Get a sneak peek behind the brand new Charlie and The Chocolate Factory! @charliechoc_uk #musicaltheatre #musical #theatre

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Chocolate fans, your golden ticket will be with you later this year, but to wet your appetites, Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Neal Street Productions and Langley Park Productions have released a brand new featurette for Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, directed by Academy Award® winner Sam Mendes.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Rehearsals Sneak Peek’ sees the creative team behind the musical come together to talk about the production as well as a sneak peek at the rehearsals with the cast and orchestra.

And if that wasn’t enough we’ve also got some delicious first photos of the rehearsal AND first look images of Willy Wonka – who is portrayed by Olivier and Tony Award®-winning Douglas Hodge -and his costume, which has been designed by set and costume designer Mark Thompson.

Screen Shot 2013-05-30 at 16.49.21More about the musical:

Roald Dahl’s deliciously dark tale of young Charlie Bucket and the mysterious confectioner Willy Wonka comes to life in a brand new West End musical directed by Academy Award® winner Sam
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When Charlie wins a golden ticket to the weird and wonderful Wonka Chocolate Factory, it’s the chance of a lifetime to feast on the sweets he’s always dreamed of. But beyond the gates astonishment awaits, as down the sugary corridors and amongst the incredible edible delights, the five lucky winners discover not everything is as sweet as it seems.

Screen Shot 2013-05-30 at 16.52.11Featuring ingenious stagecraft, the wonder of the original story that has captivated the world for almost 50 years is brought to life with music by Marc Shaiman, and lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman(Grammy® winners for Hairspray; Smash), a book by award-winning playwright and adaptor David Greig (The Bacchae; Tintin In Tibet), set and costume designs by Mark Thompson (Mamma Mia!; One Man, Two Guvnors) and choreography by Peter Darling (Billy Elliot; Matilda).

 A chocolate garden, an army of squirrels and the curiously peculiar Oompa-Loompas must be believed to be seen in this spectacular new musical that is choc-full of fantastical treats to dazzle your senses.

Make sure you book your tickets for this deliciously magical tale soon!

 

Beeconomics – The Purpose behind the Pun… @beeconomics #socialenterprise #brazil #travel #bees

Heather and Dom Ridout have upped sticks and swapped their London lives for a brand new venture in Brazil! A brave move indeed, so Snoochie Boochies, asked them to tell us exactly why they’ve decided to do this – and apparently it all hinges rather importantly on bees! (Yes, buzzing bees!) 

They’ve started up Beeconomics, and if you like what you read from their very first post for us, then good news! There’ll be more updates in the coming weeks! Also, if you feel inclined to support the cause, you can find out all you can follow them on Facebook and Twitter

Most importantly, they’ve also got a fantastic newsletter so make sure you sign up to it to keep up to date on everything related to Beeconomics! 

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Hi! We’re Heather and Dom Ridout – its always been our goal to live and work in Brazil and now we’re doing it! We’re setting up a social enterprise in Pernambuco, northeast Brazil – and we’ll be powered by bees! This venture is a product of our experience in youth work and social enterprise in various contexts, over the last ten years. In 2011, we visited eleven social projects and five social enterprises across Brazil. We kept hearing a familiar story from the project workers that we met – the need to broaden the employment prospects of disadvantaged young people. The majority of social projects we visited were experiencing similar issues of income stream volatility that we had experienced in London. It was this experience that provided the impetus for us to adopt an enterprise model which can generate its own income as well as access appropriate grant funding.

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For now, we are calling the initiative Beeconomics because we cannot resist a good pun but we are working on Portuguese/Tupi names for the business and our products. The venture is based on the production, marketing and distribution of bee-product-based cosmetics and aims to have positive social, economic and environmental impact, here’s how:

Beeconomics will provide employment and training to young people who are facing considerable barriers accessing emerging social and economic resources. You can read more on this issue here beeconomics.org/youth-unemployment/. Beeconomics will provide opportunities to develop transferable skills and gain experience within two growing industries in Brazil: beekeeping and natural cosmetics.

Beekeeping is vital, both ecologically and economically. Approximately one third of global crop production (our food!) relies on animal pollinators and the contribution of honey bees to worldwide food production is valued at a whopping US$50-100 billion per year.  However, there has been a decline in global honeybee populations in the last 10-15 years. Honeybees and other wild pollinators have become subject to a range of debilitating factors including starvation/poor nutrition, loss of habitat, invasive species, insecticides and disease.

