Friday, 31 January 2014

Sometimes you just need something to make you happy

We all have those days when it feels like the wind and rain is constantly blowing in your face, wondering when the sun will start to shine.  When I have a day like this it can be so difficult to remain positive.  One thing that always cheers me up is some cute animal pictures, it makes me realise how amazing nature is and yo look outside of myself.

So with this in mind I thought I would share some of my favourite animal pictures....

 My first dog was a labrador called Ben so this breed always has a special place in my heart :-)

 There is something about babies and dogs together that makes me go awwww.

  Dogs do the funniest of things

This is just incredible to see, an adorable but unlikely friendship.

 Another unlikely friendship. This is Milo the 7 year old Daschund, he took Bonedigger the disabled Lion in to his protection as a cub.  They have been the best of friends ever since. Bonedigger even lets Milo clean his teeth after a meal!

What cheers you up on one of 'those' days?

Ashly xx

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Sunday, 26 January 2014

Wildfox Haul*

Wildfox is a brand that I love for their girly, fun and colourful clothes and jewellery.  They have a laid back, cheeky vibe with their slogan tops and ripped jumpers. Seen on celebs from Katy Perry to Alessandra Embrosio and The Saturday's.  I have to say they are not the cheapest of brands but I find their clothing to be a good quality and don't mind paying that bit extra for something really special.

A couple of weeks ago Wildfox sent me a goody bag filled with some gorgeous pieces that I had to share.  The tops are definitely more suitable for summer, I am imagining wearing them around the pool when I go to Las Vegas in May!

How cute would these t-shirts look with some cut off denim shorts?  I love this 'let's sleep in' jumper. It is lovely and oversized with a fleecy lining, so cosy for a rainy winter day lounging around the house!

Have you got any favourite Wildfox items?

Ashly xx

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Friday, 24 January 2014


I thought it might be quite nice if I gave you an insight in to the things keeping me going and helping me to avoid the sweet treats, caffeine and bread.

1. Chocolate protein shakes - These are divine. I have one for lunch or breakfast depending on how I feel. If I really fancy a desert or I am craving some cookies after dinner I will treat myself to one of these, or even half will do the trick (1 scoop instead of 2)

2. Frozen Blueberries - These are literally saving my life!! I have at least one box in the freezer at all times. I put them in smoothies/protein shakes and I eat them as they are.  The centre of the berry turns almost in to a sorbet like texture. I snack on these at least once a day.

3. Detox/Herbal Tea - I do not remember the last time I drank so much of this.  The great thing is that you will never run out of flavours as there are so many.  I am loving the Pukka Cleanse & Detox teas which I featured here . Plus you will end up drinking lots of water which is great!

4. Tomato sauces & whole grain Pasta - This is literally a life saver because you can pretty much add anything to the tomato sauces, onions, prawns, peppers, mushrooms. All good stuff and fills you up!

5. Walking the dog - Because I have been getting up earlier I am having more time in the mornings to walk my wee pooch. I grab a beaker of detox tea to keep me warm and go out for some fresh air. I walk about 10 minutes and it really gets me going and wakes me up in the morning.  Plus seeing Poppi running around happy keeps me going :-)

What are your health/detox tips that keep you going?

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Wednesday, 22 January 2014


Hello lovelies!
Today I am going to give you a wee update on my Not the 1st of January Detox.
It is day 15 and I can't believe I am only half way, feeling like I have been doing this darned detox forever! It isn't all bad though, I have some good news too :-)

Day 10 - Day 12
Side Effects: Still weeing more than usual. Could be all the herbal tea I am drinking!
Feeling: great!
Body changes: Definitely looking slimmer and my stomach is flatter
Sleep: Still not managing to get to bed early :-(
Cheated? No! I am really enjoying how I am feeling so I don't want to. (still got problems with mobile phone management though!!)

