Bowery Mural

New Shoes

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Hey, I put my new shoes on and suddenly everything seems right... That's how the Paolo Nutini song goes and it's how i felt when I put these babies on my feet.

These are gonna be my new go to work / smart casual shoes for the forthcoming seasonal change that's bound to happen following our two and a half week mini summer season.

I was immediately drawn to these because they are kind of Alexander Wang-esque in their styling. And since I cannot afford real Alexander Wang shoes or boots with their price range in the hundreds(!), the fact that these were only £45 were a real big deciding factor.

Surprisingly enough, these shoes/booties are from Next (I know!). What I do love about Next is that they do half sizes and I always get a 3 1/2. They fit perfectly and are so comfortable.

I'm thinking of styling these with the (in)famous white Zara skort and a cool grey Adidas sweatshirt I bought in the ASOS sale a few weeks back.

A perfect seasonal crossover outfit. Pictures soon, maybe...

Angela x



Friday, 19 July 2013

They say you should surround yourself with positive people. Get rid of the dead wood and the drains on your life. Well, since I spend most of my time at work, or at the gym, or with my family, there aren't that many drains on my life. However, there could be a few more positive people in my life. I find it hard to make friends. Real friends. That friends for life sorta thing, you know. I'd love that. LOVE.

Most of my time is spent at work, and yes, this past year at work hasn't been easy. There is a lot of negativity and drains on your time which in turn becomes a drain on your health and well-being. But only if you let it. Which if I'm honest I did let it for a few months since about Christmas. I let it affect me because I'm a worrier and an over-thinker. That was wrong of me. And looking back I've come to realise that you can't change what you don't have control over. What you can change is yourself because you control yourself. So I've changed myself in a good way. I've channelled my energy into different things and it has been good for me. Granted, there are still things that niggle away at me but I find deep breaths and happy places help me.

With all of the above being said, I look to other people, places and things for my positivity. And those places are mostly online. Blogs, Pinterest inspiration boards, look books, mood boards, travel destinations, amazing Twitter conversations and such like.

I thought I'd share a few of my positive people, places, blogs and things with you. And remember, We all have our own Everest to climb.

1) A HUGE factor in helping me through the past few months has been exercise. Honestly. Especially my gym, The Peak in Stirling. Its a large fairly new brightly lit and coloured building. Immediately putting you at ease. Also the instructors who's classes I attend: Ryan, Claire, Ross, Tim, Fabienne, Colin - lovely, lovely, positive people. They're so welcoming, happy and above all a good laugh. At the end of the day i like nothing better than to head to The Peak for my daily dose of torture.. err I mean, fun exercise. I push myself as hard as I can and it clears my head, gives me something else to think about and generally makes me feel good. And that's no bad thing now is it. So get up off your chair and go out for some exercise!

2) Blogs. You only need to take a look down the right hand side of this page to see the blogs i read the most. There are others but too many to list. One day I'm gonna put a blogroll page up here with everything that keeps me entertained throughout the weeks. It's funny too because I don't read these blogs every day, there wouldn't be enough time. Instead I usually fit them in when i have a spare hour or so. I love reading several posts at a time from my favourite bloggers. Soaking up their stories and awesome pictures. That of makes me smile.

3) Pinterest. I was early to the party on this one. Invited near the start, I was immediately drawn in by Pinterest's ability to transport me to that fantasy land we all live in 'if money were no object'. There's not juts material items on there. There's handy hints about anything and everything, there's recipes, there's some amazing quotes and some hilarious ones, there's pictures that i'd never seen if they weren't Pinned and then there's the clothes, shoes, gadgets, holidays, hairstyles and hot boys! What more could a girl ask for.

4) people. Although I'm a pretty shy person (until I get to know you) I do actually like people. Not all people mind you, but most people. Some people can be nasty or some other trait that I don't like but for the most I do like people.

What do you to get into that positive state of mind?

Angela x


Embedding Instagrams

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Testing testing.
Testing out the Instagram embed feature. Hope the photos are of decent quality and size...
you decide...

Edit: I've just done a preview and the pictures look pretty nice (except for the user name at the top, but i'll forgive that).

Angela x


Ange meets Burger Meats Bun

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

I'm no foodie, but I do know a good bit of meat when I taste one. No supermarket meat ever passes my lips these days. Fresh local butcher meat only.

Ever since I became obsessed with watching the Food Network on Freeview, I've been craving one of those giant burgers Guy Fieri stuffs into his mouth like a ... well, like a foodie eating a giant tasty burger, since forever. Cheese dripping off of it. Burger sauce running down my chin. Juicy beef tickling my taste buds. Let's face it, you ain't getting that at McDonalds.