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So what does all this have to do with bathtime? There is a global buzz around bee products in the beauty industry (see what we did there?), especially honey and propolis. The medicinal and nutritional properties of bee products have made them key ingredients. Whilst there has been a recent surge in celebrity patronage to the handiwork of the little buzzers, bee products have established longevity in the beauty and personal care industry (notable enthusiasts include Cleopatra, Queen Anne and Madame du Barry) – outlasting many skin-care ‘fads’ and so-called ‘miracle’ ingredients.

So there you have it, if you want to keep up to date with Beeconomics, remember we’re on Facebook, Twitter and have a newsletter which you can sign up to (its at the top of this post!)

Thanks for reading!

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The Hangover Part III – Film Review

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It’s been two years and the Wolfpack are back home, happily leading uneventful lives at home. The only member who ‘s not content and still lacking a sense of purpose is its very own black sheep, Alan (Zach Galifanakis). He’s ditched his medication and has given into his natural impulses in a big way! With no boundaries, no filter and no judgment, one particular stunt causes his family and friends to stage an intervention, and provide him with an opportunity to live a better life, in a better home, better suited for his needs; and who better than his best friends to help him take the first step towards this new way of life. This time, there is no bachelor party, no wedding, what could possibly go wrong? Well, when the Wolfpack hits the road, all bets are off!

Screen Shot 2013-05-26 at 09.23.15As final part to the trilogy, The Hangover Part III certainly closes the book in a satisfactory way. With part two receiving mediocre reviews following such a similar structure to the first film, scrutiny attacked it left, right and centre. With this film, following a straighter narrative and having no sense of reliving the hangover to beat all hangovers, this film becomes something entirely different.

Some will treat this change in direction with open arms, feeling refreshed that this money making franchise wasn’t just lazily going through the motions again and again, however others will struggle to see how this could really be called a hangover film. We all know the characters inside out by now, and we naturally reminisce the scenes that included Mike Tyson, ladyboys, tattoos and inappropriately dressed babies. It’s this that made the first and second film truly watchable and unique, and what gave it, its laughs. However, here we have very little to keep as something memorable and as a talking point to entice others to go watch the film.

Screen Shot 2013-05-26 at 09.23.39What is great about this film, is that you see Chow (Ken Jeong) really come into his own. He becomes a real focal point in this film and it’s a competition between him and Alan as to who gets the most laughs. In comparison, Phil (Bradley Cooper) Stu (Ed Helms) and Doug (Justin Bartha) really fade into the background and just support the flow of the film. There are funny moments, such as the singing at the funeral, the Ceasars Palace scene, and as always the post credits sequence. However, there is something that just doesn’t sit brilliantly about this film, and it seems less outrageous, and less enjoyable as a result.

This film will also have you reacting depending on the audience you watch it with. If you’re in a packed Odeon with hundreds of people there will always be the laughs that become infectious amongst the crowd, however, if you wait until its out on DVD and watch it home alone, you may struggle to find the funny in  any of it.

3 Stars.

Colour blocking and Slinks are the summer must haves! @figleaveshome @slinksdesign #fashion #trends #summer

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So its about the right time, if you haven’t done so already, to get yourself ready for your summer holiday. Yes this weekend may be a gloomy bank holiday, but dont let that stop you from dreaming about beaches that go on for miles, beautiful sunsets and warm warm warm sunshine!

And hey! You’ve got to look the part right? Well lucky for you, we here at Snoochie Boochies have done some research and found just the finds for you!

This time last week we ventured to the Spirit of Summer event at Olympia and you may have seen that over the last few days we’ve hand picked some of our favourite exhibits at the event. Now its time for fashion! Here are some of our favourite picks:

Figleaves.com 

Screen Shot 2013-05-21 at 13.17.31With women’s swimwear, the nautical trend really does set sale with Figleaves.com. Stripes are bolder, polka dots are sexier and waists are higher with this seasons collection! The glamourous and sophisticated Sophina swimwear collection continues to evolve with inspiration taken from the intricate design and touches found in lingerie collections, with two-pieces and swimsuits showcasing feminine lace edging, sheer fabric detailing, elegant shapes and mature colours, bringing the boudoir to the beach – Saucy! To view Figleaves entire collection click here

Slinks! 

Jane Rafter’s devilishly clever sandals are elegant and versatile, giving you fabulous feet wherever you go. From just one base comes a variety of style options: at last, sandals for every occasion!! WE LOVE IT!!

Screen Shot 2013-05-21 at 13.20.56Interchangeable sandals are perfect for city breaks or a summer holiday, ideal for a capsule wardrobe. There is even a bridal collection for those beach honeymoons. Slinks are constantly bringing out new designs and colours to match the seasons trends, so once you have your bases you can just keep adding to your collection.

