Fitness and Me: Motivation


When I started focussing on my fitness, it was a struggle for me. Motivation was lacking, I found it difficult to get a routine. It was a bit messy. Finding motivation to exercise can be hard, especially if you a) don't know what you're doing and b) have been out of your 'fitness loop'. However, I've found my feet and I wanted to share with you, my lovely readers, how I found my motivation. I hope you all can find something within this post today that'll help spark your motivation.

Knowing what you want to work on: whether it's toning, losing weight or generally wanting to work on being healthier, having an idea of what you want to do in your head is a good way to get motivated. For me, currently, it's: legs, cardio, abs and bum. Eventually I'll get onto working on my arms more, but for now, I have the areas I want to work on. I love Pinterest for this, as there are a lot of different worksheets on there for every single body part. As well as this, fitness magazine are also a favourite of mine because they have articles, fitness routines and even meal ideas.

Setting some goals: try not to be too ambitious with your goals to start with. For me, my overall goal is to lose at least 2 stone of weight to bring me to where I want to be. However, I do set mini-goals to help me reach it. For example, lose x amount of pounds. There doesn't really need to be a time frame, and I feel like it's less stressful if there isn't a time frame. 

Praise yourself: for every little achievement you get, praise yourself. Whether you can run on a treadmill for a certain amount of time, progressing to your goal, you can lift a little bit more than you previously could - praise yourself. This is proven to help you feel uplifted, and has boosted my motivation for being in the gym. Celebrate every victory, even if you feel like people don't care!



Record your progress: I find this to be the most helpful for my motivation, as it helps me look back on what I've been doing, where things went well for me, what workouts benefitted me the most, what I ate (so I can eat it again, lol). It's nice to look back and see your progress, especially if you note down how much exercise you've been doing. For me, I note down how many steps I've done (in miles also) and then add it all up!

Don't push yourself: I used to beat myself up if I didn't meet a certain goal, and sometimes in the gym I'd push myself so hard that I'd feel sick (or actually throw up, NOT FUN). The key is to know your limits. If you start to feel a bit uneasy (shaky, too hot, sick), then that's the time to stop. I like to be a bit too eager and push myself a bit past that, but I end up feeling pretty grim afterwards (as in I can't go over non-flat roads in a car without feeling like I need to stick my head out the window).

Fitness with a friend: if going to the gym alone makes you anxious, or worried, go with a friend! You can join together, or get a day pass for one another's gyms and you can work out together. I like this idea, because you can motivate each other, and potentially give each other that little push that you both may need.

What do you do to motivate yourself for the gym? Do you find it easy, is it a struggle? Let me know in the comments, and let's have a discussion!


Feel free to follow me on Twitter: @chloemtommo, Instagram: @chloetommo and Bloglovin.
Have an amazing day!

NAKED Heat: First Look



I was a bit sceptical on posting this, as I know that I'm not a beauty blogger (and I have a feeling a million other posts about this palette will come out soon). However, I honestly couldn't resist.

When I first saw the palette, I was in awe. I wasn't one hundred percent sure if I wanted the palette, as there are other palettes out there for a cheaper price that have the same shades (and more). However, the palette I wanted instead of this one is a lot larger, and I love how easy it is to slip a UD palette into your bag.

The day the pre-release of Urban Decay's highly anticipated palette NAKED Heat came around, and as soon as I saw my Twitter timeline going nuts, I knew that I had to have this palette. What threw me off is that I also saw on Twitter that a lot of people were struggling to purchase the palette due it the stock running out and having to wait to re-stock. I was like 'Okay, don't be pissed if you can't get it', but honestly... I had no problems. Straight on the site, 'out of stock', refreshed the page once, 'in stock'. That was it.

So without further ado, enjoy my 100% honest account of UD's latest beauty craze.



Packaging

So for the packaging it comes in, it has its own box where the inside slides out and that's where the palette is contained. The box shows what the shades look like, as well as having the signature brand name and product name. It gives you a literal preview before you start opening the packaging, which is nice if you're trying to find a palette which has those sunkissed and bronzed summer shades. When you slide the inside out of the packaging, it reveals the palette quite nicely.

The product packaging itself is very summery, sunkissed and has a sleek design. It feels simplistic and has a metallic background which shines in the light, which I'm quite a fan of. The mirror is very big, which I love because if I have this palette to hand and no other mirror, then I'm covered. I have no faults with the packaging whatsoever, and I actually love that it has its own slide out box, it's sturdy and very protective. The palette itself is very sturdy and doesn't feel too heavy at all.

