Thursday, 16 October 2014

Feeling good...



Hey lovely people!

So I had my weigh in last Saturday and I lost 6lbs!!! Delighted is an understatement.

However, last weekend was also my first challenge in terms of occasions and well I'm happy to report that I was on my best behaviour. It was my nieces 5th birthday and there was all sorts of goodies available to eat as well as beers etc for the adults... I had 1 very small slice of cake and that was it.
Proud!!!

Then on the Sunday it was the baptism of our best friends new baby and there was cake, a massive buffet and lots of alcohol. I drank water with ice all day and have 4 mini spring rolls. While everybody around about me were sitting with wine and plates full of delicious looking food, I kept my focus on my goals and how rubbish I would feel if I slipped... So I abstained!

I've never felt this in control of my life before. I know it sounds utterly ridiculous as it's only a diet to most people... But I have never felt more determined and more committed to this journey. I have continued to go out walking with my husband and my dogs every night... regardless of the weather or my excruciatingly sore blisters and I am pushing myself every night to walk further and faster... And believe it or not I am seriously enjoying myself. 

Anyway, I hope that you are all having a wonderful week.

Take care lovelies. 

xxx

Friday, 10 October 2014

Weekly Roundup...

Hey lovely people,

So tomorrow is my weigh in day and I am feeling optimistic. I have seriously tried sooooo hard this week and I  have thought about and planned everything I've eaten. As well as this I have made a real effort to go out a walk every day... Something that I must admit I'm guilty of doing far too little of. My job as a photographer is 30% standing and moving and 70% sitting and editing so I find that most of my day is spent in front of the computer. But I have pushed myself to move around a lot more on an hourly basis as well as having my little evening walks.

So let me just share with you some of the meals I have eaten this week:


Don't they look delish... Here are their pro-points values (remember my points allowance may be bigger than yours so you can have more or less dependent on your allowance):

Porridge (45g) with semi-skimmed milk (213ml) & raspberries (handful) = 8 Pro Points
Spicy Vegetable Cous Cous (150g) with spinach & sliced cucumber = 5 Pro Points
Spinach (plateful - I really love spinach... lol) with salt & pepper = 0 Pro Points
Fresh Tortiglioni (250g) with a spicy tomato sauce (75g) with spinach = 14 Pro Points
Banana (1 med) & Raspberry (handful) Smoothie (Juice 150ml) & ice = 3 Pro Points (330ml glass)
Chicken (165g) & rice noodle (200g) & sweetcorn (100g) stir-fry (soy sauce added) = 14 Pro Points

These are just some of the meals I ate this week and they were all super filling and tasty, which just proves you don't have to eat food that tastes like cardboard when you're on a diet.

I hope that any of you who are on this same journey have had a really good week and you are feeling positive and healthy and I will report back with the outcome of my weigh in tomorrow morning,

Wish me luck...

Take care lovelies. 

xxx

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

What A Difference A Day Makes...



Hey lovely people!

So after such a positive start to the week yesterday I have woken up today feeling pretty ill. I've been battling with a chest infection for the last few weeks and I've had some good days (like yesterday) and some not so good days... like today! 

Not only that but the effects of yesterdays mammoth swim have taken their toll on my unfit body and I am currently walking a bit like a robot... Lol!

However... the good thing about feeling rubbish (certainly in my case) is that I am repulsed by greasy, unhealthy foods and more inclined to fill my body with "good-for-me" foods and drinks like soups, vegetables and water. I also started my day with a lovely steaming bowl of porridge with a handful of raspberries which actually managed to make me feel better by just looking at it.


Anyway, I'm going to keep this brief and just say that despite feeling really rubbish I'm still 100% dedicated to keeping on my plan. This is the biggest difference in the way I feel this time around. There was never really an end goal... But I know now that I have something I want to work towards and that fact just makes this entire journey that little bit easier!

I hope everybody on this same journey are feeling positive and have their end goal in sight!

Take care lovelies. 

xxx

Monday, 6 October 2014

It's been a good start to the week!


Hey lovely people! 

So it's Monday morning and instead of the usual Monday blues I normally suffer from, I made a conscientious effort to get into the proper frame of mind and get some exercise done. 

Before I done that though, I drank a little pro-biotic yoghurt drink. Now I know there's a lot of people who don't see the benefits in these drinks, but I suffer from Immune Deficiency and I often take antibiotics which strip my body of any good bacteria already there. Therefore these little drinks are great for keeping my good bacteria all topped up. 


