Sunday, 29 January 2012

2012 New Year's Witchy Fitness Challenge Check In: Week 2 (15/01/12)

I was surprisingly good this week... until Saturday night :( Friday was my day for intense yoga and I felt so good afterwards! The next night however I took a break from revising and decided to treat myself to watching LOTR The Two Towers (it's my favourite!) In doing so I managed to nearly munch my way through a whole box of pringles and a jar of salsa. (I deserve a slap on the wrist for that!) I know I said I wouldn't deny myself some treats but that was waaaaay too much. So this week I plan to be healthier than usual.
Week 2 Challenge was about figuring out what other health issues you have and how they effect your fitness and quality of life. These can be physical or mental including stress levels and comment on how you can improve these.

As someone who's missed a year out of school due to illness, it plays a big role in my life. Although I try to grin and bare it most of the time it can take over and make me unable to do anything. If you haven't read any of my other posts, I had a chronic dry cough for 8 months due to stress (ie coughing like a 40 year old on 60 a day every two minutes, and that is no exaggeration.) I was very good at dealing with stress when I was younger but being a typical Aquarius I can't express my feelings and I'm used to giving others advice rather than asking for help myself. and so ended up very ill. While I was ill many people though there was nothing wrong with me, thinking a cough can't be serious which made me feel even worse. It's true that people don't get a three dimensional view of long term illness until they've experienced it for themselves. It was also around the time when swine flu was gripping everyone so I was started at a lot in hospitals.

What made my cough worse was the fact that two years prior I fell off a horse, landed on my hip and moved all my vertebrae from the top of my neck to the base of my spine out of place, my hip was rolled forward and trapped with a nerve in my leg and the bottom of my spine. I went to the hospital the next day and they said I just had muscle damage so I didn't go to an osteopath until a year or more after when I learned what was really wrong. He wasn't sure how I managed to go on for a year but most of the time I didn't notice the pain as it was constant. It's safe to say I have a high pain threshold but am now prone to getting trapped nerves and tense muscles in my back as well as my hip rolling forward every so often.

My cough has impacted all aspects of my life; my voice changed due to the damage of my vocal chords so I can't sing as high which is quite annoying as I'm in the choir and liked doing the soprano 1 pieces. I've been left with hyper sensitive airways similar to an asthmatic's so I have to take an inhaler. I also physically can't breathe when I walk past someone smoking or if deodorant has been sprayed. My immune system got a serious battering and I get awful migraines. Although my chronic cough has been cured for nearly two years I still get a horrible barking cough when I'm ill and take a long time to recover. My health has also made me have to reconsider what job I want to have in the future.

My exercise plan has been improving my core muscle strength so I should be less likely to have problems with my back. I also want to go back to horse riding soon as I have gone for 10 years but have only been three times in the last two years. I will continue to take vitamins and herbal remedies to strengthen my immune system although I try not to let illness get in the way of me enjoying my life. A major thing I need to do more is learn to relax and have more me time. Most of the time I consider things like doing word searches or researching topics of interest relaxing but in truth my brain is still going mad. I'm going to take even five minutes out of each day to do some breathing exercises or meditation. As far as migraines and my airways go there isn't much I can do. I take preventative medication for my migraines which works amazingly but I'm not sure if there are any herbal alternatives? My airways just have a mind of their own so I just try to stay away from triggers but I'm so glad they aren't affected by incense. The main thing I can do again is exercises to help relax my throat and vocal chords.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Illamasqua Goodies

As I've been ill for the past few weeks I thought I'd treat myself to a present to make me smile (also because Illamasqua were giving away a free liquid metal with anything from the Christmas gift shop section, I couldn't resist!) (Just adding to this now, I started writing this soooo long ago that I've bought even more Illamasqua products which I'll include.

Illamasqua Brush Roll & Liquid Metal in Resolute
Firstly, how gorgeous is the brush roll! It's an image of Narcissus gazing at her reflection. I had my eye on it for a while but it was only available with a full brush set and I couldn't justify spending £90 then I saw it was in the Christmas shop along with a lip brush. As it was my third purchase with Illamasqua I also got 10% off :)

Here's the inside
Illamasqua Lip Brush
Liquid Metal in Resolute
Liquid Metal in Resolute - Intense then blended
This is such a gorgeous red shade but it does blend to be quite copperish, beautiful as a base under MAC Twinks.