Slinks can be bought individually or as a set. You can choose your base in either a flat or a wedge and add uppers as you please. All the uppers can be worn on both the flat and the wedge bases. As a set, each pair of Slinks is lovingly presented in it’s own silk bag, a delight in itself. You can also create your own unique set by selecting your bag, and adding your choice of bases and uppers. What fun!

To find out more about slinks click here

Happy Summer Shopping!!

Rural Africa populates London’s health and beauty counters @adunaworld #health #superfruit

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At last weeks Spirit of Summer event at Olympia, Snoochie Boochies were intrigued by one particularly colourful stall. Bringing a little bit of Africa to London was the Aduna team. Armed with smiles on their faces and a cheerful want to help and educate, they were here to promote the African ‘super fruit’ Baobab.

This innocent pod like powdery fruit has risen from relative obscurity to become the best selling supplement across top London health food stores. The Baobab is a raw wholefood with supposedly one of the highest antioxidant capacities of any fruit in the world! Pretty impressive huh?

But what does that all mean? 

Screen Shot 2013-05-21 at 12.16.10Well, for centuries the women of Africa have turned to the baobab tree as a source of natural wellbeing, benefiting skin, hair and general health. Baobab is an excellent source of vitamin C, calcium, potassium, thiamin and a good source of vitamin B6. These nutrients help support energy, metabolism, the immune system, and promotes the skins good health. Its also almost fifty percent fibre, and contains over twice the antioxidants per gram of goji berries and more than blueberries and pomegranates combined!

 

So what does it look like? 

Screen Shot 2013-05-21 at 12.15.50Baobab dries naturally on its tree branch, it’s harvested, then the seeds get removed and sieved into a powder which is what we end up purchasing. When we buy the product here in the UK, its available as a loose powder which is ideal for adding to smoothies or juices, or using as an alternative to sugar for sweetening yogurt, muesli or cereal; and if you’re on the go, there are also capsules available to make it as easy as possible to get this natural goodness!

Where can I get some?! 

Aduna’s Baobab Fruit Pulp Power is available in the following stores: Planet Organic, Wholefoods Market, John Bell & Croyden, As Nature Intended, The NutriCentre and Revital Stores. You can also purchase the products online here.

How much does it cost? 

-Aduna Baobab Fruit Pulp Powder 170g (loose) RRP from £17.99

-Aduna Baobab Fruit Pult Powder 30 x 4.5g stick packs RRP from £24.99

-Aduna Fruit Pulp Capsules 90 x 500mg RRP from £22.99

So there you go, it looks like its time to get healthy with a little bit of help from our African friends! If you’ve tried this product, leave us a comment on how you found it we’d love to know!!

Happy Health Shopping!

Beautiful textile designs that make amazing home furnishings! @nicolephillipse #homeware #buybritish

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Last week the Snoochie Boochies team headed over to the Spirit of Summer exhibition at Olympia to find out what would be on offer to make you and your home fabulous and ready for Summer! 

We found some fantastic British designers covering all different areas from furniture to food and make up to accessories. Its well worth a visit when it comes around again, but first and foremost, we wanted to release a few posts over the coming weeks from some of the exhibitors we felt stood out at the show. 

First up is Nicole Phillips England. 

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Nicole Phillips England is a new British-­‐based textile design company that is just launching their first range of textiles for the home.

rhubarb-and-custard-tea-towelDesigned and created by artist, Nicole Phillips, the unique, beautiful and slightly quirky range of home furnishings and accessories have been manufactured here in the UK. The result is a distinctive collection that appeals to both town and country.

The range highlights Nicole’s hand-­‐painted watercolour designs printed on quality fabrics, all of which are offset with a trademark twist of humour – very British!

Taking inspiration from the natural world, Nicole’s artwork features quirky coastal characters, culinary delights and classic botanical details that are transferred onto carefully selected fabrics to create a product range that include tea towels, aprons, hob covers, oven gloves, napkins and cushions. The lovely fabric designs will also be available to buy by the metre.

nicole_phillips-7083All products are available in various colours and offers a refreshing new take on the country chic trend, and its something very original that will appeal to a lot of people, so certainly gets the thumbs up from us!

Products start from £12 for tea towels and all pieces are available to buy online here where you can also find more information about the company and the Nicole Phillips England blog.

Definitely worth checking out if you fancy sprucing up some of your homeware, and of course supporting a brilliant British Brand!

Happy Homeware Shopping!

