Have a Break

Would it be really cheesy to say; have a kit kat right now!?! I think so ;)

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Last night whilst James was playing squash with ‘the boys’, I headed to a circuits class at the gym (I don’t feel my squash playing is good enough for matches with the boys just yet!).

Wow what a great/tough class!! It consisted of 11 different activities that looked something like this;

  • kettle bell squats
  • bouncing squats (holding a squat and pulsing for 60 seconds)
  • push ups (I managed to do ALL my push ups on my toes!)
  • weighted over head triceps kick-backs
  • shoulder presses with a bar
  • front shoulder raises with a band
  • holding a lateral shoulder raise for 60 seconds (this burns!)
  • tricep push up
  • jumping squats
  • jumping lunges
  • hamstring curls

Each activity was done for 60 seconds, 4 times; by the end my muscles were on fire and my face looked like I was about to pop (unfortunately, I suffer from rosacea during exercise…not attractive!)

I’d fuelled up nicely with a pre-workout snack of cottage cheese topped with granola and then half a slice of seedy bread with a light covering of PB (why not ;)) and was really pleased with my energy levels and the intensity of my workout.

That was until…at the last station (jumping squats) I had a searing pain in the middle of my back, initially I thought maybe I had indigestion which would go away but I woke in the nigh, and was up for a few hours in pain :(.  Needless to say, when our alarm went off this morning for our 7am workout we had planned, James took one look at me and said ‘I think you should stay there’.  My first thought was ‘I’ll be ok…if I don’t go now I won’t do a workout today and the weekend is coming up”, as I stood up though I realised it wasn’t a good idea at all and got back into bed.

What I’ve realised since getting up though, is that it doesn’t matter if I don’t go today, I can go tomorrow or the next day and as I plan on making exercise part of my life forever, if my body needs to rest on a ‘planned’ workout day, thats ok!

So I’m giving myself a break today and have currently got my feet up, snuggling with the other love of my life;

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watching Paul Hollywoods baking show (oh yeah…and doing uni work ;))

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I’ve not felt like breakfast yet this morning which really is unlike me, hopefully this pain will ease off soon and I’ll be back to my old self :)

Question; how do you deal with injuries?

L x

Banana Pancakes

Good Morning!

The past few days I’ve been feeling a bit rubbish…very dopey, low energy, tired …thankfully though I’ve woken up feeling more like myself this morning feeling more energetic!

Last night James and me headed over to some local courts to play some squash.  I’ve only ever really played once before and that was on holiday 5 years ago so it’s fair to say I’m a bit out of practise ;)..it’s really enjoy it though as another form of exercise.  I think it’s easy to get stuck in a rut doing the same thing every week in the gym and this is more sociable, required hand eye co-ordination and works different muscles – winner!

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Lunch yesterday featured a nice big salad with tuna and a lemon, mustard, yogurt dressing (with a side of Barney!), after this Barney and me headed to the local park for a nice long walk, he’s  had a bad back (bless him!) and hasn’t been able to run around, but seems much better now so it was lovely for him to let off some steam and play with some other dogs.

For breakfast this morning I made some really tasty banana protein pancakes, sometime I find protein pancakes can be a little dry and powdery but these were so moist and really tasty.

Recipe:

1/2 banana

1 scoop unflavoured protein powder (I used pea today)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/5 tsp baking powder

1 egg

splash of milk

 

Directions:

  • Put a frying pan on a medium heat
  • Place all ingredients except the milk in a mixing bowl
  • Use a stick blender to blend to a thick but smooth paste (if you don’t have one of these you could mash well with a fork)
  • Slowly add enough milk to form a thick batter and mix thoroughly
  • Use a tablespoon to drop the batter into the pre-heated pan…I made 4 pancakes about 10cm in diameter but you can make them as big or small as you like!
  • Wait until little bubbles form on the surface (don’t touch!…I know it’s tempting!!) and then flip using a spatula
  • Leave for another minute and then serve!

I topped mine with a combo of peanut butter greek yogurt…what a great start to the day!

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Now I’m off to finish my dissertation proposal which has to be handed in by 5pm this afternoon and then plan to go to a step class later on.

Hope you’re having a great week!

Question: Do you like to vary up your exercise with sports and the gym or do you tend to stick to the same things each week?

L x

 

 

Pulsin Review…

A couple of weeks ago I was sent some products by the kind people at Pulsin’.

Protein is needed for growth and repair in the body, making it perfect to help muscle recovery after tough workouts.  There’s also lots of scientific studies out there linking protein to increased satiety (fullness), hunger hormone control and weight loss.

