infamous soundtrack to the shower scene added in edit - you know the one. "Eek eek eek eek " violin strings sound as the knife slashes. So dramatic, and without it, would it be the Psycho we now know?

The recut version is better received, but the studio still only agrees to open in two theatre houses. Alma and H set to work promoting the film, using pre-scripted dialogue to build the anticipation and gimmicks such as not allowing late entry into the film, to guarantee queues. As the film plays, Hitchcock peers out from the projection booth at the audience. He has a thing about peering through spyholes - like his peep hole for the ladies, and also that actually featured in the film, and now here is again, voyeuristically observing his audience.

The audience are terrified. As they scream, Hitchcock is outside the entrance doors, conducting to their screams. Its a success and he knows it. H thanks Alma, and all is well between them. Psycho goes on to do amazingly well, and becomes the all time great we now know it as.

The film ends with Hitchcock outside his home, having made a success of Psycho and pondering his next project. As he considers this, a large black crow lands on his shoulder. This can only be a nod to The Birds! He greets his wife, and the film ends.

Psycho was the biggest success of Hitchcock's career. Its a fabulous film. Watching this film was an eye opener for me. I had no idea he had to face such battles and self fund it. I had no idea he was such a character! I didn't know that Psycho was based upon a real life killer by the name of Ed Gein. All in all, this a brilliantly depicted behind the scenes film about a film I thought I knew well.

I definitely recommend a watch. Mirren and Hopkins are brilliant, and well cast to play against one another. I really enjoyed it. Let me know what you think.

Check out more of My Movies here.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Day Two of My Week with Britney - Baby One More Time

Its Day Two of My Week with Britney. Today I have chosen the classic (Hit Me) Baby One More Time.

Baby One More Time is the track that really put Britney on the map and shot her to stardom. Released back in 1998, it was taken from her debut album of the same name released in 1999. Britney was all clean and American teen pop back in the day.

To say that this single was huge would be understating it. It hit the top spot everywhere. Britney being just 17/18 when the song was recorded then released, was so young to be launched so fast into the spotlight. She sounds sweet and already distinctive. Quite some feat!

Since then, this track has really made its mark. Its won goodness knows how many accolades, not to mention being considered one of the best pop songs of all time!

Now, unless you have spent your life in a cave, you will already be familiar with this now infamous video it features Britney clad in school uniform, dancing around, showing off her moves. She is also in sports gear, and it has to be said, she looks flawless and very young. Although in later years, she would move away from her girl next door image, it was clearly focused on it here. That said, the school uniform aspect is a little in contrast!

Britney became huge after this, and the world has since been permanently obsessed and fascinated by her in equal measures. One thing is for sure, this song is phenomenal. Yes, it was supposed to be marketed for teens. Make no mistake though, when this song comes on, it appeals to everyone, well, most everyone!! It has something special that great pop achieves - energy, fun and life! Go take a listen and have some fun. Happy Listening : )

England - Its all over then. Again.

Another year, another disappointment. England are coming home. Yes, they have another match but the fat lady has been yodelling her head off and its all over.

Its just such a disappointment, but in all fairness, I don't know anyone who gave them a hope this time. I usually get really into the World Cup, but this time, I just knew it was hopeless.

There was a moment when it got exciting and I foolishly dared to hope. Rooney scored. Then Uruguay scored again and that was it. All hinged on Italy tonight. It wasn't to be. Its never good when your hopes rest outside of your control. It was too much to hope for, and things didn't go our way.

Apparently, England haven't crashed out at such an early stage of the competition for over 50 years. Well, that's a success then!! England haven't won since 1966. Ten years before I was even born. It's a depressing fact that they have never won within my lifetime.

So I say this. Footballers are paid too much in the premier league. The more they get paid, the worse we do. Its like they don't gel together as a team, or that they don't have enough passion or something. I don't know, I'm no pundit, and everyone right now thinks they are a football manager! The problem is that the whole country gets behind the team, only to be met with disappointment. This year being the worse in memory.

It was so sad driving home this evening, seeing all the flags on cars, on windows and every ad seems to mention footie. Not only is it bad for our morale and pride. Its bad for our businesses. If we had just gotten to the next round, think of how much more we would have spent - in bars, in supermarkets, on flights to Brazil!

But lets not dwell on it. It will soon be Wimbledon, and that will take our mind of the football. Of course us English don't fair too well at the tennis either, but at least we have a very talented Scot that we can be British about and support! We certainly need something to hang our hopes on!! Not good England. Not good at all this time. :(

PT session = great work!

It is Friday and its sunny. Two things that in my usual existence mean one thing - beer garden and/or back garden with wine!! Not tonight. No siree.

As of this morning, I am 12 stone and 4.6lb. This is a drop. Not massive, but its heading in the right direction. 4.7lbs from now, and I will be 11 stone something. Sounds soooo much better. This is why when I finished work facing the prospect of a Personal Training session at the gym instead of enjoying the sun with a glass of wine, for once, I did not feel hard done by.

I raced to the gym, got into my gear and noticed how much slimmer my waist looked. This spurred me on. Cue an hour of sweating off those calories and hopefully a few more pounds! Tonights session entailed:

  • Interval sprints on treadmill on an incline
  • Clean and sweeps with weight bar
  • Skipping side lunges up and down the studio
  • Lunges with weight bar
  • Body weight lunge walks
  • Squat jumps onto step box
  • Kettle bell swings double handed
  • Lifts with weight bar
  • Dead lifts with dumbells
  • Stepper gradual intervals (hard this was)
  • Squat jumps
I sweat a lot, but I can tell my legs are getting stronger. I can tell my arms are getting stronger. My waist is definitely going in. This is all good. 

Now its Friday night, session done, and it is tempting to have a drink. Very tempting. However, the issue is this - if I have a glass of wine, it will blow my hard work and reduce my will power. Two - and I will end up scoffing something I shouldn't. Three - I will gain weight, guaranteed. So I ask myself this - is it worth it?

The answer, clearly, is no. Yet that temptation persists - sneaky little blighter that it is. Yes means I continue to look like a wobbly, overweight version of who I want to be. I need to be strong. Weekends and sunny evenings are hard and a will power challenge. The thought of looking fab in my lovely dresses is stronger than the need for a wine though right now. I just need to hang on to that thought.