So after that my cousin and I headed to our local leisure centre and went for a swim. It is my absolute favourite exercise, not only because it's low impact but also because I am (for some weird reason) a really strong swimmer. It's something I done a lot as a child and I think it's really been beneficial to me as an adult. Anyway, my cousin and I had lots to chat about and before I knew it we had swam up and down the pool for a solid hour without stopping. 

I'm telling you... The minute I stepped out that pool my legs felt like jelly! It's amazing how you don't really feel the effects of the exercise you're actually putting your body through when you're in the pool. That's why I love it. It is such a low impact sport, which is kinda perfect for people like me with sore joints that often prohibit me from doing regular workouts or even walking long distances. 

When I came home I logged my activity on my weight watchers tracker and couldn't believe that my exercise had amounted to 25 pro points! Now, I don't intend on using these extra points... but how amazing is that? For a 1 hour swim! AMAZING! 

Now is it just me, or does anybody else ever feel absolutely famished after swimming? My stomach is always growling when I come out the pool and this is where you have to be careful. Any other time I would quite happily go home and have a cheese and ham sandwich with mayo, a wee coffee and chocolate cake to congratulate myself on my swim... LOL! Not this time!!! I came home and had a banana and raspberry smoothie with a bowl of porridge. It was delish! :)

So it's now half past 1 in the afternoon and I'm feeling a little bit peckish so I am going to have some cous cous with spinach... and my mouth is literally watering at the thought of it. :)


I hope you all have a fabulous day lovelies. And remember... If you are undertaking a new diet or fitness plan in your own lives YOU CAN DO IT!!! :) Always think positive and PLAN PLAN PLAN your meals. It is the best advice I have ever been given!

Take care lovelies. 

xxx

Sunday, 5 October 2014

It's been a while hasn't it?


Hey lovely people!


So it's been a long time since I last posted on my blog... Since the 25th of June to be exact... And well I wish I had a really good excuse but I really don't. 

I have just been living life with my husband and my dogs and well... time just got away and before I knew it October arrived and it really hit home that I have been severely AWOL on my blog. 

So onto a fresh, new start and a new subject. 


My cousin Lorraine is getting married next year in Cyprus and she has asked me to help her with all of the planning. She is a very busy lady, with a very stressful job and weddings are kinda my thing so I jumped at the chance. As well as this I will be travelling over there (hubby-less) with the rest of my family to watch her get married and to take the photographs (being a photographer and all) so I have decided that I seriously want to get in shape for it. 

Now I know I have said it a million times before and even put a few posts on about starting a diet... But this time I actually have something to work toward. I don't want to be working an entire day in the Cyprus heat, sweating all over the place and feeling rubbish. I want to be able to do my work and enjoy the day and celebrate with my family. So I joined my local weight watchers yesterday (which is the 1st time I have ever joined a class on my own in my whole 29 years) and I am super determined to make it work this time. 

On that note, I thought it would spur me on and make it easier for me if I brought you all along on my journey. So I will be updating my blog regularly with progress reports... Meal ideas... and I'll do a weekly round up of "What I ate" over the course of the week... Pictures and all. 

I hope you all enjoy coming along with me on this weight loss journey and I would appreciate all and any words of encouragement from you all. 

Until next time...

Take care lovelies.

xxx

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

It's Wedding Season!!!

Hey there lovely people, 

So today I thought I would share some of my favourite wedding shots with you all. I am first and foremost a photographer, before I am a blogger and this was after all the reason I started my blog in the 1st place so I think it's only right that from time to time, I bore you all with some random mumbo jumbo about my photography style. 

On that note, here we go:


  


  



 


 




So I know it's definitely not everybody's style but I am much more of a natural, candid shooter. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy admiring a posed romantic shot just as much as anybody else, but as far as feeling comfortable myself with taking those shots... well that's another matter. 

I was very adamant that for our own wedding photographs, my husband and I were represented in the same light as we are on a daily basis. I didn't want any aspect of it to be fake or pre-meditated. This is of course just my style... and I am certainly not knocking anybody else's opinion on the matter... but due to the fact that I feel that way in front of the camera, it appears that those thoughts and feelings have transferred over to my role behind the camera. This is not to say that if my clients request those specific shots then I will be happy to oblige as best I can, but it just doesn't feel that natural to me.

Anyway, enough of my ramblings. If you feel the same as me then let me know. I love photographs. I love how you can tell a story through them. They are proof of our existence, and contain the evidence of our love and happiness. I can't think of any other job I would rather have in the whole world!!! 

