Wednesday, 31 August 2016

It's September tomorrow.......what?

Where on earth has August gone? I’m serious! I actually cannot believe it’s September TOMORROW! Anyone else?
Since it is apparently September tomorrow I thought it might be about time to refocus my health and fitness goals. I’ve been on a few holidays in the past couple of months, overindulging and doing hardly any exercise so although I’ve been better since coming home I still think it’s beneficial to sit down every now and again and reset! 

What do I mean by reset? I like reviewing my fitness and eating habits and working out what I can do for the next months to reach my goals. I’m trying to avoid plateauing and losing motivation by mixing thing up every now and again.

What I’m doing

1. Tracking what I eat
By this I just mean I plan on keeping a food diary showing what I’m consuming. I DO NOT MEAN COUNTING CALORIES. I always check food labels to see the amount of calories just out of good sense but I’m going to write down the amount of calories I consume because there isn’t any point for me and my goals.I find keeping track of what I eat really helps me spot if I’m eating enough protein and veg or too much sugar and carbs.

2.  Drinking more water
I’m making a conscious effort to drink at least two litres of water ever day. There are so many health benefits of drinking more water and I feel it reduces my hunger.

3. Adding more cardio
At the beginning of July I started a beginners weights regime because I fancied trying something different but now I think I need to up my cardio again. I’m doing this by attempting to run to the gym! My gym is only about 2km away but it’s nearly all up hill running on the way there. Adding a ten minute run before and after my weights workout in the gym will go a long way in increasing my cardio exercise for the week.

I hope everyone has a great September and don’t forget to follow me on : TwitterInstagram and Bloglovin

Sunday, 28 August 2016

I'm not a beauty blogger!

My blog has just had it’s one month anniversary! Woo! If I’m honest I didn’t even think I’d still be blogging a month later but here I am so I thought this would be a good time to reflect on what I’ve learnt so far.

It’s 24 hour job
Blogging definitely isn’t a matter of sitting at your computer for an hour, typing a few paragraphs, adding a few pictures, publishing and leaving it be! I feel like I’m constantly tweeting, posting photos on instagram, commenting on instagram photos, commenting on blog posts and just spending so much time on social media to try and build a following! This doesn’t include the hours I spend reading other blogs and just searching the internet for inspiration!  

Writing is hard
Continuing from above, writing a blog post I’m proud of takes TIME. Something I’m yet to mention on my blog is that my first language is Welsh not English, and because I’ve had my education through Welsh, I haven’t actually written anything in English for about two years! I think this has contributed to me struggling to find my voice and actually finding it quite hard to write posts I’m happy with. I’m just hoping that practice makes perfect and I’ll get better the more I write!

I’m not a beauty blogger
Before I created Life in Lipstick and Leggings, I didn’t really know what exactly I wanted to write about. I decided I’d write about what I felt like and that so far has seemed to be very health and fitness related and also a little travel related (Dubrovnik blog to come!). I did write one blog about my favourite beauty products but I deleted it a week later because I really wasn’t happy with it! I don’t know how to write about products and I have no expertise so who should people listen to what I say about make up anyway! I might attempt to write about make up in the future but for now I’m going to stick to things I find easier to write about.

Twitter Chats
I didn’t know there were such things as twitter chat’s before i started my blog! They are so much fun and a great opportunity to meet other bloggers and to get more readers for your blog! I also didn’t know that there were twitter account you could hashtag and they’d retweet your blog. I’m definitely learning something new every day.

It makes me happy
I’ve never really thought of myself as a creative person. In primary school I wanted to be a journalist but over the past few years subjects like maths and science have definitely taken more of my attention than English and Literature but I really love writing. I might not be any good at it but I certainly find it therapeutic and at the end of the day if I love the process of writing and get excited by coming up with ideas for posts or pictures who cares if anyone’s reading!

I really haven’t got that many followers and I have less than ten posts but I’ve had such a busy month and I’m even more motivated now to put more time and energy into Life in Lipstick and Leggings! 

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Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Hooray to Healthy Books!!

