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Friday, 29 July 2016

Slimming World Mini Oreo Cheesecakes


A couple of months ago I started Slimming World again (seventh time lucky eh?) and I have really been struggling to avoid desserts, especially when my boyfriend loves them so much. So, in an attempt to have my cake and eat it too, I have been experimenting with making Slimming World friendly Mini Oreo Cheesecakes. 

I didn't think they'd turn out as well as they did, but oh my god they. were. amazing. 

They work out at only 5.5 syns per mini cheesecake and are actually really simple to make with just THREE INGREDIENTS. 



Makes Four Mini Cheesecakes | Prep 10 Minutes | Syns 5.5 per Cheesecake

Ingredients
7 Oreos (17.5 syns)
250g Quark
9 Teaspoons Choc Shot (4.5 syns)

Recipe 
1. Crush five of the Oreos until they form a base mixture. I find that the cream makes it so much easier and means you don't have to any butter to bind the biscuit crumbs. Evenly divide between four mini ramekins.

2. Mix the quark with with 3.5 teaspoons of Choc Shot, Spoon the mixture on top of the Oreo base. 

3. For the topping crush the two remaining Oreos and sprinkle on top of the cheesecake mixture. Drixxle a teaspoon of Choc Shot over each.

4. Leave to set in the fridge for 2-3 hours. 
However if you're dying to eat them you really don't have to do this...




I'm definitely going to be making these again, one was filling enough and really felt like I was having a treat. Look out for some more cheesecake experiments coming soon, I think I've started something..

Do yo have any Slimming World Cheesecake recipes I should try?

Lots of love, 


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Saturday, 16 July 2016

Unapologetically Me



For a long time I have been conscious of how many times a day I apologise, and to be honest, even in one day alone the word sorry comes out of my mouth a hell of a lot. 

I naturally say sorry for pretty much everything I do ''Sorry I forgot to pick up some drinks on the way home", "Sorry I look so terrible today, I overslept majorly" or "Sorry I'm only just replying to this message, it's been a hectic week". It's almost like it's programmed into my brain that I have to say it at the start of every sentance, just incase someone is offended or hurt by something I say, do or even how I look.

Well, this week I have realised that actually, I don't have to apologise for half the stuff I do - because they are the things that make me who I am and I actually kinda like some of them

I've realised that we all need to live life to our own standards, rather then the ones we think have been set for us, and stop apologising for things that make you who you are. 

If you say sorry as much as I do I also think the words start to lose their meaning, so those times when you really are scincerely sorry, the value of the words 'I'm sorry' means so much less. 

From now on I am going to try and save those words for the times they are really needed. 

So, here are some things I am definitely not sorry for:

  • I'm not sorry that some days I wake up late and don't want to put on makeup before I leave the house. It's perfectly normal to prefer that extra half an hour in bed. 
  • I'm not sorry that it sometimes takes me days to respond to a text message or email, or that sometimes I forget completely until I am reminded by another message.
  • I'm not sorry that I don't always stick to my diet 100% and that some days all I want to do is watch Netflix in bed with a tub of Ben and Jerry's. 
  • I'm not sorry that I don't talk to everyone or I can be awkward in a social situation - it's not that I don't like you, it's that I don't have something in common with everyone.
  • I'm not sorry I can't walk as fast as everyone else or that I struggle to keep up when you're walking at a normal pace, I try and that to me is enough. 
  • I not sorry that I post a lot of pictures of my cat, he's my furbaby and I will always be taking pictures of him. 
"You will alway be too much of something for soomeone: too big, too loud, too soft, too edgy. If you round your edges, you lose your edge. Apologise for mistakes. Apologise for unintentionally hurting someone - profusely. But don't apologise for being who you are".
- Danielle LaPorte


What are you not sorry for?


Lots of love, 


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Monday, 11 July 2016

#BloggerTikiParty - We Need to Talk



Most of you probably already know that I host blogger events in the West Midlands and yesterday I hosted my fifth at Island Bar - the #BloggerTikiParty. The event was definitely one of my best and I had an amazing time spending time with some of my favourite bloggers, while drinking lots of yummy Pina Coladas.

However, if you've been keeping up with the hashtag on Twitter you may have seen that on my way home from the event I had a couple of things I wanted to say. I don't feel like my anger towards the lack of respect some people had is fully gone, so I needed to vent in the best way I know how.

Before I go into more detail, I just wanted to say that this blog post does not apply to everyone. There are a lot of people that were supportive, kind and wanted to make my day a hell of a lot easier. These are the bloggers I am proud to say I am part of.

So, here are a few of the things I noticed happening both during and after the event.

Bloggers that no show
This is something that has happened at every event I have hosted, however I am not going to be so accepting of it anymore. I put A LOT of effort into these events and there are always people on the reserve list wanting a place. By having your name on the list I am holding a place for you. If you know a month, two weeks or even a day before the event that you can't make it any more LET ME KNOW.