Create your own unique style with @ClaireaBellaLtd #fashion #highstreet #trend

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Ever fancied yourself as a fashion trend setter? Well thats exactly what mum of five Claire Barratt did and she landed herself with popular brand ClaireaBella. You may have seen the bags, jumpers etc, modelled by the likes of Lisa Snowdon and Corrie favourite Michelle Keegan – ring a bell? Oh yeah!

Its quickly becoming all the rage as these products allow you to look ever so uniquely stylish as you can personalise bags, mugs, notepads and so much more to your hearts content! Then it’s mixed with one of the Claireabella’s (Bratz like) images, and tah-dah you can be shopping or festival chic!

So if you want to steal Michelle Keegan’s effortless style, want to look chic whilst sight-seeing like Lisa Snowdon or simply want to travel in style like Michelle Heaton, then make sure you have what every fashion-loving celebrity has – their very own aBella character!

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So how do you go about it all?

Using ClaireaBella’s incredible BuildaBella App you can add your very own character and name to a whole host of stunning products such as classic jute bags, cotton tote bags, hoodies, t-shirts, pyjamas, phone cases, diaries, notepads, candles and even chocolate bars – the list really is endless!

An ideal and personal gift for birthdays and weddings or if you just want to treat yourself, add a dash of glitter and sprinkle some sparkle in your life with one of ClaireaBella’s exclusive products available from here

What are you waiting for? Happy step ahead of the trend!

Happy Shopping fashionistas!

Let’s juice it baby with the Alpha Step: 5 Day Reset #weightloss #health #lifestyle #juicing

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Our travel writer Katrina Santos-Baron took a break from travelling to glamorous locations and instead spent the last week on a health trip that didn’t even require her to leave her home town! She shared her findings with Snoochie Boochies to show the benefits of tackling weight loss and healthy living through juicing, and more specifically the Alpha Step: 5 Day Reset. 

Follow her journey here and on her amazing blog: http://katscapades.net

Over to you Kat! 

Screen Shot 2013-05-10 at 13.19.59Two months ago, I decided to go on a Weight Loss Challenge as I wanted to lose 5 kilos (11 lbs) that I gained over the last few months.  I started it as I was coming into the realisation that married life is not an excuse to gain more inches around the waist! And I found along the way, that there’s more to life than just losing those ‘muffin tops’ I gained from a happy marriage  *giggles* and fitting once again into my size 8 dresses, jeans and stylist’s clothes, what actually happened was that I rediscovered the beauty of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. And who wouldn’t want to wake up with a flatter tummy?!

Looking back at my diet, I realised I was eating a lot of oily and processed foods, particularly when my husband and I had a few friends over from our native Philippines. (I was cooking a lot of Filipino delicacies, such as binagoongan, ginataang alimasag, sinigang, rice and all for 2 weeks – not to forget the deserts on top!  – oh, good times). I applied the polite portion principle though. During this time, I noticed that my skin started to breakout and I almost gained what I just lost. Phew… So, being inspired by some of my fitness partners, I bought a juicer and I started juicing various produce.

I can officially announce that my juicer has been the busiest machine in my kitchen! I’ve been experimenting lots of different mixes, I find it de-stressing. My husband and I have moved on to replacing one meal with 1-2 cups of freshly made juice (mostly dinner) and this has been going on for few weeks now. Over this time, I noticed that I’ve lost 3 kilos and few cm off my waistline. Yahoooooo! Well that comes with also working out almost 5 days week, a holistic approach is the key!

I also noticed that with juicing, my skin got clearer with a pinkish glow effect, and I am more energetic especially when I do my usual fitness exercises.

Juicing

Its not just me who has seen the benefits:

One of my friends who inspired me to start juicing also shared her juicing experience:

“I have been juicing on and off for almost a decade already. But seriously juiced (everyday) just this year. Our family doctor recommended a recipe to make us healthier and have glowing skin noticeable in just a week. So we tried it – it was great! We went back to it this year and I really noticed a big difference in my energy levels so continued my research (since that recipe tasted horrible) and found a whole heap of new recipes to try. 

Since I started juicing, I noticed I got more energy and my skin was just glowing. There is that rosy pink glow to it. I can do so much more in the day than I used to. The energy is the most important change that I noticed. I became stronger. Also, I am a frustrated runner. My knees hurt everytime I tried to run, even for just a few seconds. But more recently I am able to do a minute of running, alternating with brisk walking then running again. I’m faster now. I’ve always known it has got to be the juicing. And just today, I discovered that cucumbers help lubricate your joints. I juice cucumber a lot, so now I know why all of a sudden I can run for a bit longer. I got hooked. And been sharing the benefits of juicing to my friends since.”

You can see why my friend is my juicing guru. We’ve been talking about different types of juicers (centrifugal vs masticating juicers and how we can’t wait to get our hands on Hurom HU-700), various juice mixes and health advice.