Overall verdict: 5/5

Product

The shades are very summery and some are what I describe as a bit of 'burnt' shades, which I really like. I do love my browns, golds and pinks, but this palette is very gorgeous. As soon as I saw the shades in person, I fell in love (so much that I actually didn't want to swatch the palette).

There are 12 shades in total (as you know if you've ever owned/seen a NAKED palette before), and majority are matte (8) and only a few are shimmers (4), which of course, vary from pale to dark (from left to right). Personally, my favourite shades are: Lumbre, He Devil, Dirty Talk, Scorched and Ember because the darker shades to me are genuinely really beautiful.

The shadows are pressed very well, and they feel velvety to touch (I discovered this as I sobbed whilst swatching the shades). A little product goes a long way with this palette, as the pigmentation of the colours is so strong, especially with the darker shades. However, 3 of the shades did disappoint me. These were: Ounce, En Fuego and Ashes.



The reason these shades disappointed me were slightly different. For Ounce, it was because it is genuinely so bloody pale and no matter how hard I was swatching, I couldn't see much on my skin. Maybe that's what the intention was, but I feel like the pigment in Ounce is lacking, but then again, does anyone really want a shade like Ounce where it looks like Tippex is smeared all over your eyes? Not really.

 En Fuego and Ashes: gorgeous shades in the pan, not so great on the skin. To me, the texture was pretty chalky and I swatched these 2 shades twice in case I didn't press hard enough with my finger. The first time, it appeared quite chalky and faded on the skin so I wiped them off and redid them. I pressed harder into the pan (cue me crying) to try and get some more pigment out of them and... Yep, still chalky as hell. I'm determined to try and make those shades work, but I think with the pigment not being as strong as I'd hoped, perhaps they're going to be decent for blending out. Who knows?



All the other shades glided on with no issue whatsoever, but can we appreciate the pigment of the shimmers for a few seconds here? They're absolutely gorgeous (I kinda pressed a bit too hard on them and did have fallout come off on my skin, so be careful!) and I can't wait to play around with them.

 I prefer this palette to NAKED 1 & 3 (palettes I've previously owned), as the shades are bronzed (a type of look I've taken quite a fancy to as of late), although NAKED 3 is a close second favourite of mine (those pink and rosy shades are beautiful). The feel of the shades in the palette are velvety, as opposed to chalky which I found with 1&3, both palettes I don't actually use anymore and have gifted to my mum to use. There's not too much fallout with the Heat palette, however, as stated above, be careful with the shimmer shades.  I'm not sure whether they've changed how the pans are actually made, but they do feel different and I can see it when I swatch the shades on my arm.

This version of the palettes can definitely give off the bronzed, sunkissed smokey look, and I feel like the shimmer shades are genuinely so lovely to add a pop of shine to the eyes. It can be used to add drama to the eyes, but the lighter shades are definitely a chance to go a bit subtle with your look - total all rounder!

Overall verdict: 4/5

So, I know what you're all thinking. Is this palette worth the hype it got?

For me, NAKED Heat impresses me a lot more than I thought it would, and the issues with the 3 shades are definitely something I can work with. It's a palette that definitely screams 'summer vibes', but the shades can be rocked all year round in my opinion. I was definitely surprised with the palette, and I am very glad I purchased it. So yes, I do think it's worth the hype and I cannot wait to start creating some sunkissed/bronzed looks with NAKED Heat.

If you have any questions about the palette itself, feel free to comment below and I'll happily answer them!

Feel free to follow me on Twitter: @chloemtommo, Instagram: @chloetommo and Bloglovin.
Have an amazing day!

Saying goodbye


Broken. Absolutely broken. That's how I've been describing my feelings today. It's been nearly 5 hours since we had to say goodbye, and it's been nothing short of utterly heartbreaking and emotional, and we've all been feeling it.

It probably comes across as a bit stupid to be dedicating a blog post to a pet I've recently lost, but I don't care. She meant a lot to me. Actually scrap that. Everything. She meant everything to me. She had been in my family for almost 11 years, which is a really long time. I can remember on that cold November day in 2007 with 5 of my other family members, searching high and low for 'the one' dog, but after spending a lot of time at a rescue shelter, we didn't find it. However, we came across a section of the RSPCA in Llys Nini, Swansea and I saw Mabel. She was dumped on the side of a road as a puppy and that's what broke my heart. How could this innocent little thing be left there?

