Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Diet Chef: Week 3 Updates

Image from Tumblr
I don't remember the last time I dared to wear a body con dress, but a few days ago, on a night out I went for it and you know what? It wasn't so bad. I haven't lost all the weight I want to, yet, nor am I happy with my body as it is, but I felt enough confidence to 'don the con' and in the words of Taylor Swift 'shake it off.' This new found confidence is thanks to Diet Chef and that's what this post is going to be about, my week 3 updates, progress and how I've found it.

Well, I'm down 8 and a half pounds, which is exciting and my friends have mentioned to me that they can see the weight loss on me, which is so encouraging. I've noticed changes in my body personally, too. The tops of my arms are less 'jiggly' and my stomach is flatter and doesn't bloat as much- winning! I'm also completely comfortable with the diet chef food portions now. My body doesn't ask for more and I don't get those late night cravings anymore, which were my main downfall. 

The weight loss has slowed down, but I had been expecting this, as you always tend to lose more at the start of your diet. I'm at the stage of losing about 2lbs or so a week, which is a nice, healthy amount. Every meal I eat, I feel satisfaction that I've stuck at this for 3 weeks. Watching my pile of Diet Chef foods depleat is exciting and also a little bit worrying. I know that with Diet Chef, my three meals a day are sorted for me... There is no chance of overeating or binging and I don't have to worry about making healthy choices. Diet Chef has become a safety blanket I'm not quite reading to give up, yet!

Next week is the end of my month trial of Diet Chef and it will also be the week I finally reveal my 'before' and 'after' shots- eek! Stay tuned!


Amy x
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Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Personal: On Love

I'm infatuated with the idea that I'm the protagonist of a great rom-com. Right about now, the cinema smiles to themselves and thinks 'she'll look at this in hindsight and laugh' when 30 minutes later, I'm enthralled in a love so great even the hardiest of cinema goers sheds a tear.

But life isn't a movie, my life isn't a movie and I'm not sure if my life was a movie, I'd want it to be a crap romantic comedy girls swoon over and boyfriends roll their eyes at, as they suffer through its entirety on 'date night.'

We don't know what happens after the credits roll. The characters and their love, all fabrications of a tired screen writer, paying the bills until he gets his big break, his 'Breakfast Club,' simply end. They fade to oblivion. It's us, the shaky viewers who leave the cinema, New found ideas of what love is and where we should find it, providing us with uinstable foundations for romance, like Bambi, negotiating the ice.

Me and my spindly Bambi legs will continue to frequent coffee shops until I meet my Prince charming, until a spilt coffee or a mutual interest in reading paths the way to my great love.

On second thoughts, maybe I should just buy a cat.

Amy x
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Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Outfit: Cucumber, Banana & Tofu Launch Party

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Last week I was fortunate enough to be invited along to the screening and launch party of Channel 4, E4 and 4od's new series' 'Cucumber' 'Banana' and 'Tofu.' I got to see the first episode of each of the series, meet some of the cast at the after party and even go to the very top floor of the Gherkin for the best views of London, cucumber inspired cocktail in hand. I have an interview video coming on my channel very soon, with some of the cast of 'Banana' and a mini vlog of the event- so stay tuned for that. This post, however, will be showing you what I wore on the evening, photographed by the lovely and talented Mr Ollie Ali, who I interviewed, previous on my blog.
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Photos by Mr Ollie Ali
Dress: Missguided
Coat: *Urban Code London
Boots: *Barratts
I wasn't brave enough to go cold turkey -quite literally- without my tights, as the UK is very chilly at the moment, however, I did wear a strappy dress and my faux fur coat over the top- just for good measure. I often get a lot of people wanting to stroke or hug me when I wear this coat, the attention is quite nice, actually!

Thank you to Ollie, for taking these photographs and stay tuned for more info about Cucumber, Banana and Tofu!

Amy x
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Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Diet Chef: Week One Update

So, I've been on the diet for just over a week now. I won't lie to you, there were some difficult points. The first few days were certainly the hardest, you haven't seen any physical change in your or your body yet and there is absolutely no motivation to continue on. The amount of time I almost called up Dominos, getting my Jennfier Lawrence on like, 'where's the pizza?!' But I persevered and on the third day when I suddenly lost a couple of pounds, that then became the driving force behind my motivation to continue. I want to wake up every morning and be able to do a celebratory fist pump when I step on the scales.

