Bloomon: My Monthly Dose of Chic

There’s nothing more chic than a gorgeously curated bouquet of flowers just chilling in your living room or office.

Your visitor will admire them and make approving noises.

Your response must always be “Oh those?” Say it idly, as if you forgot they were even there. “I always have fresh flowers delivered.”

Then you might want to shrug and move on, or you may wish to caress a petal between your fingers to release the scent of fresh roses into the air, just to hammer home the point that you are awesome and so are your flowers – and by extension, you must have your shit together, because they don’t just let anyone have fresh flowers delivered left, right and centre. (Secret: they totally do.)

Your friends are impressed at your absolute sense of style and beauty. Your family are overwhelmed – how could this snotty child who ate snails and green fabric paint (true story) have grown into such a sophisticated, urban fashionista? The boiler man will not be that impressed (because he’s here to do manly things that definitely don’t involve flowers, looking at flowers, or being impressed by flowers) and the postman will say “I don’t think I’m allowed inside the house.” The supermarket delivery woman will say “Do you want these bags here, love? Oh, those are nice – do you want these frozen items straight in the kitchen?”

You can’t please everyone, but you can have fresh flowers delivered every month.

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you’ve probably seen me banging on about Bloomon quite a bit, so I decided to channel that passion into a blog post, so maybe I’ll get it out of my system…

I’ve tried a couple of delivery services for flowers, but Bloomon just blew me away with how utterly gorgeous and unique they were. When I buy flowers from the supermarket, I prefer to keep it simple – all roses, all tulips, all daffodils, etc – colour blocking and multiple bunches of the same flower are the way to go (and I love gypsophila, but it has to be one of the most abused filler flowers in the world… STOP PUTTING IT WITH CARNATIONS). I’m no expert at flower arranging, but Bloomon makes me look like a goddamn genius.

The bouquets come in three sizes, and I always go for the large – because the bigger the better, right? I actually think the small size looks absolutely adorable, too, though, but I need to get the right vase to do it justice.

This pic neatly illustrates why I love Bloomon – this photo was taken about three weeks after my delivery, and my flowers were still going strong. I remove wilted ones as I go, and downsize my vase as needed, and usually still have a respectable display by the time my new delivery arrives!

Get your Bloomon bouquet here: https://www.bloomon.co.uk/r6q8w7-gift-from-Gemma. If you use my link, you’ll get a free vase with your first delivery – which I think is pretty essential to getting the right look for your display. The vase in my second picture in this post is the large vase you get when you order the large bouquet (and I got mine free with a code too!), but if you order a different size, the corresponding size vase will arrive. Small bouquets are £20.95 (with free £20 vase), medium sizes are £24.95 (with free £25 vase) and large bouquets are £31.95 (with free £30 vase). You can also choose to get your deliveries weekly, fortnightly or monthly! If you get any, tag me on social media, because I’d love to see your bouquets! I cannot guarantee you’ll ever impress the boiler man, but you’ll definitely impress me…

This post contains affiliate links.

Lizi's Granola Parfait and Smoothie Bowl

Lizi’s Granola Parfait and Smoothie Bowl: Healthy Breakfast Recipes

One of my favourite things to eat at breakfast time is a smoothie or a granola and yoghurt parfait. Okay, so they’re not as quick as grabbing a bowl of cereal or a piece of toast, but it’s so much better for you, and keeps you feeling fuller so much longer than empty carbs! Plus, are you really going to Instagram your Marmite on toast? Well, maybe if you cut it into triangles…

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I recently got the chance to try out Lizi’s Granola in high protein and low-sugar varieties, and I am completely hooked! (Seriously, I had to put the bag away during my photoshoot because I kept eating the high protein one…) I put together a couple of recipes for you to show off the benefits of each mix – a protein-packed parfait and a naturally sweet smoothie bowl!

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Protein-Packed Parfait with Lizi’s Granola

Lizi's Granola Parfait

This parfait is so simple you don’t even need a recipe! All you need is some fruit of your choice, your favourite plain yoghurt (I love Fage!), honey, and Lizi’s High Protein Granola. This is so good for you for breakfast because 50g of Lizi’s High Protein Granola contains 27% of your daily protein needs, so coupled with the naturally protein-packed yoghurt, makes an unbeatable combination. Protein is so important in a balanced diet because not only does it make you feel fuller for longer than fat or carbohydrates, but it also helps you build muscle. This is essential if you’re working out regularly to maintain fitness or lose weight. I’ve been addicted to this parfait for days now – the High-Protein Granola is so crispy and crunchy that it’s the perfect foil against the smooth and creamy yoghurt, and the tart sweetness of the fruit.


