Buy cheap buy twice?

I love looking for the cheapest deal on products, sure who doesn’t?? And of late I am trying out a few shampoo and conditioners.

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My latest purchase was the Alberto Balsam range, and I chose the Antioxidant Blueberry set. It’s for dry/damaged or coloured hair which suits me as my ends are processed and I like to keep my colour vibrant.
Hmmmmmm….
I’m struggling to find a positive on this product other than the price.
First off, it takes a lot of it to get a lather. Which defeats the purpose of the cheaper price tag.
The amazing blueberry smell? Not quite the muffin aroma I had hoped.
And most importantly, the result – my hair felt flat, a bit dry, not very shiny and basically ‘bla’.
Sorry Alberto Balsam, but your product doesn’t live up to its promises! I’m giving this one a skip.
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Get fit not fat!

And that’s the general aim.

For some reason I just cannot motivate myself to shift that final stone and get back to where I was pre baba. Funny enough, after baby number one I snapped back and was in the best shape ever. Having my wedding to motivate me helped I guess. Since I have had my daughter, I have really struggled. At first I thought it was the hectic schedule of 2 kids but I have now realised it has all been emotional. My son was diagnosed with autism just before my daughter was born. And I have been learning to live that life since. More on that another time.

So, learning from past success I have decided to start setting mini goals. And this 8 weeks to Sa Coma is just that. The first of many. My aim is to be happy with how I look in a swimsuit/bikini/tankini/whatever before I go.

Let’s be realistic – this is only 8 weeks. I am not going to be able to radically transform how I look in this time. And that’s why this is a mini goal!

The magic formula…..

There is none. This is going to take hard work, focus and effort on my part. Simple as.

Exercise – I have started something I have never done before. Strength and conditioning training. I am totally hooked. I plan on keeping this up 3 times a week. I’m training with EMF in Blarney. Eoin is a great trainer and good fun too. I would highly recommend giving this a try, no matter what your ability.

I am also trying to increase my low intensity, every day stuff like walks with the kids or with my iPod. 

Food – this is the fun part. I know enough to by now to know that if you do not get this right, you are screwed! Run, hike and lift weights all you want. If you are over eating, you will not see results. (Damn it.) So for now, I am cutting out the rubbish, eating real food (emphasis on the REAL), protein with every meal and buckets of water. Not wine, water. I may tighten this up more as I go along, but for now this will be enough of a challenge.

Sleep – tricky little thing this. This area is out of my control. But in the hope that the kids might let me sleep through the night, I am turning off Netflix and going to bed earlier. Oh how I love Netflix…

That’s pretty much it. Nothing new, nothing amazing, just hard graft. 

Oh and you lot to report back to, so if I do fall off the wagon, I promise to tell you. 😊 Be nice to me, please.

How will I measure all of this?

I will check the scales every week, but they are not going to govern my success. I am going to use a much tougher measurement – the mirror. I, like most of you have a favourite photo. You know, that one that you use as your Facebook profile pic because you just love how fab you look? Well here is mine. 😊 (Creds to my gorgeous bestie Cara – this girl has two kids and just looks unreal. Serious mammy goals πŸ‘ŒπŸΌ)

I will get back to this. And when I do, we are going to recreate this pic! And maybe the night out too to celebrate. πŸ˜„
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#breakthemould

I have never been good at accepting a compliment. I don’t know why, but when a person says ‘oh, you look well’ I immediately feel awkward and usually disagree with them. I find compliments embarrassing, and that’s just who I am. Maybe it’s an innate lack of confidence I have always battled with. I guess true confidence has to come from within.

I recently met someone who I hadn’t seen in a while. They congratulated me on the lastest baby, etc and then said ‘you look stunning girl!’ Queue me and my awkward reaction so I side stepped having to take the compliment by mentioning that I was going to Slimming World and still had a few pounds to go.

“But sure what do you need to be going to Slimming World for? There’s not a tack of you there! I wouldn’t go losing anymore weight if I were you, it will age you.”

Now, maybe most of you read that as a compliment. Perhaps it was intended as such. But the tone with which it was delivered, to me, said otherwise.

To paint the picture, I am not hugely overweight. I have an athletic build, can fit into my jeans, and can wear a bodycon dress with Spanx. (Without Spanx it’s like a marshmallow wearing a thong). But I have had to work HARD to get to this, and yes I still have a few pounds to go until I reach my goal.

To say that there is not a “tack of me there” is a bit ridiculous. I have never been and never will be underweight. And to warn me about aging? Protect and Perfect all you want honey but wrinkles gonna get ya. (Eventually).

Lets reverse this little social scenario on its head. I bump into a friend of mine who has had her second baby. I compliment her and her little bundle etc and she mentions that’s she has joined a slimming group.