So, Amy, crunch those numbers for us, eh? Well, I'm down 7lbs, which is half a stone. I'm pretty excited but what I'm more proud of is the strength and determination I've gained from persevering with this. I've stuck to my guns and even on the odd occasion where I have broken away from the Diet Chef diet, I've done it with control. On the third day, after my final exam, I treated myself to a small packet of Magic Stars and a week later, I went out for lunch with my pal Rosie, and chose a salad. Pat on the back for me.

So what of Diet Chef, itself? Well, the food so far is yummy, there are some thing I prefer over others, the protein shakes, sweet and sour chicken and pretzel sticks are my favourites, but I haven't found anything I particularly dislike yet. What I'm most impressed with, so far, is the ease of everything. Other than milk, fruit and veg, I hardly have to worry about food shopping, or running out of anything. All the Diet Chef food itself can be cooked in under 4 mins in the microwave- I hardly want to give up the quick and easy food lifestyle I'm getting used to.
Above is my first weight loss video, which shares some of my weight loss tips which have been helping keep me on track the past week or so. Together, we can get fit in 2015!

Amy x
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Sunday, 18 January 2015

Photography: Interview With Mr Ollie Ali

Welcome to a brand new feature on The Camera's Lying- interviews with some of my favourite photographers. Today, we are talking to Ollie, better known on the internet as Mr Ollie Ali. I sat down to ask him some questions about his porthographical roots, and take some of my own photographs of the man himself. Ollie is an Instagram wizard, freelance photographeroccasional YouTuber and bloody talented. Let's meet the man himself-

What was the first moment you realised you were interested in Photography?
There wasn't a specific moment, it was just picking up a camera and playing around that I realised I was interested in it. Other people commenting on my work online was really encouraging, as well, that inspired me to keep taking photographs. I often find I'm more inspired by work my friends have done, than by famous photographers. 

What is it about the art form that you love, specifically?
I love it all, but I think what I love the most is the idea of capturing a moment in time. You can look back at a photograph and remember so much about the time and place it was taken. I also really enjoy the process of editing photos. I can't draw, but I can use photoshop, so that's my creative outlet.

How would you describe your photographical style?
Oh, that's difficult! I don't like to label my style or limit what I take photos of. If I see something I like, I'll take a photograph of it. I like to take photos of anything and then put my own touch on it.
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What inspires your work? (places, people, instances, specific photographers?)
Firstly, I take pictures because I enjoy taking pictures, more than anything. It something I started doing, realised I loved it and that inspires me to continue. Second to that, I'd say seeing other photographers work, especially on Instagram, or photos my friends have taken, that's very inspiring, too.

What is your favourite photograph you have ever taken?
Ooh, I've taken so many! I think, when I do take a photograph I really like, then a week or so later, I'll go out on another shoot and take a better one. Or if I do a shoot I'm really passionate about, I'll really enjoy looking through all those photographs. There is one shot, I took of a guy on Oxford Street, it doesn't have much meaning, but I love the photo and his expression. It's always great to go to new places and meet new people on shoots.

Do you have a favourite photograph that someone else has taken and can you explain what is going on in the photograph, in your minds eye?
I can’t think of much but a photo that stands out to me is Afghan Girl. It's not that I interpret it much differently to anyone else, I just think it's such a strong image. The photographer has captured her emotions so beautifully, it’s as if she’s sat there right in front of you expressing everything she feels, all captured through her facial expression. It’s almost like her eyes tell her entire life story. Incredible.
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What does photography mean to you?
It all links into what I've said already. I love that you can photograph something, and capture it, frame it, and edit it to look the way you want it to look. But someone else may see exactly the same thing and choose to portray it through photography in a completely different way. I love how I can express myself through my work.

