Thursday 4 July 2013

Nails of the Day: Barry M Nail Paint - Passion Fruit

Love love love my new polish by Barry M in Passion Fruit - its my favourite coral red colour perfect for summer. This was bought as a present for me along with some other nail bits and bridal magazines by the girls at work while I was ill. This was a really thoughtful gift - one of them must have been in hospital to know - as you're not allowed flowers anymore, and after nine days in bed my nails had gone absolutely crazy and I was desperate to tidy them up! The bride magazine also had a "How to pick the perfect dress guide" which was ultra thoughtful too as I'd missed my first appointment to try on dresses while in hospital.

Now anything coral is my go to summer colour - looks fantastic on fingers and toes, aind despite only costing £2.99 this Barry M polish has a great high gloss finish, looking good after the two coats I applied in the photos. Compared to other more expensive polishes, I would mark this down for the brush - its very small so personally found it more difficult to apply, but for the low price tag I accept this.

Especially as I realised this is the perfect dupe for one of my favourite polishes - its virtually identical to OPI Cajun Shrimp, so a real bargain for the price!

You can buy Barry M products in Boots and Superdrug. This is the first time I've tried a Barry M polish but I'm definitely going to go and see what other colours they do!


Monday 1 July 2013

9 days lost...

I suppose you may be wondering what's happened to the final two weeks of my Bootcamp Pilates Beach Body Challenge?

If you read part 2 (here), you'll know that I'd been suffering with severe abdominal pain. I now realise that hadn't been severe - the severe bit was yet to come! On Tuesday 18th June, I was rushed back into hospital and diagnosed with appendicitis. They were so concerned I wasn't allowed to go home and was admitted to St. James' in Leeds for routine keyhole surgery the following day.

What followed wasn't so routine at all. Because my condition had been left for 9 days undiagnosed, my appendix was a mess - they found acute necrotic appendicitis - very bad infection, and my appendix had flattened and was partially attached to my bowel. This basically meant the surgeon had to open me up properly to remove the appendix and repair the join with the bowel. So major surgery in the end!

The day after the op I was surprisingly ok (anaesthetic, morphine and adrenaline might have had something to do with it ;) but this lulled me into a false sense of security that I was on the mend. How wrong I was.

Due to the severity of the infection, my body still had a massive fight to get better and I took a turn for the worst on Thursday 20th June. I'll spare you the gory details, but I was very poorly. I could not eat for the next five days (major problem for me!) and was on a cocktail of intravenous drips with painkillers, antibiotics, antisickness drugs and saline and glucose fluids.

Eventually I turned a corner on Monday 24th as the antibiotics started winning the fight against infection and I was finally allowed home on Wednesday 26th, after losing 9 days of my life in hospital.

1. Cannulas in my arm
2. Bandages post op and the snazzy surgical paper knickers!
3. Larking around even when ill - that sick bowl definitely had the last laugh though
4. My hospital companion Winnie
5. Kate Middleton in the bed opposite - my fiance constantly managing to cheer me up
6. The shark bite
7. Lovely thoughtful gifts sent from the girls at work - especially the Bride magazine wedding dress special. I had to miss my first wedding dress trial appointment when in hospital
8. Came home to bunting and a ridiculous amount of cards and flowers

I'm now home and slightly more sane, but still have a long recovery process after such a big operation. As you can imagine, for someone so sporty and active this is already frustrating and I still have four weeks off work to get back to strength - even getting up and having breakfast is exhausting!

So my body is going to take a little while to catch up, my mind of the other hand feels cleansed. I've had a lot of time to think in hospital, and been in a dark place in parts. It really has put a lot of things in perspective for me as I've recently become someone that has been very stressed out by work and some now seemingly small and insignificant things. I've been overwhelmed by the love and the well wishes I've received in the last two weeks, from my fiance who didn't miss a visiting time - twice a day everyday for nine days, to my parents and family, to all my amazing friends. It really has been a life changing experience for me leaving me with a new more positive outlook.

I'll obviously have a bit more time to blog over the next month so will keep you updated with my recovery and things I'll be doing to keep me occupied while I rest up!


Sunday 16 June 2013

Bootcamp PIlates: Beach Body Challenge Week 2

After the excitement coming out of week 1 (read about it here), week 2 of my Beach Body Challenge with Bootcamp Pilates really didn't get off to the best start.