The guys at Pulsin’ produce 4 protein powders;

Whey protein highlights – 

  • 18g protein/20g serving 
  • high bioavailability therefore absorbed quickly into the blood stream and used by the muscles
  • un-denatured thanks to specialist filtering techniques used (lots of other commercial protein powders are processed at high temperatures, causing them to become denatured and therefore harder to digest and absorb in your body)
  • great for using in protein smoothies, adding to yogurt, protein ‘ice cream’ and also in homemade raw protein bars/balls
  • £31.49/kg

Soya Protein -

  • 17g protein/20g serving
  • non GM
  • high in photo-oestrogens, which can be great for anyone suffering from hormonal imbalances
  • tasty in overnight oats, protein pancakes and smoothies
  • £15.29/1kg

Pea Protein -

  • 17.1g protein/20g serving
  • made from dried and powered yellow split peas (different!!)
  • a good source of vegan protein
  • can be used as a thickener, as an alternative to cornflour and also good in porridge and soups
  • £15.29/1kg

Hemp -

  • 14.1g/30g serving
  • raw/cold pressed
  • great source of omega 3 fatty acids; for healthy hair, skin and nails
  • delicious in green smoothies
  • £15.29/1kg

All of these proteins are unflavoured and minimally processed, which makes them a great alternative to many of the highly processed, artificially sweetened and expensive protein powders available out there!

I was really surprised by just how tasteless these powders actually are.  In the past I’ve tried a few ‘unflavoured’ proteins which actually tasted horrible and usually had a very detectable texture but these were great!

I’ve been enjoying this chance to be a bit experimental …

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Chocolate, banana, green smoothie – I’ve had with both whey protein and hemp protein…both tasted great

 

 

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Banana-Berry protein ‘Ice Cream’ with added whey protein

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Overnight oats, milk soaked oats with soya protein and grated apple, topped off with greek yogurt and peanut butter (I loved this combo and it kept me full for ages!)

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Banana, cinnamon protein pancakes – made with a blend of whey and soya protein….topped off with my favourite combo…greek yogurt and peanut butter! (this mornings breakfast!)

Overall I love these proteins…I think they’re very reasonably priced, easy to use and add a great protein boost to lots of my favourite meals and snacks…great work guys :)!

The weather yesterday was just glorious!!  I started my day with a body combat class at the gym, followed by a lovely walk with the dog along the marina.  We had been invited for dinner at James parents house and seeing as it was so warm, late in the afternoon we decided to head over on his motorbike…

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…me getting kitted up!!

Great day to be out on the bike (although maybe a little cold on the way home!)

Today started early with a 7am Bodypump class, followed by protein pancakes for breakfast.  I’ve got 2 deadlines for uni this week (one today and one Wednesday) so I’m off to do some proof reading before handing in!

Hope you had a great weekend!

Question; do you use protein powders? whats your preferred protein source? and your favourite way of using it?

L x

Friday Feeling!

Wow…where has the week gone!  I’ve had my head ‘in the books’ pretty much all week, with 2 deadlines approaching quickly, if I’m honest it’s been a little stressful.

In the past, hours of studying has made me feel quite anxious, mostly about gaining weight because my activity levels tend to be much lower.  Sometimes, despite having come so far those thoughts still niggle away in the back of my mind, but this year I’m determined not to listen and remember what is important in the long run….happiness, health and passing my exams!!

This week has included some really great workouts;

Monday – 7am Bodypump class (yes 7AM!!)

Tuesday – Bodycombat class

Wednesday – Squash…with James and his brothers

Thursday – Rest day

Friday – 7am Spin class

plus 30-45minutes walking the dog each day.

I definitely feel like I’ve got a nice balance at the moment, James and I are still looking after Barney, our favourite little man…

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…and I just can’t resist his face when he wants to go for a walk!!

Having him here is REALLY making us want one of our own.  We’ve (I’ve!!) been looking most evenings for puppies and I think we’ve decided we’d like to get the same breed, a Tibetan Terrier

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they make me melt!!!!  The only 2 obstacles in our way are;

1. technically we shouldn’t have pets in our rental home so we need to ask our Landlord for permission before we get serious about this

2. they are expensive…the cost of a tibetan puppy is £650-850!!! given our current tight budget it might be difficult

BUT we have both said he makes us really happy and we love the ‘family’ atmosphere having him here creates :)

We’ve really been trying to stick to a food budget and have allowed ourselves £50/week for food and household goods (i.e. toilet roll/washing up liquid)…initially I thought £50 would be plenty (I’m a serious bargain shopper and know where ALL the offers are!!) but it’s really not going very far, despite our ‘budget dinners’…our favourite one this week had to be a chipotle bean and egg dish I made which we had with brown rice on the side…

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It really was so tasty (recipe to follow!).

