Monday, 8 December 2014

Fitness And Fun With The Virgin Active Crew

It's no secret that Aalliyah is an active girl. Whether she is skateboarding, playing football or simply running around like a maniac, she is never happier than when she is working up a sweat. So when we received an invitation from Virgin Active to trial a new fitness class aimed at kids, she very literally jumped at the chance.  Virgin Active have worked alongside SAQ International to develop an exciting new fitness class aimed at children ranging from 8-15 years old. It's a fresh, new approach to children's fitness which is not like your normal mundane fitness classes. Instead it incorporates exciting challenges which proved to be a huge hit with all the kids involved. 

The kids were really put through their paces right from the initial warm up. They took part in some great team challenges involving balls and sand bags, focusing on their throwing , catching and teamwork abilities. Then they moved onto individual challenges and some animal antics with Nathan Helberg from Zuu chimps. Aalliyah loved the animal movements like the gorilla and the frog and found these the most strenuous. Another thing she seemed to really enjoy were the reaction challenges using the fit lights. She was rather good at these actually and has some lightening fast reflexes. What was also great to witness is how the team members were so involved with the children and kept them motivated throughout the class. The kids were seriously sweating by the end of it but were enjoying themselves so much I am sure they could have easily carried on.

All in all our experience with the Virgin Active Crew was amazing. Not only did Aalliyah have a wonderful time getting active and socializing with other kids her age, but it was amazing to meet and speak to some of the people behind the Virgin Active Crew and to really hear first hand how beneficial these programmes could be. Not only do they improve core fitness and ability but they are proven to improve a child's academic performance and even improve a child's handwriting literally within weeks of starting a class. After seeing first hand how much Aalliyah enjoyed the class, It really is something I would be interested in following on with. 

Do you or you children attend any fitness classes? How do you find them? Why not give Virgin Active Crew a go?

Disclosure: I am a member of the Netmums Blogging Network, a unique community of parent bloggers from around the UK who have been handpicked by the Netmums team to review products and brands on their behalf. I may have been paid expenses, and have been supplied with a product sample for this review, but retain all editorial control. All my Netmums Reviews will display the Netmums logo within the post.

This is a Netmum's sponsored review.To find out more click the button:

Monday, 24 November 2014

Almost Thirty

For the best part of this year, whenever someone has asked me my age my response has always been "I'll be turning 30 in December" or "Nearly 30" Never have I answered with my actually age of 29. For someone who has been dreading turning 30 all year, I am ever so quick to put myself into that age bracket before I have even hit it. Having spent lots of time in a state of "pre-thirty" devastation I have come to the conclusion that although my age is ever increasing and out of my control, this is not the case with my life. I still have control over it so why on earth is an age bracket going to make a difference to that. So instead of focusing on all the things I will have not achieved before reaching this milestone age I am focusing all my positive energy into all of the wonderful things i "am" going to achieve in the next stage of my life. They say that life begins at 40 but for me I reckon its 30. This is going to be my decade. I can feel it. Work, study, learning to drive, new friends and experiences are all part of my achievements I am aiming for in my thirties. 

Now don't get me wrong.. I am not getting out the slippers and knitting needles just yet. I am still a young, vibrant thing and have every intention of raving on well into the next decade and beyond. I may well relive some of my "twenties youth" while I still can, maybe grab some Basement Jaxx tickets and throw down some shapes at the concert?, go on a "twenties only" weekend? or even hit the local foam party at the weekend? Ok maybe not the foam party, I didn't even enjoy this when I was 16! 

Did any of you dread turning 30? Or did you like me go over things you wish you had done before hitting a certain age? One thing's for sure. I am going to embrace my birthday and welcome it with open arms. I plan to celebrate with all the people I love. Here's to the next decade!

*This post was written in Collaboration with 02

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Weight Watchers Fajita Stir And Season Pots *Review*

As most of you know I am a current "Weight Watcher" and I am always looking for simple but tasty meals ideas and was really keen to try the new Weight Watchers stir and season pots. I absolutely love fajitas. A meal where you can bung it a bit of what ever you fancy is right up my street and you can add or take away ingredients as you wish. I do tend to stick to the basics with my fajitas though and use the standard chicken, onions and peppers.