I've said it before, and I will say it again - if it was easy, everyone would do it. If controlling your weight was easy, none of us would need to diet. If diets were easy, we would all be slim. Its hard, but the results will be worth the effort. Got to keep thinking about that. Be strong :) 

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Day One of My Week with Britney - Toxic

Its Day One of My Week with Britney Spears. My first pick is the single Toxic.

Toxic was released in 2004. It was taken from Britney's fourth studio album, In The Zone released in 2003. It was the second single from that album and its a fabulous pop song. 

Now this isn't the girl next door that made her famous. This is a raunchy little number - all breathless vocals and strings, with a naughty-ish feel to it. It's fast paced, and dancey in a pop rather than club way. Britney doesn't have the strongest voice, but what she has is a unique voice. She doesn't do powerful ballads or glass breaking high notes, but what you see is what you get - she is, despite the sex-kitten image, a pop princess. 

Now the video is something. I'm saying that as a woman, and a straight one at that. But Britney has something that appeals. She has an amazing physique, and is simply beautiful. This video sees her in a body stocking with crystals on it and not much else. Very few of us females can get away with that, trust me. She is also an air hostess and a leather clad red haired vixen. Finally, she is a brunette seducing some willing male! She looks amazing - flawless skin, dynamite body. Apparently, she is portraying a secret agent. Hmmm. Never mind that - it looks great. 

Toxic hit the number one spot in the charts here in the UK, and was massive in loads of countries including her home USA. Its no surprise - its a catchy, well produced and fun pop song, but with the added sex appeal of Ms Britney Jean Spears. This girl can work it, that is for sure. I love Toxic - its everything a pop song should be. Go and have a listen, and let me know what you think. 

Check out My Music page here. Happy Listening :)

Fed up 0 - won a bet 1!!

England lost. Sob. Looks around sadly feeling pitiful. Listening to the match analysis - we were crap. Lets face it.

There was a moment of hope in the shape of Rooney, but it was short lived. As ever, England licking their wounds and the country is morose.

However, there is a silver lining for yours truly. I had a teeny conflict you see. I drew Uruguay in the sweep at work. I think I win something like £20 if they win. However, its something in the face of defeat that there is at least some point to it.

I decided, sneakily as an English gal, to place a bet. I bet on England to draw 1-1 and for Rooney to score first. Obviously, I lost those, but not a mega gambler I only lost £1 on each.

So I sneakily place the sneaky bet of Uruguay to win 2-1. I daringly placed £2. So I won £12 at 6-1 !! That's ok by me. Its a profit and it was my first ever online bet. I'm staying away from it now, I think it could get addictive, but hey, I made a profit!

Still gutted about England though. :(

Gym Workout - phewf!

I went to the gym again this evening. Home in time for the England game - unfortunately!

Third session of the week. Tonight entailed:

  • 1 mile run
  • 200 cal burn on the stepper
  • 170 cals burn on the cross trainer on intervals
  • 2 x sets of 100 abs
500 cardio burn in total and boy was it hot in there tonight. As of this morning, the scales are 12 stone 5.8lb. I will feel so much better when I get under that stone mark. 5.9lbs to shift to accomplish that. Then another half stone in the next 7 weeks, so altogether 12.9lbs to go. I can do this!! 

I can certainly feel the burn but a strange thing is happening to me. I look forward to the gym. Dare I say it, I enjoy getting all hot and sweaty knowing I 'm burning away that fat. I love the burning muscles afterwards because that tells me I have worked hard enough and long enough. Its like I have been taken over by aliens and am no longer myself!

You may think this sounds perfectly normal. For me, it is not. I am not a gym bunny. Or maybe, just maybe I am now? x

For God's Sake - C'mon England!!!

I gave in and watched. I didn't want to. I knew it would be stressful. On that point at least, they are not disappointing!!

But c'mon England. Uraguay? Really? Get a grip and get scoring!!!

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Sweat is Fat Crying

I just saw this caption under a photograph of someone working out in the gym. It inspired me. The body of the person in question was immensely impressive.

When it gets a bit too much at the gym, its this sort of motivation that keeps me going. Sweat is fat crying - well in that case, my fat needs to get the hankies at the ready - its going to sob!!! :)

My Week with Britney Spears begins here

I have chosen to send my next week with Britney Spears. She is, without doubt, one of the most famous woman on the planet. So lets take a look at this huge artist before we begin our week shall we? Right then, follow me.

Britney Spears - full name Britney Jean Spears. Born in 1981, its scary to think how much has happened at what is still such a young (ish ) age. Britney was bought up in Louisiana, USA. A singer and dancer from childhood, she burst onto the music scene with the huge single Baby One More Time - aka Hit Me Baby One More Time. Remember the one? Course you do - our Brit clad in school uniform - how could we forget?

Lets make no mistake here - Britney became huge. She released her first album back 1999, featuring afore mentioned huge first hit and titled the same. She followed it the next year, 2000 with Oops!.. I did it Again. Both were hits. She followed this with a third and fourth album, Britney in 2001, then In the Zone in 2003.

In 2007, things started to unravel a bit. She still churned out the albums - Blackout in 2007, followed by Circus in 2008. During this time she now infamously shaved off all her hair, behaved somewhat erratically and ended up on an ongoing censorship where she was no longer fully in control of her own destiny.

Britney though, kept on going. Her seventh album was released in 2011 - Femme Fatale, followed by her eight, Britney Jean in 2013.

Britney started off with a clean living, clean looking sound and style (if you excuse the school uniform). She was the ultimate teen pop-princess. Then, as she got older, her body got more mature and her look more sexy. Her appeal and status changed, so did her music. Her success rocketed. Unfortunately, the pressure seems to have become too much and the Britney today is a much more fragile version, albeit now a mum and wife, but fame has taken its toll.

She has amassed 8 studio albums, over 40 singles, several compilation albums and a lot of touring to support them. She has featured with other artists and had massive success and accolade, setting records as she went.

I now have to choose just 7 of Britney' singles to listen to over the coming week and review on my blog. The difficult part will be choosing them, but I am fascinated by all things Britney. She can look so toned and fine tuned, but also is well known to be a lover of junk food and there are shots of her looking like the rest of us - bloated and out of shape. She is massively talented but fragile, hugely famous but also private. Fascinating. There are few big megastars so intriguing. I'm excited to be spending a week with her. Come back for my first choice tomorrow :)

Being Tillys Mummy: #Staycation Number 1 - The London Bridge Experienc...