Day 12 - Day 14
Side Effects: None
Feeling: Fantastic! Really energetic and great, can't quite believe the change!
Body changes: Lost a lot of bloating (realised how much bread I was eating before :-o)
Sleep: Feeling so proud of myself been going to bed before midnight and falling asleep within 15 mins!!! Seriously can not remember the last time that happened.
Cheated? Finding that I am happy to leave phone alone before bed because I have got so much more done through the day with my energy levels being a lot better

Day 15
Side Effects: Couldn't sleep last night. Brain was fairly active not 'buzzing' like I usually would be though
Feeling: The amount of energy and excitement I have each day is the best it has been for such a long time. At least a year.  Feeling so much happier that I am getting up earlier and getting more done throughout the day. Finding I don't really want to lounge about on the Sofa in the morning or afternoon.
Body changes: Stomach flatter. Thighs definitely slimmer, more room in jeans.
Cheated? Not with food. Was on phone for 10 mins last night when I got in to bed so maybe that was why I couldn't sleep :-( Or perhaps it was that Ross Kemp documentary that was giving me nightmares!!!

As you can probably see things have really improved for me. I can't quite believe how different I feel after 15 days of no caffeine and sugar.  Don't get me wrong I am missing my Latte's like nobody's business but I am wondering if I will go back to drinking them now or will I find an alternative? The thing is I am loving my regulated energy levels throughout the day. I use to be so up and down feeling like I am superwoman one minute and sleepy Sue the next.

Another bonus is that my skin is looking better, less blemishes and no sore under the surface spots so far so good!!

Wildfox Skeleton Earings*

I am excited to see what happens over the next 15 days!! Is anyone else on a detox at the moment or have you tried one before, let me know!!?

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Friday, 17 January 2014

No Oil Oil and a Dry Shampoo that doesn't make your hair white!

Hi all. Today I wanted to tell you about 2 products that I have been absolutely loving.  They are literally helping my hair routine out imensely!

Girlz Only Dry Shampoo | £1.50 Tesco
I love love love this stuff. Hands up if you have tried a dry shampoo thinking it would be your savour to greasy hair and found out it left you looking more granny than groovy? I can not be doing with all that white shiz. Luckily I found this beauty which does not leave any powder or white residue at all.  It really is superb.  I use it on my roots to give my hair some volume too.  The only downside is the really perfumey smell. For £1.50 are you prepared to give it a go?

Percy & Reed Volumising No Oil Oil | £14 Percy & Reed
I got this sample free with a magazine in the summer, pretty sure it was Marie Claire, let me know if you remember. Anyway it is fabulous and absolutely lives up to its name of 'no oil' Oil because it doesn't leave my hair feeling the slightest bit greasy or weighed down, unlike it feels with other hair oils.  I put it through the ends of my hair when it is straight or curled and it makes it gleam with healthy shine.  I also apply it to style my hair if I want a slick pony tail or have any stray hairs that need tamed, it works a treat. I am not sure how volumous it makes my hair, but it certainly makes it look fab!

Have you tried any of these beauties?

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Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Week 1 Update | Not the 1st January Detox

Pictured: Arbonne Vanilla Protein, Pukka Detox Teas, Arbonne Spray Vitamin D + B12, Almond Butter, Almond Milk

As some of you may know if you follow me on twitter or instagram (AshlyLondon) I am taking part in a 30 day Detox. Well I am not going to lie to you, this week has been pretty trecherous at times. I had the worst headaches all week and for 2 days it was seriously bad, and I never get sore headS. I am putting it down to the caffeine withdrawl. I was always one who said "But I don't drink a lot of coffee",  I would have one every second day.  But I was having about 10 cups of tea a day!!! Now that adds up to a lot of caffeine,  I had never even thought of it before, duh.

I am happy to say now the headaches have passed, thank god. Not for the faint hearted.