On Tuesday I found myself in A&E with severe abdominal pain. No, it wasn't my abs recovering from my first session with Ivo (his nickname on the Bootcamp website is Evil Ivo), but I was diagnosed with gastritis - inflammation of the stomach lining, generally caused by excess acid, which is very commonly brought on by stress. Given the last few months I've had at work this doesn't come as much of a surprise.

My stomach is still sore and very bloated, so not looking great on the results front but I'm not going to let this stop me from completing the challenge. I'm not allowed alcohol, spicy food, fatty food, caffeine - basically any of the fun stuff is banned so I'm going to use this as a good opportunity to stick to a super healthy diet for the remaining two weeks of the course. Personally I always find exercise is also a great stress buster so there is no excuse!

Despite the tummy pain, I made it to two of Harry's classes this week. I really enjoyed working out first thing in the morning and how good it made me feel for the rest of the day, particularly the 7am class as it meant I had time to run to and from the studio to squeeze in some extra work.

I've had classes with six of the instructors at Richmond, and whilst you are guaranteed an all over body workout with everyone (abs, glutes and arms are the order of the day), each instructor puts their own individual spin on the class. Some like it more dynamic and intense, others slower paced but more fluid with less breaks in between exercises. This helps keep the classes really fresh and challenges me in different ways each time. You can read more about the instructors sporting backgrounds and styles on the Bootcamp Pilates website here - Meet the Trainers.

I have four classes booked in next week so its going to be tough. Come back next week to find out how I got on!


Sunday 9 June 2013

Bootcamp PIlates: Beach Body Challenge Week 1

I’ve never been a massive fan of yoga or Pilates. Call me a cardio junkie but I feel a bit cheated if I’m not red faced, hot and sweaty after a workout. Sweeping  generalization here but all that spiritual breathing stuff isn’t for me.
But when a friend recommended Bootcamp Pilates to me, she insisted that this was different. She told me "there is a machine with all sorts of pulleys and straps involved", and she assured me it would definitely be a tough workout.
Sounds odd but it’s actually a dynamic workout using a machine called the Reformer which uses resistance to help you exercise and stretch.

So last week I decided to sign up for their Beach Body Challenge at the Richmond studio (they have four in total across London) which involves completing 16 classes over a 30 day period. I don’t have any holidays booked but I’m still trying to work off the damage from my last holiday where I over did it on the bread and aioli and the mojitos!
I had been to two classes prior to the challenge – Bootcamp studios run a really great intro offer for newbies at 2 for £12 – and my friend had indeed been right. This was totally different to anything I’d tried before and definitely wasn’t easy! Think Pilates meets TRX meets high intensity circuits… Even after two sessions I’m sure I could feel something happening – taller, tighter, leaner, and I liked it.
So the Beach Body Challenge seemed like the great opportunity to whip myself into shape but also put the Bootcamp Pilates concept to the test. Last week I weighed in, took all my measurements and I’ll be tracking them over the next month while I complete the course.
Here's my 'before' pictures I took at the start of the week:

Now I don’t live in Richmond, or London for that matter – I only work down there in the week. This means that to fit in the 16 sessions in a month I have to complete the 4 sessions back-to-back weekdays whilst I’m down there. After the first session last week this prospect was quite daunting, but by session three I was excited about my daily class, and as per my previous experience the tummy was already feeling tighter and flatter.

In addition to the Pilates classes I will be trying to fit at least one run in. Week two starts tomorrow and I can’t wait to get back into the studio…
Follow my progress here over the next 3 weeks and I’ll share with you the results (weight and inches, hopefully) at the end of the challenge.
You can find out more about Bootcamp Pilates at their website


Wednesday 23 January 2013

Live What You Love

Illustration by Chrissy Welsh - check out her 365 day project form 2012 here

Within twenty-four hours of completing Tough Mudder, the hardest thing I'd ever put my body and mind through (read about it here), I was already contemplating my next challenge. I've clearly caught the extremely contagious obstacle racing bug that is spreading around the world faster than a bad strain of bird flu.

Having only ever run 8.5 miles in training prior to finishing the 12 mile event, I began wondering that if I could get through 12 miles with obstacles, then would I be able to do a half-marathon straight running without the obstacles?

A major symptom of the aforementioned bug includes not questioning 'why the hell would you want to do that?' but 'I wonder if I can do that?'. With this in mind I have entered myself into the Liverpool half-marathon on March 17th.