“Yeah, you need to be going to a slimming group alright, well done you.Β There’s a fair bit of you to go around. Try lose a bit of weight now, it will make you look much younger.”

I’m thinking that would be when she would pick up her Bugaboo and swing it at me (bundle of joy hanging on for dear life).

So what makes one comment ok and the other one a cause for grievous bodily harm?

I don’t have the answer I’m afraid, so it’s one I’d ask you to think about.

Maybe I really can’t accept a”compliment”?

Maybe I was “skinny shamed?”?

Whatever it was, there is one thing I definitely cannot accept – labelling.

Stop categorising body types. Stop trying to fit into one. Fat, thin, chubby, skinny or my personal favourite that has been graciously (with a subtle hint of bitch) extended to me – well built.

I can’t understand how we have only 3 types of bodies really – fat, thin and in between. Bullshit. There are so many variations on the human body so that makes zero sense.

Kim Kardashian wrecks my head. But I wil give her this. She used that arse to break the Internet and the stereotype of what is beautiful. I see nothing skinny about her, curves galore!

I also love Rhonda Rousey. She has been blasted all over the cover of FHM Β – she’s fit, fierce, “well built” and stunning.

And then there is Taylor Swift – tall and thin and beautiful. Style Queen.

Get my point?

There is no one size fits all.

Variety is the spice of life.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

My well built arms and legs are fabulous.

Now I’ll take that compliment. From me, to me.

The Kingsley Spa – relaxation at its best!

I recently had the ultimate mammy relaxation day – a full spa day compliments of hubby dearest. This was actually my xmas pressie and I only got around to using it in March! I decided to go it alone as I really wanted to switch off from the world – a great decision. By the time I left the Kingsley, I was floating.

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I booked the Journey through Nature which is a full day package. I decided to take lunch first at 12, then use the amazing health centre (more on this in a bit) and finally have my treatments at 2.30pm.

Lunch is served in the K – Lounge which can be a little bit too close to the reception area, depending on where you are seated. Some seats have a beautiful view of the River Lee, mine was adjacent to a wall and a large group of loud, older gentleman. Lunch itself though was very nice and there was a good selection. If there was a tea and coffee option afterwards it would have been perfect.

The Health Centre – this was simply fantastic. I left the health centre feeling like I had completed my spa day! Firstly you have the indoor pool, which I had all to myself for a few strokes (OK, so I did the deadman float and a few doggy paddles). Then I moved to the outdoor hot tub which overlooks the river. This was bliss. I could have stayed here all day.

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Next up I moved indoors to the Thermal suite which includes a Finnish sauna, Turkish baths, jacuzzi, aromatherapy steam rooms….all completed with a thermal lounger at the end. This finished me off completely – this has to be the best facility I have come across! I was actually zonked by the time my therapist came to find me; she nearly had to carry me back to the spa 😊

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Treatment time!

We began with a sweet orange and ground argan oil scrub, which I wanted to eat it smelled so good. Everything here is organic too. My skin was really soft afterwards. Next I got a back, neck and shoulder massage. This as a proper massage that really worked out any knots or tension in my back. I personally hate when a massage is too light and of no benefit so this really suited me. Linda, my therapist got it just right.

The final treatment was blissful – a facial using caviar, champagne and pearl by Elaine. I’m usually not a fan of facials (I know! I just don’t enjoy them) but I am now converted. This seemed to go on forever and by the end of this I was in a trance. Elaine brought me to the relaxation area and all I wanted to do was close my eyes. Next time I am so booking a room so I can head off to bed!

I really and truly loved the Spa at the Kimglsey and have instructed husband that all future occasions requiring presents result in a voucher. It would be an excellent location for a break to Cork as it is only a few minutes from the city centre. Or for someone like me, it was ideal as I only had a short drive home afterwards.

The thermal suite is one of a kind and really made the day for me. And I have to commend the staff also – I sometimes find spa staff to be a little bit ‘false’ but the guys in the Kingsley are warm and friendly. I must mention Melissa who greeted me when I first arrived; I was met with a natural welcome as opposed to rehearsed ‘welcome to our spa’ spiel.

If you would like to know more, I have included a link to the spa below. I will definitely be coming back as soon as I can convince my husband to take the kids for the day again πŸ˜€πŸ˜€

http://www.thekingsley.ie/spa-packages/#

 

 

How to measure your bra size

Losing weight, gaining weight, having a baby, getting older – it all takes its toll. And there is one part of us that bares the brunt of it; our boobs! So many people are wearing the wrong bra size. I’m a devil for it myself, usually because the pretty lace one is just sooooo pretty that I cannot stand the thought of retiring it. Even if it is giving me quadrouple boob.