Last week a new burger place/restaurant/joint (what's the word?) opened in Glasgow. Some people were talking about it on Twitter (some frankly overdoing it with their over-enthusiastic tweets, calm down people, you hadn't even sampled the wares yet!). I decided that with all of the hard work I'm putting in at the gym, I deserved some kind of treat. I would head to Burger Meats Bun and see what the fuss was about. I'm not going to go into the story of who they are and why they're there, I'm not going to pretend to know these people. You can read all about it on their website or over on James Vs Burger for an in depth review. Instead I'm just going to tell you my story, in search of a decent burger.

After failing in my shopping tasks - folks, the autumn winter stuff is already making it's way to stores...WAY TOO EARLY! Anyway, having failed to buy anything other than a one hole punch and a fridge magnet set, I ventured down a set of stairs and into the place. To my surprise (but secret delight) it was fairly quiet with only a few tables taken up. I had my choice of seating. But not before a much needed toilet break. (What's with those heavy doors!).

I took a seat near the back, or side, depending on which way you're looking. Basically I tried to find a quiet spot that wasn't too close to anyone else because I don't much like eating in public with my brace on my teeth. Food, pieces stuck, me picking it out.... you get the picture.

The waitress came over and gave me a menu. The menu is a simple affair on a cute little wooden clipboard. I ordered a Coke. She delivered it and I was so pleased it was a can, and at only £1.50 too! After my last visit to Glasgow for burgers when I realised that I'd paid £5 for less than half a litre of Coke, this was a total bargain and a pure delight. The menu isn't vast - great I thought, too much choice can kill you. I always knew I'd be getting the Big Cheese but I scoured out the other items, just in case.
The cool simplistic menu on a cute little clipboard
The waitress came back and I ordered a Big Cheese beef burger, no tomato, no pickle. I hate tomato, I hate pickles. I like burgers, and cheese! As well as that I ordered the chips with maldon sea salt. I'd leave the Thai chilli cheese ones for another day. After a few minutes she came back and delivered half a kitchen roll, and a tin can with a fork and steak knife in it. Handy I thought, as I need to cut my food up pretty small these days, and a burger in a brioche bun would certainly need to be halved at least.

I read some of my book on my phone whilst secretly listening to a conversation at a nearby table. Oh come on, we all do it! A little while later my order was delivered. The burger neatly wrapped in white greaseproof paper with a cute little sticker on it, the chips in a white paper tub bowl type thingy. I loved the simplicity of this. No fancy schmancy wooden slabs on which to try and delicately eat a big hulking juicy burger. Oh and I hate those effing slates, imagine eating off a slate!?... It would go for my teeth.

Anyway, I digress. I opened the burger and there appeared to be no cheese. What kind of tomfoolery is this? I thought. I took the crispy brioche top off and there was definitely no cheese. Nope. Worse still, there underneath the burger lay tomato and pickles. I hate tomato, I hate pickles. I hesitated. You're in a new eating establishment that ain't no McDonalds prices and you're order seems to be wrong. Pop quiz hot shot, what do you do?

I managed to catch the eye of someone and mentioned that I didn't think this was my order. I said it should have been cheese with no tomato, no pickle. He apologised, took it away and came back to say it'd be another few minutes for my one. From my vantage point near the kitchen door, I heard someone call for him to send apologies (which the nice gentleman had done already, thankyouverymuch). A few minutes later, he brought me out another one wrapped up. I was hoping there was cheese on this one as by now I was hungry and was trying not to fill up too much on the chips before having even tried the burger.

To my delight, yes, there was cheese. There was no tomato and no pickle. Hallelujah. I halved it all and got stuck in. The scene didn't resemble that of a diner or dive on the Food Network though. There was no cheese dripping down my chin like I'd hoped. I was secretly disappointed. However the burger was nice and certainly juicy. It was a little pink in the middle which I like. But dammit, I wanted more melty cheese!! and definitely more of that burger sauce. Now that right there was tasty. The bun held together well even though I'd quartered it. But I still wanted more cheese, and tasty sauce!
bowl of chips, half a burger, some menu
I didn't wolf the burger down. I can't really with a mouthful of steel these days. I savoured it, and those chips. Wowsers. I love my food salty and the flakes of salt on them really made my lips tingle, just the way I like my chips to be (except I could've done with a bit less of the burnt look on the chips. Just me?). Boy was I glad to be sipping on that £1.50 can of Coke between mouthfuls of food.

I came to the end of my meal and decided that I liked it, despite the order mix up. Although I wouldn't be having dessert. I'm not a fan of mikshakes and my stomach couldn't have squeezed in those doughnuts with dipping sauce. Well, maybe I could have if I'd had more time. But no, no dessert.

There was a guy asking customers how their food was. Not in a weird random-asking-folks-about-their-food kinda way. He must've been a 'someone' in the establishment. He came over to me after I'd finished. Fine, I replied. It was all I could muster. I wasn't being rude. I was just trying not to talk to a stranger for fear of having bits of meat and chips stuck in my brace. Imagine the embarrassment. So, if you're reading this Sir, I apologise, but you try having a mouthful of metal and eat discretely in a public place on your own! I would've chatted, maybe, but I'm positive there was a bit of your burger stuck in my teeth. I'm sure you understand. :)

I paid for my meal and headed off into the late afternoon sunshine. Stomach full of nice food.