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The Alpha Step: 5 Day Reset 

As I got more serious about juicing I’ve started an Alpha Step: 5-day Reset. This means that I’ll be eating no food for a period of 3 days but instead, replacing all the meals with 100% fresh veggies and fruit juice every 3 hours up to 6 times a day and consuming 10-12 cups daily, then slowly introducing protein on Day 4 & 5 then back to eating clean and regular exercise.

Here’s a helpful quick-start article by Drew Canole about this – please click here. I don’t think I have the symptoms of poor digestion as mentioned in the article but I believe my body deserves a break from heavy food intake. Drew also stated that, “Alpha Step”…is the beginning step in any new workout regime or fitness goal. Okay, game.

So here’s my Alpha Step Diary:

The day before:

I started to read few articles and blogs about Alpha Step so that I get a clear understanding of what am I getting myself into. I got really excited, unfortunately, and planned my grocery shopping for the following day.

This is it. Day 1:

  • Weight: 57.7kgs
  • I had warm water with lemon as usual (let’s call this L-H20 and this is different from squeezing lemon on drinking water under room temperature; to cut the long story short, the difference is the water temperature)
  • I had a banana-kiwi smoothie for breakfast since bananas do not go in the juicer. I blended it well to ensure that it’s less thicker than a normal smoothie, almost close to the juice texture.
  • I quickly went to the shop nearby and picked few essentials
  • I’m glad I had a good 60-min cardio at the gym last Saturday as this programme prohibits excessive exercise / lifting weights for 5 days. I just did few squats at home.
  • I did the normal no.2 in the morning (sorry I had to write this in case this changes along the course)
  • Three hours later, I juiced 4 celery stalks, 4 carrots, 2 red apples, half beet root and a handful of spinach
  • My next juice was 4 big tomatoes and 2 small carrots – kinda sour…
  • I was drinking loads of water squeezed with lemon all day
  • I felt kinda dizzy, maybe that’s my body adjusting or I was just spending too much time infront of the computer, anyways, I kept on reminding myself – I can do it. Here’s my work desk with my juice (sorry it’s a bit cluttered, I usually clear it up after):

My work desk

  • I really wanted to stuff my mouth with the leftover M&Ms.. Lol.. But I thought, it’s not worth it!
  • My husband picked me up to do grocery shopping and we spent nearly £85 on produce! Okay, this is not a cheap diet but I know it’s a good health investment.
  • I got a bit hungry so I made beetroot, carrot and cucumber juice – not my favourite mix so I had water with lemon immediately
  • This is the most challenging bit: cooking salmon and aglio e olio for my husbands dinner. Okay, okay, okay… I had to hold my breath and focus on my goal: detox to lose unwanted fats and be healthier. Fine.
  • Of course I had to go to the loo frequently due to the amount of liquids drank all day (not to do no.2 – just want to make it clear)
  • For the first time in months, I felt sleepy at 9:30pm and went to bed early.

Ain’t That Easy. Day 2:

  • Weight: 56.5 kilos – I already lost 1.2 kilos
  • I had the same in the morning: L-H20 plus banana and kiwi juice-like smoothie
  • I didn’t take any fiber supplement as advised and there wasn’t a change in my toilet routine, I was still able to do no.2 at around the same time (sorry, it’s gross but I have to include it)
  • I juiced greens for lunch: broccoli, bell pepper, granny smith apple, cucumber, celery and parsley.

Green Juice

  • The dizziness had gone and I felt energetic. However I am paranoid of the pimple-popping-detox-result. I’ve read few blogs and they’ve experienced severe breakouts during the juice fast. Thankfully, no red spots on my skin yet. I guess that’s because I’ve been juicing already and been avoiding greasy junk food prior to this.
  • The green juice made me full for the next few hours until late in the afternoon. I’ve been eating Juice Plus Chewables (made from real fruits and veggies in chewy form – it melts before it even goes down to the esophagus so I guess it’s okay).
  • Another challenge: I prepared roast chicken, potatoes with onions, red and yellow bell peppers for my husband’s dinner – now that made me hungry! I was okay the whole day until this came along! I thought it was going to be easy but it made me crave for hot food!  The whole house smelled of roasted chicken and I realised this is not easy.
  • So I made a juice: half of a red bell pepper, 1 apple, 2 carrots and 2×1″ ginger. I don’t know what I was thinking – it really tasted awful.  I only had few gulps and I had to bin it… I felt really bad, I hate wasting food!
  • To give myself a little treat, I made my one of my favourite mixes – beet, carrot and apple, my comfort juice (others call it the ‘Miracle Drink’) and went to bed at past 10ish