Being Tillys Mummy: #Staycation Number 1 - The London Bridge Experienc...: As part of my staycation summer, i have been looking on days out that you can take children too. I like to explore places that people rea...

Weighty issue - an update of today!

Well as of this morning, the scales had dropped to 12 stone 6.4 lbs. Am very pleased with this drop, and I now have less than a stone to reach by 7th August! That's 7 and a half weeks away by the way.

So here is my plan for the rest of this week:

Morning routine Thursday and Friday as follows:

  • 100 crunches
  • 25 press ups
  • 25 tricep dips
  • 20 front kicks
  • 20 punches
  • 20 squats
  • 20 squat thrusts
  • 20 star jumps
  • 20 side leg raises
  • 20 dog leg lifts
Thursday evening will be a gym session consisting of at least 500 cal burn. Friday evening is PT. 

Saturday or Sunday will be a further gym session, totalling 5 sessions this week in total. Am really hoping for a significant weight dip this week. I need it. I have a wedding to go to next weekend, but more than that, I am now officially into this health kick. Its taken a while, but I've got there in the end!! I will pop back in for an end of week update at the weekend, before I embark on the plan for next week! Here goes :)

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

My Single of the Week - Little Mix - Salute

My single of the week this week is Little Mix with their new single Salute!

Currently sitting at number 6 in the UK singles chart, I absolutely love this record!! Little Mix as I'm sure you're aware are an all girl band consisting of 4 members, those being: Perrie, Jesy, Leigh-Anne and Jade.

They were the winners of the X Factor back in 2011, and were the first group to win. Unbelievable really when you think of One Direction and JLS, but actually they didn't win!

Back to LM. They released their first album in 2012, DNA. Salute is actually the third single to be taken from their second album, also titled Salute. Its a big big single, a bit of a girl anthem if you will.

What I like about them, is that they are evolving. They could easily have followed in the footsteps of the Spice Girls or Girls Aloud and been all "girl power" or ballads and pop, and a bit cheesy and naff at times. This group are different. Every bit as anthemic as the Spices, but cooler. Every bit as sassy as Girls Aloud, but again, more individual and edgier.

They look much more mature in the video to this track - filmed in what appears to be an underground warehouse. They are clad in leather and studs, big heels and lots of flesh!! They look dynamite it has to be said but unlike some girl bands like The Pussy Cat Dolls these girls have appeal to girls and the boys as they don't come over all full of themselves and bitchy. Check it out over on You Tube by clicking here.

I'm certain I'm not in their target audience as a woman in my thirties, but still, they do have that more universal appeal. I absolutely love this track. I also think its quite powerful and will be a good one for the gym not to mention singing around the house when I need a bit of the old girl power!! Love love love this. Best yet from them. Go and take a listen - definitely recommend this.

For my previous singles of the week and more of My Music check out my page here. Happy Listening :)

(video published on youtube by littlemixVEVO )

I'm spending my week with ... Britney Spears!!!

I have decided that its going to be Britney. Yes, Britney Spears! I have a confession - I am really excited about this one!! Spending a week with Britney! I wish it was the real one, but her music will have to do I suppose.

Britney fascinates me. Her music is pop-tastic. She is world wide famous. She looks amazing - well, most of time anyway. She was the all-American dream - singer, dancer and clean living. Or so it seemed. Then things started to go a bit wrong and we saw the real Britney - seemingly fragile, controlled and, could it be, eating junk food and slobbing out!!

That was the point I decided I was a fan. She was too much clean and sweet and annoying until you realised that was all just the fame game, a fa├žade if you will.

So for the next week, each day I shall choose a Britney single, review it and post that review here on my blog. To begin with though, I shall take a look at Britney and where she came from and post a little introduction to whet our appetite. Check in with me tomorrow night as we explore her background, before we kick off with Day One and my first single pick.

As you can tell, I am excited and I have to say I am really really looking forward to this week with Brit! She is the ultimate pop star. Fabulous! :)

I'm spending my next week with .......

In the next half an hour, I shall decide who to spend My Week With. I might go a bit pop-tastic again this week. Or I might go a for a bit of a dance act. Not quite sure yet, and I have until 10pm tonight to decide!!

Ok, ok, the world will not end if its a few minutes after ten, but you have to give yourself targets right?

Ten it is then - see you in 36mins!! :)

Week 4 of my 10 week Challenge

Week 4 commenced yesterday, of my 10 week challenge. Last week I worked very hard, but unfortunately let myself down, again, at the weekend. However, I can report that as of this morning my weight has dropped to 12 stone 7lbs.

What does this mean? This means I have exactly 1 stone to go in the next 7 weeks, counting this week. That's 2lbs a week to aim for. That's doable if I can keep the weight loss going. As I move closer to target, that will be challenging, but I have to try.

This weight also means that I have now lost 8 and a half pounds. That's not bad at all in 3 weeks. Should be better, as I have had a blip or two, but that's all done with now and there's no stopping me now!

This week, I have already been to PT last night, and another gym session this evening. Last nights PT consisted of:

  • star jumps - 3 x sets of 50!! (50!!!!)
  • full sit ups with twist - 50 non stop
  • Interval sprints on rower
  • Interval sprints on cross trainer
  • Squats
  • Side lunges
  • Walking lunges with weight bar
  • Full burpees - 3 x sets of 20
  • Forward and reverse lunges with bar
  • Treadmill pushing
  • Weight bar side lift lunges
It was really really hard, but I have told him now that I want a good toned fit body, as I am fed up of not being able to look at myself in the mirror when I work out. It makes it harder to balance because I won't look up!! I just look at my feet!

Tonight on my own gym session I did;
  • 2 mile jog with sprint finish
  • 100 cal burn on the stepper
  • 150 cals burn on the cross trainer
  • 2 x 5 different sets of 25 abs = 125 per set = 250 abs
As of this morning, I have also recommenced my short workout session - just 5-10 minutes of squats, abs, jumps and body weight resistance work. Just to kick start me each day. 

Hopefully, this will impact on the scales this week and help me get a good weight loss under my belt. If it was easy, everyone would do it. It certainly isn't easy, but it will be worth it. 

Monday, 16 June 2014

The end of My Week with The Rolling Stones

My Week with The Rolling Stones is over. Its been rock and roll at its classic best. I was too young to really remember the Stones the first time around, but you would have had to be living under a rock to not be aware of them and their music.