My favourite combination is 50g of High Protein Granola combined with three large chopped strawberries, a drizzle of dark Greek honey, and three or four heaped tablespoons of Greek yoghurt. Simple and heavenly! Add in some edible flowers and you’ve got a breakfast that looks as good as it tastes… And, the great part is that the protein in Lizi’s High Protein Granola is vegetable based, which means this is suitable for vegetarians and vegans (simply use a sweetened, non-dairy based yoghurt in your parfait, and ditch the honey to make this completely vegan-friendly).Lizi's Granola Parfait and Smoothie Bowl

Naturally Sweet Smoothie Bowl with Lizi’s Low Sugar Granola

If we’re talking eye-catching, though, you can’t get any more Insta-worthy than a smoothie bowl! I love to make mine with a bright green base to let my fruit really pop!

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The best part about a smoothie bowl (as with a parfait) is that you can literally add whatever you like or have to hand on the top. I love sliced strawberries, balls of sweet melon, kiwi fruit stars, quartered persimmons, fresh figs, and dragonfruit. But I don’t just like to add fruit to my smoothie bowl, because a bit of texture goes a long way. With all the natural sweetness from the smoothie and fruit toppings, a low-sugar granola like Lizi’s is perfect, because it contains less than 4% sugar. The blend of mixed nuts, oats and seeds sweetened with just a touch of black treacle and fructose makes this a great crunchy addition to the smoothie bowl, and I also love to sprinkle on some chia seeds for an added protein punch. (I also like to add some spoonfuls of this into smoothies too – it contains high levels of beta glucans which helps to maintain your blood cholesterol and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.)

  • For your smoothie base:
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 50g spinach (equivalent to a generous handful)
  • 150ml almond milk (or coconut milk, dairy milk, etc)
  • 2 tbsp Lizi’s Low Sugar Granola
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • Fruit of your choice
  • Edible flowers, if desired

Blend your frozen banana and spinach together. (I always have frozen banana in the freezer – just slice into coins and freeze in a single layer in a plastic bag!) Add your almond milk sparingly until the mixture is loose enough to spoon into a bowl – but don’t add too much liquid or your fruit will sink!

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Spoon your smoothie mix into a bowl, and sprinkle your granola on one side of the bowl. On the other side, decorate with your fruit, and edible flowers if you like! I love to slice and prepare a few varieties of fruit during the week, keeping them fresh in the fridge under some cling film, and using them up as I fancy. If you’re worried about using everything up, don’t forget you can add them into your smoothie blend as well as a topping. If you prefer a bright pinky purple smoothie base, replace the spinach with a handful of frozen blackberries!

It really does make a big difference to how I feel when I make sure what I eat is good for me, and looks good too. If you don’t like to mess around in the mornings, you can prepare these the night before and just sprinkle your granola on top to keep it fresh. And obviously, you don’t need to eat these at breakfast either – very often I just have these for lunch at my desk… It’s definitely something to look forward to!

Lizi’s Granola Range is available from Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda, Whole Foods, Co-Op, Booths and all good health stores, priced £3.89 (Low Sugar), and £3.99 (High Protein). Visit the website here.

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This is a sponsored post. I never write about anything I don’t like on Food Fash Fit, and all my sponsored posts are carefully selected so I can promote products I genuinely feel passionate about to my readers!

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Office Makeover Part One: The Preview

I’ve worked from home for a long time now – there are ups and downs, but one of the biggest ups has completely passed me by… until now! That’s the ability to create a working space which is beautiful, personal, and inspires you to get up to get to work every day! I have no before pictures of my office, but I can describe it to you and you’ll understand why my before photos are somewhat lacking. Picture light beigey-yellow walls, light beige carpet, dark blue curtains with a splodge pattern on them, a dark purple/blue desk covered in a mountain of paperwork, two birch IKEA Billy bookcases full to the brim with magazines and books, and a second desk in birch, slowly collapsing, covered in everything from signed autographs to games, folders, papers and ornaments. I hated it.