Take care lovelies. x

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

It's Been A While...

Hey lovely people!

Oh how I've missed writing to you all. I'm so sorry I've not posted, but I have been ill... and I have quite literally not been able to lift my head off my pillow, never mind use a computer. But I am back to full health, ready and raring to go with some fresh new blog posts... as well as catching up on my Instagram Photo-A-Day Challenge! 



So to ease me back into it, I have decided to do the Lip Product Addict Tag. I watched Amelia Liana & Essie Button's collab video on youtube and just thought it was the perfect tag for me, seen as I am a self-confessed Lip Product Addict. 

Enough of the jibber jabber and onto the tag:

1. Favourite balm/ treatment?


I'm a girl with simple taste, and you don't get more simple and brilliant than Vaseline. I love the plain old original you get in those enormous tubs and I love the dainty little tins, with rose or aloe vera. They are brilliant little budget products that do a great job for me. 

2. Best eye-catching red?


This is my absolute fave red lipstick. I wore it on my Wedding Day and it cost £1. It was a random purchase when I was in Superdrug one day... and it is still my absolute favourite. It's an MUA lisptick in shade 13. I have gone through several (as you would imagine with a cheaper product) and it never disappoints. Is it cheap? Yes! Does it have good staying power? Well... certainly not as much as a luxury brand. How's the pigment? Amazeballs!!! Need I say more???

3. Best luxury & best drugstore?


Ok so aside from the above lippy I was talking about, my other favourite "Drugstore" product is from Bourjois. It is their new Shine Edition Lipsticks in the shade Beige Demographic. It's a super shimmery lipstick with lip balm qualities so your lips feel really plump and nourished when you're wearing it. I love it. 


As far as luxury goes I don't really know if this would qualify as luxury, although it certainly feels luxurious on my lips. It's Liz Earle's Sheer Lip Gloss in the shade Guava 02. It's really a beautiful product that glides on your lips and doesn't have that horrible tacky sensation. It's pretty and long lasting and feels just lovely when you're wearing it.

4. Best MAC lipstick?


Ok, so I don't actually own any MAC products whatsoever and this is due to the fact that they haven't confirmed that they don't test their products on animals. They are owned by Estée Lauder, who DO test on animals, therefore I do not, and I will not ever buy a MAC product. 

5. The most disappointing?

Mmmm... this is a hard one. I can't say I've been disappointed by many lip products, except maybe some tacky lip glosses I happen to have collected over the last few years. I love the look they give... but I hate the feeling they leave on my lips! :(

6. Liner, yes or no?

Yes! Not only does it make your lips look better when you apply your lipstick... but if you apply your liner all over your lips, it acts as a sort of primer and means your lip colour lasts longer! It's a win win!!! :)

7. Best gloss?

Has to be the Liz Earle one I mentioned above! 

8. Something extra?


I decided to use this last question to mention my most lusted after lip product. It is (of course) the beautiful Classic Cream Lipstick in the shade Red 620 from Dolce & Gabbana. I have been in love with this lipstick since seeing it for the 1st time in Vogue a few months ago. It is everything I would want in a lipstick and more. I can't describe how much I want it! I just hope my hubby keeps that in mind when my birthday comes round next week. :)

So that was fun lovelies. :) I hope you enjoyed reading my ramblings. Again I am super sorry for my disappearing act and I vow to try my hardest to keep up with my blogging.

Take care lovelies. x

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

It's A Weighty Issue! Part 2

Hey lovely people,



So this is my first update since I told you all I was starting my diet, and I wish it was more of a positive report.

I started the Juice plus diet which is basically 2 powdered shakes each day, 1 main meal and all the fruit & veg you want. Sounds simple? Well not so much. The list of foods you're not allowed just boarder on insane for me, especially the no wheat or gluten part. :(

I can give up chocolate and crisps quite easily, but asking me to cut out bread and pasta, well that's not so easy.

So basically, despite eating way more healthily, and cutting out junk food, chocolate, crisps etc, I am still the same weight I was when I started.

Freaking disheartened is an understatement. I'm now at the point where I'm wondering whether or not to continue on with this particular diet. I have had success with Weight Watchers in the past and so I'm wondering if this is the best idea for me. At least this way I can still eat normal food.

What do you think? I would love other peoples opinions on this subject. I am more than dedicated to losing weight, but realistically I need a plan that will work on a budget.