Everyone had wandered off and I called them back with a "Hey guys, what about this one?" and that was it. We picked her up after one of my Performing Arts classes on a Saturday and the excitement was running through us all.




She was my best friend growing up, and I absolutely loved her to pieces. My friends loved it when I brought her out when I came out to play with them, it was the best. I loved coming home after school and being greeted with her - one of the nicest things in the world. She was so loyal, friendly, graceful and gentle. Her attitude was so lady-like, and she was definitely a total diva when she wanted to be.

We were initially told she had kennel cough, due to her breathing being very shallow and she would hack and basically honk like a goose. It didn't bother me too much to start, but the breathing was the main concern. It's honestly scary to think how it could've started off how it did and end up like this 2 weeks later. I can't say that it wasn't kennel cough because I'm not a vet, and when animals (like people) get older, a cough/cold can lead to something worse. 

In the last week, she had been throwing up food, not showing any interest in appetite, refusing to eat treats (ones she absolutely loved as well, might I add), she kept pushing her head down slightly to help make the breathing easier, she wouldn't come to the kitchen table when we are to try and hound us for food (she did this A LOT, and succeeded... Quite a lot!) and she was just genuinely exhausted, you could see it in her eyes that if she could talk, she'd be saying how tired she was all the time.

Mable on 28/04/17, looking as graceful as ever.


We took Mabel to the vets this morning due to her throwing up and her (and I quote from my mum) "back end was going". My heart literally stopped. I ran outside to see her and the way she was laying in the grass made it seem like her back legs gave up on her. Thankfully, her legs were fine but due to how tired she was, she barely wanted to move. I was sick to my stomach with worry, nerves and anxiety. I know that due to her age and with her getting ill, literally anything could happen. She could get fully cured and live a few more years, or the worst could happen. We had no idea, it was a literal gamble and we had to keep it together and try to stay positive.

At 1 this afternoon, my mum called the vet to get an update, and we were told that: her lungs were showing black on the x-rays (meaning fluid on the lungs), they couldn't get a good picture of her heart and that she needed to stay overnight in the emergency vets. This worried me, but I had hope. I really did. The vet then proceeded to tell my mum that she should call back again between 3 and 4 for another update on Mabel. 

At 2:44, mum got a call and all I heard from my mum was "Should I come down now?" and that's when myself and my brother knew that it could be the end. We zoomed around the house at lightning speed and before we knew it, we were back in the car to the vets because they had to resuscitate her. That's honestly when I lost all hope. In the car I had to tell my Gramps what had happened and I was in bits, I couldn't stop crying. I felt so numb, it was unreal. As soon as we got to the vets, I basically ran into the building and said that we were here to see Mabel. We waited for a few minutes and were called into a room and she was not in sight (forgetting that she wouldn't be in the examination room if she was on oxygen).

The vet told us that she was in a critical state with a tube going down her throat to breathe for her and probably wouldn't survive the trip to the emergency vets that she was meant to go to this evening. The image of what she possibly looked like was bringing me to tears and tearing up my heart. 

"Is she in any pain?"
"No, she's not in any pain."


Those words soothed my pain, but didn't soothe my anxiety or worry. I was glad my little baby wasn't in pain, but the worst case scenario was in my mind the entire time. She said that she would see how Mabel was doing and that we could see if we wanted (only if she was awake and stable). After what seemed like forever, the vet returned and said we could all go in and see her.

Turning the corner and seeing Mabel there was heartbreaking. She was hooked up to an oxygen machine with a tube down her throat. It was the most horrific thing I had ever seen. Her breathing resembled someone who had just finished running a marathon and you could see it in her gorgeous brown eyes that she was scared. As soon as she heard us (she couldn't see due to being resuscitated, but we were told she could definitely hear us and feel us), her breathing quickened and she tried to get up to see us. It was awful to see, not because I knew she could end up going, it was how she must've been feeling in that situation.

3:08pm, 1 minute after her passing.

We had the choice of being with her when she was being put down, and a lot of me didn't want to be there. I didn't think I could face seeing my dog, my best friend, the way she was. I honestly couldn't bare the thought. However, I said yes because the last time she saw me properly was earlier in the morning and it wasn't a 'proper' goodbye, I actually said "see you soon, baby". When the vet was preparing the injection to put Mabel to sleep, she spat the oxygen tube out from her mouth and onto the floor, like... As if she was ready for it? My eyes the entire time were on the vet who was getting the injection ready, and we were warned that a lot of fluid could come up, and my mum asked if myself and my brother still wanted to stay after she had gone. 