I’ve never really been one to cook myself - I mean why would I when my parents are such good cooks themselves and actually make a lot of healthy food! I’d love to say that I just wanted to cook for them out of the kindness of my heart but in all honesty my mum forced my to! She told me I needed to learn some life skills before I went off to university and that learning to cook would be a great place to start. I flicked through the cookbooks we had in the house but they didn’t inspire me with their twenty step instructions and fifty plus ingredients. That’s when I decided to buy the books I’s been lusting after for a few months but never bought because I never cooked so what would be the point! So I order THREE books from amazon : 
  • Lean in 15 - Joe Wicks The Body Coach
  • The Body Bible - Clean Eating Alice 
  • Eat Well, Move Better and Feel Awesome - The Lean Machines 
These books are more than just cookbooks as they include workouts and advice on staying healthy in your daily life and I’m really really glad I bought them but with so many similar books on the market I thought I’d do a quick review to show you why these are great!

Cauliflower Couscous Salad

Ok I know I’m really behind with this book and that there already a second book out and a third out this November! This book is great for beginner chefs like me as nearly all the recipes can be made in fifteen minutes using ingredients that are easy to get hold of. At the beginning of the book there is some information about nutrition and some useful day to day tips about food prep and store cupboard essentials. The recipes are then separated into three sections : Reduced carbohydrate recipes, post-workout carbohydrate refuel recipes and Snacks and treats - this makes it easier to decide on the right meals to support your training. At the back of the book there are two circuit workouts, one without equipment and one with weights. Both routines are simple and are more suited for beginners but I liked the weights workout because it can be hard to find weight circuits like this one for beginners.

Favourite Recipes : Thai Green Curry, Teriyaki Salmon and Cauliflower Couscous Chicken Salad

Sea bass with roasted Veg

Another book packed with delicious, easy recipes. It took me so long to decide what to cook first! I love that at the beginning of the book Alice writes about her personal experiences with eating and exercise and even includes photos making her story instantly relatable. The book is also filled with motivational quotes to help you along with your journey! The best part of the book is the chapter on exercise which includes five different HIIT routines targeting different parts of the body and with optional equipment meaning they can be completed at home or in the gym. 

Favourite Recipes : Banana and Fig Sweet Omelette, Prawn Masala and Sea Bass with Roasted Vegetables  

Monkfish and Coconut Curry

The first chapter in this book is all about being happy with your life and talks about issues from anxiety to sleep. It’s followed by a thorough introduction to nutrition and even explains how to calculate your macros - something I’ve wondered about for a while. My favourite thing about this book is that every recipe has some information about nutrition such as calories and grams of protein like you get on supermarket meals. I’m not one to meticulously count calories or track my macros but I feel like I can make better judgements about what choose to eat when numbers are involved! The workouts in the back of the book are separated into beginner, intermediate and advanced sections all including home plans and gym plans and although the plans look quite complicated at first, I’ve learnt about terminology and different ways to write exercise plans since reading this book. The best thing about the workouts is that every movement has a whole page explaining proper form giving you confidence that your doing each exercise correctly!

Favourite Recipes : Cod Parcels with White Beans, Monkfish and Coconut Curry and Moroccan Turkey Kebabs with Chickpea Salad

The next books in my sights (when I have money again! #poorstudent) are Shape and Sustain by The Body Coach, Eat Clean by Niomi Smart, Strong by Zanna Van Dijk and finally The Food Medic by Dr Hazel Wallace. I hope you enjoyed this review! What are your favourite health books?

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Friday, 19 August 2016


Ok this post is totally unplanned but I feel like I need to get something off my chest. 
And credit to the amazingly talented Ffion Chant for the images - love you lots!

Today at 8am I opened my A level results and was devastated! Not only did I not get what I need to study medicine at Birmingham University but my grades were a LOT lower than I expected. I needed an A*AA but got an ABB in chemistry, biology and maths.  I felt blind sighted. What I’d been working so hard for, for the past four years of my life had escaped from my grasp. Guess what, I’m not use to failing to get what I set my mind on, especially when it comes to academic work and it was not a great feeling. I crumbled and I cried for a good hour, mourning the future that I’d planned in my head that I wouldn’t get to live.  