I’m Still Alive: Day 3:

  • Yes, I’m still alive! lol. The thought of ‘no food’ was a bit scary to begin with but thinking of all the benefits from juicing and upon reading the testimonials, obviously this plan is created for a nourishing detox and I woke up happier this morning. It’s the last day anyway and tomorrow I can insert egg whites in my diet, then fish the day after.
  • This morning, I weighed 56.1 (dropped almost 1 lbs), lost 2.6cm off my waistline and no breakouts – yahooooo!
  • After the usual L-H20, I had a smoothie made of 2 bananas and a cupful of strawberries for breakfast and that kept me full for hours (I’ve been drinking water with lemon in between as well)
  • Normal toilet routine – meaning my digestion is still good 🙂
  • Got a bit hungry so I prepared a juice made of 1 pack of asparagus, 2 tomatoes and 1 carrot.

Aspharagus Juice

  • At around half 5 in the afternoon, I made an orange juice (using 6 oranges). Did you know that oranges are good for the skin? That’s one beauty secret revealed!
  • I wanted to join my husband in the gym at around 7ish but I opted not too since the plan prohibits excessive exercise as I mentioned earlier. I also have loads of unfinished work to do anyways…
  • Like in the past two days, the most challenging bit comes when I prepare dinner for my husband. I cooked Spaghetti Bolognaise (another favourite). I thought to myself, “It’s okay, Kat. Few more days and you can eat a polite portion of SpagBol. You’ve come this far, so don’t give up”.  Hope you don’t get me wrong, I’m not depriving myself – I’m detoxing just for 5-days!
  • For dinner, I made 1 beet root, 1 carrot, 1 apple, 1 cucumber, 4 celery stalks and handful of parsley.

Smiling on a Gloomy: Day 4:

  •  I woke up on a gloomy and rainy morning but I feel lighter. I went to the bathroom and I weighed 55.3kgs (1.7 lbs lost) and dropped 1cm off my waistline. No breakouts on my skin apart from a dried tiny spot on my forehead (I had this before I started the Alpha Step!)
  • I had 4 boiled eggs whites on a empty stomach replacing one juice consumption. I was so excited to have egg whites. I seemed like I’ve never felt as excited as this about egg whites in my entire life! That was filling and I had a good burp (excuse me!).
  • Banana, strawberry and kiwi smoothie for brunch at 11:45
  • I realised my no.2 didn’t take place (I hadn’t taken any fibre supplement yet)
  • I made another green juice: 3 celery stalks, 1 cucumber, parsley, broccoli and 1 lemon. Tangy, tangy…
  • I had another 2 egg whites for dinner 🙂
  • I was sleepy at around 10ish but was watching a movie with my husband, so ended up staying awake until about midnight. I was a bit cheeky and tried one of his M&Ms..but apparently, I was surprised that I didn’t like the taste – I can sorta feel the green juice on my tongue mixed with chocolate, nasty. Anyway, at least it puts me off from getting another one.

I Survived! Day 5:

  • Last day of my Alpha Step.  It’s so sunny outside so I wore my trainers and went for a quick walk around the neighborhood. But before that, I had 3 boiled egg whites for breakfast. I weighed 54.8kgs (1.3 kilos / 2.9 lbs lost) and dropped another 1cm off my waistline. I feel that my energy’s back to normal, actually I can run but I just thought maybe I’ll give it few more days.
  • After the walk, I grabbed a freshly made juice from a local juicing cafe. It’s called Sun Kissed made of mango, orange, pineapple and passion fruit  It was so refreshing!
  • I was a bit stressed for missing out my normal morning toilet routine yesterday, glad it went back to normal today (see I told you, it has to be documented!)
  • For lunch, I juiced 3 apples and 2 carrots.
  • After hours and hours of writing reports, etc for work, my husband and I went to the gym at 6:30pm. I had a banana before (that’s not part of the programme, I just had one). My friend, was also there and we did 30-min cross training session, 30-min cycling session and spent 4-mins rowing.
  • For dinner, FINALLY!!!! Tadaaaaaa…….

Fish

  • Okay, it may not look that exciting for you but I was so looking forward to eating dinner with my husband. Since Monday, I was just having juice while he was eating the food I cooked. He had rice with this fish but I just had the fish meat (I seasoned this fish with tomatoes, shallots, spring onions, lemon, ginger, pinch of salt and pepper and little olive oil popped in the oven for 15 mins covered with foil then another 15 mins without – just in case you want to find out the recipe).
  • Very Happy!