I can now say though, that I had no idea how great a live band they appear to be judging by their many live recordings. I can also say that I had no idea just how many of their songs feature in well known films, TV and ads. I knew more of their stuff than I had thought!

So now then, at the end of my week, with seven songs listened to and reviewed, its time to crown the winner - my favourite. So here goes:

In at number 1 it is: Gimme Shelter
At number 2: She's A Rainbow
Number 3: Paint it Black
Number 4: I Can't Get No (Satisfaction)
Number 5: Ruby Tuesday
Number 6: Start Me Up
Number 7: Jumpin' Jack Flash

My absolute favourite is Gimme Shelter, not least because of which films specifically it features in! Click on the link to see which ones!! So that's it - the end of my week with the classic rock band.

If you want more, and can't wait for the next "My Week With" then check out my previous ones and my singles of the week, plus more on My Music page by clicking here. Happy listening :)

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Day Seven of My Week with The Rolling Stones - Gimme Shelter

Day Seven of My Week with The Rolling Stones, and my final choice is Gimme Shelter.

Gimme Shelter was released back in 1969. It was the opening track on their album Let It Bleed. Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, this is perhaps one of their best ever tracks.

This is a bit different to my previous choices, in that it was actually never released as a single. However, it has become famous anyway. It appears in one of my all time favourite films - Goodfellas. Scorsese also used it in his films The Departed and Casino, two other great films!

Its a dark song this one, and it also features stunning guest vocals from a woman named Merry Clayton, which really packs in the emotion. The song was written and released at a poignant moment in time, with Vietnam and all manner of political issues going on around the world. This song seems to capture all of that, and is very powerful and emotive.

If you watch this video, you can see clips of those images to which we are now more accustomed, but are still shocking, and listen to the song and how well it fits the time then, but is still relevant now. Lets face it, time has moved on, but the world is not a calm utopia. This is a true classic.

So that brings me to the end of My Week with The Rolling Stones. Seven songs chosen, listened to and reviewed. All that remains to be done now is to consider my seven choices and rank them in order of which, in my humble opinion is the best. You can check out my week here on My Music page, and also previous week's whilst you are there! :)

Saturday, 14 June 2014

PT at 9.30am!!!!

I'm feeling very pleased with myself right now. I went to PT yesterday evening at 5pm, and this morning I went again - at 9.30am!! Two sessions back to back. Now that's impressive!!

Today, the scales also dropped, so double pleased!! Down to 12 stone 4 from yesterday's 12st 7.4lb!! 3.4lbs off!! ooof!

Today's session consisted of:

  • squat thrusts - 1 thrust and stand up in between
  • squat thrusts doubles and stand
  • squat thrusts triples and stand
  • weight machine - upright rows x 3 sets
  • burpees - full ones with jumps! x 3 sets
  • weight machine - lateral pull down x 3 sets
  • stair master - 30 double steps each leg, x 3 sets (hellish!)
  • plank rotations (elbows up to hands) x 30 x 3 sets
  • walking planks (elbow up to hands and walk back and down again)
  • weight ball squat thrusts and ball lift x 15 reps x 3 sets
  • step up from kneeling - 10 each leg, x 3 sets
  • lunge walk - one leg repeat x 3 sets
  • treadmill interval sprints 
I sweated by backside off. I finished looking like I had been caught in a heavy rain shower!! It felt good though. Every drop of sweat I thought is another calorie burned off!! My PT said mid way through "if it was easy, everyone would be doing it". That made me think. It made me realise that I want more. I want a gym body - one that actually looks like I have a personal trainer, not one that resembles the pillsbury dough boy!! I'm going for it now - beach body, here I come!! Whoop!! Feeling good :)

Off now to see Rod!

I'm not a Rod Stewart fan. Lets begin there. He's really not my kind of singer. So how have I come to be going to see him live later today you may ask?

Well, its because my friend is mad obsessed with him. Somehow we got into a discussion towards the end of last year about Rod coming on tour and performing at the Britannia Stadium. You may not be familiar with this venue - its in Stoke on Trent, home of Stoke City Football Club who are in the premier league. Yes, I'm a Stoke girl - well, sort of, close enough to be one anyway.

This is beyond local - its quite literally round the corner - Stoke isn't a very large place really. So there was that. It didn't require an overnight stay or travelling to consider.

Then, there is also the fact that I do love live music. Regardless of whether its to your taste, live is atmospheric. So there is also that.

Finally, its always fun to throw into conversations classic artists and legends you have seen live. Rod Stewart, for me, falls into this category. He's up there with James Brown, who I saw fleetingly many moons ago at a Festival - classics, not my thing, but a great conversation point or starter. So there's also that.

Lets face it, its a gloomy looking Saturday, England game is on at eleven so the pubs will be full of idiots who have been drinking all day. This is looking more and more appealing, even if it does rain which right now looks highly likely!!

In short, I'm looking forward to it. I may even have a little bop around if I know any of the songs he sings, or even if I don't! Why not eh? :)

Friday, 13 June 2014

I know I said boo to football, but Spain losing 5-1????

Ok, so I was grumbling about the World Cup meaning lots of green screens and me watching lots of films. However, even I am stunned by Spain being absolutely pummelled. 5-1?? By Holland? Really????

I'm not sure what the hell happened - I saw the Van Persie awesome header in the first half, but didn't watch the second half. Oh my god! Just goes to show that you just never know what is going to happen in football.

Maybe England will be like Holland and thrash Italy tomorrow night. Fingers crossed for that. I hope the rest of the World Cup is this exciting!! :)

Week 3 of My 10 Week Challenge - an update!

Mid week of Week 3 of my 10 week challenge. Hows it gone this week? It started badly - a bit of chocolate did pass my lips, I confess. Then, I was hit with a stomach and sickness bug and that was horrible. It also scuppered my plans to go to the gym! Not the best start.

Today, I am almost back to normal on the stomach front - granted still in some discomfort, but much improved. I have even managed to go to my PT session at the gym. I found it incredibly hard tonight though, worse than usual.