We both said we wanted to stay and all of us made sure we all were touching a part of her as the injection began. After 5 seconds of the injection starting, she was gone. It was hard to watch, but I don't regret my decision at all. Mabel deserved to have us all there with her in her last few moments, and I couldn't let my emotions get in the way of that. As she started to go, my eyes were on where her lungs were, and watching her chest slow down and finally stop was... I don't even have the words for it. I'd say heartbreaking, but that doesn't even come close. About 3 seconds in when her breathing started to slow, I asked the vet if she had gone. I didn't get an answer, but 2 seconds later the most painful thing to hear happened.

"Her heart's stopped."

She left the world the same way she did when we first had her, telling her how much we loved her and how much of a good girl she was. I know it meant a lot to her to have us all there in her last moments because she definitely did not deserve to go on her own, like she did before she was resuscitated. 

My brother and I stayed with Mabel after she had passed so we could say some things to her and just take in what had happened. Her eyes were still open which didn't make the experience worse, it was like she was still there even though you couldn't see her breathe - as if she were frozen on the spot. The vet gave us clippings of her fur (which I asked for, and only looked in it today: 13/06/17, and saw that amongst her black fur, there is a little white piece) and also offered to give us prints of her paw (the one I was holding as she passed), which makes it a million times more sentimental.



Now it's almost 8 o'clock in the evening and my mind is replaying the last 5 seconds of her life over and over in my head. I'm trying hard to distract myself, but the fact of my little baby not being here anymore makes me feel as though my heart has been ripped out of my chest. I'm going to miss her so much, as will my family and other dog, Tommy, but we'll never forget the good times we've had with her and how much we loved and will always love her.

She's going to be cremated and given back to us in the next 2 weeks, so it'll be like she never left, pretty much. The photo of her in this post from the 28th April will be what goes in the box, and I couldn't be happier. It was one of the last photos of her we have before she got ill which I managed to snap with my camera.


Mabel trying to distract me from an essay in December 2016, clearly wanting me to fail!
I'll never forget Mabel, and all of the times we had together. The time where I was in the garden with a hoop and treats to try and get her to learn tricks, but she ended up running around the other side of the hoop to eat the treat, when it was stormy, she'd run to my bed and stay on the end of it, whenever I'd try to do workouts, she'd constantly lick my face until I stopped, giving millions of slobbery and wet kisses whenever you were sat on the sofa, being a great companion for our other dog Tommy.

I can't thank the vets enough for everything they did for Mabel, especially when they resuscitated her and managed to bring her back and letting us see her one last time. I also can't thank my mum enough for making the decision she had to make in order to benefit Mabel the most. It must've been so hard, but she made the right choice. She went the best way possible, and I know my mum will blame herself for us losing her, but it was better than Mabel potentially recovering from this and coming home, then crashing again and we couldn't do anything for her (resuscitation and what-not). I also can't thank Llys Nini enough for giving us the chance to bring Mabel into our lives and for letting us give her the life she could've dreamed of.

Also a huge thank-you to everyone who has sent me messages of kind and loving words, it means a lot to myself, my family and to our little angel Mabel (she'd be giving you all massive kisses and licks right now!).


Feel free to follow me on Twitter: @chloemtommo, Instagram: @chloetommo and Bloglovin.
Have an amazing day!

Tomato, chicken and halloumi pasta recipe


Well, hello there Blogosphere! It's your friendly neighbourhood short person, and guess what? I'M BACK!

Literally though, I feel like it's been (and it has) forever since I've popped my head out on this blog, but I thought I'd come back today with something... A little different to my usual content. Recently, I've been going on a healthy eating/lifestyle hype, and I've been really happy with the support from you all on my Instagram, and I've also been very happy with my results so far. As a new segment of the blog, I will be posting up healthy recipe ideas (tried and tested by myself), as well as some fitness style posts. So, without further ado... Let's get on with it.

This recipe is inspired by my friend and her mum, as when I was over her house a few days ago, we ate some of her mum's chicken and chorizo pasta. It was so lovely, and I even added some halloumi on top to give it a try, and I loved it.


