Wey-hey, Friday!

And I have today off work so I’ll be headed out to do some last-minute shopping before I leave Mexico City. I don’t usually give Christmas gifts (no one needs more cr@p to throw in the back of their closet), but maybe a few souvenirs wouldn’t go amiss…


What are you doing for the weekend? Have you done your holiday shopping?


How To Be A Healthier You in 2015

Many of us use the beginning of a new year as that boost we need to kick bad habits and start a healthy lifestyle. Although it will seem tough, and sometimes impossible, it is such a worthwhile goal to set as it can significantly improve your quality of life.

In order to give yourself the best chance at sticking to your healthy regime, it is important to plan ahead. If not, January will sneak up on you, and you won’t know where on earth to start. But you needn’t worry about this taking too much time as we have done a lot of the groundwork for you.

We have created this “how to” guide to becoming a healthier you in 2015. Not all of the information in the guide will apply to you, so feel free to read it in a way that makes it personal to you. With a little organization and a lot of determination, we have every faith that you will achieve a healthier you next year.



  1. Do your homework

Start the process with a little background work. Read about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. When you see all the amazing improvements to your physical and psychological health that a healthy lifestyle can make, you will feel very motivated. Find out about what foods you should be eating to maintain a balanced diet and how much exercise you should be doing.

Use health organizations and government resources so that you know you are reading reliable information.

  1. Set some goals

Okay, we know you want to be healthier, but it is important that you are a bit more specific with yourself. Do you want to lose a certain amount of weight? Do you want perfect abs? Do you want to stop smoking or drinking? Do you want to learn how to cook healthy foods?

When setting your goals, be realistic and honest with yourself. If not, you might not be able to complete the goals you have set, and you will feel deflated. Set yourself maybe one or two achievable goals to start with. Once you have completed them, give yourself another two, and so on. When you start ticking off all your goals and feeling more confident in your abilities, you can begin to increase the challenge factor of your goals.

  1. Give yourself plenty of incentives

People generally find goals easier to meet if they know that they will get something in return for them. Of course, you will get the satisfaction of completing them, but often a little treat gives us that little push we need to carry on. Your incentive may be a day of rest after exercising daily for six days. Or, it could be something more, like a massage or an going to see a movie at the cinema. Whatever incentives you chose, make sure it is something that you find to be a real treat. However, at the same time it shouldn’t be something that could risk ruining all your hard work.

Some people find it easier to complete a challenge when they are doing it to raise money for charity. If this would work for you, you may wish to consider asking your friends and family to sponsor you through your more difficult goals.

The healthiest fruit on earth


  1. Make it easy for yourself

Try and remove any obstacles that might get in the way of achieving your goals. If you can’t afford a gym membership, for example, consider getting some equipment you can use at home. This could include a pilates ball, an ab carver, a skipping rope and some exercise DVDs. If you are meeting up with friends, suggest venues that provide healthy eating options. If you are going to a bar to celebrate a friend or relative’s birthday, have one drink during the toast and then stick to soft drinks for the rest of the evening.

However, you will undoubtedly come across obstacles that are too difficult to move. Just make the best you can of the situation and don’t stress too much.

  1. Spend time with other healthy goal-setters

As you know, starting a healthy regime is one of the most common new year’s resolutions out there. So, you are bound to know other people who are too trying to achieve a healthier lifestyle. If you can’t think of anyone, reach out to your friends via social media.

Finding a buddy who is in the same boat as you could do wonders for your motivation. You can provide support to each other if things get tough and you can celebrate achieving your goals together.

  1. Record your progress

Some people find it helps to record their progress so that they can see their journey and how much they have achieved. If you like this idea, you may wish to do this in the form of a written diary, a blog or using an app for your smartphone. Healthy eating and exercise apps usually involve the user recording the foods they ate and the exercise they did each day. These apps can be very helpful as they can do calculations like how many calories you’ve burned each day, how much money you have saved on not smoking and how far you are from your goal.

A blog or a diary would be appropriate if you want a more personal account of your journey. You may wish to add pictures, write about improvements you notice in your health and make notes on any problems and challenging moments. If you create a blog, you can share your journey with your friends and family. You never know, it may give them the push they need to improve their lifestyle.