I’m off to work at Starbucks now then to the supermarket…with the exception of a few condiments our fridge and cupboards are totally BARE!!

 

Question; whats your favourite budget dinner?

Happy Friday!

L x

Fight for Sight

2 years ago we found out my little cousin inherited a terrible disease known as ‘Stargardts Disease’ which is essentially a degenerative disease of the eye leading to loss of most-all central vision.

Since her diagnosis her strength of character has been nothing short of amazing, she continues to excel at school, enjoys an array of sports and hobbies including tennis, swimming, dancing and on our family ski trip at the beginning of this year she left me for dust, stopping only to yell behind to me “hurry up Laura, it’s easy…just follow me!”  She has the most vibrant personality and never fails to have us all in fits of laughter.

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Cutie!!

As you can imagine finding out about her loss of sight has been heartbreaking for everyone involved, most of all her parents.  There’s some really promising research going on at the moment and there is a stem cell trial running at the moment which we all have our fingers crossed will lead to a new treatment approach.  With this in mind my Uncle (who himself had a pacemaker fitted last year) has decided to run his 1st marathon, raising money for the research going on at the moment.  So far he’s managed to raise almost £18,000…amazing…

http://www.justgiving.com/Markroberts747

here is the link to his fund raising page…all donations no matter how small will be greatly appreciated.

http://www.facebook.com/fightforsightuk?ref=ts&fref=ts

this is also a link to more information about sight disorders.

This morning I headed to the gym for a Bodycombat class.  To be honest I was a little disappointed, the instructor started by telling us how he was “tired and couldn’t really be bothered”…enough said!! I found the class really hard to follow as he didn’t really give many instructions…I still managed to work up a good sweat though which made me happy!

Lunch today was very odd!! James and me a really trying to stick to a food budget (pretty challenging for 2 total foodies!!) so the combination I scraped together from our kitch cupboards was perhaps a little strange but surprisingly tasty!!

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…a mixed lentil dahl (found on offer in Sainsburys) with half a can of tuna!!  Not the most obvious of choices but filled a hole…for a short while anyway!!

I’m off to get my head back in the books now!

L x

Wicked Weekend

Did you have a good weekend?  Our’s was awesome!!

On Saturday we headed to the gym, where I jumped on the treadmill to do a warm up and got a little carried away, managing a PB (since my recovery) of 5.5miles in 45minutes, which left me feeling very satisfied especially as I felt good throughout! We headed home, looking longingly at the pizza van that parks outside our gym at weekends (why!!?!) both with rumbling tummies and quickly tucked into a huge salad of mixed leaves, tomatoes, beetroot, sauerkraut and cucumber with a can of sardines on the top and some rye bread on the side…

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It felt so good eating a big clean salad after a run, although later on I did get pretty hungry and snacked pretty much all afternoon (lesson learned!).

James’s family; Mum, Dad, 2 brothers, sister-in-laws and friends came over for afternoon tea (very civilised!!) his Mum and Dad arrived with much appreciated gifts in hand (thank you guys!!)

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a gorgeous toast rack as a housewarming gift

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and some of THE best eccles cakes from a local bakery, we all agreed none of us had ever had better!

Sunday was a pretty lazy day, involving the most amazing breakfast….

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‘overeasy’ egg, cheese and jam wholemeal muffin…I have no words!!

plus lots of washing and ironing…

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and some studying…

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This morning we opted for an early morning workout.  I am not known for my happiness or energy in the morning, and am often known to grumble no more words than “oh dear” before the hour of 8/9 o clock, so when James suggested heading to the gym for 7am I was understandably weary (!!) but when the alarm went off this morning I was feeling ok so jumped out of bed, pulled on my gym kit (which I’d put by the bed ‘just in case’) and headed out to the 7am Bodypump class.

I was again, a little anxious about working out so early in the morning on an empty stomach as I can sometimes find myself getting shaky half way through a workout, but was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed the whole thing….for anyone who does Bodypump though; how much of a killer is that squat track!!!?

We both worked hard this morning so whilst James showered I whipped us up a chocolate, banana, green protein smoothie to encourage muscle recovery and to replenish our glycogen stores, followed by a repeat of yesterdays EPIC egg, cheese and jam (for me)/chipotle tabasco (for James) muffin which we both inhaled pretty quickly, stopping only for nods of appreciation…and to breathe :)!