My conclusion on the Alpha Step detox

That’s my Alpha Step experience, the first detox program that I’ve tried. I lost 3 kilos (6.61 lbs) and about 4cm off my waistline. I originally wanted to become skinnier, basically get my pre-married shape back but really beyond that, I did this because I want to be healthier (shredding off those unwanted ‘muffin tops’ is a BIG bonus, wink*… plus the glowing skin). Of course I won’t binge on food after fasting for 5 days. Slowly, I’ll go back to eating clean foods and will avoid junk food as much as possible.

If you are looking for a detox programme without losing the important nutrients needed by our body, I think this one is for you. Don’t worry about not having carbs, it’s just 5 days anyway! Just make sure you consult your doctor first especially if you are undergoing medication.

I suggest that before you do this, get a juicer and insert this juicing habit in your daily life. Try replacing one meal, preferably at night, with 1-2 cups of freshly made juice like what I’d been doing before this detox program (and will be doing after). Then see if you think you are ready for the Alpha Step. Otherwise, juice anyway. And keep juicing, baby!

Here are quick tips about juicing:

  • Have the right mindset. Be beautiful inside and out.
  • It ‘s really important that you connect with the people who are also into this. It’s helpful to follow blogs, Facebook pages and Instagram posts. I’ve downloaded ‘The Everything Juicing Book’ by Carole Jacobs and ‘The Funk Fresh Juice ebook’ by Jason Vale in my iBooks.
  • Get a good juicer. Currently, I am using an Electrolux centrifugal juicer since I didn’t really know what to get at first. Now, I’m saving up for a Hurom slow juicer (it’s about £360!). Also consider if it is easy-to-clean as you must clean your juicer every after use.
  • Make sure you wash your fruits and veggies properly, you’ll never know! Also it’s better to use a plastic chopping board instead of a wooden one. Do not chop meats using this chopping board – get a separate one for that.
  • Do not store produce in the fridge for long. They only last for few days. I know it will take you several trips to the grocery weekly but believe me, it’s all worth it. Plus you get to burn those extra fats by walking to the supermarket!
  • Be prepared for frequent toilet visit.
  • Even busy people can make this a healthy habit.
  • Juice greens! Juice those superfoods that you can’t eat – at least you can cover your nose when you drink!
  • Juice less fruits at night – they’re good during the day or before the work-out. How about a refreshing apple-carrot juice after a 5km run?
  • Drink your juice immediately, you don’t to lose those nutrients!
  • Drink warm water with lemon first thing in the morning – it alkalizes your body.
  • If you feel you haven’t juiced enough, try Juice Plus Chewables (I used to eat Haribo gummies whilst working, now I replaced it with these all-natural fruit and veggie chewies)
  • Get a juicing journal or save your juicing mixes in your iPhone notes. I like taking pictures too.
  • Try, experiment, enjoy!
  • Just think of your health, really. That’s about it. Benefits will follow 🙂

Happy Juicing and cheers to a healthier us!

The Great Gatsby – A party like no other #filmreview #film #cannes2013

An adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Long Island-set novel, follows mid-Westerner Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) as he documents his lavish encounters with neighbour Jay Gatsby; who seems to have all the wealth and wonder in the world, but remains childishly unsatisfied without one thing, the woman he adores, Daisy (Carey Mulligan).

Following all the hype about the decadence of this film, fans of Baz Luhrmann’s work will not be disappointed with the spectacle that this film delivers in the first half at least. Taking the concept of the ‘roaring twenties’ to its literal extreme, as the film begins you are introduced to a booming New York full of promise, prosperity and parties! Intercutting re-purposed original footage with some of Luhrmann’s newly developed settings; the audience follows Nick Carraway as he discovers and becomes a part of this world. Slowly, through the eyes of Nick, we discover the main nouveau rich players in this story, starting with Nick’s cousin Daisy and her husband Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton).Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 11.52.04

Upon entering this world, we are faced with an immense sense of overwhelming intensity, the editing is fast paced from one character to the other and at times you’ll feel breathless trying to keep up. You will find yourself trying to take in the scenery in front of your eyes and attempt to keep up with the storyline as well. This puts you straight in Nick’s shoes, a new world, new people and a whole new lifestyle.

Tom Buchanan is expertly played by Joel Edgerton, and is dominating in every scene, bringing a sense of rich, butch, manliness, which is neither endearing nor trustworthy. With him is Daisy, brought to life by Carey Mulligan, an interesting choice for the part, she makes a promising entrance making the character feel care free and wistful as we meet her – quite like a bubblegum princess – but as the film progresses ever so slightly fails to demonstrate the complexities and shallowness of the literary Daisy that fans of the book will have built in their minds. Alongside these characters is Jordan Baker (newcomer Elizabeth Debriki), Daisy’s best friend, this other than Gatsby is probably the best casting of the whole film – looking like a real product of the time and acting with the arrogance and elegance you would expect from a flapper socialite. Debriki carries herself in a scene-stealing manner that, like Edgerton, dominates any screen time she has.