Running Styles


  1. Be patient

You will require a good level of patience during this process. You won’t see changes immediately, so it is important that you remember this and keep going. As well as being patient with the process, you must also be patient with yourself. If you find something difficult and have a moment of weakness, recognise that that is all it is and move on.

After reading this information, we hope that you feel motivated and prepared to achieve your goal for a healthier you in 2015.


How often do you wash your makeup bag?

I was thinking about this today when I pulled out a paper towel to set my makeup bag on at the work bathroom…how often do you wash your makeup bag? That thing has got to be absolutely covered in germs. I mostly wear mineral makeup which makes my bag dusty, so I do wash it regularly. But it’s probably not nearly enough. Think about all the places where you set it down!
Let’s not get into how germy purses must be…

hello kitty makeup bag


This is my makeup bag – a friend from the UK sent it to me a few years ago and I want to keep it clean! (Photo from avon.co.uk; my photo did not turn out very nicely at all.)


What kind of makeup bag do you have?


How to Build a Home Gym without Breaking the Bank


Elliott Cable


You all know that I love my gym, but some days, you just can’t make it. It’s not the workout that’s the problem – it’s getting to the gym. Sometimes you don’t have time for the journey or you’re stuck in traffic. Sometimes it’s freezing cold outside, and you’re scared that you might turn into an icicle if you step out of the front door. On these occasions, when we can’t make it to the gym (whether it’s our fault or not!), it means a missed workout. But not if you can do your regular workout at home. Ok, so a fully equipped gym is out of the question for most people, but you can set up a small home gym on a relatively low budget. Use these tips and tricks to create a gym at home without breaking the bank.

Spread the Cost

First of all, don’t buy everything at once. If you try and buy everything you want at the same time, you’ll be eating ramen noodles in no time. As well as the money factor, you don’t want to invest in twenty different pieces of equipment, just to find that you don’t use most of them. You might find that when you don’t go to the gym, you tend to stick to a couple of things at home. Think about the equipment you most enjoy using at the gym and prioritize what you want based on your usual workout.

Buy Used

Some people are squeamish about buying things that other people have already used. And they would be right to for certain things, where the item’s safety or hygiene has been compromised. But plenty of things can be just as good used as they are new, but with a way lower price tag. There are lots of places to get used gym equipment, and you can often get several things in a bundle at the same time. Look at local ads in newspapers and on sites like Craigslist, as well as the message board at your gym (if it has one). Sites like eBay can be pretty good for snatching up a bargain too.

Go For Cheaper Equipment

Your home gym doesn’t have to look like a miniature version of the gym where you have a membership. That equipment can cost hundreds and even thousands of dollars. You can have cheaper equipment for working out at home that does the same stuff as the high-tech equipment you use at the gym. If you’re toning, even just a large yoga mat could allow you to work out at home. Other cheap pieces of equipment include stability balls and resistance bands.

Shop Around

Just like you would with a pair of shoes or a new TV, shop around for the best deals. Don’t settle for the first thing you see and get drawn in by shiny promises. Remember to have a budget in mind and be strict with yourself, so you don’t go over it.

Do you have a home gym?


Baked Oatmeal

Good morning! Do you like oatmeal? I eat it nearly every day and was looking for variety. I also wanted something that is easy to pack as a snack. I found this recipe for baked oatmeal muffins on Momables.com (I think I first found it on Pinterest) and gave it a try.

baked oatmeal recipeThe recipe is flexible so that you can use different ingredients – for this first try, I used frozen blueberries, craisins, and sliced almonds. Next time I might use a banana and walnuts, and reduce the maple syrup in it because the fruit makes it sweet enough.  I could have used pretty much any kind of fruit that was fresh, frozen, or dried. That’s key for people who don’t like to eat the same thing everyday.  I will probably make some sort of baked oatmeal once a week.

baked oatmeal recipe

Here’s the finished product. I don’t have a cupcake tin, so I just baked it in a Pyrex. When it cooled, I just put on the Pyrex lid and popped in it the fridge. I got about 12 servings out of it.

What’s your favorite way to eat oatmeal?