One of the most satisfying feelings post-Mudder has been generated by inspiring others to have a go. My fiance wants to do a TM but is not a runner at all. Fair play to him though, he's been out in the cold starting his training and we've entered into a shorter obstacle race as a warm up before going for the big one later this year. The event Major Series is hosted by British Military Fitness and we'll be doing the 10k course at Bramham Park near Leeds on March 2nd. Give me a shout and let me know if any of you are taking part!

In support of his efforts (and to help me be more understanding than bossy), I've also decided to take up a new sport - in my case swimming. Of course, I can get in water and not drown, but this is very different to being able enter into either a fun or competitive swimming event. The ultimate dream will be to eventually participate in, and complete a triathlon. Having started back in the pool for about a month on and off, I realise this will be a lot harder than I ever could have anticipated. More on this later.

2012 was a fit year for me. In fact, it was the fittest and healthiest I've been since I was at school and competing in county level athletics. This isn't something I'm about to let slip away easily. Have no fear, I'm not getting old and boring, I've just realised how much better I am at everything when I'm fit. Getting up in the morning, energy levels throughout the day, sleep patterns, mental energy at work and general motivation and zest for life. If I could bottle it and sell it, I'd be a frigging billionaire.

With the realisation of just how important diet and exercise is to both my physical and emotional wellbeing, it seems a natural progression for my blog to cover more on these subjects. So for 2013 you can expect to see a lot more in the way of health, fitness and food.
I'm neither a fitness professional nor a nutritionist so don't profess to be an expert but this is something i'm passionate about. I'll be featuring a wide range of exercises and training regimes I'm trying and testing, recipes, reviews of sportswear and equipment, supplements, books/articles/people that motivate me along with my journey to hopefully achieving my goal of taking part in a triathlon.

I'll still be covering beauty and music but wanted to give you a warning about the squats, squash and sweat that you'll notice more of round here from now on...

I hope you'll stick around and here's to a fit 2013!


Monday 21 January 2013

Kérastase Resistance Bain de Force Shampoo

'I can't grow my hair' or ' My hair just doesn't seem to grow' are moans and grumbles that I hear from friends and read from girls up and down the country all the time. I have been guilty of this myself in the past.

However, there is an answer to this common female problem, albeit a more than slightly patronising one.

Stop getting your hair cut.

Ok so nothing groundbreaking so far but please bear with me. If like me you have coloured and over-styled hair (mine is straightened or curled on a daily basis) then prolonging the visit to the hairdressers might be easier said than done.

You can find your erosion level here on the Kérastase website by completing a number of questions about your hair type as well as exposure to elements and different heat styling. My rating comes out at Erosion 3 - Fibre damage. Damaged and rough hair, breakage, split ends.

Spot on. My hair is thick but definitely has a tendency to feel straw like, dry and rough and I do get split ends when I know I'm due for a cut.

This review is the first in a two part of my must have products that have helped me leave a few more weeks between cuts each time by vastly improving the condition, look and feel of my hair.

Kérastase describe Bain de Force as 'a reinforcing and refreshing shampoo for weakened hair. Its strengthening formula will gently cleanse whilst adding body and vitality to leave your hair stronger and shinier and with improved health. Kérastase Bain de Force is formulated with Vita-Ciment which instantly rebuilds the internal substance of the hair fibre and Vita Topseal which mimics the hair’s natural cuticle layer and seals in the renewed strength. Your hair is left stronger, shinier and extremely supple.'

This shampoo is advised for erosion levels 1-2 but it was recommended by my hairdresser for my hair type because of how it rebuilds the hair fibres it would be perfect to help me grow out my shorter layers. My hair is very thick so I can only use it for a maximum of 1-2 washes per week because of how much it thickens and boosts my hair volume. I'd love to see what this can do for those of you who feel your hair that your hair is fine, thin and flat. They do actually make a specific Bain Volumactiv product that is designed for those with fine hair but I haven't tried this one so may be better if this is your hair type.

It smells lovely - I'd liken it to almost a watermelon sort of smell - not too sweet but a bit fruity. It lathers amazing well and you don't actually need a lot unlike some cheaper brands.
Depending on where you buy, this shampoo costs between £10-15 (current cheapest is £11.13 from Active Beauty). Whilst this might seem pricey for a shampoo, if you are a regular reader of my blog you'll know that I'm an advocate of products that deliver on what they say - for me that represents true value for money in that you are getting what you pay for. I'll definitely be repurchasing along with the conditioner that I've not tried yet.

For me this product has transformed the health of my hair and has enabled me to last up to 3 months without getting it cut. I'll be reviewing the second product that's helping me on my quest for the perfect wedding hair for next year soon...