I've always been inspired by the works and life of Ansel Adams. He said '“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.' What does this mean to you?
This is a good quote. It ties into a lot of what we've been saying already. I guess with a photograph, it speaks the truth, it can capture poverty, war, etc and the truth is right there. You can build great opinions of things based on photographs. 
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Photos of Ollie taken and edited by me.
Ollie's Photography:
Oxford street man
Thank you to Ollie for answering my questions and letting me take some photographs of him! You can follow Ollie on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or take a peek at his website


Amy x
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Thursday, 15 January 2015

Event: Cats The Musical Review & What I Wore

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Ever since I can remember, my little sister and I would love to sit down with our Grandparents and watch their recording (on a VCR!) of Cats, The Musical in the West End. The video was from over 20 years ago, but we loved it. So when my family heard Cat's was coming back to London and the West End, myself, Mum, my sister, my Aunt, my cousin Rosie, our Nana and Granddad (who we call Luppy) all purchased tickets for each other as Christmas presents. I've been excited since knowing I had tickets and last Monday was finally the day I got to see it.

Cats is an Andrew LLoyd Webber special and is based on Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot. It's through-sung and tells the story of a tribe of cats who meet once a year, to decide which cat will be reborn into another life. Nicole Scherzinger plays Grisabella, who sings the hard hitting song 'Memory.'
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The whole family enjoyed the musical, it was fun, emotive and didn't rely too heavily on the animatronics now available to big budget West End production, but rather chose to focus heavily on the talented cast. The set was a fabulous array of trash that made you feel like a back alley kitty yourself and I especially appreciated the gorgeous fairy-lights which adorned the stage and the stalls, lighting up at opportune moments throughout the musical. 

The dancing and the sing was second to none, every voice distinctive, with Nicole Scherzinger hitting some incredible high notes with gusto and pulling off the most emotive version of memory, I've ever heard. I may have shed a tear or two. I had a fabulous night, and would recommend the musical to any family, and people of any age. 
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Co-ord Top: Missguided
Co-ord Shorts: Missguided
Boots: *Barratts
Cardigan: H&M
Photo Cred: Talie Delemere
So this is the outfit I wore! I had a day of activities in London, so I ended up going for a mid point between 'casual' and 'dressy' which gave me a chance to air this bad boy tartan co-ord from Missguided! I got it in the sale, so if you are a fan, hurry over to the website to pick one up whilst stocks last.

Amy x
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Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Music: Amy's 2014 Most Played

When it comes to music, my taste is as varied as the clouds in the sky, and I'm pretty proud of this. Variety is the spice of life, right? I always love discovering new songs and artists and when I get addicted to a song, band or singer, you better believe I have the replay button bouncing up and down like a child who's eaten too many blue Smarties. 

To celebrate my love of music, and to introduce a new section to my website for 2015, I'm going to start by sharing with you my top 10 'most played' tracks in 2014, which were also released in 2014. 

1. BeyoncĂ© - Flawless (Remix) feat. Nicki Minaj - This was at the top of my list and for good reason, just listening to it makes me feel sexy and sassy and yes I know all the words. (I actually promised if I ever reach 20,000 subscribers on my YouTube channel I would rap to this in a video...) Any artists who preach feminist values and independent women status in their music are great in my books.

2. Nick Mulvey - Cucurucu - I like to listen to this at night, it has a nostalgic, chilled out vibe that makes me think of lazy Summer afternoons. The video is also shot so beautifully, along with the song, it transports you to another place.

3. Ben Howard - End of the Affair No surprises here, Ben Howard is one of my all time favourite artists. His voice is like a warm hug, offered by an old friend you haven't seen in weeks. Bliss. The lyric 'now I talk about you when I'm with our mutual friend' really resounded with me. A must listen for anyone who's ever had their heart broken.

4. Ed Sheeran - Photograph I could have chosen the whole album, I really could but as much as it pained me, I wanted to chose just one and that one was 'Photograph.' The lyrics are, as always, a work of art, in and of themselves. Ed Sheeran is a word smith and a cruel one, whipping up uncontrollable emotions in me.

5. The Weeknd - Drunk In Love (Remix) The weeknd, Abel Tesfaye, has a voice that's like syrup, So. Darned. Sweet. This remix of Bey's classic isn't PG but it makes you feel really, bloody sexy. It's a tuned to get ready to for a night out. 

6. Taylor Swift - Wildest Dreams No link for this one, I'm afraid, you'll have to go out and buy the album, but that's okay, because the album is awesome. Although, this is my favourite track off it. It sounds like Summer nights when the dew begins to creep over the grass. It sounds magical and beautiful and slightly like you're on a trip.. But that's okay.