I send plenty of email updates and give people the option to let me know they can't make it, so anyone that just doesn't turn up to an event from now on will be automatically blacklisted.


Taking more than allowed
The goody bags I had put together were really quite big, so I struggled to fit the larger items in them. I thought it would be a good idea to pop the things like subscription boxes and individual brand goody bags out on the spare tables with a cute little sign that said 'Please Take ONE. Don't forget to tweet the brand' next to it.

I thought this meant it was very obvious that you could only take one, as there was only 40 of each and 40 bloggers due to attend. With all of the last minute drop outs and no shows there were 32 people attending all together (without the extra few that managed to sneak in). This meant that there should have been around 8 of each item left over at the end of the event, however people took it upon themselves to take more than they were entitled too and leaving a lot of bloggers coming up to me saying they didn't manage to get one of everything.

I trusted people by putting things out for people to help themselves however I will NOT be doing this at any of my future events as it's down right disrespectful to think you're so self entitled to be able to take something away from someone else just because you want to go away from an even with as much as you possibly can.


Turning up when you're not on the list
Unfortunately the day before the event I had to go to A+E to have a tetanus shot after my cat attacked me, so that meant I was a little bit behind on things and I completely forgot to print out a guest list. Being the trusting person I am I thought this would be okay. 

This ties in with the point above as it accounts for a number of the extra items that had gone (although not all of them as people still went without), but it also meant that I ALMOST ran out of goody bags.

As we were strapped for space in the car I left a couple of goody bags behind knowing that people had dropped out that morning, so even with the three or four spare I took I still ended up having only enough and got in a big panic when I thought one of my friends that attended were going to go without a goody bag, especially when they always put in so much effort reviewing everything.

So either a few people sneakily came along to the event without an invitation, or people stole goody bags when I was not looking. I don't know which is worse to be honest. 


Leaving as soon as goody bags have been given out
I decided to give the goody bags out a little bit earlier this time around, so gave them out just after the raffle at twenty past three. I was so shocked to see how many people left after I had given them out as by half three there were only around 30% of attendees left, most of which were my close friends.

I know some people had to head off and get trains, which is fine, but it did dissappoint me seeing how many people got the bags and just left. It made me feel as though that's the main reason people attend, rather than the chance to network and make new friends. Who cares about friends when you can get free stuff, right?


Stealing
I have heard about this happening at events before, and it absolutely disgusted me - how can someone steal something thinking it's okay? There were two incidents of sticky fingers at #BloggerTikiParty, one of which included some of my personal belongings.

I'd very clearly set out the raffle prizes across the back of the room in a row, however people still thought it was okay to help themselves because 'they didn't know they were raffle prizes', Thankfully I managed to see someone taking something, so I politely asked them to put it back and they alerted me to the fact that lots of other people had been helping themselves too. This is UNACCEPTABLE.

Not only was the raffle a charity, but stealing is a crime and if I knew how had been taking things I would have been taking it much further than an angry blog post.

I also brought a pack of twenty five coloured Sharpies to the event so people could sign the cute little guest book I had. By the end of the event I had EIGHT sharpies left. Yes, I know they are 'just Sharpies' but under no circustance did I say to people coming in "sign the guest book and help yourself to a pen". Are people really after free stuff that badly that they'd take a pen?

I'm not proud to be part of a community of blaggers, rather than honest and trust worthy bloggers.

Overall I shocked, appalled and disappointed with the behaviour of some bloggers that attended the event yesterday. No, I don't have a clue who any of the culprits are but if you'd like to come forward and apologise I'd really appreciate it.

Thank you to everyone who showed me support yesterday both at the event and afterwards on Twitter. I love you all. 


Lots of love, 


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Monday, 4 July 2016

2016 Goals: Midyear Update



At the beginning of the year I set myself lifestyle, blog and health goals. As we are now half way through the year I thought there is no better time to see how far off achieving my goals I am. I'm definitely not expecting miracles, so here goes..

Resolutions

  • Make more time for myself | I have definitely started to do this, especially the last month or so. It's so important to let life get in the way. 
  • Make changes that can better my health | The start of the year didn't get off to the best start, but the last two months I've been taking steps to improve my health greatly. I have a lot of different health issues, so right now it's only baby steps, but it's a start. 
  • Meet more people | This one is definitely going well. I've already met some AMAZING people this year. Including my partner in crime Ashton Gibbs ;-)
  • Become tidier | Okay, I haven't really done this. At all. I WILL BE TIDIER. 
  • Start saving money | Right now I still have £0 savings. It's going well. 
  • Learn to drive | I started my driving lessons in March and had around 8 lessons. Unfortuantely I really struggling with it, so I have given up for the time being. I will start again at some point, however it's not top of my list in terms of money priorities. 

Blog Goals 2016

The following are the Stats I wanted to be at by the end of 2016, I may be aiming a little high with some of them, but I am hoping it motivates me to work as hard as I can to get there. 