I’ve always wanted something light, bright, and airy, and over the past couple of weeks I’ve transformed this room with the help of my family into my ultimate dream space! I’m not going to unveil it yet because it’s not quite finished, but here are a few little sneak-peeks…

(Charlotte Olympia Mid-Century Kitty flats available here / flowers from Bloomon – use my code and get a free vase with your first order, here)

Oscar De La Renta Platinum Lamé Cabrina Pumps: Channel Kate’s Style for Less!

On 27 February and 17 March, the Duchess of Cambridge wore some incredible high heels from Oscar De La Renta, with a gorgeous sparkling effect. The shoes are available here. (Sign up for 10% off!)

Platinum Lamé Cabrina Pumps Oscar De La Renta

But, in case these sell out, or you don’t have £590 handy (have you checked behind the sofa?), here are some other options!

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These silver Nusa pumps via ASOS are $61 / £40 from Call It Spring. I love these, and the price is great too!

Or, if you want to splash out a bit more, how about these?

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The Daniel Ademet Silver Sparkly Mesh Low Platform Court Shoe is available for £120 and has a sleek and sophisticated profile, don’t you think?

Or, if you like the silver effect, but not the shape, here’s something a little bit different:

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These are also via ASOS, from Faith – the Cassie Silver Glitter Heeled Shoes for $68, or £45. If you like peep-toes, you’ll love these!

And another one from left field, with the same beautiful silver sparkles but a totally different style are these babies I purchased myself!

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These Office Splash High Vamp Glitter Heeled Shoes are available here. I LOVE them with black cigarette trousers and a crisp white shirt! How would you style them?

Which are your favourites? Do you have any tips for replikates of this style? Let me know below!

This post contains affiliate links. 

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ZeroFat iR1 launch: burn it off on a bike!

Last week, I was one of the first people in the country to try a brand new piece of exercise equipment called the ZeroFat iR1. I came away really impressed and excited to share my experience with you all, so here goes!

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What is ZeroFat iR1?

It looks like an exercise bike from Star Trek – a seriously impressive piece of kit! The reclining bike itself is surrounded by infrared light lamps, which slide back and forth to allow you entry. Once inside, you settle down on the reclined seat, and allow the infrared light to shine on you as you peddle for your session!

What are the benefits of ZeroFat iR1, and how does it work?

Using the infrared light therapy, the machine can reportedly promote skin health, leading to anti-aging results, boosting collagen and reducing fine lines and cellulite. Obviously, as this is also a low-impact cardio machine, you’re going to lose weight at the same time -provided, of course, you eat at a caloric deficit as well as exercise (remember – you can’t outrun your fork!). Mind you, the claim is that the bike can increase your calorie burn by 44%, and a 45-minute session can burn 800 calories, which would put pretty much anyone at a decent deficit for the day! It also has a low-frequency magnetic therapy seat unit which can help reduce swelling and improve circulation. While you pedal, you can watch TV or browse the internet with the integrated touch-screen Android tablet, which is situated in front of your head.

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What is the ZeroFat iR1 like to use?

First of all, I have to say again, the appearance of the bike is hugely impressive, and very futuristic. The unit with the lights attached moves backwards so you can hop in and recline on the seat, raising your legs slightly to reach the pedals. The unit will then slide back over your head, until the Android tablet and controls are just over your face. You end up being slightly enclosed by the machine, which might make some people feel claustrophobic, but I didn’t have an issue with it at all. Once you’re seated, you can adjust the seat and the pedals until everything feels comfortable (and protip, if you adjust the seat portion to 99%, you can engage your abs as well to give an added boost to your workout!). I’ve never used a reclining exercise bike before, but it was much more relaxing than my usual upright bike – and with the bonus of helping your posture too. Often I’ll find myself hunched over the bike with a rounded back, which isn’t really great – but with the reclining seat, you don’t have to worry about all of that.

The heatlamps can be turned up or down depending on your level of comfort, but I decided to have them up as high as possible for the purposes of the review. I usually don’t enjoy sunbathing or hot weather, and I’ve never sat under a heat lamp, but I found the infrared light therapy very pleasant. The heat added to the intensity of the workout, and by the end, I was sweating all over. As far as perceived effort goes, it’s a great ego-boost, and my skin really did feel glowing when it was over.


Thanks to the touch screen tablet, which came pre-loaded with YouTube, the session flew by, and at the end, even though I’d put in my normal amount of effort and burned over 700 calories (according to the machine’s readout, anyway), I didn’t feel overly taxed or sore.