Tonight's session consisted of:

  • Leg press
  • Forward lunges
  • Interval runs
  • Squat thrusts with bar
  • Squats with bar
  • Leg raises with weight bar
  • Knees up jogging on spot
  • Box jumps
  • Bunny jumps across the gym
  • Step ups onto 2 step boxes
  • Jogging around the studio
  • Side steps with lunge
  • Bicep curls with weight bar and squats
There have been some exercises in the past that I have struggled to master, but lately I have been much improved. The jogging I can usually manage fine, same with ab work. Tonight though, to my shame, I reached breaking point. I was into my third interval sprint, and my legs went. I just couldn't keep up the pace, and he had to slow the treadmill down. I was gutted. The sweat was pouring from me, I started to take shallow breaths and not breathe properly and that was the end of the running! Well, on the treadmill anyway - he had me jog around the studio instead. 

I guess being poorly has more impact on your body than you realise. I felt fine, but clearly I'm not quite back to 100% yet. Today though, I came to realise something - I want more than weight loss. Yeah I have a weight I want to reach - don't we all? But I want more. I want to have the body I am proud of. I want to have the body that actually looks like I train hard, not the wobbly one I have presently. 

My PT was not discouraged by my performance, or if he was, he was too polite to say so. He gave me reassuring comments such as it was a tough workout, that he wasn't going easy on me etc.. I wasn't upset with him, I was upset with myself. After all this time going to the gym, I should be capable of more. So now I am going to up the ante. I can't eat and drink at weekends and expect to look good in a bikini. 

This time, something is different. I'm different. If I don't try this now, I never will. So my 10 week challenge stands - there is nothing more certain that wanting to get to goal. What has changed is what happens then. When I reach goal, I want to keep working hard to tone and hone and be all I can be. 

So where am I at now? Now, I have dropped to 12 st 7.4lbs. I have until Sunday to the end of week 3, so time for a bigger drop yet. If I can get under the half stone mark, I will feel like I am getting somewhere. Better still, when I reach 11 stone and anything - psychological - different number on that stone. 

I am going to do all I can to reach goal this time. Consider this a restart. Watch me go :)

Thursday, 12 June 2014

4 1/2 weeks of football = me watching lots of films in the other room!!

The World Cup has commenced. This means lot of "green screens" on my TV screen for the next 4 and a half weeks. Don't get me wrong, I want England to win, of course I do. Is this likely? I will let you answer that one!

Tonight is the opening game, and its the host nation, Brazil, playing against Croatia. I know Brazil are a good team, I appreciate everyone is whipping themselves into a virtual frenzy right now, but really? My partner is soo into the game already - no, he is neither Brazilian nor Croatian. If he was, I would totally understand it. He's not. He is English. So why does it matter so much I ask you?

I am missing Broadchurch right now. I tried to see if it was on the other TV which has freeview, but it doesn't have ITV encore - every other channel it seems! So no Broadchurch for me. I can't even escape to watch it in the other room!!

So my plan now is to set up Sky Go on my tablet - something I have kept meaning to do and putting off. The time has come. I will get behind my team, I will even watch a couple of non-England games if they are exciting - like the finals. I can't sit watching the "green screen" every night though. Life really is too short!!

Lots and lots of films to be watched, so for the next 4 1/2 weeks, that's where you will find me - watching films whilst the football is on!! :(

Movie Marathon - what to do when your stuck indoors!!

I've been poorly, still recovering, and what better way to distract ones self than to watch some movies.

So far, on this marathon session I have watched the following films that I have not seen before:

  • Coffee Town
  • Beautiful Creatures
  • The Brass Teapot
  • Jack the Giant Slayer
  • Hitchcock
  • A Fantastic Fear of Everything
All of the above are quirky types, and I loved all of them. Over the next couple of weeks expect my reviews. 

In addition, I have watched some classic TV and films. I have so far watched all bar the last episode of Broadchurch, which I saw the first time around, but by god its so good. I have also watched some silly films that are neither deep nor meaningful, just pure entertainment. Those being Jaws and Lake Placid!!

I still have some choices to go for the remainder of this glorious day, during which I am stuck inside. I cannot make my mind up, but I'm thinking something of the thriller or crime genre. 

Killing Them Softly looks good, as does Dark Tide. The East looks quite interesting, and Savages. Hmm, decisions decisions. All of them may be good to accompany a spot of ironing if I feel up to it!! Maybe not. ..... :(

Poorly sick & no weight lost!!!

How is this fair? I mean really I ask you, how can this happen? 3 days of barely eating, feeling very off in the stomach area ( I will spare you the details), and I get on the scales and? And nothing. Nada. Not budged. At all!!

How? Just how exactly is this even possible? I thought practically starving meant that you lost weight. I hear other people giving it the "I lost 5 pounds because I was sick". Not me, oooohhh no. No, my weight takes more effort than being ill clearly.

So, at least I am feeling better - compared to yesterday at at any rate. So from my vantage point of being at what feels like rock bottom - bloated, feeling bit crappy still, and very tired, it can only improve from here on in!!

So tomorrow I am going for it. Giving it my all, feeling the burn. Right now though, the only burn I am interested in is the one that heats the water in my kettle!! Not happy about this, but in the grand scheme of things, I guess I can handle it. (Those scales had better start moving down again soon though!!! )

Day Six of My Week with The Rolling Stones - She's A Rainbow

Day Six and today I have chosen the single She's a Rainbow. This track was taken from their album, their Satanic Majesties Request in 1967.

This was a track written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, but even from the intro, it doesn't sound like the usual Rolling Stones tracks do. It has lovely pretty piano plinky-plonks to begin with rather than a guitar riff as a starter.

This wasn't a huge success, at least in terms of other releases, hitting the number 25 spot in the US. The album it was taken from  was the Rolling Stones only experiment into the kind of psychedelic movement that was all the rage at the time. Unfortunately, it was seen by many as a contrived attempt to outdo the Beatles, who fared much better! Even the album cover looks a bit similar in style to the fab 4!

Taking all this into account, I think this is a beautiful track. It really is a pretty sounding song, and it makes you feel good. I have to admit, I first heard this track on a TV advert which featured what appeared to be plasticine rabbits etc.. I immediately liked it, but didn't know it was the Stones. It doesn't immediately sound like them, until Mick starts to sing of course!

I would say watch the video, but its not really a video its a mix match of images, so I suggest you listen to it  instead. It sounds gorgeous.

Of the Stones tracks I have listened to over the last 6 days this is the most unusual, and for that reason it stands out. Let me know what you think.

For more of the Rolling Stones and more, check out My Music page here. Happy listening :)

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Its a Full Moon this Friday the 13th - Spooky!!