But…….today I also realised …… MY GRADES AREN”T BAD! I worked as hard as I possibly could for my exams and I got a frikin A in chemistry A level and that’s something to be proud of! I may not have got what I needed to do medicine but I have an offer to do Pharmacy so yey me! I’ve never really considered pharmacy because if I’m honest I’ve had tunnel vision since I was 16 about what I wanted to do but I am a strong believer that everything happens for a reason. Maybe it was 
just not meant to be! Maybe I’ll look back at my life in five, ten, twenty years and think THANK GOODNESS I didn’t study medicine. Maybe not! Maybe I’ll hate what I’m doing and decide to re-apply after getting another degree first. Who knows. My future is up in the air and although that is a hugely scary prospect it’s also really, really exciting! I am an intelligent, hard working, 18 year old with my whole life ahead of me  - these letter’s on the page don’t define me! They don’t represent everything I’ve achieved in the last seven years of my life. 

Today has made me thankful for the amazing friends that I have who have made me a better person and have always been so supportive of me, especially today when I needed them. I’m thankful for my family who I know will love me whatever I choose to do. I’m thankful that I live in a country where as a girl I’ve been allowed to go to school and haven’t been persecuted for attempting to have an education. I’m thankful that I’m lucky enough to be able to afford to go to university (even if my student debt will be humongous!). I’m thankful that I’m healthy and have my whole life ahead of me to make of what I wish.  

Today might not have gone exactly as planned but that’s ok because today is the first day of the rest of my life!

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Thursday, 18 August 2016

London - What I did!

This blog is so late but this is what I got up to in London a few weeks ago!


Staying so close to the Tate Modern I thought it would be a crime not to pop in even though I've never been a huge fan of modern art. I decided to go and visit the Georgia O'Keefe exhibition because I'd heard a lot of good things about it and I didn't have a clue where else to start. Georgia O'Keffe was an American artist originally from Wisconsin and the exhibition celebrates the centenary of her work. I was taken aback by the vastness of the collection and the variety of themes that she explored, from her earlier  abstract charcoal drawings to the use of watercolours depicting the plains of Texas, oilpaintincgs of New York city and finally her most renowned paintings of cow skulls in the landscapes of the South West. If like me you have no pervious knowledge of art I’d definitely recommend buying an audio guide which made the visit even more enjoyable as I was able to get a better understanding of the inspiration behind the paintings.

I enjoyed my afternoon so much I went back to the Tate later in the week but without prior knowledge of which exhibits to go and see I was slightly overwhelmed by the sheer number of works at the Tate. Luckily there is a great display to get you started call the Start Display which features some of the “best loved artworks in the Tate collection” including works by Matisse and Kandinsky. I’m definitely planning to spend another afternoon in the Tate next time I’m in London even if that’s just to justify spending all my money the the Tate Modern shops! 


Seeing the big pink boat on the bank of a the Thames honestly made me giggle, partly because of it's pinkness and partly out of nerves. I let myself be intimidated.  Was I cool enough to walk on this boat? Would everyone stare because I obviously didn't belong? There was no need for me to worry! The staff were smiley and helpful and within ten minutes I was sat at the bar in with exotic looking cocktail in my hand. 

 The main reason I was on the boat was to see Desiree Birch perform stand up comedy as part of the Funny Women Festival 2016 - Edinburgh Fringe Previews. I’d never seen any stand up comedy before (except for on television) and I wasn’t really sure what to expect but I have to say, I was laughing out loud for the whole hour! Between the small intimate room and Desiree’ s chatty friendly style I felt like I was just listening to an older hilarious friend impart her knowledge on everything from body image to sex in your thirties. I even had a chance to chat with Desiree later in the night and she was just as bubbly and animated then as she was on stage an hour earlier. I had a great night and I really hope to get the opportunity to see Desiree Birch in action again soon!


I’ve only ever really gone running in Cardiff, so I made an extra effort to pack my trainers and running gear and vowed to go running at least one morning in London. I wasn’t looking at my time or distance but just wanted the experience of running in such a crowded city! I actually managed to go out twice which I’m quite proud of. The first time I ran from the Tate over London Bridge and back around which was certainly an experience as I dodged businessmen and women hurrying to work - a world away from the Taff’s trail in Cardiff! The second time I decided just to run in the other direction towards Westminster Bridge which was a much nicer run as it was basically straight and the wide pedestrianised banks made zipping in and out of commuters a little easier! Next time I think I’ll try running in a park such as Hyde Park to avoid being trampled! 

What do you like to get up to in London? 