My plan for the rest of the day is UNI ASSIGNMENTS…I have 2 big deadlines approaching at an alarming rate and I really need to get my head down and do them :(! and going to friends later this evening for dinner and to watch Broadchuch (a great ‘who did it’ TV series on in the UK at the moment)!!

Question; do you prefer to workout early in the morning or later in the day?

Happy Monday!!

L x

Spinning…Feeling Nervous

This morning I’m planning to go to my first spin class since I left Australia 2.5yrs ago! It was one of my favourite classes, I mostly remember how much it made me sweat.  Usually I would class myself as a ‘non sweater’ and spinning and running (in Australian heat) are the only 2 things that have ever REALLY made me sweat!!

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(source)

Les Mills describe spin (RPM) as;

‘a medium to high intensity indoor cycling class, which burns an average of 675 calories, improves heart and lung fitness as well as strength and endurance’

(source)

sounds pretty good to me!!

The prospect of giving my body such a great workout however, is making me feel slightly nervous…not because I don’t like or enjoy intense workouts, but because the last time I did one I was A LOT fitter than I am now.  Since ‘getting back’ into fitness (in a more healthy way) there have been several occasions during which I’ve attempted to lift a weight/run at a speed I used to and have had to stop (usually from exhaustion), and remind myself of the journey both my mind and my body have been through since then, and that I’ve virtually built a new body so I need to be kind to myself and appreciate what I can do not what I can’t.

Instead of thinking every single workout had to somehow be ‘better’ than the last…faster/harder/heavier/longer, my new style of thinking is that I enjoy fitness and the gym, it can always be part of my life if I want it to be and is a long term hobby, so what I don’t manage today I can always try tomorrow or next week or the week after!! :D

On another positive note, the sun is shining this morning!! My plans for today include a spin class this morning (!), then food shopping followed by a dog walk and then STUDYING…I’m really out of the ‘groove’ with it at the moment, with deadlines approaching quickly I seriously need to get back into it!!  Tonight we’re planning to have a couple of friends round for some drinks and maybe some dinner…it’s great to be living close to friends again :).

Spinning fuel this morning is a big bowl of my super creamy oats, which were blue (!) thanks to some blueberries I added in whilst cooking ;) topped with peanut butter (it’d be rude not to!!) and a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds…hopefully it will power me through!

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I’m definitely feeling full now…fingers crossed it doesn’t weigh me down!

Question; What are your plans for the weekend? Whats your favourite workout fuel?

Happy Friday!!

L x

Weird Weather

I’m looking out of the window in April in the UK at sleet…sleet in April!  The temperature outside is 3c and the average temperatures for this time of year range from 4-10 so I would say it’s off the scale and pretty unseasonal.  I don’t know about you, but I’m really starting to feel fed up with this weather now and would really like some warmth and sunshine (there’s no wonder we are seeing increases in Vitamin D related illnesses e.g.. rickets and depression!).

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In an attempt to brighten our house up a little my lovely Mum bought us some Daffodils at the weekend, I keep looking at them to try and boost my mood a little!

I really don’t like the net curtains we have hanging at our kitchen windows at the moment, whilst they are needed for privacy, I’ve definitely got some new ones fairly high up on the ‘house shopping’ priority list!!  I’m also looking for something to put up at our lounge windows which are huge (250cm in length, which is proving to be a problem as most curtains come in a 220cm drop) and at the moment bare which is horrible.  We’re trying to find some grey linen effect voile material which will give us privacy but still let natural light in.  I would LOVE to put wide slat wooden blinds up as I did at the old house, but they really are very expensive and as we renting this house to allow us to save enough to buy our own place together it’s not really a viable investment!!

This morning I got a little experimental with the pea protein powder I have been sent by the lovely people at Pulsin to try..

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Chocolate, banana, protein pancakes with freshly brewed coffee :)

This recipe needs work, they were tasty but really had quite a chalky texture which I’m sure could be solved with the right ingredients…stay tuned!!  I had 2 of them topped with peanut butter and the other 2 with normal butter and some apricot jam…

The nutritional stats look something like this (rough estimate)

Carbs – 12g

Protein – 26g

Fat – 10g

Calories – 300kcal

I ate these about an hour ago and am already starting to feel hungry (boredom??)…maybe I need more carbs or fat in there to satiate my hunger…more experimenting needed!

Plans today include uni work (I MUST do some today!!!) a meeting at the bank with James to open some joint account for house transactions, a trip to the supermarket (we have a HUGE Waitrose about 10minutes away which could be quite dangerous!!) and a step class at the gym this evening :).

Question; Do you feel your mood is affected by the weather? 

L x

 

Back Online!

Hi Guys!