Just thought I would share this with you lovely people. This Friday coming is Friday the 13th. This is superstitious enough right? Wrong.

It is also a full moon this particular Friday the 13th! Double whammy.

Apparently, this particular combination of events won't occur again until 2049!! Phewf!!

In all likelihood it will just be another normal day, like any other. But then again wooooohhhhhh!!! Just kidding, leave that thought with you to ponder. Laters xx

I'm going to see Rod Stewart on Saturday!! I need 3 things...

I am going to see rod Stewart on Saturday! I am very excited. I'm not what you would call a Rod fan as such, but thinking about the songs I know by him, I think he will be amazing singing them live.

I'm still feeling rubbish though right now, so am realllllyyyy hoping to be feeling fine and dandy again by Saturday. If it was happening tomorrow, I can tell you this - I would not be going! I am still stuck indoors, housebound and I won't go into the details, I shall spare you that delight.

Back to Rod. Rod Stewart is one of those big British artists that everyone has heard of. A friend of mine is beyond mere fan status, and is what I would describe as a Super Fan. He has a kind of homage to Rod in his bar, yes, I said his bar. He has a mini bar in his house, filled with Rod memorabilia and even a signed photo of him with the main man himself!

Me? I'm just looking forward to the experience. I have never seen him live, so at the very least it will be another artist I can say that I have seen. I am hopeful that it will be more memorable than that though, as I am quite certain he will be amazing.

I've been reviewing the weather conditions for the coming weekend too, as I was most concerned that it was going to be the washout that was this weekend just passed. So far, I can report the weather is looking far more favourable, so that's a blessing. I don't fancy standing in torrential rain watching him, as we are not going to be under cover. He's playing at the Britannia stadium, so if it rains, we are in for a drenching for sure!!

So I am crossing my fingers for the following - 1: that Rod is great live (definite cert) 2: that I feel better by then (possible cert) 3: that it doesn't rain (uncertain). If all three of those happen, its going to be epic. Wish me luck then! :)

10 Weeks of "My Week With"

Earlier this year I had an idea. That was to choose an artist, band or group to spend a week with. Not literally of course. I wish!! No, my idea was to select one artist, choose seven tracks i.e. a week, and review one each day.

Now, being a busy lady, I don't always get the time, so sometime "my week" takes more than a calendar week, but you get the point don't you? Of course you do.

I am currently on day 5 of my latest choice, The Rolling Stones, but what I can't believe is that this is Week 10! 10 artists/bands into my project, and I can honestly say I am really enjoying it.

Some of the songs I have chosen are ones I already liked. But I've never looked in so much detail - the chart position, the album it was taken from, the length of time in the charts etc.. Its been really interesting exploring more than just hearing it on the radio, or even downloading it (legally of course) and adding it to my playlists.

Then there are the tracks and artists I don't know so well, or only know one or two of their outputs. This has been the best part. Hidden treasures that are from days gone by, that I have either forgotten all about, or never heard in the first place. Its like an education in music.

The only tricky part is choosing who in the first place to spend my week with, and then whittling it down to just 7 tracks to listen to and review. In some cases, there aren't that many chart singles to choose from, and I decided not to go for album tracks as there isn't much info out there about those, or videos to watch. Some bands just don't have that many hits, whereas others, my goodness how many to choose from?

All in all, this was one of my better ideas, and I really do hope you are enjoying my adventures with music, because I most certainly am!! If you have any artists or bands you really like, why don't you drop me a comment and let me know? Maybe I can spend a week with them too!

Why don't you check out My Music page here and see who I've already spent my previous weeks with? Happy listening :)

Day Five of My Week with The Rolling Stones - Start Me Up

Day Five of My week with The Rolling Stones brings me today's choice - Start Me Up.

Start Me Up was released in 1981, but it originally started out in the 70's but took quite some time for the band to really get it nailed. It starts with a now, immediately identifiable riff and off we go for another fantastic rock/pop record.

This one failed to hit the top spot in the UK, but did reach a very respectable number 7. Here's a bit of trivia too - this was the last song by the Stones to make the top 10 in the UK at all.

This single was taken from the album Tattoo You, released in the same year. Start Me Up was the lead single to be taken from it. Its since been on several of their compilation albums, and has been an opening track on their tours many times.

Now by today's standards, this is quite tame. However its quite clearly a track based around intimate relations shall we say!! Start Me Up? Hmm. Maybe a bit of double entendre perhaps. But then the constant repeat of "you make a grown man cry" and other choice phrases leave you in no doubt what this is about!!  Quite amusing really.

The video is hilarious. I'm sure there are some that find Mick Jagger strutting his stuff very appealing, but even so, his scrawny bod clad in a fetching tight skinny t-shirt and lovely white trousers, doing his famous pout, really does nothing for me other than make me snigger!! I'm sure he was quite the mover in his day, but watching it now its like really? What were you thinking? Not that the rest of the band look much better for all that!! Great song though!!

Start Me Up is a fun song, a bit more pop than my choices day 1-4, but still rock and roll. The Stones are a rock band, and they never deviate off course, albeit dabbling with different influences along the way - you can tell a Rolling Stones song from virtually the first few seconds. That takes work, and this group make it seem effortless. Brilliant track. Go take a listen and let me know what you think of this one.

You can check out Days 1 - 4, plus more bands and singles and music stuff on My Music page by clicking here. Happy Listening :)

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Day Four of My Week with The Rolling Stones - Paint It Black

Day Four then, and today its the single Paint It Black. This single was released in 1966.

It was the first their fourth US album, Aftermath. It was another track written by Jagger and Richards. It gave the Stones a number one in both the UK charts and also in the US charts.

Its got quite a quirky sound this one, featuring a very distinctive intro. Its all strings and drums this one - a sitar and guitars no less, though still a rock song at its core. As well as being on the US album, this song has featured on loads on the Stone's numerous compilation albums since.

I'm not sure if this song was lyrically meant about a particular person or time, but its not a cheery number that's for sure. Jagger sings about painting doors black, his heart being black and so on. Its quite a dark song, but it sounds great.

If you want to listen, check out this video of them performing this live back in day.

This is a great track, and its no wonder that its still regarded as one of the all time greats. Go check it out, and let me know what you think by dropping me a comment below. Check out more of the Stones and more of My Music here. Happy Listening :)

Oh no!!! Rick Mayall has passed away!!