Onto the main man, for a modern day Jay Gatsby, Leonardo Di Caprio is the best choice. Smart, mysterious, yet at times vulnerable with a buffoon like quality; the moment the actor raises a glass to the crescendo of music with a beaming smile at one of his lavish parties, you can only imagine teenage girls once again placing posters of this man up on their wall as teenagers of over fifteen years ago did with his last outing with Luhrmann.Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 11.52.21

Bringing all these characters together really does make one hell of a party, and if there’s one person who likes to put on a party bigger than Jay Gatsby, its Baz Luhrmann. This is what the audiences are most looking forward to out of his films, and if we’re honest, this is what the film is entirely sold on. Three scenes of stunning clothing, expensive jewelry, amazing choreography and stereotypical nods to the era that had it all. Once the audience is introduced to the world of Jay Gatsby’s parties, you really see the trademark Luhrmann come to life.

As much as this spectacle is what Luhrmann fans are craving, the novelty can only go so far. Part of the films downfall is its pressing focus on style. Sadly there is not enough substance to support it. Throughout the second half of the film, the parties dim down and you are left with the love triangle story. When you watch it unfold, you become more attuned to the flaws in the film.

Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 11.51.46Firstly, the extravagant sets that populate the initial part of the film feel more contrived and fake, as there are less people in the room. You find yourself feeling like you are watching a play, with purpose-built backgrounds and a very clear distinction between what is a real location set and what is constructed. Once you see this, you feel that there are more contrived elements to the film, everything is so detailed and so precise – particularly thinking back to the blocking of every character from extra to main – Looking back at Luhrmann’s other films, particularly Moulin Rouge, he managed to create a fake Paris that felt real, you could almost smell the stinking sewers of Montmartre and taste the champagne being poured into the glasses on screen, perhaps it was the limitations on technology that allowed him to be more artistically experimental and in this case as more has been offered to Luhrmann on a plate, it feels like he’s used it because he can and not because it’s right. Whatever the reason, with The Great Gatsby, something just doesn’t quite marry up – and this is similar to the issues that one may find with Joe Wrights Anna Karenina.

Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 11.45.50Alongside this, you feel so distracted by the set that the fundamental plot line gets lost, and where you would expect to feel real emotion towards the situation Jay and Daisy are in, and build dislike towards Daisy’s fickle nature, you just don’t care. There are tender moments, such as when they meet once again after five years, and this is where DiCaprio shines with relatable buffoonery and nervousness. But that is about it, suddenly there is a lacking of focus and complexity within the acting and you do feel like the actors are sadly moving around a room to hit their mark and deliver their lines, rather than providing a real rival performance to the Redford/Farrow Great Gatsby that people know and love. Perhaps a much simpler setting could have allowed time to focus on the real story at the heart, and provide a more complex character study, which those fans of the book will crave more.

Depending on what you’re looking forward to most within this film, you’ll either love The Great Gatsby for its decadence or loathe it for its lacking in substance. Whichever way you look at it, you’ll definitely be seeing something different to what is in the cinema at the moment. However, The Great Gatsby is another problematic product of too much hype in the build up and not enough clout in the end product. Fans of Luhrmann’s work will enjoy seeing him bring another film to the cinema screens, however may still feel he peaked at Moulin Rouge and has struggled to live up to that success ever since. But if there’s one thing you do take away and treasure forever from this film, it’s the incredible soundtrack, just like Baz intended; it’s the perfect accompaniment to any party.

3 Stars.

Get ready to Assault and Pepper @prezzybox #giftideas #kitchen #homeware

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Sometimes we cant help but love the weird and wonderful gizmos we see on the net, and this week its no exception!

Fancy spicing up your salt and pepper shakers? Then look no further than Assault and Pepper!

Forget your bland salt and pepper shakers, Prezzybox has got this year’s naughtiest shakers! Guaranteed to add extra fight to your bite, these hard hitting Assault and Pepper shakers will surely be the only ones fighting over your family dining table!

Now your food won’t be a crime with these aggressive shakers. The Assault and Pepper Shakers cost only £7.95 from www.prezzybox.com cheaper than a county court fine.

So if you’re looking for a fun, quirky present for someone, these get our vote!

Happy Shopping!!