Sunday, 14 December 2014

Where Have I Been!

Hello! I thought it was about time I filled you all in on why I haven't really blogged since the beginning of October. As much as it might sound cliche, life has been a little bit of a roller coaster ride over the past couple of weeks with some exciting highs and stressful lows. 

New Car...


I'd had my trusty Peugeot 206 automatic since April 2010. It had really served me well, getting me from A to B while studying for my degree in Chichester, and then getting me too and from work. However, the gearbox had recently started to go making the dashboard light up like a Christmas tree, which was no good when trying to drive to placements for my PGCE and to work. It had become more trouble than it was worth and I just couldn't justify spending money fixing the never ending problems.

Ian and I decided it was time to say goodbye to my 206 and get another car. At first I hadn't really thought of getting a brand new car, just a nice little secondhand one that would get me through the rest of my PGCE and for a year or so after while I complete my NQT year. We had a look at our local Peugeot dealership but nothing caught my eye so we had a look at Toyota.  After looking on the forecourt for what felt like hours still nothing caught my eye. Then I saw the new Toyota AYGO and fell in love. We spent a few days going backwards and forwards to our local Toyota, checking out all options and deals, before finally signing the paperwork. My very own Toyota AYGO X-cite was officially on order!

My car turned up at the end of October, with just four miles on the clock! It is such a lovely car and so nice to drive. I want to do a more detailed post about the car and my experience ordering from Toyota because I think the post will help anyone thinking of buying a new car. Toyota were so helpful and I am very pleased. 

University, Work, Work, University...



I love teaching and can't wait to graduate from my PGCE but I have to admit the work load has really gotten me down recently. I work in a primary school three days a week and then switch alternate weeks between two days at university or two days on placement in a primary school. My weeks are very hectic! To make things even more complicated my university time table is different everyday too, which makes it impossible to find a routine.

Recently I've been working out a study timetable so I can better divide my time between placement work and university work, as well as giving myself some 'me' time. I'm gradually starting to feel more motivated and less overwhelmed. I still get distracted at times when Molly decides to use my course books as a pillow! Work and my PGCE have to come first so recently I have not had that much time free to spend on my blog. I'm slowly learning to scheduled my blog posts a little further in advance so that I can hopefully aim for at least one blog post a week.

Please let me know some of your tips and tricks for planning and keeping up with your blog posts! I'm hoping you will have a few helpful suggestions for me to try.

Claire Louise Xx

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Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Have A Wilko Christmas


1. Wilko Wild Wood Tree Topper Wire Star - £4 www.wilko.com.
2. Wilko Deer Tealight Holder - £5 www.wilko.com.
3. Wilko Wild Wood Metal Robin - £1.75 www.wilko.com.
4. Wilko Wild Wood Squirrel Table Decoration - £3 www.wilko.com.
5. Wilko Wild Wood Hanging Stocking - £4 www.wilko.com.
6. Wilko Wild Wood Wooden Noel Table Decoration - £5 www.wilko.com.
7. Wilko Wild Wood Wall Mounted Stag Head - £8 www.wilko.com.
8. Wilko Wild Wood Merry Christmas Slate Sign - £3 www.wilko.com.
9. Wilko Snowy Cone Wreath with Bells - £10 www.wilko.com.

Hello! Over the past week I've been buying Christmas decorations for the flat. I've popped into Wilko a few times and I have to say I've fallen well and truly in love with their Wild Wood Christmas collection. Not only are all the decorations so cute they also have a lovely shabby chic style to them! Its so easy to get carried away at Christmas spending a fortune on decorations but these Wild Wood decorations as well as Wilko's other Christmas collections offer a nice, good quality, on a budget solution. 

I've already purchased two of the reindeer taillight holders and love them! Each holder has two glasses to hold two tealights. I have also discovered that the glasses are the right size to hold Yankee Candle votives, perfect! I really want to purchase some of the hanging stockings as these will look great on the fireplace in the living room and the Christmas slate sign for the kitchen. 

What Christmas decorations have you fallen in love with? 

Claire Louise Xx

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Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Withings Pulse Wireless Activity & Heart Tracker


Withings Pulse Wireless Activity & Heart Tracker*
£83.75 - www.amazon.co.uk

Hello, I was recently sent an activity monitor on behalf of Health-on-Line (www.health-on-line.co.uk).  Health-on-Line run offer health insurance as well as running the Body Fuel project, aimed at  promoting a healthier and active lifestyle through offering health and fitness advice through the Health-on-line Body Fuel blog.

The activity monitor that I received was the Withings Pulse Wireless Activity and Heart Tracker. The device tracks steps, elevation, distance and calories burned. It can also monitor sleep quality and measure heart rate during work outs. The data on the device is synced via bluetooth to the Health Mate app which is compatible with iOS and Android.


Pros:
- The belt clip and wrist strap are comfortable to wear.
- The device is small and lightweight so it does not get in the way during a workout or whilst moving around which makes it perfect for everyday wear and use.
- Looks stylish with the black casing, single button on the top and touch screen.
- The heart monitor is quick and accurate which is not only important for monitoring fitness during a workout but is really beneficial when working out with a heart condition.
- It gives detailed information through the device and iPhone app on calories, BMI, overall workout activity and progress.
- Once fully charged the battery life lasts a long time, around a week and a half with frequent use.
- It tracks steps accurately, distinguishing between shakes/knocks and when you actually take steps or run, which is very useful as it provides more accurate information on your workout.

Cons:
- It was a little tricky to find the iPhone app and sync it with the device during the initial set up. This was due to the instructions being very vague.
- On the iPhone app it was difficult to find the sleep activity that has been monitored as it often does not show up on the main dashboard screen of the app. Sometimes the data does not sync through bluetooth so its important to make sure the device is close enough to the phone and a good connection is established.
- It has a USB cable to charge through a laptop of computer but it would be useful to have a plug that the USB slots into.
- Information from the device can only be stored on the iPhone app, there is no option to store this data on a website or computer which would be useful for tracking progress over a longer period of time.
- The material of the wrist strap starts to bobble and looks a little unsightly after frequent use. 

Overall Ratings:
Ease of use: 7/10
Ability to improve workout: 9/10
Value for money: 6/10
Overall rating: 8/10

I have really enjoyed using this Withings activity monitor and its something I will continue to use in the further for working out at the gym and general fitness monitoring.If you like the sound of the Withings Pulse Wireless Activity and Heart Tracker visit www.withings.com to find out more and see more of the Withings range. 

Disclaimer: Withings Pulse Wireless Activity & Heart Tracker provided by Epiphany (www.epiphanysearch.co.uk). Although this items was sent for review, my opinions are my own and 100% honestFull disclaimer

Claire Louise Xx

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