Illamasqua Illumine Body Oil in Volt, Powder Blusher in Unrequited, Pure Pigment in Fervent & Intense Lipgloss in Hermetic
Illamasqua Illumine Oil in Volt
Firstly I'm going to warn you about the bombarding of pictures of this product but it's gorgeous! There is a golden version called Pulse (I think) but as I'm as pale as they come I got this one that has amazing blue shimmer in it! Definately very Skadi/Ice Goddess like :) It has quite a delicate coconut scent too. I purchased this from the sale so it was reduced from £32.00 to £7.50 - a complete steal! I really hope the sparkle shows up, and ignore the yellowish one, just the way the sun was coming in.

Illamasqua Illumine Oil in Volt - Intense then blended
Illamasqua Powder Blusher in Unrequited
This is a soft baby pink with a matte finish. A lot brighter and deeper than Katie which I will compare below. The blushes also have a wonderful scent in the pan but not on the cheeks.

Illamasqua Powder Blusher in Unrequited - Intense then blended
L-R: Illamasqua Powder Blusher in Unrequited & Katie
Illamasqua Pure Pigment in Fervent
Although I think Illamasqua's packaging is gorgeous they really haven't thought it through on the pure pigments; they go everywhere if you don't open them right, which I clearly found out. Other than that Fervent is a reddish brown with blue, green and silver shimmer, (I recommend clicking on the picture to see it better. A very unique shade which I'm unlikely to find anything similar to. I'm looking forward to coming up with a look using this shade. This was also purchased in the sale for £7.50 and was originally £15.50.

Illamasqua Pure Pigment in Fervent - Intense then blended
Illamasqua Intense Lipgloss in Hermetic
Another purchase from the £7.50 section of the sale, orginally £13.00. Hermetic is a gorgeous deep wine red, very vampish and me! I think it will look gorgeous over Revlon's Black Cherry lipstick.

Illamasqua Intense Lipgloss in Hermetic

Friday, 13 January 2012

Amarya Beauty Box Jan 2012

So it's the first Beauty Box of the year and I have to say I was surprised when I lifted a very small and lightweight box from the hall when I came home from school. This month's products didn't come in the usual Amarya Beauty Box, but instead a regular Amarya delivery box. I wasn't too worried when I found out what was inside.

sorry there's a usb in the corner :/

There were only 3 products in this month's box but never fear, something special is hiding inside that pretty purple bag...

Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream - £23.95 30ml full sized sample.
"With the extract of over 1,075 organic Rose petals in each tube, this rich, beautifully scented and bestselling moisturiser will regenerate the skin, leaving it feeling smooth and calm. A fantastic cream for reducing redness and couperose conditions." As someone who suffers from redness and broken capillaries, I'm highly excited for this cream. I've only been using it for the past two mornings so haven't yet noticed anything drastic so I just have to give it time. It has a similar floral smell to Pai's products which I like but it doesn't linger on the skin. It has been a good moisturiser so far and coming from a person that has to use eczema cream on their face and doesn't actually have eczema that's a big claim to make!

John Masters Organics Jojoba and Ginseng Exfoliating Cleanser - £26.00 full size 118ml, 5ml sample.
"A luxury beauty range that combines high performance products with ethical, yet innovative, ingredients. Treating the skin and the earth with equal respect." This must have been this month's "random" product from a brand. I love John Masters Organics hair products and have been keen to try some of their skin products too. It is described on the site as being, "For all skin types Herbal extracts and plant & essential oils are combined to reoxygenate and nourish the skin as they gently cleanse. Ginseng improves circulation, which can reduce fine lines and make the skin firmer. Jojoba beads gently exfoliate without scratching, stimulating micro-circulation and lymphatic drainage Properties:

  • spherical structure of jojoba beads allows exfoliating without risk of scratching skin

  • stimulates blood circulation

  • restores vibrancy Usage:

  • for all skin types

  • use for gentle exfoliation on face & neck

  • use daily for thicker skin, weekly for more sensitive, thin skin."