On first inspection I did think the pots seemed rather small and given that I was making enough for both myself and Aalliyah did fear that they would be no where near enough. I couldn't have been more wrong. The sauce seems to coat everything evenly and spread so far that it could have easily stretched out on another few servings. I also didn't feel the need to add any extra sauce to my fajitas as it was quite a wet seasoning.

At just 1 pro point per pot these are the perfect addition to give your fajitas an amazing flavour. Simply pop on in when frying your chicken and you're good to go. Minimal effort and maximum taste. I will definitely be buying these again. Not only do they taste amazing but they are also fantastic value for money at only £1.50 for four pots. 10/10 for us :)

Friday, 31 October 2014

The End Of An Era

I guess I should start of this post with a huge... "HAPPY HALLOWEEN"!!

What do you have planned tonight? Trick or treating? A party? Scary movie night? Or do you just see Halloween as another Friday night? This Halloween really is the end of an era for me. It is the first year where I will not be partaking in the traditional night of getting Aalliyah all dressed up and taking her out trick or treating. It was always such an exciting night for her. I used to love watching the excitement on her face all day building up to Halloween night, much like the excitement of Christmas eve! I would paint her face in some "undead and bloody" fashion and we would venture outside. It didn't matter that it was freezing, dark and sometimes raining . She would go door to door braving all the elements filling up her goody bag. More often than not her cousin would come along and they always had a tradition of going home emptying all their loot and setting up there own swap shop. Two little business people exchanging sweets and chocolate like stocks and bonds.

Aalliyah is 12 in February and while there are many kids that still go trick or treating her age (and older in some cases) its clear she is now just too old for the whole trick or treating experience. I find it really sad as it is just another reminder that she is inevitably growing up. Having said that I cannot be sad for too long, as she is growing up into a wonderful young lady and her unselfish nature meant tonight she wanted nothing more than to stay home and give out sweeties to all the children that will come knocking. She was as excited to do this than she had been to go out trick or treating herself in previous years and it was so lovely to see. Unfortunately I am working and wont be back until later on this evening so will be unable to enjoy this with here, so she is off down her nans tonight for "operation trick or treater's." 

What are you doing tonight? What ever it is I hope you have a wonderful time and above all else have fun and be safe!

Have a wonderful Halloween.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

I'm Lonely.. Don't Judge Me

Loneliness affects everyone of us at some point in our lives. It has no interest in our gender, age, race.. It just hits us. It can affect us in many different ways, from lack of friendships in primary school right through to later in life, when you are faced with things like divorce and loss. Sometimes you are at your loneliest even when you are surrounded by family and friends. It's not just about being physically alone. It's a state of mind, a feeling of isolation. Feeling lonely its not something that I would openly admit before now. People that know me would paint a very different picture. I'm not what you would perceive as your "typical" lonely person. I work in a customer facing environment so I am always upbeat and chatting. Despite perceptions of your "typical" lonely person, I have great friends and family and generally do have a great life. It's not perfect does anyone really have the perfect life? But still I'm lonely..

I will be turning 30 in a few months and this has certainly made me reevaluate things in my life. Don't get me wrong, If I could go back and change things I probably wouldn't. I have a wonderful daughter and even though plans didn't work out as I had hoped I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and my past has made me who I am today and everything that has happened has led me up to where I am meant to be. I settled down very early on in life. I was both married and a mother at the age of 18. My relationship has since broken down and I have been a single mum for the best part of 6 years now. Although we both knew it was over and that there would be no chance of reconciliation, neither of us seemed to officially end the relationship and I seemed to spend the past few years in limbo. I can't help but wonder where I would be now if I had ended the relationship there and then and not wasted so many years doing nothing and not moving forward. Would I be married? Maybe have another child? I know its never to late for these things but with an 11 year old daughter I do sometimes feel like I have missed my chance.