Oh today just gets worse. I come home from work poorly sick, and now I see the posts all over the place saying that Rick Mayall has died.

I'm so sad to hear this news. According to the press he was just 56 years old. I loved Rick. I grew up watching The Young Ones, I thought Bottom was hilarious and his roles on BlackAdder were sublime and the funniest sketches ever.

He was a huge talent, clever and immensely funny and he will be sadly missed. At least he leaves us with some of the best comedy ever to be produced.

Rest in Peace Rick. Thoughts and love to your family. x

Had to come home - am poorly sick!!

I need some TLC. I am really offside today. So many nasty bugs going around. Having said that, at least I have a bit of time (in between feeling/being sick!) amongst other things to listen to some more music and watch a film or two!!

If you are poorly today, drop me a line - lets cheer each other up :) Its no fun being poorly sick :(

Feeling very sorry for myself right now :(

Monday, 9 June 2014

Broadchurch repeat - I recommend this strongly

I watched this series the first time and it was amazing. Because it was all speculation over who done it, it was very emotional.

I decided to watch it again, as it was so powerful. I expected that this would be easier this time around. I can report, ten minutes in, that its as distressing and traumatic as the first time. If you didn't catch this the first time around, go and watch it now. Just be prepared, as this is raw emotion, perfectly acted and very very powerful. TV at its best, and the best thing is there is a second series coming soon.

I won't ruin it for you if you haven't seen it, but at some point, you will suspect just about everyone in it. Enjoy.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Week 2 of the 10 week challenge is over

So Week 2 is over. This week, I reached a low weight - the scales dropped beautifully. That was Saturday morning. I have had 2 PT sessions and one gym session this week.

Unfortunately, I went to Yo Sushi yesterday at the Bullring in Birmingham (more on that later) and then for a pub tea last night. Now, I'm a bit bloated to say the least!!

So I've stayed the same as at this morning, so will have to see what tomorrow brings. Staying the same is good though, as if I hadnt worked so hard, it could easily have been a gain.

No excuses this week though - well, until Saturday anyway as am off to see Rod Stewart!!!

Week 3 starts tomorrow. 5 gym sessions this week to pack in. I can pull it back you just watch me! :)

Summary then:

Start of Week 2 - 12st 8.8lbs
Mid week weight - 12st 4.2lbs
End weight - 12st 8.8lbs
Weight loss = 0
Weight to lose = 15.8lbs
8 week to go!

Think of that bikini!!! :)

My Week with The Rolling Stones Day Three - Ruby Tuesday

Right then, Day Three of My Week with the Rolling Stones. Today I have chosen Ruby Tuesday.

Ruby Tuesday was released back in 1967, and is a slower, more emotional track than my picks on day one and two. It hit the number 3 spot here in the UK, but was another chart smash at number one in the states. Pretty impressive!

This song was written by Keith Richards, but there has been much speculation if it was based on anyone in particular. What is clear, is that this is a song about a woman. No surprise there really!

It was taken from the album Between the Buttons, also released in 1967, which was their fifth British studio album and their 7th American one. For some reason they have different versions for the US.

Its a lovely sounding song, with a beautiful melody. I'm not sure Jagger has the most beautiful vocals, but its a powerful song nevertheless. The lyrics are lovely and intriguing. "goodbye Ruby Tuesday, who can hang a name on you? when you change with every new day, still I'm gonna miss you". Mick sounds sad when he sings those lines.

This is the video of the Stones doing Ruby Tuesday live. They really are a great live band, and it must be amazing to hear them in person. Sounds pretty damn brilliant here.

In summary, this is a rock ballad before such a thing was the norm. This track would still sound great if it was released today. Go and take a listen, and let me know what you think, and for more of The Stones and many more, check out My Music page here. Happy Listening :)

Links are Fixed!!!

Right then, you lovely people. I have been very busy fixing my links and they should all now be bright and shiny and new!!!

Please let me know if you have been able to find me now that I have The Eternal Hopeful by name and URL!!! I really don't know why I never thought to match the two together, but believe me I wish I had done so in the first place!! What a nightmare, but hey ho, its done now.

The great thing is that i've been able to do some housekeeping, get rid of the dross that was cluttering the place up!! So what you have now is a nice edited version!!

Over the coming weeks and months, you will see much more of my travels and music, more of my fashion bits and less of the general waffle!!!

I will still have my little grumbles from time to time - well, we all have to vent some dont we!! Anyway, thats me for the night. I was determined to finish this today, and there's no sleep until bedtime!! Bedtime it is then. Night night xx

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Evian Water - Baby and Me Ad - I love it!!

Well I'm sitting watching TV and the ads came on. I don't usually pay much attention, but this geeky looking fella walks into frame, sees his reflection and although he's a grown up, he reflects as a toddler. 

Cue lots of grown ups throwing some shapes, as they baby reflections do the same!! Its absolutely brilliant!! 

Check it out if you want to have a feel good moment here. Honestly, I want a mirror that reflects me back as a wee nipper!! 

Totally made me happy - how great would life be if you could do this? Enjoy :)

Friday, 6 June 2014


This is a photo of my favourite shelf:

I love this shelf because it has my 2 beautiful antique lustres on, which I found in a little back street shop. They are about 200 years old, and when the light hits them, they have glass prisms which make rainbows all over the room. I also love putting lots of bright flowers on it, in a beautiful vase. Its my center piece.

I have posted this for the chance to win some dosh!! Its in connection with Victoria Plumb and Tots 100 and is all about #shelfie i.e. your favourite shelf!! You can check out the Great British victoria plumb quiz by clicking the link :)

Why not have a go yourself? :)

Broken links - am updating them as we speak!!

If you try and click on any of my links over this weekend and this evening, I must apologise as they are a bit broken :(

This is sad news, but don't be too down in the mouth - its only because they link to my old blogspot - novicegirl. I now have a bright shiny new blogspot address -

Shortly the links will be re-established at the new address and all will be well again - karma restored. Bear with me lovely people, all will be back to normal shortly :)

Blogspot change - I am now at

Ok so the time has come to get organised. I needed to get my blogspot address to match my blog name i.e. The Eternal Hopeful! Previously, as you may know, I was novicegirl.

This seemed a bit silly as a starter for ten, as I have been blogging for a little while now, albeit just tinkering at first, and only now honing in on the subjects I want to talk about and share with you.