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So the first lesson here is to go get measured and regularly.Β  Marks and Spencer and Debenhams are my usual spots. But what about when you really don’t have time?

How could you not have time?? Well, in my experience babies do not like dressing rooms so unless you have a babysitter….and waiting until Saturday for me is a no go. I just cannot do the city centre on the weekend.

So what’s a girl to do?

DIY! !

Grab your measuring tape girls! And I mean the seamstress type, not the industrial. (Ouch!)

 

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Firstly, wrap the tape around where you bra will sit. Take that measurement, say for example 34 inches.

Next, wrap the tape around the boob part; the tape should sit across the nipples. Don’t pull too tight or leave too loose; think of how the cup would sit. Now take this measurement in inches. Let’s say in this example it is 40 inches.

Finally, calculate your cup size by subtracting second measurement from first.
40 inches take 34 equals 6.
Now count 6 cup sizes – a,b,c,d,dd,e.

Voila! Your bra size is 34 E.

Now I am not recommending that you stop getting a professional to do this, this is just a short cut to tide you over. Different over the shoulder boulder holders have different fits, so best to get it done correctly.

But now that you have a little boobie hack, you have no excuse to let the girls suffer anymore. πŸ˜‰
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Browtastic!

  

If there was one part of me that I could change, it would be my eyebrows! Well, actually I’d start with my nose (lol) and then my brows. Mine are the brows of beauticians nightmares – over plucked, sparse and they grow downward. I’ve had a consultation for high definition brows and told I was not a good candidate (gutted!). The quest for beautiful brows has been arduous to say the least. Arches were lost, tinting went wrong. I’ve searched far and wide for a brow artist who could tame my wild furrow. And I found a hidden gem in Pure Beauty by Ciara.

  

Pure Beauty is located in Tower, Co. Cork and is a one stop beauty shop for all things pampering – Lycon Waxing, Shellac, Tanning and Make Up. The beautiful Mrs. Sean Γ“g O HailpΓ­n and her bridesmaids recently visited the salon before her big day – if it’s good enough for the celebs, its good enough for Blarneymum. πŸ™‚

  

So back to my brows – my therapist is the gorgeous Ciara Sheehan (pictured with me above). She is a brave woman to take on my brows! I think some people just have an eye for doing eyebrows and Ciara definitely falls into this category. I’m always happy with the result. Lycon wax is used for shaping, so less ouch for the faint hearted. Ciara then tints mine to make them appear fuller. I do my part by raising my right hand and solemnly swearing not to pluck in between visits πŸ™‚ and I really do adhere to this! (I really do Ciara!)

  

So there you have it, browtastic! And just look at how happy my brows are. 

(Shameless selfie time)

  

Post Workout Soreness – the ‘I cannot walk’ syndrome

When you see someone walking like John Wayne, it doesn’t always mean  that they’ve just done their fake tan. With lots of us returning to or starting various exercise regimes, there are a lot of sore bum muscles hobbling about! I’m one of them as I’ve just gone back to training post Xmas and post baby. So I thought I’d share some advice on making the sore muscles go away.

Firstly, the technical bit. What you are feeling is called DOMS – delayed onset muscle soreness. Basically, your muscles have little teeny tiny tares in them from doing things that they are not used to and are healing. Let’s leave it at that (it all gets a bit sports science from there) and get straight into making things feel a bit easier:

  • Hindsight is a great thing, I know. Be sure to warm up before exercise. Do not stretch when you are cold and always stretch after a workout. Always!!  
  • Water – so many reasons to drink water but post workout, it will help flush any toxins built up out of your system and alleviate the aches and pains. Drink loads of this miracle juice.  
  • Epsom salts – take a bath in this stuff, it’s magic. Reduces water retention, draws toxins from the body…Google the uses for Epsom salts –  it’s amazing.  
  • Deep heat, Tiger Balm or one that might surprise, Vick! Rub into sore muscles.  
  • Hot/Cold Shower – alternate temperature in the shower over the affected area. The variation in temperature causes the muscles to contract and relax, almost like a little workout for them, which will promote healing. 
  • Foam rolling – this is my favourite. Foam rollers can be bought in any sports shops for about 20 euro. There are videos on YouTube on how to use. Best used just after training and always when you are warmed up.  
  • Active Recovery – rest days are important of course. But a good way to reduce soreness is to simply go for a light walk. And have a stretch afterwards.  

Muscle soreness can sometimes be the reason why so many of us become discouraged and give up our new routine. It’s always hardest at the start, your body will adjust so hang in there.

If you want that booty, you gotta do your duty! Move move move Momma πŸ˜‰