Apologies for my disappearance of late…we had a few ‘technical’ problems with our broadband connection in our new house so we’ve with without the internet for a few days!!

Wow, it’s Wednesday already…where has the week gone!!

Our house move went really well, we are SO happy with our new home!! I’d put all my trust in James and agreed to get a house solely based on his recommendation so even though I trust him I was slightly nervous of what it was going to be like.  He did well!! It’s a really good size, with 3 double bedrooms, a really nice open kitchen diner and a large lounge dining room as well, in a great location (it took me 15minutes to walk to Starbucks in the centre of town yesterday!), 5 minutes walk from what will be my new uni in September and walking distance to both our gym and the cinema…what more could a girl want!!

I popped into Starbucks yesterday to have a chat with the manager there and I start this morning!!  I mentioned before, I was coffee master at my last store and so she wants me to go in this morning just for a couple of hours to set up a coffee tasting table!!….heaven!

My parents came down for the long weekend with my brother and sister to help us get more organised in the house (James, my Dad and Brother did ‘man jobs’ and my Mum, Sister and me went ‘house shopping’!!) which was great, they have gone on holiday for a few days so have left us with this little man;

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isn’t he the cutest thing you’ve seen!!!

Apparently this is my Dads ‘plan’ to put us off getting our own…it seems to be backfiring though and making us want one more (or me anyway ;)!)

One of the first things we did when I got down here (after unpacking) was join the gym.  We’ve both become members of DWfitness, I’ve really been looking forward to being able to go to a gym which does real Les Mills classes and went yesterday morning, to my first BodyPump class, since I’ve lived back in the UK (which is 2.5yrs now!!) WOW it was good, I was definitely feeling the burn, and WOW am I sore today!!

I was planing to head to the sauna and then for a shower but I was feeling quite shaky by the end so I decided to head straight home and whip up a protein smoothie involving, banana, milk, whey, cocoa and a handful of spinach….

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…so tasty!

So I’m off to work this morning then plan to do some home organisation, walk the dog and I think we’re planning to play squash with some friends tonight :)

Hope you’re having a good week so far….Happy Wednesday!!

L x

Big move, Big day

Good morning!!

As you may know now, I spent yesterday’s packing and moving house. Im now on my way (with the most unbelievably packed car you’ve ever seen!!) to my new home in Ipswich.

Yesterday was a pretty hectic day which started off with banana blueberry protein yogurt (similar to the one the day before except I had turned off the freezer so the fruit was room temp which I squished and mixed in, saving a repeat of the cold smoothie situation again)

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I heading to Uni for my final revision lecture first thing. I think it was supposed to be helpful, but actually made me feel really stressed about how much I don’t know :(. My lecturer also mentioned some tips about our assignment that were due in today so in a mild panic, I headed straight to the library, made some alterations and then handed it in.

I then headed home (where it looked like a bomb had gone off!) to carry on packing, the removals men arrived at 2.30 and I have to say we’re pretty speedy…emptying the whole house in about an hour – I hope my things are ok and safe!! I was then left to clean and pack the remaining things into my car…my packing started off very organised in labelled boxes, but towards the end I was running around with black bags throwing in anything I could see before loading them into my car in a VERY unorganised fashion, I’m not sure how impressed James will be when it all arrives!!! ;)!

Eventually I finished cleaning, locked up, (for the last time) and feeling slightly emotional, headed to the estate agents to hand over the keys.

I then had to pop to work to drop some loaned items off (!) where I decide to grab what may be my new favourite drink; a misto (half filter coffee/half steamed milk) with just half a pump of hazelnut syrup (I love the flavour but not the sweetness hence the half pump!)… It was so so good and much needed by this stage in the day!! My friend also wrote a nice note of my cup :)

I’d been so busy I hadn’t really snacked all afternoon… i forgot!! which really shows how far I’ve come in my recovery-a year ago, not only was my mind totally obsessed with food but I had to eat every 2.5hrs otherwise I would get shaky and very anxious :D but realised I was seriously so snacked on a pulsin protein bar which I’ve been sent to try (review to come shortly!)

The journey time to Ipswich is about 5hrs and I was pretty tired by this point (about 6pm), not feeling like a drive that long, I called my mum; who lives half way and asked if I could stop and stay with her for the night, naturally she was delighted (my sisters also home so she has all her children together…always makes her happy!).

So I eventually arrived, relaxed in front of the tv for a couple of hours with my family and headed to bed ready for a 5.30am start, so i could arrive in time to collect the keys at 9am!

Very hectic few days but I am excited!!

question: what’s your packing style, are you organised? Do you start organised and end chaotic ? Or are you generally chaotic?!!

L x

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