Anyway, I seem to be derailing from the subject a bit but I wanted to make you aware of what has led me to this point in my life. I would say its only in the past few years I have made the most changes in my life. I started working after being out of work for far too long that I care to mention, I have lost a significant amount of weight (around 5 stone so far - Whoop) and finally feel like I can leave my past relationship and move forward. So why do I feel more lonely than I ever have before? It's so easy for people to pre judge me and assume I "need" a man and should just get myself out there. I am aware that a relationship is not going to just fall into my lap but being single for so long and having that one singular serious relationship behind you hardly gives you the boost you need to put yourself out there again. Then there are the others that assume I just need a quick fix. A fling to "sort me out". Now granted being single for so long means that my love life seems none existent theses past few years but it is not the be all and end all. A quickie really will not "sort me out". It is not that much of a "magic wand" 

Wouldn't it be great if there was a quick fix for loneliness? It's something that has been with me for so long it seems to be the only emotion I feel at times. Its so hard to watch other people celebrating such wonderful things like children and engagements. I know that sitting on the sidelines and watching everyone else live their lives is going to do nothing to improve mine and the only person who can get me out of this lonely funk.. is me! Lonely isn't who I am its just what I feel (at times) It doesn't define me or make me any less of a wonderful person. If something is broke, then you fix it and I am confident that things will change for the better for me.

Do you experience loneliness at times? What things have left you feeling isolated or alone? There are plenty of support networks out there. Talking your feelings through with someone can make all the difference..

Friday, 17 October 2014

The Ideal Home Show At Christmas

This November Event City, Manchester plays host to The Ideal Home Show at Christmas. Running from the 14th - 16th November it is the ultimate shopping experience. With over 300 exhibitors its the perfect place to find everything on your Christmas list and has the added bonus of being all under one roof. Christmas shopping is a nightmare at the best of times so what better way to take the stress out of it by taking one day out and crossing all them gifts off of your list in one shopping trip.

Weather you are looking for decorations for you home, the ultimate Christmas dinner with all the trimmings or the latest tablet, with the huge amount of exhibitors spanning over 7 different sections , you are sure to find something for everyone.

The different sections covered at the show are

Interiors and home accessories
Food and drink
Home improvements and outdoor living
Fashion and beauty
Technology and gadgets

You will be spoilt for choice at the variety on offer and will find everything needed to make your Christmas magical this year. Plus with the creative demonstrations from making bunting to floral creations you really will have a hands on shopping experience. You may even be one of the lucky few chosen to get up and get creative with Mr Laurence Llewelyn- Bowen himself! What ever you get up to on the day, I guarantee you will have such an amazing day, you will want to return year after year. So don't miss out on this amazing event, book your tickets now.

Fancy getting your hands on some free tickets? I have a pair of tickets to giveaway to one lucky person. Enter using the simple rafflecopter form below and good luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 8 September 2014

Laser Hair Removal With sk:n

Have you ever thought about having laser hair removal? I'd consider myself to be rather lucky in the "hair" department as It weirdly seems to take weeks to grow back after shaving. I used to wonder what was wrong with me and my lethargic hair growth but now I don't give it a second thought. If I can shave my legs and not notice any regrowth until the following week then that's A-Ok with me!

For most people though getting rid of unwanted hair is a frequent task and one that seems more and more of a chore. One that is costly of both money and time. There are all kinds of cosmetic on the market but when it comes down to it, whatever you use, chances are that you will be going through the whole process again in a day or two, which is why laser hair removal is rapidly becoming a firm favorite when it comes to hair removal.

Laser hair removal is a safe and effective way to remove unwanted hair and it is virtually painless. It works by using a laser beam at the root of hair with stunts the growth process. This process can be done over any area of the body. The most common areas for unwanted hair growth being places like the the bikini area, under arms and the legs. Unfortunately for some people it becomes even more of a problem when unwanted hair tends to be in more visible places such as the face and neck. 

For the last 20 years sk:in and their dedicated team of staff a doctors have helped over a million people achieve fantastic results. The whole process is simple and they are with you every step of the way from your initial consultation right through to aftercare to ensure maximum results for your hair removal. They are also very competitively priced compared to other leading specialist clinics which is another reason they are quickly becoming the preferred choice when it comes to dermatology treatments. 

**This post was written in collaboration with LTD