Take care lovelies. x

Monday, 2 June 2014

May Instagram Photo Challenge

Hey lovely people,

So it is now June!!! Does that mean it's summer??? I don't know... I always associate the month of June with being the start of the summer... and it's my favourite month of the year because it's my birthday month! :) Yayyyyy!

So anyway, this past month of May I took part once again in an Instagram photo challenge brought to us once again by the fab Alice at www.supergorgeous.co.uk. She has a fabulous little beauty blog so get yourself over there and check her out... and follow her twitter and instagram too. :)

But anyway, I took part in my 2nd monthly photo challenge and I've got to say, not only has it been fun taking my pics, but it has been super great to discover all of these fab new instagrammers to follow. I'm a big fan of pretty images and my newsfeed is literally now absolutely jampacked with amazing photographs ranging from fashion to flowers, makeup to food, landscapes to animals. :D It is just my absolute favourite place to be now, and I have fallen away from most of my other social sites because of how much I am enjoying Instagram. If you think I would enjoy your page then by all means let me know! :D

So anyway, here are my submissions in their entirety for May:


So if you want to partake in this months challenge then please get yourself over to Instagram and follow the founder of this specific challenge, the lovely +Alice M (Alice from Supergorgeous)... and while you're over there give me a little follow on Instagram - my username is @onceuponapic_danni. :)

Take care lovelies. x

Friday, 30 May 2014

Some Random Friday Favourites

Hey lovely people!


So it's Friday again and that means time off work (for most), spending time with friends & family, perhaps having a tipple or two and generally just relaxing.

This weekend is the Froch vs Groves II fight and for those of you who don't know, I do enjoy a bit of the boxing and sometimes UFC. This of course has been a gradual process, after years of being encouraged to enjoy it from my husband. But anyway, that fight is on Saturday and so myself and my hubby will be one of the many millions watching, along with the company of my big cousin and his wife. So it should be a great night. Other than that, my weekend will generally be very quiet.

So enough of the rambling and onto my current faves of the moment. Let me first say that they are random and in no particular order or genre, but are just a bunch of things I am really enjoying at the moment. :)

1.

 

I have been singing this song in my head for weeks and weeks and I just can't seem to get enough of it. It's just another beautiful song from the incredibly talented Sam Smith. I could quite literally listen to him sing all day long. 

2. 


Ok so have you ever had weeks where you just crave a particular food or meal??? This has been my craving this week... beans on toast. I can't stop thinking about it. Lol! And no I'm not pregnant I swear. Lol.

3. 


After falling away from it for a good wee while, I have finally found my way back to the comedy genius that is Cougar Town. I love this wee show... it' so funny and it makes me feel better about enjoying a glass of wine or 5. :)

4.


So obviously I don't look this good in leggings, but I do love them. I feel as though I have been living in my leggings recently. They are just so comfy and pretty to look at. Is it such a bad thing that I won't take them off???

5. 


Ok, so I am a big fan of the Kardashian clan and an avid viewer of their show so you can imagine my excitement at seeing Kim K's wedding dress and all things wedding related. :) She was beautiful and Kanye was dapper and it looked like a fairytale of a day. I'm already a bit of a wedding nut as it is, so as far as I'm concerned she can get married as many times as she likes. I will always be excited about it! Lol!

So that's my faves for another week lovely people. I hope you all have a lovely weekend and hope you continue to enjoy reading my ramblings. :) Love & hugs to you all. 

Take care lovelies. x

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Snap Happy Tuesday - L.O.V.E

Hey there lovely people!

So it's Tuesday again and I thought I would share some more of my favourite images with you, this time incorporating the theme of L.O.V.E!



This can be interpreted in many ways, some more obvious than others, but regardless of how it is shown, I find that these are always the most touching images. Tell me if you agree with me.

Two sets of families sharing in a special day with a special little girl...

A big brother looking out for his new little brother...

A mum adoring her gorgeous little boy on his special day...

A man being passionate about his favourite football team...
An affectionate hug between cousins who don't see each other often enough...

A family coming together to create a memory that can be saved forever...

So there you are... L.O.V.E shown in several different ways through photographs. Whether it's for a special event or just to watch your favourite sports team, love can be demonstrated and shared in photographs in all different ways, shapes and forms... that's what makes my job all the more interesting. 