  •  Caudalie Vinexpert Radience Day Fluid SPF10 - £38.00 full size 30ml, 3ml sample.
    "Using a patented formula of grape-seed polyphenols from their own home-grown grapes, Caudalie offers a range of high anti-oxidant, anti-aging products." Another "random" product. Personally I won't be using this as I'm just about to hit 18 so I don't think I'll need anti-aging products for another few years but my mummy is keen to try it. "This silky fluid offers exceptional anti-ageing effects. As a firming, anti-wrinkle cream, it also ensures optimal moisturizing and anti-oxidant protection. Its subtle pearly tones give you a radiant complexion throughout the day. Who is it for? For anyone who wants to fight against wrinkles and loss of firmness. Main Ingredients: Patented vine Resveratrol titrated at 500ppm, patented grape-seed polyphenols, Vinolevure®, coppery pearlizers and light reflecting pigments, cassia angustifolia, hyaluronic acid, shea butter, olive squalane, peas, sun filters, mint, mandarin...  Caudalie cosm-ethics:  0% parabens, phenoxyethanol, artificial colorings, mineral oils… No animal testing. Non-comedogenic."

    Thursday, 12 January 2012

    11 Random Things About Me Tag

    I got tagged over at My Life As I Know It. This is my first tag, how exciting :) (I've put this into UK spelling)

    1. post these rules.
    2. you must post 11 random things about yourself.
    3. answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post.
    4. create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
    5. go to their blog and tell them that you've tagged them.
    6. no stuff in the tagging section about ‘you are tagged if you are reading this.’ blah blah blah, you legitimately have to tag 11 people!

    1 I can easily spend a whole night's "sleep" reading, I often found myself still engrossed in a book when other people in my house were getting up for work.
    2 I've gone through a lot in my life for a 17 year old and although I nearly didn't make it I've come out a stronger because of it.
    3 My friends always come to me for advice but I am unable to ask for help for myself. I bottle my emotions until I snap which can have horrible effects on my health.
    4 I adapt well to new situations. I had to go back a year in school because of illness and didn't know anyone, now I have the best friends imaginable :)
    5 I'm a work hard play harder kind of person. Most people in school think I'm quiet and get on with my work and don't think I party as much as the people who brag about it.
    6 I need my alone time! I go mad if I'm around people ALL the time. I was the only girl out of three children so learned to be by myself. I enjoy being solitary, my sanity depends on it!
    7 I'm fascinated by pretty much everything, the more knowledge I can have of something the better. Once something interests me I have to find all the information on it I can!
    8 I am an organ and blood donor, I believe in helping all those I can :)
    9 I am mildly allergic to pollen, cat hair, dust and house dust mites and have hyper sensitive airways but incense doesn't affect me :D
    10 I play the guitar, piano and used to play the violin. (I wish I didn't quit!) I would love to play the harp.
    11 My favourite smells are lavender, petrol and a winter's day when it has been snowing.