As I write this I am actually sitting comfortably in a caffee with a green tea resisting the sugary biscuits kindly given to me.  One thing I have realised is that I had been feeding hunger with a Coffee, usually a lovely vanilla or gingerbread Latté at that.  My body was craving nutrients so I fed it coffee? Go figure! But it was a habit.  I would be running around town doing my meetings and errands stopping for a coffee and a muffin rather than lunch! Who else does that?  So if this detox has taught me anything so far is that I can go without all the Lattes, have lunch instead and maybe have one afterwards if I still fancy it.

Day 1 - Day 3
Side Effects: Major Headaches, literally no energy, slightly spaced out and can't stop wee-ing!
Feeling: Crap.
Body changes: None that I can see.
Sleep: Bed early on first few nights as I was so tired. Slept for 12 hours on day 2.
Cheated? I had 2 bites of pastry from a chicken pie

Day 3-6
Side Effects: Major Headaches eased around day 5 and 6. Still wee-ing a lot.
Feeling: Proud I managed to stay away from the caffeine.
Body changes: Maybe stomach is a little flatter.
Sleep: Not been able to get to sleep earlier than 2am.
Cheated? Struggling to put phone away at night and switch off. Other than that no cheating!

Day 7-9
Side Effects: Headaches completely gone. Bladder back to normal.
Feeling: Much much better, more alert, more awake! Realising I don't need caffeine to give me energy.
Body changes: Stomach definitely flatter.
Cheated? I had 3 oatcake type biscouts but pretty sure they had sugar in them.

Another great thing about this detox is that I have been venturing a bit more in to cooking, making lots of vegetable soups. Usually at lunch I would have a panini or sandwich so very pleased with this, not missing bread at all, in fact I forgot it existed until I saw it in the fridge (thanks mum).

I have been absolutely LOVING my smoothies and protein shakes. I can't even explain how yummy they are.  I always associated 'protein shakes' as something body builders had after a work out to put on muscle, I didn't think they were for a little bunny like me. Alas I was sadly mistaken.  You can get varietys for building weight, but the ones I have been indulging in are full of 21 essential vinamins and nutrients with 20g of the best protein.  Completely Vegan! So the protein comes from Pea, rice and cranberries. Who would have thought? Such a delightful idea.  The ones I have chosen are by a brand called Arbonne and come in Vanilla and Chocolate (links below). You can get the powder form or pre made in a carton (handy on the go).

My favourite smoothie recipe at the moment getting me through, especially when I am craving a desert, is the Cinnamon Bun Smoothie. It is so yummy.

Where to get your supplies
Vanilla Protein Powder (Vegan, no nasties, no artificial flavours, no sweetners)
Chocolate Protein Powder (Vegan, no nasties, no artificial flavours, no sweetners)
Vanilla Ready Made Shakes (Vegan, no nasties, no artificial flavours, no sweetners)
Chocolate Ready Made Shakes (Vegan, no nasties, no artificial flavours, no sweetners)
Fibre Boost (Vegan, no nasties, no artificial flavours, no sweetners) <-- out of stock

Guys you will need a referal ID to purchase these. You can use: 441140274

I am actually excited about what will happen over the next week and how I will feel. Please let me know if any of you are following a detox or have ever though about it?

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Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Sale Find!!! Topshop Blush Pink Mac

Hello lovelies, 
I like many of you enjoy a good burst in the sales.  Who doesn't love a good bargain?  I got a few things but this is definitely my favrouite and I am so excited to show you.

I picked up this gorgeous blush mac coat in Topshop.  It was originally £79 and I got it for £10!!!! Can you believe it?! Such a bargain.

I have been wearing it with brown jeans and neautral hues.  The great thing about this colour is you can wear it right through summer.  It would look lovely with creams, whites and powder blue.  Ooooh how pretty! I have found a few similarly pretty blush coats in case this one is sold out...

Oasis blush wrap coat Ted BAker Peplum Coat | Topshop fluffy swing coat

Let me know all about your sales finds and post links if you have them,  I would love to see!!