7. Banks - Waiting Game I want to do Luna Lovegood style dancing to this track, eyes closed, holding onto to a great love yet to happen. This song makes me feel like a silly drunkard, speaking the truth to death ears.. at 3am. Love is a waiting game. Deep.

8. Sia- Chandelier There isn't a single thing about this track or the video that I dislike. Sia is a refreshing face (or, not as she prefers to hide her face during performances) in the music industry and it's incredible to see her building an entire career purely around talent and nothing else. 

9. Lady Antebellum - Bartender This is my 'get geared up for a night out' song, especially if I'm not feeling those 'YOLO' vibes. It's a sweet song with pop vibes, its cute and fun and it tells the story of most of my nights out, and probably most of yours, too. 'Hey bartender, pour em hot tonight.'

10. Maroon 5 - Maps Maroon 5's 'Songs About Jane' was the first album I ever purchased with my own money, aged 10, so I've always held Maroon 5 in a special place in my heart. This track is fun and flirts with my memories. It also makes great use of Adam's soulful voice. Mmm.

I hope you enjoyed this little look back on some of my top tracks of 2014, here's to a new year, and new music.

Amy x
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Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Video: YouTuber Reads Mean Comments

In my opinion, the USA knows their way around a live talk show, and The Jimmy Kimmel Show is one of the best. I've been obsessed with the feature 'Celebrities Read Mean Tweets' where loads of our favourite celebs sit down and candidly read out the mean tweets they've received, I cry with laughter watching it and couldn't believe I hadn't seen a YouTuber recreate it yet. The YouTube comment section is rife with haters and trolls and being a YouTuber, you simply can't afford to take every nasty comment seriously. Smile, and the world smiles with you. I've embedded my video below, and would LOVE for you to give it a watch, and maybe even share it on Twitter, if you are feeling generous!
Amy x
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Monday, 12 January 2015

Diet Chef: The Introduction

 After a year of bad dietary decisions, some dodgy prescribed medication with some not so bodycon friendly side effects and a penchant for M&Ms, I've finally decided to ditch my damning ways, and get bikini ready for Summer 2015, and change my lifestyle for the better, for good. 

For this feat of endurance, battle of the food groups and hopefully, shedding of the pounds, I have chosen to partner with one of the UK's top diet mavericks. Step up to the podium, please, Diet Chef. When I initially started looking into ways to lose weight, I needed something I knew would work for me. As someone who does a lot of exercise anyway, that wasn't the issue, my main problems when it comes to food are laziness (after a day of work and University I can't always be bothered to cook), unhealthy cravings and portion control. I'm a great one for falling into the takeaway trap, so I wanted something easy to follow, easy to manage and control, that would sort out my portions for me- and stop me piling my plate high!

Diet Chef seemed to be the right choice for my lifestyle. They send you your daily meals in one, nice big package- this includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack, which you then add fresh fruit, dairy and veg to accordingly. This means your portions are controlled and you know exactly what you are supposed to be eating- it makes it super easy, even for my tired, university work addled brain to compute! The Diet Chef meals are cooked 'sous vide' which means they don't need to be stored in the fridge or freezer, but are also free of nasty preservatives- nice! This was another plus point for me as I share one fridge freezer with four other hungry students- storing a months worth of food in there was going to be tricky.
But, is it expensive? I hear you cry, clutching at your purse strings.. Well, no, asides from the fresh fruit and veg, it's your food shopping DONE for the month, and it works out as on £6.61 per day- and that's about the price of a coffee and cake from Starbucks, and we all know we do that far more often than we should...

The last point that sealed the deal for Diet Chef and myself, was all that they can offer, after you've hit the pay button. With an online BMI counter, which updates your calorie allowance in accordance to your weight loss, day meal plan ideas and things you can add to your Diet Chef meals to spice them up and a progress tracker, to help you see the results. It all feels very helpful and if I have any queries along the way, I can easily pop over to their Twitter or Facebook and find my answers, there!

So, now for my stats at the start of my journey: Weight- 13st 1 1/4 lbs with a BMI of 30.... *gulps* I'm excited to begin this journey and if you'd like to take this journey with me, you can get £10 off your first order with my code: MYAHI@HB.

Amy x
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