Like I say, I'm no foodie, but I know my meat. It was nice. Juicy. Nice taste. But MORE CHEESE PLEASE (sorry I can't let this one go). And more burger sauce. And be careful processing customer orders!! I'll put that down to first week hiccups. The place was very nicely fitted out. Bright enough, despite being lower than street level. Cool wooden and metal stools. Nice red no fuss benches and tables at the back/side. Cool music in the background, loud enough to take the edge off a silence, not so loud you can't hear yourself think! Nice, friendly staff are a bonus too.

10/10? For me, no. But with it being just a few minutes walk off Buchanan Street it's worth a visit to see for yourself.

Angela x


Get Fit and Healthy: Motivation and Perseverance

Friday, 5 July 2013

Despite the weather, summer should be here. For some it may already be here. And with the imminent arrival of summer, comes that ever more important need to sort your body out for the beach (if you're lucky enough to be going away for a beach holiday, that is).

The magazines are filled with the way they think we should be. All tall, bronzed and with the perfect beach hair. The reality is more often than not the total opposite to that. Women start to panic themselves into eating less. Filling themselves up with artificially sweet smelling gloopy liquids that promises them one step closer to that beach body. Again, the reality being that you will only lose weight (the healthy way) by exercising and eating healthier. I say healthier because I myself do not get enough fruit or vegetables in my diet. I am no expert when it comes to weight loss. But what I do know is that I'm only seeing results through hard work and cutting back on the crap in my diet. Incidentally, this weekend a newspaper here had pull-out booklets on a diet called "The bikini panic diet" - how utterly ridiculous and irresponsible to call it that.

It is tough. I'm now exercising for 7 days a week and I'm into week 4 of that. It's starting to become a habit. An amazing habit. Progress! I try to separate out different forms of exercise into different days of the week. It goes something like this...
  • Monday - Spin class (cardio), GRIT Strength class (cardio and weights).
  • Tuesday - ShockFit TRX suspension class (weights, strength).
  • Wednesday - RPM biking class (spin, cardio)
  • Thursday - ShockFit bells class (weights).
  • Friday - Spin class (cardio)
  • Saturday - GRIT cardio class
  • Sunday - Spin class (cardio).
Gym for ShockFit - "there is no strength where there is no struggle"
It is tough. It requires focus and perseverance but I do like it, a lot. It wasn't always like that. I'd need no excuse some days just to give up on the Monday classes and then that knocks your week all to pot. Then you'd feel bad and it would all start again. But thankfully I've managed to get right out of that habit and into another more healthier one. My fitness is improving, although I can tell you that since introducing the GRIT classes, i feel like they could move me up a notch. Don't get me wrong, i am by no means an athlete. I'm just a girl who wants to get fitter and leaner and healthier.

I've never been into faddy diets. I was never allowed to when I was younger and I thank my mum for that. She was never into diets either. I tend to hold all my weight on my bum and thighs. I'm blessed with a fairly flat stomach and small chest so i do kinda look out of proportion.

Before January, my routine only consisted of Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday spin bike classes. All cardio and no weights at all. I'm not really a fan of the gym - well, not a fan of the body builder types that hang around the weights, so it always put me off. Then I started the ShockFit classes twice per week and the difference in tone of my arms, quads and stomach is great. My bum could really do with a really big tone up though. It's my hardest part to shift any weight or tone up. But I'm determined. Of course the chocolate i eat doesn't help, nor does the juice. But they're my only vice and I have to try to wean myself off them. Well, that's really only an excuse now isn't it.
pic from a few months ago
At the start of June the gym introduced the Les Mills GRIT classes and I've added them into my weekly routine. I really hope they can help shift those last few pounds.

I've never really been a weight watcher, except in my mid 20's when I reached 10 and a half stone. At 5ft 2in, that could almost be considered obese. Probably is, I haven't checked any charts. I lost a bit of weight about 2 years ago through eating less crap and doing exercise. Then by February of 2011 I let it go a bit and put some more back on. For months I hovered around 9st 6lb. Which was better than 10st but still not ideal. Currently I'm sitting at 8st 6lb. Ideally I'd like to get to the lower end of 8stone. So that's my summer challenge to myself. To do just that. 6 pounds to go.

It'll take some real discipline on my behalf. You don't understand how panic starts to set in if i don't have a chocolate Freddo or something in the house to quash my cravings. Argh! But, the motivation is being able to wear the clothes I want to wear. The perseverance will come from my own inner and outer strength and the will to succeed at something that I control. Only I will know whether or not I succeed or fail but I think, this time, I'm going to succeed. I've written it down here after all and that means I HAVE to stick to it. Eek!

Join me. Let's motivate each other. I'll check in on you, if you check in on me.

Remember "there is no strength where there is no struggle", virtual gym buddies!

Angela x