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Monday, 6 January 2014

Not the 1st of January Detox | Details

Hi all, a couple of days a go I told you I was going to embark on a little (or not so little) Detox.

And I start TODAY!  To be honest I am actually really excited, who isn't fed up of all the chocolate and massive amount of food we all consume over the Christmas period?

I will list all the details below in case you want to join in or use it in the future.  You will see that I am not doing a hugely strict juice diet or a maple syrup starve, I just think for me those type of things are too extreme and I am not doing this to loose weight.  It is more of a challenge for me and to get in to better habits choosing healthier options and getting fitter.

So here goes... Details below

Avoid: refined carbohydrates, anything white - bread, pasta, rice, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, caffeine

Do: Eat little and often, don't skip breakfast, slow down eating, exercise, rest well, stay motivated.

Example daily meals

 1 chocolate or vanilla Protein shake with added fibre or a shake recipe, herbal tea, piece of fruit

Mid morning:
healthy snack (handful mixed nuts and seeds or berries with natural yoghurt)

soup or salad with lean protein like salmon and whole grains such as brown rice.

Mid afternoon:
healthy snack

a well balanced healthy meal like stir fry with chicken. Healthy desert like fruit or homemade recipe (to come in future posts)

Exercise:  I'm going to pop along to the dance centre tomorrow and sign up for weekly ballet and Zumba classes.

Aims: be in bed by 11pm at night with technology away, read for 30 minutes. Up before 10am and no snooze button!!! I will also be doing 15 minutes of yoga everyday which I do off and on at the moment.

Join in with the hashtag #not1stjandetox

I would love to hear if anyone else is doing a detox or January health plan??

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Please note: I am not a nutritionist or doctor, I am sharing what I will be doing for educational purposes. Please seek your own advice before embarking on any new diet or detox. plan taken from Arbonne 30 days to fit.

Friday, 3 January 2014

My 2014 Wishlist

I love making wishlists and browsing through shops online making purchases in my mind :-) there are definitely more than a few things I have my eye on this year and I am determined to get them.  I am not a fan of having things to excess or showing off with what you have or can afford but I do believe that if you really want something and work hard for it then it becomes a reward!

Looks like I will be working extra hard :-)

1. A new flat that I can invite all my friends round to and have fun work and blogger parties

2. Soft box lights to get my photography and YouTube looking smashing | £52.99

3. This beautiful Michael Kors watch | £176

4. A canon 600D camera to make my photography easier | £359.95

5. Christian Louboutin Completa 100 Rouge shoes.. How classy!

6. Michael Kors Selma Tote in green | £315

I will be checking back over the year to see how I am doing with my wishlist.  

What is your must have item you are lusting after for 2014?

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Wednesday, 1 January 2014

My not the 1st of January Detox

I am so excited to be in a new year! Wahoooo.. goodbye 2013 hello 2014!!  To start the year of with a bang I have decided to challenge myself to a detox.  OMG I tell you this is not going to be easy for me because 1. I love coffee, sugar, cakes and 2. I hate exercise, the mere thought of it fills me with dread.  But for 30 days I am going to whip myself in to shape.  Why you may ask? I asked myself the same thing.  The answer is because I feel like my body could do with a good cleanse.. I am after all nearing 30 and need to start taking better care of it and also because I really want to challenge myself and get in to new good habits. So there we are.  I would love to hear if any of you are doing one?

My Goals
1. Do more exercise (3 times per week, although once a week technically would be more than I do now)
2. Join a new exercise class
2. Go to bed at a reasonable hour (11pm)
3. Read for 20 minutes before sleep
4. No technology after 11pm (urgh this is a hard one)
5. No Caffeine
6. Healthy food choices

So as you can see I am not on a majorly strict kick ass detox, nor am I trying to loose weight.  Maybe tone up a but but it is more about making better choices.

I have ordered some food and drink supplies so will probably start on the 6th January but I will update when I have an exact date and go in to more details on my meal plans etc.

I am actually really excited, although quite nervous.

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