    11 Questions I Get To Answer:
    What is your favourite colour? Why? Green :) I don't really know why, I like earthy and dark colours so hunter green.
    What is your favourite band/music? I love music from all different genres but I always come back to Loreena McKennitt, Enya, Ludovico Einaudi & Fleetwood Mac time and time again. I love New Age and Soundtrack music and I'm getting more and more into Pagan Metal.
    What is your favourite movie? Why? Oh, it HAS to be The Lord of the Rings Trilogy! I own all three, extended editions of course! The Two Towers is probably my favourite though. I love Gladiator and Kingdom of Heaven too. I have a thing for reallllly long movies :) I don't know why, I'm just obsessed, I mean, have you SEEN Viggo & Orli?! who wouldn't want to look at them for 4 hours ;) & have been told I look like Arwen :) ...ahh Liv, she's so lovely.
    What is your favourite website? Why? Probably Blogger! I love catching up on all the blogs I follow and get new ideas and perspectives on things :)
    What is your favourite time of year? Why? I love Autumn/Winter. I am a Winter baby so it is understandable but I do love the darker part of the year when the air is so cold and crisp, you can really feel Skadi is here :)
    What do you do for work? I'm currently a student in my penultimate year at grammar school studying Chemistry, Biology and Psychology... (spot the science nerd!) I was doing English Lit but dropped it in November, I enjoyed it but it was taking up all my time.
    Do you have a favourite set of sheets or blanket you love? Why do you love it? My mummy made me a little quilt when I was in a cot and I've had it ever since, I love it, it's so cute, with little patchwork elephants, butterflies, ducks and more :)
    Do you have pets? What are they and their names? I have two dogs, three cats, two tropical fish and a kitten (we did have two more but they disappeared :( ). The dogs are a chocolate Labrador/Collie cross called Bailey & a Lhasa Apso called Pippa (she actually has a big long silly name because she's pedigree), then the cats are called Muffin, Buttons & Minnie, and the kitten is called Mog. One of the fish is called Harry the hoover because it's one of those sucker fish that sticks to everything, (they were my mummy's friend's fish).
    If you could have any superpower what would it be? This is a really hard one, but probably to be able to absorb information and keep it all. I'm an Aquarius, I'm interested by everything and like having knowledge :) wouldn't mind being able to time travel either :)
    What is your favourite food/dish? Sushi! Oh I love sushi :)
    What is your favourite drink (alcohol or otherwise)? Earl Grey Tea, nothing but the best :)

    11 People I Tag:
    Inner Moon 
    The Flaxen Owl 
    Powdered Almond 
    She Who Seeks 
    I Am A Weapon Of Massive Consumption 
    New Moon Summer 
    Pagan Culture 
    Plush Possum Studio 
    Emily Charlotte 
    Every Magical Day 

    11 Questions For You:

    1 Where is your favourite place? Why?
    2 How do you like to relax?
    3 What is your favourite smell?
    4 What are your hobbies?
    5 What is your favourite animal? Why?
    6 What was your favourite subject at school? Why?
    7 What is your favourite book?
    8 What was the last thing you ate?
    9 What is your favourite computer game?
    10 Are you more introverted or extroverted?
    11 What is your favourite song?

    Leave a link in the comments below when you've done it :) Anyone else who I haven't tagged feel free to do one too :)

    Monday, 9 January 2012

    A Little Pic

    I liked the make up I done at the weekend when I went out for my friend leaving for uni so thought I'd share. I used my new Illamasqua Liquid Metal in Resolute :)

    Sunday, 8 January 2012

    2012 New Year's Witchy Fitness Challenge Check In: Week 1

    So it's been a week and I have to say I'm surprised that I have already lost about half an inch almost everywhere! I wasn't really good on what I was eating but portion sizes were definitely down and I've been drinking as much water as possible. I've been sticking to my exercise plans making sure I did stretches everyday but I didn't get a chance to jog so I'm off to do my intense yoga session (this will be fun :/)

    Current Measurements (last weeks measurements in brackets)

    Weight  9.12st  (10.0st)
    Waist 29.5in (30 in)
    Hips 35.5in (36 in)
    Bust 35.5in (36in)
    Widest Part 39in (39in)
    Thighs 21.5in (22in)

    I really wasn't expecting this result after only a week but it has encouraged me to continue on my quest to becoming the fittest and healthiest me possible :)

    A short post but I've too much studying to do!

    Thursday, 5 January 2012

    The Joys Of January

    January is well under way, I've only been back to school for two days and already I'm stressing! My mocks are coming up in the next few weeks and are really important so I won't be back to posting until near the end of the month, except for the Witchy Fitness Challenge check-ins on Sundays. I'm going to be soooo behind on the New Year, New You Challenge but what can you do. Hopefully my work will pay off and I'll be back posting soon. Have a good January! Hannah xx

    Monday, 2 January 2012

    2012 New Year's Witchy Fitness Challenge Begins

    So, it has arrived at last, and as you would guess the first requirement is to take your starting measurements.