It all started off a bit general, I was writing about anything and everything. As time has passed, I've come to realise that whilst I love writing about things I do and love, I really love writing about music, films and fashion in the main. So from this point, they will be the main subjects here on

I won't be able to help myself with blogging about family stuff and grumbles from time to time, but I think the time has come to realise you can't write about everything in life - there just isn't the time!!

So I hope you will come find me in my new home - I will say it again

TTFN lovely people x

It's Frrrriiiiidaaaaayyyyyy!!!!

Oh Happy Days, its Friday and the sun is shining. I am tired, exhausted, drained and yes, utterly ready for the weekend.

Off on a shopping spree tomorrow. Really looking forward to it. We are off on the train tomorrow morning to the Bullring in Birmingham. I have never been there before, so actually excited!!

The weather is going to be awful tomorrow though, so am making the most of the nice weather right now!

Sunday - no plans as of yet, but hopefully will be doing something fun, before another gym session in the afternoon. Well, I do have a wedding (not mine!) and a holiday to get in shape for!

I also intend to listen to lots of great music this weekend and update my playlists - I keep listening to the same music at the gym and its driving me mad! I've got so much to do over the next few weeks that its becoming a struggle to fit it all in!

My to do list is growing by the day. I need to get an inner tube for my flat tyre on my bike, get my hair cut, my nails done. I need to get a wax booked and a spray tan - so I can wear something lovely for the wedding at the end of June.

I have 2 gigs to go to - Rod Stewart and also Robbie Williams. I have 2 PT sessions each week, plus 2 other gym sessions. I need to have a wardrobe clearout, and I need to get rid of some of my clothes - I'm thinking ebay! Its good stuff, just either too big, or just not me now that I have finally reached the weight where I can fit in it!!

So a busy month all in all, but its all good. You only live once, and its Friday!!! Always a reason to smile. You just have to look for it sometimes :)

Its nearly the weekend - whoop!!

Well Thursday is done, just Friday to go then its the weekend! :)

So tell me, what are your plans for this weekend? Are you doing anything lovely? :)

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Day Two of My Week with The Rolling Stones - Jumpin' Jack Flash

Day Two of My Week with The Rolling Stones. Today my choice is Jumpin' Jack Flash. This was released as a single back in 1968.

This was another number one hit for the Stones in the UK chart. Its another thumping rock and roll track, full of guitars, Mick Jagger strutting and singing, and lots of energy. It also reached number 3 in America further proving that they had broken the states too.

This track wasn't taken from an album as such, but has featured on their compilations, first off being on the compilation album Through the Past, Darkly (Big Hits Vol. 2). Its also been on later compilation albums following its success.

This is the 1968 live video. The Stones clearly sound great live, but Mick Jagger basically pulls quite odd faces with those big lips of his and does his infamous strut. They are a rock band, and what you see is what you get.

This is another favourite for the tours and has featured in the playlist virtually ever since its release. Its also been featured in several films, even having a film named after it - Jumpin' Jack Flash which starred Whoopi Goldberg.

Jumpin' Jack Flash was written by Jagger and Richards. At the time, this was heralded as a bit of a return to form, having been more experimental on their previous releases. Now it just sounds classic. I enjoyed this track, but I don't think its going to be my favourite. It does get a little bit repetitive, and I think they have done better songs for my liking. Still, its vintage, and they are great, and the way they perform in the video they must be amazing live. Go take a listen, and let me know what you think.

Go on, drop me a comment. I do love to hear from you. You can also check out My Music page if you want more by clicking here. Happy listening :)

Fun with Music - lets play

Ok, so lets have a bit of fun shall we? I love music, and in particular, I love to come up with games to do with music from guessing the track by a lyric, to compiling playlists.

I have it in my head that it would be fun to create some playlists. So we could have a "songs for a rainy day" (most of the time at the moment, lets face it!). Or holiday chillout, or getting ready to go out, or even music to get ready for work by!!

We could have some fun thinking of music related tracks or artists too. So lets take rain as an example - the obvious one is Umbrella, but lets think a bit shall we? Let me get you started - how about the band "Wet, Wet, Wet?". Or what about the one from symbol, Prince or whatever name he goes by these days "Purple Rain"!

Are you following my logic now? Yes? Jolly good. So starting tomorrow, lets have fun making some playlists. Be as old or retro or bang up to date as you like. Just enjoy. Catch you in the morning peeps, night night :)

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Lana Del Rey - West Coast - My Single of The Week

I admit I am already a fan of Lana Del Rey, but this new single - West Coast, is already a favourite. Released in April this year, this is working its way up the charts, currently sitting at number 21.

Lana has a really distinctive, really soulful voice. Her lyrics on this are beautiful, but in keeping with her previous singles, its in touch with its dark side.

This single is the lead single from her third album, Ultraviolence which was also released this year. Lana has had massive success with her first two albums, Lana Del Rey in 2010, and Born to Die in 2012. This song though, is different again, and it excites me for what the album holds in store.

Lana has a jazz like smoky voice, but she can also sound very young, and has been described as a lost "Lolita" and in fact described herself as a ganster Nancy Sinatra!! This track is another big atmospheric number, with a ballad like pace and feel to it.

She mournfully and beautifully sings through this track with a haunting, stirring resonance. Its all echoes and dreamlike, and it really does move you, and kind of make you nervous and excited at the same time.

The video is like none I have ever seen. Lana Del Rey is beautiful, in a retro, 1950s style - big false eyelashes, curves, and very feminine. It starts in black and white, and you think its just going to be a romance. Splashing in the waves, cuddling on a stroll along the beach - on the West Coast of course. Then she's being driven along, looking sad, and smoking.

The next thing, flames are all around her, she's in colour in a red dress with her black hair framing her against a backdrop of flames. Then she's in her beach outfit - leather jacket, once again burning. Its powerful and it is dark, and it fits this beautiful powerful track perfectly. You can check it out here.

I don't know if its everyone's cup of tea, but this is the best track I have heard in a long long time. I may even rate this more than Born to Die, an all time favourite of mine. She is unique, she is talented and she is beautiful in voice and in physical presence. Wow. Quite simply, just wow. You have to go and listen and watch this one, just perfection.

For more of My Music check out my page here. Happy Listening :)

(video published on youtube by LanaDelReyVEVO)