My personal experience of using the ZeroFat iR1

I obviously cannot vouch for any of the health and wellness claims made by ZeroFat, because measuring caloric output is a lot more complicated than watching a number on your exercise machine go up. All I can tell you is my own, honest opinion of my experience.

I really, really enjoyed using the machine, and I definitely felt exhilarated once I’d finished – a combination of natural endorphins released during exercise, and the effects of the infrared light (which can not only boost mood, but also increase your metabolism!). What I can tell you as well is that on Friday I recorded a calorie intake of nearly 1500, which is a lot more than I usually eat (and was probably a conservative estimate, as I had beef bibimbap for lunch and a teriyaki salmon bento box for dinner). The following day I recorded a weight loss of 0.8lb, which is pretty incredible. I can’t claim it was all down to the ZeroFat iR1, but as some anecdotal evidence, I think it’s pretty nifty!

I also have to quickly mention DOMS – delayed onset muscle soreness. I’ve been struggling with it pretty much daily since I started working out, with aching legs, arms, and even bum causing me a fair amount of discomfort. It’s a sad side effect of starting a new exercise regime, but at least it shows that it’s working! I honestly didn’t pay much attention to the ZeroFat iR1’s magnetic therapy seat at first, but as if by magic, all my soreness and achy muscles have gone away since I used it!

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Would I use the ZeroFat iR1 again?

In a heartbeat. I love using the exercise bike anyway, as it’s a low-impact form of cardio that burns calories efficiently while you read, watch TV, or do whatever. But the ZeroFat iR1’s reclining seat was even more relaxing than a normal bike, and I was really impressed by how effective the magnetic therapy seat was. Also, the infrared light therapy really did boost my mood and make my workout feel more effective. I haven’t used the bike enough to be able to stand by any of the long term benefits that the bike is claimed to promote, but the one session I had made me want to get right back in the saddle again!

ZeroFat is new to the UK market and will be available nationwide. Check out the website www.zerofat.co.uk for more information.


Promotional images via www.zerofat.co.uk. My session on the machine was complimentary for the purposes of review, and my opinions and text are my own.

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Rosé up this Valentine’s Day!

What better way to start Valentine’s Day than with some post from Provence Wines, containing this little beauty?! The Chateau La Gordonne Rose Verite du Terroir Cotes de Provence is available now from Ocado for £14.99.


I’ve written before about how versatile rosé is, but when it comes to Valentine’s Day, you can’t really pick a more romantic wine (unless we’re going full-on champagne!). The delicate pink colour of this pale rosé makes it look just the ticket for a meal in, or pre-dinner drinks before you pop out to a restaurant with your beloved. With a bouquet of heady, ripe red fruits, and a balanced citrus aroma, this is the perfect wine to take you from Valentine’s Day, all the way through into summer. Can’t you imagine sipping this in the garden with the sun shining on your face?!


(Thanks to Provence Wines for sending me a bottle for Valentine’s Day! My review and photos are my own.)

Replikates for Gerard Darel Joesphine Shirt

Kate Style: Dress Like The Duchess of Cambridge for Less

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Last month, Kate wore this pretty little ruffled collar shirt from Gerard Darel under a green Hobbs jacket at an EACH engagement. Priced at £105 (already reduced from £175), this top was pricey, but sold out almost right away. A stock refresh recently sold out too, apart from one lone item in size 44, which you can purchase here.

I love this clean, preppy look (and I actually prefer it without the jacket!), so I went hunting for some replikates!

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By far the best one I’ve found is this one from La Redoute – it has the same black border around the collar, as well as that cute black bow. Plus, it’s only £39!

Or, also from La Redoute, this cute ruffled front version, now on sale for £20!

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This one has sharp edges on the collar, and no black piping, but it does have that lovely bow at the front – and doesn’t it look pretty with that black skirt?!

Another low-cost option is from Mango, for $39.99 – a great, simple shirt with a peter pan collar and bow.

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Have you found a great replikate for this item yet? And how are you styling yours? I think black jeans or a black skirt, along with some brightly coloured accessories, would look fab!

 

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Calorie restriction: keeping those hunger pangs at bay

When I’m dieting, I try to stick to 1200 calories a day. I’ll confess, I sometimes go lower. The Fast Diet is a pretty well-respected method for dieting that sees subjects take two 500 calorie days a week, and eat what they like the rest of the time. In a more hardcore version of this, dieters can restrict themselves to 1200 calories on the non-fasting days. This was my inspiration for my calorie counting in the first few weeks of the diet. Hard, yes. Dangerous? I don’t think so. Unprecedented? Not at all! In fact, calorie restriction may actually lead to not just weight loss, but better health all around. (As I keep saying, everyone is different, and none of this information is being presented to you as my weight loss guide for general consumption.)