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

London - Where I Ate !

I’m finally posting my blog about London! I’ve decided to split it into two blog. This is the first and it’s all about where I ate! It’s not very often that I go anywhere and have such amazing food every time I eat out. All the places on my list except for one are on the Southbank simply because this was where I spent most of my time. Hopefully next time I go to London I’ll be able to explore a different area! 

Over The Road

This little cafe was such a great find! Tucked away on Union Street, a minute walk for Southwark tube Station, we nearly walked straight past it but I’m so glad we stopped here for some lunch. With plenty of outside seating and a busy bustling vibe it was a great way to start my trip. Not only  was my salt beef bagel delicious but we paid £10 for two bagels, two coffees and a packet of pipers crisps! A bargain you don’t often find in London.

Top Tip : Bring a book to swap on the Book swap trolly - a great way to discover new reads!


Walking in here was like walking into one of my dreams - gorgeous cakes EVERYWHERE!  I finally settled on a Pecan Salted Caramel and Banana cake (which was heavenly) and some fruity homemade ice tea. It was so nice in fact that we went back the next day and had some more cake (don’t know which one it was but it had pink icing so I instantly fell in love) and coffee. 


 They had a great selection on small tapas dishes and we found it hard to narrow it down. We ended up getting a plate from each section on the menu, so we order the Manchego Cheese, the Jambón Ibérico Cebo (ham), the Octopus, the Chorizo de Rioja and the Baby Aubergine. All the dishes were tasty but my favourite was definitely the octopus because it was so different to what I normally eat and it was served with a delicious beetroot purée. We found that five plates were definitely enough between the two of us and left space for some cheeky chocolate churros for dessert. 

Top Tip : Even if you not that hungry it’s worth stopping here for a cocktail (or two) as spanish party atmosphere  will certainly get you in the mood for a fun night out


A healthy breakfast is one of my favourite ways to start the day hence I was so happy when I saw Crussh across the road from my hotel. Again there were so many things I could have bought (cacao & coconut bircher musli sounded sooooooo good!) but knowing I had a long day in front of me I wanted something I knew would keep me full for hours so I went for the Scrambled Egg pot with Hot Smoked Salmon and flax seed and as you might have guessed it was so *yummy and it did keep me full without being to heavy.  
(*I’m really running out of good adjectives to describe how nice the food was!)
I also had a latte with a ginger shot, something I’ve never heard of before let alone tried and it was surprisingly refreshing!

Another day, another healthy breakfast, this time at Leon’s a place I’ve heard a lot about but never been to before.  I don’t know if eggs in a pot is a London thing or just not a Cardiff thing but for the second day in a row I had eggs but this time poached and with smoked salmon and avocado.  I actually found this portion a bit small so I’d recommend either getting a large smoothie of which they have an abundance or requesting an extra egg.


The last place we ate was the Kitchen and Bar on the sixth level of the Tate Modern. There are two  menus available the Bar Menu and the Restaurant Menu. Not being that hungry I just went for a roast beetroot, rosary goat’s cheese, orange, broad bean and quinoa salad and the crispy salt and pepper squid both of which were lovely but the main reason I’d recommend a visit? The view What’s better that relaxing in the calm oasis and chilled atmosphere of the Tate Bar while watching the hustle and bustle of Londoners on the other side of the river!


I don’t feel like I can give this cafe a full review considering I literally spent about fifteen minutes in here just to grab a coffee to go but I had to mention it. Even though it was insanely busy the service was impeccable and the cosy interior design and the delicious look of the cupcakes definitely mean I’ll make an effort to go back next time I’m in London!


Last but not least I had to mention Snog for their insane pink double decker bus ! On the southbank it’s the perfect place to grab a light dessert after your evening meal. At only 140 for a little original snog how could I say no! You can choose from original , chocolate, salted caramel  or pomegranate flavoured frozen yoghurt with healthy toppings like fruit, nuts or granola or maybe some not not so healthy toppings like chocolate fudge brownies, gummy bears or oreos, Whatever your in the mood for you’ll find the perfect frozen yoghurt for you! Personally I went for he chocolate flavoured frozen yoghurt with popcorn and mango (to be healthy…..not).

I hope you enjoyed my list. Please leave a comment so I know people are actually reading my blogs hahaha! 
B x