Take care lovelies. x

Thursday, 22 May 2014

A Little Birthday Wishlist

Hey lovely people, 

So I know I said I would post 3 times a week, but this week has been exceptionally busy and for that reason I haven't really had much computer time. However, I have a spare 10 minutes this morning and thought I would share a little wishlist post for my upcoming 29th birthday next month. It is of course an enormous hint to my hubby, so hopefully he gets the message loud and clear. :)

1:


This is Model 4018 from Sekonda, as part of the new Editions range. I saw it for the first time last night while watching "Fearne and McBusted" and I just love it. I've been looking at watches for so long, and had my eye on a few including some Michael Kors ones that were just gorgeous, but I really loved this one instantly and it's only £39.99... so BARGAIN!!! 

2:


I can't say enough about this genius cleanser from Liz Earle. I have been using it for 1 years and I have literally no complaints whatsoever. My skin feels so fresh and clean and fantastic when I use this, so naturally I run out a lot. It's £14.95 for the 100ml pump directly from Liz Earle or you can get two 100ml pumps from QVC for £28. :) 

3:


I have been dreaming about this gorgeous lippy since reading the April Vogue (UK edition). It has been on my wishlist since then, but I still haven't managed to justify the £24 price tag to my hubby. He just doesn't understand the importance of me having this gorgeous piece in my collection. I wonder if he ever will!!! :(

4:


My 4th item is these slim fitting boyfriend jeans from Simply Be. I'm generally a dark jean kinda gal, but I really love these. they are super cute and will look fab with a pair of pumps & a tee... my fave kind of outfit. They are £35. 

5:


The 5th and final item on my wishlist is this little treat of a tv show. :) It is my new favourite... and is AMAZEBALLS! I have quite seriously watched all 4 seasons on a loop on Sky & Netflix, and I just can't get enough. It is available from Play at £29.99 for all 4 of the current seasons.

So there you have it. I don't think I'm asking for too much...

Take care lovelies. x

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Healthy Recipes


Hey lovely people, 

So in keeping with my new healthy approach to eating... and well... life... I have decided to share a couple of my favourite healthy recipes along with the cost of the ingredients. I feel that we are all encouraged to live healthier lives and eat more fruit and vegetables. However, I find that it is often overlooked that eating better often costs us double the price of a standard weekly shop, so sometimes it's not that people don't want to, it's just that they can't afford to eat better.

On that note, these recipes will not only be healthy, but cost effective. 

Warm Quinoa Salad with Grilled Halloumi
(serves 3)


Ingredients

3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, sliced
1 large roasted pepper from a jar, thickly sliced, or a handful of ready-roasted sliced peppers
200g quinoa
500ml vegetable stock
small bunch flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
zest and juice 1 lemon
large pinch sugar
250g pack halloumi cheese, cut into 6 sliced




1. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a medium saucepan. Cook the onion and pepper for a few mins, then add the quinoa and cook for a further 3 mins. Add the stock, cover and turn the heat down to a simmer. Cook for 15 mins or until soft, then stir through half the parsley. Heat the grill.

2. Meanwhile, mix the lemon zest and juice with the remaining parsley and oil, and a large pinch of sugar and salt. Grill the halloumi until both sides are golden and crisp. Serve the salad with the grilled halloumi and the dressing poured over everything.

Asda

Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil - £1.50 (250ml)
Sliced Red Onions - £0.50 - 225g
Roasted Red Peppers - £1.40 - 480g
Great Scot Scot Quinoa - £2.18 - 300g
Vegetable Stock Cubes - £0.40 - 120g
Parsley - £0.70 - 31g
Lemons - £0.30 - each
La Doria Fine Sea Salt - £0.50 - 500g
Halloumi - £2.00 - 250g

Total Cost - £9.48
Cost per person - £3.16

I think you'll agree that £3.16 for a delicious, healthy meal isn't asking too much. I've used Asda for purchasing the ingredients, but by all means check your own local supermarket. 

So you've wolfed down that delicious meal, now you want to wash it down with a delicious and super healthy smoothie.

Mango & Banana Smoothie
(makes 1 litre)





Ingredients

1 medium mango
1 banana
500ml orange juice
4 ice cubes







1. Cut the mango down either side of the flat stone, then peel and cut the flesh into chunks.

2. Peel and chop the banana.

3. Put all the ingredients into a food processor or blender, then process until smooth and thick. Keep in the fridge and use the day you make it.

Asda

Large Mango - £0.75
Banana - £0.68
Orange Juice Smooth - £1.00
The Ice Co Ice Crush £1.00

Total Cost - £3.43
Cost Per 250ml serving - £0.85

So there you are my lovely readers. Two delicious and cost effective recipes to help you become a healthier and happier person. I hope you enjoy these as much as I have!

Take care lovelies. x