Twitter followers | 5,000 
I am SO close to this. I felt like I am was aiming high as I was only on 1,500 at the beginning of the year however now I am close to 4,200. Fingers crossed I can hit 5,000 in the next few months and possibly hit 7,000 by the end of the year.
Facebook likes | 1,000
I don't think I've gained any more likes since I set this target. WHY IS FACEBOOK SO HARD?
Bloglovin' followers | 2,000
I gain maybe 1-2 Bloglovin' followers a week, so again this is one I really struggle with. I have around 1500 followers to go before I hit this goal, so any tips would be great. 
Instagram followers | 2,000
I've gone up around 250 followers since the start of the year, but I am still 1,250 followers off my target. Time to really up my Insta game.
Total page views | 250,000
This is probably something I won't hit, as I am currently at 80,000 all time views. I can dream...

Other blog related goals include:
  • Post at least 4 times a week | Up until last month I posted every Monday to Friday, which was actually amazing. However, the last few weeks life has really got in the way so throughout the whole of June I only posted 10 times. This is about to change as I have my blogging mojo back.
  • Schedule tweets for every day | Yep, never gonna happen.
  • Do at least one sponsored post a month | I haven't done one a month, however I have had bursts where I have quite a few, so it more than makes up for it. 
  • Improve my photography x1000000 | I feel like my photos have approved a little, but they are no where near where I'd like them to be just yet.
  • Work on my content, including posting more recipes | I posted a recipe a week at the start of the year, but that started to fizzle out as I hated my food photography. My kitchen has no windows so it was alwayo orange. ARGH. 
  • Post 5 Instagram photographs a week | I'm so bad at Instagram. This is definitey one of my main focuses for the rest of the year though. 
  • Organise more blogger events, connecting brands and bloggers together | My next event is in less than a week. OH MY GOD. I have a feeling it's going to be my best yet too, I can't wait. 
  • Attend more events and meet more bloggers | I've only been to two or three events so far this year, so I hope I can make it to more before the end of the year. I WANT TO MEET EVERYONE.
  • Organise, keep track of and plan EVERYTHING blog related | Didn't do this on either...

Health Goals 2016
  • Lose 4 Stone | I had a bad start to the year, which meant I ended up putting on another stone. I joined Slimming World two months ago and have lost 9lb so far though. Although it's coming off slowley, it's still in the right direction which is all that matters. 
  • Be able to balance on my right foot | This probably seems like a bit of a strange one to most, but at the moment my balance is so poor that I can't balance on my right foot. I am still in physio for this (and now my knee and back) and although I can't see any difference yet, I hope to be able to by the end of the year. 
  • Walk for an hour without taking a break | I don't think I will be able to do this by the end of the year as I am still struggling. I went on a 'challenging' walk the other day and had to take it a tree at a time. One day...

Lifestyle Goals 2016 

  • Read 30 books | I've read a couple of books, usually when travelling long journeys or in the bath. I am hoping this number will jump when I am on holiday. 
  • Bake/Cook one new recipe a week | I started well with this, but life gets in the way so I have been sticking to my favourites. I will be trying to do this again, I promise. 
  • Take a course in something I have always wanted to do | I haven't done this yet, although I think I know what I want it to be in. 
  • Travel | I want to go to at least two countries I haven't visited before, however it doesn't like this is happening as I've used all my holiday days at work. Ooops.. 
  • Earn a promotion and pay rise | I don't really have a comment on this one...

So, as you can see I am not doing as well as I'd have hoped. Time to step it up. How are your goals going?

Lots of love, 


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Thursday, 30 June 2016

Moving Home & Gas Safety

Photo Credit


When I was 18 I moved out of my parents and into my first ever student accomodation, since then I have spent what feels like the rest of my life moving from house to flat, to house, then to flat again. I think in the last 4 years I have moved SEVEN times all together, with another move on the cards for the very near future

Moving house can be an incredibly stressful time, and it can be so easy to forget the simpliest of things like cancelling your old contract in time or changing the contact details for all of your bills.

However, during my last move I forgot something that could have been harmful to both me and my boyfriend. I didn't make sure my house had been gas safety checked. 

We had a lot of problems when we first moved in, so it wasn't until my parents said "do you have the gas safety certificate?" that I realised I had no record of it anywhere. Luckily, we were able to get someon, in to check the gas (which was okay) straight away, but it could have been a very different story. 

Gas safety is a very important, and not often talked about topic, so Flogas asked me to share a few other ways you can ensure your house/flat is gas safe. 

  • Be aware of carbon monoxide leakage signs
  • Get a carbon monoxide alarm
  • Ensure all of your appliances are gas safety checked
  • Have yearly gas safety checks (if you rent, bug your landlord for one!)
  • Keep small hands and pets away from gas appliances
  • Only use gas appliances for their intended purposes
  • Provide sufficient ventilation for gas appliances
  • Be aware of the warning signs of a gas appliance not working correctly (lazy flames, condensation and blackening

Is your home gas safe?

Lots of love, 


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