What shampoos have you been impressed with and would recommend?


Wednesday 16 January 2013

Tough Mudder: The Day I Conquered Everest - Part Two

In my first post about Tough Mudder (you can read it here if you haven't already), you learned that I survived - but now I'd like to share a bit more about the experience...

If you are about to complete your first TM and don't want to know more then stop reading here. I purposely didn't do any research, read any blogs, watch any videos prior to completing the course, but that's just me. Reminds me of the time I have a tooth implant - when I'm about to undergo something a bit scary, I prefer to know as little as possible and just get on with it. Ignorance, for me, is most certainly bliss. However, if you've come for some pre-game insight then continue - may contain spoilers :)

Dirty protest? Check out the guy in the mankini...

What can I say? It was tough. And muddy. Certainly no danger of Trading Standards getting involved. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen mud quite like it. Soft mud, hard mud, deep mud, thick mud, thin mud, sticky mud, slimy mud, cold mud, warm mud, mud that steals your trainers, slippy mud. Oh and did I mention mud that stinks of shit. Mud glorious mud.

So now I have a new found affinity for mud, and whilst trying to avoid as much cheesy American psychobabble as possible, I'd like to explain how the Tough Mudder experience has changed me forever.

I said I didn't do any research prior to the event, that's a small fib. I had investigated the different kinds of obstacles I would face on the Tough Mudder website when I signed up (and on a few occasions afterwards) and permanently imprinted onto my brain the ones that petrified me. Arctic Enema, Electric Eel, Everest, Electroshock Therapy. Need I say more?

As I mentioned in my first post, I encountered Arctic Enema between mile 1 and 2. Fortunately enough, the adrenaline was still pumping high when I queued up to climb into the skip full of ice, put my head under to pass a wooden bar and haul myself out again. Yes you heard right. As this was the first of my bogey obstacles, I expressed my fear to the guys behind me, who then adopted me as part of their team.

I don't have any pics of me doing this one but here's an official photo

Arctic Enema. The verdict. Not as bad as I thought it would be. I was in and out very quick, it wasn't horrendously cold even on such a cold day- again I think at this early stage the adrenaline gets you through.

The next few miles were actually quite fun. I learned very quickly that the guys at Tough Mudder were sadists. Or should I say, at the very least they like to fuck with your head. I remember thinking, this is going ok so far when I passed the mile 1 marker. Until 10 minutes, several obstacles and a whole lot of mud later, passed 'the real mile 1 marker'. This was the first in a series of head fucks that I can now look back on and have a little giggle but definitely called them bastards at the time.

Here's a low down and videos of some of the more interesting obstacles:

Walk the Plank / Underwater Barrels

I had been nervous about Arctic Enema and not given a second thought to either of these obstacles. Clearly I'd underestimated the natural Cheshire rivers on a freezing November morning. The man made ice bath had nothing on these bad boys.

Walk the Plank was a jump of a 5m board into a pond. I was ok with jumping off but I was completely unprepared for what would happen to be body when I hit the water. The cold, the confusion, disorientation and my sudden inability to either breathe or work out how to swim were unexpected to say the least. I remember watching a programme about soldiers that had to cut holes in ice and jump into frozen lakes as part of training and all I remember thinking was that I had about a minute to get out before I was done for. Ha nothing like a bit of an over reaction but I was so grateful when a new team mate dragged my up the cargo net that I simply didn't have the energy to climb myself.

After that experience I approached the river to tackle the underwater barrels with extreme intrepidation. I remember getting in and saying 'oh its not actually that cold' which i regretted after about 30 seconds and the water sapped every bit of my body heat. The cat-like body language says it all. At each of the sets of barrels I was instructed to 'PAUSE, DEEP BREATH, DIVE'. Nothing prepared me for the feeling (no not even Walk the Plank). This was different. You know the brain freeze you get from eating too much ice cream? That, times 1000. My head literally felt like it was going to explode. By barrel three I thought it had. Getting out of the river (about mile 7) was my absolute low point - but I'm sure I still managed a smile...

Going, Going, Gone.

Electric Eel

First electric obstacle I had to face. And my fan club / support crew were there so I couldnt chicken out. This one didn't zap me but Keith next to me felt it. Feels good watching this back as I manned up and got the job done without hesitation.


So I passed the mile 12 marker. The guys I was running with were buzzing at nearly finishing. All I could think was that we still hadn't done the two obstacles I was dreading. I was cold and wet. My legs felt like lead (the furthest I'd ever run before this was 8 miles). And then I heard it. The hum of the finish line - the music, the MC on the mic talking to runners as they crossed and the crowds - cheering people on as they attempted the most gruelling challenge of them all. Everest.