Tomato, chicken and halloumi pasta

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Calorie count (courtesy of MyFitnessPal): 521
Serves: 1-2

The things you'll need:

  • 75g of pasta - I went for tri colour pasta because it just looked pretty and the levels of fat, saturates, sugars and salt are all under 3% in 100g, but for this I used less.
  • 25g of halloumi - I tried to find the exact one my friend used the other evening, but I went for Tesco's basic halloumi. I know cheese isn't that good for you, but I really fancied some halloumi, you can treat this as an optional ingredient if you want to lower the calorie count.
  • 25g of chicken - Lunch meals are supposed to be quick and easy to make, so by using Iceland's ready cooked frozen chicken, it makes the cooking process so much easier. You can do it with fresh chicken, but the cooking process may be a bit quicker depending.
  • 1/2 a jar of tomato based sauce - I used a 'Goodness' pasta sauce from Tesco, as half the jar was only 51 calories, as well as being really low in levels of fat and saturates.

  • 1 frying pan (non-stick!) - Preferably a small one since you'll be cooking your halloumi in here, as well as keeping the chicken warm once it has been defrosted.
  • 1 cooking pot - Again, preferably a small one since you'll be cooking your pasta in here, and then mixing everything together in it once completed.
  • 1 colander - For draining your pasta!

Optional:

  • 1 ball of falafel (crumbled) - I adore falafel and it can turn a basic meal into something so flavourful for me. I use it in pittas, wraps, salads or even on it's own. In 1 ball of the falafel I used, there was 24 calories.
  • Edamame, broad beans and petis pois (aka green veggies) - Sounds like a weird mix, but you can buy these in a pot from Tesco for about £2 and it lasts me 2-3 meals. They add a refreshing taste to the food it's put with, and I had to stick some veggies into this meal!
  • Garlic granules, paprika and parsley - I love the flavours of these 3 together, especially with pasta because again, it can turn the most basic meal into something really tasty. Parsley is more suited for pasta dishes, in my opinion, but garlic granules and paprika are an easy addition to a good meal.



Method:

1. Fill up a kettle and set it to boil. You can also do this with your small pot (fill halfway) and bring to the boil. The kettle method is obviously easier, but if you'd rather do it on the hob/stove, that's perfectly fine.

2. Weigh out your pasta. I used 75g for myself, as whenever I cook pasta I always overestimate and cook way too much. However, 75g did prove to be a little bit too much for me, so lowering it to 65-70 should be fine if you don't each much for lunch like me.

3. Once water has boiled, add your pasta (if using the kettle, pour boiled water into pot to about halfway). Some people say to add a pinch of salt to the water, which I do normally do but this time I did not. Put the heat on medium and let it cook for 10-12 minutes, checking it every so often just in case it softens too much,  and giving it a small stir also.

4. Weigh your chicken and halloumi. I wanted to keep the portions small as pasta does fill me up a lot, so 25g of each was perfectly fine. Also, ensure that your chicken/halloumi are cut in small chunks.

5. Cook your chicken.
For chicken (ready cooked then frozen): Pour amount of chicken into weighing scales and once desired amount has been found, put onto a microwavable plate and on the defrost setting, put the microwave on for 2 and a half-3 minutes.

For chicken (fresh): Weigh your chicken then cut up into small chunks (cooks quicker than whole breast in one go). Add a small amount of oil into a pan and begin to cook until meat is completely white/starting to go a bit golden. Remove from heat once done.

6. Cook your halloumi. This doesn't take long to cook and also doesn't melt, also if you're worried about your chicken going cold, feel free to pop into the pan with halloumi as it cooks. Put halloumi into a pan (without oil/butter/Fry Light) and cook on a medium heat until colouring of halloumi turns from white to a golden brown. Remove from heat once done.

7. Once pasta has been fully cooked, pour contents of pot into a colander to drain water from the pasta. Once completed, transfer pasta back into pot.

8. Pour 1/2 jar of pasta sauce into pot with pasta. If using a larger jar, use 1/4. Mix into the pasta to evenly coat it with the sauce.

9. Add the chicken, halloumi, falafel (crumbled), green veggies to the pasta and stir to evenly mix in together. Also add your garlic granules and parsley for added flavour.

10. Once mixed, serve and enjoy!


I'm so excited to be sharing my recipes with you, and will be sharing more with you all soon! If you do try this meal out, let me know by sharing a photo/message on my Twitter or Instagram, I'd love to see what you guys think!

Feel free to follow me on Twitter: @chloemtommo, Instagram: @chloetommo and Bloglovin.
Have an amazing day!