So, what works best for me? First of all, skipping breakfast. Breakfast is the Holy Grail of dieting. The advice used to be that you should never, ever skip breakfast. Eating first thing was supposed to kickstart your metabolism, and besides, isn’t there that saying, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and supper like a pauper”?

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Actually, this is one of the reasons I keep researching, keep listening to the latest advice, and constantly re-evaluate my approach. What’s accepted wisdom now might not be in five years’ time. Even with the exercise DVDs I do, I can tell how much the science of physical exercise has moved on from each era I workout in. The effectiveness of various forms of nutrition and exercise is a notoriously hard field to research, because human trials are difficult and expensive, and thanks to ethics, sometimes completely impossible to do properly.

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So, if you’re like me, and aren’t bothered about eating first thing, then take heart – it’s perfectly okay to delay your meal until you’re ready!

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The second thing I’ll do is eat a very light lunch. Fruit and yogurt, or a smoothie, or soup, or a sandwich, or even a low calorie omelette – enough to keep me going through the day. Avoiding hunger pangs is my aim here, and for that I really like taking psyllium husks. Sounds scary and weird, but actually it’s just a capsule full of indigestible fibre, which you take with water around 30-60 minutes before a meal. The water mixes with the fibre and creates a gel in your stomach which gives a feeling of fullness, helping you to stave off hunger while you adjust to smaller portion sizes. When I first heard about psyllium husks I thought they were too good to be true, so I did a lot of research to find out what the catch is. Well, there isn’t one – as long as you use them according to the directions, and have a normal digestive system (i.e. you’re not suffering from a condition or disease that presents itself in your digestive system), there’s no sinister drawbacks or horrible surprises waiting. In fact, these are very much like the zero noodles that were a huge craze a while back – the same principle of indigestible fibre helping you to feel full. Here’s a link to purchase some if you’re interested!

Onto dinner. My magic hack for low calorie consumption is simple. When every calorie counts and I’m dieting for fast results, I avoid over-complicating things, and I also avoid temptation. So, I pretty much avoid cooking as much as I can. I love cooking, but it’s a sure fire way for me to start wasting food (by throwing out ingredients which I’m not going to be able to eat the full package of) and complicating my day. There’s also always the issue of temptation… Should I just finish off this bag of potatoes for an extra 100 calories? This doesn’t look like enough rice, should I pop in 25g more? This would taste better if I added x, y, z… Instead of doing all that, I’ll grab either a ready meal, or a box recipe delivery like Hello Fresh or Gousto. Both of these companies have low-calorie options which taste great, and reduce waste and temptation. And ready meals get a bad rep, but they are delicious and calorie controlled – most of them keep fresh for days, and depending on where you buy them, you can get some truly delicious and super healthy options! When selecting a ready meal, I never buy any that go over 600 calories. If you’re doing something like the 5:2 diet (five days of normal consumption, two days of less than 500 calories) then ready meals can take the pressure off, as there are loads of options and some even hover around 300 calories, giving you a chance for a low-calorie soup or cereal bar for lunch or breakfast.

With these hacks to make dieting easier for myself, sticking to a diet when eating at home isn’t really that difficult at all! Every person is different, though, so if you have any tips of your own, please share them with me below!

Valentine’s Day Sharing Menu at Island Grill, Lancaster London

Island Grill The Lancaster Valentine's Day bar

Last month I was invited to sample the Island Grill’s Valentine’s Day menu at the Lancaster London. As my husband was working, I took along my best friend Rachel. Since trying the nine dish extravaganza, we’ve fallen in love and have both run off together. That’s how good it was.

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Variety is the spice of life: getting my groove back

I’m not the kind of person who does very well with the same thing, over and over. I like routine, but I hate monotony. I love playing computer games, but if I have to do the same level more than three times, it’s literally game over.

Exercise can often be a dull task, let’s face it. I’ve tried plenty of things in the past, but it’s never stuck. Judo, kickboxing, running, yoga, belly-dancing, going to the gym… I love all of these things and I’d do them again tomorrow, but not every day, every week, for years and years and years.

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