I wanted to do this more than anything. My fan club had assembled here to watch me do it and I was so worried about letting them down. Aside from that I don't think I could have faced what I thought would be humiliation at this stage. The queues for this obstacle were ridiculous. We waitied about 30 minutes - freezing cold, soaking wet and knackered to even have a first shot at getting over. I nearly gave up. In fact, it took every ounce of grit as well as persuasion from both my team and my boyfriend not to quit. I've never felt so cold in my life despite the hand warmers I'd bought (they did fuck all) and my boyfriend donating his ski jacket. My advice to anyone else would be to try and go in an earlier start time wave if you don't want to queue.

The crowds queuing for Everest.
So we stood and watched. For half an hour. While many tried and many failed. Watch the video below to get a sense of just how difficult it is and how tired people were.  But not a dot of humiliation in sight. Everyone was rooting for you to do it - at the bottom, at the top and on the side lines. That's the great thing about this event.

And then there was my turn.

I'd told myself I only had to try once. If I couldn't do it, it didn't matter as long as I'd tried once. But trying once wasn't good enough.. As you can see, giving my other half a face full of verbal was clearly all the motivation I needed to get the job done. This was my proudest moment of the day. I get goosebumps just watching this back.

Remember the guy with the mankini? He conquered Everest too - thankfully first time for his sake!

Electroshock Therapy

The final obstacle. And on a high from completed Everest, we sprinted through Electroshock. I got zapped about 15 times getting through but I stayed on my feet, others were less fortunate. I'm not going to give anything away about this one - its a feeling like no other I've experienced, that's all I'm going to say... you'll have to face this one on your own!

So what did I learn?

Your parents/teachers try will tell you from a young age that 'you can do anything if you put your mind to it'. I always knew (ok, hoped and prayed) that I would finish Tough Mudder. Sheer bloody mindedness more than anything would get me through. But the feeling of pride and satisfaction when I crossed the finish line was unprecedented. I did it. I trained for months. Often in the wet, in the cold, before 7am. (Thanks to those of you who follow me on social media for still following despite me being a total gym bore). But it was worth it - I had put my mind and effort to something and achieved everything I had aimed for. That feeling didn't end there... I was riding high on the crest of a confident wave for days and weeks after. When my team won the pub quiz the following week I knew I was unstoppable. Ok so joking aside, the sense of 'what next' was definitely high on my agenda and I wasn't about to put it to waste.

My buzz definitely rubbed off on others with friends and family motivated by my tales of adventure with many signing up for other obstacle runs this year. If me being involved (and boring you with training tweets) has inspired even one person to dust off their trainers / enter into an event / push themselves a little bit further than before, then this would be the as satisfying an achievement.

Did I learn anything else?

Raising £962 for charity feels really good. Thank you to everyone who sponsored me.

People notice the details. (Yes I coordinated my nail varnish with the Tough Mudder team colours). No reason why I couldn't bring a bit of glamour to the operation right?

The face of a nearly broken but very happy lady. And not a nail out of place ;)

Find out what challenges I've set myself for 2013 in my post coming soon... but would I do it again? Hell yes.

I'd love to know if you've ever taken part in any obstacle runs or if you're taking on any new challenges this year?


Monday 17 December 2012

Tough Mudder: The Day I Conquered Everest

Apologies it has been a few weeks (again) since my last post. I'm sure you've all been fraught with concern for my well being, but I am pleased to confirm I did survive Tough Mudder.

Not only did I survive. I absolutely loved it. Never before have I felt so proud and such a sense of achievement in either my personal or professional life. And I'm already planning my next challenge.

But first, let me share with you ,my experience of the magical day I earned that coveted orange headband.

The temperature had been fairly mild (10-12C) in the weeks leading up to the 17th November, but my biggest fear had always been the potential cold, more so than any of the obstacles (ok, so the electric shock and ice bath were slightly nervewracking too). On the Saturday morning of the North-West Tough Mudder UK I woke up at 6am to a frost and an outside temperature of no more than 7C.

The first challenge I had to face was actually getting into the venue. The traffic and entrance system into Chelmondsey Hall was an absolute joke, and shattered my nerves. Yes that's my excuse for peeing in between two cars in a pub car park, but I challenge anyone to queue in traffic for an hour and a half whilst wearing compression leggings and needing the loo. I'd like to add at this point that the pub was closed. Credit where it's due though, despite missing my start time because of the queues, I was still allowed to participate - it appears the start time is merely to stagger the crowds rather than be a fixed time.