    Weight 10.0st (138.8lbs)
    Waist 30 in
    Hips 36 in
    Bust 36in
    Widest Part 39in
    Thighs 22in

    Another requirement was to take a before photo, I'll take one later but I don't think I'll put it up as I don't own a bikini (yet!)

    Next is goals. As this is a fitness challenge I'm not interested in losing lots of weight (although it would be nice!) My main goal is to improve my strength and posture, and tone up my curves. I don't want rid of them but I do want them to be tighter. I've been to countless physiotherapists, osteopaths and Chinese therapy acupressure sessions about the whole of my back that I know I need to start doing something myself about it.

    Finally is the plan. This is probably the hardest thing to make and stick to but I'm going to give it my best. It's best to put it into two sections; a diet plan and an exercise plan.

    Diet Plan

    1 Drink at least 2 litres of water. I can become a little dehydrated when I have my cough but this should be easy enough when I get back to school as I always fill a bottle up in the morning and have it drank before the end of the school day. I'm going to bring an extra one and make sure to fill it back up when I get home.

    2 Stick to the Meatless Monday Campaign. I'm beginning this today as it is Monday as I've recently purchased the River Cottage Veg Cookbook after watching the programme. This will not only improve my health but the environment too!

    3 Stop grazing when I don't need to. I have a habit of eating whatever is in the house when I'm not even hungry, or even worse I eat while waiting for something else to cook!

    4 Cut down on portion sizes. I don't really eat that unhealthily but I know that my portion sizes are waaaay too big for one person. I can eat quite quickly too so my body doesn't have time to tell me it's full before I've finished my plate.

    5 Stop having I NEED THE MOST UNHEALTHY THING I CAN THINK OF phases. Like I mentioned above my diet isn't that unhealthy but when I crave something sweet or savoury that is loaded with calories and not much else I go mad eating as much as I can. I'm not going to deny myself a treat once in a while, I already do try to limit the amount of buns I bake, but no more nights of  milk chocolate that I don't even like! (I do however like dark chocolate and a square of proper dark chocolate is meant to be good for you.)

    6 Make sure I take my vitamins! Pretty self explanatory but I ALWAYS forget to!

    Exercise Plan

    • Core muscle stretches
    • Resistance band stretches
    • Gentle Yoga before bed
    • Core muscle stretches
    • Resistance band stretches
    • Core muscle stretches
    • Resistance ban stretches
    • Jog on Wii
    • Core muscle stretches
    • Resistance band stretches
    • Core muscle stretches 
    • Resistance band stretches
    Saturday & Sunday
    • Core muscle stretches 
    • Resistance band stretches
    • Intense Yoga or Walk & Rest on other day
    It is possible that my mummy and I will join Slimming World or Weight Watchers in the next few weeks too. Good luck on achieving whatever goals you have set!

    Sunday, 1 January 2012

    Meatless Monday Campaign

    I'm really jumping on the challenge bandwagon and this time it's something that I've been contemplating for a while. After talking it over with my mummy earlier today, I've decided to join the Meatless Monday campaign, to "one day a week, cut out meat" in order to improve health and the environment. Although I wouldn't become a full blown vegetarian (I love bacon and red meat too much) I did choose too study adolescent vegetarianism for my home economics coursework a few years ago and found that there are many benefits to excluding meat from your diet no matter how long it is for. Health benefits include reducing the risk of some cancers, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Not only that, leaving out the meat one day a week reduces your carbon footprint, decreases fossil fuel dependancy and minimises water usuage making it environmentally friendly too.

    If you are thinking of joining in on the Meatless Monday campaign there is a widget in the side bar with recipe ideas and I will post some recipes I've tried out too along the way. Meat often takes centre stage on the dinner plate, but it doesn't have to be there for food to be just as delicious.

    New Year, New You Blog Challenge

    Deborah over at Charmed I'm Sure has started an experiment, along with her muse, to get people off their butts and do the things that they've been putting off and need done called New Year, New You . As someone who tries to have a "just do it" approach to life, I still need a kick in the ass about doing certain things.

    She will post prompts to get us motivated into doing whatever it is we need to do. I hope you all join in to make this your most magical year yet!