My best friend had dropped out due to injury, and her friend was stuck well behind me in traffic so I decided to get stuck in and start alone. At this point I'd like to thank the woman I spoke to in the queue for the portaloos that told me I was crazy for doing it on my own. Definitely helped the nerves.

Reality kicks in with what I'm about to do...
  So I was off. But only after having cleared a 10ft wall into the holding pen, jumped up and down and shouted a lot and realised that yes, in fact, i was the only person stupid enough to even be here on my own.

Regulars on my blog may be more used to reading about mud face masks and what I wore on a particular day, so I hope this post doesn't disappoint.

As I mentioned before, I was extremely nervous about the unknown element of the cold, so I'd frequented the TM forums to swat up on hints and tips for the obstacles as well as what kit I'd need. I didn't want to invest in a wet suit so opted for the recommendation of Under Armour clothing. I wore the compression base layer top and leggings in addition to the Cold Gear top and leggings (suitable for temperatures below 13C), so I was hopefuly the double layering would keep me warm enough. Accessories included my weight lifting gloves for the gym and a neoprene swimming headband. The clothing was all excellent quality and came with glowing reviews on every website I looked at. I also looked like a cross between a ninja and a cat burglar - what more could a girl want?

Outfit of the Day ;)

After the first mile, and upon reaching the pleasantly titled obstable "Arctic Enema", my survival instincts had kicked in and I realised I was in no way going to be physically let along mentally strong enough to make it round the course alone. A casual exchange of words with the guy behind me ("not looking forward to this one, if i get stuck, please help me out") turned out to be a master stroke and from then on I was adopted by my new Scottish team mates.

You can read Part Two of Tough Mudder: The Day I Conquered Everest to find out how I got on with the course, whether my clothing stood up to the cold, and some videos of me in action here.


Monday 12 November 2012

Tough Mudder

Those of you that follow me on Twitter and Facebook will not that I'm a bit of an exercise freak, but my latest venture has proved that I'm perhaps a little crazy too. It seems like all I've been doing for the last few weeks and months is running, eating, training, eating, sleeping, running, repeat to fade.

Well all of this is for a good reason as this weekend I will be attempting to complete Tough Mudder. For those of you who haven't heard of the event, take a look at this video to see what its all about...

In brief, its a 12 mile obstacle course designed by the military and includes such delightful obstacles called "Arctic Enema" - an ice bath you have to jump into and once submerged,  swim through the ice, under a wooden plank and pull yourself out on the other end before you become hypothermic, and "Electric Eel" and "Electroshock Therapy" which involve running or army crawling under dangling wires charged with 10,000 volts.

Throw in a few Berlin walls, a slippery quarter pipe and a whole load of mud and you've got yourself the Tough Mudder course. Oh and did I mention they make you sign a death waiver?

Electric shocks aside its the cold I'm really not looking forward to. I've bought myself some decent compression cold gear and waterproof socks but the nerves are really starting to kick in now there's only 5 more days to go.

I am quite a determined person anyway but I know there will be times during the course where I struggle. There are two things that will get me through. 1. The amount of curry I can order when I get home. Guiltfree. 2. The fact that I'm doing it for a great cause - I'm raising sponsorship money for Help for Heroes - a charity that works providing support for soldiers transitioning back to civilian life including stress recovery programs, adaptive sports programmes, benefits counseling and employment services.

Friends and family have been more than generous and its a massive motivation to complete the course, but I'd always like more! If you'd like to sponsor me (I know this is a big ask!) but however little it would be greatly appreciated.

If you can't stretch to a donation, your good luck messages will be welcomed! Hopefully this won't be my last blog post and I look forward to letting you know how I get on on Saturday!



Thursday 25 October 2012

Track of the Week: Maxxi Soundsystem

Man of the moment Huxley can do no wrong and my latest track of the week that he's put his hand to with a remix is no exception.

I don't expect many of you to recognise the sample but I know it from speed garage anthem It's the Way by L.J Project. Huxley brings it right back up to date with a house crossover that retains the garage elements showcasing a style that's big right now that you can hear in stuff coming out of the likes of Disclosure and Eats Everything.

Introducing Stella's Way - Maxxi Soundsystem (Huxley Remix), released on October 25th on vinyl, with a potential digital release soon.

Hope you enjoy this one!